Bradshaw vs Christian (found footage of unaired professional wrestling match; 2001)

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Christian as the WWF European Champion.

Status: Found

Date found: 17 Aug 2023

Found by: WWE

During filming for the 1st November 2001 edition of WWF SmackDown!, Bradshaw defended his WWF European Championship against Christian. Christian would pick up the victory, pinning his opponent following a belt shot while the referee was distracted. Despite the match featuring a title change, it was never actually by the company on television.


Heading into the match, Bradshaw was in his first and only reign as European Champion, having held it for an eight days after winning it from The Hurricane on the 27th August 2001 edition of WWF Raw.[1][2] Meanwhile, Christian had never won the title beforehand.[2] Prior to the match, a taped segment showed Christian encountering Cincinnati Reds' first baseman Sean Casey, who was signing autographs. Christian berated both the Reds and Cincinnati, bragging to Casey that he was going to do something that nobody in Cincinnati had done in years, in that he would win a championship. As Christian walked away, Casey called him a "chumpstain".[3]

According to Online World of Wrestling, the match itself generally saw Bradshaw gain the upper hand, using his strength advantage to deliver power moves to his opponent. However, Christian's Un-Americans partner Lance Storm ran in, and Christian took a chair into the ring. Bradshaw successfully removed the chair from Christian, only for the referee to confiscate it from him. While the referee was distracted removing the chair from the ring, Christian grabbed the European Championship and hit his opponent with it. He then pinned Bradshaw to become the new European Champion.[3]

WWE states that Christian's reign began on 1st November instead of when he actually won it on 30th October, because SmackDown! aired on tape delay.[4][2] This means that Bradshaw's reign is recognised as lasting a day longer,[1] while Christian's ended a day earlier.[2] Christian would hold the title until the 31st January 2002 edition of SmackDown!, dropping it to Diamond Dallas Page, with the match itself having been filmed on 29th January.[2] This would prove to be Christian's only reign with the title.[4][2]


Despite the match outcome resulting in a title changing hands, neither the Bradshaw-Christian match nor the Casey segment were included when the 1st November 2001 edition of SmackDown! aired.[5][6][7] According to the 12th November 2001 edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, "The Christian vs. Bradshaw European title change match scheduled for this show never aired due to time constraints however it is recognized as a title change. I guess they felt the Regal-Tajiri squash was more important which would be the matches to decide to cut potentially out of that show. Guess that was done because so much has been made of no resolution to the Regal-Tajiri duo with Regal's turn so they did the angle a few weeks later to tie up that loose end."[8]

Aside from a mention on the 5th November edition of Raw,[6] little reference was made concerning the match, with speculation that the fight was not televised due to its lack of quality.[7] It was not until 17th August 2023 that WWE publicly released the full match on its Facebook page.

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