Friday, September 20, 2013

Fill in the Blank Friday: Title Vacancies

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Monday night on Raw, Triple H announced he's stripping Daniel Bryan of his newly won WWE championship.  Instead of just handing it back to Randy Orton, he's going to make the two men battle for the belt at the next pay per view in October.

So this got me to thinking about other times when championships were held up.  My favorite memory of this was back in 1988 when Andre the Giant pinned Hulk Hogan with the help of an evil twin referee for the WWF title.  Shortly after the win, Andre surrendered the title to "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase.  WWF President Jack Tunney cried foul and declared the title vacant and announced the winner of a special 14 man tournament at Wrestlemania IV would be the new champion.  "Macho Man" Randy Savage went on to win that tournament and cement his legacy in the wrestling business.

Flair wins!
Courtesy: WWE
I'm also reminded of the time three and a half years later when the Undertaker lost the WWF title back to Hulk Hogan at the Tuesday in Texas pay per view in 1991.  Hogan had used the ashes from Paul Bearer's urn to blind the deadman and get the win.  The match was marred with interference throughout and Tunney once again declared the title vacant.  This time the winner of the 1992 Royal Rumble would be the champion.  In what has remained my favorite Rumble of all time, Ric Flair conquered 29 other Superstars to win the gold.

Of course, it's not just been the WWE championship that's been held up before.  The Intercontinental title was vacated after the Ultimate Warrior won the WWF title in 1990.  There have been tournaments to determine new U.S., tag team, and Divas champions too.  So, here's where you get to weigh in.

The Rock reigns supreme
Courtesy: WWE
1.  The 1998 Survivor Series also featured a tournament to crown a new WWE Champion.  In what was a "screw job ending" the Rock beat Mankind that night in St. Louis for his first taste of the WWF title.  But I think _________________ should have won that tournament.

2.  The WWE wasn't the only company to crown a champion in a battle royal type match.  In 1995, Randy Savage won the WCW title in a 60 man battle royal at World War III.  Instead of another former WWF guy, WCW should have pushed _____________.

3.   The best (or my favorite) title vacancy was filled in a match between ________ & __________.

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