aj styles

The WWE World Championship is without a doubt the top prize in the wrestling industry. It’s been held by some of the top names in the business such as Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, The Rock and more.

Related: Ranking Every WWE World Heavyweight Championship Design From The Winged Eagle And Beyond

Every wrestler dreams of becoming WWE World Champion, and over the years there have been a few wrestlers that have done it in record time. Today we’re going to look at 9 WWE Superstars who managed to make their dream come true in less than a year.

 

#9 – Alberto Del Rio – 359 days

Alberto Del Rio
via: WWE

Alberto Del Rio may not have had the best run during his second time around with the WWE, but it’s hard to forget all that he accomplished during his first run with the company.

WWE pushed Alberto to the top immediately after his debut, and they pushed him hard. He went on to win the largest Royal Rumble ever, but he failed to defeat Edge and win the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 27. Fast forward a few months later, and Alberto found himself holding the Money in the Bank briefcase.

CM Punk retained the WWE Championship at SummerSlam 2011 when he faced off against John Cena in the main event, but he didn’t walk out with the belt. Kevin Nash appeared from out of the crowd and hit CM Punk with the Jacknife Powerbomb after the match was over.

Alberto then cashed in on Punk to win his first WWE Championship after only 359 days with the company. Del Rio went on to hold a total of 4 World Titles during his WWE career.

 

#8 – Kurt Angle – 343 days

Kurt Angle
via: WWE

Kurt Angle has had an amazing career inside the squared circle, and it got off to an incredible start. Angle debuted with WWE at Survivor Series in 1999, and after only 343 days with the company he defeated The Rock to win his first WWE Championship at No Mercy in 2000.

Kurt Angle would go on to lose the title back to The Rock a few months later at No Way, but he won a total of six World Titles during his time with WWE. He is a four time time WWE Champion, a one time World Heavyweight Champion, and he’s also recognized as a one time WCW Champion.

 

#7 – Big Show – 273 Days

Big Show
via: WWE

The Big Show is one of the largest athletes to ever step into a WWE ring and he’s also a four time WWE World Champion.

Big Show made his debut with WWE at the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre pay-per-view in 1999, and he won the title after 273 days with the company, at Survivor Series in November of that same year.

Show defeated The Rock and Triple H in a triple threat match which he was added to during the pay-per-view.

Steve Austin was originally booked for the match, but he was run down by a car in the parking lot so that he could take time off to undergo neck surgery. It was later revealed that Rikishi ran him over, because, “He did it for The Rock.”

Winning the WWE World Championship in 273 days is quite the accomplishment, and it’s also worth noting that Show had a meteoric rise to the WCW World Championship as well. He won the title the same day he debuted with the company after he defeated Hulk Hogan at Halloween Havoc in 1995.

 

#6 – Kane – 266 days

Kane holding his World Title with Paul Bearer
via: WWE

If you were watching the Badd Blood pay-per-view live back in October of 1997 then you probably remember the show vividly, because Kane made his debut, and it was terrifying. Kane debuted in a big way, and went right into a high profile feud with his brother The Undertaker.

Kane went on to defeat The Undertaker on Raw in June of 1998 and he earned a shot at the WWE World Championship. He then defeated Steve Austin in a First Blood match at King of the Ring a few weeks later.

Kane dropped the title back to Steve Austin the next night on Raw, but the fact that he won the belt in only 266 days is pretty impressive.

 

#5 – AJ Styles – 231 days

AJ Styles shows off the WWE Championship
via: WWE

AJ Styles has won major titles all around the world, and that includes WWE.

After months of rumors, reports, hype and speculation, AJ Styles made his WWE debut at the Royal Rumble in January of 2016.Right away it was clear that AJ Styles was going to be a big player in WWE as he was placed in feuds with top names like Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns and John Cena.

Styles established himself as one of the top names on SmackDown when he defeated John Cena at SummerSlam back in August, and the victory was enough to put him in the WWE Title picture.

AJ challenged Dean Ambrose for the WWE World Championship at Backlash on September 11, 2016, and he won the title after only 231 days with the company.

 

#4 – Yokozuna – 173 Days

Yokozuna with the WWE Championship
via: WWE

Yokozuna debuted in the fall of 1992, and it didn’t take him long to rise to the top of the WWE. After only 173 days with the company he defeated Bret Hart to become the WWE World Champion at WrestleMania 9.

However, Yokozuna’s reign didn’t last very long as he defended the title again that night. Right after he defeated Bret, Yokozuna put the title on the line against Hulk Hogan, and Hogan defeated him in less than a minute.

Yokozuna went on to defeat Hulk Hogan and win the title back at King of the Ring in 1993, and his second reign lasted an impressive 280 days.

 

#3 – Sheamus – 166 Days

Sheamus shows off the WWE World Championship after defeating John Cena
via: WWE

Sheamus made his debut on an episode of ECW in June of 2009, and he was moved up to the Raw brand in October of that same year. He established himself as a heel to be reckoned with, and after a few months on Raw he earned the right to challenge John Cena for the WWE World Championship when he won a battle royal.

The Celtic Warrior shocked the world when he defeated John Cena in a Tables Match at the TLC pay-per-view in 2009. It took Sheamus only 166 days to win his first World Title with WWE, and he has gone on to become a four time World Champion during his time with the company.

 

#2 – Brock Lesnar – 126 Days

Brock Lesnar with his manager Paul Heyman
via: WWE

Brock Lesnar made his WWE debut during an episode of Raw in March of 2002, and he immediately got people talking. In the months that followed Brock decimated every WWE Superstar that stood in his way on his path to the WWE Championship.

Lesnar won the King of the Ring tournament in June of 2002, which put him in line to challenge The Rock for the title at SummerSlam. Brock defeated The Rock to win the belt after only 126 days with the company.

Since winning his first title with WWE Brock has only further asserted his dominance in the arena of combat sports. He’s a four time WWE World Champion and Brock is also a former UFC Heavyweight Champion.

 

#1 – Ric Flair 113 days

Ric Flair shows off the WWE Championship after winning the title at the 1992 Royal Rumble
via: WWE

Ric Flair’s name is often associated with World Championships in wrestling because he’s won 16 of them. It didn’t take very long for Ric Flair to win his first WWE World Championship as he won the belt after only 113 days after his debut.

Flair’s first WWE World Championship win was unique because he became the first man to win the title by winning a Royal Rumble match. So far Ric Flair has the fastest rise to the WWE Championship in company history, and he held the title a total of two times over the course of his career.