List of World Heavyweight Champions (WWE)

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The final holder and four-time champion Randy Orton

The World Heavyweight Championship was a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship in WWE.

It was established by WWE in 2002 after WWE bought out World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), and split its roster into two franchises, Raw and SmackDown!, in a brand extension.[1][2]

WWE's original world title, the WWE Championship, with which the WCW World Heavyweight Championship had been unified in 2001, was designated to the SmackDown! brand; as a result the World Heavyweight Championship was established for the Raw brand.[3] The World Heavyweight Championship is not a continuation of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, but rather its indirect successor.[4][5] For a list of champions who have held those titles, see the list of WCW World Heavyweight Champions and list of NWA World Heavyweight Champions respectively.

The championship was contested in professional wrestling matches, in which participants execute scripted finishes. The first champion was Triple H, who was awarded the title on September 2, 2002 by Eric Bischoff, the General Manager of Raw. Triple H also holds the record for longest combined reign at 616 days. Overall, there have been 25 different official champions, with Edge having the most reigns at seven. The longest single reign was held by Batista, lasting 285 days. The final holder was Randy Orton, who also was the youngest champion at age 24.

Title history[edit]

Reign The reign number for the specific champion
Location The city in which the title was won
Event The event promoted by the respective promotion in which the title was won
No. Champion Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref.
1 Triple H 1 September 2, 2002 76 Milwaukee, WI Raw Awarded the championship by Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff, making him the inaugural champion. Triple H defeated Intercontinental Champion Kane on October 20, 2002 at No Mercy to unify the Intercontinental Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship. [6][7]
2 Shawn Michaels 1 November 17, 2002 28 New York, NY Survivor Series This was the first ever Elimination Chamber match, also involving Chris Jericho, Booker T, Rob Van Dam and Kane. [8][9]
3 Triple H 2 December 15, 2002 280 Sunrise, FL Armageddon This was a Three Stages of Hell match. [10][11]
4 Goldberg 1 September 21, 2003 84 Hershey, PA Unforgiven This was a career vs. title match. [12][13]
5 Triple H 3 December 14, 2003 91 Orlando, FL Armageddon This was a triple threat match, also involving Kane. [14][15]
6 Chris Benoit 1 March 14, 2004 154 New York, NY WrestleMania XX This was a triple threat match, also involving Shawn Michaels. [16]
7 Randy Orton 1 August 15, 2004 28 Toronto, ON SummerSlam [17][18]
8 Triple H 4 September 12, 2004 85 Portland, OR Unforgiven [19][20]
Vacated December 6, 2004 Baltimore, MD Raw The championship was vacated after a double fall occurred in a triple threat match, also involving Chris Benoit and Edge. [21][22]
9 Triple H 5 January 9, 2005 84 San Juan, PR New Year's Revolution Defeated Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Batista and Edge in an Elimination Chamber match. Shawn Michaels was the guest referee. [21][23]
10 Batista 1 April 3, 2005 285 Los Angeles, CA WrestleMania 21 Batista was drafted to the SmackDown! brand on June 30, making the title SmackDown! exclusive. [24][25]
Vacated January 10, 2006 Philadelphia, PA SmackDown! Batista vacated the title after he was sidelined with a legit triceps injury. This episode aired on tape delay on January 13, 2006. [26][27]
11 Kurt Angle 1 January 10, 2006 79 Philadelphia, PA SmackDown! Angle won the vacant championship in a 20-man battle royal. This episode aired on tape delay on January 13, 2006. [26][27]
12 Rey Mysterio 1 April 2, 2006 112 Rosemont, IL WrestleMania 22 This was a triple threat match, also involving Randy Orton. The championship was referred to as the "World Championship", due to Mysterio not being a heavyweight. [28][29]
13 King Booker 1 July 23, 2006 126 Indianapolis, IN The Great American Bash [30][31]
14 Batista 2 November 26, 2006 126 Philadelphia, PA Survivor Series This was a Last Chance match. [32][33]
15 The Undertaker 1 April 1, 2007 40 Detroit, MI WrestleMania 23 [34][35]
16 Edge 1 May 8, 2007 70 Pittsburgh, PA SmackDown! Edge cashed in Mr. Kennedy's Money in the Bank contract he won on that week's Raw to earn the right to challenge for the title. This episode aired on tape delay on May 11, 2005. Following the win, Edge transferred from the Raw to the SmackDown! roster. [36][37]
Vacated July 17, 2007 Laredo, TX SmackDown! Edge vacated the title after he was sidelined with a legit pectoral injury. This episode aired on tape delay on July 20, 2007. [38][39]
17 The Great Khali 1 July 17, 2007 58 Laredo, TX SmackDown! Khali won the vacant championship in a 20-man battle royal. This episode aired on tape delay on July 20, 2007. [38][39]
18 Batista 3 September 16, 2007 91 Memphis, TN Unforgiven This was a triple threat match, also involving Rey Mysterio. [40][41]
19 Edge 2 December 16, 2007 105 Pittsburgh, PA Armageddon This was a triple threat match, also involving The Undertaker. [42][43]
20 The Undertaker 2 March 30, 2008 33 Orlando, FL WrestleMania XXIV [44][45]
Vacated April 29, 2008 Atlantic City, NJ SmackDown The SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero stripped The Undertaker of the title for using what she deemed to be a dangerous hold (Hell's Gate). This episode aired on tape delay on May 2, 2007. [46][47]
21 Edge 3 June 1, 2008 29 San Diego, CA One Night Stand Defeated The Undertaker in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match to win the vacant title. [46][48]
22 CM Punk 1 June 30, 2008 69 Oklahoma City, OK Raw Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. Since Punk was a member of Raw, the title became exclusive to Raw. [49][50]
23 Chris Jericho 1 September 7, 2008 49 Cleveland, OH Unforgiven This was a Championship Scramble match, also involving John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Batista, Rey Mysterio and Kane. Jericho was a late replacement for champion CM Punk, who was attacked by Legacy. [51][52]
24 Batista 4 October 26, 2008 8 Phoenix, AZ Cyber Sunday Stone Cold Steve Austin was the guest referee. [53][54]
25 Chris Jericho 2 November 3, 2008 20 Tampa, FL Raw This was a steel cage match. [55][56]
26 John Cena 1 November 23, 2008 84 Boston, MA Survivor Series [57][58]
27 Edge 4 February 15, 2009 49 Seattle, WA No Way Out This was an Elimination Chamber match also involving Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Mike Knox and Kane. Edge, a member of the SmackDown roster, attacked Kofi Kingston and replaced him in the match. Title became SmackDown exclusive and since WWE Champion Triple H was also a member of SmackDown, both world titles became exclusive to SmackDown. [59][60]
28 John Cena 2 April 5, 2009 21 Houston, TX WrestleMania XXV This was a triple threat match, also involving Big Show. The title became exclusive to the Raw brand due to Cena being a Raw superstar. After Triple H was drafted to Raw the following week, both titles became exclusive to Raw. [61][62]
29 Edge 5 April 26, 2009 42 Providence, RI Backlash This was a Last Man Standing match. The championship again became SmackDown exclusive. [63][64]
30 Jeff Hardy 1 June 7, 2009 <1 New Orleans, LA Extreme Rules This was a ladder match. [65][66]
31 CM Punk 2 49 Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [66][67]
32 Jeff Hardy 2 July 26, 2009 28 Philadelphia, PA Night of Champions [68][69]
33 CM Punk 3 August 23, 2009 42 Los Angeles, CA SummerSlam This was a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. [70][71]
34 The Undertaker 3 October 4, 2009 140 Newark, NJ Hell in a Cell This was a Hell in a Cell match.[72][73] At TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, Batista defeated The Undertaker for the title. Later that night, the SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long restarted the match and Undertaker defeated him, nullifying Batista's reign and continuing Undertaker's.
35 Chris Jericho 3 February 21, 2010 40 St. Louis, MO Elimination Chamber This was an Elimination Chamber match, also involving John Morrison, R-Truth, CM Punk and Rey Mysterio. [74]
36 Jack Swagger 1 March 30, 2010 79 Las Vegas, NV SmackDown Swagger cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. Swagger transferred from Raw to SmackDown upon winning the title. This episode aired on tape delay on April 2, 2010. [75][76]
37 Rey Mysterio 2 June 20, 2010 28 Uniondale, NY Fatal 4-Way This was a fatal four-way, also involving Big Show and CM Punk. The championship was referred to as the "World Championship" due to Mysterio not being a heavyweight. [77]
38 Kane 1 July 18, 2010 154 Kansas City, MO Money in the Bank Kane cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [78]
39 Edge 6 December 19, 2010 61 Houston, TX TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs This was a fatal four-way Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match, also involving Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio. [79]
40 Dolph Ziggler 1 February 15, 2011 <1 San Diego, CA SmackDown 600th Episode Edge was stripped as a result of using the spear (which had been banned) in a previous match by Vickie Guerrero, who then awarded the belt to Ziggler. This episode aired on tape delay on February 18, 2011. [80]
41 Edge 7 56 Edge was awarded a rematch the same night by returning General Manager, Theodore Long. This episode aired on tape delay on February 18, 2011. [81]
Vacated April 12, 2011 Albany, NY SmackDown Title declared vacant due to Edge's retirement. This episode aired on tape delay on April 15, 2011. [82]
42 Christian 1 May 1, 2011 5 Tampa, FL Extreme Rules Defeated Alberto Del Rio in a ladder match to win the vacant title. [83]
43 Randy Orton 2 May 3, 2011 72 Orlando, FL SmackDown Aired May 6, 2011 on tape delay. [84]
44 Christian 2 July 17, 2011 28 Rosemont, IL Money in the Bank Defeated Randy Orton by disqualification after Orton gave him a low-blow. The stipulations of the match allowed the title to change hands via disqualification. [85][86]
45 Randy Orton 3 August 14, 2011 35 Los Angeles, CA SummerSlam This was a No Holds Barred Match. [87]
46 Mark Henry 1 September 18, 2011 91 Buffalo, NY Night of Champions On the November 25 episode of SmackDown, Daniel Bryan cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and pinned Henry. However, the SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long revealed that Henry was not medically cleared to compete and voided the match. Henry remained champion and the briefcase was returned to Bryan. [88]
47 Big Show 1 December 18, 2011 <1 Baltimore, MD TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs This was a chairs match. [89]
48 Daniel Bryan 1 105 Bryan cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [90]
49 Sheamus 1 April 1, 2012 210 Miami, FL WrestleMania XXVIII [91]
50 Big Show 2 October 28, 2012 72 Atlanta, GA Hell in a Cell [92]
51 Alberto Del Rio 1 January 5, 2013 90 Miami, FL SmackDown This was a Last Man Standing match. This episode aired on tape delay on January 8, 2015. [93]
52 Dolph Ziggler 2 April 8, 2013 69 East Rutherford, NJ Raw Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [94]
53 Alberto Del Rio 2 June 16, 2013 133 Rosemont, IL Payback [95]
54 John Cena 3 October 27, 2013 49 Miami, FL Hell in a Cell [96]
55 Randy Orton 4 December 15, 2013 <1 Houston, TX TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs This was a TLC match and was also for Orton's WWE Championship [97]
Unified December 15, 2013 Houston, TX TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs Unified with the Orton's WWE Championship creating the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. [98]

Combined reigns[edit]

Edge, a record seven-time World Heavyweight Champion
Rank Champion No. of reigns Combined days
1 Triple H 5 616
2 Batista 4 510
3 Edge 7 412
4 Del Rio, AlbertoAlberto Del Rio 2 226
5 The Undertaker 3 213
6 Sheamus 1 210
7 CM Punk 3 160
8 Cena, JohnJohn Cena 3 154
Benoit, ChrisChris Benoit 1 154
Kane 1 154
11 Mysterio, ReyRey Mysterio 2 140
12 Orton, RandyRandy Orton 4 138
13 King Booker 1 126
14 Jericho, ChrisChris Jericho 3 109
15 Bryan, DanielDaniel Bryan 1 105
16 Henry, MarkMark Henry 1 91
17 Goldberg 1 84
18 Swagger, JackJack Swagger 1 79
Angle, KurtKurt Angle 1 79
20 Big Show 2 75
21 Ziggler, DolphDolph Ziggler 2 69
22 The Great Khali 1 58
23 Christian 2 33
24 Hardy, JeffJeff Hardy 2 28
Michaels, ShawnShawn Michaels 1 28

References[edit]

General
Specific
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External links[edit]