Title Histories

World Heavyweight Championship

World Heavyweight Championship

The complete title history of the World Heavyweight Championship dating from it’s inception on September 2nd 2002 all the way up to the current day.

World Heavyweight Championship

The World Heavyweight Championship is one of two world titles in WWE, complementing the WWE Championship. It was established by WWE in 2002 after WWE bought out World Championship Wrestling(WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), and split its roster into two franchises, Raw and SmackDown, in a brand extension.

WWE’s original world title, the WWE Championship (then known as the Undisputed Championship, which was the combination of the WWF and WCW titles, unified by Chris Jericho), was designated to the SmackDown brand, which resulted in the World Heavyweight Championship being established and designated to the Raw brand. The World Heavyweight Championship is not a continuation of the WCW Championship, but rather its successor by way of the WWE Undisputed Championship, just as the WCW Championship spun off from the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

The first champion was Triple H, who was awarded the title on September 2, 2002 by Eric Bischoff, the General Manager of Raw.

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HISTORY

# Superstar Reign Date Location Event Notes
54 John Cena 3 October 29, 2013 Miami, FL Hell in a Cell Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio in his first match back from injury
53 Alberto Del Rio 2 June 16, 2013 Rosemont, IL Payback
52 Dolph Ziggler 2 April 8, 2013 East Rutherford, NJ Raw Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank contract after Alberto Del Rio defeated Jack Swagger & Zeb Colter in a handicap match.
51 Alberto Del Rio 1 January 8, 2013 Miami, FL SmackDown This was a Last Man Standing match. This episode aired ontape delay on January 11, 2013.
50 Big Show 2 October 28, 2012 Atlanta, GA Hell in a Cell
49 Sheamus 1 April 1, 2012 Miami Gardens, FL WrestleMania XXVIII
48 Daniel Bryan 1 December 18, 2011 Baltimore, MD TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs Daniel Bryan cashed in his Money in the Bank contract.
47 Big Show 1 December 18, 2011 Baltimore, MD TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs This was a Chairs match.
46 Mark Henry 1 September 18, 2011 Buffalo, NY Night of Champions
45 Randy Orton 3 August 14, 2011 Los Angeles, CA SummerSlam This was a No Holds Barred Match.
44 Christian 2 July 17, 2011 Rosemont, IL Money in the Bank Christian defeated Randy Orton by disqualification after Orton gave him a low-blow in view of the official. The stipulations of the match allowed the title to change hands via disqualification.
43 Randy Orton 2 May 3, 2011 Orlando, FL SmackDown This episode aired on tape delay on May 6, 2011.
42 Christian 1 May 1, 2011 Tampa, FL Extreme Rules Christian defeated Alberto Del Rio in a Ladder match to win the vacant title.
Vacated April 12, 2011 Albany, NY SmackDown Title declared vacant due to Edge’s retirement. This episode aired on tape delay on April 15, 2011.
41 Edge 7 February 15, 2011 San Diego, CA SmackDown This episode aired on tape delay on February 18, 2011.
40 Dolph Ziggler 1 February 15, 2011 San Diego, CA SmackDown Edge was stripped as a result of using the spear (which had been banned) in a previous match by Vickie Guerrero, who then awarded the belt to Ziggler. This episode aired on tape delay on February 18, 2011.
39 Edge 6 December 19, 2010 Houston, TX TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs This was a Fatal–four way match Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match, also involving Alberto Del Rio and Rey Mysterio.
38 Kane 1 July 18, 2010 Kansas City, MO Money in the Bank Kane cashed in his Money in the Bank contract in order to challenge for the title.
37 Rey Mysterio 2 June 20, 2010 Uniondale, NY Fatal 4-Way This was a Fatal 4-Way match, also involving Big Show and CM Punk.
36 Jack Swagger 1 March 30, 2010 Las Vegas, NV SmackDown Swagger cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to earn the right to challenge for the title. Signed to Raw at the time, Swagger transferred to SmackDown upon winning the title. This episode aired on tape delay on April 2, 2010.
35 Chris Jericho 3 February 21, 2010 St. Louis, MO Elimination Chamber This was an Elimination Chamber match, also involving John Morrison, R-Truth, CM Punk and Rey Mysterio
34 Undertaker 3 October 4, 2009 Newark, NJ Hell in a Cell This was a Hell in a Cell match.
33 CM Punk 3 August 23, 2009 Los Angeles, CA SummerSlam This was a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match.
32 Jeff Hardy 2 July 26, 2009 Philadelphia, PA Night of Champions
31 CM Punk 2 June 7, 2009 New Orleans, LA Extreme Rules Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank contract immediately after Hardy’s victory to win the championship.
30 Jeff Hardy 1 June 7, 2009 New Orleans, LA Extreme Rules This was a Ladder match.
29 Edge 5 April 26, 2009 Providence, RI Backlash This was a Last Man Standing match. The championship again becomes SmackDown exclusive.
28 John Cena 2 April 5, 2009 Houston, TX WrestleMania XXV This was a triple–threat match, also involving Big Show. The title became exclusive to the Raw brand once again due to John Cena being a Raw brand wrestler. After Triple H is drafted to Raw the following week, the brand becomes the exclusive home of both WWE world championships.
27 Edge 4 February 15, 2009 Seattle, WA No Way Out This was the Raw Elimination Chamber match also involving Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Mike Knox, and Kane. Edge, a member of the SmackDown roster (and who had lost his WWE Championship in the SmackDown Elimination Chamber earlier in the evening), attacked Kofi Kingston and replaced him in the match. Title becomes SmackDownexclusive, and since WWE Champion Triple H is also a member of SmackDown, both world titles are now exclusive to SmackDown.
26 John Cena 1 November 23, 2008 Boston, MA Survivor Series
25 Chris Jericho 2 November 3, 2008 Tampa, FL Raw This was a steel cage match.
24 Batista 4 October 26, 2008 Phoenix, AZ Cyber Sunday “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was the Special Guest Referee.
23 Chris Jericho 1 September 7, 2008 Cleveland, OH Unforgiven Won a Championship Scramble match also involving John “Bradshaw” Layfield, Batista, Rey Mysterio, and Kane. Jericho was a late replacement for champion CM Punk, who was attacked backstage by Legacy.
22 CM Punk 1 June 30, 2008 Oklahoma City, OK Raw Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank contract in order to challenge for the title, and since Punk is a member of Rawthe title once again becomes exclusive to the brand.
21 Edge 3 June 1, 2008 San Diego, CA One Night Stand Edge defeated The Undertaker in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match to win the vacant title.
Vacated April 29, 2008 Atlantic City, NJ SmackDown SmackDown’s General Manager Vickie Guerrero ordered The Undertaker to relinquish the title because of the danger that his Hell’s Gate choke hold caused. This episode aired on tape delay on May 2, 2008.
20 Undertaker 2 March 30, 2008 Orlando, FL WrestleMania XXIV
19 Edge 2 December 16, 2007 Pittsburgh, PA Armageddon This was a triple–threat match, also involving The Undertaker.
18 Batista 3 September 16, 2007 Memphis, TN Unforgiven This was a triple–threat match, also involving Rey Mysterio.
17 The Great Khali 1 July 17, 2007 Laredo, TX SmackDown! The Great Khali won the vacant championship in a 20 man battle royal. This episode aired on tape delay on July 20, 2007.
Vacated July 17, 2007 Laredo, TX SmackDown! Edge vacated the title after he was sidelined with a legitimate pectoral injury. This episode aired on tape delay on July 20, 2007.
16 Edge 1 May 8, 2007 Pittsburgh, PA SmackDown! Edge cashed in Mr. Kennedy’s Money in the Bank contract to earn the right to challenge for the title. Following the win, Edge was transferred from the Raw to the SmackDown roster. This episode aired on tape delay on May 11, 2007.
15 Undertaker 1 April 1, 2007 Detroit, MI WrestleMania 23
14 Batista 2 November 26, 2006 Philadelphia, PA Survivor Series This was a last chance match.
13 King Booker 1 July 23, 2006 Indianapolis, IN The Great American Bash
12 Rey Mysterio 1 April 2, 2006 Rosemont, IL WrestleMania 22 This was a triple–threat match, also involving Randy Orton.
11 Kurt Angle 1 January 10, 2006 Philadelphia, PA SmackDown! Angle won the vacant championship in a twenty–man battle royal. This episode aired on tape delay on January 13, 2006
Vacant January 10, 2006 Philadelphia, PA SmackDown! Batista lost the title after he was sidelined with a legitimate triceps injury. This episode aired on tape delay on January 13, 2006.
10 Batista 1 April 3, 2005 Los Angeles, CA WrestleMania 21 Batista was drafted to the SmackDown! brand on June 30, making the title SmackDown! exclusive.
9 Triple H 5 January 9, 2005 San Juan, PR New Year’s Revolution Defeated Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Batista, and Edge in a Elimination Chamber match. Shawn Michaels was the guest referee.
Vacated December 6, 2004 Baltimore, MD Raw The championship was vacated after a double fall occurred in a triple–threat match, also involving Chris Benoit and Edge.
8 Triple H 4 September 12, 2004 Portland, OR Unforgiven
7 Randy Orton 1 August 15, 2004 Toronto, ON SummerSlam At the age of 24, Randy Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion in WWE history.
6 Chris Benoit 1 March 14, 2004 New York, NY WrestleMania XX This was a triple–threat match, also involving Shawn Michaels.
5 Triple H 3 December 14, 2003 Orlando, FL Armageddon This was a triple–threat match, also involving Kane.
4 Goldberg 1 September 21, 2003 Hershey, PA Unforgiven This was a career vs. title match.
3 Triple H 2 December 15, 2002 Sunrise, FL Armageddon This was a Three Stages of Hell match.
2 Shawn Michaels 1 November 17, 2002 New York, NY Survivor Series This was the first ever Elimination Chamber match, also involving Chris Jericho, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, and Kane
1 Triple H 1 September 2, 2002 Milwaukee, WI Raw Triple H was awarded the championship by the on-screen General Manager Eric Bischoff, making him the inaugural champion in the process. Triple H defeated WWE Intercontinental Champion Kane on October 20, 2002 at No Mercy to unify the Intercontinental Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship.

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TITLE VARIATIONS

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