Introduced by the National Wrestling Alliance/Jim Crockett Promotions in November 1985, the first-ever “I Quit” match featured Magnum TA and Tully Blanchard, but has run for over two dozen editions in the WWE. The first time this stipulation took place in WWE was at WrestleMania XI in 1995, when Bret Hart beat Bob Backlund in a match refereed by Roddy Piper. However, in that match Backlund said the words “I Quit” in an incomplete way, thus kicking off a series of duels of the same genre marked by some controversy.
The match between Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania Backlash this Sunday, with Charlotte’s WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship on the line, will be the 22nd “I Quit” match in the promoter’s history. So it’s worth checking out our list of the ten best “I Quit” matches ever in WWE, in chronological order.
Royal Rumble 1999 | “I Quit” match: Mankind (c) vs. The Rock
A year after the Montreal Screwjob, at Survivor Series 1998, The Rock became the WWF champion for the first time by defeating Mankind in a somewhat dubious way, as he trapped the opponent in a Sharpshooter and Vince McMahon ordered the bell to be rung without Mankind to give up. The following month at Rock Bottom: In Your House, Mankind won a title match by knocking The Rock unconscious via a Mandible Claw, but once again Vince McMahon stopped him from winning the title, claiming that The Rock, technically, had not given up. However, Mankind first became WWF Champion by beating The Rock on January 4, 1999, in a Raw main event, thanks to the interference of Stone Cold Steve Austin, in an episode that marked the turning point in the war. of ratings between the WWF and WCW, with Raw finally dethroning Nitro. Initially, Mankind refused to give The Rock a rematch, despite The Rock offering him the choice of stipulation. When The Rock stopped begging, Mankind decided he would face him in the Royal Rumble, as long as it was an “I Quit” match.
No Mercy 2003 – “I Quit” Loser Gets Fired match:(Stephanie McMahon could win by settlement or submission) – Mr McMahon vs. Stephanie McMahon
The September 25, 2003 episode of SmackDown! , Stephanie McMahon interrupted a ceremony where her father was honouring new WWE Champion Brock Lesnar to announce that Undertaker would face Lesnar for the title at the No Mercy pay-per-view. Vince McMahon, annoyed by the situation, demanded that his daughter change the decision. Stephanie didn’t, so Vince announced an “I Quit” match between the two at No Mercy. On the October 2 episode, Vince offered Stephanie another opportunity to clear the title match, but Stephanie declined, prompting Vince to add the stipulation that if her daughter lost, she would be forced to step down as General Manager. from Smackdown. A week later, Vince’s wife and Stephanie’s mother, Linda McMahon, made Vince agree to step down as WWE president if he lost.
Judgment Day 2005 | “I Quit” match for the WWE Championship :
John Cena (c) vs. JBL
At the No Way Out pay-per-view in February 2005, John Cena beat Kurt Angle to earn a shot at the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21, while champion JBL defended the title against The Big Show in a Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match. At WrestleMania, John Cena defeated JBL to win the WWE Championship for the first time. On the April 7 episode of SmackDown! , the General Manager scheduled a series of matches to determine the new title contender, after JBL, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, The Big Show, Booker T, and Kurt Angle all demanded an opportunity to fight for the WWE Championship. The first match was between JBL and Mysterio, with Mysterio being disqualified after Eddie Guerrero interfered and attacked JBL.
The following week, Kurt Angle beat Eddie Guerrero. In parallel, John Cena revealed the spinner version of the WWE Championship belt, while JBL appeared with the original belt. On the April 21 episode of SmackDown! , a match between Booker T and Big Show ended in a double disqualification, which led to the appointment of a match between JBL, Angle, Booker T and Big Show to determine the main contender. Two weeks later, JBL faced Scotty 2 Hotty but lost via disqualification. After the match, JBL attacked Scotty 2 Hotty and demanded that he say “I Quit”. And while being choked with a belt, Scotty said “I Quit”.That same night, Cena beat The Basham Brothers in a handicap match. During the match, JBL yelled at Cena, telling him to say “I Quit”.
SummerSlam 2006 | “I Quit” match: Ric Flair vs. Mick Foley
In the book Have a Nice Day! , Mick Foley wrote that Ric Flair “was as bad at booking as he was good in the ring”. For his part, Flair said in his autobiography that Foley was “a glorified double” and that he was able to move up in the WWF only because he was friends with the bookers. The two even had a real-life confrontation backstage on an episode of Raw in December 2004. However, in mid-2006, the real-life rivalry was brought into the plot. Flair again called Foley a “glorified double”, while Foley dubbed Flair a “washed-up turd” and challenged him to a match. In a best-of-three duel at Vengeance, Flair beat Foley 2-0. However, an “I Quit” match was scheduled between the two at SummerSlam.
Backlash 2009“I Quit” match: Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy
During the match between Jeff Hardy and Edge at the 2009 Royal Rumble for the WWE Championship, Matt Hardy went to the ring, apparently to help his brother, but ended up attacking him with a chair, costing him the loss. On the March 6 episode of SmackDown, after losing the Money in the Bank Ladder qualifying match against MVP, Matt interfered with Jeff’s qualifying match by punching Jeff’s opponent Shelton Benjamin, which caused Jeff’s disqualification. The following week, Matt teased Jeff, even more, referring to incidents from the previous months such as the night Jeff was found unconscious on a hotel staircase on the eve of Survivor Series, a pyrotechnics glitch that hit him, and even the house fire. of Jeff who caused the death of the dog Jack.
These provocations led Jeff to retaliate after weeks of passive resistance. That same night, it was announced that the brothers would meet at WrestleMania 25. However, it was announced that the match between the two would be an Extreme Rules match, with Matt winning after a Twist of Fate in which Jeff’s head was stuck in a chair. The animosity between the brothers continued on the SmackDown episode following WrestleMania, even after Matt won a Stretcher match between the two, which led to new General Manager Teddy Long announcing an “I Quit” match between Jeff and Matt. for Backlash.
Breaking Point (2009)”I Quit” match for the WWE Championship
Randy Orton (c) vs. John Cena (Randy Orton would lose the title if someone interfered on his behalf)
On the July 27, 2009, episode of Monday Night Raw, guest host Shaquille O’Neal revealed that Randy Orton would defend the WWE Championship against the winner of a Beat the Clock challenge, which featured Mark Henry, MVP, Triple H., Jack Swagger and John Cena. Cena was the fastest, beating The Miz with the fastest time. At SummerSlam, Randy Orton retained the title by beating Cena after an RKO, following interference from a spectator, having already caused his disqualification twice, with Vince McMahon having to intervene and order the match to restart. on both occasions. On Raw the following night, Vince McMahon gave John Cena one more shot at the WWE Championship, in an “I Quit” match, and decreed that Orton would forfeit the title if anyone interfered in his favour.
Over The Limit 2010: “I Quit” match for the WWE Championship
John Cena (c) vs. Batista
The rivalry between John Cena and Batista began when Cena sided with Bret Hart during the conflict between Hart and WWE President Vince McMahon. On the February 1, 2010 episode of Raw , Batista saved McMahon and attacked Bret Hart from behind. Cena tried to help Hart , but was also attacked by Batista. At Elimination Chamber , John Cena won the WWE Championship by winning an Elimination Chamber match , but his festivities were interrupted by Vince McMahon, who ordered Cena to defend the title immediately to Batista. With Cena completely worn out, Batista achieved victory and claimed the title .On the February 22 episode of Raw , Cena asked for a title rematch at WrestleMania XXVI , but McMahon said he would only give him the opportunity if he beat Batista that night.
And Cena won, albeit by disqualification, after Batista had given him a low blow.At WrestleMania , Cena became world champion for the ninth time by beating Batista via submission, via an STF .Eight days later, on the April 5 episode of Raw , Batista attacked Cena , it being announced that the two would meet again in a Last Man Standing match at Extreme Rules . At the pay-per-view , Cena came out victorious again, this time in an ingenious way, by tying Batista to one of the ring posts with duct tape, leaving him unable to respond to the count of ten.
On Raw following Extreme Rules , Batista beat Randy Orton and Sheamus to become the leading contender for the WWE Championship . On the May 3 episode of Raw , Batista and Cena competed in a Beat the Clock Challenge to determine who would choose the stipulation of their next match. Cena prevailed, beating Wade Barrett in 4 minutes and 32 seconds, while Batista defeated Daniel Bryan in 5:06, and the following week announced that the title match at Over the Limit would be an “I Quit” match.
Extreme Rules 2013: “I Quit” match to determine the main contender for the World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger
At Elimination Chamber, Alberto Del Rio retained the World Heavyweight Championship against Big Show, while Jack Swagger won an Elimination Chamber match to become the title contender at WrestleMania 29 . In the weeks that followed, Swagger and his new manager, Zeb Colter, spoke several times about illegal immigrants and repeatedly attacked both Del Rio and the Mexican’s ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez. At WrestleMania, Del Rio won via submission, via a Cross Armbreaker, but on Raw the following night he was injured by Swagger, which allowed Dolph Ziggler to cash in from the Money in the Bank suitcase and become world champion. A week later, Del Rio tried to trigger the rematch clause but was stopped by Swagger. However, a match was scheduled between Ziggler and Swagger that was won by Swagger.
However, SmackDown General Manager Booker T scheduled a triple threat title match between Ziggler, Del Rio, and Swagger for Extreme Rules. On the April 29 episode of Raw, Del Rio’s ring announcer Ricardo Rodriguez beat Swagger’s mentor Zeb Colter and Ziggler’s bodyguard Big E Langston to choose the stipulation of the match, which would be a Ladder match. However, Ziggler suffered a concussion during the May 6 episode of Raw following Swagger’s attack on Ziggler and Del Rio using a ladder, which caused Ziggler to sit out the pay-per-view. That said, it was announced that, instead of fighting for the title, Del Rio and Swagger would face off in an “I Quit” match to determine the main contender for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Payback 2015 – “I Quit” match for the WWE United States Championship:
John Cena (c) vs. Rusev
After failing to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the 2015 Royal Rumble, John Cena was asked in an interview what was next for him. At that point, Rusev, who had been the last man to be eliminated in the Royal Rumble match, interrupted the interview. Four days later, a match for Rusev’s United States Championship was scheduled between the Bulgarian and John Cena for Fastlane. Rusev got the better of it, via submission, by making Cena pass out through the Accolade, after having hit Cena with a low blow.
In the weeks that followed, Cena challenged Rusev to a rematch, but Stephanie McMahon decreed that Cena would not compete at WrestleMania 31 unless Rusev agreed to face him. On the March 9 episode of Raw, Cena trapped Rusev in an STF and refused to let go of submission until Rusev’s wife Lana assured him that he would get another title shot at WrestleMania. At the pay-per-view, Cena beat Rusev, in what was the Bulgarian’s first loss on the WWE main roster. On the April 2 episode of SmackDown, Rusev announced that he would be getting the rematch at Extreme Rules.
Eleven days later on Raw, Rusev attacked Cena with a chain and Lana revealed that the match between the two would be a Russian Chain match. At Extreme Rules, Cena won after an Attitude Adjustment and touched the fourth corner of the ring after both men had touched the other three corners. Later that night, Lana announced that Cena would defend the title against Rusev in an “I Quit” match at Payback.
Hell in a Cell 2020 | Hell in a Cell “I Quit” match for the WWE Universal Championship | Roman Reigns (c) vs. Jey Uso
After beating Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman at Payback 2020, Roman Reigns opened SmackDown alongside Paul Heyman, who explained the partnership between the two. Unlike with Brock Lesnar, where Heyman acted as a lawyer, this time he was with Reigns as an adviser. Paul Heyman further announced that the primary contender for the Universal Championship at Clash of Champions would be determined in a fatal four-way match between Big E, Matt Riddle, King Corbin and Sheamus that same night. However, Big E was unable to compete after being attacked by Sheamus backstage and was replaced by Jey Uso, Roman Reigns ‘ cousin, who ended up winning.
At Clash of Champions, Roman Reigns defeated Jey Uso after Jimmy Uso threw in the towel to stop Reigns, who repeatedly attacked Jey Uso in an attempt to get the latter to recognize him as the Tribal Chief of the Anoa’i family. Although Jey declined, Jimmy reluctantly acknowledged Reigns as Tribal Chief after the match. On the following episode of SmackDown, a ceremony was held to crown Roman Reigns as Tribal Chief. However, Reigns refused to be crowned as Jey had not recognized him. Reigns called Jey over to talk and, seeing that Jey was looking at the Universal Championship, gave Jey another title shot, who accepted.
The next day, it was confirmed that the two would face each other in a Hell in a Cell match, but a week later Reigns stated that he wanted to hear Jey say “I Quit”, which led to the appointment of the first “I Quit” match ever played. within the framework of a Hell in a Cell match. On the October 23 episode of SmackDown, Roman Reigns stated that if he made Jey Uso say “I Quit”, Jey and Jimmy would become Reigns ‘ subordinates and would have to recognize Reigns as Tribal Chief or be immediately excluded from the Anoa’i family.’