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This Day in Wrestling History (Apr. 6): Daniel Bryan Wins the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

this day in wrestling history

38 years ago today, Abdullah the Butcher defeated Jumbo Tsuruta to win the All Japan Pro Wrestling Champion Carnival.

It would be Abdullah’s second Champion Carnival win, with his first coming in 1976. He was the only foreign-born wrestler to win the annual tournament until Stan Hansen won it in 1992 (the tournament took an eight year hiatus from 1983 to 1991).

32 years ago today, Ken Patera and Masa Saito are arrested in Waukesha, Wisconsin following an incident where Patera threw a rock at a window outside of a McDonald’s restaurant after being refused service after business hours.

Patera was found by police in a hotel room a few hours later with Saito; when police went to the room to question him regarding the incident, the two men assaulted the arresting officers until other police officers arrived.

In June 1985, the two men were convicted of battery of a police officer and were sentenced to two years in prison.

20 years ago today, WCW presented Spring Stampede (WWE Network link) from the Tupelo Coliseum in Tupelo, Mississippi. 8,356 were in attendance, with 210,000 homes watching on PPV. It's up from 115,000 homes for Spring Stampede in 1994, the last time the event was done, but it's down from 325,000 buys for Uncensored the previous month. The show is infamously noted for Booker T's very bad slip of the tongue.

  • Rey Misterio, Jr. defeated Ultimo Dragon.
  • Akira Hokuto defeated Madusa to retain the WCW Women's Championship.
  • Prince Iaukea defeated Lord Steven Regal to retain the WCW Television Championship.
  • The Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge & Rocco Rock) defeated Jeff Jarrett & Steve McMichael.
  • Dean Malenko fought Chris Benoit to a no contest in a WCW United States Championship match.
  • Kevin Nash defeated Rick Steiner to retain the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Lex Luger defeated The Giant, Booker T, and Stevie Ray to become the #1 contender for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Macho Man Randy Savage in a no disqualification match.

15 years ago today in Salt Lake City, Utah, William Regal defeated Bubba Ray Dudley to win the WWF Hardcore Championship... only to lose it to Goldust... who then loses it to Raven... who then loses it back to Bubba Ray Dudley.

6 years ago today, The Los Angeles Times reported that Vince McMahon was removing the world "wrestling" from their company name in a rebranding effort. McMahon:

"I think every brand has to re-create itself. I want everyone to look at us in a vastly different way than they have.

"No one does television production better than we do, it's damn near the Olympics. We know more about live event touring than anyone in the United States."

The rebranding effort came off a disappointing fourth quarter in 2010 where PPV revenue and attendance were down 15%.

4 years ago today, SHIMMER Women Athletes makes its iPPV debut with Volume 53 from WrestleCon in Secaucus, New Jersey.

  • Amazing Kong defeated Mia Yim.
  • Shazza McKenzie & Veda Scott defeated Cherry Bomb & Kimber Lee.
  • Christina Von Eerie defeated Evie, Kalamity, Rhia O'Reilly, Yuu Yamagata in a sudden death five-way match.
  • Mercedes Martinez defeated Ayumi Kurihara.
  • Regeneration X (Allison Danger & Leva Bates) & Serena Deeb defeat Jessicka Havok, Nevaeh, and Sassy Stephie.
  • Madison Eagles defeated Jessie McKay.
  • The Canadian Ninjas (Nicole Matthews & Portia Perez) defeated Kana & LuFisto and Made In Sin (Allysin Kay & Taylor Made) and Kellie Skater & Tomoka Nakagawa in a four-team elimination match to retain the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship.
  • Athena defeated Ayako Hamada.
  • Cheerleader Melissa defeated Saraya Knight in a steel cage match to win the SHIMMER Championship. The win was historic on multiple fronts: it was the first time the title changed hands anywhere other than Berwyn, Illinois, and Cheerleader Melissa became the first woman to win the SHIMMER Championship more than once. Her championship run would last 560 days, longer than anyone in the promotion's history.

3 years ago today, WWE presented Wrestlemania XXX (WWE Network link) from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. 75,167 were in attendance, with a combined 1,357,000 homes watching on PPV and the WWE Network (667,000 Network subscribers and 690,000 home buys).

With $10.9 million in ticket sales, WWE for the fifth consecutive year broke the building's entertainment event record.

Match ratings are from Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer as recorded in the Internet Wrestling Database. Ratings are out of a possible five stars.

  • In a preshow match, The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) defeated Los Matadores (Fernando & Diego), The Real Americans (Cesaro & Jack Swagger), and RybAxel (Curtis Axel & Ryback) in a fatal four-way elimination match to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship. (3.75/5)
  • Daniel Bryan defeated Triple H to win a spot in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match later in the show. (4.25)
  • The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose) defeated The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & Road Dogg) and Kane. (2)
  • Cesaro last eliminated The Big Show to win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Other participants included Alberto Del Rio, Big E, Brad Maddox, Brodus Clay, Christian, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Darren Young, Dolph Ziggler, Fandango, Drew McIntyre, Goldust, The Great Khali, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Justin Gabriel, Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, The Miz, Rey Mysterio, Sheamus, R-Truth, Santino Marella, Sin Cara, Titus O'Neil, Tyson Kidd, Xavier Woods, Yoshi Tatsu, and Zack Ryder. (3)
  • John Cena defeated Bray Wyatt. (3.5)
  • Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker. With the win, Lesnar became the first man to defeat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania after 21 straight wins. (1.5)
  • AJ Lee defeated Naomi, Cameron, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Natalya, Eva Marie, Emma, Aksana, Alicia Fox, Summer Rae, Tamina, Rosa Mendes, and Layla in a Vickie Guererro Invitational Match to retain the WWE Divas Championship. (1.25)
  • Daniel Bryan defeated Batista and Randy Orton by submission in a triple threat match to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Bryan was the first man to win multiple matches in the same Wrestlemania since Randy Savage at Wrestlemania IV, and the first to win the main event of Wrestlemania by submission since Undertaker at Wrestlemania XXIV. (4.5)

3 years ago today, New Japan Pro Wrestling presented Invasion Attack from Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.

  • The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) defeated El Desperado & Kota Ibushi to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
  • Kazushi Sakuraba, Togi Makabe & Yuji Nagata defeated Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & TAKA Michinoku).
  • TenKoji (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) defeated Jax Dane & Rob Conway to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Daniel Gracie & Rolles Gracie defeated CHAOS (Takashi Iizuka & Toru Yano) in a Pro-Wrestling vs. Jiu-Jitsu MMA match.
  • Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Prince Devitt. This was Devitt's final match in New Japan; the next day, New Japan announces Devitt was leaving the company. After some teasing, Devitt announced a month later he was WWE-bound.
  • CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI) defeated BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga).
  • Tomohiro Ishii defeated Tetsuya Naito to win the NEVER Openweight Championship.
  • BULLET CLUB (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson) defeated Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata to retain the IWGP Tag Team Championship.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

2 years ago today in London, England, Hallowicked defeated Icarus to win the CHIKARA Grand Championship.

Though CHIKARA has been in existence since 2002, the Grand Championship was not created until 2011, when Eddie Kingston won a 12-man round robin tournament for the title. Hallowicked became just the third man to hold the title, and the first to win the title outside Pennsylvania’s borders.

Since then, the title has changed hands four times: Princess KimberLee in December 2015, Hallowicked again in May 2016, Ultramantis Black in December 2016, and Juan Francisco de Coronado this past Saturday.

The best of cSs on this day:

2016: Roman Reigns: I don't think the fans have turned on me (Roman Reigns talks the possibility of a heel turn with Wrestlezone)

2015: Cageside Countdown Nomination Thread: Best PPV Theme Songs (Cagesiders pick their favorite PPV theme songs)

2014: WrestleMania 30 results: Undertaker's streak ends at the hands of Brock Lesnar (Brock Lesnar ends The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania win streak at 21)

2013: Want to pitch a WWE storyline to Stephanie McMahon? Now you can pony up the dough to do so! (WWE charity auction offers the opportunity for one person to pitch a storyline to WWE’s first daughter, Stephanie McMahon)

2012: Scott Steiner leaves TNA, shoots on Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff on Twitter (Scott Steiner goes on a Twitter rant days after his TNA contract expires)

2011: WWE fines Undertaker and Triple H for chairshot, but does that matter? (Undertaker and Triple H fined an undisclosed amount for unprotected chair shot at Wrestlemania XXVII; David Bixenspan and Dave Meltzer are skeptical of announcement)

2010: Vince McMahon seeking to get UFC banned in key European countries (German UFC and ex-WWE commentator Oliver Copp believes Vince McMahon’s trying to stunt the growth of UFC in Europe)

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