Activities Sports & Athletics The 10 Longest Reigning Champions in WWE History Share PINTEREST Email Print Sports & Athletics Professional Wrestling Best of Wrestling Famous Wrestlers Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Eric Cohen Eric Cohen is a sports writer focused on pro wrestling. He is a featured guest in wrestling discussions on BBC Radio and Sirius Hardcore Sports Radio. our editorial process Eric Cohen Updated February 13, 2019 Over the course of the fifty-plus year history of the WWE, these men have been the champions longer than anyone else. Due to the brand split in 2002, for the next 11 years, there were two titles of equal value, the WWE Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship. I am including both of those titles in this list. The dates used to determine the length of title reigns are based on the title history on WWE.com. 01 of 10 Bruno Sammartino - 11+ years (4,040 days) Triple H at the 25th Anniversary of WrestleMania. Photo of former WWE Champion Triple H: Bob Levey/WireImage/Getty Images Bruno Sammartino was the dominant figure in the early days of the WWE. His first title reign began in 1963 and lasted until 1971. He regained the title in 1973 and held it until 1977. Even after losing the belt, he was still the top draw in the company. He headlined the 1980 Shea Stadium show by competing in a Steel Cage Match against Larry Zbyszko. He was a commentator for the WWE in the '80s. Due to being an outspoken critic against the WWE for many years, he was not inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame until 2013. 02 of 10 Hulk Hogan - almost 6 years (2,185 days) Hulk's six title reigns barely place him in second place. Hulk's first title reign was his longest. He beat the Iron Sheik in 1984 and held the title until 1988. During his time in WCW, he was their champion for approximately 3 calendar years. 03 of 10 Bob Backlund - almost 6 years (2,138 days) Bob Backlund beat Billy Graham in 1978 and held the belt until 1983 when he lost it to The Iron Sheik. Over a decade later, he won the title from Bret Hart at Survivor Series '94 and lost it a few days later in a matter of seconds to Diesel. 04 of 10 John Cena - 3+ Years (1,395 days) 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. In total, John has won those two titles a combined 15 times. His most recent title reign ended at SummerSlam 2014. 05 of 10 Triple H - 3+ years & counting (1,151 days) Triple H is a 13-time champion. While he does not hold the record for the length of his title reigns, he does hold the record for most combined championship title reigns in the WWE. He is a 9-time WWE Champion and 5-time World Heavyweight Champion. Triple H first won the WWE Championship in 1999. His 14th title reign, which is currently ongoing, began at Royal Rumble 2016. 06 of 10 Pedro Morales - almost 3 years (1,027 days) Pedro Morales was the champion from 1971 until 1973. His most notable title defense was a time limit draw with Bruno Sammartino at a Shea Stadium show in 1972. He became the first wrestler to become a WWE triple crown champion. In 1980, he won the tag team titles with Bob Backlund and was the Intercontinental Champion during the early '80s. In 1995, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. 07 of 10 Randy Orton - over 2 years (793 days) In 2004, Randy Orton won his first World Heavyweight Championship and in the process became the youngest man to ever win a world championship for the company. Since then, he has been a fixture in the main event scene. He is an 11-time world champion. He has held the WWE Championship eight times and the World Heavyweight Championship three times. His most title reign began at Hell in a Cell 2013 when he defeated Daniel Bryan in a Hell in a Cell Match to stake claim to the WWE Championship. Two months later, he unified the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships when he beat John Cena in a TLC Match at TLC 2013. 08 of 10 Bret Hart - almost 2 years (654 days) Bret's first title win was a shock to wrestling fans anywhere. He beat Ric Flair in an untelevised match and showed up on television as champion even though he wasn't thought to be a contender for the title. By contrast, his final title reign ended in the most talked about match of all time. 09 of 10 CM Punk - 622 days Punk's two first reigns as World Heavyweight Champion began as a result of cashing in the Money in the Bank Championship. He finally won the title without the aid of the briefcase in 2009 by beating Jeff Hardy in a TLC Match at SummerSlam '09. In total, his three reigns as World Heavyweight Champion were for only 160 days. In 2011, he won the WWE Championship for the first time and in the process sent shockwaves throughout the industry over a four week period because his victory over John Cena at Money in the Bank 2011 was on the final night of his contract with the company. That led to a tournament to crown a new champion and eventually resulted in Punk unifying the two belts by beating John Cena again at SummerSlam. The reason Punk made it onto this list is because of his second WWE Championship reign. He won the title from Alberto Del Rio at Survivor Series 2011 and held onto it for 434 days before losing it to The Rock at Royal Rumble 2013. 10 of 10 Brock Lesnar - 577 days When Brock Lesnar won the WWE Championship from The Rock at SummerSlam 2002, he became the youngest man to ever win the title (that record was broken by Randy Orton two years later). Brock's initial stay with the company was for only two years but during that time he would go onto win the title on three occasions. After conquering the world of UFC, Brock returned to WWE and at SummerSlam 2014, he defeated John Cena to begin his fourth title reign. He held onto the belt until WrestleMania 31, when Seth Rollins cashed in his Money in the Bank title shot and pinned Roman Reigns to win the title.