I was wondering if there have ever been an occasion when winning a championship was actually detrimental for a wrestler or tag-team? In that, the wrestler’s career would have been better off in the long-term if he, or she, did not win a title when he, or she, did.
The only examples I think come close are Tommy Rich and Ronnie Garvin. Neither guy was believable as champion during his respective reign and was unable to keep any momentum after he lost the gold.
One could argue that winning the gold did Jack Swagger no favors. However, his career is still ongoing. So things might turn around for the All-American American.
Are there any others that fit this bill?
Oh, what a great question! Ron Garvin actually should have won the title much earlier. There was a while there on the old NWA shows on 24/7 where I was hoping I could change history by willing it and have him beat Flair at the Bash instead of Dusty Rhodes, because he was pretty awesome at times. By 87, though, he was getting overshadowed by his brother (well, stepson, but let’s keep this simple) and he just had no momentum going when he won the title. Jimmy Garvin was no great shakes as a worker, to say the least, but that Precious storyline was begging for him to give Flair his comeuppance, and it just never happened. Here’s a controversial pick for you: The Road Warriors should not have won the NWA tag titles in 1988. They didn’t need them, and there was no way to change them because the Warriors didn’t do jobs. It actually made them weaker because before then they were “above” the titles, and now they were just another tag team. David Flair winning the US title in 1998. 99? Whatever, it sucked. It also ruined any future career he might have, because the whole thing was a sort of broad satire of promoters pushing their idiot kids to undeserved titles (during Flair’s “crazy WCW president” phase), and now no one would ever be able to take David seriously following that. Once you’re booked as the buffoon, it’s hard to go back. Ask Matt Borne and Nick Dinsmore. I can think of some other good examples, but I’ll let others play.