The WWE Championship is a world heavyweight championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE, currently defended on the raw brand division. It is one of two world titles for WWE's main roster, alongside the WWE Universal Championship on SmackDown. The current champion is Roman Reigns, who is in his fourth reign and is recognized as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion as he concurrently holds both the WWE Championship and Universal Championship.
The original world championship of the promotion, it was established by the then-World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) on April 25, 1963, as the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship, after the promotion seceded from the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). The inaugural champion was Buddy Rogers. Since its inception, the title has undergone many name changes due to company name changes and title unifications. It is the oldest championship currently active in WWE, and is presented as being the promotion's most prestigious title, with many matches for the title having headlined pay-per-view events – including WWE's flagship event WrestleMania. In professional wrestling in general, it is considered to be one of the most prestigious championships of all time.
From its inception until 2001, it was promoted as WWE's sole primary championship. An additional world title, the WCW Championship, was added after the then-World Wrestling Federation's purchase of World Championship Wrestling in early 2001. The titles were later unified as the Undisputed Championship. After the first brand split in 2002 and the promotion was renamed WWE, the championship became exclusive to SmackDown, and the World Heavyweight Championship was created for Raw. ECW became the third brand in 2006, adding the ECW Championship. That title was deactivated in 2010, and the World Heavyweight Championship was unified with the WWE Championship in 2013. The championship was again the sole world title of WWE until the introduction of the Universal Championship with the 2016 brand split. During both brands splits, the WWE Championship has switched brands, usually as a result of the WWE Draft; in 2019, the title moved to Raw after reigning champion Brock Lesner quit SmackDown following the events of Crown Jewel.