This countdown is focused on what the wrestlers accomplished as champions. It’s not a ranking of the best. A lot of people like to dispute who the best superstar of all time is. In the WWE, there’s no greater show of faith than to be handed a championship reign. The WWE World Heavyweight Championship has undergone several facelifts since its inception in 1963, with 46 men officially holding the belt throughout its inception. Below is the list of 7 Best WWE Champion.
7. KURT ANGLE
Kurt Steven Angle is an American professional wrestler. He is currently employed by the professional wrestling promotion WWE, where he both wrestles and serves as on-screen general manager for the Raw brand. Angle truly captured national attention in 1996 when he won the 220-pound freestyle wrestling competition at the Olympic Games in Atlanta with a broken neck.
Shortly thereafter, he captured the Intercontinental Championship and was crowned King of the Ring in 2000. With momentum propelling the red, white and blue–clad grappler to new heights, he defeated The Rock at No Mercy to win his first of four WWE Championships.
Kurt Angle had a total of four separate reigns with the WWE Championship. One of the most interesting parts of that championship resume is the transformation that took place between his first and last reigns.
His first WWE Championship reign capped his rookie campaign on the WWE main roster. Though Angle was clearly wildly talented, he was a bit underwhelming from at least a kayfabe perspective, relative to guys like Steve Austin, The Rock, and The Undertaker who existed on the WWE landscape around him. On the flip side, Angles last two WWE Championship reigns, less than three years later, saw him working as an established veteran main eventer, helping to establish upstart Brock Lesnar.
6. TRIPLE H – 7 Best WWE Champion
Paul Michael Levesque, better known by the ring name Triple H (an abbreviation of his original WWE ring name Hunter Hearst Helmsley), is an American business executive, professional wrestler, and actor. He went from the gutter to the stars and back again as Champion, coasting on creative freedom few others were afforded.
Bottled, Triple H’s 2000-2001 stint atop the organisation is amongst the very finest in company history. His 2002-2005 run is perhaps the very, very worst.
One of the biggest advocates of “the wrestler makes the title, not the other way around” and “the best gimmicks are real life personalities turned up to 11”, his gimmick during that time was of an insecure man possessed with holding gold. He’d yet again said it all.
Triple H is an eight-time WWE Champion who has run the gamut from dominant heel champion from fall 1999 into much of 2000, to increasingly part time, legendary face who could re-enter the title picture whenever WWE needed him, to his most recent run in the build to WrestleMania 32 as a heel legend and authority figure. The scary thing about Triple H’s last reign? He didn’t look like he was slowing down. He looked great.
5. HULK HOGAN
Terry Ugene Bollea , better known by his ring name Hulk Hogan, is an American professional wrestler. Hogan is regarded by many as the greatest professional wrestler of all time. According to IGN, he is “the most recognized wrestling star worldwide and the most popular wrestler of the 1980s”.
Hogan enjoyed considerable mainstream popularity between 1984 and 1993 as a face in the World Wrestling Federation, which continued for the remainder of the 1990s in World Championship Wrestling, where he turned heel in 1996 and performed as the villainous New World Order leader “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan.
Having cemented his legend with a dazzling dozen World Championships. The Hulkster’s 12 titles are an even split between his time in WWE and WCW, where he battled his way to six championships in each promotion. Of all Hogan’s remarkable deeds in the ring, though, perhaps his most impressive was his final World Title victory under WWE’s roof, when he became Undisputed WWE Champion at Backlash 2002, winning the title at 48 years old. Even middle-aged, Hulkamania still ran wild.
He spent the majority of his glory years as world champion, amassing six WWE Championship reigns that added up to over six years with the strap. 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. I’d only rank one champ ahead of him.
4. JOHN CENA
John Felix Anthony Cena Jr. is an American professional wrestler, philanthropist and actor. John Cena won his first WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21 from JBL. He was briefly without the WWE title when Edge cashed in his money in the bank shot but he regained it a few weeks later. He lost the title to Rob Van Dam at ECW One Night Stand 2006 but would win it again from Edge at Unforgiven.
His third title reign lasted over a year and ended with him having to forfeit the title due to an injury. He won the World Heavyweight Championship by beating Chris Jericho at Survivor Series 2008 and lost it a few months later in an Elimination Chamber match at No Way Out. Over the course of the next few years, John has had several runs with both the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship.
Throughout his WWE career, Cena has won 25 championships, with 16 reigns as a world champion (13 times as WWE Champion and three times as WWE’s World Heavyweight Champion).
His 16 world title wins is tied with WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair for the most recognized world championship reigns by WWE in history. He is also a five-time United States Champion and a four-time world tag team champion (two World Tag Team and two WWE Tag Team). Furthermore, he is a Money in the Bank ladder match winner (2012), a two-time Royal Rumble winner (2008, 2013) and a three-time Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner (2009, 2010, 2012). Cena has the fourth-highest number of combined days as WWE Champion.
3. CHRIS JERICHO
Christopher Keith Irvine, better known by the ring name Chris Jericho, is an American-born Canadian professional wrestler. He is also best known for his one tenure in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) as well as a short-lived tenure in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). His professional wrestling gimmick and on-stage music persona are both that of an over-the-top rock star.
Between WWE , Extreme Championship Wrestling , and World Championship Wrestling (WCW)—the three most prominent American professional wrestling promotions of the 1990s and early 2000s—Jericho has won 32 championships.
He also found success while performing for international promotions in countries such as Canada, Japan, and Mexico.
Jericho is the first Undisputed WWF Champion, and thus the final holder of the World Championship (formerly the WCW World Heavyweight Championship), having won and unified the WWF and World titles by defeating Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock on the same night in 2001. He is also the ninth Triple Crown Champion, as well as the fourth Grand Slam Champion in WWE history. In addition, Jericho was the 2008 Superstar of the Year Slammy Award winner and (along with Big Show as Jeri-Show) won the 2009 Tag Team of the Year Slammy Award – making him the only winner of both Superstar and Tag Team of the Year in WWE history.
Among other accomplishments, Jericho has won the WWF Championship once, the WCW/World Championship twice, and WWE’s World Heavyweight Championship three times. He is also a record nine-time Intercontinental Champion, beating out four other contenders in a 2013 WWE fan poll to determine the greatest champion in history with a landslide 63% of the vote. On top of all that, the former US Champion was the 4th ever WWE Grand Slam Champion, meaning he’s won every title there is to win in the WWE.
2. THE ROCK – 7 Best WWE Champion
Dwayne Douglas Johnson , also known by his ring name The Rock, is an American professional wrestler. Widely regarded as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, Johnson gained mainstream fame in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) from 1996 to 2004 and was the first third-generation wrestler in the company’s history.
He returned to WWE part-time from 2011–13 and continues to make sporadic appearances. He is an eight time WWF/WWE Champion, two time WCW/World Champion, two time WWF Intercontinental Champion and a five time WWF Tag Team Champion. He is the sixth Triple Crown Champion in WWE and won the 2000 Royal Rumble. His autobiography The Rock Says... debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list in 2000.
He also earned a total of 28 title reigns in the process. In addition to being the first Undisputed WWE Champion, Jericho also boasts the most Intercontinental Title reigns in WWE history with nine. As if his in-ring accolades weren’t enough, he also fronts his own rock band and hosts a popular podcast.
It’s within the squared circle, though, that Jericho has proven he is, to paraphrase the Superstar himself, the best in the world at what he does.
Chris Jericho is no doubt one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, and his WWE record shows that. Jericho has pretty much won every WWE and WWF title he could possibly win, including a record breaking nine Intercontinental Championships. Chris Jericho also holds the honor of being both a Triple Crown and Grand Slam Champion.
1. RIC FLAIR
Richard Morgan Fliehr, better known as Ric Flair, is an American professional wrestling manager and retired professional wrestler signed to WWE under its Legends program. Widely regarded as the greatest professional wrestler of all time and the best American performer of the 1980s, Flair had a career that spanned 40 years. He is noted for his tenures with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later WWE) and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA).
Since the mid-1970s, he has used the moniker “The Nature Boy”.
But that lofty stat fails to account for the complete acumen of Ric Flair’s body of work: “The Nature Boy” has 29 total stints as a stylin’, profilin’ champion. Flair’s trophy case is more varied than most Superstars’, as well.
He’s won title gold in the territories (“Naitch” boasts six runs as the NWA Champion) and the later-era major promotions (the bulk of Flair’s hardware comes from WCW; a late-game return to WWE notched him three World.
Flair is officially recognized by WWE as a 16-time world champion (eight-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, six-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, and two-time WWF Champion), although the number of his world championship reigns varies by source, ranging from 16 to 25. He considers himself a 21-time champion.
He was the first holder of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship (which he also held last). As the inaugural WCW World Heavyweight Champion, he became the first person to complete WCW’s Triple Crown, having already held the United States Heavyweight and World Tag Team Championships. He then completed WWE’s version of the Triple Crown when he won the Intercontinental Championship, after already holding the WWF Championship and the World Tag Team Championship.