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This Day in Wrestling History (May 11): A Cold Day in Hell

28 years ago today, WWF ran a marathon Wrestling Challenge taping in Rochester, Minnesota. An incredible 31 matches were done for the four-episode set, with no match lasting longer than four minutes. The longest was Koko B. Ware defeating Rick Renslow in 3 minutes, 50 seconds.

21 years ago today at a WCW Saturday Night taping in Atlanta, Georgia's Center Stage, Randy Savage defeated Steve Austin in a tournament match for the vacated WCW United States Championship. Austin tore his triceps during the brief bout; the injury would lead to his release later in the year.

20 years ago, AAA presented Triplemania IV-A from the International Ampitheatre in Chicago, Illinois. 2,676 were in attendance for the first ever Triplemania event in the United States. This was actually the first of a three-show Triplemania series, with the next show occurring in June, and the third happening in July.

  • Karis la Momia, Arunyo, and Killer defeated Blue Demon, Jr., El Torero, and Máscara Sagrada, Jr. 2-1 in a best of three falls lucha libre rules match.
  • Jerry Estrada and Juventud Guerrera defeated El Pantera and Super Caló 2-1 in a best of three falls match.
  • Cibernético, El Picudo and Mosco de la Merced defeated Octagón, Último Dragón and La Parka 2-1 in a best of three falls lucha libre rules match.
  • Konnan and Perro Aguayo defeated Pierroth, Jr. and Cien Caras in a lumberjack match.

20 years ago today, ECW presented A Matter of Respect from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Portions of the event played on the May 1421, and 28 episodes of ECW Hardcore TV (WWE Network links).

  • El Puerto Ricano and Damien 666 fought to a no contest.
  • The Dudleys (Buh Buh Ray & D-Von) defeated Devon Storm & Damien Kane by disqualification.
  • FBI (JT Smith & Little Guido) defeated Axl Rotten & Hack Meyers.
  • Taz defeated Beef Wellington.
  • Raven defeated Sandman and Pitbull #2 in a three-way dance to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Chris Jericho defeated Mikey Whipwreck.
  • Shane Douglas defeated 2 Cold Scorpio to win ECW World Television Championship.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated Sabu in a respect match. As a result of the loss, Sabu had to verbally announce his respect for Rob Van Dam.
  • Tommy Dreamer & The Gangstas (Mustafa & New Jack) defeated Brian Lee & The Eliminators (John Kronus & Perry Saturn).

19 years ago today, WWF presented In Your House 15: A Cold Day in Hell (WWE Network link) from the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia. 9,381 were in attendance, with 201,000 homes watching on PPV. That's up from 146,000 homes for the May 1996 In Your House event, Beware of Dog.

  • In a preshow Free for All match, Rockabilly defeated Jesse James.
  • Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Flash Funk.
  • Mankind defeated Rocky Maivia.
  • The Nation of Domination defeated Ahmed Johnson in a gauntlet match.
  • Ken Shamrock defeated Vader in a no holds barred match.
  • The Undertaker defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin to retain the WWF Championship.
  • In a post-show dark match, the Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal) defeated WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart and The British Bulldog by disqualification.

12 years ago today, John Tenta, most famously known as the WWF's Earthquake in the late 1980s and early 1990s (and Shark and Avalanche during his WCW run—and Golga during his brief late-1990s run in the WWF) announced his retirement from wrestling after developing bladder cancer.

Tenta was given just a 20% chance to live by doctors assuming chemotherapy treatments were effective. During a November 2005 interview with Wrestlecrap Radio, Tenta announced that those treatments did not take and the tumors would spread to his lungs. Tenta died of the disease in Sanford, Florida in 2006, just two weeks before his 43rd birthday.

12 years ago today, WWE releases Brian Christopher Lawler. Lawler, Jim Ross' final signing as WWE talent scout, lasted just one month and wrestled four matches with the company in his return. His release came after he was held at the Canadian border for attempting to bring contraband over. Lawler would not return to the company until a cameo appearance in 2011.

9 years ago today, WWE releases Rob Conway and 2 Cold Scorpio. Conway, a part of the WWE since 2000, was a three-time world tag team champion. He never caught on as a singles star with the company. 2 Cold Scorpio was previously with the WWE in the late-1990s as Flash Funk, but is best known for his stints in WCW and ECW. Scorpio was not used outside a brief run on their European tour.

9 years ago today, WWE announces via press release that Stephanie McMahon had been promoted to Executive Vice President, Talent and Creative Writing. In a separate press release, WWE announces John Laurainitis was promoted to Senior Vice President of Talent Relations.

8 years ago today, TNA presented Sacrifice from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando. One of the primary features of the show was the Deuces Wild Tournament to crown new TNA tag team champions.

Also on the show, Kurt Angle announced he had a neck injury and could not compete in the show's main event. The show also featured the debut of their newest gimmick match, the Terrordome.

  • Deuces Wild Tournament:
    • Team 3D (Brother Devon and Brother Ray) defeated James Storm and Sting.
    • Christian Cage and Rhino defeated Booker T and Robert Roode.
    • The Latin American Xchange (Hernandez and Homicide) defeated Kip James and Matt Morgan.
    • A.J. Styles and Super Eric defeated Awesome Kong and B.G. James .
    • Team 3D (Brother Devon and Brother Ray) defeated Christian Cage and Rhino.
    • The Latin American Xchange (Hernandez and Homicide) defeated A.J. Styles and Super Eric.
    • The Latin American Xchange (Hernandez and Homicide) (w/ Hector Guerrero and Salinas) defeated Team 3D (Brother Devon and Brother Ray) to win the vacant TNA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Non-tournament matches (in order of occurrence):
    • Kaz defeated Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Consequences Creed, Curry Man, Jay Lethal, Jimmy Rave, Johnny Devine, Shark Boy, and Sonjay Dutt in a TerrorDome to become the number one contender to the TNA X Division Championship and take Kurt Angle's place in the main event.
    • Gail Kim defeated Angelina Love, Christy Hemme, Jackie Moore, ODB, Salinas, Rhaka Khan, Roxxi Laveaux, Traci Brooks, and Velvet Sky in a TNA Knockouts Makeover Battle Royal to become number one contender to the TNA Women's Knockout Championship.
    • Samoa Joe defeated Kaz and Scott Steiner to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

4 years ago today, WWE announces via press release that NXT would be moving full-time to Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, with their first taping to take place six days later.

3 years ago today, Kenta Kobashi retires from in-ring competition.

His final event, Final Burning at Budokan, was attended by many dignitaries including former colleagues Akira Taue, Hiroshi Hase, Masahiro Chono, and Stan Hansen, as well as former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and NTV announcers Akira Fukuzawa and Kazuo Tokumitsu. In his final match, Kobashi, Jun Akiyama, Keiji Mutoh, and Kensuke Sasaki defeated Go Shiozaki, Kenta, Maybach Taniguchi, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru.

Kobashi, a rugby player and bodybuilder turned wrestler, was a three-time All Japan Pro Wrestling Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion, 10-time tag team champion, winner of the 2000 Champion Carnival, and the Pro Wrestling Noah GHC Heavyweight Champion and two time GHC tag team champion. He also was an eight-time winner of Match of the Year by Tokyo Sports Magazine and their 1996 and 1998 wrestler of the year. Kobashi was also a part of 23 five-star matches from Wrestling Observer Newsletter and is a member of that publication's Hall of Fame Class of 2002.

1 year ago today, Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling co-presented War of the Worlds Night 1 from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • Gedo defeated Delirious.
  • Roderick Strong defeated KUSHIDA.
  • Jay Lethal defeated Takaaki Watanabe to retain the ROH World Television Championship.
  • The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) defeated The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) and The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Michael Bennett) in a three-team tag match.
  • Tetsuya Naito defeated Michael Elgin.
  • reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jushin Thunder Liger.
  • AJ Styles defeated Adam Cole.
  • CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Shinsuke Nakamura) defeated The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe).

1 year ago today on RAW from Cincinnati, Ohio (WWE Network link), Daniel Bryan vacates the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

Bryan won the title at Wrestlemania 31 in a ladder match, but had not competed for more than a month after suffering another concussion. It would essentially be Bryan's last major act in a WWE ring; the following February, Bryan announced he had to retire due to the trauma his body had taken over the years.

1 year ago today, WWE announces that the Elimination Chamber would return at the PPV of the same name at the end of the month. The event was made available only to those attending the show and WWE Network subscribers, the first time WWE did such a thing for a main roster show.

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