World Heavyweight

The World Heavyweight Championship was a professional wrestling title owned by WWE, created on September 2, 2002 and retired on December 15, 2013.

Until 2001, it belonged to World Championship Wrestling and was the most recent of five other titles to be represented by the historic Big Gold Belt, first introduced in 1986 by Jim Crockett Promotions.

WWE introduced its World Heavyweight Championship in 2002 by Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff, with Triple H becoming the inaugural champion on September 2, 2002. However, its origin lies with the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, established when the accolade was awarded to then NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair in 1991.

On October 27, 2013 at Hell in a Cell, John Cena made his in-ring return from SummerSlam and defeated Del Rio to win his third World Heavyweight Championship.

On December 15, 2013, WWE Champion Randy Orton defeated World Heavyweight Champion John Cena at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match to unify the titles. With this, Orton was recognized as the last World Heavyweight Champion and the title was officially retired by WWE. The belt remained in use as a component of the rebranded WWE World Heavyweight Championship until August 18, 2014, when the Big Gold Belt was dropped in favor of a single redesigned belt.

On August 21, 2016 at SummerSlam, following the Draft that took place on July 19 and with the consequent division of the rosters, a new world title was introduced for the Raw roster, the WWE Universal Championship.

On the April 24, 2023 episode of Raw, a new homonymous title was introduced by Triple H which, however, is not to be considered as a continuation of this, but as a new version.