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This Day in Wrestling History (July 3): RVD's Terrible, No Good, Horrible, Very Bad Day

29 years ago today in Brisbane, Australia, Velvet McIntyre defeated The Fabulous Moolah to win the WWF Womens Championship. She would lose the title just six days later in Sydney back to The Fabulous Moolah.

24 years ago today, WCW held its first event since Ric Flair abruptly left (and/or got fired) from the company, with the announcement that Flair was stripped of the WCW world heavyweight championship. The event was held at the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, NJ.

21 years ago today at a taping for WWF Superstars in Ocean City, MD, Bret Hart defeated Bob Backlund to retain the WWF Championship (part 1) (part 2). Post-match, Backlund shook Bret Hart's hand, then attacked him, applying the crossface chickenwing on Hart. It took several referees to pull Backlund off. The post-match beatdown began Backlund's heel run. Also during the taping, Joey Marella would referee two matches between the 1-2-3 Kid and Jeff Jarrett. These would be the last matches Marella work for the WWF before a fatal auto accident following the taping.

14 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Tacoma, Washington, Billy Kidman defeated Sugar Shane Helms to win the WWF Cruiserweight Championship. It is the first time that a WCW championship has changed hands on WWF programming.

13 years ago today at an NWA-TNA weekly PPV taping in Nashville, Tennessee, AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn defeated the Rainbow Express (Lenny & Bruce) to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship.

9 years ago today on RAW from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Edge defeated John Cena and Rob Van Dam in a triple threat match to win the WWE Championship. This is the first time the WWE's top prize changed hands on RAW since Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Kurt Angle for the title in October 2001, and first title change on free television since Brock Lesnar defeated Angle in September 2003.

A side nugget on what led to the sudden title change: the previous night in Hanging Rock, Ohio, Rob Van Dam (real name Robert Szatkowski) and Sabu (real name Terry Brunk) were stopped for speeding, but when Ohio state troopers searched the vehicle, they found drugs and plenty of them: 18 grams of marijuana, nine Testolactone pills (used to treat breast cancer, by the way), five Vicodins, and various other drug paraphernalia between the two of them. The two were arrested and posted bond. Just three weeks earlier, Van Dam won both the WWE and ECW championships at One Night Stand, making the timing of the arrest incredibly awful. The next day, Van Dam would lose the ECW Championship and would be suspended for a month following the tapings. Van Dam would never again reach championship status in a WWE ring.

6 years ago today in San Diego, California, Edge suffers what appears to be a serious ankle injury during a match with Jeff Hardy. It turned out to be a torn Achilles tendon. Edge was replaced as one half of the tag team champions, teaming with Chris Jericho who would team with The Big Show going forward. Edge would sit out the remainder of the year and would return at the 2010 Royal Rumble.

6 years ago today, Variety reported that Warner Bros. officially acquires Midway Games for $33 million. Midway Games, the company behind TNA Impact, did not get TNA's license in the deal (that was sold off separately), leaving the game's planned sequel in limbo. SouthPeak Games would get the license a few months later and would release TNA Impact!: Cross the Line for the PSP and Nintendo DS in June 2010. There still has been no console sequel.

5 years ago today at UFC 116 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Brock Lesnar defeated Shane Carwin via submission in the second round to become the undisputed UFC Heavyweight Champion. The show won Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Best Major Show of 2010, the first (and to this day, only) time a UFC show won the award.

3 years ago today, WWE presented the Great American Bash (WWE Network link) on a live episode of Smackdown from Corpus Christi, Texas. The event is not considered to be a part of The Great American Bash chronology, which ended in 2009.

  • Layla and The Great Khali defeated Aksana and Antonio Cesaro.
  • Cody Rhodes defeated Christian.
  • Dolph Ziggler defeated Alex Riley.
  • Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter, and Santino Marella defeated Hunico, Camacho, and Drew McIntyre.
  • Ryback defeated Curt Hawkins.
  • Zack Ryder won a 20-man over the top rope battle royal to earn general manager duties for the following week's Smackdown (WWE Network link).

2 years ago today, TNA releases Taeler Hendrix, Joey Ryan, Christian York, and Crimson (real name Tommy Mercer) in a cost-cutting measure. Hendrix, Ryan, and York were all hired through TNA's Gut Check series of tryouts. The foursome would be a part of a massive housecleaning that would take place throughout the month (in the end, a dozen on-screen talent was let go). Taeler and Crimson both appeared on One Night Only specials following their release, and Crimson has since returned to the company.

On the same day, Taz announced he signed a new deal with the company.

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A day late, but happy 42nd birthday to Scott Ronald Garland, best known to wrestling fans as "Too Hot" Scott Taylor and Scotty 2 Hotty.  Garland actually spent sixteen years with the WWF, primarily as a jobber from 1991 to 1997, then as one half of a tag team with Brian Christopher. Originally known as the flamboyant duo "Too Much", they were renamed "Too Cool" in May 1999. They had their best run in 2000 when the duo won the WWF Tag Team Championship. The duo split in 2001 when Scotty went on the disabled list with bulging discs in his vertebrae. He remained with the company until 2007 and has largely wrestled on the independents since. Today, Garland is a firefighter and is training to become an emergency medical technician.

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