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This Day in Wrestling History (Feb. 8): Daniel Bryan Retires

this day in wrestling history

46 years ago today in New York City, Pedro Morales defeated Ivan Koloff to win the WWWF Championship.

Morales, the first Latino-born world champion, would hold the world title for just over 1,000 days before losing it to Stan Stasiak in December 1973.

As the WWWF at the time had a "one person, one belt" rule, Morales had to vacate the WWWF United States Championship he'd won just a month earlier. As for the United States Championship, it would be awarded back to Bobo Brazil; he would hold the title until it is abandoned in 1976.

37 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Stan Hansen defeated Antonio Inoki to win the National Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship.

31 years ago today in Boston, Massachusetts, Randy Savage defeated Tito Santana to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

The title change doesn't air until February 24's edition of Prime Time Wrestling; in the interim, Santana defends the title on the house show circuit.

Savage would hold the title until Wrestlemania III the following March, a span of 414 days, 11 days short of the record for longest reign ever (the record would be broken by Honky Tonk Man in 1988).

18 years ago today, WWF presented RAW Saturday Night (WWE Network link) from the Skydome in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The show, airing February 13 (just a day before their February PPV, St. Valentine’s Day Massacre) due to the USA Network's coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in the States (but still airing in its usual Monday timeslot on TSN in Canada), had an attendance of 41,432 fans. It would by far be the largest attendance for a Monday Night RAW in company history.

The show featured the surprising in-ring debut of WWF chairman Vince McMahon.

  • In a preshow dark match, John D'Silva defeated Joe E. Legend.
  • In a preshow dark match, The Acolytes (Bradshaw & Faarooq) defeated Larry Brun & Scott D'Amore.
  • D-Lo Brown defeated Jeff Jarrett in just 71 seconds.
  • Gillberg defeated Goldust in just 95 seconds.
  • Mankind and Stone Cold Steve Austin ended in a no contest
  • The Godfather defeated Viscera by disqualification in just 82 seconds.
  • X-Pac defeated Kane by disqualification.
  • The Rock defeated Steve Blackman in a non-title match.
  • The Corporation (Vince McMahon, Ken Shamrock, Test, Kane, Chyna, and The Big Bossman) defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin in a gauntlet match. The bout could only end when one person scored a pinfall or submission. Shamrock, Test, Kane, Chyna, and Bossman all took intentional disqualifications to prolong them match. McMahon entered himself in the match and would score the winning fall in the bout, officially defeating Austin in just 69 seconds.

18 years ago today on Nitro from Buffalo, New York (WWE Network link), Roddy Piper defeated Bret Hart to win the WCW United States Championship.

17 years ago today at a Sunday Night Heat taping in Austin, Texas, Essa Rios defeated Gillberg in just 45 seconds to win the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship.

The former Papi Chulo ends Gillberg's mostly inactive title run at 448 days, the longest since the championship was separated from the J-Crown and returned to the company in 1997 (and the longest reign by any American ever; Villano III holds the record for longest title reign at 826 days from May 1984 to August 1986).

The championship would be abandoned and quietly retired in November 2001 when X-Pac, the final champion, was injured just before Survivor Series, cancelling a unification bout with WCW Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman.

Of note, debuting for the WWF during the bout would be Amy Dumas, who served as Essa’s valet Lita.

On the same taping during Smackdown (WWE Network link), Kurt Angle defeated Val Venis to win the WWF European Championship.

14 years ago today, Ring of Honor presented its One Year Anniversary Show from the Elks Lodge in Queens, New York.

  • EZ Money defeated Chad Collyer, Colt Cabana, and Michael Shane in a Four Corner Survival match.
  • The Texas Wrestling Academy (Don Juan, Fast Eddie & Hotstuff Hernandez) defeated the Carnage Crew (HC Loc, Tony DeVito & Masada) by disqualification.
  • Jay Briscoe defeated Mark Briscoe.
  • Steve Corino defeated Homicide.
  • The Ring Crew Express (Dunn & Marcos) and The Outcast Killaz (Diablo Santiago & Oman Tortuga) fought to a no contest
  • CM Punk defeated CW Anderson
  • Bryan Danielson defeated Samoa Joe
  • Paul London defeated AJ Styles and Low Ki to win the Number One Contender's Trophy
  • Xavier defeated Paul London to retain the ROH Championship.
  • Da Hit Squad (Mafia & Monsta Mack), Divine Storm (Chris Divine & Quiet Storm), The SAT (Jose & Joel Maximo) & Mikey Whipwreck defeated Special K (Izzy, Dixie, Hydro, Deranged, Angel Dust, Jody Fleisch, Slim J, Brian XL, Yeyo, and Slugger) in a Tag Team Scramble match.

8 years ago today, TNA presented Against All Odds from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.

  • Alex Shelley defeated Eric Young to retain the TNA X-Division Championship.
  • Scott Steiner defeated Petey Williams.
  • Brutus Magnus defeated Chris Sabin.
  • Awesome Kong defeated ODB to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship.
  • Booker T defeated Shane Sewell to retain the TNA Legends Championship.
  • Abyss defeated Matt Morgan.
  • Beer Money Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) defeated Lethal Consequences (Consequences Creed & Jay Lethal) to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Sting defeated Brother Devon, Brother Ray, and Kurt Angle in a four-way match to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

7 years ago today, WWE announces that "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Word leaked that the headlining spot was to go to the Ultimate Warrior, but an agreement could not be reached. Warrior eventually did get into the Hall of Fame in 2014.

7 years ago today on RAW from Lafayette, Louisiana (WWE Network link), ShowMiz (The Big Show and The Miz) defeated D-Generation X (Triple H & Shawn Michaels) and the Straight Edge Society (CM Punk and Luke Gallows) in a three-team elimination match to win the WWE Unified Tag Team Championship.

2 years ago today at a Lucha Underground taping in Los Angeles, California, Angelico, Ivellise, and Son of Havoc defeated Big Ryck, Killshot, and The Mack and Cage, King Cuerno and Texajo, Jr. in a three-team match to become the first Lucha Underground Trios champions...

...sort of. The champions actually were booked in one more match immediately after. The trio of dysfunction defeated The Crew (Bael, Cortez Castro, and Mr. Cisco) in the show’s main event to officially become the Lucha Underground Trios champions.

1 year ago today, Bryan Lloyd Danielson announces via Twitter his retirement from wrestling. The tweet that shocked the world:

Danielson, wrestling in recent years as Daniel Bryan, had not been in a match since last April 14, less than a month after he had won the Intercontinental Championship at Wrestlemania 31. He had not been on WWE programming since forfeiting his title on May 11. In the interim, he had been cleared by independent specialists at UCLA and the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals neurologist, but he would never get the okay from WWE doctors. Multiple concussions and a found brain lesion led to his retirement.

Prior to his most recent WWE run (he had been with the company’s developmental system in 2000 and 2001), the “American Dragon” was one of the most accomplished independent wrestlers in the world, winning heavyweight championships for Full Impact Pro, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, World Series Wrestling, and Ring of Honor (where he would also be their final Pure Champion). He would also win junior heavyweight titles for Memphis Championship Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling Noah.

In WWE, he would win the United States Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, and three WWE Championships, the biggest coming at Wrestlemania XXX when he won two matches to claim the crown. Danielson was also a tag team champion with Kane (as Team Hell No) and an Intercontinental Champion, making him a Grand Slam champion.

Danielson was well-honored, winning Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Most Outstanding Wrestler five consecutive years from 2006 to 2010, and would win the same award for the decade of the 2000s. He was also awarded the Best Technical Wrestler nine years running (2005 to 2013; soon after retirement, the publication announced the award going forward would be named for Danielson). In 2013, Bryan won the Slammy for Superstar of the Year, one of 12 Slammys he would win in the company.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated named Bryan the Most Popular Wrestler and Wrestler of the Year for 2013. He was named the Most Inspirational Wrestler of 2014 from the same publication, and was ranked the #1 singles wrestler in the world.

In the year since his retirement, Bryan was named as the on-screen general manager of Smackdown Live, and has become a father-to-be.

A storystream of Daniel Bryan’s retirement can be found here. A full video of his retirement speech can be found here.

The retirement ceremony has a dark cloud cast over it when the show’s final shot (airing on WWE Network) was Vince McMahon shoving Titus O’ Neil after O’Neil gave a “playful, physical” grab. WWE quickly pulled footage of the incident, but by the time they do two days later, it’s gone viral.

O’Neil would ultimately be suspended 60 days for the incident; originally, WWE considered firing O’Neil (no, seriously), but McMahon was talked down to a 90-day suspension; the suspension was reduced after a massive critical backlash.

Today would have been the 59th birthday of Sherri Schrull. Born Sherri Russell, she's best known to wrestling fans as "Sensational" Sherri Martel.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Sherri was first introduced to wrestling when her mother took her and her sister to wrestling events in Mississippi. When she was 16, she sought advice on how to become a wrestler by Grizzly Smith (father of Jake "The Snake" Roberts), but was told to come back in five years when she's an adult. During her second marriage, her interest in wrestling picked up again and began training with Butch Moore in Memphis, then with The Fabulous Moolah in South Carolina. It was there where Sherri picked up her ring name, Sherri Martel (she originally wrestled as Sherri Martine). Allegedly, it was Sherri's partying ways that got her kicked from wrestling school. Martel returned to Memphis and was managed by Jim Cornette, but her wrestling career was put on hold when she was injured in a battle royal.

When she recovered, she joined the American Wrestling Association with the help of Larry Zbyszko. In September 1985 at Superclash, Sherri defeated Candi Devine to win the AWA World Womens Championship. The two would trade the championship over the next nine months, with each woman winning the belt from the other twice. She doubled as a manager, managing "Playboy" Buddy Rose and "Pretty Boy" Doug Somers to the AWA World Tag Team Championship. Soon after winning the AWA Women's Championship for the third time, she was WWF bound thanks to a referral by Jesse Ventura.

On July 24, 1987, she debuted as Sensational Sherri, and success quickly found her. She defeated Fabulous Moolah for the WWF Womens Championship that day and held the championship for the next fifteen months, finally losing it to Rockin' Robin in Paris in October 1988. The women's division would be phased out by 1990, but Sherri remained on in her most famous role: manager to the stars.

Following Wrestlemania V, she aligned with "Macho Man" Randy Savage against Hulk Hogan and Miss Elizabeth. The feud, which would include Brutus Beefcake and Zeus of No Holds Barred fame, would last for the remainder of the year. At Summerslam, Martel got an unwanted haircut after she was knocked out by Elizabeth with Sherri's purse.

Martel and Savage would feud with Dusty Rhodes and Sapphire for most of 1990, but it would be Miss Elizabeth that foiled the WWF's king and queen again when she interfered on Dusty and Sapphire's behalf at Wrestlemania VI. The alliance between Sherri and Randy ended at Wrestlemania VII when Savage was forced to retire after being defeated by The Ultimate Warrior. An irate Sherri kicked away at the defeated Savage until Elizabeth came to his rescue. Later in the show, Sherri helped Ted DiBiase attack Rowdy Roddy Piper, aligning herself with the "Million Dollar Man".

A few months later, Sherri would align with Shawn Michaels (even providing the vocals for her theme). Later in 1992, Shawn Michaels would be confronted by a returning Marty Jannetty and grabbed the mirror he was looking at himself with. Jannetty, looking to hit Michaels, hit Sherri instead. She would be off television until the 1993 Royal Rumble, where Sherri turned on Michaels. Shawn confronted Sherri, but Marty came to her rescue. The feud was cut short when Jannetty was briefly released. Sherri aligned herself with Tatanka in their feud with Luna Vachon and Bam Bam Bigelow, but the feud never concluded with Sherri being released that summer.

After a brief run in ECW, Sherri went to WCW as Sensuous Sherri in 1994. She aided Ric Flair in his feud with Hulk Hogan and Sting. The next year, Sherri—now known as Sista Sherri—aligned with Harlem Heat. Under her management, the duo won the WCW world tag team championship seven times. She had a brief on-screen relationship with Col. Robert Parker, until Harlem Heat fired him. Sherri herself would be ditched by Harlem Heat in July 1997.

She would make cameo appearances for most of the remainder of her career, appearing at the infamous Heroes of Wrestling PPV in October 1999, returning briefly to WCW in 2000, as a part of the Kurt Angle-Shawn Michaels feud in 2005 (where Sherri sung a parody of Shawn Michaels' "Sexy Boy"), and for TNA in late 2006 offering her managerial services to Robert Roode. Sherri was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Ted DiBiase in April 2006.

On the morning of June 15, 2007, Martel was found dead at her mother's residence in McCalla, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham. She was 49. Three months later, homicide investigators revealed that she died of a drug overdose with multiple drugs in her system, including high amounts of oxycotine. Martel, who was posthumously inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2014, had one son.

The best of cSs on this day:

2016: Daniel Bryan announces his retirement (Four-time WWE Champion Daniel Bryan calls it a carer on Twitter; officially announcement coming on RAW)

2015: Top 5 Hits: Current WWE Main Roster (#2) (Cagesiders pick their favorites on the roster right now)

2014: Cody Rhodes tweets injury; is Road Dogg to blame after Raw moonsault spot? (Cody Rhodes injures his knee on a top rope moonsault, tweets about it)

2013: Introducing the Cageside Seats Greatest Tag Team Tournament: The Field of 64 (The field for the greatest tag team ever tournament is revealed)

2012: Video: WWE Inbox (Episode two) (Superstars answer fan questions in a new video; plus the debut episode of Are You Serious?)

2011: Steven Seagal: Inventor of the Front Kick and Time Machine (Actor Steven Seagal claims he taught Anderson Silva the kick that beat Vitor Belfort at UFC 126; Seagal confirmed crazy man)

2010: Apparently Ron Simmons retired this weekend (Wrestling Observer Newsleter reports former WCW world champion Ron Simmons has called it a career)

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