SmackDown's World Champion announces retirement, most surprising upset win in history - This week in WWE history (April 10-April 16)
The world of WWE continues to be chaotic. Following news of the company's merger with the UFC under the Endeavor banner, Vince McMahon's return to running shows last week and beyond, fans have been on edge.
Thankfully, this past week has been a bit less hectic. While fans were understandably still fearful and frustrated with recent events, RAW, SmackDown and NXT delivered quality shows. The shows felt much more in line with the product fans enjoyed over the past eight months.
If fans want an escape away from the up-and-down nature of WWE in 2023, they're in luck. Sportskeeda offers weekly articles diving back into the promotion's history. Some of the moments are worthy of celebration, while others may be unfortunate, but they've all laid the groundwork for what fans see each week.
This week's article will take a look at five events in World Wrestling Entertainment's illustrious history. The list includes a handful of debuts, a heartbreaking retirement, a major title change, and a major episode of RAW. What went down this week in history?
Below are five key events that happened this week in WWE history.
#5. Carmella shockingly won the SmackDown Women's Championship on April 10th, 2018
The April 10th, 2018 edition of WWE SmackDown was a big show. This was the first episode of the blue brand following WrestleMania and thus featured several big matches and moments.
Paige was announced as the new SmackDown General Manager. Former GM Daniel Bryan returned to the ring at WrestleMania and went on to have his first televised match in years on the show. In addition to all of that, there was also a major title change and two new debuts.
Charlotte Flair was interrupted by the debuting Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. The IIconics then proceeded to beat The Queen down, which allowed Carmella to cash in her Money in the Bank contract. The Princess of Staten Island then went on to win the SmackDown Women's Championship in seconds.
#4. Edge announced his retirement during RAW on April 11th, 2011
The April 11th, 2011 edition of WWE RAW should have been a joyous show. The event was the night after WrestleMania. The RAW after The Show Of Shows is often considered to be the most exciting of the year. Instead, it was tragic.
Edge, a multi-time WWE Champion and the reigning World Heavyweight Champion, made a shocking announcement. Due to a serious neck injury, he had to forfeit his championship. Not only that, but the future Hall of Famer had to retire.
His speech was a sad one, but his story ultimately has a happy ending. While it took nearly a decade, Edge went on to return to the ring, where he even went on to headline WrestleMania 37. Still, the talented star retiring so young was heartbreaking.
#3. The 2009 WWE Draft took place on RAW on April 13th, 2009
Triple H recently announced the return of the WWE Draft in just two weeks. The special event was a near-yearly occurrence for quite some time, with one taking place on the April 13th, 2009 edition of WWE RAW.
This edition of the draft saw wrestlers "randomly" selected to join the other brand. A brand earned a new superstar if their designated wrestler won whatever match they were in.
Several stars were drafted throughout the night. Monday Night RAW ended up getting MVP, The Big Show, Matt Hardy, Triple H, The Miz and Maryse. SmackDown gained Melina, CM Punk, Kane, Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio. Lastly, Vladimir Kozlov moved to ECW.
#2. Timothy Thatcher debuted on NXT on April 15th, 2020
WWE NXT took place on April 15th, 2020. This was weeks into the empty arena shows due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, some talents were unable to travel or even enter the United States. This caused a major issue.
Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne were the reigning NXT Tag Team Champions and were supposed to defend the belts against Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong. Due to Dunne being English, he couldn't compete and Riddle needed a new partner. Enter Timothy Thatcher.
The bruising and technical savant made his WWE debut by serving as Riddle's partner. He ultimately won the bout for his team via submission. He would go on to team with The Original Bro until they later began their feud.
#1. The Milan Miracle took place during an episode of RAW on April 16th, 2007
Timothy Thatcher and The IIconics aren't the only WWE Superstars to debut this week in history. A major and shocking debut took place on the April 16th, 2007 edition of RAW. This was the first-ever Monday Night RAW to take place in Italy.
Vince McMahon and Intercontinental Champion Umaga were part of the opening segment. There they mocked Bobby Lashley, the fans of Italy, and the WWE roster. After holding an open challenge that nobody accepted, Vince challenged somebody from the crowd to challenge The Samoan Bulldozer.
A "local" Italian fan named Santino Marella accepted the challenge, going from the crowd to the ring. Thanks to interference from Bobby Lashley, Santino won the bout and became the Intercontinental Champion, much to Vince McMahon's dismay.