The ULTIMATE guide to WWE World Heavyweight Championship!
A title is what everyone in the WWE is ultimately striving for (except for revenge/personal enmity). Each title has a unique history, and are significant in different ways.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship (WWEWHC): The most prestigious title today, has the history of both the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship, two titles marking the best of the best in WWE and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Circulated among the highest echelons of the WWE.
Current Holder: “The Game” HHH
Current significant contenders:
“The Juggernaut” ROMAN REIGNS
“The Beast Incarnate” BROCK LESNAR
“The New Face of Fear” BRAY WYATT
“The Lunatic Fringe” DEAN AMBROSE
“The Architect” SETH ROLLINS (upon return)
Next Scheduled Defense: Wrestlemania 32 (April 3) against (Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, or Brock Lesnar; will be determined February 21 at Fastlane)
Intercontinental Championship (IC Title): Arguably the second most prestigious title in its current state. This is a title normally distributed between what’s called a “mid-card” meaning the less popular wrestlers, and is often seen as the title for the workhorses, or those stronger in the ring than outside it (mic work, charisma, etc.). A WWE title from Day 1.
Current Holder: “The Lunatic Fringe” DEAN AMBROSE
Current Significant Contender: TBA
Next Scheduled Defense: TBA
United States Championship (US Title): The second mid-card title, prestige depends on title holder, High prestige was when held by John Cena, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins. Low prestige is dependent on those contending for it; US title currently traded between a former world champion and a rising star, prestige moderate. Adopted from WCW after WWE won the battle for television dominance during the “Monday Night Wars”.
Current Holder: KALISTO
Current Significant Contender:ALBERTO DEL RIO (Representing the League of Nations), JOHN CENA upon return
Next Scheduled Defense: Against Alberto del Rio at Fastlane 2016 (February 21)
WWE Tag Team Championship: The one and only prestigious title that is competed for in the tag team division, although rarely defended in main event. Staple of WWE midcard.
Current Holder: THE NEW DAY ( KOFI KINGSTON, BIG E, XAVIER WOODS at ringside)
Current Significant Contenders:
THE USOS (JIMMY USO, JEY USO)
LUCHA DRAGONS (SIN CARA, KALISTO) upon return
Next Scheduled Defense: TBA
Divas Championship: The only title in WWE for women, with a long, painful, ignominious history. Currently enjoying increased prestige due to legacy of women like AJ LEE and PAIGE, as well as the influx of women from developmental territory NXT (CHARLOTTE, BECKY LYNCH, SASHA BANKS) increasing match quality.
Current Holder: CHARLOTTE FLAIR (accompanied by RIC FLAIR)
Current significant contender: “The Lass Kicker” BECKY LYNCH, ‘The Boss” SASHA BANKS
Next Scheduled Defense:TBA
Money In The Bank (MITB): A de facto title, this is a briefcase won in a multi-man ladder match that grants the holder a championship match at any point of their choosing over the next year (usually redeemed when the champion is weakened or injured). Is rarely defended, and remains vacant from the redemption of the match (referred to as “cashing in”) to the next Money in the Bank event.
Current Mr. MITB: NONE
Last Cash-In: SHEAMUS at Survivor Series 2015
King Of The Ring (KOTR): A de facto title won by defeating 3 to 4 opponents within 24 hours in an occasional tournament. While it has lost much of its previous lustre, the winner is still presented as in the league of some of the greatest of all time, including Bret Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Edge, and HHH, and is honored with the title of King before their name. Rarely defended.
Current King of the Ring: KING WADE “Bad News” BARRETT
Hunter Hearst Helmsley, or HHH, is one of WWE’s most important and decorated personalities, known most for his intelligence and experience which helped him reach the upper echelon of WWE legends and future hall of famers. After being an integral part of the WWE’s most prosperous and violent period, the :Attitude Era”, HHH had legendary battles with the satanic and dangerous Undertaker before settling into a more corporate role; coming out of in-ring retirement only in the most extenuating of circumstances against the most prominent challenges to his dominance, men like Brock Lesnar, the uber-popular technician Daniel Bryan, and the WCW legend and franchise player Sting. Now in a feud with Roman Reigns, who sent him to the hospital with a brutal attack after HHH orchestrated another screwing of Reigns out of the WWEWHC, HHH returned to in-ring action at the 2016 Royal Rumble at number 30, giving him the prime position to win the WWEWHC from Roman Reigns, which he did. HHH, now the WWE WHC, is on a collision course with a man who he screwed so often in Reigns, as well as all those hunting the WWE WHC for their own reasons.
14 time WWE WHC
5 time IC champ
2 time European (currently defunct) champ
3 time tag champ
2 time Royal Rumble winner (2002, 2016)
1997 King Of The Ring
PEDIGREE (Triple H hooks the arms of his opponent behind their back before driving them face first. Given the Seth Rollins)
SPINEBUSTER (Triple H hoists his opponent up high before driving them back-first into the mat)
“The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose is a violent, unpredictable fighter, toughened by grueling battles in the brutal promotion of Combat Zone Wrestling and brought into the spotlight by his role as the mouthpiece of the Shield. When the Shield broke down, after a blood feud with former brother turned sellout to the boss Seth Rollins, Ambrose was in a variety of feuds, failing to win the IC at WrestleMania 31, but succeeding against Kevin Owens in December of 2015. Ambrose retained the IC title at Royal Rumble 2016, and came close to capturing the WWEWHC. Ambrose now faces Brock Lesnar and his friend Roman Reigns for another chance to gain the WWE WOrld Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania.
DIRTY DEEDS: (Driving his opponent head first into the mat while hooking both arms)
REBOUND/LUNATIC LARIAT: (swinging between the ropes before lunging toward his opponent with a huge strike; usually as a counter to a strike from an opponent)
A Mexican luchador (a member of a style featuring high speed action and acrobatics), Kalisto partnered with Sin Cara to win the NXT Tag Titles. After moving to the WWE, Kalisto and Sin Cara challenged the New Day before Sin Cara was injured. Now solo, Kalisto traded the US title with fellow countryman Alberto Del Rio, defeating him at Royal Rumble 2016 to gain the US title, and scheduled to defend it at Fastlane against an increasingly aggressive and calculating Alberto del Rio and his compatriots, the League of Nations.
NXT Tag Champion
SALIDA DEL SOL (A backflip driving the back of his opponent’s head into the mat)
LISTO KICK (A rolling roundhouse kick to a kneeling opponent)
A loud and obnoxious WWE version of SNL, they are a group who preach the “power of positivity” and wear pretty colors and unicorn horns in a headband. Kofi Kingston is the most athletic member, also the most experienced. Big E is the muscle of the group weighing around 300lbs, Xavier Woods is the trombone wielding cheerleader of the group who rarely competes in tag matches, but does compete when allowed or forced to by an exhausted member. After making enemies of two different teams in the Usos and Lucha Dragons, they faced the former at Royal Rumble and retained the Tag titles, but still have not resolved their issues with either team.
2 time WWE Tag team champions
4 time IC champ
3 time US champ
1 time NXT champ
1 time IC champ
TROUBLE IN PARADISE- Kofi Kingston ( leaping spinning roundhouse kick)
BIG ENDING- Big E (A drop onto ribs onto shoulder)
LOST IN THE WOODS – Xavier Woods (dropping the face of his opponent onto his foot)
Together: MIDNIGHT HOUR(Kingston augments the force of the Big Ending by pushing down on the recipient while coming off the top rope)
UNICORN STAMPEDE (Repeated stomps in the corner to seated opponent ending with Big E throwing Kofi feet first into the battered opponent)
A snarling female version of her father Ric Flair, Charlotte is dirty, slick, and treacherous as she stabbed her only friend in the back. Charlotte is one of the most athletic wrestlers in the women’s division and claims to be “genetically superior” to her fellow female wrestlers (DIVAS). Formerly in a group with Paige and Becky Lynch, her betrayal of the latter has led to severe bad blood between them and a championship match at Royal Rumble 2016, which Charlotte won, only to be attacked by a new challenger in her old NXT foil, Sasha Banks.
NXT Women’s Champion
WWE Diva’s Champion
FIGURE-8 LEGLOCK (an adaptation on her father’s figure-4, a bridging leglock)
NATURAL SELECTION( a somersault driving her opponent’s face into her shoulder)
“The Juggernaut” Roman Reigns is an explosive powerhouse who served as the muscle of one of WWE’s most dominant factions in the Shield. When the Shield was disbanded, Reigns, adopting a rallying cry of “I Can and I Will”, went on to superstardom against the wishes of the powers that be, eventually winning the WWEWHC from LoN member Sheamus. Reigns lost his title at Royal Rumble 2016 in the Rumble match to HHH, and seeks to get another shot at it , at Wrestlemania, by facing Brock Lesnar and his friend Dean Ambrose at Fastlane.
Winner of the 2015 Royal Rumble
2 Time WWE WHC
WWE Tag Team Champion
SPEAR (A running football tackle)
SUPERMAN PUNCH (A running, leaping strike to the head)
Brock Lesnar is the ultimate bully in the WWE. Known as “The Beast Incarnate,” Lesnar tears through anything and anyone as he pleases. He is the mayor of “Suplex City”, a label given to his repeated suplexes that have become his hallmark. Accompanied by his advocate PAUL HEYMAN who glorifies Lesnar as an almost godly being, Brock Lesnar has not lost cleanly since Wrestlemania 29 (March 2013) against Triple H. However, Brock had fallen into an unfortunate situation as he lost his WWE Championship without being pinned. After being overwhelmed by the Wyatt Family in the Royal Rumble, Lesnar has a chance to go to Wrestlemania for a match for the WWEWHC, but has to go through IC champion Dean Ambrose, former WWE WH champion Roman Reigns, and, perhaps, the machinations of the “Eater of Worlds” Bray Wyatt.
NCAA Heavyweight Champion
IWGP Heavyweight Champion
UFC Heavyweight Champion
4 Time WWE Champion
2002 King of the Ring Winner
2003 Royal Rumble Winner
The 1 in 21 and 1 (Ended Undertaker’s Undefeated Wrestlemania Streak)
F-5 ( a spinning fireman’s carry dropping opponent face first into the mat)
KIMURA LOCK (Grounded Arm Lock)
GERMAN SUPLEX (Grab to the opponent’s waist from the back and throws them on the back of their head)
A gloomy, creepy, mysterious cult leader, Bray Wyatt claims to be the “Eater of Worlds” and the “New Face of Fear”. Wyatt is arguably the most psychologically dominant performer in the WWE. Wyatt continuously plays aggressive mind games with his opponent, which augments his formidable strength, explosiveness, and the support of his cult -like family (see Factions). After being defeated by Roman Reigns at Hell in a Cell, Bray continued his quest to strip Reigns of his title at Royal Rumble 2016, but failed due to the machinations of eventual winner HHH. Wyatt’s actions and the actions of his followers leading up to and in the Royal Rumble, leading to Lesnar’s elimination, has gained the ire of the Beast Brock Lesnar, with whom he seems to be on a collision course.
SISTER ABIGAIL ( A swinging slam after a kiss to the forehead)
URANAGE SLAM ( Hooking arm over shoulder to lift and drive opponent into the mat)
SENTON (crushing a grounded opponent under one’s back, after a running start)
Seth Rollins, an acrobatic yet devastating performer, was an integral part of the Shield. However, after he “bought in” to the powers that be, motivating his betrayal of the Shield, he proved his nickname “The Architect” by cashing in MITB at the 31st Wrestlemania (the biggest event in WWE) in what was called the “heist of the century”. Unfortunately, after a long reign featuring matches against Dean Ambrose (his deranged Shield brother), John Cena, the demon Kane, and the legendary WCW franchise player Sting, he was injured in November 2015, incapacitating him for 6-9 months. Roman Reigns and, later, HHH rose to the occasion in his absence, and, after his return, he surely will seek to reclaim what was his, or ally with HHH to retain the title.
First NXT Champion
WWE Tag Team Champion
Mr. Money in the Bank
1 time US champ
1 time WWE WHC
CURB STOMP (A running, jumping stomp to the head of a recovering opponent; no longer in use)
PEDIGREE (adopted from his mentor Triple H, driving his opponent face first into the mat after hooking their arms behind their back)
PHOENIX SPLASH (a move from the top rope with a full frontflip starting facing away from his opponent)
TURNBUCKLE POWERBOMB (Throwing his opponent spine first into the corner, which is metal coated with thin cloth)
SPRINGBOARD KNEE (a massive knee to the temple of his opponent as he soars from a leap off the ropes)
A psychopathic, remorseless character concerned only with his paycheck and his family’s financial wellbeing, Owens debuted in NXT in December 2014 by attacking his friend Sami Zayn. After winning the NXT title by savagely battering Zayn until he could no longer continue, Owens cemented himself as a purely evil character. Owens then moved to WWE, where he beat John Cena in one of his most important wins. After losing the NXT title to “The Demon” Finn Balor, Owens became IC champion before losing it to Dean Ambrose. Angered by the loss of money coming from this drop, Owens faced Ambrose to regain the title in a Last Man Standing match, but failed. and was eliminated in the Royal Rumble by his career nemesis in Sami Zayn. Owens’ response is pending.
POP UP POWERBOMB (Owens launches an oncoming opponent into the air before driving them from an increased height into the mat spine first)
CANNONBALL (A running somersault crushing his seated opponent into the corner)
SENTON (crushing a grounded opponent under one’s back, after a running start)
ALBERTO DEL RIO
A multiple time world champion, Alberto del Rio made a triumphant return to WWE in October 2015 after legitimate disputes with the WWE. He won the US title from John Cena and used his experience, ruthless aggression and technique to fend off men like Jack Swagger and Kalisto. However, after trading wins and the title with Kalisto, del Rio faced him at the Rumble, but failed to retain the title. Whether Del Rio will pursue the US title further, especially in the face of his issues with Roman Reigns, is unknown.
Winner of 2011 Royal Rumble
Mr. Money in the Bank 2011
2 time WWE Champion
2 time WH Champion
2 time US Champion
CROSS ARMBREAKER (a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu joint hold that devastates the arm)
TREE OF WOE STOMP (a leaping double stomp to a trapped, upside-down opponent)
SI KICK (a kick to the jaw of a kneeling opponent)
John Cena is the ultimate poster boy of the WWE living by the motto “Hustle, Loyalty, Respect”. A multiple time WWE WHC, Cena is the franchise player of WWE and is seen as the embodiment of its current era. He lost the US title to Alberto Del Rio in October 2015 and will seek to reclaim it after returning, although an entry into WWEWHC contention is likely as well.
15 Time WWE World Heavyweight Champion
5 Time United States Champion
2 Time WWE tag team Champion
2012 Money in the Bank Winner.
2008 and 2013 Royal Rumble WInner
AA/ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT/FU (A standing Fireman’s Carry dropping opponent down into the mat)
STF (A chinlock secured following a leg trap)
The Usos are twin brothers who are charismatic and fueled. The are the sons of the master of the stinkface Rikishi. Their matches follow a fast paced style termed “Uso Crazy” by the commentators. They are the cousins of Roman Reigns and are a part of his backup along with Dean Ambrose. The Uso’s returned to action after Jey suffered an injury. They remain a top contender to the WWE Tag titles despite the New Day’s retention at Royal Rumble.
2 Time Tag Team Champions
USO SPLASH (A leaping crush from the top rope)
SUPERKICK (A kick to the jaw)
A fiery Irish woman, Becky Lynch was an integral part of NXT’s women’s division, having great matches with women like Charlotte, Bayley (current NXT Women’s champ) and Sasha Banks. She debuted as part of a group also including Charlotte, before it was broken up by the third member, “AntiDiva” Paige (2 time Divas champ, and the youngest Divas champ in history). The alliance between Lynch and Charlotte was severed when the latter devastated the former after a match, leading to this match, not only for the Divas title, but for revenge against a former friend. Lynch lost the match due to Ric Flair, Charlotte’s father and legendary WWE personality, but remains a contender along with newest entry into the Diva’s title scene, Sasha Banks.
DISARM – HER (an armbar targeting the shoulder pulled through her legs and wrenched)
PUMPHANDLE SUPLEX (an arm-trap throw)
Arrogant and suave, “The Boss” Sasha Banks gained prominence during her groundbreaking NXT Women’s title reign, started by defeating Charlotte and continuing to face and defeat many of NXTs greatest before losing the title to Bayley. Sasha debuted on Raw along with two other divas, Naomi and Tamina, before challenging for the Diva’s title in the aftermath of Charlotte’s tainted defeat of Becky Lynch, attacking Charlotte to send a message: that she’s defeated Charlotte before and is in prime position to do so again for the most prestigious women’s title in WWE.
1 Time NXT Women’s champ
BANKS STATEMENT (Banks traps the arm of her prone opponent and wrenches her head backwards)
THE WYATT FAMILY
A menacing group of backwoods cult members headed by Bray Wyatt, full of muscular bearded men with a propensity for punishment. Harper is a former IC champion. The Wyatt family has had feuds with The Usos, John Cena, The Demon Kane, and the undead monster The Undertaker.
Bray Wyatt (see above)
Luke Harper- Discus Clothesline (spinning arm strike)
Erick Rowan – spinning heel kick
Braun Strowman – standing choke, drop from shoulder onto ribs
THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS
ALBERTO DEL RIO
An international group of mercenaries joined for mutual benefit and the domination of the WWE main event landscape, featuring some of WWE’s most decorated personalities. Sheamus and Del Rio are former WWEWHCs, US champs, Royal Rumble winners, and holders of the Money in the Bank briefcase. Wade Barrett is the King of the Ring and a 5 time former IC champ. Rusev is a former US champ. LoN has had altercations with (and have defeated) Roman Reigns, John Cena, the Usos, and the Lucha Dragons.
Sheamus- Brogue Kick (Running bicycle kick), White Noise (Holding an opponent behind his back before leaping and crushing them with his weight)
Wade Barrett – Bull Hammer (Forearm strike to the jaw), Wasteland (Slamming an opponent forward from his shoulders to the mat holding their arm)
Rusev – The Accolade (Sits on opponent’s back while pulling on their chin)
Alberto Del Rio – See above
The social outcasts are a group of superstars who feel marginalized (despite a terrible W/L). The social outcasts are indeed social outcasts, who talk highly about themselves and insult their better opponents without fear of repercussions. Heath Slater is the “One man band”, a southern accented wannabe rockstar who was formerly in one of the greatest factions to ever exist in the WWE (NEXUS led by Barrett). Bo Dallas is the motivation speaker, he continues to down put his opponents and declares that success will only happen if they just “BO-LIEVE”, though he did reach a modicum of success in NXT, becoming NXT champion. Adam Rose is the party pooper, he loves to gossip and promote himself as the flawless “rose”. Curtis Axel, the son of legendary wrestler Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig, has found less success than his father, but is still a former IC champ.
Heath Slater- SMASH HIT (Spinning Lifting faceplant)
Bo Dallas- BO DOG (using the ropes to drive and opponent facefirst)
Adam Rose- PARTY FOUL ( Jumping grab to chin then swinging face into the mat)
Curtis Axel- AXELHOLE ( spinning opponent’s face from a standing position into the mat)
NXT is WWE’s developmental territory, where WWE brings in famed independent league talents (upcoming ones include Shinsuke Nakamura, Doc Gallows, Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson, Austin Aries, and Biff Busick) and trains homegrown ones. It has occasional NXT TAKEOVER events, and titles for men, women, and tag teams.
“The Demon” FINN BALOR (Current NXT champ, uses double stomp from top rope)
SAMOA JOE (Top contender and acclaimed independent talent, uses rear naked choke and a slam with both legs trapped)
“The Lone Wolf” BARON CORBIN (A new character, top contender, uses a swinging slam to the face)
APOLLO CREWS (An acclaimed independent talent, uses a spinning slam to the mat into a sitting position)
SAMI ZAYN (Former NXT champion, uses a running kick in the corner)
BAYLEY (Current NXT Women’s champion, uses a belly to belly suplex and various submission holds)
CARMELLA (top contender to women’s title, allied with Amore and Cassady, uses her legs to choke out her opponent)
NIA JAX (Top Contender, uses backwards drop off fireman’s carry and leg drops)
ASUKA (Acclaimed independent talent, uses various submissions (usually armbars))
DASH WILDER AND SCOTT DAWSON (Current NXT Tag Champions, use a leg lock and a forwards throw into the knees of the other member known as the Shatter Machine)
CHAD GABLE AND JASON JORDAN (top contenders, amateur wrestlers, use an upwards throw finished into a back suplex known as Grand Amplitude)
ENZO AMORE AND “BIG CASS” COLIN CASSADY (Top contenders, known for charisma and mic skills, use a move in which Cassady throws Enzo into their opponent known as the Rocket Launcher)
BLAKE AND MURPHY (Former NXT Tag Champs, use a running suplex headfirst slam followed by a flying crush from the top rope)
THE VAUDEVILLAINS (Aiden English and Simon Gotch, former NXT Tag Champs, use an uppercut to the back of the head followed by a slam to the back of the head known as the Whirling Dervish)
METHODS OF VICTORY
Holding opponent’s shoulder to mat for a count of 3. Done in three contexts:
AFTER A BIG MOVE (usually a signature move; more likely to succeed)
SURPRISE ATTEMPT (less likely to succeed, when used to surprise opponents)
INDUCTION OF FATIGUE (used to tire an opponent, since kicking out requires significant energy expenditure. Most common in the targeting of the ribs, which are further harmed by fatigue and exhaustion)
A painful, injurious, or incapacitating hold used to force an opponent to tap out. Often a signature move used to achieve, and is often preceded with the attack of the area targeted
Loss by disqualification for illegal objects, attacks (low blow/eye attacks), or failing to follow referee instructions. Titles cannot change hands by this method.
Loss by staying out of the ring for the ten count, which is a form of disqualification. Titles cannot change hands by this method.
Used rarely and in most unavoidable circumstances, in which the referee decides that a competitor can no longer continue. Due to either injury or relentless unanswered attacks (e.g. Owens’ title win against Sami Zayn, NXT Takeover: Rival). Also, a win in a Last Man Standing match, in which one’s opponent is unable to get to their feet before the 10 count, is considered a KO.
UNLESS A MATCH IS DENOTED AS AN ELIMINATION MATCH, THE FIRST ONE TO GAIN A PIN OR SUBMISSION WINS A MATCH REGARDLESS OF ANY OTHER COMPETITORS.
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