Last time around, the tournament here at Smark Out Moment was devoted to the Hottest Woman in Wrestling History, spanning WWE and TNA's rosters. This time around, things are different. The only factor for voting the last time was based on attractiveness as opposed to wrestling talent. This one is the total opposite. Try not to turn this into a popularity contest by just voting for the wrestlers you like better in general. The goal here is to look at who represented the championship the best.
Therefore, I present you with some guidelines on what you should take into account when voting:
1. This is for the WWE title only! Do not judge based on the World Heavyweight Championship or anything else!
2. Go for quality over quantity. Chances are, the more you've had the title, the better you are, but just because you've held it longer doesn't mean you're automatically better.
3. Vote on credibility and the importance of the WWE Roster Hierarchy. Sometimes, people are the champion but they're not the focal point of the show. This should hurt their chances at advancing in the tournament.
Without further ado, let's get this tournament started!
NOTE: Since there was an uneven amount of people to properly structure a bracket, I've opted for this method. Vince McMahon will be given instant Wildcard status at some point (most likely the semi-finals) and until then, he won't be a factor in the tournament. That leaves 42 other men that have held the title to fit into a 32 man tournament bracket. To cut down those 10, I've taken the 20 men with the least amount of title wins and combined days as reigning champion and put them together to determine which 10 get eliminated and which 10 move on. I then balanced the tournament out a little and then randomized it to come up with the following bracket:
This round, we'll knock out all of the preliminary 10 eliminations and next round, the 32 true winners will start facing off.
[THOUGHTS: I'll throw this out there right off the bat. Several of the oldest champions don't hold high esteem in my mind. It's not because they're old and I'm more familiar with the newer guys (because a lot of them have been crap as well) but it's a matter of expectation. Back in the day, you had less pressure to do less things. Someone could be champion for a year and do virtually nothing, whereas later on, you had to be good at interviews, good in the ring, perform more often, so on and so forth. By that rationale, in this case, I'm voting for Batista. I can't tell you a single thing Ivan Koloff did that I find particularly impressive whereas when Batista won his latest WWE Championship, he reinvented his character and was thoroughly entertaining. He did a good job being the big heel that the babyface has to overcome at WrestleMania as well.]
[THOUGHTS: Similar to what I mentioned above, I'm going with JBL. They gave him the ball at a weird time and he was able to last as long as he did which ended with a firm "putting over the new face of the company" feud.]
[THOUGHTS: Rey Mysterio held the championship for less than a day. His match with John Cena was great, but in comparison to Eddie Guerrero actually having a legitimate championship reign, Rey stands no chance. My vote goes to Eddie Guerrero.]
[THOUGHTS: My vote goes to Slaughter here, even though his title reign is a bit odd. It's essentially summed up by his feud with Hogan, which was good enough to incite death threats.]
[THOUGHTS: I've long said that Rob Van Dam never should have become WWE Champion. The ECW title was a perfect fit for him and I don't think he was ever justifiably a big enough star to warrant being THE guy. His title reign was short and most people would say they remember nothing about it other than him cashing in and beating Cena, so it went downhill from the start. Chris Jericho, on the other hand, won his Undisputed Championship and crafted much more with it.]
[THOUGHTS: When Jeff Hardy won his title, I was one of the many people that was elated. I felt as though he had worked hard to clean himself up and deserved it. Keep in mind that his feud with CM Punk was for the World Heavyweight Championship, not the WWE title. Jeff won in December of 2008 and dropped it to Edge in 2009. Diesel was given the title for a long reign that isn't particularly noteworthy, but he was in a much worse environment and had less to work with. Therefore, I'm going with Diesel.]
[THOUGHTS: I'm not going to defend Ultimate Warrior's title reign much in this tournament, but I will here, almost entirely because of the magnitude of his character around the time they gave him the title.]
[THOUGHTS: The Miz was a good champion as far as I'm concerned. He deserved the title at the time, he had some good matches, and he was the main heel. Kane on the other hand held the title for one day and then dropped it to Steve Austin. It was essentially pointless and he did nothing in the time frame. The Miz gets my vote.]
[THOUGHTS: Iron Sheik. Otherwise, he'll humble me.]
[THOUGHTS: Big Show gets my vote. Andre the Giant was stripped of the title immediately upon trying to sell it. You can try to argue that Andre's the bigger star (literally or figuratively) but that's not what this is about. This is about the title reigns. Big Show even having one title defense means by default, he should be the better champ in the history books.]
We don't have any contradictions yet, but once we do, I'll place my votes here.