Tracking Non-Televised WWE Title Changes over the Past 20 Years (Primo, Epico, Rosa Mendez)

Arda Ocal of the Aftermath Blog took a longer look at the rarity of WWE house show title changes over the past 20 years following Epico and Primo’s Tag Team Championship victory over Air Boom this past Sunday at an Oakland house show:

This is truly a rare occasion in the past 20 years (before that, most title changes occurred at a live event), as a WWE title doesn’t often change hands at a non televised event. This is the first time the WWE Tag Team Titles have changed hands in such a fashion; the retired WWE World Tag Team Titles changed hands at live events 13 times between 1992-2010, including the last time a WWE title changed hands at a non-televised event, in 2008 in Hamilton, Ontario The Miz/John Morrison defeated CM Punk/Kofi Kingston.

The WWE Divas championship has never changed hands at a non-televised event, but a bout involving the now retired Women’s championship was the last time a singles championship changed hands at a WWE live event. On April 24, 2007 in Paris, France, Mickie James defeated Melina and Victoria to win the Women’s title – only for Melina to receive an immediate rematch and snatch the title back minutes later.
The WWE championship has changed hands twice famously in the modern era – In October 1992, Bret “Hitman” Hart won his first of 5 championships at a live event in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, submitting Ric Flair (the bout would later appear on Coliseum Video releases). On November 26, 1994, Kevin “Diesel” Nash set the record for fastest WWE championship bout in history, pinning Bob Backlund in 7 seconds at Madison Square Garden. The World Heavyweight Championship has never changed hands at a non televised event.

…On July 24, 1999, The Rated R Superstar Edge won his first ever championship in WWE at a live event at Toronto’s (then) SkyDome, defeating Jeff Jarrett for the Intercontinental title. The next time the IC title changed hands at a live event was in fact the last time – Christian defeated Booker T for the gold on August 10, 2003 at a live event in Des Moines, Iowa.

The United States title has never changed hands at a non-televised event in WWE. When the gold was part of WCW’s repetoire, it swapped hands 5 times between 1990-2000. The most recent being Lance Storm, who defeated Terry Funk in Lubbock, Texas on September 23, 2000, one day after Terry Funk bested Storm in his hometown of Amarillo, Texas at another live event.

Some now-defunct championships have also seen live event title wins in the past 20 years. Ron Simmons made history by becoming the first African-American WCW Heavyweight Champion at a WCW live event in Baltimore, Maryland in August 1992. In November 2005 at a live event in Rome Italy, Nunzio pinned Juventud to claim Cruiserweight gold. Even a title with “Television” in its name has changed hands at non-televised events; Lex Luger and Johnny B. Badd traded Television Championship wins at live events in early 1996.

This theory applies to all championships but the WWE Hardcore Title, which changes hands an absurd 120 times between 2000 and 2002; because of the 24/7 nature of the defense of the title, the gold would often switch hands 4-5 times an event, often finally landing back to the superstar who held it before the event began.

Hardcore title aside, the rarity of a live event title change makes Primo and Epico’s win special – whether it is a long lasting championship reign or not remains to be seen.

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Source: Aftermath Blog