WWE: 10 Shortest Championship Reigns of 2016

Updated on April 9, 2020
Reuben Jacobs profile image

I really enjoy writing about the history of professional wrestling.

Championships come and go, especially in the WWE. After all, not everyone can hold onto the gold forever. Some superstars could not remain champions for even a short while. The following Superstars are the proud owners of the shortest championship reigns of 2016 in the WWE.


10. Dolph Ziggler (Intercontinental Championship, 37 Days)

Dolph Ziggler was embroiled in a bitter feud against the Miz for the Intercontinental Championship on Smackdown. After being cheated out of the title a few times by the Miz and his wife Maryse, Ziggler put his career on the line to obtain the championship. On October 9th, Ziggler beat the Miz at No Mercy and became champion. Unfortunately, before he could defend his championship against Sami Zayn at Survivor Series, Miz would cheat again to win the title on November 15th at Smackdown’s 900th episode.


9. The Brian Kendrick (Cruiserweight Champion, 30 Days)

The Brian Kendrick beat inaugural Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins at Hell in a Cell, which took place on October 30th, to become champion. Kendrick would retain against Kalisto at Survivor Series. WWE then started a show exclusively for the Cruiserweight Division called 205 Live. The very first episode premiered on November 29th, where Kendrick would lose the championship to Rich Swann, ending his month-long reign.

8. Charlotte (Raw Women’s Champion, 29 Days)

At Hell in a Cell, Charlotte beat Sasha Banks in the very first Women’s Hell in a Cell match to get her 3rd reign as the WWE Raw Women’s Champion. She would only hold onto the champion for less than a month before Sasha Banks demanded her rematch on an episode of Raw. After the match ended in a count-out, General Manager Mick Foley scheduled a Falls Count Anywhere match which concluded with Sasha Banks ending Charlotte’s 3rd reign.

7. Sasha Banks (Raw Women’s Champion, 27 & 20 Days)

Sasha Banks has had 3 reigns as Women’s Champion, but the first 2 both ended at exactly 27 days, while the third one was a mere 20 days. In the first one, she would win against Charlotte on the July 25th episode of Raw, only for her to lose it back to Charlotte at Summerslam on August 21st. She would then pick up another win against Charlotte, this time on the October 3rd episode of Raw, before losing again to Charlotte at Hell in a Cell on October 30th. She would regain the championship later on Raw before losing it again at Roadblock: End of the Line in an Ironman match to Charlotte.

6. Samoa Joe (NXT Championship, 14 Days)

Samoa Joe lost the NXT Championship to Shinsuke Nakamura at Takeover: Brooklyn II. He would win it back on November 19th at Takeover: Toronto, beginning his 2nd reign as the champion. He was only champion for 2 weeks as Nakamura got his rematch in his home country of Japan. In front of his countrymen, Nakamura reclaimed his championship on December 3th, ending Joe’s 2nd spell as champion.

5. Alberto Del Rio (United States Championship, 12 Days)

John Cena continued his open challenge at Hell in a Cell for the United States Championship last year, and a returning Del Rio beat him. Fast forward to January of this year, and he lost the title to Kalisto. He would get it back on the January 14th episode of Smackdown. Fast forward again to January 24th, which was the date of the Royal Rumble, and Del Rio would lose his United States Championship to Kalisto.

4. Kalisto (United States Championship, 1 Day)

Kalisto was able to successfully beat Del Rio on the January 11th episode of Raw, and he became the United States Champion. Unfortunately for him, he would lose it on Smackdown the very same week. Del Rio was able to beat him in the rematch the next night on the Smackdown tapings, ending Kalisto’s pitifully short first reign. Kalisto, however, would get it back at the Royal Rumble, where he would hold onto the title for 119 days, which is definitely much longer than his first reign.

3. Finn Balor (Universal Championship, 1 Day)

After the brand split, Dean Ambrose took the WWE Championship with him to Smackdown, leaving Raw without a world title. Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley created the WWE Universal Championship to act as Raw’s top title. Finn Balor faced off against Seth Rollins at Summerslam to crown the inaugural champion, and he emerged victorious. During the bout, though, Balor would suffer a shoulder injury, which would leave him out of action for at least 6 months. The very next night on Raw, Balor would relinquish the title, which was hardly the best of starts for the first champion of a brand new championship.

2. Zack Ryder (Intercontinental Championship, 1 Day)

At the biggest Wrestlemania of all, Zack Ryder won the Intercontinental Championship in a ladder match. Very few were betting on Ryder, as the deck was stacked against him. He would have to go through Dolph Ziggler, Sin Cara, Sami Zayn, Stardust, the Miz, and reigning champion Kevin Owens. Against all odds, he won. It was not to last however as the next night on an episode of Raw, the Miz would challenge Ryder for the title. Miz, with the aid of his wife Maryse, was able to beat Ryder and kicked off his 5th reign as Intercontinental Champion, leaving Ryder in the dust.

1. Seth Rollins (WWE Championship, 5 Minutes)

In November of 2015, Seth Rollins injured his leg and was forced to relinquish the WWE Championship. After being out for several months, Rollins came back at Extreme Rules and ambushed then-champion Roman Reigns. He set out to reclaim the championship he never lost.

In the main event of Money in the Bank, Rollins faced off against Reigns for the title. He was able to successfully defeat Reigns and become a 2-time WWE Champion. Earlier that night, though, Dean Ambrose won the Money in the Bank briefcase in the eponymous match. As soon as Rollins was declared the champion, Ambrose clocked Rollins with his Money in the Bank briefcase before cashing in and beating Seth Rollins to claim his first ever WWE Championship reign. Seth Rollins would be unsuccessful in his attempts to reclaim the title, and he is left with a pathetic 5-minute reign as champion.

© 2016 Reuben Jacobs


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