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This Day in Wrestling History (Oct. 1): TNA Impact Debuts on Spike

this day in wrestling history

31 years ago today at a WWF TV taping in Poughkeepsie, New York, Rick McGraw appeared on Piper's Pit, calling out Roddy Piper's lack of television matches.

The segment would set up Piper versus McGraw at the next set of TV tapings where Piper demolished McGraw. In a cruel twist of fate, McGraw died the same week the match aired. Though some fans linked the cause of McGraw's death to the match, in reality, McGraw died of a heart attack, likely brought on by years of drug abuse.

27 years ago today in Rochester, Minnesota, The Destruction Crew (Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom) defeated Greg Gagne and Paul Diamond in a tournament final to win the vacated AWA World Tag Team Championship.

24 years ago today, Kerry Von Erich, real name Kerry Adkisson, was sentenced to 10 years probation, had his license suspended for 10 years, and was fined $6,000 on six counts of prescription forgery.

He would violate his probation just four months later and would be indicted on cocaine possession charges. Facing certain jail time, he committed suicide via a gunshot to the chest in February 1993, the third Von Erich brother to do so.

23 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Eastern Championship Wrestling presented NWA Bloodfest: Part I. This was the first show booked by its eventual owner, Paul Heyman.

In the main event, Terry Funk defeated Jimmy Snuka to retain the ECW Television Championship. Also on the show, Sabu and Tazmaniac debut against each other, with Sabu winning.

16 years ago today, ECW presented Anarchy Rulz (WWE Network link) from the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul, Minnesota. About 4,600 were in attendance, with 87,000 homes watching on PPV.

It was the last PPV held during the television deal the company had with TNN. It abruptly ended later in the month after TNN had cancelled ECW over the summer once they had acquired the broadcasting rights to WWF’s cable programming.

  • Danny Doring and Amish Roadkill defeated Christian York and Joey Matthews.
  • Kid Kash defeated EZ Money.
  • Joel Gertner defeated Cyrus.
  • Da Baldies (Angel and Tony DeVito) defeated Balls Mahoney and Chilly Willy.
  • Steve Corino defeated C.W. Anderson.
  • The F.B.I. (Little Guido and Tony Mamaluke) defeated Yoshihiro Tajiri and Mikey Whipwreck to retain the ECW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Rhino defeated Rob Van Dam to retain the ECW World Television Championship.
  • Jerry Lynn defeated Justin Credible to win the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.

11 years ago today, TNA Impact debuts on Spike TV.

After being a PPV-only company for the first two years, Impact debuted on Fox Sports Net in June 2004. But an unfavorable timeslot (4pm Friday in some markets, but kicked around due to other affiliates' programming) and an unfavorable TV deal (TNA had to pay FSN for the right to air their shows) forced Impact out after just one year.

After a summer on the Internet (and the low-powered Urban America TV), they're back on TV, albeit on an even more unfavorable Saturday night at 11pm slot. Despite the slot, the show proves to be quite popular, moving to Thursday nights at the same time just six months later.

Of note, though it only lasted one night, Spike became the first network since TBS in 1987 to carry two competing wrestling promotions on the same network (just an hour earlier, they aired WWE’s Velocity, the last time the show aired on the network—or any network in the States)

The show featured the TNA debuts of the Dudley Boyz (known as Team 3D) and the return of Kevin Nash.

  • AJ Styles defeated Roderick Strong.
  • Monty Brown defeated Lex Lovett.
  • Chris Sabin defeated Alex Shelley and Petey Williams.
  • Jeff Hardy and Rhino went to a no contest.

11 years ago today in New York City, Sal Rinauro & Tony Mamaluke defeated BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs to win the ROH Tag Team Championship.

The show was main evented by a five-star match between Samoa Joe and Kenta Kobashi, with Kenta defeating Joe.

10 years ago today, Michael Hayes replaces occasional CSS contributor Alex Greenfield as the lead Smackdown writer.

9 years ago today, John Cena suffers a torn right pectoral muscle during a match with Mr. Kennedy.


The injury occurred in the early moments of the bout when Kennedy botched a hiptoss. Cena finished the match and the planned angle with Randy Orton that had Orton RKOing Cena on a table.

The injury would render Cena unable to defend the WWE Championship against Orton at No Mercy that weekend, ending his championship reign at 380 days, the longest since Hulk Hogan’s four-year reign in the mid-1980s.

6 years ago today, WWE Smackdown debuts on Syfy with a live episode from the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The loaded show even had a one-hour countdown special.

  • Dolph Ziggler and Montel Vontavious Porter went to a no contest for the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • Kelly Kelly, Natalya & The Bella Twins (Brie Bella & Nikki Bella) defeated LayCool (Layla & Michelle McCool), Alicia Fox & Maryse.
  • The Nexus (David Otunga, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel, Michael Tarver & Wade Barrett) defeated The Big Show via referee stoppage in a five-on-one handicap match. Had Nexus lost, they would have been forced to disband.
  • The Undertaker defeated CM Punk.
  • Randy Orton defeated Cody Rhodes.
  • John Cena and Kane fought to a no contest in a lumberjack match.

5 years ago today at SHIMMER Volume 41, Ayumi Kuhirhara & Hamada defeated Daizee Haze & Tomoka Nakagawa to win the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship.

At Volume 42 taped the same day, they successfully defend the titles by defeating the Knight Dynasty (Brittani & Saraya).

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