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This Day in Wrestling History (Apr. 17): Chris Jericho Wins—and Loses—the WWF Title

Today’s TDIPWH is presented in two parts. The second part will focus on the career and life of the late Rowdy Roddy Piper, who would have turned 63 today.

this day in wrestling history

33 years ago today in Allentown, Pennsylvania, The North-South Connection (Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch) defeated Tony Atlas & Rocky Johnson to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.

25 years ago today, Stan Hansen defeated Mitsuhara Misawa to win the All Japan Pro Wrestling Champions Carnival.

23 years ago today, WCW presented Spring Stampede (WWE Network link) from the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. 12,200 were in attendance, with 105,000 homes watching on PPV.

  • In a dark match, Danny Bonaduce defeated Christopher Knight. Yes, THAT Danny Bonaduce and THAT Christopher Knight.
  • In a dark match, The Sullivans (Dave Sullivan & Kevin Sullivan) defeated Haito & Tanaka-san.
  • Johnny B. Badd defeated Diamond Dallas Page.
  • Lord Steven Regal and Flyin' Brian went to a 15-minute time limit draw for the WCW World Television Championship.
  • The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) defeated Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne in a Chicago Street Fight to retain the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Steve Austin defeated The Great Muta by disqualification to retain the WCW United States Championship.
  • Sting defeated Rick Rude to win the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Bunkhouse Buck defeated Dustin Rhodes in a bunkhouse match.
  • Vader defeated The Boss.
  • Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat fought to a draw for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. The match ended in a double pin. Due to the controversy, the championship was vacated.

18 years ago today in Buffalo, New York, D-Von Dudley defeated Rob Van Dam to win the ECW World Tag Team Championship for his team, the Dudley Boyz.

17 years ago today on RAW is WAR from State College, Pennsylvania (WWE Network link), Chris Jericho defeated Triple H to win the WWF Championship... only to lose it moments later back to Triple H. Truth is, Triple H never beat Jericho to win it back.

Anyway, here's how it went down: Mike Chioda was ref bumped, then Earl Hebner came down to replace him. Triple H in recent weeks and months had been abusing his power, and that extended to referees. Hebner in response fast-counted Triple H down after Jericho hit his Lionsault finisher.

Fast forward about four minutes and Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and her brother Shane demand they reverse the decision on account of the fast count. After initially refusing, they replayed the ending and Mike Chioda, who was the original official in the match, said it was indeed a fast count. Earl agrees to reverse the decision, but only on the condition that as long as he's a referee, nobody abuses him again ever.

Triple H agrees and Chris Jericho through Earl returns the WWF Championship belt to the previous champion. Triple H, of course, fires Earl Hebner moments later, then assaults the ex-referee. The new—old—champion says the match never happened and nobody saw a thing.

But wait, there's more: Linda McMahon announces that Stone Cold Steve Austin will make his return to WWF PPV at Backlash as the cornerman for The Rock.

In the show's main event, D-Generation X (Triple H, X-Pac, and Road Dogg) defeat Chris Jericho and the Acolytes in the show's main event, with Triple H pinning Jericho.

A little DYK: Jericho’s brief WWF title run kept him from leaving the company. It’s a story he’s told many times, like on SiriusXM’s Busted Open in 2013:

“Before I won the title that time at State College, Pennsylvania against Triple H, I was on my way to Vince’s (McMahon) office; it was like the movie Slap Shot: ‘Who owns the Chiefs? Pay me or I will leave’ sort of thing. I’m done!I lost to Viscera, I lost to the Godfather and this was a waste of my time. I’m done.

The writer at that time was Tommy Blacha at the time and he said, ‘Listen, before you go to Vince, I have to say something.’ I said, ‘There is nothing you can say that’s going to change my mind.’ He said, ‘You’re going to win the World Title tonight.’ And that changed my mind.

“You just got to hold on and Eddie Guererro’s told me that his dad used to say: ‘The cream will always rise to the top. If you can wrestle, you will always have a job and you will get to the top.’ I still believe that.

“Whatever kind of politics or dipsy-doodles may happen, all you got to do is keep performing to the best of your ability and sooner or later you are going to get that shot.

Jericho’s first world title win would come over a year later at No Mercy when he won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Sure it was under the WWE banner and during the Invasion era, but it counted as a world title then. So there. That December, he would become WWF’s first Undisputed Champion, defeating both The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin in a one-night tournament at Vengeance.

Also on the show, Scotty 2 Hotty defeated Dean Malekno to win the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship.

16 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Nashville, Tennessee (WWE Network link), Rhyno defeated Kane to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.

But it wasn't all bad for Kane: in the show’s main event, he and The Undertaker defeated Edge and Christian in a no disqualification match to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.

10 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Milan, Italy (WWE Network link), Deuce & Domino defeated Paul London & Brian Kendrick to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.

The win ends a 331-day run as tag team champions for London and Kendrick, at the time the fourth-longest in WWE history and by far the longest title reign for this version of the tag titles introduced in 2002. Both records would be shattered in 2016 when The New Day holds the tag titles for a company-record 483 days spanning part of 2015 and nearly all of 2016.

7 years ago today, TNA presented Lockdown from the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. As with all TNA Lockdown events, all of the shows matches were contested in a steel cage.

  • In a preshow dark match, Brother Devon defeated Anarquia.
  • Max Buck defeated Amazing Red, Brian Kendrick, Chris Sabin, Jay Lethal, Jeremy Buck, Robbie E and Suicide in a Xscape match to become the #1 contender for the TNA X Division Championship. All decisions were rendered by pinfall or decision until two men remained, then the first man to escape the cage won. (1.75/5)

-Robbie E defeated Suicide.

-Amazing Red defeated Jay Lethal.

-Chris Sabin defeated Amazing Red.

-Max Buck defeated Chris Sabin.

-Max Buck defeated Jeremy Buck.

-Brian Kendrick defeated Robbie E.

-Max Buck defeated Brian Kendrick.

  • Ink Inc. (Jesse Neal & Shannon Moore) defeated Crimson & Scott Steiner and Eric Young & Orlando Jordan and The British Invasion (Douglas Williams & Magnus) in a four corners tag team match. (2)
  • Mickie James defeated Madison Rayne in a hair versus title match in just 34 seconds to win the TNA Knockouts Championship. (0)
  • Samoa Joe defeated D'Angelo Dinero. (2.5)
  • Matt Morgan defeated Hernandez. (1.5)
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Kurt Angle 2-1 in a best of three falls "Ultra Male" rules match. Angle won a submission match, then Jarrett swept the next two falls, a pinfalls only match then an escape-the-cage match. (4)
  • Sting defeated Mr. Anderson and Rob Van Dam in a three-way match to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. (1.5)
  • Fortune (Daniels, James Storm, Kazarian, and Robert Roode) defeated Immortal (Abyss, Bully Ray, Matt Hardy, and Ric Flair) in a Lethal Lockdown match. (4)

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