5 Great WWE Stars Who Never Won The WWE Championship
Looking back at five major WWE stars who never won the big one.
The WWE Championship is the oldest title in the company. Originating way back in April 1963, after the then World Wide Wrestling Federation broke away from the National Wrestling Alliance and decided to go it alone within their North East region.
Buddy Rogers was the inaugural Champion but would soon relinquish the title to Bruno Sammartino, who would reign for eight years, which is still by some considerable distance, the longest Championship reign in the belt's 55-year history.
With Sammartino as it's figurehead, the WWWF Championship grew immeasurably in reputation and became even more revered than the NWA World Championship.
By the time, Hulk Hogan won the rechristened WWF Championship in January 1984, the title was the most important in the wrestling world.
With Hogan leading the charge, WWE under Vince McMahon Jr, who had bought the company from his father two years earlier launched a calculated move to invade the world's mainstream consciousness to become a pop culture phenomenon with the first Wrestlemania show in March 1985.
Over the past half century, many of the biggest names in wrestling have held the coveted title, in addition to Sammartino and Hogan, the most notable names to have called themselves Champion were Macho Man Randy Savage, The Undertaker, Ric Flair, Bret "Hitman" Hart, Shawn Michaels, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, John Cena, Edge and Roman Reigns.
However, while many huge stars of their respective eras held the WWE Championship, many others for differing reasons, didn't.
In the following slideshow, SK looks back at five of the biggest names in WWE history who never wore the WWE Championship and analyses why they never won the big one.
#5 William Regal
When William Regal debuted in WWE at the height of the "Attitude Era" in late 1998 with the mid-1990s gimmick of "Real Man's Man" Steven Regal, few would ever have pegged him as a potential contender to win the WWE Championship.
However, after personal issues led to Regal exiting the company, it was a blessing in disguise.
Regal returned to WWE in late 2000 with a new first name, William and a completely new character.
Now, portraying a posh, arrogant English "gentleman", Regal now recited Shakespeare and chastised the WWE audience for their poor manners.
The character got over with the audience huge and soon reigned as European and Intercontinental Champion.
Regal was finally pegged for a headline run in the company in 2008; as King of The Ring and Raw General Manager, he was one of the top names in the promotion and was under strong consideration for a WWE Championship run.
Regal knew this. Which is what led to it never happening. Regal received a 60 day suspension having failed a drug test, as he was caught trying to enhance his physique for a headline run.
When Regal returned to the ring, he never recovered that spot and slid down the card until he quietly retired as a in-ring performer in early 2014.