12. Drew McIntyre (29 months without a championship)
This Scottish villain benefitted greatly in his early days with the WWE when no less an authority than Vince McMahon publicly pushed him as The Chosen One. It lead to a lengthy InterContinental Championship reign in 2009/10. After a very short tag team title run with Cody Rhodes in the fall of 2010, which ended October 28 at that year’s Bragging Rights, McIntyre gradually became The Forgotten One. These days, he’s wasting his time with the initially amusing but now permanently adrift 3MB with fellow, frustrated mid-carders Jinder Mahal and Heath Slater.
13. Tyson Kidd (30 months without a championship)
Currently recovering from surgery, the last wrestler to face trainer Stu Hart in the infamous Hart Family Dungeon has only managed to become a one-time tag team champion with former partner, David Hart Smith, who was fired two years ago. Collectively known as The Hart Dynasty, their five-month reign ended at Night Of Champions on September 18, 2010 when McIntyre and Rhodes triumphed in a five-team turmoil match.
Kidd got a bit of push last summer when he briefly feuded with Tensai which carried over to a tremendous Money In The Bank ladder match until he was seriously hurt. When he eventually returns, here’s hoping he gets a mid-card title push. He’s earned it.
14. Chris Jericho (almost 3 years without a championship)
Now 42, this American-born, Canadian-raised babyface might be past the point of being a champion. But because his in-ring skills remain rust-free he’s constantly being booked in title matches nonetheless. It’s hard to believe but the last time Jericho was a champion of any kind was during an episode of Smackdown (taped March 30, 2010 but aired on April 2) where he dropped the World Heavyweight Championship to a calculating Jack Swagger, who just two days earlier won the last WrestleMania Money In The Bank ladder match.
Ever since then, Jericho has had a series of short full-time WWE stints and, in between them, mostly fruitless pursuits of outside interests like losing on Dancing With The Stars and pretending he’s a rock star in a band that couldn’t even beat Howard Stern’s group, The Losers, ten years ago. At any event, whether he gets another title push or not doesn’t appear to matter. As long as he remains healthy enough to have entertaining matches with up-and-coming talents that need a reputation enhancer, the audience and the company will be happy.
15. The Undertaker (37 months without a championship)
Jericho won his last World Heavyweight Championship at the 2010 Elimination Chamber by beating a knocked out Undertaker which set up his WrestleMania 26 title match with that year’s Royal Rumble winner, Edge. The only reason he won the belt in the first place was because of an interfering Shawn Michaels who finally figured out a way to get The Dead Man to grant him a WM rematch in order to challenge The Streak: a well-timed superkick to the mush.
A severe eye injury later that year would ultimately end The Undertaker’s full-time status with the WWE. After his latest program with half-brother Kane pretty much ended at Hell In A Cell in October 2010, The Phenom has only made sporadic TV, live event and pay-per-view appearances since then, most notably at the annual WrestleMania. After beating back Streak challenges from Michaels and Triple H at three straight Showcases Of The Immortals, Taker now has to contend with CM Punk at WrestleMania 29. While championships are pretty much over for The Dead Man at this point in his long, glorious career, The Streak may stay intact for the foreseeable future. Then again, maybe not.
16. Triple H (37 months without a championship)
Slightly more active, at least on pay-per-view and TV, than his longtime rival, The Undertaker, the real-life Paul Levesque remains a popular babyface even in his limited on-screen appearances. Set to square off once more with current rival, Brock Lesnar, at WrestleMania 29, no matter the result of this No Holds Barred match, like The Dead Man, H isn’t a likely candidate to become a champion again.
Curiously, he’s had just as long a drought as The Undertaker. His last title push ended on February 8, 2010 during an episode of Raw. H and longtime pal, Shawn Michaels, the reunited Degeneration X, dropped the WWE tag team titles to The Big Show and The Miz.
17. Ted DiBiase Jr. (53 months without a legitimate championship)
It’s true. The son of The Million Dollar Man was the Million Dollar Champion for many months in 2010 (until the belt was stolen from him in November that year and ultimately discontinued) which would mean he hasn’t held a championship of any kind in 28 months. But since the Million Dollar Championship was an invention of his father and not an officially recognized belt by the WWE, we have to go back a couple of years earlier when Dibiase Jr. was a co-holder of the tag team titles with Cody Rhodes. Their second reign came to an end during the October 27, 2008 episode of Raw when they were beaten by CM Punk and Kofi Kingston. Dibiase hasn’t been seen in a while thanks to an injury but unless he gets a decent push upon his return his long title drought will likely continue.
18. Curt Hawkins (54 months without a championship)
How long has it been since this former Edge protege has been a champion? Like Dibiase, we’re talking the second term of the George W. Bush Administration. Back when he was aligned with The Rated R Superstar, he teamed up with pre-broski era Zack Ryder. The duo won the tag belts at the 2008 Great American Bash in July but just two months later, their reign came to a quick end thanks to the efforts of Carlito and Primo on a late September edition of Smackdown. Ever since Tyler Reks, Hawkins’ most recent tag team partner, quit the WWE, he hasn’t been seen on TV or pay-per-view for many months.
19. The Great Khali (66 months without a championship)
The Indian Frankenstein has had exactly one title push in his entire career: a two-month reign as the World Heavyweight Champion back in the Summer of 2007. It all came to an end at Unforgiven that year on September 16 when Batista survived a Triple Threat match with Rey Mysterio to take the title.
20. Brock Lesnar (109 months without a championship)
The former UFC Heavyweight Champion returned to the WWE the night after WrestleMania 28 to start a short program with John Cena. Since then, he’s been locking horns with Triple H, first at SummerSlam last August and coming up again on April 7 at WrestleMania 29.
During his first stint in the WWE, The Next Big Thing had three WWE Championship reigns between 2002 and 2004. The last time he held that title was on February 15, 2004 when he was defeated by the late Eddie Guerrero at No Way Out.
21. Tensai (140 months without a championship)
Long before he returned to WWE after a long absence as a Japanese-inspired monster turned hilariously nimble hoofer, the real-life Matt Bloom worked The Attitude Era under various character names. His only championship push was a 27-day run as the InterContinental Champion in the Summer of 2001. After winning the gold on a late June episode of Smackdown, the then-named Albert dropped the title to Lance Storm on the July 23 episode of Raw. No former champion on the current roster has gone this long without regaining a title in WWE.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Friday, March 22, 2013