Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
World Heavyweight Championship
Despite the similarity in appearance of the belt itself, the current "World Heavyweight Championship" is not the same title as either the original NWA World Heavyweight Championship or the WCW World Heavyweight Championship; it is, instead, a new title whose lineage dates back to September 2, 2002, when it was introduced by RAW Commissioner Eric Bischoff as the RAW World Championship in response to WWE Champion Brock Lesnar becoming exclusive to Smackdown. While WWE announcers like Jim Ross occasionally make allusions to the belt's lineage dating back as far as 1904, the majority of other evidence suggests that the belt does not derive its lineage beyond its debut on Raw.
- The official WWE title history website only recognizes champions starting from September 2, 2002.
- Former WCW Champions, most notably Booker T, are always referred to as former WCW Champions but are never referred to as former World Heavyweight Champions. This is true even of WWE wrestlers who won the title while in WWE and have never been in WCW, such as Kurt Angle.
- On the May 19, 2003 edition of RAW, champion Triple H was given the choice to defend his title against any of the former "world heavyweight champions" on Raw's roster: Chris Jericho, Shawn Michaels, Kane, or Kevin Nash (he ultimately choice to defend his title against ally Ric Flair). Notable by their absence in that lineup were any former WCW Champions who had never won the Raw World Heavyweight Championship or the WWE Championship, such as Booker T, Scott Steiner and Goldberg, implying that the WCW Championship was not recognized as the World Heavyweight Championship.
History and trivia
- The youngest champion was Randy Orton at the age of 24.
- The oldest champion was Shawn Michaels at 37.
- The longest reign was by Triple H at under nine months.
- The shortest reign was by Randy Orton at twenty-seven days.
- The only text on the belt (excluding the name of the current holder) is "World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion"
- World Heavyweight Championship - September 2002 (champion: Triple H)
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