List of World Heavyweight Champions (WWE)

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Four-time, youngest, 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

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 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 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. [9][10]
3 Triple H 2 December 15, 2002 280 Sunrise, FL Armageddon This was a Three Stages of Hell match.
On May 5, 2003, the Intercontinental Championship was reactivated for Raw.
[11][12]
4 Goldberg 1 September 21, 2003 84 Hershey, PA Unforgiven This was a career vs. title match. [13][14]
5 Triple H 3 December 14, 2003 91 Orlando, FL Armageddon This was a triple threat match, also involving Kane. [15][16]
6 Chris Benoit 1 March 14, 2004 154 New York, NY WrestleMania XX This was a triple threat match, also involving Shawn Michaels. [17]
7 Randy Orton 1 August 15, 2004 28 Toronto, ON SummerSlam [18][19]
8 Triple H 4 September 12, 2004 85 Portland, OR Unforgiven [20][21]
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. [22][23]
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 for the vacant title. Shawn Michaels was guest referee. [22][24]
10 Batista 1 April 3, 2005 282 Los Angeles, CA WrestleMania 21 The title became exclusive to the SmackDown brand following the 2005 WWE draft lottery. [25][26]
Vacated January 10, 2006 Philadelphia, PA SmackDown! 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 1 January 10, 2006 82 Philadelphia, PA SmackDown! This was a 20-man battle royal for the vacant title.
Aired on tape delay on January 13, 2006.
[27][28]
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. [29][30]
13 King Booker 1 July 23, 2006 126 Indianapolis, IN The Great American Bash [31][32]
14 Batista 2 November 26, 2006 126 Philadelphia, PA Survivor Series This was a Last Chance match. [33][34]
15 The Undertaker 1 April 1, 2007 37 Detroit, MI WrestleMania 23 [35][36]
16 Edge 1 May 8, 2007 70 Pittsburgh, PA SmackDown! 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 Laredo, TX SmackDown! 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 1 July 17, 2007 61 Laredo, TX SmackDown! This was a 20-man battle royal for the vacant title.
Aired on tape delay on July 20, 2007.
[39][40]
18 Batista 3 September 16, 2007 91 Memphis, TN Unforgiven This was a triple threat match, also involving Rey Mysterio. [41][42]
19 Edge 2 December 16, 2007 105 Pittsburgh, PA Armageddon This was a triple threat match, also involving The Undertaker.
WWE recognizes Edge's reign as lasting 106 days.
[43][44]
20 The Undertaker 2 March 30, 2008 30 Orlando, FL WrestleMania XXIV WWE recognizes The Undertaker's reign as lasting 33 days, ending on May 2, 2008, when the following episode aired on tape delay. [45][46]
Vacated April 29, 2008 Atlantic City, NJ SmackDown 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. [47][48]
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. Per the pre-match stipulation, Undertaker was (kayfabe) banished from WWE. [47][49]
22 CM Punk 1 June 30, 2008 69 Oklahoma City, OK Raw 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 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 prior to the match. [52][53]
24 Batista 4 October 26, 2008 8 Phoenix, AZ Cyber Sunday Stone Cold Steve Austin was the guest referee. [54][55]
25 Chris Jericho 2 November 3, 2008 20 Tampa, FL Raw This was a steel cage match. [56][57]
26 John Cena 1 November 23, 2008 84 Boston, MA Survivor Series [58][59]
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.
The title became exclusive to SmackDown due to Edge's status as a SmackDown wrestler.
WWE recognizes Edge's reign as lasting 48 days.
[60][61]
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's status as a Raw wrestler.
[62][63]
29 Edge 5 April 26, 2009 42 Providence, RI Backlash 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 1 June 7, 2009 <1 New Orleans, LA Extreme Rules This was a ladder match. [66][67]
31 CM Punk 2 49 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [67][68]
32 Jeff Hardy 2 July 26, 2009 28 Philadelphia, PA Night of Champions [69][70]
33 CM Punk 3 August 23, 2009 42 Los Angeles, CA SummerSlam This was a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match. [71][72]
34 The Undertaker 3 October 4, 2009 140 Newark, NJ Hell in a Cell This was a Hell in a Cell match.
At TLC: Tables, Ladders and 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 3 February 21, 2010 37 St. Louis, MO Elimination Chamber This was an Elimination Chamber match, also involving John Morrison, R-Truth, CM Punk, and Rey Mysterio.
WWE recognizes Jericho's reign as lasting 40 days, ending on April 2, 2010, when the following episode aired on tape delay.
[75]
36 Jack Swagger 1 March 30, 2010 82 Las Vegas, NV SmackDown Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. Swagger transferred from Raw to SmackDown upon winning the title.
WWE recognizes Swagger's reign as lasting 79 days, beginning on April 2, 2010, when the episode aired on tape delay.
[76][77]
37 Rey Mysterio 2 June 20, 2010 28 Uniondale, NY Fatal 4-Way 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 1 July 18, 2010 154 Kansas City, MO Money in the Bank Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [79]
39 Edge 6 December 19, 2010 58 Houston, TX TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 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 lasting 61 days, ending on February 18, 2011, when the following episode aired on tape delay.
[80]
Vacated February 15, 2011 San Diego, CA SmackDown 600th Episode Edge was stripped of the title by SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero 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 1 February 15, 2011 <1 San Diego, CA SmackDown 600th Episode 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 7 56 Edge was awarded a rematch the same night by returning General Manager, Theodore Long.
WWE recognizes Edge's reign as lasting 55 days, beginning on February 18, 2011 and ending on April 15, 2011, both episodes of which aired on tape delay.
[82]
Vacated April 12, 2011 Albany, NY SmackDown Title declared vacant due to Edge's retirement.
Aired on tape delay on April 15, 2011.
[83]
42 Christian 1 May 1, 2011 2 Tampa, FL Extreme Rules Defeated Alberto Del Rio in a ladder match to win the vacant title.
WWE recognizes Christian's reign as lasting 5 days, ending on May 6, 2011, when the following episode aired on tape delay.
[84]
43 Randy Orton 2 May 3, 2011 75 Orlando, FL SmackDown WWE recognizes Orton's reign as lasting 72 days, beginning on May 6, 2011, when the episode aired on tape delay. [85]
44 Christian 2 July 17, 2011 28 Rosemont, IL Money in the Bank 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 3 August 14, 2011 35 Los Angeles, CA SummerSlam This was a No Holds Barred match. [88]
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, 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.
WWE recognizes Henry's reign as lasting 92 days.
[89]
47 Big Show 1 December 18, 2011 <1 Baltimore, MD TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs This was a chairs match [90]
48 Daniel Bryan 1 105 Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract. [91]
49 Sheamus 1 April 1, 2012 210 Miami, FL WrestleMania XXVIII WWE recognizes Sheamus's reign as lasting 211 days. [92]
50 Big Show 2 October 28, 2012 72 Atlanta, GA Hell in a Cell WWE recognizes Big Show's reign as lasting 73 days. [93]
51 Alberto Del Rio 1 January 8, 2013 90 Miami, FL SmackDown This was a Last Man Standing match.
Aired on tape delay on January 11, 2013.
[94]
52 Dolph Ziggler 2 April 8, 2013 69 East Rutherford, NJ Raw Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract.
WWE recognizes Ziggler's reign as lasting 70 days.
[95]
53 Alberto Del Rio 2 June 16, 2013 133 Rosemont, IL Payback WWE recognizes Del Rio's reign as lasting 134 days. [96]
54 John Cena 3 October 27, 2013 49 Miami, FL Hell in a Cell WWE recognizes Cena's reign as lasting 50 days. [97]
55 Randy Orton 4 December 15, 2013 <1 Houston, TX TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs This was a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs title unification match, where Orton also defended his WWE Championship. [98]
Unified December 15, 2013 Houston, TX TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs 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

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

References

General
  • "History of the World Heavyweight Championship". WWE. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
Specific
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  2. ^ "WWE Entertainment To Make RAW and SMACKDOWN Distinct Television Brands". WWE. 2002-03-27. Archived from the original on 2010-04-17. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  3. ^ "RAW gets its own champion!". World Wrestling Entertainment. 2002-09-02. Archived from the original on 2002-10-15. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  4. ^ "World Heavyweight Championship title history". WWE. 
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  6. ^ "Retired Championships". WWE. Retrieved 2015-11-22. 
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  8. ^ Mahling, Mallory (2002-09-03). "9/2 WWE Raw review: New Raw World Championship established". PW Torch. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  9. ^ "Shawn Michaels' first reign". WWE. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  10. ^ Keller, Wade (2002-11-17). "11/17 WWE Survivor Series: Keller's Virtual Time PPV Results". PW Torch. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
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  12. ^ Keller, Wade (2002-12-15). "12/15 WWE Armageddon PPV report: Keller's "virtual time" results". PW Torch. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  13. ^ "Goldberg's first reign". WWE. Archived from the original on 2007-04-07. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  14. ^ Keller, Wade (2003-09-21). "9/21 WWE Unforgiven PPV results: Keller's "virtual time" results of live event". PW Torch. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
  15. ^ "Triple H's third reign". WWE. Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  16. ^ Keller, Wade (2003-12-14). "12/14 WWE Armageddon PPV: Keller's ongoing "virtual time" detailed coverage". PW Torch. Retrieved 2009-10-05. 
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  18. ^ "Randy Orton's first reign". WWE. Archived from the original on 2007-06-30. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
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  40. ^ a b Parks, Greg (2007-07-21). "7/20 WWE Smackdown: Parks's Coverage of the Show". Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
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  48. ^ Caldwell, James (2008-05-03). "Caldwell's WWE SmackDown REPORT 5/2: Taker stripped of title, Hardy vs. MVP, Foley's SD debut on commentary". PW Torch. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  49. ^ Keller, Wade (2008-06-01). "Keller's WWE One Night Stand PPV Report 6/1: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of live event from San Diego". Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  50. ^ "CM Punk's first reign". WWE. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 
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  77. ^ "Jack Swagger's first reign". WWE. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
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  79. ^ "Kane's first Reign.". WWE. Retrieved 2010-07-18. 
  80. ^ "Edge's sixth Reign". WWE. Retrieved 2010-12-19. 
  81. ^ a b "Dolph Ziggler's first reign". WWE. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  82. ^ "Edge's seventh reign". WWE. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  83. ^ "vacant". WWE. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  84. ^ "Christian's first reign". WWE. Retrieved 2011-05-02. 
  85. ^ "Randy Orton's second reign". WWE. Retrieved 2011-05-07. 
  86. ^ "Christian def. Randy Orton (New World Heavyweight Champion)". WWE. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  87. ^ "Christian's second reign". WWE. Retrieved 2011-07-17. 
  88. ^ "Randy Orton's third reign". WWE. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  89. ^ "Mark Henry's first reign". WWE. Retrieved 2011-09-18. 
  90. ^ "Big Show's first reign". WWE. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  91. ^ "Daniel Bryan's first reign". WWE. Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  92. ^ "Sheamus' first reign". WWE. Archived from the original on 2012-05-13. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  93. ^ "Big Show's second reign". WWE. Archived from the original on 2012-11-15. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  94. ^ "Alberto Del Rio's first reign". WWE. Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  95. ^ "Dolph Ziggler's second reign". WWE. Archived from the original on 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 
  96. ^ "Alberto Del Rio's second reign". WWE. Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  97. ^ "John Cena's third reign". WWE. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  98. ^ "Randy Orton's fourth reign". WWE. Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  99. ^ "WHC Retired". WWE. Retrieved December 17, 2013. 

External links

  • Official WWE World Heavyweight Championship history
  • World Heavyweight Championship history at Wrestling-Titles.com
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