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Rating The Champ WWF

WWF World Titles – 1996

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 1997, 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.

WWF CHAMPIONSHIP

Shawn Michaels (March 31, 1996 – November 17, 1996)

  • Televised matches: 24
  • Record: 19-4 (1 draw)

My match ratings:

  • Shawn Michaels def. Bret Hart(c) in an Iron Man Match – WrestleMania XII (****1/2) *HR*
  • Shawn Michaels(c) def. Diesel in a No Holds Barred Match – Good Friends, Better Enemies 1996 (****3/4) *HR*
  • Shawn Michaels(c) draw. The British Bulldog – Beware of Dog 1996 (**1/2)
  • Shawn Michaels(c) def. The British Bulldog – King of the Ring 1996 (****) *HR*
  • Shawn Michaels(c) def. Vader – SummerSlam 1996 (***3/4) *R*
  • Shawn Michaels(c) def. Mankind by DQ – Mind Games 1996 (****3/4) *HR*
  • Sycho Sid def. Shawn Michaels(c) – Survivor Series 1996 (***1/2) *R*

There’s no question Shawn Michaels deserved to win the WWF Championship around this time. And his reign, at least in terms of match quality, was absolutely incredible. First of all, the Iron Man Match with Bret Hart at WrestleMania, where Shawn won the title after a spectacular pro wrestling bout. Then came the absolutely awesome street fight with Diesel (in Kevin Nash’s final WWF televised bout), followed by the storyline with The British Bulldog and his wife Diana. The SummerSlam bout with Vader, despite being ridiculously overbooked, was great as well and words aren’t enough to describe the title match Michaels had with Mick Foley in September. Finally, he dropped the gold to Sycho Sid in MSG, after taking Sid to one of the best matches of the big man’s career. Yes, this reign was impressive in terms of match quality. However, there’s absolutely no art in watching a grown man literally throwing a tantrum against British Bulldog because the match was cut short, or against Vader because he happened to forget a spot. After all, *professional* wrestling is the name of the game.

Rating: 7/10

Sycho Sid (November 17, 1996 – January 19, 1997)

  • Televised matches: 4
  • Record: 3-1

My match ratings:

  • Sycho Sid def. Shawn Michaels(c) – Survivor Series 1996 (***1/2) *R*
  • Sycho Sid(c) def. Bret Hart – It’s Time 1996 (***1/4) *R*
  • Shawn Michaels def. Sycho Sid(c) – Royal Rumble 1997 (**)

Wonder why the December PPV was called ‘It’s Time’? That was because Vader was supposed to win the WWF Championship instead, but Shawn Michaels didn’t want to work with him and Sycho Sid got the belt instead. He only won the title in order to drop it back to Shawn Michaels in his hometown of San Antonio at the Royal Rumble 1997, before the WrestleMania title match against Bret Hart… which also ended up not happening. Shawn Michaels in the 1990s was indeed something else! As far as Sid goes, he had good matches with Bret and Shawn (who else) throughout his reign before losing it back to Shawn. He would find himself back with the title in his hands just a few weeks later, as well as the main-event of WrestleMania 13 against The Undertaker. As for his first reign, it accomplished what it had to accomplish. It wasn’t bad.

Rating: 4/10

ALL-TIME CHAMPIONS RANKING

  1. Steve Austin (WWF Championship, 29/03/1998 – 28/06/1998 10
  2. The Rock (WWF Championship, 25/06/2000 – 22/10/2000) 10
  3. Steve Austin (WWF Championship, 01/04/2001 – 23/09/2001) 9
  4. Triple H (WWF Championship, 03/01/2000 – 30/04/2000) 9
  5. Kurt Angle (WWE Championship, 15/12/2002 – 30/03/2003) 9
  6. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 18/09/2003 – 15/02/2004) 9
  7. John Cena (WWE Championship, 17/09/2006 – 02/10/2007) 9
  8. CM Punk (WWE Championship, 20/11/2011 – 27/01/2013) 9
  9. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 13/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 9
  10. AJ Styles (WWE Championship, 11/09/2016 – 29/01/2017) 9
  11. The Rock (WWF Championship, 25/02/2001 – 01/04/2001) 8
  12. The Undertaker (WWF Championship, 23/03/1997 – 03/08/1997) 8
  13. Steve Austin (WWF Championship, 28/03/1999 – 23/05/1999) 8
  14. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 16/12/2007 – 30/03/2008) 8
  15. Kurt Angle (WWE Championship, 27/07/2003 – 18/09/2003) 8
  16. Edge (WWE Championship, 08/01/2006 – 29/01/2006) 8
  17. Chris Benoit (World Heavyweight Championship, 14/03/2004 – 15/08/2004) 8
  18. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 06/05/2011 – 17/07/2011) 8
  19. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 25/08/2002 – 17/11/2002) 8
  20. Batista (WWE Championship, 21/02/2010 – 28/03/2010) 8
  21. The Rock (WWE Undisputed Championship, 21/07/2002 – 25/08/2002) 7
  22. Steve Austin (WWF Championship, 29/06/1998 – 27/09/1998) 7
  23. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 17/08/2014 – 29/03/2015) 7
  24. Edge (WWE Championship, 03/07/2006- 17/09/2006) 7
  25. Shawn Michaels (WWF Championship, 31/03/1996 – 17/11/1996) 7
  26. The Rock (WCW Championship, 19/08/2001 – 21/10/2001) 7
  27. The Rock (WWF Championship, 15/11/1998 – 04/01/1999) 7
  28. Bret Hart (WWF Championship, 03/08/1997 – 09/11/1997) 7
  29. Kurt Angle (WWF Championship, 22/10/2000 – 25/02/2001) 7
  30. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/11/2006 – 01/04/2007) 7
  31. The Rock (WWF Championship, 15/02/1999 – 28/03/1999) 7
  32. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 07/10/2007 – 27/04/2008) 7
  33. John Cena (WWE Championship, 07/04/2013 – 18/08/2013) 7
  34. Chris Jericho (World Heavyweight Championship, 07/09/2008 – 26/10/2008) 7
  35. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 14/12/2003 – 14/03/2004) 7
  36. Kurt Angle (World Heavyweight Championship, 13/01/2006 – 02/04/2006) 7
  37. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 03/04/2005 – 13/01/2006) 7
  38. John Cena (WWE Championship, 03/04/2005 – 08/01/2006) 7
  39. The Undertaker (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/04/2007 – 11/05/2007) 7
  40. AJ Styles (WWE Championship, 07/11/2017 – 13/11/2018) 7
  41. CM Punk (World Heavyweight Championship, 07/06/2009 – 26/07/2009) 6
  42. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 16/09/2007 – 16/12/2007) 6
  43. Brock Lesnar (WWE Championship, 30/03/2003 – 27/07/2003) 6
  44. Eddie Guerrero (WWE Championship, 15/02/2004 – 27/06/2004) 6
  45. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/01/2006 – 11/06/2006) 6
  46. Steve Austin (WWF Championship, 28/06/1999 – 22/08/1999) 6
  47. Mick Foley (WWF Championship, 04/01/1999 – 24/01/1999) 6
  48. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 09/01/2005 – 03/04/2005) 6
  49. John Cena (WWE Championship, 28/03/2010 – 20/06/2010) 6
  50. John Cena (WWE Championship, 01/05/2011 – 17/07/2011) 6
  51. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 18/08/2013 – 15/09/2013) 6
  52. Kevin Owens (WWE Universal Championship, 29/08/2016- 05/03/2017) 6
  53. Chris Jericho (World Heavyweight Championship, 21/02/2010 – 02/04/2010) 6
  54. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship, 16/06/2013 – 27/10/2013) 6
  55. Seth Rollins (WWE Championship, 29/03/2015 – 04/11/2015) 6
  56. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 03/04/2016 – 19/06/2016) 6
  57. King Booker (World Heavyweight Championshp, 23/07/2006 – 26/11/2006) 6
  58. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/04/2009 – 07/06/2009) 5
  59. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 19/12/2010 – 18/02/2011) 5
  60. Chris Jericho (WCW Championship, 21/10/2001 – 05/11/2001) 5
  61. Jeff Hardy (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/07/2009 – 23/08/2009) 5
  62. The Rock (WWE Championship, 27/01/2013 – 07/04/2013) 5
  63. CM Punk (WWE Championship, 17/07/2011 – 14/08/2011) 5
  64. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/02/2011 – 15/04/2011) 5
  65. Steve Austin (WWF Championship, 08/10/2001 – 09/12/2001) 5
  66. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 02/11/2018 – 07/04/2019) 5
  67. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 27/10/2013 – 06/04/2014) 5
  68. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 06/04/2014 – 09/06/2014) 5
  69. Christian (World Heavyweight Championship, 17/07/2011 – 14/08/2011) 5
  70. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 14/08/2011 – 18/09/2011) 5
  71. CM Punk (World Heavyweight Championship, 23/08/2009 – 04/10/2009) 5
  72. The Undertaker (World Heavyweight Championship, 04/10/2009 – 21/02/2010) 5
  73. JBL (WWE Championship, 27/06/2004 – 03/04/2005) 5
  74. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 11/05/2007 – 20/07/2007) 5
  75. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 11/08/2019 – 31/10/2019) 5
  76. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 15/06/2009 – 13/09/2009) 5
  77. Triple H (WWE Championship, 27/04/2008 – 23/11/2008) 5
  78. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/01/2017 – 12/02/2017) 5
  79. Shawn Michaels (WWF Championship, 09/11/1997 – 29/03/1998) 4
  80. The Rock (WWF Championship, 30/04/2000 – 21/05/2000) 4
  81. Booker T (WCW Championship, 30/07/2001 – 19/08/2001) 4
  82. Sheamus (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/04/2012 – 28/10/2012) 4
  83. Mark Henry (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/09/2011 – 18/12/2011) 4
  84. John Cena (WWE Championship, 29/06/2014 – 17/08/2014) 4
  85. The Rock (WCW/World Championship, 05/11/2001 – 09/12/2001) 4
  86. The Undertaker (WWE Undisputed Championship, 19/05/2002 – 21/07/2002) 4
  87. Sycho Sid (WWF Championship, 17/11/1996 – 19/01/1997) 4
  88. Dean Ambrose (WWE Championship, 19/06/2016 – 11/09/2016) 4
  89. Chris Jericho (WWF Undisputed Championship, 09/12/2001 – 17/03/2002) 4
  90. Alberto Del Rio (WWE Championship, 02/10/2011 – 20/11/2011) 4
  91. Kofi Kingston (WWE Championship, 07/04/2019 – 04/10/2019) 4
  92. Alberto Del Rio (World Heavyweight Championship, 11/01/2013 – 08/04/2013) 4
  93. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship, 07/04/2019 – 14/07/2019) 4
  94. Mick Foley (WWF Championship, 31/01/1999 – 15/02/1999) 3
  95. John Cena (World Heavyweight Championship, 05/04/2009 – 26/04/2009) 3
  96. Jeff Hardy (WWE Championship, 14/12/2008 – 25/01/2009) 3
  97. Kurt Angle (WWF Championship, 23/09/2001 – 08/10/2001) 3
  98. John Cena (WWE Championship, 25/10/2009 – 13/12/2009) 3
  99. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 14/07/2019 – 11/08/2019) 3
  100. Big Show (WWE Championship, 17/11/2002 – 15/12/2002) 3
  101. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship, 02/04/2017 – 19/08/2018) 3
  102. Triple H (WWE Championship, 24/01/2016 – 03/04/2016) 3
  103. Christian (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/05/2011 – 06/05/2011) 3
  104. Alberto Del Rio (WWE Championship, 14/08/2011 – 18/09/2011) 3
  105. Kane (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/07/2010 – 19/12/2010) 3
  106. Chris Jericho (World Heavyweight Championship, 03/11/2008 – 23/11/2008) 3
  107. Rob Van Dam (WWE Championship, 11/06/2006 – 03/07/2006) 3
  108. The Undertaker (WWF Championship, 23/05/1999 – 28/06/1999) 3
  109. Rey Mysterio (World Heavyweight Championship, 20/06/2010 – 18/07/2010) 3
  110. John Cena (World Heavyweight Championship, 27/10/2013 – 15/12/2013) 3
  111. Triple H (WWE Championship, 15/02/2009 – 26/04/2009) 3
  112. Big Show (World Heavyweight Championship, 28/10/2012 – 11/01/2013) 3
  113. Edge (WWE Championship, 25/01/2009 – 15/02/2009) 3
  114. Booker T (WCW Championship, 26/03/2001 – 26/07/2001) 3
  115. John Cena (WWE Championship, 25/07/2011 – 14/08/2011) 3
  116. Goldberg (World Heavyweight Championship, 21/09/2003 – 14/12/2003) 3
  117. John Cena (World Heavyweight Championship, 23/11/2008 – 15/02/2009) 3
  118. The Miz (WWE Championship, 22/11/2010 – 01/05/2011) 3
  119. Sycho Sid (WWF Championship, 17/02/1997 – 23/03/1997) 3
  120. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/08/2004 – 12/09/2004) 3
  121. Triple H (WWF Championship, 26/09/1999 – 14/11/1999) 3
  122. Roman Reigns (Universal Championship, 19/08/2018 – 22/10/2018) 3
  123. Jinder Mahal (WWE Championship, 21/05/2017 – 07/11/2017) 3
  124. Bray Wyatt (WWE Championship, 12/02/2017 – 02/04/2017) 3
  125. Edge (WWE Championship, 23/11/2008 – 14/12/2008) 2
  126. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/02/2009 – 05/04/2009) 2
  127. Triple H (WWF Championship, 21/05/2000 – 25/06/2000) 2
  128. John Cena (WWE Championship, 18/09/2011 – 02/10/2011) 2
  129. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 12/09/2004 – 06/12/2004) 2
  130. Edge (World Heavyweight Championship, 01/06/2008 – 30/06/2008) 2
  131. John Cena (WWE Championship, 13/09/2009 – 04/10/2009) 2
  132. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 14/12/2015 – 24/01/2016) 2
  133. Goldberg (Universal Championship, 05/03/2017 – 02/04/2017) 2
  134. The Undertaker (World Heavyweight Championship, 30/03/2008 – 02/05/2008) 2
  135. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 04/10/2009 – 25/10/2009) 2
  136. Triple H (WWF Championship, 23/08/1999 – 16/09/1999) 2
  137. Dolph Ziggler (World Heavyweight Championship, 08/04/2013 – 16/06/2013) 2
  138. Rey Mysterio (World Heavyweight Championship, 02/04/2006 – 23/07/2006) 2
  139. Shawn Michaels (World Heavyweight Championship, 17/11/2002 – 15/12/2002) 2
  140. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 02/09/2002 – 17/11/2002) 2
  141. Triple H (WWF Undisputed Championship, 17/03/2002 – 21/04/2002) 2
  142. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 26/04/2009 – 07/06/2009) 2
  143. Triple H (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/12/2002 – 21/09/2003) 2
  144. Daniel Bryan (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/12/2011 – 01/04/2012) 2
  145. CM Punk (World Heavyweight Championship, 30/06/2008 – 07/09/2008) 2
  146. Sheamus (WWE Championship, 22/11/2015 – 14/12/2015) 2
  147. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 19/09/2010 – 22/11/2010) 2
  148. Sheamus (WWE Championship, 20/06/2010 – 19/09/2010) 2
  149. Hulk Hogan (WWF/E Undisputed Championship, 21/04/2002 – 19/05/2002) 1
  150. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 02/04/2017 – 21/05/2017) 1
  151. Batista (World Heavyweight Championship, 26/10/2008 – 03/11/2008) 1
  152. Sheamus (WWE Championship, 13/12/2009 – 21/02/2010) 1
  153. Big Show (WWF Championship, 14/11/1999 – 03/01/2000) 1
  154. Jack Swagger (World Heavyweight Championship, 02/04/2010 – 20/06/2010) 1
  155. The Great Khali (World Heavyweight Championship, 20/07/2007 – 16/09/2007) 1
  156. The Rock (WWF Championship, 24/01/1999 – 31/01/1999) 
  157. Chris Jericho (World Championship, 09/12/2001) 
  158. Jeff Hardy (World Heavyweight Championship, 07/06/2009) 
  159. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 18/08/2013) 
  160. Seth Rollins (WWE Championship, 19/06/2016) 
  161. Bret Hart (WWF Championship, 16/02/1997 – 17/02/1997) 
  162. John Cena (WWE Championship, 21/02/2010) 
  163. Kane (WWF Championship, 28/06/1998 – 29/06/1998) 
  164. Rey Mysterio (WWE Championship, 25/07/2011) 
  165. Roman Reigns (WWE Championship, 22/11/2015) 
  166. Randy Orton (World Heavyweight Championship, 15/12/2013) 
  167. Finn Bálor (WWE Universal Championship, 21/08/2016 – 22/08/2016) 
  168. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship, 15/09/2013 – 16/09/2013) 
  169. Triple H (WWE Championship, 07/10/2007) 
  170. Mick Foley (WWF Championship, 22/08/1999 – 23/08/1999) 
  171. Dolph Ziggler (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/02/2011) 
  172. Big Show (World Heavyweight Championship, 18/12/2011) 
  173. Kurt Angle (WCW Championship, 26/07/2001 – 30/07/2001) 
  174. Batista (WWE Championship, 07/06/2009 – 09/06/2009) 
  175. Randy Orton (WWE Championship, 07/10/2007) 
  176. Shawn Michaels (WWF Championship, 19/01/1997 – 13/02/1997) 
  177. Vince McMahon (WWF Championship, 16/09/1999 – 20/09/1999)