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This Day in Wrestling History (May 26)

28 years ago today, The Rock ‘n Roll Express are awarded the NWA World Tag Team Championship. Manny Fernandez and Rick Rude were the champions at the time, but both men left the NWA, with Rude leaving for the WWF and Fernandez eventually leaving for Mid-South Wrestling. How do they cover this up? By playing the conclusion of a match that occurred in Spokane, Washington where Ivan Koloff substituted for the "injured" Rude. The closing moments aired on NWA syndicated programming and claimed this was the title change. TL;DR: It was a phantom title switch.

28 years ago today, former WWF Champion The Iron Sheik (real name Khosrow Vaziri) and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan were arrested in New Jersey were arrested on drug possession charges after they were pulled over on the New Jersey Turnpike. The two men who were feuding at the time were pulled over after police suspected Duggan driving under the influence. After a vehicle and person search, Duggan was charged with possession of marijuana and drinking alcohol while driving. Vaziri was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana. Duggan ultimately got a conditional discharge, while Sheik received a year's probation.

The two men do make it to the house show they were scheduled for that night and worked the event without telling WWF management about it. Of course, the arrest is soon national news: after all, they were pretty famous wrestlers, and they were feuding. And they were riding together. This, kids, is where kayfabe goes to die: on the Jersey Turnpike. WWF had no choice but to abandon the angle. Both men were given their outright release. Duggan would be back a few months later. So would Sheik actually, but Sheik's comeback is short-lived. He was gone again soon after, but would return to the WWF again in 1991.

19 years ago today, WWF presented In Your House 8: Beware of Dog from the Florence Civic Center in Florence, South Carolina.  About 6,000 were in attendance, with 147,000 homes watching on PPV. The event is noted for a severe thunderstorm knocking out power to the area and to WWF satellite trucks, prohibiting home viewers from seeing most of the card. Power was restored just before the main event, but those in the arena did get to see the full scheduled card with emergency lights being used.

As for the home audience, a second version of the event was done two nights later. Known affectionately as Beware of Dog 2 (WWE Network link), this event re-aired the opening match and main event along with three new matches from the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, South Carolina. About 4,000 were in attendance for the sequel.

Matches airing Sunday:

  • In a Free for All match, The Smoking Gunns (Bart & Billy Gunn) defeated The Godwinns (Henry O. Godwinn & Phineas I. Godwinn) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • In a dark match, Bob Holly defeated Isaac Yankem.
  • Marc Mero defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
  • Savio Vega defeated Steve Austin in a Caribbean Strap match.
  • Yokozuna defeated Vader.
  • Goldust defeated The Undertaker in a casket match to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
  • Jake Roberts defeated Justin Bradshaw in just 30 seconds.
  • Shawn Michaels fought The British Bulldog to a double pin for the WWF Championship.
  • In a post-show dark match, Ahmed Johnson defeated Jerry Lawler.
  • In a post-show dark match, The Ultimate Warrior defeated Owen Hart.

Matches airing Tuesday, May 28 (the opener and main event from the Sunday show was replayed first):

  • Savio Vega defeated Steve Austin in a Caribbean Strap match. With the loss, Austin's manager Ted DiBiase was fired from the WWF.
  • Vader defeated Yokozuna.
  • Goldust defeated The Undertaker in a casket match to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

18 years ago today on RAW is WAR from Evansville, Indiana, Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Owen Hart & The British Bulldog to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.

10 years ago today, TNA announces that all planned Impact tapings were cancelled until further notice. Their one-year deal with Fox Sports Net was set to expire the next day and would not be renewed. The series would run online for several months before landing on Spike TV in the fall of 2005.

7 years ago today, Vince McMahon announces on RAW that he would give away a million dollars a week beginning on the next episode. It would actually be two episodes later the money would be given away "McMahon's Million Dollar Mania", as it is called, lasts less than a month.

2 years ago today, WWE signs Emanuel Alejandro Rodriguez. Known on the independent circuit as Samuray del Sol, he is renamed Kalisto. Rodriguez made his NXT debut last September as one half of the Lucha Dragons. He was promoted to the WWE main roster earlier this year.

2 years ago today, Hector Solano Segura, best known to wrestling fans as Hector Garza, dies of lung cancer. He was 43.  Born June 12, 1969, Garza broke into the wrestling business after he was trained by his two uncles. After spending the first couple years for Federacion Internacional de Lucha Libre (FILL), he was brought into Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) in 1995, and quickly rocketed up the card, even winning their world trios championship with Dos Caras and La Fiera. After being a part of a controversial El Hijo de Santo heel turn (a move that turned CMLL's fortunes following a mass talent defection early in the decade), Garza left for AAA.

His stay in AAA was a short one, but just long enough to appear in the 1997 Royal Rumble when the WWF had a working relationship in AAA. Later in the year, he landed in WCW and competed mostly against fellow luchadors. Though he was best known for his corkscrew plancha to the floor, Garza never got a sustained push, though he did defeat Scott Hall once.

In 1999, he returned to AAA as part of a four-man feud with Heavy Metal, Latin Lover, and Perro Aguayo, Jr. The four feuded off and on for the next two years, with Garza winning Heavy Metal's hair in 2001. The next year, the feud's focus shifted to Garza and Latin Lover. In 2003, Garza lost a hair versus hair match to Latin Lover.

Garza joined TNA in 2004 as a part of their working relationship with AAA. Garza was a part of Team Mexico, the winners of the America's X Cup. Later that year, claiming he was owed money by AAA, Garza left for CMLL. As TNA and AAA were still working together, Garza wrestled exclusively in Mexico, turned heel, and joined forces with Perro Aguayo, Jr. against El Hijo de Santo. Later in the year, with the AAA-TNA relationship over, Garza was brought back to TNA. He won a 20-man X Division Gauntlet at Victory Road 2004 and had a world title match against Jeff Jarrett in early 2005. Set to face Scott Hall at Final Resolution, Garza was arrested for possession of steroids that were illegal in the United States, but legal in Mexico. Garza was eventually deported, essentially ending his career in the States.

Garza would spend the next six years with CMLL before joining Perros del Mal Producciones as a part of the stable the company was named for. Garza at the time was the CMLL world heavyweight champion (he won it in August 2011), but CMLL did not allow him to drop the title in a match before exiting the company. Just two days after announcing he left CMLL, he was back in AAA as part of an invasion angle. In February 2012, Garza was the last man standing out of six to win the Mexican National Heavyweight Championship. Six months later, Los Perros Del Mal turned on Garza after Perro Aguayo Jr. lost the AAA Mega Championship following an errant chair shot by Garza.

In October 2012, Garza was diagnosed with lung cancer and retired from active competition. He would succumb to the illness on May 26, 2013 while still holding the Mexican National Heavyweight Championship. The Mexico City Boxing & Wrestling Commission would deem the championship vacant following his passing, which it still remains today.

It's a happy 36th birthday to Ashley Marie Massaro. Massaro won the 2005 WWE RAW Diva Search and became the valet for WWE Tag Team Champions Paul London and Brian Kendrick. In 2007, Ashley was one of the contestants on Survivor: China (she was the second person eliminated). She appeared on the cover of the April 2007 issue of Playboy. She left the company in July 2008 to care for her ailing daughter, Lexi.

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