With over 300 events a year and broadcasts in more than 150 countries WWE has been the leader in wrestling promotion for over 60 years. Starting first as Capitol Wrestling Corporation the WWE has propelled professional wrestling into the mainstream with record-breaking pay-per-view events. Here are 15 interesting facts about the WWE
1. The WWE World Heavyweight Championship belt has had 8 alternate names since it’s introduction in 1963.
In 1963, the original title was called the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship (1963 – 1971). Since then, there have been many changes to both the name of the title and the name of the WWE resulting in an array of title names spanning over 52 years.
After dropping the word ‘World’ from the WWWF Heavyweight Championship (1971 -1979) title, Capitol Wrestling Corporation left the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and formed the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), thus creating the WWF Heavyweight Championship title (1979 – 1983).
Then in 1983, the title was changed to the WWF World heavyweight Championship, similar to the first titles name. This title had stayed for the next 15 years until March of 1998 when the name was changed to the WWF Championship.
Lasting only 3 years, the title was quickly changed in December of 2001 to the Undisputed WWF Championship. The name changed one year later due to the change of the organization’s second name change, thus becoming the Undisputed WWE Championship.
Only in 4 months, the title’s name was changed yet again becoming the WWE championship. This time the name changed lasted for 11 years and was changed recently at the end of 2013 to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This is currently the running title name. (source)
2. Since the beginning of the WWE, there has been 120 WWE World Heavyweight Champions.
From Buddy Rogers to Seth Rollins, there has been over 100 people to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship (throughout its variations). Seth Rolins currently holds the title with 214 days held as of October 29th, 2015.
After the WWWF left NWA, Buddy Rogers (the first champion) won the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship in a fictional tournament in Rio de Janerio. The first person to legitimately win a title was Bruno Sammartino. (source)
3. The Rock, Triple H and Randy Orton are all tied with a total of 8 WWE World Heavyweight Championship wins.
Out of the 3, Randy Orton has held the title for the most amount of days with the title. John Cena currently holds the record for the most WWE World Heavyweight Championship wins with 12 combined wins.
Triple H’s last title win was and elimination chamber match featuring Jef Hardy, Kozlov, The Undertaker and Big Show, he held the title for 70 days.
Randy Orton won his last title by defeating Daniel Bryan in a Hell in a Cell match. Sean Michaels was the special guest referee. He held the title for 161 days.
At the 2013 Royal Rumble, the Rock won his last title in a match against CM Punk. Punk won the match at first but Vince McMahon restarted the match due to an interference by the Shield. He held the title for 70 days. (source)
4. After defeating Bruno Sammartino and ending the longest single WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign in history, Ivan Koloff did not get his belt in the ring.
Bruno Sammartino’s first title reign lasted nearly 3,000 days and is currently the longest reign in WWE history. In just 2 reigns, Bruno Sammartino held the WWWF World Championship title for 4,040 days.
The first time he lost the title was in 1971 at Madison Square Garden to Ivan Koloff. After the match, the announcer feared that a possible riot was at hand, and as a result, he didn’t present Koloff with the belt in the ring, Sammartino stayed in the ring to distract fans while Ivan exited. When Bruno finally left the ring some of the fans started to cry. (source)
5. The most attended Wrestlemania to date was Wrestlemania III in Pontiac, Michigan on March 29th, 1987, the attendance was reported to be 93,173 people.
In a battle for the then-WWF Championship, Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant went head-to-head in what critics considered one of the greatest matches in professional wrestling history. Some people have claimed the record of 93,173 attendees to be false (stating that the attendance was closer to 78,000) due to the lack of credibility of wrestling promoters.
The match lasted almost exactly 12 minutes and after successfully scoop slamming a 520 pound Andre the Giant, Hulk hogan retained the title by landing his signature leg drop off the top ropes. The guest ring announcer for that night was the retired World Series Champion Bob Uecker and the time-keeper was the former Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart. (source)