Northern Irish Superstar Finlay is one of the all-time great underrated wrestlers.
Coming up during a tough time politically for Irish wrestlers, he made the most of his talent and became a top heel in the United Kingdom.
He also appeared for WCW, although he is most well known for his five-year run in the WWE during the mid-2000s.
It is here where Finlay managed to win one WWE Championship, but it was not the world title on either the Raw or Smackdown brand,
Finlay Won The United States Championship
Despite debuting at the ripe old age of 47, Finlay won the United States Championship in his WWE career.
Finlay’s debut match in WWE was on a Friday Night Smackdown house show on March 21st, 2004 against Jamie Noble. The match came three years after his previous match, when he wrestled fellow Briton Robbie Brookside in a match on the British independent scene.
It was also four years since he last wrestled in WCW, which was an unmemorable performance in an 18 man battle royal won by Mike Awesome.
The match was originally meant to see if he would be a good fit to get back into the ring. He was already working backstage in the WWE, but impressed here to extend his in-ring career even further.
On the 14th July 2006, Finlay defeated Bobby Lashley to win the United States Championship.
This was the first and only championship of Finlay’s WWE career, having spent the bulk of his prime years working in Great Britain and Europe.
He ended Bobby Lashley’s win streak with the help of his son, Horsnwoggle. As the referee was distracted, Hornswoggle appeared from under the ring and handed Finlay his trusty shillelagh.
He smashed the wooden stick onto Bobby Lashley’s head, pinning him to win the United States Championship.
Finlay lost the belt soon after to Mr Kennedy, and would never win another WWE Championship in the company again.
Did Finlay Win The WWE Championship?
Finlay never won the WWE Champion in his career, despite being one of the most legendary British wrestlers of all time.
The Northern Irish superstar wrestled in WWE for 5 years between 2005 and 2010. Before that, he was a part of WCW where he was known as “Fit Finlay”.
He was a key part of the lower-card in WCW for years, being brought in as an opponent to William Regal in the early years.
However, he was past his prime by the time he signed for the WCW. By the time he joined WWE, he was in his mid-40s and already retired from wrestling.
Finlay was very popular with the crowd, both as a heel and as a face. As a heel, he won the United States Championship, but it was his partnership with Hornswoggle that gave him his best reactions from the crowd.
Despite this popularity, he was pushing 50 by the time he was getting big pops from the crowd.
While he did challenge for the ECW Championship in his career, he never came close to winning the WWE Championship (or the World Heavyweight Championship).
Sadly, Finlay arrived in the WWE too late. Had he been born 20 years later, he could have been one of the top stars in the company.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.