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This Day in Pro Wrestling History (July 18)

34 years ago today, Verne Gagne defeats Nick Bockwinkel (part 1) (part 2) in Comiskey Park in Chicago, IL to win the AWA World Heavyweight Championship. It's his tenth and final AWA world title reign. He would retire ten months later after defeating Bockwinkel again (part 1) (part 2) as AWA champion.

25 years ago today at a Saturday Night's Main Event taping the Worcester Centrum in Worcester, Massachusetts, The Brainbusters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) defeated Demolition (Ax and Smash) two falls to one to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. The win made Anderson and Blanchard the first team to win both the WWF and NWA tag team championships.

21 years ago today, WCW held Beach Blast (WWE Network link) from the Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi. About 8,600 were in attendance, with 100,000 homes purchasing the event on PPV. This was the final PPV for WCW under the NWA banner, as they would break away from the NWA officially by the end of the summer.

  • Paul Orndorff defeated Ron Simmons by disqualification to retain the WCW World Television Championship. Simmons threw Orndorff over the top rope; at the time, it was a DQ in WCW.
  • 2 Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell defeated Tex Slashinger & Shanghai Pierce.
  • Steven Regal defeated Erik Watts.
  • Johnny B. Badd defeated Maxx Payne.
  • The Hollywood Blonds (Brian Pillman and Stunning Steve Austin) defeated the Horsemen (Arn Anderson and Paul Roma) to retain the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Dustin Rhodes and Rick Rude fought to a 1-1 draw in a 30-minute Ironman match for the vacant NWA United States Championship. The championship would remain for six more weeks before Rhodes defeated Rude on WCW Saturday Night for his second US Championship.
  • Ric Flair defeated Barry Windham to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. It would be Flair's tenth and final NWA world title. The championship would be renamed the WCW International Championship when WCW and NWA split.
  • Sting & Davey Boy Smith defeated Big Van Vader & Sid Vicious. The match was set up by an infamous series of mini-movies set on a beach.

15 years ago today, ECW presented Heatwave '99 (WWE Network link) from the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio. About 3,700 were in attendance, with 100,000 homes watching on PPV. It was ECW's most watched PPV, and the last ECW PPV before their national television deal with TNN started a month later.

  • Dark match: Vito LoGrasso defeated Simon Diamond.
  • Chris Chetti & Super Nova defeated Danny Doring & Roadkill.
  • Jazz defeats Jason.
  • Super Crazy defeated Little Guido (w/ Sal E. Graziano)
  • Balls Mahoney & Spike Dudley defeated The Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh Ray & D-Von) to win the ECW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Francine defeated Steve Corino
  • Taz defeated Yoshihiro Tajiri to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Jerry Lynn & Rob Van Dam defeated The Impact Players (Justin Credible & Lance Storm).

14 years ago today on an episode of WCW Tuesday Nitro, Lance Storm defeated Mike Awesome in the finals of a one-night tournament to win the vacated WCW United States Championship. Storm also defeated Buff Bagwell and Shane Douglas in earlier rounds.  Other participants included "Positively" Chris Kanyon, Vampiro, The Great Muta, and Billy Kidman. Scott Steiner was stripped of the championship when he used the banned Steiner Recliner on Mike Awesome at Bash at the Beach a week earlier.

7 years ago today, George Caiazzo, aka John Kronus, died in his fiancée's home in Laconia, New Hampshire due to heart failure resulting from an enlarged heart, a condition which may have been aggravated by recent knee surgery. He was 38. Caizzo was best known as one-half of the Eliminators with Perry Saturn. In ECW, he was a four-time tag team champion, three with Saturn, and once with New Jack. Caizzo would also have stints in USWA, WAR, XPW, and Dangerously Intense Wrestling before retiring in 2002. Enjoy this tribute from Youtuber MVKronus.

5 years ago today, former WCW world heavyweight champion Ron Simmons was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Here's his Hall of Fame video package from the College Football Hall of Fame's official Youtube page.

4 years ago today, WWE presented Money in the Bank (WWE Network link) from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. About 8,000 were in attendance, with 165,000 homes purchasing the event on PPV, down from 228,000 buys for the July 2009 PPV offering, Judgment Day. The show featured two Money in the Bank ladder matches, the first time such a match occurred at an event other than Wrestlemania.

  • In a preshow dark match, Santino Marella defeated William Regal.
  • Kane defeated Big Show, Matt Hardy, Kofi Kingston, Christian, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre in a SmackDown 8-Man Money in the Bank ladder match for a World Heavyweight Championship match.
  • Alicia Fox defeated Eve Torres to retain the WWE Divas Championship.
  • The Hart Dynasty (David Hart Smith & Tyson Kidd) defeated The Usos (Jey & Jimmy) to retain the WWE Unified Tag Team Championship.
  • Rey Mysterio defeated Jack Swagger to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Kane defeated Rey Mysterio to win the World Heavyweight Championship. The win gave Kane his first world title since a one-day reign as WWF Champion in 1998. Kane also became the first person to win and use his Money in the Bank in the same night.
  • Layla defeated Kelly Kelly to retain the WWE Women's Championship.
  • The Miz defeated Edge, Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Evan Bourne, Ted DiBiase, John Morrison, Mark Henry in a RAW 8-Man Money in the Bank ladder match for a WWE Championship match.
  • Sheamus defeated John Cena in a Steel Cage match to retain the WWE Championship.

Last year, TNA presented Destination X from Broadbent Arena in Louisville, Kentucky. In the featured bout, Chris Sabin defeated Bully Ray to win his only TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Sabin would lose the title just a month later back to Bully Ray.

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