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This Day in Wrestling History (May 20): Unstoppable

Today’s TDIPWH will be presented in two parts. The second part will focus on the career and life of “Macho Man” Randy Savage. He died of a heart attack six years ago today.

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30 years ago today, a Memphis court judge rules in favor of Jerry Lawler against the WWF.

Lawler sued the WWF for promoting Harley Race as "the King of Wrestling" at a recent Memphis event. Lawler alleged that the WWF's use of the moniker long associated with Lawler confused wrestling fans in the area.

And in an "only in wrestling" moment, Lawler sued the WWF--and won; as a result, Race could not use the "King of Wrestling" gimmick at WWF events in Tennessee. Some speculate that Lawler standing up to McMahon in court got him in his good graces, which led him to getting a job with the company a few years later.

24 years ago today in Sapporo, Japan, The Holy Demon Army (Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue) defeated the Miracle Violence Connection (Terry Gordy & Steve Williams) to win the All Japan Pro Wrestling World Tag Team Championship.

The win ends the fifth and final reign for the most successful gaijin duo in All Japan history. As for Kawada and Taue, they would eventually break their record, holding the championships six times from 1993 to 2000.

16 years ago today, WWF presented Judgment Day (WWE Network link) from the ARCO Arena in Sacarmento, California. 13,623 were in attendance, with 405,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 420,000 homes for the 2000 event.

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 Sunday Night Heat preshow match, Raven defeated Val Venis.
  • In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, Hardcore Holly & Crash Holly defeated Kaientai (Taka Michinoku & Sho Funaki).
  • William Regal defeated Rikishi. (1.25/5)
  • Kurt Angle defeated Chris Benoit 2-1 in a Three Stages of Hell match to keep his Olympic gold medals. Benoit and Angle split the first two falls in pinfall only and submission only matches respectively, with Angle winning the tiebreaker in a ladder match. (4)
  • Rhyno defeated Test and The Big Show to retain the Hardcore Championship. (1.75)
  • Chyna defeated Lita to retain the Women's Championship. It turned out to be Chyna's final bout with the company. Depending on who's telling the story, Chyna either left on her own accord or was fired. In multiple interviews, Chyna, aka Joanie Laurer, said that her relationship with her then ex-boyfriend Triple H and Stephanie McMahon played a major part in her dismissal. Jim Ross in 2007 said that Chyna was not fired, but left on her own for personal reasons. There was also speculation that Chyna held out for more money as her contract was coming up. In any event, her contract lapses on November 30, 2001, just days after a new women's champion was crowned in Trish Stratus. Chyna would never again appear in a WWF ring; she passed away in April 2016 at age 46. (0.5)
  • Kane defeated Triple H in a chain match to win the Intercontinental Championship. (2.5)
  • Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit last defeated Edge & Christian to win Tag Team Turmoil and a future WWF Tag Team Championship match. (3.5)

The APA (Farrooq & Bradshaw) eliminated The Radicalz (Perry Saturn & Dean Malenko).

The APA eliminated The Dudley Boyz (D-Von & Bubba Ray Dudley).

X-Factor (X-Pac & Justin Credible) eliminated The APA.

X-Factor eliminated The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy).

Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit eliminated X-Factor via submission.

Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit eliminated Edge & Christian.

  • Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated The Undertaker in a no holds barred match match to retain the WWF Championship. (3.25)

15 years ago today, WWE taped the 200th episode of Sunday Night Heat from The Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee. The show aired six days later

  • In a preshow dark match, Ron Waterman defeated Crash Holly.
  • In a preshow dark match, Bull Buchanan defeated Spike Dudley.
  • D-Lo Brown defeated Justin Credible.
  • Tommy Dreamer defeated The Big Boss Man.
  • Spike Dudley defeated Shawn Stasiak.
  • Steven Richards defeated Crash Holly to retain the WWE Hardcore Championship.

10 years ago today, WWE presented Judgment Day (WWE Network link) from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. 10,500 were in attendance, with 242,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 252,000 homes for the 2006 edition.

  • In a dark match, Kane defeated William Regal.
  • Ric Flair defeated Carlito. (2.75/5)
  • Bobby Lashley defeated Umaga, Shane McMahon, and Vince McMahon in just 74 seconds in a handicap match to win the ECW Championship. (0)
  • CM Punk defeated Elijah Burke. (1.5)
  • Randy Orton defeated Shawn Michaels by referee stoppage. (1.25)
  • The Hardy Boys (Matt & Jeff) defeated Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch to retain the World Tag Team Championship. (3.25)
  • Edge defeated Batista to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. (2.5)
  • MVP defeated Chris Benoit 2-0 in a best of three falls match to win the WWE United States Championship. (2.25)
  • John Cena defeated The Great Khali to retain the WWE Championship. (1.75)

9 years ago today, Darren Matthews, aka William Regal, is suspended for 60 days for his second violation of the WWE's Wellness Policy.

Matthews, who had won the 2008 King of the Ring tournament a month earlier, was the fifth person to be suspended this year for violating the WWE's drug policy. The suspension effectively ends his last sustained push with the company.

8 years ago today, WWE announces that their coming week's television tapings would be moved from Denver's Pepsi Center to the Staples Center in Los Angeles due to the ongoing NBA Playoffs.

6 years ago today, TNA releases their head of talent relations Terry Taylor and replaces him with Bruce Pritchard. Taylor was with the company since 2003.

The release turns out to be a blessing in disguise according to Taylor as it allowed him to spend time with his wife Trudy, who was battling cancer at the time. Sadly, she succumbs to the disease less than two months later.

Terry today is with WWE as a trainer for their NXT developmental program.

5 years ago today, WWE presented Over the Limit (WWE Network link) from the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. About 8,000 were in attendance, with 167,000 homes watching on PPV. That's up from 140,000 for the 2011 event.

  • In a preshow match, Kane defeated Zack Ryder.
  • Christian last eliminated The Miz to win a 20-man "People Power" over-the-top-rope battle royal for a WWE United States or Intercontinental Championship match later in the show. Other participants were David Otunga, Tyson Kidd, Alex Riley, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, William Regal, The Great Khali, Heath Slater, Titus O'Neil, Darren Young, Ezekiel Jackson, Jinder Mahal, Tyler Reks, Drew McIntyre, Curt Hawkins, Michael McGillicutty, JTG, and Yoshi Tatsu. (1.5)
  • Kofi Kingston & R-Truth defeated Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship. (3.25)
  • Layla defeated Beth Phoenix to retain the WWE Divas Championship. (1)
  • Sheamus defeated Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho, and Randy Orton in a fatal four-way match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. (3.75)
  • Brodus Clay defeated The Miz. (0.5)
  • Christian defeated Cody Rhodes to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. (2.75)
  • CM Punk defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Championship. (4.5)
  • Ryback defeated Camacho. (NR)
  • John Laurainitis defeated John Cena. Per pre-match stipulations, had Cena won, Lauarainitis would have been fired. Also, any superstar on the active roster who interfered on either man's behalf was also fired. The Big Show, who technically was not on the active roster (he was fired a few days earlier), interfered on Laurainitis' behalf. The bout was voted the worst match of the year by Wrestling Observer Newsletter readers. (0)

2 years ago today, Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that Destination America will cancel all TNA programming effective late September, the earliest the network could pull TNA's television deal.

Despite TNA's Impact Wrestling outrating most every other show on the network, the decision ultimately came down to a lack of a return on investment; i.e. Destination America spending too much on the show, and not getting enough of that money back thanks to a lack of ad revenue.

The move to Wednesday night did little to improve their fortunes, and by the end of the year, TNA was indeed looking for a new television home. It found one in the former TV Guide Channel, Pop.

2 years ago today, NXT presented Takeover: Unstoppable (WWE Network link) from Full Sail University from Winter Park, Florida.

The show is noted for the debut of long-time TNA performer Samoa Joe.

Prior to the event, Hideo Itami injured his shoulder, taking him out of the show-opening triple threat #1 contender's match. To explain the injury, Itami was attacked by an unknown assailant in the parking lot.

  • The Vaudevillains (Aiden English & Simon Gotch) defeated The Mechanics (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson)
  • Finn Bálor defeated Tyler Breeze to become the #1 contender for the NXT Championship. (2.75)
  • Bayley and Charlotte defeated Dana Brooke and Emma. (2)
  • Baron Corbin defeated Rhyno. (2)
  • Blake & Murphy defeated Enzo Amore & Colin Cassady to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship. (2.25)
  • Sasha Banks defeated Becky Lynch by submission to retain the NXT Women's Championship. (4)
  • Kevin Owens fought Sami Zayn to a no contest for the NXT Championship. (3.5)

1 year ago today, PWG presented Prince from American Legion Post #308 in Resada, California.

The show was named for the famed musician who died on April 21 from an overdose of an opioid painkiller. He was 57.

  • Adam Cole defeated Dalton Castle. (3.25)
  • Michael Elgin defeated Kamaitachi. (4.25)
  • Marty Scrull defeated Mark Andrews. (4)
  • Trevor Lee defeated Andrew Everett. (3.5)
  • Chris Hero defeated Jeff Cobb. (3.75)
  • Drew Galloway defeated Michael Elgin. (3.5)
  • Roderick Strong defeated Sami Callihan. (3.75)

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