Ric Flair said it best when he proclaimed the WWE Championship “is the only title in the wrestling world that makes you number one. When you are the king of the WWF, you rule the world.” No title is more coveted, and no belt symbolizes success more.
Many wrestlers spend years grinding it out to prove they have what it takes for WWE to put them front and center on the marquee. Bret Hart thought he’d never win the title. Eight years, one month, and fourteen days later, “The Hitman” hoisted the title up high.
However, an elect few made such an impression in a short time; tenure and inexperience were ignored to serve the bottom line. We’re going to look at the 12 wrestlers who won their first WWE Championship in the fastest time since Vincent Kennedy McMahon went all in on Hulkamania in 1984.
Bob Backlund won his first WWE Championship four months after he started working for the company exclusively under Vincent J. McMahon. The now-retired McMahon inherited Backlund when he bought the company from his father in 1982 and therefore did not make our list.
Universal and World Heavyweight Championships are not on the menu here. It’s all about the most coveted prize in the industry.
The fairest way to chart the list is to start when the wrestler made their in-ring/television debut in a match or angle. Many debut matches were filmed days, weeks, and months before they aired on television. To the audience, a character is only in play once they’re on TV.
Survivor Series unleashed WarGames upon the WWE Universe at the TD Garden in Boston. The sinister structure bookended the five-match PLE, which included two title bouts. Each WarGames match had two different objectives. The women performed an action-packed affair with weapons galore, and the men focused on telling a specific story.
After years of demand, WarGames will finally have its coming out party on the mainline WWE product at Survivor Series on Saturday. WarGames was a WCW staple and the brainchild of Dusty Rhodes dating back to 1987. “The match beyond” occurred once a year, except for 1999, due to budget cuts, until Vince McMahon purchased WCW in 2001.
Despite owning the I.P., McMahon never allowed WarGames to occur on the main roster. Triple H got the green light to use the concept in NXT beginning in 2017 to a resounding success. Some say McMahon felt it would cannibalize the Hell in a Cell concept, while others claim he believed two rings would take up too much space and cut into ticket sales.
Of course, there’s the age old theory that McMahon will never support a concept he didn’t create. Despite proof of sucess in his own company, McMahon wouldn’t allow the match to touch anything related to Raw or SmackDown. Once Triple H became the head of WWE creative, one of the first things he did was officially bring WarGames to the main roster.
Former professional wrestler Jeff Bearden takes readers on a thrilling ride through his experiences wrestling professionally in front of thousands around the world in his new book, ‘The Man Behind the Makeup: The Professional Wrestling Life and Times of Jeff Bearden.
Under these guises of several pro wrestling personas, Jeff Bearden became part of wrestling history. Enter the wild, bloody life of pro wrestling during its Golden Age from the viewpoint of one of its biggest stars.
At seven feet tall, Jeff Bearden towered over his competition from the time he premiered in territory wrestling in 1987, through the crazed and dangerous wrestling scenes, infamy, and championships in Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Europe, Japan, India, and the Middle East. Bearden’s no-holds-barred career spanned 30 years and four continents.
Bearden takes readers through the shocking, the tragic, and the hilarious stories of his adventures. Trained by classic Texan wrestling stars Dory Funk Jr. and Dick Murdoch, Bearden went on to encounter legends of wrestling history: Bruiser Brody, the Von Erichs, André the Giant, Owen Hart, Abdullah the Butcher, and the Undertaker.
Bearden tells of his powerful friendship with WWE Hall-of-Famer, Yokozuna. From the time he was a skinny pro basketball player, to his days as a green babyface, to his reign as a notorious, 375-pound heel, Bearden’s life is one astonishing story after another.
Bearden’s unusual career and his freedom to choose venues anywhere and everywhere provides unique insight into the wrestling world. He takes readers around the globe to learn the secrets and truths of a life spent joyfully whipping crowds into a frenzy from inside the ring, as well as his personal life outside. In wrestling and in life, you’re only as good as the guy you beat – even if that guy is yourself.
Bearden says, “I spent almost 31 years entertaining people from all over the globe and enjoyed every minute of it. This book tells the experiences that I had with my worldly travels and some of the crazy experiences that I had with fans, including being stabbed by spectators multiple times in multiple places. This is my journey towards becoming a professional wrestler and reaching my childhood dreams.”
About Jeff Bearden
As a professional wrestler for over 30 years — working under the names Giant Warrior and Big Tiger Steele –Jeff Bearden entertained audiences all over the world, including audiences of over 75,000. Bearden wrestled André the Giant, Abdullah the Butcher, Yokozuna, Canek, Mil Mascaras, Lance von Erich, Dick Murdoch, Dory and Terry Funk, and many others. He is a co-founder of At Large PR and Clarens Publishing. Bearden is also a motivational speaker and certified happiness coach.
Some of his career highlights include:
In 1993, Giant Warrior and Barbarian drew the largest crowd in Indian wrestling history in Mumbai. Giant Warrior defeated Barbarian for the NWA Indo-Asian title in front of a crowd of 75,000.
Sparked riots in several countries, resulting in being stabbed five times by spectators and being shot at.
NWA Latin American title defeating Bronco 1 (Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic).
CWA world title defeating Danie Voges in a tournament final (Johannesburg, South Africa).
PWF world title defeating Barry Evans (Harlingen, Texas).
CWA world title defeating Lance Von Erich (Cape Town, South Africa).
TWA heavyweight title defeating Venom (San Antonio, Texas).
CCC Cup winner defeating Rambo (Hannover, Germany).
CWA Cup winner defeating Ulf Herman (Bremen, Germany).
ACW world title defeating Karsten Kretchmer (Weinheim, Germany).
WAW title defeating P.N. News (Cannonball Grizzly) (Norwich, England).
ACW tag team titles with Robb Harper defeating Michel Kovac and Eric Schwartz (Weinheim, Germany).
PCW (Professional Championship Wrestling) television title defeating Jiggle-O James Johnson (Dallas, Texas).
Two weeks removed from the most poorly conceived Money in the Bank cash-in of all time, one thing is clear.
No one misses Vince McMahon more than Austin Theory.
Seventeen years of MITB (Money in the Bank) winners found the opportune moment to vie for the world championship. Win or lose, wrestlers endured a brutal ladder match for a guaranteed title shot exclusively on their terms. Well, Paul Levesque tried adding a new wrinkle to the MITB concept.
FITE and Game Changer Wrestling announced today that all GCW events will now be available exclusively on FITE+, the rapidly expanding subscription service. The price for subs remains the same, at $4.99/month, despite the massive addition of indie-wrestling’s most prolific promotion: GCW puts on approximately 75 shows a year, live and international.
The first live event under the FITE+ deal will be the Nick Gage Invitational, one of the most prestigious deathmatch tournaments in the world, taking place in Chicago on November 12th.
Pro Wrestling NOAH announced on Sunday that WWE’s Shinsuke Nakamura will face The Great Muta at their Budokan Hall show on New Year’s Day.
Keiji Mutoh, otherwise known as The Great Muta, is in the process of setting up his retirement tour, with his final match scheduled for February 23, 2023, at the Tokyo Dome.
Most American fans were first introduced to Muta during his days in the NWA/WCW, where he debuted in 1989. Muta had a memorable feud with Sting, where he won the Television Title before dropping it to Arn Anderson on his way out of the promotion.
The post-All Out backstage brawl is either the most well-booked fight we’ll never see or the most bizarre legit donnybrook of all time.
Reports came out last Friday that AEW is working on a buyout of CM Punk’s contract. Even more reports on Wednesday confirmed The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks) were backstage at Dynamite and are returning soon.
But wait, there’s more.
WrestlingInc.com reported on Wednesday that when the door of Punk’s locker room was kicked in, it accidentally hit his dog, Larry, in the mouth. A few days later, at a pre-scheduled vet appointment, an exam revealed two of Larry’s teeth were knocked loose and had to be removed.
Larry’s role in the Labor Day weekend brawl has seemingly evolved every few weeks. At first, Ace Steel’s girlfriend was watching Larry. Then, Kenny Omega moved Larry to get him out of harm’s way, only to get bit by Ace Steel. Now, his teeth were knocked loose.