WWE United States Championship (2003 – Present)
The WWE United States Championship is a professional wrestling championship promoted by the American professional wrestling promotion WWE on the Raw brand. It is one of two secondary titles for WWE’s main roster, along with the WWE Intercontinental Championship, which is on the SmackDown brand. The current champion is AJ Styles, who is in his third reign.
The championship was established on January 1, 1975, as the version of the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship that was defended in Jim Crockett Promotions, and later assumed by World Championship Wrestling (WCW), which eventually seceded from the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). Harley Race was the inaugural champion. After WCW was purchased by the then-World Wrestling Federation (WWF) 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 being renamed to WWE, the championship was reactivated as the WWE United States Championship in July 2003 as a secondary title of the SmackDown brand. The title has switched between brands over the years as a result of the WWE draft; the 2019 Superstar Shake-up moved the title to Raw.
Of the WWE’s currently active championships, the United States Championship is the only one that was not originated in the promotion. It is the second oldest active title in the company, behind the WWE Championship (1963), but the third longest-tenured championship, behind the WWE and Intercontinental Championships (1979), as the WWE has only owned the U.S. title since 2001.