The WWE United States Championship a professional wrestling championship created and promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE. Along with the WWE Intercontinental Championship, it is one of the two secondary titles of the promotion. The current champion is Rusev, who is in his third reign.
The championship was established as the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship on January 1, 1975 for the regional territory, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, later known as Jim Crockett Promotions and then World Championship Wrestling, which eventually seceded from the National Wrestling Alliance. Harley Race was the inaugural champion. This makes the United States Championship the only active championship in WWE that was not originated in the promotion, as well as WWE's second oldest active championship, behind the WWE Championship (1963).
After WCW was purchased by the then-World Wrestling Federation in 2001, the then-WCW United States Championship was defended in the WWF until it was unified with the Intercontinental Championship at that year's Survivor Series. After the 2002 brand extension and the promotion renamed to WWE, the championship was reactivated as the WWE United States Championship in July 2003 as a secondary title of the SmackDown brand.
Throughout 2001, the title was brought up during The Invasion period. At Survivor Series 2001, the title was unified with the WWE Intercontinental Championship. The United States Champion, Edge, defeated the Intercontinental Champion, Test, becoming the new Intercontinental Champion and the United States Championship was then deactivated.
In July 2003, the title was reactivated as the WWE United States Championship by SmackDown General Manager, Stephanie McMahon, and was commissioned to be a secondary championship to the SmackDown brand. Eddie Guerrero became the first champion after months of having been vacated through a tournament in the finals at Vengeance 2003 vs Chris Benoit. This was done shortly after the WWE Intercontinental Championship was recommissioned by the Raw brand, making the title its equal counterpart. The title remained on SmackDown until April 13, 2009, when reigning champion Montel Vontavious Porter was drafted from SmackDown over to Raw during the 2009 WWE Draft, moving the title with him. On April 26, 2011, reigning champion Sheamus was drafted to SmackDown during the 2011 WWE Draft, briefly bringing the U.S. Title back to the show. Five days later, Raw's Kofi Kingston defeated Sheamus for the title at Extreme Rules, returning it to Raw. Since August 29, 2011, when all WWE programming became "Supershows" featuring the entire roster, the U.S. Title has been defended on both Raw and SmackDown.
In 2015, WWE introduced an updated version of their Grand Slam Championship, and the United States Championship became officially recognized as a component of the re-established honor. In August at SummerSam 2015, then champion John Cena faced then WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins in a title-for-title match. Rollins ultimately won due to interference and became the first wrestler to hold the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and WWE United States Championship simultaneously. Rollins held both titles until Cena defeated Rollins in his rematch for the United States title at Night of Champions the following month.
In July 2016, WWE reintroduced the brand extension, and a draft took place on the July 19, 2016 premiere episode of SmackDown Live. United States Champion Rusev was drafted to the Raw brand, but was scheduled to defend the title against SmackDown draftee Zack Ryder at Battleground just days later. Rusev retained the championship, making it exclusive to Raw.
- Booker T comes to the WWF with the United States Championship on July 26, 2001.
- Chris Kanyon is awarded the title by Booker and Stephanie McMahon on July 26, 2001.
- Tajiri beat Kanyon for the title on Raw is War on September 10, 2001.
- Rhyno defeated Tajiri for the title at Unforgiven on September 23, 2001.
- Kurt Angle won the championship on the October 22, 2001 episode of Raw.
- Edge won the title on the November 12, 2001 Raw. He then unified the United States and Intercontinental Championships at the 2001 Survivor Series pay-per-view, deactivating the title for two years.
- Eddie Guerrero last defeated Chris Benoit at Vengeance on July 27, 2003 to become the new Unites States Champion.
- Big Show beat Eddie Guerrero for the title on October 19, 2003 at No Mercy.
- John Cena defeated Big Show for the title at WrestleMania XX on March 14, 2004. He would later vacate it on July 8 due to attacking SmackDown General Manager Kurt Angle.
- Booker T won an 8-man elimination match on July 29, 2004 for the title.
- John Cena regained the title on October 3, 2004 at No Mercy.
- Carlito won the title in his debut match by defeating Cena on October 7, 2004.
- John Cena regained the title on the November 18, 2004 episode of SmackDown.
- Orlando Jordan won the title after beating Cena on March 3, 2005.
- Chris Benoit won the belt after beating Jordan at SummerSlam on August 21, 2005.
- Booker T beat Benoit on the October 21, 2005 SmackDown tapings. It was vacated on November 25, due to a double pinfall between Booker and Benoit.
- Booker T won the title back on January 13, 2006.
- Chris Benoit beat Booker at No Way Out for the title on February 19, 2006.
- John "Bradshaw" Layfield won the title on April 2, 2006 at WrestleMania 22.
- Bobby Lashley won the belt by defeating JBL at the May 26, 2006 SmackDown tapings.
- Finlay took the strap on July 14, 2006.
- Mr. Kennedy beat Finlay and Lashley to take the belt on September 1, 2006.
- Chris Benoit won the belt on October 13, 2006.
- Montel Vontavious Porter won it on May 20, 2007 at Judgment Day.
- Matt Hardy beat MVP for the title on April 27, 2008 at Backlash.
- Shelton Benjamin won the belt from Hardy on July 20, 2008, at The Great American Bash.
- MVP won the belt back on March 20, 2009.
- Kofi Kingston won the belt on June 1, 2009.
- The Miz defeated Kingston to win the belt on October 5, 2009.
- Bret Hart beat The Miz to become the champion on May 17, 2010. He would later vacate it on May 24, 2010.
- R-Truth won the belt on May 24, 2010.
- The Miz beat R-Truth, John Morrison and Zack Ryder to become champion on June 14, 2010.
- Daniel Bryan beat The Miz at Night of Champions on September 19, 2010 for the belt.
- Sheamus won the strap from Bryan on March 14, 2011.
- Kofi Kingston regained the title on May 1, 2011 at Extreme Rules.
- Dolph Ziggler beat Kingston at Capitol Punishment to become champion on June 19, 2011.
- Zack Ryder won the belt at TLC on December 18, 2011.
- Jack Swagger beat Ryder on January 16, 2012.
- Santino Marella beat Swagger for the title on March 5, 2012.
- Antonio Cesaro won the title at SummerSlam on August 18, 2012.
- Kofi Kingston won the belt on April 15, 2013.
- Dean Ambrose won the belt on May 19, 2013 at Extreme Rules.
- Sheamus won the belt on May 5, 2014.
- Rusev won the strap on November 3, 2014.
- John Cena won the title on March 29, 2015 at WrestleMania 31.
- Seth Rollins won the title on August 23, 2015 at SummerSlam.
- John Cena regained the title on September 20, 2015 at Night of Champions.
- Alberto Del Rio won the title on October 25, 2015 at Hell in a Cell.
- Kalisto won the title on January 11, 2016.
- Alberto Del Rio regained the title on January 12, 2016.
- Kalisto regained the title on January 24, 2016 at Royal Rumble.
- Rusev won the title on May 22, 2016 at Extreme Rules.
- Roman Reigns won the title on September 25, 2016 at Clash of Champions
- Shinsuke Nakamura won the title on July 15, 2018 at Extreme Rules.
- Rusev won the title on December 18, 2018 (tape delay on December 25) on SmackDown