A salute to those that served in the military, past and present. Thanks for all that you do.
28 years ago today in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Soldat Ustinov & Boris Zukhov defeated the Midnight Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels) to win the AWA World Tag Team Championship. Zukhov would leave for the WWF five months later, with Doug Somers taking his place on the team.
26 years ago today in Osaka, Japan, Salman Hashimikov defeated Big Van Vader to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. On the same show, Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Shiro Koshinaka to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
21 years ago today at a WWF TV taping in Erie, Pennsylvania, a sixteen year old from Cameron, North Carolina by the name of Jeff Hardy made his WWF debut in a losing effort to the 1-2-3 Kid. On the same taping, Brian Lee made his WWF debut as the fake Undertaker managed by Ted DiBiase. The angle set up the real Undertaker's eventual return at Summerslam.
16 years ago today at a WWF TV taping in Moline, Illinois, Jeff Jarrett defeated The Godfather to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. The win comes two days after Jarrett's tag team partner, Owen Hart, died of blunt force trauma due to a harness accident at the Over the Edge PPV. Hart was booked to win the title from Godfather. On the same episode, the Acolytes (Bradshaw & Faarooq) defeated X-Pac & Kane to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.
13 years ago today, WWE premiered WWE Confidential on Spike TV. A departure from other WWE programming at the time, the series hosted by Mean Gene Okerlund offered behind the scenes looks into WWE talent in and outside the ring and occasionally broke kayfabe. The show lasted for just under two years before being pulled by Spike TV. The show sort of lives on through its Youtube series WWE Outside the Ring, which began running weekly since February 2012. It also lives on through interstitials on the WWE Network's live stream.
12 years ago today, World Wrestling All-Stars presented its final event, The Reckoning, from Auckland, New Zealand. The event aired in the United States on June 8.
- Rick Steiner defeated Mark Mercedes.
- Teo defeated Puppet the Psycho Dwarf and Meatball in a three-way match.
- Devon Storm defeated Konnan.
- Chris Sabin defeated Jerry Lynn, Johnny Swinger, and Frankie Kazarian in a four corners match to unify the TNA X Division and the WWA International Cruiserweight Championships.
- Sabu defeated Joe E. Legend.
- Jeff Jarrett defeated Sting to unify the NWA and WWA world heavyweight championships.
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6 years ago today, WWE presented RAW from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The show was originally to have taken place at the Pepsi Center, but the building got double booked with Game 4 of the NBA's Western Conference Finals, and after a contentious battle with Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke, WWE moved their show to Los Angeles. In the show's main event, the "Lakers" (John Cena, Batista, Jerry Lawler, MVP, and Mr. Kennedy—more on him in a moment) defeated the "Nuggets" (Randy Orton, The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, and the Big Show).
It was Mr. Kennedy's first match back with the company since dislocating his shoulder the previous August. It was also his last match with the company. Kennedy, real name Ken Anderson, injured his wrist in the bout. He also claimed in a 2010 interview that Randy Orton complained of Anderson being too careless in the ring during the bout. Orton got in the ear of Cena, who then got in the ear of Vince McMahon who then released Anderson just four days later.
3 years ago today, Chris Jericho was indefinitely suspended one day after desecrating a Brazilian flag prior to a match with CM Punk at a WWE event in Sao Paolo. In Brazil, this was an arrestable offense, but Jericho was given the option to apologize and did so. WWE issued the following statement:
"Chris Jericho has been suspended indefinitely due to an irresponsible act of denigrating the Brazilian flag at a WWE event in Sao Paulo on May 24. The WWE has apologized to the citizens and the government of Brazil for this incident."
The suspension was for 30 days, and Jericho returned on the June 25th episode of RAW.
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Today, it's a happy 25th birthday for Taylor Michael Rotunda, best known to wrestling fans as Bo Dallas. Taylor, a member of the famed Rotunda family (his brother Windham, aka Bray Wyatt, who turned 28 two days earlier, and father Mike both wrestled in WWE), is a three-time FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion, twice Florida tag team champion with his older brother Windham, and is a former NXT Champion. Last summer, Taylor married former NXT developmental talent Sarah Backman.