“If you’re not in this business to be world champion, then you need to get out” is a familiar line old-timers and others spout, but it’s hard to be the world champion when you’ve never received a fair shot.
Scott Hall, Roddy Piper, Ted Dibiase. The list of wrestlers who have never been a world champion in WWE is numerous. However, the list of those who never received a one-on-one title match is much smaller.
WWE’s roster is bigger than ever, with five brands and international PPVs, the company needs the manpower. Nestled in that large workforce are a few performers who’ve won gold, been near the top but have never got that clear chance at a world title.
Here are four performers whose only chances at the top prizes have been multiple-man matches.
#1 Kofi Kingston
Kingston is the most prolific titleholder in WWE history; he recently broke the record for most days as a tag team champion. The New Day member has also held both the Intercontinental and United States Championships multiple times, all he’s missing is a world title.
Kingston did receive one shot at the WWE Championship, but it was in an Elimination Chamber match back in 2010.
The New Day member was the group’s representative in this year’s Money in The Bank match. The roar that Kingston received from the crowd showed that the audience wants to see Kofi challenge the big boys.
Whenever a team member challenges for singles gold in wrestling, it means that team is headed for a violent breakup. The New Day has been one of the biggest success stories for WWE in recent years. Rather than do the all-too-familiar stab-in-the-back, Big E and Xavier Woods should support their teammate in finally getting that grand prize.
Kingston has been a mid-card player for most of his ten years in the company, some might argue that a Kingston WWE/Universal Title reign would hurt business, but the truth is, being a world champion means less then it ever has. We are far removed from the days when the champion sold the house. It’s now the WWE name that brings the people in. The company didn’t go bankrupt after Jinder Mahal won the WWE Championship.
If Kingston won either the WWE or Universal Championship, he would be the first ever African-born world champion in WWE history. (Kingston was born in Ghana but immigrated when he was an infant). WWE is always seeking mainstream coverage; a Kingston win would give them just that.