I looked at how Vacant became a ten time WWE Champion in a two part article. Part 1 looked at his first four reigns and part 2, his last six reigns. Vacant has also won the World Heavyweight Championship six times. Now in Part 3, let’s look at the six times the World Heavyweight Championship was vacated.
The first time the World Heavyweight Championship was vacated was on December 6, 2004. A triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship took place on the November 29th Raw. The World Heavyweight Champion Triple H faced Chris Benoit and Edge. The finish saw Edge tap out to Chris Benoit, while Edge pinned Chris Benoit. Since there was no clear winner, the World Heavyweight Championship was vacated.
Instead of giving the title back to Triple H, the then GM Eric Bischoff put the vacated World Heavyweight Championship up for grabs in an Elimination Chamber at New Year’s Revolution. The three men who had claim to the title, Chris Benoit, Edge and Triple H were entered. Joining the three would be Chris Jericho, Randy Orton and Batista. In the Chamber Edge was eliminated 1st by Chris Jericho. Chris Benoit was eliminated 2nd and Chris Jericho 3rd both by Batista. Batista was eliminated 4th by Randy Orton. Triple H would win back the World Heavyweight Champion by eliminating Randy Orton. Triple H was the World Heavyweight Champion; they vacated it and then gave it back to Triple H. Triple H would hold it until Wrestlemania 21, when Batista beat him for the title.
The second time the World Heavyweight Championship was vacated was on January 10, 2006 (aired on January 13). Then World Heavyweight Champion Batista had a tricep injury. Since he couldn’t compete he vacated the Championship on Smackdown.
On that same night a 20 man Battle Royal took place to fill the vacated World Heavyweight Championship. The partipants were JBL, Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro, Orlando Jordan, William Regal, Paul Burchill, Bobby Lashley, Rey Mysterio, Matt Hardy, Road Warrior Animal, Paul London, Brian Kendrick, Super Crazy, Psicosis, Nunzio, Big Vito, Simon Dean, Sylvan and the final two Mark Henry and Kurt Angle. Kurt Angle would eliminate Mark Henry to win the vacated World Heavyweight Championship. Kurt Angle would hold it until Wrestlemania 22, where Rey Mysterio won it in a triple threat match.
The third time the World Heavyweight Championship was vacated was on July 17, 2007 (aired on July 20). Then World Heavyweight Champion Edge had a pectoral injury. Smackdown GM, Theodore Long, made Edge vacate the championship.
On that same night a 20 man Battle Royal took place to fill the vacated World Heavyweight Championship, yes again. The participants were Batista, Kane, Matt Hardy, Brett Major, Brian Major, Jimmy Wang Yang, Jamie Noble, Mark Henry, MVP, Finlay, Chris Masters, Eugene, Kenny Dykstra, Chavo Guerrero, Dave Taylor, Deuce, Domino, Funaki, Shannon Moore and the winner of the battle royal, the Great Khali. The Great Khali would hold the World Heavyweight Championship until Unforgiven, when Batista won it in a triple threat match.
The fourth time the World Heavyweight Championship was vacated was on April 29, 2008 (aired on May 2). Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero stripped the World Heavyweight Championship from the Undertaker. Undertaker defeated Edge at Backlash with the Hell’s Gate, a movie Vickie Guerrero banned for being too dangerous.
The vacant title would be put up for grabs at Judgment Day. Undertaker would defeat Edge by count-out. Vickie Guerrero said a championship could not be won by count-out, so it remained vacant. The two would face again at One Night Stand in a TLC match. Edge won win the vacated World Heavyweight Championship. Edge would hold the title until CM Punk cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on June 30, 2008 Raw.
The fifth time the World Heavyweight Championship was vacated was on September 7, 2008. The title may not have been officially vacated but I’m counting it. The World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk was attacked by Legacy at Unforgiven. The World Heavyweight Championship match later that night did not have CM Punk in it, so essentially it was vacated.
The World Heavyweight Championship would be put up for grabs in a Championship Scramble. The match included JBL, Batista, Rey Mysterio, Kane and the man who would replace CM Punk, Chris Jericho. Chris Jericho would win the World Heavyweight Championship. He would hold it until Batista defeated him at Cyber Sunday.
The sixth time the World Heavyweight Championship was vacated was on April 11, 2011. The World Heavyweight Champion Edge had to retire because of his neck. So he vacated the World Heavyweight Championship.
The title would be put up for grabs in a ladder match at Extreme Rules. Christian would defeat Alberto Del Rio to win the vacated World Heavyweight Championship. Christian’s reign would be short lived as Randy Orton defeated him for the title on Smackdown.
Chris Benoit was pinned and Edge would tap out.
So that left who was the World Heavyweight Champion in doubt.
New champion would be crowned in an Elimination Chamber, It is what it is.
Even though Triple H thought the championship should still be his.
Two men started and four were locked behind a pod door.
Triple H would be the last standing and be champion once more.
Batista had the longest reign any World Heavyweight Champion you did see.
But he had to vacate the championship because he had triceps injury.
A Battle Royal would determine the new World Heavyweight Champion.
Kurt Angle was the last man standing when it was all said and done.
Edge won the World title using Mr. Kennedy’s Money in the Bank briefcase.
But an injury to Edge, and Theodore Long had to put him in his place.
He took the Championship away from Edge because of his injury.
A Battle Royal would take place, which was won by the Great Khali.
Undertaker won a match over Edge by using an illegal move, the Hell’s Gate.
So Vickie took the title and a new champion would be determined on a later date.
Undertaker defeated Edge by count out, not with a tap out or 1-2-3.
So Vickie said no new champion and Edge eventually won it in a TLC.
CM Punk was about to defend the title in a Championship Scramble at Unforgiven.
But Legacy attacked CM Punk before the match he was going to be in.
CM Punk was out of the match but the match was still a go.
So they replaced CM Punk with the man who won, it was Chris Jericho.
Because of Edge’s neck, he vacated the championship and had to retire.
If Christian and Alberto Del Rio wanted to be champ, they’d have to go higher.
Christian climbed the ladder and finally won the big one.
But it was short lived as he lost it on Smackdown to Randy Orton.