The history-making WWE title run of CM Punk has received a lot of attention. Punk will unavoidably be compared to the all-time greats as his reign as champion approaches a full year, but WWE history is filled with wrestlers who enjoyed far more remarkable reigns.
The reigns of previous champions have lasted at least twice as long as Punk’s—2803 days, 28 years, and other reigns. In the Super Bowl of wrestling or to start their careers, wrestlers have gone long runs undefeated.
1. Tatanka’s Undefeated Streak
Tatanka started his WWE career with a two-year undefeated record, long before Ryback devoured WWE’s bottom feeders and before Goldberg jackhammered his way to 173 straight victories to start his WCW career. Tatanka used his Native American origin as the cornerstone of his gimmick in the manner of Chief Jay Strongbow and Wahoo McDaniel. Not until September 28th, 1993 did Tatanka experience his first defeat. After diverting the referee’s attention, Ludvig Borga hit Tatanka with a chair. Tatanka’s loss column no longer displayed zero after three counts.
2. John Cena: 380 Days as WWE Champion
John Cena‘s WWE Championship reign is a tribute to his star power in an era of frequent championship changes and it apparently being available to any top guy. Despite having wrestlers like Shawn Michaels, Batista, The Undertaker, Chris Benoit, and Edge on the roster, WWE decided to keep John Cena in charge from September 17, 2006, to October 7, 2007. Regardless of your opinion of John Cena’s Superman inclinations, the fact that he performed that frequently while WWE champion during those 380 days is remarkable.
3. Demolition: Longest Tag Team Championship Reign
Demolition held the title for an incredible 478 days during a time when WWE’s tag team division was incredibly talented. Mr. Fuji and Prof. Tanaka were the only other duo to hold the belts for more than 300 days; they did so in the years 1972–1973. They lived up to WWE’s portrayal of them as a dominant tandem by putting on outstanding performances during their reign.
4. Andre’s Undefeated Streak
According to legend, Andre the Giant went nearly 15 years without losing a fight. That impressive claim is made on Andre’s page on WWE.com. There may not be much truth to Andre’s claim that he avoided a defeat for so long. His more than ten-year winning streak added to the significance of his WrestleMania III match with Hulk Hogan.
5. Honky Tonk Man: Longest Reigning Intercontinental Champion of All Time
Although there have been better Intercontinental champions than the Honky Tonk Man, none have held the position for as long. For 454 days, the wrestler with Elvis-inspired moves held the title. The Honky Tonk would not lose the title until The Ultimate Warrior stormed the ring at SummerSlam, tassels flaring. Due to his injuries, Beefcake was unable to perform, and the Honky Tonk Man challenged anyone to step in as his replacement.
6. Hulk Hogan’s First WWE Title Reign
For so long that it occasionally appeared like his dominance might never end, Hulk Hogan was the best wrestler in the WWE. Hogan served as the face of both the organization and the sport for 1,474 days while also serving as WWE’s world champion. His first reign was the most illustrious of his six victories for the title. When The Hulkster defeated The Iron Sheik on January 23, 1984, he marked the beginning of an era and the Hulkamania phenomena.
7. Bob Backlund: 2,135 Days, Sort of
Bob Backlund doesn’t frequently receive the praise he merits for holding the top spot in the WWE for so long. Bruno Sammartino and Hulk Hogan are typically remembered by fans as the company’s former rulers, although Backlund was the then-top WWWF’s draw for years. It’s debatable just how long the ring technician held the WWE title. Some people think that rule was an unbelievable 2,135-day duration that was unique and undisturbed. However, the situation is clouded by controversies and confusion.
8. Undertaker: 20-0
The Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak is a display of perseverance and durability. An accomplishment is simply participating in 20 WrestleManias since 1991. And it’s not like he was paraded about during the first pay-per-view as a novelty; he has continuously been one of its key draws. The Undertaker has created an excessive amount of classics during the run, which is impressive enough to support such a long career.
9. Fabulous Moolah: Decades of Dominance
Every woman who came after The Fabulous Moolah looked up to her. She was without a doubt the best female wrestler for many years; her peak years were the 1950s and 1970s. From September 8, 1956, to July 23, 1984, she held the WWE women’s championship for an absurd 10,170 days. WWE has been true to their narrative regarding this 28-year dominance.
10. Bruno Sammartino: 2,803 Days as World Champ
It’s challenging to grasp Bruno Sammartino‘s epic WWE title reign in its entirety. The Italian Superman ruled until 1971 after defeating Buddy Rogers in New York in 1963. It would take CM Punk seven more years of continuous belt wear to hit the 2,803-day milestone. The first megastar in the WWE was Sammartino. The record reign of Sammartino is more unbreakable than any wrestling accomplishment. It takes an enormous star with unmatched staying power and the company’s complete trust for someone to stay at the top for so long.