10 Worst First Days For WWE Champions

To the winner goes the spoils. Or should that be spoiled? WWE's worst firsts, revisited...

Batista Injury

The thing about winning a massive shiny belt in professional wrestling is that - for better and worse - it is the accepted way of showing everybody that you are the best at it.

For those fans that absorb the action as 100% real, it's the symbol of elite-tier excellence for a babyface or being the most effective rule-breaker as a heel. A trophy that goes around your waist so you don't have to lug it everywhere but can still show it off. For those that enjoy the business side of the business, it's the sign to a talent from a booker or promoter that the wrestler can be trusted as the front face of the organisation, no matter what that responsibility entails.

Drawing houses, selling merchandise, managing the interview circuit well or simply getting the best numbers on a tweet. It can all count, and as the standard bearer, it usually all will.

A champion can be expected to carry more than just their belt, basically. If you're not the sort of person that thrives off pressure, this already sounds a little bit nightmarish. But wrestlers are built differently to mere mortals, and the risks they take on a nightly basis must presumably make all of this seem the best dragon to chase.

Imagine then, when living that oddly specific and seemingly unattainable dream becomes a nightmare in less than 24 hours...

10. Chris Jericho

Batista Injury

Few first days/first hours/first minutes stories are as bad as the ones told by Chris Jericho about maiden trip to the promised land.

His tale is littered with misery and detritus that it's best left to the man himself to describe, as he did to Viktre.com (and, then later, in several interviews and podcasts) in 2017. From catering jokes at his expense to an empty locker room and a cacophony of hotel catastrophes, it's a real treat, He said;

“I came back through the curtain, everyone was gone because when you’re on last everybody leaves to get out of the traffic quicker. Sat there by myself and then drove to a hotel where room service stopped at midnight, it was 11:58. They wouldn’t serve it, so I got pizza. They wouldn’t bring it to my room, so I had to go down to the lobby to get it. When I went back up, I was locked out. Went back down to the lobby, the guy wouldn’t let me in even though I just checked in a few minutes earlier. Dropped the pizza on the floor when he finally did let me in. So, I spent the night being the first undisputed champion eating cold, fuzzy pizza in a Ramada Inn somewhere in Anaheim, California."
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Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back almost 35 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz" Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast and its accompanying YouTube channel, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 60,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times, GRAPPL and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett