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WWE Universal Championship History

Person list created by jordanwiles94 Avatar

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Finn Balor (1st reign)
August 21, 2016 - August 22, 2016 - (<1 day)

The title was established for Raw after the WWE Championship became exclusive to SmackDown following the 2016 WWE Draft. Bálor defeated Seth Rollins in a pinfall and submission-only match to become the inaugural champion.


August 22, 2016 - August 29, 2016

Vacated due to Finn Bálor suffering a legit shoulder injury during his match at SummerSlam.

jordanwiles94's rating:
Average listal rating (13 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Kevin Owens (1st reign)
August 29, 2016 - March 5, 2017 (188 days)
This was a fatal four-way elimination match for the vacant title also involving Big Cass, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins.
jordanwiles94's rating:
Goldberg (1st reign)

March 5, 2017 - April 2, 2017 (28 days)

jordanwiles94's rating:
Average listal rating (55 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Brock Lesnar (1st reign)

April 2, 2017 - August 19, 2018 (504 days)

jordanwiles94's rating:
Average listal rating (18 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Roman Reigns (1st reign)

August 29, 2018 - October 22, 2018 (64 days)


October 22, 2018 - November 2, 2018

Vacated after Roman Reigns announced that he had a legitimate re-diagnosis of leukemia.

Brock Lesnar (2-times)

November 2, 2018 - April 7, 2019 (156 days)

Originally scheduled as a triple threat match in which Roman Reigns was to defend the title against Lesnar and Braun Strowman. After Reigns relinquished the championship, the match became a singles match between Lesnar and Strowman for the vacant title.

jordanwiles94's rating:
Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Seth Rollins (1st reign)

April 7, 2019 - July 14, 2019 (98 days)

Brock Lesnar (3-times)

July 14, 2019 - August 11, 2019 (28 days)

Cashed in his Money in the Bank contract.

Seth Rollins (2-times)

August 11, 2019 - October 31, 2019 (81 days)

jordanwiles94's rating:
"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (1st reign)

October 31, 2019 - February 27, 2020 (119 days)

This was a Falls Count Anywhere match that could not be stopped for any reason.

The title became exclusive to the SmackDown brand due to Wyatt's status as a SmackDown wrestler.

Goldberg (2-times)

February 27, 2020 - March 26, 2020 (27 days)

WWE recognizes this reign as ending on April 4, 2020, when the following match aired on tape delay.

jordanwiles94's rating:
Average listal rating (4 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Braun Strowman (1st reign)

March 26, 2020 - August 23, 2020 (150 days)

WrestleMania was taped on March 25 and 26, but it is currently unknown which day this match was taped. WWE recognizes this reign as beginning on April 4, 2020, when the match aired on tape delay.

"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (2-times)

August 23, 2020 - August 30, 2020 (7 days)

This was a Falls Count Anywhere Match.

Roman Reigns (2-times)

August 30, 2020 - Current (947+) 

This was a No Holds Barred Triple Threat match also involving Braun Strowman, who Reigns pinned.

At WrestleMania 38 on April 3, 2022, Reigns defeated Raw's WWE Champion Brock Lesnar in a Winner Takes All match and became recognized as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. Despite the match being billed as a unification match, both titles remain independently active.

jordanwiles94's rating:

In mid-2016, WWE reintroduced the brand extension, where the promotion split its main roster between their Raw and SmackDown brands, represented by the shows of the same name (the previous brand extension ended in 2011). On July 19, 2016, SmackDown began broadcasting live and on that premiere of SmackDown Live, the 2016 WWE Draft took place and reigning WWE Champion Dean Ambrose was drafted to SmackDown. At Battleground on July 24, Ambrose retained the title in a triple threat match against Raw draftees Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, leaving Raw without a world championship. On the following episode of Monday Night Raw, the brand's Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley created the WWE Universal Championship to serve as the brand's top championship. The title was named in honor of the WWE Universe, the name the promotion uses to refer to its fan base. WWE has referred to the Universal Championship as a "world title", both on its programming and in print. This designation has been corroborated by Pro Wrestling Dot Net, Pro Wrestling Torch, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports, and Slam! Sports.

The inaugural champion was crowned at SummerSlam on August 21 in a pinfall and submission-only singles match. Seth Rollins was automatically set for that match as he was Raw's number one draft pick and was not pinned in the WWE Championship match at Battleground. His opponent was determined by two fatal four-way matches on Raw, with the winners wrestling each other in a singles match. Finn Bálor won the first fatal four-way by defeating Cesaro, Kevin Owens, and Rusev while Roman Reigns won the second by defeating Chris Jericho, Sami Zayn, and Sheamus. Bálor then defeated Reigns and was added to the title match. At SummerSlam, Bálor defeated Rollins to become the inaugural champion. Bálor was the first WWE wrestler to win a world title in his pay-per-view debut as well as winning his first world title in less than a month of his debut on WWE's main roster. During the championship match, Bálor suffered a legitimate shoulder injury and was forced to vacate the title the following day.

At Crown Jewel on October 31, 2019, SmackDown wrestler "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt won the Universal title by defeating Seth Rollins in a Falls Count Anywhere match that could not be stopped for any reason, thus transferring the Universal Championship to SmackDown. The WWE Championship was subsequently transferred to Raw after reigning champion Brock Lesnar quit SmackDown the following day, taking the title to Raw.

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