Who are the best current world champions in the wrestling world?
Every company needs to have someone leading it as their world champion. Some companies (cough, WWE) get to have three due to the sheer size of the company. Not all world champions are created equally though. Taking into account length of reign, title prestige, current gimmick, match quality, and more, who are the best current champions in wrestling.
World champions just missing the cut:
- Trevor Murdoch (NWA)
- Christian Cage (Impact)
- Samoa Joe (NXT)
- Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH)
- Último Guerrero (CMLL)
5. Bandido – ROH World Champion & PWG World Champion
Bandido edges out Samoa Joe for the fifth spot on the list. He manages to beat Joe by holding two titles and having some excellent matches recently. PWG has been on pause for quite a while, but Bandido returned with a banger of a title defense against Black Taurus. He’s had a 600+ day reign, but most of that was spent at home.
Bandido only recently won the ROH Championship from RUSH at ROH Best in the World in July. While the win is exciting for Bandido, these two titles don’t have the same prestige as some of the other titles on our list. That knocks Bandido into our fifth spot, just a shade above a returning Samoa Joe.
4. Shingo Takagi – IWGP World Heavyweight Champion (NJPW)
The third-ever champion after the unification of the IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Champion, Shingo Takagi is on a roll. He won the championship in June and has only had one defense. However, Takagi is on an amazing run of matches. His win of the vacant title over Kazuchika Okada was amazing, and his first defense against Hiroshi Tanahashi was an instant classic. New Japan did a smart thing putting the title on Takagi after Will Ospreay was injured. Takagi has been one of the most consistent performers in New Japan for over a year – do you know how hard that is in a roster stacked with talent?
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3. Bobby Lashley – WWE Champion
All hail the Almighty Bobby Lashley. Since winning the title in March, Lashley has defended it six times on TV or pay-per-view. He’s become the longest-reigning African-American champion in history surpassing Kofi Kingston’s reign. Seeing Lashley be the dominant force he was in Impact Wrestling has been a treat for WWE fans. We always knew Lashley had the ability to do it; all it took was MVP’s management and WWE letting him loose.
The main thing holding Lashley back has been the quality & variety of his opponents. Drew McIntyre is a quality wrestler, but it felt like he and Lashley wrestled forever. Kofi Kingston was a fun feud, but now we are in the doldrums of a Goldberg feud. Let’s hope Lashley defeats Goldberg and gets to move on to a new challenger.
2. Kenny Omega – AEW World Champion & AAA Mega Champion
The Belt Collector reigns supreme. Kenny Omega is in the middle of a great run of collecting titles. He recently lost the Impact Championship to Christian Cage after winning it in April 2021. Omega still holds two world championships, one in AEW and one in AAA. He has held the AAA Mega Championship since October 2019 and has had some solid title defenses against Laredo Kid and Andrade el Idolo. His AEW Championship run has been impressive as well, with good defenses against Jungle Boy and Rey Fenix. The ending of his feud with Jon Moxley fizzled (literally) but it was still a great feud. Omega’s belt collecting has been amazing, but it is still second to one world champ.
1. Roman Reigns – Universal Champion (WWE)
The head of the table has officially passed one year as WWE Champion. Roman Reigns has been a revelation as a heel since returning at Summerslam 2020. He has been THE attraction on SmackDown for a whole year, with his gimmick never getting stale and his matches always delivering. Reigns has had excellent feuds with Jey Uso, Kevin Owens, and John Cena. His feud around Wrestlemania season against Edge & Daniel Bryan led to one of the greatest triple threat matches of all time. There’s no sign of Reigns losing the title anytime soon, so we may be witnessing one of the best championship reigns of all time.
Evan Gomes is a freelance pop culture & sports writer. Follow him on Twitter at @ItsEvanGomes, and check out his two podcasts: Crossbody of Work and The Pop Capsule Podcast.
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