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This Day in Pro Wrestling History (August 2)

52 years ago today, Bruno Sammartino defeated Buddy Rogers in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Sammartino, however, refused the title due to Rogers being injured. Rogers remained the champion.

22 years ago today, Ron Simmons defeated Big Van Vader in Baltimore, Maryland to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Simmons became the first African-American to hold a major world title in wrestling, though some dispute that the first to do so was Bobo Brazil in the early 1960s. Nonetheless, Simmons was the benefit of good fortune that night. Sting, the originally scheduled challenger, was on the disabled list, leading to Bill Watts holding a raffle for the title shot, and the shot went to Ron.

16 years ago today, the USA presented the debut broadcast of WWF Sunday Night HEAT. Check out the July 27 TDIPWH if you want to know what went down in the main event.

16 years ago today, ECW presented Heatwave '98 (WWE Network link) from the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio. 4,376 were in attendance, with about 73,000 homes watching on PPV, though some estimates have it as high as 100,000 homes. In any event, it's the most watched ECW PPV in the company's brief history.

  • In a dark match, Balls Mahoney & Axl Rotten defeated the FBI (Tracey Smothers & Little Guido).
  • Justin Credible defeated Jerry Lynn.
  • Chris Candido defeated Lance Storm.
  • Masato Tanaka defeated Mike Awesome.
  • Sabu & Rob Van Dam defeated Hayabusa & Jinsei Shinzaki to retain the ECW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Taz defeated Bam Bam Bigelow via submission in a falls count anywhere match to retain the FTW Championship.
  • Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman, & Spike Dudley defeated Buh Buh Ray, D-Von, & Big Dick Dudley.

11 years ago today, Full Impact Pro Wrestling is born from the Arena in St. Petersburg, Florida. In the featured bout, Mike Awesome defeated Justin Credible and New Jack in a three-way hardcore match. Gangrel, David Young, Hector Guerrero, and Kid Romeo were also on the card.

9 years ago today at a Velocity taping at Harbor Yard Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Nunzio defeated Paul London to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

6 years ago today, Ric Flair was released from WWE just three months after his retirement match at Wrestlemania XXIV, citing he wanted to work outside of the company when doing appearances. Flair requested his release.

Saturday Night's Main Event 8/2/08 - Part 1 by superbatista619

6 years ago today, NBC aired the final episode of WWE Saturday Night's Main Event from the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. The episode, taped July 28, also featured an appearance by Jenny McCarthy.

  • Paul London defeated Charlie Haas.
  • John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Kane, and Legacy (Ted Dibiase and Cody Rhodes) defeated John Cena, Batista, and Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard and JTG).
  • The Great Khali (w/ Ranjin Singh) defeated Jimmy Wang Yang.
  • Edge defeated Jeff Hardy.

6 years ago today at ROH Death Before Dishonor VI from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, Brent Albright defeated Adam Pearce via submission to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

Two members of the Hart family celebrate birthdays today.

Today's the 29th birthday of Harry Smith, who was also known as DH Smith, David Hart Smith, and currently Davey Boy Smith Jr. Smith has won tag team championships in WWE, Ring Ka King, NWA, FCW, Stampede, and New Japan. Here's a tribute video from Youtuber sondog42.

Today is the 59th birthday of James Henry Neidhart, aka Jim "The Anvil".  Neidhart has won tag team championships in WWE, Mid-South Wrestling, Memphis Championship Wrestling, and Championship Wrestling from Florida. He is the father of current WWE Diva Natalya. Here's a little did you know: he once was in the same jail as notorious mass murderer Charles Manson.

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