Just days apart, we all witnessed a popular women's wrestler forfeit her long-held championship to a rival on account of pregnancy, followed by a men's secondary champion dropping his belt due to apparent refusal to travel during a pandemic. Living in strange times, you're bound to see a few unorthodox occurrences here and there, and WWE has been far from immune. But this hasn't exactly been news, has it?
Even before these "unprecedented times" we keep hearing about, champions in wrestling have lost titles without there being a pinfall or submission rendered, and when that happens, the reasons can vary. Usually, it's a long-term injury that necessitates the sudden vacancy, which is pretty common in a highly-physical form of entertainment. Other times, the reasons for removing gold from its holder can be pretty creative, and can provoke a double-take. Recent history demonstrates this.
As noted, it's not just recent history, either. There have been some truly inspired instances of wrestlers losing their titles without there being a tangible, "traditional" reason. Here are just a few of those examples.
5. Doug Vs. The Volcano
Well, this is *kind of* similar to what's happening now, when you consider there are travel restrictions here, but only if you replace "novel virus" with "volcanic ash". The result: then-TNA X Division champion Douglas Williams was unable to make it to the 2010 Lockdown pay-per-view.
As the title suggests, Williams was hamstrung by the volcanic eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, which played havoc with air travel throughout Europe. Williams was forced to vacate the belt, which Frankie Kazarian won in a three-way top contender's match at the PPV.