World championships in WWE

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WWE's inaugural world champion, Buddy Rogers, who became the WWWF World Heavyweight Champion in 1963, a title that is now known as the WWE Championship.

The American professional wrestling promotion WWE has maintained several men's world championships since Capitol Wrestling Corporation seceded from the National Wrestling Alliance in 1963 to become the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), which was later subjected to various name changes, including World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)—in April 2011, the company ceased using its full name and has since just been referred to as WWE. The company's first world championship was the WWE Championship, which was established along with the promotion's creation in 1963 as the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship; it is still active today and is WWE's oldest active title. Whenever the WWE brand extension has been implemented (2002–2011; 2016–present), separate world championships have been created or allocated for each brand.

WWE currently promotes three men's world championships. Two of them, the WWE Championship and the WWE Universal Championship, are held and defended together as the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on the SmackDown brand. The third is the World Heavyweight Championship on Raw.

This article covers all men's world championships contested in WWE throughout its history, not those acquired by the company and never contested under its banner, although WWE may recognize some titles from outside the company for championship records, such as the NWA World Heavyweight Championship or the AWA World Heavyweight Championship.

Overview[edit]

No. Name Years
1 WWE Championship 1963–present
2 WCW Championship 1991–2001 (became WWF property in 2001)
3 ECW Championship 1994–2001, 2006–2010 (became WWE property in 2003)
4 World Heavyweight Championship
(original version)
2002–2013
5 NXT Championship 2019–2021[a]
6 WWE Universal Championship 2016–present
7 World Heavyweight Championship
(current version)
2023–present

Summary of championships[edit]

WWE Championship (1963–present)[edit]

Bruno Sammartino defeated inaugural champion Buddy Rogers and became the longest-reigning champion at 2,803 days; pictured here in his second reign with the then-WWWF Heavyweight Championship (now WWE Championship)

The WWE Championship is the original world heavyweight championship of WWE, currently defended on the SmackDown brand. It was established by the then-World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) on April 25, 1963, as the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship, after Capitol Wrestling Corporation seceded from the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) to become the WWWF following a dispute over the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. The inaugural champion was Buddy Rogers.[1][2] Since its inception, the title has undergone many name changes due to company name changes and title unifications. The WWWF was renamed to World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1979[3] and then World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) in 2002[4][5]—since April 2011, the company has operated under the trade name of WWE, although the legal name is still the full unabbreviated name.[6]

The WWE Championship is the oldest championship currently active in WWE and is presented as being the promotion's most prestigious title.[7] Aside from company name changes that resulted in the championship being renamed accordingly, the most notable name changes were from championship unifications. These included the WWE Undisputed Championship and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. There is also the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, which is what the title has been held under since April 2022, but unlike previous unifications, both titles under this undisputed banner have maintained their individual lineages.[8]

WWE Undisputed Championship (2001–2002)[edit]

Triple H after winning the Undisputed WWF Championship (now WWE Championship) at WrestleMania X8; the former WCW Championship (left) and WWF Championship belts represented the unified title until a single belt was presented to Triple H in April 2002; later that same year in September, Triple H became the inaugural World Heavyweight Champion (original), which also used the Big Gold Belt design that had represented the WCW Championship.

The WWE Undisputed Championship was the result of a unification of the then-WWF Championship and the World Championship (formerly WCW Championship) in December 2001. Earlier that year in March, the WWF acquired World Championship Wrestling (WCW), which shortly after began The Invasion storyline, a war between the WWF and the combined faction of former WCW and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) wrestlers called The Alliance. This culminated at Survivor Series in November where the WWF won The Invasion war, disbanding The Alliance. The WCW Championship was subsequently renamed World Championship. As there was not a need for two world championships, a unification match was scheduled for Vengeance the following month. At the event, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin defeated Kurt Angle to retain the WWF Championship, while Chris Jericho defeated The Rock for the World Championship. After this, Jericho defeated Austin, unifying the WWF and World Championships, and becoming the first Undisputed WWF Champion; the Undisputed Championship retained the lineage of the WWF Championship while the World Championship was retired.[9]

After the company was renamed to WWE, the championship was renamed Undisputed WWE Championship and then WWE Undisputed Championship. With the introduction of the WWE brand extension in March 2002, the company split its roster into two brands, Raw and SmackDown, where wrestlers were exclusively assigned to perform.[10] The holder of the Undisputed Championship was the only male wrestler allowed to appear on both brands, as the champion defended the title against challengers from both brands. However, in September 2002, after reigning champion Brock Lesnar signed an exclusive deal to only defend the title on SmackDown, the title dropped the "undisputed" moniker, becoming the WWE Championship, while Raw established the original World Heavyweight Championship as its counterpart.[11]

WWE World Heavyweight Championship (2013–2016)[edit]

Randy Orton unified the World Heavyweight Championship (original) with the WWE Championship in December 2013, retiring the former and renaming the latter to WWE World Heavyweight Championship (which reverted to WWE Championship in 2016); the two belts represented the unified title until a single belt was presented to Brock Lesnar in August 2014.

The WWE World Heavyweight Championship was the result of a unification of the WWE Championship and the original World Heavyweight Championship in December 2013. Following the end of the first brand extension in August 2011, both the WWE Champion and World Heavyweight Champion could appear on both Raw and SmackDown. After two years, as there was no longer a need for two world championships in the company, reigning World Heavyweight Champion John Cena made a challenge to reigning WWE Champion Randy Orton to determine WWE's undisputed world champion. Orton subsequently defeated Cena in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match at the TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view on December 15, 2013, to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The WWE World Heavyweight Championship retained the lineage of the WWE Championship while the World Heavyweight Championship was retired.[12]

After Dean Ambrose won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Money in the Bank on June 19, 2016, one week later on June 27, the title's name reverted to WWE Championship.[13][14][15] After the reintroduction of the brand extension the following month, the title became exclusive to SmackDown and was renamed to WWE World Championship, although it reverted to WWE Championship in December 2016.[16]

WCW Championship (1991–2001)[edit]

The inaugural WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair

The WCW World Heavyweight Championship was originally the world championship of World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and later, defended on the then-WWF's programs. The title was established in 1991 when WCW, a member of the NWA, created the title to replace the NWA's world championship and claimed reigning NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair as the inaugural WCW World Heavyweight Champion. Flair's Big Gold Belt simultaneously represented the world championships of both the NWA and WCW until the NWA dropped its recognition of Flair as their champion when Flair left WCW with the Big Gold Belt and joined the WWF. Flair subsequently began appearing on WWF television with the Big Gold Belt, calling himself "The Real World Champion"; however, this was never officially recognized as a world championship in WWF.[17]

In 1993, WCW seceded from the NWA and grew to become a rival promotion to the WWF. Both organizations grew into mainstream prominence and were eventually involved in a television ratings war, dubbed the Monday Night Wars. Near the end of the ratings war, WCW began a financial decline, which culminated in WWF purchasing WCW in March 2001.[18] As a result of the purchase, the WWF acquired, among other assets, WCW's championships. Thus, there were two world championships in the WWF: the original WWF Championship and the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, which was shortened to WCW Championship upon WWF's acquisition and was eventually renamed the "World Championship" in November.[19][20] The World Championship was then retired when it was unified into the WWF Championship at Vengeance in December 2001, with the WWF Championship becoming the Undisputed WWF Championship. Chris Jericho was the final WCW Champion.[9]

World Heavyweight Championship (2002–2013)[edit]

The original World Heavyweight Championship was the second world championship to be established by WWE, which occurred in September 2002. After WWE introduced the WWE brand extension in March 2002, the Undisputed Champion was the only male wrestler allowed to appear on both the Raw and SmackDown brands. However, after reigning WWE Undisputed Champion Brock Lesnar signed an exclusive deal to only appear on SmackDown, Raw was left without a world championship. The World Heavyweight Championship was subsequently established and awarded to Triple H, who was originally the number one contender to Lesnar's championship, which dropped the "undisputed" moniker.[21][22][23]

Throughout the first brand split (2002–2011), the original World Heavyweight Championship and WWE Championship switched brands, usually as a result of the WWE Draft. The brand extension was dissolved in August 2011, allowing the World Heavyweight Champion and WWE Champion to appear on both brands. With no longer a need for two world championships, the World Heavyweight Championship was retired when it was unified into the WWE Championship at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in December 2013, with the WWE Championship becoming the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Randy Orton was the final holder of the original World Heavyweight Championship.[12]

ECW Championship (1994–2010)[edit]

The ECW World Heavyweight Championship was originally the world championship of Extreme Championship Wrestling, and later, WWE's ECW brand. In 1994, Eastern Championship Wrestling seceded from the NWA and became Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and established the ECW World Heavyweight Championship with WWE recognizing Shane Douglas as the inaugural champion. The championship itself had originally been established as the ECW Heavyweight Championship in 1992 for the previous Eastern Championship Wrestling with Jimmy Snuka as the inaugural champion; however, WWE only recognizes the title history from its change over to Extreme Championship Wrestling.[24][25][26] In 2001, the ECW promotion folded due to bankruptcy and WWE bought the assets of ECW in 2003.[26]

In June 2006, WWE established a third brand dubbed ECW on which stars from the former promotion and newer talent competed.[26] When ECW's Rob Van Dam won the WWE Championship at ECW One Night Stand, the ECW Championship was subsequently reactivated as the world championship of the ECW brand (and the third concurrently active world championship in WWE) and was awarded to Van Dam, who held both until he lost the WWE Championship to Raw's Edge the following month. The three world championships at one point or another switched brands over the course of the brand extension, usually as a result of the WWE Draft. The ECW brand was disbanded in 2010, subsequently retiring the ECW Championship. The final champion was Ezekiel Jackson.[26]

WWE Universal Championship (2016–present)[edit]

The inaugural WWE Universal Champion Finn Bálor

The WWE Universal Championship is the third world championship to be established by WWE and is currently defended on the SmackDown brand. Its creation came as a result of the reintroduction of the brand extension in July 2016. On the July 25 episode of Raw, to address the lack of a world championship for the brand since the WWE Championship became exclusive to SmackDown, the Universal Championship was created. Finn Bálor subsequently became the inaugural champion at SummerSlam the following month.[27] The titles would switch brands following the events of the 2019 Crown Jewel pay-per-view.[28][29] Since April 2022, the title has been held together with the WWE Championship under the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship banner, but unlike previous title unifications, both titles under this undisputed moniker have maintained their individual lineages.[8]

NXT Championship (2019–2021)[edit]

The NXT Championship is the top championship of WWE's developmental brand, NXT; however, there was a period of time from 2019 to 2021 in which NXT was regarded as WWE's third brand with the championship regarded as a world championship. In June 2012, WWE established the NXT brand as their developmental territory to replace Florida Championship Wrestling. The NXT Championship was subsequently established and Seth Rollins became the inaugural champion.[30][31] In September 2019, after years of growth and expansion, the NXT brand became WWE's third major brand when the NXT program was moved to the USA Network,[32][33] with the NXT Championship subsequently regarded as a world championship.[34] However, WWE revamped NXT in September 2021 and returned the brand to its original function as a developmental brand, with the title no longer regarded as a world championship.[35]

Undisputed WWE Championship (2022–present)[edit]

The Undisputed WWE Championship belt (2023–present), which represents both the WWE Championship and WWE Universal Championship.

The Undisputed WWE Championship (formerly known as Undisputed WWE Universal Championship) is the term used by WWE to refer to both the WWE Championship and the Universal Championship being held and defended simultaneously by the same individual. This recognition came as a result of a Winner Takes All match at WrestleMania 38 in April 2022. WWE also billed the match as a championship unification match; however, both titles have maintained their individual lineages despite WWE promoting the undisputed title as one championship.[8]

At WrestleMania 38, SmackDown's Universal Champion Roman Reigns defeated Raw's WWE Champion Brock Lesnar to win the latter's title and become recognized as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion.[8] As the undisputed champion, Reigns was allowed to appear on both brands; as a result of the 2023 WWE Draft, however, he was drafted to SmackDown, thus making both championships under the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship banner exclusive to the brand.[36][37] A new world title, the World Heavyweight Championship, was created and subsequently designated to Raw.[38][39]

On the June 2, 2023, episode of SmackDown, in celebration of Reigns reaching 1,000 days as Universal Champion, he was presented with a single belt, which features the same "Network Logo" design of the individual titles, but with notable differences. It is on a black strap, the WWE logo is encrusted with black diamonds, the background behind the logo is gold with nugget texturing, and the text at the bottom of the plate says "Undisputed Champion", while the side plates featured Reigns' logo.[40][41] His manager Paul Heyman had continued to carry around the standard WWE and Universal Championship belts until the end of July.[42] Cody Rhodes would defeat Reigns at WrestleMania XL Night 2 on April 6, 2024, to win the title, and he has continued to hold the singular Undisputed belt, now with his own logos on the side plates, while continuing the individual lineages of both championships.[43] The week after WrestleMania XL on both Raw and SmackDown´s shows, Chief Content Officer Triple H, the Raw and SmackDown announcers and the current champion call this championship Undisputed WWE Championship.

World Heavyweight Championship (2023–present)[edit]

The inaugural World Heavyweight Champion Seth "Freakin" Rollins, shown here with the WWE Championship. Rollins was also the inaugural NXT Champion and is the only wrestler to have hold the NXT, WWE, Universal, and World Heavyweight Championships

The current World Heavyweight Championship is the fourth world championship to be established by WWE, and is currently defended on the Raw brand. Its creation came as a result of Roman Reigns, who at the time held the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. After Reigns became undisputed champion in April 2022, he defended the tandem title across both the Raw and SmackDown brands, but these defenses were infrequent due to the terms of his contract. On the April 24, 2023, episode of Raw, WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H announced that regardless of what brand Reigns was drafted to in the 2023 WWE Draft, he and his undisputed championship would become exclusive to that brand, with Triple H subsequently unveiling the World Heavyweight Championship for the opposing brand. During the draft, SmackDown drafted Reigns, thus the World Heavyweight Championship became exclusive to Raw.[44][38][39][30] Seth "Freakin" Rollins became the inaugural champion by defeating AJ Styles in a tournament final at Night of Champions on May 27, 2023.[45][46]

Champions[edit]

Current champions[edit]

The following list shows the wrestlers that are currently holding all active men's world championships in WWE.

Championship Champion Reign Date won Days held[47] Location Notes
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship
(WWE Championship and WWE Universal Championship)
Cody Rhodes 1 April 7, 2024 10+ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Defeated Roman Reigns in a Bloodline Rules match at WrestleMania XL Night 2.
World Heavyweight Championship
(current version)
Damian Priest 1 April 7, 2024 10+ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Defeated Drew McIntyre in his Money in the Bank cash-in match at WrestleMania XL Night 2, right after McIntyre had won the title.

Retired championships[edit]

The following list shows retired men's world championships and the final title holders before the belts were deactivated in WWE.

Championship Final champion Reign Date retired Days held Notes
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Chris Jericho 2 December 9, 2001 <1 Won the title as the World Championship. It was unified into the then-WWF Championship, which subsequently became known as the Undisputed WWF Championship.
ECW World Heavyweight Championship Ezekiel Jackson 1 February 16, 2010 <1 Won the title as the ECW Championship. It was retired with the dissolution of the ECW brand.
World Heavyweight Championship
(original version)
Randy Orton 4 December 15, 2013 <1 The championship was unified into Orton's WWE Championship, which subsequently became known as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Inaugural championship holders[edit]

The following list shows the inaugural holders for each world championship created and/or promoted by WWE.

Championship Holder(s) Date Notes
WWE Championship Buddy Rogers April 11, 1963 Won the title as the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship which WWE recognizes as happening on April 25, 1963.
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Ric Flair January 11, 1991 Flair was the reigning NWA World Heavyweight Champion when World Championship Wrestling began also recognizing him as their world champion. For Flair's 16 world championships, this reign is recognized as one of his 8 NWA reigns.
ECW World Heavyweight Championship Jimmy Snuka April 25, 1992 Won the title as the ECW Heavyweight Championship as part of Eastern Championship Wrestling of the National Wrestling Alliance. This is not recognized by WWE.
Shane Douglas March 26, 1994 WWE officially recognizes this as the inaugural reign of the title after Eastern Championship Wrestling split from the NWA to become Extreme Championship Wrestling with Douglas' reign for the latter officially beginning on August 27, 1994.
World Heavyweight Championship
(original version)
Triple H September 2, 2002
NXT Championship Seth Rollins July 26, 2012 WWE officially recognizes that Rollins won the title on August 29, 2012, when the match aired on tape delay. The title was not recognized as a world championship at this time.
WWE Universal Championship Finn Bálor August 21, 2016
World Heavyweight Championship
(current version)
Seth "Freakin" Rollins May 27, 2023

Superlative reigns[edit]

  • (+) – indicates the reign is ongoing.

Ten longest[edit]

The following list shows the ten longest world championship reigns in WWE history.

No. Champion Title Reign Length
(days)
Notes
1 Bruno Sammartino WWE Championship 1 2,803 During this reign, the title was known as the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship.
2 Hulk Hogan WWE Championship 1 1,474 During this reign, the title was known as the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
3 Bob Backlund WWE Championship 1(2) 1,470 Backlund first won the title as the WWWF Heavyweight Championship. During this reign, it was renamed to WWF Heavyweight Championship when the WWWF was renamed to WWF. WWE recognizes this reign as lasting 2,135 days as they do not recognize Antonio Inoki's reign or the subsequent vacancies of the title that followed, and thus recognize this period as one continuous reign for Backlund. This is the second part of this reign.
4 Roman Reigns WWE Universal Championship 2 1,316 Won the title in August 2020. From April 2022 until April 2024, he held and defended the title together with the WWE Championship as the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, although both titles retained their individual lineages.
5 Bruno Sammartino WWE Championship 2 1,237 During this reign, the title was known as the WWWF Heavyweight Championship.
6 Pedro Morales WWE Championship 1 1,027 During this reign, the title was known as the WWWF Heavyweight Championship.
7 Roman Reigns WWE Championship 4 735 During this reign, the title was jointly held and defended with the WWE Universal Championship as the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, although both titles retained their individual lineages.
8 Bob Backlund WWE Championship 1(1) 648 Backlund first won the title as the WWWF Heavyweight Championship. During this reign, it was renamed to WWF Heavyweight Championship when the WWWF was renamed to WWF. WWE recognizes this reign as lasting 2,135 days as they do not recognize Antonio Inoki's reign or the subsequent vacancies of the title that followed, and thus recognize this period as one continuous reign for Backlund. This is the first part of this reign.
9 Brock Lesnar WWE Universal Championship 1 504 WWE recognizes this reign as lasting 503 days.
10 Hulk Hogan WCW World Heavyweight Championship 1 469

Longest per championship[edit]

The following list shows the longest reigning champion for each world championship created and/or promoted by WWE.

No. Champion Title Reign Dates held Length
(days)
Notes
1 Bruno Sammartino WWE Championship 1 May 17, 1963 – January 18, 1971 2,803 During this reign, the title was known as the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship.
2 Roman Reigns WWE Universal Championship 2 August 30, 2020 – April 7, 2024 1,316 From April 2022 until April 2024, he held and defended the title together with the WWE Championship as the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, although both titles retained their individual lineages.
3 Hulk Hogan WCW World Heavyweight Championship 1 July 17, 1994 – October 29, 1995 469
4 Shane Douglas ECW World Heavyweight Championship 4 November 30, 1997 – January 10, 1999 406
5 Adam Cole NXT Championship 1 June 1, 2019 – July 1, 2020 396 During this reign, the NXT brand became one of WWE's three main brands along with Raw and SmackDown.
WWE recognizes this reign as lasting 403 days due to tape delay.
6 Seth "Freakin" Rollins World Heavyweight Championship
(current version)
1 May 27, 2023 – April 7, 2024 316
7 Batista World Heavyweight Championship
(original version)
1 April 3, 2005 – January 10, 2006 282

Most per championship[edit]

The following list shows the wrestlers with the most reigns for each world championship created and/or promoted by WWE.

No. Champion Title No. of reigns Notes
1 John Cena WWE Championship 13 During Cena's 12th reign, the title was known as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
2 Edge World Heavyweight Championship
(original version)
7
3 Ric Flair WCW World Heavyweight Championship 6 In World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Flair was recognized as an 8-time champion, but WWE only recognizes 6, counting his first reign as one of his 8 NWA World Heavyweight Championship reigns and ignoring a title vacancy that occurred in 1994 and instead viewing that as one continuous reign.
4 The Sandman ECW World Heavyweight Championship 5
5 Brock Lesnar WWE Universal Championship 3
6 Seth "Freakin" Rollins World Heavyweight Championship
(current version)
1 There have only been three reigns between three champions thus far.
Drew McIntyre
Damian Priest
7 Samoa Joe NXT Championship 3 During his first two reigns, the title was not recognized as a world championship. His third reign was the final reign in which the title was recognized as a world championship, as after he vacated the title due to injury, NXT returned to being WWE's development brand.

Most total reigns[edit]

The following list shows the wrestlers who have the most world championship reigns in total, combining all titles they have held as recognized by WWE. This list also shows the titles that they won to achieve this record (minimum five world championship reigns).

No. Champion Titles No. of Reigns Notes
1 Ric Flair 16 WWE officially recognizes that Flair is a 16-time world champion, with other promotions also recognizing this number. His actual number of world championships exceeds that, with Flair himself stating 21 world titles. Depending on recognition, Flair is variously recognized as a 16-time world champion (8 NWA, 6 WCW, and 2 WWF), 18-time world champion (8 NWA, 8 WCW, and 2 WWF), and 21-time world champion (9 NWA, 8 WCW, 2 WWF, and 2 WCW International), with the number of NWA titles varying between 8 and 9, and the WCW World title between 6 and 8. In the current NWA, Flair is recognized as holding that title 9 times but WWE only recognizes 8. In WCW, Flair was recognized as an eight-time champion but WWE only recognizes 6, counting his first reign as one of his 8 NWA title reigns and ignoring a title vacancy that occurred in 1994 and instead viewing that as one continuous reign. WWE also does not recognize his two WCW International World Championship reigns, recognizing the first reign as an NWA title reign, and not counting the second, which he won via a title unification match.[48][49][50] During his two reigns as WWE Champion, the title was known as the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
John Cena During his 12th reign as WWE Champion, the title was known as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
3 Triple H 14 During his first four reigns as WWE Champion, the title was known as the WWF Championship. During his fifth reign, the title was known as the Undisputed WWF Championship. During his ninth reign, the title was known as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H was the inaugural World Heavyweight Champion, which subsequently made him the first wrestler to hold the World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Championship.
Randy Orton Orton was the youngest holder of the World Heavyweight Championship at 24, which also makes him the youngest world champion in WWE history. Orton is also the final holder of the title when he unified the World Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Championship to become the WWE World Heavyweight Championship; this occurred during Orton's eighth reign as WWE Champion. By the time of his ninth reign, the title reverted to being called the WWE Championship.
6 Hulk Hogan 12 During his first five reigns as WWE Champion, the title was known as the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, although often abbreviated to WWF Championship. During his sixth reign, the title had three names, and he won it as the Undisputed WWF Championship but was shortly after renamed to Undisputed WWE Championship (due to the company being renamed from WWF to WWE) before being renamed again to WWE Undisputed Championship. Hogan is a 13-time world champion, but WWE does not recognize his reign with the original version of New Japan Pro-Wrestling's IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
7 Edge 11
8 Brock Lesnar 10 Lesnar first won the WWE Championship when it was called the WWE Undisputed Championship; during that same reign, it was renamed to WWE Championship. During his fourth reign, it was known as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Lesnar holds the record for being the youngest wrestler to hold the WWE Championship at 25. With the WWE Universal Championship, Lesnar holds the record for most reigns, and he was also the first wrestler to hold the WWE Championship and the WWE Universal Championship.
Lesnar is an 11-time World Champion, but WWE doesn't recognize his IWGP Heavyweight Championship reign.
The Rock During his first six reigns as WWE Champion, the title was known as the WWF Championship. During his seventh reign, it was known as the WWE Undisputed Championship.
During his first reign as WCW World Heavyweight Champion, the title was known as the WCW Championship. During his second reign, it was known simply as the World Championship.
Sting Sting is a 14-time world champion, but WWE does not recognize his four TNA World Heavyweight Championship reigns.
Verne Gagne
12 Harley Race 8
13 Bret Hart 7 During his five reigns as WWE Champion, the title was known as the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
The Undertaker During his first two reigns as WWE Champion, the title was known as the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. During his third reign, it was known as the WWF Championship. During his fourth reign, it was known as the WWE Undisputed Championship.
Big Show During his first reign as WWE Champion, the title was known as the WWF Championship. During his reign as ECW World Heavyweight Champion, the title was known as the ECW World Championship. Big Show is the only wrestler to have held all of these championships.
16 Kurt Angle 6 During his first two reigns as WWE Champion, the title was known as the WWF Championship.
During his sole reign as WCW World Heavyweight Champion, the title was known as the WCW Championship. Angle is a 13-time world champion, but WWE does not recognize his one IWGP Heavyweight Championship (Inoki Genome Federation version) reign and his six TNA World Heavyweight Championship reigns.
Roman Reigns During his first three reigns as WWE Champion, the title was known as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Reigns is the first wrestler to hold both titles together as the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
Randy Savage During his two reigns as WWE Champion, the title was known as the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin During all six of his reigns, the title was known as the WWF Championship.
Kevin Nash During his reign as WWE Champion, the title was known as the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
Booker T In his fourth reign, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship was renamed as the WCW Championship after WWF purchased WCW in 2001. Booker T won his fifth WCW World Heavyweight Championship as the WCW Championship.
Chris Jericho During his first reign as WCW World Heavyweight Champion, the title was known as the WCW Championship. During his second reign, it was known simply as the World Championship. Jericho was also the final holder of the WCW title as he unified it with the then-WWF Championship to become the Undisputed WWF Champion (his only reign of what is now the WWE Championship). Jericho is an 8-time world champion, but WWE does not recognize his one AEW World Championship reign and one ROH World Championship reign.
Batista
CM Punk During his reign as ECW World Heavyweight Champion, the title was known as the ECW Championship. CM Punk is a 9-time world champion, but WWE does not recognize his one ROH World Championship reign and two AEW World Championship reigns.
28 Daniel Bryan 5 During his third reign as WWE Champion, the title was known as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Bryan is a 6-time world champion, but WWE does not recognize his one ROH World Championship reign.
Mad Dog Vachon
Seth "Freakin" Rollins Rollins won the WWE Championship as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in both of his reigns. Rollins was the inaugural World Heavyweight Champion (current version). Rollins is a 6-time world champion, but WWE does not recognize his one ROH World Championship reign.
The Sandman Despite WWE not recognizing any ECW Championship reigns before 1994, Sandman is described as a 5-time ECW Champion.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The NXT Championship was established in 2012 and is still active today; however, it was only regarded as a world championship from 2019 to 2021.