Shawn Michaels did not do much with the European Championship, as he handed it over to his companion Triple H after winning the WWE Championship yet he should be credited since his match with The British Bulldog at WWE One Night Only was not only great but made him the most hated man in Europe. He also competed his WWE Grand Slam winning this championship. The smallest man in D-X had one of the biggest hearts and before having a back-and-forth feud with D’Lo Brown, which saw him pin The Nation of Domination member twice for the title, was beaten by Shane McMahon after holding onto the title for four months. This title cemented X-Pac as one of the most energetic and beloved lightweights on the WWE roster. After not being used to his maximum abilities in WCW, Eddie Guerrero jumped ship to WWE alongside Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit and Perry Saturn and found success immediately. He won the European Championship in April 2000 – just one night after another WCW alumni – Chris Jericho – won it from Kurt Angle at WrestleMania 2000 in a Triple Threat Match with both the European and Intercontinental Championships on the line. Shane McMahon never really won the European championship and he never really lost it either. Shane McMahon and Kane defeated Triple H and X-Pac in February 1999, and X-Pac had to be pinned by either Kane or Shane for him to lose the title. Shane did in fact pin X-Pac (with help) and impressively held the title for the next four months. When he lost the title, he did not even compete – Mideon found the title in Shane’s bag and was declared champion. Triple H was a two-time European champion and when he was not wrestling Owen Hart for the title, he was parading around with the title wrapped around his waist in D-Generation X before losing the title to D’Lo Brown. Luckily for Triple H, this title helped him move onto greener pastures and hold the most coveted titles in the WWE for a long time. You have to love a guy who wins a championship and becomes a prophet and enthusiast of Europe – something he has no relation to. D’Lo Brown was a four-time European champion, and with the help of his vest that he used longer than he needed to, was one of the most popular champions who held onto this title. V1 was an underrated character, though Matt Hardy’s skillset and his championship credibility should not be overlooked or taken unserious. He was the second longest serving champion, having good matches with Eddie Guerrero until he eventually lost the title to The Hurricane, who was as over as a superhero in wrestling could be. He had two championship reigns and having the European title around his waist could have been the pinnacle of his career (minus the TLC matches with his brother, of course). The most familiar European champion of the millennium years, William Regal won the title four times and who better than a European to hold this title? Regal would become a despised wrestler in the United States but was loved in England, while pretending to be nice and courteous but was one of the nastiest competitor’s inside the squared circle. Owen Hart had a memorable feud with Triple H with this title involved, in the wake of the Montreal Screwjob in early 1998. Owen was a talented wrestler who was good everywhere, and brought some flair and tenacity to this title. He lost in the finals to his brother in law, The British Bulldog, to crown the first champion in Berlin, Germany, back in early 1997. The first European champion and one of the most famous and successful wrestlers to emerge out of Europe, this title really did revolve around the British Bulldog, He held the title for 206 days, beating Owen Hart in Berlin, Germany on Raw to be crowned the first ever champion in a fantastic match. He would only hold the title once, but he did hold it the longest out of anyone – with Matt Hardy coming in second.
On September 20
th, 1997, WWE put on an event in England entitled “One Night Only,” which took place in Birmingham and the main event was one of the most controversial matches in the 1990s. Shawn Michaels defeated The British Bulldog for the WWE European Championship and that was the night that D-Generation X was made possible as Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Chyna pummeled on the hometown favorite, while taunting his wife and family – with a hefty amount of trash being thrown their way. Since this Friday would mark the 16 th anniversary of that moment and arguably the most infamous match in European title history, we have made a list of the 10 best European champions in WWE history.