The WWE Championship is a professional wrestling world heavyweight championship in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It is the world title of the Raw brand, complementing the World Heavyweight Championship of the SmackDown! brand. It is the first world title established in WWE, having been introduced in 1963 as the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) World Heavyweight Championship. After ending its affiliation with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) the promotion was renamed World Wrestling Federation (WWF) with the title also renamed to reflect the acronym. In 2001, it was unified with the WCW Championship following the WWF’s buyout of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and became the Undisputed Championship. In 2002, the WWF was renamed World Wrestling Entertainment and split its roster into two franchises, Raw and SmackDown, in abrand extension. The title was then designated to the SmackDown brand, while WWE established an alternate world title known as the World Heavyweight Championship for the Raw brand. The WWE Undisputed Championship has been known as the WWE Championship since.
The championship is generally contested in professional wrestling matches, in which participants usually execute scripted finishes rather than contend in direct competition. Some reigns were held by champions using a ring name, while others used their real name. The first champion was Buddy Rogers, who won the championship in 1963. Overall, there have been 40 different official champions, with Triple H having the most reigns at eight.