The WWF European Championship Belt

The WWF European Championship was a relatively short-lived championship belt for contention within the ranks of the World Wrestling Federation from March 1997 through July 2002. A tournament was held in Europe to determine the first champion, and in the finals, British Bulldog pinned brother-in-law Owen Hart in Hamburg, Germany. Bulldog reigned as champion through August 1997 when he lost the title to Shawn Michaels at One Night Only (the first European-only pay-per-view). Shawn Michaels dropped the title to Triple H in December and the championship went from being the secondary title between the WWF World title and the WWF Intercontinental title to being recognized on par with the latter belt. HHH and Owen Hart swapped the title in 1998 before HHH lost the title to D'Lo Brown, at which point the title became recognized as a tertiary championship.

Below is the complete lineage of the championship:

  • British Bulldog (2x), March 1997-September 1997; October 1999-December 1999
  • Shawn Michaels, September 1997-December 1997
  • Hunter Hearst Helmsley (2x), December 1997-January 1998; March 1998-July 1998
  • Owen Hart, January 1998-March 1998
  • D'Lo Brown (4x), July 1998-September 1998; September 1998-October 1998; July 1999-August 1999; September 1999-October 1999
  • X-Pac (2x), September 1998; October 1998-February 1999
  • Shane McMahon, February 1999-April 1999
  • Mideon, July 1999
  • Jeff Jarrett, August 1999
  • Mark Henry, August 1999-September 1999
  • Val Venis, December 1999-February 2000
  • Kurt Angle, February 2000-April 2000
  • Chris Jericho, April 2000
  • Eddie Guerrero (2x), April 2000-July 2000; April 2001
  • Perry Saturn, July 2000-August 2000
  • Al Snow, August 2000-October 2000
  • William Regal (4x), October 2000-December 2000; December 2000-January 2001; March 2002-April 2002; May 2002-July 2002
  • Crash Holly, December 2000
  • Test, January 2001-April 2001
  • Matt Hardy, April 2001-August 2001
  • The Hurricane, August 2001-October 2001
  • Bradshaw, October 20001
  • Christian, October 2001
  • Diamond Dallas Page, January 2002-March 2002
  • Spike Dudley, April 2002-May 2002
  • Jeff Hardy, July 2002

Two weeks after winning the WWE European championship, Jeff Hardy became the final European champion when the championship was taken out of contention. RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff gave Hardy an Intercontinental title match that night, which was promoted on commentary as the "unification" match, but only one title belt was present and no changes were made to the I-C title to reflect the unification, plus it was originally stated that the title match was to compensate Jardy for having his title become defunct; therefore, the lineage of the European championship ended with Jeff Hardy.

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