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This Day in Wrestling History (Sept. 25): A Worse Champion Than Arquette

22 years ago today, Shawn Michaels, then the WWF Intercontinental Champion, walks out on the company. Allegedly, the falling out had to do with Michaels testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Michaels was actually offered a job in WCW in his time away, but ultimately turned it down and returned in November at Survivor Series as a substitute for Jerry "The King" Lawler.

Just two days after his walkout, he is stripped of his Intercontinental Championship, the storyline reason given being that Michaels did not defend the championship over the last 30 days (actually, he did, last defending it at Summerslam on August 30 against Mr. Perfect). But seeing he wasn't going to be back any time soon, you know since he probably had a suspension coming had he returned, the call was made to separate Michaels from his belt.

22 years ago today at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Brian Christopher makes his WWF debut against a returning Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka. Unsurprisingly, Snuka won, but Christopher would go on to greater pastures in the WWF a few years later as Grandmaster Sexay.

15 years ago today, WWF presented the first RAW is WAR on TNN. It is the first RAW on a network other than USA since its debut in 1993. The show emanated from the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pennsylvania.

  • Kane fought Rikishi to a double disqualification.
  • Tazz pinned Bubba Ray Dudley.
  • The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) defeated Edge & Christian in a ladder match to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • X-Pac defeated Chris Jericho in a first blood match.
  • Eddie Guerrero defeated Val Venis to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
  • The Rock defeated Chris Benoit to retain the WWF Championship.

Vince Russo VS Booker T (WCW Title) by ShinWesker

15 years ago today on Nitro from Long Island, New York, Vince Russo defeated Booker T in a Caged Heat (similar to Hell in a Cell) match to win the WCW Championship. On the same show, The Natural Born Thrillers (Sean O'Haire & Mark Jindrak) won a tag team battle royal for the vacant WCW Tag Team Championship.

14 years ago today at a Smackdown taping from Dayton, Ohio, Test & Booker T defeat The Brothers of Destruction (Undertaker & Kane) to win the WCW Tag Team Championship.

9 years ago today, RAW was browned out. Sort of. The show, emanating from Oklahoma City, opened with Candice Michelle and Lita facing off without the lights, with Lita quickly getting the win following a spear by Edge to Michelle. Power would be restored by the second match. It wouldn't be Lita's only match that night: she would face a one-armed John Cena in the main event, and unsurprisingly, the one-armed Cena won.

8 years today at a Smackdown taping in Indianapolis, Indiana, the WWE Cruiserweight Championship held by Hornswoggle is vacated by general manager Vickie Guerrero.

Born as the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship in October 1991, 38 men and two women (Madusa and Daffney) held the championship. The Light Heavyweight Championship was contested in 1991 and 1992 in WCW before the championship was abandoned.

The Cruiserweight Championship was born in 1996 with Shinjiro Otani winning the title in a tournament final. The belt would be contested up to WCW's demise, then brought into the WWF after the buyout. The Cruiserweight Championship was unified with the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship late in 2001 and became a staple of Smackdown when the roster split in 2002.

In an interesting bit of trivia, each of the last three champions won the title in one-fall, multi-man bouts. Gregory Helms won the title at the 2006 Royal Rumble in a six-way match (he would go on to hold it for 385 days, far and away the longest reign in the championship's history), Chavo Guerrero won it at No Way Out the next year in an eight-man match, and Hornswoggle won the title at The Great American Bash in a six-way bout.

5 years ago today in Rahway, New Jersey, Jay Lethal defeated The Amazing Red to win the TNA X Division Championship. This would be the second time the title changed hands in three days, and the third time that month.

Today's the 45th birthday of joshi legend Erika Shishido, best known to joshi fans as Aja Kong.

Trained by Jaguar Yokota, she debuted in 1986 and became an immediate player, joining Dump Matsumoto's Gokuaku Domei (translated as "Atrocious Alliance") with Noboku Kimura. The duo split up in 1988 due to Matsumoto's retirement (at the time, all joshis had to retire by their 25th birthday), but would reunite two years later as Jungle Jack. The duo would win the WWWA tag titles twice, but once lost their hair in a match to Bull Nakano and the Gokumon-to stable. Kong herself would experience some singles success, most notably in November 1992 when she ended Bull Nakano's three-year reign as WWWA world champion.

Kong briefly wrestled in the United States in 1995, most notably scoring all four eliminations for her team in a Survivor Series bout in the PPV of the same name that year. In one bout on RAW, she broke the nose of Chaparita Asari. Kong was set to feud with WWF Womens Champion Alundra Blayze, but Blayze was released before the match could occur and the women's division was essentially abandoned.

In 1997, Kong left All Japan Womens Pro Wrestling to start her own company, ARSION, or Hyper Visual Fighting ARSION. She led the company until her shocking walkout in 2001 during a tag team match, then sued president Hiroshi Ogawa for falsely advertising for upcoming events. The company never recovered from her walkout, though it would hang around for two more years.

These days, Shishido, who is half Japanese, half African-American, is a freelancer. She's competed for GAEA, Ladies Legend Pro Wrestling, HUSTLE, Oz Academy, DDT (where she is their Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion), and for Chikara and SHIMMER in the United States. She has three Wrestling Observer Newsletter-rated five star matches, two with Manami Toyota, and is a member of the publication's Hall of Fame Class of 2006.

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