To be WWE Champion, you know you’ve made it in the WWE. To be in the WWE Championship match at Wrestlemania is reserved for who the WWE thinks is the best of the best. What about a year later? If you were in a WWE Title match the previous year, you’d have to have a big profile match the next. Well I’m going to rank the five biggest drop offs from a WWE Title match at Wrestlemania.
Honorable Mentions – Some men have not had a match following there WWE title match. It could have been due to injury, leaving for WCW, retiring or quiting. Those men are Wrestlemania VIII of Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair. Neither man had a match at Wrestlemania IX, though Savage was an announcer. Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania IX, Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XII and XIV, Sycho Sid at Wrestlemania 13, Stone Cold at XV, Mick Foley at Wrestlemania 2000, Triple H at Wrestlemania 22, Batista at Wrestlemania 26, and the Rock at Wrestlemania 29.
5. Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase
At Wrestlemania IV, Million Dollar Man defeated Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Don Muraco to get in the finals of the WWF Championship Tournament. Ted Dibiase would lose to Macho Man Randy Savage in the WWF Championship match. To follow up the main event of Wrestlemania IV, the Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase would face Brutus “the Barber” Beefcake at Wrestlemania V. While having a long WWF career, Brutus Beefcake is known for being Hulk Hogan’s best friend. The match ended in a double countout. Brutus Beefcake and Ted Dibiase would face off again four years later at Wrestlemania IX. This time in a tag team match, Money, Inc (Ted Dibiase and IRS) vs. Mega-Maniacs (Brutus Beefcake and Hulk Hogan).
4. The Miz
At Wrestlemania XXVII, Miz was the WWE Champion. He would face John Cena in the Main Event. He would defeat John Cena to retain his championship after interference by the Rock. Now the Miz was overshadowed by John Cena and the Rock, he still was WWE Champion and in the main event. The next year The Miz was on team Johnny with David Otunga, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Mark Henry and Drew McIntyre. They defeated team Teddy consisting of Santino Marella, Booker T, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Great Khali and Kofi Kingston. He went from WWE Champion to be thrown into a huge match just to get wrestlers, their Wrestlemania paycheck.
3. Sgt. Slaughter
At Wrestlemania VII, Sgt. Slaughter was WWF Champion. He was playing an Iraqi sympathizer and would lose the WWF Championship to Hulk Hogan in the Main Event. Just like the Miz, the following year, Sgt. Slaughter would be thrown into a random huge tag team match at Wrestlemania VIII. Sgt. Slaughter teamed with Big Boss Man, Virgil and Hacksaw Jim Duggan and they faced the Nasty Boys, Repo Man and the Mountie. Sgt. Slaughter’s team was victorious. I ranked Sgt. Slaughter’s higher because the Miz at least had some former World Champions in his match.
2. Lex Luger
At Wrestlemania X, Lex Luger would get the first shot at WWF Champion Yokozuna. Yokozuna won by disqualification. At Wrestlemania XI, Lex Luger would team with the British Bulldog and faced the Blu Brothers in the opening match. No, they didn’t face Jake Blues (John Belushi) and Elwood Blues (Dan Akroyd). Not the Blues Brothers, it was the Blu Brothers, Jacob Blu and Eli Blu. The Blu Brothers were later in WWF as 8-Ball and Skull in Disciple of Apocalypse and in WCW as Ron and Don the Harris twins. Lex Luger goes from getting a WWF Championship match to opening against a twin brother tag team in the opening match. Interesting tidbit, Blu Brothers were managed by Uncle Zebekiah, who now goes by Zeb Coulter.
1. King Kong Bundy
King Kong Bundy is the first challenger for the WWF Championship in Wrestlemania history. King Kong Bundy would face WWF Champion Hulk Hogan in a Steel Cage in the Main Event of Wrestlemania 2. The following year was Wrestlemania III, which is one of the biggest Wrestlemanias of all time. It was headlined by Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant. So Hulk Hogan, the following year goes to have his biggest match of his career and King Kong Bundy is in a match with midgets. King Kong Bundy would team with Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook and face Hillbilly Jim, Haiti Kid and Little Beaver. King Kong Bundy lost by disqualification after he had attacked Little Beaver. King Kong Bundy goes from being in the WWF Championship match to losing to Hillbilly Jim and two midget wrestlers. Imagine at Wrestlemania 31, if say Batista would be in a match next year with Hornswoggle and El Torito. That is what happened to King Kong Bundy making him, in my opinion, the biggest drop-off from a WWE Championship match at Wrestlemania.
Going from the brightest light.
To just trying to get on that night.
From their biggest Wrestling High.
To the lows of each guy.
WWE Champion match at Wrestlemania is a dream.
To just being squeezed in, so it seems.