Remembering the Best Hometown Title Wins in WWE History

One of the first rules of entertainment is to give the people what they want.

And that helps to explain why WWE chiefs, prone to appeasing the fans over the years, have been so liberal in serving up hometown title changes – a huge pop is guaranteed.

With Money in the Bank heading to Canada this year, there’s every chance that a new name will be added to the home win hall of fame…

Oh Canada

Sami Zayn has been knocking on the door of the main event picture in WWE for some time – first in his dalliances with Roman Reigns and the Bloodline, and more recently in his engagements with Cody Rhodes.

Sportsbooks like Paddy Power are offering odds on MITB, and there’s a sense that Zayn is a likely candidate to win the briefcase on home soil in Toronto – at a meaty +700, a betting calculator confirms that a $10 wager on such an outcome would yield $70 in potential returns.

In the post-WrestleMania landscape, with The Rock returning to Hollywood – and CM Punk’s injury potentially lingering on, a new title challenger will be needed. Zayn seems as likely as anyone to step up to the plate, particularly as it seems so unlikely that Reigns will drop the Universal gold to the here today, gone tomorrow Dwayne Johnson.

You may recall the 2006 edition of Unforgiven, where Trish Stratus got to lift the Women’s Championship belt in front of her hometown crowd in… you guessed it, Toronto.

That said, Zayn will be hoping that he’s more Trish and less Bret Hart – victim of the infamous ‘Montreal Screwjob’ in his home country at the behest of Vince McMahon…

Blowing Hot in the Windy City

One of the most famous hometown wins in latter day WWE came in Chicago, Illinois, in front of one of the most partisan crowds that the sport has ever witnessed.

Punk was the darling on his old stomping ground, while John Cena represented everything that the anti-hero Second City Saint was not – the face of the brand and the darling of the WWE Universe.

Heaven knows what would have happened had Cena defeated Punk at MITB in 2011 – thankfully, the writers saw sense and the Chicago crowd, who had booed Cena throughout, got what they wanted when Punk landed the sweetest GTS to be crowned champion.

Ever the professional, Cena understood the nature of hometown pops – he enjoyed two himself in Boston when winning championship gold in 2008, when he defeated Chris Jericho at Survivor Series, and again in 2014, when he outlasted Reigns and co in a MITB ladder match for the vacant belt.

Another who enjoyed a pair of hometown wins was Shawn Michaels. The Heartbreak Kid dropped Psycho Sid at the 1997 Royal Rumble in front of his adoring San Antonio faithful, and more than a decade later he would return to the AT&T Center in the Lonestar State to win tag gold with Triple H at TLC 2009.

Kurt Angle, Charlotte Flair, Dolph Ziggler and the British Bulldog’s famous Summerslam victory in, erm, Britain are just a few more examples of the hometown glory that WWE have been so keen to deliver over the years. Will Zayn repeat the feat in Canada later this year?