List of WWE Champions

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Four-time and current champion Roman Reigns

The WWE Championship is a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship in WWE, currently on the Raw brand. It was the first world title established in WWE, having been introduced in 1963 as the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) World Heavyweight Championship. The promotion was renamed World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1979 and ended its affiliation with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) in 1983, with the title also renamed to reflect the changes. In 2001, it was unified with the World Championship (formerly the WCW World Heavyweight Championship) following the WWF's buyout of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and became the Undisputed WWF Championship.[1][2] In 2002, the WWF was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and split its roster into two brands, Raw and SmackDown.[3][4] The title, now renamed the WWE Championship, was then designated to the SmackDown brand while WWE established an alternate world title known as the World Heavyweight Championship for the Raw brand. A third alternate world title, the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, was reactivated for the ECW brand in 2006. It was vacated and decommissioned when the ECW brand disbanded in 2010.[5]

When WWE Champion Randy Orton defeated World Heavyweight Champion John Cena at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view event on December 15, 2013, the World Heavyweight Championship was unified with the WWE Championship, resulting in the retiring of the former[6] and the renaming of the latter to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. On June 27, 2016, the name was shortened back to the WWE Championship[7] before assuming the WWE World Championship name on July 26, when the brand extension returned. It became designated to the SmackDown brand and WWE again established an alternate world title known as the WWE Universal Championship for the Raw brand. In December 2016, WWE again shortened the title's name back to WWE Championship.[8] Following the events of Crown Jewel 2019, the Universal and WWE Championships switched brands.

The championship is generally contested in professional wrestling matches, in which participants execute scripted finishes rather than contend in direct competition. Some reigns were held by champions using a ring name while others use their real name. Roman Reigns is the current champion in his fourth reign. He won the title by defeating previous champion Brock Lesnar in a Winner Takes All match to unify the WWE Championship and Universal Championship, which Reigns defended, on April 3 2022, at WrestleMania 38 in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex city of Arlington, Texas. Despite it being billed as a unification match, both titles remain independently active with Reigns being called the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.

As of August 6, 2022, there have been 146 recognized reigns between 54 recognized champions and 11 recognized vacancies (there are 4 reigns, 2 people, and 2 vacancies that are not recognized by the WWE). 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 2,803 days while the record for longest combined reign is also held by Sammartino at 4,040. John Cena has the most reigns with 13. Eight men in history have held the championship for a continuous reign of one year (365 days) or more: Bruno Sammartino (who achieved the feat on two occasions), Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, John Cena, CM Punk, and AJ Styles.[9]

Title history[edit]

Names[edit]

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 – May 27, 1989
WWF Championship May 27, 1989 – December 9, 2001
Undisputed WWF Championship December 9, 2001[2] – May 6, 2002[3]
Undisputed WWE Championship May 6, 2002[3]May 19, 2002[10]
WWE Undisputed Championship May 19, 2002[3] – September 2, 2002[11]
WWE Championship September 2, 2002[11]December 15, 2013
WWE World Heavyweight Championship December 15, 2013 – June 27, 2016
WWE Championship June 27, 2016[12][13] – July 25, 2016
WWE World Championship July 26, 2016[14] – December 9, 2016
WWE Championship December 10, 2016[8] – present
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship April 4 2022 – present

Reigns[edit]

As of August 6, 2022.

Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
Days recog. Number of days held recognized by the promotion
Championship change is unrecognized by the promotion
<1 Reign lasted less than a day
+ Current reign is changing daily
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days Days recog.
World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF)
1 Buddy Rogers April 11, 1963 Heavyweight Wrestling Washington, D.C. 1 36 22 Won a fictional tournament in Rio de Janeiro after the WWWF left the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), of which Rogers had been the 7th NWA World Heavyweight Champion since defeating Pat O'Connor on June 30, 1961. After Rogers' one fall loss to Lou Thesz for the title on January 24, 1963, Northeast promoters (led by Vince McMahon Sr. and Toots Mondt) did not recognize this title change and withdrew their membership from the NWA to form the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF). The WWWF billed Rogers as their world champion since January 25, 1963, but it did not recognize him as the first ever WWWF World Heavyweight Champion until April 11, 1963, when he received the title belt. However, WWE lists Rogers' reign and the establishment of the title beginning on April 25, 1963. [15][16][17]
[18][19][20]
[21]
2 Bruno Sammartino May 17, 1963 House show New York, NY 1 2,803 2,803 [22]
3 Ivan Koloff January 18, 1971 House show New York, NY 1 21 21 [23]
4 Pedro Morales February 8, 1971 House show New York, NY 1 1,027 1,027 The title was renamed the WWWF Heavyweight Championship when the WWWF rejoined the NWA in 1971. [24]
National Wrestling Alliance: World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF)
5 Stan Stasiak December 1, 1973 House show Philadelphia, PA 1 9 9 [25]
6 Bruno Sammartino December 10, 1973 House show New York, NY 2 1,237 1,237 [26]
7 Superstar Billy Graham April 30, 1977 House show Baltimore, MD 1 296 296 [27]
8 Bob Backlund February 20, 1978 WWF on MSG Network New York, NY 1 648 2,135 The title was renamed the WWF Heavyweight Championship when the WWWF became the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in March 1979 for marketing purposes. [28][29][30]
National Wrestling Alliance: World Wrestling Federation (WWF)
Antonio Inoki November 30, 1979 Toukon Series Tokushima, Japan 6 [16][31][32]
Vacated December 6, 1979 Tokyo, Japan Inoki immediately vacated the title after a title defense rematch with Bob Backlund ended in a no contest due to the interference of New Japan Pro-Wrestling's Tiger Jeet Singh. [16][31]
Bob Backlund December 17, 1979 WWF on MSG Network New York, NY 1 1,470 Defeated Bobby Duncum in a Texas death match to fill the vacancy. On October 19, 1981, following a controversial match with Greg Valentine in Madison Square Garden, the title was vacated (recognized only in New York City) by the NY State Athletic Commission. Backlund defeated Valentine in a rematch in MSG on November 23, 1981 to end the vacancy. WWE recognizes this whole period as one uninterrupted reign. [16][31][33][34]
9 The Iron Sheik December 26, 1983 WWF on MSG Network New York, NY 1 28 28 The Iron Sheik won by submission when Bob Backlund's manager Arnold Skaaland threw in the towel when Backlund was put into Sheik's camel clutch to prevent any major injury. The title was renamed the WWF World Heavyweight Championship when the WWF ended its affiliation with the NWA. [35][36]
World Wrestling Federation (WWF)
10 Hulk Hogan January 23, 1984 WWF on MSG Network New York, NY 1 1,474 1,474 [37]
11 André the Giant February 5, 1988 The Main Event I Indianapolis, IN 1 <1 <1 Defeated Hulk Hogan when referee Earl Hebner, who was bribed by Ted DiBiase, scored the three-count despite Hogan raising his shoulder at the one-count. [38]
Ted DiBiase February 5, 1988 The Main Event I Indianapolis, IN 1 8 Immediately after winning the title from Hulk Hogan, André the Giant handed the championship belt to Ted DiBiase, but WWF President Jack Tunney ruled this as vacating the title and therefore DiBiase's reign is not recognized by WWE, albeit he was announced as such in the following days and even defended the title once against Bam Bam Bigelow in a February 8, 1988 live event. [31][38]
Vacated February 13, 1988 Superstars of Wrestling Hershey, PA WWF President Jack Tunney refused to recognize Ted DiBiase as champion and vacated the title. WWE recognizes the vacancy as starting on February 5, 1988, the date of the controversy, rather than the date in which the announcement was made in a video aired on tape delay on February 13, 1988. [31][38]
12 Randy Savage March 27, 1988 WrestleMania IV Atlantic City, NJ 1 371 371 Defeated Ted DiBiase in a tournament final to win the vacant title. [39]
13 Hulk Hogan April 2, 1989 WrestleMania V Atlantic City, NJ 2 364 364 The title was renamed the WWF Championship in July 1989. [40]
14 The Ultimate Warrior April 1, 1990 WrestleMania VI Toronto, ON, Canada 1 293 293 This was a title vs. title match in which Warrior also defended the Intercontinental Championship. [41]
15 Sgt. Slaughter January 19, 1991 Royal Rumble Miami, FL 1 64 64 [42]
16 Hulk Hogan March 24, 1991 WrestleMania VII Los Angeles, CA 3 248 248 [43]
17 The Undertaker November 27, 1991 Survivor Series Detroit, MI 1 6 6 [44]
18 Hulk Hogan December 3, 1991 This Tuesday in Texas San Antonio, TX 4 1 4 [45]
Vacated December 4, 1991 Superstars of Wrestling New Haven, CT Hogan was stripped of the title by WWF President Jack Tunney due to the controversy surrounding both of the previous title changes. Aired on tape delay on December 7, 1991. [45]
19 Ric Flair January 19, 1992 Royal Rumble Albany, NY 1 77 77 This was the Royal Rumble match in which Flair last eliminated Sid Justice to win the vacant title. [46]
20 Randy Savage April 5, 1992 WrestleMania VIII Indianapolis, IN 2 149 149 [47]
21 Ric Flair September 1, 1992 Prime Time Wrestling Hershey, PA 2 41 41 Aired on tape delay on September 14, 1992.[48][49] [50]
22 Bret Hart October 12, 1992 House show Saskatoon, SK, Canada 1 174 174 [51]
23 Yokozuna April 4, 1993 WrestleMania IX Las Vegas, NV 1 <1 <1 [52]
24 Hulk Hogan April 4, 1993 WrestleMania IX Las Vegas, NV 5 70 70 After Yokozuna pinned Bret Hart to win the title, Yokozuna's manager, Mr. Fuji, issued an immediate challenge to Hogan for the championship, which was accepted and Hogan won the impromptu match. [53]
25 Yokozuna June 13, 1993 King of the Ring Dayton, OH 2 280 280 [54]
26 Bret Hart March 20, 1994 WrestleMania X New York, NY 2 248 248 Roddy Piper was the guest referee. [55]
27 Bob Backlund November 23, 1994 Survivor Series San Antonio, TX 2 3 3 This was a Throw in the Towel submission match. [56]
28 Diesel November 26, 1994 House show New York, NY 1 358 358 [57]
29 Bret Hart November 19, 1995 Survivor Series Landover, MD 3 133 133 This was a no disqualification match. [58]
30 Shawn Michaels March 31, 1996 WrestleMania XII Anaheim, CA 1 231 231 This was a 60-minute Iron Man match in which Michaels won 1–0 in overtime. [59]
31 Sycho Sid November 17, 1996 Survivor Series New York, NY 1 63 63 [60]
32 Shawn Michaels January 19, 1997 Royal Rumble San Antonio, TX 2 25 25 [61]
Vacated February 13, 1997 Raw Lowell, MA Shawn Michaels forfeited the title due to a knee injury. [61]
33 Bret Hart February 16, 1997 In Your House 13: Final Four Chattanooga, TN 4 1 1 This was a four-way elimination match for the vacant title also involving Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, and Vader. [62]
34 Sycho Sid February 17, 1997 Raw Nashville, TN 2 34 34 [63]
35 The Undertaker March 23, 1997 WrestleMania 13 Rosemont, IL 2 133 133 This was a no disqualification match. [64]
36 Bret Hart August 3, 1997 SummerSlam East Rutherford, NJ 5 98 98 Shawn Michaels was the guest referee. [65]
37 Shawn Michaels November 9, 1997 Survivor Series Montreal, QC, Canada 3 140 140 This was the Montreal Screwjob. [66]
38 Stone Cold Steve Austin March 29, 1998 WrestleMania XIV Boston, MA 1 91 91 Mike Tyson was the special outside enforcer. [67]
39 Kane June 28, 1998 King of the Ring Pittsburgh, PA 1 1 1 This was a First Blood match; had Kane lost, he would have set himself on fire. [68]
40 Stone Cold Steve Austin June 29, 1998 Raw Cleveland, OH 2 90 90 [69]
Vacated September 27, 1998 Breakdown: In Your House Hamilton, ON, Canada The title was vacated after Kane and The Undertaker simultaneously pinned Stone Cold Steve Austin in a triple threat match.[70] [69]
41 The Rock November 15, 1998 Survivor Series St. Louis, MO 1 44 50 Defeated Mankind in the finals of the Deadly Game tournament in a recreation of the Montreal Screwjob to win the vacant title. WWE recognizes The Rock's reign as ending on January 4, 1999, when the following episode aired on tape delay. [71]
42 Mankind December 29, 1998 Raw Worcester, MA 1 26 20 This was a no disqualification match. WWE recognizes Mankind's reign as beginning on January 4, 1999, when the episode aired on tape delay. [72]
43 The Rock January 24, 1999 Royal Rumble Anaheim, CA 2 2 7 This was an "I quit" match which The Rock won by knocking Mankind unconscious while someone backstage, later revealed to be Shane McMahon, played an audio recording of Mankind saying "I quit" when The Rock placed the microphone against his face. WWE recognizes The Rock's reign as ending on January 31, 1999, when the following match aired on tape delay. [73]
44 Mankind January 26, 1999 Halftime Heat Tucson, AZ 2 20 15 This was an Empty Arena match that aired on tape delay as a special during halftime of Super Bowl XXXIII on January 31, 1999, the date WWE recognizes as the beginning of Mankind's reign. [74]
45 The Rock February 15, 1999 Raw Birmingham, AL 3 41 41 This was a ladder match. [75]
46 Stone Cold Steve Austin March 28, 1999 WrestleMania XV Philadelphia, PA 3 56 56 This was a no disqualification match with Mankind as the guest referee. [76]
47 The Undertaker May 23, 1999 Over the Edge Kansas City, MO 3 36 36 Both Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon were the guest referees. [77]
48 Stone Cold Steve Austin June 28, 1999 Raw Charlotte, NC 4 55 55 If The Undertaker had gotten himself disqualified, he would have lost the championship. [78]
49 Mankind August 22, 1999 SummerSlam Minneapolis, MN 3 1 1 This was a triple threat match also involving Triple H. Jesse Ventura was the guest referee. [79]
50 Triple H August 23, 1999 Raw Ames, IA 1 22 24 Shane McMahon was the guest referee. WWE recognizes Triple H's reign as ending on September 16, 1999, when the following episode aired on tape delay. [80]
51 Vince McMahon September 14, 1999 SmackDown! Las Vegas, NV 1 6 4 Shane McMahon was the guest referee. WWE recognizes Vince McMahon's reign as beginning on September 16, 1999, when the episode aired on tape delay. [81]
Vacated September 20, 1999 Raw Houston, TX Mr. McMahon vacated the title due to the Fully Loaded stipulation after losing his feud with Stone Cold Steve Austin, who defeated The Undertaker at the event and forced McMahon to no longer appear on WWF television. [81]
52 Triple H September 26, 1999 Unforgiven Charlotte, NC 2 49 49 This was a six-pack challenge for the vacant title, also involving Big Show, The British Bulldog, Kane, Mankind, and The Rock. Stone Cold Steve Austin was the special outside enforcer. [82]
53 Big Show November 14, 1999 Survivor Series Detroit, MI 1 50 50 This was a triple threat match also involving The Rock. Stone Cold Steve Austin had originally been scheduled to take part in the match, but he did not participate after being (in storyline) run over by a car in the parking garage earlier in the night and was replaced by Big Show. [83]
54 Triple H January 3, 2000 Raw Miami, FL 3 118 118 [84]
55 The Rock April 30, 2000 Backlash Washington, D.C. 4 21 21 Shane McMahon was the guest referee. [85]
56 Triple H May 21, 2000 Judgment Day Louisville, KY 4 35 35 This was a 60-minute Iron Man match which Triple H won 6–5 with Shawn Michaels as the guest referee. [86]
57 The Rock June 25, 2000 King of the Ring Boston, MA 5 119 119 This was a six-man tag team match with Kane, The Rock, and The Undertaker vs. Triple H, Shane McMahon, and Vince McMahon. Pre-match stipulation stated if the team of The Rock, Kane and Undertaker won whoever got the fall would win the title. The Rock pinned Vince to win Triple H's title. [87]
58 Kurt Angle October 22, 2000 No Mercy Albany, NY 1 126 126 This was a no disqualification match. [88]
59 The Rock February 25, 2001 No Way Out Las Vegas, NV 6 35 35 After the WWF purchased World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in March 2001, the WCW Championship became a second concurrently active world championship in the WWF. By November 2001, the WCW title was renamed to World Championship. [89]
60 Stone Cold Steve Austin April 1, 2001 WrestleMania X-Seven Houston, TX 5 175 175 This was a no disqualification match. [90]
61 Kurt Angle September 23, 2001 Unforgiven Pittsburgh, PA 2 15 15 [91]
62 Stone Cold Steve Austin October 8, 2001 Raw Indianapolis, IN 6 62 62 [92]
63 Chris Jericho December 9, 2001 Vengeance San Diego, CA 1 98 98 Earlier the same night, Jericho defeated World Champion The Rock for that title. By defeating Stone Cold Steve Austin for the WWF Championship, Jericho unified both titles to become the first-ever undisputed WWF world champion. The World Championship was retired while the WWF Championship became known as the Undisputed WWF Championship. [93]
64 Triple H March 17, 2002 WrestleMania X8 Toronto, ON, Canada 5 35 35 In late March 2002, due to the WWF's roster having doubled in size, the brand extension began, splitting the roster between the Raw and SmackDown brands, represented by the TV shows of the same name. Championships were assigned to be exclusive to a specific brand, with the exception of the Undisputed WWF Championship and the WWF Women's Championship, which were non-exclusive at this time. [94]
65 Hollywood Hulk Hogan April 21, 2002 Backlash Kansas City, MO 6 28 28 After the WWF was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) due to a lawsuit by the World Wide Fund for Nature on May 6, 2002, the title was also renamed Undisputed WWE Championship and then WWE Undisputed Championship. [95]
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
66 The Undertaker May 19, 2002 Judgment Day Nashville, TN 4 63 63 [96]
67 The Rock July 21, 2002 Vengeance Detroit, MI 7 35 35 This was a triple threat match also involving Kurt Angle. [97]
68 Brock Lesnar August 25, 2002 SummerSlam Uniondale, NY 1 84 83 The following night, Lesnar signed a deal to appear exclusively on the SmackDown brand, making the championship exclusive to the brand. The World Heavyweight Championship was then created for the Raw brand and awarded to Triple H, who was Lesnar's number one contender. On September 2, 2002, the WWE Undisputed Championship became the WWE Championship as it was no longer "undisputed". [98]
WWE: SmackDown
69 Big Show November 17, 2002 Survivor Series New York, NY 2 28 28 [99]
70 Kurt Angle December 15, 2002 Armageddon Sunrise, FL 3 105 105 [100]
71 Brock Lesnar March 30, 2003 WrestleMania XIX Seattle, WA 2 119 118 [101]
72 Kurt Angle July 27, 2003 Vengeance Denver, CO 4 51 53 This was a triple threat match also involving Big Show. WWE recognizes Angle's reign as ending on September 18, 2003, when the following episode aired on tape delay. [102]
73 Brock Lesnar September 16, 2003 SmackDown! Raleigh, NC 3 152 150 This was a 60-minute Iron Man match. WWE recognizes Lesnar's reign as beginning on September 18, 2003, when the episode aired on tape delay. [103]
74 Eddie Guerrero February 15, 2004 No Way Out Daly City, CA 1 133 133 [104][105]
75 John "Bradshaw" Layfield June 27, 2004 The Great American Bash Norfolk, VA 1 280 280 This was a Texas bullrope match. [106][107]
76 John Cena April 3, 2005 WrestleMania 21 Los Angeles, CA 1 280 280 The title became exclusive to the Raw brand following the 2005 WWE Draft Lottery. [108][109]
WWE: Raw
77 Edge January 8, 2006 New Year's Revolution Albany, NY 1 21 21 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [110][111]
78 John Cena January 29, 2006 Royal Rumble Miami, FL 2 133 133 [112][113]
79 Rob Van Dam June 11, 2006 ECW One Night Stand New York, NY 1 22 22 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. This was an Extreme Rules match.
The title became property of the new ECW brand due to Van Dam's status as an ECW wrestler. The ECW World Heavyweight Championship was subsequently reactivated for the brand and awarded to Van Dam, who became the only wrestler to ever hold both titles at the same time. The ECW Championship became a third concurrently active world championship in WWE.
[114][115]
WWE: ECW
80 Edge July 3, 2006 Raw Philadelphia, PA 2 76 76 This was a triple threat match also involving John Cena.
The title became exclusive to the Raw brand due to Edge's status as a Raw wrestler.
[116][117]
WWE: Raw
81 John Cena September 17, 2006 Unforgiven Toronto, ON, Canada 3 380 380 This was a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match.
Had Cena lost, he would have had to leave the Raw brand.
[118]
Vacated October 2, 2007 ECW Dayton, OH The title was vacated when John Cena suffered a torn right pectoral tendon. [119]
82 Randy Orton October 7, 2007 No Mercy Rosemont, IL 1 <1 <1 Orton was originally scheduled to have a Last Man Standing match against John Cena for the title, but due to Cena vacating the title due to a legit injury, Mr. McMahon awarded it to Orton at the start of the event, and was immediately challenged by Triple H. [120]
83 Triple H October 7, 2007 No Mercy Rosemont, IL 6 <1 <1 After winning the championship, Mr. McMahon would tell Triple H that his previously booked match against Umaga at that event would now be for the WWE Championship. After defeating Umaga, McMahon stated that Randy Orton was invoking his rematch clause and scheduled a rematch for the same night. [121]
84 Randy Orton October 7, 2007 No Mercy Rosemont, IL 2 203 203 This was a Last Man Standing match. [122]
85 Triple H April 27, 2008 Backlash Baltimore, MD 7 210 210 This was a fatal four-way elimination match also involving John Cena and John "Bradshaw" Layfield.
The title became exclusive to the SmackDown brand following the 2008 WWE Draft.
[123][124]
WWE: SmackDown
86 Edge November 23, 2008 Survivor Series Boston, MA 3 21 21 This was a triple threat match also involving Vladimir Kozlov. Jeff Hardy had originally been scheduled to take part in the match, but he did not participate after being (in storyline) attacked prior to the event. Triple H and Kozlov started the match before Edge was revealed as Hardy's surprise replacement. [125]
87 Jeff Hardy December 14, 2008 Armageddon Buffalo, NY 1 42 42 This was a triple threat match also involving Triple H. [126][127]
88 Edge January 25, 2009 Royal Rumble Detroit, MI 4 21 21 This was a no disqualification match. [128][129]
89 Triple H February 15, 2009 No Way Out Seattle, WA 8 70 70 This was an Elimination Chamber match also involving Big Show, Jeff Hardy, The Undertaker, and Vladimir Kozlov. The title became exclusive to the Raw brand following the 2009 WWE Draft. [130][131]
WWE: Raw
90 Randy Orton April 26, 2009 Backlash Providence, RI 3 42 42 This was a six-man tag team match with The Legacy (Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase) against Batista, Triple H, and Shane McMahon. Orton pinned Triple H to win the title. [132][133]
91 Batista June 7, 2009 Extreme Rules New Orleans, LA 1 2 2 This was a steel cage match. [134][135]
Vacated June 9, 2009 The title was vacated when Batista suffered a torn left biceps. [136]
92 Randy Orton June 15, 2009 Raw Charlotte, NC 4 90 90 This was a fatal four-way match for the vacant title also involving Big Show, John Cena, and Triple H. [137][138]
93 John Cena September 13, 2009 Breaking Point Montreal, QC, Canada 4 21 21 This was an "I quit" match.
Had anyone interfered on Randy Orton's behalf, he would have forfeited the title.
[139][140]
94 Randy Orton October 4, 2009 Hell in a Cell Newark, NJ 5 21 21 This was a Hell in a Cell match. [141][142]
95 John Cena October 25, 2009 Bragging Rights Pittsburgh, PA 5 49 49 This was a 60-minute Anything Goes Iron Man match in which Cena won 6–5.
Had Cena lost, he would have had to leave the Raw brand.
[143][144]
96 Sheamus December 13, 2009 TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs San Antonio, TX 1 70 70 This was a tables match. [145][146]
97 John Cena February 21, 2010 Elimination Chamber St. Louis, MO 6 <1 <1 This was an Elimination Chamber match also involving Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase Jr., and Triple H. [147]
98 Batista February 21, 2010 Elimination Chamber St. Louis, MO 2 35 35 Batista was transferred to the Raw brand after winning the title. [148]
99 John Cena March 28, 2010 WrestleMania XXVI Glendale, AZ 7 84 84 [149]
100 Sheamus June 20, 2010 Fatal 4-Way Uniondale, NY 2 91 91 This was a fatal four-way match also involving Edge and Randy Orton. [150]
101 Randy Orton September 19, 2010 Night of Champions Rosemont, IL 6 64 64 This was a six-pack elimination challenge also involving Chris Jericho, Edge, John Cena, and Wade Barrett, who decided to cash-in his title shot due to winning the first season of NXT. [151]
102 The Miz November 22, 2010 Raw Orlando, FL 1 160 160 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. In April 2011, WWE ceased using its full name with the "WWE" abbreviation becoming an orphaned initialism. [152]
103 John Cena May 1, 2011 Extreme Rules Tampa, FL 8 77 77 This was a triple threat steel cage match also involving John Morrison. [153]
104 CM Punk July 17, 2011 Money in the Bank Rosemont, IL 1 28 28 Punk (kayfabe) left WWE the day after with the championship, but he returned on the July 25, 2011 episode of Raw and his reign was deemed to continue through this period. [154]
Vacated July 18, 2011 Raw Green Bay, WI The title was vacated due to CM Punk leaving WWE.
This vacancy is no longer recognized due to Punk's return on the July 25, 2011 episode of Raw.
[31][155]
105 Rey Mysterio July 25, 2011 Raw Hampton, VA 1 <1 <1 Defeated The Miz in a tournament final to crown a new champion.
CM Punk was also recognized as WWE Champion.
[156]
106 John Cena July 25, 2011 Raw Hampton, VA 9 20 20 As the former champion prior to CM Punk, Cena was granted a title match against Rey Mysterio by Triple H. Punk was also recognized as WWE Champion. [157]
CM Punk August 14, 2011 SummerSlam Los Angeles, CA 1 Punk defeated John Cena in a match to determine the undisputed champion. Triple H was the guest referee. This is considered a continuation of Punk's first reign. [158]
107 Alberto Del Rio August 14, 2011 SummerSlam Los Angeles, CA 1 35 35 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract after CM Punk defeated John Cena to determine the undisputed champion.
On August 29, 2011, the first brand extension ended, allowing the WWE Champion to appear on both Raw and SmackDown.
[159]
WWE (unbranded)
108 John Cena September 18, 2011 Night of Champions Buffalo, NY 10 14 14 [160]
109 Alberto Del Rio October 2, 2011 Hell in a Cell New Orleans, LA 2 49 49 This was a triple threat Hell in a Cell match also involving CM Punk. [161]
110 CM Punk November 20, 2011 Survivor Series New York, NY 2 434 434 [162]
111 The Rock January 27, 2013 Royal Rumble Phoenix, AZ 8 70 70 CM Punk had initially won, but the match was restarted by Vince McMahon due to interference by The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins). [163]
112 John Cena April 7, 2013 WrestleMania 29 East Rutherford, NJ 11 133 133 [164]
113 Daniel Bryan August 18, 2013 SummerSlam Los Angeles, CA 1 <1 <1 Triple H was the guest referee. [165]
114 Randy Orton August 18, 2013 SummerSlam Los Angeles, CA 7 28 28 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. Triple H was the guest referee. [166]
115 Daniel Bryan September 15, 2013 Night of Champions Detroit, MI 2 1 1 [167]
Vacated September 16, 2013 Raw Cleveland, OH The title was vacated after a controversial finish when Daniel Bryan defeated Randy Orton to win the title. [168]
116 Randy Orton October 27, 2013 Hell in a Cell Miami, FL 8 161 161 Orton defeated Daniel Bryan in a Hell in a Cell match to win the vacant title with Shawn Michaels as the guest referee.
On December 15, 2013 at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs, Orton defeated John Cena in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match to unify the World Heavyweight Championship with the WWE Championship. The World Heavyweight Championship was then retired and the WWE Championship became known as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
[169]
117 Daniel Bryan April 6, 2014 WrestleMania XXX New Orleans, LA 3 64 65 This was a triple threat match also involving Batista, whom Bryan forced to submit to win the match. [170]
Vacated June 9, 2014 Raw Minneapolis, MN Daniel Bryan was stripped of the title due to a neck injury. [171]
118 John Cena June 29, 2014 Money in the Bank Boston, MA 12 49 49 This was an eight-way ladder match for the vacant title also involving Alberto Del Rio, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro, Kane, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, and Sheamus. [172]
119 Brock Lesnar August 17, 2014 SummerSlam Los Angeles, CA 4 224 223 [173]
120 Seth Rollins March 29, 2015 WrestleMania 31 Santa Clara, CA 1 221 221 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract during a singles match between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, converting it into a triple threat match and subsequently pinned Reigns to win the match.
WWE has since retrospectively changed to recognizing Rollins' reign ending on November 5, 2015, the date the title was officially vacated.
[174]
Vacated November 5, 2015 The title was vacated after Seth Rollins suffered a torn ACL, MCL, and a damaged meniscus at a live event in Dublin, Ireland. [175]
121 Roman Reigns November 22, 2015 Survivor Series Atlanta, GA 1 <1 <1 Defeated Dean Ambrose in a tournament final to win the vacant title. [176]
122 Sheamus November 22, 2015 Survivor Series Atlanta, GA 3 22 22 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [177]
123 Roman Reigns December 14, 2015 Raw Philadelphia, PA 2 41 41 This was a title vs. career match. [178]
124 Triple H January 24, 2016 Royal Rumble Orlando, FL 9 70 70 This was the Royal Rumble match in which Roman Reigns defended the title and entered at number one. Triple H eliminated Reigns before lastly eliminating Dean Ambrose to win the title. [179]
125 Roman Reigns April 3, 2016 WrestleMania 32 Arlington, TX 3 77 77 [180]
126 Seth Rollins June 19, 2016 Money in the Bank Las Vegas, NV 2 <1 <1 [181]
127 Dean Ambrose June 19, 2016 Money in the Bank Las Vegas, NV 1 84 84 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and the title's name reverted to WWE Championship. The brand extension returned and the title became exclusive to the SmackDown brand following the 2016 WWE Draft. The WWE Universal Championship was created for the Raw brand; the WWE Championship was then renamed to WWE World Championship. [181]
WWE: SmackDown
128 AJ Styles September 11, 2016 Backlash Richmond, VA 1 140 140 In December 2016, the title's name reverted to WWE Championship.[8] [182]
129 John Cena January 29, 2017 Royal Rumble San Antonio, TX 13 14 14 [183]
130 Bray Wyatt February 12, 2017 Elimination Chamber Phoenix, AZ 1 49 49 This was an Elimination Chamber match also involving AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Dean Ambrose, and The Miz. [184]
131 Randy Orton April 2, 2017 WrestleMania 33 Orlando, FL 9 49 49 [185]
132 Jinder Mahal May 21, 2017 Backlash Rosemont, IL 1 170 170 [186]
133 AJ Styles November 7, 2017 SmackDown Manchester, England 2 371 371 [187][188]
134 Daniel Bryan November 13, 2018 SmackDown St. Louis, MO 4 145 144 [189]
135 Kofi Kingston April 7, 2019 WrestleMania 35 East Rutherford, NJ 1 180 180 [190]
136 Brock Lesnar October 4, 2019 SmackDown's 20th Anniversary Los Angeles, CA 5 173 184 On the November 1, 2019 episode of SmackDown, Lesnar quit SmackDown and went to Raw, taking the title with him.
WWE recognizes this reign as ending on April 5, 2020, when the match aired on tape delay.
[191]
WWE: Raw
137 Drew McIntyre March 25, 2020 WrestleMania 36
Part 2
Orlando, FL 1 214 203 WrestleMania was taped on March 25 and 26,[192] and was unclear in which day the match took place. McIntyre confirmed in his memoir, A Chosen Destiny: My Story, that the WWE Championship match was taped on March 25.[193]
WWE recognizes this reign as beginning on April 5, 2020, when the match aired on tape delay.
[194]
138 Randy Orton October 25, 2020 Hell in a Cell Orlando, FL 10 22 22 This was a Hell in a Cell match. [195]
139 Drew McIntyre November 16, 2020 Raw Orlando, FL 2 97 97 This was a no disqualification and no countout match. [196]
140 The Miz February 21, 2021 Elimination Chamber St. Petersburg, FL 2 8 8 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [197]
141 Bobby Lashley March 1, 2021 Raw St. Petersburg, FL 1 196 195 This was a lumberjack match. [198]
142 Big E September 13, 2021 Raw Boston, MA 1 110 110 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract.
Big E was transferred to the Raw brand after winning the title.
[199]
143 Brock Lesnar January 1, 2022 Day 1 Atlanta, GA 6 28 27 This was a fatal five-way match also involving Bobby Lashley, Kevin Owens, and Seth Rollins. [200]
144 Bobby Lashley January 29, 2022 Royal Rumble St. Louis, MO 2 21 20 [201]
145 Brock Lesnar February 19, 2022 Elimination Chamber Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 7 43 43 This was an Elimination Chamber match also involving AJ Styles, Austin Theory, Riddle, and Seth Rollins. [202]
146 Roman Reigns April 3, 2022 WrestleMania 38
Night 2
Arlington, TX 4 125+ 125+ This was a Winner Takes All match in which Reigns also defended the Universal Championship. [203]

Combined reigns[edit]

Two-time champion Bruno Sammartino, whose first reign is the longest reign at 2,803 days, and he has the longest combined reign at 4,040 days
Record 13-time champion John Cena

As of August 6, 2022.

Key
Rec Recognized by the promotion
Current champion; reign changing daily
<1 Reign was less than a day
Rank Champion No. of
reigns
Combined days
Actual Recognized
by WWE
1 Bruno Sammartino 2 4,040
2 Hulk Hogan 6 2,185 2,188
3 Bob Backlund 2 2,121 2,138
4 John Cena 13 1,254
5 Pedro Morales 1 1,027
6 Brock Lesnar 7 823 828
7 Randy Orton 10 680
8 Bret Hart 5 654
9 Triple H 9 609 611
10 Stone Cold Steve Austin 6 529
11 Randy Savage 2 520
12 AJ Styles 2 511
13 CM Punk 2 462
14 Shawn Michaels 3 396
15 The Rock 8 367 378
16 Diesel 1 358
17 Drew McIntyre 2 311 300
18 Kurt Angle 4 297 299
19 Superstar Billy Graham 1 296
20 The Ultimate Warrior 1 293
21 Yokozuna 2 280
John "Bradshaw" Layfield 1 280
23 Roman Reigns 4 243+
24 The Undertaker 4 238
25 Seth Rollins 2 221
26 Bobby Lashley 2 217 215
27 Daniel Bryan 4 210
28 Sheamus 3 183
29 Kofi Kingston 1 180
30 Jinder Mahal 1 170
31 The Miz 2 168
32 Edge 4 139
33 Eddie Guerrero 1 133
34 Ric Flair 2 118
35 Big E 1 110
36 Chris Jericho 1 98
37 Sycho Sid 2 97
38 Alberto Del Rio 2 84
Dean Ambrose 1 84
40 Big Show 2 78
41 Sgt. Slaughter 1 64
42 Bray Wyatt 1 49
43 Mankind 3 47 36
44 Jeff Hardy 1 42
45 Batista 2 37
46 Buddy Rogers 1 36 22
47 The Iron Sheik 1 28
48 Rob Van Dam 1 22
49 Ivan Koloff 1 21
50 Stan Stasiak 1 9
Ted DiBiase 8
Antonio Inoki 6
51 Vince McMahon 1 6 4
52 Kane 1 1
53 Rey Mysterio 1 <1
André the Giant 1 <1

See also[edit]

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