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Top 10 Smallest WWE Heavyweight Champions

The big Heavyweight wrestlers have always been awe inspiring figures inside the ring. They use their great strength to toss mortal men around like rag dolls. However, every now and then, a small and e

The big Heavyweight wrestlers have always been awe inspiring figures inside the ring. They use their great strength to toss mortal men around like rag dolls. However, every now and then, a small and energetic opponent will come along and take control of one of these enormous opponents to become a Heavyweight Champion in the WWE.

Maybe it's because these smaller guys have a lot of heart, maybe it's because we see ourselves in them, or just maybe it's because we feel good when we see David take down Goliath, but whatever the case we thoroughly enjoy the accomplishments of these smaller guys inside the ring. The charisma of Christian, the speed and aerial attack of Rey Mysterio and the heart and soul of Shawn Michaels, have always given us hope that the underdog can take down the often sizable favorite.

The WWE World Heavyweight Championship has been the premier title in the WWE since 1963. Big or small, this was the title of all titles and the one all wrestlers had to get. Things have changed since this time long ago. The WWE World Heavyweight Championship is now simply called the WWE Championship, after the WWE established the World Heavyweight Championship in 2002. It might seem a little confusing, but that is just part of the lore of the WWE. Most of these smaller guys came in as underdogs, but left with a belt and level of respect that weighed so much more.

10 Shawn Michaels - 6-1, 225 pounds

The "Heartbreak Kid" won his first WWE World Heavyweight Championship in March of 1996. He defeated Bret Hart in a grueling 60-Minute WWE Iron Man Match that took even more time to complete. Michaels finally used his signature Sweet Chin Music move on Hart to pin him and win the match in sudden death. Michaels would go on to win a total of three WWE World Heavyweight Championships and one World Heavyweight Championship that he earned after beating Triple H in the very first World Heavyweight Title defense in 2002.

9 Kurt Angle - 6-0, 220 pounds

Kurt Angle was not a large man, but he sure beat many larger men. Angle won WWE World Heavyweight Championships against The Rock, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Big Show, and Brock Lesnar. The four-time WWE Heavyweight Champion also held the World Heavyweight Championship in 2006. The former two-time NCAA Division I Collegiate Champion had skills in the ring that made up for the size he routinely gave up against the bigger WWE heavyweights. He was a technically gifted wrestler.

8 Jeff Hardy - 6-2, 215 pounds

Jeff Hardy was a two-time World Heavyweight Champion who was better known for his tag team wrestling with his brother Matt. The Hardy brothers won six World Tag Team Championships as well as one WCW Tag Team Championship. Hardy secured his first World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Edge in a Ladder Match at Extreme Rules in 2009. He immediately lost the title to CM Punk and regained it a couple of months later by defeating Punk with a Swanton Bomb signature move at the Night of Champions.

7 CM Punk - 6-2, 218 pounds

CM Punk is not the biggest WWE wrestler, but he might be one of the most colorful stars. The tattooed Punk is outspoken and full of more than his share of advice, but he can also wrestle with the best. CM Punk won his first World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Edge during Raw in 2008. Punk went on to win two more World Heavyweight Championships, but was better known for his 434 day reign as WWE Champion that was the longest reign of the modern era and sixth longest reign of all-time.

6 Dolph Ziggler - 6-0, 216 pounds

Dolph Ziggler became the World Heavyweight Champion with a little help from Vickie Guerrero, who used her authority to strip Edge of his title and present it to Ziggler. Ziggler immediately went on to lose the title back to Edge after Teddy Long called for a title match that same night, giving him a rather short reign. He later won the World Heavyweight Title again by defeating an injured Alberto Del Rio after cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on Monday Night Raw.

5 Christian - 6-1, 212 pounds

The light Heavyweight Christian won his first World Heavyweight Championship in May of 2011 after defeating Alberto Del Rio at Extreme Rules. Christian previously had achieved remarkable success as a nine-time World Tag Team Champion, seven of those coming while wrestling with his partner Edge. Christian won a WWF World Light Heavyweight Championship and spent some time with TNA, winning the NWA World Heavyweight Championship twice. Christian has won a total of 22 championships between both the WWE and TNA.

4 Chris Benoit - 5-11, 220 pounds

Chris Benoit was an incredible athlete who managed to win the WWE's US Championship five times and won the World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Triple H at WrestleMania in 2004. Benoit was the twelfth WWE Triple Crown Champion and one of four men to be the Triple Crown Champion in both the WWE and WCW. During the course of his career, Benoit worked for several different wrestling promotions including the WWE, WCW, WWF, ECW, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre.

3 Eddie Guerrero - 5-8, 220 pounds

Eddie Guerrero won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship by defeating Brock Lesnar at No Way Out in 2004. Guerrero had a four month title run, losing his title to JBL at The Great American Bash. Guerrero, dubbed "Latino Heat", was a villain in the WWE who went on to win 23 different titles throughout his career. Guerrero's signature moves were his Frog Splash and Lasso from El Paso. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.

2 Daniel Bryan - 5-10, 210 pounds

Daniel Bryan has been the David to all the Goliaths for the last few years, rising to the top of the WWE ranks by using his superior skills in the ring. He won the World Heavyweight Championship by cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase and pinning a helpless Big Show after he had just been laid out by Mark Henry. Bryan also has had two WWE Championships, in his relatively short career, that have both lasted less than 24 hours. Bryan is currently enjoying being one of the most popular wrestlers in the WWE.

1 Rey Mysterio 5-6, 175 pounds 

The small Rey Mysterio might seem to stand no chance going up against the many giants of the WWE, but he uses his speed and crafty luchador skills to make up for his lack of size. Mysterio won his first World Heavyweight Championship in 2006 after defeating Randy Orton and Kurt Angle in a Triple Threat Match at WrestleMania 22. Mysterio became the World Heavyweight Champion a second time by winning a Fatal 4-Way match against Big Show, CM Punk and Jack Swagger. His high flying style has made him a crowd favorite.

Mysterio has used his exciting style and superior ring skills to capture 21 titles between the WCW and WWE. The masked marvel seems to have several signature moves with all his creativity inside the ring. He is best known for using the ropes to deliver his signature 619 (area code of San Diego) and his West Coast Pop which both are delivered with quickness and speed. His Lucha Libre trademark style has certainly added an extra element of excitement to the sport.

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Top 10 Smallest WWE Heavyweight Champions