"I Quit" match

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An "I Quit" Match is a type of professional wrestling match in which the only way to win is to make the opponent say the words "I quit"[1] (usually into a microphone). It is a variation of submission match, as it can only be won by submission, but is special in that the submission has to take the form of the forfeiting opponent actually saying "I quit." Generally, whenever a wrestler knocks down his opponent with a move or inflicts a submission move,the opponent will be asked - either by the referee or the opponent - to say the words into a microphone. "I Quit" matches are commonly used to settle kayfabe grudges and embarrass rivals, since saying "I Quit" is usually a sign of admitted inferiority.


The first "I Quit" match was in the National Wrestling Alliance/Jim Crockett Promotions at Starrcade on November 28, 1985. Magnum T.A. defeated Tully Blanchard in a match (with a cage around the ring) for Blanchard's NWA United States Heavyweight Championship. Near the end of that match, Magnum used a piece of wood with a nail in it to pierce Blanchard's forehead. At that point, Blanchard screamed "YES! YES!" into the microphone, indicating that he was quitting the match, and Magnum won the U.S. Championship.

One of the most famous "I Quit" matches took place on January 24, 1999, at the Royal Rumble between The Rock and Mick Foley (as Mankind) in the World Wrestling Federation. The match lasted just over 20 minutes, ending after Foley took eleven unprotected and undeflected chair shots to the head while his hands were handcuffed behind his back. The Rock eventually won the match, but it was later revealed that Foley was completely unconscious and The Rock had played a tape of Foley saying "I quit" over the PA system.[1] The match the following evening between Triple H and The Rock ended in a completely different way – Triple H was extorted into saying "I quit" because Kane was about to chokeslam Chyna. John Cena retained his WWE Championship by defeating John "Bradshaw" Layfield in an "I Quit" Match at Judgment Day on May 22, 2005.

"I Quit" matches involving women have been rare. At No Mercy 2003 held an intergender match between WWE chairman Mr. McMahon and his daughter Stephanie partly under "I Quit" rules. However, the match was actually decided when Stephanie's mother Linda threw in the towel for her daughter, giving Vince the victory.[1] The first "I Quit" match between WWE Divas was contested at One Night Stand in 2008, when Beth Phoenix defeated Melina.

On the May 14, 2009, edition of TNA Impact, TNA Wrestling put on their first "I Quit" match, where Booker T defeated Jethro Holiday after an axe kick. TNA had another "I Quit" match on May 24, 2009, where A.J. Styles defeated Booker T to retain the TNA Legends Championship, after Jenna Morasca threw a towel into the ring for Booker.

"I Respect You" match[edit]

An "I Respect You" match is similar to an "I Quit" match – to win a wrestler must make his opponent say the words, "I respect you". The first "I Respect You" match was held in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) at SuperBrawl VI in February 1996 and pitted Brian Pillman and "Taskmaster" Kevin Sullivan. At the end of the match, Pillman lost by saying "I respect you, bookerman!" In doing so he Pillman broke kayfabe, as Sullivan was also WCW booker at the time.

Matches in various promotions[edit]

Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW)[edit]

Participants Title on the line/
Event Notes
Terry Funk defeated Eddie Gilbert none ECW Show
January 23, 1993
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Billed as a Texas Death match.[citation needed]
Tommy Dreamer defeated The Sandman none ECW Show
October 1, 1994
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Tommy Dreamer defeated C.W. Anderson none Guilty as Charged
January 7, 2001
New York, New York

Ring of Honor (ROH)[edit]

Participants Title on the line/
Event Notes
Alex Shelley defeated Jimmy Jacobs none Joe vs. Punk II
October 16, 2004
Chicago Ridge, Illinois
Jimmy Rave defeated Nigel McGuinness none Battle of the Icons
January 27, 2007
Edison, New Jersey
The referee stopped the match after McGuinness refused to say "I Quit" and Rave attempted to break his leg.
Austin Aries defeated Jimmy Jacobs none Rising Above 2008
November 22, 2008
Chicago Ridge, Illinois
Colt Cabana defeated Steve Corino none Richards vs. Daniels
October 16, 2010
Chicago Ridge, Illinois

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA)[edit]

Participants Title on the line/
Event Notes
Booker T defeated Jethro Holliday none Impact!
May 14, 2009 (taped)
Orlando, Florida
A.J. Styles defeated Booker T TNA Legends Championship Sacrifice
May 24, 2009
Orlando, Florida
Brian Kendrick defeated Douglas Williams TNA Legends Championship Impact!
July 12, 2010 (taped)
Orlando, Florida
A.J. Styles defeated Tommy Dreamer none No Surrender
September 5, 2010
Orlando, Florida
A.J. Styles defeated Christopher Daniels none Bound For Glory
October 16, 2011
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Kurt Angle defeated D'Lo Brown none Impact!
May 2, 2013 (taped)
Orlando, Florida
Gunner defeated James Storm none Sacrifice
April 27, 2014
Orlando, Florida
Mr. Anderson defeated Samuel Shaw none Hardcore Justice
August 20, 2014 (taped)
Orlando, Florida
Kurt Angle defeated Eric Young TNA World Heavyweight Championship Impact!
May 29, 2015 (taped)
Orlando, Florida

Participant list[edit]

Superstar Victories Appearances
A.J. Styles 3 3
Kurt Angle 2 2
Booker T 1 2
Gunner 1 1
Brian Kendrick 1 1
Mr. Anderson 1 1
Tommy Dreamer 0 1
Douglas Williams 0 1
Christopher Daniels 0 1
D'Lo Brown 0 1
James Storm 0 1
Samuel Shaw 0 1
Eric Young 0 1
Jethro Holliday 0 1

World Championship Wrestling (WCW)[edit]

Participants Title on the line/
Event Notes
The Taskmaster defeated Brian Pillman none SuperBrawl VI
February 11, 1996
St. Petersburg, Florida
This was a "I Respect You" Strap match.
Bill Goldberg defeated Sid Vicious none Mayhem
November 21, 1999
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Roddy Piper defeated Creative Control (Gerald and Patrick) none Nitro
December 6, 1999
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
This was a Handicap "I Quit" match.
David Flair defeated Terry Funk none Nitro
February 7, 2000
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Dustin Rhodes defeated Terry Funk none WCW Uncensored
March 19, 2000
Miami, Florida
This was a Bullrope Match.
Norman Smiley (c) defeated M.I. Smooth WCW Hardcore Championship Thunder
August 23, 2000
(taped August 22, 2000)
Tulsa, Oklahoma

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (WWF/WWE)[edit]

Participants Title on the line/
Event Notes
Bret Hart defeated Bob Backlund none WrestleMania XI
April 2, 1995
Hartford, Connecticut
Guest referee Roddy Piper ended the match though Backlund uttered the words "I Quit" only incompletely.
Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Ken Shamrock none Raw Is War
October 26, 1998
Madison, Wisconsin
The Rock defeated Mankind (c) WWF Championship Royal Rumble (1999)
January 24, 1999
Anaheim, California
Mankind did not actually say "I quit". Rather an earlier recording of Mankind saying the phrase was played over the PA system while Mankind laid unconscious in the entranceway. The Rock was still awarded the victory.
The Rock (c) defeated Triple H WWF Championship Raw Is War
January 25, 1999
Phoenix, Arizona
Mr. McMahon defeated Stephanie McMahon Loser had to leave their position
  • Vince McMahon - WWE Chairman
  • Stephanie McMahon - General manager of SmackDown!
No Mercy
October 19, 2003
Baltimore, Maryland
Stephanie did not say the words "I Quit"; her mother threw a towel into the ring. Stephanie was also able to win this match via pinfall.
John Cena (c) defeated John Bradshaw Layfield WWE Championship Judgment Day
May 22, 2005
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Ric Flair defeated Mick Foley none SummerSlam
August 20, 2006
Boston, Massachusetts
Chavo Guerrero, Jr. defeated Rey Mysterio Jr. none SmackDown!
October 20, 2006
(taped October 15, 2006)
Los Angeles, California
Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Chavo Guerrero, Jr. none SmackDown!
September 7, 2007
(taped September 1, 2007)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Beth Phoenix defeated Melina none One Night Stand
June 1, 2008
San Diego, California
Jeff Hardy defeated Matt Hardy none Backlash
April 26, 2009
Providence, Rhode Island
John Cena defeated Randy Orton (c) WWE Championship Breaking Point
September 13, 2009
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
John Cena (c) defeated Batista WWE Championship Over The Limit
May 23, 2010
Detroit, Michigan
John Cena (c) defeated The Miz WWE Championship Over The Limit
May 22, 2011
Seattle, Washington
Alberto Del Rio defeated Jack Swagger #1 contendership to the World Heavyweight Championship Extreme Rules
May 19, 2013
St. Louis, Missouri
John Cena (c) defeated Rusev WWE United States Championship Payback
May 17, 2015
Baltimore, Maryland
Instead of Rusev, his manager Lana conceded the match, saying "He Quits".

Participant list[edit]

Superstar Victories Appearances
John Cena 5 5
The Rock 2 2
Bret Hart 1 1
Steve Austin 1 1
Vince McMahon 1 1
Ric Flair 1 1
Beth Phoenix 1 1
Jeff Hardy 1 1
Alberto Del Rio 1 1
Chavo Guerrero 1 2
Rey Mysterio 1 2
Bob Backlund 0 1
Ken Shamrock 0 1
Triple H 0 1
Stephanie McMahon 0 1
John "Bradshaw" Layfield 0 1
Melina 0 1
Matt Hardy 0 1
Randy Orton 0 1
Batista 0 1
The Miz 0 1
Jack Swagger 0 1
Rusev 0 1
Mick Foley 0 2
JBL 0 1


  1. ^ a b c Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.