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WWE Championship

The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Championship is a professional wrestling world championship in World Wrestling Entertainment. It is the original world title of WWE. Currently, it is the highest ranked championship on the RAW brand.


Upon its creation, the title was christened the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) World Heavyweight Championship. When the WWWF rejoined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), the umbrella organization of professional wrestling promotions of North America, the title lost its "World" status to the NWA's main World Heavyweight Championship — while remaining the highest-ranking title of the company, it became inferior to the NWA's World title. When the WWWF changed its name to World Wrestling Federation in 1979, the title was referred to as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) Heavyweight Championship. When the WWF left the NWA in 1983, the title regained its "World" status and was officially christened the WWF World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship, although it was usually announced and referred to as the WWF Championship, which became its official name in 1998.

With its purchase of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in March, 2001 the WWF gained the rights to its former greatest rival's heavyweight championship. After the conclusion of the "Invasion" storyline, involving the fictitious bid of the WCW and the erstwhile Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) to destroy the WWF, the WWF Championship and the WCW Championships were formally unified at the 2001 Vengeance pay-per-view event, and christened the Undisputed WWF Championship — claimed as the highest-ranking world heavyweight championship in professional wrestling, unrivaled by other promotions. The title received its new name, the WWE Undisputed Championship, in May 2002 when the company changed its name to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

When WWE split its television shows, RAW and SmackDown! into distinct brands in late 2002, the reigning Undisputed Champion Brock Lesnar became one of the wrestlers assigned to work exclusively for SmackDown!, leaving RAW without any lead championship. WWE then introduced the World Heavyweight Championship as RAW's own highest-ranking and exclusive title. The WWE Championship's previously claimed status of being the "Undisputed" title was thus dropped. On June 6, 2005 the reigning WWE Champion John Cena was assigned to work for the RAW roster, as part of the on-television WWE Draft Lottery, which also led to the World Heavyweight Championship being shifted to SmackDown! when the reigning champion Batista was drafted to the show on June 30.


Custom belt designs

Special custom belts have been created for at least five different champions: "Superstar" Billy Graham (red leather strap), the Ultimate Warrior (white, blue and purple leather straps), "Stone Cold" Steve Austin ("Smokin' Skull" belt), The Rock ("Brama Bull" Belt), John Cena ("Spinner" belt) and Edge ("Rated-R Spinner" belt). A belt with an exceptionally long strap was created for André the Giant before WrestleMania III, however he never wore it as champion. The "Spinner" belt's design has since become the WWE Championship's primary design, having also been used by Edge, Rob Van Dam, Randy Orton and Triple H.


Current champion

Current champion, Randy  Orton.
Current champion, Randy Orton.

The current champion is Randy Orton, who is in his second reign as champion. He won the title at No Mercy on October 7, 2007 by defeating Triple H in a Last Man Standing match. Orton had been given the title at the opening of the event by Mr. McMahon but went on to lose it right away to Triple H in a standard one-fall match in the first match of the show. Triple H remained champion through No Mercy until the main event where Orton won the title back from him, giving him his first and second WWE Championship reigns in the same night. His first reign at the show's opening is the third shortest in WWE history.


World Heavyweight Championship (WWE)

The World Heavyweight Championship is a professional wrestling world championship in World Wrestling Entertainment. It was originally the highest ranked title on the RAW brand. Currently, it is the highest ranked championship on the SmackDown! brand.



In August 2002, after Brock Lesnar won the WWE Undisputed Championship, he signed an exclusive contract to appear and defend the Undisputed Championship on the SmackDown! brand only, thus leaving the RAW brand without a top championship. Following Lesnar's actions, RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff introduced the World Heavyweight Championship and commissioned it to be the main title for the RAW brand. This new championship was represented by the Big Gold Belt, an iconic championship belt that previously represented the NWA Championship and later the WCW Championship. Bischoff awarded the title to Triple H citing the fact that he was "the last man to wear the belt," in reference to Triple H being the last person to physically hold the Big Gold Belt during his reign as Undisputed Champion. In March 2003, the Big Gold Belt was replaced with a new similar belt that features the WWE logo at the top of the center plate.

The World Heavyweight Championship remained exclusive to the RAW brand until June 6, 2005 as a result of the 2005 WWE Draft Lottery. The WWE Champion, John Cena, was drafted to the RAW brand which left the RAW brand with the two top titles. This prompted SmackDown! General Manager Theodore Long to attempt to introduce a third top title called the "SmackDown! Championship". However this was deemed unnecessary when the World Heavyweight Champion, Batista, was drafted to the SmackDown! brand on June 30, 2005.

Lineage and terminology

Though the World Heavyweight Championship is a new title created in 2002, it garned prestige by tracing its lineage "back all the way to George Hackenschmidt and 1904", to the NWA and the WCW Championship.[2]

WWE uses the terms "world championship" or "world heavyweight championship" in general for all acknowledged world titles rather than this World Heavyweight Championship in particular. As a result, the World Heavyweight Championship's name can occasionally cause some confusion and create an allusion to previous titles even though it is made clear that Triple H is the first holder of this World Heavyweight Championship. For example, in January 2006, Batista was forced to drop the World Heavyweight Championship due to a legit injury. In a speech, he noted Ric Flair as being a previous world heavyweight champion. However, while Ric Flair is a 16-time world heavyweight champion, this was in reference to him previously winning the NWA, WCW, and WWE Championships a combined total of sixteen times as Ric Flair hasn't held this World Heavyweight Championship at all.

Current champion

Current champion, Edge.
Current champion, Edge.

The current champion is Edge, who is in his second reign. He defeated champion Batista and The Undertaker in a Triple Threat match at Armageddon on December 16, 2007 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


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