The Universal Championship is the fastest part WWE Furniture since its introduction in 2016.
The belt was introduced after the brand split that left Raw without the World Championship, with the unification of the WWE and World Heavyweight titles a few years earlier.
Since then, 14 reigns have been shared between just eight men, making it one of the most prestigious titles in WWE history to date. It is only included from the current generation-defining run Roman Dominion with the title.
But which reign is best? GiveMeSport WWE ranks all 14 Universal Title reigns in history…
14. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt – August 23RD2020 – August 30Th2020
A title reign that killed “The Fiend” as a character, before Randy Orton put him on fire (yes, really). He won the title by defeating old Wyatt family member Braun Strowman at Summerslam but only held the belt for one week. Truly a waste of time.
13. Finn Balor – August 21St2016 – August 22n.d2016
Balor’s reign was shorter than Wyatt’s but was the inaugural winner of the championship, defeating Roman Reigns at Raw and then defeating Seth Rollins at SummerSlam to win the championship crown. However, he had to drop it immediately due to a shoulder injury sustained in the match.
12. Goldberg – February 27Th2020 – April 4Th2020
By the 2020s, interest in Goldberg as a part-time performer had largely died down, especially when younger stars were being pushed over and booked to win titles from them. He defeated “The Fiend” at Super Showdown and was set to lose the belt to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania before the pandemic began. Instead, he dropped it to Braun Strowman, ending a largely meaningless reign.
11. Seth Rollins – August 11Th2019 – October 31St2019
Rollins’ reign started off strong, getting beat Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam for his second Universal Championship. However, it went downhill from here as he engaged in a desperate feud with Braun Strowman and more specifically “The Fiend”. The ensuing feud eventually led to Seth being forced to back down, much to the fans’ reaction to him.
10. Braun Strowman – April 4Th2020 – August 23RD2020
As mentioned, Strowman defeated Goldberg in an empty WWE Performance Center to win his first world title. It set the tone for his reign as bleak as WWE carried it through the early months of the pandemic. Feuds with The Miz, John Morrison and later Wyatt did little for the white-hot character just two years ago.
9. Goldberg – March 5Th2017 – April 2n.d2017
Big Bill’s first reign with the belt was equally short, lasting only a month. However, it was more well received due to his ongoing feud with Brock Lesnar at the time. He won it from Kevin Owens at Fastlane and dropped it to Brock at WrestleMania.
8. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt – October 31St2019 – February 27Th2020
Wyatt’s first run with the Universal title was very long but did little to elevate a character that WWE didn’t really know what to do with. He won it from Seth Rollins at Crown Jewel and dropped both shows at Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia.
7. Brock Lesnar – July 14thTh2019 – August 11Th 2019
Any time Lesnar holds the title, it’s a big deal, even if he’s not a full-time wrestler. His third and final reign with the Universal Championship ended in less than a month but he saw the money in the Money in the Bank contract, which is always exciting.
6. Roman Reigns – August 29Th2018 – October 22n.d2018
Reigns’ early run with the belt feels like a lifetime ago, when he was still a babyface shoved down fans’ throats. He captured the belt at SummerSlam, eventually defeating Lesnar in the process. His reign ended when he vacated the title after publicly revealing his battle with leukemia, from which he thankfully recovered quickly.
5. Kevin Owens – August 29Th2016 – April 5Th2017
KO is the one WWE fans love to see become champion, firstly because he deserves it and secondly how he booked his first reign. When Triple H turned on Seth Rollins the title was gift wrapped to him. His matches were of good quality as usual but he was not booked strongly enough. He lost the title to Goldberg in 22 seconds at Fastlane after being distracted by Chris Jericho.
4. Seth Rollins – April 7Th2019 – July 14Th2019
Both of Rollins’ reigns began with a victory over Brock Lesnar, his first at WrestleMania since winning the Royal Rumble. The pinnacle of his run was a match with AJ Styles at Money in the Bank. He later became embroiled in a feud with Baron Corbyn and then his wife Becky Lynch. He lost the title back to Lesnar via the aforementioned cash-in.
3. Brock Lesnar – November 2ndn.d2018 – April 7Th2019
Lesnar became the first two-time Universal Champion when he defeated Strowman to win the vacant title at Crown Jewel. His reign saw him compete in two spectacular matches with Daniel Bryan (Champion vs Champion) and Finn Balor at Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble respectively.
2. Brock Lesnar – April 2ndn.d2017 – August 19Th2018
Brock’s first run saw him hold the belt for 504 days, the sixth longest World Championship reign in WWE history. Although it doesn’t seem like it’s been on TV that long, he’s had great matches with the likes of AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Roman Reigns. He took the belt from Golberg at WrestleMania 33 and dropped it to Reigns at SummerSlam 2018.
1. Roman Reigns – August 30Th 2020 –
There could only be one. Reigns’ run with the title is not only the best Universal Championship reign, but also the best in WWE history in decades. It added much-needed prestige to WWE’s new world titles. While champion, Reigns has defeated some of the industry’s best such as John Cena, Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre, Daniel Bryan and Edge. Who knows when this run will end?