This day in Pro Wrestling history - 30th November
30th November would see Antonio Inoki wrestle Bob Backlund for the WWE Championship in Japan. It was highly unlikely to see the WWE Championship exchanging hands on foreign soil, but Inoki would win the title to begin a reign not recognised by the WWE.
Also on the same date in 1997, Shane Douglas reasserted his claim to be the ‘Franchise’ of ECW by winning his fourth ECW title whereas, in 2010, Celeste Braun aka Kaitlyn would win the third season of WWE NXT.
Let’s take a look at these incidents in detail:
#1 Antonio Inoki becomes the WWF Champion – Or did he? – 1979
On November 30th,1979, Antonio Inoki – wrestler and owner of NJPW – took on WWF Champion Bob Backlund in Tokushima, Japan. Surprisingly, Backlund would be beaten by Inoki and the Japanese legend would become the WWF Champion.
Six days later, Inoki would defend the title against Backlund in a rematch and would remain Champion due to interference from Tiger Jeet Singh. However, Inoki would refuse to hold the title on the same day.
Backlund would reclaim the Championship with a victory over Bobby Duncum on December 12. WWE doesn’t recognise Inoki’s title run due to him refusing the title and consider Backlund’s reign as uninterrupted from 1978-83.