THE HALL OF CHAMPIONS
WWE Championship Title
The WWE Championship belt is one of the most celebrated and illustrious titles to be held in professional wrestling. Wrestlers put it all on the line on a nightly basis for the WWE in order to strive towards that gold. Here is a history of some of the most legendary of World Wrestling Entertainment's holders of the WWE Championship belt. (Note: Most of the following WWE champions are multiple time holders of the belt).
Name: Bruno Sammartino
Born: October 6, 1935
Birthplace: Pizzoferrato, Italy
Bruno was the first repeat holder of the WWE title. He first defeated Buddy Rogers 5/17/63 to win the title and held it for an impressive 8 years! He was then defeated by Ivan Koloff in 1971. He regained the title on 12/10/73 with a win over Stan Stasiak in New York. He was defeated by Superstar Billy Graham on 04-30-77 and lost the belt, never to be champion again.
Bruno's Title Victories:
Buddy Rogers New York, NY 05-17-63
Stan Stasiak New York, NY 12-10-73
Name: Bob Backlund
Born: August 14, 1949
Became WWF champion after defeating Superstar Billy Graham in New York on. His match against Jimmy Superfly Snuka in a steel cage is considered a wrestling classic. Although losing a match in Japan to Antonio Inoki in 1979, the match was never acknowledged officially, and Backlund was considered to be champ for about 5 years. Iron Sheik threw the camel clutch on Backlund in 1983, causing Backlund's manager to throw in the towel to end the match, and Backlund's title reign. Backlund lasted 61:10 in the 1993 Royal Rumble match. After snapping in a loss to Bret Hart on RAW, Backlund became a manical, crazy heel vowing to teach new stars a lesson in wrestling. He faced Bret Hart in a 1994 Summerslam "Throw in the towel" match, where he locked his Crossface chickenwing on Bret. After 7 minutes, Owen Hart and Bret's mother threw in the towel, causing Bret to lose, and Backlund to win WWE title for his 2nd time. 3 days later in Madison Square Garden, the enormous "Diesel" defeated Backlund and took away the title.
Bob Backlund's Title Victories:
Billy Graham - New York, NY 02-20-78
Bret Hart - San Antonio, TX 11-23-94
Hulk's signature Leg-drop
Name: Hulk Hogan
Born: August 11, 1953
Birthplace: Augusta, GA
Finishing Move: Leg Drop
The "Hulkster" is famous for bringing life and energy to the World Wrestling Entertainment genre. In the 80's his braggadocious and crazy/loud mouthed personality reeled in fan upon fan. Hulk spoke of taking your vitamins and "what you gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you??!" He is an impressive 6 time WWE champ (and 6-time WCW champ). Hulk Hogan's first title win was over the Iron Sheik in New York, NY on 01-23-84. An epic match in his wrestling career occurred at Wrestlemania 3, when he faced the gargantuan Andre the Giant and managed to bodyslam him and get the win. Another first in WWE history, occurred when the Undertaker managed to use a TV camera to knockout Hogan and win the title cheaply. Days later, the commissioner of WWF announced due to the nature of victory, the title would be put up for grabs in a tournament to determine the champ. Ric Flair emerged victorious. Hogan won the belt in 2002 over Triple H, after a long departure from the WWE. Ironically, Hogan's last title match occurred when he lost the belt to the Undertaker in Nashville on 5/19/02. Hulk has traded time between the WWE, WCW and NWO and most recently Hollywood. He is a true legend of WWE.
Hulk's 6 title-winning matches:
def. The Iron Sheik New York, NY 01-23-84
def. Randy Savage AtlanticCity, NJ 04-02-89
def. Sgt. Slaughter Los Ang., CA 03-24-91
def. Undertaker San Antonio, TX 12-03-91
def. Yokozuna Las Vegas, NV 04-04-93
def. Triple H Kansas City, MO 04-21-02
Name: The Natureboy Ric Flair
Born: February 25, 1949
Birthplace: Memphis, TN
Finishing Move: Figure 4 Leg Lock
Along with Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair is considered one of the most storied and famous of wrestlers, as he emerged a talented ring specialist in both the WCW and then WWE. Flair wrestled for WCW from 1986 through 1991, until contract disputes caused him to leave for WWF. Flair assembled a ring entourage of Bobby the Brain Heenan and Mr. Perfect who assisted him with victories. In 1992, Flair claimed the WWE title for his first time by winning the Royal Rumble to claim the vacant title. He would then enter a feud with Macho Man Randy Savage, where the 2 exchanged between then and 1993. Flair has only held the prestigious WWE Championship belt twice in his career, but has held the tag and Intercontinental belts several times as well making him a true legend.
WWE Title Victories:
Royal Rumble - Albany, NY 01-19-92
Randy Savage - Hershey, PA 09-01-92
Name: Macho Man Randy Savage
Born: November 15, 1952
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio
Finishing Move: Savage Elbow drop off top rope
Famous for his extravagant ring entrance wearing a regal robe and walking to the tune of "Pomp & CIrcumstance", the Macho Man was a true ring veteran. Accompanied by the first true valet in WWE history, Miss Elizabeth, Macho Man quickly rose to the top of fan popularity along with favorite Hulk Hogan. Savage achieved his greatest fame during WrestleMania IV when he defeated "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase in the final of a tournament for the vacant WWE Championship. He would go on to lose the title about a year later at Wrestlemania V to Hulk Hogan. He developed a classic feud with the Ultimate Warrior, and also took on Sensational Sherri as his new valet, a brutal woman known for interfering in matches and distracting opponents. At Wrestlemania VII, Savage and Warrior engaged in a match where the loser would leave WWF for good. Savage lost, but his long time friend/valet Elizabeth ran out to stop Sensational Sherri from slapping Macho Man in disgust. Ironically, Macho Man remained in WWE longer than the Warrior. Savage would have another run as WWF Champion, defeating "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair at WrestleMania VIII in 1992 and holding it until September of that year, when he lost it back to Flair at a WWF TV taping in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He became a color commentator for WWE's RAW in 1993, before leaving for for the WCW after a feud with Mr. McMahon. Savage remained in WCW from 1999-2004, before heading to TNA Wrestling to feud with Jeff Jarrett. In addition to wrestling, Savage is famous for releasing a "rap album" and doing Slim-Jim commercials.
WWE Title Victories:
Ted DiBiase Atlantic City, NJ 03-27-88<
Ric Flair Indianapolis, IN 04-05-92
Name: The Ultimate Warrior
Born: June 16, 1959
Birthplace: Crawfordsville, IN
Finishing Move: Overhead bodypress slam/splash
Although not a repeat champion, he is definitely a WWE legend and was a huge fan favorite. He first became Intercontinental champion when he defeated the Honkey Tonk Man on 8.29.88 in record time. He lost to Rick RUde almost a year later, then defeated Rude to regain the Intercontinental title on 8/28/99. Warrior then defeated Hulk Hogan in a classic battle for the title at WrestleMania VI in Ontario, Canada and became the first WWE superstar to hold both titles at once. The intercontinental title was vacated due to WWF rules at the time, so it was put up for grabs. Warrior months later lost his WWE title in a match to Sgt. Slaughter, due to interference from Macho Man who smashed a scepter over Warrior's head. This set up an epic "loser leaves WWF" match between Macho Man and Ultimate Warrior, probably one of the best contests in WWF history, which saw Warrior victorious. Warrior stayed only a short time longer after this match before disappearing from WWF.
WWE Title Victory:
Hulk Hogan Toronto, Ontario 04-01-90
Name: The Undertaker
Born: March 24, 1965
Birthplace: Houston, TX
Height: 6'8 1/2"
Finishing Moves: Tombstone Piledriver/Chokeslam
A legend in the WWE, he was first introduced by the Million Dollar Man to WWE fans. His gimmick was that of the "deadman", a tall scary figure from the darkside. He entered to the eery bell tolls and smoke, all dressed in mortician style black. His manager Paul Bearer used to accompany Taker to ringside with the famous "urn" containing a power that unleashed the Undertakers vicious strength. Undertaker and his brother Kane have been wreaking havoc on WWE for years and continue to do so. He had 2 famous victories over Hulk Hogan, as well as classic battles with his brother Kane, and the huge wrestler El Gigante. Along the way he and Paul Bearer reunited a few times, until Undertaker won a PPV match in which he was able to bury Paul Bearer in cement.
WWE Title Victories:
Hulk Hogan - Detroit, MI 11-27-91
Sid - Chicago, IL 03-23-97
Stone Cold - Kansas City, MO 05-23-99
Hulk Hogan - Nashville, TN 05-19-02
Name: Bret "The Hitman" Hart
Born: July 2, 1957
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Finishing Move: The Sharpshooter (submission hold)
Bret held the title an impressive 5 times, taking over after Hulk Hogan's long reign as champion. His first title win came over Ric Flair on 10/12/92. Bret enjoyed title victories over the likes of Diesel, Yokozuna and the Undertaker twice..A huge event occurred in WWE history when Bret lost the title in his final WWE match to Shawn Michaels, at Survior Series in Bret's home of Canda. After the match, Bret spit in Vince McMahon's face and walked out signifying he was done with WWE and moving on to WCW. Crowds can still be heard chanting "You screwed Bret" to Mr. McMahon in arenas across the country. His trademark line was "I'm the best there is, best there was, and best there ever will be".
WWE Title Victories:
Ric Flair Saskatoon 10-12-92
Diesel Landover, MD 11-19-95
Undertaker East Rutherford, NJ 08-03-97
||Name: Shawn Michaels, "HBK"
Born: July 22, 1965
Birthplace: Chandler, Arizona
Finishing Move: Sweet Chin Music
A 3 time title holder, the heartbreak kid started off mainly as a tag team wrestler (with The Rockers) and Intercontinental title holder and then progressed his way to the top of the ranks. Hist 1st and last wins were both versus Bret the Hitman Hart, and his only other title victory came after defeating "Sid" or Sid Vicious. He was involved in the controversial title win over Bret Hart in Montreal, which saw the end of Bret Hart's career in the WWE. During various stages of his career, HBK had the assistance of a manager/valet in Sensational Sheri, as well as Diesel as a bodyguard. HBK now wrestles alongside Triple H as part of the newly reformed "D-Generation X".
HBK's WWE Title Victories:
Bret Hart - Anaheim, CA 03-31-96
Sid - San Antonio, TX 01-19-97
Bret Hart - Montreal, Quebec 11-09-97
Born: May 2, 1972
Birthplace: Hayward, CA
Height: 6'3 (billed as 6'5)
Finishing Moves: Rock Bottom/People's Elbow
"If you smellllallala..what the Rock is cooking!" were the famous words that used to resonate throughout WWE arenas as one of the most entertaining and charismatic superstars in wrestling history would proclaim he was "People's Champ". Originally hailed as a boring superstar related to another, he was part of Farooq's powerful team along with the Godfather. After a while, Rock departed from this group to become a singles champion. Rock's first title victory was on 11/15/98 vs. Mankind. Rock and Mankind traded the belt back and forth each holding the title two more times between 11/98 and 2/99. The Rock held the belt a total of 7 times with title victories over Undertaker, Mankind, Triple H and Kurt Angle on his resume. He lost the title to Brock Lesnar on 8/25/02 in Uniondale, NY and hasn't held the belt since then. He has since left WWE to pursue more movie roles and has already starred in action films such as " The Scorpion King", "Walking Tall" and "DOOM". Rock makes appearances here and there on RAW and is still a fan favorite.
Rock's WWE Title Victories:
Mankind - St. Louis, MO 11-15-98
Mankind - Anaheim, CA 01-24-99
Mankind - Birmingham, AL 02-15-99
Triple H - Washington, DC 04-30-00
Triple H - Boston, MA 06-25-00
Undertaker - Detroit, MI 07-21-02
Name: Stone Cold Steve Austin
Born: December 18, 1964
Birthplace: Austin, TX
Finishing Move: Stone Cold Stunner
Austin was one of the first "heel" type villanous characters to develop a very large fanbase and popularity in the WWE. along with his trademark "and that's the bottom line, because Stone Cold said so.." and "gimme a Hell Yeah!" he was able to generate rawcous crowd environments. Austin's 1st title win came vs. Shawn Michaels on 3/29/98 at Boston, MA. He went on to hold the title a total of 6 times with major wins over Kane, Undertaker, The Rock, Mankind, and Kurt Angle. Austin's most famous feuds in the WWE occurred with The Rock, Triple H, and of course CEO Mr. McMahon and his family. Austin retired in 2003 due to chronic injuries he developed, but was definitely one of the more popular personalities in WWE history with his brash/arrogant and loud mouthed commentary.
WWE Title Victories:
Shawn - Michaels Boston, MA 03-29-98
Kane - Cleveland, OH 06-29-98
The Rock - Philadelphia, PA 03-28-99
Undertaker - Charlotte, NC 06-28-99
The Rock - Houston, TX 04-01-01
Kurt Angle- Indianapolis, IN 10-08-01
Name: Triple H aka "The Game"
Born: July 27, 1969
Birthplace: Nashua, NH
Finishing Move: The Pedigree
The Game may likely go down as the greatest champion in WWE history, having held the WWE or World Championship on 10 occasions. In addition, he is a former Intercontinental, World Tag Team and European Champion, as well as a former King of the Ring tournament and Royal Rumble winner. His first WWE Championship title win occurred over Mankind in Ames, IA on 8/23/99. He has an impressive resume of victories with defeats over greats like Big Show, Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan, the Rock, Stone Cold and the Undertaker. Triple H continues to be a fan favorite whether a heel or face wrestler and currently wrestles as part of D-Generation X alongside longtime pal, Shawn Michaels. His trademark move "The Pedigree" is considered one of wrestling's best finishers.
Triple H's WWE Chamionship Wins:
Mankind - Ames, IA 08-23-99
6-Pack Challenge - Charlotte, NC 09-26-99
Big Show - Miami, FL 01-03-00
The Rock - Louisville, KY 05-21-00
Chris Jericho - Toronto, Ontario 03-17-02
Name: Brock Lesnar ("The Next Big Thing")
Born: July 12, 1977
Birthplace: Wesbster, SD
Finishing Move: The F-5
In a little over a year between 2002 and 2003 Brock Lesnar was a 3 time WWE Champion. He first won the title on 8/25/02 with an impressive victory over the Rock in Uniondale, NY. He lost the belt to the Big Show in 2002. Lesnar was able to regain the title by defeating Kurt Angle in Seattle on 3/30/03. Angle defeated Lesnar on 7/27/03 to regain, with Lesnar taking the title back for his final time on 9/18/03 in North Carolina. Lesnar lost the title to the late great Eddie Guerrero on 2/15/04 at Wrestlemania. Lesnar left the WWE in pursuit of playing in the NFL. During his WWE career, Brock enlisted the talents of Paul Heyman (of ECW) as his manager for several occasions. Lesnar's roommate in college was Shelton Benjamin, current WWE star.
WWE Title Victories:
The Rock - Uniondale, NY 08-25-02
Kurt Angle - Seattle, WA 03-30-03
Kurt Angle - Raleigh, NC 09-18-03
Name: John Cena
Born: April 23, 1977
Birthplace: West Newbury, MA
Finishing Move: The F-U
The current champion in the WWE, Cena has held the title a total of 3 times. His first victory came when he defeated JBL at Wrestlemania in Los Angeles on 04/03/05. He lost the belt to Edge on 1/8/06 then regained the title on 1/29/06, leaving Edge a short reigning champ. RVD defeated Cena and took the belt to ECW on 6/11/06. In a triple threat match with Cena and RVD, Edge managed to pull off the victory on 7/3/06. Cena then defeated Edge in Toronto on 9/17/06 and has held the title ever since. Cena's trademark phrases are: "The Champ is Here" and "Come Get Some!". He's released a rap album and has starred in an action movie recently, "The Marine".
WWE Title Victories:
JBL - Los Angeles, CA 04-03-05
Edge - Miami, FL 01-29-06
Edge - Toronto, Ontario 09-17-06
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