43 years ago today in Yokohama, Japan, Bobo Brazil defeated Kintaro Oki to win the vacated NWA International Heavyweight Championship. The championship was vacated back in September when Giant Baba left Japan Wrestling Association to start his own company, All Japan Pro Wrestling, where the championship resides today as a part of the All Japan Triple Crown.
42 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Stan Stasiak defeated Pedro Morales to win the WWWF Heavyweight Championship. There appeared to be a double pin following a back suplex and the winner was never officially announced in the building due to fear of a riot. The title change was announced on television over the weekend. Stasiak, who ended Pedro's title run at an astounding 1,027 days, only held the title for just over a week before losing it to Bruno Sammartino, who would go on to hold the title until 1977. Surprisingly, no known footage of the match exists.
17 years ago today at a RAW taping in New Haven, CT, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mankind defeated The Undertaker and The Rock via disqualification. The post-match would get USA Network into a bit of hot water when the show airs the following Monday. Mankind was handcuffed to the ring ropes, while Austin (and this is where the trouble comes) was handcuffed to a large-sized version of the Undertaker's logo and raised above the entrance ramp, similar to a crucifixion.
9 years ago today, Vince Russo, Jeremy Borash, and the Voodoo Kin Mafia (BG & Kip James) crash a WWE house show in Knoxville, Tennessee. The TNA film crew film vignettes that would air on a future episode of Impact. Voodoo Kin Mafia do have tickets to the show and take their place in the upper level and take in the remainder of the show. No one in WWE acknowledges TNA's presence in the building.
6 years ago today, WWE signs 2008 Playboy Model of the Year and Playmate of the Year finalist Jillian Beyor. The former Beauty and the Geek contestant doesn't last long: she's released just three months later.
3 years ago today in Resada, California, Adam Cole defeated Kevin Steen in a Guerrilla Warfare match to win the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Championship.
2 years ago today, Davey Richards announces via Facebook that he had left Ring of Honor. The statement from Richards:
"With a heavy heart I can announce I announce that myself and ROH have parted ways for good and I will not be at Final Battle. Please continue to support them and the incredible talent they have. Thanks for the memories. It was an amazing ride.
Now, what exactly went down in Richards' final days with ROH depends on who's telling the story. PWInsider claimed through a source that his unbooking (one person claimed it as a firing) that it stemmed from comments made in a British wrestling magazine. The site through another source also said that Richards was unhappy with plans for his final appearance at Final Battle. It was heavily implied that Richards and his tag team partner Eddie Edwards were heading to WWE through a developmental deal, but the next month, the duo known as the American Wolves would sign with TNA.
Today's the 44th birthday of Stephanie Finochio, best known to wrestling fans as Trinity.
Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Stephanie is a graduate from Dowling College with Bachelor degrees in accounting and psychology, and earned a master's in education.
Stephanie made her professional wrestling debut in October 2002. Within her first year, she took on women's wrestling standouts such as Simply Luscious, Mercedes Martinez and April Hunter, whom she won her first championship from.
In January 2003, Finochio debuted for TNA as Trinity. In her debut, she and Kid Kash defeated Desire and Sonny Siaki in a mixed tag team match. In March, she became the first woman to compete for one of TNA's male championships, but was defeated by Kid Kash for the X Division title.
In April 2004, Finochio formed NYC, the New York Connection, an all New Yorkers stable that included Glenn Gilbertti, Vito LoGrasso, and Johnny Swinger. Following the group's split late in the year, she feuded with Tracy Brooks over the right to be Dusty Rhodes' personal assistant, a position that she would ultimately win in March 2005.
She would leave TNA later in the year for WWE. She received a tryout match in November 2005 where she and Chris Cage lost to Beth Phoenix and Aaron Stevens in a mixed tag match. After appearing in a segment with the Heart Throbs in January 2006 on Heat, she was offered a contract. After a brief run in Ohio Valley Wrestling, WWE's developmental territory, Finochio debuted as Trinity for the rebooted ECW as a member of the Full Blooded Italians.
Less than two weeks after her ECW debut, she injured her knee on a moonsault to the outside during a catfight. She underwent surgery and returned that October at a house show in a losing effort to Jazz. After winning a Halloween Costume Contest featuring fellow ECW divas Kelly Kelly and Ariel, Trinity would be sparingly used until her release in June 2007.
Outside of a pair of one-night only returns in 2008 and 2013, Finochio left the wrestling business following her WWE release and began concentrating on stunt work. Her stunt work has been in a number of Hollywood blockbusters, including Anaconda, Daredevil, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Spider-Man 2, The Bourne Ultimatum, Burn After Reading, and Sex and the City 2. She also did stunt work on an episode of Oz and Sex in the City.
Finochio, a certified aerobics instructor and dancer, has dabbled in roller derby in recent years, joining the Strong Island Derby Revolution as a jammer.