WWE Top 10 takes you back to this week's SmackDown LIVE to revisit the show's most thrilling, physical and controversial moments.01/17/2018 - 13:00
Take a look as The Glorious One shows off his newly-won United States Championship for WWE's cameras.01/17/2018 - 00:15
The Glorious One and The Modern Day Maharaja battle to become the new United States Champion.01/16/2018 - 22:30
See why WWE Champion AJ Styles has to defend his title against Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn in a Handicap Match at the Royal Rumble event.01/16/2018 - 22:00
The SmackDown Women's Champion, The Irish Lass Kicker and The Glow Queen take on Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan in a thrilling Six-Woman Tag Team Match.01/16/2018 - 21:45
The Glorious One squares off with a fired-up Mojo Rawley for the right to advance to the Final of the United States Championship Tournament.01/16/2018 - 21:45
The women of SmackDown LIVE comment on the historic Women's Royal Rumble Match: SmackDown LIVE, Jan. 16, 201801/16/2018 - 21:15
Breezango ponder their Royal Rumble chances in the latest edition of The Fashion Files, only for Rusev & Aiden English to invade with a challenge for The Fashion Police.01/16/2018 - 19:45
One year after winning the Royal Rumble Match, The Undertaker is prepared to repeat and take 29 more souls.01/05/2018 - 16:00
WWE Top 10 takes you back to this week's SmackDown LIVE to revisit the show's most thrilling, physical and controversial moments.01/10/2018 - 12:15
World Heavyweight Championship turns five years old
While there was no birthday cake in the locker room, Sept. 2 was an anniversary for one of WWE's most sought-after honors.
On Sept. 2, 2002 in Milwaukee, Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff bestowed the new WWE World Heavyweight Championship on Triple H to give the Raw brand its own signature champion after WWE Undisputed Champion Brock Lesnar declared he would only compete on SmackDown.
Although new, the honor had an extensive history. It was directly descended from the former WCW World Championship, which came to WWE from the company's purchase of WCW in 2001.
Before it was the WCW World Championship, the title was also the National Wrestling Alliance's World Heavyweight Championship. The NWA lineage is traceable back to George Hackenschmidt, who first won the title in 1904. Legendary wrestlers Frank Gotch, Lou Thesz, Bronko Nagurski, and Harley Race also held the NWA championship in the prime of their careers.
When WCW ended its relationship with the NWA in the early 1990s, Ric Flair was recognized as the first-ever WCW World Champion. Since that time, top names such as Hulk Hogan, Ron Simmons, and Bret Hart carried the championship prior to WCW's demise.
During the 2001 invasion of WCW and ECW, the WCW World Title changed hands six times in a WWE ring before Chris Jericho unified it with the WWE Championship at Vengeance in December 2001.
Since its reincarnation in 2002, top WWE Superstars such as Shawn Michaels, The Great Khali, Edge, Batista, Triple H, King Booker, Undertaker and Rey Mysterio have worn the prestigious championship. It has changed hands 16 times, and Triple H leads the locker room with five championship reigns.
While only five years young, WWE's version of the World Heavyweight gold has already had a ringside seat for some of our most memorable and competitive matches.
And as SmackDown's signature championship, the title will likely celebrate many more birthdays on future champions' waists, for some yet to step in a WWE ring, and some yet to be born.