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This Day in Wrestling History (April 11)

52 years ago today in Washington, DC, Buddy Rogers is presented the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship belt, making him the first champion. Though the official story was he won it in a tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (sound familiar?), the reality is this comes after Vince McMahon, Sr. and Joseph "Toots" Mondt defected from the NWA after the events of two months earlier in Toronto.

20 years ago today in Dallas, Texas, The Rock ‘n Roll Express defeated Dick Murdoch & Randy Rhodes in the finals of a one-night tournament to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship. The titles had been vacated since September 1993 when Paul Roma and Arn Anderson were stripped of the titles following WCW's split from the NWA.

18 years ago today, Leon White, aka Vader, is detained in Kuwait after he attacks Bossam Al Otham, the host of a morning show there, after White took offense to Otham's questions.

16 years ago today, WCW presented Spring Stampede (WWE Network link) from the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. 17,690 were in attendance, with 255,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 275,000 homes for the 1998 event, but down 325,000 from Uncensored just a month earlier.

  • Juventud Guerrera defeated Blitzkrieg.
  • Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Hak in a hardcore match.
  • Scotty Riggs defeated Mikey Whipwreck.
  • Konnan defeated Disco Inferno.
  • Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Kidman to retain the WCW World Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko defeated Perry Saturn & Raven.
  • Scott Steiner defeated Booker T to win the vacated WCW United States Championship.
  • Goldberg defeated Kevin Nash.
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Hollywood Hogan, Ric Flair, and Sting in a fatal four-way match to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Randy Savage was the special referee.

15 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Perry Saturn defeated Crash Holly to win the WWF Hardcore Championship...only to lose it to Tazz...only to lose it to Crash Holly. The show also had the one and only appearance of Caryn "Muffy" Mower, whose gimmick was the personal trainer of Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. The gimmick was quickly shelved and Mower was sent back to WWE developmental territory Ultimate Pro Wrestling. Mower wrestled part-time through 2003 before  turning to stunt work full time.

14 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Genichiro Tenryu, at the time the All Japan Pro Wrestling Triple Crown Champion, defeated Taiyo Kea to win the Champion Carnival tournament. This was the first appearance of Tenryu in the tournament since 1982. This was the last time the tournament used the single block format, as every tournament since used a dual block round robin.

5 years ago today, Texas Stadium was demolished. Best known as the long-time home of the Dallas Cowboys, the stadium hosted World Class Championship Wrestling's Parade of Champions events, including Kerry Von Erich's 1984 NWA World Championship win over Ric Flair just three months following the death of Kerry's brother David.

4 years ago today on RAW from Bridgeport, Connecticut, Adam Copeland, best known to wrestling fans as Edge, announces his retirement from professional wrestling. A series of tests revealed that Copeland's neck problems had gotten to the point where he was risking paralysis had he continued to wrestle. At the time of his retirement, he was the World Heavyweight Champion, so obviously that meant the title was vacated. Copeland would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in March 2012. Though he's made a few appearances on WWE programming since his retirement, he's also gotten into acting.

On the same show, Brie Bella defeated Eve Torres to win the WWE Divas Championship.

4 years ago today, Alex Whybrow, best known to wrestling as Larry Sweeney, was found dead at a wrestling school in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He was just 30 years old. Sweeney is best known as the manager of  Sweet and Sour Inc. in Ring of Honor from 2006 to 2008, but also wrestled for Chikara, where he won the Young Lions Cup in 2006. Whybrow won the Best Non-Wrestler award for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter in 2007 and 2008.

2 years ago today, WWE signs Rebecca Quin to a WWE developmental deal. Quin, who was best known as Rebecca Knox on the independent circuit, now wrestles as Becky Lynch.

2 years ago today on Impact Wrestling from Corpus Christi, Texas, Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez defeated Bobby Roode and Austin Aries 2-1 in a best of three falls match to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship. Had they lost, Guerrero and Hernandez could never team again.

1 year ago today, Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella get married in a small ceremony in Sedona, Arizona.

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