This Day In Wrestling History – May 1st

May 1, 2017 - by Bill Fenbers

1980Jumbo Tsuruta wins the AJPW Champion Carnival, defeating Dick Slater in the tournament final, after both men tied on 19 points.

1981Harley Race defeats Tommy Rich, to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.  On the same day, The Minnesota Wrecking Crew (Gene & Ole Anderson) defeat Paul Jones & The Masked Superstar, to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship.

1993Brian Christopher defeats Jeff Jarrett, to win the USWA Southern Heavyweight Championship.

1994 – The second annual Wrestling Dontaku, featuring performers from WCW and NJPW, is held in Fukuoka, Japan in front of 53,500 fans.  Shinya Hashimoto defeats Tatsumi Fujinami, to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.  Rick Rude defeats Sting, to win the WCW International Heavyweight Championship;  the decision is later reversed due to Rude using the belt as a weapon.  Sting refuses to accept the championship, leaving it vacant.  It turns out to be the final time Rick Rude would wrestle;  during the match with Sting he injured his back and would be forced to retire.

1995Jerry Lawler wins the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship for the 21st time, defeating Razor Ramon.  Also, PG-13 (Wolfie D & J.C. Ice) win the USWA World Tag Team Championship for the 7th time, defeating The Gambler & Brickhouse Brown.

1998 – At AJPW’s 25th Anniversary Show, Toshiaki Kawada defeats Mitsuharu Misawa, to win the AJPW Triple Crown Championship.  The event was held at the Tokyo Dome in Japan, in front of 58,300 fans.

1998 – At a house show in Greenville, SC, Booker T defeats Chris Benoit, to win the WCW World Television Championship.

2000 – In the Monday Night Wars, WWF RAW IS WAR (7.4 TV rating) easily beats WCW Monday Nitro (2.5 rating).

2002 – At a house show in Cologne, Germany, the 24/7 Rule on the WWF Hardcore Championship sees the belt pass from Steven Richards to Tommy Dreamer, to Goldust, and back to Richards.

2003Miss Elizabeth, best known for managing Randy Savage, dies of a drug/alcohol overdose at the age of 42.

2005 – WWE Backlash (a RAW-exclusive event) is held in Manchester, New Hampshire in front of 14,000 fans.

Match airing on Sunday Night Heat:
Tyson Tomko defeats Val Venis.
Shelton Benjamin defeats Chris Jericho, to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
The Hurricane & Rosey win a Tag Team Turmoil Match, last eliminating La Resistance (Robert Conway & Sylvain Grenier), to become the new World Tag Team Champions.  The other tag teams in the match were:  defending Tag Team Champions William Regal & Tajiri, Maven & Simon Dean, and The Heart Throbs (Antonio & Romeo).
Edge defeats Chris Benoit, in a Last Man Standing Match.
Kane (with Lita) defeats Viscera (with Trish Stratus).
Hulk Hogan & Shawn Michaels defeat Muhammad Hassan & Daivari.
Batista defeats Triple H (with Ric Flair), to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.

2006 – WWE signs a deal, to hold the first house show for the newly re-launched ECW brand, at the former ECW Arena in Philadelphia.  It would be the only show the new brand would hold there between its 2006 re-launch, and its 2010 closure.  On the same day, WWE RAW is highlighted by a “shoot style” promo from Joey Styles, in which he, in storyline, had quit WWE.  This was done as part of the push by WWE, to launch the new ECW brand.

2007 – announces that Matt Cappotelli’s brain tumor was a success, with a majority of the malignant tumor being removed.  Cappotelli had first announced that the brain tumor was cancerous, at a OVW television taping in February 2006.  At the time of the announcement, Cappotelli was the OVW Heavyweight Champion, but was forced to vacate the title.  Cappotelli never wrestled again, but would become the trainer for OVW’s Beginner Program in late-2013.

2009 – TNA Wrestling decides to release Knockouts wrestler Roxxi.  At the time of her release, Roxxi was serving a 60-day suspension, following a backstage altercation with Rhaka Khan.

2011 – WWE Extreme Rules is held in Tampa, FL in front of 10,000 fans.  Following this event, John Cena addressed the live audience, to announce the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Dark Match:
Sin Cara defeats Tyson Kidd.
Randy Orton defeats CM Punk in a Last Man Standing Match.  The New Nexus were banned from ringside by the Anonymous RAW General Manager.
– In a Tables Match, Kofi Kingston defeats Sheamus, to win the WWE United States Championship.
Michael Cole & Jack Swagger defeat Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler in a Tag Team Country Whipping Match.
Rey Mysterio defeats Cody Rhodes, in a Falls Count Anywhere Match.
Layla defeats Michelle McCool, in a No Disqualification, Loser Leaves WWE Match.  This was McCool’s final WWE match;  she decides to semi-retire from professional wrestling.  After the match vs Layla ended, McCool was attacked with an Implant Buster, by a debuting Kharma (formerly Awesome Kong in TNA).
– In a Ladder Match, Christian defeats Alberto Del Rio, to win the vacant World Heavyweight Championship.
– In a Lumberjack Tag Team Match, Kane & The Big Show defeat The Corre (Wade Barrett & Ezekiel Jackson), to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
– In a Triple Threat Steel Cage Match, John Cena defeats The Miz and John Morrison, to win the WWE Championship.

2015 – On a Hardcore Justice episode of Impact Wrestling, Kenny King wins a 4-Way Ladder Match, to become the new TNA X Division Champion.  King defeats Mandrews, Rockstar Spud, and Tigre Uno.

2016 – WWE Payback is held at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois in front of 13,250 fans.

Pre-Show Matches:
Dolph Ziggler defeats Baron Corbin
Kalisto defeats Ryback, to retain the WWE United States Championship.  This would turn out to be Ryback’s final appearance in WWE.

– In a match to determine the #1 contenders for the WWE Tag Team Championship, The Vaudevillains (Simon Gotch & Aiden English) defeat Enzo Amore & Big Cass, via technical knockout.  The match was ended after Enzo took a hard hit to the head on the ring mat, after bouncing off the middle rope.  Enzo was released from the hospital after Payback ended, having been diagnosed with a concussion.
Kevin Owens defeats Sami Zayn.
The Miz defeats Cesaro, to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
Dean Ambrose defeats Chris Jericho
Charlotte (with Ric Flair) defeats Natalya (with Bret Hart), to retain the WWE Women’s Championship.
Vince McMahon comes out to announce whether Shane or Stephanie McMahon would run RAW.  After hearing Shane explain why he should run the show, and hearing Stephanie explain why she should run the show, Vince decides that both of them would run RAW jointly.
– In the evening’s main event, Roman Reigns defeats AJ Styles, to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  Initially, Styles had won the match via countout;  but Shane McMahon came out and had the match restarted as a No Countout Match.  Later, Styles was declared the winner, via disqualification, after a low blow from Reigns.  But this time Stephanie McMahon came out and restarted the match, under No Disqualification rules.  After Reigns officially defeated Styles to retain the title, Shane and Stephanie agreed that there would be a rematch between Reigns and Styles at the Extreme Rules event on May 22nd;  the rematch would be an Extreme Rules Match for Reigns’ WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Current NWA World Heavyweight Champion Tim Storm (52 years old);  former WCW & WWE wrestler Dave Taylor (60 years old);  former NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion Craig Classic (34 years old);  2-time Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Champion Human Tornado (34 years old);  inaugural AAA Reina de Reinas Champion Xochitl Hamada (47 years old);  former Impact Zone Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Jack Bull (47 years old);  2-time Ohio Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Mason Raige (45 years old); and Mexico indy wrestler Jesse (31 years old).

SOURCES: Matt Cappotelli on Wikipedia,, The Internet Wrestling Database,

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