Winning the World Title should signify that a wrestler has reached the apex of his craft. It should mean that fans, industry critics and the decision-makers behind the scenes in WWE have come to the same conclusion: that the wrestler in question is worthy of the top position and they're 100% behind him.
All too often, that's not the case.
There's another major problem too. Injuries can occur at the most inconvenient of times, and they interrupt one person's happiness on a show that simply must go on. When they strike, they're depressing reminders of the fragility each title reign is blighted by. Nothing is certain, not in the topsy-turvy, ever-changing and fickle world of pro wrestling.
This article examines cases where, either because of injury, personal decisions or because the performer in question had no business being champ in the first place, ex-champions suffered a painful decline and moved out of the top title picture.
Within one calendar year, and sometimes within a matter of months, they were being dumped on by the creative machine tasked with churning out fresh content to fill air time...