WWE: The 10 Shortest WWE Championship Reigns (So Far)

March 1st 2021, Bobby Lashley defeated The Miz to finally become WWE Champion, an achievement which I have been waiting for since 2007; to say I’m delighted would be an understatement. Bobby finally holds the WWE Championship.

Unfortunately for Miz fans, the now-former two-time WWE Champion, his latest reign was only eight days long. As short as this is, it is nowhere near the shortest WWE Championship reign of all time.

Daniel Bryan, September 2013.

Daniel Bryan - WWE Champion

I hate to say this, but it will not be the first time we see Daniel Bryan’s name on this list, and both of these short reigns were in late 2013. During the height of Daniel Bryan’s popularity, the newly formed Authority *shivers* had its golden boy Randy Orton as its current WWE Champion. Bryan, screwed out of the title at SummerSlam (We will get to that!), faced off against Randy Orton at Night of Champions. And he was successful! Bryan was champion until the next night on RAW where he was stripped of the Championship due to a fast count, meaning Bryan was champion for approximately 22 hours.

Triple H, October 2007.

HHH - WWE Champion

For better or worse, every top 10 list will likely have Triple H involved in some way and this one is no different.

We go back to October 2007, due to then Champion John Cena picking up an injury, which would rule him out for “eight months to a year” (unless you are superhuman Cena of course who returned in January) and a new Champion would be needed to be crowned at No Mercy 2007. At the start of the show, Vince McMahon awarded the WWE Championship to Randy Orton, who was challenged by Triple H and Trips won. Already scheduled to face Umaga that night, Triple H would successfully defend against the Samoan Bulldozer.

Randy would then cash in his rematch clause in the Last Man Standing match that night and retain the championship. Hunter was essentially champion for an entire pay per view, around 2 hours.

Rey Mysterio, July 2011.

Rey Mysterio - WWE Champ

The Summer of Punk was upon us, having successfully won the WWE Championship from John Cena in his ‘last match’, Punk was last seen blowing a kiss to Vince and vanishing from the company while still Champion. The show must go on, however, and WWE decided to crown a new champion via a tournament where the winner would be crowned the new Champ.

Rey Mysterio faced The Miz in the final and successfully defeated the awesome one to win the WWE Championship for the first time in his career.

A great moment, for all of an hour, where the former champion John Cena was granted a ‘rematch’ for the title he lost at Money in The Bank, which of course he won, shock horror. He was also greeted afterwards by CM Punk so there were now two champions. Not confusing at all for anyone who just started watching.

Randy Orton, October 2007

WWE - Randy Orton

Remember that Triple H reign I mentioned earlier? Aye, well this is where it started. John Cena was scheduled to face Randy Orton at No Mercy but due to injury as mentioned, that was shelved and at the start of the show, Randy Orton was simply awarded the title by Vince McMahon.

Triple H came out and a match was made for the Championship (because why not eh?) in which Hunter defeated Randy. This reign lasted a mighty 22 minutes and 55 seconds, however as we said before Randy was able to win the title back at the end of the night.

Roman Reigns, November 2015

Roman Reigns - WWE Champion

We all knew at some point, Vince McMahon was going to coronate Roman Reigns as WWE Champion, but maybe not in the circumstances in which they did in the end.

A serious knee injury meant that then Champion Seth Rollins was forced to vacate resulting in a tournament to determine the new WWE Champion at that year’s Survivor Series. A tournament featuring Roman, Dean Ambrose, Alberto Del Rio and Kevin Owens; let’s be honest no one else in that tournament was going to win.

We get to the final between Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, in which Roman would defeat his former Shield partner to be crowned Champion for the first time in his career. As Roman celebrates, up pops Sheamus with a Brogue Kick, the Money in the Bank holder at the time finally cashed in and defeated Roman, meaning Reigns’ first…well… reign, lasted 5 minutes and 15 seconds. Sheamus even had his own spectacular t-shirt to prove this.

Daniel Bryan, August 2013

Daniel Bryan take 2 - WWE Champ

It’s that man again, your friend and mine, Daniel Bryan.

John Cena picked Daniel Bryan as his Summerslam opponent, in which Daniel would be victorious, beating Cena clean. Not many can say that! Of course, Triple H being the special guest referee in this match he had to make himself the centre of attention though, delivering a pedigree to Bryan leading to recently crowned Money in the Bank winner Randy Orton to cash in and become champion. Daniel’s reign would last a whole 4 minutes and 7 seconds.

Of course, the leader of the Yes Movement would get his deserved Wrestlemania main event win at the end of it all. Something that the writing team had obviously planned for the entire time this was happening. No changes to stories due to CM Punk departing… not at all…

John Cena, February 2010

WWE Champ is here

In an attempt to replicate New Years Revolution 2006, an exhausted John Cena defeated five other wrestlers in an Elimination Chamber match to regain this WWE Championship after losing the championship to Sheamus in December.

His nights over. Or so we thought; after the match Vince McMahon emerged to declare that John Cena would be defending his WWE Championship immediately against a fresh Batista, who destroyed John in under a minute, winning his final championship in WWE. In total though, Cena was champion here for 3 minutes and 33 seconds.

Yokozuna, 1993

WWE Championship - Yokozuna

This one will be fresh in the memory for those who watched the recent Icons: Yokozuna documentary on the Network (excellent, by the way). The big man Yokozuna defeated Bret Hart for the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania IX in front of a daylight crowd at Caesar’s Palace.

Bret had been blinded by shenanigans from Mr. Fuji helping Yokozuna to win; as if by magic, a soon departing Hulk Hogan appeared challenging Yoko on Bret’s behalf (I’m sure the Hitman is all too happy to allow Hogan to represent him).

Two minutes and six seconds later, Yokozuna was defeated and Hulk Hogan was the new WWE Champion. If you think this was the shortest reign of all time at this point, you are gravely mistaken, there was one even shorter than this a few years earlier…

Seth Rollins, 2016

Seth WWE Title Win - MITB

Before we get to that, there’s a nice short reign that happened in a more recent time. After the horrific injury forcing Seth Rollins to vacate the WWE Championship, at Money in the Bank 2016, he would face off against Champion Roman Reigns and to the surprise of a lot of people, he was victorious, winning back the championship which he never lost.

Moments later though, Dean Ambrose who won the Money in the Bank contract earlier in the night cashed in on the man famous for his Money in the Bank cash-ins and emerged as WWE Champion. With Ambrose being my favourite Shield member, I was pretty happy with this! Seth Rollins second reign lasted an enormous two minutes, but at least he officially lost it this time!

Andre the Giant, 1988

Andre The Giant Champion

In one of the most bizarre title reigns, on a live NBC WWF Special, Andre The Giant would defeat Hulk Hogan to win the WWF Championship under dodgy circumstances. Referee Earl Hebner’s twin brother Dave was paid by the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase after Earl was kidnapped, to count Hogan’s shoulders despite not being down.

This would result in Andre being declared Champion, but he would immediately surrender the champion to Ted DiBiase who was now unofficially the WWE Champion, which the management swiftly rejected this forcing the championship to be vacant.

Andre’s reign was a huge waste on someone of his star quality lasting 1 minute and 48 seconds. Andre may be one of the biggest men in history, but his title reign remains the shortest of all time.

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