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This Day in Wrestling History (Oct. 31): Christian Leaves WWE

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this day in wrestling history

37 years ago today in Nagoya, Japan, Giant Baba defeated Harley Race to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

31 years ago today, WWF tapes the third episode of Saturday Night's Main Event (WWE Network link) from the Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The show, airing just three days later, featured the premiere of the "Land of 1000 Dances" music video from The Wrestling Album, plus a Halloween party.

  • In a preshow dark match, Hillbilly Jim, Uncle Elmer, and Cousin Junior defeated Roddy Piper, Bob Orton, and Jesse Ventura.
  • Terry Funk defeated The Junkyard Dog.
  • Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant defeated Big John Studd and King Kong Bundy via disqualification.
  • Tito Santana fought Randy Savage to a double countout in a WWF Intercontinental Championship match.
  • Ricky Steamboat defeated Mr. Fuji in a Kung Fu Challenge.

26 years ago today, WWF tapes the 24th episode of Saturday Night's Main Event (WWE Network link) from the Kansas Coliseum in Topeka, Kansas.

The show, airing November 25, was the end of an era: it was the final match ever for Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard as a tag team, whose partnership went back to the days of the Four Horsemen in NWA.

By the time the show aired, both Anderson and Blanchard were gone from the company. Blanchard tested positive for cocaine for a second time and was released, and Anderson left the company following Survivor Series, which had already occurred by the time Saturday Night's Main Event aired.

  • WWF Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior defeated André the Giant by disqualification.
  • The Genius defeated WWF Champion Hulk Hogan by countout. Post-match, Mr. Perfect smashed the WWF title belt with a hammer. Contrary to popular belief, the smashed remains would not be used as the Hardcore Championship belt later in the decade; the Hardcore title belt was born from a different smashed replica. The fascinating story of Mr. Perfect’s smashed replica belt can be read here.
  • Dusty Rhodes defeated The Big Boss Man.
  • Mr. Perfect defeated The Red Rooster.
  • The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) defeated The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard) 2-1 in a best of three falls match.

18 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Mitsuhara Misawa defeated Kenta Kobashi to win the All Japan Triple Crown Championship for the fourth time.

16 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Rochester, New York (WWE Network link), Ivory defeated Lita, Jacqueline, and Trish Stratus in a four corners match to win the WWF Womens Championship for the third time.

Ivory would hold the title until Wrestlemania X-Seven, when she was soundly defeated by Chyna. Her 152-day reign would actually be the longest since Sable’s 176-day reign that began shortly after the title’s rebirth in 1998. Chyna would go on to shatter both marks with a 214-day reign (most of which she would not be around for in part due to a contract dispute).

11 years ago today, Jay Reso, best known to wrestling fans as Christian, leaves WWE after seven years with the company.

Christian was best known as one half of the prolific tag team Edge & Christian (who themselves were two-thirds of the first incarnation of The Brood), winners of seven WWF Tag Team Championships from 1999 to 2001. Christian would win the tag titles two more times, once each with fellow Canadians Chris Jericho and Lance Storm.

As a singles competitor, he was a three-time Intercontinental champion, light heavyweight champion, hardcore champion, and European champion.

According to Dave Meltzer, Reso was asked to sign a new deal on the spot at the RAW taping in Anaheim, but declined. He did fulfill his obligation by appearing at RAW that night and at Taboo Tuesday the next night. Reso would appear at Genesis just two weeks later for TNA.

Just a few days after leaving WWE, Reso gave a final interview to WWE.com explaining why he left:

There were some other things that were going on that helped sway my decision. It wasn't a contract dispute, if that's what you want to call it. It was a number of different things -- I've been on the road with WWE for eight years straight, and it takes a toll on your body when you're going 250-300 days a year.

So part of it was that, and obviously there was some frustration and a lot of other reasons that factored in. But I wasn't bitter at all. There's no hostility. There's just some times when you need a change and you need to do different things. It was something that I felt was necessary for myself at this time.

Plus, I have some other interests going on outside the business that I'm really looking forward to. I'm not saying I'm giving up wrestling, but there are some other things that are very appealing to me.

In an interview with Central Florida Sports Radio 740 The Team a month after leaving, Reso went on to say regardless of whether TNA was in the picture, he had already made up his mind to leave WWE.

Reso would return to WWE in 2009 as a part of the ECW brand. All four of Christian’s world titles (two ECW and two World Heavyweight) would come in his second run, as well as an Intercontinental Championship in 2012. Reso quietly retired due to concussion-related injuries in late 2014, though WWE themselves would not make it official until nearly a year later.

That same evening on RAW (WWE Network link), both Goldust and Vader made their return to the WWE after long absences, but it was due to an eleventh hour change.

Jonathan Coachman was set to face Stone Cold Steve Austin at Taboo Tuesday the following night with Jim Ross' job on the line, but Austin walked out on the company after he found out that in his first match since his retirement, he would lose to Coach. Another possibility for Austin's sudden exit was due to doctors not clearing him to wrestle due to a back injury.

To cover for the absence, it was announced that Austin was in an accident and Coach would face someone from the Smackdown roster. That someone, thought to be Funaki, was beaten down by Goldust.

Out came World Heavyweight Champion Batista, who was beaten down by Vader. The beatdown set up a three-on-one handicap match with Batista taking on Coach, Goldust, and Vader.


Gonna try something new today, kids. As a sort of addendum, I’ll give you the most commented story on the site (not counting show threads or recaps or daily threads or rumor roundups) from this day in cSs’ past. Note that you will not be able to comment on the original post, as comments are closed after a certain time period. Enjoy!

2015: Kevin Nash thinks he has one more WWE run in him (Nash talks with SI.com tossing around ideas for his next WWE run—if he has one)

2014: Randy Orton still doesn’t want to be a babyface in WWE (Orton replies to a comment on Twitter that being a face doesn’t suit him)

2013: World’s strongest comeback: ‘New look’ Mark Henry shaves his head and loses weight for one last run in WWE (Mark Henry drops to 410 pounds, looks like rapper Rick Ross)

2012: CM Punk vs. The Rock or Steve Austin? He prefers Stone Cold (BeneathTheMat’s Brian Soscia asks whether CM Punk would face The Rock or Stone Cold)

2011: Video: Brooke Hogan movie ‘Sand Sharks’ preview (Hey! Wanna see a trailer for Hulk Hogan’s daughter in a movie?)