Shane Douglas, the longest reigning ECW champion
Shane Douglas, the longest reigning ECW champion

The ECW World Heavyweight Championship was a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It was the original world title of the Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion, later used in WWE as the world title of the ECW brand and one of three in WWE, complementing the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship. It was introduced as the ECW Heavyweight Championship on April 25, 1992. Originally a part of the Eastern Championship Wrestling promotion, which joined the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) on September 18, 1993.[1] It was established as a world heavyweight championship in August 1994 following the promotion's secession from the NWA.[2] The promotion became Extreme Championship Wrestling and the title became the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. It remained active until April 11, 2001, when ECW was closed and WWE subsequently purchased its assets. WWE relaunched ECW as a WWE brand in June 2006 with the title being recommissioned and designated as the ECW brand's world title.[3][4] The brand dissolved February 16, 2010, rendering the title inactive.[5]

The championship was contested in professional wrestling matches, in which participants execute scripted finishes rather than contend in direct competition. All title changes occurred at ECW or WWE shows. The inaugural champion was Jimmy Snuka, who defeated Salvatore Bellomo in a tournament final on April 25, 1992, to become the first ECW Heavyweight Champion. WWE, however, does not recognize ECW Heavyweight Championship reigns from April 1992 through August 1994. Instead they recognize Shane Douglas' second reign, which originally began on March 26, 1994, but is recognized as starting on August 27, 1994 – the same day the championship was renamed the ECW World Heavyweight Championship – as the inception of the title's history. The Sandman holds the record for most reigns, with five. At 406 days, Douglas' fourth reign is the longest in the title's history. Ezekiel Jackson's only reign was the shortest in the history of the title as it was retired as soon as he won it. He defeated the previous champion, Christian, on February 16, 2010, at an ECW television taping event. Overall, there have been 49 reigns among 32 wrestlers, with 1 vacancy, and 2 deactivations.

Reigns

Names

Name Years
ECW Heavyweight Championship April 25, 1992 – September 18, 1993
NWA-ECW Heavyweight Championship September 18, 1993 – August 27, 1994
ECW World Heavyweight Championship August 27, 1994 – April 11, 2001; June 13, 2006 – July 2006
ECW World Championship July 2006 – August 2007
ECW Championship August 2007 – February 16, 2010; as listed in WWE's official website

Reigns

Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
Days recog. Number of days held recognized by the promotion
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days Days recog.
National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and Eastern Championship Wrestling (ECW)
1 Jimmy Snuka April 25, 1992 Live event Mount Tabor, PA 1 1 1 Snuka defeated Salvatore Bellomo in a tournament final to become the inaugural champion. [6]
2 Johnny Hotbody April 26, 1992 Live event Philadelphia, PA 1 79 79 [7]
3 Jimmy Snuka July 14, 1992 Live event Philadelphia, PA 2 78 78 [8]
4 Don Muraco September 30, 1992 Live event Philadelphia, PA 1 47 47 [9]
5 The Sandman November 16, 1992 Live event Philadelphia, PA 1 138 138 While WWE.com does not include this reign in the title history, it is implicitly included in their description of Sandman as a 5-time former champion. [10]
6 Don Muraco April 3, 1993 Hardcore TV Radnor, PA 2 127 127 The episode aired on June 1, 1993 via tape delay. [11]
7 Tito Santana August 8, 1993 Hardcore TV Philadelphia, PA 1 32 32 The episode aired on August 24, 1993 via tape delay. [12]
8 Shane Douglas September 9, 1993 Hardcore TV Roanoke, VA 1 23 23 Santana forfeited the belt to Douglas and left ECW. The episode aired on September 14, 1993 via tape delay.
9 Sabu October 2, 1993 NWA Bloodfest Philadelphia, PA 1 85 85 The title change aired on November 2, 1993 episode of Hardcore TV via tape delay. [13]
10 Terry Funk December 26, 1993 Holiday Hell Philadelphia, PA 1 90 90 The title change aired on December 28, 1993 episode of Hardcore TV via tape delay. [14]
11 Shane Douglas March 26, 1994 Ultimate Jeopardy Devon, PA 2 385 230 This was an Ultimate Jeopardy match also involving, Curtis Hughes, Rocco Rock, Johnny Grunge, Road Warrior Hawk, Kevin Sullivan, and Tazz. The title change aired on the March 29, 1994 episode of Hardcore TV via tape delay. On August 27, 1994, the title was renamed the ECW World Heavyweight Championship when Douglas relinquished the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. ECW left the NWA and was renamed Extreme Championship Wrestling. WWE recognizes August 27, 1994, as the starting point of the title. [15]
Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW)
12 The Sandman April 15, 1995 Hostile City Showdown Philadelphia, PA 2 196 195 The title change aired on the April 18, 1995 episode of ECW Hardcore TV via tape delay. [16]
13 Mikey Whipwreck October 28, 1995 Hardcore TV Philadelphia, PA 1 42 41 This was a ladder match. The episode aired on October 31, 1995 via tape delay. [17]
14 The Sandman December 9, 1995 December to Dismember Philadelphia, PA 3 49 48 This was a three-way dance also involving Stone Cold Steve Austin. The title change aired on the December 12, 1995 episode of Hardcore TV via tape delay. [18]
15 Raven January 27, 1996 Hardcore TV Philadelphia, PA 1 252 251 The episode aired on January 30, 1996 via tape delay. [19]
16 The Sandman October 5, 1996 Ultimate Jeopardy Philadelphia, PA 4 63 62 The Sandman and Tommy Dreamer defeated Stevie Richards and Brian Lee in a tag team match. The Sandman gained the pinfall to win the championship after Raven failed to show for the event. The title change aired on the October 8, 1996 episode of Hardcore TV via tape delay. [20]
17 Raven December 7, 1996 Holiday Hell Philadelphia, PA 2 127 126 This was a barbed wire match. The title change aired on the December 10, 1996 episode of ECW Hardcore TV via tape delay. [21]
18 Terry Funk April 13, 1997 Barely Legal Philadelphia, PA 2 118 118 [22]
19 Sabu August 9, 1997 Born to be Wired Philadelphia, PA 2 8 8 This was a barbed wire match. The title change aired on the August 11, 1997 episode of Hardcore TV via tape delay. [23]
20 Shane Douglas August 17, 1997 Hardcore Heaven Fort Lauderdale, FL 3 60 59 This was a three-way dance also involving Terry Funk. [24]
21 Bam Bam Bigelow October 16, 1997 Hardcore TV New York, NY 1 45 45 The episode aired on October 20, 1997 via tape delay. [25]
22 Shane Douglas November 30, 1997 November to Remember Monaca, PA 4 406 406 [26]
23 Taz January 10, 1999 Guilty as Charged Kissimmee, FL 1 252 251 [27]
24 Mike Awesome September 19, 1999 Anarchy Rulz Villa Park, IL 1 89 89 This was a three-way dance also involving Masato Tanaka [28]
25 Masato Tanaka December 17, 1999 ECW on TNN Nashville, TN 1 6 5 The episode aired on December 24, 1999 via tape delay. [29]
26 Mike Awesome December 23, 1999 ECW on TNN White Plains, NY 2 112 111 The episode aired on December 31, 1999 via tape delay. [30]
27 Taz April 13, 2000 ECW on TNN Indianapolis, IN 2 9 9 Taz had signed with the WWF following his title loss to Mike Awesome on September 19, 1999. However, Awesome unexpectedly signed with WCW in 2000 while still being champion and threatened to bring the title onto WCW TV. As a result, Paul Heyman and Vince McMahon arranged for Taz to return to ECW and defeat Awesome for the title. The episode aired on April 14, 2000 via tape delay. [31]
28 Tommy Dreamer April 22, 2000 CyberSlam Philadelphia, PA 1 <1 <1 [32]
29 Justin Credible April 22, 2000 CyberSlam Philadelphia, PA 1 162 161 [32]
30 Jerry Lynn October 1, 2000 Anarchy Rulz Saint Paul, MN 1 35 34 [33]
31 Steve Corino November 5, 2000 November to Remember Villa Park, IL 1 63 62 This was a Double Jeopardy match also involving Justin Credible and The Sandman. [34]
32 The Sandman January 7, 2001 Guilty as Charged New York, NY 5 <1 <1 This was a Tables, Ladders, Chairs, and Canes match also involving Justin Credible. [35]
33 Rhino January 7, 2001 Guilty as Charged New York, NY 1 94 92 [35]
Deactivated April 11, 2001 ECW closed on April 4, 2001, and the WWE purchased its assets in 2003.[36]
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)
34 Rob Van Dam June 13, 2006 ECW Trenton, NJ 1 21 20 The title was revived by WWE for the ECW brand. Van Dam was awarded the title by Paul Heyman for winning the WWE Championship. [37][38]
35 Big Show July 4, 2006 ECW Philadelphia, PA 1 152 151 This was an Extreme Rules match. The title would be referred to as the ECW World Championship during his reign. [39][40]
36 Bobby Lashley December 3, 2006 December to Dismember Augusta, GA 1 147 146 This was an Extreme Elimination Chamber match also involving CM Punk, Bob Holly, Rob Van Dam and Test. [41][42]
37 Mr. McMahon April 29, 2007 Backlash Atlanta, GA 1 35 34 McMahon pinned Lashley in a handicap match, which also involved McMahon's teammates Shane McMahon and Umaga, to win the championship. [43][44]
38 Bobby Lashley June 3, 2007 One Night Stand Jacksonville, FL 2 8 7 This was a Street Fight. [45][46]
Vacated June 11, 2007 Raw Wilkes-Barre, PA The championship was vacated due to Bobby Lashley being drafted to the Raw brand. [45][47]
39 Johnny Nitro/John Morrison June 24, 2007 Vengeance: Night of Champions Houston, TX 1 69 67 Nitro, who substituted for Chris Benoit due to his death (unknown at the time), defeated CM Punk to win the vacant championship. His ring name was changed to John Morrison during his reign on the July 17, 2007 episode of ECW. Beginning in August 2007, the title would be referred to simply as the ECW Championship.[48] [49][50]
40 CM Punk September 1, 2007 ECW Cincinnati, OH 1 143 142 This was a Last Chance match which aired on tape delay on September 4, 2007. [51][52]
41 Chavo Guerrero January 22, 2008 ECW Charlottesville, VA 1 68 67 This was a No Disqualification match. With Chavo being a member of the SmackDown roster, the title becomes shared between SmackDown and ECW. [53][54]
42 Kane March 30, 2008 WrestleMania XXIV Orlando, FL 1 91 91 Kane was a member of the SmackDown brand at the time he won the title, thus making the title exclusive to SmackDown. The title was returned to ECW when Kane defected to the ECW brand two days later. Then the title was exclusive to the Raw brand when Kane was drafted to Raw on June 23, 2008. This gives Kane the distinction of being the only wrestler to carry one championship across all three brands. [55][56]
43 Mark Henry June 29, 2008 Night of Champions Dallas, TX 1 70 69 This was a triple threat match also involving the SmackDown brand's Big Show. Title is once again exclusive to ECW due to Mark Henry being a member of the ECW roster. [57][58]
44 Matt Hardy September 7, 2008 Unforgiven Cleveland, OH 1 127 127 This was a Scramble match that also involved Chavo Guerrero, Dave Finlay and The Miz. [59][60]
45 Jack Swagger January 12, 2009 ECW Sioux City, IA 1 104 102 This episode of ECW aired on tape delay on January 13, 2009. [61][62]
46 Christian April 26, 2009 Backlash Providence, RI 1 42 41 [63][64]
47 Tommy Dreamer June 7, 2009 Extreme Rules New Orleans, LA 2 49 48 This was a triple threat hardcore match also involving Jack Swagger.
Dreamer became the only wrestler to win the title both in the original ECW, and in the WWE sponsored revival.
[65][66]
48 Christian July 26, 2009 Night of Champions Philadelphia, PA 2 205 204 [67][68]
49 Ezekiel Jackson February 16, 2010 ECW Kansas City, MO 1 <1 <1 This was an Extreme Rules match. [69]
Deactivated February 16, 2010 ECW Kansas City, MO The title was retired immediately after Ezekiel Jackson won it due to the ECW brand being discontinued. [5]

Combined reigns

Record five-time ECW World Heavyweight Champion The Sandman
Shane Douglas, who reigned for a combined 874 days as champion. His fourth reign at 406 days is the longest single reign in the title's history.
Christian is the longest reigning champion under the WWE banner, with a record of 205 days
Key
Rec. Recognized by the promotion
<1 Reign was less than a day
Rank Champion No. of
reigns
Combined days
Actual Recognized
by WWE
1 Shane Douglas 4 874 695
2 The Sandman 5 446 305
3 Raven 2 379 377
4 Taz 2 261 260
5 Christian 2 247 245
6 Terry Funk 2 208 118
7 Mike Awesome 2 201 200
Don Muraco 174
8 Justin Credible 1 162 161
9 Bobby Lashley 2 155 153
10 Big Show 1 152 151
11 CM Punk 1 143 142
12 Matt Hardy 1 127
13 Jack Swagger 1 104 102
14 Rhino 1 94 92
15 Sabu 2 93 8
16 Kane 1 91
Jimmy Snuka 79
Johnny Hotbody 79
17 Mark Henry 1 70 69
18 Johnny Nitro/John Morrison 1 69 67
19 Chavo Guerrero 1 68 67
20 Steve Corino 1 63 63
21 Tommy Dreamer 2 49 48
22 Bam Bam Bigelow 1 45
23 Mikey Whipwreck 1 42 41
25 Jerry Lynn 1 35 34
Mr. McMahon 1 35 34
Tito Santana 32
26 Rob Van Dam 1 21 20
27 Masato Tanaka 1 6 5
28 Ezekiel Jackson 1 <1

See also

References

General
Specific
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