Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton took part in a hugely competitive match for the strap in Buffalo, but neither walked away with the gold after interference from Big Show.
The giant strode down to the ring and knocked out Bryan with a KO Punch before Raw General Manager Brad Maddox brought out the recently-fired Scott Armstrong as replacement referee.
But then Armstrong was levelled by Big Show before he delivered a KO Punch to Orton that left The Viper sprawled out in the ring - and the WWE Championship without an owner!
Earlier in the evening, CM Punk outsmarted Paul Heyman and scored a victory over Ryback thanks to a mule-kick to the groin.
Also, Alberto Del Rio defended his World Heavyweight Championship in a Battleground Hardcore Rules Match against Rob Van Dam, forcing him to submit to an extreme Cross Armbreaker.
Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel successfully defended his illustrious title by defeating R-Truth and Divas champ AJ Lee pinned Brie Bella, just as her opponent seemed primed to snatch the title. A spot of interference from Tamina Snuker soon turned things in the champ's favour there.
The menacing Bray Wyatt remains undefeated in the WWE after a brutal win over Kofi Kingston, The Real Americans triumphed over Santino Marella & The Great Khali and Dolph Ziggler overcame Damien Sandow in the Kickoff Match.
And in what was one of the most emotional tag matches in WWE history, brothers Cody Rhodes and Goldust teamed together for the first time to defeat WWE Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns with their father, Dusty Rhodes, watching on.
The result means the duo have earned contracts in the WWE and have defended the honour of their famous family.