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This Day in Wrestling History (Oct. 17): The $100,000 Ladder Match At No Mercy

this day in wrestling history

28 years ago today Forbes reported that Ted Turner was in talks to acquire Jim Crockett Promotions. The deal would be finalized a month later, and Jim Crockett Promotions would be rebranded as World Championship Wrestling.

The same report said that the privately owned-World Wrestling Federation was worth about $100 million. After a turbulent period involving the startup of the WWE Network (one in which the stock once lost about 70% of its value in two months), the company as of July 2016 is worth an estimated $1.5 billion.

17 years ago today, WWF presented No Mercy (WWE Network link) from the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. 18,742 were in attendance, with 327,000 homes watching on PPV.

Of note, this event is Jeff Jarrett's final appearance in the WWF, though contractually, he was not even obligated to be there: his contract had expired the night before and he was leaving. Jarrett, at the time, was the Intercontinental champion.

What happened on that day depends on who's telling the story. WWE claims he held out for a huge sum of money (an amount that also changes depending on the storyteller-some speculate it was as much as $750,000, though the real figure may be only about half of that), while Jarrett claims he wanted the PPV bonus money he believed he was entitled to, money that usually doesn't get paid out until months after the show.

Either way, the result is the same: Jarrett would get his money and be done with the company following this night, and would never return, even being publicly fired the Monday after the sale of WCW on RAW is WAR.

The show finished third for Best Major Wrestling Card by Wrestling Observer Newsletter readers in their annual awards (ECW Anarchy Rulz won the award that year, the only time the Philadelphia promotion won).

  • The Godfather defeated Mideon.
  • The Fabulous Moolah defeated Ivory to win the WWF Women's Championship. The win made Moolah, at the time 76 years old, the oldest champion in professional wrestling history.
  • The Hollys (Hardcore and Crash) defeated the New Age Outlaws (Bad Ass Billy Gunn and Road Dogg) by disqualification.
  • Chyna defeated Jeff Jarrett in a Good Housekeeping match to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Jarrett had originally beaten Chyna after hitting her with the title belt, but the decision was reversed when it was ruled that use of the title belt was illegal due to it not being a common household item. The win made Chyna the first woman to win a men's championship in WWF history.
  • The Rock defeated The British Bulldog.
  • The New Brood (Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy) defeated Edge and Christian in a tag team ladder match to win the Terri Invitational Tournament. The win gave the New Brood $100,000 and the managerial services of Terri. The bout finished second in the Match of the Year category for the year by Wrestling Observer Newsletter, bested only by a June 11 bout between Mitsuhara Misawa and Kenta Kobashi.
  • Val Venis defeated Mankind.
  • X-Pac defeated Bradshaw, Kane, and Faarooq in a four corners elimination match.
  • Triple H defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin in an anything goes match to retain the WWF Championship.

5 years ago today at an Impact taping at Universal Orlando, James Storm defeated Kurt Angle to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

It's a happy 59th birthday for Stephen Douglas McMichael, known more famously as Steve "Mongo" McMichael.

Born in Houston, Texas, he played for the Texas Longhorns from 1976 to 1979 and was a consensus first-team All-American defensive tackle his senior year. Drafted in the third round in the 1980 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, he would last just one season before being picked up by the Chicago Bears.

It was with the Bears he experienced his biggest football success, starting in 101 consecutive games from 1985, their Super Bowl winning season, to 1990, highlighted by consecutive Pro Bowl seasons 1986 and 1987, an 11½ sack season in 1988, and a 108 tackle season in 1989.

Though his playing time was reduced heading into the 1990s, his most famous moment came against the New York Jets in 1991, where he forced and recovered a Blair Thomas fumble late in the game. The Bears went on to tie the game in the final minute, then win the game in overtime. McMichael, who retired after playing one season with the Green Bay Packers in 1994, was called by longtime Bears coach Mike Ditka the toughest player he's ever coached.

After a brief run in the WWF as a member of Lawrence Taylor's All-Pro Team at Wrestlemania XI, Steve was hired by WCW in the summer of 1995. McMichael debuted on the first WCW Monday Nitro as a babyface color commentator. His commentary run came to an end just a few months later when he would engage in a feud with Ric Flair and Arn Anderson before siding with them and turning on fellow NFL player Kevin Greene at The Great American Bash. He would make his singles debut at Bash at the Beach in July 1996, defeating Joe Gomez.

McMichael had an on-and-off feud with Jeff Jarrett over Steve's real-life wife, Debra. Though they were briefly a team in early 1997, the duo broke up by the summer when Jarrett was kicked out of the Horsemen, then Debra leaving Steve for Jeff soon after (a partnership that would continue in the WWF). In August 1997, McMichael would defeat Jarrett for the WCW United States Championship. The next month, he submitted on behalf of the Horsemen in the War Games match while Ric Flair was taking a five-on-one beating at the hands of the nWo. Just one night after the match, Hennig won the United States title, and Flair disbanded the Horsemen.

McMichael would be the first major feud for Bill Goldberg in late 1997, then briefly feuded with Raven's Flock in early 1998. His career was put on hold when his hand was broken at Superbrawl against Davey Boy Smith. He returned that summer and would join the reformed Four Horsemen late in the year. McMichael left WCW—and the wrestling business altogether—in early 1999. McMichael would make one final wrestling appearance, as the special referee for the Monster's Ball match at Bound for Glory in 2008.

In 2007, McMichael coached the Continental Indoor Football League (later the Indoor Football League)'s Chicago Slaughter from 2007 to 2013, winning the CIFL Championship in 2009 with a perfect 14-0 season. Steve went 58-34 as a head coach before the team ceased operations following the 2013 season. McMichael would be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

In 2013, McMichael ran for mayor of Romeoville, Illinois, but was soundly defeated by incumbent John Noak. Today, he co-hosts a pregame show for the Chicago Bears for a sports radio station in Chicago. Steve has one child, eight-year old Macy, with his second wife Misty.

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