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WWE Championship 2014.jpg

The WWE World Heavyweight Championship or WWE Championship is the World Heavyweight Championship created and promoted by the WWE. The championship was established by the then-World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) on April 29, 1963 as the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship, following the promotion seceding from the National Wrestling Alliance.

It is the oldest championship currently recognized by the promotion, and is presented as being the most prestigious title in WWE, with many matches for the title having headlined pay per view (PPV) events - including WWE's signature PPV event WWE WrestleMania.

For the period between 2002–2013, the title was one of three world titles in WWE, along with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and ECW Championship (2006−2010). But following the decommissioning of the ECW title, and unification with the WWE World Heavyweight title, it is once again promoted as WWE's primary championship.

Championship Lineage

(Dates are the TV Air Dates where applicable)

WWE Championship

  • Buddy Rogers: April 25, 1963 — Won a fictional tournament in Rio de Janeiro after the WWWF left the National Wrestling Alliance, of which Rogers was the 7th champion since defeating Pat O'Connor on 30 June 1961.
  • Bruno Sammartino:May 17, 1963 - Live Event
  • Ivan Koloff: January 18, 1971 - Live Event
  • Pedro Morales: February 8, 1971 - Live Event
  • Stan Stasiak: December 1, 1973 - Live Event
  • Bruno Sammartino 2: December 10, 1973 - Live Event
  • Billy Graham: April 30, 1977 - Live Event
  • Bob Backlund: February 20, 1978 - Live Event
    • Antonio Inoki: November 30, 1979: Reign is not recognized by WWE.
    • Vacated — December 6, 1979: Inoki immediately vacated the title after a rematch with Backlund ended in a no contest due to the interference of Tiger Jeet Singh.
    • Bob Backlund: December 17, 1979 - WWE recognizes Backlund's first and second reigns as being uninterrupted, and considers this a continuation of the first.
  • Iron Sheik: December 26, 1983 - Live Event
  • Hulk Hogan: January 23, 1984 - Live Event
  • Andre the Giant: February 5, 1988 -WWF The Main Event

Vacated: February 5, 1988 — WWF The Main Event Immediately after winning the title from Hogan, André sold the title to Ted DiBiase; President Jack Tunney nullified this decision, and vacated the title.

Vacated: December 7, 1991 - WWF Superstars of Wrestling Hogan was stripped of the title by Tunney due to the controversy surrounding both of the previous title changes.

Vacated: February 13, 1997 — Michaels forfeited the title due to a knee injury.

Vacated: September 27, 1998 - WWF In Your House 24, Vacated after Kane and The Undertaker simultaneously pinned Austin in a triple threat match.

Vacated: September 20, 1999: WWE Raw

Vacated: October 2, 2007 — WWE ECW

Vacated — June 9, 2009

Vacated — September 16, 2013 — WWE Raw

On December 15, 2013 at the TLC pay-per-view, Orton defeated John Cena to unify the World Heavyweight Championship into his WWE Championship.

Vacated — June 9, 2014 — WWE Raw

WWE World Heavyweight Championship