Introduction - Symbols
Pre-1990 topics only.
There have been dozens, possibly even hundreds, of "phantom" title changes down the years, generally announced as having randomly taken place in cities outside the area.
For instance, Shane Douglas supposedly defeated Tito Santana to win the ECW title in 1993 in Roanoke, VA. Similarly, the WWF Women's Tag Title was once announced as having changed hands in Egypt.
Roddy Piper once "won" and "lost" a title ( I forget which one) via phantom changes in a promotion he never actually worked for!!!!!
My favourite, though, was a title change in (I think) Al Snow's GWA which was announced as having taken place in "Wizork, MO". Wizork is of course pig Latin for "work"
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I was actually half expecting the Rock to win the WWF Title off of Jericho on the recent Asia tour and then lose it back to him on the next date, in another of the famous "phantom" switches. Though I suppose because of the increase in the internet that word of the switch would have gotten around.
One of the biggest jokes in wrestling I have ever seen is when Lyger made his most recent US Tour back in 99 or 2000, and jobbed to Juvi after getting hit in the head with a tequila bottle. Only on Nitro and nowhere else did they say the IWGP strap was on the line. Russo did this without asking New Japan, and to think, why did New Japan pull it's working relationship with them?
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Who can forget Jericho's whiny conspiracy theory character in WCW. Every show he dropped the cruiserweight title only to pull out some funky by-law from the NWA rulebook to have the title returned to him.
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Believe it or not, I can actually vouch for the Piper/Flair title change. I owned that same magazine that showed Piper holding both belts outside of the steel cage. The magazine really marked out the fact that Piper won the belt and I think it was one of the full color Napolitano magazines, but I'm not positive. I did a little research on the match and it was a dark match at a taping for WWF Wrestling Challenge. In the early 90's, the dark matches at TV Tapings would be used for Coliseum Home Video exclusives. This is how the match occured (from the best of my memory and not from the magazine): Piper escapes the cage during a ref bump. Finkel announces Piper as the new champion anyway. However, somehow the decision is reversed and I believe Piper is disqualified for accidentally hitting the referee with the cage door. Yet the picture was indeed taken of Piper with the belt and the publication milked that photo for every cent.
Yeah, what a smart rule! "You can't be champion: you have a mask!"
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I was really hoping he was going to do the same thing again during his run as the WWF Champion. "You can't be the Un-dis-pee-u-ted-uh Champion - you're a drunk!" And then he would take the belt back...ah what times we could have had. Didn't Jericho also win the US Title at a house show that was never recognized and then lose it the next night like they did with Terry Funk in 2000? I could have sworn they did...
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I dunno if this counts, but I read that when Bob Backlund was the WWF Champion in the 80's he defeated Greg Valentine in a match to retain his WWf Title(probably at MSG) BUT the ref who was still woozy from the bump during the match awarded the title to Valentine. Backlund went on to win his title back a few weeks later from The Hammer
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Here is the thing with the Piper winning the belt. When Flair was champion and signed to face Hogan, then Savage at Wrestlemania they put the WWF title on hold until Wrestliamania. So basicly the title couldn't be defended until then. (Don't ask me why, this was very stupid). Piper during an interview spot started bragging how he was the only true singles champion the WWF hand (being IC) because his title was still active. I know Piper beat Flair a few times however since the WWF was on hold Piper couldn't win it but he could run around the ring holding it as if he won it.
I never heard anything about Jericho ever winning the uS title at a house show.
The you can be a masked wrestler and hold the title is a NWA rule. I don't know if they still use this rule (I'll ask on the NWA board) but the last time I remember hearing this rule mentioned was when Sting was the champion and the black Scorpion was fighting him. At Starcade they mentioned that if the Black Scorpion won the title he would have to unmask as per NWa By Laws. I kind liked this rule.
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