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This Day in Wrestling History (August 18): Daniel Bryan Wins—Then Loses—WWE Championship

this day in wrestling history

54 years ago today in Newark, New Jersey, Bobo Brazil defeated Buddy Rogers to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship...sort of.

Rogers claimed he injured his groin during the match, and the match was stopped with the referee declaring Brazil the winner. However, Bobo did not accept the victory.

Two and a half weeks later, after a doctor exam revealed Buddy's groin was just fine, the result stood, and Bobo was the new NWA world champion. Rogers would win the title back on October 30 from Brazil in Toledo, Ohio. Today, this title change is not recognized by NWA. As the October 30 title change isn't recognized, that negates Brazil's historic title win that would have made him the first African-American pro wrestling world champion.

23 years ago today, WCW presented Clash of the Champions XXIV (WWE Network link) from the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. Though there were three championship matches on the show, the story was what went down away from the ring.

In one of wrestling's most infamous moments, Fred Ottman (last seen in the WWF as Tugboat and Typhoon) debuted as The tripping over the wall and losing his Stormtrooper bedazzled helmet.

  • Arn Anderson and Paul Roma defeated Steve Austin and Lord Steven Regal (subbing for the injured Brian Pillman) to win the NWA/WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • 2 Cold Scorpio pinned Bobby Eaton (subbing for Lord Steven Regal).
  • Johnny B. Badd defeated Maxx Payne. As a result of the win, Badd gained possession of Maxx Payne's guitar.
  • Ricky Steamboat defeated Paul Orndorff to win the NWA/WCW World Television Championship.
  • Sting and Ric Flair defeated The Colossal Kongs.
  • Dustin Rhodes and mystery partner Road Warrior Hawk defeated The Equalizer and Rick Rude.
  • Big Van Vader defeated Davey Boy Smith to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

20 years ago, WWF presented Summerslam (WWE Network link) from the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. About 17,000 were in attendance, with just 194,000 homes watching on PPV (though some estimates put the number as low as 145,000). It's the least bought Summerslam in the company's history (pre-Network era).

  • In a preshow Free for All match, Steve Austin defeated Yokozuna. Near the end of the match, Yokozuna was going fot the Banzai Drop, but the ropes gave way.
  • Owen Hart defeated Savio Vega.
  • The Smokin' Gunns (Billy and Bart) defeated The Bodydonnas (Skip and Zip), The New Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Leif Cassidy) and The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas) in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • Billy pinned Zip to eliminate the Bodydonnas.
  • Henry pinned Jannetty to eliminate the New Rockers.
  • Billy pinned Phineas to eliminate the Godwinns.
  • Sycho Sid defeated The British Bulldog.
  • Goldust defeated Marc Mero.
  • Jerry Lawler defeated Jake Roberts.
  • Mankind defeated The Undertaker in a Boiler Room Brawl. The match could only have been won when one of the participants took possession of the urn. When Undertaker was going for the urn, Paul Bearer turned his back-literally-on the Undertaker.
  • Shawn Michaels defeated Vader to retain the WWF Championship. Vader had twice won the match, but not the title (once via countout, once via disqualification), but manager Jim Cornette insisted on-and was granted-a restart both times.

19 years ago today on RAW is WAR from Atlantic City, New Jersey (WWE Network link), The Undertaker and Mankind defeated Shawn Michaels and Hunter Hearst Helmsley by disqualification.

The story is what went down post-match: The Undertaker was busted open for the very first time in a WWF setting when Michaels nailed Undertaker with a vicious chairshot. The reluctant alliance of Michaels and Helmsley (along with bodyguards Rick Rude and Chyna) would soon become the first version of D-Generation X.

19 years ago today, Robert "Jeep" Swenson dies at UCLA Medical Center of heart failure. He was just 40 years old.

Swenson wrestled briefly for World Class Championship Wrestling in the 1980s, but he's most noted wrestling-wise as "The Ultimate Solution" (originally named "The Final Solution" before some Jewish groups took offense to the name-it was the name of the plan Adolf Hitler used to exterminate the Jewish population) as part of the Alliance to End Hulkamania at WCW Uncensored 1996. Swenson also had a few notable roles in film, including as Lugwrench Perkins in the Hulk Hogan-vehicle No Holds Barred, as James Caan's bodyguard Bledsoe in Bulletproof, and as Bane in Batman & Robin.

18 years ago today in Baltimore, Maryland, independent wrestler Brian Howser was shot and killed during an altercation with police. He was just 23 years old.

Howser, aka Shane Shamrock (no relation to Ken), was the first Maryland Championship Wrestling light heavyweight champion, winning the belt just a month earlier. The championship was retired in September 1998 with Shamrock as its only champion.

Each year, MCW holds the Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup, a series of singles matches with all the winners facing off the same night in an elimination match. The tournament served as a basis for Ring of Honor's "Survival of the Fittest". Past winners of the Shamrock Memorial Cup include three-time winner Christian York, Joey Matthews, Sami Callahan, and former ROH World Heavyweight Champion Adam Cole. Lio Rush won the 16th Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup last month, making him the first man to win the annual tournament in consecutive years.

11 years ago today, Christopher Bauman, Jr., best known to wrestling fans as Chri$ CaSh, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Glassboro, New Jersey. He was just 23.

Bauman competed in many independent promotions, but he is best known for his five years in Combat Zone Wrestling. In 2004 at Cage of Death VI, Bauman led Team Ca$h, which included SeXXXy Eddy, JC Bailey, and Nate Webb, to the CZW Tag Team Championship in the match of the same name. The group defended the title under the Freebird rule for eight weeks before being defeated by the H8 Club's Justice Pain and Nick Gage in February 2005.

It would turn out to be his final match in CZW; just a month later, he was involved in an automobile accident and had to pull out of an event the next month.

On August 18, 2005, Bauman was on a motorbike with his cousin when a car turned in front of them. The motorbike collided with the car on the driver's side, and both Bauman and his cousin were thrown off the vehicle. The collision was fatal; the Baumans were killed instantly, while the car's driver died en route to the hospital.

Three weeks after his passing, a memorial show was held in his honor and raised $5,000 for the family of the deceased Bauman. The show, posthumously named Down with the Sickness (named after Ca$h's entrance theme), has become an annual event, held every September.

6 years ago today, TNA announced that they had signed independent wrestler Rebecca Treston, aka Becky Bayless. She would appear for the company as Cookie. She would leave the company after just one year after TNA decides not to renew her contract.

3 years ago today, WWE presented Summerslam (WWE Network link) from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. 17,739 were in attendance, with 298,000 homes watching on PPV, which was down from 358,000 in 2012.

It was the fifth consecutive year Summerslam emanated from Los Angeles (the streak would go to six the next year).

  • In a preshow match, Rob Van Dam defeated Dean Ambrose via disqualification in a WWE United States Championship match.
  • Bray Wyatt defeated Kane in a Ring of Fire match.
  • Cody Rhodes defeated Damien Sandow.
  • Alberto Del Rio defeated Christian to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Natalya defeated Brie Bella.
  • Brock Lesnar defeated CM Punk in a no disqualification match.
  • Dolph Ziggler & Kaitlyn defeated Big E. Langston & AJ Lee.
  • Daniel Bryan defeated John Cena to win the WWE Championship. Triple H was the special referee. He also played a part in the post-match. Triple H pedigreed Bryan, leading to Randy Orton cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase, and moments later...
  • Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan to win the WWE Championship. At just eight seconds, this ties the fastest WWE Championship title change ever, tying Diesel's mark against Bob Backlund in 1994.

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