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This Day in Wrestling History (Jan. 13): ECW's Last Stand

26 years ago today, Chris Chavis makes his professional wrestling debut for Larry Sharpe's World Wrestling Alliance in Philadelphia. Chavis was trained by Sharpe at the Monster Factory in New Jersey. Chavis would go on to moderate success in the mid-1990s (and a brief comeback run in 2006) as Tatanka.

23 years ago today, WCW presented Clash of the Champions XXII (WWE Network link) from the Mecca Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It would be the final major event Jim Ross called for WCW, as he soon was taken off WCW programming, which led directly to him taking a buyout to leave for the WWF.

The card itself got a major shuffling. The original main event of the show was Sting, Dustin Rhodes, Ron Simmons, and Van Hammer versus Big Van Vader, Barry Windham, The Barbarian, and Rick Rude in a THUNDERCAGE match (a domed cage match). Van Hammer and Rude dropped out due to injuries prior to the event. Barbarian was dropped from the team by Vader, who would also take Ron Simmons out of the match. Cactus Jack entered the match midway through to join Sting and Rhodes, essentially turning him face.

Elsewhere on the card, Johnny B. Badd replaced Erik Watts, who was kayfabe suspended due to an altercation with Arn Anderson, while the injured Van Hammer was replaced in the arm wrestling match by Tony Atlas.

  • Cactus Jack defeated Johnny B. Badd.
  • 2 Cold Scorpio defeated Scotty Flamingo.
  • Chris Benoit defeated Brad Armstrong.
  • Vinnie Vegas defeated Tony Atlas in an arm wrestling match.
  • The Wrecking Crew (Fury & Rage) defeated Johnny Gunn & The Z-Man.
  • Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas defeated Flyin' Brian & Steve Austin by disqualification to retain the NWA/WCW Unified World Tag Team Title Championship.
  • Cactus Jack, Dustin Rhodes, and Sting defeated Barry Windham, Big Van Vader, and Paul Orndorff in a THUNDERCAGE match.

15 years ago today, ECW held a house show at the Pine Bluff Convention Center in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. It would be the final event for the original ECW, as under crushing debt, the company filed for bankruptcy on April 4, just three days after Wrestlemania X-Seven.

  • Nova defeated Tom Marquez.
  • Christian York & Joey Matthews defeat Hot Commodity (EZ Money & Julio DiNero).
  • Super Crazy defeated Yoshihiro Tajiri.
  • Danny Doring & Tommy Dreamer defeat The FBI (Little Guido & Tony Mamaluke).
  • Jack Victory defeated CW Anderson (w/ Lou E. Dangerously) in a street fight.
  • Michael Shane defeated Oz.
  • Prodigy defeated Phoenix.
  • Rhino defeated Spike Dudley to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Justin Credible defeated The Sandman.
  • The Sandman defeated Justin Credible in a hardcore match. Post-match, Credible and Sandman hugged amidst a sea of bottles and cups being thrown Justin's way until Atlas Security stepped in. Then the locker room emptied and Tommy Dreamer and Sandman thanked the fans while the wrestlers shared beer in the ring.

13 years ago today, WWE broadcasts the first of two parts of their RAW 10th Anniversary special from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The second part, taking place the next night, was an awards ceremony honoring the best matches and moments on RAW from the past ten years.

  • Victoria defeated Jacqueline and Trish Stratus in a triple threat hardcore match to retain the WWE Womens Championship.
  • Maven & Test defeated Christopher Nowinski & D-Lo Brown.
  • William Regal defeated Jerry Lawler by disqualification.
  • Jeff Hardy defeated Raven to earn a spot in the Royal Rumble match.
  • Booker T and Lance Storm fought to a no contest.
  • The Hurricane defeated Steven Richards.
  • Chris Jericho defeated Batista, Kane, and Rob Van Dam in a four-man battle royal to choose his entry number at the Royal Rumble. With Shawn Michaels already assigned #1, Jericho stuns the world and chooses #2.

7 years ago today, Lisa Marie Varon, best known to WWE fans as Victoria, wrestles her final match for the company, a loss to Michelle McCool at a Smackdown taping in Omaha, Nebraska.

Breaking into the business while she was a fitness model and competitive bodybuilder, Varon broke into the business in 2000. She debuted that summer as one of the Godfather's ladies (you may remember her from the "Save the Hos" campaign). After some seasoning in Memphis and Ohio Valley Wrestling, she returned to the WWE in 2002 as a rival of fellow fitness model turned pro wrestler Trish Stratus. She was a two-time WWE Women's Champion and is often credited as a building block of the women's division in the early 2000s. In recent years, she was the veteran helping with the newer talent getting over.

Varon would open a couple of businesses in her brief time away, a custom body shop and a pizzeria named after her uncle. She trained for a prospective MMA career, but returned a few months later for TNA. She had a three year run there before retiring for good.

3 years ago today, TNA presented Genesis from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando. Of note, this was the first PPV under the company's new initiative to reduce the number of annual PPVs to four.

  • Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez defeated Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Mr. Anderson defeated Samoa Joe.
  • Christian York defeated Kenny King to earn a TNA X Division Championship match.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated Christian York to retain the TNA X Division Championship.
  • Devon defeated Joseph Park.
  • Velvet Sky last defeated Gail Kim in a gauntlet match to become the #1 contender for the TNA Knockouts Championship. Other participants in order of entry were Miss Tessmacher, ODB, and Mickie James.
  • Christopher Danielsdefeated James Storm to earn a TNA World Heavyweight Championship match.
  • Sting defeated D.O.C.
  • Jeff Hardy defeated Bobby Roode and Austin Aries in a three-way elimination match to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

2 years ago today, James Hellwig, aka The Ultimate Warrior, was announced as the headliner for the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2014. Two days after his induction at Wrestlemania XXX, Warrior would suffer a fatal heart attack while with his family in Scottsdale, Arizona.

And arguably, that may not been the show's highlight. Daniel Bryan breaking free from the Wyatt Family probably is. After the Usos (Jimmy & Jey) defeated Bryan and Bray Wyatt, he attacks the group, then in one of the iconic images in recent memory, leads a monstrous "YES!" chant on top of the steel cage.

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