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This Day in Wrestling History (March 17)

Happy St. Patrick's Day! If you're going out to celebrate, do so responsibly, kay? Kay.

34 years ago today in Allentown, Pennsylvania, The Moondogs (Rex & King) defeated Tony Garea & Rick Martel to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. Moondog King would be replaced by Moondog Spot about two months later when legal issues prevented King from reentering American soil from Canada.

22 years ago today in Dublin, Ireland, Big Van Vader defeated Sting to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship just six days after losing the title to Sting in London.

15 years ago today, Beyond the Mat, a pro wrestling documentary directed by Barry Blaustein, has its nationwide release in theaters. The documentary followed three professional wrestlers outside the ring: Mick Foley, Terry Funk, and Jake "The Snake" Roberts, as well as some people aspiring to make it to the big leagues. The footage was shot over a span of three years and includes clips of ECW's first PPV, Barely Legal, and the infamous I Quit match from the 1999 Royal Rumble event. Made on just a $500,000 budget and intended for a limited release, a fan campaign for a full national rollout means the film turns a profit with over $2 million in the box office.

14 years ago today, Scott Norton defeated Kensuke Sasaki to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

13 years ago today, El Canek defeated Pirata Morgan, Cibernetico, and Octagon in an elimination match to win the Rey de Reyes tournament.

13 years ago today, WWF presented Wrestlemania X8: The One and Only (WWE Network link) from the Skydome (today known as Rogers Centre) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 68,237 were in attendance, a record for the building, with 840,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from the record 1,040,000 buys for Wrestlemania X-Seven. To this day, this remains the last Wrestlemania to take place outside the United States. It's also the last to bear the WWF name; two months after the event, a court order forces the name change from WWF to WWE.

Star ratings are from Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter, and are listed in the Internet Wrestling Database. Star ratings are out of 5.

  • In a preshow Sunday Night Heat match, Rikishi, Scotty 2 Hotty, and Albert defeated Mr. Perfect, Lance Storm and Test.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated William Regal to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. (2/5)
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Christian to retain the WWF European Championship. (1.75)
  • Maven fought Goldust to a no contest for the WWF Hardcore Championship because... (-0.5)
  • Spike Dudley defeated Maven to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • The Hurricane defeated Spike Dudley to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • Kurt Angle defeated Kane. (2.25)
  • The Undertaker defeated Ric Flair in a no disqualification match. The win made The Undertaker the first man to win ten matches at Wrestlemania. To this day, he's still the only man to win ten matches or more at the event. (3)
  • Edge defeated Booker T. (1.25)
  • Mighty Molly defeated The Hurricane to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • Steve Austin defeated Scott Hall. (1)
  • Billy and Chuck defeated the APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq), the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) and the Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) in a four corners elimination match to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship. (2.25)
  • Christian defeated Mighty Molly to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • The Rock defeated Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Post-match, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash turned on Hogan, and The Rock and Hogan together fought off Hall and Nash. (3)
  • Jazz defeated Lita and Trish Stratus in a triple threat match to retain the WWF Women's Championship. (-1)
  • Maven defeated Christian to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • Triple H defeated Chris Jericho to win the WWF Undisputed Championship. (3)

12 years ago today on RAW from St. Louis, Missouri, Steve Austin defeated Eric Bischoff in a no disqualification match. This was his final free televised match, as Austin retired two weeks later following Wrestlemania XIX.

7 years ago today, WWE announces via press release that George Barrios, most recently Vice President and Treasurer of the New York Times,  would become the new chief financial officer for the company effective the following week. He replaces the retiring Frank Serpe, who was WWE's CFO for twenty-one years. Barrios still holds the position today.

6 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Corpus Christi, Texas, MVP defeated Shelton Benjamin to win the WWE United States Championship.

5 years ago today, The Hartford Courant revealed in a report that chairshots to the head were banned by WWE effective January 2010. Per WWE spokesperson Robert Zimmerman:

"In January 2010, WWE amended its Talent Wellness Program, specifically regarding the ImPACTTM Concussion Management Program originally instituted in 2008, eliminating the use of folding chairs or props to "strike" an opponent in the head.  Prior to this policy change, The Tables, Ladders and Chairs event in question took place on December 13, 2009.  "Incidentally, no performer suffered a concussion during the TLC event."

The company's concussion program features annual examinations of talents as well as evaluations of whether they can return to active competition following head trauma.

The verbiage involving chair shots reads as follows:

*The WWE has eliminated using folding metal chairs to "strike" an opponent in the head.

*The WWE penalizes through fine and/or suspension the following:

*The intentional use of a folding metal chair to "strike" an opponent in the head.

*Any blow to the head that is deemed an INTENTIONAL act.

*The fine and/or suspension will be directed by the EVP of Talent Relations.

4 years ago today, TNA presented Lockdown from the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. Per TNA tradition at the time, every match on the show took place in a steel cage.

  • In a dark match, Brother Devon defeated Anarquia.
  • Max Buck defeated Amazing Red, Brian Kendrick, Chris Sabin, Jay Lethal, Jeremy Buck, Robbie E, and Suicide in a Xscape match to determine the #1 contender for the TNA X-Division Championship. Elimination occurred either via pinfall or submission, with the final two men facing off to leave the cage first.
    • Robbie E defeated Suicide.
    • Amazing Red defeated Jay Lethal.
    • Chris Sabin defeated Amazing Red.
    • Max Buck defeated Chris Sabin.
    • Max Buck defeated Jeremy Buck.
    • Brian Kendrick defeated Robbie E.
    • Max Buck defeated Brian Kendrick.
  • Ink Inc. (Jesse Neal & Shannon Moore) defeated Crimson & Scott Steiner, Eric Young & Orlando Jordan, and The British Invasion (Douglas Williams & Magnus) in a four-team match to become the #1 contender for the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Mickie James defeated Madison Rayne in just 34 seconds to win the TNA Knockouts Championship. Had Mickie lost, she would have had her head shaved.
  • Samoa Joe defeated D'Angelo Dinero.
  • Matt Morgan defeated Hernandez.
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Kurt Angle 2-1 in a best of three "Ultra-Male Rules" match. Angle won a submission match, Jarrett won a pinfall only match, and Jarrett won the deciding fall by escaping the cage.
  • Sting defeated Mr. Anderson and Rob Van Dam in a three way match to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Fortune (Daniels, James Storm, Kazarian & Robert Roode) defeated Immortal (Abyss, Bully Ray, Matt Hardy & Ric Flair) in a Lethal Lockdown match.

3 years ago today, Matt Bloom, best known as Albert in WWE, denies reports that he had agreed to rejoin the company, saying on Twitter,  "Haha! False. Wife just had a baby. I'll be on next tour." Haha, joke's on you, Prince Albert, as it turned out you did re-sign with WWE as vignettes soon began airing to promote the debut of his new gimmick, Tensai.

2 years ago today, TNA taped One Night Only: 10 Reunion 2013 from the Impact Zone in Universal Orlando. The show, airing August 2, celebrated the company's first ten years.

  • Kenny King defeated Petey Williams and Sonjay Dutt in a three-way match.
  • Velvet Sky defeated Gail Kim.
  • Matt Morgan defeated Cassidy Riley, Chase Stevens, Jesse, Johnny Devine, Johnny Swinger, Joseph Park, Mr. Anderson, and Shark Boy in a 10 man gauntlet battle royal.
  • Aces and Eights (Bully Ray & Devon) defeated Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels & Kazarian) and Latin American Exchange (Hernandez & Homicide) in a three-way tag team match.
  • Jeff Hardy defeated Austin Aries.
  • Bobby Roode defeated James Storm.
  • Kurt Angle defeated Samoa Joe.

2 years ago today in Monterrey, Mexico, El Mesias defeated La Par-K and Canek in an elimination match to win the AAA Rey de Reyes tournament. On the same show, Fabi Apache defeated LuFisto, Mari Apache, and Taya Valkyrie in an elimination match to win the vacated AAA Reina de Reinas Championship.

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