With the shocking news that Seth Rollins has torn his ACL, the 7 month run as WWE World Champion has come to an abrupt end. This week on Raw we saw the beginnings of a tournament to crown a new WWE Champion. This is not the first time the WWE title has been made vacant. Today we look back at the times when the WWE World Heavyweight title has been made vacant.
Andre The Giant – WWE Main Event
Following a 4 year run as champion, Hulk Hogan got screwed by the Million Dollar Man’s quest to gain the championship. In a rematch against Andre The Giant. Bribed by Ted DiBiase Dave Hebners twin Earl called a very controversial decision allowing Andre the Giant to become champion. As a result Andre then stunned the world by giving his newly acquired title to Ted DiBiase. As a result, WWE President Jack Tunney, declared the WWE title vacant and a tournament held at Wrestlemania IV. The tournament was won by Macho Man Randy Savage.
Hulk Hogan – This Tuesday In Texas
Undertaker ended Hulk Hogans run as WWE Champion at Survivor Series 1991 in controversial circumstances (notice a theme with Hogan dropping the title?). A rematch was set for This Tuesday In Texas. With Jack Tunney at ringside to prevent outside interference, things should have had a decisive finish? Well Ric Flair came to the ring, accidentally stunned Tunney allowing Hogan to throw the urns ashes into Undertakers eye’s allowing him to pin the Deadman. Tunney noticed this and stripped Hogan of the title, declaring the winner of the 1992 Royal Rumble the new WWF Champion. A match won by The Nature Boy Ric Flair.
Shawn Michaels Loses His Smile
Another example of a superstar not willing to drop titles… in February 1997, Shawn Michaels announced on an episode of Raw that a knee injury has forced Michaels to vacate the WWF Championship. The title was decided at the upcoming Fatal 4 Way match at In Your House: Final Four. Bret Hart won the match defeating Stone Cold, Undertaker and Vader. 24 hours later, Bret lost the title to Sid.