CM Punk was the longest reigning champion since Hulk Hogan’s first world title run, holding onto the strap for 435 days. Bruno Sammartino and his legacy have their limitations. The last one—which probably should have been the one that defined his legacy—was cut short when he suffered career threatening injuries. When the lights were on brightest, and after Wyatt had spoken up in the media about how they ought to get the main event spot, expectations were high for Orton vs. Wyatt. For credibility, being the first, and offering fans a sensational moment when he dropped the title to Sammartino, Rogers winds up toward the middle of the pack on this list. Make no mistake about it, Batista is very much the kind of star who did much better with the World Heavyweight Championship than the WWE Championship, and ends up on the short end of this ranking for that. Amidst the tumult, Mankind wound up a three-time WWE Champion, though it’s unfortunate for a legacy and an underrated all around great performer that he never got a reign that lasted longer than month. Mankind’s first world title win was the most iconic—a pre-taped Raw match in which he overcame The Rock. There are, as of this writing, 50 men who have held the WWE World Championship, ranging for the original champ Buddy Rogers, to Jinder Mahal who unexpectedly won the strap at Backlash last month. Unique lists featuring pop culture, entertainment and crazy facts. That first three-week run was enough of a ratings and critical success to justify a two-month run in the summer. The Deadman never really had a long, signature—his biggest and best running from WrestleMania 13 to SummerSlam 1997. New, AEW Dynamite Posts Strong TV Numbers In The UK And while his size, power, athleticism, and amateur pedigree had made him a force before, the addition of MMA credentials pushed him over the top to become an unparalleled monster heel. While Sid did fit in as a world champion—his look and power made him a main event draw for all of the 1990s—neither of these reigns were really about establishing Sid as the best in the business. Then again, in 2017, he and Bray Wyatt rose up to the main event together for Orton to start his most recent run at WrestleMania. Punk engaged in an electric storyline that bent reality, and featured him winning the WWE Championship only to walk out on the company, thus vacating the title. Savage was Hogan’s understudy who took over the title scene while Hogan filmed No Holds Barred. Add onto that an additional nostalgia run as champ, coming out of his homecoming performance and face turn at WrestleMania X8 and you have a solid argument for the greatest WWE Champion of all time.

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