- Please note that this page is specifically for the WWE United States Championship currently defended in World Wrestling Entertainment. It is one of two secondary championships defended in the WWE. This page is not for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship which was a championship in the now defunct World Championship Wrestling, or for the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship which was a championship in WCW's predecessor, Jim Crockett Promotions.
The WWE United States Championship is a professional wrestling championship promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE on the Smackdown brand. Along with the Intercontinental Championship on the Smackdown brand, it is one of the two secondary titles of the promotion. The current champion is Kevin Owens, who is in his third reign.
The championship was established as the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship on January 1, 1975 for the regional territory, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, later known as Jim Crockett Promotions and then World Championship Wrestling (WCW), which eventually seceded from the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). Harley Race was the inaugural champion. This makes the United States Championship the only active championship in WWE that was not originated in the promotion, as well as WWE's second oldest active championship, behind the WWE Championship (1963).
After WCW was purchased by the then-World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 2001, the then-WCW United States Championship was defended in the WWF until it was unified with the Intercontinental Championship at that year's Survivor Series. After the 2002 brand extension and the promotion renamed to WWE, the championship was reactivated as the WWE United States Championship in July 2003 as a secondary title of the SmackDown brand. As a result of the 2016 draft, it became exclusive to the Smackdown brand.
In July 2003, the title was activated by SmackDown General Manager, Stephanie McMahon, and was commissioned to be a secondary championship to the SmackDown brand (WWE claims it to be a reactivation of the old NWA/WCW United States Heavyweight Championship, but for all intents and purposes, it is a separate championship with its own history). Eddie Guerrero became the first champion through a tournament in the finals at Vengeance 2003 vs Chris Benoit. This was done shortly after the WWE Intercontinental Championship was recommissioned by the Raw brand, making the title its equal counterpart. The title remained on SmackDown until April 13, 2009, when reigning champion Montel Vontavious Porter was drafted from SmackDown over to Raw during the 2009 WWE Draft, moving the title with him. On April 26, 2011, reigning champion Sheamus was drafted to SmackDown during the 2011 WWE Draft, briefly bringing the U.S. Title back to the show. Five days later, Raw's Kofi Kingston defeated Sheamus for the title at Extreme Rules, returning it to Raw. Since August 29, 2011, when all WWE programming became "Supershows" featuring the entire roster, the U.S. Title has been defended on both Raw and SmackDown.
The inaugural champion was Eddie Guerrero. There have been 29 different champions, with John Cena having the most official reigns at five. Since the title's inception in WWE, Dean Ambrose won the championship by defeating Kofi Kingston on May 19, 2013 at Extreme Rules in St. Louis, Missouri, making him the longest reigning U.S. Champion under the WWE banner, breaking Montel Vontavious Porter's previous record of 343 days set in 2007-2008
During John Cena's third reign as the United States Champion, he introduced a custom "spinner" belt. On the March 10, 2005 episode of SmackDown, the "spinner" version was "destroyed", with the help of John "Bradshaw" Layfield, after Orlando Jordan defeated Cena the previous week for the title, reverting to WWE's standard U.S. Championship belt.
- World Wrestling Entertainment
- Champion history - History of the wrestlers who have held the belt.
- Title matches - Matches in which the title was defended.
- Champion gallery - A gallery of all champions.
- NWA United States Heavyweight Championship - The version promoted in Jim Crockett Promotions from 1975 to 1988, then in World Championship Wrestling from 1988 to 1991
- WCW United States Heavyweight Championship - The renamed NWA United States Heavyweight title, defended in WCW from 1991 to 2001
- WWE United States Championship at Wrestling-Titles.com
- WWE United States Championship at WWE.com
- WWE United States Championship at CAGEMATCH.net