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5 WWE World Heavyweight Champions You Forgot About

The World Heavyweight Championship (2002-13)
The World Heavyweight Championship (2002-13)
Paul Benson
ANALYST
Modified 13 Nov 2018, 01:15 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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The WWE World Heavyweight Championship was created in September 2002, on-screen by Raw General Manager, Eric Bischoff as a rival to the WWE Heavyweight Championship which in storyline had become exclusive to Smackdown when champion Brock Lesnar signed a huge money deal with Smackdown boss, Stephanie McMahon.

Even back in 2002, Lesnar was all about the money!

The title was awarded to Triple H, who at the time was deemed the number one contender for Lesnar's title.

Initially struggling to gain acceptance as a credible headline title, Triple H in particular did a sterling job over the subsequent years to bring the belt up to the level of the more established WWE Heavyweight title.

However, when WWE entered the 2010's the title began to lose some of it's lustre. Gone were the days when only the company's top stars contested the championship such as: Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Goldberg, The Undertaker, Edge and Batista.

In their place were less luminary names such as Mark Henry, Jack Swagger, Christian and Dolph Ziggler who all reigned as World Heavyweight Champion as the belt became a test run for a mid-carder to see of they could run with the WWE Heavyweight Championship which still retained it's importance as the premier title in all of wrestling and did not suffer any significant devaluing even when performers such as The Miz failed on top.

The World Heavyweight Championship was discontinued in December 2013 when then World Heavyweight Champion, John Cena lost a unification match to WWE Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton.

It was the WWE Championship established in 1963 that survived the unification process and Orton reigned as champion until Wrestlemania XXX wherein he dropped the belt to the white-hot Daniel Bryan.

In this slideshow, SK looks at five World Heavyweight Champions you likely don't remember.

#5 Rey Mysterio

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Rey Mysterio holds the World Championship aloft at Wrestlemania 22
Rey Mysterio holds the World Championship aloft at Wrestlemania 22

Some longtime WWE fans may recall that Rey Mysterio won the World Championship at Wrestlemania 22 in a triple threat bout with the champion, Kurt Angle and fellow challenger, Randy Orton, for all the wrong reasons.

Following the tragic death of Eddie Guerrero at the age of just 38 in November 2005, Mysterio was given the 2006 Royal Rumble win as a tribute to his deceased friend.

What ensued was an unpleasant storyline in which Orton blackened the deceased Guerrero's name and Mysterio used every opportunity to talk about his dead friend.

It was borderline exploitative and turned the fans off Mysterio's valiant title chase and victory. Realising they were on to a loser, WWE scrapped the Mysterio title reign and booked him to drop the title to King Booker in July.

Mysterio dropped out of title contention altogether for the next few years before surprisingly being chosen to terminate Jack Swagger's title run in June 2010. His reign lasted exactly four weeks before he dropped the belt to Kane, cashing in his newly won Money in the Bank briefcase.

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His second reign was literally a blink and you missed his championship run.

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Published 13 Nov 2018, 01:15 IST
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