67 Title Reigns Longer Than CM Punk's
As of today, CM Punk has been WWE Champion for 431 days.
And while that may seem quite impressive, especially considering how frequently wrestling titles change hands, there actually have been dozens of other title reigns that lasted substantially longer than Punk's.
In fact, there have even been several wrestling legends who had multiple title reigns that were each longer than Punk's current reign.
Here is an extensive look back at scores of championship title reigns that lasted longer than CM Punk's.
Sherri Martel : WWF Women's Champion for 441 Days
Shortly after making her WWF debut, Sherri Martel upset the perennial WWF Women's Champion on July 24, 1987, in Houston.
Sherri would go on to hold the title for over a year.
High Flyers : AWA World Tag Team Champions for 443 Days
Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne were tag team royalty in the AWA after defeating Bobby Duncum and Blackjack Lanza for the World Tag Team Titles on July 7, 1977. They held onto those crowns for well over a year before finally losing them to Pat Patterson and Ray Stevens on Sept. 23, 1978.
Tiger Mask IV : NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion for 446 Days
Tiger Mask IV held the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title from Feb. 19, 2006 until May 11, 2007.
Trish Stratus : WWE Women's Champion for 448 Days
Trish Stratus first won the WWF Women's Championship in 2001 after winning a six-woman match for the vacant title.
Over the following few years, Trish became the standard-bearer of the division.
As such, after she defeated Lita at New Year's Revolution on Jan. 9, 2005, Trish's sixth title reign lasted for over a year.
She was finally beaten at WrestleMania 22 during the culmination of an epic storyline featuring Mickie James as Trish's stalker.
Rockin' Robin : WWF Women's Champion for 451 Days
On Oct. 7, 1988, Rockin' Robin defeated Sherri Martel for the Women's Title in Paris.
Rockin' Robin held the championship for well over a year. After she decided to leave the WWF, she was stripped of the title on Feb. 21, 1990.
The Women's Title would remain inactive for nearly four years following Robin's departure.
Ric Flair : NWA World Heavyweight Champion for 452 Days
On Nov. 26, 1987, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair defeated Ron Garvin to once again hold the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
Flair would defend the belt throughout 1988 before eventually dropping the belt to Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat on Feb. 20, 1989 in a match that some fans count among the greatest of all time.
Gillberg : WWF Light Heavyweight Champion for 453 Days
The World Wrestling Federation used the character Gillberg to mock WCW's Goldberg during the late '90s. As part of this, they let Gillberg hold the Light Heavyweight Title for nearly 15 months before finally dropping it to Essa Rios on an edition of Sunday Night Heat.
Honky Tonk Man : WWF Intercontinental Champion for 454 Days
The Honky Tonk Man defeated Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat for the WWF Intercontinental Title on June 2, 1987 and held on to the belt for over a year. He eventually lost to The Ultimate Warrior on Aug. 29, 1988 at SummerSlam.
Believe it or not, this reign makes The Honky Tonk Man the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time.
Bryan Danielson : ROH World Champion for 462 Days
On Sept. 17, 2005, Bryan Danielson became the Ring of Honor (ROH) World Champion by defeating James Gibson.
Danielson went on to defend the title for over 15 months before finally losing it to Homicide on Dec. 23, 2006.
Nick Bockwinkel : AWA World Heavyweight Champion for 467 Days
Following the retirement of Verne Gagne in 1981, the American Wrestling Association (AWA) World Heavyweight Title was given back to the previous champion, Nick Bockwinkel.
Though Bockwinkel's second reign did not last nearly as long as his first, it did span more than a year.
Bockwinkel lost the title to Otto Wanz on Aug. 29, 1982.
Hulk Hogan : WCW World Heavyweight Champion for 469 Days
When Hulk Hogan joined World Championship Wrestling in 1994, it was clear immediately that he would be the new centerpiece of the entire company.
In Hogan's first WCW match, he defeated Ric Flair for the World Heavyweight Title.
Hogan went on to retain the title for several months, feuding with Flair and others. He lost the belt at Halloween Havoc 1995 to The Giant in a match where the belt could change hands via disqualification.
Demolition : WWF World Tag Team Champions for 478 Days
Ax and Smash (a.k.a. Demolition) defeated Rick Martel and Tito Santana (a.k.a. Strike Force) at WrestleMania IV on March 27, 1988.
Demolition held onto the belts for over a year before losing them to Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard (The Brain Busters) on July 18, 1989.
As such, Ax and Smash are the longest-reigning tag team champions in WWE history.
Shinya Hashimoto : IWGP Heavyweight Champion for 489 Days
Shinya Hashimoto won the International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP) Heavyweight Title on April 29, 1996, by defeating Nobuhiko Takada. He lost the belt to Kensuke Sasaki on Aug. 31, 1997.
Jack Brisco : NWA World Heavyweight Champion for 500 Days
Though Jack Brisco was originally scheduled to defeat long-reigning NWA champion Dory Funk Jr. for the title, he actually ended up besting Harley Race for the belt. Some concluded that Funk preferred to drop the title to Race, in effect making him a transitional champion.
After winning the belt on July 20, 1973, Brisco went on to defend the NWA World Heavyweight Title all over the globe.
And it was in Japan where Brisco's first title reign actually did come to an end when he was defeated by Giant Baba on Dec. 2, 1974.
Brisco did, however, win the title back one week later.
Nick Bockwinkel : AWA World Heavyweight Champion for 501 Days
After briefly dropping the AWA World Heavyweight Title to Otto Wanz in mid-1982, Nick Bockwinkel regained the belt weeks later.
Bockwinkel's third AWA reign lasted longer than his second, but finally came to an end on Feb. 22, 1984 when he was bested by Jumbo Tsuruta in Tokyo.
Angelo Savoldi : NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion for 504 Days
Angelo Savoldi was NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion from March 6, 1959, until July 22, 1960.
Blue Demon Jr. : NWA World Heavyweight Champion for 505 Days
The luchador Blue Demon Jr. defeated Adam Pearce on Oct. 25, 2008, in Mexico City to become the NWA World Heavyweight Champion.
Blue Demon held the title for roughly a year-and-a-half before dropping the title to Pearce on March 14, 2010 in Charlotte, N.C.
Bronko Nagurski : World Heavyweight Champion for 520 Days
In the 1930s, the World Heavyweight Title of wrestling was still somewhat universally recognized. As such, champions of the era were not champions of any particular promotion, but rather undisputed champions.
On June 16, 1937, former Chicago Bears fullback Bronko Nagurski defeated Dean Detton to become wrestling's World Heavyweight Champion.
Nagurski proved that he was more than a fluke by holding onto the title for over 17 months before finally losing it to Jim Londos.
Lex Luger : NWA United States Champion for 523 Days
Lex Luger's third reign as US Champion turned out to not only be his longest, but indeed the longest reign in that belt's entire lineage.
Luger won the belt back on May 22, 1989 and did not relinquish it until Oct. 27, 1990.
Verne Gagne : AWA World Heavyweight Champion for 538 Days
Verne Gagne was not only the owner of the American Wrestling Association (AWA), he was also the company's World Heavyweight Champion throughout much of the 1960s and '70s.
One of Gagne's title reigns lasted from besting Mad Dog Vachon on Feb. 26, 1967 until he was defeated by Dr. X on April 17, 1968.
Ken Mantell : NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion for 542 Days
Ken Mantell was NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion from Dec. 19, 1973 until June 14, 1975.
Nigel McGuinness : ROH World Champion for 545 Days
Nigel McGuinness defeated Takeshi Morishima on Oct. 7, 2007, to become the new Ring of Honor (ROH) World Heavyweight Champion.
McGuinness held the belt until April 3, 2009 when he lost to Jerry Lynn.
Months later it was widely announced that McGuinness had signed with WWE. This deal fell through, however, and he soon ended up in TNA, known as Desmond Wolfe.
Adam Cole : CZW World Junior Heavyweight Champion for 553 Days
Adam Cole won the CZW World Junior Heavyweight Title by defeating Sabian on May 8, 2010. He lost the belt to Sami Callihan on Nov. 12, 2011.
Nick Bockwinkel & Ray Stevens : AWA World Tag Team Champions for 561 Days
After holding the AWA Tag Team Titles for nearly a year, Bockwinkel and Stevens lost the belts to Verne Gagne and Billy Robinson.
One week later, Bockwinkel and Stevens took the belts back and commenced a second title reign that outlasted the first.
The pair held the belts from Jan. 6, 1973 until July 21, 1974.
Nelson Royal : NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion for 566 Days
Nelson Royal held the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title from Dec. 6, 1976 until June 25, 1978.
Drake Younger : CZW World Heavyweight Champion for 567 Days
Drake Younger defeated Nick Gage for the CZW World Heavyweight Title on July 12, 2008. He held the title until losing it to B-Boy on Jan. 30, 2010.
Velvet McIntyre & Princess Victoria : WWF Womens Tag Team Champions for 574 Days
Velvet McIntyre originally won the NWA Women's Tag Team Titles with Princess Victoria in 1983. When the WWF left the NWA, the two were recognized as the first WWF Women's Tag Team Champions.
Unfortunately, Desiree Petersen had to replace Princess Victoria after Victoria suffered a career-ending neck injury in 1984.
Dark City Fight Club : NWA World Tag Team Champions for 580 Days
Jon Davis and Kory Chavis held the NWA World Tag Team Titles from May 15, 2011 until Dec. 15, 2012.
Rick Martel : AWA World Heavyweight Champion for 595 Days
Keeping in custom with long AWA world title reigns, when Rick Martel won the belt on May 13, 1984, he held onto it until the very end of 1985. It was then, and only then, that he finally relinquished the belt to Stan Hansen.
Vachons : AWA World Tag Team Champions for 623 Days
Mad Dog and Butcher Vachon defeated The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser for the AWA Tag Team Titles on Aug. 30, 1969.
They kept the belts for nearly two years before losing them to Red Bastien and Hercules Cortez on May 15, 1971.
Jushin Liger : IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion for 628 Days
Though Jushin Liger had captured New Japan Pro Wrestling's (NJPW) International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP) Junior Heavyweight Title previously, his sixth reign turned out to be his longest.
Liger won the belt by defeating Ultimo Dragon in Tokyo on Jan. 4, 1993. He held the belt for a year-and-a-half until it had to be vacated due to Liger sustaining an ankle injury.
Ric Flair : NWA World Heavyweight Champion for 631 Days
Ric Flair made a name for himself over the 1970s after returning to the ring from a plane crash that literally broke his back.
Flair won his fist NWA World Heavyweight Title by defeating "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes in Kansas City on Sept. 17, 1981.
Though the title win was not in itself memorable, it did usher in the era of Ric Flair's dominance in the industry.
For nearly two years, "The Nature Boy" defended the belt around the world. His first reign was filled with controversy, as he was defeated on several occasions but the belt did not change hands.
Flair finally lost the title to Harley Race on June 10, 1983.
Cobra : NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion for 633 Days
The Cobra held the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title from Nov. 3, 1983 until July 28, 1985.
Danny Hodge: NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion for 639 Days
Danny Hodge held the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title from March 20, 1972, until Dec. 19, 1973.
Joe Stecher : World Heavyweight Champion for 644 Days
Courtesy Online World of Wrestling : http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/bios/j/joe-stecher/
When Joe Stecher defeated Charlie Cutler in Omaha, Neb., on July 5, 1915, that win cemented his place as wrestling's undisputed World Heavyweight Champion.
Nearly two years later, Stecher would lose that very same distinction to Earl Caddock, again in Omaha.
Samoa Joe : ROH World Champion for 645 Days
Samoa Joe became the Ring of Honor (ROH) Champion on March 22, 2003 by defeating Xavier.
He finally lost the belt to Austin Aries on Dec. 26, 2004.
Orville Brown : NWA World Heayvweight Champion for 692 Days
Courtesy Pro Wrestling Archive : http://pwa.wrestlingx.net/
The National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) was formed by several promoters in early 1948 in order to help unify the various wrestling titles of the times and come up with a universally recognized World Heavyweight Champion.
The man to hold the new NWA Title was Orville Brown, who was himself a wrestling promoter.
Unfortunately, after a car accident in November 1949, Brown was unable to defend the belt.
As such, Lou Thesz became the man who the NWA entrusted to unify the world's titles.
Rob Van Dam : ECW World Television Champion for 700 Days
By 1998, Bam Bam Bigelow was one of the bigger names in wrestling and, as such, ECW let him defeat Taz for their World Television Title.
On April 4, 1998 RVD defeated "The Beat from the East" for the title. During his title reign, which lasted almost two years, he also held the ECW World Tag Team Titles with Sabu.
In fact, Van Dam was forced to drop the belt on March 4, 2000, only after he broke his ankle and was unable to compete.
Had RVD not broken his ankle, its possible that he might have remained TV Champ until the company shut its doors in early 2001.
Gus Sonnenberg: World Heavyweight Champion for 705 Days
Gus Sonnenberg became wrestling's World Heavyweight Champion when he defeated Ed Lewis on Jan. 4, 1929. He held the belt until he was defeated by Ed Don George on Dec. 10, 1930.
High Flyers : AWA World Tag Team Champions for 742 Days
After having held the belts for over a year previously, Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne took back the AWA World Tag Team Titles from Adrian Adonis and Jesse Ventura (a.k.a. The East-West Connection) on June 14, 1981.
The High Flyers eventually lost the belts to The Sheiks on June 26, 1983.
Skullkrushers : NWA World Tag Team Champions for 777 Days
Rasche Brown and Keith Walker (a.k.a. The Skullkrushers) defeated Los Luchas for the NWA World Tag Team Titles on Oct. 4, 2008. They held the belts until being defeated by Dark City Fight Club on Nov. 20, 2010.
Ric Flair : NWA World Heavyweight Champion for 793 Days
When Ric Flair defeated Kerry Von Erich in Japan on May 24, 1984, he not only started his fourth title reign; he also began the longest title reign of his career.
Yes, "The Nature Boy" stayed NWA Champion not only throughout the remainder of 1984, but also the entirety of 1985 and all the way until July 26, 1986.
And, moreover, though Flair lost the belt to Dusty Rhodes on that date, he won the belt back two weeks later and began another 412-day reign.
Pat O'Connor : NWA World Heavyweight Champion for 903 Days
Pat O'Connor became NWA World Heavyweight Champion after defeating Dick Hutton on Jan. 9, 1959 in St. Louis.
He held the belt for two-and-a-half years, but finally lost it to "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers on June 30, 1961 in a bout that was billed as "the wrestling match of the century."
Glamour Girls : WWF Women's Tag Team Champions for 906 Days
Leilani Kai and Judy Martin (a.k.a. the Glamour Girls) held the WWF Women's Tag Team Titles from August 1985 until they were defeated by the Jumping Bomb Angels on Jan. 24, 1988.
Harley Race : NWA World Heavyweight Champion for 926 Days
After briefly holding the NWA Title in 1973, Harley Race once again became champ after defeating Terry Funk on Feb. 6, 1977.
Race went on to hold the belt for two-and-a-half years, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time.
Race finally lost the belt to "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes on Aug. 21, 1979. He did, however, win the belt back from Rhodes only days later.
Joe Stecher : World Heavyweight Champion for 997 Days
Courtesy Online World of Wrestling : http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/bios/j/joe-stecher/
Joe Stecher became World Heavyweight Champion for a third time when he defeated Stanislaus Zbyszko in St. Louis on May 30, 1925. He lost the belt just short of 1,000 days later to Ed Lewis on Feb. 21, 1928.
Earl Caddock : World Heavyweight Champion for 1,026 Days
After besting Joe Stecher on April 9, 1917, Earl Caddock won the right to call himself wrestling's World Heavyweight Champion.
Caddock held onto the title until Jan. 30, 1920, when he lost the belt back to Stecher in New York City.
Pedro Morales : WWWF Champion for 1,027 Days
At the start of 1971, World Wide Wrestling Federation officials decided that they wanted a new WWWF Champion.
After years of Bruno Sammartino being the company's top star, Vince McMahon Sr. and others came to the conclusion that Pedro Morales should hold the belt.
Both Sammartino and Morales were fan favorites.
As such, Sammartino dropped the title to the hated "Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff. Three weeks later, Morales defeated Koloff to become WWWF Champion.
Morales held the belt from Feb. 8, 1971 until Dec. 1, 1973. After nearly three years with the belt, WWWF management decided to put the belt back on Sammartino. This meant having another transitional heel champion, Stan Stasiak, defeat Morales to hold the belt for a mere nine days.
Ed Lewis: World Heavyweight Champion for 1,042 Days
Ed Lewis defeated Stanislaus Zbyszko on March 3, 1922, to become World Heavyweight Champion for the second time. He held the belt until being defeated by Wayne Munn on Jan. 8, 1925.
George Hackenschmidt : World Heavyweight Champion for 1,065 Days
Courtesy of Pro Wrestling Archive : http://pwa.wrestlingx.net/wrestler.php?id=64
The first man to be recognized internationally as the Heavyweight Champion of the World was George Hackenschmidt of Estonia.
After winning several wrestling tournaments across Europe, Hackenschmidt defeated American wrestling champion Tom Jenkins on May 4, 1905, in New York City to be universally seen as wrestling's World Champion.
Hackenschmidt was later defeated by the American Frank Gotch in Chicago on April 3, 1908.
Lou Thesz : NWA World Heavyweight Champion for 1,079 Days
Lou Thesz defeated "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers in a one-fall match in Toronto on Jan. 24, 1963.
As such, Thesz once again became the NWA World Heavyweight Champion.
Promoters Vince McMahon Sr. and Toots Mondt disagreed with this decision, however, and in protest formed the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), crowning Rogers its first champion.
In any case, Thesz remained NWA champion until Jan. 7, 1966 when he finally lost the belt to Gene Kiniski.
Gene Kiniski : NWA World Heavyweight Champion for 1,131 Days
After decades of being the top star in wrestling, Lou Thesz was finally bested for the NWA World Heavyweight Title one last time on Jan. 7, 1966.
The new champion? Gene Kiniski.
Kiniski traveled the globe defending the belt for three years before finally dropping it to Dory Funk Jr. on Feb. 11, 1969.
Bruno Sammartino: WWWF Champion for 1,237 Days
After letting Pedro Morales hold the belt for a few years, the WWWF put their title back on the man who had carried them through the '60s.
On Dec. 10, 1973, Bruno Sammartino defeated transitional champion Stan Stasiak to once again hold the WWWF Title.
Sammartino defended the title for over three years, besting some of the greatest wrestlers of the mid-1970s.
Sammartino's second and final reign came to an end on April 30, 1977 when he was bested by a charismatic new heel named "Superstar" Billy Graham.
Mike Quackenbush : NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion for 1,275 Days
Mike Quackenbush defeated Tiger Mask IV for the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title on May 11, 2007. He held the title until being defeated by Craig Classic on Nov. 6, 2010.
Danny Hodge : NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion for 1,450 Days
Danny Hodge held the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title from July 22, 1960, until July 11, 1964.
Hulk Hogan : WWF Champion for 1,474 Days
In the early 1980s, few wrestlers were as despised as the Iron Sheik.
The Iranian national spouted anti-American sentiment at a time that the nation was still sensitive about the Iran hostage crisis.
As such, Vince McMahon Jr. used the Iron Sheik as a transitional heel champion to take the belt off the long-reigning Bob Backlund and put it on the man who would become the standard-bearer of the time: Hulk Hogan.
On Jan. 23, 1984, Hogan powered out of the Sheik's camel clutch and a new era of wrestling began.
During these first four years of Hulkamania, Hogan defeated virtually every major heel of the time, from "Rowdy" Roddy Piper to King Kong Bundy to Andre the Giant.
Unfortunately, Hogan lost the belt on Feb. 5, 1988 after Andre cheated to win the belt and then attempted to sell the title to "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase.
Dan Severn : NWA World Heavyweight Champion for 1,479 Days
After losing WCW and ECW in the early 1990s, the National Wrestling Alliance was a shadow of its former self. What it needed at the time was a champion who could bring credibility to the promotion.
They found such a champion in former UFC fighter Dan Severn.
Severn defeated Chris Candido on Feb. 24, 1995, to become the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion.
Severn went on to defend the belt for over four years before finally losing the belt to Naoya Ogawa in Yokohama, Japan, on March 14, 1999.
Ed Lewis: World Heavyweight Champion for 1,536 Days
Ed Lewis defeated Ed Don George to become the World Heavyweight Champion on April 13, 1931.
Though other claimants did arise during his reign, Lewis met these men and defeated them. He finally lost the title after four years to Danno O'Mahoney on June 27, 1935.
Dory Funk Jr. : NWA World Heavyweight Champion for 1,563 Days
On Feb. 11, 1969, Dory Funk, Jr. became NWA World Heavyweight Champion by defeating Gene Kiniski in Tampa, Fla.
Funk held the title for over four years before finally losing to Harley Race on May 24, 1973, in St. Louis.
This title change did not come without controversy, however, as it is widely believed that Funk was originally asked to lose the belt to Jack Brisco, but refused.
Nick Bockwinkel: AWA World Heavyweight Champion for 1,714 Days
When Nick Bockwinkel first won the AWA World Heavyweight Title, it soon became evident that he wanted to keep it.
Bockwinkel's first reign lasted from Nov. 8, 1975 until July 18, 1980.
Frank Gotch: World Heavyweight Champion for 1,824 Days
Frank Gotch made wrestling history when he faced George Hackenschmidt in Chicago's Dexter Park on April 3, 1908. Out-maneuvering his opponent, Gotch forced Hackenschmidt to surrender the World Heavyweight Title.
Over the following years, Gotch defeated the greatest wrestlers of the era. He also defeated Hackenschmidt in a rematch at Comiskey Park on Sept. 4, 1911.
Gotch retired as champion in 1913, never being defeated for the title.
Bob Backlund: WWWF / WWF Champion for 2,135 Days
On Feb. 20, 1978, Bob Backlund defeated long-reigning heel champion "Superstar" Billy Graham for the WWWF Title.
Backlund's reign lasted nearly six years and bridged the gap between the 1970s era of Vince McMahon Sr. and the 1980s style of Vince Jr.,as well as the renaming of the company to simply "World Wrestling Federation."
Eventually, on Dec. 26, 1983, Backlund lost the belt to the Iron Sheik when his manager, Arnold Skaaland, threw in the towel.
The Sheik, however, only served as a transitional champion in order to usher in Hulkamania.
Lou Thesz: NWA World Heavyweight Champion for 2,300 Days
Following Orville Brown's car accident in November 1949, Lou Thesz became the man who the NWA would rely upon to unify wrestling's world heavyweight titles.
Over several years, Thesz did in fact merge many championships with his own, becoming the last truly undisputed World Heavyweight Champion in wrestling history.
Thesz's first title reign came to an official end on March 15, 1956 when he lost to "Whipper" Billy Watson in Toronto in front of 15,000 fans in a match where former boxing champ Jack Dempsey served as referee.
Thesz would, of course, win the belt back months later.
Verne Gagne: AWA World Heavyweight Champion for 2,625 Days
After winning his belt back from Dr. X on August 31, 1968, Verne Gagne was not willing to let the title go. Though he had lost the belt to numerous competitors throughout the 1960s, Verne's ninth title reign lasted until Nov. 8, 1975.
It was only then that he found a worthy enough rival to drop the title to: Nick Bockwinkel.
Jim Londos: World Heavyweight Champion for 2,801 Days
Jim Londos became a wrestling icon after defeating Bronko Nagurski for the World Heavyweight Title on Nov. 18, 1938. He became a legend by never being defeated for the title and retiring as champion in 1946.
Bruno Sammartino: WWWF Champion for 2,803 Days
Vince McMahon Sr.'s Capitol Wrestling broke away from the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) in 1963 when a title dispute erupted between "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers and longtime champion Lou Thesz.
Since McMahon and others wanted to continue recognizing Rogers as champion, they left the NWA and formed the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF).
Unfortunately, Rogers suffered a heart attack and was able to defend the new WWWF Title.
As such, Rogers dropped the belt to Bruno Sammartino on May 17, 1963 in Madison Square Garden in a match that lasted less than one minute.
Sammartino went on to hold the belt for over seven years, giving prestige to both the championship and the newly formed company.
Fabulous Moolah: NWA / WWF Women's Champion for 10,170 Days
The Fabulous Moolah became the NWA World Women's Champion on Sept. 18, 1956, by winning a 13-woman battle royal.
Though Moolah won and lost the title shortly 10, 12, 20 and 22 years later, when the WWF withdrew from the NWA for a second time in 1983 they also purchased Moolah's championship.
Furthermore, the WWF refused to recognize Moolah's earlier losses, stating that she had been the champion consistently since 1956.
While this may seem dubious, keep in mind that Moolah did not lose her title for the first time until 1966, which was three years after the WWWF was formed. So, it does seem legitimate that the Federation could have overlooked her losses during the '60s and '70s.
Moolah was finally defeated for the belt by Wendi Richter on July 23, 1984, nearly 28 years after first becoming Women's Champion.
As such, Moolah has the distinction of being the longest-reigning wrestling champion in history...and not to mention more than a quarter of a century longer than CM Punk.