The Real Number Of Ric Flair’s World Championships (It’s Not 16!)

Hamish Woodward

The common lie claimed by the WWE is that Ric Flair has the joint record for World Championships, at 16 reigns.

This is not true. While John Cena did match this supposed total in 2016, he does not hold the record alongside Flair.

Ric Flair actually has more than 16 World Championship reigns, something that the WWE doesn’t want you to know!

It is not the first time they withheld title reigns from the fans – click here to learn about when Antonio Inoki secretly won the WWE Championship.

How Many World Championships Did Ric Flair Win?

Ric Flair has won between 16 and 25 World Championships in his career – although Flair himself claims to be a 21-time World Heavyweight Champion.

The legitimacy of some of the these titles is up in the air – which is why WWE only acknowledges 16 of his 21 world title reigns.

The WWE claim Ric Flair has won 16 World Championships, with the following break down of title reigns:

  • 8 NWA World’s Heavyweight Championships
  • 6 WCW World Heavyweight Championships
  • 2 WWE Championships

This in itself is a wonderful array of titles, putting Flair among the most decorated wrestlers in the history of wrestling.

However, there are three NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship reigns that are not recognized. This is because they happened at untelevised shows, and saw Flair drop the title to a hometown hero, before winning it back very soon after.

In his first title reign, he dropped the title to local hero Jack Veneno in the Dominican Republic, winning it back soon after.

This was to placate a hostile crowd, who would have rushed the ring and attacked Flair had he kept the belt.

This also happened against Carlos Colon (in Puerto Rico) and Victory Jovia (Trinidad).

This gives Ric Flair three more title reigns that are generally unrecognized (except to Flair). He did the same to Harley Race in New Zealand during his second (official) reign as NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion, before winning it back.

This puts Ric Flair as a 20-time world champion, four clear of his nearest rival (John Cena).

He would then hold the WCW and NWA title’s simultaneously, although the actual lineage of the title is unclear – it is generally considered that they are one title, and don’t count as two separate reigns.

However, he dropped and regained the NWA title from Tatsumi Fujinami in Japan, prior to signing with the WWE in 1991.

This adds another reign to Ric Flair’s already impressive collection of belts, leaving him with the claimed 21 World Championship reigns.

Ric Flair has 21 World Title reigns, even if the WWE refuse to acknowledge it. The Nature Boy legitimately lost and won the titles back numerous times, with thousands of fans in attendance to view the title change.

It’s not as if the WWE havn’t done title changes at house shows. Kevin Nash beat Bob Backlund for the WWE Championship at a house show, whereas Samoa Joe pinned Finn Balor to win the NXT title at a live event.

These are counted as canon in WWE history, so why not Ric Flair?

Most World Championship Reigns

Ric Flair had the most World Championship reigns in wresting history, with 21.

John Cena comes in at second place, 5 wins away from him with 16. However, all of Cena’s took place in the WWE, split between the WWE Championship (13) and the World Heavyweight Championship (3).

Sting is next in line with 14, split between WCW, NWA and TNA. Mexican star El Canek has 15 title reigns, although that depends on if you consider the UWA World Heavyweight Championships a true world title.

Triple H has 14 World title reigns (all in WWE), whilst Hulk Hogan has 13 in his legendary career. Hogan was the most popular wrestler of all time, with his trophy cabinet consisting of WWE, WCW and IWGP Heavyweight Championships showing more variety than anyone else on the list.

Other notable wrestlers on the list are Randy Orton (13), Kurt Angle (12) and Jeff Jarrett (12)

Here is the full list of the wrestlers will the most World Championship reigns:

  • Ric Flair – 21
  • John Cena – 16
  • El Canek – 15
  • Triple H – 14
  • Sting – 14
  • Hulk Hogan – 13
  • Randy Orton – 13
  • Kurt Angle – 12
  • Jeff Jarrett – 12
  • Verne Gagne – 11
  • Edge – 11
  • AJ Styles – 10
  • Stan Hansen – 10
  • The Rock – 10
  • Giant Baba – 10
  • Bryan Danielson – 9
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi – 9

This list will be added to once more wrestlers win enough World Championships to be added to this list of legends.

Let us know what you think about Ric Flair’s World Championship reigns in the comments section below.

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