List of World Heavyweight Champions (WWE)

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Yongest, four time and final 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 brands, 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.

At the TLC pay-per-view on December 15, 2013, when WWE Champion Randy Orton defeated World Heavyweight Champion John Cena, 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.

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, then-General Manager of Raw, and he 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 282 days. The final holder was Randy Orton, who was also the youngest champion at the age of 24 when he first won the championship. The Undertaker was the oldest champion when he won the title for the third time at the age of 44 years.

Title history[edit]

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
<1 Reign lasted less than a day
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days Days recog.
1 Triple H September 2, 2002 Raw Milwaukee, WI 1 76 76 After the WWE Undisputed Championship became exclusive to the SmackDown! brand, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff created the World Heavyweight Championship to be the world title of Raw and awarded it to Triple H, who was originally the number one contender for the WWE Undisputed Championship, which dropped the "Undisputed" moniker.
At No Mercy on October 20, 2002, Triple H defeated Intercontinental Champion Kane to unify the Intercontinental Championship into the World Heavyweight Championship.
[7][8]
2 Shawn Michaels November 17, 2002 Survivor Series New York, NY 1 28 28 This was the first ever Elimination Chamber match, also involving Chris Jericho, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, and Kane. [9][10]
3 Triple H December 15, 2002 Armageddon Sunrise, FL 2 280 280 This was a Three Stages of Hell match.
On May 5, 2003, the Intercontinental Championship was reactivated for Raw.
[11][12]
4 Goldberg September 21, 2003 Unforgiven Hershey, PA 1 84 84 This was a career vs. title match.
Had Triple H been disqualified or counted out, he would lose the title.
[13][14]
5 Triple H December 14, 2003 Armageddon Orlando, FL 3 91 91 This was a triple threat match, also involving Kane. [15][16]
6 Chris Benoit March 14, 2004 WrestleMania XX New York, NY 1 154 154 This was a triple threat match, also involving Shawn Michaels. [17]
7 Randy Orton August 15, 2004 SummerSlam Toronto, ON 1 28 28 [18][19]
8 Triple H September 12, 2004 Unforgiven Portland, OR 4 85 85 [20][21]
Vacated December 6, 2004 Raw Baltimore, MD The championship was vacated after a double fall occurred in a triple threat match, also involving Chris Benoit and Edge. [22][23]
9 Triple H January 9, 2005 New Year's Revolution San Juan, PR 5 84 84 Defeated Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Batista, and Edge in an Elimination Chamber match for the vacant title. Shawn Michaels was guest referee. [22][24]
10 Batista April 3, 2005 WrestleMania 21 Los Angeles, CA 1 282 282 The title became exclusive to the SmackDown brand following the 2005 WWE draft lottery. [25][26]
Vacated January 10, 2006 SmackDown! Philadelphia, PA Batista vacated the title after he was sidelined with a legit triceps injury.
Aired on tape delay on January 13, 2006.
[27][28]
11 Kurt Angle January 10, 2006 SmackDown! Philadelphia, PA 1 82 82 This was a 20-man battle royal for the vacant title.
Aired on tape delay on January 13, 2006.
[27][28]
12 Rey Mysterio April 2, 2006 WrestleMania 22 Rosemont, IL 1 112 112 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. [29][30]
13 King Booker July 23, 2006 The Great American Bash Indianapolis, IN 1 126 126 [31][32]
14 Batista November 26, 2006 Survivor Series Philadelphia, PA 2 126 126 This was a Last Chance match. [33][34]
15 The Undertaker April 1, 2007 WrestleMania 23 Detroit, MI 1 37 37 [35][36]
16 Edge May 8, 2007 SmackDown! Pittsburgh, PA 1 70 70 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract that he had won from Mr. Kennedy on that week's episode of Raw. Following the win, Edge transferred from Raw to SmackDown!.
Aired on tape delay on May 11, 2007.
[37][38]
Vacated July 17, 2007 SmackDown! Laredo, TX Edge vacated the title after he was sidelined with a legit pectoral injury.
Aired on tape delay on July 20, 2007.
[39][40]
17 The Great Khali July 17, 2007 SmackDown! Laredo, TX 1 61 61 This was a 20-man battle royal for the vacant title.
Aired on tape delay on July 20, 2007.
[39][40]
18 Batista September 16, 2007 Unforgiven Memphis, TN 3 91 91 This was a triple threat match, also involving Rey Mysterio. [41][42]
19 Edge December 16, 2007 Armageddon Pittsburgh, PA 2 105 106 This was a triple threat match, also involving The Undertaker. [43][44]
20 The Undertaker March 30, 2008 WrestleMania XXIV Orlando, FL 2 30 33 WWE recognizes The Undertaker's reign as ending on May 2, 2008, when the following episode aired on tape delay. [45][46]
Vacated April 29, 2008 SmackDown Atlantic City, NJ SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero stripped The Undertaker of the title for using the Hell's Gate submission hold, which she deemed to be dangerous.
Aired on tape delay on May 2, 2008.
[47][48]
21 Edge June 1, 2008 One Night Stand San Diego, CA 3 29 29 Defeated The Undertaker in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match to win the vacant title. Per the pre-match stipulation, Undertaker was (kayfabe) banished from WWE. [47][49]
22 CM Punk June 30, 2008 Raw Oklahoma City, OK 1 69 69 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract.
The title moved to Raw due to Punk's status as a Raw wrestler.
[50][51]
23 Chris Jericho September 7, 2008 Unforgiven Cleveland, OH 1 49 49 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 prior to the match. [52][53]
24 Batista October 26, 2008 Cyber Sunday Phoenix, AZ 4 8 8 Stone Cold Steve Austin was the guest referee. [54][55]
25 Chris Jericho November 3, 2008 Raw Tampa, FL 2 20 20 This was a steel cage match. [56][57]
26 John Cena November 23, 2008 Survivor Series Boston, MA 1 84 84 [58][59]
27 Edge February 15, 2009 No Way Out Seattle, WA 4 49 48 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.
The title became exclusive to SmackDown due to Edge's status as a SmackDown wrestler.
[60][61]
28 John Cena April 5, 2009 WrestleMania XXV Houston, TX 2 21 21 This was a triple threat match, also involving Big Show.
The title became exclusive to the Raw brand due to Cena's status as a Raw wrestler.
[62][63]
29 Edge April 26, 2009 Backlash Providence, RI 5 42 42 This was a Last Man Standing match.
The title was returned to SmackDown due to Edge's status as a SmackDown wrestler.
[64][65]
30 Jeff Hardy June 7, 2009 Extreme Rules New Orleans, LA 1 <1 <1 This was a ladder match. [66][67]
31 CM Punk June 7, 2009 Extreme Rules New Orleans, LA 2 49 49 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [67][68]
32 Jeff Hardy July 26, 2009 Night of Champions Philadelphia, PA 2 28 28 [69][70]
33 CM Punk August 23, 2009 SummerSlam Los Angeles, CA 3 42 42 This was a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. [71][72]
34 The Undertaker October 4, 2009 Hell in a Cell Newark, NJ 3 140 140 This was a Hell in a Cell match.
At TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 13, 2009, Batista defeated The Undertaker for the title. Later that night, SmackDown General Manager Theodore Long restarted the match and Undertaker defeated him, nullifying Batista's reign and continuing Undertaker's.
[73][74]
35 Chris Jericho February 21, 2010 Elimination Chamber St. Louis, MO 3 37 40 This was an Elimination Chamber match, also involving John Morrison, R-Truth, CM Punk, and Rey Mysterio.
WWE recognizes Jericho's reign as ending on April 2, 2010, when the following episode aired on tape delay.
[75]
36 Jack Swagger March 30, 2010 SmackDown Las Vegas, NV 1 82 79 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. Swagger transferred from Raw to SmackDown upon winning the title.
WWE recognizes Swagger's reign as beginning on April 2, 2010, when the episode aired on tape delay.
[76][77]
37 Rey Mysterio June 20, 2010 Fatal 4-Way Uniondale, NY 2 28 28 This was a fatal four-way match, also involving Big Show and CM Punk. The championship was referred to as the "World Championship" due to Mysterio not being a heavyweight. [78]
38 Kane July 18, 2010 Money in the Bank Kansas City, MO 1 154 154 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [79]
39 Edge December 19, 2010 TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Houston, TX 6 58 61 This was a fatal four-way Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match, also involving Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio.
WWE recognizes Edge's reign as ending on February 18, 2011, when the following episode aired on tape delay.
[80]
Vacated February 15, 2011 SmackDown San Diego, CA Edge was stripped of the title by SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero as a result of using the spear (which had been banned) in a previous match.
Aired on tape delay on February 18, 2011.
[81]
40 Dolph Ziggler February 15, 2011 SmackDown San Diego, CA 1 <1 <1 SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero awarded the title to Ziggler.
Aired on tape delay on February 18, 2011, the date WWE recognizes for the reign.
[81]
41 Edge February 15, 2011 SmackDown San Diego, CA 7 56 55 Edge was awarded a rematch the same night by returning General Manager, Theodore Long.
WWE recognizes Edge's reign as beginning on February 18, 2011, and ending on April 15, 2011, both episodes of which aired on tape delay.
[82]
Vacated April 12, 2011 SmackDown Albany, NY Title declared vacant due to Edge's retirement.
Aired on tape delay on April 15, 2011.
[83]
42 Christian May 1, 2011 Extreme Rules Tampa, FL 1 2 5 Defeated Alberto Del Rio in a ladder match to win the vacant title.
WWE recognizes Christian's reign as ending on May 6, 2011, when the following episode aired on tape delay.
[84]
43 Randy Orton May 3, 2011 SmackDown Orlando, FL 2 75 72 WWE recognizes Orton's reign as beginning on May 6, 2011, when the episode aired on tape delay. [85]
44 Christian July 17, 2011 Money in the Bank Rosemont, IL 2 28 28 Defeated Randy Orton by disqualification after being hit with a low-blow. The stipulations of the match allowed the title to change hands via disqualification. [86][87]
45 Randy Orton August 14, 2011 SummerSlam Los Angeles, CA 3 35 35 This was a No Holds Barred match. [88]
46 Mark Henry September 18, 2011 Night of Champions Buffalo, NY 1 91 92 On the November 25 episode of SmackDown, Daniel Bryan cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and pinned Henry. However, 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. [89]
47 Big Show December 18, 2011 TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Baltimore, MD 1 <1 <1 This was a chairs match [90]
48 Daniel Bryan December 18, 2011 TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Baltimore, MD 1 105 105 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [91]
49 Sheamus April 1, 2012 WrestleMania XXVIII Miami, FL 1 210 211 [92]
50 Big Show October 28, 2012 Hell in a Cell Atlanta, GA 2 72 73 [93]
51 Alberto Del Rio January 8, 2013 SmackDown Miami, FL 1 90 90 This was a Last Man Standing match.
Aired on tape delay on January 11, 2013.
[94]
52 Dolph Ziggler April 8, 2013 Raw East Rutherford, NJ 2 69 70 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [95]
53 Alberto Del Rio June 16, 2013 Payback Rosemont, IL 2 133 134 [96]
54 John Cena October 27, 2013 Hell in a Cell Miami, FL 3 49 50 [97]
55 Randy Orton December 15, 2013 TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Houston, TX 4 <1 <1 This was a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs title unification match, where Orton also defended his WWE Championship. [98]
Unified December 15, 2013 TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Houston, TX Randy Orton defeated John Cena to unify the World Heavyweight Championship with the WWE Championship. The World Heavyweight Championship was retired and the WWE Championship became the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. [99]

Combined reigns[edit]

Inaugural and five-time champion Triple H
Record seven-time champion Edge
Rank Wrestler No. of
reigns
Combined days Combined days
recognized by WWE
1 Triple H 5 616
2 Batista 4 507
3 Edge 7 409 411
4 Alberto Del Rio 2 223 224
5 Sheamus 1 210 211
6 The Undertaker 3 207 210
7 CM Punk 3 160
8 John Cena 3 154 155
Chris Benoit 1 154
Kane 1 154
11 Rey Mysterio 2 140
12 Randy Orton 4 138 135
13 King Booker 1 126
14 Chris Jericho 3 106 109
15 Daniel Bryan 1 105
16 Mark Henry 1 91 92
17 Goldberg 1 84
18 Jack Swagger 1 82 79
Kurt Angle 1 82
20 Big Show 2 72 73
21 Dolph Ziggler 2 69 70
22 The Great Khali 1 61
23 Christian 2 30 33
24 Jeff Hardy 2 28
Shawn Michaels 1 28

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
  • "History of the World Heavyweight Championship". WWE. Retrieved 2009-06-14.
Specific
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External links[edit]