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Champs on champs

November 10, 2010

While writing the upcoming WWE Championship book, I had the honor of interviewing nearly every living former titleholder. Of course, each interview came with its own set of questions, but there was one query that I asked every last Superstar: Who do you think was the greatest WWE Champion of all time?

Believe it or not, every Superstar found this question nearly impossible to answer. But being the true professionals that they are, they all eventually offered up their opinions. As we get closer to the Nov. 23 release date, I’ll reveal many of their answers. Due to space restrictions, none of the below quotes made it into the book. Let’s consider them “web exclusives.” Enjoy:

Ric Flair: In terms of drawing money, it has to be Stone Cold or Hulk. But in terms of work rate, there’s about five guys… Hunter, Shawn , Undertaker, Cena, Dave Batista, Randy Orton, Edge… All those guys, they don’t have to, but if they were asked to wrestle an hour every night, they’d do it. And they carry that belt and prestige of that title in high regard, which is really important. People can see in your eyes, if you’re the champion, you’re the shit. If I was champion now they would really have a hard time living with me.

Bret Hart: I guess that would be me (after much thought) … Actually, I’m not sure who would be the greatest champion of all time, but I know of all the champions they ever had, none of them gave any more than I ever did in and out of the ring. To me it was a big honor that I took pretty serious and I think that people remember about me today. If there is any criticism about Bret Hart the wrestler, he’s the guy who took it too seriously. If that’s the only criticism I get, then I can take that. Yeah, I’m the guy who took it too seriously. I really had so much pride in being the champion and being the wrestler that I was. Maybe that’s what makes me stand out today.

You have young wrestlers like CM Punk and different guys wanting to be the champion that they remember me being. They want to be proud and they want it to mean something and they want people to understand that there’s a big honor there. You look back and you can say that I was always s a good champion in that way; I made you take pride in the belt. I can remember kissing the belt every time when I climbed up on the second rope in the beginning of the match and at the end of the match when I won. When I kissed that belt, it was my reminder that I was living a dream and that I had a responsibility to be the champion that I saw as a kid when I watched world champions work for my father. They always had class. I wanted to be a champion like them, like Bruno or Dory Funk or Harley Race. They had a certain pride and respect everywhere they went. I always tried to be that same champion for the fans, company and the wrestlers themselves.

Kevin Nash: Hulk Hogan (without hesitation). When he came back, I didn’t think anybody could be hotter than Steve and Rock at that point. We were in Chicago that night when we came back with the nWo and Rock went toe to toe with Terry. I remember thinking it would be 60/40, maybe 70/30 in favor of Rock. It was 90/10 Hogan. I said “Hulk’s Hulk.” That was the night I realized it.

As far as performers go, I think Shawn Michaels is the greatest. I’ve used this equation one hundred times: He is the Michael Jordan of sports-entertainment. Performance wise, Shawn Michaels is the greatest champion.

Shawn Michaels: Greatest is an overused word and I don’t know what defines greatest anymore.

You can pre-order the WWE Championship book here.

One Comment
  1. i love these comments from some of the greats… i really enjoyed the book, its one of my favorites, as well as brets and shawns, but this book is a little bit of everything, which makes it so special and entertaining, as a wrestling fan, if you havent read the wwe championship book, well shame on you, haha, your really missing out

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