WCW Champions: The 10 Greatest World Heavyweight Champions, Ranked

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WWE / ONE37pm

Hey Yo! It's The Wrestling Classic here with another list for ONE37pm. This time, we're going to have a little bit of fun as I get to reminisce about my childhood and talk about something I remember fondly, World Championship Wrestling. My earliest memories of watching wrestling live are watching both WWF and WCW. I’ll always have a soft spot for WCW due to my nostalgia for its signature brand of professional wrestling "where the big boys play." For this latest piece, I'm going rank the 10 greatest WCW Champions of all time when it comes to the company's top prize - the World Heavyweight Championship.

First things first, though - I want to mention some facts and criteria for this list before I start. The first thing I want to educate people on is that WCW officially recognized the WCW World Championship in January 1991 when Ric Flair defeated Sting, separating themselves from the NWA World Championship lineage. There were 22 WCW Champions in its 10-year run since that pivotal moment in the company's history.

Another thing I want to make clear is that I’ll only be considering the championship reigns that happened in WCW from 1991-2001 before WWE purchased the company. Therefore, The Rock, Chris Jericho, and Kurt Angle weren’t considered for inclusion in this list. My decisions are based on the significance of the superstars' reign or reigns with the title. There were a lot of short reigns and the title did change hands quite a bit, so I really want to focus on the champions that truly elevated the title while they held it.

RELATED: The Best WCW Wrestlers of All Time

Honorable Mentions

Kevin Nash

Jeff Jarrett

Scott Steiner

Bret Hart

The Giant

David Arquette (for infamous reasons, of course)

10. Diamond Dallas Page

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Diamond Dallas Page is a three-time WCW World Champion, holding the title for only 30 combined days. DDP's popularity hit immense levels during his run as the "People’s Champion" of WCW. When he first made his debut in the company, he was a manager who eventually grew into a mid-card guy (however, he didn't get too far at first due to the abundance of props that went along with his over-the-top gimmick). However, the fans were along for the ride with DDP as he rose up to the ranks to become the World Heavyweight Champion.

Page first won the belt at WCW Spring Stampede 1999 in a Four Way Dance that featured Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Sting. He would go on to lose the title to Sting a couple of weeks later on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro, only for Page to win it back the very same night in another Four Way Dance. Page would eventually win the title again from Jeff Jarrett in 2000, only to lose it to David Arquette the very next night. However, anytime Page won the title, it felt like the people also won and that's what makes him one of the greatest WCW Champions of all time.

9. Lex Luger

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The "Total Package" Lex Luger is a two-time World Heavyweight Champion with a combined 235 days as the titleholder during his reigns. He first won the title in 1991 when he was originally set up as the number-one contender for Ric Flair’s belt. Flair shockingly left the company for WWF, so Luger ended up facing and defeating Barry Windham in a Steel Cage match for the vacant World Title at the 1991 Great American Bash. He then went on to hold the title for nearly seven months until he lost it to Sting.

Luger's second reign is unforgettable since he shocked the world by defeating "Hollywood" Hogan on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro, ending his reign of terror during the peak of the nWo era. Hogan was actually days away from holding the title hostage for an entire year, so it was a major victory for WCW during a period where they were dominated by the heel stable on a regular basis. The WCW locker room collective came out to celebrate with Luger in the ring, which resulted in an unforgettable sight (even though the reign would only last five days before Hogan won it back, sadly).

8. Ron Simmons


Ron Simmons made history as the first-ever African-American World Champion in a nationally recognized wrestling company in 1992. WCW was the number two company in comparison to the WWF at the time - Vince McMahon's wrestling empire would actually wait another six years until they contemplated putting their World Championship on a black superstar. Vader had just recently defeated the "Stinger" for the title. Sting had suffered an injury so he wasn’t able to compete in his rematch, so WCW had a raffle to see who would challenge Vader, which Simmons had won.

Although there was a lot of doubt as to Simmons coming out on top, WCW shocked the world when it actually showcased Simmons triumphing over Vader and winning the championship. He would hold the championship for 150 days during his single historic reign. The historical significance of this title win and the length of his reign classify Simmons as one of the best WCW Champions of all time.

7. "Macho Man" Randy Savage

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The "Macho Man" Randy Savage is one of the biggest names in professional wrestling and a pop culture icon. "The King of Madness" would win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on four occasions with only 53 combined days as champion. He would initially win the vacated title during the 1995 World War III Battle Royal. The feud he would go on to have with Ric Flair during his first run would see him lose and win the championship back, making him a two-time champion. This rivalry was a money-making draw for the company, which makes it significant since this was prior to the popular nWo angle.

Savage would win the title on two more occasions from that point forward. In 1998, Savage defeated Sting for the championship. Then in 1999, Savage went on to defeat Kevin Nash for the strap. Savage actually dropped the WCW World Heavyweight Championship to Hogan on both occasions the following night after winning it, which is quite a dubious record. Even still, Savage's runs with the belt make him eligible for making this list of the best WCW champions.

6. Booker T

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Booker T is a five-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion with 253 combined days as champion. Booker T is a perfect example of a homegrown star who was built up strongly before he finally got his hands on the WCW's top prize. Similar to DDP, the WCW fans followed Booker's journey from his early days spent in the tag team division as one half of Harlem Heat to becoming a main event superstar. Booker won the championship for the first time from Jeff Jarrett at the end of a controversial Bash at the Beach 2000.

He would go on to win the championship on three more occasions. He defeated Kevin Nash to win the belt back. He beat "Double J" for the vacated title in the overly gimmicky San Francisco 49ers Match after he originally lost the title to Vince Russo. Finally, Booker went on to beat Scott Steiner on the final WCW Monday Nitro to walk into the WWF as the WCW World Heavyweight Champion and United States Champion. That final reign carried over into his WWF run where he lost the title and then won it right back from Kurt Angle. Seeing as how Booker ran with the belt during WCW's final days and emerged on WWE TV with the "Big Gold" around his waits, he's definitely considered by many as one of the best WCW champions.

5. Goldberg

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WCW was frequently criticized for not creating new stars and relying on stars made popular in the WWF/E or elsewhere like Japan. However, Goldberg, DDP, and Booker T are three perfect examples of stars WCW made. Goldberg only had one reign as the WCW World Heavyweight Champion, which lasted 174 days. The organic rise of Goldberg is one of those wrestling formulas often replicated (Ryback and Jade Cargill, for example), but never duplicated. Goldberg was quickly becoming a main event star and a championship contender by being undefeated in over 100 matches.

This eventually led to him being granted a title shot in July 1998 against Hogan. However, there were extra stipulations added to that epic first-time meeting. Goldberg actually defeated Hogan in front of 40,000 fans at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, cementing his legacy. He would remain undefeated until ultimately being screwed out of the title after losing to Kevin Nash (who used the assistance of Scott Hall and a taser) at Starrcade 1998. It’s an unforgettable moment in WCW history, though!

4. "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan


Hulk Hogan in name value alone brought a lot of significance to the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Hogan is a globally known megastar and a pop culture icon known far & wide. The "Hulkster" would hold the championship on six occasions from 1994 to 2000 for a combined 1,117 days. Hogan’s initial reign after defeating Ric Flair in 1994 was plagued with bad storylines and really wasn’t the draw WCW expected it to be, sadly. However, when Hogan turned heel and defeated The Giant for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, things changed for the better. Hogan went on to win the championship on three more occasions during the nWo's boom period.

"Hollywood" Hogan won the title back five days after losing it to Lex Luger, beat Randy Savage for the belt the night after Savage won it from Sting at Spring Stampede 1998, and then won it again during the infamous "Fingerpoke of Doom" moment from Kevin Nash. Hogan's last reign would come at Savage's expense again in 1999, winning it from him a day after Savage beat Nash at Bash at the Beach 1999. Hogan was always sniffing around that title picture and definitely looked cool as hell with the nWo spray-painted version of the belt, which classifies him as one of the finest WCW champions of all time.

3. Sting

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The "Stinger" was a franchise player and pretty much the face of World Championship Wrestling during his run there. Sting captured the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on six occasions, holding it for 250 combined days. Sting won his first WCW Championship against Lex Luger in 1992 at SuperBrawl II and started his second reign by defeating Big Van Vader at a house show in London in 1993. It would be four years before the "Icon" would win the championship again. That next title win would cap off his unforgettable and over-a-year-long feud with the nWo (specifically Hogan) at Starrcade 1997. Sting went on to become a four-time champion after the belt was vacated due to the controversial finish at Starrcade, only to become champion once again by beating Hogan at SuperBrawl VIII. Sting's fifth reign would only last a day when he defeated DDP on Nitro in 1999. Sting's final reign would also be at Hogan’s expense at Fall Brawl 1999. Sting epitomizes WCW and will forever be recognized as one of the greatest WCW champions of all time.

2. Big Van Vader


WCW’s lack of direction and unpredictable booking made the WCW World Heavyweight Championship change hands a lot in the later years. There were 25 World Title changes in the year 2000 alone! There was constant chaos when it came to booking the main title. It's pretty insane to fathom how it had been vacated on 12 occasions during its ten-year history. Big Van Vader makes it this high on this list because of just how consistent his reigns were. Vader is a three-time WCW Champion, holding the title for 377 combined days.

He initially won the championship from Sting at the Great American Bash in 1992. The first reign was cut short due to an injury, but the company saved face by having Vader drop the belt to Ron Simmons. Vader would return to win the title back from Simmons four months later. The big man would lose the title to Sting in London during a European tour but would win it back six days later in Ireland. Vader's third and final reign went on for 285 days until he lost it to Ric Flair at Starrcade 1993. Vader will always get tons of respect from wrestling fans the world over due to him being one of WCW’s most dominant and consistent champions.

1. Ric Flair

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The greatest WCW Champion of all time is none other than the "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Flair would hold the championship on eight occasions for a total of 505 days. Flair was the initial WCW Champion when they separated from the NWA to finally recognize their World Title as the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Flair would not lose the championship during his first reign as he left to join the WWF. Flair started his second reign as the official WCW World Heavyweight Champion in December of 1993 by beating Vader in a career-threatening match at Starrcade 1993. Flair’s third reign would come after the belt was vacated due to a controversial finish in a match with Ricky Steamboat.

Flair would win the rematch to become champion once again. Flair's fourth and fifth reign happened during his memorable feud with Randy Savage in 1996. The sixth title reign would come from "Naitch" after he finally defeated Hogan in a cage match in 1999. Flair’s seventh reign came from beating Jarrett on WCW Monday Nitro and the eighth reign came when Nash literally just handed his title to Flair in the year 2000. At the end of the day, if you mention the WCW World Heavyweight Championship or the Big Gold Championship Title, Flair is the first image or name that comes to mind. It’s why he's considered the greatest WCW World Champion of all time.

I hope you all enjoyed this list of top WCW World Heavyweight Champions. Tell me if you disagree and let me know what you think over social media. Ya dig? Oooh Yeah!

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