Ranking Every Universal Championship Reign

It's already been nearly three and a half years since WWE introduced the Universal Championship as the main title belt on the Raw brand.

To date, we've only seen nine Universal Championship reigns -  won by only six different superstars. Brock Lesnar currently holds the record for most Universal title reigns with three. Seth Rollins is second with two. The Architect will drop the title any day now, which would mark the milestone 10th Universal Championship reign.

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In the meantime, let's see how the first nine title reigns stack up against one another.

9 Finn Balor

via foxsports.com

It's unfortunate in having to put Balor last on the list here. He was the inaugural Universal Champion, after all, and he was destined for a special run with the title. Balor won the title after defeating Seth Rollins at SummerSlam 2016.

Unfortunately, Balor was forced to relinquish the Universal Championship on the following night's episode of Monday Night Raw. Balor had suffered a labrum tear in his shoulder and required surgery.

His reign only lasted one day, and worse yet, WWE never put Balor back in the main event picture once he returned to action seven months later.

8 Brock Lesnar (Third Reign)

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Brock Lesnar came out of nowhere as a last-second entry to win the men's Money in the Bank ladder match. He teased cash-ins against both Seth Rollins and WWE Champion Kofi Kingston.

Finally, Lesnar cashed in at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view and easily defeated Rollins to win the title. But the third Universal Championship reign was unquestionably Lesnar's worst. He only held it for 28 days before dropping it to Rollins at the SummerSlam pay-per-view.

Out of all nine Universal Championship reigns to date, only Balor's was shorter than Lesnar's third.

7 Goldberg

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Goldberg returned to the WWE in late 2016, following a 12-year hiatus. He defeated Lesnar in the main event of the Survivor Series pay-per-view, but that wasn't the high point of Goldberg's return to WWE.

The Hall of Famer faced Kevin Owens in the main event of the 2017 Fastlane pay-per-view for the Universal Championship. Chris Jericho, whom Owens had severed ties with, showed up to distract his former "best friend."

Goldberg took advantage of the situation and squashed Owens in 22 seconds to win the Universal Championship. He only held the title for 28 days, however, before losing it to Lesnar at WrestleMania 33. It was fun while it lasted!

6 Brock Lesnar (Second Reign)

Roman Reigns had defeated Lesnar to win his first Universal Championship in the main event of SummerSlam 2018. Sadly, The Big Dog announced that he had to step away to deal with a leukemia diagnosis, so Reigns relinquished the title following a 64-day reign.

And so, WWE put the title back on Lesnar at Crown Jewel, where he defeated Braun Strowman in a singles match. Lesnar kept the title for 156 days, but he only had one successful title defense, against Finn Balor at the 2019 Royal Rumble.

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Even though the 156-day reign is the third-longest among Universal Champions, we're putting an asterisk on it. He only had to defend it twice, and Lesnar finally dropped it Rollins at WrestleMania 35.

5 Roman Reigns

via WWE.com

Reigns was unable to defeat Lesnar at WrestleMania 34, but he got his rematch at the Greatest Royal Rumble pay-per-view. However, The Big Dog speared Lesnar through the cage, and the latter was awarded victory after supposedly touching the floor first (even though replays showed that Reigns had clearly touched the ground first).

Well, Reigns got a third opportunity to end Lesnar's record-breaking reign at the 2018 SummerSlam pay-per-view. Finally, he pulled through and defeated Lesnar via pinfall, thus winning the Universal Championship for the first time.

Reigns defended the title against Braun Strowman at Hell in a Cell, but the match ended via no contest after Lesnar attacked both superstars. Reigns kept the title for 64 days before he had to relinquish it. One has to think that it would have lasted significantly longer if Reigns didn't have to step away.

4 Seth Rollins (Second Reign)

After dropping the title to Lesnar at the aforementioned Extreme Rules pay-per-view, The Architect earned a rematch at SummerSlam in Toronto. Few could have expected Rollins to slay The Beast Incarnate once again, but he did just that.

Rollins defeated Lesnar in the main event of the show via pinfall to win his second Universal Championship. He successfully defended it against Braun Strowman at Clash of Champions.

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Rollins also had to defend it at Hell in a Cell against pay-per-view, but he retained it after losing via disqualification. He's retained the championship for two months now, and it's anybody's guess as to who will dethrone Rollins, and when.

3 Seth Rollins (First Reign)

Rollins won the men's Royal Rumble and chose to challenge Lesnar for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 35. At this point, many fans were simply hoping for a new champion, because Lesnar had carried it long enough as a part-time performer.

In what turned out to be one of the greatest upsets in recent memory, Rollins defeated Lesnar via pinfall in 2:30, needing three Curb Stomps to put The Beast Incarnate away. With that, Rollins had finally won the Universal Championship for the first time.

Rollins held the title for 98 days before dropping it to Lesnar at Extreme Rules.

2 Kevin Owens

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A week after Balor relinquished the title, a Fatal 4-way match was held on the Aug. 29 episode of Raw to determine the new Universal Champion. Triple H interfered to cost both Reigns and Rollins the match.

The Game hit Rollins with a Pedigree, which allowed Owens to come away with an easy pinfall victory for his first Universal Championship. The Prizefighter had a handful of successful title defenses, namely against Rollins and Reigns.

Owens' reign lasted 188 days, the second-longest to date. This put him over as a main event talent once and for all, helping him grow into the major babyface on SmackDown that we know and love today.

1 Brock Lesnar (First Reign)

Maybe the vast majority of the WWE Universe didn't care for a part-timer holding the Universal Championship, but it's hard to deny that Lesnar's first run with the title is the best we've seen up to this point.

Lesnar defeated Goldberg to win his first Universal title at WrestleMania 33. He kept it for 504 days, which set a record in the "modern era." He had numerous successful pay-per-view title defenses, against the likes of Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns. The latter finally defeated Lesnar at SummerSlam to end the record-breaking reign.

We may never see another Universal Championship reign like this. And Lesnar actually had to defend it on eight different pay-per-view occasions, so we have to give him the top spot.

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