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This Day in Pro Wrestling History (July 25)

I have a confession to make: I may have been WWE Champion for about twelve minutes in the summer of 2011. Seems like everyone else was.

21 years ago today, at a taping for WWF Monday Night RAW (WWE Network link) in Alexandria Bay, New York, Jim Cornette makes his WWF debut. Cornette, the founder and head of Smoky Mountain Wrestling, would serve as the American spokesperson for then-WWF Champion Yokozuna. He would also manage The Heavenly Bodies (Tom Prichard and Jimmy Del Ray). Cornette would join the WWF full-time in 1996 shortly after SMW's demise.

15 years ago today, WWF presented Fully Loaded (WWE Network link) from the Marine Midland Arena in Buffalo, New York. 16,605 were in attendance, with about 360,000 homes purchasing the event on PPV.

  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Edge to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
  • The Acolytes (Faarooq and Bradshaw) defeated Michael Hayes and The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) in a Handicap match to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • D'Lo Brown defeated Mideon to win the WWF European Championship.
  • The Big Boss Man defeated Al Snow to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • The Big Show defeated Kane. Hardcore Holly was the special referee.
  • Ken Shamrock defeated Steve Blackman in an Iron Circle match (essentially, a parking lot brawl).
  • Road Dogg and X-Pac defeated Mr. Ass and Chyna. With the win, Road Dogg and X-Pac won the rights to the "D-Generation" X name.
  • Triple H defeated The Rock in a Strap match to become the #1 contender for the WWF Championship. Unlike a traditional strap match, the bout could only be won by pinfall or submission.
  • Steve Austin defeated The Undertaker in a First Blood match to retain the WWF Championship. As a result of Austin's win, Vince McMahon could never appear on WWF programming again. (He would appear on WWF programming again less than two months later.)

7 years ago today, Diamond Dallas Page and rapper/mogul Jay-Z come to a settlement in a lawsuit stemming from Jay-Z's use of the diamond cutter hand signal that was a trademark of Page's career. In the settlement, which was for an undisclosed amount, Jay-Z agreed to pay Page, while Page agreed to drop his claim.

3 years ago today, Rey Mysterio defeats the Miz in the finals of a tournament to win the vacated WWE Championship. The tournament started the previous week following CM Punk's departure from the company as WWE Champion. Mysterio's moment in the sun would not last long, as just an hour and a half later, John Cena would beat Rey Mysterio to win the WWE Championship. Then a funny thing happened on the way to another Cena title run: CM Punk returned with his WWE Championship belt. So if you're scoring at home, the night began with no WWE champion, and by the end of the night, three men at some point were the WWE Champion.(For what it's worth, for about a month, WWE recognized both CM Punk and John Cena as WWE Champion.)

Happy 33rd birthday to twice IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and rumored newest member of the WWE roster Fergal "Prince" Devitt. Enjoy this tribute by Youtuber pinknbeautiful.

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