Top 9 Wrestlers Who Vacated Their Championships Due To Injury
Numerous WWE wrestlers have lost their titles due to injury over the years. However, these ten wrestlers are the most prominent.
Over the years, a number of wrestlers vacated their championships after suffering an injury. But which are the most prominent wrestlers who lost the title to injury?
1. Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins is undoubtedly one of the hardest working wrestlers out there. Of course, this has given him lots of titles in the past.
During a live event match with Kane, Seth Rollins tore his ACL, MCL and medial meniscus. This was shortly after his Money in the Bank cash-in, where he obtained the title.
Seth Rollins was set to make huge waves in the WWE. Unfortunately, he had the vacate the title and put any plans on hold until he could return to the ring.
2. Daniel Bryan
After suffering a career-ending injury, Daniel Bryan was forced to give up his prized Intercontinental Championship.
Daniel Bryan had some amazing matches with Sheamus for the Intercontinental Championship. And while the feud was amazing, Bryan suffered some serious injuries to the head.
After some medical tests, Daniel Bryan was unable to compete in the ring. Because of the diagnosis, he lost the title and was forced to retire.
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Fortunately, there is a happy ending to the story as Daniel Bryan did return to pro wrestling. He also recently welcomed his second child Buddy Dessert.
3. Finn Balor
Things were looking up for Finn Balor when he made it to the main roster. In fact, he soon became the inaugural Universal Champion.
Unfortunately, Finn Balor was forced to vacate the title. While having a match against Seth Rollins, Finn Balor’s shoulder came out of its socket.
Attempting to continue with the match, Balor forced his shoulder back into the socket. However, this caused more damaged and forced Balor on the bench for several months.
After he lost the title, Balor never really recovered. A few years down the line, he returned to NXT.
4. Tommaso Ciampa
Out of all wrestlers who vacated their championship, Tommaso Ciampa’s was the most tragic in many ways. On March 20, 2019, he had to end his reign at a whopping 237 days.
Ciampa was doing some excellent heel work on the black and gold brand. While he vacated the title, the injury had much bigger consequences.
Only a few weeks later, doctors told Ciampa that he is wrestling on borrowed time. So even though he returned with great success, Ciampa’s wrestling career might not be that long.
While Ciampa still would have a flourishing career ahead of him, his “borrowed time” makes it unlikely he will see the main roster.
In 2005, Dave Batista was at the top of his wrestling game. Not only that, he was dubbed the leader of the SmackDown brand.
In the beginning of 2016, Batista entered a feud with none other than Mark Henry. Unfortunately, the feud led to a triceps muscle injury for Batista.
Even though Batista beat Triple H as the longest reigning World Heavyweight Champion at the time, he vacated the title due to injury.
Fortunately, we did not have to wait long for his return. Batista returned to the ring only six months later.
6. Shawn Michaels
This one is a point of contention in the history books. In fact, it is based solely on a claim by Shawn Michaels.
During the 1997 Royal Rumble, Shawn Michaels lost his title. The idea was to have him regain the title at WrestleMania 13 against Bret Hart.
Michaels claimed that he suffered an injury right before he had to regain the championship. Of course, this was the time where there was much tension between both men.
It is claimed that Michaels went into “surgery” because he did not want to lose to Bret Hart. Given how Michaels was back in the day, I would not put it past him.
7. John Cena
Yes, even the great John Cena lost the title due to injury. Out of all the wrestlers who vacated this championships, this one is the most surprising.
John Cena had quite the interesting title reign, especially since he faced King Booker, Big Show, Umaga, Shawn Michaels, and others. Unfortunately, the reign came to an abrupt end due to a pectoral muscle injury.
Cena’s injury was quite severe, as it saw him on the bench for the rest of 2007.
8. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steve Austin was at the top of his wrestling game in 1997. Unfortunately, a botched move from Bret Hart caused serious injury.
The move went so horribly wrong, it could have paralysed Stone Cold. However, he was lucky enough to get away with a broken neck.
Obviously, a broken neck is a serious injury, but it could have been a lot worse. As you can expect, Stone Cold had to vacate both Intercontinental Championship and the Tag Team Championship.
Despite the serious neck injury he suffered at Summerslam 1997, Stone Cold Steve Austin came back in record time. In fact, he returned to wrestling in November and beat Bret Hart at Survivor Series.
Much like Daniel Bryan, Edge suffered an injury that actually forced him into early retirement. The seriousness of the injury was not that difficult to believe, especially considering his high-risk matches.
Edge had some of the most insane matches with tables, ladders and chairs. Alongside Christian, he took on hardcore teams like The Hardy Boyz and the Dudley Boyz.
Over the years, Edge put his body on the line. But one part of the body that especially suffered was his neck.
As time went on, Edge faced multiple recurring neck injuries. After a successful title defence against Alberto Del Rio, things turned bad for the champion.
Soon afterward, Edge made his retirement speech in the ring. It was believed he would never return to a wrestling ring again.
Daniel Bryan’s return changed everything though, as it gave retired wrestlers some hope. The same applied to Edge, who made a triumphant return on his own.
And while Edge returned to wrestling, the examples in this overview show just how hard wrestling can be on the body. Fortunately, things turned out okay for everyone involved.