List of former championships in WWE

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Layla was the final WWE Women's Champion, the oldest championship in WWE history (created in 1956) and retired in September 2010.

In professional wrestling, championships are competed for in scripted storylines by a promotion company's roster of contracted wrestlers.[1] WWE is a Stamford, Connecticut-based sports entertainment company primarily focused on professional wrestling. The promotion was founded in 1952 as the Capitol Wrestling Corporation (CWC).[2] In the company's 50 year history, over twenty different unique championships have been operated and contended for. These titles consisted of divisional, special stipulations, and weight-class championships. Of these titles, nineteen have been retired and succeeded through replacement titles or title unifications. The first retired championship was in 1967 with the WWWF United States Tag Team Championship (created in 1953), while the most recent was the World Heavyweight Championship (created in 2002) in December 2013. The following is a compilation of the company's former championships that were once active and contended for by its roster.

History[edit]

1950–1969[edit]

In 1953, CWC joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) as a member. During this time, CWC wrestlers could compete for championships operated by the NWA.[3] In 1958, the CWC created the United States Tag Team Championship (the first title ever owned by WWE), which inaugural champions Mark Lewin and Don Curtis won in April of that year.[4] In 1963, CWC was renamed as the WWWF and ended its partnership with the NWA.[5] To reflect the changes, the WWWF introduced its World Heavyweight Championship (WWE's second overall championship and current WWE World Heavyweight Championship),[6] while the WWWF acronym was added to the United States Tag Team Titles. The title was disbanded in 1967 without a formal announcement by the WWWF, and thus, the first World Tag Team Championship (and first title overall) to be retired by the promotion.[4] Ten years later, the company retired its first individually contested title, the WWWF United States Championship, also without a formal announcement.[7]

1970–1999[edit]

The WWF formed a partnership with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF), and Universal Wrestling Association (UWA) between the 1970s and 1980s, and as a result, created and lent titles to these promotions.[8][9][10] In the 1980s, the promotion renamed itself to the WWF and ended its partnership with NJPW and UWF.[2][11] This resulted in the retirement of one UWF and three NJPW lent titles: the WWF International Heavyweight Championship (UWF),[8] and the WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship,[12] WWF World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship,[a][13] and WWF International Tag Team Championship (NJPW).[10] The company also ceased operations of three short-lived titles: the WWF North American Heavyweight Championship (1979–1981),[14] WWF Canadian Championship (1985–1986),[15] and WWF Women's Tag Team Championship (1983–1989).[16] Despite their names, the geographic-name-based titles were not restricted to wrestlers from that location.[14][15] During the 1990s, the WWF ended its relationship with the UWA; as a result, the WWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship[17] was abandoned, while the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship (which UWA possessed) was reactivated in the United States for use by the WWF.[9] In 1996, the Million Dollar Championship, a title created by Ted DiBiase, was retired, although it was never sanctioned by the WWF, but was reintroduced briefly in 2010 by Ted DiBiase Jr.[18]

2000–present[edit]

The World Heavyweight Championship (shown being worn by record seven-time champion Edge) served as a second World Championship in WWE from 2002-2013.
The ECW Championship (shown being held by two-time champion Christian) served as a third World Championship in WWE from 2006-2010, primarily in the ECW brand.
The World Tag Team Championship (shown being worn by two-time champion John Cena) was WWE's original tag team championship, and was active from 1975-2010.
The WWE Cruiserweight Championship (shown being held by former champion Matt Hardy) was officially recognized as established in 1991 by WCW, carried over to WWE in 2001 following it's purchase of WCW, and remained active until 2007.

In March 2001, the WWF acquired all assets of World Championship Wrestling (WCW), including its championships.[19] Of these titles, the WWF operated the WCW World Heavyweight,[20] World Tag Team,[21] and Cruiserweight championships.[22] In late 2001, WWF discontinued the WCW World Heavyweight and Tag Team Championships[20][21] while the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship was retired in favor of the Cruiserweight, which would also be retired in 2008. In 2002 WWF was renamed to WWE[23] and during this year, WWE discontinued the WWE Hardcore and European Championships after they were unified with the WWE Intercontinental Championship.[24][25]

WWE also acquired all assets of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) in 2003, and implemented the ECW brand in 2006, along with the reactivated the ECW World Heavyweight Championship;[26] however, when the brand closed in 2010, the title was retired after Ezekiel Jackson became the last champion on the final episode of the ECW on Syfy series.[26] The World Tag Team Championship, established in 1971 as WWE's original tag team title, and WWE Tag Team Championship, introduced in 2002, were unified on April 9, 2009, maintaining separate title histories as the "Unified WWE Tag Team Championship". However, on August 16, 2010, the older title was retired in favor of keeping the newer title as the sole tag team championship contended for in WWE. The champions, The Hart Dynasty (David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd) were awarded a new set of belts that represented the 2002 championship, and were thus recognized as the final holders of the original World Tag Team Championship.[27][28]

The WWE Women's Championship, established in 1956 as WWE's original women's title, and the WWE Divas Championship, introduced in 2008, were unified on September 19, 2010, maintaining the title history of the Divas Championship. The older title was retired in favor of keeping the newer title as the sole championship contended for in WWE by the Divas. The self-professed co-Women's Champion Michelle McCool defeated Divas Champion Melina at Night of Champions (2010) to become the unified champion, thus making Layla the final holder of the Women's Championship.[29][30]

The World Heavyweight Championship (WHC) was established in 2002 as a second world championship in WWE during the time of the brand extension. During this period the WHC would be the primary championship for either the Raw or Smackdown brand, with the WWE Championship on the other. The brand extension was ended in 2011, and on December 15, 2013 the WHC was unified with the WWE Championship as WWE Champion Randy Orton defeated World Champion John Cena at WWE:TLC. WWE officially recognized Orton as the final champion, and officially retired the title the next night.[31]

Defunct championships[edit]

# Championship Date of entry First champion(s)
(Tag team name)
Date retired Final champion(s)
(Tag team name)
Active Years Notes
1 WWF United States Tag Team Championship 1958 Don Curtis and Mark Lewin July 29, 1967 Arion, SpirosSpiros Arion and Bruno Sammartino 9 The title was retired without a formal announcement.[4]
2 WWWF United States Championship 1963 Pedro Morales February 1976 Brazil, BoboBobo Brazil 13 The title was retired without a formal announcement.[7]
3 WWF North American Heavyweight Championship March 1979 "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase March 20, 1981 Seiji Sakaguchi 2 The title was retired without a formal announcement.[14]
4 WWF International Heavyweight Championship 1959 Antonino Rocca July 23, 1984 Akira Maeda 25 The title was retired without a formal announcement.[8]
5 WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship 1967 Johnny De Fazio October 31, 1985 The Cobra 18 The title was retired after NJPW and the WWF ended their partnership.[12]
6 WWF International Tag Team Championship June 1969 Toru Tanaka and Mitsu Arakwa
(Rising Suns)
October 31, 1985 Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura 16 The title was retired after NJPW and the WWF ended their partnership.[10]
7 WWF Canadian Championship August 18, 1985 Dino Bravo January 22, 1986 Dino Bravo <1 Bravo was the only champion as a result of the WWF abandoning the title without a formal announcement.[15]
8 WWF Women's Tag Team Championship 1970 Velvet McIntyre and Princess Victoria 1989 Leilani Kai and Judy Martin
(The Glamour Girls)
19 The title was abandoned by the WWF without a formal announcement.[16]
9 WWF World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship December 18, 1978 Antonio Inoki 1989 The Great Muta 10 The title was retired after NJPW and the WWF ended their partnership.[a][13]
10 WWF Intercontinental Tag Team Championship July 1991 Perro Aguayo and Gran Hamada 1991 Perro Aguayo and Gran Hamada <1 Aguayo and Hamada were the only champions as a result of the WWF retiring the title without a formal announcement.[17]
11 WCW Tag Team Championship March 23, 2001[b] Sean O' Haire and Chuck Palumbo[c] November 18, 2001 Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley
(Dudley Boyz)
<1 The title was retired after it was unified with the WWF Tag Team Championship.[21]
12 WWF Light Heavyweight Championship December 7, 1997[d] Taka Michinoku November 30, 2001 X-Pac 4 The title was replaced with the WCW Cruiserweight Championship without a formal announcement.[a][9]
13 WCW Championship March 23, 2001[b] Booker T[c] December 9, 2001 Chris Jericho <1 The title was retired after it was unified with the WWF Championship.[20]
14 WWE European Championship February 26, 1997 The British Bulldog July 22, 2002 Rob Van Dam 5 The title was retired after it was unified with the WWE Intercontinental Championship.[24][32]
15 WWE Hardcore Championship November 2, 1998 Mankind August 26, 2002 Rob Van Dam 4 The title was retired after it was unified with the WWE Intercontinental Championship.[33]
16 WWE Cruiserweight Championship March 23, 2001[b] Shane Helms[c] March 4, 2008 Hornswoggle 7 The title was retired without a formal announcement by WWE.[22]
17 ECW Championship June 13, 2006[e] Rob Van Dam[c] February 16, 2010 Ezekiel Jackson 4 The title was retired on the final episode of ECW with the closure of WWE's ECW brand.[26]
18 World Tag Team Championship June 3, 1971 Luke Graham and Tarzan Tyler August 16, 2010[f] David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd
(The Hart Dynasty)
39 The title was retired in favor of the WWE Tag Team Championship in April 2010, following a year of the two titles being defended together under the umbrella title of "Unified WWE Tag Team Championship".[27][28]
19 WWE Women's Championship September 18, 1956 The Fabulous Moolah September 19, 2010 Layla 54 The title was retired in favor of the WWE Divas Championship after the unification of both titles on September 19, 2010.[34][35]
20 Million Dollar Championship February 15, 1989 Ted DiBiase (Sr.) November 15, 2010 Ted DiBiase (Jr.) 8 Ted DiBiase (Sr.) created the title, although it was never officially sanctioned by WWF/WWE. Ted DiBiase, Jr. abandoned the title after it was stolen by Goldust on October 4 and Aksana on November 8. The title was returned to the Million Dollar Man and retired without a formal announcement.[36]
21 WWE King of the Ring 1985 Don Muraco 2010 Sheamus 19 The crown was retired without a formal announcement.[7]
22 World Heavyweight Championship September 2, 2002 Triple H December 16, 2013 Randy Orton 11 Title unified with the WWE Championship[31]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  • A:a b – The title was officially abandoned by the WWF in 1989, though it was revived by NJPW for use in its promotion only; it was discontinued by NJPW in 1992.[13]
  • B:a b c – This is the date the WWF acquired WCW, in which WCW's assets were also acquired by WWF, including its titles.[19]
  • C:a b c – This (These) is (are) the final champion(s) recognized by WCW before the WWF bought WCW, who is (are) also recognized as the first champion(s) in which the title was operated in the WWF as a part of the storyline of The Invasion.[20][21]
  • D:a – This is the date the WWF began operating the title in the United States after ending its partnerships with the UWA and NJPW.[9]
  • E:a – This is the date the WWE launched the ECW brand, in which Rob Van Dam was awarded the title as a result of winning the WWE Championship on June 11, 2006.
  • F:a - This is the date upon which WWE consolidated the unification of both its tag team championships, and continued to recognized only one championship to be contended in its tag team division.

References[edit]

General
  • Duncan, Royal (2000). Wrestling Title Histories. Gary Will (4 ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
Specific
  1. ^ "Live & Televised Entertainment". WWE Corporate. World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  2. ^ a b "Antonio Rocca". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-03-01. "Before it was ever known as WWE, the World Wrestling Federation, or even the World Wide Wrestling Federation, Antonino Rocca was the top Superstar in the company." 
  3. ^ Hornbaker, Tim (2006). National Wrestling Alliance: The Untold Story of the Monopoly That Strangled Pro Wrestling. ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022-741-3. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  4. ^ a b c "WWWF United States Tag Team Title History". Wrestling Title Histories by Royal Duncan & Gary Will. Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  5. ^ "Vince McMahon". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  6. ^ "Buddy Rogers' WWE Championship reign (April 1963 - May 17, 1963)". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-03-02. 
  7. ^ a b c Duncan, Royal; Gary Will (1994). "United States: 19th Century & Widely defended Titles - NWA, WWF, AWA, IWA, ECW, NWA". Wrestling Title Histories (3 ed.). Archeus Communications. p. 27. ISBN 0-9698161-1-1. 
  8. ^ a b c "WWF/UWF International Championship reign history". Wrestling Title Histories by Gary Will and Royal Duncan. Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  9. ^ a b c d "WWF Light Heavyweight Championship reign history". Wrestling Title Histories by Gary Will and Royal Duncan. Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  10. ^ a b c "WWF International Tag Team Championship reign history". Wrestling Title Histories by Gary Will and Royal Duncan. Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  11. ^ "World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Drops The "F" To Emphasize the "E" for Entertainment". World Wrestling Entertainment. 2002-05-06. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  12. ^ a b "WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship". Wrestling Title Histories by Royal Duncan and Gary Will. Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  13. ^ a b c "WWF World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship". Wrestling Title Histories by Gary Will and Royal Duncan. Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  14. ^ a b c "WWF North American Heavyweight Championship reign history". Wrestling Title Histories by Royal Duncan and Gary Will. Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  15. ^ a b c "WWF Canadian Championship reign history". Wrestling Title Histories by Royal Duncan and Gary Will. Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-03-05. 
  16. ^ a b "WWF Women's Tag Team Championship reign history". Wrestling Title Histories by Gary Will and Royal Duncan. Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  17. ^ a b "WWF/UWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship reign history". Wrestling Title Histories by Gary Will and Royal Duncan. Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  18. ^ Milner, John. "Ted DiBiase Biography". SLAM! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2009-03-08. "If he couldn't win the WWE Championship and he couldn't buy the WWE Championship, Dibiase decided to purchase his own championship, introducing "the Million Dollar Belt" to the WWE. The title was never official and rarely did Dibiase even bother "defending" the title." 
  19. ^ a b "WWE Entertainment, Inc. Acquires WCW from Turner Broadcasting". WWE Corporate. World Wrestling Entertainment. 2001-03-21. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  20. ^ a b c d "History of the WCW World Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  21. ^ a b c d "WCW World Tag Team Championship Title History (1991-2001)". Wrestling Title Histories by Royal Duncan & Gary Will. Solie's Title Histories. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  22. ^ a b "WWE Cruiserweight Championship reign history". Wrestling Title Histories by Gary Will and Royal Duncan. Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  23. ^ "World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Drops The "F" To Emphasize the "E" for Entertainment". WWE Corporate. World Wrestling Entertainment. 2002-05-06. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  24. ^ a b "History of the WWE European Championship: Jeff Hardy". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  25. ^ "WWE Hardcore Championship reign history". Wrestling Title Histories by Gary Will and Royal Duncan. Solie.org. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  26. ^ a b c "History of the ECW Championship: Rob Van Dam". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  27. ^ a b "History of the World Tag Team Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  28. ^ a b "History of the WWE Tag Team Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 
  29. ^ "History of the WWE Women's Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  30. ^ "History of the WWE Divas Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  31. ^ a b http://www.wwe.com/classics/titlehistory/retired-championships
  32. ^ "The History of the WWE European Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-03-14. 
  33. ^ "The History of the WWE Hardcore Championship". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  34. ^ Raymond-Santo, Katie A. (2010-09-24). "Flawless mark on history". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  35. ^ "Hall of Women's Champions". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-09-26. "Layla is the last-ever Women's Champion." 
  36. ^ Keller, Wade (2010-11-15). "Keller's WWE Raw report 11/15: Special three-hour old school Raw with great angle at end, Jim Ross returns, Piper steps up, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2010-11-16. 

External links[edit]