WWE is the biggest pro-wrestling promotion globally right now. It is the dream of every pro wrestler to make it to WWE and win the company’s top titles. At the moment, there are two championships in the WWE which have the highest level of prestige. They are the WWE Championship and the Universal Championship.
Very few Superstars like Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar, Bray Wyatt and Seth Rollins have been able to win both the titles. There are stars like Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Goldberg and Braun Strowman who have won the Universal Championship but not the WWE title. In this listicle today, we will look at the five former WWE Champions who failed to win the Universal Championship in their WWE careers so far.
1. John Cena – Came close to winning Universal Championship in 2021
John Cena is a former 16-time world champion in the WWE. The Leader of Cenation has won the WWE Championship 13 times and the World Heavyweight Championship thrice. However, he has never been able to capture the Universal Championship in his career.
Earlier this year at the SummerSlam pay-per-view event, Cena challenged for the Universal title in a match against Roman Reigns. The two Superstars headlined the pay-per-view and had a match for the ages. However, Cena could not down Roman and failed to become the Universal Champion.
WWE Hall of Famer Edge made a shocking return to the ring last year at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. One year later, Edge entered the Royal Rumble at the number one position and won the match to challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal title in the main event of WrestleMania 37.
It was a triple threat match also involving current AEW Superstar Daniel Bryan. Edge failed to win that match. A few months later, he had a singles bout with Roman at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, where he fell short once again. Fans should note that Edge is a former four-time WWE Champion and a seven-time World Heavyweight Champion.
3. AJ Styles – Came close to winning Universal Championship in 2019
A future WWE Hall of Famer AJ Styles competed for the Universal Championship at the 2019 Money in the Bank pay-per-view event against the then-champion Seth Rollins. Styles had a classic match with Rollins, which ended in the favor of the Architect.
Styles has won the WWE Championship on multiple occasions in his career. His first WWE title win came at the Backlash pay-per-view in 2016. One year later, he dethroned Jinder Mahal as the WWE Champion.
4. Drew McIntyre
The Scottish Warriors Drew McIntyre is the only Superstar to have won a WrestleMania main event with zero fans in attendance. Last year, WWE staged WrestleMania 36 behind closed doors at the Performance Center, where Drew won his first WWE title by beating Brock Lesnar.
McIntyre has been a main event player on SmackDown, but he has not won the Universal Championship yet. It will be interesting to see if he ever wins the title in his career.
5. Kofi Kingston
Kofi Kingston made history at WrestleMania 35 by defeating Daniel Bryan for the WWE Champion. Kingston had a lengthy reign as champion which ended at the hands of Brock Lesnar. Kingston has not been so active in the main event scene since then.
He has won the tag team titles multiple times with The New Day. However, he has not challenged for the Universal Championship, and it seems unlikely he will ever win that championship.