List of Early World Heavyweight Champions in Professional Wrestling - Title History

Title History

Key
Reign The reign number for the specific set of wrestlers listed
# Indicates what number the reign is
Event The event promoted by the respective promotion in which the titles were won
N/A The information is not available or is unknown
# Wrestlers Reign Date Location Event Notes
01 !1 Hackenschmidt, GeorgGeorg Hackenschmidt 01 !1 01905-05-04May 4, 1905 New York City, New York Live event Hackenscmidt won a world championship tournament to become the first champion. Hackenschmidt won several other tournaments in Paris, France; Hamburg, Germany; Saint Petersburg, Russia; Elberfeld, Germany; and Berlin, Germany in the same year. He also won the European Greco-Roman Heavyweight Championship title from Tom Cannon on September 4, 1902 in Liverpool, England. He won the recognition of being the World Heavyweight Champion on January 30, 1904 in London, England by defeating Ahmed Madrali. Hackenschmidt defeated American Heavyweight Champion, Tom Jenkins, on May 4, 1905 in New York City, New York to become the recognized World Champion in North America.
02 !2 Gotch, FrankFrank Gotch 01 !1 01908-04-03April 3, 1908 Chicago, Illinois Live event Gotch held the title for five years until April 1, 1913. He was the fifth longest reigning World Heavyweight Champion in history behind Bruno Sammartino, Lou Thesz, Verne Gagne (who all held their World Titles for over seven years) and Bob Backlund (who held his for nearly six years).
03 !3 Stecher, JoeJoe Stecher 01 !1 01915-07-05July 5, 1915 Omaha, Nebraska Live event Stecher defeated Charlie Cutler to become the first widely recognized world heavyweight champion after the retirement of Frank Gotch.
04 !4 Caddock, EarlEarl Caddock 01 !1 01917-04-09April 9, 1917 Omaha, Nebraska Live event
05 !5 Stecher, JoeJoe Stecher 02 !2 01920-01-30January 30, 1920 New York City, New York Live event
06 !6 Ed Lewis !Ed Lewis 01 !1 01920-12-13December 13, 1920 New York City, New York Live event
07 !7 Zbyszko, StanislausStanislaus Zbyszko 01 !1 01921-05-06May 6, 1921 New York City, New York Live event
08 !8 Ed Lewis !Ed Lewis 02 !2 01922-03-03March 3, 1922 Witchita, Kansas Live event
09 !9 Munn, WayneWayne Munn 01 !1 01925-01-08January 8, 1925 Witchita, Kansas Live event
10 !10 Zbyszko, StanislausStanislaus Zbyszko 02 !2 01925-04-15April 15, 1925 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Live event Though Zbyszko defeated Munn to win the championship, Munn continued to be recognized as World Heavyweight Champion in Michigan and in Illinois.
11 !11 Stecher, JoeJoe Stecher 03 !3 01925-05-30May 30, 1925 Saint Louis, Missouri Live event
12 !12 Ed Lewis !Ed Lewis 03 !3 01928-02-21February 21, 1928 Saint Louis, Missouri Live event Lewis defeats Wayne Munn on February 2, 1928 in Michigan City, Indiana for the Michigan/Illonois World Heavyweight Championship version. Lewis defeats Stecher on February 21, 1928 to end the dispute.
13 !13 Sonnenberg, GusGus Sonnenberg 01 !1 01929-01-04January 4, 1929 Boston, Massachusetts Live event The recognition of being the World Heavyweight Champion was withdrawn from Gus Sonnenberg by the wrestling section of the National Boxing Association in 1929 for failing to meet real title contenders.
14 !14 Ed Don George !Ed Don George 01 !1 01930-12-10December 10, 1930 Los Angeles, California Live event
15 !15 Ed Lewis !Ed Lewis 04 !4 01931-04-13April 13, 1931 Los Angeles, California Live event Lewis lost the American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Championship by disqualification to Henri Deglane on May 4, 1931 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, but still recognized as World Heavyweight Champion in Illinois. Lewis also defeated the title claimer, Wladek Zbyszko, on November 2, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois for the title. Lewis continued to win the New York State Athletic Commission World Title by defeating Jack Sherry on October 10, 1932.
16 !16 O'Mahoney, DannoDanno O'Mahoney 01 !1 01935-06-27June 27, 1935 Boston, Massachusetts Live event O'Mahoney defeated Jim Londos to win the New York State Athletic Commission World Title. Mahoney continues to win Boston's American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title by defeating Ed Don George (who had beat Deglane on February 9, 1933) on July 30, 1935 in Boston, Massachusetts to become the Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion.
17 !17 Shikat, DickDick Shikat 01 !1 01936-03-02March 2, 1936 New York City, New York Live event
18 !18 Baba, AliAli Baba 01 !1 01936-04-25April 25, 1936 Detroit, Michigan Live event On April 29, 1936 it was announced by the New York Times that Ali Baba would not be recognized as World Heavyweight Champion in the New York State by The New York Athletic Commission however it was announced that Ali Baba and Dave Shikat would face each other on May 5, 1936 at Madison Square Garden for the World Heavyweight Championship. Ali Baba went on to win the professional wrestling bout and thus be recognized as the World Heavyweight Champion.
19 !19 Levin, DaveDave Levin 01 !1 01936-06-12June 12, 1936 Newark, New Jersey Live event
20 !20 Detton, DeanDean Detton 01 !1 01936-09-29September 29, 1936 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Live event Detton defeated Ed Lewis in a tournament final to win the title.
21 !21 Nagurski, BronkoBronko Nagurski 01 !1 01937-06-16June 16, 1937 Minneapolis, Minnesota Live event Nagurski was recognized as the Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion by "The Ring" magazine.
22 !22 Londos, JimJim Londos 01 !1 01938-11-18November 18, 1938 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Live event Londos retires as World Heavyweight Champion in 1946.
23 !23 Thesz, LouLou Thesz 01 !1 N/A N/A Live event Thesz unified 3 championships to become the Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion, the National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Championship which he won on July 20, 1948 by defeating Bill Longson, the National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship which was awarded to him on November 27, 1949, and the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium World Heavyweight Championship which he won on May 21, 1952 by defeating Baron Michele Leon.
24 !24 Whipper Billy Watson !Whipper Billy Watson 01 !1 01956-03-15March 15, 1956 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Live event Watson defeated Lou Thesz by Count Out to win the world title.
25 !25 Thesz, LouLou Thesz 02 !2 01956-11-09November 9, 1956 Saint Louis, Missouri Live event Édouard Carpentier defeated Lou Thesz by disqualification on June 14, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois when Thesz cannot continue the match due to a back injury. The NWA rules states that a title cannot change on a Disqualification and Carpentier gives the title back to Thesz. Edouard Carpentier was then recognized as World Heavyweight Champion in Omaha, Nebraska and in Boston, Massachusetts. He was then later recognized as the World Heavyweight Champion by the World Wrestling Association in Los Angeles, California. This was the last time the World Heavyweight Title has been unified and to date has never been fully unified again. The Omaha version of the World Title was later unified with the AWA World Heavyweight Championship of Boston. Lou Thesz defeated Edouard Carpentier in a rematch by disqualification on July 24, 1957 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for the title.

Read more about this topic:  List Of Early World Heavyweight Champions In Professional Wrestling

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