The WWE Vacant Lot: A History of Forfeited Championships

Making a championship empty is something that pops adult any now and thereafter in all promotions for a accumulation of reasons. Like with the stream conditions with Roman Reigns, genuine life disaster can get in a approach of pre-planned storytelling and it can’t be helped. Other times it comes from politics. Then there’s many instances where withdrawal a pretension is zero some-more than a designed tract device. Maybe we wish to unseat a wrestler nonetheless them truly losing. Maybe we wish to build adult a rematch nonetheless carrying a pretension indeed change hands. Or maybe we usually wish to supplement some-more seductiveness by creation a unfolding where mixed wrestlers have an eventuality to be crowned a undisputed champion.

Here’s a list of a garland of those incidents, possibly they were partial of a story, fake by genuine life incidents, or a small of both. we had to give myself some stipulations or this would be a bit too overwhelming, so I’m going to hang with a WWE’s categorical 3 promotions (WWE, WCW, ECW). Sorry, TNA fans.

Anyway, I’m going to stay divided from a Intercontinental Championship and tab belts and such. I’m usually going by universe titles.

ANTONIO INOKI – DECEMBER 6, 1979

WWF Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real?

As WWWF became WWF, champion Bob Backlund visited Japan to do a array of vital inter-promotional matches with New Japan’s Antonio Inoki. To make it a bit some-more interesting, they came adult with a devise to have Inoki pin Backlund and turn WWF Champion, thereafter dump it in a rematch a few days later. The initial partial went off nonetheless a hitch. Inoki flog Backlund.

Then when there was a rematch, nonetheless Backlund got a pin, a win was thrown out. Tiger Jeet Singh had finished some minor, insignificant division and it was motionless that a compare would be deemed a no-contest. Inoki thereafter vacated a pretension on a spot. WWF was a bit indignant during this conditions and dealt with it by totally unconditional it underneath a rug. As distant as they were concerned, Bob Backlund never mislaid a pretension in Japan and his multi-year run went on uninterrupted. Even to this day, with Inoki being in a Hall of Fame, he isn’t famous as a former WWF Champion.

ANDRE THE GIANT – FEBRUARY 5, 1988

WWF Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

After defeating Andre a Giant during WrestleMania III, Hulk Hogan found himself pestered by a Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase, who wanted a WWF Championship. He didn’t wish to simply plea Hogan and pin him, nonetheless he wanted to indeed buy it. Despite Dibiase’s claims that, “Everybody’s got a price,” Hogan wouldn’t sell out. And so, when Hogan had his large rematch opposite Andre on Saturday Night’s Main Event, Dibiase helped Andre lie to win by employing a referee’s hurtful twin brother.

Yes, that was a thing.

Andre had finally won a gold, nonetheless after a totally unintelligible and foolish promo, Andre proceeded to palm a belt off to Dibiase. Jack Tunney refused to accept this and nude Dibiase of a title. The WWE record books don’t commend Dibiase as a former champion.

The belt was reason adult and they used WrestleMania IV to climax a new champ. With a one-night tournament, 14 group were entered for a opportunity. Hogan and Andre met in a second round, both with byes, nonetheless their conflict finished with a double disqualification. That liberated adult Randy Savage vs. Dibiase in a finals, where Dibiase was fresher due to removing a bye. With Hogan’s help, Savage was means to improved Dibiase, start his initial pretension reign, and concede a Mega Powers their time in a sun.

RIC FLAIR – JULY 1, 1991

WCW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real

WCW’s Executive Vice President Jim Herd wasn’t a large fan of their champion Ric Flair. He felt Flair was too aged and not value gripping around. Plus he wanted to repackage him by carrying him trim his head, get an earring, and call himself Spartacus. Wrestling!

The Great American Bash was entrance adult and Herd designed to have Flair dump a pretension to Lex Luger. That would’ve been excellent for everyone, nonetheless thereafter Herd and Flair got in a exhilarated evidence about his agreement and Herd motionless to simply glow Flair. Their champion.

This wasn’t a storyline. Because of an engaging setup for how WCW paid their champions to transport with a belt, that concerned putting down a deposition and accumulating seductiveness depending on how prolonged you’re requisitioned as champ, Flair was due a large understanding of income and Herd refused to pay. Flair finished him demeanour like a dope by going to WWF with a WCW title, personification himself off as “The Real World’s Champion.”

Meanwhile, Flair was let go usually dual weeks before Great American Bash. An infamously bad show, it finished with Lex Luger confronting Barry Windham in a enclosure compare for a vacated title. Luger did win, nonetheless a throng wasn’t carrying it. They aloud jeered a compare and chanted that they wanted Flair.

HULK HOGAN – DECEMBER 4, 1991

WWF Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

Hulk Hogan’s third pretension energy wasn’t a unequivocally engaging one for a many part, given a association was low on tip heel contenders. Even SummerSlam of that year featured him in a tab group compare rather than fortifying his belt. With Survivor Series ’91, Hogan took on a nigh-unstoppable Undertaker in what was referred to as “The Gravest Challenge.” Coincidentally, it was also a initial non-elimination tab compare during a Survivor Series.

Ric Flair, a male who had been on Hogan’s box for months, came to a ring and helped Undertaker win around unctuous in a steel chair. Undertaker Tombstoned Hogan onto a chair and pinned him, apropos champion.

Due to a approach Undertaker won, President Jack Tunney released an evident rematch during an brash Tuesday PPV 6 days after called Tuesday in Texas. In a rematch, Hogan became a initial chairman to pin Undertaker, nonetheless did so after opening a vessel and throwing a remains into his face. Hogan won his fourth title, nonetheless given he was also cheating, Tunney motionless to straight-up take a pretension divided from both of them.

For a subsequent integrate months, there would be no champion. Tunney motionless to put a belt on a line during January’s Royal Rumble. In a 4 before Rumble matches, there was no genuine prerogative for winning. This altered all by creation it a must-win match. Hogan and Undertaker were any given purposeless draws between 20-30. Regardless, Ric Flair was means to tough it out and win during #3, interjection in partial to Hogan being such a enormous crybaby after Sid Justice separated him.

RIC FLAIR – APRIL 17, 1994

WCW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

Ric Flair was stylin’ and profilin’ as WCW Champion and reignited his aged argument with almighty opposition Ricky Steamboat. Hey, any forgive for some-more Flair/Steamboat matches is a good one. The dual wrestled during a categorical eventuality of Spring Stampede. It finished with Steamboat holding adult Flair in an towering double chickenwing – a same pierce he used to improved Flair for a NWA pretension years progressing – and transitioning it into a bridging pin.

Both Flair and Steamboat’s shoulders were on a belligerent and a ref counted both. Then he acted all confused given they were both strictly pinned.

At first, Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel deliberate Flair to be a champion in light of a events, nonetheless a preference was after changed. Flair’s pretension was reason adult for one some-more compare between a dual on WCW Saturday Night. Again, any forgive for some-more Flair/Steamboat matches is a good one. This time, Flair won decisively around a headbutt to an tired Steamboat’s solar plexus.

THE GIANT – NOVEMBER 6, 1995

WCW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

Here’s a list’s initial ambience of WCW ridiculousness.

Hulk Hogan came to WCW and a whole graduation unexpected became all about him. He feuded with a quick called a Dungeon of Doom, who summoned a Giant, who was meant to be Andre a Giant’s son out for revenge. The Giant’s initial compare was opposite Hulk Hogan for a WCW Championship and there was apparently a proviso in a agreement that if Hogan mislaid by disqualification, he would remove a belt to a Giant.

In a final moments, Hogan’s manager Jimmy Hart pounded a referee, that got Hogan disqualified. Then Hart incited on Hogan and a 7-foot-tall ma named a Yeti seemed out of nowhere and humped Hogan half to death. Rightfully, that’s all anyone unequivocally remembers about this situation.

Because Hart wasn’t unequivocally on Hogan’s side to start with, a Giant was nude of a title. They put it on a line during a subsequent PPV, World War 3. The World War 3 match, for those who don’t know, is a 60-man conflict stately going on in 3 rings simultaneously. It sounds like a coolest thing ever, nonetheless it’s anything but.

Hogan was a favorite to win, nonetheless an separated Giant grabbed him by a leg and pulled him out from underneath a bottom rope. The ref looked over, saw Hogan on a floor, and figured he was thrown out. Randy Savage won a compare and a championship, nonetheless Hogan finished a large understanding about how he was some-more deserving, that about sums adult their veteran relationship.

SHAWN MICHAELS – FEBRUARY 13, 1997

WWF Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real

At WrestleMania XII, Bret Hart forsaken a pretension to Shawn Michaels in an Iron Man Match. Although a dual started to get exhilarated behind a scenes around this time, they concluded that subsequent year, Michaels would lapse a favor. Bret took time off, came behind to argument with Steve Austin, and took partial in a 1996 Royal Rumble. Although he was eliminated, Austin snuck behind into a ring nonetheless a refs ever observant a occurrence and separated Bret, Undertaker, and Vader to win. Austin won and Bret was justly pissed.

WWF President Gorilla Monsoon motionless that a WrestleMania title shot would be put on a line during a subsequent In Your House PPV. Austin, Bret, Undertaker, and Vader would quarrel it out in a four-man conflict stately with pins and submissions in play.

At that Royal Rumble event, Shawn Michaels regained his mislaid WWF Championship from Sycho Sid. The devise was for Bret to win his pretension compare and get a WrestleMania rematch. Instead, Michaels gave adult a belt nonetheless carrying any match. He blamed a bad knee and cut a promo about carrying to leave to “find his smile.” If we trust Bret – and I’m prone to deliberation Michaels’ story – Michaels was milking a repairs so he didn’t have to remove a match. He simply didn’t wish to compensate Bret back.

The Final Four conflict stately became a pretension match. Bret won and thereafter immediately mislaid a belt to Sid. While they were means to spin some bullion out of these developments, generally around giving us a mythological Bret vs. Austin compare during WrestleMania 13, Bret’s genuine rancour over Michaels’ opinion did lead to Vince McMahon’s preference to order a Montreal Screwjob reduction than a year later.

STING – JANUARY 8, 1998

WCW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Mostly Kayfabe

WCW had maybe a biggest wrestling angle on their hands and they totally blew a ending. They spent a year building adult Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan and all they indispensable to do was have Sting improved Hogan during Starrcade. It finished adult being a gorilla duke conditions where Sting did indeed win, nonetheless in a approach that finished a whole product demeanour dumb.

Hogan was ostensible to browbeat early on and pin Sting with a quick count from arbitrate Nick Patrick, nonetheless strangely (and swindling theorists indicate during Hogan for being obliged in genuine life) a arbitrate enacted a normal three-count. Bret Hart, who played arbitrate in an progressing compare that night, came out to force a compare to continue given of a “fast count.” Sting won, nonetheless certain didn’t demeanour good from it.

On a following Nitro, Sting concluded to a rematch. Due to an overrun, they cut a feed. A week later, it was explained that a footage was being reason adult in justice and they would uncover it in a entirety on a new weekly uncover Thunder. The compare was a difficult disaster that concerned a ref bump, a curved ref, tights-pulling into a pin, and a fake submission. It was motionless it would be for a best by simply withdrawal a pretension and starting over again given holy shit.

SuperBrawl featured turn 3 and Sting finally won! …because Randy Savage interfered on his behalf. Eh, infrequently we take what we can when it comes to Hogan.

STEVE AUSTIN – SEPTEMBER 27, 1998

WWF Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

Vince McMahon positively hated that Steve Austin was champion and did all in his energy to unseat him. Kane was means to flog him for a title, nonetheless Austin won it behind a day later. Austin took on Undertaker during SummerSlam and flog him as well. McMahon motionless to pointer a singular triple hazard between Austin, Undertaker, and Kane during Breakdown: In Your House. The offshoot was that Undertaker and Kane couldn’t pin any other.

McMahon was so intense that Austin humour that HE had to be a one defeated. Regardless, Undertaker and Kane – routinely on a same page around this time – finished adult violation any other’s pins and fighting it out among themselves.

At a finish of a match, with Austin finally out cold, Undertaker and Kane both laid on tip of him and finished a pin. Both were counted as a winner. Well, great. Suddenly, there was no champion.

At first, Kane and Undertaker were put in a compare to figure out who a champ would be. Austin was selected as a arbitrate and he proceeded to flog them both down and endowment himself a title. McMahon angrily dismissed Austin, nonetheless that positively didn’t take.

At a following Survivor Series, a 14-man competition was put together. Undertaker and Kane any got a bye. The Deadly Game Tournament finished with a Rock holding on a McMahon-backed Mankind. Through a retelling of a Montreal Screwjob from a year prior, Mankind “submitted” to a Rock’s Sharpshooter and a Rock suggested he was in McMahon’s slot all along.

Long live a Corporate Champion.

VINCE MCMAHON – SEPTEMBER 20, 1999

WWF Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

Champion Triple H was in a midst of a adversary with a whole McMahon family and that led to him perfectionist a compare with Vince, even charity to put a pretension on a line. Vince attempted to play it professional, nonetheless a goading was too many and it was concluded with Shane McMahon as a special referee. It was mostly usually Triple H destroying Vince while Shane attempted to pep-talk his father into station adult for himself. Despite Triple H carrying all in hand, he still had Chyna meddle for him usually for a consequence of removing inexpensive shots in.

With Shane knocked out for a sec, Steve Austin ran in and motionless that during that sold moment, he hated Triple H some-more than Vince. He forsaken Chyna and Triple H with Stunners and dragged Vince’s physique over a champ’s. Shane wrongly finished a count while Austin remained there to see to it that Triple H lost. And on that SmackDown, Vince McMahon became WWF Champion.

Again, perplexing to play adult his professionalism, Vince seemed on a following Raw, observant he didn’t wish to be fortifying a belt or anything like that. He dispossessed a bullion and put together a Six-Pack Challenge during a subsequent Sunday’s PPV, Unforgiven. Through teaming adult with associate heel Davey Boy Smith, Triple H was means to pin a Rock while special enforcer Steve Austin was reluctantly forced to make a count. Triple H had his belt back.

STING – OCTOBER 25, 1999

WCW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

Oh, man. Folks, tab yourself in given a WCW Championship is about to get vacated five times over a march of 3 months. It’s no fluke that this is right when Vince Russo became a conduct writer, nonetheless it’s not wholly his fault.

This initial one is, though. All right…let’s try to get by this clusterfuck. Sting had a compare opposite Hogan during Halloween Havoc. For whatever reason (if it was ever explained, I’m not aware), Hogan simply laid down and authorised Sting to pin him. That was that. Also during a show, Goldberg degraded Sid Vicious around ref stoppage.

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Sting finished an open plea and Goldberg accepted. Cool, cool. It was announced as “unsanctioned” and “non-title.” Goldberg won and arbitrate Charles Robinson handed him a belt. Sting pounded Robinson given given a ruin was he handing him a pretension after a non-title match? Sting was thereafter nude of a pretension for putting his hands on a referee.

Wow.

To climax a new champion, they reason a 32-person tournament. Although for some reason, Madusa was entered in a competition twice. It culminated during Mayhem where Bret Hart degraded Chris Benoit in a finals.

BRET HART – DECEMBER 20, 1999

WCW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

That competition had an opening turn compare of Bret vs. Goldberg and nonetheless Bret won, there was a whole lot of division opposite both group and was in no approach clean. It finished clarity that they would do a rematch during Starrcade for a title. Towards a end, Bret put Goldberg in a Sharpshooter. In nonetheless another headshaking try to anxiety a Montreal Screwjob, Roddy Piper showed adult as a arbitrate and awarded a compare to Bret notwithstanding Goldberg not tapping.

It’s critical to note that Goldberg nailed Bret super tough with a jackass flog to a skull during one indicate in a match, that would means a massive, untreated concussion.

The subsequent night on Nitro, Bret wasn’t happy with a Screwjob redux and yelled during Vince Russo himself (who claimed he was behind it to make adult for Survivor Series 1997). Bret vacated a pretension and offering Goldberg a rematch. It was all a snake as Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, and Jeff Jarrett ran out to assistance Bret win and remodel a New World Order. Nobody suspicion this was a good idea.

BRET HART – JANUARY 16, 2000

WCW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real

Despite holding that nasty flog to a head, Bret continued wrestling by his concussion and it caused mislaid repairs that finished his career. That meant carrying to give adult a pretension instead of fortifying it opposite Sid Vicious during Souled Out.

There were a lot of genuine life problems going into Souled Out. One of them was that Jeff Jarrett – who was ostensible to combat 3 gimmick matches opposite Chris Benoit – perceived his possess conduct repairs heading to a show. Scrambling to figure out a new categorical event, they figured to usually put Benoit adult opposite Sid. Benoit won by creation Sid daub to a Crippler Crossface, heading right into…

CHRIS BENOIT – JANUARY 17, 2000

WCW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real, with a kayfabe failsafe

Like we said, there were genuine life problems going into Souled Out. One of them was that Vince Russo was demoted and was no longer job a shots. The new conduct booker was Kevin Sullivan. This was bad news for Benoit as they had some critical problems. Namely that Sullivan’s mother left him for Benoit a few years earlier. Having that kind of male in assign of your career couldn’t be good and Benoit wanted out. WCW attempted to assuage him by carrying him win a title, nonetheless he saw a essay on a wall and was means to remonstrate a not-so-wrestling-savvy male in assign Brad Siegel to recover him from his contract.

The night after Souled Out, it was shown that Sid’s leg was underneath a bottom wire during a Crippler Crossface and therefore, a pretension was vacant. Anyone else notice that there hasn’t been an actual pretension change in perpetually by this point?

At a time, Kevin Nash was personification a purpose of heel management figure and motionless that there would be a compare between he and Sid to confirm a new champion, nonetheless ONLY if Sid could improved one of a Harris Twins progressing in a night. Sid did so, even with Ron and Don Harris regularly switching places during a match.

Prior to a categorical event, Nash announced that powerbombs would be drift for disqualification. Sid finished due and when Jeff Jarrett attempted interference, Sid stole his guitar and used it on Nash. He finished a pin and became champion.

SID VICIOUS – JANUARY 25, 2000

WCW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

On a following Thunder, Nash nude Sid of a pretension given he pinned a wrong Harris Twin. Nash awarded himself a pretension and put together a encumber compare of himself and Ron Harris opposite Sid. Sid still came out on tip and finished Nash daub out…to a Crippler Crossface.

Cool, we’re creation headway. Let’s see what’s subsequent on the—oh, for good out loud…

SID VICIOUS – APRIL 10, 2000

WCW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

So. WCW motionless that maybe they could repair their problems by putting Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo together and anticipating that their corner strengths would annul their particular weaknesses. The dual acted as on-air personalities, representing a “young and disrespected” New Blood (the midcarders) while revolting opposite a “old and controlling” Millionaires Club (the main-eventers).

I won’t go into given this didn’t work, nonetheless we will speak about how this angle began.

The dual concluded to reboot a product. That meant that all a titles would start from scratch. They called out Sid to a ring and demanded he palm over a WCW Championship. In one of a many annoying WCW moments (and that says a lot), Bischoff joked, “Did we forget your scissors?!” As a inside fun went over many of a audience’s heads, Bischoff doubled down and steady a line. Still no response for that extraordinary zinger.

Since they had Spring Stampede entrance adult in reduction than a week, they rushed by a six-man competition to climax a new champion. In a finals, Kimberly Page incited on her father Diamond Dallas Page to assistance Jeff Jarrett win his initial universe title.

RIC FLAIR – MAY 22, 2000

WCW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real

With a aged vs. immature storyline going on, partial of it became Ric Flair vs. a organisation of WCW Champion Jeff Jarrett, Vince Russo, and David Flair. Amidst all a fury, Flair was means to measure himself a pretension compare opposite Jarrett one Nitro and pinned him cleanly. Yes, cleanly. In a Russo show! An angel usually got a wings.

On a following Thunder, there was a tab compare of Ric Flair and Arn Anderson vs. David Flair and Crowbar. Although Ric’s group came out on top, he collapsed due to an inner-ear problem afterwards. It quickly took him out of movement and rather than simply wait for him to make his return, Russo motionless to frame him of a pretension on a atmosphere and endowment a belt to Jeff Jarrett. Nash seemed and stole a belt away, causing Russo to book a pretension match.

In a totally overbooked nightmare, Jarrett degraded Nash. The prominence was when they attempted to have it sleet poison (?) blood on Nash and it missed completely. Don’t even ask.

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Within a week, Nash had beaten Jarrett for a title, handed it behind to Flair, and Flair mislaid it to Jarrett after that night.

HULK HOGAN – JULY 9, 2000

WCW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe, nonetheless led to some realness

Vince Russo desired perplexing to fuzz a line between genuine life and novella and it competence have meant something if he was in any approach good during it and if he knew how to use it to make constrained television. In a end, it usually finished things come off as phony than common while portrayal all else as pointless. Jarrett was going to urge a belt opposite Hogan during Bash during a Beach and it looked like there were some domestic problems going on. Hogan hadn’t shown adult to any of a Nitro episodes heading adult to a eventuality and Jarrett had to lift a argument himself.

When it came time to do a match, Jarrett laid down and let Hogan pin him. The account was that Hogan had artistic control in his agreement and insisted he’d win. This was Russo vouchsafing him “win.”

Hogan cut an indignant promo and left. Russo showed adult and cut his possess indignant promo. All of this was planned. The problem was that he went a small too distant in his diatribe and Hogan suspicion Russo was being legit. Hogan stormed out of a building, sued a company, and never seemed on WCW TV ever again.

Russo thereafter explained that rather than finish a uncover on a down note, he put together Jeff Jarrett vs. Booker T for a vacant/new WCW title. Booker T came out on top, gaining his initial universe championship.

VINCE RUSSO – OCTOBER 2, 2000

WCW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real

Russo’s insistence of being an on-air celebrity was totally out of control when he requisitioned himself as champion. He put himself in a enclosure compare with Booker T, that had division from everybody underneath a sun. That is flattering many a opposite of what a enclosure compare is ostensible to represent. Anyway, a finish came when Goldberg showed adult and speared Russo by a cage. Technically, that meant Russo transient initial and was a champion.

Not being a lerned wrestler, Russo suffered a flattering nasty concussion from that spot. On a following Nitro, he gave adult a title.

Later that night, Booker T and Jeff Jarrett wrestled in a San Francisco 49ers Match, which…just take my word for it. It was dumb. Booker T won.

But demeanour on a splendid side! That’s a final vacated pretension in WCW history! Thank God!

TRIPLE H – DECEMBER 6, 2004

World Heavyweight Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

Triple H was shoved into a triple hazard opposite Chris Benoit and Edge for a pretension one fatal Raw. With a ref knocked over, Triple H grabbed a chair and prepared to go to city on his opponents. Randy Orton, Triple H’s opposition during a time, intervened and flog him down on a outside. That left Benoit and Edge alone to confirm a winner.

Benoit topsy-turvy a stalk into a Crippler Crossface, nonetheless Edge hesitated. He was means to flip Benoit over into a pinning position. While one ref counted Benoit’s shoulders on a mat, a other remarkable that Edge was drumming out. That led to a lot of difficulty and Triple H was livid. Somebody was champion and it unequivocally wasn’t him.

Raw GM Eric Bischoff motionless to empty a belt. The 3 of them, as good as Orton, Batista, and Chris Jericho would face any other during New Years Revolution in a Elimination Chamber with Shawn Michaels as a special referee. In an overwhelming compare that strongly built towards Batista’s contingent face-turn and arise to superstardom, Triple H came out a leader and regained his changed title.

BATISTA – JANUARY 13, 2006

World Heavyweight Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real

Batista would be a one to overcome Triple H and he lasted utterly a while as champion. He might have even lasted for during slightest a year if tragedy hadn’t struck. Batista was in a center of a argument with Mark Henry when something went wrong during a residence uncover and Batista tore his pectoral. Sadly, he had to give adult a title.

On that unequivocally SmackDown where he dispossessed a gold, they reason a conflict stately to climax a new champion. The 20th entrant was surprisingly Kurt Angle from a Raw roster. JBL insisted everybody mount behind so he could take out Angle himself, nonetheless he was separated immediately. The compare centered around Angle and Mark Henry with a dual of them creation it to a end. Angle levied Henry over a tip wire and won it all.

JOHN CENA – OCTOBER 2, 2007

WWE Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real

Cena was going to take on Randy Orton during No Mercy and urge a pretension in a Last Man Standing Match. Within days of a event, Cena had a compare with Mr. Kennedy where a hiptoss went wrong and caused Cena to rip his pec. Orton pounded him thereafter and they explained it so that it was Orton’s beatdown that put Cena on a shelf. Their pretension compare was off a table.

At No Mercy, Vince McMahon awarded Orton a pretension and told him that he’d have to urge it. Triple H – who was scheduled to face Umaga – demanded a pretension shot. McMahon concluded and Triple H came out a winner. Still, Triple H vs. Umaga was advertised and by gum, it was going to happen! For a title, even!

Triple H won again, nonetheless thereafter McMahon told him that Orton wanted to money in his rematch clause. The categorical eventuality was a Last Man Standing Match and this time Orton stood tall, all while being crowned champion twice in one night.

BOBBY LASHLEY – JUNE 11, 2007

ECW Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

While WWE’s chronicle of ECW was improved than many give it credit for, Bobby Lashley’s arise to a tip was a consistent sign that Vince McMahon was using a show. Turning off a hardcore ECW fans, Lashley proceeded to be pushed as champion notwithstanding his miss of in-ring bravery or charisma. But hey, he was large and athletic, so there was that.

After feuding with McMahon and Umaga over a ECW title, Lashley was drafted onto Raw. Problem was that we couldn’t unequivocally have a ECW Champion on a non-ECW brand. It wouldn’t make sense. Reluctantly, Lashley had to give adult his title.

While that was all partial of a story, a issue was unequivocally genuine and unequivocally tragic. They reason a mini competition to climax a new ECW Champion. Chris Benoit degraded Elijah Burke and CM Punk degraded Marcus Cor Von. Afterwards, a dual finalists stared any other down in a ring, reading for their arriving dream compare during Vengeance: Night of Champions.

That dream became a nightmare. Chris Benoit didn’t make a show, nonetheless he actually considered it, offensive as that sounds. We all know what happened. we don’t need to speak about it. He was transposed with Johnny Nitro, who degraded CM Punk to turn ECW Champion. I’m certain it’s not a pretension win he’s generally unapproachable of.

EDGE – JULY 20, 2007

World Heavyweight Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real

This came from a whole sequence of injury-related pretension juggling. Mr. Kennedy was a Money in a Bank hilt and mentioned his vigilant to reason onto a briefcase and money it in during WrestleMania. He got harmed and a astringency was overestimated. He finished adult dropping a briefcase to Edge. Then a Undertaker got harmed and they used Edge as an out by carrying him money in and take him out.

Edge won a array of matches opposite Batista and in response, Batista was no longer authorised to plea Edge for a title. Edge’s success was ephemeral as he transitioned into a argument with Kane. During a shred between a two, Edge tore his pec and had to relinquish a pretension in response.

The resolution to this problem causes a chill down a spine of wrestling fans to this day. A conflict stately was reason on SmackDown for a empty title. There were usually a few viable winners in there and a bookers motionless it would be improved to have a faces follow a pretension like they were already doing with Edge. That meant a usually options were Mark Henry, Fit Finlay, and a Great Khali.

In a end, Khali separated Batista and Kane during a same time. He thereafter reason adult a belt…upside-down.

UNDERTAKER – APRIL 29, 2008

World Heavyweight Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

In a Undertaker’s extensive argument with Edge, he degraded him during dual PPVs in a quarrel (WrestleMania and Backlash) around his acquiescence move, a Hell’s Gate. The pierce was put over as so dangerous that SmackDown GM and Edge’s regretful partner Vickie Guerrero claimed it was simply not authorised in a wrestling match. Therefore, retroactively, Undertaker was no longer champion.

Judgment Day was to have Undertaker take on a challenger for a empty title. Edge stole a eventuality from Batista. Edge mislaid due to count-out, nonetheless Vickie forked out that a pretension can’t change hands around count-out and therefore there was still no champion. A TLC compare was sealed during One Night Stand with a combined chapter that if Undertaker lost, he was fired. Due to a numbers advantage of Edge’s La Familia stable, Edge won a championship and Undertaker had to take a powder.

BATISTA – JUNE 9, 2009

WWE Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real

Batista usually couldn’t locate a break. He was on a shelf for a hamstring rip for 5 months, that kept him from finishing his argument with Randy Orton and Legacy. He returned and succeeded in defeating Orton in a enclosure match. Unfortunately, he also tore his bicep somewhere in a process. Bummer.

On a following Raw, Legacy put a boots to Batista as a on-air reason for him being gone. Batista had to have medicine and was forced to relinquish a pretension nonetheless again.

A Fatal 4-Way was reason to figure out a new champion. The competitors were John Cena, Triple H, Orton, and Big Show. Orton watched as Cena took detached Triple H and Big Show before entering a ring, ejecting Cena, dropping Big Show with an RKO, and creation a pin.

EDGE – APRIL 12, 2011

World Heavyweight Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real

Alberto Del Rio seemed like a can’t-miss prospect. They requisitioned him effectively in his initial few months, rising him adult while being clever about his losses. He won a Royal Rumble and was on his approach to WrestleMania to take a World Heavyweight Championship from Edge. In a lead-up, he mislaid clean to Christian. Then a pretension compare was a opening bout. Which Edge won. Then Edge proceeded to disparage him even further.

If Del Rio was designed to get his punish and get Edge’s pretension during a after PPV, it was never going to happen. Shortly after WrestleMania, Edge announced his retirement due to his neck problems. Edge dispossessed a gold.

At a subsequent PPV, Extreme Rules, a belt was adult for grabs in a Ladder Match between Christian and Del Rio. Once again, Del Rio lost. Christian became champion and immediately forsaken it to Randy Orton dual nights later, that finished me flip a list over, set it behind up, thereafter flip it over again.

CM PUNK – JULY 17, 2011

WWE Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

CM Punk’s agreement was entrance adult and he didn’t consider too rarely of how he had been used adequate to re-sign. The whole New Nexus/Randy Orton argument left a bad ambience in his mouth, among other things. When he was set to have his final argument be opposite WWE Champion John Cena during Money in a Bank, he cut a promo that brought genuine life into a story and talked adult how he was leaving. The account became that he designed to win a pretension and take it with him. It was a large deal, got a crapload of people interested, and did indeed have Punk flog Cena, usually to skedaddle into a Chicago night.

The new champion was left from a company. What to do?

McMahon claimed he would glow Cena on Raw the following night for his failure, nonetheless Triple H stopped him underneath a orders of a Board of Directors. While that was going on, an eight-man competition took place. The quarterfinals and semis in one week with a finals a following. Rey Mysterio degraded a Miz to win, nonetheless thereafter Triple H immediately sealed a compare for after that night where Rey would urge his pretension opposite Cena. Cena, who hadn’t wrestled given Money in a Bank, 8 nights earlier. At no indicate did any of a commentators indicate out how shitty this was for Cena to do.

Cena flog a tiny, new champion given of march he did and thereafter CM Punk finished his large lapse right after to taunt him. Cena might have had a deputy championship, nonetheless it wasn’t a genuine understanding until he could flog a man.

DANIEL BRYAN – SEPTEMBER 16, 2013

WWE Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Kayfabe

John Cena indispensable to take time off given of a nasty expansion in his arm a stretch of a baseball. At SummerSlam, he forsaken a pretension clean to Daniel Bryan. Bryan was thereafter tricked by COO and guest arbitrate Triple H, who planted him with a Pedigree and let Randy Orton money in his Money in a Bank briefcase. The Authority didn’t wish Bryan to be champ given it wasn’t good for business, that was a thoughtfulness of genuine life. They never dictated to give Bryan a genuine energy and hoped he’d usually blur into a credentials so they could pull bigger stars.

Bryan got his rematch during Night of Champions and degraded Orton flattering decisively with his drifting knee. Even nonetheless Orton was out cold, a ref still did a quick count and Triple H called it out a subsequent night on Raw. The ref Scott Armstrong, apparently operative underneath Triple H’s orders, acted like Bryan paid him off and Bryan was nude of a title.

The dual had another compare during Battleground for a empty pretension and it finished in a no competition due to a division of a good Big Show, who punched everybody out. It was really, unequivocally stupid. Bryan faced Orton nonetheless again during a Hell in a Cell PPV, inside a Hell in a Cell with special arbitrate Shawn Michaels. An overly-complicated finale happened, culminating in Michaels dropping Bryan with a superkick and counting a pin for Orton.

DANIEL BRYAN – JUNE 9, 2014

WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real

WWE attempted to force Bryan into a storyline with Bray Wyatt while anticipating Big Show could co-opt Bryan’s renouned “YES!” chants. No, really. They figured a intone was a usually partial renouned and Bryan was immaterial. If anyone was going to flog Orton, it was going to be a returning Batista, who was both out of ringshape and impossibly unlikeable as a tip face. Between a crowd’s rallying for Bryan, their destined loathing for Batista, and CM Punk’s sudden withdrawal of a company, WWE was forced into centering WrestleMania XXX around Bryan finally removing a gold.

And he did. He flog Triple H, Batista, and Randy Orton in one night to turn WWE World Heavyweight Championship. He was thereafter shoved into a muted argument with Kane. Around this time, he was diagnosed with some neck issues due to wear and rip and indispensable to have it looked at. They drew it out a bit, nonetheless it was worse than primarily approaching and put him out for months. They had to empty a title.

At a Money in a Bank PPV, they reason a common ladder compare for a suggested briefcase and a second one for a empty title. In a seven-man match, John Cena came out on top. Then a month and a half later, he forsaken it after being mauled into unconcern by Brock Lesnar during SummerSlam, giving viewers an suspicion of what their strange skeleton for Bryan’s pretension energy unequivocally were.

SETH ROLLINS – NOVEMBER 5, 2015

WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Real or Kayfabe: Real

The impulse Seth Rollins incited on his Shield brothers Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, he finished a agreement with Triple H that would rocket him to a top. Almost immediately, he was given a Money in a Bank briefcase interjection to a assistance of Kane. Then, when a time was right, he cashed in on Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns during their large WrestleMania showdown, pinning Roman and apropos champ.

In a months that followed, Seth was forced to take on many top-level challengers and constantly survived by a skin of his teeth. The likes of Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose, Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Sting, and Demon Kane unsuccessful to adopt him for one reason or another. The devise seemed obvious: set adult Roman Reigns to improved him during Survivor Series.

Unfortunately, during a residence show, Seth’s leg gave out when attempting to powerbomb Kane. He finished a match, nonetheless a repairs was done. He indispensable medicine and it would keep him out for about 6 months.

In a meantime, a competition was setup for Survivor Series where a leader would be a new champion. In a finals, Roman Reigns degraded Dean Ambrose and stood high with his initial universe championship victory. Moments later, he was knocked out by Sheamus, who cashed in his possess Money in a Bank briefcase to take a title.

Months later, when Roman Reigns had finally finished divided with Sheamus and a Authority, Seth Rollins returned from repairs in hopes of holding behind his title.

FINN BALOR – AUGUST 22, 2016

WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Real or Kayfabe: Real

As Raw and SmackDown split into dual rosters, it became ungainly for Raw, given a other uncover had a WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley motionless to start a new Universal Championship and reason a competition to see who would be Seth Rollins’ competition during SummerSlam. NXT call-up Finn Balor finished it by a Fatal 4-Way and thereafter repelled everybody by clean and decisively holding down Roman Reigns after a same night.

At SummerSlam, he kept a movement going by going over Rollins. During a match, he endured a powerbomb into a block and it popped his shoulder out of his socket. He popped it behind in and finished. Balor was crowned a initial ever WWE Universal Champion, did some interviews, and it looked like he had a good destiny going as a face of WWE’s flagship show.

The day after, he had some critical pain in his shoulder. With a pain augmenting by a day, he had it looked during and it was apparent that he indispensable surgery. Despite being given a once-in-a-lifetime super push, predestine derailed him and forced him to vacate.

Four matches were put together on that Raw, giving us 4 finalists: Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, and Big Cass. On a following week, a 4 fought it out in an rejecting match. Cass went down initial and towards a end, Triple H appeared. He forsaken Roman Reigns with a Pedigree and had Rollins make a pin. Then he tricked Rollins, took him out with a Pedigree, and authorised Owens to welcome his destiny as a new WWE Universal Champion.

ROMAN REIGNS – OCTOBER 22, 2018

WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP

Real or Kayfabe: Real

After so many iffy scenarios meant to coronate Roman Reigns as a suggestive champion, WWE finally pulled a trigger during SummerSlam where he speared and pinned a dreaming Brock Lesnar. He continued his unconstrained argument with Braun Strowman, nonetheless their Hell in a Cell showdown was interrupted by a pissed off Brock. A triple hazard compare for a Universal Championship was put together for WWE Crown Jewel.

The rave to it wasn’t a best, partially given Brock wasn’t on TV too mostly and Roman and Braun were a less-important tools of a Shield vs. Pack feud. Hell, Braun was even wrapped adult with his possess budding adversary with Drew McIntyre. Despite a large names in this match, it usually didn’t seem all that critical and Roman maintaining was a essay on a wall.

Then he non-stop an book of Raw to announce to a universe that 11 years earlier, he cowed leukemia. Now it’s behind and while he intends to improved it again, it means stepping divided from WWE for a while during a unequivocally least. That means a triple hazard is now a one-on-one hitch and, going with a logic, a leader will be a new Universal Champion. That puts them in an ungainly conditions in a way, given possibly they’re going behind to a unpopular standing quo of Brock Lesnar being an absentee champion or they’re finally giving Braun his large pretension win in a uncover that a association substantially wants to stretch themselves from.

Gavin Jasper writes for Den of Geek and dedicates this essay to a Go Go’s. Vacation’s all they ever wanted. Read some-more of his articles here and follow him on Twitter @Gavin4L.

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