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This Day in Wrestling History (May 11): Daniel Bryan Vacates the Intercontinental Championship

this day in wrestling history

29 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 match on the taping aired on the weekend of June 5 (the third episode of the set), with Koko B. Ware needing three minutes, 50 seconds to beat Rick Renslow.

22 years ago today at a WCW Saturday Night taping in Atlanta, Georgia, Macho Man Randy Savage defeated “Stunning” Steve Austin in a tournament match for the vacated WCW United States Championship.

It’s the one and only singles meeting between the two future WWE Hall of Famers.

21 years ago, AAA presented Triplemania IV-A from the International Ampitheatre in Chicago, Illinois. 2,676 were in attendance for the first—and to this day, only—Triplemania event held 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.

21 years ago today, ECW presented A Matter of Respect from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Portions of the event played on the May 14, 21, 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.
  • The Full Blooded Italians (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 the 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).

20 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 Owen Hart and The British Bulldog by disqualification in a WWF Tag Team Championship match.

13 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’s announcement, as first presented to

This is "Earthquake" John Tenta sending you some news about myself. I have read the rumors on some sites that I am to be in an ABC pilot. That is not true. It is either someone's idea of a joke, or a site just making up its own news. Surely though there are other people more newsworthy than myself!

The truth is I am at home, having been recently diagnosed with advanced bladder cancer. I go through testing this week with treatment starting shortly after. This is not a sympathy plea as I do not believe I will "go out" this way.

I simply now must admit my dream that came true, a boy becoming a pro wrestler is now over. It was a GREAT ride, and I thank all of my fans for their support throughout the years. My last WWE match was a dark match against one of my students in Orlando, Florida. My last wrestling match was last year in Japan with All Japan Pro Wrestling, the company I made my pro debut with. A fitting ending if I do say so myself.

I have to make a special thank you to Vince McMahon, for my "Earthquake" days, and putting myself on top of the world during my battles with Hulk Hogan.

I will beat my illness, and live on with my memories, and watch as my children's dreams come true. God bless all, and thank you once again for helping to make my dreams come true.

John Tenta

P.S. I have a thread on a forum at if anyone wants to leave a message for me, but please understand, I cannot answer all of them.

The Canadian-born college football player turned sumo wrestler turned pro wrestler was told he had just a 20% chance to live, assuming the treatment proved effective. In a November 2005 interview with WrestleCrap Radio, Tenta announced that the radiation treatments had no effect on the tumor and that the cancer had spread to his lungs.

The cancer would claim his life. Tenta died in his home in Sanford, Florida on June 7, 2006, just two weeks shy of his 43rd birthday. At the time of his passing, Tenta was survived by his wife Josie and three children, Jeff, Johnny, and Joanna.

13 years ago today, WWE releases Brian Christopher Lawler.

Lawler, son of wrestling legend Jerry lawler, was best known for his run in the late 1990s and early 2000s as Grandmaster Sexay, one-half of popular tag team Too Cool. Brian’s previous run with the company ended in June 2001 after he was busted trying to cross the United States-Canadian border with contraband.

Lawler’s second run was much less remarkable, wrestling all of four matches for the company, and released by the man that would replace Jim Ross as head of talent relations, John Laurinaitis.

10 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, but never gained traction as a singles star.

2 Cold Scorpio, real name Charles Skaggs, 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.

10 years ago today, WWE announced via press release that Stephanie McMahon had been promoted to Executive Vice President, Talent and Creative Writing.

In a separate press release, WWE announced John Laurinaitis was promoted to Senior Vice President of Talent Relations.

9 years ago today, TNA presented Sacrifice from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.

The show’s focus was to crown new TNA World Tag Team Champions after Kaz and Super Eric were stripped of the titles.

When the show began, Kurt Angle announced that he had a neck injury and would not be able to compete in the TNA world title three-way match. Angle would be replaced by the winner of the Terrordome match.

Deuces Wild Tournament (matches listed in order of occurrence):

  • 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 match 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.

5 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.

4 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.

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, and winner of the 2000 Champion Carnival before joining Mitsuharu Misawa and about two dozen other wrestlers in Pro Wrestling Noah.

With Pro Wrestling Noah, he would win the GHC Tag Team Championship twice, their hardcore openweight title once, and their heavyweight title once, holding the latter for a full two years from March 2003 to March 2005.

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 (second only to Pro Wrestling Noah founder Mitsuharu Misawa) and is a member of that publication's Hall of Fame Class of 2002.

Kobashi, famous for innovating an inverted death valley driver known as the Burning Hammer (a move so dangerous, he used it only seven times), left the sport in mid-2006 to battle cancer. He returned in December 2007 and would remain with Pro Wrestling Noah until his shocking release in December 2012. Some of Noah’s top stars, including Atsushi Aoki, Go Shiozaki, Jun Akiyama, Kotaro Suzuki, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, all left the promotion in protest of his release. A week after his release, Kobashi and his former employer agreed to have him retire in a Noah ring.

In his final match, Kobashi, Jun Akiyama, Keiji Mutoh, and Kensuke Sasaki defeated Go Shiozaki, Kenta, Maybach Taniguchi, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru.

Since retiring, Kobashi has become a promoter and father.

2 years 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).

2 years 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.

Earlier in the day, 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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