This Day In Wrestling History – April 30th
1977 – Superstar Billy Graham defeats Bruno Sammartino, to win the WWWF Heavyweight Championship. This ends Bruno’s streak of 1,273 days as champion, dating back to December 10, 1973.
1979 – Americo Rocca defeats Mano Negra, to win the NWA World Welterweight Championship. On the same day, Alfonso Dantes defeats Pak Choo, to win the NWA World Light Heavyweight Championship.
1981 – Dory Funk, Jr. defeats Bruiser Brody via forfeit, to win the vacant NWA International Heavyweight Championship. Brody was injured and unable to compete in the tournament final.
1983 – Greg Valentine defeats Roddy Piper, via referee stoppage, to win the NWA United States Championship. The match was stopped when Piper suffered a large cut over his left ear. Also on this day, Jos LeDuc defeats Dick Slater, to win the NWA Television Championship.
1989 – At age 14, Rey Mysterio makes his pro wrestling debut, in Mexico.
1991 – In the finals of the Top of the Super Juniors Tournament, Norio Honaga defeats Jushin Thunder Liger, to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
1992 – Jushin Thunder Liger defeats El Samurai, to win the NJPW Top of the Super Juniors Tournament.
2000 – WWF Backlash is held in Washington, D.C. in front of 19,101 fans.
– Edge & Christian retain the WWF Tag Team Championship, after defeating D-Generation X (Road Dogg & X-Pac).
– Dean Malenko retains the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship, after defeating Scotty 2 Hotty.
– Bull Buchanan & The Big Boss Man defeat The Acolytes Protection Agency (Faarooq & Bradshaw).
– In a Six-Way Match, Crash Holly defeats Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Hardcore Holly, Perry Saturn, and Tazz, to retain the WWF Hardcore Championship.
– The Big Show defeats Kurt Angle.
– T &A (Test & Albert) (with Trish Stratus) defeat The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von).
– Eddie Guerrero (with Chyna) retains the WWF European Championship, after defeating Essa Rios (with Lita).
– Chris Benoit defeats Chris Jericho, via disqualification, to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
– The Rock defeats Triple H (with Vince McMahon & Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley), to win the WWF Championship. Shane McMahon was appointed special guest referee, in an effort to help Triple H win the match. The Rock is assisted by Stone Cold Steve Austin, who comes out and lays everyone out with a steel chair. This includes Patterson & Brisco, both of whom were called down to the ring to replace Shane, after he was Rock-bottomed through the announcer’s table. Linda McMahon then comes out with referee Earl Hebner (fired two weeks earlier), and directs him to go into the ring and count the pinfall, after The Rock performs The People’s Elbow on Triple H.
2003 – The Amazing Red defeats Kid Kash, to win the NWA-TNA X Division Championship.
2006 – Giant Bernard defeats Yuji Nagata, to win the New Japan Cup.
2006 – WWE Backlash, a RAW-exclusive pay-per-view, is held in Lexington, KY in front of 14,000 fans.
– Carlito defeats Chris Masters.
– Umaga (with Armando Estrada) defeats Ric Flair.
– Trish Stratus defeats Mickie James via disqualification; James retains the WWE Women’s Championship.
– In a Winner-Take-All match, Rob Van Dam defeats Shelton Benjamin, to retain his Money In The Bank contract, AND win Benjamin’s WWE Intercontinental Championship.
– Kane vs. The Big Show ends in a no contest.
– Vince & Shane McMahon defeat Shawn Michaels & ‘God,’ in a No Holds Barred Tornado Tag Team Match.
– In a Triple Threat Match, John Cena defeats Triple H and Edge (with Lita), to retain the WWE Championship.
2010 – TNA Wrestling fires backstage interviewer Bubba The Love Sponge, after Bubba ambushes Awesome Kong during an interview Kong was doing on a radio station in Tampa. During the interview, Bubba offered Kong (who had been released by TNA on March 1st) an opportunity to face him in a sanctioned wrestling or boxing match, while sarcastically offering to donate the proceeds from the match, to Haiti for earthquake relief efforts. The verbal exchange escalated with Bubba calling Kong a degrading word seven times and made comments to Kong that had racial overtones. Bubba had just joined TNA beginning with its January 4th, 2010 episode (TNA’s first head-to-head with WWE).
2012 – On Monday Night RAW, R-Truth & Kofi Kingston defeat Primo & Epico, to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.
2017 – WWE Payback, a RAW-exclusive pay-per-view, is held in San Jose in front of 13,694 fans. It was the fifth and final Payback PPV. Due to the recent Superstar Shakeup, the event included two Interbrand matches featuring SmackDown superstars.
– Enzo Amore & Big Cass defeat Gallows & Anderson.
– Chris Jericho defeats Kevin Owens, to win the United States Championship, Jericho transfers to the SmackDown brand with the title.
– Austin Aries defeats Neville via disqualification; Neville retains the Cruiserweight Championship.
– The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) defeat Cesaro & Sheamus, to retain the RAW Tag Team Championship.
– Alexa Bliss defeats Bayley, to win the RAW Women’s Championship.
– Bray Wyatt defeats Randy Orton, in a House of Horrors match.
– Seth Rollins defeats Samoa Joe.
– Roman Reigns defeats Braun Strowman.
2017 – Shuji Ishikawa defeats Joe Doering, to win the AJPW Champion Carnival.
2018 – Naomichi Marufuji defeats Kento Miyahara, to win the AJPW Champion Carnival.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: former TNA X Division Champion & current WWE producer, Shawn Daivari (35 years old); current NASCAR driver & one-match TNA participant, Elliott Sadler (44 years old); 5-time Dragon Gate Open the Triangle Gate Champion & 6-time Open the Twin Gate Champion, Tomahawk T.T. (29 years old); and former CMLL World Middleweight Champion & AAA World Cruiserweight Champion, El Hijo del Fantasma (35 years old).
Today would’ve been the 90th birthday for NWA Mississippi Heavyweight, Southeastern Heavyweight, Gulf Coast Tag Team, & World Junior Heavyweight Champion, Joe McCarthy.