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This Day in Wrestling History (July 16)

29 years ago today, the NWA presents the first ever Great American Bash from American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. About 27,000 fans were in attendance for the event. Featured bouts included NWA tag team champions Krusher Kruschev and Ivan Koloff and AWA tag team champions The Road Warriors fighting to a double disqualification, Ric Flair defeating Nikita Koloff to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, and Dusty Rhodes defeating Tully Blanchard to win the NWA World Television Championship and the services of Baby Doll for thirty days.

26 years ago today, Frank Goodish, aka Bruiser Brody, is stabbed in a shower stall at Juan Lobriel Stadium in Bayamon, Puerto Rico prior to a World Wrestling Council event. Brody dies the next morning at a local hospital due to excessive blood loss. Jose Gonzalez, aka Invader I, a part owner of WWC, was charged with first-degree murder, but was acquitted of the crime. There is speculation that WWC founder Carlos Colon may have arranged the murder, but there was no conclusive evidence that tied Colon to Frank's murder. Goodish was just 42 years old. Here's a tribute video courtesy of Youtuber KayMezCreations.

19 years ago today, WCW presented Bash at the Beach (WWE Network link) on an actual beach. Huntington Beach, California to be exact. About 9,500 fans and beachgoers were in attendance for the free event (free for the crowd, similar to Hog Wild and Road Wild), with 170,000 homes purchasing the event on PPV. Side nugget: this was Big Van Vader's final WCW PPV, as he would be fired following a fight between he and Paul Orndorff days before Fall Brawl.

  • Preshow matches included Johnny B. Badd defeated Chris Kanyon, Road Warrior Hawk defeated Mark Starr, and Dick Slater & Bunkhouse Buck defeated Marcus Bagwell & Alex Wright.
  • United States Champion Sting defeated Meng.
  • WCW Television Champion The Renegade defeated Paul Orndorff when he floated over a vertical suplex and delivered a back suplex for the pin.
  • Kamala defeated Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Dave Sullivan.
  • WCW World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat defeated The Nasty Boys and Bobby Eaton & Steven Regal in a Triangle match.
  • Randy Savage defeated Ric Flair in a Lifeguard Lumberjack match (Lifeguards, actually Baywatch extras, and wrestlers acted as the lumberjacks).
  • WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan defeated Big Van Vader in a steel cage match after two legdrops and kicking Vader away as he climbed out. This was the first time that WCW used the "escape the cage" rule, as they traditionally only had pinfall and submissions in the cage. The reason for the rules change was that Vader would not do a pinfall or submission job for Hogan (because Hogan said he wouldn't do the same for Vader when their program began)

14 years ago today, ECW presented Heatwave 2000 (WWE Network link) from the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. The big news from the event involved ECW and LA based-promotion Xtreme Pro Wrestling (XPW) talent getting into a brawl that began just before the main event and spilled into the parking lot after the show.

  • Sal E. Graziano defeated Balls Mahoney.
  • Kid Kash, Danny Doring, and Amish Roadkill defeated Simon Diamond, CW Anderson, and Johnny Swinger.
  • Jerry Lynn defeated Steve Corino.
  • Chris Chetti and Super Nova defeated Da Baldies (Tony Devito and Angel).
  • In a four-way dance, Yoshihiro Tajiri defeated Mikey Whipwreck, Little Guido, and Psicosis.
  • Rhino defeated The Sandman to retain the ECW World Television Championship.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated Scotty Anton.
  • In a Stairway to Hell match, Justin Credible defeated Tommy Dreamer to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.

13 years ago today, Terry "Bam Bam" Ray Gordy, Sr. was found dead in his home in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee from a heart attack due to a blood clot. He was 40 years old. Gordy had stints in WCCW, NWA, WCW, All Japan, WWF, and ECW and was one-third of the original incarnation of the Fabulous Freebirds. Gordy was just 40 years old. Two years ago, WWE released a video by Gordy's longtime partner Michael Hayes called "Freebird Road".

8 years ago today, TNA presented Victory Road from the Impact Zone at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

  • The Naturals (Chase Stevens and Andy Douglas defeated The Diamonds in the Rough
  • Monty Brown fought Rhino to a no contest
  • The Latin American Exchange (Homicide and Hernandez) defeated Sonjay Dutt and Ron Killings
  • Senshi (c) defeated Kazarian to retain the TNA X Division Championship
  • Raven defeated Larry Zbyszko in a Hair vs. Hair Match
  • Chris Sabin and Jay Lethal defeated The Paparazzi (Kevin Nash and Alex Shelley)
  • The James Gang (B.G. James and Kip James) and Abyss defeated Team 3D (Brother Ray, Brother Devon and Brother Runt)
  • Sirelda, A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels (c) defeated Gail Kim and America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm) in a Mixed Tag Team match to retain the NWA World Tag Team Championship
  • Sting defeated Scott Steiner, Samoa Joe, and Christian Cage in a Road to Victory Match to become the #1 contender for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

8 years ago today, Bob Orton Sr. passes away due to a heart attack in Las Vegas, Nevada just five days before his 77th birthday. Robert Dale Orton Sr. is the father "Ace Cowboy" Bob Orton, Jr. and the grandfather of Randy Orton. Orton was one of the first wrestlers to use the piledriver and may have innovated the pedigree maneuver. Orton was twice NWA world tag team (Florida version) and was a six time NWA Southern heavyweight champion (Florida version).

Happy 38th birthday to TNA World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Lashley. Here's his crowning moment from the June 19 edition of Impact Wrestling.

Happy 40th birthday to ECW mainstay Chris Chetti. Here he is in a WWF dark match against TAKA Michinoku from March 2001

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