5 WWE Superstars who defeated top stars in their main roster debuts

WWE loves to present debutant stars as major upcoming superstars with infinite potential. In most cases, they start their careers on the company’s main roster with several wins. Unless someone is unfortunate enough to be Karrion Kross, whose aura was destroyed by a loss to fan-favorite superstar Jeff Hardy.

Debutants are often provided with veteran wrestlers to constitute their first rivalry. The likes of Dolph Ziggler, Sami Zayn, and Robert Roode have taken up the role in recent days. They lose nothing by losing a rivalry to an upcoming star and their excellence in the ring provides the newbies with a chance for a great first pay-per-view showdown.

Certain WWE superstars rose to importance from day one, defeating major names in their debut match on the main roster. Some of them went on to become significant personalities in the company, winning world championships in the near future. Meanwhile, some of them could not maintain the momentum of a gigantic debut victory and faded into obscurity.

Here is a list of five WWE superstars who scored debut victories over the company’s top stars.

#5 Former WWE NXT Tag Team Champion Fandango (Chris Jericho)

Johnny Curtis was already a part of the WWE developmental system for four years when he received the gimmick of an evil ballroom dancer. Fandango refused to wrestle unless the announcers and opponents could pronounce his name to his satisfaction.

Fandango finally faced Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania 29, where he scored a clean victory over the legendary WCW, WWE, and future AEW star.

During that period, his song was exceptionally popular, with spectators dancing to it. However, WWE lost interest and he gradually faded into obscurity, only to be saved by a fresh tag team with Tyler Breeze.

#4 Goldberg (The Rock)

Goldberg was certainly more than a rising star when he made his WWE debut. One of WCW’s biggest attractions and the former holder of one of the most impressive undefeated streaks in history, he came to the company as a major star.

Goldberg debuted in a memorable segment boosted by the outrageous facial expressions of The Rock. He went on to defeat the People’s Champion at Backlash, devastating his opponent with multiple spears and a Jackhammer.

Goldberg’s first WWE run did not go as expected, but he more than made up for it in his unlikely second run, winning multiple world championships.


#3 Former WWE Tag Team Champion Tazz (Kurt Angle)

Tazz was initially presented by the company as a big deal. The Human Suplex Machine defeated Kurt Angle in his debut to end the latter’s undefeated streak.

Tazz wasn’t booked to perfection during his WWE career. Even more troubling was his history of injuries, which led him to an early retirement. He remained in the company as a color commentator for years before joining TNA. The two-time ECW World Heavyweight Champion currently works in AEW as a commentator and manager.

#2 Former WWE Divas Champion Paige (AJ Lee)

Paige’s in-ring career in WWE met an unfortunate end owing to injuries, but she is still hopeful for a return, her hopes buoyed by the examples set by Daniel Bryan and Edge.

Her debut in the company was an iconic moment and the only one amongst the entries on the list to be featured in a movie, featuring as the climax for “Fighting With My Family.”

Paige debuted the night following Wrestlemania 30 and won the Divas Champion from AJ Lee. It was a truly surprising moment that immediately solidified the debutant as a dangerous force.


#1 Former WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens (John Cena)

John Cena’s run with the United States Championship enhanced the title’s prestige, as The Franchise Player regularly faced up-and-coming stars in championship matches.

Kevin Owens, still the NXT Champion, answered one of Cena’s open challenges, disrespecting his opponent and the title. In his debut, a non-title match at Elimination Chamber, he managed to defeat the usually triumphant Cena.

While Owens ultimately did not manage to dominate Cena in their rivalry, the result of his debut match surprised most fans. Owens has been booked as a major superstar of the company ever since his debut.

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