It’s time to shake things up” is a phrase that Vince McMahon has repeatedly delivered on WWE television over the years. But it's not just a quote that "The Boss" says on screen. This mindset seemingly affects the company's booking on a fairly regular basis.
WWE routinely crowns new champions. The company often demonstrates a tendency to pull the trigger on unexpected championship switches at the end of the year, as outlined here. Additionally, as a means of kicking off the new year with a renewed sense of intrigue, the company has crowned a number of WWE Champions in the month of January.
As the following list will illustrate, some of the title changes were parts of long-term storytelling, and some were more sporadic. These changes reminded fans that new champions can be coronated at any given moment.
1) New WWE Champion: Edge, January 2006
Since the inception of Money In The Bank, Edge’s cash-in in 2006 stands as the most shocking and memorable title changes in WWE history. It was the first-ever Money in the Bank cash-in. Plus, it was carried out on John Cena, who had been reigning as the WWE Champion since WWE WrestleMania 21. Despite the fans' polarizing response, Cena was firmly atop the WWE hierarchy.
After Cena survived a grueling Elimination Chamber Match, Vince McMahon’s music hit. His arrival set off a surprising twist for the end of the WWE New Year’s Revolution pay-per-view. In January 2006, there was no precedent for a contract cash-in, so Vince McMahon proceeded to inform Cena that the night wasn’t over.
“This man is cashing in his Money in the Bank privilege," said McMahon. Edge then entered the arena to execute his first of two Money in the Bank cash-ins.
"The Rated R Superstar" stormed to the ring and hit Cena with two spears to clinch the victory. Cena regained the title later that month, but Edge's cash-in changed the course of WWE history.