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This Day in Wrestling History (August 13): The Birth of WHAT?

15 years ago today, WCW presented New Blood Rising (WWE Network link) from the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 6,614 were in attendance, with just 85,000 homes watching on PPV. It's down 15,000 from last month's Bash at the Beach, but it's also way down from 235,000 for the event from this time the previous year, Road Wild. In another sign of how bad it's gotten for WCW, no PPV following this would get this high of a buyrate again for WCW. The show is often listed among the worst PPVs in wrestling history. The event finished third for worst major show of 2000 by Wrestling Observer Newsletter, behind two other WCW events: Superbrawl and Halloween Havoc.

  • 3 Count (Evan Karagias, Shannon Moore, and Shane Helms) defeated The Jung Dragons (Kaz Hayashi, Jamie-San, and Yun Yang) in a ladder match for possession of 3 Count's gold record and recording contract. Tank Abbott grabbed the record on behalf of 3 Count.
  • Ernest Miller defeated The Great Muta.
  • Buff Bagwell defeated Kanyon in a Judy Bagwell on a forklift match.
  • KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clark defeated The Perfect Event (Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo), Sean O'Haire and Mark Jindrak. and The Misfits In Action (General Rection and Cpl. Cajun) in a four corners match for the WCW World Tag Team Championship with Disco Inferno, Tygress and Rey Misterio, Jr. as special guest referees.
  • Billy Kidman defeated Shane Douglas in a strap match.
  • Major Gunns defeated Ms. Hancock in a Mud Rip off the Clothes match.
  • Sting defeated The Demon in just 52 seconds.
  • Lance Storm defeated Mike Awesome in a Canadian Rules match for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship with Jacques Rougeau as Special Guest Referee. Awesome had Storm beat on multiple occasions, but the rules were continually changed to tilt the match in Storm's favor.
  • Vampiro and The Great Muta defeated KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clark) to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Kevin Nash defeated Goldberg and Scott Steiner in a three-way match. Late in the match, Goldberg, who was "out" after being involved in a motorcycle accident, appeared, but shot out of the intended finish and walk out.
  • Booker T defeated Jeff Jarrett to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

14 years ago today, one of wrestling's most infamous catchphrases was born. It was during an episode of RAW is WAR where WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin was rallying his Alliance troops against the WWF, including three who didn't quite cut the mustard the previous week. I'll let the General take it from here:

[Hugh] Morrus was the guy who got dressed down first and he's the man lucky enough to be on the end of the very first time Austin uttered a catchphrase that would take over the pro wrestling world and ring throughout arenas more than a decade later.

"Look at ya. You're 275-pounds. Your name is Hugh Morrus. What? Your name is Hugh Morrus. What? Is that funny? Is that humorous? Are you here to make me laugh? What? You're pathetic! Look at me! You're pathetic! Y2J whipped your ass. I'm ashamed of ya. Step back."

He would go on to do the same to Raven and Tazz, both with hilarious results, and the biggest catchphrase in wrestling history was born. It would become the bane of Vince McMahon's existence. Really, it's the bane of every pro wrestler's existence, seeing as fans just refuse to let it die.

Every pause in every promo, no matter the guy delivering it, draws a "WHAT?!?" from the crowd, no matter the location. As Kevin Nash recently stated in an interview, this was the only thing Austin ever got wrong during his time in the business.

The catchphrase is only heard occasionally these days, but at the height of its popularity, it was heard on virtually every wrestling show on the planet, big and small. On the same show, Jeff Hardy defeated Rob Van Dam to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.

10 years ago today in Chicago Ridge, Illinois, Colt Cabana defeated CM Punk 2-1 in a best of three falls match. The bout, coming just one day after losing the ROH World Championship in a four-way match to James Gibson, was Punk's last as a full-time competitor in Ring of Honor. He was WWE-bound. Punk would appear just once more for the company, but not until the following February.

9 years ago today, TNA presented Hard Justice from the Impact Zone at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. The show is remembered for a malfunction in the pyrotechnics that set off the fire alarm and caused the Impact Zone to be evacuated. The show was delayed for 20 minutes and a scheduled four-team tag title match was cancelled.

  • Eric Young defeated Johnny Devine.
  • Chris Sabin defeated Alex Shelley.
  • Abyss defeated Brother Runt.
  • Samoa Joe defeated Rhino and Monty Brown in a falls count anywhere triple threat match.
  • Gail Kim defeated Sirelda.
  • Senshi defeated Petey Williams and Jay Lethal in a three-way dance to retain the TNA X-Division Championship.
  • A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels defeated The Latin American Exchange (Homicide and Hernandez) to retain the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Sting to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

8 years ago today, WWE taped the 35th edition of Saturday Night's Main Event (WWE Network link) from Madison Square Garden in New York City. Stone Cold Steve Austin made a cameo appearance on the show. Amazingly, this is the only time Saturday Night's Main Event took place in the Garden. In an interesting side note, the show, airing five days later, aired in the United Kingdom before it aired in the States due to time differences.

  • Batista and Kane defeated Finlay and The Great Khali.
  • John Cena defeated Carlito.
  • Evander Holyfield and Matt Hardy went to a no contest in a boxing match.
  • CM Punk and The Boogeyman defeated John Morrison and Big Daddy V.

8 years ago today, Brian Adams was found unconscious in his home in Tampa, Florida by his wife. He was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived on the scene. He was just 43 years old. Born and raised in Hawaii, Adams became interested in wrestling during his time in the military while stationed in Japan.

After training In Japan with Antonio Inoki, he returned to the States and worked with Pacific Northwest Wrestling. After winning the PNW tag team and heavyweight titles, he debuted for the WWF as the third member of Demolition Crush. With the addition of Adams, Demolition (at the time the WWF Tag Team Champions) invoked the Freebird rule, meaning any two members of the group could defend the titles (translation: Adams was a tag team champion in the WWF before ever wrestling a match). The group lost the tag titles at Summerslam 1990, but Demolition would continue as a team until Wrestlemania VII when they lost to Genichirio Tenryu and Koji Kitao.

After the group disbanded, he returned to PNW where he won the tag team and heavyweight titles for a second time. Crush returned to the WWF as Kona Crush in 1992, engaging in notable feuds with Doink and Macho Man Randy Savage. Adams was arrested and jailed in 1995 for purchasing steroids and possessing an illegal handgun. He returned to the company in 1996 as a hardened criminal biker (playing off his real life incarceration), and eventually as a member of the Nation of Domination, and later the Disciples of Apocalypse.

Adams left the WWF again in 1997 in protest of the Montreal Screwjob for WCW as a part of the New World Order. In the summer of 1999, he was originally picked to be the KISS Demon, but abandoned the gimmick before wrestling a match. Adams teamed with Bryan Clark to form KroniK and won the WCW Tag Team Championship twice in 2000. The duo would briefly work for the WWF in 2001, but following an awful performance at Unforgiven, Adams was released from the company after refusing to go to developmental (Clark did go, but was released just two months later). KroniK reunited again in 2002 for World Wrestling All-Stars and later All Japan Pro Wrestling. Adams briefly pursued a boxing career, but a shoulder injury ended those aspirations. His wrestling career ended in early 2003 after suffering a spinal injury while competing for Wrestle-1.

Post-retirement, Adams became a bodyguard for "Macho Man" Randy Savage and was looking to open a health club in Tampa, Florida with Marc Mero. Adams may have died from a drug overdose, but the cause of his death was never officially released.

6 years ago today, Spike TV and TNA issue a joint press release announcing their TV deal was extended through 2012. The new deal also called for 10 one-hour specials. The press release:

Deal Includes New Weekly Installments Of "TNA: iMPACT!" And The Addition of New Original Series of Specials

Spike TV and Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling have agreed to a new, three-year extension of their partnership, it was announced jointly today by Kevin Kay, President, Spike TV and Dixie Carter, President of TNA Entertainment.

The deal, which begins October 1, 2009, includes three new years of TNA's weekly "iMPACT!" show as well as the addition of a new original series of one-hour specials.  Each special (title TBD) will feature the biggest personalities and highlight some the greatest and awe-inspiring bouts in the history of TNA, many of them never before seen on basic cable.  TNA Entertainment will produce 10 one-hour installments.

"TNA: iMPACT!" is coming off its highest-rated and most-watched quarter on Spike TV.  During 2Q09, more than 1.8 million viewers on average tuned in to "TNA: iMPACT!" on Spike each week.  Overall, "TNA: iMPACT!" saw an impressive 31% overall growth compared to YAGO, with double digit increases in the key demographics of M18-49 (+33%) and P18-49 (+40).*

"With the tremendous success and record ratings we have achieved over the past three years, we are very happy to continue to have Spike TV as TNA Wrestling's partner," said Carter.  "We are excited to continue our relationship with the fantastic team that has supported TNA from the very beginning, and look forward to even greater success with all of our TNA programming on Spike TV."

"TNA Wrestling has consistently delivered strong ratings in key male demographics and has continually grown its weekly audience.  In the past year alone, "iMPACT!" has seen a remarkable increase of 30% in overall growth," said Kay. "We are excited to not only continue but also expand our relationship with the world's fastest growing wrestling organization."

4 years ago today, Lance McNaught, aka Lance Cade (also Garrison Cade) died in San Antonio, Texas by his wife. He was just 29. Training under Shawn Michaels, Cade teamed with Bryan Danielson for Japanese promotion Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling. He left FMW after just three months and returned to the United States.

He signed with the WWF in 2001 and went to the Heartland Wrestling Association, then a developmental company for the WWF. He would have two runs (one lasting a day) as HWA heavyweight champion and a tag team title run that lasted only a few minutes, as they broke up right after winning the titles. Cade moved over to Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2003 and teamed with Rene Dupree and Mark Jindrak before they were both called up. Cade would be called up himself that year and team with Jindrak until just after Wrestlemania XX when Jindrak moved over to Smackdown.

After a stint in OVW following an injury, Cade returned as Lance Cade with new tag partner Trevor Murdoch in 2005 won the tag titles together less than a month later. They'd lose the titles just over a month later to Kane and The Big Show. The duo split up for six months, but reunited for a brief feud with D-Generation X. They toiled on Heat for a bit before winning the tag titles twice in 2007. After the duo split up for good in 2008, he was a protégé for Chris Jericho in his feud with Shawn Michaels.

Following a drug-induced life-threatening seizure, Cade was released from WWE in October 2008. After almost a year on the independent circuit and in Japan, he re-signed with WWE in September 2009, but was released the following April under some pretty questionable circumstances. Lance was taken to a San Antonio hospital in the days leading up to his death, but discharged himself the next day. McNaught's death was ruled accidental, stating intoxication from a mix of drugs and cardiomyopathy contributed to his death.

4 years ago today at an Ring Of Honor TV taping in Chicago Ridge, Illinois, Jay Lethal, less than a week after returning to the company, defeated El Generico to win the ROH World Television Championship.

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