15 Historic Times a Wrestler Held Multiple World Championships At Once

1- Ric Flair

Photo Credit: WWE.

The dissolution of the NWA, more specifically Jim Crockett Promotions, into WCW is a complicated one.

Attempting to break away from JCP, WCW started creating new title belts, with a new world title needed. Here, the company decided to recognize the NWA world title belt as their own WCW Championship title.

Defeating Sting at a house show in East Rutherford, New Jersey – Flair was now the holder of both the WCW and NWA World Championship belts.

Both titles were represented by the same physical belt, and Flair would hold both for 69 days before losing the NWA title to Tatsumi Fujinami on March 21st, 1991.

Flair would later be stripped of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship due to creative disagreements with management, specifically Jim Herd.

Refusing to wear a gladiatorial Roman attire, shave his hair, and wear an earring, Flair would bring the “Big Gold” belt to the WWF, being billed as ‘The Real World’s Champion.’ A new makeshift belt had to be made for WCW in the title’s absence.

Learn more: Ric Flair in WWF – Why He Shockingly Left WCW for Arch-Rival in 1991.

2- Tatsumi Fujinami

Photo Credit: New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

A 2015 WWE Hall of Fame inductee, Tatsumi Fujinami is undoubtedly one of wrestling’s most significant wrestlers from Japan. Winning six IWGP world titles, three WWF International Heavyweight titles, and multiple Wrestling Observer awards for Best Technical Wrestler, he was also a double champion, having just won a belt from the previous titleholder, “The Nature Boy.”

Before defeating Ric Flair for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at the WCW/NJPW Supershow I, he defeated Vader – ending his short stint as a world champion in three continents — on March 4th, 1991, kicking off his 4th reign, which would last for over 300 days.

A few weeks later, on March 21st, he unseated Flair as NWA World Champion in the main event of the aforementioned cross-promotional event.

Strangely enough, whilst Fujinami was the recognized double titleholder in Japan, it was reported in the United States that Flair defeated Fujinami via DQ after “The Dragon” Fujinami threw Ric over the top rope. Thus, when Naitch defeated the Japanese icon at SuperBrawl I, it was billed as a “Champion versus Champion” bout rather than the reality of Flair winning back the NWA strap.

With the master of the Figure-Four’s dethroning of “The Dragon,” he ended Fujinami’s duo title reign at 59 days.

3- The Great Muta

Photo Credit: New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

As well as being a huge star in Japan, Keiji Mutoh was a massive star in the NWA/WCW, best known as The Great Muta. For a 48-day stint in early 1993, Muta simultaneously held both the IWGP and NWA titles.

On August 16th, 1992, at the G1 Climax Special in Fukuoka, Muta defeated Riki Choshu to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (and the Greatest 18 Club Championship).

A few months into his IWGP reign, he defeated then-NWA titleholder Masahiro Chono at Fantastic Story in Tokyo Dome in front of 63,500 fans to win the NWA World Title in a match for both belts. However, this run with the National Wrestling Alliance’s top prize was short-lived.

In early 1993, Ric Flair returned to WCW, almost guaranteeing he would have the strap back in little time. Whilst stuck in a no-compete clause, Flair watched former Four Horsemen stablemate, Barry Windham, win the belt off of Muta, ending Muta’s 48-day run.

Muta would lose the IWGP title at the G1 Climax the next year, having held it for well over a year, during which he even had a huge cross-promotional bout with Hulk Hogan.

Recommended read: The Great Muta Saves the Day at WCW Halloween Havoc

4- Ric Flair (Again)

Photo Credit: WWE.

By 1994, WCW had officially separated from the NWA, with the NWA now being focused more on the rising Eastern Championship Wrestling (ECW) promotion. As a result, WCW created a fictitious subsidiary called WCW International, subsequently making the belt a world title.

Having regained the vacant on April 21st, 1994 (having been held up due to a controversial finish against long-time rival Ricky Steamboat), Flair was set to face Sting at Clash of The Champions XXVII.

In this title unification bout, Flair got the win by pinning Sting whilst holding his tights after the surfer felt remorseful over accidentally wiping out Sherri Martel after Flair threw her in the way of an outside dive.

After Ric prevailed with both belts held high, the WCW International Championship title never returned.

Ric Flair would hold onto the WCW World Heavyweight Championship until Bash At The Beach ’94 when he lost to WCW’s biggest acquisition, a newly-debuted Hulk Hogan.

5- Shane Douglas

Photo Credit: WWE.

The NWA’s new focus on Eastern Championship Wrestling was short-lived as on the night of August 27th, 1994, the wrestling landscape changed forever.

On this night, Shane Douglas won the “10 Pounds of Gold” NWA World Heavyweight title, having defeated Taz, Dean Malenko, and eventually 2 Cold Scorpio in the finals of a tournament to crown a new titleholder.

While NWA President at the time, Dennis Coralluzzo, wanted Chris Benoit to win, top brass such as Paul Heyman and Todd Gordon backed the previous white-meat babyface Douglas.

A compromise was made as Shane would lose to “The Crippler” at a later date, with Dennis himself publicly burying Douglas on a radio show. Also, Gordon and Heyman were determined to break away from the NWA, launching the rebranded Extreme Championship Wrestling on its own, avoiding Coralluzzo’s monopolization of the title belt.

“The Franchise” Shane Douglas then famously cut a scathing shoot promo declaring the NWA was a "dead promotion," listing legendary former titleholders such as Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, and Harley Race before declaring they could all "kiss my ***!"

Setting the scene for the more violent and hardcore wrestling style taking over the world, Douglas sparked one of the most influential movements the industry has ever seen, helping shape wrestling into its mold today. He was immediately stripped of the NWA title after holding the NWA strap for over a year.

6- Chris Jericho

Photo Credit: WWE.

The invasion storyline is generally regarded as one of the biggest missed opportunities in WWF/E history.

The merger of the WWF and WCW/ECW whet fans’ appetite for several potential dream matches that were ultimately were not fulfilled due to many big names earning more money on their Time Warner contracts that continued to pay out after the sale of WCW to the WWF and Vince McMahon.

One thing that came out of this was both the WCW and WWF titles now being in the promotion.

Once the WWE vs. Outsiders storyline was quashed, the company unified the belts in a one-night tournament at Vengeance 2001 between Kurt Angle, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Chris Jericho.

An outsider pick to win, Y2J defeated The Rock with aid from Vince McMahon and a well-placed low blow to win the WCW title. With Austin retaining the WWF title over the Olympian, Jericho went on to face Stone Cold, pinning him after a run-in from Booker T.

Now cemented as a true top guy, the belts were now depicted as one, with new champion Triple H replacing the dual physical belts for the Undisputed world title belt.

7- Satoshi Kojima

Photo Credit: New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

In January 2002, Satoshi Kojima (alongside mentor Keiji Mutoh) left after a decade-long run in NJPW, resenting chairman Antonio Inoki’s new approach. In this, the leader of New Japan focused more on building the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship belt around shoot fighters rather than more reliable workers.

This paid off with Kojima winning the company’s unified world championship, the Triple Crown Heavyweight title, from Toshiaki Kawada. This took place at the 2005 Realize Tour on February 16th.

Four days later, Kojima would win his first IWGP title by defeating ex-tag partner Hiroyoshi Tenzan by KO at the New Year Gold Series.

This cross-promotion match was for both belts and seemed increasingly likely to have a dusty finish, going to a 60-minute time limit draw, but Kojima got the win, with only seconds away from an hour.

On May 14th at Nexess VI, Satoshi dropped the IWGP title back to Tenzan, thus ending his dual reign at 84 days. Kojima would, however, hold the Triple Crown title for 502 days in total before dropping it to Taiyõ Kea, having defended it eight times.

8- Rob Van Dam

Photo Credit: WWE.

Despite it all soon going wrong for WWE’s resurrection of ECW, it initially kicked off with a bang.

Following the success of 2005’s One Night Stand, the show would be reprised again in 2006. In this, Rob Van Dam announced beforehand that he was going to be cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on John Cena in the “Land of Extreme.

In RVD’s spiritual home and in front of one of the most hostile crowds in wrestling history, Cena took on the role of the heel, even attacking the referee and being annihilated in the process due to his pure WWE identity by the merciless hardcore crowd who shouted obscenities at the WWE champion.

With the memorable "If Cena Wins We Riot" sign in the audience, the anti-Cena sentiment was so much that a loss for “Mr. Monday Night” would have probably lead to violent chaos.

In the end, Edge interfered and speared the leader of the Cenation through a table proceeded by a 5-Star Frog Splash and a Paul Heyman 3 count, resulting in RVD’s hand being raised.

Two nights later, on ECW television, on-screen GM Paul Heyman awarded the 2021 Hall of Famer RVD with the new ECW title belt.

This seemingly sparked the beginning of a prolonged run for Van Dam on top, but this would be short-lived.

On July 1st, 2006, Rob Van Dam was pulled over and eventually arrested for possession. Due to the duo violating the company’s wellness policy, he had to be suspended.

As a result, the master of the Van Terminator lost the WWE Championship to Edge in a triple threat match on Raw, and later the ECW strap to Big Show after being turned on by the former Paul E. Dangerously.

His run with both titles lasted just 20 days, with both individual reigns lasting about the same time.

You can learn more about RVD’s arrest here.

9- Kurt Angle

Photo Credit: Impact Wrestling.

Kurt Angle played an important role in New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2007, helping bridge the gap in relations between the promotion and Brock Lesnar.

In October 2005, Brock Lesnar won the IWGP World Heavyweight title. However, soon later, contract negotiations broke down as Lesnar refused to return and defend the belt he had won.

Walking off with the physical title, Lesnar did agree to do the job for an athlete he respected due to their work together in the US: Kurt Angle.

Angle would defeat Lesnar via submission in June 2007 to not win the IWGP title, but a temporary world title replacement called the Inoki Genome Federation title belt. Also referred to as the Third Belt championship, it was an integral part of stabilizing the IWGP belt as it was back within New Japan’s control.

Angle was also the TNA World Champion at this point, having beaten a star-stacked array of talents in a King of The Mountain match at Slammiversary that year. This was the Olympic gold medallist’s second recognized world title reign in the company, and it ended at Bound For Glory when he lost the strap to Sting (only to win it back two days later).

Holding both titles for 107 days, Angle would have many more TNA world title runs. He lost the IGF title in early 2008 to Shinsuke Nakamura, who would bring the belt back to the original IWGP lineage, merging the titles.

10- Shinsuke Nakamura

Photo Credit: New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

On January 4th, 2008, at Wrestle Kingdom II in the Tokyo Dome, Shinsuke Nakamura won his second IWGP title and first in five years. Defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi, he would set his sights on unifying the belt with Kurt Angle’s Inoki Genome title belt.

On February 27th, Nakamura defeated Kurt Angle at Circuit 2008 New Japan ISM, dethroning him for the IGF (aka IWGP Third Belt Championship).

With this win, he managed to unify both title belts, thus ending the Inoki Genome Federation belt lineage, which was likely always set to be temporary.

In the immediate aftermath, Shinsuke was awarded both titles as well as a trophy, making him a double champion for that short period of time.

The charismatic striker would lose the IWGP title not too long later in April, dropping it to AJPW representative Keiji Mutoh after 114 days.

These wins helped cement Nakamura as a top guy, with “The King of Strong Style” going on to be one of the company’s top stars for many years as a near-unbeatable machine. His WWE popularity, including a Royal Rumble win, may not have been had it not been for this coronation.

11- The Great Muta (Again)

Photo Credit: Weekly Pro Wrestling Magazine.

On day 11 of the Circuit 2008 New Japan Brave Tour, on April 27th, 2008, Keiji Mutoh defeated Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP World Heavyweight title.

From this first-time-ever dream bout, Mutoh kicked off his fourth reign — his first since 1999 — defeating Nakamura with his signature Moonsault.

Defending the strap in All Japan, it was not long until Mutoh would further his title resume by defeating Suwama five months later for the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship.

Under The Great Muta guise, he won the strap during the September Flashing Tour in 2008. Mutoh’s win would allow him to become a double titleholder, with this reign on top lasting all of 98 days.

After four defenses and a 252-day run, Muta fell to Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom III in January 2008. In March, he dropped the Triple Crown Yoshihiro Takayama after 167 days.

12- Randy Orton

Photo Credit: WWE.

At SummerSlam 2013, The Authority was memorably formed when Randy Orton (with help from guest referee Triple H) snatched the WWE Championship from newly-crowned champion Daniel Bryan.

Meanwhile, John Cena had recently defeated Alberto Del Rio to bag the World Heavyweight Championship. On-screen power figure “The Game” then announced a unification bout at TLC.

Fans were not tremendously thrilled at seeing yet another John Cena versus Randy Orton match, especially since fan-favorite Daniel Bryan had been phased out of the title picture for these stars who had been dominating the company for the past decade.

In the match, Orton managed to secure the belts hung above the ring after effectively using handcuffs.

Despite there being two physical belts, they were from here on acknowledged as a single title. The World Heavyweight Championship was officially retired, with the singular title now being called the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Daniel Bryan most memorably won it in the main event of WrestleMania XXX. However, it was Brock Lesnar who was the first holder of the singular representation of this title.

As a replacement for the World Heavyweight Title, the Universal belt was introduced in 2016.

13- Becky Lynch

Photo Credit: WWE.

The Irish Lass-Kicker” Becky Lynch was one of the most integral parts of the Women’s Revolution in the mid-2010s. With women’s wrestling relegated to being presented in the form of bra and panties matches and only minutes-long matches previously, Lynch was one of the competitors able to change the perception of women’s wrestling to a more legitimate role in the company.

Although she was always a reliable presence, Lynch never really seemed to be a top star the company put their full faith in. Despite being the first-ever SmackDown Women’s Champion, she did not truly feel like a face of the promotion until she turned heel at SummerSlam 2018.

After a loss to Charlotte Flair, Lynch ambushed “The Queen” and overnight became the biggest crowd-favorite in the women’s division.

Super over with the fans, she garnered the moniker of “The Man,” a more no-nonsense character.

At WrestleMania 35, it was announced that there would be a women’s main event for the first time ever — a titanic clash as Becky battled cross-over star Ronda Rousey (who was Raw Women’s Champion at the time).

Charlotte Flair defeated Asuka on SmackDown shortly before and was added to the match, making it a triple threat for both women’s title belts.

In the end, the popular Ireland-native won, hitting the UFC megastar with a crucifix pin for the win. Lynch then symbolically held up both titles in triumph to end the annual supercard.

“Becky 2 Belts” would lose her SmackDown title counterpart to Charlotte at Money in the Bank the following month due to interference by Lacey Evans. However, Lynch would hold onto the Raw version for over a year (even successfully defending it at the next year’s WrestleMania) before dropping the title via forfeit due to Lynch’s pregnancy and subsequent maternity leave.

14- Kenny Omega

Kenny Omega celebrates in the ring with his AAA Mega Championship, AEW, and Impact! World Championship titles.
Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling.

There is little argument that in 2021, Kenny Omega is at the top of the wrestling world, holding three of the most significant world titles.

In October 2019, Omega won the AAA Mega Championship by defeating Fénix, thus making him the top champion in Mexico’s AAA promotion.

Already holding a world title elsewhere, Omega was crowned the AEW World Champion on December 2nd’s “Winter is Coming” edition of AEW Dynamite. This was due to shock interference from the owner of Impact! Wrestling, Don Callis, who helped Kenny win by giving Omega a microphone to thwack and bust open champion Jon Moxley.

In the confusion as the duo ran away, the former “Jackyl” Callis announced that they would discuss the situation on the following Tuesday night on Impact! television.

For the next few weeks, Omega gushed over his greatness, much to the dismay of the Impact! roster.

In a 6-man tag bout at Hard To Kill, Omega pinned Impact! Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion Rich Swann.

A unification title match was soon announced for both the AEW and Impact! World title belts.

The match took place at 2021’s Rebellion Impact! pay-per-view, and despite vast defiance from Swann, Omega eventually hit a One-Winged Angel to put away Swann.

This win meant that the master of the V-Trigger simultaneously had three world title belts. Virtually unheard of, this number of world title belts shows just how significant Omega is in the world of professional wrestling today.

15- Ultimo Dragón

Championship belt collector, Último Dragón!
Photo Credit: New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

In August of 1996, Último Dragón won the J-Crown. New Japan Pro-Wrestling originally formed the J-Crown to unify his eight junior heavyweight and cruiserweight titles from several international wrestling organizations.

At the time, he also held the NWA Middleweight Title.

Then, after winning the cruiserweight title in November, he had ten major singles titles.

Some fans may remember that he also held the WAR six-man tag team title, making him the only person ever to hold eleven major titles simultaneously.

He is the first and last person ever to do so. Although none of the championship belts he held then were world titles, he deserves a place on this list for this remarkable feat.

Mystery of Missing Wrestling Championship Belts

Jerry Lawler, Bruno Sammartino, and Chris Jericho are amongst the wrestling legends who have had the unfortunate experience of having their wrestling championship belt come up missing or stolen. Many have never been recovered.

“Some of the most interesting stolen belt stories involve one man: Jerry Lawler!” Many of these championship belts have never been recovered!

Read “Mystery of Missing Wrestling Championship Belts”

Wrestling Championship Belts That Aren’t Recognized

Some wrestling championship belts died a painful death! It’s time to acknowledge at least a few that deserved a kinder fate.

Some wrestling championship belts died a painful death! It’s time to acknowledge at least a few that deserved a kinder fate.

Read “10 Wrestling Championship Belts That Aren’t Recognized”

Stan Hansen and the AWA Championship Belt Scandal

Stan Hansen refused to drop the AWA World Championship belt to Nick Bockwinkel, something he was ordered to do by Verne Gagne and the AWA.

When Stan Hansen was made AWA World Heavyweight Champion, he believed there would be a financial reward in his future. This wasn’t the case. When, out of the blue, he was ordered to drop the belt to Nick Bockwinkel, he wasn’t thrilled and took matters into his own hands!

What he did to the belt afterward is now forever a part of wrestling lore.

Mabel and the King of the Ring Championship Belt Controversy

Sir Mo, alongside enhancement talent who have the unenviable task of carrying King Mabel upon his throne! After being crowned king, a King of the Ring championship belt would be commissioned, which would soon lead to controversy.

“I told Mabel not to do it, and he did it like a dumb ****!”

Following his 1995 King of the Ring tournament victory, a crew of wrestlers had the unenviable task of carrying the newly crowned almost 500-pound, 6’9″ King Mabel on his throne. Later, he would commission a custom WWF King of the Ring championship belt, but not without his fair share of controversy and scrutiny…

Read “Mabel and the King of the Ring Championship Belt Controversy”

The Case of an Unrecognized WWF Champion

"The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase – WWE's unrecognized champion.

They say money can’t buy you happiness. In 1988, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase found that out the hard way!

Read “Ted DiBiase – The Case of an Unrecognized WWF Champion”

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Griffin Kaye is a life-long pro wrestling fan and historian with a love for '80s and '90s WWF, the NWA, WCW, ECW, and AEW. His favorite wrestlers include Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart, William Regal, Tito Santana, Stan Hansen, Mr Perfect, Ric Flair, and Chris Jericho. He can be reached on Twitter @GriffinKaye1, as well as on Instagram at @TheGriffinKaye and @WrestlingInTheYears.