Friday, October 26, 2018

Pete Dunne: The Longest Reigning WWE Champion in 30 Years

At 524 days, as of October 26, 2018, the WWE United Kingdom Champion "Brusierweight" Pete Dunne has become the longest continuous reigning singles champion in over 30 years since Hulk Hogan's first title reign came to end on February 5, 1988.

Dunne represents the WWE's United Kingdom brand but unlike other champions in the WWE, Dunne defends his championship in promotions around the world.  Since winning the championship Dunne has competed in near 200 matches. While not all were title matches compare that to Brock Lesnar who wrestled just 17 matches in his 504 day reign as Universal Champion and Asuka who wrestled 149 matches in her 523 day reign as NXT Women's Champion.

In the near 66 year history of the WWE Pete Dunne ranks sixth on the list of longest single reigning champions.  That is not an accomplishment that you can dismiss as only Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan, and Pedro Morales have had a longer continuous single reigns as a champion.

However, Dunne has as long way to go before he breaks into their ranks.  Pedro Morales', number five on the list, 1,027 days as the WWWF Champion is over 500 days longer then Dunne's.  In order to tie Morales, Dunne would need to hold the United Kingdom Championship until Thursday March 12, 2020.

Although I don't see Dunne holding the championship for another seventeen months I do think it would be amazing if he was the champion for over two years.

Here are the 15 longest single reigning champions in WWE History:

2,803 Days Bruno Sammartino WWWF World Heavyweight Champion May 17, 1963 - January 18, 1971

2,135 Days Bob Backlund WWF World HeavyweightChampion February 20, 1978 - December 26, 1983

1,474 Days Hulk Hogan WWF World Heavyweight Champion January 23, 1984 - February 5, 1988

1,237 Days Bruno Sammartino WWF World Heavyweight Champion December 10, 1973 - April 30, 1977

1,027 Days Pedro Morales WWWF World Heavyweight Champion February 20, 1978 - December 1, 1973

524+ Days Pete Dunne WWE United Kingdom Champion May 20, 2017 - current
  as of October 26, 2018

523 Days Lex Luger WCW United States Champion May 22, 1989 - October 27, 1990

523 Days Asuka NXT Women's Champion April 1, 2016 - September 6, 2017

504 Days Brock Lesnar WWE Universal Champion April 2, 2017 - August 19, 2018

502 Days Rockin' Robin WWF Women's Champion October 7, 1988 - February 21, 1990

454 Days Honky Tonk Man WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion June 2, 1987 - August 29, 1988

448 Days Trish Stratus WWF Women's Champion January 9, 2005 - April 2, 2006

448 Days Duane Gill WWF Light Heavyweight Champion November 17, 1998 - February 8, 2000

441 Days Sensational Sherri WWF Women's Champion July 24, 1987 - October 7, 1988

434 Days CM Punk WWE Champion November 20, 2011 -  January 27, 2013

For those wondering I didn't count The Fabulous Moolah's 10,170 days reign as Women's Champion because even though the WWE does officially recognize it, as it was the NWA Women's Championship until May 19, 1984 when it was renamed the WWF Women's Championship.  There is a lot of controversy surrounding the actual length of the reign and the number of times the lost it officially or otherwise until Wendi Richter defeated her for it on July 23, 1984.

Other former championships I didn't include because they were only recognized occasionally were the WWWF United States Heavyweight Championship (1963 - 1976),  WWF International Championship (1959 - 1984), WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship (1965 - 1985), WWF World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship (1978 - 1989) and all WCW & ECW Championships.

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Later Readers!