WWE Championship is a world heavyweight championship in WWE, which is currently on the RAW brand. There have been a total of 51 official champions, with John Cena having the most reigns at thirteen. Eight men have held the championship for a continuous reign of one year or more: Bruno Sammartino (who achieved the feat on two separate occasions), Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, John Cena, CM Punk and AJ Styles.
The title is one of the two male world titles in WWE alongside the Universal Championship. At present, both titles are held by Roman Reigns and are unified.
The WWE Championship was first introduced in the year 1963 as the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) Championship. The title got renamed the WWF Championship after ending their Alliance with NWA in 1979. In 2001, post the acquisition of WCW. the title was merged with the World Heavyweight Championship and name the WWE Undisputed Championship. In 2002, the company was renamed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and the company split its roster into two brands RAW and SmackDown. The WWE Championship was then exclusive to the SmackDown brand while RAW got the World Heavyweight Championship.
On December 15, 2013, Randy Orton united the WWE World Heavyweight Championship by defeating John Cena at the premium live event Tables, Ladders and Chairs. In the process of unification, the World Heavyweight Championship was retired and renamed the latter as the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. On June 27, 2016, the title was renamed the WWE Championship again when WWE decided to split their brands again. It was designated exclusively to Friday Night SmackDown and RAW got a Championship named the Universal Championship. After Crown Jewel 2019, both the main Championships shifted brands and the WWE Championship became the top prize of Monday Night RAW.
As of September 2022, there have been 146 recognized reigns between 54 Champions. The first WWE Champion was Buddy Rodgers. The Champion with the biggest single reign and combined reign is WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino with a reign of 2,083 and 4,040 days respectively. John Cena has the WWE Championship a record thirteen times. There have eight superstars who have held the Championship for one year or more: Bruno Sammartino (twice), Hulk Hogan, Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, Randy Savage, John Cena, CM Punk and AJ Styles.
Various WWE Championship Designs
List of WWE Champions
Here is a list of WWE Superstars who reigned the WWE Championship Title.