The WWE United States Championship is a professional wrestling championship contested in the American promotion WWE on the Raw brand. It was originally known as the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship and began as a regional championship created by and defended in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, run by Jim Crockett, Jr. Harley Race became the inaugural champion on the title's introduction on January 1, 1975. Turner Broadcasting bought the company in November 1988 and renamed it World Championship Wrestling (WCW) after its primary television program.
In March 2001, the then-WWF bought selected assets of WCW. This resulted in the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship becoming a championship for the WWF, who referred to it as the WCW United States Championship. At Survivor Series in November 2001, the WCW United States and WWF Intercontental Championships were unified, resulting in the United States Championship being retired. In July 2003, the title was reactivated as the WWE United States Championship. As a result of the 2016 WWE draft, it is exclusively contested on the Raw brand.
The championship is contested in professional wrestling matches, in which participants execute scripted finishes rather than contend in direct competition. Some reigns were held by champions using a ring name, while others used their real name. As of March 15, 2017, the current champion is Chris Jericho, who is in his first reign. On January 9, 2017, Jericho, with Kevin Owens, defeated previous champion Roman Reigns on Raw in a handicap match to win the title.
Overall, there have been 83 different champions. Ric Flair holds the record for having the most reigns at six, while John Cena holds the record for most reigns under the WWE banner at five. Lex Luger holds the record for longest reign, with his third reign lasting a total of 523 days, while Dean Ambrose holds the longest reign under the WWE banner, at 351 days (overall the third longest in the title's history). Only two men, Lex Luger and Rick Rude, have held the championship for a continuous reign of one year (365 days) or more.
As of March 15, 2017.
As of March 15, 2017.