Everything you wanted to know about the WWE Title: 15 championship facts you can't forget!
Think you know a thing or two about the WWE Title?
Well can you name the three Superstars who have won the WWE Championship in three different decades? If you said Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan and The Rock, then you know your stuff.
How about the only WWE Champion to win the title three times in the same location? Randy Orton, who grabbed the WWE Title in Rosemont, Ill.’s Allstate Arena (formerly known as the Rosemont Horizon) twice in 2007 and once in 2010.
The WWE Title has created a lot of unique history during its 50-year existence. Read on to learn the oldest WWE Champion, the year with the most WWE Title changes and more fascinating facts!
Who was the youngest Superstar to win the WWE Title?
Brock Lesnar may have looked like a centuries-old Viking who thawed out of a block of ice when he came storming into WWE in 2002. In truth, he was just a pup. Debuting on March 18, 2002, at age 24, Lesnar was fresh out of the University of Minnesota where he had dominated the mat as NCAA heavyweight champion. By August 2002, “The Beast Incarnate” added the WWE Title to his trophy case when he beat The Rock at that year’s SummerSlam to become the youngest WWE Champion at 25. The Great One had previously held this record, having won the title at 26.
What was the longest WWE Title Match?
An educated guess would point to the WrestleMania XII Iron Man Match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels as the longest WWE Title Match in history, but that’s not the case. The 1992 Royal Rumble Match — in which Ric Flair outlasted 29 other Superstars in a classic performance to win the WWE Title — stands as the most epic championship bout at 62 minutes and two seconds. Other exhausting WWE Championship Matches include the hourlong Anything Goes Iron Man Match between John Cena and Randy Orton from Bragging Rights 2009 and Triple H and The Rock’s Iron Man Match from Judgment Day 2000.
Who was the shortest reigning WWE Champion?
Andre the Giant may be the biggest WWE Champion in history, but his reign was the shortest. After defeating WWE Champion Hulk Hogan in a highly controversial bout on Feb. 5, 1988, to win the title, “The Eighth Wonder of the World” attempted to turn around and sell the championship to “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. WWE President Jack Tunney immediately declared the WWE Championship vacant due to the giant’s actions, which put the length of Andre’s reign at a “blink and you’ll miss it” time of 45 seconds. Other champions with brief reigns include Yokozuna, who held the title for two minutes and thirty seconds, and John Cena, who once carried the championship for a little more than three minutes.
What Superstar had the longest drought between WWE Title reigns?
When The Rock made his glorious return to the WWE Title at Royal Rumble 2013, it had been an unbelievable 3,808 days since The Great One last held the championship. Still, this was not the longest a WWE Superstar had gone between WWE Title reigns. Bob Backlund set that record on Nov. 23, 1994, when he upset Bret “Hit Man” Hart to reclaim the championship he believed was rightfully his. The WWE Hall of Famer had not been in the title picture since the early ’80s — a remarkable 3,985 days out of the spotlight to be exact.
What Superstar won the WWE Title in the shortest time after their debut?
Brock Lesnar’s meteoric rise from unknown mauler to WWE Champion in 2002 turned a lot of heads. What other Superstar had gone from being a WWE newcomer to WWE Champion in 160 days? Well someone had actually done it faster than Lesnar. It took Ric Flair 132 days from the moment he made his first WWE appearance on Sept. 9, 1991, to the moment he won the WWE Title at the 1992 Royal Rumble on Jan. 19, 1992, to make it happen. The Nature Boy’s record has stood strong against other fast risers like Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio.
Who was the oldest WWE Champion?
When Mr. McMahon pinned Triple H on the Sept. 16, 1999, edition of SmackDown to become the WWE Champion, he made history as the first man to win the WWE Title while wearing dress slacks. More importantly, the WWE Chairman earned his place in the record books as the oldest WWE Champion as he was 54 years of age when he finally grabbed the coveted title. Hulk Hogan wasn’t far behind Mr. McMahon when he beat The Game to win his sixth WWE Title on April 21, 2002, at age 48.
Who was the longest reigning WWE Champion?
CM Punk’s 434 days with the WWE Title made him the longest-reigning champion of the past quarter century — something The Straight Edge Superstar was not shy about reminding the WWE Universe. But Punk was still a few days away from matching the mammoth title reign of Bruno Sammartino — 2,369 days to be exact. The Italian Superstar set a sports-entertainment record that will likely stand forever when he won the WWE Title on May 17, 1963, and defended it for the next 2,803 days before falling to Ivan Koloff in Madison Square Garden on Jan. 18, 1971. Sammartino’s seven years as champion was a staggering achievement in its own right, but he won the WWE Title again on Dec. 10, 1973, and carried it for an additional 1,237 days.
What WWE event has seen the most WWE Title changes?
It’s a close one, but WrestleMania edges out Raw as the WWE event with the most WWE Championship changes. Beginning with “Macho Man” Randy Savage’s well-earned WWE Title victory at WrestleMania IV and culminating most recently with John Cena’s redemptive win at WrestleMania 29, the WWE Title has been won 18 times on The Grandest Stage of Them All. As far as pay-per-views, Survivor Series trails WrestleMania with 10 WWE Championship changes, while Raw has the most for televised shows with 13 since its 1993 premiere.
What was the shortest WWE Title Match?
Eight seconds. That’s all it took for the powerful Diesel to powerbomb WWE Champion Bob Backlund and beat him for his title in Madison Square Garden on Nov. 26, 1994. While Big Daddy Cool’s domination was impressive, he wasn’t the first Superstar to claim the title in less than a minute. Bruno Sammartino began his epic 2,803-day WWE Championship reign on May 17, 1963, by crushing Buddy Rogers in about 48 seconds. Hulk Hogan beat that time when he steamrolled over Yokozuna at WrestleMania IX to win the title in 22 seconds.
In what year did the WWE Championship change hands the most?
As WWE battled WCW for ratings dominance at the end of the last century, title changes became a common occurrence on both pay-per-views and weekly television shows. This was never more apparent than in 1999 when the WWE Title changed hands on a staggering 11 occasions. That year, The Rock, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Mankind, Big Show, Triple H and even Mr. McMahon all grabbed the championship for brief periods of time. Three of that year’s reigns lasted for less than a week while the longest run went to The Texas Rattlesnake, who held the WWE Title for 55 days in 1999.
What Superstar has the most WWE Title reigns?
Love him or hate him, John Cena has earned his place in the pantheon of great WWE Champions with a record that speaks to The Champ’s inability to quit. Beginning with his first WWE Title victory at WrestleMania 21 on April 3, 2005, Cena has won the championship on 11 occasions. The Cenation leader’s eight-plus years in the WWE Title hunt have seen him hold the prize for both an impressive 380 days and an embarrassing three minutes and thirty seconds. Reign lengths aside, Cena still stands at the front of the pack with Triple H and The Rock trailing behind — both of those Superstars have held the WWE Title on eight separate occasions.
How many times has the WWE Title been won on SmackDown?
When it comes to WWE’s television shows, Raw has hosted the most WWE Championship changes by a strong margin as the title has been won 13 times on the flagship show. SmackDown stands far behind in second place with a measly two WWE Title changes. The first occurred on Sept. 14, 1999, when Mr. McMahon beat Triple H thanks to a big assist from “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to win the title. The second — and most recent — occurred back on Sept. 16, 2003, when Brock Lesnar defeated Kurt Angle in a grueling 60-minute Iron Man Match to win the WWE Championship for a third time.
In what state has the WWE Title changed hands the most?
It should come as no surprise that WWE’s homebase of New York state holds the record for most WWE Title changes within its borders. All told, the WWE Championship has been won 21 times in the Empire State. And while the WWE fans in New York City have undoubtedly witnessed the most WWE Championships changes — 14 total, with 13 occurring in Madison Square Garden and one in the neighboring Hammerstein Ballroom — New York cities like Albany and Buffalo have also hosted major title victories.
Who was the first WWE Champion to wear a mask?
In the great history of masked Superstars, only three have claimed the WWE Title. The first was the demonic Kane, who beat “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to win the WWE Championship in a First Blood Match on June 28, 1998. Soon after, Mankind became the second masked champion when he defeated The Rock on an emotional Jan. 4, 1999, edition of Raw. The most recent WWE Champion to don a hood was Rey Mysterio, who held the WWE Championship for less than two hours on Raw on July 25, 2011.
What was the only WrestleMania without a WWE Title Match?
WrestleMania has long been the showcase of the biggest WWE Title Matches of all time — Hogan versus Andre, Hart versus Michaels, Cena versus Rock. Yet the inaugural WrestleMania event didn’t set a precedent for big-time championship matches as Hulk Hogan did not defend his WWE Title at the show. Instead, The Hulkster teamed with “A-Team” star Mr. T to defeat Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff in a tag bout. To this day, the first WrestleMania stands as the only WrestleMania without a WWE Championship Match.