Thursday, October 13, 2016

Defunct WWE Championships

Many of us are familiar with Championships that are no longer active in the WWE.  You can read about them on their own web page, World Championships, European Championship, World Tag Team Championships, Women's Championship, Light Heavyweight, Cruiserweight, Hardcore, Women's Tag Team Championship, and the Diva's Championship.  They even list the WCW World Championship and all the ECW Championships.

However there are several championships that were created over the years and were only recognized for a short time that the WWE currently doesn't acknowledge their existence.

WWWF United States Tag Team Championships
July 1958 - July 29, 1967

Started in July 1958 at the NWA United States Tag Team Championship for the Capitol Wrestling Corporation with a name change to the WWWF once they left the NWA in April 1963.  No reason was given for them being abandoned.  You can read the complete title lineage here.

First Champions: Mark Lewin & Don Curtis defeating Hans Schmidt & Dick the Bruiser in a tournament final

Last Champions: Bruno Sammartino & Spiros Arion

Longest Reign: The Fabulous Kangaroos: Al Costello & Roy Heffernan 409 Days November 28, 1960 - January 11 1962 defeated Johnny Valentine & Chief Big Heart defeated by Buddy Rogers & Johnny Barend

The Fabulous Kangaroos
Most Reigns: Team: The Fabulous Kangaroos: Al Costello & Roy Heffernan 3 for 514 days, Individual: Dr. Jerry Graham 6 for 632 days

WWWF United States Heavyweight Championship
April 6, 1963 - March 1976

Was created after the WWWF left the NWA to be their secondary championship behind the World Championship.  Looking at the title lineage it was pretty much the Bobo Brazil Championship and I would dispute the authenticity of that final title run.  But then again look at when Duane Gill at the Light Heavyweight Championship.  You can read the complete title lineage here.

First Champions: Bobo Brazil was awarded the Championship upon it's creation

Last Champions: Bobo Brazil

Longest Reign: Bobo Brazil 1837 Days February 19, 1971 - March 1976 was awarded the Championship after Pedro Morales vacated it when he won the World Championship, title was abandoned.

Most Reigns: Bobo Brazil 7

WWF North American Heavyweight Championship
February 13, 1979 - April 23, 1981

Only 3 people held the North American Championship with the longest and last reign belonging to Seiji Sakaguchi at 532 days until the title was abandoned.  Essentially this title was the precursor to the Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship which was "won" by Pat Patterson November 1, 1979 while he was still the North American Heavyweight Champion.

Ted Dibiase February 13, 1979 - June 19, 1979 Allentown, PA
     awarded the championship upon signing with the WWF

Pat Patterson June 19, 1979 - November 18, 1979 Allentown, PA

Seiji Sakaguchi November 18, 1979 - April 23, 1981 Otaru, Japan

The official WWE History states that on September 1, 1979 Pat Patterson unified his North American Heavyweight Championship with the fictional South American Heavyweight Championship by defeating Johnny Rodz in the equally fictional tournament in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil to be crowned the first ever Intercontinental Champion.

WWWF / WWF International Heavyweight Championship
July 1959 - October 31, 1985

The first time the WWWF or Capitol Wrestling Corporation recognized this title was in July 1959 when Antonio Rocca defeated Buddy Rogers, was later declared inactive in 1963, assuming when WWWF withdrew from the NWA.  Revitalized in 1982 appears to have been awarded to Tony Parisi.

Gino Brito August 1982 Buffalo, NY defeated Parisi

Tatsumi Fujinami August 30, 1982 - April 3, 1983 Madison Square Garden

Tatsumi Fujinami
Riki Choshu April 3, 1983 - August 4, 1983 Tokyo Japan

Tatsumi Fujinami August 4, 1983 - October 31, 1985 Tokyo Japan

Akira Maeda March 25, 1984 - July 23, 1984 Madison Square Garden
     defeated Pierre Lefebvre at MSG to be recognized by the WWF.  Maeda defended the title in the        UWF until July 23 when the WWF and UWF ended their affiliation.

Fujinami defended the Championship in New Japan Pro Wrestling and the WWF for the entirety of his second run with the championship until the companies ended their affiliation.  Why the WWF started a second lineage with UWF I couldn't tell you.

WWWF/WWF International Tag Team Championships
June 1, 1969 - January 1, 1972
May 24, 1985 - October 31, 1985

Recognized in the WWWF as a secondary tag team championship but primarily defended in the Pittsburgh Territory.  The titles were initially vacated in January 1, 1972 when the territory was sold to the NWF.  Later reactivated and recognized in both the WWF and NJPW until their affiliation ended October 31, 1985.  You can read about the title lineage here and here.

First Champions: Rising Sons: Toru Tanaka & Mitsu Arakawa June 1, 1969 awarded championship

Last Champions: Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura May 24, 1985 Kobe, Japan defeated Dick Murdoch & Adrian Adonis in tournament final

The Mongols: Geeto & Bepo (Nikolai Volkoff)
Longest Reign: The Mongols: Bepo & Geeto 368 days June 15, 1970 - June 18, 1971 defeated Victor Rivera & Tony Marino MSG defeated by Bruno Sammartino & Dominic DeNucci Pittsbugh, PA

Most Reigns: Team: The Mongols 2 for 501 Days, Individual: Geeto Mongol 3 for 515 Days

Geeto Mongol & Johnny DeFazio
Champions 12/18/1971 - 1/1/1972
This title was precursor to the IWGP Tag Team Championships that New Japan established December 12, 1985

WWWF Junior Heavyweight Championship
September 1965 - October 31, 1985

The early lineage of the Championship is not exact.  Paul DeGalles is the first recognized champion when Toots Mondt, who was a partner with Vince Sr., took over the Pittsburgh Territory as DeGalles has been recognized as the International Junior Heavyweight Champion since July 1960 in West Virginia when Mondt ran that territory.

Second Version the one awarded to Wild Pegasus
Title was declared vacant in 1972 when then champion Johnny DeFazio retired.  The title was re-established on January 20, 1978 when Carlos Jose Estrada defeated Tony Garea in a tournament final in Undiondale, NY.  Three days later at Madison Square Garden Tatsumi Fujinami won the title and took it to New Japan where it was primarily defended until October 31, 1985 when WWF & New Japan ended their affiliation and the title was abandoned.  If it was defended in the US it was mostly just at Madison Square Garden.  You can read the complete title lineage here or here.

Dynamite Kid
2/7/1984 - 12/28/1984
First Champion: Paul DeGalles September 1965 - October 15, 1965 was defeated by Johnny DeFazio

Last Champion: The Cobra July 28, 1985 - October 31, 1985 defeated Hiro Saito

Longest Reign: Tatsumi Fujinami October 4, 1979 - December 1981 defeated Ryuma Go, vacated the title to move the the heavyweight division.

Most Reigns: Tiger Mask 3 (official) Johnny DeFazio 4 (disputed)

The physical belt that represented this championship was later used as a trophy and presented to "Wild Pegasus" Chris Benoit when he won the 1994 Super-J Cup Tournament.

This title was precursor to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship that New Japan established in the summer of 1986.

WWF Canadian Championship
August 18, 1985 - January 22, 1986

AWA World Champions Rick Martel and WWF Canadian Champion Dino Bravo
The WWF had purchased the Montreal based Lutte Internationale promotion and crowned Dino Bravo as the Canadian Champion while they toured Canada. The title was abandoned when Bravo left the promotion making him the only person to hold this Championship.

WWWF / WWF World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship
December 18, 1978 - 1990

Awarded to Antonio Inoki by Vincent J. McMahon (Sr) upon his debut in the WWF and was recognized by the WWF and NJPW.  When the companies parted ways on October 31, 1985 it was then only recognized by NJPW until it was retired in 1990.

Antonio Inoki December 18, 1978 - April 24, 1989 MSG awarded by Vince J. McMahon

Shota Chochishvili April 24, 1989 - May 25, 1989 Tokyo, Japan

Antonio Inoki vs. Shota Chochishvili
Antonio Inoki May 25, 1989 - 1990 Osaka, Japan

The physical belt was then later used in New Japan calling it The Greatest 18 Club Championship and was awarded to Riki Choshu on September 29, 1990, he lost the title to The Great Muta on August 16, 1992 who later retired the title and New Japan abandoned it.

WWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championships
January 7, 1991 - 1991

This championship was created when UWF Japan and WWE started a brief affiliation.  The titles were awarded to Perro Aguayo and Gran Hamada who were the only champions when the affiliation ended later in the year.

Of course after I did all this work I found this article on the website talking about the 10 Championships You Never Knew Existed in the WWE.

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment and check out my other blog posts and give a like to the Facebook page!

Later Readers!

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