In recent years, WWE has had a number of their Black wrestlers become WWE Champion. In just the last few years, Kofi Kingston, Big E and Bobby Lashley have all become first-time WWE Champions in the last few years.
The latest Black WWE Champion was Bobby Lashley, who defeated Brock Lesnar at the 2022 Royal Rumble to win his second WWE Championship reign. However, before himself, Kofi and Big E, there had only been one black WWE Champion in the history of the company.
Read below to see who the first Black WWE Champion of all time was.
First Black WWE Champion
The Rock was the first Black WWE Champion in WWE history. He won the championship in the final of the WWE “Deadly Game” tournament, defeating Mankind in the final with help from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. Mr McMahon ordered the referee to ring the bell even though Mankind did not submit, mimicking the previous years Montreal Screwjob.
The Rock joined Mr McMahon’s Corporation and became the WWE’s “Corporate Champion”. In doing so, he became the first black wrestler to hold the WWE Championship in WWE. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Rocky Johnson, who was the first Black wrestler to hold a championship in WWE, when he and his partner Tony Atlas won the WWE Tag Team Championship.
The Rock is also one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, as well as being the first Black WWE Champion. His is a 10 time World Champion in WWE, as well as winning the 2000 Royal Rumble match (although his win over The Big Show was a contentious one.
Another contentious point about him being the first black WWE Champion is the fact that some people do not consider him to be “black”. This is due to the fact that his Samoan heritage is more emphasised in WWE. However, this is a misconception. Not only was his father famously the first black champion in WWE, he was also part of the Nation of Islam-inspired group “The Nation of Domination“.
Did you know that The Rock was the first Black WWE Champion? Let us know in the comments or click below to read more
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.