Long WWF Title reigns were the norm back in the day

Here’s a sad fact noted on Monday in the Wrestling Observer’s daily update: Miz is the longest reigning WWE Champion in at least two years.

“He just became the first person in more than two years to pass 100 days as WWE champion. HHH was the last guy to last 100 days,” the Observer said. “Since that time, the title has changed hands 16 times and was vacated once.”

You know how many times the WWE/WWF Title switched in the 1980s?

Six.

The men who held the championship included:

  • Bob Backlund, who won the belt in 1978 and had an unofficial quickie title switch with Antonio Inoki in 1979
  • Iron Sheik, who won the belt on December 26, 1983
  • Hulk Hogan, who beat Sheik on January 23, 1984, and held it for more than four years straight
  • Andre the Giant, who won the belt on February 5, 1988 (Andre relinquished the title to Ted DiBiase, but the WWF rules DiBiase was not champion and set up a tournament to determine a new champ)
  • Randy Savage, who won the WWF Title tournament at WrestleMania IV on March 27, 1988
  • Hogan, who beat Savage at WrestleMania V on April 2, 1989

I grant you the days of pro wrestlers holding major titles for years at a time are over. But certainly a one-year reign can be done effectively, as groups such as Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan have proved in recent memory.

Who knows how long Miz will hold the WWE Title? Perhaps he’ll make it to the year mark. But history indicates that’s not likely to happen, which is part of the reason why the big belts don’t resonate any more with fans.

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