The most prestigious piece of property any pro wrestler can hold is that company’s top championship. For the WWE, there have been three world titles that have been in existence with the current WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the World Title (formerly from WCW), and the WWE Championship.
The WWE Championship was established in 1963 with Buddy Rodgers as the first one to hold this belt. With the WCW Invasion came the World Championship that was established in 2002 and given to Triple H by Eric Bischoff. Late in 2013 both of the previous titles were unified to create a new belt, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship; which was first won by Randy Orton who defeated John Cena.
There have been some impressive title reigns over the ages, especially in the 60s, 70s and 80s. In the 60s, Bruno Sammartino held the WWE Championship for an amazing 2,803 days. That is why they credit CM Punk with the modern era record with 434 days because in these modern times, no one is ever going to come close to the record Sammartino holds.
On the other side of the coin, there have been title reigns that only last the blink of an eye. One of those title reigns happened just last month at the Survivor Series pay per view and will be covered later in this article. In fact, all 11 of the following title reigns didn’t last into the next day as they would end up losing their title somehow later on that night. Take a look at this list and let us know which of these terrible title reigns is the most memorable.
11. John Cena – February 21, 2010
Even some of the greatest WWE superstars of all-time fall prey to a horrible title reign of less than one day. John Cena faced this fate at the Elimination Chamber pay per view in February of 2010. Inside the Chamber, Cena faced Sheamus, Triple H, Randy Orton, Ted DiBisase, and Kofi Kingston.
The match would come down to Cena and Triple H where Cena would get the win by making Triple H submit by applying the STF. This would be Cena’s 8th world championship total. After the match, Vince McMahon would come out to the surprise of Cena to announce that he’d be going to WrestleMania this year, but only if he can beat Batista.
The match would only last 32 seconds as Batista took advantage of worn down Cena to take the title from him just minutes after Cena earned it.
10. Yokozuna – April 4, 1993
The debut of Yokozuna took place in October 1992, and he was built up to be an unstoppable heel at the calling of his manager Mr. Fuji. Yokozuna won the 1993 Royal Rumble match to get the title shot against Bret Hart at WrestleMania IX
As one would expect with the massive Yokozuna, the match against Bret Hart didn’t last long; however, Yokozuna took the title away from Hart after Mr. Fuji threw salt in Hart’s eyes. After the match Hulk Hogan came to the ring to check on Hart, and Mr. Fuji challenged Hogan to face Yokozuna right then and there.
Fuji tried to throw salt in Hogans eyes, but missed and hit Yokozuna. One leg drop later, Hogan won the title in 22 seconds just minutes after Yokozuna won it.
9. Rey Mysterio – July 25, 2011
Due to CM Punk leaving the company with the WWE Championship, and no sign of him ever returning, the WWE held a tournament to crown a new champion. The finals of the tournament would occur on the open of this Raw between Rey Myesterio and The Miz.
Rey would get the win, but then would suffer a beatdown from The Miz to enable Alberto Del Rio to try to cash in his Money In The Bank. Mysterio was able to escape before the match could even begin though.
Triple H set up a match to end the night where Mysterio agreed that he would defend against John Cena who was invoking his rematch clause. Cena would end up getting the win ending Mysterio’s reign at a couple of hours, and following the win, CM Punk would make a shocking return to set up champion vs. champion.
8. Randy Orton – October 7, 2007
Leading up to No Mercy in 2007, Randy Orton and John Cena had a lengthy feud that resulted in Cena getting injured. To start this pay per view, Vince McMahon would award the title to Orton. Triple H would come out to challenge Orton, but Orton didn’t want any of it. Vince would step in and said that he would award a WWE Championship match to kick off No Mercy.
In what was a fairly short match for WWE Championship standards, Triple H was able to defeat Randy Orton after both had their respective finishers reversed, and then when Orton would go for a tackle in the corner, Triple H sidestepped him and rolled him up for the victory ending Orton’s title reign in just a matter of minutes.
7. Triple H – October 7, 2007
On the very same night, Triple H was originally scheduled to take on Umaga, and Vince McMahon said the match would still go on, but it would be for the WWE Championship. Triple H was able to escape that match for the title, but then Randy Orton would invoke his rematch clause so Triple H would have to wrestle in his third match of the night.
Triple H and Orton would be in a Last Man Standing match that would last twice as long as their first match earlier. In the end, Triple H would go for a Pedigree on the announcer’s table, but Orton countered it with an RKO through the table and Triple H couldn’t answer the 10 count.
It was a wild night where the title changed hands three times in one pay per view.
6. Jeff Hardy – June 7, 2009
The scene was the Extreme Rules pay per view in the summer of 2009. Jeff Hardy challenged WWE World Champion, Edge, to a ladder match in the main event. Considering these were two of the six men who pioneered the TLC days, there was a lot of excitement surrounding this match.
Hardy would end up pinning Edge’s legs in the rungs of the ladder to enable him to climb up and grab his first ever WWE World Championship. It was a grueling 20 minutes, and Hardy was definitely not 100 per cent after the match. That was the prime time for CM Punk to come out and cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase.
After two GTS’s by Punk, he was able to pin Hardy after just over a minute to end his first world title reign in a matter of minutes.
5. Andre The Giant – February 5, 1988
The Main Event was a television show that was a spin-off of Saturday Night’s Main Event, but typically aired on Friday. It was a special that only occurred five times within the WWF, but the first one that ever aired had some history and controversy.
The current champion was Hulk Hogan who had held the belt for an astonishing 1,474 days heading into his match with Andre The Giant. Dave Hebner was supposed to be the referee for this match, but his twin brother Earl snuck in the ring and counted Hogan down for the pin, though his shoulders were up at two.
Ted DiBiase had paid Earl off to screw Hogan over and as a result, WWE President Jack Tunny stripped Andre of the title shortly after winning it, and it was declared that the title was vacant.
4. Big Show – December 18, 2011
For a guy the size of the Big Show, one would figure that when he would win a championship, no one would dare take it from him in a matter of minutes; however that was exactly what happened at the Tables Ladders & Chairs pay per view in 2011.
It was the WWE World Champion Mark Henry squaring off against Big Show in a Chairs Match that really didn’t last long at all; just a little over five minutes. Big Show would land the KO punch on Mark Henry to win the match, but an enraged Henry would later give Big Show a DDT on a pile of chairs after the match.
Cue Daniel Bryan, who would cash in his Money In The Bank Briefcase and pin Big Show in only 7 seconds.
3. Dolph Ziggler – February 15, 2011
Early in 2011, Edge and Dolph Ziggler feuded. On Smackdown, Dolph Ziggler had a chance at the WWE World Championship against Edge where the Spear was banned. Edge would still use the Spear and win the match. On the following Monday Night Raw, Vickie Guerrero would award Ziggler the title due to the usage of the Spear.
Using the excuse of attacking Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long, Guerrero would fire Edge, but a subsequent episode of Raw Long re-hired Edge and set up a championship match against Ziggler. After all the odds were stacked for Ziggler thanks to Vickie, the tables turned and Edge regained the title just over 10 minutes after Ziggler was awarded it.
2. Roman Reigns – November 22, 2015
Just last month, there was a 16-man tournament to declare a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion due to the knee injury that Seth Rollins suffered. Prior to the tournament, Roman Reigns was supposed to face Rollins at Survivor Series, but since he didn’t want to join The Authority, Reigns had to go back to the end of the line.
Reigns would work his way through the bracket with three wins in a row and face Dean Ambrose in the finals. Reigns would become victorious and the place would be littered with confetti. Triple H came down to congratulate Reigns, but instead of shaking his hand, Reigns speared the COO.
After Reigns got up and turned around, there was Sheamus out of nowhere to deliver a Brouge Kick and then cash in his Money In The Bank Contract. Reign’s first world title reign would last 5 minutes and 15 seconds.
1. Daniel Bryan – August 18, 2013
Back in 2013, then Raw General Manager Brad Maddox would grant John Cena the ability to choose his opponent for SummerSlam. Due to the amount of respect that Cena had for Daniel Bryan, he chose him. This choice would not sit well with the McMahon family as they do not see Bryan as a top star, but only a B-plus player.
Triple H was the guest referee for the SummerSlam match and called it down the middle, even counting Cena for the pin and the win for Bryan; however, as Bryan was celebrating his big title win, Randy Orton came out with his Money In The Bank briefcase. Triple H would then spin Bryan around and hit the Pedigree and Orton would cash in and win.
This would be the start of The Authority as we know it today.