5 Golden Era Superstars who should have been WWE Champions
The WWE Championship is the most prestigious title in all of wrestling. It has been held by some of the most legendary superstars including Bruno Sammartino, The Iron Sheik, Randy Savage, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, and John Cena.
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Only the greatest of the greatest have held the WWE Championship, but there are also a lot of great WWE Superstars who have never held the title.
In this series of lists, we will take a look at the best WWE Superstars who should have been WWE Champions in each of the different eras.
These eras include the Golden Era (1982-1993), the New Generation Era (1993-1997), the Attitude Era (1997-2002), the Ruthless Aggression Era (2002-2008), the PG Era (2008-2013), and the Reality Era (2014-present).
Without further ado, here is the first part of the series, the five greatest Golden Era Superstars who should have won the WWE Championship.
There are a lot of WWE legends from the Golden Era that never won the WWE Championship. Some of these legends include Nikolai Volkoff, Paul Orndorff, Greg Valentine, Jesse Ventura, Junkyard Dog, and George Steele.
Volkoff and Orndorff were two of the top heels in history, both challenging Hulk Hogan for the WWE Championship. They were never close to winning the title because Hogan was the top babyface at that time.
Valentine and Ventura were also contenders for the WWE title during the reign of Bob Backland. Valentine in particular, was close to being WWE Champion when a referee accidentally awarded him the championship in 1981. However, it was only part of a storyline, and was never recognised as a title reign by the WWE.
On the other hand, Junkyard Dog and The Animal were two of the most beloved WWE Superstars ever. They would have been perfect WWE Champions for the fans to cheer during that era, an alternative to Hogan. Despite the lack of the WWE title in their resume, all of these legends are Hall of Famers.
#5 Jimmy Snuka
One of the most iconic WWE Superstars of the Golden Era, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, produced so many great moments during his illustrious career. Snuka was one of the pioneers of the high-flying style of wrestling. One of his most memorable moments happened in 1983 when he jumped off the steel cage and performed his signature "Superfly" splash on Don Muraco.
So yes, it is hard to believe Snuka never won the WWE Championship during his career. It is even harder to believe that he never won any title in the WWE. Nevertheless, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996, along with other legends such as Pat Patterson, Lou Albano, Killer Kowaski, and Vincent J. McMahon.
“Superfly” was very close to winning the WWE Championship in 1982 during his feud with Bob Backlund. He defeated Backlund several times, but it was only by count out and disqualification. As the rules stated, the WWE Championship can only change hands via pinfall or submission.