The WWE Championship has been in existence for almost 60 years. Within that time, 53 men have held the the most prestigious world title in wrestling. Despite some of the industry’s biggest stars never winning a major title, four men in history hold the distinction of winning the WWE title in three different decades. This feature lists them all.
WWE Championship wins: 1980s, 1990s & 2000s
Hulk Hogan first won the WWE title way back in January 1984. The ‘Hulkster’ squashed The Iron Sheik in under five minutes to lift the belt and kick off an impressive four year reign as champion.
Hogan’s first run as champion led WWE to hitherto unseen financial success as WWE invaded 1980s pop culture. The ‘Hulkster’ won the WWE strap once more that decade at WrestleMania V when he upended ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage.
Hulkamania was still running wild in the 1990s and Hogan would claim three more WWE Championships before he left the promotion in the summer of 1993.
Hogan finally returned to the company nine years later. He still had the support of the WWE crowds and that wave of popularity led him to a sixth and final WWE Championship win at Backlash 2002, almost 20 years after his first.
With that victory, The ‘Hulkster’ wrote himself into the history books as the first wrestler in history to win the WWE Championship in three different decades.
WWE Championship wins: 1990s, 2000s & 2010s
The Rock’s career as a full-time wrestler only lasted six and a half years. However, his legacy has endured and despite the brevity of his legendary career, ‘The People’s Champion’ managed to win eight WWE Championships.
The Rock won his first WWE title at the 1998 Survivor Series, when he won the ‘Deadly Game’ tournament for the vacant strap. ‘The Brahma Bull’ claimed the WWE Championship four times in the 2000s, when he won the title at Backlash 2000, King of the Ring 2000, No Way Out! 2001 and Vengeance 2002. When The Rock departed WWE permanently in 2004 and dedicated himself to a full-time career in Hollywood, few expected him to wrestle again.
However, in 2011, ‘The People’s Champion’ returned to the squared circle at that year’s Survivor Series. Just over a year later, The Rock won his final WWE Championship when he ended CM Punk’s mammoth 434 day reign as champion.
That title win came over a decade after his last and earned him the rare distinction of holding the belt across three decades.
WWE Championship wins: 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
Triple H debuted in WWE in 1995 but endured a long road to the main event. He finally claimed his first WWE title on August 23, 1999. However, with his first World title in the bag, ‘The Game’ became a prolific winner of wrestling’s ultimate prizes.
‘The Cerebral Assassin’ celebrated the new millennium with his third WWE Championship win, when he defeated The Big Show on the January 3rd Raw. Triple H collected a slew of World titles throughout the 2000s. However, it seemed as if he had won his final World Championship in February 2009, when ‘The Game’ transitioned into a part-time performer the following year.
By 2013, ‘The King of Kings’ was part of WWE’s corporate structure both on-screen and off-screen. His in-ring activity reduced to one or two matches per year. His career as a headliner and World Champion appeared to be over.
Shockingly, Triple H would enjoy an Indian Summer when he won a ninth and final WWE Championship at the 2016 Royal Rumble. He held the belt until WrestleMania 32 when he dropped the strap to Roman Reigns.
The Game’s surprise title win nudged his WWE Championship victories into a third decade.
WWE Championship wins: 2000s, 2010s & 2020s
Randy Orton has competed on WWE’s main roster uninterrupted for an incredible 19 consecutive years. He became the company’s youngest ever World Champion when he defeated Chris Benoit to win the World Heavyweight Championship at the tender age of 24.
He was only 27 when he won his first WWE Championship at No Mercy 2007. Orton was a prolific World title winner in the 2010s as he dominated WWE’s main event scene throughout the decade. ‘The Viper’ had a three year drought of World titles but shocked the world when he won a 10th WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell 2020. ‘The Apex Predator’ dethroned Drew McIntyre to claim the belt.
With that victory, Orton became just the fourth man in WWE history to win the WWE Championship in three different decades.
You can watch all of these WWE title changes exclusively on the WWE Network.