While I was watching The History of the WWE Championship DVD set on the weekend, I got to thinking about how many great wrestlers throughout the 80s and early 90s never had a run with the World Title. For the record, I'm referring only to the WWF/WWE World Title and the NWA/WCW World Title here. Well, and the WWE Championship as well. Stupid convoluted brand extension. Anyways, mostly because of Hulk Hogan (or Hulk Hogan's contract if you prefer), the following wrestlers never got that storied run with the belt, but they're all Hall of Famers in my book. None of these guys needed that World Championship to be over with the fans, but it certainly wouldn't have hurt them either.
Owen Hart - I believe if it weren't for the tragic accident that took his life, Owen might very well have been given some sort of Chris Benoit-like World title reign, as a thanks from Vince for sticking with the company after everything Vince put the Harts through. Even though that's only because Vince wouldn't let him out of his contract. I believe it might've been a last-ditch effort to sway Owen away from retiring and becoming a firefighter, but we'll never know now.
Top Five Wrestlers That Were Never World Champion
5. "Ravishing" Rick Rude - masterful heel, great look, killer on the mic, wonderfully skilled for being a musclehead, drew heat like nobody's business; I think he never got the title because he'd make the babyface champs look like the comparitive shit they were, as well as Hogan and Ultimate Warrior's contracts at the time.
4. "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase - lived his gimmick to a T, great heel, looked average to great, marketable, skilled; I don't think he got the title because what do you do with the wrestler who can buy everything and has now won everything? That and probably the cocaine problem he had at the time.
3. "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig - Perfect vingettes to introduce his character, great on the mic, supremely talented, great look, drew awesome heat and pops, could work heel and face; I don't think he got that title reign because of Hogan, simply put.
2. Jake "The Snake" Roberts - talented, simply awesome on the mic, expert at drawing the fans in, originator of the DTA-type character; didn't get the title because he wasn't nearly as marketable as Hogan was, though he was far more talented and actually gave a damn about the business.
1. "Rowdy" Roddy Piper - in the 80s, probably had mainstream name-recognition value on par with Hogan, insanely marketable, drove fans insane, awesome on the mic, unbelievably entertaining, had great feuds; didn't get the title because he didn't need it. Oh and that fucker Hogan.