Although Kofi Kingston isn't often associated with the United States Title, the fact remains that he held it three different times for a total of 209 days. Along the way, he defeated the likes of Montel Vontavious Porter, Sheamus and Antonio Cesaro to win the gold and defended the belt on TV and pay-per-view.
The United States Championship has often been the Rodney Dangerfield of professional wrestling - it gets no respect.
Which is strange because when you think about it, the lineage of the championship (assuming you buy into WWE's lineage claim) goes back to 1975, making it the second-oldest active title in wrestling today. With the exception of a period between 2001 and 2003, the belt has been actively defended all this time.
In fact, 82 different wrestlers have held the U.S. Title, as the belt traveled from Mid-Atlantic to Jim Crockett Promotions to World Championship Wrestling to World Wrestling Entertainment. By comparison, WWE has had 78 Intercontinental Champions since the belt was introduced in 1979.
And yet, only when John Cena began elevating the belt last year was the U.S. Title deemed a top secondary championship on WWE programming.
In selecting the Top 50 United States Champions, Canadian Bulldog's World looked at the following criteria:
Did the person have multiple reigns?
How long did they hold the championship for (combined or individual reigns)?
What was the quality of opponents and matches?
Was the champion visible on television and PPV?
Ready? Here we go!
Kalisto brought the surprise factor back to the United States Championship this year, going from mere tag team competitor to a man who upset Alberto Del Rio for the gold, not once but twice. Although he ultimately dropped the title to Rusev in May, the Lucha Dragon held the belt for the better part of three months.
Any picks missing or misplaced? Leave your feedback in the Comments section below...
Orlando Jordan was merely a member of John Bradshaw Layfield's Cabinet faction when he defeated none other than John Cena in May 2005 to win the United States Title. Jordan kept the title for an impressive 173 days, defending against the likes of Cena and Chris Benoit before losing the belt at SummerSlam.