WOW that got dark fast. Okay, moving on to the post. This one is all about answering this question: what is the most successful way to launch a wrestler's career?
There are a ton of little ways to put your name on the WWE map, but there are only a few things that could be singled out as the one catalyst that sent a wrestler on his way to a World Championship. Such as...
WINNING THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
CURRENT CHAMPION: KOFI KINGSTON
They've always said that the Intercontinental Title is the belt you win when you're being groomed to be a World Champion. But is it a surefire way to actually become one?
Number of Intercontinental Champions: 66
Number of Intercontinental Champions that have been a WWE World Champion: 23
Success Rate: 34.8%
Believe it or not, out of all of the "launching pads" I looked at... winning the Intercontinental Championship had the lowest success rate. I guess for every Bret Hart and Chris Jericho you had about three Alberts. I was going to use Bob Holly's name in there and make fun of his "Sparky Plugg" gimmick, but I try to avoid making fun of him since he's so fucking crazy. Please don't cover me in fire ants and alcohol Thurman!
BEING THE SOLE SURVIVOR IN A SURVIVOR SERIES ELIMINATION MATCH
LAST SOLE SURVIVOR: KOFI KINGSTON
When Rocky Maivia debuted at the 1996 Survivor Series and was the sole survivor in his match, he was put over so hard that my ten year old self just accepted his future as a World Champion as complete fact. I probably wrote about it in my diary. JOURNAL I MEAN. I was a big loser. Thankfully I grew up into a cool guy who has a wrestling blog with stats and percentages smattered all over it.
Number of Sole Survivors: 22
Number of Sole Survivors that have been a WWE World Champion: 8
Success Rate: 36.3%
If you can overcome the odds and win your match when your team has failed you, you might have a decent shot at becoming WWE Champion some day. But if you could manage be the sole survivor at TWO separate events, then you're literally guaranteed a world title, as every man who has that feat under their belt, has a belt. Randy Orton did it three years in a row for fuck's sake! That was a little overkill. So maybe this is how Bart Gunn could make his big comeback.
So far, the percentages have been a little low. There's gotta be a better way to get yourself on the fast track to the World Title. And there's no faster track than the bearskin rug, right?
JOINING THE KISS MY ASS CLUB
LAST MEMBER: MICK FOLEY
Photo - Life.com
I think there might be a better success rate if we could find out who the members are of the Bearskin Rug Club...
Kiss My Ass Club members: 5
Kiss My Ass Club members that have been a WWE World Champion: 2
Success Rate: 40%
To be fair, Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley had already won their World Titles before joining this esteemed club. And to be fairer, this one was a joke so let's keep moving.
BEING CROWNED KING OF THE RING
REIGNING KING: SHEAMUS
Now we're getting into the more proven methods. This tournament was at one time a starmaker. Bret Hart, Steve Austin, you name it. Careers get made with that crown. So do royalty based gimmicks. King Harley Race. King Booker. King Sheamus. King Stone Cold Steve Austin.
King of the Ring Winners: 18
King of the Ring Winners that have been a WWE World Champion: 9
Success Rate: 50%
BAM. Now we're talkin'. If you win the King of the Ring tournament and the guy who won it last year still hasn't captured the World Title, you're in luck FELLA. That success rate could even be bumped up by counting Harley Race as a World Champion, but he never won the WWE strap, and he won his World Titles before coming to the WWE. But that doesn't matter in my flawed study here, since I'm just counting World Champs no matter when you won it. Don't judge me.
Now, I think there's a match coming up this month that might take the cake. And I only say cake because I'm watching the Food Network and my wires are crossing.
WINNING THE ROYAL RUMBLE
LAST RUMBLE WINNER: EDGE
This one should be obvious. Outlasting 29 other top contenders (or, if not top contenders, then fat jobbers that get put over as "who's gonna throw HIM over the top rope?!?") and winning the Rumble automatically puts you in a World Title match, so from there, all you gotta do is win it.
Royal Rumble Winners: 20
Royal Rumble Winners that have been a WWE World Champion: 17
Success Rate: 85%
Crazy high. You have to look all the way back to 1994 to find a Royal Rumble winner who has never won a WWE World Championship, and that was Lex Luger, and he was only half a Rumble winner. But this is still not the most successful World Title "launching pad" for a wrestler...
WINNING THE MONEY IN THE BANK LADDER MATCH
LAST WINNER: THE MIZ
This is the newest and most foolproof way to get a World Championship around your waist, over your shoulder, dangling in your hand, or hooked on your trunks like a floppy codpiece (if you're MNM).
Money in the Bank Winners: 7
Money in the Bank Winners that have been a WWE World Champion: 6
Success Rate: 85.7%
Mr. Kennedy really fucked that one up. So, technically, cashing in a Money in the Bank Briefcase is where it's at. But there's actually an even better method to guaranteeing a World Championship for yourself, and you don't have to go and beat the crap out of yourself in a fifty man ladder match or whatever it is:
THE ONLY THREE TIME STRAIGHT-EDGE WORLD CHAMPION IN WWE HISTORY: CM PUNK
Straight-Edge Superstars in the WWE: 1
Three-time Straight-Edge World Champions: 1
Success Rate: 100%