The now-defunct World Heavyweight Championship holds a very important place in the hearts of all wrestling fans, including myself, who grew up watching the WWE throughout the Ruthless Aggression Decade and whatever they call the era that came after that.
For the most recent WWE news, rumours, and other wrestling news, visit Sportskeeda. The belt, which was first seen as Triple H’s private property, later became a mainstay of the Blue Brand for the remainder of its run and was proudly worn by men like Edge, CM Punk, Batista, and, of course, The Undertaker, who referred to it as his Holy Grail.
Prior to its last years as a super Intercontinental belt, the World Heavyweight Title was on par with or even superior to the WWE. In the WWE, there has always been debate over who is the greater World Champion. In reality, the Big Gold Belt was briefly the highest honour in the WWE between 2007, when Batista and Undertaker engaged in that generally praised conflict, and 2009, when Punk and Hardy shared the honour of wearing it.
World Heavyweight Title matches were a mainstay of many pay-per-view events, and they frequently featured well-known superstars competing for the belt. We take a little journey down memory lane by reviewing the top 15 contests in which the World Heavyweight Title was at stake.
Edge vs. Undertaker in the 15th TLC match (One Night Stand 2008)
WhileThe Undertaker vs. Edge match at TLC had the most emotional resonance, while not being as technically flawless as their WrestleMania confrontation (about which we’ll explore later) or as breathtaking as their Hell in a Cell match at Summerslam.
At One Night Stand, the topic was much more intimate and no longer just about defending the World Heavyweight Title. This time, it related to a career. When Undertaker’s submission manoeuvre was deemed to be too risky, the title was controversially removed from him after he successfully defended it against Edge at Backlash 2008. In a similar manner, he was defrauded of the title once more when Judgment Day’s count-out victory was not followed by the awarding of the championship.
They say the third time is the charm. But for Taker, it was not to be because he was also battling for his career, in addition to the title he had never lost. The Undertaker was unquestionably the underdog in this fight because Edge is the maestro of TLC contests and La Familia keeps getting in the way. To wrestle one of the best TLC bouts in recent memory, the two veterans delivered one of the best performances of their careers. After a 24-minute bloody match, Undertaker was hit hard, ending not just his bid for the World Heavyweight Title but also his WWE career as a storyline.
#14 The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle (No Way Out 2006)
This game is most likely the sole bright spotLight was present at that pretty dreadful time in 2006 for the World Heavyweight Title, and why wouldn’t it be? Two of the top professional wrestlers in the WWE at the time were in it, and they had incredible chemistry together.
This match was clearly a WrestleMania show-stealer, but for some reason, it took place at No Way Out one month prior to Mania 22. The finest thing that could have happened to the belt after Batista’s injury was Kurt Angle’s unexpected World Heavyweight Title victory.
With his “wrestling machine” reputation in full swing, Angle was frequently engaged in breathtaking contests and had successfully defended the championship against Mark Henry at Royal Rumble. However, The Undertaker immediately challenged him and made a comeback. after that match and in some way contributed to the ring falling over.
Undertaker and Angle engaged in a barn-burner of a bout for just under 30 minutes that had WrestleMania ramifications. This contest was unquestionably the best World Heavyweight Title fight in more than two years. It was a fantastic blend of Taker’s brawling and hard-hitting style with Angle’s technical and mat wrestling. The battle ended with one of the most intriguing ending sequences, and Angle won it properly, but this is undoubtedly the best of his three pay-per-view title defences.
Fatal 4 Way TLC Match: #13 Edge(c) vs. Alberto Del Rio, Kane, and Rey Mysterio (TLC 2010)
A major letdown was Kane’s protracted reign as the World Heavyweight Champion in 2010. His summer-after fight with Three lacklustre matches by The Undertaker was followed by a lacklustre fan reaction to his subsequent feud with Edge. But it’s safe to say that when Kane competed against Edge, Alberto Del Rio, and Rey Mysterio at TLC 2010, his reign came to an end in the finest way possible.
It seemed inevitable that the feud would fail miserably because it was initially centred on the kidnapping of Paul Bearer. Edge was given the opportunity to choose a stipulation for their TLC bout after defeating Kane, and as was to be expected, he went with TLC.
Mysterio and Del Rio were engaged in a personal conflict at the same time, but it was abruptly merged with the World Title conflict, becoming this 23-minute fight, which many people think is undervalued, was the star of the show at the Toyota Center that evening. Mysterio and Del Rio’s presence kept the action moving, while Kane complemented them with his strength and power.
Throughout the match, Del Rio and Mysterio absorbed significant punishment, but Edge started his final World Heavyweight Title reign by throwing Kane to the ground and unhooking the belt.
#12 Edge vs. John Cena (c) – Last Man Standing (Backlash 2009)
Between 2006 and 2009, it was quite difficult to keep Edge and John Cena apart for too long because they were both always vying for the World Championships. While their first encounters featured the historic TLC fight at Unforgiven and the WWE Title, Three years later, in 2006, when they reconnected, a lot had changed.
Not only was it for a different World Title this time, but both had grown as wrestlers and the rivalry was much more intimate Vickie Guerrero and Big Show also took part in their feud, which saw the two of them trade the championship at No Way Out and ‘Mania 25. At Backlash 2009, they reserved the best for their final one-on-one contest: A Last Man Standing Match.
Both superstars gave it their all for more than 28 minutes to keep the other down. Both men attempted to run through the mob and even got hit by final movers, but they were still able to respond despite feeling like steel was piercing through their bodies. When it appeared that Cena was ready to defeat Edge, Big Show slammed him into the ring post and Cena was unable to respond to the 10 count.
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#11 The Undertaker vs. Batista (c) at WrestleMania 23
The Undertaker had not yet had that one incredible match at The Show of Shows, despite being 14-0 at Wrestlemania up until 2006. He finally had the chance to contend for the top title at Wrestlemania thanks to his victory at the 2007 Royal Rumble.
Although the victor of the Royal Rumble was involved in this bout, it was moved to the mid-card for some strange reason even though his opponent, Batista, had been the blue brand’s top man for the previous two years, comparable to John Cena in the business. There are rumours that Taker and Batista were unhappy. Boy, what a treat it was for fans when they made this choice and opted to utilise the time they had.
Even before the bell sounded, the audience was enthused about both superstars. Both of two managed to generate professional combat despite not being very skilled in-ring technicians. Batista launched a spear immediately away, which he repeated several times throughout the 16-minute fight.
Batista’s power slam of The Deadman through the announce table was the game’s turning point. Late in the encounter, Batista even attempted the spinebuster/Batista-bomb combo, but ‘Taker eventually connected with the Tombstone Piledriver to win for the 15th time at Wrestlemania. This duel was so excellent that it even surpassed the ensuing Battle of the Billionaires as the WWE Title Main Event, as well.
Jeff Hardy vs. #10 Edge (c) In a Ladder Match (Extreme Rules 2009)
There is no better dynamic for a WWE rivalry than a fan favourite face hero who everyone wants to cheer for and a disgusting, arrogant heel who everyone loves to detest, and at the time of 2009 Extreme Rules, Edge and Jeff Hardy was at the top of each list. This amazing rivalry that had lasted an entire year came to an end with their Extreme Rules classic.
Given that Matt Hardy’s interference and assault of Jeff Hardy during their World Title match at Judgment Day resulted in controversy, scheduling Jeff Hardy’s rematch for the next event was a logical decision.
What better way to end a fierce competition than by competing in a match called “A Ladder Match” that made each of them a megastar? Rarely do two superstars compete in the main event of two consecutive pay-per-views in the sight of John Cena, but this bout finally took place because the rivalry was more intense.
Before Hardy trapped Edge and unhooked the title belt to end the show, or as everyone assumed, ladders were broken and bodies were broken during that 25-minute match. The night and Hardy’s reign came to an abrupt end when CM Punk attacked Hardy while carrying a MITB briefcase and a referee in tow. Hardy was then pinned to win the World Title.
Randy Orton vs. #9 Christian (c) – No Holds Barred (Summerslam 2011)
The 2011 summer is also known as the best time in WWE history for the World Titles might be characterised as “The Summer of Punk.” The Blue Brand’s Christian and Randy Orton were consistently wrestling amazing matches for the World Heavyweight Title, and it all came to a conclusion with this brutal encounter at Summerslam 2011 while John Cena and CM Punk were involved in one of the most intense feuds for the WWE Title.
Since May, they have been engaged in a rivalry, which when Christian turned on them, intensified. Orton was disqualified from winning the title against Christian at Money in the Bank because he struck his opponent with a low blow after being spit on the face. awarded a second World Heavyweight Title bout at Summerslam. This time, there was only one difference: it was a No Holds Barred match.
These two veterans stole the show from Punk and Cena with this good ol’ fashioned hardcore match, which was the co-main event alongside the WWE Title fight. The two absolutely beat each other for more than 23 minutes with tables, chairs, trash cans, kendo sticks, and their finishing moves. As WWE put an end to one of its best World Title feuds, the RKO used to end the bout is still regarded as one of the best manoeuvres ever done.
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