10. Rusev – 1 reign, 146 days
Rusev was one of, if not, the biggest heels in WWE approaching 2014’s end. When Sheamus’ 2nd reign as United States Champion was beginning to grow stale, the strap was transferred to the Bulgarian Brute (residing in Russia for a few months to capitalize on anti-Russian angst, of course).
He had a relatively short reign, but he really ignited a division that needed it. In the end, he carried the U.S. title to one of the featured bouts of WrestleMania 31 – a place the title hadn’t been since 2007.
His program with John Cena reminded audiences of the importance of the U.S. Championship, and segued into the great open challenges issues by Cena every Monday night for the better part of 2015.