As of 2014, Bruno Sammartino holds the record for being the longest-reigning WWE Champion. Sammartino held the championship for a total of 4,040 days. With two title reigns, Sammartino’s longest individual title reign reached 2,803 days.
In 1963, Sammartino defeated Buddy Rogers in 48 seconds to become the second-ever WWE Champion. Sammartino won the title in Madison Square Garden, an arena he sold out 187 times during his career. In 1971, Sammartino lost the WWE Championship after holding it for nearly eight years. Due to his overwhelming popularity at the time, fans in the audience were seen crying due to his loss; however, Sammartino went on and reclaimed the same title two years later. His second title reign lasted for three and a half years.