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Rating The Champ WWE

WWE World Titles – 2004

Welcome to my blog. This is the start of a new series, where I’ll be looking back at the history of WWE World Titles (not counting ECW) and ranking all the World Title reigns since the “Modern Era”. The “Modern Era” goes all the way back to the birth of Hulkamania in 1984, and that’s where we’ll end. Today we look back at the year 2005, and we’ll continue to go back from here.

In front of my star ratings for the matches, you’ll either see “HR”, “R” or “RTA”. “HR” means the match is highly recommended ; “R” means the match is recommended ; “RTA” means recommendation to avoid. In case nothing appears, the match is watchable but nothing spectacular.

WWE CHAMPIONSHIP

Eddie Guerrero (February 15, 2004 – June 27, 2004)

  • Televised matches: 18
  • Record: 10-4 (4 draws)

My match ratings:

  • Eddie Guerrero def. Brock Lesnar(c) – No Way Out 2004 (****1/2) *HR*
  • Eddie Guerrero(c) def. Kurt Angle – WrestleMania XX (****1/4) *HR*
  • Eddie Guerrero(c) def. Rey Mysterio – SmackDown March 18 2004 (***3/4) *R*
  • JBL def. Eddie Guerrero(c) by DQ – Judgment Day 2004 (***3/4) *R*
  • JBL def. Eddie Guerrero(c) in a Bullrope Match – The Great American Bash 2004 (***1/2) *R*

When Eddie Guerrero won the WWE Championship in February 2004, it truly was a special moment that no one thought would ever actually happen. After his win over Brock Lesnar at No Way Out, Eddie retained in another spectacular bout against Kurt Angle at WrestleMania XX. A feud with JBL followed, which ultimately saw Eddie drop the gold to him at Great American Bash. Many people don’t like this reign, and I agree that it wasn’t as great as it probably should’ve been. That doesn’t mean it was Eddie’s fault, though. In pro wrestling, it takes two to dance as well. And all of a sudden, as soon as Eddie won the title, SmackDown found itself without its two top heels (Brock Lesnar left and Kurt Angle broke his neck again) and Eddie was left on top feuding with the APA guy no one bought as a legit main-eventer. Eddie was always entertaining as champion, he was really fun to watch, and he could tell great stories and get people emotionally invested. Plus, all of his matches listed above are recommended. I don’t love this reign, but I don’t think it’s even close to being bad. It was solid.

Rating: 6/10

JBL (June 27, 2004 – April 3, 2005)

  • Televised matches: 29
  • Record: 16-11 (2 draws)

My match ratings:

  • JBL def. Eddie Guerrero(c) in a Bullrope Match – The Great American Bash 2004 (***1/2) *R*
  • JBL(c) def. Eddie Guerrero in a Steel Cage Match – SmackDown June 15 2004 (***3/4) *R*
  • The Undertaker def. JBL(c) by DQ – SummerSlam 2004 (*1/4) *RTA*
  • JBL(c) def. The Undertaker in a Last Ride Match – No Mercy 2004 (*1/2) *RTA*
  • JBL(c) def. Booker T – Survivor Series 2004 (**)
  • JBL(c) def. The Undertaker, Eddie Guerrero and Booker T – Armageddon 2004 (***1/2) *R*
  • JBL(c) def. Kurt Angle and Big Show – Royal Rumble 2005 (***1/4)
  • JBL(c) def. Big Show in a Steel Cage Barbed Wire Match – No Way Out 2005 (**1/2)
  • John Cena def. JBL(c) – WrestleMania 21 (**)

Speaking of said APA guy no one bought as a main-eventer, JBL started his feud with Eddie Guerrero over the title just a few weeks after working undercard matches with Faarooq, still as Bradshaw. At WrestleMania XX, he was apart of a forgettable four way tag match for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Just like that, he was the top guy in wrestling – the WWE Champion. This was a very weird time. On one hand, JBL’s matches were mediocre at best and kind of always had the same finish with The Cabinet interfering. On the other hand, he could cut some amazing heel promos on TV. But still, I’d say it was still way too long and made SmackDown much less interesting than it was the prior year with Angle and Lesnar suplexing the shit out of each other and wrestling for an hour over the title. However, it was all to make a new star in the end, so I’ll be generous with my rating.

Rating: 5/10

WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Triple H (December 14, 2003 – March 14, 2004)

  • Televised matches: 6
  • Record: 2-2 (2 draws)

My match ratings:

  • Triple H def. Goldberg(c) and Kane – Armageddon 2003 (*1/2) *RTA*
  • Triple H(c) draw. Shawn Michaels – RAW Dec. 29 2003 (****3/4) *HR*
  • Triple H(c) draw. Shawn Michaels in a Last Man Standing Match – Royal Rumble 2004 (***1/2) *R*
  • Chris Benoit def. Triple H(c) and Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania XX (*****) *HR*

In 2003, Triple H spent the entire first nine months of the year as World Heavyweight Champion. People were sick of him on top, but the title holder Goldberg was never supposed to take the belt to WrestleMania XX, as hwe was wrestling his last date on that night. Therefore, with WrestleMania on the horizon and everyone sick of him as champion, that could only mean one thing… it was the perfect time to put it on him again. The match with Shawn Michaels in San Antonio a few weeks after winning the belt was a five-star classic without a finish and their match at Royal Rumble 2004 was fine. However, this reign will always be memorable for one thing, and that’s Chris Benoit forcing ‘The Game’ to submit in the main-event of WrestleMania. And that’s why putting the title on Triple H for a while once again when everyone was sick of him was a great decison. This was perhaps his best reign with the Big Gold Belt.

Rating: 7/10

Chris Benoit (March 14, 2004 – August 15, 2004)

  • Televised matches: 26
  • Record: 19-6 (1 draw)

My match ratings:

  • Chris Benoit def. Triple H(c) and Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania XX (*****) *HR*
  • Chris Benoit(c) def. Triple H and Shawn Michaels – Backlash 2004 (****3/4) *HR*
  • Chris Benoit(c) def. Kane – Bad Blood 2004 (****) *HR*
  • Chris Benoit(c) def. Triple H – Vengeance 2004 (***1/2) *R*
  • Chris Benoit(c) def. Triple H – RAW July 26 2004 (***3/4) *R*
  • Randy Orton def. Chris Benoit(c) – SummerSlam 2004 (****1/4) *HR*

At WrestleMania XX, Benoit closed the show alongside his brother Eddie Guerrero, the WWE Champion, on top of the world. Unlike Eddie over on SmackDown, however, Benoit had established main-event talent to work with and had a much better reign, in my opinion. The rematch with Hunter and Shawn at Backlash, despite not being as memorable and emotional as WrestleMania, was still spectacular. So was his bout with Kane at Bad Blood, a back-and-forth contest which saw Benoit try multiple ways to fight back against the monster – it was easily one of the best pure non-gimmicked matches of Kane’s career. The feud with Triple H that came afterwards was not as good, though, as it involved a lot of Eugene for my taste. Eugene even won the Iron Man Match for Benoit… but their matches were still really good. Finally, the last match against Randy Orton helped ‘The Legend Killer’ a lot on his way to the top. He wasn’t great at promos, but he could tell the story using his wrestling insde the ropes. The moment he won the belt is memorable, the moment he lost it is memorable, all the matches are recommended and he even got to win the Tag Team Titles with Edge while he was World Champion! Remove the Eugene crap, and this is everything a title reign in wrestling should be.

Rating: 8/10

Randy Orton (August 15, 2004 – September 12, 2004)

  • Televised matches: 4
  • Record: 3-1

My match ratings:

  • Randy Orton def. Chris Benoit(c) – SummerSlam 2004 (****1/4) *HR*
  • Randy Orton(c) def. Chris Benoit – RAW Aug. 16, 2004 (****) *HR*
  • Triple H def. Randy Orton(c) – Unforgiven 2004 (**1/2)

When Randy Orton captured Chris Benoit’s World Championship and became the young title holder in WWE history, there was no stopping Randy Orton. He had one of the best Intercontinental Title reigns in ages earlier that year, had a spectacular feud and match with Mick Foley, worked with (and defeated) The Rock at WrestleMania XX, and in the summer wrestled awesome matches with Edge and Benoit. And then the feud with Triple H came, and Orton suddenly turned babyface as champion. A number of weeks later, he lost the title to Triple H at Unforgiven. The fans became more invested in Batista chasing Triple H, and all of a sudden Randy was just another babyface on the roster. If it wasn’t for that Undertaker feud in 2005, who knows what would’ve happened to him. Nope, this reign didn’t help anyone.

Rating: 3/10

Triple H (September 12, 2004 – December 6, 2004)

  • Televised matches: 10
  • Record: 4-5 (1 draw)

My match ratings:

  • Triple H def. Randy Orton(c) – Unforgiven 2004 (**1/2)
  • Triple H(c) def. Shawn Michaels – Taboo Tuesday 2004 (***)
  • Team Orton def. Team Triple H – Survivor Series 2004 (***)

This reign is really weird, and I’m afraid I have very little to say about it. I was not a fan of the feud with Randy Orton, and the feud with Batista was in his fifth and last reign as World Champion in 2005. He did have an interesting mini-story with Edge and Chris Benoit, which ultimately saw the title get vacated in December. A solid but not very memorable match with Shawn Michaels at Taboo Tuesday happened in this reign too, but I just feel nothing stands out here. Plus, he didn’t really put anyone over in the end of his title reign (the belt was vacated) and he ended up becoming the next champion anyway. This was not necessarily bad, it was just sort of there.

Rating: 2/10

ALL-TIME CHAMPIONS RANKING

  1. John Cena (WWE Championship, 17/09/2006 – 02/10/2007) 9
  2. CM Punk (WWE Championship, 20/11/2011 – 27/01/2013) 9
  3. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 13/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 9
  4. AJ Styles (WWE Championship, 11/09/2016 – 29/01/2017) 9
  5. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 16/12/2007 – 30/03/2008) 8
  6. Edge (WWE Championship, 08/01/2006 – 29/01/2006) 8
  7. Chris Benoit (World Heavyweight Championship, 14/03/2004 – 15/08/2004) 8
  8. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 06/05/2011 – 17/07/2011) 8
  9. Batista (WWE Championship, 21/02/2010 – 28/03/2010) 8
  10. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 17/08/2014 – 29/03/2015) 7
  11. Edge (WWE Championship, 03/07/2006- 17/09/2006) 7
  12. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/11/2006 – 01/04/2007) 7
  13. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 07/10/2007 – 27/04/2008) 7
  14. John Cena (WWE Championship, 07/04/2013 – 18/08/2013) 7
  15. Chris Jericho (World Heavyweight Championship, 07/09/2008 – 26/10/2008) 7
  16. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 14/12/2003 – 14/03/2004) 7
  17. Kurt Angle (World Heavyweight Championship, 13/01/2006 – 02/04/2006) 7
  18. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 03/04/2005 – 13/01/2006) 7
  19. John Cena (WWE Championship, 03/04/2005 – 08/01/2006) 7
  20. The Undertaker (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/04/2007 – 11/05/2007) 7
  21. AJ Styles (WWE Championship, 07/11/2017 – 13/11/2018) 7
  22. CM Punk (World Heavyweight Championship, 07/06/2009 – 26/07/2009) 6
  23. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 16/09/2007 – 16/12/2007) 6
  24. Eddie Guerrero (WWE Championship, 15/02/2004 – 27/06/2004) 6
  25. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/01/2006 – 11/06/2006) 6
  26. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 09/01/2005 – 03/04/2005) 6
  27. John Cena (WWE Championship, 28/03/2010 – 20/06/2010) 6
  28. John Cena (WWE Championship, 01/05/2011 – 17/07/2011) 6
  29. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 18/08/2013 – 15/09/2013) 6
  30. Kevin Owens (WWE Universal Championship, 29/08/2016- 05/03/2017) 6
  31. Chris Jericho (World Heavyweight Championship, 21/02/2010 – 02/04/2010) 6
  32. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship, 16/06/2013 – 27/10/2013) 6
  33. Seth Rollins (WWE Championship, 29/03/2015 – 04/11/2015) 6
  34. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 03/04/2016 – 19/06/2016) 6
  35. King Booker (World Heavyweight Championshp, 23/07/2006 – 26/11/2006) 6
  36. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/04/2009 – 07/06/2009) 5
  37. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 19/12/2010 – 18/02/2011) 5
  38. Jeff Hardy (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/0/2009 – 23/08/2009) 5
  39. The Rock (WWE Championship, 27/01/2013 – 07/04/2013) 5
  40. CM Punk (WWE Championship, 17/07/2011 – 14/08/2011) 5
  41. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/02/2011 – 15/04/2011) 5
  42. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 02/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 5
  43. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 27/10/2013 – 06/04/2014) 5
  44. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 06/04/2014 – 09/06/2014) 5
  45. Christian (World Heavyweight Championship, 17/07/2011 – 14/08/2011) 5
  46. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 14/08/2011 – 18/09/2011) 5
  47. CM Punk (World Heavyweight Championship, 23/08/2009 – 04/10/2009) 5
  48. The Undertaker (World Heavyweight Championship, 04/10/2009 – 21/02/2010) 5
  49. JBL (WWE Championship, 27/06/2004 – 03/04/2005) 5
  50. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 11/05/2007 – 20/07/2007) 5
  51. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 11/08/2019 – 31/10/2019) 5
  52. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 15/06/2009 – 13/09/2009) 5
  53. Triple H (WWE Championship, 27/04/2008 – 23/11/2008) 5
  54. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/01/2017 – 12/02/2017) 5
  55. Sheamus (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/04/2012 – 28/10/2012) 4
  56. Mark Henry (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/09/2011 – 18/12/2011) 4
  57. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/06/2014 – 17/08/2014) 4
  58. Dean Ambrose (WWE Championship, 19/06/2016 – 11/09/2016) 4
  59. Alberto Del Rio (WWE Championship, 02/10/2011 – 20/11/2011) 4
  60. Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship, 07/04/2019 – 04/10/2019) 4
  61. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship, 11/01/2013 – 08/04/2013) 4
  62. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 07/04/2019 – 14/07/2019) 4
  63. John Cena (World Heavyweight Championship, 05/04/2009 – 26/04/2009) 3
  64. Jeff Hardy (WWE Championship, 14/12/2008 – 25/01/2009) 3
  65. John Cena (WWE Championship, 25/10/2009 – 13/12/2009) 3
  66. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 14/07/2019 – 11/08/2019) 3
  67. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 02/04/2017 – 19/08/2018) 3
  68. Triple H (WWE Championship, 24/01/2016 – 03/04/2016) 3
  69. Christian (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/05/2011 – 06/05/2011) 3
  70. Alberto Del Rio (WWE Championship, 14/08/2011 – 18/09/2011) 3
  71. Kane (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/07/2010 – 19/12/2010) 3
  72. Chris Jericho (World Heavyweight Championship, 03/11/2008 – 23/11/2008) 3
  73. Rob Van Dam (WWE Championship, 11/06/2006 – 03/07/2006) 3
  74. Rey Mysterio (World Heavyweight Championship, 20/06/2010 – 18/07/2010) 3
  75. John Cena (World Heavyweight Championship, 27/10/2013 – 15/12/2013) 3
  76. Triple H (WWE Championship, 15/02/2009 – 26/04/2009) 3
  77. Big Show (World Heavyweight Championship, 28/10/2012 – 11/01/2013) 3
  78. Edge (WWE Championship, 25/01/2009 – 15/02/2009) 3
  79. John Cena (WWE Championship, 25/07/2011 – 14/08/2011) 3
  80. John Cena (World Heavyweight Championship, 23/11/2008 – 15/02/2009) 3
  81. The Miz (WWE Championship, 22/11/2010 – 01/05/2011) 3
  82. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/08/2004 – 12/09/2004) 3
  83. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship, 19/08/2018 – 22/10/2018) 3
  84. Jinder Mahal (WWE Championship, 21/05/2017 – 07/11/2017) 3
  85. Bray Wyatt (WWE Championship, 12/02/2017 – 02/04/2017) 3
  86. Edge (WWE Championship, 23/11/2008 – 14/12/2008) 2
  87. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/02/2009 – 05/04/2009) 2
  88. John Cena (WWE Championship, 18/09/2011 – 02/10/2011) 2
  89. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 12/09/2004 – 06/12/2004) 2
  90. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/06/2008 – 30/06/2008) 2
  91. John Cena (WWE Championship, 13/09/2009 – 04/10/2009) 2
  92. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 14/12/2015 – 24/01/2016) 2
  93. Goldberg (Universal Championship, 05/03/2017 – 02/04/2017) 2
  94. The Undertaker (World Heavyweight Championship, 30/03/2008 – 02/05/2008) 2
  95. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 04/10/2009 – 25/10/2009) 2
  96. Dolph Ziggler (World Heavyweight Championship, 08/04/2013 – 16/06/2013) 2
  97. Rey Mysterio (World Heavyweight Championship, 02/04/2006 – 23/07/2006) 2
  98. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 26/04/2009 – 07/06/2009) 2
  99. Daniel Bryan (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/12/2011 – 01/04/2012) 2
  100. CM Punk (World Heavyweight Championship, 30/06/2008 – 07/09/2008) 2
  101. Sheamus (WWE Championship, 22/11/2015 – 14/12/2015) 2
  102. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 19/09/2010 – 22/11/2010) 2
  103. Sheamus (WWE Championship, 20/06/2010 – 19/09/2010) 2
  104. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 02/04/2017 – 21/05/2017) 1
  105. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/10/2008 – 03/11/2008) 1
  106. Sheamus (WWE Championship, 13/12/2009 – 21/02/2010) 1
  107. Jack Swagger (World Heavyweight Championship, 02/04/2010 – 20/06/2010) 1
  108. The Great Khali (World Heavyweight Championship, 20/07/2007 – 16/09/2007) 1
  109. Jeff Hardy (World Heavyweight Championship, 07/06/2009) 
  110. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 18/08/2013) 
  111. Seth Rollins (WWE Championship, 19/06/2016) 
  112. John Cena (WWE Championship, 21/02/2010) 
  113. Rey Mysterio (WWE Championship, 25/07/2011) 
  114. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 22/11/2015) 
  115. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/12/2013) 
  116. Finn Bálor (WWE Universal Championship, 21/08/2016 – 22/08/2016) 
  117. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 15/09/2013 – 16/09/2013) 
  118. Triple H (WWE Championship, 07/10/2007) 
  119. Dolph Ziggler (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/02/2011) 
  120. Big Show (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/12/2011) 
  121. Batista (WWE Championship, 07/06/2009 – 09/06/2009) 
  122. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 07/10/2007)