WWE Championship

WWE Championship (The Rock 2013 Version)

WWE Championship

The WWE Championship is one of the world titles in WWE, complementing the World Heavyweight Championship. It is the first world title established in WWE, having been introduced in 1963 as the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) World Heavyweight Championship. After ending its affiliation with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) the promotion was renamed World Wrestling Federation (WWF) with the title also renamed to reflect the acronym.

In 2001, it was unified with the World Championship (formerly the WCW Championship) following the WWF’s buyout of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and became the Undisputed Championship. In 2002, the WWF was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and split its roster into two franchises, Raw and SmackDown, in a brand extension. The title was then designated to the SmackDown brand, while WWE established an alternate world title known as the World Heavyweight Championship for the Raw brand. The WWE Undisputed Championship has been known as the WWE Championship since.

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 2803 days. Only seven men in history have held the championship for a continuous reign of one year (365 days) or more. They are Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan, Pedro Morales, Randy Savage, John Cena and CM Punk.

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HISTORY

# Superstar Reign Date Location Event Notes
116 Randy Orton 8 October 28, 2013 Miami, FL Hell in a Cell In the Hell in a Cell match, guest referee Shawn Michaels reluctantly counted to 3 after hitting Daniel Bryan with Sweet Chin Music.
Vacated September 16, 2013 Cleveland, OH Raw Vacated after a controversial finish when Bryan defeated Orton to win the title. A subsequent match for the vacant title at Battleground between Bryan and Orton ended in a no-contest.
115 Daniel Bryan 2 September 15, 2013 Detroit, MI Night of Champions
114 Randy Orton 7 August 18, 2013 Los Angeles, CA SummerSlam Randy Orton cashed in his Money in the Bank contract after Triple H gave Daniel Bryan a pedigree after he defeated John Cena.
113 Daniel Bryan 1 August 18, 2013 Los Angeles, CA SummerSlam  Triple H was the special guest referee.
112 John Cena 11 April 7, 2013 East Rutherford, NJ WrestleMania 29
111 The Rock 8 January 27, 2013 Phoenix, AZ Royal Rumble CM Punk had initially won, but the match was restarted by Vince McMahon due to interference by The Shield.
110 CM Punk 2 November 20, 2011 New York, NY Survivor Series
109 Alberto Del Rio 2 October 2, 2011 New Orleans, LA Hell in a Cell This was a Triple Threat Hell in a Cell match also involving CM Punk.
108 John Cena 10 September 18, 2011 Buffalo, NY Night of Champions
107 Alberto Del Rio 1 August 14, 2011 Los Angeles, CA SummerSlam Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and defeated CM Punk, who had just become the undisputed WWE Champion after defeating John Cena.
106 John Cena (and CM Punk) 9(1) July 25, 2011 Hampton, VA Raw Cena defeated Mysterio later that same night. CM Punk, who returned immediately following the match, was also the WWE Champion at this time; he defeated Cena at SummerSlam to become the undisputed champion.
105 Rey Mysterio (and CM Punk) 1 (1) July 25, 2011 Hampton, VA Raw Rey Mysterio defeated The Miz in the final of an eight man tournament to crown a new champion. CM Punk was also the WWE Champion at this time.
104 CM Punk 1 July 17, 2011 Rosemont, IL Money in the Bank Punk was scripted to leave WWE the day after with the championship. He returned on the July 25 episode of Raw; his reign was deemed to continue through this period.
103 John Cena 8 May 1, 2011 Tampa, FL Extreme Rules This was a Triple Threat Steel Cage match also involving John Morrison.
102 The Miz 1 November 22, 2010 Orlando, FL Raw The Miz cashed in his Money in the Bank contract after Randy Orton successfully defended the WWE Championship against Wade Barrett.
101 Randy Orton 6 September 19, 2010 Rosemont, IL Night of Champions This was a Six-Pack Challenge Elimination match also involving Edge, John Cena, Chris Jericho and Wade Barrett.
100 Sheamus 2 June 20, 2010 Uniondale, NY Fatal 4-Way This was a Fatal Four-Way match also involving Edge and Randy Orton.
99 John Cena 7 March 28, 2010 Glendale, AZ WrestleMania XXVI Title was returned solely to the Raw brand.
98 Batista 2 February 21, 2010 St. Louis, MO Elimination Chamber Awarded a title shot by Mr. McMahon immediately after Cena won the Elimination Chamber match.
97 John Cena 6 February 21, 2010 St. Louis, MO Elimination Chamber This was an Elimination Chamber match, also involving Triple H, Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase and Kofi Kingston.
96 Sheamus 1 December 13, 2009 San Antonio, TX TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs This was a Tables match.
95 John Cena 5 October 25, 2009 Pittsburgh, PA Bragging Rights This was a 60-Minute Anything Goes Iron Man match. If Cena lost, he would have had to leave the Raw brand.
94 Randy Orton 5 October 4, 2009 Newark, NJ Hell in a Cell This was a Hell in a Cell match.
93 John Cena 4 September 13, 2009 Montreal, QC Breaking Point This was an “I Quit” match. If anyone interfered on Orton’s behalf, he would have automatically lost the title.
92 Randy Orton 4 June 15, 2009 Charlotte, NC Raw This was a Fatal Four-Way match also involving Triple H, John Cena and Big Show.
Vacated June 9, 2009 N/A Announced on WWE.com Vacated when Batista suffered a torn left biceps.
91 Batista 1 June 7, 2009 New Orleans, LA Extreme Rules This was a Steel Cage match.
90 Randy Orton 3 April 26, 2009 Providence, RI Backlash Won a six-man tag team match in which Orton would win the championship if his team won.
89 Triple H 8 February 15, 2009 Seattle, WA No Way Out This was a Elimination Chamber match, also involving Jeff Hardy, Vladimir Kozlov, The Undertaker and Big Show. The title became aRaw exclusive title once again when Triple H was drafted to Raw on April 13, 2009.
88 Edge 4 January 25, 2009 Detroit, MI Royal Rumble This was a no-disqualification match.
87 Jeff Hardy 1 December 14, 2008 Buffalo, NY Armageddon This was a triple threat match, also involving Triple H.
86 Edge 3 November 23, 2008 Boston, MA Survivor Series This was a triple threat match, also involving Vladimir Kozlov. Jeff Hardy had originally been scheduled to take part in the match, but did not participate after, in storyline, was assaulted in the stairwell of his hotel prior to the event. Triple H and Kozlov started off in the match, and Edge was revealed as Hardy’s surprise replacement, and won the championship.
85 Triple H 7 April 27, 2008 Baltimore, MD Backlash This was a Fatal-Four Way Elimination match, also involving John Cena and John “Bradshaw” Layfield. The title became a SmackDownexclusive title once again when Triple H was drafted to SmackDown! on June 23, 2008.
84 Randy Orton 2 October 7, 2007 Rosemont, IL No Mercy This was a Last Man Standing match.
83 Triple H 6 October 7, 2007 Rosemont, IL No Mercy
82 Randy Orton 1 October 7, 2007 Rosemont, IL No Mercy Awarded the title by Mr. McMahon.
Vacated October 2, 2007 Dayton, OH ECW on Sci Fi Vacated when Cena suffered a torn right pectoral tendon on the October 1 edition of Raw.
81 John Cena 3 September 17, 2006 Toronto, ON Unforgiven This was a tables, ladders, and chairs match.
80 Edge 2 July 3, 2006 Philadelphia, PA Raw This was a triple threat match, also involving John Cena. The title became exclusive on theRaw brand.
79 Rob Van Dam 1 June 11, 2006 New York, NY ECW One Night Stand Cashed in his “Money in the Bank” contract from WrestleMania 22. This was an Extreme Rules match. The title became property of the ECWbrand. Van Dam Became the first person to hold both WWE and ECW World Championship.
78 John Cena 2 January 29, 2006 Miami, FL Royal Rumble
77 Edge 1 January 8, 2006 Albany, NY New Year’s Revolution Cashed in his “Money in the Bank” contract from WrestleMania 21 immediately after Cena won an Elimination Chamber match.
76 John Cena 1 April 3, 2005 Los Angeles, CA WrestleMania 21 The title became exclusive on the Raw brand on June 6, 2005 when Cena was drafted to Raw as the first pick in the 2005 Draft Lottery.
75 John “Bradshaw” Layfield 1 June 27, 2004 Norfolk, VA The Great American Bash This was a Texas Bullrope match.
74 Eddie Guerrero 1 February 15, 2004 Daly City, CA No Way Out
73 Brock Lesnar 3 September 16, 2003 Raleigh, NC SmackDown! This was a 60-minute Iron Man match, aired September 18, 2003 on SmackDown!.
72 Kurt Angle 4 July 27, 2003 Denver, CO Vengeance This was a triple threat match, also involving Big Show.
71 Brock Lesnar 2 March 30, 2003 Seattle, WA WrestleMania XIX
70 Kurt Angle 3 December 15, 2002 Sunrise, FL Armageddon
69 Big Show 2 November 17, 2002 New York, NY Survivor Series
68 Brock Lesnar 1 August 25, 2002 Uniondale, NY SummerSlam “Undisputed” was removed from the title’s name after it became exclusive to the SmackDown!brand on September 2, 2002, which resulted in the creation of the World Heavyweight Championship for the Raw brand.
67 The Rock 7 July 21, 2002 Detroit, MI Vengeance This was a triple threat match, also involving Kurt Angle.
66 The Undertaker 4 May 19, 2002 Nashville, TN Judgment Day
65 Hulk Hogan 6 April 21, 2002 Kansas City, MO Backlash The title was renamed the WWE Undisputed Championship on May 6, 2002 after World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. settled a lawsuit with the World Wide Fund for Nature, and became simply World Wrestling Entertainment.
64 Triple H 5 March 17, 2002 Toronto, ON WrestleMania X8
63 Chris Jericho 1 December 9, 2001 San Diego, CA Vengeance Earlier that night, Jericho had already defeated(WCW) World Heavyweight Champion The Rock for that title. By defeating Austin for the WWF Championship, he unified both titles as the Undisputed Championship.
62 Stone Cold Steve Austin 6 October 8, 2001 Indianapolis, IN Raw
61 Kurt Angle 2 September 23, 2001 Pittsburgh, PA Unforgiven
60 Stone Cold Steve Austin 5 April 1, 2001 Houston, TX WrestleMania X-Seven This was a no-disqualification match.
59 The Rock 6 February 25, 2001 Las Vegas, NV No Way Out
58 Kurt Angle 1 October 22, 2000 Albany, NY No Mercy This was a no-disqualification match.
57 The Rock 5 June 25, 2000 Boston, MA King of the Ring This was a six-man tag team match with The Rock, The Undertaker and Kane vs. Triple H, Mr. McMahon and Shane McMahon. The Rock pinned Mr. McMahon to win Triple H’s title.
56 Triple H 4 May 21, 2000 Louisville, KY Judgment Day This was a 60-minute Iron Man match, which Triple H won 6–5 with Shawn Michaels as the Special guest referee.
55 The Rock 4 April 30, 2000 Washington, D.C. Backlash Shane McMahon was the special guest referee.
54 Triple H 3 January 3, 2000 Miami, FL Raw is War On April 17, 2000, Chris Jericho defeated Triple H for the WWF Championship after Earl Hebner’s fast-count. Later that night, Triple H forced Hebner to reverse the decision, nullifying Jericho’s reign and continuing Triple H’s.
53 Big Show 1 November 14, 1999 Detroit, MI Survivor Series This was a triple threat match, also involving The Rock.
52 Triple H 2 September 26, 1999 Charlotte, NC Unforgiven This was a Six-Pack Challenge match, also involving The Rock, Mankind, Big Show, The British Bulldog and Kane. Stone Cold Steve Austin was the special outside enforcer.
Vacated September 20, 1999 Houston, TX Raw is War McMahon vacated the title.
51 Vince McMahon 1 September 14, 1999 Las Vegas, NV SmackDown Aired on September 16, 1999 with Shane McMahon as special guest referee.
50 Triple H 1 August 23, 1999 Ames, IA Raw is War Shane McMahon was the special guest referee.
49 Mankind 3 August 22, 1999 Minneapolis, MN SummerSlam This was a triple threat match also involving Triple H, with Jesse Ventura as guest referee.
48 Stone Cold Steve Austin 4 June 28, 1999 Charlotte, NC Raw is War
47 The Undertaker 3 May 23, 1999 Kansas City, MO Over the Edge Both Vince and Shane McMahon were special guest referees.
46 Stone Cold Steve Austin 3 March 28, 1999 Philadelphia, PA WrestleMania XV Mankind was the special guest referee. This was also a no-disqualification match.
45 The Rock 3 February 15, 1999 Birmingham, AL Raw is War This was a ladder match.
44 Mankind 2 January 26, 1999 Tucson, AZ Halftime Heat This was an empty arena match that aired as a special during halftime of Super Bowl XXXIII on January 31, 1999.
43 The Rock 2 January 24, 1999 Anaheim, CA Royal Rumble This was an “I Quit” match.
42 Mankind 1 December 29, 1998 Worcester, MA Raw is War This was a no-disqualification match. Aired on January 4, 1999.
41 The Rock 1 November 15, 1998 St. Louis, MO Survivor Series Defeated Mankind in the finals of the Deadly Game tournament for the vacant title.
Vacated September 27, 1998 Hamilton, ON Breakdown: In Your House Vacated after Kane and The Undertaker simultaneously pinned Austin in a triple threat match. A subsequent match for the vacant title at Judgment Day: In Your House between Kane and The Undertaker ended in a no-contest.
40 Stone Cold Steve Austin 2 June 29, 1998 Cleveland, OH Raw is War
39 Kane 1 June 28, 1998 Pittsburgh, PA King of the Ring This was a first blood match.
38 Stone Cold Steve Austin 1 March 29, 1998 Boston, MA WrestleMania XIV Mike Tyson was the special outside enforcer.
37 Shawn Michaels 3 November 9, 1997 Montreal, QC Survivor Series Won the title in the Montreal Screwjob.
36 Bret Hart 5 August 3, 1997 East Rutherford, NJ SummerSlam Shawn Michaels was the guest referee.
35 The Undertaker 2 March 23, 1997 Rosemont, IL WrestleMania 13 This was a no-disqualification match.
34 Sycho Sid 2 February 17, 1997 Nashville, TN Raw
33 Bret Hart 4 February 16, 1997 Chattanooga, TN In Your House 13: Final Four This was a four-way elimination match also involving Steve Austin, The Undertaker and Vader.
Vacated February 13, 1997 Lowell, MA Raw Michaels forfeited the title due to a knee injury.
32 Shawn Michaels 2 January 19, 1997 San Antonio, TX Royal Rumble
31 Sycho Sid 1 November 17, 1996 New York, NY Survivor Series
30 Shawn Michaels 1 March 31, 1996 Anaheim, CA WrestleMania XII This was a 60-minute Iron Man match, which Michaels won in overtime after a 0–0 draw.
29 Bret Hart 3 November 19, 1995 Landover, MD Survivor Series This was a no-disqualification match.
28 Diesel 1 November 26, 1994 New York, NY House show
27 Bob Backlund 2 November 23, 1994 San Antonio, TX Survivor Series This was a “Throw in the Towel” submission match; the only way to win was to have the opponent’s cornerman throw a towel into the ring.
26 Bret Hart 2 March 20, 1994 New York, NY WrestleMania X Roddy Piper was the guest referee.
25 Yokozuna 2 June 13, 1993 Dayton, OH King of the Ring
24 Hulk Hogan 5 April 4, 1993 Las Vegas, NV WrestleMania IX
23 Yokozuna 1 April 4, 1993 Las Vegas, NV WrestleMania IX
22 Bret Hart 1 October 12, 1992 Saskatoon, SK House show
21 Ric Flair 2 September 1, 1992 Hershey, PA Prime Time Wrestling Aired on September 14, 1992.
20 Randy Savage 2 April 5, 1992 Indianapolis, IN WrestleMania VIII
19 Ric Flair 1 January 19, 1992 Albany, NY Royal Rumble Won the Royal Rumble match by last eliminating Sid Justice.
Vacated December 4, 1991 N/A WWF Superstars of Wrestling Hogan was stripped of the title by WWF President Jack Tunney due to the controversy surrounding both of the previous title changes. This aired December 7, 1991.
18 Hulk Hogan 4 December 3, 1991 San Antonio, TX This Tuesday in Texas
17 The Undertaker 1 November 27, 1991 Detroit, MI Survivor Series
16 Hulk Hogan 3 March 24, 1991 Los Angeles, CA WrestleMania VII
15 Sgt. Slaughter 1 January 19, 1991 Miami, FL Royal Rumble
14 The Ultimate Warrior 1 April 1, 1990 Toronto, ON WrestleMania VI This match was also for Warrior’s WWF Intercontinental Championship.
13 Hulk Hogan 2 April 2, 1989 Atlantic City, NJ WrestleMania V
12 Randy Savage 1 March 27, 1988 Atlantic City, NJ WrestleMania IV Defeated Ted DiBiase in a tournament finals to win the vacant title.
Vacated February 5, 1988 Indianapolis, IN The Main Event I Immediately after winning the title from Hogan, André sold the title to Ted DiBiase; President Jack Tunney nullified this decision, and vacated the title.
11 André the Giant 1 February 5, 1988 Indianapolis, IN The Main Event I
10 Hulk Hogan 1 January 23, 1984 New York, NY House show
9 The Iron Sheik 1 December 26, 1983 New York, NY House show Iron Sheik won by forfeit after Backlund’s manager Arnold Skaaland threw in the towel on his behalf to prevent any major injury as a result of Sheik’s signature move “The Camel Clutch”, but Bob Backlund never officially submitted.
Bob Backlund December 17, 1979 New York, NY House show Defeated Bobby Duncum in a Texas Death match. During this reign a controversial ending to a bout between Backlund and Greg Valentine took place on 10/19/81 in Madison Square Garden, in which the dazed referee raised Valentine’s arm in victory, thinking it was Backlund, after the champion had scored the pinfall. A rematch was held at MSG on 11/23/81 with Backlund defeating Valentine. Backlund defended the belt in other arenas between the two matches taking place, indicating that he was still the recognized champion.
Vacated December 6, 1979 Tokushima, Japan House show Inoki immediately vacated the title after a rematch with Backlund ended in a no contest.
Antonio Inoki 1 November 30, 1979 Tokushima, Japan House show
8 Bob Backlund 1 February 20, 1978 New York, NY House show The title was renamed the WWF Heavyweight Championship when the World Wide Wrestling Federation became the World Wrestling Federation in March 1979. WWE does not recognize subsequent reigns prior to Backlund’s loss to The Iron Sheik.
7 Billy Graham 1 April 30, 1977 Baltimore, MD House show
6 Bruno Sammartino 2 December 10, 1973 New York, NY House show
5 Stan Stasiak 1 December 1, 1973 Philadelphia, PA House show
4 Pedro Morales 1 February 8, 1971 New York, NY House show Title renamed WWWF Heavyweight Championship when WWWF rejoined the NWA in 1971.
3 Ivan Koloff 1 January 18, 1971 New York, NY House show
2 Bruno Sammartino 1 May 17, 1963 New York, NY House show Held title for over seven years, a record for professional wrestling world champions.
1 Buddy Rogers 1 April 25, 1963 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil N/A Won an apocryphal tournament in Rio de Janeiro after the WWWF left the National Wrestling Alliance, of which Rogers was champion.

† = WWE Championship title changes not officially recognised by WWE.

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TITLE VARIATIONS