I’m sure everyone will remembers the illustrious 12 day reign that David Arquette had as WCW World Champion, but what most may not remember is that he is not the only non-wrestler to win a Championship in one of the major companies. There have been others, and some may even surprise you. My definition of a non-wrestler is someone who may be involved in the wrestling industry but has never been considered a full time competitor or a wrestler in the traditional sense.
On the April 25, 2000 edition of Thunder Arquette pinned fellow non-wrestler Eric Bischoff in a tag team match that also featured Jeff Jarrett and then champion Diamond Dallas Page to win the title. Arquette then turned on Page at Slamboree on May 7, 2000 in a triple cage match to aid Jeff Jarrett in winning his second WCW World Championship.
Rick Steiner and Buff Bagwell won the WCW World Tag Team Championships on October 25, 1998 in Las Vegas at the WCW Halloween Havoc PPV. During the match Bagwell turned on Steiner and leaving him on his own, when Steiner won he was allowed to pick his own tag team partner. Initially he chose Kenny Kaos and on the October 26th Nitro in Phoenix they successfully defended the titles against The Giant & Stevie Ray. Shortly thereafter Kaos was injured and Steiner was allowed to choose his next partner. On November 9, 1998 Steiner chose Buff’s mother Judy Bagwell to be his partner and she is officially recognized as a WCW World Tag Team Champion. They never teamed to defend the titles and on January 4, 1999 Steiner was stripped of the titles after he was legit injured.
Oklahoma aka Ed Ferrara
On January 16, 2000 at the Souled Out PPV in Cincinnati, OH Oklahoma defeated Madusa to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship in a 3 minute “match” that was terrible. He was forced to relinquish the championship on the January 19th edition of WCW Thunder for exceeding the weight limit of the title. Wouldn’t that have made him ineligible to have a match for the title to begin with?
On June 5, 2000 at Nitro in Atlanta, GA Eric Bischoff defeated Terry Funk for the WCW Hardcore Championship. That just seems wrong to type those words. Granted Bischoff had help from Big Vito, Johnny the Bull and The Cat, but still, wrong. On Thunder that week he awarded the championship to both Big Vito and Johnny the Bull announcing the Freebird rule would be in effect for their joint reign.
At the TNA No Surrender PPV on September 9, 2007 in Orlando, FL Pacman Jones and Ron Killings defeated Sting and Kurt Angle to win the TNA World Tag Team Championships, yup that is as wrong as it sounds. While on suspension from the NFL Jones and perennial mid-carder Ron Killings beat two of the all-time greatest wrestlers in Sting and Kurt Angle. Granted Angle attacked Sting which led to the victory, but I mean what else were they supposed to do, Jones was only allowed to appear in a non-physical role. The champs lot their titles to AJ Styles and Tomko at Bound For Glory on October 14th with Consequences Creed wrestling in Jones’ place.
On September 14, 1999 (aired 9/16) in Las Vegas at a Smackdown taping Mr. McMahon defeated Triple H to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship with his son Shane McMahon as special guest referee. This was part of the storyline where Triple H drugged and married Stephanie. Mr. McMahon vacated the title on the September 20th RAW in Houston, TX
At Backlash in Atlanta, GA on April 29, 2007 Mr. McMahon would capture the (WW)ECW Championship defeating champion Bobby Lashley in a handicapped match with partners Shane McMahon and Umaga. He would lose the title back to Lashley in a Street Fight at One Night Stand on June 3rd in Jacksonville, FL.
Disguised as Hervina, Harvey Wippleman won a limberjill snowbunny match on the January 31, 2000 RAW from Pittsburgh to win the WWE Women’s Championship. It would be a short reign lasting just 1 day, 3 days in tv time, as Jacqueline would win the title on Smackdown from Detroit, MI.
Stephanie would topple Jacqueline at the March 28, 2000 Smackdown taping in San Antonio, TX which aired on March 30th to win the Women’s Championship. Stephanie would go on to hold the championship for 146 days, not defending it once, until she lost the title to Lita on Raw in Lafayette, LA on August 21, 2000.
Off all the McMahon’s it can be argued that Shane was a wrestler on the active wrestler. I even saw him compete in a house show street fight match against Kane at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine. However at the time when he won the European Championship he was not an active wrestler. Shane won the title on February 15, 1999 in Birmingham, AL on RAW pinning X-Pac in a tag team match pitting Shane & Kane vs. Triple H & X-Pac. Shane did defend the title a few times before retiring the championship on Sunday Night Heat in Uniondale, NY taped March 30, 1999 aired April 4th. On June 21st of that year Shane would aware Mideon the Championship after Mideon found it in Shane’s duffel bag. The title would be retired for good on July 22, 2002 when it was unified with the Intercontinental Championship.
The hardcore championship changed hands 235 times in its less than 4 year existence before being unified with the Intercontinental Championship. Tommy Dreamer was the last defending champion before losing it to Rob Van Dam. Surprisingly there were only two instances when a non-wrestler won the championship although there were several attempts by non-wrestlers to do so. Yes Gerald Brisco and Pat Patterson both held the Hardcore Championship but I can’t consider then non-wrestlers.
May 15, 2000 Godfather’s Ho aka Bobcat pinned Crash Holly in Cleveland, OH, Crash won it back moments later
May 27, 2002 Terri Runnels pinned Steve Richards in Edmonton, Alberta, Richards won it back moments later