The WWF World Title has been the undisputed most prestigious championship in pro wrestling since the mid-1980′s. Asking who was the best WWE champion, we must consider money generated, popularity, length of reign, number of reigns, quality of matches and opponents, historical influence, and skill- all during the championship reign. Let’s go over the Top 10 WWE Champions (of course, it used to be called WWWF and WWF):
Bruno Sammartino: Two reigns, 4,040 combined days. Thanks to the northeast hype, he was the most popular wrestler of the 1960′s and early 1970′s. He used to be the WWF Champion that all others were compared to. Although his in-ring technical skills could not compare to NWA or AWA World Champions of his era, and he did not give great interviews, he was the WWWF kingpin and ultimate babyface (hero) the longest. Fans ate him up. He was the ultimate Italian Stalion. His Win/Loss record was insane, as was his immense strength and conditioning (no steroids or drugs). Younger fans may not know him thanks to his real-life feud with WWE owner Vince McMahon, Jr., but Bruno WAS the WWWF, and his influence and history cannot be ignored. Bruno gets ripped by “smarks” on the Internet for being overrated, but you just had to be there to see Bruno in his prime selling out MSG to appreciate his greatness.
Hulk Hogan: Six reigns, 2,185 combined days. The most popular and recognizable pro wrestler who ever lived thanks to the MTV/Rock and Roll/New York MEDIA storm of 1984 in addition to being at the right place at the right time. Thanks to Hulk Hogan, the WWF went became a national promotion, it became mainstream, and a merchandising cash cow for everyone involved. His first title reign was his most famous, as he was an unbeatable cartoon All-American hero come to life. He defeated some of the greatest wrestlers of all time during his title reigns. He had a monopoly on the WWF Heavyweight Championship- it was his whenever he wanted in when he was in his prime, much to the envy of his peers.
Steve Austin: Six reigns, 530 days. Austin was the face of the WWF’s mid-late 90′s Attitude Era, and helped the WWF back on the map. He was the most popular World Champion since Hulk Hogan, and some stats show he was the biggest draw in WWF history. Drawing money is the most important aspect of a world champion.
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