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This Day in Pro Wrestling History (August 12)

31 years ago today, the original Tiger Mask calls it a career, retiring as the NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion. The belt is vacated.

22 years ago today at the Chestnut Cabaret in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Johnny Hot Body defeated Larry Winters to become the first ECW Television Champion.

15 years ago today at a WCW Saturday Night taping in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Chris Jericho defeated Alex Wright to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship for the second time.

9 years ago today in Dayton, Ohio, James Gibson defeated CM Punk, Christopher Daniels, and Samoa Joe in a four-way match to win the ROH World Championship.

8 years ago today, Bryan Danielson defeated Nigel McGuinness in Liverpool, England to unify the ROH World and Pure Championships. The ROH Pure Championship was discontinued following the match.

7 years ago today, TNA presented Hard Justice (pay link) from the Impact Zone at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The show is notable for the debut of the much-maligned Adam "Pacman" Jones, the then-Tennessee Titans (currently Cincinnati Bengals) cornerback who was suspended by the NFL for a full season without pay following multiple violations of the personal conduct policy, most notably his involvement in a shooting in a strip club in Las Vegas. However, just days before his debut, the Titans filed a restraining order preventing Jones from engaging in any physical contact.

  • Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt defeated Triple X (Christopher Daniels and Senshi) and The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley).
  • Kaz defeated Raven.
  • James Storm (with Jackie Moore) defeated Rhino in a Bar Room Brawl.
  • The Latin American Exchange (Homicide and Hernandez) defeated The Voodoo Kin Mafia (B.G. James and Kip James).
  • Robert Roode defeated Eric Young.
  • Chris Harris defeated Black Reign by disqualification.
  • The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) defeated Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon).
  • Abyss, Andrew Martin, and Sting defeated Christian's Coalition (Christian Cage, A.J. Styles and Tomko) in a Doomsday Chamber of Blood Match.
  • TNA World Heavyweight and IWGP Heavyweight Champion (IGF version) Kurt Angle defeated Samoa Joe to win the TNA X Division and World Tag Team Championship.

2 years ago today, TNA presented Hardcore Justice (pay link) from the Impact Zone at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

  • Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez defeated Kid Kash & Gunner.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated Mr. Anderson & Magnus in a 3-Way Falls Count Anywhere Match in the Bound for Glory Series for 20 points.
  • Devon defeated Kazarian to retain the TNA Television Championship.
  • Madison Rayne defeated Ms. Tessmacher (c) to win the TNA Knockout Championship.
  • Bully Ray defeated James Storm, Jeff Hardy & Robbie E in a 4-Way Tables Match in the Bound for Glory Series for 20 points.
  • Zema Ion defeated Kenny King to retain the TNA X Division Championship.
  • AJ Styles defeated Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle & Christopher Daniels in a 4-Way Ladder Match in the Bound for Glory Series for 20 points.
  • Austin Aries (c) defeated Bobby Roode to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. As a result of the loss, Roode could not challenge for the title again as long as Aries was champion.

Today's the 42nd birthday of Jonathan Coachman. Born in Kansas City, Coachman had many interests, including basketball, theater, and commentary. He did sports reporting for KAKE in Wichita and KMBC in Kansas City before joining the WWF in 1999 as a sideline reporter, commentator and presenter, and quite often, object of ridicule for The Rock. In 2003, he became the on-screen assistant to then-RAW general manager Eric Bischoff. He made occasional in-ring appearances over the next three years while doing commentary before becoming Vince McMahon's on-screen executive assistant (and occasionally acting general manager in McMahon's absence; he actually had a couple of brief runs as GM during the summer of 2007). Coachman left the WWE in April 2008 to work for ESPN and became a Sportscenter anchor the following year. Coachman took over the afternoon drive spot for ESPN Radio in 2012 and 2013 for his show Coachman and Company.

Today's the 49th birthday of Juan Manuel Gonzalez Barron, aka Dr. Wagner, Jr. Wagner, the son (and father) of a wrestler, began his career at age 20 in 1986 for Universal Wrestling Association. Tragedy struck the younger Wagner early on in his career: on the day he was to debut as his father's tag team partner, Wagner, Sr. was involved in a fatal auto accident that killed longtime partner Angel Blanco and Wagner Sr. disabled. Wagner Jr. would win the CMLL World Tag Team Championship in 1997 with his real life brother Silver King. Success found Wagner Jr. in CMLL, as he'd also win their world light heavyweight title and their world trios title four times. A dispute with management caused Wagner Jr. to leave CMLL for AAA in 2009. Three months after his debut, Wagner defeated El Mesias to win the AAA World Heavyweight Championship at Triplemania XVII. He would hold the championship for six months before losing the title back to El Mesias. He would win the title for a second time at Triplemania XVIII defeating Electroshock in June 2010. He would have another long run with the title, including a victory over his brother Silver King, before losing it in December to El Zorro. Wagner Jr. would be AAA's first Latin American Champion in June 2011, defeating Rob Van Dam in the final. Another falling out with management caused Wagner Jr. to leave AAA in early 2013 for Todo X el Todos (TxT) before returning to AAA in time for Triplemania XXI...only to leave again...only to return again earlier this month to participate in this weekend's Triplemania XXII. Enjoy this tribute to the lucha legend courtesy of Youtuber Venom12PL.

Today's the 59th birthday of Paul Worden Taylor III, aka Terry Taylor. Taylor found early success in the Mid-South territory, winning the Mid-South television title four times, the UWF television title once, and the North American Heavyweight Championship. After a brief run in World Class Championship Wrestling, he would have four stints each with WWE and WCW before joining TNA in 2003. His first WWF gimmick is among the most infamous in wrestling history: The Red Rooster. It got something of a modest push, highlighted by a 30-squash victory at Wrestlemania V. In his first WCW run, he was 1/3 of the six-man tag champions with Ricky Morton and Tommy Rich as part of the York Foundation, and was one-half of the US Tag Team Champions with Greg Valentine. After a brief stint in the American Wrestling Federation as a commentator in 1994, he was a part of WCW's creative team before returning to the WWF in 1998-99. He commentated WCW Saturday Night with Larry Zbyszko when he returned to the promotion in late 1999 and remained in the company until its shutdown in 2001. He worked with TNA from 2003-2011 as a road agent, trainer, interviewer, and eventually head of talent relations. He's back with WWE as a trainer for NXT.

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