Who are the longest-reigning champions in WWE history?
The old adage is that records are made to be broken, but are some reigns simply destined to last forever? Fresh off The New Day's official surpassing of Demolition's Tag Team Title record, WWE.com takes a look back at the longest championship reigns in history.
Bruno Sammartino — 2,803 days (WWE Champion)
Bruno Sammartino’s stats are untouchable. All told, Sammartino’s two reigns as WWE Champion totaled more than a decade, with his longest reign clocking in at an astounding 2,803 days. The Living Legend defended against a never-ending supply of lethal villains that included Killer Kowalski, Gorilla Monsoon and Stan Hansen. Sammartino was revered as a fighter, a sports-entertainment icon and the WWE Champion against whom all others will forever be measured.
Lex Luger — 523 days (United States Champion)
One of several competitors to hold the United States Championship on five occasions, Lex Luger also boasts the longest reign of all time.
The Total Package’s third turn as U.S. Champion began on May 22, 1989, when he regained the title from Michael P.S. Hayes. Luger went on to hold the championship for 523 days, defending against all comers while challenging for the NWA World Title himself.
WWE Hall of Famer Stan Hansen finally unseated the champion at Halloween Havoc 1990, though Luger would win the rematch at Starrcade, just two months later.
Honky Tonk Man — 454 days (Intercontinental Champion)
Ask The Honky Tonk Man who the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time is and he won’t hesitate to give himself the honors. The Memphis, Tenn., native has reason to be cocky — he holds the record for longest Intercontinental Title reign of all time at an amazing 454 days.
Defeating Ricky Steamboat for the championship in 1987, Honky Tonk Man kept his guitar-strumming fingers on the title for more than a year by any means necessary, including — but not limited to — getting counted out or disqualified on purpose. It may not have been the noblest reign ever, but it earned the rock ’n’ roller his place in WWE history.
Charlotte — 114 days (Women’s Champion)
To be fair, the introduction of the new WWE Women’s titles happened less than a year ago, so no reign should be considered unbreakable just yet. That said, Charlotte Flair, who won what became the Raw Women’s Title at WrestleMania 32, managed to amass an impressive 114 days as champion (seamlessly transitioning from a 196-day reign as Divas Champion) right off the bat before Sasha Banks knocked her off her perch. Of course, now that SmackDown LIVE has its own designated Women’s Title, this just became a two-way race.
They're both a long way from the finish, though. The benchmark remains The Fabulous Moolah’s reign with the inaugural Women’s Championship. Moolah’s run with the prize lasted a revolutionary 10,170 days, by far the longest, and most impressive, title reign in WWE’s storied history.
As Randy Moss would say, Moolah was “Straight cash, homie.”
The New Day — 480 days and counting (Tag Team Champions)
The New Day won what was then known as the WWE Tag Team Championship at SummerSlam 2015 and never looked back, steadily knocking over every tandem record in the book en route to history. Not only did they pass Paul London & Brian Kendrick’s 331-day mark as WWE Tag Team Champions, they surpassed Demolition’s previously untouchable 478-day record as World Tag Team Champions to notch the longest title stint of any team in WWE history. Granted, the names of the titles can get a little confusing at this point (New Day are technically now the Raw Tag Team Champions), but it doesn’t matter: Call them WWE Tag Team Champions, Raw Tag Team Champions, or even their preferred W. W. E. World. Tag. Team. Champiooooonnnns. They have the record, and it will be a long, long time before the sun sets on this new day.