15 years ago today was WWF's thirteenth King of the Ring event (WWE Network link), but the seventh on PPV. The event emanated from the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, NC, with 19,761 in attendance, and about 430,000 homes purchasing the event.
- Billy Gunn defeated X-Pac in the finals to win the King of the Ring tournament. Gunn defeated Kane and 1998 King of the Ring winner Ken Shamrock in earlier rounds that night. Hardcore Holly, Road Dogg, Chyna and Big Show were also in the final eight.
- The Undertaker defeated The Rock to retain the WWF Championship.
- In a winner-take-all ladder match, Vince and Shane McMahon defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin to regain complete control of the WWF.
(photo via wwe.com)
14 years ago today, Steve Blackman defeated Crash Holly in Hartford, Connecticut to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
(photo via upload.wikimedia.org)
14 years ago today, USA Networks loses a case against the WWF over "right of first refusal" in Wilmington, Delaware, clearing the way for WWF programming to be moved to Viacom networks TNN (now known as Spike TV) and MTV. USA Networks were offered a settlement just before the ruling came down, but turned it down hoping a decision would be rendered in their favor.
(photo via wwe.com)
12 years ago today, John Cena made his WWF television debut on Smackdown (WWE Network link) from the Allstate Arena in suburban Chicago, Illinois in a loss to Kurt Angle. In the main event, Hulk Hogan defeats Chris Jericho by disqualification.
3 years ago today, WWE hosts its annual RAW Roulette show from the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Kane defeated CM Punk by countout in a "mystery opponent" match.
- Sin Cara defeated Evan Bourne in a no countout match.
- Kofi Kingston defeated Dolph Ziggler in a "Player's Choice" match (Kofi, the spinner, chose Vickie Guerrero to be banned from ringside.)
- Alberto Del Rio defeated Big Show in a steel cage match.
- Kelly Kelly defeated Nikki Bella in a submission match.
- Alex Riley & Rey Mysterio defeated The Miz and Jack Swagger in a tornado tag team match.
- R-Truth defeated John Cena in a tables match.
- However, the night's most notable moment came from CM Punk, who the previous week announced that he was leaving WWE at the conclusion of the Money in the Bank PPV with the WWE Championship. His nearly seven-minute worked shoot promo still resonates among wrestling fans today: it won the Cageside Seats Greatest Promo tournament. (Transcript via rapgenius.com)
"John Cena, while you lay there, hopefully as uncomfortable as you possibly can be, I want you to listen to me. I want you to digest this because before I leave in 3 weeks with your WWE Championship, I have a lot of things I want to get off my chest.
I don't hate you, John. I don't even dislike you. I do like you. I like you a hell of a lot more than I like most people in the back.
I hate this idea that you're the best. Because you're not. I'm the best. I'm the best in the world. There's one thing you're better at than I am and that's kissing Vince McMahon's ass.
You're as good as kissing Vince McMahon's ass as Hulk Hogan was. I don't know if you're as good as Dwayne though. He's a pretty good ass kisser. Always was and still is.
Whoops! I'm breaking the fourth wall!
[Punk waves to the camera]
I am the best wrestler in the world.
I've been the best since day one when I walked into this company. And I've been vilified and hated since that day because Paul Heyman saw something in me that nobody else wanted to admit. That's right, I'm a Paul Heyman guy. You know who else was a Paul Heyman guy? Brock Lesnar. And he split just like I'm splitting. But the biggest difference between me and Brock is I'm going to leave with the WWE Championship.
I've grabbed so many of Vincent K. McMahon's brass rings that it's finally dawned on me that they're just that, they're completely imaginary. The only thing that's real is me and the fact that day in and day out, for almost six years, I have proved to everybody in the world that I am the best on this microphone, in that ring, even in commentary! Nobody can touch me!
And yet no matter how many times I prove it, I'm not on your lovely little collector cups. I'm not on the cover of the program. I'm barely promoted. I don't get to be in movies. I'm certainly not on any crappy show on the USA Network. I'm not on the poster of WrestleMania. I'm not on the signature that's produced at the start of the show. I'm not on Conan O'Brian. I'm not on Jimmy Fallon. But the fact of the matter is, I should be.
This isn't sour grapes. But the fact that Dwayne is in the main event at WrestleMania next year and I'm not makes me sick!
Oh hey, let me get something straight. Those of you who are cheering me right now, you are just as big a part of me leaving as anything else. Because you're the ones who are sipping on those collector cups right now. You're the ones that buy those programs that my face isn't on the cover of. And then at five in the morning at the airport, you try to shove it in my face and get an autograph and try to sell it on eBay because you're too lazy to go get a real job.
I'm leaving with the WWE Championship on July 17th. And hell, who knows, maybe I'll go defend it in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Maybe...I'll go back to Ring of Honor.
[Punk looks at the camera and waves]
Hey, Colt Cabana, how you doing?
The reason I'm leaving is you people. Because after I'm gone, you're still going to pour money into this company. I'm just a spoke on the wheel. The wheel is going to keep turning and I understand that. Vince McMahon is going to make money despite himself. He's a millionaire who should be a billionaire. You know why he's not a billionaire? Because he surrounds himself with glad-handed, nonsensical, douchebag (censored) yes men, like John Laurinaitis, who's going to tell him everything he wants to hear, and I'd like to think that maybe this company will better after Vince McMahon is dead. But the fact is, it's going to be taken over by his idiotic daughter and his doofus son-in-law and the rest of his stupid family.
Let me tell you a personal story about Vince McMahon alright. We do this whole [anti] bully campaign...
[Microphone cuts off]