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This Day in Wrestling History (Oct. 21): W.T.F.: South Park Spoofs the WWE

this day in wrestling history

44 years ago today, All Japan Pro Wrestling holds its first ever show at Machida City Gym in Tokyo, Japan.

In the main event, Bruno Sammartino & Terry Funk defeated Giant Baba & Thunder Sugiyama in a two out of three falls match.

31 years ago today, All Japan Pro Wrestling holds its thirteenth anniversary show at Sumo Hall in Tokyo Japan.

In the main event, NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair and AWA World Heavyweight Champion Rick Martel fought to a double countout.

20 years ago today, Bret Hart turns down a lucrative offer from WCW ($8.4 million over three years) and signs a deal to return to the WWF. Oh, and he returned to WWF television after a near seven-month absence.

The front-loaded deal was unprecedented not just for the WWF, but for all of wrestling at the time due to the commitment being made on the deal.

The deal was for $10.5 million over 20 years: $4.5 million over three years as a wrestler, followed by seven years as a senior advisor at $500,000 each, then spending the following decade as a company standby for $250,000 a year, similar to a WWE Legends deal. The same deal gave Bret reasonable creative control of his character if were he to leave the WWF (as long as he gave a month's notice).

The WWF was in serious financial peril at the time, which is why Bret, at the time 39 years old, agreed to defer most of the money to his non-wrestling tenure. That serious financial peril only got worse over the next year or so, and Hart was encouraged to look into WCW’s offer again. In October 1997, just a year into Hart’s 20-year contract, Bret would sign with WCW.

If you’re doing the math, and you know you are probably, that means Hart’s 20-year deal would have expired yesterday. If you’re interested in how it all came together, you’ll want to click the report on the Hart signing from Wrestling Observer Newsletter here.

There’s more: on the same episode of RAW from Fort Wayne, Indiana that Bret returned (WWE Network link), Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Marc Mero to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

15 years ago today, WWF presented No Mercy (WWE Network link) from the Savvis Center in St. Louis, Missouri. 15,647 were in attendance, with 325,000 homes watching on PPV. Despite it being a pretty solid show, more than 200,000 homes less bought this edition than the 2000 event.

  • In a preshow Sunday Night Heat match, The APA (Faarooq and Bradshaw) defeated Chris Kanyon and Hugh Morrus.
  • In a preshow Sunday Night Heat match, Billy Kidman defeated Scotty 2 Hotty to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
  • The Hardy Boyz defeated Lance Storm and The Hurricane to retain the WCW Tag Team Championship.
  • Test defeated Kane.
  • Torrie Wilson defeated Stacy Keibler in a Lingerie Match.
  • Edge defeated Christian in a ladder match to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
  • The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) defeated The Big Show and Tajiri to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • The Undertaker defeated Booker T.
  • Chris Jericho defeated The Rock to win the WCW Championship.
  • Steve Austin defeated Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam in a triple threat match to retain the WWF Championship.

15 years ago today in Evansville, Indiana, AJ Styles defeated Petey Williams, Christopher Daniels, and Chris Sabin in a four-way match to win the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship.

13 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Albany, New York (WWE Network link), the Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny) defeated Los Guerreros (Eddie & Chavo) to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.

6 years ago today, Comedy Central aired a wrestling-themed episode of South Park, W.T.F., lampooning WWE with the boys forming their own backyard wrestling company after seeing an event at the Pepsi Center.

Reception for the episode was generally mixed; Carlos Delgado of iF magazine said the episode “starts out as hilarious and brilliant, but soon drifts into average territory before becoming absurd to the point of boring”, giving it a C+. Josh Modell of The A.V. Club also gave it a C+, calling it "one of those too-common SP episodes that could've been cut in half".

The episode was watched by 1.37 million households in the 18-49 demographic, which was behind that evening’s Sons of Anarchy episode (1.43 million) and the series-clinching game in baseball’s National League Championship between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies (1.56 million).

It's a happy 46th birthday for Accie Julius Connor, best known to wrestling fans as D-Lo Brown.

Born in Burlington, New Jersey, he began his wrestling career as Ace the Animal. He appeared on WWF Superstars in 1994 under his birth name as a jobber for Earthquake. After stints in Smoky Mountain Wrestling and the Heartland Wrestling Association, he joined the WWF.

After doing jobber duty for more than two years, Connor joined the WWF in 1997 as one of the suited members of the Nation of Domination. He was once slammed on the hood of a car by Ahmed Johnson. He made his television wrestling debut in April 1997. Two months later, Faarooq, the Nation's leader, fired everyone in the group save for D-Lo, who would later be joined by Ahmed Johnson (who was then replaced by Rocky Maivia (who would be renamed The Rock in early 1998) Kama Mustafa (who would be rebranded around the same time to a pimp known as The Godfather), and Mark Henry.

The Nation would splinter during the spring of 1998, with Faarooq being excommunicated from the group in a hostile takeover by The Rock, then turned on himself by D-Lo Brown and Mark Henry, a fate that the Godfather also suffered. Brown and Henry would have moderate success as a team, though they would never win the tag titles together. Brown's success came in singles, where he won the WWF Intercontinental Championship four times in 1998 and 1999, and the European Championship once. Briefly he held both the European and Intercontinental titles simultaneously. He was the first of four men to do so (the others were Jeff Jarrett, Kurt Angle, and Rob Van Dam; all three went on to win world titles in TNA; Angle and Van Dam won world titles in WWE).

In October 1999, Brown botched a running powerbomb onto Darren Drozdov; Drozdov suffered a severe neck injury and was rendered a quadriplegic. Brown in interviews since the incident said that the injury was on him and not on someone throwing an object in the ring, a rumor that had been going around at the time.

Brown would team with Godfather and Chaz (as Lo Down) from late 1999 to January 2001, but did not garner any major success. After stints in developmental and in Puerto Rico, Brown returned to television in April 2002. He would be managed by Theodore Long for a few months before he was released from the company in February 2003.

The next month, he would join TNA. He teamed with and had a rivalry with AJ Styles in 2003, but it would not be until 2004 he garnered championship success, briefly holding the NWA World Tag Team Championship with Gran Apolo. He left in the summer of 2004 for the international circuit. In 2005, he was a trainer for ITV's Celebrity Wrestling. He wrestled for Irish Whip Wrestling in Ireland, regularly toured the United Kingdom, and for All Japan and Pro Wrestling Noah.

He briefly returned to WWE in 2008, mostly working dark matches for the company. His lone notable victory in this run was over Santino Marella in July. Due to cost-cutting measures, Connor was released just six months later.

Connor spent 2009 wrestling for Ring of Honor, Chikara, and Pro Wrestling Noah, and was one of the last men to defeat Pro Wrestling Noah founder Mitsuharu Misaawa. In September 2009, Connor announced that he would retire from in-ring competition.

Connor would serve as the lead agent for TNA in September 2009 and was in charge of talent development and their Gut Check program. He briefly returned a return to the ring in 2013 as a member of Aces & Eights, losing to Kurt Angle in an I Quit match. Two months after his defeat, he was released from TNA. Connor would spend the fall of 2013 competing for All Japan Pro Wrestling.

Connor is a Certified Public Accountant graduating from the University of Maine. He is married and has two children.

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