10 Underwhelming Wrestlers Who Held Legendary Titles.

You can't polish a turd.

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One striking benefit that professional wrestling has over legitimate sports, is being able to decide its own champions.

In wrestling, unlike boxing or MMA, there should be no reason why a uninteresting competitor climbs the ladder to become champion and subsequently diminishes interest at the arenas and the box office.

A championship reign in wrestling is bestowed upon the wrestlers a booker believes will generate interest and ultimately revenue.

But as wrestling's past indicates, the man with the pencil isn't always infallible.

Over the years, countless hapless competitors have found themselves the holders of championships far greater than their own talents, from wrestlers who were intended for greatness but quickly faded into oblivion, to forgettable names who held titles before better performers arrived and put the championship on the map.

Here are ten of such instances of underwhelming performers holding legendary titles.


10. Butch Reed


In June of 1981 Peter Sutcliffe had just been revealed as the Yorkshire Ripper, AIDs was debuting in California and Bruce Reed was the NWA International Heavyweight Champion.

Bruce, the alter ego and government name of Butch Reed, captured the title from Dory Funk Jr. on a Florida show, and, for at least the space of 24 hours, held the biggest singles title in Japan.

There was no record of the date Reed won or lost the tile to and from Funk. Accordingly, no one knows exactly how long Reed held the championship, created for Lou Thesz - with a who's who of legendary holders including Rikidozan, Giant Baba and Gene Kiniski before him - but champion he was.

While Funk would take the title back with him to Japan, where he, Bruiser Brody, Stan Hansen and Jumbo Tsuruta would all exchange reigns over the course of the decade, Reed would never hold a more famed singles title for the rest of his 30-year career.

The NWA International Heavyweight Title was unified with the PWF Heavyweight Championship and the NWA United National Championship in 1989 to become the Triple Crown in All Japan Pro Wrestling.

Bruce Reed's title reign is still disregarded in Japan.


M is a writer and editor based in Paris.