WWE has seen two brand splits in its history. The first time, they had the World Heavyweight Champion on one brand and the WWE Champion on the other. The titles could change brands, thanks to drafts and inter-promotional matches, and that made it hard to keep track of which champion was on which brand when looking back.
The most recent brand split has been more down the line. The WWE Champion has been on SmackDown Live since the split, and the Universal Champion was the Monday Night Raw Champion. With over a decade worth of brand-split champions, here are some of the very best for the SmackDown brand between the two splits.
10 KING BOOKER
Booker T was a six-time WCW TV champion, 11-time WCW tag team champion, and four-time WCW world champion. It took Booker T a while to find his feet when he joined WWE, and there was a point where fans believed that Triple H buried him. However, when he moved to SmackDown, he became a star.
Booker T became King of the Ring and changed to King Booker. He then went on to win the SmackDown big gold belt as the World Heavyweight Champion. He held that title for 126 days and was a dominant champion, proving he was a true WWE Hall of Fame star.
9 EDDIE GUERRERO
These days, it seems Brock Lesnar has become (almost) unbeatable and barely put anyone over. When Seth Rollins pinned him cleanly at SummerSlam, it seemed like something Lesnar never does. However, Lesnar did the same thing many years ago. Brock Lesnar put over Eddie Guerrero in a very big way.
When Eddie beat Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship, it was a shocking David vs. Goliath story. That year's WrestleMania ended up with Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit both as world champions, and it was a turning point in WWE. Eddie held his title for 133 days.
8 KOFI KINGSTON
Kofi Kingston worked in WWE for a decade and never got a single one-on-one world title shot on Monday Night Raw or SmackDown. He finally got a chance at the title for the first time at WrestleMania, taking full advantage by beating Daniel Bryan for the championship.
While it was a feel-good story, Kofi Kingston proved it was no fluke. He beat all challengers and even defeated Randy Orton, proving that he was the real deal. He held the title for well over 170 days.
7 RANDY ORTON
Randy Orton was best known for his days on Monday Night Raw. He was there to battle Triple H and became the youngest world champion in history. He is a 13-time world champion, and 10 of those title reigns came on Monday Night Raw.
However, those three SmackDown title reigns were very impressive. His first title reign there came against Christian, and the reign lasted a decent 72 days. His second reign came against Christian again, this one for only 35 days. He had one more reign, beating Bray Wyatt.
Undertaker is one of the greatest wrestlers in WWE history. His name is synonymous with main event wrestling, and he has taken part in some of the biggest feuds ever. While many people consider Monday Night Raw to be the A-show in WWE, Undertaker was a SmackDown superstar for a long time, including much of his biker era gimmick.
Undertaker was a three-time world champion while on SmackDown. He won his first two titles on the Blue Brand from Batista and Edge — the two title reigns only lasting a combined 70 days. However, his third reign was the impressive one, beating CM Punk and holding the title for 140 days before losing it in an Elimination Chamber match.
5 BROCK LESNAR
While Brock Lesnar had not wrestled on SmackDown in 15 years, his last world title reign before leaving for the UFC was on SmackDown. He was drafted to SmackDown and moved there with his title, holding it twice on that brand.
His first SmackDown world title reign lasted 84 days before losing to Big Show. He then won his second title there and held it for 119 days before losing to Kurt Angle at WrestleMania. His third and final world title reign was for 150 days, before he lost the belt to Eddie Guerrero.
Bradshaw was one of the top tag team wrestlers in WWE when he worked with Farooq as the Acolytes in the Attitude Era. The two men were massive fan favorites and remained on top of the tag team division, but when Farooq retired, Bradshaw was at a crossroads.
He changed his name to JBL, going from the Texas tough guy to become a Wall Street rich guy who came to the arena in his limo and talked down to everyone. JBL beat Eddie Guerrero for the world title on SmackDown and held it for an incredible 280 days.
In the Ruthless Aggression Era, John Cena was the biggest star in WWE and carried the Monday Night Raw brand on his shoulders. However, at the same time, SmackDown had a star who was just as big, a wrestler considered the 2-A star to Cena's 1-A.
Batista became a star in Evolution, and when he turned on Triple H and won the Raw world title, he became one of the biggest names in the company. Batista moved to SmackDown and became their top star, holding three world titles for a total of 499 days.
2 AJ STYLES
The most successful SmackDown Live world champion in modern-day WWE is an easy call. AJ Styles helped restore the world title's respectability. As a former Impact Wrestling world champion and NJPW champion, Styles brought a level of prestige back to the belt.
AJ Styles won the title twice. His first reign came when AJ Styles beat Dean Ambrose, and he held the title for 140 days until John Cena beat him. Styles then won the title from Jinder Mahal and held it for an astonishing 371 days before finally dropping it to Daniel Bryan.
The greatest world champion in SmackDown history is Edge. It really isn't even close. Sure, Edge didn't hold the world title on SmackDown as long as AJ Styles or Batista. He never had a reign that was as dominant as JBL or Kofi Kingston. However, he did something no-one else on SmackDown has done.
Edge is a seven-time world champion on SmackDown alone. He is an 11-time world champion, and while Randy Orton won all but three of his titles on Monday Night Raw, Edge won all but four of his world titles on SmacDown. He was the top heel on the brand and held the title for a combined 411 days.