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This Day in Wrestling History (August 5): ALL THE BELTS

24 years ago today at a WCW TV taping in St. Joseph, Missouri, Big Josh, Dustin Rhodes, and Tom Zenk defeated The Fabulous Freebirds (Badstreet, Jimmy Garvin, and Michael Hayes) to win the WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Championship.

19 years ago today, The Great Sasuke defeated Ultimo Dragon to win the J-Crown tournament, and with it, a total of eight junior heavyweight championships. For the curious, here's the list:

  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
  • NWA Junior Heavyweight Championship
  • NWA World Welterweight Championship
  • WAR International Junior Heavyweight Championship
  • UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Championship
  • WWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Championship
  • British Commonwealth Junior Heavyweight Championship
  • WWF Light Heavyweight Championship

The J-Crown was only around for 15 months; two of its other four holders of the J-Crown were its creator Jushin Liger and Ultimo Dragon, who at the time of holding the J-Crown was also NWA World Middleweight and WCW Cruiserweight Champion. The J-Crown was retired in November 1997 when the WWF came for their light heavyweight championship. Shinjiro Otani, the champion at the time, also returned the other belts except the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.

15 years ago today, Pro Wrestling NOAH was born in Tokyo's Differ Ariake. The promotion was founded by a group of All Japan Pro Wrestling defectors led by Mitsuharu Misawa. In the featured bout, Jun Akiyama and Kenta Kobashi (not to be confused with recent WWE signee KENTA Kobayashi) defeated Misawa and Akira Taue 2-0 in a best of three falls match.

9 years ago today at ROH Fight of the Century from Edison, New Jersey, Bryan Danielson and Samoa Joe fought to a one-hour draw for the ROH World Championship.

4 years ago today, WWE releases Chris Masters (real name Chris Mordetzky), David Hart Smith, Melina Perez, Vladimir Kozlov (Oleg Prudius), and developmental talents Bobby Dutch (William Carr), DeSean Bishop, Jason Mullen, Lucky Cannon (Jonathan Emminger), and Sonia (Su Yung). Also released from developmental despite the fact that they were brought in that week were Colin Cassady (William Morrisey), Leroy Parks, and Cameron Lynn (Ariane Andrew). Andrew and Morrisey would eventually return to the company and remain to this day.

On the same day, Gail Kim announces via Twitter that she had quit the company. She wanted her release, but was not granted said release despite having less than two months remaining on her contract.

3 years ago today, AAA presented Triplemania XX from Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City.

  • Faby Apache, Fénix, Octagóncito and Pimpinela Escarlata defeated Dark Dragon, Mini Charly Manson, Sexy Star and Yuriko.
  • La Hermandad 187 (Joe Líder and Psicosis) were defeated by Chessman and Juventud Guerrera, La Familia de Tijuana (Extreme Tiger and Halloween), and The Hart Foundation 2.0 (Jack Evans and Teddy Hart) in a Parejas Suicidas steel cage match. As a result of being the last team in the cage, Lider and Psicosis had to compete in a hair versus hair match later in the show.
  • La Parka and Los Psycho Circus (Monster Clown, Murder Clown and Psycho Clown) defeated El Consejo (Semental, El Texano, Jr. and Toscano) and Octagón
  • Psicosis defeated Joe Líder in a hair versus hair match.
  • Team Joaquín Roldán (Electroshock and L.A. Park) defeated Team Dorian Roldán (Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle) in a tag team hair versus hair match. As a result of the loss, Dorian's hair was shaved.
  • El Mesías defeated El Hijo del Perro Aguayo to retain the AAA World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Dr. Wagner, Jr. defeated Máscara Año 2000, Jr. in a mask versus mask match.

Happy 62nd birthday to one half of legendary tag team The Fabulous Ones, Wallace Stanfield Lane, or simply Stan Lane. Lane was a part of the Fabulous Ones with Steve Keirn in the early 1980s (and briefly again in the early 1990s) and pioneered the "MTV style" promotional video, where they would use flashy entrances and promo videos interspersed with popular songs of the time. In the late 1980s, he along with Bobby Eaton formed a rebooted Midnight Express, where they would win the NWA United States Tag Team titles three times and the World Tag Team titles once.  He was also part of the original Heavenly Bodies with Tom Pritchard; together they won the Smoky Mountain Wrestling tag titles five times. Lane is a part of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame Class of 2009 with Eaton.

Happy 68th birthday to Rick Derringer. The name may not mean much to you, but you certainly know his work. He's the man behind Hulk Hogan's WWF theme, "Real American", one of the defining wrestling themes of all time. (Side note: the theme was first used for the US Express, the team of Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham.)

Today would have been the 100th birthday of women's wrestling icon Mildred Bliss, aka Mildred Burke. A member of the Wrestling Observer Newletter and Pro Wrestling Halls of Fame, Burke held the NWA World Women's Championship from 1937 to 1954. Mildred married her trainer Billy Wolfe, but life on the road put an eventual strain on the relationship (Wolfe garnered the reputation as a womanizer), and the couple, who had two children (one of which died to injuries suffered in a match) divorced in 1952. The fallout led to the couple competing for women wrestlers and Burke virtually frozen out of the NWA altogether. Burke lost the NWA Womens Championship to June Byers, Wolfe's daughter-in-law, in 1954. By that time, she had started her own promotion, the World Womens Wrestling Association, and recognized herself as champion until her retirement in 1956. The belt was revived for All Japan Womens Pro Wrestling in 1970. Burke's later days saw her as a trainer for her own wrestling school in Encino, California; her most famous protégé was Rhonda Sing, who went on to fame internationally as Monster Ripper and as Bertha Faye in the WWF. Burke died from a stroke in February 1989. She was 73.

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