Jimmy SnukaJames Wiley Smith
- Birthdate: 05/18/1943 (age 73)
- Height: 5'10"
- Weight: 235 Ib
Snuka wrestled for several promotions from the ...
The following is a list I have compiled of wrestlers who never won the WWE Championship. They may have won World Championships in other promotions, or even secondary WWE titles such as the Intercontinental Championship or the Tag-Team Championship, but never the "big one." Before we get started, let me point out that while we are strictly talking about the WWE Championship, things can get confusing when factoring in the World Heavyweight Championship. If a guy never held the WWE Championship, but did hold the World Heavyweight Championship when it became an official WWE title, they will not be included in this list. For example, Booker T never actually held the WWE Championship, but that's because he was battling for the World Heavyweight Championship so often. Bill Goldberg never won the WWE Championship, but he won the World Heavyweight Championship in WWE. Christian is anther guy who falls under this category. We are going to take a look at guys who never won the big one, of any kind, while working in WWE specifically. Let's take a look at the list.
#15. Jesse Ventura
Jesse Ventura is a former governor of Minnesota, a WWE Hall Of Famer, a semi-famous movie star and one of the most influential color-commentators in the history of professional wrestling. The last thing anyone is bringing up when introducing Ventura on a talk show is the amount of titles he has obtained throughout his career as an active in-ring competitor. However it is still surprising that Ventura never won a title in WWE. He held AWA tag-team titles and had several shots at the WWWF Champion Bob Backlund during Backlund's lengthy title reign, but Ventura never held WWE gold. Pretty surprising.
#14. Harley Race
Before Ric Flair was the 16-time World Heavyweight Champion, Harley Race was an eight-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion. His reign as an eight-time champion, especially when the NWA title was considered the big title in pro wrestling, was as touted and respected as Flair's multiple reigns. Regardless of that, Race never won the big one in WWE. In 1986, Harley Race did win the second ever "King Of The Ring" for the promotion, and would take that victory and parlay it into a full-blown "King of Wrestling" gimmick, referring to himself as "King" Harley Race. While Race was past his prime by the time he landed in New York, and was basically there for a paycheck, it is still surprising that someone who accomplished so much in the NWA, accomplished so little in WWE.
#13. Dusty Rhodes
"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes was one of the biggest stars in his day, and was among Vince McMahon's fiercest rivals. He was often the man calling the shots behind-the-scenes in NWA, and later WCW, as the main competitor for McMahon's WWE. By the time Rhodes wound up in WWE, he was ribbed by being forced to wear polka dots, and was given Sapphire as a valet. Rhodes, having been a proud NWA World Heavyweight Champion prior to working for McMahon, never actually held a title of any kind for the promotion. Rhodes feuded for the WWWF title with "Superstar" Billy Graham on a few different occasions, but never achieved championship-level success in New York.
#12. Lex Luger
Lex Luger was groomed for a while as the next babyface U.S. "hero" type of character by Vince McMahon during his WWE run. He came into the company off of a deal with McMahon's failed World Bodybuilding Federation and first portrayed a heel as "The Narcissist" Lex Luger. After playing that gimmick for a while, McMahon began grooming Luger as basically his new Hulk Hogan. Fans of the 1990s will certainly remember the "Lex Express" tour that was designed to get Luger over as the company's top babyface. By the time WrestleMania rolled around that year, WWE went with Bret "The Hitman" Hart as the top babyface and WWE Champion instead of...