Overall, the United States Championship was first introduced in 1975, however, its current version has been active sunce 2003. It serves as the midcard title for Smackdown Live, opposite the Intercontinental Championship on RAW. In its history there have been 157 reigns among 92 champions with 21 vacancies. Ric Flair has held the title the most times ar six and Lex Luger holds the record for longest single reign at 523 days. Luger also has held the United States Championship the most days overall at 950. The current champion is Shinsuke Nakamura.
History and Lineage
The United States Championship that is recognized in WWE today started out as one of many such titles under in NWA umbrella. Up until 1981, each NWA regional territory recognized its own United States Champion. In 1988, Ted Turner bought out NWA and turned it into WCW, but in 1991, WCW began to separate from the original NWA and made the United States Championship WCW property.
During the Invasion, WCW United States Champion Edge defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion Test to unify the titles under the Federation and retire the United States Championship. It was reactivated in 2003 to serve as Smackdown’s secondary championship. From there, minus a brief stint in ECW, the title switched between RAW and Smackdown based on title wins and draft picks until the end of the first brand extension in 2011.
When the brand split was reintroduced in 2016, then-champion Rusev was drafted to RAW, taking the United States.Championship with him. The title would switch brands once more during the 2017 Superstar Shakeup, going with Kevin Owens to Smackdown where it currently resides.*
Current champion Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Jeff Hardy at SummerSlam to win the title. He has since defended the title three times, twice against Hardy and once against Rusev. Nakamura successfully retained the championship all three times, though he lost his first defense via disqualification. His next title defense has yet to be determined.
*The title switched back to RAW during the 2018 Superstar Shakeup, but that change was negated when Jeff Hardy defeated Jinder Mahal for the title and then transferred to Smackdown the next night.