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This Day in Wrestling History (May 6)

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31 years ago today, World Class Championship Wrestling presented the David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions. The show, a tribute to the late David Von Erich who died while on tour in Japan about three months earlier, took place at Texas Stadium in the Dallas suburb of Irving, with 32,123 fans in attendance.

  • Johnny Mantell fought Kelly Kiniski to a 15-minute time limit draw.
  • Chris Adams & Sunshine defeated Jimmy Garvin & Precious.
  • Butch Reed defeated Chic Donovan.
  • Kamala and The Great Kabuki fought to a double disqualification.
  • The Junkyard Dog defeated The Missing Link by disqualification.
  • Rock 'n' Soul (Buck Zumhofe & King Parsons) defeated The Super Destroyers (Super Destroyer 1 & Super Destroyer 2) to win the WCCW American Tag Team Championship.
  • Fritz von Erich, Kevin von Erich, and Mike von Erich defeated The Fabulous Freebirds (Buddy Roberts, Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy) to win the WCCW World Six Man Tag Team Championship. Kerry would replace Fritz on the team when the elder Von Erich retired.
  • Kerry von Erich defeated Ric Flair to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

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26 years ago today, Chigusa Nagoyo retires on her 26th birthday. It wasn't her call; Japanese regulations at the time stated that all female wrestlers had to retire by their 26th birthday. Nagoyo was one half of the legendary Crush Gals with Lioness Asuka and were the WWWA Tag Team Champions together, as well as the IWA Womens World and All Pacific Champion. Her retirement bouts came at AJW's Wrestlemaripad in Yokohama. In their final tag title defense together, The Crush Gals defeated Akira Hokuto and Mitsuko Nishikawa. In her final match, Lioness Asuka defeated Nagoyo. The mandatory retirement age stipulation would eventually be lifted, and Nagoyo returned to the ring in 1995 and would find GAEA Japan. In a bit of irony, both of the Crush Gals retired in 2005 just a week apart.

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15 years ago today, WWF presented Insurrextion (WWE Network link) from Earl's Court in London, England. About 17,000 fans were in attendance. The UK-exclusive event was released on WWF Home Video July 18.

  • Too Cool (Grand Master Sexay & Scotty 2 Hotty) defeated Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn.
  • Kane defeated Bull Buchanan.
  • The Road Dogg defeated Bradshaw.
  • The Kat defeated Terri Runnels in an arm wrestling match.
  • The Big Show & Rikishi defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von).
  • Kurt Angle defeated Chris Benoit.
  • The British Bulldog defeated Crash Holly to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) defeated Edge and Christian by disqualification in a WWF Tag Team Championship match.
  • Eddie Guerrero defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WWF European Championship.
  • The Rock defeated Shane McMahon and Triple H in a triple threat match to retain the WWF Championship.
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13 years ago today, the organization formerly known as the World Wrestling Federation issued a press release, changing their name to World Wrestling Entertainment. The press release:

World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Drops The "F" To Emphasize the "E" for Entertainment

New Name And Logo Reflects International Growth Plans and Increasing Diversity of Entertainment Properties

STAMFORD, CONN., May 6, 2002 - To further capture a greater share of the global marketplace and to represent the growing diversity of its entertainment properties, World Wrestling Federation Entertainment today announced it is changing its name to World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE). The company's website, one of the most popular in the world, will now be found at

A new logo reflecting the name change will be introduced tonight on WWE's top-rated television show RAW on TNN at 9 p.m. (ET).

"As World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, we have entertained millions of fans around the United States and around the globe," said Linda McMahon, CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment. "Our new name puts the emphasis on the "E" for entertainment, what our company does best. WWE provides us with a global identity that is distinct and unencumbered, which is critical to our U.S. and international growth plans."

Mrs. McMahon said the company began considering dropping the word "Federation" from its name when World Wildlife Fund (a/k/a World Wide Fund for Nature) prevailed in a recent court action in the United Kingdom. The court ruling prevents the World Wrestling Federation from the use of the logo it adopted in 1998 and the letters WWF in specified circumstances. The "Fund" has indicated that although the two organizations are very different, there is the likelihood of confusion in the market place by virtue of the fact that both organizations use the letters WWF. The Fund has indicated that it does not want to have any association with the World Wrestling Federation. "Therefore," said, Mrs.McMahon, "we will utilize this opportunity to position ourselves emphasizing the entertainment aspect of our company, and, at the same time, allay the concerns of the Fund."

Mrs. McMahon said the name change provides a distinct and unencumbered global identity that will further cast World Wrestling Entertainment as an integrated entertainment and media company. "World Wrestling Entertainment and WWE will now be the identity that we use from the television base we have established in 130 countries," she said. "As WWE, we will launch our further expanded U.S. and international touring, our international expansion of branded merchandise and licensed products, and our further integration into the film, publishing and music businesses."

The successful development of the "Tough Enough" television series on MTV, a new book deal with Simon and Schuster, and the hit motion picture, "The Scorpion King," executive produced by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and WWE, are examples of the types of activities the company plans to undertake as it expand its horizons in the global entertainment industry.

New logo art has been provided to business partners, licensees and vendors. The company expects that, for the most part, the changeover to the new name and logo will be completed within five months.

WWE will continue to trade as WWF on the New York Stock Exchange until a suitable replacement symbol is found. The company will be providing the appropriate documentation and filings with regulators to solicit shareholder approval of the name change.

In conjunction with the name change, WWE announced it has changed the name of its entertainment complex in New York City's Times Square from WWF New York to The World, currently the name of its popular night club.

Despite the spin, it was a British court decision a few days earlier that forced the name change. The World Wildlife Fund successfully challenged the World Wrestling Federation over unfair trade practices. The name change to WWE would cause quite a stir in the wrestling world and would force the company to edit its video library for years.

And still it's probably not the worst thing that happened to WWE that day.

13 years ago today, a number of WWE personnel got in hot water as a result of a series of incidents that happened on the flight back from London for the Insurrextion PPV. Among them: Michael Hayes and John "Bradshaw" Layfield got into a fight, Sean "X-Pac" Waltman cut Hayes' hair, Scott Hall passed out from drinking too much, Ric Flair walked around the plane wearing little more than a robe and exposed himself to a female flight attendant, and Dustin Runnels, aka Goldust, got on the PA system and badly attempted to serenade his ex-wife Terri. Oh, and Curt Hennig and Brock Lesnar got into an impromptu wrestling match on the plane and got real close to a plane door. Also on board of the plane were road agents Gerry Brisco, Dave "Fit" Finlay, Arn Anderson, senior writers Stephanie McMahon and Paul Heyman, vice-president of talent relations Jim Ross, and The Undertaker, who had always been seen as a strong figure in the locker room. Hall and Hennig were outright released following the flight, Ross issued an apology on his blog, and Dustin would have heat on him until his very public release in early 2004. That same year, two flight attendants sued WWE, Flair, Hall, and Runnels for sexual harassment. The suit was settled out of court. This would become known in wrestling lore as "the plane ride from hell".

Oh, and there was an episode of RAW. During the show, William Regal defeated Spike Dudley  via submission in just 36 seconds to win the WWE European Championship. On the same show, Bubba Ray Dudley wins the WWE Hardcore Championship from Steven Richards... only to lose it to Raven, who loses it to Justin Credible, who loses it to Crash Holly, who loses it to Trish Stratus, who loses it to Steven Richards, who began the evening as the champion.

11 years ago today on show Byte This, Tommy Dreamer announced his retirement from in-ring competition and would transition to an office role with the company. It wouldn't last long: he worked the occasional independent show and returned full-time when ECW was reborn in 2006. He left again in 2010 following the shutdown of ECW.

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9 years ago today, WWE hires Dylan Posti. Posti, who wrestled on the independent circuit as "The World's Sexiest Midget" Shortstack, made his debut a few weeks later as Hornswoggle (though not named right away), the leprechaun partner of Finlay. Posti would be officially named Hornswoggle in February 2007.

6 years ago today at NJPW Dissidence in Tokyo, Japan, Manabu Nakanishi defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

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4 years and three days ago today at a Smackdown taping in Orlando, Florida, Randy Orton defeated Christian to win the World Heavyweight Championship. The win comes just two days after Christian won his first world title at Extreme Rules. The quick title change caused an uproar among Internet wrestling fans, but Christian would get it back that summer... only to lose it again four weeks later.

3 years ago today, WWE releases Dustin Runnels. At the time of his release, he was a producer for the company. After a few months on the independent circuit, Runnels returned—again—for the fifth time—at the 2013 Royal Rumble. Originally a one-shot deal, Runnels has been on the roster  full time since the fall of 2013.

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