Hi folks. Today, we’re looking at a gallery of superstars who can say they were a WWE double champion. Before we begin, there’s a couple of things to state. First, there are some instances where wrestlers physically held more than one championship belt, but were only recognized for a single title reign; therefore, they technically looked like double champions while not being classed as such.
There’s also examples of crowned double champions, but one of their titles being quickly vacated. The most common reasons being a) the company not allowing double champions, or b) one title unifying in to the other. This means we can count them as double champions, but are perhaps not as concrete as others who held two for a significant amount of time.
I’d also like to stress this list will not include any champions under the WCW or ECW banner, but will include some WCW Championships contested on WWF shows. I will also not include unification’s like when the WWE Championship was split in to two, as this is more about double champions than co-holders. I’ll be splitting this piece up in to three sections, which are explained below:
- This section lists superstars who physically held two championship belts, but are not classed as double champions because the lineage for one of the titles was deactivated. They look like double champions, but are in fact holding a single championship with two belts representing. Classed as “Undisputed Champions”.
- Superstars who were double champions for less than a week because one of their championships was stripped or unified. They were never intended to defend the title they vacated/unified.
- Established double champions (also includes one triple champ). Also includes some who could have been included in section ii, but did not have one of their championships stripped/unified within the one week cutoff.
i. Undisputed Champions
After the demise of World Championship Wrestling, the WCW Championship was renamed the “World Championship” following the WCW/ECW invasion. When Chris Jericho defeated The Rock & Steve Austin at Vengeance 2001, he became the Undisputed WWF Champion. This means he held a single championship with both title belts representing.
The Big Gold Belt did not officially return as an active title on its own, til Eric Bischoff awarded it to Triple H on an episode of Raw in September 2002; where it began a new lineage altogether, with WWE choosing not to continue with WCW’s records. Triple H also held the Undisputed WWF Championship before the two belts were separated.
Over 11 years later, these two championships were brought back together again, when Randy Orton defeated John Cena at TLC 2013. Instead of referring to Orton as the Undisputed WWE Champion, he was called the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. However, the lineage of the World Heavyweight Championship represented by the Big Gold Belt, ended quickly after the unification.
So although Randy Orton could be considered a double champion, it would only be for less than a day. Other champions include John Cena, Daniel Bryan & Brock Lesnar, before a single belt was created to represent the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and put the Big Gold Belt to bed forever.
ii. Unification / Vacated
Due to the nature of this section, it may not always be possible to find images of the wrestlers with their double championships.
– On August 9th, 1980, while reigning as the WWF Heavyweight Champion, Bob Backlund won the tag team titles with Pedro Morales by defeating The Wild Samoans. The tag team championship was vacated a day later because Backlund was not allowed to be a double champion. Although he never got to defend, Bob Backlund is classed as the first WWE Double Champion.
– One of the most famous double championship victories happened when The Ultimate Warrior overcome Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI to become the WWF & Intercontinental Champion. However, he was stripped of the IC title almost immediately afterwards.
– At Survivor Series 2001, we saw the end of the WCW/ECW invasion. At the same time, Edge unified the WWF IC & WCW US titles in to each other, while The Dudley Boyz unified the WWF & WCW Tag Team titles. The WCW Championships were immediately vacated, but for that short moment in time, Edge & The Dudley Boyz could claim to be double champions.
– 2002 saw the downfall of three WWE Championships. First, Rob Van Dam unified the Intercontinental & European Championships with a win over Jeff Hardy, deactivating the European title forever. The funny thing about this unification ladder match, is that Jeff Hardy was titled the European Champion… but didn’t bring it with him, nor was it hanging with the IC title above the ring.
– A month later on the episode of Raw following SummerSlam, the Hardcore Championship met the same fate as it was unified in to the IC title when Rob Van Dam defeated Tommy Dreamer. The original Hardcore title had become so worn over time that Dreamer had to use a replica of a European title with a New York license plate covering the centerpiece. After the match, the referee handed RVD the IC title and the Hardcore title was nowhere to be seen.
– Less than two months on, the World Heavyweight Champion Triple H went to No Mercy and took the Intercontinental title from Kane. In doing so, the IC title was deactivated and did not return til 7 months later. This was likely done to bring more importance to the new World Heavyweight Championship. Earl Hebner did not raise the IC title before the match, and it was not given to Triple H afterwards either.
– At Night of Champions 2010, Michelle McCool defeated Divas Champion Melina while co-holding the (original) Women’s Championship with Layla. In doing so, she became the unified Divas Champion, but the lineage of the Women’s Championship was abandoned forever. After the match, the referee handed McCool the Divas title, and Layla the cut-in-half Women’s title.
– For the sake of clarity, Charlotte Flair was never considered a double champion when she won the new Women’s Championship at WrestleMania 32, because Lita announced the Divas Championship was retired before the match took place; meaning she was no longer a champion before the contest. This is different to other examples, because titles are usually retired after they are unified. WWE must have felt the Divas Championship was not worth unifying and so decided to bury it.
iii. Superstar Two Straps
As stated above, I could have included some of these examples in section ii, but they held on to both championships for longer than a week. The rest are established double champions who may or may not have defended both at one point or another.
Two Dudes With Attitude
The first image shows Diesel as a double champion for the first time. On August 28th, 1994, he & Shawn Michaels defeated The Headshrinkers on a house show. It was only for a day though, as he lost the Intercontinental title to his buddy Razor Ramon at SummerSlam.
Over a year later at In Your House: Triple Header, while Diesel reigned as the WWF Champion and Michaels as the IC Champion, they won the tag team titles in controversial fashion. British Bulldog pitched in for Owen Hart who was meant to be injured, but Hart came to the ring and got pinned despite not being officially in the match. Because of this, the titles were given back to Owen Hart & Yokozuna the following night on Raw. This is the first instance of two superstars becoming double champions simultaneously.
British Bulldog & Owen Hart
For some reason there’s no images, but it’s true that they were double champions in the first half of 1997. Bulldog is the inaugural European Champion, while Owen claimed the IC title from Rocky Maivia in April. And they remained so for just under a month, til they lost the tag team titles to Steve Austin & Shawn Michaels. No one can take away the fact that Bulldog will always be the only European & Tag Team Champion in WWE.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
One of the most accomplished superstars in the history of WWE, but did you know he’s been a double champion three times?
- In the summer of 1997, Steve Austin teamed up with Dude Love after his partner Shawn Michaels was suspended for getting in to a backstage fight with Bret Hart. They won the tag team titles, and soon thereafter, Austin defeated Owen Hart at SummerSlam for the Intercontinental Championship. But it came at a price to his health, as Austin suffered a neck injury in the match with Owen. By September, Austin was forced to vacate both championships and sidelined til Survivor Series.
- In the summer of 1998, Austin was the WWF Champion. He & The Undertaker teamed up and won the tag team titles from Kane & Mankind, making him the second man after Diesel to accomplish this.
- At Backlash 2001, Steve Austin partnered with Triple H to form the Two-Man Power Trip. Together, they lorded over the company as the WWF, Intercontinental and Tag Team Champions.
Along with his reign with Diesel, HBK has enjoyed other occasions as a double champion:
- In 1997, he became the only man to hold the WWF & European Championship at the same time. After being forced to face his best friend Triple H in a European title match, Michaels purposely lost the match so he could pass the championship over.
- A dozen years later, D-Generation X won double gold again together. This time it was Michaels & Triple H claiming the WWE World & WWE Tag Team Championships from Jeri-Show.
In the Christmas period of 1998, the Corporation stable was gaining steam. Some of which can be credited to Ken Shamrock & The Big Bossman, who didn’t just hold the Intercontinental & Hardcore titles, but also claimed the tag team championship from the New Age Outlaws. They were taking it to D-Generation X and the rest of the WWF on Mr. McMahon’s behalf, but their reign didn’t last long. They lost out to Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart a little over a month later.
Beginning with D’Lo Brown in the summer of 1999, the WWF held Winner Takes All matches for the Intercontinental and European Championships. D’Lo and Jeff Jarrett were the first to claim it, but the titles became separated by the end of the year.
In 2000, Kurt Angle was the last to bring them together, and held on to them til losing both titles to Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho in the same match at WrestleMania 2000. The next time they were both contested was when Rob Van Dam unified the European title in to the Intercontinental Championship.
While many know him as the first Undisputed Champion, Chris Jericho has in fact been a double champion on four occasions. But if you blinked, then you probably missed the first two.:
- The first time was a week after he claimed the tag team championship with Chris Benoit on an episode of Raw (from the Two-Man Power Trip) in May 2001, when he got a hold of the Hardcore title by pinning the Big Show. On the same episode however, Rhyno hit him with the Gore and left Calgary, Alberta with the belt.
- While reigning as the WCW Champion in October 2001, Chris Jericho teamed up with one of his biggest rivals, The Rock. After beating The Dudley Boyz for the tag team titles on Raw, Test pinned The Rock on SmackDown eight days later. Like I said, these reigns were easily missed and often forgotten because he went to become Undisputed Champion.
- Edge & Jericho became the second team to claim the unified tag team championships in 2009 (I must stress that both titles were still independently active, meaning anyone who held these titles were classed as double champs), but it didn’t last as long as they’d hoped because Edge picked up an injury which required surgery.
- As Edge was inactive, Jericho was allowed to pick a new partner. After picking the Big Show, WWE counted this as a new championship reign. Jeri-Show became the longest reigning unified champions with a 140 day reign.
He’s an interesting one, because technically he is the only double champion to ever come in to the company from an outside source. Having debuted at King of the Ring on June 24th, 2001, he spent exactly one month as a double champion in WWE til he lost both of them on the same episode of SmackDown.
First, he handed the United States title to Chris Kanyon as he was WCW Champion and felt confident he would remain so. He ended the night empty handed though, as he lost the WCW title to Kurt Angle. Booker did regain six days later… becoming a 5-TIME WCW Champ! And entered in to a program with The Rock.
Who Better Than Kanyon?!
Chris Kanyon isn’t someone most will think of when talking about double champions in WWE, but he sure as hell did it. During the WCW/ECW invasion, while still holding on to the United States title Booker T handed over, he & Diamond Dallas Page claimed the WWF Tag Team Championship for twelve days. Of course, the next entry on this list ensured they didn’t hold on to it for long, but it’s still quite the accomplishment for Kanyon.
Brothers Of Destruction
Crazily enough, the only time The Undertaker ever had the privilege of being a double champion was as a tag team with his brother Kane. At SummerSlam 2001, they defeated DDP & Chris Kanyon in a steel cage to become the first-ever WWF & WCW Tag Team Champions. They held on for 29 days, before losing the WWE titles to the Dudley Boyz.
A year later, Kane found himself in an entirely different type of team. A week after “Hurri-Kane” (w/ Hurricane Helms) became the tag team champions over the Un-Americans, Kane defeated Chris Jericho to become the Intercontinental Champion. As we know, Kane went on to lose in a unification match against Triple H and was the last IC champion til it was reinstated 7 months later.
Test. This Is A Test.
Another blink and you’ll miss it moment. Right in the middle of the Invasion angle, Test pulled off some incredible wins. First, with Booker T as his partner, he pinned The Rock clean to claim the WWF tag team titles. Almost a week later, he pinned Edge to become the Intercontinental Champion.
It looked like he’d finally got his way after suffering a setback with the whole… Triple H getting married to Stephanie in Vegas thing. But it wasn’t to be, as both of these reigns lasted for only 13 days each, proving just how unlucky he was. He & Booker lost the tag titles to the Hardy Boyz, and Edge unified the WCW United States title in to the IC Championship at Survivor Series.
Two-Time Double Champ X-Pac
One of the most successful stints of X-Pac’s career came in the middle of the Invasion angle, when he fought over both the WWF Light Heavyweight and WCW Cruiserweight Championships. Trading victories with rivals Tajiri & Billy Kidman, he managed to claim both titles not once, but twice in a couple of months.
He was the last to hold the Light Heavyweight title, which was going to be fought over in a unification match At Survivor Series with Tajiri, but an injury to X-Pac ensured it wouldn’t go ahead as planned. The Light Heavyweight title remained active with X-Pac defending it, but only on house shows, til it was completely retried in March 2002. The Cruiserweight title lived on after being renamed.
VIva La Raza Los Guerreros
While Chavo Guerrero was sidelined, WWE brought back the United States Championship with a tournament. In the final match, Eddie Guerrero squared off with Chris Benoit and beat him to become the new WWE US Champion. Once Chavo returned in September 2003, Los Guerreros reunited and they won the WWE Tag Team titles for a second time from Team Angle.
This marked the only occasion in which Eddie Guerrero was a double champion, and it lasted for over a month. Eddie lost the US title to Big Show at No Mercy, and Los Guerreros lost to the Basham Brothers two days later on SmackDown. It’s OK though, we know Eddie went on to bigger things.
Benoit & Edge
At Taboo Tuesday 2004, Edge claimed his 10th World Tag Team Championship, this time with current World Champion Chris Benoit. La Résistance got the titles back 13 days later.
Batista & Rey Mysterio Do It For Eddie
During Batista’s record setting 282 day reign as World Heavyweight Champion, he teamed with Rey Mysterio after Eddie Guerrero’s tragic passing at the end of 2005. As close friends of Eddie, they paid tribute to him by defeating MNM for the WWE Tag Team titles. They only held on for fourteen days, but I am sure it’s a memory they both cherish.
The Whole F’N Show!
At ECW One Night Stand 2006, the loyal fans of extreme let John Cena have it as he made his way in to the Hammerstein Ballroom to face Rob Van Dam for the WWE Championship. RVD had worked hard for years to earn his spot at the top of the mountain, and his victory proved popular. The next night, Paul Heyman awarded him the reactivated ECW World Heavyweight Championship, making him the only wrestler to ever hold both at the same time.
RVD was destined to lead the ECW brand forward, but he’d also earned some time as WWE Champion. 21 days later, Paul Heyman screwed him over by helping the Big Show win the ECW title in an Extreme Rules match. This decision proved exceptionally disastrous, as WWE’s ECW brand seemed doomed before it could begin. RVD got to hold the WWE title for 77 days, but it was his one and only reign.
Keep Your Friends Close
The year is 2007, and for some reason… WWE decided John Cena & Shawn Michaels would team together to challenge for the WWE World Tag Team titles. And the fact is, they beat Rated RKO to become champions on a random episode of Raw.
This led to a strange buildup on the way to a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania, where Shawn Michaels would be unsuccessful at dethroning the increasingly polarizing leader of the Cenation. Why did they need the tag team titles? We may never know. What we know however, is it’s not the last time Cena would win tag team gold with a WWE Championship rival.
MVP Proves To Be The Most Valuable Player
After defeating his mentor Chris Benoit for the United States title, MVP held it for almost an entire calendar year, placing him in the top five longest reigning champions in a lineage dating all the way back to Harley Race in 1975. While dominating as the United States Champion, he formed an unusual alliance with one of his biggest rivals Matt Hardy.
From there, they became a cohesive unit and claimed the tag team titles from Deuce N’ Domino in the summer of 2007. And they held on for a good few months, so it wasn’t short-lived. MVP was on the brink of breaking out, but after losing the United States title he got lost in the shuffle and called it a day in 2010. His time as double champion ended up being the peak of his career.
Unified Tag Champions / “Awesome” Triple Champ
I explained the unified tag team championship earlier. Both the WWE World, and WWE Tag Team titles were classed as independent, but were brought together in the final months of the WWE World title’s lineage. Carlito & Primo were the first team to achieve this. Other teams who have not been mentioned include Big Show & The Miz (Sho-Miz) and the last double champions Tyson Kidd & David Hart Smith AKA The Hart Dynasty.
As of this writing. The Miz is the only WWE superstar who can say they have been a triple WWE champion. He held the United States, World Tag Team, and WWE Tag Team titles together for over two months. Is that awesome? I’ll let you decide. He also held the WWE Championship and the tag team titles together for a record nine minutes with John Cena in 2011.
As is well-documented in “Fighting With My Family”, Paige claimed her first Divas Championship from AJ Lee in 2014, while still holding the NXT Women’s title. The reason it’s not included in section ii is because it took JBL over two weeks to strip her of the NXT Women’s title after moving up to the main roster.
She didn’t defend it, but it took WWE a while to figure out if they wanted to vacate it. Paige became the first female double champion in WWE history, paving the way for more to follow. She remains the only superstar to have held both titles at the same time.
Seth Freakin Rollins
Talk about hoarding titles! This man doesn’t know when to quit. I believe he is the only WWE superstar to have held three different combinations of double championships. He’s also the only one to have done so with the Universal title.
First, it was the IC & Tag Team titles with Dean Ambrose (who turned on him immediately after they won). Then it was with the WWE & United States titles. And lastly, it was the Universal & Raw Tag Team titles with Braun Strowman. This man is on fire, someone save him! We need a messiah.
“We Are NXT!”
There have only been two double champions in the history of NXT, and they featured as the main event of the last TakeOver PPV. Adam Cole was the first to achieve this goal, when he & the Undisputed Era claimed the NXT Tag Team titles while also holding the NXT North American title. For now, Cole is the only NXT superstar to have actively defended two championships.
And the second is recent. At the last TakeOver event, Keith Lee defeated Cole in a Winner Take All match, becoming the first to claim the NXT Championship and the North American Championship. Lee held on to them for two weeks, before declaring that he didn’t think it was right for him to keep both. NXT is about opportunities, and he thinks it’s healthy for the brand if someone else gets the chance to win the North American title like he did.
And we have finally made it to the last entry! This is all about women making history in WWE, following in the footsteps of Paige as the first female superstars to become double champions in their own right. Becky Lynch claimed both the Raw & SmackDown Women’s titles at WrestleMania in the main event, overcoming both Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair. And since both Becky & Charlotte have gone out of the picture for maternity leave and surgery, Bayley & Sasha Banks have stepped up in a big way.
Not only holding the Women’s Tag Team titles, the Golden Role Models also carry the Raw & SmackDown Women’s titles between them. They are the inspiration for making this list today. WWE has had many double champions, some of them great, others not so much. It’s where they go after they no longer hold double titles which is important. Not all double champions reap the benefits in the long term… in fact, some of them peak and never reach the same heights again. Thank you very much for reading! See you next time.