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This Day in Wrestling History (April 24)

33 years ago today, Hulk Hogan is officially stripped of the AWA World Heavyweight Championship and his win erased from the record books. The announcement from AWA president Stanley Blackburn comes five days after a match in which Hogan used an illegal object on Bockwinkel to win the title. This came moments after Bockwinkel's manager Bobby Heenan hit Hogan with that same object.

28 years ago today, Ken Patera returns to the WWF after serving two years in prison for breaking the window of a McDonald's and assault on a police officer. In his first match back, a television taping in New Haven, Connecticut, Patera defeated Hercules Hernandez via disqualification after interference by Harley Race and Bobby Heenan.

26 years ago today, New Japan Pro Wrestling debuts in the Tokyo Dome with Super Powers Clash. The event, drawing around 44,000 fans, featured a tournament for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. In the final, Big Van Vader defeated Shinya Hashimoto to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Lou Thesz was the special referee. Vader also defeated former champion Tatsumi Fujinami and Masahiro Chono in the tournament. Lou Thesz was the special referee for the final. Jushin "Thunder" Liger also made his debut at the show, defeating Kuniaki Kobayashi.

25 years ago today at a WWF television taping in San Antonio, Texas, Rick Martel and Rowdy Roddy Piper fought to a double disqualification in an Intercontinental Championship tournament semifinal match. The double elimination makes the other semifinal, Mr. Perfect vs. Tito Santana, the final match. Interesting quirk: the semifinal turned final was actually taped the previous night (Perfect won).

21 years ago today at a WCW Saturday Night taping, Ric Flair defeated Ricky Steamboat to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. The championship was held up due to a double pin at Spring Stampede. This would be the final match between the two longtime rivals.

15 years ago today on WCW Monday Nitro, Diamond Dallas Page defeated Jeff Jarrett in a steel cage match to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

10 years ago today, TNA presented Lockdown from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando. This was the first ever professional wrestling event where every match was in a steel cage.

The show was the final event for Chris Candido before his sudden passing less than a week later. During the opening match, Candido suffered a dislocated ankle, broken tibia, and broken fibula after taking a dropkick and landing on his leg awkwardly. Two days later, he had an operation on his ankle, and a plate, screws, and pins were placed in his ankle. Three days after the surgery, Candido collapsed and was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. The death was due to a blood clot from the surgery.

  • In a preshow match, 3 Live Kru (Konnan and Ron Killings) defeated David Young and Lex Lovett and The Naturals ( Andy Douglas and Chase Stevens) in a three-team match.
  • Apolo & Sonny Siaki defeated Chris Candido & Lance Hoyt.
  • Dustin Rhodes defeated Bobby Roode 2-1 in a best of three falls "Prince of Darkness" match.
  • Shocker defeated Chris Sabin, Michael Shane, and Sonjay Dutt in an Xscape match.
    • Shocker eliminated Sonjay Dutt.
    • Chris Sabin eliminated Michael Shane.
    • Shocker escaped the cage.
  • Jeff Hardy defeated Raven in a tables and chairs match.
  • America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm) defeated Team Canada (Eric Young & Petey Williams) in a strap match to retain the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Christopher Daniels defeated Elix Skipper to retain the TNA X-Division Championship.
  • BG James, Diamond Dallas Page & Sean Waltman defeated Jeff Jarrett, Monty Brown, and The Outlaw in a Lethal Lockdown match.
  • AJ Styles defeated Abyss to become the #1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

9 years ago today, WWE and Brock Lesnar settle a lawsuit brought on by Lesnar. Lesnar left the company in 2004, after which he signed a no-compete clause to pursue an NFL career. After washing out there, he went to New Japan and pursued mixed martial arts, both of which were against the no-compete clause. Terms were not disclosed, though the settlement opened the door for Lesnar to fully pursue his MMA career, first appearing for K-1 in 2007, then UFC in 2008. Lesnar would return to WWE in 2012.

5 years ago today, reports that Dave Batista's contract was set to run out with WWE, and his exit was imminent. Batista, cast for the lead role in Killing Karma (later renamed Inside Out, starring Triple H), would not actually leave until about a month later following his loss at Over the Limit. He did not return until January 2014.

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