This day in Pro Wrestling history - 26th November
This day featured one of the first times WWE competed with another promotion on PPV, one legend becoming champion and another retiring!
As America celebrates Thanksgiving, this edition of ‘This day..’ takes a moment to give thanks to one of the pioneers of women’s wrestling who called time on her career on this day 10 years back. Lita was beloved by the fans during the first part of her career owing to her athleticism and devil-may-care attitude.
She would be despised by a large section of the same fans after a love triangle involving two friends. Polarising she may have been, but Women’s wrestling would have been poorer without Lita.
This day also saw Diesel aka ‘Big Sexy’ or ‘Big Lazy’ – whichever moniker you may prefer – win his only WWE Championship. It also saw two companies going head to head on a PPV collision course
#1 Lita retires – 26th November 2006
2006 Survivor Series would be Lita’s final match in the WWE and it was only fitting that it turned out to be a Women’s title match. Lita would be the Champion going into the match against Challenger Mickie James, having won the vacant title at Cyber Sunday following Trish Stratus’ retirement while being Champion.
Unlike the happy send-off that Stratus received, Lita’s final match would see her lose to James courtesy of a Tornado DDT. Lita was a heel at the time and the WWE fans hadn’t gotten over her real life affair with Edge while still dating Matt Hardy a year earlier – hence the less than stellar send-off.
To add insult to injury, Cryme Tyme would show up after the match, throwing Lita’s personal belongings into the audience.
However gracelessly may she have bowed out of the company, neither the fans nor the management could deny the 4-time Women’s Champion’s impact on the business and how she transformed the perception of women wrestlers with her daredevil move set. She would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame soon after.