Okada Now 15th Longest World Title Reign of Modern Era

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Photos: Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair (WWE), Okada (NJPW)

Today marks the 502nd day of Kazuchika Okada‘s fourth reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion in NJPW. A few weeks ago, he surpassed Shinya Hashimoto for the longest IWGP Heavyweight title reign in NJPW history (Hashimoto ended with a 489 day reign, from April 1996 to August of 1997), but with his 502nd day as NJPW’s World Champion, Okada has entered the top 15 longest World title reigns of the Modern Era of professional wrestling (from 1980 to present). Prior to the 1980’s, it wasn’t unusual for World champions to carry the title for years or over 1500 to 2000 days. But with the rise of television, the need to change champions increased. Here’s a look at all the members of the 500 Club – people who held a top singles title for a major promotion for more than 500 days – since the start of the national television and cable – or Modern – era of pro wrestling. (Note: Should Okada hold the title until Wrestle Kingdom 12 he’ll move up to sole possession of #11).

Photo: PWI

#15 (tied with Okada). Nick Bockwinkel, AWA World Heavyweight Champion (October 9, 1982 to February 22, 1984), 502 days

Photo: WWE

#15 (tied with Okada). Rockin’ Robin, WWF Women’s Champion (October 7, 1988 to 1990), 502 days

Photo: All Japan

#15 (tied with Okada). Satoshi Kojima, All-Japan Triple Crown Champion (February 16, 2005 to July 3, 2006), 502 days

Photo: WWE

#14. Asuka, NXT Women’s Champion (April 1, 2016 to August 24, 2017), 510 days

Photo: All Japan

#13. Toshiaki Kawada, All-Japan Triple Crown Champion (September 6, 2003 to February 16, 2005), 529 days

Photo: PWG

#12. Adam Cole, PWG World Champion (December 1, 2012 to May 23, 2014), 538 days

Photo: ROH

#11. Nigel McGuinness, ROH World Champion (October 6, 2007 to April 3, 2009), 545 days

Photo: Pro Wrestling NOAH

#10. Takashi Sugiura, GHC (Pro Wrestling NOAH) Heavyweight Champion (December 6, 2009 to July 10, 2011), 589 days

#9. Rick Martel, AWA World Heavyweight Champion (May 13, 1984 to December 29, 1985), 595 days

Photo: PROGRESS

#8. Jimmy Havoc, PROGRESS World Champion (November 24, 2013 to July 26, 2015), 609 days

Photo: NJPW

#7. Jushin Thunder Liger, IWGP (NJPW) Junior Heavyweight Champion (January 4, 1993 to September 28, 1994), 628 days

#6. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, NWA World Heavyweight Champion (September 17, 1981 to June 10, 1983), 631 days

Photo: ROH

#5. Samoa Joe, ROH World Champion (March 22, 2003 to December 26, 2004), 645 days

Photo: All Japan

#4. Mitsuharu Misawa, All-Japan Triple Crown Champion (August 22, 1992 to July 28, 1994), 705 days

Photo: Pro Wrestling NOAH

#3. Kenta Kobashi, GHC (Pro Wrestling NOAH) Heavyweight Champion (March 1, 2003 to March 5, 2005), 735 days

#2. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, NWA World Heavyweight Champion (May 24, 1984 to July 26, 1986), 793 days

Photo: WWE

#1. Hulk Hogan, WWF World Heavyweight Champion (January 23, 1984 to February 5, 1988), 1,474 days

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