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This article is about a list of wrestlers who have held the current WWE Championship. For a list of wrestlers who have held the now-retired "World Heavyweight Championship", see List of World Heavyweight Champions. For a list of current title holders in WWE, see List of current champions in WWE.

AJ WWE Champ

Two-time and current champion AJ Styles

The WWE Championship is a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship in WWE, currently on the SmackDown brand. It is 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. In 2002, the WWF was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and split its roster into two brands, Raw and SmackDown. The title, now renamed 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.

When WWE Champion Randy Orton defeated World Heavyweight Champion John Cena at the TLC pay-per-view on December 15, 2013, the World Heavyweight Championship was unified with the WWE Championship, resulting in the retiring of the former 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 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.

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. 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. The current champion is AJ Styles, who is in his second reign. He won the championship by defeating Chris Jericho on SmackDown in Manchester, England on November 7, 2017.

Overall, there have been 49 different official champions, with John Cena having the most reigns at thirteen. Seven men in history have held the championship for a continuous reign of one year (365 days) or more: Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, John Cena and CM Punk.

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 – June 29, 1998
WWF Championship June 29, 1998 – December 9, 2001
Undisputed WWF Championship December 9, 2001 – May 6, 2002
Undisputed WWE Championship May 6, 2002 – May 19, 2002
WWE Undisputed Championship May 19, 2002 – September 2, 2002
WWE Championship September 2, 2002 – December 15, 2013
WWE World Heavyweight Championship December 15, 2013 – June 27, 2016
WWE Championship June 27, 2016 – July 25, 2016
WWE World Championship July 26, 2016 – December 9, 2016
WWE Championship December 10, 2016 – present

Reigns Edit

As of September 21, 2018.

Reign The reign number for the specific champion listed
Event The event promoted by the respective promotion in which the title was won
Indicates the title change is not recognized by WWE
+ Indicates the current reign is changing daily
<1 Indicates reign was less than a day
No. Champion Reign Date Days held Event
1 Buddy Rogers 1 April 25, 1963 22
2 Bruno Sammartino 1 May 17, 1963 2,803 House show
3 Ivan Koloff 1 January 18, 1971 21 House show
4 Pedro Morales 1 February 8, 1971 1,027 House show
5 Stan Stasiak 1 December 1, 1973 9 House show
6 Bruno Sammartino 2 December 10, 1973 1,237 House show
7 Superstar Billy Graham 1 April 30, 1977 296 House show
8 Bob Backlund 1 February 20, 1978 2,135 House show
Vacated December 6, 1979 House show
9 The Iron Sheik 1 December 26, 1983 28 House show
10 Hulk Hogan 1 January 23, 1984 1,474 House show
11 André the Giant 1 February 5, 1988 <1 The Main Event I
Vacated February 5, 1988 The Main Event I
12 Randy Savage 1 March 27, 1988 371 WrestleMania IV
13 Hulk Hogan 2 April 2, 1989 364 WrestleMania V
14 The Ultimate Warrior 1 April 1, 1990 293 WrestleMania VI
15 Sgt. Slaughter 1 January 19, 1991 64 Royal Rumble
16 Hulk Hogan 3 March 24, 1991 248 WrestleMania VII
17 The Undertaker 1 November 27, 1991 6 Survivor Series
18 Hulk Hogan 4 December 3, 1991 1 This Tuesday in Texas
Vacated December 4, 1991 Superstars of Wrestling
19 Ric Flair 1 January 19, 1992 77 Royal Rumble
20 Randy Savage 2 April 5, 1992 149 WrestleMania VIII
21 Ric Flair 2 September 1, 1992 41 Prime Time Wrestling
22 Bret Hart 1 October 12, 1992 174 House show
23 Yokozuna 1 April 4, 1993 <1 WrestleMania IX
24 Hulk Hogan 5 70
25 Yokozuna 2 June 13, 1993 280 King of the Ring
26 Bret Hart 2 March 20, 1994 248 WrestleMania X
27 Bob Backlund 2 November 23, 1994 3 Survivor Series
28 Diesel 1 November 26, 1994 358 House show
29 Bret Hart 3 November 19, 1995 133 Survivor Series
30 Shawn Michaels 1 March 31, 1996 231 WrestleMania XII
31 Sycho Sid 1 November 17, 1996 63 Survivor Series
32 Shawn Michaels 2 January 19, 1997 25 Royal Rumble
Vacated February 13, 1997 Raw
33 Bret Hart 4 February 16, 1997 1 In Your House 13: Final Four
34 Sycho Sid 2 February 17, 1997 34 Raw
35 The Undertaker 2 March 23, 1997 133 WrestleMania 13
36 Bret Hart 5 August 3, 1997 98 SummerSlam
37 Shawn Michaels 3 November 9, 1997 140 Survivor Series
38 Stone Cold Steve Austin 1 March 29, 1998 91 WrestleMania XIV
39 Kane 1 June 28, 1998 1 King of the Ring
40 Stone Cold Steve Austin 2 June 29, 1998 90 Raw
Vacated September 27, 1998 Breakdown: In Your House
41 The Rock 1 November 15, 1998 44 Survivor Series
42 Mankind 1 December 29, 1998 26 Raw is War
43 The Rock 2 January 24, 1999 2 Royal Rumble
44 Mankind 2 January 26, 1999 20 Halftime Heat
45 The Rock 3 February 15, 1999 41 Raw is War
46 Stone Cold Steve Austin 3 March 28, 1999 56 WrestleMania XV
47 The Undertaker 3 May 23, 1999 36 Over the Edge
48 Stone Cold Steve Austin 4 June 28, 1999 55 Raw is War
49 Mankind 3 August 22, 1999 1 SummerSlam
50 Triple H 1 August 23, 1999 22 Raw is War
51 Vince McMahon 1 September 14, 1999 6 SmackDown!
Vacated September 20, 1999 Raw is War
52 Triple H 2 September 26, 1999 49 Unforgiven
53 Big Show 1 November 14, 1999 50 Survivor Series
54 Triple H 3 January 3, 2000 118 Raw is War
55 The Rock 4 April 30, 2000 21 Backlash
56 Triple H 4 May 21, 2000 35 Judgment Day
57 The Rock 5 June 25, 2000 119 King of the Ring
58 Kurt Angle 1 October 22, 2000 126 No Mercy
59 The Rock 6 February 25, 2001 35 No Way Out
60 Stone Cold Steve Austin 5 April 1, 2001 175 WrestleMania X-Seven
61 Kurt Angle 2 September 23, 2001 15 Unforgiven
62 Stone Cold Steve Austin 6 October 8, 2001 62 Raw
63 Chris Jericho 1 December 9, 2001 98 Vengeance
64 Triple H 5 March 17, 2002 35 WrestleMania X8
65 Hollywood Hulk Hogan 6 April 21, 2002 28 Backlash
66 The Undertaker 4 May 19, 2002 63 Judgment Day
67 The Rock 7 July 21, 2002 35 Vengeance
68 Brock Lesnar 1 August 25, 2002 84 SummerSlam
69 Big Show 2 November 17, 2002 28 Survivor Series
70 Kurt Angle 3 December 15, 2002 105 Armageddon
71 Brock Lesnar 2 March 30, 2003 119 WrestleMania XIX
72 Kurt Angle 4 July 27, 2003 51 Vengeance
73 Brock Lesnar 3 September 16, 2003 152 SmackDown!
74 Eddie Guerrero 1 February 15, 2004 133 No Way Out
75 John Bradshaw Layfield 1 June 27, 2004 280 The Great American Bash
76 John Cena 1 April 3, 2005 280 WrestleMania 21
77 Edge 1 January 8, 2006 21 New Year's Revolution
78 John Cena 2 January 29, 2006 133 Royal Rumble
79 Rob Van Dam 1 June 11, 2006 22 ECW One Night Stand
80 Edge 2 July 3, 2006 76 Raw
81 John Cena 3 September 17, 2006 380 Unforgiven
Vacated October 2, 2007 ECW
82 Randy Orton 1 October 7, 2007 <1 No Mercy
83 Triple H 6 <1
84 Randy Orton 2 203
85 Triple H 7 April 27, 2008 210 Backlash
86 Edge 3 November 23, 2008 21 Survivor Series
87 Jeff Hardy 1 December 14, 2008 42 Armageddon
88 Edge 4 January 25, 2009 21 Royal Rumble
89 Triple H 8 February 15, 2009 70 No Way Out
90 Randy Orton 3 April 26, 2009 42 Backlash
91 Batista 1 June 7, 2009 2 Extreme Rules
Vacated June 9, 2009
92 Randy Orton 4 June 15, 2009 90 Raw
93 John Cena 4 September 13, 2009 21 Breaking Point
94 Randy Orton 5 October 4, 2009 21 Hell in a Cell
95 John Cena 5 October 25, 2009 49 Bragging Rights
96 Sheamus 1 December 13, 2009 79 TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs
97 John Cena 6 February 21, 2010 <1 Elimination Chamber
98 Batista 2 35
99 John Cena 7 March 28, 2010 84 WrestleMania XXVI
100 Sheamus 2 June 20, 2010 91 Fatal 4-Way
101 Randy Orton 6 September 19, 2010 64 Night of Champions
102 The Miz 1 November 22, 2010 160 Raw
103 John Cena 8 May 1, 2011 77 Extreme Rules
104 CM Punk 1 July 17, 2011 28 Money in the Bank
105 Rey Mysterio
(and CM Punk)
1
(1)
July 25, 2011 <1 Raw
106 John Cena
(and CM Punk)
9
(1)
20
107 Alberto Del Rio 1 August 14, 2011 35 SummerSlam
108 John Cena 10 September 18, 2011 14 Night of Champions
109 Alberto Del Rio 2 October 2, 2011 49 Hell in a Cell
110 CM Punk 2 November 20, 2011 434 Survivor Series
111 The Rock 8 January 27, 2013 70 Royal Rumble
112 John Cena 11 April 7, 2013 133 WrestleMania 29
113 Daniel Bryan 1 August 18, 2013 <1 SummerSlam
114 Randy Orton 7 28
115 Daniel Bryan 2 September 15, 2013 1 Night of Champions
Vacated September 16, 2013 Raw
116 Randy Orton 8 October 27, 2013 161 Hell in a Cell
117 Daniel Bryan 3 April 6, 2014 64 WrestleMania XXX
Vacated June 9, 2014 Raw
118 John Cena 12 June 29, 2014 49 Money in the Bank
119 Brock Lesnar 4 August 17, 2014 224 SummerSlam
120 Seth Rollins 1 March 29, 2015 220 WrestleMania 31
Vacated November 4, 2015
121 Roman Reigns 1 November 22, 2015 <1 Survivor Series
122 Sheamus 3 22
123 Roman Reigns 2 December 13, 2015 43 TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs
124 Triple H 9 January 24, 2016 70 Royal Rumble
125 Roman Reigns 3 April 3, 2016 77 WrestleMania 32
126 Seth Rollins 2 June 19, 2016 <1 Money in the Bank
127 Dean Ambrose 1 84
128 AJ Styles 1 September 11, 2016 140 Backlash
129 John Cena 13 January 29, 2017 14 Royal Rumble
130 Dean Ambrose 2 February 12, 2017 49 Elimination Chamber
131 Bray Wyatt 1 April 2, 2017 49 WrestleMania 33
132 Chris Jericho 2 May 21, 2017 170 Backlash
133 AJ Styles 2 November 7, 2017 245+ SmackDown Live

Combined reignsEdit

JohnCena

Inaugural champion John Cena, who also holds the record for most reigns with seven

Undertaker

The Undertaker is the longest reigning champion in history, with a record of 301 days

Indicates the current champion
Rank Wrestler No. of
reigns
Combined days
1 John Cena 7 511
2 The Undertaker 4 476
3 Randy Orton 4 364
4 Chris Jericho 5 245
5 Edge 5 244
6 Baron Corbin 1 224
Kevin Owens 4 224
8 Sheamus 2 218
9 John Morrison 2 196
10 Brock Lesnar 2 161
11 Seth Rollins 2 147
12 CM Punk 2 133
13 Christian 2 126
Kane 1 126
15 Triple H 3 112
16 Batista 1 84
Dean Ambrose 1 84
Fandango 2 84
19 Daniel Bryan 1 83
20 AJ Styles 1 56
21 Big Show 1 49
The Miz 1 49
23 Drew McIntyre 1 21
24 Luke Harper † 1 1+
25 Bad News Barrett 1 <1