17 years ago today, Fosstone Productions presented Heroes of Wrestling from the Casino Magic Complex (today known as Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast) in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. About 2,300 were in attendance, with just 29,000 homes watching on PPV.
Born from the mind of college sports entrepenuer Bill Stone, Heroes of Wrestling was one of many attempts to cash in on pro wrestling’s renaissance in the late 1990s. His idea was to create quarterly PPVs featuring performers from the 1980s and early 1990s.
To say this PPV was a disappointment would be an understatement...actually, saying that would be an improvement, as anyone that watched it called it one of, if not the worst, professional wrestling PPVs ever. Needing about 40,000 PPV buys to break even (not to mention a better show than what was put on), the Heroes of Wrestling concept was scrapped following the event. Legend has it that Stone was so scarred by his experience at the event, he was booking his flight out of Mississippi before the show ended. Needless to say, Stone has not done a wrestling show since.
Also of note, Gordon Solie was advertised on the show, but did not appear due to his declining health.
- The Samoan Swat Team (Samu & Samoan Savage) defeated Marty Jannetty & Tommy Rogers.
- Greg Valentine defeated George “The Animal” Steele.
- 2 Cold Scorpio defeated Julio Fantastico. At 1.25 stars (out of 5), this was the best rated match on the show by Wrestling Observer Newsletter, and one of only two matches to get a positive rating. The other was the opener (that was rated 0.5 stars).
- The Bushwhackers (who were called Luke & Butch due to WWF owning the name) defeated The Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff. The bout was rated -5 stars by Wrestling Observer, and is just one of five bouts to earn the distinction. Until TripleMania XXIII in August 2015, this was the last bout to get a minus five star rating.
- Tully Blanchard defeated Stan Lane.
- Abdullah the Butcher and One Man Gang fought to a double countout.
- Jimmy Snuka defeated Cowboy Bob Orton, Jr.
- Jim Neidhart & King Kong Bundy defeated Jake Roberts & Yokozuna. The match started as Roberts vs. Neidhart, but Bundy and Yokozuna, who were advertised for the main event in a singles bout, joined in to make it a tag match. The reason they joined in: Roberts was visibly inebriated, even doing lewd things with his snake and members of the audience.
10 years ago today, Dioniclo Castenellanos Torres, aka Psicosis, was arrested after allegedly stealing a car from a 23-year old man in Baja California.
Torres was taken into custody after a high speed chase that resulted in several cars being hit, one inhabiting an 18-year old pregnant woman. The woman was treated and suffered no serious injuries. It also turned out that Torres used a toy gun to steal the car. Torres would be released from WWE shortly after the incident.
10 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Jacksonville, Florida, Chris Benoit defeated Mr. Kennedy to win the WWE United States Championship.
9 years ago today, Krissy Vaine, real name Kristin Eubanks, is released from WWE just two weeks after her main roster debut. At the time of her release, Vaine was seeing another developmental talent, Ryan O'Reilly.
They both requested their release due to the travel and lack of time they would have together on the main roster. Kristin would never return to the company, but O'Reilly would as Conor O'Brian, but more recently as Konnor of the Ascension.
As for Kristin, after retiring from wrestling in 2011, she is now a model for the Home Shopping Network and a holistic life coach. Kristen and Konnor, real name Ryan Parmeter, are still together. The couple married in June 2013.
8 years ago today, Nick Nemeth, aka Dolph Ziggler, is suspended 30 days following his first violation of the WWE Wellness Policy.
Ziggler had yet to make his in-ring debut on RAW, though he had made a few appearances introducing his character.
7 years ago today in Indianapolis, Indiana, Tyler Black defeated Roderick Strong, Chris Hero, Delirious, Colt Cabana, and Claudio Castignoli to win ROH's Survival of the Fittest one-night tournament. Other participants included Kevin Steen, Rhett Titus, Kenny King, Kenny Omega, and Petey Williams.
6 years ago today, TNA presented Bound for Glory from the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida.
- The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) defeated Generation Me (Max and Jeremy Buck) to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
- Tara defeated Angelina Love, Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne in a four corners match to win the TNA Knockouts Championship.
- Ink Inc. (Jesse Neal and Shannon Moore) defeated Orlando Jordan and Eric Young.
- Jay Lethal defeated Douglas Williams to retain the TNA X Division Championship.
- Rob Van Dam defeated Abyss in a Monster's Ball match.
- Sting, Kevin Nash, and D'Angelo Dinero defeated Samoa Joe and Jeff Jarrett in a 3-on-2 handicap match. This would be Sting's final TNA PPV until Victory Road the following March, and Kevin Nash's final TNA PPV ever. Though Nash would sign a new deal with TNA in January 2011, he never again appeared for the company; he signed a legends deal with WWE just before the 2011 Royal Rumble.
- EV 2.0 (Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Rhino, Stevie Richards and Sabu) defeated Fourtune (A.J. Styles, Robert Roode, James Storm, Kazarian, and Matt Morgan) in a Lethal Lockdown Steel Cage match
- Jeff Hardy defeated Kurt Angle and Mr. Anderson in a three-way match to win the vacant TNA World Heavyweight Championship. As a result of Angle's loss, he had to retire from wrestling (this, of course, did not stick). In the show's closing moments, the "they" Abyss referred to in recent months finally revealed themselves to be himself, Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Jeff Jarrett (all to the surprise of just about no one), and Jeff Hardy (to the surprise of almost everyone, as Hardy hadn't worked heel in a major wrestling company since 1999).
5 years ago today, New Japan Pro Wrestling presented Destruction '11 from Ryōgoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) in Tokyo, Japan.
This is the last time the event was held in October. The event has since been moved to September; King of Pro-Wrestling is the October event, held annually on the country’s Sports and Health Day.
- In a preshow dark match, Hiromu Takahashi and Kyosuke Mikami defeated King Fale and Takaaki Watanabe.
- Kushida, Schwarz, Tiger Mask and Weiss defeated Chaos (Gedo, Jado, Takashi Iizuka and Tomohiro Ishii).
- Yujiro Takahashi defeated Tomoaki Honma.
- Lance Archer defeated Wataru Inoue.
- Hirooki Goto and Tama Tonga defeated Shinsuke Nakamura and Último Guerrero.
- No Remorse Corps (Davey Richards and Rocky Romero) defeated Apollo 55 (Prince Devitt and Ryusuke Taguchi) to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.
- Satoshi Kojima defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan.
- Yuji Nagata defeated Toru Yano.
- Masato Tanaka defeated MVP to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
- Minoru Suzuki defeated Togi Makabe.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Tetsuya Naito to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
Today would have been the 70th birthday of Martin Austin Ruane, but wrestling fans know him as Giant Haystacks (no relation to Haystacks Calhoun).
Born 14 pounds, 6 ounces in Camberwell, England, Ruane and his family moved to Swinton at age three. He worked as a laborer and nightclub bouncer before trying his hand at wrestling at the suggestion of a friend.
Ruane began his career on the British wrestling circuit in 1967 as Luke McMasters . In the early 1970's, Ruane worked for Wrestling Enterprises of Birkenhead (today known as All-Star Wrestling) as Haystacks Calhoun, named after American wrestling star William Calhoun, before his name was subsequently changed to Giant Haystacks. In 1975, he moved to Joint Productions to team with Shirley "Big Daddy" Crabtree.
The heel duo terrorized the promotion with their sheer size and power. They also had a major feud with the masked Kendo Nagasaki. Big Daddy would turn face during the feud, breaking up the duo in 1977. The Haystacks-Daddy matches would draw some of the highest ratings for ITV in Britain at the time. They would feud off and on until Daddy's retirement in 1993. A devout Roman Catholic, Ruane refused to compete on Sundays.
Ruane, who stood 6'11" and weighed 685 pounds at his heaviest, would wrestle also for Stampede Wrestling in Canada, the Catch Wrestling Association in Germany and Austria, and World Championship Wrestling in the United States as Loch Ness. He was briefly a member of the Dungeon of Doom, but following a cancer diagnosis, Ruane returned to England and lived out the remainder of his days there.
After a lengthy battle with cancer, Ruane would die in his home in Prestwich, England on November 29, 1998. He was 52. At the time of his death, he was survived by his wife and three sons.