Earlier this month was the 50th anniversary of Bruno Sammartino becoming the first man to defeat a WWE champion and take his title. Buddy Rogers was named the initial champion of the then-Worldwide Wrestling Federation (WWWF). The company was parting ways with the National Wrestling Alliance and creating their own world championship. As the legend goes, Rogers won a tournament in Rio De Janeiro on April 25, 1963, though there is no proof of the tournament ever existing. Sammartino defeated Rogers for the title after 22 days.
Since that first title change, there have been 110 others, meaning the championship has only averaged a bit more than two exchanges a year for a half-century. Among the holders of the championship in its history is a short list of just 44 different men. Rogers would never win the championship back, making those 110 title changes to follow come at the delight of just 43 other men, including Sammartino. Sammartino's initial reign would last a record 2,803 days, but the new Hall of Famer would win the title back ten years later and hold it for an additional 1,237 days.
Not every reign has been as long as the great Sammartino's were. In fact, some haven't even been WWE champion for more than 24 hours. They still brought forth some of the greatest matches and moments WWE has ever seen. Among those are these dates, which mark the 50 greatest title changes in the past 50 years. Be it the match itself, the moment that followed, or what the title change meant to the company historically, these are 50 moments in time that have helped to mold WWE and the prestigious title it holds.