Bengaluru, Sep 5: Winning a World championship in the biggest wrestling promotion in the world takes years of blood and sweat. After earning the title, it's the most devastating feeling to relinquish the title due to injury.
Since the pro-wrestling world is injury-prone, there are quite a few examples when Superstars had to vacate their earned titles due to legit injuries.
However, this list comprises of those 5 WWE superstars who had to drop their title when they belonged to the top of the food chain.
Rollins had nearly an untouchable run in the year 2015 after winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship back at Wrestlemania 31. Michael Cole called it “height of the century" and he completely lived up to the hype with his never-ending title reign. Just when it looked that WWE will let him live with the title until Wrestlemania 32, he suffered an unfortunate knee injury in a live event. His ligament was ruptured and he had no option but to relinquish the title heading into a more than six months hiatus.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Stone Cold is the one of the many who's been the victim of the career-threatening neck injury. During 1997 Stone cold was able to hold the tag team title and the Intercontinental title at the same time. In an Intercontinental championship match against Owen Hart at Summerslam 1997, Austin broke his neck due to a botched move from his opponent. This forced him to relinquish both the title at that point. Though he made a comeback from the injury, it was the same neck issue which caused him the career.
The franchise of the company has been part of all types of matches as part of the main events throughout the decade and hence suffered serious concussions in different parts around his body. In the year 2007, Cena was the WWE championship holder and fought Edge, Triple H, Umaga and others to retain the title. In a match against Mr. Kennedy he tore his pectoral muscle and had to relinquish the title. Even, in the year 2013 during Summerslam, he ended up losing to Daniel Bryan. The actual reason of the loss was a bad elbow and he had to undergo a surgery for the same.
Bryan has an unfortunate career when it comes to the titles. Every time, he looked to go with the momentum his path was blocked by the severe neck injury. He had to relinquish the Intercontinental title twice in 2014 and 2015. But most importantly when he was at the top of the mountain at Wrestlemania 30 by winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, he had to relinquish it after just one title defense due to the same reason. He never got the second chance to hold it, again.
Edge got troubles with the neck injury throughout his career and had to take multiple hiatus due to that and more. In combined he had to vacate titles three different occasions. In 2007, he had to vacate the World Heavyweight Championship on Smackdown. During his tag title reign with Jericho in 2009, he tore his ligament and had to give up. Finally, in 2011 when the career-threatening neck injury became life-threatening, he relinquished the World title, once again and took retirement by giving us one the most heart-broken moment of all time.