10 Longest title reigns of the modern era
- These 10 are the longest-reigning champions since Hulk Hogan
Pete Dunne's successful title defense at last night's NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool, solidified his reign as comfortably the longest of the modern era. You heard it a lot and will hear it some more.
That begs the question. What does the "modern era" mean? Usually, it's understood to mean from the time after Hulk Hogan's first reign as WWE Champion ended. Hogan first won the title at a house show in New York City from the Iron Sheik on January 23rd, 1984.
He would run with it for 1,474 days before dropping it to Andre the Giant on February 5th, 1988. Since then, no one has gotten close to the 1,000-day mark, let alone Hogan's reign. The advent of weekly television, monthly pay per view, and now, the WWE Network, guarantees that those kinds of reigns would get long in the tooth quickly.
Who has come the closest since then, though? You might think about AJ Styles' second run with the WWE title, which ties Macho Man's reign during the Mega Powers storyline, both at 371 days. They came close but didn't quite make the top 10. Instead, we need to look at an even more obvious place first.
#10 John Cena as WWE Champion - 380 days
The peak of the "Super Cena" era, John Cena's third reign as WWE Champion was his longest. He won the championship off of Edge at TLC 2006 in September and had to vacate the title in October 2007 due to an injury, after entering a rivalry with Randy Orton. If he wasn't suddenly injured, his reign may well have been for much longer, because it appeared at the time that there was no end in sight.
During this reign, John Cena would defeat Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 23, successfully defend his title in a critically acclaimed iron man match on Raw, again against Michaels, shortly afterward, and fell opponents like Umaga and The Great Khali.
His act was beginning to wear thin with a lot of the audience at the time, though. He'd run through most of the competition on Raw, and many wondered when his reign would end.