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WWE Championship Week Starts Today – Here’s Everything You Need To Know
It’s time for the WWE Universe to celebrate the most prestigious title in sports entertainment!
Sixty years ago, the WWE Championship was born. In honor of the birth of the most prestigious title in professional wrestling, WWE has anointed this week as WWE Championship Week, celebrating one of the most iconic titles in all sports.
Here’s everything you need to know about this week-long nod to history.
What Is WWE Championship Week?
Although there will undoubtedly be a mention or two on RAW and SmackDown this week, WWE Championship Week will primarily take place across WWE’s social media channels. So stay tuned in to all official avenues like TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for some eye-opening homages to the WWE Championship!
Unfortunately, we’re not privy to what exactly WWE will post. Still, we’d put money on some seriously cool vintage photos, some never-before-seen video clips, and, of course, some passionate debate between members of the WWE Universe.
Who Held the First WWE Championship?
The legendary Buddy Rogers was the first athlete to hold the WWE Championship on April 25, 1963. The championship itself is a far cry from the jewel-studded, dazzling WWE Championship in use today. The original WWE title was a brick-colored strap sporting a cutout of the continental United States on the front with a small nameplate reading “World’s Champion” on the bottom. This original championship is by far the shortest of any WWE championship in history – it is barely larger than a normal suit belt!
Buddy Rogers wasn’t the inaugural champion for long. Less than a month after being awarded the title, Bruno Sammartino defeated him in Madison Square Garden to become the new champion, kicking off an unbelievable 7-year title reign that still hasn’t been topped today. For those of you who are enamored with Roman Reigns’ current 1,000-day reign as champion, well, the Tribal Chief still has a long way to go before he can match Sammartino’s longevity on top!
Years ago, WWE.com published a jaw-dropping story about how this original WWE Championship was seemingly lost to history – before being discovered in an attic 50 years after it was last seen.
Who Holds the Current WWE Championship?
Roman Reigns has officially held the WWE Championship for over 385 days, becoming champion at WrestleMania 38 when he defeated Brock Lesnar in the main event.
(Of course, Roman Reigns also concurrently holds the WWE Universal Championship, a title he’s held for nearly 1,000 days. Technically, he’s unified both championships into the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship – although it remains to be seen if this unification will be permanent or if both titles will continue their separate lineages. Confused? We don’t blame you. I don’t think anybody expected the dominance of Roman Reigns over the past few years to turn official WWE title continuity upside down completely!)
How Many Different WWE Championship Designs Have There Been?
This is a tricky question to answer. Depending on how you look at it, there have been nearly two dozen official WWE Championship designs – if you include changes in a championship’s strap color. In the 80s and 90s, certain WWE Superstars would re-plate the title onto different-colored leather upon winning the WWE Championship. Ultimate Warrior, for example, utilized pink leather during his title reign.
But as far as center plate design goes, there have been nearly 20 different iterations of the WWE Championship, from the original brick-colored strap first awarded to Buddy Rogers in 1963 to the fan-favorite “Winged Eagle” design popularized by Superstars like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels in the 90s to John Cena’s epic “spinner” title he unveiled shortly after becoming champion in the mid-200s.
Of course, not all of the versions of the WWE Championship were home runs. The sooner the WWE Universe can forget Daniel Bryan’s ill-fated “eco-friendly” WWE Championship, the better:
Nevertheless, the “eco-friendly” version of the WWE Championship was one of a handful of custom titles created for Superstars who wanted their personalized version of the most fabulous prize in sports entertainment.
Which WWE Championship Design Is Best?
The debate of which WWE Championship design is currently the topic du jour across social media, as the official WWE Twitter account has started a firestorm of discussion in the comments section of their latest post.
Of course, there’s no correct answer to which WWE Championship design is best – it’s up to each member of the WWE Universe to come to their own conclusion. But that’s the best part of being a fan, right? WWE has become so multifaceted in recent years that it’s just as common to debate your favorite versions of the WWE Championship as it is arguing over who should be Roman Reigns’ next challenger!
(Speaking of titles, we must point out the bonkers sale on replica WWE Championships over at WWE Shop. There’s no better way to stand by your favorite version of the title than by owning your very own!)
We’re excited for WWE Championship Week, of course, but lost in the hype is the fact that Backlash is only a few weeks away. We fully expect Superstars like Bad Bunny, Cody Rhodes, and Brock Lesnar to make their presence known this week on Monday Night RAW in preparation for the historical event from Puerto Rico!
It’s going to be another great week of WWE entertainment.
Catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.