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::List of WWE World Heavyweight Champions

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Current champion Seth Rollins

The WWE World Heavyweight Championship is a professional wrestling championship in WWE. It is the first world title established in WWE, having been introduced in 1963 as the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) World Heavyweight Championship. After ending its affiliation with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), the promotion was renamed World Wrestling Federation (WWF) with the title also renamed to reflect the acronym.

In 2001, it was unified with the World Championship (formerly the WCW World Heavyweight Championship) following the WWF's buyout of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and became the Undisputed WWF Championship.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref name="Undisputed">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

In 2002, the WWF was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and split its roster into two franchises, Raw and SmackDown!, in a brand extension.<ref name="WWF3">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The title was then designated to the SmackDown! brand, while WWE established an alternate world title known as the World Heavyweight Championship for the Raw brand. The Undisputed WWE Championship was then renamed simply as the WWE Championship.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

At the TLC pay-per-view on December 15, 2013, when Randy Orton won the championship against John Cena, the World Heavyweight Championship was unified with the WWE Championship, resulting in the retiring of the former, and the renaming of the latter to its current name of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

The championship is generally contested in professional wrestling matches, in which participants usually execute scripted finishes rather than contend in direct competition. Some reigns were held by champions using a ring name, while others used their real name. The first champion was Buddy Rogers, who won the championship in 1963. The champion with the single longest reign is Bruno Sammartino with a reign of 2,803 days, while the record for longest combined reign is also held by Sammartino at 4,040. The current champion is Seth Rollins, who is in his first reign.

Overall, there have been 45 different official champions, with John Cena having the most reigns at twelve. Only seven men in history have held the championship for a continuous reign of one year (365 days) or more. They are Bruno Sammartino, Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, John Cena, and CM Punk.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


List of WWE World Heavyweight Champions sections
Intro   Title history    Combined reigns    See also    References    External links   

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