The United States Championship was once considered one of pro wrestling’s greatest prizes. Much like the Intercontinental Championship of yesteryear, the U.S. title served as both a stepping stone for young talent in ascending to the main event level and a source of some of the highest quality matches on the show.
When the United States Championship was usurped by the WWE in 2001, it was largely a novelty. The combination of short, 20-day reigns and the level of talent holding this title was laughable (see: Kanyon, Tajiri).
After the brand split of 2002, SmackDown announced that the United States Championship was going to return. This time, it would serve as the Intercontinental Championship’s equal and garner its’ own unique prestige.
Let’s take a look at the ten greatest United States Champions under the WWE banner: