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This Day in Pro Wrestling History (July 3)

Wanna start a riot? Just tell a paying crowd just before the start of a wrestling show that their world champion that they're paying to see is not only not going to be there, but he is stripped of the world title. (Note: This is not--I repeat--not an excuse to go start a riot by doing this.) Also, drugs are bad, m'kay?

28 years ago today, Velvet McIntyre defeated The Fabulous Moolah to win the WWF Womens Championship in Brisbane, Australia. She would lose the title just six days later in Sydney back to The Fabulous Moolah. Moolah would hold the title for just over a year before losing it to Sensational Sherri in July 1987.

23 years ago today, WCW held its first event since Ric Flair abruptly left (and/or got fired) from the company, with the announcement that Flair was stripped of the WCW world heavyweight championship. The event was held at the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ.

20 years ago today, at a taping for WWF Superstars in Ocean City, MD, Bret Hart defeated Bob Backlund to retain the WWF Championship (part 1) (part 2). Post-match, Backlund shook Bret Hart's hand, then attacked him, applying the crossface chickenwing on Hart. It took several referees to pull Backlund off. The post-match beatdown began Backlund's heel run. Also during the taping, Joey Marella would referee two matches between the 1-2-3 Kid and Jeff Jarrett. These would be the last matches Marella work for the WWF before a fatal auto accident following the taping.

13 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Tacoma, Washington, Billy Kidman defeats Sugar Shane Helms to win the WWF Cruiserweight Championship. It is the first time that a WCW championship has changed hands on WWF programming.

12 years ago today, AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn defeat the Rainbow Express to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship at the NWA-TNA weekly PPV taping in Nashville, TN.

8 years ago today, Edge defeats John Cena and Rob Van Dam in a triple threat match to win the WWE Championship. A side nugget on what led to the sudden title change: the previous night in Hanging Rock, Ohio, Rob Van Dam and Sabu were stopped for speeding, but when Ohio state troopers searched the vehicle, they found drugs and plenty of them: 18 grams of marijuana, nine Testolactone pills (used to treat breast cancer, by the way), five Vicodins, and various other drug paraphernalia between the two of them. The two were arrested and posted bond. Just three weeks earlier, Van Dam won both the WWF and ECW championships at One Night Stand, making the timing of the arrest incredibly awful. Van Dam lost both titles on consecutive nights (more on how he lost the ECW belt tomorrow) and would be suspended for a month. Van Dam would be gone from WWE altogether by the end of the year.


2 years ago today was the last edition of the Great American Bash (WWE Network link). It's actually not a part of the GAB chronology; it was used as the title of a live episode of Smackdown. The event took place at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

  • Layla and The Great Khali defeated Aksana and Antonio Cesaro.
  • Cody Rhodes defeated Christian.
  • Dolph Ziggler defeated Alex Riley.
  • Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter, and Santino Marella defeated Hunico, Camacho, and Drew McIntyre.
  • Ryback defeated Curt Hawkins.
  • Zack Ryder won a 20-man over the top rope battle royal to earn general manager duties for the following week's Smackdown (WWE Network link).

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