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This Day in Wrestling History (October 20 and 21)

Now that I'm less drugged up from my dentist appointment yesterday, here's another two days, one post. We'll do today first.

42 years ago today, All Japan Pro Wrestling holds its first ever show at Machida City Gym in Tokyo, Japan. In the main event, Bruno Sammartino & Terry Funk defeated Giant Baba and Thunder Sugiyama in a two out of three falls match.

29 years ago today, All Japan Pro Wrestling holds its 13th anniversary show at Sumo Hall in Tokyo Japan. In the main event, NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair and AWA World Heavyweight Champion Rick Martel fight to a double countout.

18 years ago today, Bret Hart turns down a lucrative offer from WCW ($8.4 million over three years) and signs an unprecedented contract with the WWF. The front-loaded deal was for $10.5 million over 20 years: $4.5 million over three years as a wrestler, followed by seven years as a senior advisor at $500,000 each, then spending the following decade as a company standby for $250,000 a year, more or less like a Legends contract today. The same deal gave Bret reasonable creative control of his character if were he to leave the WWF (as long as he gave a month's notice). Ultimately, math and real life got in the way, as the WWF was in serious financial peril at the time, so Bret agreed reluctantly to defer most of his money to the back end of the contract, a contract that WWF wouldn't have to pay out because just one year after signing the deal, Bret accepted a deal to leave for WCW.

13 years ago today, WWF presented No Mercy (WWE Network link) from the Savvis Center in St. Louis, Missouri. 15,647 were in attendance, with 325,000 homes watching on PPV. Despite it being a pretty solid show, more than 200,000 homes less bought this edition than the 2000 event.

  • In a preshow Sunday Night Heat match, The APA (Faarooq and Bradshaw) defeated Chris Kanyon and Hugh Morrus.
  • In a preshow Sunday Night Heat match, Billy Kidman defeated Scotty 2 Hotty to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
  • The Hardy Boyz defeated Lance Storm and The Hurricane to retain the WCW Tag Team Championship.
  • Test defeated Kane.
  • Torrie Wilson defeated Stacy Keibler in a Lingerie Match.
  • Edge defeated Christian in a ladder match to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
  • The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) defeated The Big Show and Tajiri to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • The Undertaker defeated Booker T.
  • Chris Jericho defeated The Rock to win the WCW Championship.
  • Steve Austin defeated Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam in a triple threat match to retain the WWF Championship.

13 years ago today in Evansville, Indiana, AJ Styles defeated Petey Williams, Christopher Daniels, and Chris Sabin in a four-way match to win the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship.

11 years ago today at  a Smackdown taping in Albany, New York, the Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny) defeated Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo) to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.

5 years ago today, Comedy Central aired a wrestling-themed episode of South Park, W.T.F., lampooning WWE with the boys forming their own backyard wrestling company.


50 years and a day ago, Mad Dog Vachon defeated Verne Gagne to win the AWA World Heavyweight Championship for the second time.

18 years and a day ago, WWF presented In Your House 11: Buried Alive (WWE Network link) from the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. 9.649 were in attendance, with about 136,000 homes watching on PPV. That's more than 40,000 buys up from In Your House 4 held the previous October.

  • In a preshow Free For All match, The Stalker defeated Justin Bradshaw.
  • Steve Austin defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
  • Owen Hart & The British Bulldog defeated The Smoking Gunns (Bart & Billy Gunn) to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • Marc Mero defeated Goldust to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
  • Sycho Sid defeated Vader.
  • The Undertaker defeated Mankind in a Buried Alive Match.
  • In a post-show dark match, The Godwinns (Henry O. Godwinn & Phineas I. Godwinn) defeated The New Rockers (Leif Cassidy & Marty Jannetty)
  • In a post-show dark match, Shawn Michaels defeated Goldust to retain the WWF Championship.

14 years and a day ago, WCW releases Bret Hart, who subsequently announces his retirement. Hart had been sparingly used over the last year and a half following the death of Bret's younger brother Owen, and even more so following a career-ending concussion at the hands of Bill Goldberg seven months later. Bret's release stems in part from his criticism of WCW in his weekly column for the Calgary Sun. Hart would do the unthinkable a decade later: return to the WWE, with his brief run culminating with a Wrestlemania win over Vince McMahon, a United States Championship run, and a six-man tag match in Madison Square Garden.

12 years and a day ago, WWE presented No Mercy (WWE Network link) from the Alltell Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas. 9,074 were in attendance, with 300,000 homes watching on PPV, down from 325,000 for 2001's edition.

  • In a preshow Sunday Night Heat match, The Hurricane defeated Steven Richards.
  • Chris Jericho & Christian defeated Booker T & Goldust to retain the World Tag Team Championship.
  • Torrie Wilson defeated Dawn Marie.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated Ric Flair.
  • Jamie Noble defeated Tajiri to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Triple H defeated Kane to unify the World Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships. It would be the last Intercontinental Championship match in WWE until May 2003.
  • Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit defeated Rey Mysterio and Edge in a tournament final to win WWE Tag Team Championship.
  • Trish Stratus defeated Victoria to retain the WWE Women's Championship.
  • Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell to retain the WWE Championship.

7 years ago and a day ago, Brock Lesnar was introduced during a UFC PPV event that he was their newest signee. Despite losing his first UFC bout to Frank Mir, he would go on to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship, becoming the only man to win the NCAA, WWE, and UFC heavyweight titles.

5 years ago and a day ago, former Ring of Honor world champion Nigel McGuinness debuts for TNA under the name Desmond Wolfe. He would last less than two years with the company before a medical condition forced away from the ring. He would wrestle a retirement tour in 2012 before settling in as ROH "matchmaker" and  commentator, a role he's held ever since.

One year and one day ago, TNA presented Bound for Glory from the Viejas Arena in San Diego, California.

  • In a Countdown to Bound for Glory preshow match, The BroMans (Robbie E and Jessie Godderz) defeated Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez and. Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) and Joseph Park and Eric Young in a Tag Team Gauntlet match for a TNA World Tag Team Championship match later in the evening.
  • Chris Sabin defeated Manik, Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy in a Ultimate X match to win the TNA X Division Championship.
  • The BroMans (Robbie E and Jessie Godderz) defeated James Storm and Gunner to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Gail Kim defeated ODB & Brooke in a three-way match to win the TNA Knockouts Championship.
  • Bobby Roode defeated Kurt Angle.
  • Ethan Carter III defeated Norv Fernum.
  • Magnus defeated Sting.
  • AJ Styles defeated Bully Ray to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

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