Top 5 WWE European Champions

While many of the WWE’s titles have gained notoriety such as the World, IC, and Tag Titles many fans either don’t remember the lineage of older titles or fail to remember the few bright spots in a title’s history. The Hardcore Title is infamous for being handed to Mankind but also played a central development role in wrestlers such as Crash Holly and his memorable 24/7 rule or Steve Blackman being able to utilize weapons.

The European Title came about in 1997 during a tournament during their European Tour and included such stalwarts as Vader, Mankind, and Bret Hart. The finals came down to a memorable bout between Davey Boy Smith and Owen Hart on Monday Night Raw that was one of the earlier classic pay per view quality matches featured on Raw.

So let us count down the memorable champions of years past and see who gets the honor of being the best European Champion.

Number 5: Triple H from December 22nd, 1997 to July 14th, 1998.
Despite losing the belt to Owen Hart after Triple H tried to get Goldust to take his spot, Triple H deserves a mention as one of the pioneers behind the European Title. A large part of his inclusion is the memorable feud he had with Owen Hart during the 1998 calendar year and how the focus was heavily on the European Title as much as the DX/Nation/Bret Hart aftermath. In a lot of ways, Triple H’s reign would help prepare him for his eventual run with the IC Title and subsequent feud with The Rock during the summer of 1998 into 1999.

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Number 4: Kurt Angle from February 8th, 2000 to April 2nd, 2000
In the midst of a hot feud with Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit, this was Angle’s first title and proved to be a stepping stone signifying how important Angle was to not only the future of the company but the continued credibility of the title. Angle, despite rarely defending the European Title, was able to use his first belt as a factor in being seen as a legitimate threat after he captured the IC Title while being European Champion.

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Number 3: William Regal from October 16th, 2000 to January 22nd, 2001
Despite spending 2 days without the belt during this run, Regal helped bring the title back into the spotlight after Shane McMahon had ‘retired’ the belt and Regal was one of the shining faces of the European Title’s lineage. In the ring he gave a stiff, brawling attitude to a title belt that largely had been centered around lesser wrestlers on the card. With Regal in the ring bringing an attitude, he helped show to fans that even a lower tiered title could be effective if the wrestler carrying it around believed himself as being a worthy champion.

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Number 2: Al Snow from August 29th, 2000 to October 16th, 2000
Al Snow is a perfect example of a wrestler who let the title influence him as a personality and character and proceeded to take off with that to hilarious heights. Each week, not only would Snow defend his title belt, but he would also hail from a different country in his pledge to represent every European nation while holding the European Title. Equally memorable in the ring and as a character, Al Snow managed to get fans to care about his character and a title belt that had been “retired” on television slightly more than a year earlier by Shane McMahon.

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Number 1: D-Lo Brown and X-Pac from July 20th, 1998 to October 18th, 1998
Giving the top spot as a tie as these two put forth one of the most memorable feuds of the late 90’s in the WWF, period and all over the European Championship at a time when the title was relatively still in its young infancy as a fixture on television and pay per view. Coming out of the DX/Nation feud that would see the spotlight shine on Triple H and The Rock, these two would go back and forth as competitors in the ring to the point that their feud and the title became nearly must see television. The added character development to D-Lo Brown and his infamous chest protector (plus the sheer joy & honor he had towards being the champion) made the feud stand out even more. This was arguably the peak of the title’s lineage and we have D-Lo and X-Pac, able to go move for move and treating the belt as their own WWF Title, to thank for that.

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Written by David Hunter

David Hunter enjoys writing about wrestling, sports, music, and horror!

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