The WWE Championship has had a long history and many title holders. In its early days, many held it for months, even years. However, as wrestling evolved, title reigns became shorter and shorter. With the abundance of tv shows, pay-per-views and live events, there are many more opportunities these days for the title to change hands. Sometimes it borders on ridiculous, as in recent years we have seen several superstars win the title 10 times.
When Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart became five-time champions, in 1993 and 1997 respectively, it was an amazing milestone for both, but the pressures of the Monday Night Wars, a battle of television ratings week after week, led to the championship changing hands continuously to create a sense of curiosity and draw viewers to RAW. That is why the Rock is an eight-time champion, John Cena is a 11-time WWE Champion (plus three-time World Heavyweight Champion) and Randy Orton has eight reigns (and four World Heavyweight Championship runs). Edge won his first WWE title in 2006 and even though he retired just five years later, he amassed a total of 11 world title runs (four WWE Championships and seven World Heavyweight Championships.)
I’m not a fan of playing hot potato with world titles but that is what’s happened in the illustrious history of the WWE title. It was merged with the World title in December when Orton beat Cena in a unification bout. The WWE championship had 50 years of history up to that point and while it has had many champions with impressive runs, it has had some forgettable reigns as well, precisely because they were so short. Here are the 10 shortest WWE title reigns in its 50-year history.
10. Batista: 2 days
Two of Batista‘s title runs were cut short due to injuries. His run with the WWE Championship in 2009 was very short-lived. Batista defeated Randy Orton for the title on June 7 at Extreme Rules, but two days later it was announced on WWE.com that Batista had suffered a torn bicep and had to vacate the title as a result. Orton went on to win it back a week later and Batista was out of action for four months and turned heel shortly after his return. We can only guess as to where the WWE was planning to go when Batista initially won the title.