List of WCW World Heavyweight Champions

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Three-time champion Diamond Dallas Page holding the Big Gold Belt, which represented the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in 1991 and 1994–2001

The list of WCW World Heavyweight Champions is a chronological list of wrestlers that have held the WCW World Heavyweight Championship by ring name.

The WCW World Heavyweight Championship was a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship and its lineage began when Ted Turner purchased Jim Crockett Promotions (JCP), which used the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) alliance name. Turner's organization was renamed World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and split from the NWA in 1991.[1]

The WCW World Heavyweight Championship is the original world title of WCW and it remained as such until March 2001, when WCW was purchased by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now known as WWE) and the championship was defended as the WCW Championship as part of the Invasion storyline, with the WCW initials being dropped from the title's name in November 2001. In December 2001, the renamed World Championship was unified with the WWF Championship to create the Undisputed WWF Championship.

The championship was generally contested in professional wrestling matches, in which participants execute scripted finishes rather than contend in direct competition. There have been a total of 22 recognized champions who have had a combined 61 official reigns, with Ric Flair holding the most at seven (the actual total is eight, but WWE does not recognize the title being vacated after the 1994 Spring Stampede match, although WCW did recognize this). At 51, Flair was also the oldest champion when he won it in May 2000, while The Giant was the youngest when he won it in October 1995 at 23. The longest reigning champion was Hulk Hogan, who held the title for 469 days, which is the only reign to exceed one year (365 days). The shortest reigning champion was Chris Jericho, who held the title for approximately 13 and a half minutes, since he unified with the title with the WWF Championship at Vengeance.

Title history[edit]

Names[edit]

Name[2] Years[2]
WCW World Heavyweight Championship January 11, 1991 – March 26, 2001
WCW Championship June 24, 2001 – November 18, 2001
World Championship November 19, 2001 – December 9, 2001
WCW World Championship As listed on WWE.com

Reigns[edit]

Key
No. The overall championship reign
Reign The reign number for the specific champion listed
Days The number of the days that the champion held the title for
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days
 1  Ric Flair  January 11, 1991  House show East Rutherford, New Jersey  1  171 Defeated Sting for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. WCW began recognizing Flair as WCW World Heavyweight Champion while still using the NWA belt (i.e. the Big Gold Belt).
WWE recognizes this reign as an NWA world title reign for Flair's 16 world championships (and not a WCW one).
[3][4]
Vacated  July 1, 1991 Ric Flair left for the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and was stripped of the title. When Flair left, he took the Big Gold Belt, which represented the NWA and WCW world titles, with him. [3][4]
 2  Lex Luger  July 14, 1991  The Great American Bash Baltimore, Maryland  1  230 Luger was originally the number one contender to face Ric Flair, but after Flair left WCW for the WWF and the title declared vacant, Barry Windham was named the number two contender. Luger defeated Windham in a steel cage match for the vacant title. A new WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt was created and awarded to Luger. [3][4]
 3  Sting  February 29, 1992  SuperBrawl II Milwaukee, Wisconsin  1  134 [5][6][3][4]
 4  Big Van Vader  July 12, 1992  The Great American Bash Albany, Georgia  1  21 [7][8][3][4]
 5  Ron Simmons  August 2, 1992  Main Event Baltimore, Maryland  1  150 Due to injury, Sting was unable to have a rematch with Vader, so a raffle was done to take Sting's place as the number one contender. Ron Simmons won the raffle and with this win, WWE recognizes him as the first African-American to win a professional wrestling world championship.
Aired on tape delay on August 16, 1992.
[9][3][4][10]
 6  Big Van Vader  December 30, 1992  House show Baltimore, Maryland  2  71 [2][11][3][4]
 7  Sting  March 11, 1993  House show London, England  2  6 [2][12][3][4]
 8  Big Van Vader  March 17, 1993  House show Dublin, Ireland  3  285 During this reign in September 1993, WCW conclusively left the NWA and created a fictitious subsidiary called WCW International. Ric Flair, who had returned to WCW and won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, was recognized as the inaugural WCW International World Heavyweight Champion. [2][13][3][4]
 9  Ric Flair  December 27, 1993  Starrcade: 10th Anniversary Charlotte, North Carolina  2  202 This was a title vs. career match. [14][15][4][3][4]
Vacated  April 17, 1994  Spring Stampede Chicago, Illinois A title match between Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat ended in a double pin, which resulted in the title being vacated.
This vacancy was recognized by WCW, but is not recognized by WWE.
[3][4]
 10  Ric Flair  April 21, 1994  Saturday Night Atlanta, Georgia  3  87 Flair defeated Ricky Steamboat in a rematch for the vacant title.
Aired on tape delay on May 14, 1994.
[3][4]
 11  Hulk Hogan  July 17, 1994  Bash at the Beach Orlando, Florida  1  469 [16][17][3][4]
 12  The Giant  October 29, 1995  Halloween Havoc Detroit. Michigan  1  8 This was a match in which the title could change hands via disqualification due to a contract clause. The Giant was declared winner by disqualification after Hulk Hogan's manager, Jimmy Hart, interfered, followed by attacks on Hogan from members of The Dungeon of Doom. [18][3][4]
Vacated  November 6, 1995  Nitro Jacksonville, Florida The Giant was stripped of the title due to the controversial finish of the Halloween Havoc match. [18][3][4]
 13  Randy Savage  November 26, 1995  World War 3 Norfolk, Virginia  1  31 This was the first-ever World War 3 match. Savage last eliminated One Man Gang to win the vacant title. [19][20][3][4]
 14  Ric Flair  December 27, 1995  Starrcade: World Cup of Wrestling Nashville, Tennessee  4  26 [21][22][3][4]
 15  Randy Savage  January 22, 1996  Nitro Las Vegas, Nevada  2  20 [23][3][4]
 16  Ric Flair  February 11, 1996  SuperBrawl VI St. Petersburg, Florida  5  71 This was a steel cage match. [24][25][3][4]
 17  The Giant  April 22, 1996  Nitro Albany, Georgia  2  110 Aired on tape delay on April 29, 1996. [26][3][4]
 18  Hollywood Hulk Hogan  August 10, 1996  Hog Wild Sturgis, South Dakota  2  359 After the match, Hogan spray-painted the New World Order (nWo) initials on the title belt. It was often announced as the nWo/WCW World Heavyweight Championship during title defenses, though never officially renamed, while nWo members only referred to it as the nWo World Heavyweight Championship. [27][28][3][4]
 19  Lex Luger  August 4, 1997  Nitro Auburn Hills, Michigan  2  5 [29][3][4]
 20  Hollywood Hulk Hogan  August 9, 1997  Road Wild Sturgis, South Dakota  3  141 [30][31][3][4]
 21  Sting  December 28, 1997  Starrcade Washington, D.C.  3  11 Hogan first pinned Sting, but guest referee Bret Hart accused the first referee, Nick Patrick, of making a fast count and restarted the match. Sting then won by submission. [32][33][34][3][4]
Vacated  January 8, 1998  Thunder Daytona Beach, Florida Sting was stripped of the title due to the controversy over the finish of the Starrcade match. [35][3][4]
 22  Sting  February 22, 1998  SuperBrawl VIII Daly City, California  4  56 Defeated Hollywood Hulk Hogan in a rematch for the vacant title. [35][3][4]
 23  Randy Savage  April 19, 1998  Spring Stampede Denver. Colorado  3  1 This was a no disqualification match. [36][37][3][4]
 24  Hollywood Hulk Hogan  April 20, 1998  Nitro Colorado Springs, Colorado  4  77 [38][3][4]
 25  Goldberg  July 6, 1998  Nitro Atlanta, Georgia  1  174 [39][3][4]
 26  Kevin Nash  December 27, 1998  Starrcade Washington, D.C.  1  8 [40][41][3][4]
 27  Hollywood Hulk Hogan  January 4, 1999  Nitro Atlanta, Georgia  5  69 This was The Fingerpoke of Doom. [42][3][4]
 28  Ric Flair  March 14, 1999  Uncensored (1999) Louisville, Kentucky  6  28 This was a First Blood barbed wire steel cage match. [43][44][3][4]
 29  Diamond Dallas Page  April 11, 1999  Spring Stampede Tacoma, Washington  1  15 This was a four corners match, also involving Sting and Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Randy Savage was the special guest referee. [45][46][3][4]
 30  Sting  April 26, 1999  Nitro Fargo, North Dakota  5  <1 WWE.com mistakenly lists Sting's reign as lasting from April 26, 1999 to April 29, 1999, despite this and the following match's descriptions stating that this reign began and ended on the same night. [47][3]
 31  Diamond Dallas Page  April 26, 1999  Nitro Fargo, North Dakota  2  13 This was a four corners match, also involving Kevin Nash and Goldberg.
WWE recognizes DDP's reign as lasting 14 days.
[48][3]
 32  Kevin Nash  May 9, 1999  Slamboree St. Louis, Missouri  2  63 [49][50][3][4]
 33  Randy Savage  July 11, 1999  Bash at the Beach Fort Lauderdale, Florida  4  1 This was a tag team match pitting Savage and Sid Vicious against Kevin Nash and Sting. Savage pinned Nash to win the title. [51][3][4]
 34  Hollywood Hulk Hogan  July 12, 1999  Nitro Jacksonville, Florida  6  62 Hollywood Hogan reverted to his Hulkamania character midway through this reign. [52][3][4]
 35  Sting  September 12, 1999  Fall Brawl Winston-Salem, North Carolina  6  43 [53][54][3][4]
Vacated  October 25, 1999  Nitro Phoenix, Arizona Sting was stripped of the title after losing an unsanctioned match against Goldberg and attacked referee Charles Robinson at Halloween Havoc. [55][3][4]
 36  Bret Hart  November 21, 1999  Mayhem Toronto, Ontario  1  29 Defeated Chris Benoit in a tournament final for the vacant title. [56][57][58][3][4]
Vacated  December 20, 1999  Nitro Baltimore, Maryland Bret Hart vacated the title due to the controversial end to a match with Goldberg at Starrcade. [59][3][4]
 37  Bret Hart  December 20, 1999  Nitro Baltimore, Maryland  2  27 Defeated Goldberg in a rematch for the vacant title. [59][3][4]
Vacated  January 16, 2000  Souled Out Cincinnati, Ohio Bret Hart vacated the title due to a legitimate injury that eventually forced him to retire nine months later. [60][3][4]
 38  Chris Benoit  January 16, 2000  Souled Out Cincinnati, Ohio  1  1 Defeated Sid Vicious for the vacant title. The following day, after a dispute with management, he left WCW for the WWF. The company withdrew recognition of Benoit's reign, which was not listed in the title lineage at WCW.com. However, WWE (who assumed the title upon purchasing WCW in March 2001) recognizes Benoit's reign at WWE.com. [61][4][3]
Vacated  January 17, 2000  Nitro Columbus, Ohio In storyline, Chris Benoit was stripped of the title because he won the match although Sid Vicious' foot was under the rope during the submission. In reality, Benoit forfeited the title and left for the WWF after dispute with management. [61][62][3][4]
 39  Sid Vicious  January 24, 2000  Nitro Los Angeles, California  1  1 Defeated The Harris Brothers for the right to face Kevin Nash. Sid then defeated Nash for the vacant title.
WWE recognizes Sid's reign as lasting 2 days, ending on January 26, 2000, when the following episode aired on tape delay.
[63][3][4]
Vacated  January 25, 2000  Thunder Las Vegas, Nevada Sid Vicious was stripped of the title by Commissioner Kevin Nash due to Sid pinning the wrong Harris Brother.
Aired on tape delay on January 26, 2000.
[2][3][4]
 Kevin Nash  January 25, 2000  Thunder Las Vegas, Nevada  3  <1 As Commissioner, Nash awarded himself the title.
Aired on tape delay on January 26, 2000.
This was not recognized by WCW
[2][4][3][64][3][4]
 40  Sid Vicious  January 25, 2000  Thunder Las Vegas, Nevada  2  76 This was a triangle steel cage match, also involving Kevin Nash and Ron Harris. Sid made Nash submit to win the vacant title.
WWE recognizes Sid's reign as lasting 75 days, beginning on January 26, 2000, when the episode aired on tape delay.
[65][3][4]
Vacated  April 10, 2000  Nitro Denver. Colorado All WCW titles were declared vacant by Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff after WCW was rebooted. [66][3][4]
 41  Jeff Jarrett  April 16, 2000  Spring Stampede Chicago, Illinois  1  8 Defeated Diamond Dallas Page in tournament final for the vacant title. [66][3][4]
 42  Diamond Dallas Page  April 24, 2000  Nitro Rochester, New York  3  1 This was a steel cage match. [3][4]
 43  David Arquette  April 25, 2000  Thunder Syracuse, New York  1  12 This was a tag team match pitting Arquette and Diamond Dallas Page against Eric Bischoff and Jeff Jarrett, in which whoever scored the fall would become champion. Arquette pinned Bischoff to win Page's title.
Aired on tape delay on April 26, 2000.
[67][3][4]
 44  Jeff Jarrett  May 7, 2000  Slamboree Kansas City, Missouri  2  8 This was a Triple Cage match, also involving Diamond Dallas Page. [68][3][4]
 45  Ric Flair  May 15, 2000  Nitro Biloxi, Mississippi  7  7 Despite being listed as Flair's sixth reign on WWE.com, the match description says that this was Flair's seventh reign. [69][3][4]
Vacated  May 22, 2000  Nitro Grand Rapids, Michigan Vince Russo stripped Ric Flair of the title. [70][3][4]
 46  Jeff Jarrett  May 22, 2000  Nitro Grand Rapids, Michigan  3  1 Vince Russo awarded the vacant title to Jarrett, but Kevin Nash stole the title belt. Nash was then forced to face Jarrett in a No Holds Barred match, which Jarrett won.
WWE recognizes Jarrett's reign as lasting 2 days, ending on May 24, 2000, when the following episode aired on tape delay.
[71][3][4]
 47  Kevin Nash  May 23, 2000  Thunder Saginaw, Michigan  4  6 This was a triangle match, also involving Scott Steiner. [72][3][4]
 48  Ric Flair  May 29, 2000  Nitro Salt Lake City, Utah  8  <1 Kevin Nash gave the title to Flair. [72][3][4]
 49  Jeff Jarrett  May 29, 2000  Nitro Salt Lake City, Utah  4  41 [73][3][4]
 50  Booker T  July 9, 2000  Bash at the Beach Daytona Beach, Florida  1  50 Earlier that night, Hollywood Hulk Hogan faced Jeff Jarrett for the title in a controversial match that ended in a shoot. In reality, Vince Russo wanted Hogan to lose to Jarrett, who would then lose to Booker T. However, Hogan refused to job to Jarrett, so Russo told Jarrett to just lie down and let Hogan win. Jarrett laid down and Russo threw the belt in the ring at a confused Hogan, telling Hogan to take the belt. After Hogan pinned Jarrett and was declared new champion, he called out Russo for his poor booking decisions before walking out of WCW. Russo reversed the decision, declaring that Jarrett was still champion. Jarrett then lost the title to Booker T in an impromptu match. [74][3][4]
 51  Kevin Nash  August 28, 2000  Nitro Las Cruces, New Mexico  5  20 [64][3]
 52  Booker T  September 17, 2000  Fall Brawl Buffalo, New York  2  8 This was a Caged Heat match. [75][76][3]
 53  Vince Russo  September 25, 2000  Nitro Uniondale, New York  1  7 This was a steel cage match. [77][3]
Vacated  October 2, 2000  Nitro Daly City, California Vince Russo decided he was not a wrestler and he did not want the title. [77][3]
 54  Booker T  October 2, 2000  Nitro Daly City, California  3  55 Defeated Jeff Jarrett in a San Francisco 49ers match for the vacant title. [78][3]
 55  Scott Steiner  November 26, 2000  Mayhem Milwaukee, Wisconsin  1  120 This was a straitjacket steel cage match. [79][80][3]
 56  Booker T  March 26, 2001  Nitro Panama City Beach, Florida  4  120 This was the final episode of Nitro as WCW was purchased by the WWF on March 23, 2001. The title was then defended on WWF programming, where it was referred to as the WCW Championship. [81][3]
 57  Kurt Angle  July 24, 2001  SmackDown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  1  6 Aired on tape delay on July 26, 2001. [82][3]
 58  Booker T  July 30, 2001  Raw Is War Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  5  20 [83][3]
 59  The Rock  August 19, 2001  SummerSlam San Jose, California  1  63 [84][85][3]
 60  Chris Jericho  October 21, 2001  No Mercy St. Louis, Misouri  1  15 [86][87][3]
 61  The Rock  November 5, 2001  Raw Uniondale, New York  2  34 The title was referred to as the World Championship from November 19, 2001 after the demise of The Alliance. [88][3]
 62  Chris Jericho  December 9, 2001  Vengeance San Diego, California  2  <1 [89][3]
Unified  December 9, 2001  Vengeance San Diego, California After defeating The Rock for the World Championship, Chris Jericho defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin to unify the World Championship with the WWF Championship. The World Championship was retired and the WWF Championship became the Undisputed WWF Championship. [89][3]

Combined reigns[edit]

Rank Wrestler No. of reigns Combined days Combined days
recognized by WWE
1 Hulk Hogan/Hollywood Hogan 6 1,177
2 Ric Flair 8[a] 501 505
3 Big Van Vader 3 377
4 Booker T 5 253
5 Sting 6 250
6 Lex Luger 2 235
7 Goldberg 1 174
8 Ron Simmons 1 150
9 Scott Steiner 1 120
10 The Giant 2 118
11 Kevin Nash 4[b] 97 96
The Rock 2 97
13 Sid Vicious 2 77
14 Jeff Jarrett 4 58 59
15 Bret Hart 2 56
16 Randy Savage 4 53
17 Diamond Dallas Page 3 29 30
18 Chris Jericho 2 15
19 David Arquette 1 12
20 Vince Russo 1 7
21 Kurt Angle 1 6
22 Chris Benoit 1 1

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In WCW, Ric Flair was recognized as an eight-time champion, while WWE does not recognize Flair's third reign and thus only recognizes him as a seven-time champion. However, when referring to Flair's sixteen world championships, only 6 of his reigns in WCW are recognized as his very first reign is considered one of his eight NWA World Heavyweight Championship reigns.
  2. ^ Kevin Nash's third reign of his five was not recognized by WCW, nor is it recognized by WWE.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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