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This Day in Pro Wrestling History (August 22)

15 years ago today, WWE presented Summerslam (WWE Network link) from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 17,370 were in attendance, with 600,000 homes watching on PPV, down 100,000 buys from the previous year.

  • Jeff Jarrett defeated D'Lo Brown to win the WWF Intercontinental and European Championships.
  • The Acolytes (Faarooq and Bradshaw) defeated Edge and Christian, The New Brood (Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy), The Holly Cousins (Hardcore and Crash), Droz and Prince Albert, and Mideon and Viscera in a Tag Team Turmoil match to become the #1 contender for the WWF Tag Team Championship.
    • Edge & Christian defeated The New Brood.
    • Edge& Christian defeated Mideon & Viscera.
    • Edge & Christian defeated Droz & Prince Albert.
    • The Acolytes defeated Edge & Christian.
    • The Acolytes defeated The Hollys.
  • Al Snow defeated The Big Boss Man to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • Ivory defeated Tori to retain the WWF Womens Championship.
  • Ken Shamrock defeated Steve Blackman by knockout in a Lion's Den weapons match.
  • Test defeated Shane McMahon in a "Love Her or Leave Her" Greenwich Street Fight.
  • The Undertaker and The Big Show defeated X-Pac and Kane to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • The Rock defeated Mr. Ass in a Kiss My Ass match.
  • Mankind defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H to win the WWF Championship. Minnesota Governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura was the special referee.

9 years ago today, John Cena defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WWE Championship. It would be Jericho's final appearance in his first WWE run as his contract would expire three days later. He would not return to the company until November 2007.

7 years ago today, former Tough Enough contestant Daniel Rodimer was released from WWE. Known briefly as Dan Rodman, he wrestled a few matches on's Heat, but never appeared on television following his elimination from the $1,000,000 Tough Enough competition in 2004.

3 years ago today, Air Boom (Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston) defeated David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.

Today is the 61st birthday of Paul Ellering. Born in Grey Eagle, Minnesota, Ellering had already made his mark on the world long before stepping in a wrestling ring. An accomplished weightlifter, he once held the world deadlifting record at 745 pounds. He was one of two graduates (out of a class of over 30) that completed a camp run by AWA owner Verne Gagne and Eddie Sharkey. Ellering was well-traveled in his wrestling days, wrestling for the AWA, Mid-South Wrestling, Memphis Championship Wrestling, and Georgia Championship Wrestling. A severe injury in a match against Robert Gibson ended his wrestling career, but Ole Anderson saw potential in his speaking ability, so he became a manager. Ellering would manage most notably The Road Warriors (aka The Legion of Doom) from 1983 to 1997, winning tag team championships for the AWA, NWA, WWF, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. He managed the Disciples of Apocalypse in 1998 before returning to the Road Warriors briefly in 1999.  Following retirement, he became a sled dog racer and participated in the 2004 Iditarod. Today, he owns and operates a tavern in his birthplace of Grey Eagle, Minnesota. Ellering entered both the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.

Today would have been the 109th birthday of legendary wrestling promoter Sam Muchnick. Born Jeshua Muchnick in Ukraine, he and his family moved to St. Louis at age 6; after moving, his father changed his name to Sam as he thought Jeshua was inappropriate for a Jewish kid. After graduating high school, Muchnick worked for the US Postal Service for a couple years before joining the St. Louis Times in 1926. He covered the hometown Cardinals as well as professional wrestling, which is how he met Midwest promoter Tom Packs. After the Times and St. Louis Star merged, he would leave the paper to work as Packs' publicist. The two were together for nearly a decade, but had a falling out after getting stiffed following a promotion of a Joe Louis title fight in 1941 (the bout drew a $14,000 profit, but Sam only saw $200 of it). Sam would enlist in the Air Force in 1942 after doing some shows, but when he returned from service, Packs still had the clout in the Midwest he had when Sam left. Muchnick's first wrestling card was in December 1945 at the Kiel Auditorium that drew over 3,700 fans. In mid-1948, Muchnick, along with promoters Pinky George and Tony Stetcher, came up with the idea of a new wrestling union (never mind that at the time, one had already existed in the National Wrestling Association). Their idea: a collaboration of promoters who would share the bookings of the world champion and top wrestlers, while splitting the gate. The three promoters with two others and Orville Brown would then form the National Wrestling Alliance in Waterloo, Iowa, with Brown as its first champion. Their first big acquisition: Nature Boy Buddy Rogers. Their second big acquisition: the National Wrestling Association, as the two NWA's became one Lou Thesz's NWA was being outdrawn consistently by Muchnick's NWA. It wasn't all bad for Lou: he would unify the two NWA world titles in November 1949. Muchnick would be elected NWA President in 1950, a position he would hold for 22 of the next 25 years (often elected unanimously). While in office, he formed the St. Louis Wrestling Club, produced Wrestling at the Chase for KPLR-TV (one of the longest running wrestling shows in television history, running from 1959-1983), and signed agreements with territories in Mexico, the Far East, Europe, and the Caribbean. He also scouted talents such as Terry Funk, Dory Funk, Jr., Ric Flair, and Harley Race, all of whom would eventually become NWA world champions. Muchnick promoted cards until January 1, 1982; after his retirement, the NWA's power base eroded. Vince McMahon left the group and expanded the World Wrestling Federation to a national company, while Jim Crockett Jr. sold his shares to Ted Turner, who would create World Championship Wrestling. Muchnick died of internal bleeding in December 1998 at age 93. He was inducted to the first Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame class in 1996, and posthumously inducted into the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003, the NWA Hall of Fame in 2005,and the St. Louis Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2007. The above video is Muchnick's retirement show on New Year's Day 1982.

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