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This Day in Wrestling History (March 15)

39 years ago today, eight-time NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion Danny Hodge retires from wrestling. The retirement is due to Hodge being involved in a automobile accident that breaks his neck. Hodge's car went off an embankment into a river. Hodge frees himself, swims, and finds his way back to the road, all while holding a broken neck in place with one arm. Hodge, a member of the Professional Wrestling and Wrestling Observer Newsletter Halls of Fame, is still living today, and can still crush apples with one hand. The award for the nation's outstanding collegiate wrestler is named after Hodge.

35 years ago today in Kawasaki, Japan, Monster Ripper (who would go on to moderate success as Bertha Faye in the WWF) defeated Jackie Sato to win the WWWA World Singles Championship.

18 years ago today, ECW presented Hostile City Showdown from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • The Full Blooded Italians (Little Guido and Tommy Rich) defeated Chris Chetti and Tracy Smothers. Smothers turned on Chetti and joined the FBI.
  • Taz defeated Rob Van Dam by submission.
  • Sabu defeated Spike Dudley by submission. Post-match, Sabu and Taz had a pull apart brawl.
  • Chris Candido defeats Louie Spicolli 2-1 in a best of three falls match. Candido submitted Spicolli in the deciding fall.
  • Shane Douglas defeated Pitbull #1 in an I Quit match to retain the ECW World Television Championship.
  • The Sandman pinned Balls Mahoney.
  • The Dudley Boyz (Buh-Buh Ray and D-Von) defeated The Eliminators (Saturn and Kronus) to win the ECW World Tag Team Championship. Of note, this is the first of two dozen tag team championships spanning multiple promotions, including eight in ECW alone.
  • Raven defeated Tommy Dreamer and Stevie Richards in a three-way dance to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.

17 years ago today, WCW presented Uncensored (WWE Network link) from the Mobile Civic Center in Mobile, Alabama. 7,474 were in attendance, with 415,000 homes watching on PPV. That's up from 325,000 homes for the 1997 edition.

  • Booker T defeated Eddie Guerrero to retain the WCW World Television Championship.
  • Juventud Guerrera defeated Konnan.
  • Chris Jericho defeated Dean Malenko to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Lex Luger defeated Scott Steiner.
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Chris Benoit and Raven in a triple threat match to retain the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship.
  • The Giant defeated Kevin Nash by disqualification.
  • Bret Hart defeated Curt Hennig.
  • Sting defeated Scott Hall to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Hollywood Hogan and Randy Savage fought to a no contest in a steel cage match. The Disciple and Sting interfered in the bout, and after Savage gave a piledriver to Sting (all this with the referee down), Savage spat at Hogan and left the cage.

16 years ago today on Nitro from Cincinnati, Ohio, Rey Mysterio, Jr. defeated Billy Kidman to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.

16 years ago today on RAW is WAR from San Jose, California, Billy Gunn defeated Hardcore Holly to win the WWF Hardcore Championsnhip. On the same show, Road Dogg Jesse James defeated Val Venis to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

12 years ago today in Cambridge, Massachusetts, The Amazing Red and AJ Styles defeated Christopher Daniels and Donovan Morgan to win the ROH Tag Team Championship.

6 years ago today, Jeff Hardy, who was serving a 60-day suspension for violation of the WWE Wellness Policy, loses his home in North Carolina in a fire. His dog also died in the fire. Jim Ross in the days after the incident, spoke about it on his blog:

The fall out of the 60 day suspension of Jeff Hardy for a second violation of the WWE Wellness Policy is still making news. Sadly, Friday night, Jeff's home in North Carolina burned to the ground and he lost essentially every thing he had and most sadly his dog. Losing an animal one is close to is just like losing a family member to many people and we just experienced that with the death of our 18 year old cat Molly who had to be put down after suffering a serious of strokes./i>

Apparently Matt Hardy saw smoke coming from Jeff's home on Friday night, discovered that no one was home, but arrived at the house too late todo any thing but watch it burn to the ground.

These are challenging times for Jeff to say the least. Not only has he incurred his second strikewith only one remaining before he would be terminated from the WWE, his situation has been underscored by the fact that his suspension went public per the WWE policy, which went into effect on November 1 and with which I wholeheartedly agree.Now Jeff's home has been destroyed with the heart breaking reality that his beloved dog died in the fire as well.

Jeff's career can be rebuilt if he so chooses to committing to do such. This commitment cannot be a short term commitment, but a life time commitment that must see him takeit one day at a time and have the expressed goal of being successful in 24 hours intervals. I am one that truly believes that Jeff can make this happen, especially if those close to him offer Jeff the kind of support that he needs and that he seeks the wisdom and advise of a counselor who can help Jeff understand why these life and career threatening mistakes are being made.

Jeff's home can be rebuilt materially, as well, but his many personal affects now nothing more than a memory. I hope this tragedy doesn't push Jeff to the edge of the proverbial cliff to where his wrestling career becomes nothing more than a memory as well.

I grieve for the loss of the animal. I can only imagine what Jeff Hardy must be going through at this time. without question Jeff is being sternly tested. I hope he passes this test and the one's to come admirably.

Jeff Hardy will be 31 years old on August 31, 2008 and without question his wrestling career can be re-ignited if Jeff can prove to those that make the all important decisions that Jeff can be trusted and has become a responsible professional who understands how important it is to do the right things.

The trust factor is one that cannot be underscored enough. Over my 30+ years in the wrestling business I often wondered why so many of the men in charge were also their territories top stars. Owners/Promoters/Bookers like Eddie Graham, Verne Gagne, Fritz Von Erich, Bob Geigel, Bill Watts, Jerry Jarret and Jerry Lawler, The Funks, and so many more were their area's top stars more often than not and did so because they knew they could trust and depend on their top stars, them.Being responsible and trust worthy are great traits to have in any field of endeavor, but it seems to be especially viable in the wrestling business based on my personal experiences.

Jeff Hardy can rebuild his home, hopefully he can somehow replace his beloved dog, I know that won't be easy, but can he rebuild the trust with the WWE that allows Jeff to be provided with more opportunities to be the star that we all know that he can be? No one has this answer today. Only time will tell but I will say that my opinion is that it can be done but it certainly won't be easy.

6 years ago today, TNA presented Destination X from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando. The PPV was so awful, Bryan Alvarez attempted to get a refund for the show. Alvarez did not get that refund.

  • Roxxi, Taylor Wilde & The Governor defeated The Beautiful People (Angelina Love, Madison Rayne & Velvet Sky.
  • Brutus Magnus defeated Eric Young.
  • Matt Morgan defeated Abyss in a 10,000 Thumbtacks match.
  • Awesome Kong defeated Sojournor Bolt to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship.
  • Scott Steiner defeated Samoa Joe via disqualification in just 91 seconds.
  • AJ Styles defeated Booker T to become the new TNA Legends Champion. The win made Styles the first grand slam champion in TNA history.
  • Team 3D (Brother Devon & Brother Ray) defeated Beer Money Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) by countout in an Off the Wagon Challenge for the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Suicide defeated Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Consequences Creed and Jay Lethal in an Ultimate X match to become the new TNA X-Division Champion.
  • Sting defeated Kurt Angle to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Jeff Jarrett was the special referee, while Mick Foley was the special enforcer.

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