Capturing a championship title is every WWE Superstar’s dream. Winning one will have their names forever etched on the list of wrestlers who have held the same distinction.
However, getting to the top is not a walk in the park. These in-ring competitors have trained countless hours and risked their lives just to get there.
Every current title holder of the promotion has their own humble beginnings. Just like every Superstar, they too faced and eventually overcame challenges and are now reaping the fruits of their labor. Take a look at these current main roster champions and where they were prior to winning their titles.
#7. Austin Theory
Austin Theory finally made it as one of WWE’s champions after winning the United States Championship at last year’s Survivor Series: WarGames. This is his second reign as WWE’s U.S. Champion and continues to defend the belt. The first time he won the belt was against Finn Bálor during an episode of RAW as this made him the second youngest champion for the said title and the youngest champion in wwe.
Before he became the U.S. champ, Theory was still brawling it out in the indie scene before signing for WWE. He wrestled in promotions like Evolve, Full Impact Pro, and The Crash Lucha Libre. He won every top prize in the aforementioned promotions.
The Imperium’s Ring General – Gunther, currently holds the Intercontinental Championship. His first IC reign is closing in at 300 days. This makes him one of the longest-reigning champions in the title’s history and the longest in the 21st century.
During his NXT days, he also won the brand’s UK Championship and held an iron grip on it. His reign was even described as historic, as it went on for an impressive 870 days.
Before these career milestones, Gunther delved into several promotions prior to joining WWE. Just like what he’s doing as of late, he dominated every promotion he’d been to back then.
#5. The Usos
Jimmy and Jey – collectively known as The Usos, are one of the most highly decorated tag teams in WWE’s history. They are currently the promotion’s Undisputed Tag Team Champions, as they both hold the RAW and SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
Jimmy and Jey were SmackDown Tag Team Champions when they successfully defended it at 2018’s Royal Rumble between the duo of Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable. However, come WrestleMania 34, they would lose the title to Luke Harper and Erick Rowan’s Bludgeon Brothers.
#4. Lita and Becky Lynch
WWE Superstars Becky Lynch and Hall of Famer Lita shocked the WWE Universe after capturing the Women’s Tag Team Championship from Damage CTRL’s Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky during the February 27, 2023, episode of RAW. Fans were treated to another surprise as another Hall of Famer, Trish Stratus, came in for the save.
Prior to her first-ever reign as tag champion, The Man was on a grind in 2018, where she competed in several PLEs. A notable event was the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble match. She was the second entrant and lasted for over 30 minutes inside the ring before being thrown out of the match. Lynch also competed in the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal during WrestleMania 34.
It was also during this time that Lynch began using the “The Man” moniker, which she continues to use to this day.
Meanwhile, Lita is no longer active in the ring but still does make appearances from time to time in WWE. Similar to Lynch, Lita also participated in the first Women’s Royal Rumble, which was won by Asuka.
#3. Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair quickly got back on top after winning the SmackDown Women’s Champion from Ronda Rousey during the December 30, 2022, episode of the blue brand. With the number of championships that she's won over the years, she’s pretty much on her way to surpassing what her legendary dad Ric has achieved.
About five years ago, she’s already been winning and defending championships. During 2018’s SummerSlam, she participated in a Triple Threat match against then-SmackDown Women’s Champion Carmella and Becky Lynch, who she won after pinning the latter.
This earned her the distinction of becoming the second woman to have held seven women’s championships within WWE alongside Hall of Famer Trish Stratus.
#2. Bianca Belair
WWE Superstar Bianca Belair is on her first-ever reign as RAW Women’s Champion after defeating Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 38. She even holds the distinction of being the first African American woman to have the longest championship reign in WWE’s history. She’s indeed living up to her EST moniker.
Her rise to the top was meteoric, to say the least. In a short period of time, she has won both the top prizes within the promotion’s women’s division and major premium live event matches like last year’s Elimination Chamber and 2021’s Royal Rumble.
Back in 2018, she was still in NXT, where she launched an undefeated streak, defeating the likes of Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, and Lacey Evans. It was also that same year that she experienced her first WrestleMania, where she competed at the PLE’s WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal.
#1. Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns
The Bloodline’s Head of the Table Roman Reigns, is the reigning, defending, and Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. He recently made history as the longest-reigning Universal Champion.
Back in 2018, The Tribal Chief was already a champion as he won his first-ever Universal Championship. He even reignited his feud with Superstar Braun Strowman and was supposed to defend his title at Crown Jewel in a Triple Threat match against Strowman and Brock Lesnar. However, he relinquished his Universal Championship after revealing that his leukemia had returned.
Thankfully, he returned the following year and went on to become the seemingly unbeatable champion that he is now.