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This Day in Wrestling History (May 10)

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there, especially my mom Dianna. Love you!

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34 years ago today, Verne Gagne announced his retirement from wrestling. At the time of his retirement, he was on his tenth reign as AWA World Heavyweight Champion. His ten reigns as AWA champion and 4,677 total days as champion are by far the longest in AWA history. The championship would be awarded to #1 contender at the time Nick Bockwinkel.

32 years ago today, Eddie Gilbert sustains major injuries, including a broken neck, in a car accident while traveling to a WWF television taping in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Gilbert, then a rising star with the WWF, credited his return to the ring to then WWF Champion Bob Backlund. He would leave the WWF for Mid-South Wrestling in 1984.

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30 years ago today, WWF taped the first ever episode of Saturday Night's Main Event (WWE Network link) from the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The show, airing just one night later on NBC in place of Saturday Night Live, featured Cyndi Lauper's new music video, "The Goonies ‘R' Good Enough". The show opened with "Obsession" by Animotion and closed with "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor, which was actually Hulk Hogan's theme at the time.

  • Dark matches:
    • Salvatore Bellomo defeated Johnny Rodz
    • Les Thornton defeated Rick McGraw
    • Big John Studd defeated Tony Garea
    • Jose Luis Rivera defeated Charlie Fulton
    • Moondog Spot defeated Steve Lombardi
  • Saturday Night's Main Event:
    • Ricky Steamboat and The US Express (Barry Windham and Mike Rotunda) defeated Nikolai Volkoff, The Iron Sheik, and George Steele.
    • Hulk Hogan defeated Bob Orton via disqualification to retain the WWF Championship.
    • Wendi Richter defeated The Fabulous Moolah to retain the WWF Women's Championship.
    • The Junkyard Dog defeated Pete Doherty.

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16 years ago today on RAW is WAR from Orlando, Florida, Debra is awarded the WWF Womens Championship from Sable by then Commissioner Shawn Michaels. Sable subbed herself out of a scheduled evening gown match against Debra and Nicole Bass went in her place. Bass quickly stripped Debra, but Michaels declared the one who lost her clothes first won, so since Debra lost her gown first, she won. In reality, it was a write-off for Rena Mero, who in becoming popular with the fans, had become wildly unpopular behind the scenes (so unpopular, Sean "X-Pac" Waltman admitted to playing a practical joke on Mero). Mero was in a dispute with the company, and she would eventually leave—then sue—the WWF for $110 million, citing sexual harassment and unsafe working conditions. The suit would eventually be settled out of court that summer for an undisclosed amount.

Oh, the episode in full is up on WWE Network, which you can watch here. Or you can just read my recap of it from last night's retro live blog here.

14 years ago today, Vince McMahon announces via press release that the XFL is shutting down after just one season. The press release:

World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. WWF Entertainment and NBC to Discontinue XFL

STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 10, 2001--World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWF) in conjunction with its joint venture partner, NBC, today announced that it will discontinue its professional football league, the XFL.

The decision was made after determining that the additional investment required to further develop the XFL was not commensurate with the potential return and the risk inherent in pursuing the venture.

``While we believe that it is an extraordinary accomplishment to have created a new professional football league in what amounts to less than a year's time, we feel that it is in the best interests of our shareholders and our partners to discontinue the XFL,'' said Vince McMahon, WWFE Chairman. ``I would personally like to thank the employees of the XFL and WWFE, the XFL fans, our partner NBC and especially Dick Ebersol and his team for their perseverance, support and enthusiasm that did not waiver throughout the season. We are all proud of the creative innovations that we introduced in the production of the game as well as in the rule changes that were implemented to increase the excitement and enjoyment of the game and provide a fan-friendly brand of football.''

Dick Ebersol, Chairman, NBC Sports and Olympics, commented, ``Launching a new football league in such a short period of time was a daunting and exciting challenge, but we gave it our best shot in what clearly is a difficult and challenging sports marketplace. I especially want to salute our partners at the WWF, the fans, players and coaches who created a fun and entertaining XFL in-stadium experience.''

WWFE will report the operations and related costs of discontinuance of the XFL as discontinued operations in its fourth quarter results for the period ended April 30, 2001. The company anticipates that its share of the after-tax cash losses will be approximately $35 million.

The $35 million loss would be the largest for a non-wrestling related venture in WWE history.

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10 years ago today, The Amazing Red receives a WWE tryout at a Smackdown taping in Reading, Pennsylvania. He would not be signed, but his opponent, CM Punk, would be. At the same taping, future Ring of Honor star (and WWE creative member) Jimmy Jacobs defeated Eddie Guerrero by disqualification.

9 years ago today, reported that the Batista-Booker T fight that occurred during a commercial for Summerslam 2006 was indeed a shoot. PWInsider's Dave Scherer:

"When I first read's story about Booker T and Batista being in a fight at a commercial shoot, I figured that the story was a work, an angle to bring the returning-from-injury Batista back into the fold.  I didn't think there would be a story about it on if it were actually a true situation.  Yesterday, I started hearing that it was really a shoot and after digging around, a number of people have told me that it was.  From what I have been told, heat has been building up between Booker and Batista for a while now, largely based on the fact that during his run as the champ, Batista rubbed a lot of people the wrong way by taking the "I have carried the company on my back" and the "I have drawn all the money" attitude.  The feeling is that Batista came right in and got a top spot and didn't show the others in the locker room the respect that they deserved.  That never sits well with the other workers.  That is what Booker was referring to in his comments on  I also spoke to a number of Smackdown talents who said that they were happy that Booker said and did what he did.  I was told a lot of them hugged and high-fived Booker for saying what needed to be said and then backing it up with his hands.  So, at this point, it's all a shoot.  I would not be surprised to see it turn into a work down the road however.  As for, from what I was told they broke the story to "scoop" sites like this one."

7 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sabian defeated Chuck Taylor to win the CZW Best of the Best 8 tournament. Other participants included Lufisto, Josh Prohibition, Scotty Vortekz, Drew Gulak, Pinkie Sanchez, Spiral BKNY, Bruce Maxwell, Drake Younger, TJ Cannon, Ricochet, and Stupefied. Shortly after Sabian won the tournament, Taylor defeated him to win the CZW Junior Heavyweight Championship.

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1 year ago today, Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling co-presented Global Wars from the Ted Reeve Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

  • In a dark match, Tadarius Thomas defeated The Romantic Touch.
  • Michael Bennett defeated ACH.
  • Michael Elgin defeated Takaaki Watanabe.
  • The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) defeated The Decade (BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs) and reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) in a three way tag team match.
  • Cedric Alexander defeated Roderick Strong.
  • The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) defeated Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero) and The Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) in a three way tag team match to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jushin Thunder Liger defeated CHAOS (Jado & Shinsuke Nakamura).
  • Jay Lethal defeated Matt Taven, Silas Young, and Tommaso Ciampa in a Four Corner Survival Match to retain the ROH World Television Championship.
  • BULLET CLUB (AJ Styles & Karl Anderson) defeated CHAOS (Gedo & Kazuchika Okada).
  • Adam Cole defeated Kevin Steen to retain the ROH World Championship.

1 year ago today, TNA taped One Night Only: Victory Road from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando. The show did not air on PPV until December 5, while TNA was on hiatus. The show's hook was a world title shot being decided in a battle royal, but participants had to win a match to qualify for the battle royal.

  • Austin Aries defeated Kenny King.
  • Bram defeated Davey Richards.
  • James Storm & Kazarian defeated The Menagerie (Knux & The Freak).
  • Lashley defeated Samoa Joe.
  • Abyss defeated Mr. Anderson.
  • The BroMans (Jessie Godderz & Robbie E) defeated Bully Ray & Rockstar Spud.
  • Gunner defeated Magnus.
  • Ethan Carter III defeated Sanada.
  • Samuel Shaw defeated Crazzy Steve.
  • Eddie Edwards defeated DJ Z and Tigre Uno in a three-way match.
  • Gunner defeated Abyss, Austin Aries, Bobby Lashley, Bram, Eddie Edwards, Ethan Carter III, James Storm, Jessie Godderz, Kazarian, Robbie E, and Samuel Shaw in an over-the-top rope battle royal to earn a future TNA World Heavyweight Championship match.

1 year ago today, TNA presented One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown II from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando. The all women's show aired November 7, while the company was on hiatus.

  • Gail Kim defeated Veda Scott.
  • Angelina Love defeated Scarlett Bordeaux.
  • Reby Sky defeated Velvet Sky.
  • Madison Rayne defeated Jessicka Havok.
  • Taryn Terrell defeated Karlee Perez.
  • Mia Yim defeated Brittany.
  • Brooke Tessmacher defeat Deonna.
  • Marti Belle defeated ODB.
  • ODB defeated Rockstar Spud.
  • Madison Rayne defeated Angelina Love and Brooke Tessmacher and Gail Kim and Marti Belle and Mia Yim and Reby Sky and Taryn Terrell in a Queen Of The Knockouts gauntlet match.

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