The 5 shortest WWE Title reigns in history
The five shortest reigns in the history of the WWE Title combined weigh in at an anemic 13 minutes, 34 seconds. Perhaps more shocking than the tally itself is the lineup of Superstars who are included in the unfortunate five. These are some of the most venerable Superstars in WWE history — even John Cena finds himself on the list! With that in mind, WWE.com offers up five of the shortest, and perhaps most surprising, WWE Championship reigns ever.
Daniel Bryan, SummerSlam 2013 — 4 minutes, 7 seconds
In August 2013, Daniel Bryan was channeling his inner Frodo. Diminutive. Scrappy. Battling the forces of evil on a foolhardy mission. The “Yes!” Man’s journey culminated at that year’s SummerSlam, where he faced John Cena in a championship match. After an arduous back and forth, Bryan finally overcame The Champ to claim his first WWE Title. As confetti fluttered down, guest referee Triple H shocked the WWE Universe when he hit Bryan with a Pedigree while The Authority’s golden boy, Randy Orton, slithered down the ramp to cash in his Money in the Bank contract, and soon after left L.A.’s Staples Center with the title in tow.
John Cena, Elimination Chamber 2010 — 3 minutes, 33 seconds
For John Cena, his performance at Elimination Chamber 2010 must have felt a little like winning the lottery — only to realize you misplaced the ticket. The Champ had overcome long odds by besting Randy Orton, Triple H, Sheamus, Ted DiBiase and Kofi Kingston in a grueling Elimination Chamber Match to become WWE Champion. As he savored the victory, his nemesis, Mr. McMahon, entered the arena and informed Cena that he would headline WrestleMania as champion, but only if he could defeat one man: Batista. The Animal then made quick work of the exhausted Champ, leveling him with a Batista Bomb before claiming the title for himself.
Yokozuna, WrestleMania IX — 2 minutes, 6 seconds
Even a man who weighs 589 pounds can sometimes bite off more than he can chew. Case in point, Yokozuna. The substantial Superstar faced off against Bret Hart in the main event of WrestleMania IX for “Hit Man’s” WWE Championship. With help from his manager, Mr. Fuji, who tossed salt in Hart’s eyes, Yokozuna was able to capture the title. When Hulk Hogan emerged to check on Hart, however, Fuji agreed to a match between him and his client. Big mistake. Fuji went to the well once more, tossing salt at Hogan’s eyes. This time, however, he missed and instead temporarily blinded Yokozuna, allowing his opponent to win in a whiplash-fast 22 seconds.
Seth Rollins, Money in the Bank 2016 — 2 minutes
Sadly for Seth Rollins, his second WWE Championship reign lasted the same amount of time it takes to make a decent poached egg: a measly two minutes. The Architect had returned from injury a month prior and was facing Roman Reigns for the title at WWE Money in the Bank 2016. And though he defeated his former brethren in The Shield, his victory party would be short-lived. The third Shield member, Dean Ambrose, had won the Money in the Bank Ladder Match earlier in the night and decided to cash in, securing the title and saddling Rollins with one of the more embarrassing milestones in WWE history.
Andre the Giant, The Main Event, Feb. 5, 1988 — 1 minute, 48 seconds
As “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase is fond of saying, everyone has a price. And on the night of Feb. 5, 1988, Andre the Giant proved that even he wasn’t above compromising his principles when that price was right. DiBiase had previously tried to buy the WWE Title to no avail, but now had cast his hopes with Andre. The Eighth Wonder of the World was set to battle then-champion Hulk Hogan as “The Million Dollar Man” looked on. To ensure that the 7-foot-4 Superstar prevailed, DiBiase even brought in a ringer referee, who called a questionable three-count. When Andre was awarded the title, he promptly handed it over to DiBiase, securing his place atop this list of dubious distinction.