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Top 10 longest reigning WWE Champions of all time

Published at :April 8, 2024 at 2:44 PM
Modified at :April 8, 2024 at 2:44 PM
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(Courtesy : WWE)

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These superstars are among the most prominent names ever competing in professional wrestling.

Many WWE Superstars and legends, such as Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, Bob Backlund, and John Cena, Roman Reigns have held the WWE Championship for extended periods over the years. These wrestlers have left their imprint on the WWE and helped form the sport into what it is today.

The WWE Championship is the highest honour bestowed to a professional wrestler in the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) universe. It is given to the wrestler who defeats the reigning champion in a one-on-one or, in some situations, a multi-man match. The wrestlers who have held the WWE Championship for the most significant period are known as the “Longest Reigning WWE Champions of All Time.”

Only a handful have held the title for an extended time, and their reigns have cemented their position in history and made them legendary people. We will look at this list’s top ten longest reigning WWE Champions of all time:

10. AJ Styles – 371 days:

The Phenomenal One AJ Styles is a superstar wrestler who held the WWE Championship for 371 days, equaling Randy Savage’s record in the modern WWE era. He won the championship at the Clash of Championship pay-per-view event in 2017. He successfully defended it against several top-tier wrestlers, including Kevin Owens, John Cena, and Shinsuke Nakamura.

Styles’ reign was distinguished by his outstanding in-ring performances and ability to connect with crowds on RAW and SmackDown. He finally lost the championship to Daniel Bryan at the 2018 Survivor Series, but his reign helped cement his reputation as one of the most outstanding performers of the modern era.

9. Randy Savage – 371 days:

Hall of Famer Randy Savage won a tournament to become WWE Champion at WrestleMania IV in 1988; he ensured his time in the spotlight lasted longer than a cup of coffee. The “Macho Man” reigned for 371 days while simultaneously being a part of The Mega Powers with Hulk Hogan.

Their split would eventually lead to a title showdown at the following Showcase of the Immortals when The Hulkster would end Savage’s reign and begin his own.

Savage’s flamboyant demeanor and high-flying wrestling style helped him become one of the most popular wrestlers of his period. His championship reign is still remembered as one of the most remarkable in WWE history.

8. John Cena – 381 days:

John Cena
Cena held the WWE Championship for 381 days during the contemporary era

John Cena was once so dominating that he was the only person capable of defeating him. John Cena is a Hollywood actor and part-time wrestler who held the WWE Championship for 381 days during the contemporary era. He captured the championship at the 2006 Unforgiven pay-per-view event and successfully defended it against top-tier superstars, including Randy Orton, Edge, and Shawn Michaels. 

Cena’s tenure was distinguished by his commitment to being a battling champion, as he routinely defended the title on both RAW and SmackDown. He lost the world title to Randy Orton at the 2007 SummerSlam, but he nevertheless established his place as one of WWE’s all-time greats.

7. CM Punk – 434 days:

Former WWE champion CM Punk held the championship for 434 days, giving him the modern era’s longest reign. He won the championship at the 2011 Money in the Bank pay-per-view event and successfully retained it against a series of opponents before losing it to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at the 2013 Royal Rumble. 

CM Punk became one of the most popular performers in the WWE throughout his reign, recognized for his edgy persona, outstanding mic skills, and high-quality in-ring performances. He was a significant character in the company’s “Reality Era” and is widely regarded as one of the best champions in WWE history.

6. Brock Lesnar – 504 days:

The Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar is a former WWE Champion who held the title for 504 days during a single reign. On August 17, 2014, he defeated John Cena at SummerSlam to win the belt. Lesnar successfully defended the championship against various notable WWE performers, including Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, and Roman Reigns. 

Seth “Freakin” Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and defeated Lesnar to win the championship on WrestleMania 31. Despite only having the title for one reign, The Beast Incarnate was a fearsome champion because of his domination and ferocity.

Also Read: Top 10 wrestlers with most WWE World Championships in history

5. Pedro Morales – 1,027 days:

The mega-exclusive thousand-day club was founded by WWE Hall of Famer Pedro Morales, who held the title from early 1971 until late 1973. Pedro Morales was a legendary figure in professional wrestling, holding the WWE Championship for a record-breaking 1027 days, making him the longest-reigning WWE Champion in existence until 1985. 

On February 8, 1971, Pedro Morales won his first WWE Championship by defeating Ivan Koloff. He would keep the title for an unprecedented 1027 days, successfully defending it against the likes of Stan Stasiak, Bruno Sammartino, and Killer Kowalski.

4. Roman Reigns –  1,316 days:

Current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns has demolished every opponent who has tried to dethrone him over the past 1300 days.

He has held the WWE World Championship, defeating John Cena, Cody Rhodes, Edge, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, and others. In August 2020, the Tribal Chief won the Universal Championship. 

At the last minute, he entered Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman’s No Holds Barred title match at Payback Premium Live Event. With his heel return, The Tribal Chief was crowned champion and has retained it ever since.

After defeating Brock Lesnar on Night 2 of WrestleMania 38 last year, Roman Reigns earned the WWE Championship. He has faced Drew McIntyre, Matt Riddle, Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, and others for the Undisputed title.

Cody Rhodes ended the greatest title reign in WWE history by defeating Roman for the title at WrestleMania 40.

Also Read: Top 10 longest-reigning United States Champions in WWE history

3. Hulk Hogan – 1,474 days:

Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan won the WWE championship in January 1984 and held it for 1,474 days

Hall of Famer Hulk initially won the WWE championship in January 1984 and held it for 1,474 days, the longest reign in WWE history. After defeating The Iron Sheikh at Madison Square Garden, Hogan started a four-year reign that, like Cena’s, ended due to a strange coincidence. 

In this case, a sloppy loss to Andre The Giant that was almost immediately overturned by Jack Tunney because the official (who’d been hired by Ted DiBiase) counted three even though Hogan had raised his shoulder to break the pinfall. Hogan was well-known for his charm, larger-than-life personality, and iconic “Hulkamania” catchphrase.

2. Bob Backlund – 2,135 days:

Bob Backlund reigned over the WWE Championship for a total of 2,138 days. His first rule lasted from February 1978 to December 1983, while his second reign began in November 1994 and ended in November 1995.

He was also recognized for his rigorous training schedule and devotion to the sport. Backlund’s rule was defined by intense confrontations with some of the industry’s most prominent figures, including Hulk Hogan.

The WWE Hall of Famer was noted for his technical wrestling abilities and his iconic “Crossface Chicken Wing” submission technique.

1. Bruno Sammartino – 2,803 days:

Bruno Sammartino sold out Madison Square Garden multiple times for a reason. He is widely regarded as one of the best WWE champions ever. The WWE veteran held the title for a total of 4,040 days, which equates to more than 11 years in two separate reigns. 

His first rule lasted more than 2803 days, from May 1963 to January 1971, and his second reign lasted more than 1237 days, from December 1973 to April 1977. 

Sammartino’s reigns were distinguished by his extraordinary power, durability, and ability to bring enormous crowds to his matches. He was a well-liked character in the professional wrestling community, and his legacy continues to this day.

**This article was last updated on April 8, 2024.

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