The art of presenting a heroic babyface as his top champion is something Vince McMahon perfected with Hulk Hogan during the mid-to-late-1980s, and although the WWE patriarch has been trying to recapture that magic ever since, he has experienced more failures than success stories.
Despite an ever-changing industry (and a constantly-shifting fan base to go along with it), WWE's main creative power has consistently looked to present wholesome, well-balanced characters similar to Hulk in the top spot. Whilst understandable due to Hogan's success, that formula has often been let down by those filling the champion role.
There have been exceptions to the happy-go-lucky, valiant champion that have worked superbly. Steve Austin's wonderfully twisted 'Stone Cold' character was an anti-hero people could identify with, one who combined modern 'Attitude' with a clear lack of pandering to become babyface by default for a generation craving something different to the Hogan formula.
The babyfaces crafted in the Hogan mould have rarely fared so well. Why did the babyface champions featured here ultimately tank, and who is to blame for that failure?
There's a reason Vince McMahon himself falls so early on this list: only holding the WWF Title for less than a full week, the single most powerful man in the industry didn't have the belt long enough to do significant damage, but despite brevity his reign must still be regarded as a mistake.
A lengthy, successful period opposing Steve Austin as the Mr. McMahon character should have never parlayed into a babyface run for Vince, because he had become known as one of wrestling's greatest ever heels.
Fans did cheer modestly for McMahon upon his return from a brief sabbatical in late-1999, but winning the title from Triple H was a step too far for most; even without the most prestigious title in the promotion draped over his shoulder, a Vince babyface run could never have lasted.
McMahon was born to play heel, so his foray into babyface territory was never going to be accepted, especially with the ludicrous notion that he was WWF Champ weighing things down.