The WWE Championship is a world heavyweight championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE, currently defended in its Raw brand division. It is one of the three WWE world titles, along with the Universal Championship on SmackDown and the NXT Championship on NXT. The current champion is Bobby Lashley, who is in his first reign.
The promotion’s original world championship was established by the then World Wrestling Federation (WWWF) on April 25, 1963, as the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship, after the promotion split from the National Alliance of Wrestling (NWA). The inaugural champion was Buddy Rogers. Since its inception, the title has undergone many name changes due to company name changes and title unifications. It is the oldest championship currently active in WWE, billed as the most prestigious title in the promotion, with many title matches that have headlined pay-per-view events, including WWE’s flagship event, WrestleMania. In professional wrestling in general, it is considered one of the most prestigious championships of all time.
From its inception until 2001, it was promoted as the only WWE primary championship. An additional world title, the WCW Championship, was added after the purchase of the World Wrestling Federation by the then World Wrestling Federation in early 2001. The titles were later unified as the Undisputed Championship. After the brand’s first division in 2002 and the promotion’s name change to WWE, the championship became exclusive to SmackDown and the World Heavyweight Championship was created for Raw. ECW became a third brand in 2006, adding the ECW Championship. That title was deactivated in 2010, and the World Heavyweight Championship was unified into the WWE Championship in 2013. The championship was again the only WWE world title until the introduction of the Universal Championship with the division of the brand in 2016. During both branding divisions, the WWE Championship has rebranded, usually as a result of the WWE Draft; In 2019, the title moved to Raw after then-champion Brock Lesnar left SmackDown following the events of Crown Jewel.
|Date established||April 25, 1963|
|Current champion(s)||Bobby Lashley|
|Date won||March 1, 2021|