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This Day in Wrestling History (April 22)

27 years ago today, WWF tapes the 16th episode of Saturday Night's Main Event (WWE Network link) from the Springfiled Civic Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. The episode would air just over a week later on NBC. Three episodes of Wrestling Challenge were also taped, which featured the debut of ring announcer Mike McGuirk.

  • Jim Duggan defeated Hercules by disqualification.
  • Brutus Beefcake defeated Danny Davis.
  • Randy Savage defeated One Man Gang to retain the WWF Championship.
  • Demolition (Ax & Smash) defeated The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & The Dynamite Kid) by disqualification to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • Ted DiBiase defeated Don Muraco.
  • Rick Rude defeated Koko B. Ware.

17 years ago today during a live episode of Thunder from Columbia, South Carolina, Marcus "Buff" Bagwell was severely injured while taking a second-rope bulldog during a tag team match. Bagwell's head slipped out from Steiner's grip and Bagwell went face first into Steiner's back, injuring his neck. Bagwell was paralyzed for about four minutes. He would return on the July 6 Nitro following neck surgery and, in one of the more controversial moments in wrestling history, assisted Scott Steiner in attacking Scott's brother Rick only moments after appearing to forgive Rick for the injury.

15 years ago today, ECW held the final Cyberslam from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • Masato Tanaka defeated Too Cold Scorpio.
  • Dawn Marie & Lance Storm defeated Jazz & Nova.
  • Little Guido defeated Kid Kash and Super Crazy in a three-way dance.
  • The New Dangerous Alliance (Bill Wiles & CW Anderson) defeated Danny Doring & Roadkill.
  • Balls Mahoney & New Jack defeated Da Baldies (Angel & DeVito).
  • Steve Corino defeated Dusty Rhodes
  • Rhino defeated Yoshihiro Tajiri to win the ECW World Television Championship.
  • Tommy Dreamer defeated Tazz to win the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. This would be Tazz's final match in the original ECW.
  • Justin Credible defeated Tommy Dreamer to win the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. Wait... what? As Dreamer was making his victory speech about how he might not ever make it to Wrestlemania or to Starrcade, but making it as ECW world champion, Credible interrupts his speech, then Francine turns on him, then Credible quickly defeats Dreamer to win the world title. Dreamer never even got the chance to wear the championship belt. As for Credible, he threw down his half of the tag team championship, essentially vacating it. Around the same time, Lance Storm left for WCW. The tag titles would be vacated until later that summer. All this went down in a span of about four minutes, making Dreamer by far the shortest reigning ECW Champion ever. Dreamer did make it to Wrestlemania in 2007 and would have a seven-week run as ECW champion in 2009, making him the only man to hold both versions of the ECW Championship.

7 years ago today, WWE suspends Michael Hayes for 60 days following an incident that occurred during Wrestlemania week. Hayes allegedly made a racist remark towards Mark Henry. The suspension was meant to be kept quiet, but word spread amongst employees during the weekend.

5 years ago today, WWE does their annual spring cleaning and releases Shelton Benjamin, Mickie James, Funaki, Jimmy Wang Yang, Slam Master J, Katie Lea Burchill, and Mike Knox. None of the released have returned to the roster, and only one has returned to the company on a full-time basis: Funaki (who serves as an interpreter for Hideo Itami). Mickie James served as a guest trainer for NXT in 2013, but has largely been in TNA since.

2 years ago today, E! announces via press release that they have greenlit the WWE reality series Total Divas.

E! Announces New Series Revealing the Real Women Behind the WWE Divas that Proves the Drama is Even Bigger When they Step Outside the Ring

Los Angeles, CA - April 22, 2013 - Adored by millions of fans, the gorgeous women called WWE Divas have earned their places as sports entertainment icons through more than just their pretty faces and red hot figures. It takes a lot of work and guts to enter the competitive WWE family, where youth is golden. This summer, E! will take viewers into a whole new world of drama when "Total Divas" explores life beyond the ring for seven WWE Divas who must wrestle with the challenges of life in the spotlight, a grueling work and travel schedule, and the intense competition for prominence in a career that leaves little time for a personal life.

"I'm thrilled for E! and WWE to join forces and pull back the curtain on one of pop culture's most fascinating arenas," said Suzanne Kolb, President E! "With tens of millions of weekly fans at their disposal, these glamorous, entertaining and powerful women prove that behind the glitz of the spotlight, the locker room drama and the jockeying for position within the organization, they are all drawn to one thing: stardom."

"We are excited to work with E! on the launch of 'Total Divas,' a series that will showcase the professional and personal lives of WWE's multi-talented female performers," said Kevin Dunn, Executive Vice President, Television Production, WWE. "There is no series on the air that can rival the charm, beauty, larger than life personalities, drama and glamour that this show will deliver."

The series will focus on a select group of seven women from the ranks of the WWE Diva corps. Five are established Divas who are no strangers to the life, and two are newbies, girls who have entered into the Diva training program, but have yet to prove themselves worthy of the title. Throughout the series, we will see these women attempting to establish their own pecking order, as the new girls attempt to handle the jealousy and pressure that comes with working your way up the ladder for the most airtime, ring time and top celebrity status. With no two days alike and juggling their constant demands, the Divas definitely find time to celebrate their star status by traveling the world for their various charities, appearing in feature films, attending star-studded red carpets and glamorous photo shoots. Through it all, the everyday challenges of maintaining relationships with their boyfriends, as well as their families, in their over the top lifestyles start to take their toll on the girls.

Appearing in the series are the Bella Twins, Brie and Nikki, a pair of seasoned veterans who have reached superstar status in the WWE ring and earned their places in the spotlight. The duo will work harder than ever to maintain this level of excellence, whether the newbies like it or not. Naomi and Cameron are two knockouts whose dance routines have made them stars on the tour. When conflict and success collide head on between these two, will both be left standing? They don't call them Divas for nothing! Natalya is a third-generation sports entertainment star who knows the ropes and knows them well. She's seen lots of doors open for other Divas, but often finds herself left behind when it comes to achieving superstar status. Can she continue to soldier on as a perennial "bridesmaid"? And tagging into the ring as the newest member of the Divas is Eva Marie, a passionate, sexy, extremely competitive force that wants stardom more than anyone else. Also joining in on the action is Jo--Jo Offerman, an entertainer at heart, young and energetic who will no doubt be a charismatic force in the ring.

The show kicks off with an unprecedented look inside the most-anticipated WWE event of the year, WrestleMania®, marking the first time that any television series was granted exclusive behind-the-scenes access to WWE. Following the drama, the series heads to WWE's flagship television program, Monday Night Raw®, with a match between the Bellas in one corner, and Naomi/Cameron (aka "The Funkadactyls") in the other. They bring on the drama from the very start, and alliances are quickly formed on the road as the new girls choose sides. And with some WWE Superstars vying for the romantic attention of the girls, the drama comes to a boil quickly, and shows no sign of slowing down.

Total Divas is produced by WWE and Bunim-Murray Productions. Jon Murray, Gil Goldshein, Jeff Jenkins and Russell Jay are Executive Producers for Bunim-Murray Productions.

The show is set to begin their fourth season later this year.

2 years ago today, Milena Roucka, best known as WWE diva Rosa Mendes, was sent home from their European tour for "personal reasons". Those personal reasons turn out to be Roucka going through an alcoholic relapse. Mendes did not return to WWE television until August, and did not appear in a match until October. Later in the year, Michael Hayes is suspended for allegedly causing said relapse.

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