10 WWE Wrestlers Who Had A Reign With ZERO Successful Title Defences 

4/3/2024 2:10 PM

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10 WWE Wrestlers Who Had A Reign With ZERO Successful Title Defences 

10 WWE Wrestlers Who Had A Reign With ZERO Successful Title Defences 

April 3, 2024 2:10 PM
10 WWE Wrestlers Who Had A Reign With ZERO Successful Title Defences 

Brief reigns have been common throughout WWE history...

10: Chris Jericho (US Champion, 2017)

Chris Jericho has won virtually every championship imaginable in WWE, and in 2017, Jericho captured his last title to date in WWE. At the Payback event, Jericho defeated Kevin Owens to become US Champion for the second time in his illustrious career.

This reign would be short-lived, as on the next edition of SmackDown, Jericho dropped the title back to Owens, giving Jericho an underwhelming two-days as US Champion.

Jericho made a career out of having brief reigns as champion, and notably when Jericho won the European Title at WrestleMania 16, his reign would last just 24-hours before he dropped the title to the legendary, Eddie Guerrero.

9: Randy Orton (WWE Champion, 2007)

WWE was sent into disarray in October of 2007, when their resident top-star, John Cena went down with a serious injury. Cena was the reigning WWE Champion, and the 2007 No Mercy event was set to be headlined by Cena vs. Randy Orton in a Last Man Standing encounter.

To combat Cena’s injury, WWE would deliver something unique for the PPV, and the PPV itself would open with Vince McMahon simply handing Orton the WWE Title. Orton’s reign wouldn’t even last an hour, as he would be immediately challenged by Triple H, and in shocking fashion, The Game won, giving Triple H his first World Title since 2005.

Luckily for Orton, McMahon had a back-up plan, and The Game was forced to defend his WWE Title against Umaga, and then Orton in a Last Man Standing match. Orton eventually got the title back in the aforementioned match, meaning Orton left the 2007 No Mercy PPV with two-more WWE Title reigns added to his resume.

8: The Miz (Intercontinental Champion, 2013)

The Miz is regarded as one of the greatest Intercontinental Champions of all time, yet this doesn’t mean every reign The Miz has had has been lengthy. The Miz captured the title once again at WrestleMania 29, during a pre-show match with Wade Barrett. This reign would come to a dramatic end the next night on RAW, when Barrett would win the title back.

A similar thing occurred just a year later. The Miz won the title on PPV, this time at the Night of Champions event, and just the very next night, The Miz would drop the title back to Dolph Ziggler in unceremonious fashion.

7: Dolph Ziggler (World Champion, 2011)

There was a ton of discourse in 2011 relating to Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler had broken through thanks to his immense in-ring skills, and there was a strong and vocal portion of the fan-base that believed that Ziggler could become World Champion.

These fans got their wish in early 2011, when Ziggler was awarded the World Title on SmackDown. Ziggler was awarded the title by Vickie Gurrero, after previous World Champion Edge had illegally used his spear in a featured matchup.

On the same edition of SmackDown, Edge would face off against Ziggler in a rematch, and Edge would defeat Ziggler, ending Ziggler’s World Title reign in one of the most underwhelming ways imaginable.

There was extensive criticism directed towards WWE regarding this booking move. It made Ziggler look like a total fool, and it made the World Title look like a prop.

Despite Ziggler having just become a World Champion, Ziggler was for some reason moved emphatically down the card following the feud with Edge, and when it came to the annual WrestleMania event, he would compete in multi-person tag action teaming with Lay-Cool.

6: John Cena (WWE Champion, 2010)

Defeating John Cena during Cena’s full-time run in the company was a huge deal. WWE were always selective when it came to who received the honour of defeating Cena, and at the Elimination Chamber PPV in 2010, WWE saw it fitting that Batista should defeat their franchise guy.

Cena had just won the Chamber matchup and had just become WWE Champion yet again.

Cena’s moment of triumph would come crashing down, when WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon informed Cena that he was going to WrestleMania 26 as WWE Champion, that was, if he could defeat Batista in an impromptu matchup. Due to Cena being totally exhausted from the Chamber match, Batista made easy work of Cena, and defeated him to become WWE Champion. 

Cena and Batista would then embark on a vastly underrated feud heading into WrestleMania 26, and when their eventual collision went down on the grandest stage of them all, Cena came out with the victory after making The Animal submit to the STF.

5: Zack Ryder (Intercontinental Champion, 2016)

WrestleMania 32 opened with an acclaimed ladder match for the Intercontinental Title, and nobody could have ever predicted that Zack Ryder would be the one to take the title.

Ryder’s win stunned the fan-base, and for fans of Ryder, they had just 24-hours to soak in the win, as on the next night on RAW, Ryder dropped the title to The Miz.

During an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Ryder believed that winning the Intercontinental Title was going to be the start of something special:

“I did think after the IC title thing that now we’re cooking. I think people were taking me a little more seriously. At any job, when you start, people look at how you started then, so people were starting to look at me as this 20-year-old kid and at the time, I was a 30-year-old man. They were starting to finally realize, ‘Okay, this guy can still go. He’s still popular. After all these years we haven’t done anything with him, he’s still popular.’ If they put me in a situation where the fans can believe in me, they do. I even went to Kevin Dunn to get my music changed and updated, make it a rock version. I really thought this was gonna be it. It wasn’t…”

After dropping the title to The Miz, Ryder would be used once again in lesser roles, which was a massive shame, as the WrestleMania win showed WWE that fans still cared about Ryder as a performer.

4: Yokozuna (WWE Champion, 1993)

It was traditionally the case that WrestleMania would go off the air with the babyface standing tall. However, when Yokozuna shockingly defeated Bret Hart to win the WWE Title at WrestleMania 9, it looked like the annual spectacle was going to go off the air to a chorus of boos.

To combat this negativity, WWE, specifically, Hulk Hogan had a plan. WWE booked Hogan to challenge Yokozuna to an impromptu matchup, and he ended up defeating Yokozuna in a matter of seconds to once again become champion.

It’s widely believed that Hogan politicked himself into this position, and it was yet another example of Hogan using his backstage sway to place himself into a favourable position.

3: Goldberg (Universal Champion, 2017 & 2020)

When Goldberg returned to WWE in 2016, it looked to be a one-time deal to promote a 2K instalment, yet WWE decided to bring the former World Champion back time and time again.

These appearances could have worked, that’s if WWE had used them to put over young stars; however, WWE had other ideas in mind, as they booked Goldberg to win the Universal Title on two separate occasions.

In 2017, Goldberg basically squashed Kevin Owens to become Universal Champion at the Fastlane event, and following his win, Goldberg would defend the title one single time, and that came at WrestleMania 33, where he would drop the title to Brock Lesnar.

Fast-forward to the year 2020, and WWE had booked Goldberg to defeat The Fiend Bray Wyatt to become Universal Champion for the second time. This is often labelled as one of the most reckless booking moves of the past decade, as there was no reason for a semi-retired wrestler to annihilate The Fiend’s momentum. Just like Goldberg’s 2017 run with the Universal Title, he would lose it during his first defence, as he would drop the title to Braun Strowman at WrestleMania 36.

2: Rey Mysterio (WWE Champion, 2011)

When WWE booked a storyline which saw CM Punk walk out of WWE as WWE Champion, they needed to crown a new champion. The idea WWE had was to crown a new champion via a tournament, and the finals of this tournament would be between Rey Mysterio and The Miz on RAW.

Fans were collectively delighted when WWE booked Mysterio to win the WWE Title, as Mysterio was still one of the most popular babyfaces in the entire company, and fans had been crying out for another Mysterio World Title run.

WWE unfortunately had no plans to give Mysterio a lengthy reign as the top guy on RAW, as WWE booked Mysterio to defend the title against John Cena on RAW on the exact same night. Naturally, Cena won, and this booking move was blasted by fans, as it was if the entire tournament, as well as Mysterio’s WWE Title win, was a cheap and lazy booking move designed to get the title back on Cena.

1: Kane (WWE Champion, 1998)

The King of the Ring in 1998 is mostly known for the infamous Mankind vs. The Undertaker Hell in a Cell match, but it also featured a memorable title change, as Kane would defeat Stone Cold Steve Austin to win his first-ever WWE Title.

This monumental win was a clear indicator that the Kane character that debuted the year prior had managed to exceed all expectations, and WWE had a life-long main event level talent on their hands.

On the next night on RAW following Kane’s victory, Kane dropped the title back to Austin, and whilst the match did significant business in terms of ratings for WWE, it was a shame that Kane only received a 24-hour reign.

Kane would discuss his day-long WWE Title reign on The Bam Show, and this is what the WWE legend had to say:

“It never bothered me. Because that was Stone Cold Steve Austin when Stone Cold Steve Austin is on a rocket going to the stratosphere. And the next night dropping the title was actually more important. There was a palpable energy in the crowd in Cleveland that I have never experienced before or since.”