This Day In Wrestling History – May 25th
1976 – Bob Orton, Jr. defeats Jack Brisco, to win the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship.
1980 – Mark Lewin defeats Gino Hernandez, to win the NWA/WCCW Texas Heavyweight Championship.
1982 – Tiger Mask defeats Les Thornton, to win the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship.
1986 – Terry Taylor defeats Buzz Sawyer, to win the UWF Television Championship.
1987 – Soldat Ustinov & Boris Zhukov defeat The Midnight Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels), to win the AWA World Tag Team Championship.
1989 – Salman Hashimikov defeats Big Van Vader, to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Also, Jushin Liger defeats Hiroshi Hase, to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
1989 – Antonio Inoki defeats Shota Choshisvili, to win the WWF World Martial Arts Heavyweight Championship. Inoki would be the final champion, as New Japan Pro Wrestling would abandon the title on New Year’s Eve 1989.
1990 – Matt Borne defeats Kerry Von Erich, to win the WCWA Texas Heavyweight Championship.
1992 – Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Kenta Kobashi defeat Doug Furnas & Dan Kroffat, to win the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Championship.
1998 – In the Monday Night Wars, both WWF RAW IS WAR and WCW Monday Nitro tie in the ratings battle, each receiving a 4.2 TV rating.
1999 – WWF tapes its May 31st episode of RAW in Moline, Illinois. Jeff Jarrett would defeat The Godfather, to win the Intercontinental Championship. Jarrett would scream Owen Hart’s name as the title was handed to him. Owen had died two nights earlier at the Over the Edge pay-per-view. One other title change occurs; The Acolytes (Faarooq & Bradshaw) defeat Kane & X-Pac, to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.
2000 – The Heartland Wrestling Association’s 3rd Annual Brian Pillman Memorial Show is held in Cincinnati, at Xavier University’s Schmidt Fieldhouse. As in previous years, this event featured talent from WWF, ECW, and WCW. Proceeds from the event went to the future education of Pillman’s children.
– Rory Fox & Logan Caine defeat Jeremy Lopez & Jet Jaguar.
– BJ Payne defeats Rico Constantino.
– Chuck Palumbo defeats Sean O’Haire.
– Shark Boy defeats Jaime Noble, to retain the HWA Cruiserweight Championship.
– Race Steele defeats Chip Fairway, to win the vacant HWA Heavyweight Championship.
– Tim Horner defeats Dr. Tom Pritchard.
– Ron & Don Harris defeat Billy Kidman & Disco Inferno.
– Vampiro defeats General Rection (Bill DeMott).
– WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit defeats Steven Regal, to retain the title.
– Diamond Dallas Page defeats Shane Douglas
– Justin Credible defeats Raven, to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.
– Eddie Guerrero & D’Lo Brown defeat Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn.
2002 – At a house show in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the WWE Hardcore Championship changes hands three times via the 24/7 Rule. Tommy Dreamer pins Steven Richards. Raven would pin Tommy Dreamer. And Richards would pin Raven to reclaim the title.
2002 – The first episode of WWE Confidential airs on TNN (later renamed Spike TV). This was a fairly unique show for WWE, as it did not feature wrestling. Rather it showcased WWE behind the scenes. The program occasionally broke kayfabe, something almost unheard of at that time. The program would run 83 episodes, before being discontinued April 24, 2004.
2003 – WWA’s The Reckoning is held in Auckland, New Zealand, in front of 3,000 fans. This was the final event for the promotion. It aired on PPV in the United Stated on June 8th, 2003.
– Rick Steiner defeats Mark Mercedes.
– Crowbar defeats Konnan.
– In a Four-Way Title Unification Match, TNA X Division Champion Chris Sabin defeats WWA International Cruiserweight Champion Jerry Lynn, Frankie Kazarian, and Johnny Swinger, to unify the WWA International Cruiserweight Title and the TNA X Division Title.
– Sabu defeats Joe E. Legend.
– Jeff Jarrett defeats Sting, to unify the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and the WWA Heavyweight Championship.
2006 – TNA airs its 100th episode of Impact!
2008 – Faby Apache defeats Ayako Hamada and Mari Apache, to win the AAA Reina de Reinas Championship.
2009 – Despite booking Denver’s Pepsi Center for RAW months in advance, WWE is forced to move the program from Denver to Los Angeles’ Staples Center. The venue had become double-booked, due to the Denver Nuggets hosting an NBA playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers the same night. Even though WWE had an official contract for RAW to be held at Pepsi Center May 25th, and Nuggets owner (and arena owner) Stan Kroenke only had a verbal agreement for the Nuggets to play on the same night, Kroenke insisted that the NBA playoff game would take precedence. Fans who bought tickets to RAW were given the option of exchanging their tickets for a Friday night “house show,” at the Denver Coliseum, on August 7th.
The Lakers and Nuggets would actually take part in a 10-man tag team match on RAW. The “Lakers,” (Mr. Kennedy in his return after dislocating his shoulder nine months earlier, along with MVP, John Cena, Jerry Lawler, and Batista), would defeat the “Nuggets” (Ted DiBiase, Jr., Cody Rhodes, Randy Orton, Big Show, & The Miz). Not only was this Mr. Kennedy’s return after injury, it would be his final WWE match; he had botched a backdrop that forced Orton to land on his head and neck, rather than on his back. Orton (and John Cena) would speak to Vince McMahon about Kennedy’s recklessness in the ring. WWE would release Mr. Kennedy from his contract later in the week.
Back to the arena double-booking – if I’m not mistaken, the SmackDown taping scheduled for the following night in Colorado Springs was pulled, and moved to Los Angeles as well. It wouldn’t be until July 2012 that Monday Night RAW would return to Denver.
2011 – Yoshinobu Kanemaru & KENTA defeat Atsushi Aoki & Kotaro Suzuki, to win the vacant GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.
2015 – Monday Night RAW is held live at the Nassau Coliseum, on Long Island, NY in front 0f 9,500 fans. Before the show went on the air, Vince McMahon addressed the live crowd and announced that it would be the final WWE event at the Coliseum. The Nassau Coliseum would close in August 2015 for extensive renovations. The venue had hosted the opening leg of WrestleMania 2 in 1986, and SummerSlam in 2002. The arena reopened in April 2017, and Monday Night RAW would return to the newly renovated Nassau Coliseum on April 10th, in front of a sellout of 12,116 fans.
2016 – WWE announces that SmackDown will move from Thursday nights to Tuesday nights, and will be aired live on USA Network every Tuesday. For the most part since 1999, SmackDown was taped on Tuesdays, and would be televised via tape delay, later in the week. SmackDown Live premieres on July 19th, with the WWE Draft.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Current GFW Global Champion Alberto El Patron (40 years old), 3-time WWE World Champion Roman Reigns (32 years old); 4-time AAA Mega Champion Ricky ‘El Mesias’ Banderas (42 years old); and former NXT champion Bo Dallas (27 years old).
Today would’ve been the 95th birthday for WWE Hall of Famer June Byers.