The Legend of VACANT: A Kayfable

1
238

He’s one of the most underrated performers of the last century. A timeless, faceless wrestler who has quietly composed one of the most iconic resumes of any wrestler, past or present. In fact, the origins and patterns of this wrestler are shrouded in so much mystery that the assumed gender of the performer is as much a mystery as their real name – “Parts Unknown” could be as much about their gender as their home location. But such is the life they chose, the ringside warrior known simply as VACANT.

The Legend of VACANT: A Kayfable

From historical records, VACANT has been around since pro wrestling first became solidified as a sport, defeating the legendary Frank Gotch for the World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship on April 1, 1913. He held the title for nearly two years until newcomer Joe Stecher stepped into the squared circle. On January 28, 1946, he reclaimed his title, when he defeated one of the world’s top draws, Jim Londos, for the same title, nearly 35 years after he defeated Gotch.

He went somewhat into hiding for a few years, before reappearing in Texas, in Fritz Von Erich‘s Big Time Wrestling, sometime in the late 1960’s. He won his first title there from The Spoiler (when WCCW‘s top title was the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship, Texas edition). A year later he would start a feud with the Von Erichs, taking the title from Fritz on several occasions, as well as once from his son Kerry. Texas was good to VACANT, as he captured 6 Heavyweight Championships during a near 20 year career there. But after 20 years in the Texas territory, it was time for him to move on.

He joined the WWF shortly after WrestleMania III but won his first World title when he defeated Andre The Giant. Never one to sign exclusive contracts, he also spent the rest of the 80s working in Japan with NJPW (defeating the legendary Antonio Inoki and Tatsumi Fujinami) as well as Verne Gagne‘s AWA, where he began a feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler, that also saw him follow Lawler back to WCCW for one last title.

In 1990, he returned to Japan, this time claiming All-Japan‘s Triple Crown, as well as beginning to work for Ted Turner in WCW, where he made a statement by defeating “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. That same year, 1991, he killed the 80s completely by also defeating Hulk Hogan for the WWF World title. He briefly headed to the NWA, winning NWA gold from Flair and Shane Douglas, before floating between the WWF and WCW, defeating the likes of newcomers Sting and Shawn Michaels for World titles. It was VACANT’s defeat of Shane Douglas that caused ECW to secede from the NWA and go extreme, and his defeat of Shawn Michaels caused the Heartbreak Kid to lose his smile.

With the beginning of the Attitude Era and the Monday Night Wars, VACANT became a hot property in the wars, taking out “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Sting and Vince McMahon himself. At the turn of the century, VACANT became a popular champion for new WCW booker Vince Russo – VACANT won the WCW World title a stunning five times from January to May 2000, over the likes of Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart, Chris Benoit, Ric Flair and Sid Vicious. He’d win his 6th WCW title of 2000 when he finally turned on Vince Russo, who’d recently won the title himself.

With the fall of WCW in 2001, VACANT returned to Japan, as well as occasional bouts with NWA. He returned to North America when TNA (now Impact Wrestling) began, picking up World titles in TNA over Christian, AJ Styles and Kurt Angle to name a few. When the WWE split its brands in two – one with Raw and the other Smackdown – VACANT re-joined the WWE where he became the hottest free agent in the company, winning both WWE Championships and World Heavyweight Championships, defeating such legendary names as The Undertaker, Triple H, John Cena and Edge, whom he had quite a feud with.

In 2008, VACANT made the jump to the indies, where he defeated Low Ki for the PWG World Championship. It was in PWG that he would begin a long standing feud with Daniel Bryan (then Bryan Danielson) when he first defeated Danielson for the PWG title in 2009, then beat Bryan several more times upon arriving in the WWE. Although he tried his hand in Ring of Honor, apart from a lone victory over ROH Champion Jay Briscoe in 2013, he never found the same success in ROH that he had elsewhere.

He continued in Japan through the 2000s, adding Pro Wrestling NOAH to his Japanese tours, with championship wins in all three over the likes of Kenta Kobashi, Kensuke Sasaki, Hiroshi Tanahashi and a young Shinsuke Nakamura.

He still works various promotions around the world, vying for multiple titles, both men and women – he even competes in tag matches solely by himself. His last World title was this past summer, when he was brought back to Impact by Jeff Jarrett (they’d been friends from the Russo years in WCW) and defeated Alberto El Patron this past August.

While he may be slowing down in the ring, there’s no denying his legacy as a Champion in the history of pro wrestling. As a 72x World Champion, there’s no one that even comes close.

COMPLETE WORLD TITLE (MAJOR) COUNT OF VACANT

(Does not include Women’s or secondary/tag team titles)

  1. April 1, 1913: World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship, defeated Frank Gotch
  2. January 28, 1946: World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship, defeated Jim Londos
  3. April 1968: WCCW Heavyweight Championship, defeated The Spoiler
  4. August 5, 1969: WCCW Heavyweight Championship, defeated Fritz Von Erich
  5. November 30, 1974: WCCW Heavyweight Championship, defeated Fritz Von Erich
  6. December 20, 1980: WCCW Heavyweight Championship, defeated Gino Hernandez
  7. June 14, 1982: WCCW Heavyweight Championship, defeated Fritz Von Erich
  8. July 11, 1983: WCCW Heavyweight Championship, defeated Kerry Von Erich
  9. February 5, 1988: WWF World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Andre The Giant
  10. May 2, 1988: IWGP Heavyweight Championship (NJPW), defeated Antonio Inoki
  11. May 27, 1988: IWGP Heavyweight Championship (NJPW), defeated Tatsumu Fujinami
  12. February 7, 1989: AWA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Jerry Lawler
  13. April 5, 1989: IWGP Heavyweight Championship (NJPW), defeated Tatsumu Fujinami
  14. August 5, 1989: WCCW Heavyweight Championship, defeated Jerry Lawler
  15. July 27, 1990: All-Japan Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, defeated Terry Gordy
  16. December 12, 1990: AWA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Larry Zybysko
  17. July 1, 1991: WCW World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Ric Flair
  18. December 4, 1991:WWF World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Hulk Hogan
  19. September 13, 1993: NWA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Ric Flair
  20. August 27, 1994: NWA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Shane Douglas
  21. November 6, 1995: WCW World Heavyweight Championship, defeated The Giant
  22. February 13, 1997: WWF World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Shawn Michaels
  23. January 8, 1998: WCW World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Sting
  24. September 21, 1998: IWGP Heavyweight Championship (NJPW), defeated Masa Chono
  25. September 27, 1998: WWF World Heavyweight Championship, defeated “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
  26. January 29, 1999: All-Japan Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, defeated Toshiaki Kawada
  27. September 20, 1999: WWF World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Vince McMahon
  28. October 25, 1999: WCW World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Sting
  29. December 20, 1999: WCW World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart
  30. January 16, 2000: WCW World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart
  31. January 17, 2000: WCW World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Chris Benoit
  32. January 15, 2000: WCW World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Sid Vicious
  33. April 10, 2000: WCW World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Sid Vicious
  34. May 22, 2000: WCW World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Ric Flair
  35. June 16, 2000: All-Japan Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, defeated Kenta Kobashi
  36. July 2, 2000: NWA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Naoya Ogawa
  37. October 2, 2000: WCW World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Vince Russo
  38. October 9, 2000: IWGP Heavyweight Championship, defeated Kensuke Sasaki
  39. October 13, 2001: NWA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Steve Corino
  40. January 4, 2002: IWGP Heavyweight Championship (NJPW), defeated Kazuyuki Fujita
  41. March 28, 2002: All-Japan Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, defeated Toshiaki Kawada
  42. May 28, 2002:  NWA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Dan Severn
  43. August 13, 2003: All-Japan Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, defeated Shinya Hashimoto
  44. February 5, 2004: IWGP Heavyweight Championship (NJPW), defeated Shinsuke Nakamura
  45. June 2, 2004: IWGP Heavyweight Championship (NJPW), defeated Bob Sapp
  46. December 6, 2004: World Heavyweight Championship (WWE), defeated Triple H
  47. January 10, 2006: World Heavyweight Championship (WWE), defeated Batista
  48. July 15, 2006: IWGP Heavyweight Championship (NJPW), defeated Brock Lesnar
  49. May 13, 2007: NWA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Christian
  50. May 14, 2007: TNA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Kurt Angle
  51. June 11, 2007: ECW Heavyweight Championship (WWE), defeated Bobby Lashley
  52. July 17, 2007: World Heavyweight Championship (WWE), defeated Edge
  53. October 2, 2007: WWE World Heavyweight Championship, defeated John Cena
  54. February 6, 2008: PWG World Championship, defeated Low Ki
  55. October 29, 2008: World Heavyweight Championship (WWE), defeated The Undertaker
  56. June 9, 2009: WWE World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Batista
  57. June 14, 2009: GHC Heavyweight Championship (Pro Wrestling NOAH), defeated Jun Akiyama
  58. August 17, 2009: IWGP Heavyweight Championship (NJPW), defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi
  59. September 4, 2009: PWG World Championship, defeated Bryan Danielson
  60. August 10, 2010: TNA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Rob Van Dam
  61. September 13, 2010: PWG World Championship, defeated Davey Richards
  62. February 15, 2011: World Heavyweight Championship (WWE), defeated Edge
  63. April 12, 2011: World Heavyweight Championship (WWE), defeated Edge
  64. July 11, 2011: NWA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated The Sheik Ali Azzad
  65. October 27, 2012: NWA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Adam Pearce
  66. July 3, 2013: ROH World Championship, defeated Jay Briscoe
  67. September 16, 2013: WWE World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Daniel Bryan
  68. October 20, 2013: TNA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated AJ Styles
  69. May 30, 2014: All-Japan Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, defeated Akebono
  70. June 9, 2014: WWE World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Daniel Bryan
  71. October 6, 2015: TNA World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Matt Hardy
  72. November 4, 2015: WWE World Heavyweight Championship, defeated Seth Rollins
  73. January 2, 2016: All-Japan Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, defeated Suwama
  74. August 14, 2017: Impact Global Championship, defeated Alberto El Patron

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi there! I am Vincent’s wife. As of 2018, here are the titles that my husband won.

    -Early World Title Reigns
    1.April 1, 1913
    2.January 28, 1946

    -AAA Mega Championship
    1.October 24, 2008
    2.November 9, 2015

    -AWA World Heavyweight Championship
    1.January 20, 1989
    2.December 12, 1990

    -CMLL World Heavyweight Championship
    1.June 12, 1992
    2.September 1997
    3.December 18, 2011
    4.May 22, 2017
    5.August 22, 2018

    -ECW World Heavyweight Championship
    1.June 11, 2007

    -GHC World Heavyweight Championship
    1.June 14, 2009

    -IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
    1.May 2, 1988
    2.May 27, 1988
    3.April 5, 1989
    4.September 21, 1998
    5.October 9, 2000
    6.January 4, 2002
    7.February 5, 2004
    8.June 2, 2004
    9.July 15, 2006
    10.August 17, 2009

    -NWA World Heavyweight Championship
    1.September 8, 1991
    2.September 13, 1993
    3.August 27, 1994
    4.July 2, 2000
    5.October 13, 2001
    6.May 28, 2002
    7.May 13, 2007
    8.July 11, 2011
    9.October 27, 2012

    -ROH World Heavyweight Championship
    1.July 3, 2013

    -TNA World Heavyweight Championship
    1.May 14, 2007
    2.August 10, 2010
    3.October 29, 2013
    4.October 6, 2015
    5.August 14, 2017

    -WCW World Heavyweight Championship
    1.July 1, 1991
    2.April 17, 1994
    3.November 6, 1995
    4.January 8, 1998
    5.October 25, 1999
    6.December 20, 1999
    7.January 16, 2000
    8.January 17, 2000
    9.January 25, 2000
    10.April 10, 2000
    11.May 22, 2000
    12.October 2, 2000

    -WCW International World Heavyweight Championship
    1.May 22, 1994

    -World Heavyweight Championship (WWE)
    1.December 6, 2004
    2.January 10, 2006
    3.July 17, 2007
    4.April 29, 2008
    5.February 15, 2011
    6.April 12, 2011

    -WWE Championship
    1.December 6, 1979
    2.October 19, 1981
    3.February 13, 1988
    4.December 4, 1991
    5.February 13, 1997
    6.September 27, 1998
    7.September 20, 1999
    8.October 2, 2007
    9.June 9, 2009
    10.July 18, 2011
    11.September 16, 2013
    12.June 9, 2014
    13.November 4, 2015

    -WWE Universal Championship
    1.August 22, 2016
    2.October 22, 2018

    -Zero-1 World Heavyweight Championship
    1.September 11, 2012

    -CZW World Heavyweight Championship
    1.November 25, 2018

    -PWG World Heavyweight Championship
    1.February 6, 2008
    2.September 4, 2009
    3.September 13, 2010

    -MLW World Heavyweight Championship
    1.September 13, 2002
    2.February 10, 2004

    -IWP World Heavyweight Championship
    1.March 22, 2010
    2.April 12, 2011
    3.February 20, 2015

    -IWC World Heavyweight Championship
    1.September 17, 1999

    -ICW World Heavyweight Championship
    1.May 15, 2010
    2.June 19, 2019

    -IWA World Heavyweight Championship
    1.February 13, 1974
    2.April 13, 1976

    -CWA World Heavyweight Championship
    1.June 30, 1990
    2.July 5, 1997
    3.November 1, 1998

    -Triplecrown World Heavyweight Championship
    1.July 27, 1990
    2.January 29, 1999
    3.June 16, 2000
    4.March 28, 2002
    5.August 13, 2003
    6.May 30, 2014
    7.January 12, 2016

    -WCWA World Heavyweight Championship
    1.April 1968
    2.August 5, 1969
    3.November 30, 1974
    4.December 20, 1980
    5.June 4, 1982
    6.July 11, 1983
    7.April 5, 1989

    -World Heavyweight Championship (National Wrestling Association)
    1.September 1936

    -WWA World Heavyweight Championship
    1.October 26, 2001
    2.October 2002

    -WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship
    1.May 18, 1985
    2.September 21, 1985
    3.April 30, 1986
    4.August 24, 1988
    5.October 28, 1989
    6.December 15, 1990
    7.October 5, 1991
    8.October 10, 1992
    9.August 1, 1993
    10.December 15, 1995
    11.May 25, 1996
    12.March 22, 1997
    13.February 1, 1998
    14.May 9, 1998
    15.January 7, 1999
    16.March 27, 1999
    17.November 13, 1999
    18.October 4, 2000
    19.June 16, 2001
    20.April 6, 2002
    21.June 7, 2003
    22.June 27, 2003
    23.September 11, 2004
    24.December 11, 2004
    25.September 9, 2005
    26.September 20, 2006
    27.December 16, 2006
    28.December 29, 2007
    29.August 25, 2008
    30.April 11, 2009
    31.August 15, 2009
    32.May 29, 2010
    33.February 19, 2011
    34.January 17, 2015
    35.September 14, 2016
    36.April 15, 2018

    -WWL World Heavyweight Championship
    1.September 19, 2015
    2.January 14, 2017
    3.October 27, 2018

    -WWP World Heavyweight Championship
    1.January 9, 2009
    2.July 10 2009

    -WXW World Heavyweight Championship
    1.December 15, 2001
    2.July 12, 2002
    3.November 9, 2008

    -BJW World Heavyweight Championship
    1.January 18, 2014
    2.September 17, 2014

    -XPW World Heavyweight Championship
    1.January 29, 2000
    2.April 29, 2000
    3.August 25, 2001

    -One The Dream Gate Championship
    1.June 29, 2008

    -NEW Heavyweight Championship
    1.October 1, 1998
    2.February 1, 2000
    3.November 1, 2008
    4.January 10, 2016

    -PWF World Heavyweight Championship
    1.March 1987

    -NYSAC World Heavyweight Championship
    1.September 30, 1932

    -USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship
    1.August 27, 1990
    2.December 7, 1991
    3.February 2, 1992
    4.November 20, 1993
    5.March 2, 1996
    6.March 8, 1996

    -UWA World Heavyweight Championship
    1.October 4, 1983

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.