Rey Mysterio.

Five of the most unlikely WWE champions

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Bruno Sammartino. Hulk Hogan. Macho Man Randy Savage. Ric Flair. Bret Hart. Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Rock. Triple H. The Undertaker. Brock Lesnar. Randy Orton. John Cena. AJ Styles.

All of these greats of the sports entertainment and wrestling industry from over the years all have one thing in common. They have all won the WWE championship. Now, another name has joined that list.

Jinder Mahal.


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Whether you like it or not, The Maharaja is WWE champion and could be for a while, but in WWE history, he isn't the first unlikely superstar to be able to capture the title. In fact, there has been quite a few.

Here are five unlikely superstars that have managed to win the WWE championship.

Rey Mysterio

Cruiserweight. That's all you really need to say about Rey Mysterio for why he was never WWE champion more than once. His shape and size doesn't really scream conventional WWE champion. When he was WWE champion as well, he was just used to enhance another storyline not involving him.

Rey Mysterio won the WWE title after he defeated The Miz in a tournament final to crown a new champion when CM Punk left the company after Money in the Bank in 2011.

This RAW took place a week after Money in the Bank, and Mysterio would then face the former champion John Cena on the same night he won the title in a losing effort, meaning he held onto the title for less than a day.  

John Bradshaw Layfield

Prior to becoming champion, John Bradshaw Layfield wasn't doing much in the WWE. He was still a part of the APA with Faarooq (Ron Simmons) which involved segments where he just got drunk and beat people up for money.

After Simmons retired and APA split in 2004, JBL was catapulted into the main event picture, challenging and winning the WWE championship from Eddie Guerrero in a Texas Bull Rope match at The Great American Bash in June the same year.

JBL would hold onto the championship for almost 11 months before losing it none other than John Cena, giving him his first title reign too.


Everyone knows the story of Mankind's first WWE title win, as it became one of the turning points of the Attitude Era for the company in their ratings war with WCW, which is also known as the Monday Night Wars.

The month before that famous win though in 1998, Mankind was losing matches to X-Pac, Val Venis, and Ken Shamrock. No way could you think then a month later he would surprisingly defeat The Rock, thanks to the help of Stone Cold, to win WWE's top prize.

Mankind would go on to win the title two more times after this initial win during feuds with The Great One, The Texas Rattlesnake and Triple H, but he never held the title for more than 26 days at a time.

The Miz

While we know The Miz as one of the best workers in the WWE today, back when he was being pushed into the main event spotlight, he was only really known as a reality TV star. He had won the United States championship and tag team titles before hand, but not many were taking him seriously.

The Miz got his shot at the WWE title after winning Money in the Bank in 2010 and eventually won the championship when he cashed it in, to no reaction at all, on an episode of RAW in November later that year against Randy Orton.

The Awesome One held onto the championship for 160 days, including successfully defending it against John Cena at WrestleMania XXVII, before losing it to Cena at Extreme Rules in 2011. 


Diesel was never a draw as WWE champion. His rise to the top came through a house show in November 1994 when he defeated Bob Backlund in an eight-second squash match.

Booking let Diesel's championship reign down, as he had largely underwhelming feuds during his time as champion such as King Mabel. However, he was the champion for over a year, so it's surprising he was never given a decent feud in that period.

Diesel would then go on to join WCW after losing the title to Bret Hart at Survivor Series in 1995 due to being offered guaranteed contracts by them, something which WWE was unable to offer at the time.

Who was your most unlikely superstar for WWE champion in WWE history? Have YOUR say in the comments section below and the third episode of GiveMeSport’s WWE podcast is here! Check it out via this link. https://soundcloud.com/user-818579649/gms-wwe-podcast-all-the-fallout-from-wwe-payback

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John Cena
Rey Mysterio
Vince McMahon

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