Championships. The very backbone of the industry we all (most of the time) love. Without championships, wrestlers would have nothing to fight for, they’d have no divisions and the whole thing would be a big, unorganised mess. Well, more so than it already is.
To hold a championship in the WWE is a huge honour for any wrestler and something only a small number of people have gotten to do. However, there is an achievement even more rare than this, and no, I don’t mean winning in your hometown. What I’m referring to are those times when a wrestler manages to hold not one, but two titles at the same time. With Roadblock: End of the Line coming up and United States Champion, Roman Reigns, challenging for Kevin Owens’ Universal title, we might be seeing this rare feat achieved again very soon, but, before Roman does or does not send everyone home from that show miserable (interpret that as you will), let’s remind ourselves of some other occasions a wrestler in WWE had titles on both shoulders.
To clarify, I will not be including times titles were unified (such as The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VI or Randy Orton at TLC 2013) as the winning wrestlers only officially held both titles for mere minutes. Instead, I’m looking for times when a champion won another title and held both belts for at least one day, before one or both championships found their way to other competitors. All clear? Excellent, then let’s begin, shall we?
15. Seth Rollins (WWE and United States)
Let’s begin with the most recent.
Seth Rollins’ WWE title reign in 2015 was a real mixed bag. The moment in which he won the title, cashing in at WrestleMania 31, was huge, but everything after fell just a little bit flat. He was poorly booked, humiliated by everyone from Dean Ambrose to Joey Mercury and rarely, if ever, won a title match clean. However, there is one high point of his reign, at least from a statistical standpoint. After weeks of confrontation, John Cena, then United States Champion, was booked to face Seth in a title for title match at SummerSlam 2015, which was announced, of all places, on an episode of Tough Enough. Should have been a sign, really. The winner would become the first man to hold both the WWE and United States Championships at the same time and the calibre of both men invovled meant this was a pretty highly anticipated match going into SummerSlam. Then Jon Stewart happened.
Yes, as you all know, the match ended when former host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart, turned heel and attacked John Cena, allowing Rollins to get the win and the titles. Stewart would give his reasons as wanting to protect Ric Flair’s record of 16 world championships, but sounded about as convincing as a three-year-old telling their mum they didn’t draw on the wall. Anyway, Rollins reigned as dual champion for 28 days before losing the belt back to Cena at Night of Champions, where he would also successfully defend his world title against Sting, who he sort of broke. Damn you, Seth. This is why we had to sit through Shane vs Taker at this year’s WrestleMania! Unforgivable.
14. Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett and D’Lo Brown (Intercontinental and European)
Three for the price of one now, you lucky lot. Well, as lucky as one can be when receiving Jeff Jarrett.
This trio of champions all hold the accolade of being Intercontinental and European championship at the same time and they all did it fairly shortly after one another. The first two actually came back to back with D’Lo brown defeating Jeff Jarrett for his Intercontinental Championship two days after the former Nation of Domination member beat Mideon (yes, Mideon) for the European title at Fully Loaded, holding the two belts together for 26 days. This ended when, at SummerSlam, both belts were on the line as Brown took on Jarrett and, thanks to a little help from Mark Henry, Jarrett would win the match. How could you, Sexual Chocolate? Jarrett then gave the European title to Henry for helping him win (because that’s how championships work, apparently), who would then lose it back to Brown at Unforgiven. Got that? No, me neither.
Angle’s double reign came just a few months after this when he beat Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship at No Way Out 2000. Angle had beaten Val Venis and D’Lo Brown in a triple threat on Smackdown just a few weeks earlier to win the European title and would go around calling himself the “Eurocontinental” Champion until WrestleMania 2000, where both belts would be on the line in a two-falls, triple threat with Jericho and Chris Benoit. As per the rules of the match, Benoit pinned Jericho to win the Intercontinental Championship, then Jericho pinned Benoit to win the European Championship. So, Angle left WrestleMania having not been pinned, but having lost two championships. I don’t really know how I feel about that.
13. Booker T (WCW and WCW United States)
Hold on, hold on, don’t leave yet! I know the title says “in WWE”, but just hear me out.
As most wrestling fans know, in 2001, WWE finally ended the Monday Night Wars when Vince McMahon purchased WCW, their biggest rivals, in a shocking business deal. WWE acquired all the talent, rights and championships that came with WCW, however, things were not as easy as things seemed. Time Warner still held some of the big names of WCW’s contracts and those contracts were still valid even though the promotion no longer existed. The wrestlers in question – names like Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Goldberg etc. – would be getting paid fat stacks to essentially sit around and do nothing and to buy all of them out would have cost WWE a fortune, so, they decided to only bring over some of the smaller talent. And yes, you can pretty blame the Invasion angle on this.
One wrestler under Time Warner contract in 2001 was Scott Steiner, the WCW Champion. McMahon wanted to bring all the championships over to WWE, but didn’t want to pay the big money for Big Poppa Pump. So, a plan was devised. On the final ever episode of Monday Nitro, WWE, who had bought WCW three days earlier, booked Booker T, then United States Champion, to defeat Steiner for the world title, subsequently bringing the belt with him to WWE. When Booker T made his WWE debut at King of the Ring 2001, he did it as both WCW and United States Champion. Booker would hold both belts until 24th July 2001, when, on the same episode of Smackdown, he would relinquish his US title to Chris Kanyon (again, not entirely sure that’s how titles work) and would lose the WCW title to Kurt Angle in an actual match. Poor Booker. It was all going so well.
12. The Brothers of Destruction (World Tag Team and WCW Tag Team)
Another WCW championship making its way into WWE now, only this time with slightly less Booker T.
When Diamond Dallas Page debuted in WWE in 2001, it was huge. A three-time WCW Champion, Page was the first major star to make the jump from Atlanta to Connecticut and his reveal as The Undertaker’s wife’s stalker will forever go down in wrestling history. As for the rest of his run, well… After being, quite frankly, murdered by Taker at King of the Ring 2001 in a amtch that never even officially started, Page would continue his weird pseudo-stalker gimmick, constantly being beaten up by Taker and only rarely, if ever, getting the upper hand. Vince really, really didn’t like it if you worked for WCW. I mean, really.
Page did find some success though, winning the World Tag Team titles with Chris Kanyon, but this was to be short-lived. At SummerSlam 2001, a Steel Cage match was booked between Kanyon and Page and The Undertaker and Kane, who were the WCW Tag Team Champions after defeating Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire (remember them?). The match was for both titles and, of course, the WWE boys went over, winning both belts, being the first and only team in history to do so. Taker and Kane lost the WWE titles to The Dudleys a month later and then about a week after that, lost the WCW titles to Test and our old friend, Booker T. I did say slightly less, remember?
11. Bob Backlund (WWE and World Tag Team)
Where is Bob Backlund? Also, where is Darren Young? What happened to them?
Puzzling questions aside, Bob Backlund was kind of a big deal before he turned into the human equivalent of Grandpa Simpson. He holds the second longest WWE title reign ever, is a two-time champ and a Hall of Famer. But he’s also one of the earliest examples of a dual champion in WWE history. On August 9th, 1980, at a show called “Showdown at Shea”, Backlund teamed with fellow Hall of Fame inductee, Pedro Morales, to take on the tag team champions, Afa and Sika, also known as The Wild Samoans. And before you say anything – different times. Very, very different times.
The match was two out of three falls and Backlund and Morales won the thing in a clean sweep, winning the titles in grand fashion… and would then vacate them just one day later. Wait, what? Their reign lasting less time than Darren Young’s push came as a result of an old WWE rule that stated no-one could hold more than one championship at once and so the belts were vacated, only for The Wild Samoans to win them back. In hindsight, it does seem odd that, oh, I don’t know, the WWE didn’t stop Backlund from challenging for the titles because they knew if he won he’d have to just give them up anyway!… but what do I know, I’m just some smark from the Internet. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to work out just where Bob and Darren have gotten to. Wish me luck.
10. 6 Different Teams (WWE and World Tag Team)
Ok, this one takes a little explaining, so bear with me.
On the WrestleMania XXV pre-show (truly the Grandest Stage of Them All), both the WWE and World Tag Team Championships were unified. WWE Tag Team Champions, The Colons, Carlito and Primo (what happened to you, Primo?), defeated World Tag Team Champions, The Miz and John Morrison, to create what was known as the “Unified Tag Team Championships”. Now, I know I said at the beginning of the list that I wouldn’t be accepting unifications, but here’s where things get a little funky. The lineage of the World Tag Team Championship does not officially end until well over a year after the belts were supposedly unified; instead, the teams that won the Unified titles are listed officially as having held both titles at once, even though there was no way that only one of the championships could have been won without the other. See why I needed to explain?
As a result, The Colons, Edge and Chris Jericho, Chris Jericho and Big Show (the incredibly titled “Jeri-Show”), Triple H and Shawn Michaels, Big Show and The Miz (they were called “Show-Miz”, loving these team names) and, finally, The Hart Dynasty (Tyson Kidd and David Hart Smith) are all listed as having held the World and WWE Tag Team titles at the same time. This was put to an end when the World Tag Team Championships were officially retired on August 16th 2010, leaving the WWE Tag Team Championships as the only official WWE tag titles (until the brand split). We may never know why this odd anomaly exists within WWE, but, thankfully, it meant I didn’t have to scramble for another spot on list, which makes my life considerably easier. Thanks a lot.
9. The Miz (United States and Unified Tag Team)
Hooray, back to Show-Miz again!
Speaking purely from a statistical point of view, The Miz is one of the all-time greats. He’s held 15 championships across his career, including tag, United States, Intercontinental (a title with which he has had the joint-second most reigns) and, of course, the WWE Championship. He’s won Money in the Bank, he’s undefeated on the WrestleMania main card and he headlined the freakin’ thing in 2011. Miz is, quite frankly, incredible, and this stat only adds to his legend.
Miz won the United States Championship from Kofi Kingston on an episode of Raw in October 2009 and would reign for 224 days, the fifth longest reign during the belt’s WWE history. During this reign, on a February 8th 2010 episode of Raw, the aforementioned Show-Miz (I hope my editor doesn’t mix things up or that’ll make no sense) won the tag titles from D-Generation X, giving The Miz, not one, not two, but three belts to carry at the same time (the Unified tag titles were represented by both the World and WWE Tag Team Championships at the time). Miz gets a lot of hate for some weird reason, but I genuinely love him and this little nugget of trivia just adds to my admiration. Keep up the good work, Mike!
8. MVP (United States and WWE Tag Team)
Not quite The Miz, but he’ll do.
Montel Vontavious Porter has a bit of thing for the United States Championship. He’s held it for a total of 419 across his career – the longest of anyone in the WWE and the joint-fifth longest ever – and his first reign with the strap was nearly a year long, missing out on that accolade by just 22 days. Ouch, that’s gotta hurt. Something else MVP can claim is that he held both the US and WWE Tag Team Championships at the same time. His partner? None other than the walking, talking broken brilliance that is Matt Hardy. Brace yourself. The jokes are coming.
Before his devotion to deletion, Hardy teamed with MVP to unseat Deuce ‘n Domino for the titles on the August 31st 2007 episode of Smackdown. Their reign was a classic “enemies teaming up” thing, as MVP bragged about being so good he could win the titles with anyone, prompting Teddy Long to team him up with his then-rival, Matthew Hardy. Wonderful. Hardy and MVP argued throughout their entire reign, as you would, before eventually losing the titles to John Morrison and The Miz. MVP would attack Hardy after the match, kayfabe injuring him. Naughty Montel. Hardy would return at WrestleMania XXIV to cost MVP his chance in the Money In The Bank ladder match before taking the belt from Porter at Backlash, ending their feud. Putting rivals together in a championship winning team is one of WWE’s most reliable storylines and this was a classic example. At least this one had a decent pay-off, I guess. Only time will tell if Sheamus and Cesaro will reap the same rewards. Also – DELETE!!!!! I love Matt Hardy.
7. Chris Jericho (WCW and World Tag Team)
An ex-ECW wrestler winning a WWE title whilst also holding the WCW Championship in WWE. My head hurts.
Chris Jericho turned everyone’s heads when he bested The Rock for the WCW Championship at No Mercy 2001. Rocky had won the belt from Booker T at SummerSlam and this was the first time two established WWE superstars had feuded over the WCW title, which was an interesting dynamic. This dynamic was made even more interesting when, the very next night on Raw, Jericho and The Rock were teamed up and defeated The Dudley Boyz for the World Tag Team Championships. See what I mean about the whole rivals thing.
This reign did not last long; in fact, Booker T and Test defeated Rock and Jericho on the next week’s episode of Smackdown, ending the run at just eight days (Smackdown was pre-recorded three days before airing back in the day). Jericho and Rock used this to continue their feud and, on the November 5th episode of Raw, Rock won the title back from Jericho, ending his WCW Championship reign at just fifteen days. You can bet that’s going on the list (I make way too many “List of Jericho” jokes, I am truly sorry). This was not the end of the tale, however, at the next PPV, Vengeance, in a moment that he has not shut up about for fifteen years, Jericho would defeat The Rock and Stone Cold on the same night to unify the WWE and WCW world titles, becoming the first ever Undisputed Champion. But you didn’t really need me to tell you that, did you? You’ve all heard a Chris Jericho promo.
6. John Cena (WWE and World Tag Team)
God dammit, another enemies teaming up storyline! This is getting outrageous.
John Cena was WWE Champion heading into WrestleMania 23, but, what some people might not remember, is that he was also holding another title at the time. The night after Royal Rumble 2007, John Cena and The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels, teamed up and defeated Rated-RKO (that’s Edge and Randy Orton, in case you couldn’t figure it out) to win the World Tag Team Championships. Woohoo. However, things were complicated by the fact that Michaels was set to face Cena in the main event of Mania 23 for his WWE Championship, pitting tag champs against one another in the main event for the first time in the show’s history. Ok, maybe I was wrong to complain, this one is kinda interesting.
After weeks of Cena’s rivals reminding him that HBK had turned on all of his partners in the past (except that one time he teamed with God, that partnership is still alive and well) and that Cena was next. Michaels reassured Cena that this was not the case, however, because this is wrestling, HBK did, of course, turn on Cena, costing them a tag match (non-title) against Batista and The Undertaker the Raw before WrestleMania. Who’d have thunk? Anyhow, Cena retained the title at Mania, but, the next night on Raw, Michaels eliminated Cena from a tag team battle royal, losing the team their titles and helping The Hardy Boyz to win the belts. This storyline was far more complex than most others of its kind, so I’m kinda inclined to forgive it for its cliche. John Cena did feud with The Great Khali after he saw off Michaels, however, and that makes me sad. I’ll do the Matt Hardy thing again to cheer me up – DELETE!!!!!!!!!!!! All better now.
5. X-Pac (Light Heavyweight and Cruiserweight)
I honestly didn’t expect to be writing about X-Pac on this list and, to be honest, I’d rather have done without it. But here we go.
Sean Waltmann, AKA The 1-2-3 Kid, AKA Syxx, AKA everyone’s least favourite member of DX, AKA X-Pac has been around for years. First debuting in the WWE as The Kamikaze Kid in 1993, X-Pac would go through numerous character shifts and changes before eventually becoming X-Pac after leaving for WCW and then returning to WWE in 1998. Most famous for his role in the new D-Generation X, X-Pac had some pretty decent feuds with the likes of Shane McMahon and Triple H through the late 90s and early 2000s, but makes this list for his work in the cruiserweight division. This was back when, you know, people actually liked that division.
On June 25th 2001, X-Pac defeated Jeff Hardy on Raw to win the WWE Light Heavyweight Championship. This title was WWE’s version of the Cruiserweight title at the time, but, since WCW had been using the word “Cruiserweight”, the WWE opted for “Light Heavyweight” instead. Then, just a month later, also on Raw, X-Pac bested Billy Kidman in a title vs title match, winning Kidman’s WCW Cruiserweight Championship in the process. This made X-Pac the first man to hold both of these belts at once and one of only a few people to have held a WWE and WCW Championship simultaneously (although, in reality, WWE did own both belts, so it’s not much to brag about). X-Pac lost the Light Heavyweight (but not the Cruiserweight) title to Tajiri just a week after this win, before winning it back at SummerSlam. The Light Heavyweight belt was then retired at the culmination of the Invasion angle and the WCW Cruiserweight Championship became the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, the most popular belt and division in the world, especially in 2016…
4. Paige (Divas and NXT Women’s)
Oh, Paige, what happened to you?
Now infamous for her multiple suspensions and strong words against the company on social media, it’s hard to believe that Saraya-Jade Bevis, known professionally as Paige, was once the top female competitor in WWE. Signing for the company in 2011 and was one of NXT’s biggest stars when it began in 2012, going on a huge winning streak in her early days. Paige was cemented as a top star in NXT when she defeated Tamina Snuka, Alicia Fox and, finally, Emma in an eight-woman tournament to become the first ever NXT Women’s Champion on June 20th 2013. I know those opponents don’t sound like much, but trust me, they were better in NXT. They just were.
Paige was extremely successful, holding onto her title for 308 days, still the longest single reign with that championship. Her reign only came to an end because of her debut on the main roster, which came the night after WrestleMania XXX. Then-Divas Champion, AJ Lee, was bragging about having defended her title against 13 other women the night before, when she would be interrupted by our girl, Paige. Paige threw down the challenge and, later that night, ended AJ’s own record-setting reign to become WWE Divas Champion at the age of just 21. Not only did she become the youngest person ever to win a championship in WWE, but Paige also became the first (and, at this time, only) person to hold an NXT and main roster championship at the same time. Her NXT title was vacated a few weeks later by NXT General Manger, JBL, because of Paige’s commitments on the main roster. Looking back now at how successful Paige was, it’s a damn shame to see where she’s ended up. I’m not saying I blame anyone, but, if I did, his name would start with “A” and end with “lberto Del Rio”. Just saying.
3. Rob Van Dam (WWE and ECW)
It’s not just his theme music that’s “One of a kind”.
Rob Van Dam made his name in the original ECW; his high-flying, laid back attitude led to the fans really taking to him and, in his time with the promotion, he was a two-time Tag Team Champion and the longest reigning Television Champion of all time, clocking in at 700 days with the belt. One title he never won in the original ECW, however, was the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. Ironically, it would only be in WWE where he would win that belt.
Van Dam was a hugely successful upper-midcarder in WWE following his debut in 2001, winning numerous Intercontinental, Tag Team, Hardcore and European titles, but he would have to wait until 2006 to finally win the big one. RVD used his Money In The Bank contract to ask for a match at ECW One Night Stand for John Cena’s WWE Championship, becoming the first man in history to declare in advance when he was cashing in. With a lot of help from Edge and Paul Heyman, Van Dam did the unthinkable and upset Cena to become WWE Champion, crowning him world champ the first time in his career. The Whole Dam Show’s momentum just kept going from there when, just two days after One Night Stand, Paul Heyman crowned RVD the new ECW Champion as a part of the revived ECW brand, which was, of course, an unmitigated success (*sarcasm klaxon*). This made Van Dam the only man in history to hold the WWE and ECW Championship at once, that was, until he was busted for pot, cutting both of his reigns shorter than the time people actually enjoyed the revamped ECW. It was an absolute mess.
2. The Two Man Power Trip (WWE, IC & Tag)
When I say “all of the titles”, I mean all of the titles.
The Two Man Power Trip was a short-lived teaming between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Triple H in 2001. Following Austin’s WWE Championship win and heel turn at WrestleMania X7, WWE were faced with quite the problem; fans didn’t want to boo Austin. They’d been conditioned for the past three plus years that Austin was the ultimate hero, the voice of the people, their saviour, and now WWE wanted their audiences to dislike him. Nope, wasn’t gonna happen. In an attempt to make Austin seem like more of a wrong-un, they decided to team him up with a super-duper heel; The Game himself, Triple H. In a rematch from Mania, Austin met Rock in a cage match on Raw, only for Hunter to interfere and save Austin’s title. Thus, The Two Man Power Trip was born.
On the Smackdown after Mania, Triple H beat Chris Jericho to win the Intercontinental Championship. Despite losing it to Jeff Hardy in an upset a few weeks later, H won it back in time for Backlash 2001, and this is where things get interest. A challenge had been thrown down by the WWE Tag Team Champions, The Brothers of Destruction (Undertaker and Kane), for Backlash; a tag team match where all three titles were up for grabs. If The Power Trip won, they’d be tag champs, if the Brothers won, then the Brother who got the pin would win the championship of the man he pinned. It was complicated, I’m still a little flustered by it. Saying that, I was three at the time, so I think I can be excused. Anyhow, The Power Trip won the match, meaning that two men now held all three of WWE’s major male championships. Yikes. Trust Triple H to be involved in this, he practically buried the entire roster in one go. The Power Trip came to a screeching halt when Trips tore his quad on an episode of Raw, taking him out of action for the rest of 2001. For holding all those championships at once, The Power Trip hold a very special place in wrestling history. However, they were not the first to do so. For that, we need to go back a little further and to two more members of The Kilq…
1. Two Dudes with Attitudes (WWE, IC & Tag)
Ah, there they are.
Two Dudes with Attitudes (AKA, the worst team name since Breezango) was the team comprised of Kliq buddies, Shawn Michaels and Diesel (Kevin Nash). Michaels was an established star in WWE when he brought in Diesel as his bodyguard, with the two eventually forming a tag team. Cue terrible name. Diesel won the WWE title at a House Show in November 1994 and Michaels claimed the Intercontinental Championship on July 23rd 1995, meaning that both men were champions by the time In Your House 3 rolled around. Can you see where I’m going with this?
A challenge was, once again, thrown out, pitting the Two Dudes against the World Tag Team Champions, Yokozuna and Owen Hart. Whoever got pinned would lose their title. Simple, right? Well, not exactly. You see, Owen Hart’s wife was heavily pregnant at the time and was actually in labour during the show. Awkward. So, to cover this, Owen was written out of the match and was replaced by his brother-in-law, The British Bulldog, took his place. Right, seems normal. Then, because apparently, childbirth can wait, Owen actually turned up for the show and joined the match. Right? Then Owen got pinned by Diesel and he and Michaels won the tag team titles, despite Owen not being the legal man. Great. That’s, that’s just great. Michaels and Diesel had the titles taken off them the next night, but are recognised as having official reigned with the titles for one day, making them the first team in WWE history to be comprised of two champions before winning the tag team titles. Michaels would, of course, go onto reign with the tag titles numerous times for much longer than a day, whilst Kevin Nash would, of course, go onto to have the most famous set of quad muscles in the world. Oh, and the nWo and stuff, but the quads are much more important.
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