Here we go again with a Top 5 list. One of the last lists I did looked at the Top 5 WWF Champions of the 1990s. Well this list will deal with the Top 5 WWE Champions Since 2000. It shouldn’t be too complicated and like most lists, I’ll probably see some arguments out of these lists, so here we go.
The first entry into this list is Kurt Angle. Professional wrestling’s ONLY Olympic Gold Medalist, Angle burst onto the scene in the late 90s and was quickly hated by the majority of WWF fans. Angle would rub his gold medal in the faces of everybody who would listen, and constantly preach his Three I’s : Intelligence, Integrity, and Intensity. One thing that cannot be taken away is Angle’s mat-wrestling ability. From a technical standpoint, you don’t need all your fingers to count the guys that can stand toe-to-toe with Kurt Angle from a pure wrestling standpoint. As WWF Champion he was cocky, arrogant, obnoxious, but was always able to back it up when the time called for it. Kurt Angle is definitely a top choice for this list.
Batting second is “The Game” Triple H. Hunter gets a lot of heat from wrestling fans for being married to Vince McMahon’s daughter Stephanie but when it’s game time, it’s definitely game on for Triple H. Bouncing back from a near-career ending quadriceps tear in 2001, Triple H returned at the 2002 Royal Rumble and blasted his way into the main event at WrestleMania X8 in Toronto, where he dethroned Chris Jericho as Undisputed WWE Champion. He has held the WWF Championship and World Heavyweight Championship a collective 13 occasions, inching ever so close the 16 World Title reigns owned by “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Triple H has knocked off every major star in the business, including John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, The Undertaker, and The Rock. For his accomplishments as a Grand Slam winner and the fact that he has done it all, he has earned his way onto this list.
Up third on this list is Chris Jericho. Yes I know there are a few people scratching their heads right now, however Jericho does have the right to brag. The first Undisputed Champion in company history, Y2J dethroned both Steve Austin and The Rock in one night, a feat that most guys haven’t been able to do in their careers, Jericho did it in an hour. Like Triple H, Jericho is also a Grand Slam Champion, having won the WWE Title, Intercontinental Championship, Tag Titles, and European Titles during the course of his illustrious career. He truly is the very best in the world at what he does, and has been nothing short of awesome in the ring during his WWE tenure, all while avoiding major injury.
Fourth on this list is going to be Brock Lesnar. The human wrecking machine of 2002 and 2003, Lesnar steamrolled his way onto the scene from Ohio Valley Wrestling. He immediately made his mark in the WWE, and left a wake of bodies on his way to the top. Led by Paul Heyman for the majority of his early WWE career, the three-time WWE Champion opened eyes and F-5’ed his way to the top of the company in just a matter of months and is a surprise entry onto this list. I’m sure I’ll hear something about this one.
The final name on the list should come as no surprise, as he is currently the WWE’s “golden boy” known as John Cena. The former Prototype has owned the competition in WWE on both Monday Night Raw as well as the Friday Night SmackDown! programs. Cena has become a media icon, winning championships, making movies, and is a true asset to the company for his often uncertified work with various charities such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation. For his contributions in and out of the ring, John Cena is the final entry onto this list.
Now this does not discredit other champions that have held the Heavyweight Title and World Title since 2000. Honorable mentions go out to Randy Orton, Edge, Sheamus, and a few others. However these were the five that immediately came to mind. If you have any suggestions, comments, or whatever, please let me know, I love getting feedback and ideas from you guys. All linked profiles listed in this article are courtesy of the WWE Championship history section of the WWE website.