A wrestler reaches an elite status the moment he officially gets his hands on a world championship. His career will never be the same again, even if he loses the title, as the distinction of being a former world champion will forever be in his legacy. With such a huge distinction to his name, every match the wrestler competes in automatically reaches a high-profile level owing to his status of a former world champion.
Things become even better when there is a match between two wrestlers who are either reigning or former world champions, and such kind of contests have happened on multiple occasions between multiple WWE world champions. However, some of those matches happened pretty low-key or quite some years ago, which needs some dusting up to refresh the fans’ memories. With that said, let’s take a look at ten matches between former WWE world champions you might not know happened.
10 Sheamus Vs. CM Punk – Main Event (October 3, 2012)
It’s not a very common sight to see two world champions going one-on-one against each other in one of WWE’s tertiary shows like Main Event. But in a rare occasion WWE Champion CM Punk went toe to toe against World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus in the inaugural episode on October 3, 2012.
Sheamus being the babyface in the bout, seemed to prove his dominance over WWE Champion CM Punk, but the Straight Edge Superstar used his heelish ways to get the win against the Celtic Warrior.
9 Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena – Raw (July 1, 2013)
The year 2013 marked a slow end to the brand split in WWE, which prompted the company to unify both the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships. But before Randy Orton got his hands on the WWE Championship, the title was in the firm hands of John Cena and out of the blue, WWE decided to give the fans a preview of what was to come by booking Cena in a match against World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio.
The match took place on the July 1, 2013, episode of Raw, and Cena proved to be the dominant of the two champions and defeated Del Rio.
8 Triple H vs. Chris Jericho vs. Matt Hardy – SmackDown (October 3, 2008)
The October 3, 2008, episode of SmackDown saw ECW Champion Matt Hardy competing in a triple threat match against WWE Champion Triple H and World Heavyweight Champion Chris Jericho. Luckily for the superstars in the ring, the match wasn’t a winner take all bout and simply took place to test which one of them was the dominant champion.
The three champions tried their best to overcome the others to exert their dominance, but it was The Game who walked out victorious after pinning Matt Hardy after a pedigree.
7 Jinder Mahal vs. Bobby Lashley – Qatar Pro Wrestling Event (April 13, 2015)
Bobby Lashley and Jinder Mahal are two names that never went together so far in televised WWE matches. They have competed in various live events in 2018, but before all that, the two superstars competed in a one-on-one match outside a WWE ring.
The match took place at a Qatar Pro Wrestling event in April 2015, where Jinder Mahal and Bobby Lashley competed in the semi-final of the QPW Souq Waqif Title Tournament, which saw Lashley going over Mahal. The two have not competed in WWE TV as of this date, and that could happen in the future if Mahal manages to find his lost push from him.
6 Drew McIntyre vs. Johnny Gargano – WWN Live SuperShow (March 28, 2015)
WWE started recognizing the NXT Championship as a world championship after Drew McIntyre won the title in August 2017. Hence, when Johnny Gargano won the NXT Championship in April 2019, it automatically made him a world champion.
But before this happened, the two superstars competed in several matches against each other during their time in Evolve Wrestling. It includes the match where Drew McIntyre defended the Evolve Championship in a winner takes all match against Open The Freedom Gate champion Johnny Gargano. McIntye emerged victorious from the bout and defeated Gargano to walk out with both the Evolve and Open The Freedom Gate Championships.
5 John Cena vs. Vince McMahon – Raw (March 27, 2006)
Take this moment to refresh your memories of the fact that former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is also a former WWE and ECW Champion. The match took place on the March 27, 2006, episode of Raw during the build up to John Cena’s WWE Championship match against Triple H at WrestleMania 22.
Shawn Michaels was at Cena’s corner during the match, while Triple H was in his father-in-law’s corner. Cena almost overpowered the boss before the latter chose to end the match by DQ after hitting Cena with a low blow.
4 Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles – PWG Zombies Shouldn’t Run (August 6, 2005)
Kevin Owens and AJ Styles have competed against each other on various occasions inside a WWE ring, but the two superstars have competed against each other outside the WWE as well. One of their notable matches included the one which took place at the PWG Zombies Shouldn’t Run event in August 2005, where Styles defended the PWG World Championship against Kevin Owens.
The match went on for an impressive 19:00 minutes, and Kevin Owens overcame AJ Styles’ challenge and defeated the Phenomenal One at the event to win the PWG World Championship.
3 John Cena Vs. King Booker Vs. The Big Show – Cyber Sunday (November 5, 2006)
The 2006 Cyber Sunday PPV saw WWE Champion John Cena take on World Heavyweight Champion King Booker and ECW Champion The Big Show in a triple threat match to determine the Champion of Champions. As per the stipulations of the PPV, the fans voted for Booker T to defend the World Championship in the match.
John Cena was moments away from winning the match as he had King Booker locked in the STF, but Kevin Federline made his way out and hit Cena with the World Heavyweight Championship belt. King Booker used the distraction to hit Cena with the belt again and pinned him to retain the title.
two Brock Lesnar vs. Batista – OVW Event (July 28, 2001)
Brock Lesnar Vs. Batista was one match the WWE fans never got to see, as the two superstars never crossed each other’s paths throughout their time together in WWE. However, the match did happen in July 2001, at an Ohio Valley Wrestling event, where Batista, under his Leviathan gimmick, took on Brock Lesnar in a one-on-one match.
The two future world champions locked horns to exert their dominance over the other, but it was Batista who overcame Lesnar’s challenge and walked out with the win at the event.
1 CM Punk vs. Eddie Guerrero – IWA Mid-South Morris Mayhem (March 2, 2002)
After WWE released Eddie Guerrero from his contract in 2001, Latino Heat went over to compete in the independent circuit, where he had a series of matches against CM Punk. One of their notable matches took place at the IWA Mid-South Morris Mayhem event in March 2002, where Punk challenged Eddie Guerrero for the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship.
Punk lost had the title to Guerrero in a triple threat match also involving Rey Mysterio at a previous event and looked to regain the title from Latino Heat. The Straight Edge Superstar rose up to the occasion and defeated the legendary wrestler after a match that lasted 16:02 minutes to regain the title.