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This Day in Wrestling History (May 22-24)

Three days of history condensed to one post. So yeah. Lots of reading.

31 years ago yesterday in Tokyo, Japan, NWA World Heavyweight Champion Kerry Von Erich fought Jumbo Tsuruta to a double countout. On the same card of the double main event, Harley Race defeated Ric Flair.

26 years ago yesterday in Bluefield, West Virginia, Lex Luger defeated Michael Hayes to win the NWA United States Championship. Luger would go on to hold the championship for the next 523 days, the longest in the history of the championship. That crushes the old record held by Nikita Koloff, who held the championship for 326 days spanning parts of 1986 and 1987. The record still stands today.

23 years ago yesterday in Knoxville, Tennessee, Brian Lee defeated Paul Orndoff via disqualification in the finals of a one-night tournament to become the first ever Smoky Mountain Wrestling Heavyweight Champion. Other participants were The Dirty White Boy, Dixie Dynamite, Buddy Landell, Tim Horner, Robert Gibson, and Jimmy Golden.

21 years ago yesterday, WCW presented Slamboree: A Legends' Reunion (WWE Network link) from the Philadelphia Civic Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. About 4,000 were in attendance, with 105,000 homes watching on PPV. In a bit of trivia, this was the last PPV before Hulk Hogan's company-altering debut. Inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame were The Assassin, Ole Anderson, Harley Race, Ernie Ladd, The Crusher, and Dick the Bruiser.

  • In a dark match, Pretty Wonderful (Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma) defeated Brad Armstrong & Brian Armstrong.
  • Steve Austin defeated Johnny B. Badd to retain the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship.
  • Terry Funk and Tully Blanchard fought to a double disqualification in a legends match.
  • Larry Zbyszko defeated Lord Steven Regal.
  • Dustin Rhodes defeated Bunkhouse Buck in a bullrope match.
  • Ric Flair defeated Barry Windham to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan defeated The Nasty Boys in a "Broad Street Bully" match to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Sting defeated Vader to win the vacant WCW International World Heavyweight Championship. The championship was vacated after Rick Rude's win over Sting in Tokyo, Japan a few days earlier was overturned. Sting refused the championship, thus making the championship vacant. In reality, Rude suffered a career-ending back injury during said bout.

20 years ago yesterday in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada, Jeff Jarrett defeated Razor Ramon to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship just three days after losing the title in a ladder match in Montreal.

15 years ago yesterday in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Ric Flair is stripped of the WCW World Heavyweight Championship by Vince Russo. In the show's main event, Jeff Jarrett defeated Kevin Nash to win the vacated world title. This is the fourth title WCW world title change this month.  On the same show, Daffney defeated Crowbar to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.

WWF TLC 3 - the one on Smackdown! FULL by abbott1

14 years ago yesterday at a Smackdown taping in Anaheim, California, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit defeated The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff), The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von), and Edge & Christian in a tables, ladders, and chairs match to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship. Benoit suffered a neck injury during the bout and would undergo neck fusion surgery about a month later.

13 years ago yesterday, NWA-TNA announced they signed former WCW announcer Mike Tenay to be their lead announcer. Tenay served as their lead announcer for nearly all of their events, including Impact, Xplosion, and their weekly and monthly PPVs until TNA's hiatus at the end of 2014. Tenay briefly hosted Impact Wrestling: Unlocked but the series was cancelled earlier this month.

10 years ago yesterday, WWE presented Judgment Day (WWE Network link) from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 9,500 were in attendance, with 260,000 homes watching on PPV. That's up from 235,000 homes for the 2004 edition.

  • In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, Nunzio defeated Akio.
  • MNM (Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro) defeated Hardcore Holly and Charlie Haas to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
  • Carlito defeated The Big Show.
  • Paul London defeated Chavo Guerrero to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Booker T defeated Kurt Angle.
  • Orlando Jordan defeated Heidenreich to retain the WWE United States Championship.
  • Rey Mysterio defeated Eddie Guerrero by disqualification.
  • John Cena defeated John "Bradshaw" Layfield in an "I Quit" match to retain the WWE Championship.

5 years ago yesterday, MacGruber opened in theaters. The film based on the Saturday Night Live sketch of the same name, starred Will Forte as the titular MacGruber and Kristen Wiig as Vicki St. Elmo. The film featured cameos from WWE superstars Chris Jericho, MVP, The Great Khali, The Big Show, Mark Henry, and Kane.  The film gets mixed reviews (47% rating based on 123 ratings on Rotten Tomatoes), but it bombs at the box office. The film was shown in over 2,500 theaters on opening weekend, but just 177 theaters two weeks later, and pulled altogether a week after that. The film earns just $9.3 million at the box office.

4 years ago yesterday, WWE presented Over the Limit (WWE Network link) from the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington. 6,500 were in attendance, with 142,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 167,000 homes for the 2010 edition.

  • In a dark match, Daniel Bryan defeated Drew McIntyre.
  • R-Truth defeated Rey Mysterio.
  • Ezekiel Jackson defeated Wade Barrett by disqualification in a WWE Intercontiental Championship Match.
  • Sin Cara defeated Chavo Guerrero.
  • Big Show and Kane defeated CM Punk and Mason Ryan to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
  • Brie Bella defeated Kelly Kelly to retain the WWE Divas Championship.
  • Randy Orton defeated Christian to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Jerry Lawler defeated Michael Cole in a "Kiss My Foot" match. If Cole had won, Lawler would have to had surrender his WWE Hall of Fame ring to him and personally induct him into the WWE Hall of Fame. But since Cole lost, he was forced to kiss Lawler's foot.
  • John Cena defeated The Miz in an "I Quit" match to retain the WWE Championship.

Happy 34th birthday to the "American Dragon", Bryan Lloyd Danielson, aka Daniel Bryan. Bryan, long considered one of the best wrestlers in the world, is the latest to join the WWE's Grand Slam club, holding the tag team, Intercontinental, United States, and world championships (the latter four times). He's also accumulated 12 WWE Slammys in just five years. Danielson is also a two time PWG world champion, GHC junior heavyweight champion, ROH world champion, the last ROH Pure champion, and Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Most Outstanding Wrestler of the decade of the 2000s. He's also that publication's best technical wrestler from 2005 to 2013, and Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Wrestler of the Year for 2013 and #1 in that publication's annual PWI 500 in 2014.

Also happy 27th birthday to Santana Garrett. Garrett spent most of her career on the independent circuit, though she had two runs in TNA (one in 2010, her most recent in 2013-14). Garrett's had a pretty good 2015: in February, she defeated Barbi Hayden to win the NWA World Womens Championship. Two months later, she defeated Mia Yim for the Shine Championship.


23 years ago today in Atlanta, Georgia, Steve Austin defeated Barry Windham to win the WCW World Television Championship.

22 years ago today, WCW presented Slamboree: A Legends Reunion (WWE Network link) from the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia. 7,200 were in attendance, with 100,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 105,000 for the May 1992 event, Wrestlewar '92. The WCW Hall of Fame also had its inaugural class, including Lou Thesz, Mr. Wrestling II, Verne Gagne, and Eddie Graham. Also honored at the event were The Assassin, Ox Baker, Red Bastien, Lord James Blears, The Crusher, The Fabulous Moolah, Greg Gagne, Bob Geigel, Stu Hart, Magnum T.A., Bugsy McGraw, Don Owen, Dusty Rhodes, Grizzly Smith, John Tolos, Mad Dog Vachon, and Johnny Valentine. Also at the event, the Four Horsemen reformed with Ric Flair, Ole and Arn Anderson, and Paul Roma.

  • Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Too Cold Scorpio defeated Bobby Eaton & Chris Benoit.
  • Sid Vicious defeated Van Hammer in just 35 seconds.
  • Blackjack Mulligan, Jim Brunzell & Wahoo McDaniel vs. Dick Murdoch, Don Muraco & Jimmy Snuka ended in a no contest in a legends match.
  • Brad Armstrong & Thunderbolt Patterson defeat Baron von Raschke & Ivan Koloff in a legends match.
  • Dory Funk Jr. and Nick Bockwinkel went to a 15-minute time limit draw in a legends match.
  • Paul Orndorff & Rick Rude defeated Dustin Rhodes & Kensuke Sasaki.
  • Sting defeated The Prisoner.
  • The Hollywood Blondes (Flyin' Brian & Stunning Steve) defeat Dos Hombres (Ricky Steamboat & Tom Zenk) in a steel cage match to retain the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Barry Windham defeated Arn Anderson to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Davey Boy Smith defeated Big Van Vader by disqualification in a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match.

16 years ago today, WWF presented Over the Edge (WWE Network link) from the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. 16,472 were in attendance, with 416,000 homes watching on PPV. That's more than double for the 1998 edition (211,000 homes). The event is most remembered for the sudden passing of Owen Hart, who was scheduled to face The Godfather for the Intercontinental Championship. He was 34. Hart, as the Blue Blazer, was to descend from the rafters when the release mechanism activated far too early. He fell some 70 feet to his death. Despite the accident, the show went on to its conclusion, a decision debated by many to this day. The death was acknowledged to home viewers, but not to those in attendance. The Hart family would later file a wrongful death lawsuit, but would settle with the WWF out of court. WWE would successfully sue the company that manufactured the harness. Owen's widow Martha Hart would sue the company again for using his name and likeness without the estate's permission and back royalties. That case would be settled.

As for the event itself, it was never released on home video in any form; the event was released on WWE's streaming service, WWE Network, in February 2014. All references to Owen Hart were erased from the original broadcast.

  • In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, Meat defeated Brian Christopher.
  • In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff Hardy) defeated Goldust & The Blue Meanie
  • In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, Vince McMahon and Mideon went to a no contest.
  • Kane & X-Pac defeated D'Lo Brown & Mark Henry to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • Al Snow defeated Hardcore Holly to retain the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • Nicole Bass & Val Venis defeated Debra & Jeff Jarrett.
  • Mr. Ass defeated Road Dogg.
  • The Union (Ken Shamrock, Mankind, Test & The Big Show) defeated The Corporate Ministry (Bradshaw, Faarooq, The Big Bossman & Viscera) in an elimination tag team match.
  • The Rock defeated Triple H by disqualification.
  • The Undertaker defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin to win the WWF Championship. Shane and Vince McMahon were special referees.

Kevin Nash vs. Jeff Jarrett vs... by sir-roddick

15 years ago today at a Thunder taping in Saginaw, Michigan, Kevin Nash defeated Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner in a three-way match to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. If you're scoring at home, that makes five title changes in the month of May.

10 years ago today on RAW from Green Bay,Wisconsin, Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff, and Paul Heyman, owners of the big three promotions in the Monday Night Wars, stood in the same ring to promote the ECW One Night Stand. It is believed to be the first time the three met face to face to face on a television show.

9 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Bakersfield, California, Bobby Lashley defeated John "Bradshaw" Layfield in just 82 seconds to win the WWE United States Championship. In the show's main event, Rey Mysterio defeated Layfield to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. As a result of the loss, Layfield retired. The retirement, of course, did not stick, and Layfield was back in the ring about 18 months later. Ironically, Layfield would be retired for good at Wrestlemania 25 at the hands of Rey Mysterio.

8 years ago today, Jill Jarrett, wife of TNA founder Jeff Jarrett, passed away after a long battle with cancer. She was instrumental in TNA's early years, particularly with overseeing the upgrades of the TNA Asylum in Nashville.

5 years ago today, WWE presented Over the Limit (WWE Network link) from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. About 11,000 were in attendance, with 197,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 228,000 homes for the May 2009 event, Judgment Day.

  • In a dark match, Montel Vontavious Porter defeated Chavo Guerrero.
  • Kofi Kingston defeated Drew McIntyre to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • R-Truth defeated Ted DiBiase.
  • Rey Mysterio defeated CM Punk. With the win, CM Punk was forced to shave his head. Had Rey lost, he would have been forced to join the Straight Edge Society.
  • The Hart Dynasty (David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd) defeated The Miz & Chris Jericho to retain the WWE Unified Tag Team Championship.
  • Randy Orton and Edge fought to a double countout.
  • Big Show defeated Jack Swagger by disqualification in a World Heavyweight Championship match.
  • Eve defeated Maryse to retain the WWE Divas Championship.
  • John Cena defeated Batista in an "I Quit" match to retain the WWE Championship. It would be Batista's last bout in WWE; the next night, he quit the company. He would not return until January 2014.

4 years ago today on RAW from Portland, Oregon, The New Nexus (David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty) defeated The Big Show & Kane to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.


31 years ago tomorrow in Yokosuka, Japan, Ric Flair defeated Kerry Von Erich 2-1 in a best of three falls match to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

30 years ago tomorrow in Chicago, Illinois, Oprah Winfrey—the Oprah Winfrey—made an appearance at a WWF house show. The appearance was a cross-promotion with local morning show AM Chicago, with three matches from the event airing on the show...with Oprah doing guest commentary. In the show's main event, WWF Champion Hulk Hogan defeated Don Muraco.

24 years ago tomorrow , Scott Hall makes his WCW television debut as The Diamond Studd. In his debut bout, he defeats Tommy Angel.

16 years ago tomorrow , WWF presented RAW is Owen from the Kiel Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The show was a tribute to Owen Hart who died a day earlier at the Over the Edge PPV.  A number of wrestlers and co-workers through the show shared anecdotes about Owen throughout the show. Wrestling on the show was optional, and no storylines were advanced. There was also a ten-bell salute for Hart. The show ended with Stone Cold Steve Austin giving a toast to Owen while a graphic was displayed. The graphic would open the WWF Attitude game released that summer. The show receives a 7.2 rating, the highest for a special episode, and the third highest in the show's history. In an interesting bit of trivia, new WWF Champion The Undertaker was not in attendance; he was with the Hart family in Calgary.

  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Test.
  • X-Pac & Kane defeated Edge & Gangrel to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • The Hardy Boyz (Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy) defeated Kaientai (Taka Michinoku & Sho Funaki).
  • Ken Shamrock defeated Hardcore Holly.
  • Mankind defeated Billy Gunn by countout.
  • D-Lo Brown & Mark Henry defeated The Acolytes (Bradshaw & Faarooq).
  • The Godfather vs. Road Dogg ended in a no contest in a WWF Intercontinental Championship match when both men chose not to compete.
  • Triple H defeated Al Snow.
  • The Big Show defeated Goldust in just 62 seconds.
  • The Rock defeated Val Venis in just 56 seconds.

14 years ago tomorrow , Triple H underwent surgery on his torn quadriceps muscle in Birmingham, Alabama. Famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery. Triple H would return to the ring in January 2002.

14 years ago tomorrow, AAA presented TripleMania IX from Plaza de Toros in Mexico City, Mexico.

  • Octagóncito, Mascarita Sagrada, and La Parkita defeated Espectrito, Mini Abismo Negro, and Rocky Marvin.
  • Pimpinela Escarlata, May Flowers, and Polvo de Estrellas defeated Blue Demon, Jr., Hijo del Solitario, and Oscar Sevilla.
  • Los Vipers (Psicosis II, Histeria, Maniaco, and Mosco de la Merced) defeated Los Vatos Locos (El Picudo, Silver Cat, Espiritu, and Nygma) to retain the Mexican National Atomicos Championship.
  • Latin Lover defeated Héctor Garza, Perro Aguayo, Jr., and Heavy Metal in a four corners elimination match.
  • Máscara Sagrada, El Alebrije, Octagón, and La Parka, Jr. defeated Máscara Maligna, Electroshock, Abismo Negro and Cibernético.
  • El Cobrade and Sangre Chicana defeated Pirata Morgan in a dog collar hair versus hair versus hair match. As Morgan was the last man in the ring, his head was shaved.

10 years ago tomorrow , former Major League Wrestling owner and promoter Court Bauer signs with WWE as a member of their creative team. Bauer, who ran MLW from June 2002 to February 2004, left the company just a year later. Bauer has spent most of the decade podcasting, but more recently was a consultant for Ring of Honor for about two years.

7 years ago tomorrow , Xtreme Pro Wrestling presented a one-night reunion show, Cold Day in Hell, from Aviation Park in Redondo Beach, California. The event was filmed for DVD release by Big Vision Entertainment.

  • Carnage won the Dynamite D Memorial Battle Royal.
  • Kaos defeated Vampiro.
  • GQ Money defeated Angel the Hardcore Homo.
  • The Sandman defeated Pogo the Clown.
  • Johnny Webb & Raven defeated Concussion & Homeless Jimmy. Terry Funk was the special referee.
  • Team RevPro (Disco Machine, Joey Ryan & Ron Rivera) defeated Team XPW (Jardi Frantz, Vinny Massaro & X-Pac).
  • Luke Hawx defeated Jack Evans and Scorpio Sky in a three-way match.
  • The Gangstas (Mustafa & New Jack) defeated The Westside NGZ (Bigg Rott & Chronic).
  • Supreme defeated Necro Butcher in a No Ropes Barbed Wire Thumbtacks Bed Of Light Tubes Death Match to win the XPW King of the Deathmatch Championship.

6 years ago tomorrow, TNA presented Sacrifice from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.

  • Eric Young & Lethal Consequences (Consequences Creed & Jay Lethal) defeated Abdul Bashir & The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin).
  • Taylor Wilde defeated Daffney in a Monster's Ball match.
  • Suicide and Daniels went to a time limit draw for the TNA X-Division Championship.
  • Angelina Love defeated Awesome Kong to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship.
  • Samoa Joe defeated Kevin Nash.
  • Beer Money Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) defeated The British Invasion (Brutus Magnus & Doug Williams) (w/Rob Terry) in the Team 3D Invitational Tournament Final.
  • AJ Styles defeated Booker T in an I Quit match to retain the TNA Legends Championship.
  • Sting defeated Mick Foley, Jeff Jarrett, and Kurt Angle in a four-way "ultimate sacrifice" match.
    • If Sting got pinned he would leave TNA.
    • If Angle got pinned the person who pinned him would gain ownership of the Main Event Mafia.
    • If Foley got pinned the person who pinned him would become TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
    • If Jarrett got pinned he would lose his match making abilities.
    • As Sting defeated Angle, he would become the leader of the Main Event Mafia. The TNA World Heavyweight Championship did not change hands.

5 years ago tomorrow on RAW from Toledo, Ohio, R-Truth defeated The Miz to win the WWE United States Championship.

4 years ago tomorrow , Brock Lesnar's autobiography, Death Clutch, co-written by Paul Heyman, is released.

3 years ago tomorrow , TNA files a lawsuit against WWE and former office worker Brian Wittenstein for allegedly interfering with existing contracts, conversion, breach of contract, civil conspiracy, unfair competition, breach of duty of loyalty, and violation of the Tennessee Uniform Trade Secrets Act.  Allegedly, Wittenstein provided inside information to WWE on TNA talent contracts and other matters related to the promotion. Wittenstein was with TNA for three years and worked briefly with WWE. TNA drops the lawsuit in January 2013, opening the door for Ric Flair to return full-time to the WWE.


Let me know if you like the Saturday and Sunday posts to be combined as one for the weekend or if you prefer them as separate posts.

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