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This Day in Wrestling History (Oct. 25): Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior: The Rematch

this day in wrestling history

24 years ago today, WCW presented Halloween Havoc (WWE Network link) from the Philadelphia Civic Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. About 7,000 were in attendance, with 160,000 homes watching on PPV.

  • In a preshow dark match, Erik Watts and Van Hammer defeated The Vegas Connection (Vinnie Vegas and Diamond Dallas Page).
  • Tom Zenk, Johnny Gunn, and Shane Douglas defeated Arn Anderson, Michael Hayes, and Bobby Eaton.
  • Ricky Steamboat defeated Brian Pillman.
  • Big Van Vader defeated Nikita Koloff.
  • Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes fought Steve Williams and Steve Austin to a 30-minute time limit draw for the NWA and WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Rick Rude defeated NWA World Heavyweight Champion Masahiro Chono by disqualification. Harley Race and Kensuke Sasaki were special referees.
  • Ron Simmons defeated The Barbarian to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Sting defeated Jake Roberts in a Coal Miner's Glove match. The match stipulation was determined by a spin of the wheel.

18 years ago today, WCW presented Halloween Havoc (WWE Network link) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. 10,663 were in attendance, with 310,000 homes watching on PPV, though some estimates have it as many as 500,000 homes.

The show is noted for its three and a half hour runtime, which created problems for many cable providers. One PPV provider in particular, Viewer’s Choice, caught a lot of heat, as many cable outlets cut the feed before the show ended (some could not accommodate WCW with the extra half hour, others would not, still others weren’t even told of the longer length at all). Where the feed cut out for some depended on the cable outlet, with some cutting at 10:50pm or 10:55pm ET, while some others cut at 11:05pm ET.

In the end, WCW were forced to air the world title match that many did not get to see the next night on Nitro (it got a record 7.78 million viewers, the most for any wrestling match on cable ever at the time). In addition, cable providers and WCW had to issue partial or full refunds for the event—about $2 million worth.

The Nitro featuring the Goldberg-Page replay was the last time WCW’s Monday night show beat RAW is WAR head to head in the ratings.

  • Chris Jericho defeated Raven to retain the WCW World Television Championship.
  • Wrath defeated Meng.
  • Disco Inferno defeated Juventud Guerrera.
  • Alex Wright defeated Fit Finlay.
  • Saturn defeated Lodi.
  • Billy Kidman defeated Disco Inferno to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Rick Steiner and Buff Bagwell defeated The Giant and Scott Steiner to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Scott Hall defeated Kevin Nash by countout.
  • Bret Hart defeated Sting to retain the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship.
  • Hollywood Hogan defeated The Warrior. The Wrestlemania VI rematch was voted by Observer readers as the worst match of 1998.
  • Goldberg defeated Diamond Dallas Page to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

17 years ago today on RAW is WAR from Providence, Rhode Island (WWE Network link), Ivory defeated The Fabulous Moolah to win the WWF Womens Championship.

17 years ago today on Nitro from Phoenix, Arizona (WWE Network link), The Filthy Animals (Konnan & Billy Kidman) defeated Harlem Heat to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship.

If this sounds familiar, then it probably is. It’s the second straight Monday the Animals defeated Harlem Heat for the titles. It’s the fourth tag title change in eight days (the titles were vacated at Halloween Havoc the previous night) and the seventh since August 1.

On the same show, Bret Hart defeated Goldberg to win the WCW United States Championship.

A side note to the title match: it also served as a first round match in the WCW World Heavyweight Championship tournament, as the title was vacated following the events of Halloween Havoc the previous night.

Also of note, Macho Man Randy Savage made his second to last appearance in a WCW ring. His last would come about seven months later in a battle royal.

12 years ago today, Stephanie McMahon and Paul Levesque, aka Triple H, get married. We’re going to safely assume it went a lot better than their storyline wedding a year earlier. But as it is one of RAW’s most iconic moments, here’s the video.

11 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in San Francisco, California, MNM (Joey Mercury & Johnny Nitro) defeat Road Warrior Animal & Heidenreich, Paul Burchill & William Regal, and the Mexicoos (Psicosis & Super Crazy) in a four-team match to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.

11 years ago today at an Impact taping at Universal Orlando, Jeff Jarrett defeated Rhino to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. The win came just two days after Rhino won three matches—and the NWA title—at Bound for Glory.

8 years ago today in Mexico City, Mexico, Blue Demon, Jr. defeated Adam Pearce to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

The win made Demon the first Mexican-born wrestler and the second masked wrestler (joining Abyss who did it in 2006) in the history of the NWA to win the "ten pounds of gold".

7 years ago today, WWE presented Bragging Rights (WWE Network link) from the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 13,562 were in attendance, with 181,000 homes watching on PPV, up from 153,000 buys for Cyber Sunday which was held around this time in 2008.

The hook of the show (besides a one-hour Ironman match) was an elimination tag team match featuring members of RAW taking on members of Smackdown for "bragging rights" and a trophy.

  • In a preshow dark match, Christian defeated Paul Burchill to retain the ECW Championship.
  • The Miz defeated John Morrison.
  • Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix and Natalya defeated Melina, Kelly Kelly and Gail Kim.
  • The Undertaker defeated CM Punk, Batista, and Rey Mysterio in a Fatal Four Way match to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Team SmackDown (Chris Jericho, Kane, Finlay, R-Truth, Matt Hardy & The Hart Dynasty) defeated Team RAW (Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Kofi Kingston and Mark Henry).
  • John Cena defeated Randy Orton 6-5 in an “anything goes” 60-minute Ironman match to win the WWE Championship. Cena scored the deciding fall by submission with five seconds remaining. Had Cena lost, he would have been forced to leave RAW.

6 years ago today on RAW from Green Bay, Wisconsin, Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel defeat John Cena and David Otunga to win the WWE Tag Team Championship. David Otunga was forced by Wade Barrett to lay down for Slater and Gabriel.

1 year ago today, WWE presented Hell in a Cell (WWE Network link) from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

  • Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, and Neville defeated Rusev, Sheamus, and King Barrett.
  • Alberto Del Rio defeated John Cena to win the WWE United States Championship. This was Del Rio’s first match with WWE since August 2014 when he was fired following a confrontation with an employee who had allegedly made a racist joke.
  • Roman Reigns defeated Bray Wyatt in a Hell in a Cell match.
  • The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley) to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
  • Charlotte defeated Nikki Bella by submission to retain the WWE Divas Championship.
  • Seth Rollins defeated Kane to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Kevin Owens defeated Ryback to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match.

It's a happy 59th birthday for the father of the Japanese deathmatch, Atsushi Onita.

Born in Nagasaki, Japan, Onita was the first true graduate of the All Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo. He was accepted by Giant Baba despite not having graduated High School. Upon graduation, he would soon experience success with the AWA, winning the Southern tag team titles three times with classmate Masanobu Fuchi.

Onita eventually returned to Japan during the wave of the junior heavyweights in the early 1980s, a wave led by Tatsumi Fujinami and Satoru Sayama, the original Tiger Mask. Onita would have a long-standing rivalry with Chavo Guerrero, Sr. The rivalry came to an end in 1984 when the many injuries Onita accumulated over his ten-year career was too much. He would retire in early 1985, while his classmate Masanobu Fuchi carried the flag of the junior heavyweights.

Atsushi would return to the ring in 1988. The next year, he would create Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, with the foundation being the deathmatches he had seen during his time in Memphis. Over the next six years, he would have deathmatches against the likes of Tarzan Goto, The Sheik, Terry Funk, Mr. Pogo, Leon Spinks, and Hayabusa, who would be the face of FMW.

Onita took a break to finish his high school diploma before returning to the ring in 1996. He led a stable, ZEN, in 1997, in an attempt to return FMW to its roots. But with its ideology changing under Shochi Arai and Hiromichi Fuyuki, Onita left the company he founded in November 1998.

He has largely wrestle as a freelancer since, including matches against The Great Muta in 1999, Riki Choshu in 2000, in a tag team bout with Terry Funk against Abdullah the Butcher and Giant Kimala in 2001, The Great Sasuke in 2003, and Genichiro Tenryu in 2005.

In 2001, he won a seat on the House of Councillors of the Japanese National Diet, the equivalent of being elected to Senator in the United States. Onita's political career was highlighted by being a part of a humanitarian mission in Afghanistan by performing some shows for children using crudely constructed rings. His political career ended in disgrace in 2007 when he was caught soliciting sex using government funds. Post-politics, he lent his name and likeness to Nintendo DS game Atsushi Onita's Political Quiz in 2011.

In 2008, Onita began promoting his own cards again and occasionally wrestles to this day. In April 2015, Onita rebooted FMW with himself as the central figure. Recently, he formed a new promotion, Fire Puroresu. He was set to wrestle in the debut show, but just a month prior to the show (and two weeks after the announcement), he broke his arm in a match, sidelining him from the event.

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