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" (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 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 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. 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 decided when Stephanie's mother Linda threw in the towel for her daughter, giving Vince the victory. 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 Impact, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) 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.
On the May 4, 2016, edition of Lucha Underground, Sexy Star defeated Mariposa in the promotion's first "I Quit" match, known in Spanish as a "No Mas" match.
"I Respect You" match
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.