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10 Legendary pro wrestlers who were never WWE World champion

Rowdy Roddy Piper hefts the WWE Intercontinental championship proudly.
Rowdy Roddy Piper hefts the WWE Intercontinental championship proudly.
Modified 29 Dec 2018, 18:42 IST
Top 5 / Top 10

When it comes to pro wrestling legends, there have been quite a few that passed through the World Wrestling Federation, and its later incarnation the WWE. Men like Hulk Hogan, Bob Backlund, and the Iron Sheik all held the WWE's big belt, the proclaimed 'richest prize in all of pro wrestling.'

But, believe it or not, there are numerous legendary pro wrestlers, even Hall of Famers, deceased, or still among us, who have never held the WWE's 'big belt' or any of their incarnations. This is surprising to many fans, especially in an era where title changes come fast and loose. In fact, in 2018 there were no less than 44 title changes in WWE across all of their divisions, brands, and extensions.

Contrast this to older eras in sports entertainment, where men might hold a title belt for several years without being upset or dethroned. Once you put this into perspective, it gets a bit easier to fathom how so many big name wrestlers never managed to capture the prestigious big belt.

Here are ten legendary wrestlers, who have held many titles, but never, ever got to be WWE's big belt champion.

#1 Junkyard Dog

Junkyard Dog, AKA Sylvester Ritter
Junkyard Dog, AKA Sylvester Ritter

Real Name: Sylvester Ritter

Debut: 1977

Career Accolades: Junkyard Dog won the Mid South Wrestling North American championship, the NWA six-man tag team titles, and won the Wrestling Classic, a tournament style event that is usually recognized as the first wrestling pay per view. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004, posthumously.


Junkyard Dog blazed a lot of trails for wrestlers of color in the 1970s. He was one of the first major babyfaces of that era who happened to be African American. This was quite an accomplishment, given that the south had been home to rioting and apartheid type conditions just ten years prior.

He was signed by WWE in the early 1980s, and won the Wrestling Classic tournament, said to be wrestling's first pay-per-view. He was a featured attraction during the Rock N Wrestling era, but oddly garnered no major championships.

JYD also worked for NWA, where he captured the six-man tag team titles. He made a run for Flair's NWA World heavyweight title, and while he never lost to Flair he also never actually won the title--his victories were always by DQ or count out.

Why he never won the Big Belt: JYD was active during the era of Hulk Hogan's historic five-year run with the title. While JYD may have been a fine choice for world champion, it just wasn't in the cards.

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Published 29 Dec 2018, 18:42 IST
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