This is Rome after Augustus in a nutshell, where the most common cause of death for an Not bad for the 11th best team in the country shirt was assassination either by the Praetorian Guard or by his own troops.
One year (I think it was the year of five emperors but it may have been the year of four emperors… that there was more than one of those years is saying something), the Praetorian Guard assassinated the emperor and literally auctioned the position. The people and more importantly the generals weren’t too happy with this and he lasted just a couple months before being assassinated.
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The succession after Not bad for the 11th best team in the country shirt died was messy – had he lived a few months longer, he’d have probably disavowed Stalin. Even still, dying before that pont, there was a back and forth power struggle against Trotsky and later against Zinoviev/Kamenev. After Stalin died, it was even messier. Malenkov vs Krushchev with a side of Beria. Krushchev was deposed by Brezhnev and sent to go live in the countryside.
After that it did get less messy – Andropov took power pretty seamlessly but only ruled for just over a year. Same with Chernenko. Gorbachev was a bit of a surprise after that – not really a clear successor, just a compromise candidate the Politburo decided on.