World Heavyweight Championship (WWE, 2023–present)

championship wrestling

The World Heavyweight Championship is a professional wrestling world championship in WWE for the men of the Raw brand. It is one of three world titles on WWE's main roster, along with the WWE Championship and WWE Universal Championship, which are held and defended together as the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on SmackDown. The first champion was Seth "Freakin" Rollins, who defeated AJ Styles in a tournament final at Night of Champions on May 27, 2023.

World Heavyweight Championship
Details
PromotionWWE
BrandRaw
Date establishedApril 24, 2023
Current champion(s)Damian Priest
Date wonApril 7, 2024

The current champion is Damian Priest, who is in his first reign. He won the title by defeating Drew McIntyre in his Money in the Bank cash-in match during night two of WrestleMania XL on April 7, 2024, minutes after McIntyre won it from Rollins.

The title does not continue the history of WWE's old World Heavyweight Championship from 2002 until 2013.[1]

History

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First champion Seth "Freakin" Rollins, shown here with the WWE Championship

On the April 24, 2023, episode of Monday Night Raw, Triple H announced the 2023 WWE Draft, a process used to decide which wrestlers are exclusive to a brand. He then said that Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns defended the title less because of his contract. So Triple H announced that the brand Reigns would go to in the draft would become the exclusive home to him and the undisputed championship. Triple H also presented a new World Heavyweight Championship that would be defended on the other brand and announced that the first champion would be crowned at Night of Champions on May 27, 2023.[2][3] During night one of the draft on the April 28 episode of SmackDown, Reigns was drafted to SmackDown, this made the World Heavyweight Championship exclusive to Raw.[4]

During the Backlash press conference on May 5, 2023, Triple H announced a tournament for the title including wrestlers from both brands with a bracket for each brand. The first round and semifinals for each bracket took place for the May 8 and May 12 episodes of Raw and SmackDown. The first-round matches for each episode consisted of two triple threat matches with the winners going to the semifinals in a singles match the same night, with those winners wrestling in the championship match at Night of Champions.[5]

The wrestlers for the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament were announces on May 7 on WWE's YouTube channel: Cody Rhodes, Damian Priest, Finn Bálor, Seth "Freakin" Rollins, Shinsuke Nakamura, and The Miz from Raw, and AJ Styles, Austin Theory, Bobby Lashley, Edge, Rey Mysterio, and Sheamus from SmackDown.[6] On the May 8 episode of Raw, Rollins defeated Nakamura and Priest in the first triple threat while Bálor defeated Miz and Rhodes in the second. Rollins defeated Bálor in the semifinals to win Raw's bracket.[7] On the May 12 episode of SmackDown, Styles defeated Edge and Mysterio in the first triple threat while Lashley defeated Sheamus and Theory in the second. Styles defeated Lashley in the semifinals to win SmackDown's bracket, which set up the tournament final between Rollins and Styles.[8] At Night of Champions, Rollins defeated Styles to become the first World Heavyweight Champion.[9][10] The title was defended for the first time on the June 5 episode of Raw.[11]

Reigns

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As of July 16, 2024.

Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
+ Current reign is changing daily
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days
WWE: Raw
1 Seth "Freakin" Rollins May 27, 2023 Night of Champions Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 1 316 The title was created and made exclusive to Raw after the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship became exclusive to SmackDown following the 2023 WWE Draft. Rollins defeated AJ Styles in the tournament final to become the first champion. [12][10]
2 Drew McIntyre April 7, 2024 WrestleMania XL
Night 2
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1 <1 [13]
3 Damian Priest April 7, 2024 WrestleMania XL
Night 2
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1 100+ This was Priest's Money in the Bank cash-in match. [13]

Combined reigns

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As of July 16, 2024.
Indicates the current champion
<1 Reign was less than a day
Rank Wrestler No. of
reigns
Combined
days
Combined days
rec. by WWE
1 Seth "Freakin" Rollins 1 316
2 Damian Priest 1 100+
3 Drew McIntyre 1 <1

References

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  1. "World Heavyweight Title". WWE.
  2. Keller, Wade (April 24, 2023). "4/24 WWE Raw results: Keller's report on Triple H announcement, Bad Bunny appearing in person, Rey vs. Priest". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on April 25, 2023. Retrieved April 24, 2023.
  3. Casey, Connor (April 24, 2023). "Triple H Introduces WWE's New World Heavyweight Championship Title". ComicBook.com. Retrieved April 24, 2023.
  4. Bath, Dave (April 28, 2023). "WWE SmackDown live results: The WWE Draft begins". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved April 28, 2023.
  5. Tessier, Colin (May 5, 2023). "Triple H: World Heavyweight Title Tournament Will Begin On 5/8 WWE Raw, Continue On 5/12 SmackDown". Fightful. Retrieved May 5, 2023.
  6. Carey, Ian (May 7, 2023). "WWE reveals participants for World Heavyweight title tournament". Wrestling Observer Figure Four Online. Retrieved May 7, 2023.
  7. Keller, Wade (May 8, 2023). "WWE Raw Results (5-8-2023): Keller's report with analysis of World Title Tournament matches, Backlash fallout, Trish". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved May 8, 2023.
  8. Powell, Jason (May 12, 2023). "5/12 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell's review of Roman Reigns' return, AJ Styles vs. Edge vs. Rey Mysterio, and Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Sheamus tournament matches, winners meet for a spot in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved May 12, 2023.
  9. Lambert, Jeremy (May 27, 2023). "Seth Rollins Becomes Inaugural WWE World Heavyweight Champion At WWE Night Of Champions". Fightful. Retrieved May 28, 2023.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Powell, Jason (May 27, 2023). "WWE Night of Champions results: Powell's live review of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles, Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Bianca Belair vs. Asuka for the Raw Women's Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Archived from the original on May 27, 2023. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  11. Keller, Wade (June 5, 2023). "WWE Raw results (6/5): Keller's report with analysis of Seth defending World Title against Damian Priest, Cody Rhodes on Miz TV, MITB qualifiers". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved June 5, 2023.
  12. Miller, Gregory (April 24, 2023). "Triple H introduces the World Heavyweight Championship". WWE. Retrieved April 24, 2023.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Powell, Jason (April 7, 2024). "WrestleMania XL results: Powell's live review of night two with Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes for the WWE Universal Championship with Bloodline Rules, Seth Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre for the World Heavyweight Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 7, 2024.

Other websites

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