clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This Day in Wrestling History (September 26): We're Going Home

38 years ago today in New York City's Madison Square Garden. Dusty Rhodes defeated WWWF Champion Superstar Billy Graham via countout. To say this bout was anticipated would be an understatement: the Garden sold out, so a few thousand had to watch at the Felt Forum via closed circuit television.

28 years and a day ago today in Detroit, Michigan, Ron Garvin defeated Ric Flair in a steel cage match to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. "The Man with the Hands of Stone" was a reluctant champion, as other wrestlers passed on being a transitional champion (the belt would be switched back to Flair at Starrcade '87, which was up against the first Survivor Series).

Garvin, who was 42 at the time, realized this was his last best chance at a main event run, and took up Jim Crockett on his offer. As for Garvin, he disappeared for most of his two month run, rarely wrestling on television until his loss to Flair, ironically, in a steel cage match, at Starrcade. (h/t to John Z., who emailed me this little nugget. Thanks John!)

20 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, "The Gladiator" Mike Awesome defeated Hayabusa in a tournament final to win the FMW Brass Knuckles Championship.

16 years ago today, WWF presented Unforgiven (WWE Network link) from the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. 15,799 were in attendance, with about 330,000 homes watching on PPV; however, some estimates have the number as high as 408,000 buys. This was the last PPV by the WWF before the company went public in October 1999. The event also featured replacement referees for nearly all the matches, as the regular officials were on "strike" due to the continuous physical abuse they took in recent months. The only regular official to work a match on the show was Jimmy Korderas. It would also be the last WWF PPV for head writers Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara; they would leave a few days later for WCW.

  • Val Venis defeated Steve Blackman.
  • D'Lo Brown defeated Mark Henry to win the WWF European Championship.
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Chyna by disqualification to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
  • The Acolytes (Faarooq and Bradshaw) defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von).
  • Ivory defeated Luna Vachon in a hardcore match to retain the WWF Women's Championship.
  • The New Age Outlaws (Mr. Ass and Road Dogg) defeated Edge & Christian to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • Al Snow defeated The Big Boss Man in a Kennel From Hell match to retain the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • X-Pac defeated Chris Jericho (w/ Curtis Hughes) by disqualification.
  • Triple H defeated The Rock, Mankind, Kane, The Big Show, and The British Bulldog (with Steve Austin as Special guest referee) in a 6-Pack Challenge to win the vacant WWF Championship.

12 years ago today, The Rundown premiered in theaters. The Strike Entertainment/WWE Films co-production stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as a bounty hunter sent to Brazil to retrieve his employer's son, played by Seann William Scott. The film, while generally well-liked by critics, was a bust in the box office (The film, budgeted at $85 million, makes $81 million). Action movie legend Arnold Schwarzenegger has an uncredited cameo in the film.

11 years ago today, Marianna Komlos passed away from breast cancer. She was just 35.

Born September 3, 1969 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Komlos began taking up bodybuilding after weighing close to 200 pounds. In 1993, she got into the competitive bodybuilding circuit, eventually winning the British Columbia Championships as a middleweight in 1997. Komlos would appear on the cover of many fitness magazines, including in a span of four months in 1997 Muscle & FitnessFlex, and Women's Physique World.

In 1999, she entered the WWF as Mrs. Cleveage, the "mother" of Beaver Cleavage in one of wrestling's most infamous angles. Following the abrupt killing of that angle, Marianna was portrayed as an abused girlfriend of the former Beaver Cleavage, Chaz Warrington. After it was revealed she was faking the abuse, Komlos was written off and subsequently released. She was diagnosed with breast cancer soon after. Less than a week after marrying mixed martial artist and stuntman Paul Lazenby, Komlos died of breast cancer.

10 years ago today, exactly five years and a day after RAW debut on Spike TV, RAW airs on the network for the final time. Despite the fact that Vince McMahon thanked the network for their relationship the last five years, Spike wasn't exactly cordial. They muted RAW's new home (USA Network) at every mention for much of the show, pushed their UFC block, noting there were no scripts, and in one instance, muted their own network mention. In the show's main event, Carlito & Chris Masters defeated John Cena & Shawn Michaels.

7 years ago today, Smackdown airs for the final time on the CW Network, ending a seven-year run on the network that was once called UPN. The network merged with the WB in 2006 to form the CW (CBS-Warner Brothers). It would spend the next two seasons on MyNetworkTV, basically the leftovers from the UPN-WB merge, before moving to SyFy in October 2010.

6 years ago today, Ring of Honor presented Glory by Honor VIII: The Final Countdown from the Manhattan Center in New York City. The show is noted for the final appearances of both Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuinness in ROH before heading to WWE (Nigel would end up in TNA after failing a physical for WWE) and the return of Jim Cornette just days after he was let go from TNA. Plus Bret Hart appeared.

  • Colt Cabana defeated Rhett Titus.
  • The Dark City Fight Club (Jon Davis & Kory Chavis) defeated Up in Smoke (Cheech & Cloudy.
  • Claudio Castagnoli defeated Kenny Omega.
  • Roderick Strong defeated Delirious, Grizzly Redwood, and Sonjay Dutt in a Four Corner Survival Match.
  • The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) defeated El Generico & Kevin Steen in a Ladder War to retain the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
  • Chris Hero defeated Eddie Kingston.
  • Austin Aries defeated Petey Williams by countout to retain the ROH World Championship.
  • The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) defeated The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe).
  • Bryan Danielson defeated Nigel McGuinness via submission.

4 years ago today in Kansas City, Missouri, John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, and Jack Swagger in a five-man Hell in a Cell match to retain the WWE Championship. The bout was the post-show dark match for that evening's RAW taping and is considered a part of the match's history. At just five minutes, one second, it's the shortest Hell in a Cell match in WWE history.

2 years ago today, Hulk Hogan "quits" TNA at the conclusion of an Impact taping in Little Rock, Arkansas. In a last gasp, Dixie Carter wrapped herself around Hogan's leg as she begged him to stay and "join the Dixie train". Not surprisingly, Hogan basically wrote his own write-off from the company. The show airs a week later, two days after his contract with TNA expired. Though there was rampant speculation that he would re-up in time for Bound for Glory, Hogan instead would sign a legends deal with WWE in time for Wrestlemania XXX. The company rescinded the deal and fired Hogan after he's outed for making racist remarks on his infamous sex tape earlier this summer.

It's a happy 33rd birthday today for Kanako Urai. Known these days as NXT's Asuka, she gained international prominence as Kana.

The former graphic designer and video game journalist was enamored with puroresu and decided on a career change, and in 2004, she would make her professional wrestling debut for the all joshi promotion AtoZ. Chronic nephritis, an inflammation of the kidneys, forced Urai away from the ring in 2006. In her time away, she opened her own graphics design agency. She returned a year and a half later as a primarily freelance performer, working with at least a dozen promotions, including Ice Ribbon, JWP Joshi Puroresu, NEO Japan Ladies Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Wave, Pro Wrestling Zero1, DDT, Smash, her own promotion Kana Pro, 666, Toryumon Mexico, All Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Noah, and in the United States, Chikara and SHIMMER.

While establishing herself as one of the top villainesses in puroresu, she has become quite successful, collecting over a dozen championships, including winning the Smash Diva Championship twice, the Pro Wrestling Wave annual Catch the Wave tournament in 2011, tag team championships in Reina Joshi Pro, Pro Wrestling Wave, and Neo Japan Ladies Pro Wrestling, and the DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship five times.

In July, Kana announced that she would go on an indefinite hiatus following her KanaProMania event in September. Though there were rumors that she was pregnant, she said she wanted to try something new after wrestling for the past ten years. That something new would be more wrestling. After being spotted at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, rumors were abound that she signed with WWE. It turned out that she did, confirming the signing on August 27. Her first appearance with NXT came on the September 10 set of tapings.

Away from the ring, Urai is a fan of American culture, and cites her favorite bands as Aerosmith, Guns n' Roses, and Bon Jovi. She's also an avid gamer and likes movies including The Godfather, Gran Torino, and Dances with Wolves.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats