52 years ago today in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mad Dog Vachon defeated Verne Gagne to win the AWA World Heavyweight Championship.
32 years ago today in Greensboro, North Carolina, Dusty Rhodes and Manny Fernandez defeated Ivan Koloff and Don Kernodle to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
20 years ago today, WWF presented In Your House 11: Buried Alive (WWE Network link) from the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. 9,649 were in attendance, with 136,000 homes watching on PPV.
- In a Free for All preshow match, The Stalker defeated Justin Bradshaw. In a side nugget, at an even 20 minutes, this is the longest match on the card, including the post-show matches.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley.
- Owen Hart & The British Bulldog defeated The Smoking Gunns (Bart & Billy Gunn) to retain the WWF World Tag Team Championship.
- Wildman Marc Mero defeated Goldust retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
- Sycho Sid defeated Vader.
- The Undertaker defeated Mankind in a Buried Alive match. Post-match, The Executioner, a masked Terry Gordy, made his WWF debut and would join in a massive beatdown and burial of the Undertaker while Mankind made his way out of the grave. The show ended with one of the most iconic images in wrestling history, with the Undertaker's purple glove sticking out of the dirt.
- In a post-show dark match, The Godwinns (Henry O. Godwinn & Phineas I. Godwinn) defeated The New Rockers (Leif Cassidy & Marty Jannetty).
- In a post-show dark match, Shawn Michaels defeated Goldust to retain the WWF Championship.
16 years ago today, WCW releases Bret Hart, who would subsequently announce his retirement. He had made only a few appearances since suffering a concussion in a match against Bill Goldberg the previous December, but following a scathing column in the Calgary Sun from Hart attacking WCW's product, the company stopped using him altogether.
His final appearance for the company was about six weeks prior to his release when he confronted Goldberg about his career-ending injury, and Hart blocking a spear with a hidden steel plate. Per what seemed to be standard operating procedure for WCW, he was fired via a FedEx letter, the same fate that met most famously Steve Austin and Ricky Steamboat.
14 years ago today, WWE presented No Mercy (WWE Network link) from the Alltel Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas. 9,074 were in attendance, with 300,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 325,000 for the 2001 event.
- In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, The Hurricane defeated Steven Richards .
- Chris Jericho & Christian defeated Booker T & Goldust to retain the World Tag Team Championship.
- Torrie Wilson defeated Dawn Marie.
- Rob Van Dam defeated Ric Flair.
- Jamie Noble defeated Tajiri to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
- Triple H defeated Kane to unify the World Heavyweight and WWE Intercontinental Championships. The win left Triple H the only male singles champion on RAW. The Intercontinental Championship would not go away forever; it would return in May 2003, and it has been contested ever since.
- Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit defeated Rey Mysterio and Edge to win the WWE Tag Team Championship. This was the first championship match for Smackdown's tag team titles. Today's WWE Tag Team Championship uses this lineage.
- Trish Stratus defeated Victoria to retain the WWE Womens Championship.
- Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the WWE Championship.
13 years ago today on RAW from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, The Dudley Boyz defeated La Resistance (Rene Dupree and Rob Conway) to retain the World Tag Team Championship. They would win with the Doomsday Device, a move made famous by the Road Warriors. The win comes just a day after one-half of the famed tag team, Michael "Road Warrior Hawk" Hegstrand, died in his home in Florida.
9 years ago today at UFC 77 in Cincinnati, Ohio, Brock Lesnar was introduced as UFC's newest signee.
Lesnar would debut for the promotion at UFC 81 with a quick submission defeat at the hands of Frank Mir in February 2008. The former NCAA and WWE heavyweight champion would recover and go on to defeat Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 91.
6 years ago today, Steven Haworth signs with TNA just hours after failing a WWE pre-screening physical.
Haworth, most famously wrestling as Nigel McGuinness, would debut for TNA at that evening's tapings as Desmond Wolfe. He would not be nearly as successful in his TNA tenure, lasting less than two years before being released from the company.
3 years ago today, TNA presented Bound for Glory from the Viejas Arena in San Diego, California.
- In a preshow match, The BroMans (Robbie E and Jessie Godderz) defeated Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez, Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian), and Joseph Park and Eric Young in a Tag Team Gauntlet match for a TNA World Tag Team Championship match later in the evening.
- Chris Sabin defeated Manik, Austin Aries, and Jeff Hardy in a Ultimate X match to win the TNA X Division Championship.
- The BroMans (Robbie E and Jessie Godderz) defeated James Storm and Gunner to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
- Gail Kim defeated ODB & Brooke in a three-way match to win the TNA Knockouts Championship.
- Bobby Roode defeated Kurt Angle.
- Ethan Carter III defeated Norv Fernum.
- Magnus defeated Sting.
- AJ Styles defeated Bully Ray to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
It's a happy 58th birthday to Scott Oliver Hall.
Born to a military family in Miami, Florida, he attended high school in Munich, Germany. When his family returned to the United States, he attended St. Mary's College in Maryland and graduated with a degree in pre-med. He was pursuing a career as a children's doctor when he had already begun training for a different line of work: professional wrestling.
In 1984, he joined Championship Wrestling from Florida and trained with Dan Spivey under Mike Rotunda, Barry Windham, and Dusty Rhodes, with whom he would feud with. Hall and Spivey would then join Jim Crockett Promotions based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. The two would team as American Starship, with Hall as Starship Coyote and Spivey as Starship Eagle. They'd wrestle so little, the two were given side jobs by Crockett as grounds crew members for the minor league baseball team Charlotte Orioles (known today as the Charlotte Knights). The team would split up the next year when they wrestled for Kansas City-based NWA Central States. Spivey would return to Crockett, while Hall received a sizeable push and would befriend Curt Hennig.
The two would later team in the AWA. Hall first wrestled as "Magnum" Scott Hall before settling on "Big" Scott Hall. Hall got a major push, as he was essentially Verne Gagne's hand-picked replacement for Hulk Hogan. Hall and Hennig would win the AWA World Tag Team Championship from Jimmy Garvin and Steve Regal in January 1986. They'd lose the titles via countout just four months later and would soon split up. Hall was in line to become AWA world champion, but he hated dealing with the cold weather and thought that the AWA was "a sinking ship", so he would return to the NWA in 1989. (In a bit of foreshadowing, he was right. The AWA folded the following year.)
It wouldn't be until 1991 when he returned from Puerto Rico's World Wrestling Council (where he was briefly the Caribbean Heavyweight Champion) that he got something of a push for the rebranded WCW. He became The Diamond Studd, a cocky and vain individual who would invite attractive women to the ring, a gimmick very similar to that of "Ravishing" Rick Rude. He was pushed through the summer of 1991, but would be on the backburner by the end of the year. He would team with Vinnie Vegas and Scotty Flamingo as part of the Diamond Mine stable in 1992 as well as members of the Dangerous Alliance. He was set to join the group, but the idea fell through, and Hall left for the WWF.
He would debut in the WWF as the Scarface-inspired Cuban-American bully Razor Ramon in August 1992, and would be thrust into a major angle soon after. He had a hand in costing Randy Savage the WWF Championship the next month. The feud would include Ric Flair, the Ultimate Warrior, and Mr. Perfect when Warrior was fired from the company. At Wrestlemania IX, he became the first person to defeat Bob Backlund in a televised match. The next month, he would be upset by The Kid (later the 1-2-3 Kid) on RAW. The feud during the spring and early summer would slowly turn him face. Ted DiBiase was not impressed, badgering Ramon for months about losing to such a small jobber. Surely he changed his mind after DiBiase was defeated by Ramon in his final WWF match at Summerslam.
Ramon gained his first WWF title, the WWF Intercontinental Championship, in October 1993 by defeating Rick Martel. At the time of the win, the title was vacated due to Shawn Michaels being inactive (in reality, he was suspended from the company) for too long. When Michaels returned at the 1994 Royal Rumble, he claimed he was the Intercontinental Champion, saying he was never beaten for it. The issue would culminate in a classic ladder match at Wrestlemania X, with Ramon winning the bout. The bout was the first WWF match to get a five-star rating fromWrestling Observer Newsletter, and was voted the match of the year by the publication. (they would meet again at Summerslam the next year, with Michaels winning to retain the Intercontinental title) He'd lose the title about a month later to Shawn's bodyguard Diesel, but would win it back at Summerslam.
Ramon would hold the championship until the next year's Royal Rumble when he lost it to Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett had won via countout, but demanded and got a restart saying he wanted to win the title, and with a small package, he got it. Ramon would win it back in a ladder match in May 1995, making him the first man to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship three times. The glory was short-lived; he would lose it just three days later. He would add a fourth when he defeated Dean Douglas at In Your House 4 in October, only to lose it to Goldust at the 1996Royal Rumble. The rematch would have gone down at Wrestlemania XII, but Hall was suspended after failing a drug test. By the time he returned in late April, he was all but out the door with the WWF.
In May 1996, Hall along with Kevin Nash (aka Diesel), Shawn Michaels, and Paul Levesque (aka Hunter Hearst Helmsley), collectively known as the Kliq, hugged at the conclusion of an event at Madison Square Garden. The kayfabe-breaching incident, known as "The Curtain Call", enraged WWF management, especially after it was discovered that two fans caught the whole thing on tape via a sneaked-in camcorder. With Hall and Nash leaving and Shawn the WWF Champion at the time, the punishment fell squarely on Levesque, and would be on jobber duty for most of the remainder of the year.
Hall would rejoin WCW in 1996 as an outsider looking to take on WCW's best. He would be joined by another outsider, Kevin Nash a couple weeks later. The two stated they were planning a hostile takeover of WCW. The hostile takeover began in earnest at Bash at the Beach when the two, along with Hulk Hogan, formed the New World Order. They recruited other ex-WWE stars, including Ted DiBiase and Sean Waltman (who would be known as Syxx). Eventually, WCW stars would join the group as well, including Eric Bischoff and The Giant.
Hall and Nash, collectively known as The Outsiders, would win the WCW World Tag Team Championship three times from October 1996 to October 1997, holding the titles for 338 of 341 days. The duo would Freebird the titles with other members of the nWo during their runs. They would add a fourth and fifth tag title run in early 1998, defeating the Steiner Brothers both times. Hall had also experienced some singles success, winning the World War 3 battle royal and a future WCW world heavyweight championship match in November 1997. He would lose his title match to Sting at Uncensored 1998.
The next night, Hall and Nash appeared on Nitro under heavy influence of painkillers and alcohol. While Nash largely escaped punishment, Hall was forced to enter rehab. During Hall's absence, the nWo split up. When he returned, he turned on Kevin Nash and aligned himself with nWo Hollywood. The former friends would feud for most of the remaining of the year, with Hall at times appearing kayfabe drunk on camera. The feud ended when Nash powerbombed Hall twice at Halloween Havoc, but lost the match via countout. The duo reunited in November when they defeated Horace Hogan and Scott Steiner, and a month later, Hall would help Nash win the WCW world title when he became the first man to defeat Bill Goldberg.
The warring nWo factions reunited in early 1999, and Hall would win the WCW United States Championship from Roddy Piper at Sueprbrawl IX. He would forfeit the title due to a foot injury, an injury that kept him sidelined until October. Shortly after his return, Hall won the US title for a second time, then would win the WCW World Television Championship via forfeit from Rick Steiner. He threw away the latter belt just over a week later, vacating the title, then would forfeit the former title due to a knee injury. In December, the reformed Outsiders defeated Bret Hart and Bill Goldberg to win the WCW tag team championship for a sixth time, but with Hall injured again, they had to forfeit the titles. He would return in the new year with the rechristened nWo 2000. The group splintered a bit when he and Jeff Jarrett feuded over Sid Vicious' WCW world title. Vicious would defeat Hall at Superbrawl X, which would be Hall's final appearance for the company.
After brief stops in ECW and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Hall returned to the WWF with rest of the original nWo trio. He feuded with Stone Cold Steve Austin, culminating with a match at Wrestlemania X8 won by Austin. He would be gone from the company soon after following the infamous "Plane Ride From Hell" incident in May 2002.
Scott would have multiple stints in TNA following his release from the renamed WWE, appearing on the first few shows in 2002, as part of the Kings of Wrestling in 2004 and early 2005, in 2007 (though he was fired after no-showing a PPV event), and in 2010, where he won the TNA world tag titles with longtime partner Kevin Nash as "The Band". The group would be stripped of the tag titles when Hall's alcohol issues resurfaced in June.
In 2007, Hall would win the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship from Apollo and Carlito. He held the title for most of the remainder of the year, but was stripped when he no-showed a PPV. He'd appear mostly on the independent circuit through 2012.
Hall's drug and alcohol abuse has been a frequent issue in his life. It contributed in part to his first divorce from his wife Dana in 1998 (the couple remarried the next year, then divorced again in 2001). In 2008, he charged at comedian Jimmy Graham during a roast of wrestling The Iron Sheik after Graham had made a controversial joke referencing Owen Hart. In 2010, Hall was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest following an incident in a bar in Chuluota, Florida. The incident led to his release from TNA. He would be checked into WWE-sponsored rehab. While there, he was hospitalized for double pneumonia and epileptic seizures. At one point, he was taking nearly a dozen different medications a day to deal with his heart and seizure issues. Scott's struggles with alcohol and drug issues were the subject of an E:60 profile in 2011. In 2013, Hall lived with former WCW alum Diamond Dallas Page in 2013 and, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, got hip replacement surgery and dental work done as part of an effort to rebuild his life.
In 2014, Hall as Razor Ramon was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. After his speech, he was joined on stage by other members of the Kliq. He has appeared sporadically for the company since, most recently at Wrestlemania 31. Scott has two children, 25-year old Cody, who competes for New Japan Pro Wrestling, and 21-year old Cassidy.