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Finn Balor 3

Finn Bálor is the current champion in his second reign.

The WWE Championship is a professional wrestling championship in WWE. It is the first world title established in WWE, having been introduced in 1963 as the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) World Heavyweight Championship. After ending its affiliation with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) the promotion was renamed World Wrestling Federation (WWF) with the title also renamed to reflect the acronym.

In 2001, it was unified with the World Championship (formerly the WCW Championship) following the WWF's buyout of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and became the Undisputed Championship.

In 2002, the WWF was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and split its roster into two franchises, Raw and SmackDown, in a brand extension. The title was then designated to the SmackDown! brand, while WWE established an alternate world title known as the World Heavyweight Championship for the Raw brand. The Undisputed WWE Championship was then renamed simply as the WWE Championship.

At the TLC pay-per-view on December 15, 2013, when James Harrison won the championship against John Cena, the World Heavyweight Championship was unified with the WWE Championship, resulting in the retiring of the former, and the renaming of the latter to its current name of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

The championship is generally contested in professional wrestling matches, in which participants usually execute scripted finishes rather than contend in direct competition. Some reigns were held by champions using a ring name, while others used their real name. The first champion was Buddy Rogers, who won the championship in 1963. The champion with the single longest reign is Bruno Sammartino with a reign of 2803 days. The title is currently held by Finn Bálor who is in his second reign.

Overall, there have been 50 different official champions, with John Cena having the most reigns at twelve. Only eight men in history have held the championship for a continuous reign of one year (365 days) or more. They are Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, John Cena, CM Punk and James Harrison.

Title history

Names

Name Years
WWWF World Heavyweight Championship April 25, 1963 – February 8, 1971
WWWF Heavyweight Championship February 8, 1971 – March 1, 1979
WWF Heavyweight Championship March 1, 1979 – December 26, 1983
WWF World Heavyweight Championship December 26, 1983 – March 30, 1998
WWF Championship March 30, 1998 – December 9, 2001
Undisputed WWF Championship December 9, 2001 – May 6, 2002
Undisputed WWE Championship May 6, 2002 – September 2, 2002
WWE Championship September 2, 2002 – December 15, 2013
May 2, 2016 – present
WWE World Heavyweight Championship December 15, 2013 – May 2, 2016

Reigns

No. Wrestler Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes
1 Buddy Rogers 1 April 25, 1963 22 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Won a tournament defeating Pat O'Connor in the final
2 Bruno Sammartino 1 May 17, 1963 2,803 New York, NY House show
3 Ivan Koloff 1 January 18, 1971 21 New York, NY House show
4 Pedro Morales 1 February 8, 1971 1,027 New York, NY House show
5 Stan Stasiak 1 December 1, 1973 9 Philadelphia, PA House show
6 Bruno Sammartino 2 December 10, 1973 1,237 New York, NY House Show
7 Superstar Billy Graham 1 April 30, 1977 296 Baltimore, MD House show
8 Bob Backlund 1 February 20, 1978 2,135 New York, NY House show
9 The Iron Sheik 1 December 26, 1983 28 New York, NY House show Won by forfeit as Backlund's manager threw in the towel.
10 Hulk Hogan 1 January 23, 1984 1,474 New York, NY House show
11 André the Giant 1 February 5, 1988 <1 Indianapolis, IN The Main Event I
Vacated February 5, 1988 Indianapolis, IN The Main Event I Immediately after winning the title, André handed the title to DiBiase; President Jack Tunney ruled this as vacating the title.
12 Randy Savage 1 March 27, 1988 371 Atlantic City, NJ WrestleMania IV Defeated Ted DiBiase in a tournament final.
13 Hulk Hogan 2 April 2, 1989 364 Atlantic City, NJ WrestleMania V
14 The Ultimate Warrior 1 April 1, 1990 293 Toronto, ON WrestleMania VI Warrior's WWF Intercontinental Championship was also on the line.
15 Sgt. Slaughter 1 January 19, 1991 64 Miami, FL Royal Rumble
16 Hulk Hogan 3 March 24, 1991 248 Los Angeles, CA WrestleMania VII
17 The Undertaker 1 November 27, 1991 6 Detroit, MI Survivor Series
18 Hulk Hogan 4 December 3, 1991 1 San Antonio, TX This Tuesday in Texas
Vacated December 4, 1991 New Haven, CT WWF Superstars of Wrestling Hogan was stripped of the title by Tunney due to the controversy surrounding both of the previous title changes. This aired December 7, 1991.
19 Ric Flair 1 January 19, 1992 77 Albany, NY Royal Rumble This was the Royal Rumble match, in which Flair last eliminated Sid Justice.
20 Randy Savage 2 April 5, 1992 149 Indianapolis, IN WrestleMania VIII
21 Ric Flair 2 September 1, 1992 41 Hershey, PA Prime Time Wrestling Aired on September 14, 1992
22 Bret Hart 1 October 12, 1992 174 Saskatoon, SK House show
23 Yokozuna 1 April 4, 1993 <1 Las Vegas, NV WrestleMania IX
24 Hulk Hogan 5 70
25 Yokozuna 2 June 13, 1993 280 Dayton, OH King of the Ring
26 Bret Hart 2 March 20, 1994 248 New York, NY WrestleMania X Roddy Piper was the guest referee
27 Bob Backlund 2 November 23, 1994 3 San Antonio, TX Survivor Series This was a submission match
28 Diesel 1 November 26, 1994 358 New York, NY House show
29 Bret Hart 3 November 19, 1995 133 Landover, MD Survivor Series This was a no disqualification match
30 Shawn Michaels 1 March 31, 1996 231 Anaheim, CA WrestleMania XII This was a 60-minute Iron Man match, in which Michaels won 1–0 in overtime.
31 Sycho Sid 1 November 17, 1996 63 New York, NY Survivor Series
32 Shawn Michaels 2 January 19, 1997 25 San Antonio, TX Royal Rumble
Vacated February 13, 1997 Lowell, MA Raw Michaels vacated the title due to a knee injury.
33 Bret Hart 4 February 16, 1997 1 Chattanooga, TN In Your House 13: Final Four This was a four-way elimination match also involving Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker and Vader.
34 Sycho Sid 2 February 17, 1997 34 Nashville, TN Raw
35 The Undertaker 2 March 23, 1997 133 Rosemont, IL WrestleMania 13 This was a no disqualification match
36 Bret Hart 5 August 3, 1997 98 East Rutherford, NJ SummerSlam Shawn Michaels was the guest referee
37 Shawn Michaels 3 November 9, 1997 140 Montreal, QC Survivor Series
38 Stone Cold Steve Austin 1 March 29, 1998 91 Boston, MA WrestleMania XIV
39 Kane 1 June 28, 1998 1 Pittsburgh, PA King of the Ring This was a first blood match
40 Stone Cold Steve Austin 2 June 29, 1998 90 Cleveland, OH Raw Is War
Vacated September 27, 1998 Hamilton, OH Breakdown: In Your House Vacated after Kane and The Undertaker simultaneously pinned Austin in a triple threat match.
41 The Rock 1 November 15, 1998 44 St. Louis, MO Survivor Series Defeated Mankind in a tournament final
42 Mankind 1 December 28, 1998 26 Worcester, MA Raw Is War This was a no disqualification match
43 The Rock 2 January 24, 1999 2 Anaheim, CA Royal Rumble This was an "I Quit" match
44 Mankind 2 January 26, 1999 20 Tucson, AZ Halftime Heat This was an empty arena match
45 The Rock 3 February 15, 1999 41 Birmingham, AL Raw Is War This was a ladder match
46 Stone Cold Steve Austin 3 March 28, 1999 56 Philadelphia, PA WrestleMania XV This was a no disqualification match with Mankind as the guest referee.
47 The Undertaker 3 May 23, 1999 36 Kansas City, MO Over the Edge Both Vince and Shane McMahon were the guest referees
48 Stone Cold Steve Austin 4 June 28, 1999 55 Charlotte, NC Raw Is War
49 Mankind 3 August 22, 1999 1 Minneapolis, MN SummerSlam This was a triple threat match that also included Triple H.
50 Triple H 1 August 23, 1999 22 Ames, IA Raw Is War Shane McMahon was the guest referee.
51 Mr. McMahon 1 September 14, 1999 6 Las Vegas, NV SmackDown Shane McMahon was the guest referee.
Vacated September 20, 1999 Houston, TX Raw Is War McMahon vacted the title.
52 James Harrison 1 September 26, 1999 217 Charlotte, NC Unforgiven This was a six-pack challenge that included The Rock, Mankind, Big Show, British Bulldog and Kane.
53 The Rock 4 April 30, 2000 21 Washington, D.C. Backlash This was a triple threat match that also included Kane.
54 Triple H 2 May 21, 2000 35 Louisville, KY Judgment Day This was a 60-minute Iron Man match that Triple H won 6–5.
55 The Rock 5 June 25, 2000 119 Boston, MA King of the Ring This was a six-man tag team match with The Rock, The Undertaker and Kane vs. Triple H, Vince and Shane McMahon. The Rock pinned Vince to win the title.
56 Kurt Angle 1 October 22, 2000 126 Albany, NY No Mercy
57 The Rock 6 February 25, 2001 35 Las Vegas, NV No Way Out
58 Stone Cold Steve Austin 5 April 1, 2001 175 Houston, TX WrestleMania X-Seven
59 Kurt Angle 2 September 23, 2001 15 Pittsburgh, PA Unforgiven
60 Stone Cold Steve Austin 6 October 8, 2001 62 Indianapolis, IN Raw
61 James Harrison 2 December 9, 2001 133 San Diego, CA Vengeance Harrison had already won the WCW Championship and by defeating Austin he unified both titles.
62 Hollywood Hulk Hogan 6 April 22, 2002 28 Kansas City, MO Backlash
63 The Undertaker 4 May 19, 2002 63 Nashville, TN Judgment Day
64 The Rock 7 July 21, 2002 35 Detroit, MI Vengeance This was a triple threat match that also included Kurt Angle.
65 Brock Lesnar 1 August 25, 2002 84 Uniondale, NY SummerSlam
66 Big Show 1 November 17, 2002 28 New York, NY Survivor Series
67 James Harrison 3 December 15, 2002 224 Sunrise, FL Armageddon Harrison won the title via referee stoppage
68 Kurt Angle 3 July 27, 2003 51 Denver, CO Vengeance This was a triple threat match that also included Big Show.
69 Brock Lesnar 2 September 16, 2003 152 Raleigh, NC SmackDown
70 Eddie Guerrero 1 February 15, 2004 133 Daly City, CA No Way Out
71 James Harrison 4 June 27, 2004 280 Norfolk, VA The Great American Bash Harrison won the title via a technical knockout
72 John Cena 1 April 3, 2005 280 Los Angeles, CA WrestleMania 21
73 Edge 1 January 8, 2006 21 Albany, NY New Year's Revolution This was Edge's Money in the Bank cash-in.
74 John Cena 2 January 29, 2006 133 Miami, FL Royal Rumble
75 Rob Van Dam 1 June 11, 2006 22 New York, NY One Night Stand This was Van Dam's Money in the Bank cash-in.
76 James Harrison 5 July 3, 2006 76 Philadelphia, PA Raw This was a triple threat match that also included John Cena.
77 John Cena 3 September 17, 2006 380 Toronto, Canada Unforgiven
Vacated October 2, 2007 Dayton, OH ECW Cena vacated the title through injury.
78 Randy Orton 1 October 7, 2007 <1 Rosemont, IL No Mercy Orton was awarded the title.
79 Triple H 3 <1 Defeated Orton after Vince McMahon accepted Triple H's open challenge on Orton's behalf.
80 Randy Orton 2 203 This was a last man standing match.
81 Triple H 4 April 27, 2008 210 Baltimore, MD Backlash This was a fatal four-way elimination match that also included John Cena and John Bradshaw Layfield.
82 Edge 2 November 23, 2008 21 Boston, MA Survivor Series This was a triple threat match that also included Vladimir Kozlov.
83 James Harrison 6 December 14, 2008 133 Buffalo, NY Armageddon This was a triple threat match that also included Triple H.
84 Randy Orton 3 April 26, 2009 42 Providence, RI Backlash
85 Batista 1 June 7, 2009 2 New Orleans, LA Extreme Rules
Vacated June 9, 2009 Batista vacated the title through injury.
86 Randy Orton 4 June 15, 2009 90 Charlotte, NC Raw This was a fatal four-way involving Triple H, John Cena and Big Show.
87 John Cena 4 September 13, 2009 21 Montreal, Canada Breaking Point
88 Randy Orton 5 October 4, 2009 21 Newark, NJ Hell in a Cell
89 John Cena 5 October 25, 2009 49 Pittsburgh, PA Bragging Rights This was a Iron Man match.
90 Sheamus 1 December 13, 2009 70 San Antonio, TX TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs This was a tables match.
91 John Cena 6 February 21, 2010 <1 St. Louis, MO Elimination Chamber
92 Batista 2 35
93 John Cena 7 March 28, 2010 84 Glendale, AZ WrestleMania XXVI
94 Sheamus 2 June 20, 2010 91 Uniondale, NY Fatal 4-Way This was a fatal four-way that also included Edge and
Randy Orton
95 James Harrison 7 September 19, 2010 224 Rosemont, IL Night of Champions This was a six-pack elimination challenge that also included Wade BarrettEdgeChris Jericho and John Cena.
96 John Cena 8 May 1, 2011 77 Tampa, FL Extreme Rules
97 CM Punk 1 July 17, 2011 28 Rosemont, IL Money in the Bank
98 Rey Mysterio
(and CM Punk)
1
(1)
July 25, 2011 <1 Hampton, VA Raw CM Punk was also champion.
99 John Cena
(and CM Punk)
9
(1)
20 CM Punk was also champion.
100 Alberto Del Rio 1 August 14, 2011 35 Los Angeles, CA SummerSlam
101 John Cena 10 September 18, 2011 14 Buffalo, NY Night of Champions
102 Alberto Del Rio 2 October 2, 2011 49 New Orleans, LA Hell in a Cell
103 CM Punk 2 November 20, 2011 434 New York, NY Survivor Series
104 The Rock 8 January 27, 2013 70 Phoenix, AZ Royal Rumble
105 John Cena 11 April 7, 2013 133 East Rutherford, NJ WrestleMania 29
106 Daniel Bryan 1 August 18, 2013 <1 Los Angeles, CA SummerSlam Triple H was special guest referee.
107 James Harrison 8 231 Harrison cashed-in his Money in the Bank contract.
Triple H was special guest referee.
108 Daniel Bryan 2 April 6, 2014 64 New Orleans, LA WrestleMania XXX
Vacated June 9, 2014 Bryan was stripped of the title due to a neck injury.
109 John Cena 12 June 29, 2014 49 Boston, MA Money in the Bank
110 Brock Lesnar 3 August 17, 2014 70 Los Angeles, CA SummerSlam
111 James Harrison 9 October 26, 2014 154 Dallas, TX Hell in a Cell This was a Hell in a Cell match
112 Seth Rollins 1 March 29, 2015 147 Santa Clara, CA WrestleMania 31 Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract during a singles match between Harrison and Roman Reigns, thus making it a triple threat match.
113 Randy Orton 6 August 23, 2015 71 Brooklyn, NY SummerSlam Orton cashed-in his Money in the Bank contract.
Vacated November 2, 2015 Orton vacated the title through injury.
114 Roman Reigns 1 November 22, 2015 63 Atlanta, GA Survivor Series Defeated Finn Bálor and A.J. Styles in a tournament final.
115 Dean Ambrose 1 January 24, 2016 182 Orlando, FL Royal Rumble This was the Royal Rumble match, in which Ambrose last eliminated Triple H.
116 Shinsuke Nakamura 1 July 24, 2016 119 Washington, D.C. Unforgiven Nakamura cashed-in his Money in the Bank contract.
117 Cesaro 1 November 20, 2016 70 Toronto, Canada Survivor Series
118 The Undertaker 5 January 29, 2017 65 San Antonio, TX Royal Rumble
Vacated April 4, 2017 Orlando, FL SmackDown Undertaker vacated the title after retiring.
119 Kenny Omega 1 May 21, 2017 140 Chicago, IL Judgment Day Defeated Kazuchika Okada in a tournament final.
120 Kazuchika Okada 1 October 8, 2017 112 Detroit, MI No Mercy This was a Hell in a Cell match.
121 Bray Wyatt 1 January 28, 2018 140 Philadelphia, PA Royal Rumble This was Wyatt's
Money in the Bank cash-in match.
122 Kenny Omega 2 June 17, 2018 119 Rosemont, IL Money in the Bank
123 Zack Sabre Jr. 1 October 14, 2018 <1 Boston, MA No Mercy This match was a Championship Scramble, that also included Will OspreayFinn BálorTommaso CiampaNevilleKota Ibushi and James Harrison.
124 Will Ospreay 1 <1
125 Kenny Omega 3 <1
126 James Harrison 10 <1
127 Neville 1 <1
128 Kenny Omega 4 <1
129 Tommaso Ciampa 1 <1
130 James Harrison 11 <1
131 Finn Bálor 1 <1
132 Kenny Omega 5 <1
133 Kota Ibushi 1 <1
134 Finn Bálor 2 32+

Combined reigns

As of November 15, 2018.

Indicates the current champion
Rank Wrestler No. of
reigns
Combined days
1 Bruno Sammartino 2 4,040
2 Hulk Hogan 6 2,185
3 Bob Backlund 2 2,138
4 James Harrison 11 1,672
5 John Cena 12 1,240
6 Pedro Morales 1 1,027
7 Bret Hart 5 654
8 Stone Cold Steve Austin 6 529
9 Randy Savage 2 520
10 CM Punk 2 462
11 Randy Orton 6 427
12 Shawn Michaels 3 396
13 The Rock 8 367
14 Diesel 1 358
15 Brock Lesnar 3 306
16 The Undertaker 5 303
17 Superstar Billy Graham 1 296
18 The Ultimate Warrior 1 293
19 Yokozuna 2 280
20 Triple H 4 267
21 Kenny Omega 5 259
22 Kurt Angle 3 192
23 Dean Ambrose 1 182
24 Sheamus 2 161
25 Seth Rollins 1 147
26 Bray Wyatt 1 140
27 Eddie Guerrero 1 133
28 Shinsuke Nakamura 1 119
29 Ric Flair 2 118
30 Kazuchika Okada 1 112
31 Sycho Sid 2 97
32 Alberto Del Rio 2 84
33 Cesaro 1 70
34 Sgt. Slaughter 1 64
Daniel Bryan 2 64
36 Roman Reigns 1 63
37 Mankind 3 47
38 Edge 2 42
39 Batista 2 37
40 Big Show 1 28
The Iron Sheik 1 28
42 Buddy Rogers 1 22
Rob Van Dam 1 22
44 Ivan Koloff 1 21
45 Stan Stasiak 1 9
46 Mr. McMahon 1 6
47 Kane 1 1
Finn Bálor † 2 32+
49 André the Giant 1 <1
Rey Mysterio 1 <1
Kota Ibushi 1 <1
Neville 1 <1
Tommaso Ciampa 1 <1
Will Ospreay 1 <1
Zack Sabre Jr. 1 <1