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This Day in Wrestling History (May 7)

101 years ago today in Kansas City, Missouri, Stanislaus Zbyszko defeated Americus (Gus Schoenlein) to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

26 years ago today, NWA presented Wrestlewar '89: Music City Showdown (WWE Network link) from Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.  About 5,200 were in attendance, with 120,000 homes watching on PPV. The show featured a live performance by The Oak Ridge Boys.

  • The Great Muta (with Gary Hart) defeated Doug Gilbert.
  • Butch Reed defeated Ranger Ross.
  • Dick Murdoch defeated Bob Orton, Jr. in a bullrope match.
  • The Dynamic Dudes (Shane Douglas and Johnny Ace) defeated The Samoan Swat Team (Samu and Fatu).
  • Michael Hayes defeated Lex Luger to win the NWA United States Championship.
  • Sting defeated The Iron Sheik to retain the NWA World Television Championship.
  • Ric Flair defeated Ricky Steamboat to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Post-match, Flair was attacked by Terry Funk and piledriven through a ringside table. Flair would miss the next two months due to injury.
  • The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) defeated The Varsity Club (Mike Rotunda and Steve Williams) in a NWA World Tag Team Championship match. Nikita Koloff was the special referee. Shortly after the match, The Varsity Club were stripped of the tag team titles.
  • Eddie Gilbert and Rick Steiner defeated The Varsity Club (Kevin Sullivan and Dan Spivey) to retain the NWA United States Tag Team Championship.

15 years ago today, WCW presented Slamboree (WWE Network link) from the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. 7,165 were in attendance, with just 65,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 115,000 for Spring Stampede a month earlier, and from 195,000 homes for the 1999 Slamboree event.

  • Chris Candido defeated The Artist to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Terry Funk defeated Norman Smiley and Ralphus in a handicap hardcore to retain the WCW Hardcore Championship.
  • Shawn Stasiak defeated Curt Hennig.
  • Scott Steiner defeated Captain Rection to retain the WCW United States Championship.
  • Mike Awesome fought Kanyon to a no contest.
  • The Total Package defeated Buff Bagwell.
  • Shane Douglas defeated Ric Flair.
  • Sting defeated Vampiro.
  • Hulk Hogan defeated Billy Kidman. Eric Bischoff was the special referee.
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated David Arquette and Diamond Dallas Page in a triple cage match to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Post-match, Mike Awesome attacked Page, with Kanyon looking to make the save. Kanyon was thrown off the stage by Awesome from the second cage to the entrance ramp below, breaking it. The image brought eerie memories of Owen Hart's death just about a year earlier in the very same building.


14 years ago today following a WWF Jakked taping in Uniondale, New York, Perry Saturn was sent home as punishment following a match where he worked stiffer than usual against Mike Bell. After Bell botched a spot, Saturn beat on Bell brutally, including throwing him out of the ring and Bell landing on his head.

13 years ago today, Scott Hall is released from WWE just one day after his involvement in the infamous "Plane Ride from Hell".

10 years ago today, Ring of Honor debuts in New York City with Manhattan Mayhem from the New Yorker Hotel.

  • Lacey's Angels (Izzy & Deranged) defeated Dixie & Azrieal.
  • Nigel McGuinness defeated Colt Cabana.
  • James Gibson defeated Black Tiger.
  • BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs defeated Generation Next (Roderick Strong & Jack Evans) to retain the ROH Tag Team Championship.
  • Samoa Joe defeated Jay Lethal to win the ROH Pure Championship.
  • Fast Eddie defeated Davey Andrews.
  • Jimmy Rave defeated CM Punk in a dog collar match.
  • Austin Aries defeated Alex Shelley to retain the ROH World Championship.
  • The Rottweilers (Homicide & Low Ki) defeated Samoa Joe & Jay Lethal.

8 years ago today on RAW from State College, Pennsylvania, Edge defeated Mr. Kennedy to win his Wrestlemania 23 Money in the Bank contract. Just over a week later, Edge used his newly won Money in the Bank to win the World Heavyweight Championship. As for Kennedy, it turned out he suffered what was thought to be a torn triceps injury. Initially looking to be out for as long as seven months, Kennedy was back just over a month later when it turned out it was just a massive hematoma. Kennedy would never return to the level he was prior to his injury in WWE.

It's a happy 31st birthday for family man, zoo enthusiast, and NXT Champion Kevin Steen, known these days as Kevin Owens. Prior to his NXT debut late last year, Owens had been one of the most successful wrestlers on the independent circuit, winning the ROH tag team and world championships and holding the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla world  and tag team championships three times each. Steen is also a three-time Wrestling Observer Newsletter award winner for Best Brawler, winning the award in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and won for Feud of the Year with El Generico in 2010. In 2013, Steen was ranked #10 in the annual PWI 500 by Pro Wrestling Illustrated.

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Today would have been the 50th birthday of Owen James Hart. Hart worked for New Japan Pro Wrestling, WCW, and Stampede Wrestling, but the youngest of the twelve Hart children was best known for his two tenures in the WWF, first as The Blue Blazer in the late 1980s, and again from 1991 to his death in 1999. Hart held numerous accolades in his career, including holding the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship (his only world title), two-time Intercontinental Champion, European Champion, 4-time tag team champion, the 1994 King of the Ring, and a three-time Slammy Award winner. He's also a part of one of just five five-star matches the WWF's put on according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, a steel cage match with his brother Bret at Summerslam 1994. Owen was also a staple of the In Your House series, competing in 22 of the 28 events from 1995 to 1998, and main eventing three times.

Beloved by his fans and peers, Hart died prior to his scheduled WWF Intercontinental Championship match against The Godfather on May 23, 1999 when an equipment malfunction caused Hart to plummet some 75 feet from the rafters of the Kemper Arena in Kansas City. Controversially, the Over the Edge PPV went on to its conclusion. The next night, a tribute show was done in his honor. RAW is Owen featured ten booked matches with no angles, plus wrestlers and co-workers delivering anecdotes about the late Hart. It remains one of the most watched episodes of RAW in the 22-year history. Martha Hart, the widow of Owen, would file a lawsuit over WWE's use of his name and likeness in June 2010. Just weeks before the matter was to go to trial, Martha and the WWF settled for an undisclosed amount.

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