Evolution of WWE Belts: Lineage & History Explained

The global powerhouse, WWE (also known as World Wrestling Entertainment), is the frontrunner in professional wrestling. Renowned for its lineup of skilled wrestlers, WWE is also synonymous with its coveted championship titles, serving as the ultimate pinnacle for both wrestlers and devoted fans.

This article delves into the world of WWE belts and their significance to the wrestling community.

Currently active belts with WWE

1. WWE Universal Championship

This behemoth of a belt is the ultimate prize in the WWE, unifying the lineages of both the WWE Championship and the Universal Championship in 2023.

Its gleaming gold plates, adorned with intricate detailing and the iconic globe logo, speak of power and prestige. The central eagle emblem, a nod to the legacy of both championships, adds a touch of grandeur.

This championship was created in 2016 after the brand split between Raw and SmackDown. The title was first held by Finn Balor, who won it at SummerSlam but was forced to relinquish it due to injury.

Some of WWE’s biggest stars, including Brock Lesnar, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins, have held the title since then.

Current Champion: Roman Reigns

Evolution of WWE Belts: Lineage & History Explained
Roman Reigns | Source: WWE

2. WWE Championship

The WWE Championship, considered the ultimate title in the industry, has a long and storied history, dating back to 1963.

Originally known as the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship, it has been held by iconic figures such as Bruno Sammartino, The Rock, Hulk Hogan, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Its traditional appearance, featuring the globe adorned by two mighty lions, is instantly familiar and conjures up a nostalgic feeling.

Current Champion: Roman Reigns

3. WWE Intercontinental Championship

While it may not hold the highest prestige within the WWE, for countless wrestlers, this particular title serves as their springboard to stardom.

Often referred to as the “workhorse” championship, it has been proudly held by some of the industry’s most skilled and daring performers. The history of this championship is brimming with iconic figures and unforgettable feats.

This championship was first introduced in 1979 and is considered the second-tier championship on the Raw brand. The Intercontinental Championship has been held by some of WWE’s most beloved wrestlers, including The Ultimate Warrior, Shawn Michaels, and The Rock.

The current design of the Intercontinental Championship features a white strap with an eagle in the center.

Current Champion: Gunther

Evolution of WWE Belts: Lineage & History Explained
Gunther in WWE | Source: WWE

4. WWE United States Championship

This championship was first introduced in 1975 and is considered the second-tier championship of the SmackDown brand. The US Championship quickly rose to prominence within the NWA and WCW, boasting a long line of legendary winners such as Harley Race, Ric Flair, and the electrifying “Stunning” Steve Austin.

Upon its acquisition by WWE in 2003, the championship blazed to life again, thanks to the unforgettable reigns of Eddie Guerrero, John Cena, and JBL. Fast forward to today, and the title continues to thrive under a diverse range of talented champions, including AJ Styles, Bobby Lashley, and Rey Mysterio.

Undoubtedly, the US Championship remains a highly coveted prize and a crucial launching pad for future superstars in the constantly evolving world of WWE.

Current Champion: Logan Paul

Evolution of WWE Belts: Lineage & History Explained
Logan Paul in WWE | Source: WWE

5. WWE Raw Women’s Championship

This championship was first introduced in 2016 and is the top championship for women on the Raw brand. Some of the most talented female wrestlers in WWE have held the Raw Women’s Championship.

Beginning in 2016, Charlotte Flair’s reign as Raw Women’s Champion marked the start of an incredible journey for the prestigious title. With fierce competition from the likes of Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Bianca Belair, and Rhea Ripley, the championship was transformed into more than just a flashy accessory.

Instead, it became a powerful symbol of determination, skill, and the ever-changing landscape of women’s wrestling in WWE. These mighty champions continuously pushed the boundaries, showcasing their unique abilities and elevating the status of the women’s division.

Current Champion: Iyo SKy

6. WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship

This championship was first introduced in 2016 and is the top championship for women on the SmackDown brand. Since Becky Lynch unleashed her iconic “The Man” persona in 2016, the SmackDown Women’s Championship has been an electrifying rollercoaster ride.

From Naomi’s jaw-dropping record-setting reign to Carmella’s sneaky Money in the Bank cash-in to Sasha Banks’ unwavering determination to Bayley’s clever tactics, to Bianca Belair’s dominant “EST” reign, and finally, to Liv Morgan’s emotional victory – each champion has woven their unique strand into the championship’s rich tapestry.

Undeniably, these reigns epitomize the diverse styles and captivating narratives that continue to shape the ever-changing landscape of women’s wrestling in WWE.

Current Champion: Rhea Ripley

Evolution of WWE Belts: Lineage & History Explained
Rhea Ripley in WWE | Source: WWE

7. WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship

The WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship boasts a luminous lineage, highlighted by the groundbreaking inaugural reign of Boss’ n’ Hug Connection, the mystical dominance of the Kabuki Warriors, the quirky chaos of BlissCross, the rebellious spirit of Damage CTRL, and the gritty determination of Raquel Rodriguez & Liv Morgan.

From thrilling Elimination Chamber showdowns to daredevil ladder matches, each team’s unique journey weaves a vibrant thread into the title’s illustrious tapestry.

Undoubtedly, sisterhood, strategic prowess, and unrivaled athleticism remain the pillars of tag team excellence in the ever-evolving realm of WWE women’s wrestling. The Women’s Tag Team Championship design features a white strap and a large WWE logo in the center.

Current Champions: Katana Chance and Kayden Carter

8. WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

This championship was first introduced in 2002 and is for male tag teams on the Raw brand.

From Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit’s initial burst onto the scene to Edge and Christian’s electrifying aerial maneuvers to The Dudleys’ unparalleled eight reigns of dominance, each team has left its mark on the championship’s legacy. But it’s not just about the number of rules or the length of their title runs.

Each team brought unique styles and strengths, making the Raw Tag Team Championship a coveted prize.

The record-breaking longevity of The New Day, the versatility of Seth Rollins, the explosive brotherhood of The Shield, and the dark reign of The Judgment Day all showcased the importance of teamwork, resilience, and diverse abilities in reaching the pinnacle of tag team success on Raw.

Current Champions: Damian Priest and Finn Balor

9. WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship

This championship was first introduced in 2002 and is for male tag teams on the SmackDown brand. Teams like The Usos, The New Day, and The Wyatt Family have previously held the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. The current design of the SmackDown Tag Team Championship features a blue strap.

Current Champions: Damian Priest and Finn Balor

10. NXT Championship

The NXT Championship is the top championship in the NXT brand. As we trace the legacy of the NXT Championship, from Seth Rollins’ first reign to the current dominating presence of Bron Breakker, one can’t help but be captivated by the journey.

From the fearless acrobatics of Adrian Neville to the technical wizardry of Sami Zayn, the lineage is adorned with moments that leave us in awe. And let’s not forget the game-changing “NXT women’s revolution” sparked by Paige and Sasha Banks or the distinct styles of Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, and Tommaso Ciampa.

It’s also impossible to ignore the promising young talents such as Mandy Rose and Carmelo Hayes, each adding their unique spark to the black and gold brand. NXT is not just a platform for greatness but a breeding ground for the future of professional wrestling.

Current Champion: Ilja Dragunov

11. NXT Women’s Championship

Ever since Paige’s fierce drive sparked the “NXT women’s revolution” in 2013, the NXT Women’s Championship lineage has blazed a trail of groundbreaking moments and enthralling champions.

With each new titleholder, from Sasha Banks’ technical prowess to Bayley’s cunning strategies, from Charlotte Flair’s undeniable legacy to Asuka’s unstoppable force, the lineage blazes a trail unlike any other.

Ember Moon’s mesmerizing aerial finesse, Shayna Baszler’s dominant reign, Rhea Ripley’s unrelenting fury, Io Shirai’s innovative offense, Raquel Gonzalez’s powerhouse dominance, and Mandy Rose’s glamorous reign, each one leaves their unique mark on the tapestry of the title, solidifying the black and gold brand as the forge where the future of women’s wrestling is shaped.

Current Champion: Lyra Valkyria

Evolution of WWE Belts: Lineage & History Explained
Lyra Valkyria in WWE | Source: WWE

12. NXT North American Championship

The NXT North American Championship was introduced in 2018 and is held by Bronson Reed. This championship is open to all wrestlers in the NXT brand, regardless of gender, and has been defended in high-profile matches against some of the top wrestlers in NXT.

The NXT North American Championship has become known for its high-flying, hard-hitting matches and has quickly become a prestigious championship in NXT.

Current Champion: Dragon Lee

13. NXT Tag Team Championship

The NXT Tag Team Championship is the top championship in the tag team division of NXT. Teams like The Wyatt Family, The Revival, American Alpha, and The Undisputed Era have held it since its introduction in 2013.

The title has been defended on NXT television shows and pay-per-view events and has become known for its competitive matches and talented tag teams.

Current Champion: Tony D’Angelo & Channing Lorenzo

14. NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships

The NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships were introduced in 2021, making them the newest championships in the NXT brand. They are the top championships in the women’s tag team division of NXT and are open to all female wrestlers in NXT.

The inaugural champions were Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez.

The NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships have been defended on NXT television shows and pay-per-view events. They have already become known for their high-quality matches and intense rivalries.

The NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships have added an exciting new element to the NXT women’s division and have allowed talented female wrestlers to showcase their skills in tag team competitions. Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn currently hold it.

Current Champions: The NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship was retired with Fyre and Dawn recognized as the final champions.

About WWE

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., doing business as WWE, is an American professional wrestling promotion. A global integrated media and entertainment company, WWE has also branched out into other fields, including film, American football, and various other business ventures.

WWE shows are sports entertainment, featuring story line-driven, scripted, and partially choreographed matches; though including moves that can put performers at risk of injury, even death, if not performed correctly. It was founded in 1953 as the Capitol Wrestling Corporation and is the largest wrestling promotion in the world. It is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

Our talented team of Freelance writers - Always on the lookout - pour their energies into a wide range of topics bringing to our audience what they crave - fun up-to-date news, reviews, fan theories and much much more.


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