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This Day in Wrestling History (Oct. 27): TNA Meets Hulkamania

this day in wrestling history

29 years ago today at a WWF Superstars taping in Syracuse, New York, Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana) defeated The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.

26 years ago today, NWA presented Halloween Havoc: Terror Rules the Ring (WWE Network link) from the UIC Pavillion in Chicago, Illinois. About 8,000 were in attendance, with 160,000 homes watching on PPV. This was the last Halloween Havoc to be presented under the NWA banner.

  • In a preshow dark match, Tim Horner defeated Barry Horowitz.
  • In a preshow dark match, Rip Rogers defeated Reno Riggins.
  • Tommy Rich and Ricky Morton defeated The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane).
  • Terry Taylor defeated Bill Irwin.
  • Brad Armstrong defeated J.W. Storm.
  • The Master Blasters (Blade and Steel) defeated The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong).
  • The Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin and Michael Hayes) defeated The Renegade Warriors (Chris Youngblood and Mark Youngblood).
  • The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) defeated The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) to retain the NWA United States Tag Team Championship.
  • The Junkyard Dog defeated Moondog Rex.
  • NWA World Tag Team Champions Doom (Ron Simmons and Butch Reed) fought Ric Flair and Arn Anderson to a double countout.
  • Stan Hansen defeated Lex Luger to win the NWA United States Championship.
  • Sting defeated Sid Vicious to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Sid originally was declared the victor, but it was revealed that Sid pinned a fake Sting when the real thing emerged from the back. The match was restarted, with Sting going on to win.

25 years ago today, WCW presented Halloween Havoc (WWE Network link) from the UTC Arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee. About 8,900 were in attendance, with 120,000 homes watching on PPV. This was down from 160,000 homes the previous year.

The hook of the show was the infamous Chamber of Horrors match, which turned out to be one of the worst matches in WCW history. It was also the show's opening match. Two matches on the show (the other being Oz vs. Bill Kazmaier) finished in the top five for Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Worst Match of 1991.

  • El Gigante, Sting, and, The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) defeated Abdullah the Butcher, The Diamond Studd, Cactus Jack, and Big Van Vader in a Chamber of Horrors match. The match could only be won when someone pulled “the final lever” after someone was hooked into the electric chair.
  • Big Josh and PN News defeated The Creatures (Joey Maggs and Johnny Rich).
  • Bobby Eaton defeated Terrance Taylor.
  • Johnny B. Badd defeated Jimmy Garvin.
  • WCW World Television Champion Steve Austin fought Dustin Rhodes to a 15-minute time-limit draw.
  • Bill Kazmaier defeated Oz.
  • Van Hammer defeated Doug Somers.
  • Brian Pillman defeated Richard Morton to become the first WCW Light Heavyweight Champion.
  • The WCW Halloween Phantom defeated Tom Zenk. Post match, the Phantom revealed himself to be the returning Ravishing Rick Rude.
  • The Enforcers (Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko) defeated The WCW Patriots (Todd Champion and Firebreaker Chip) to retain the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Lex Luger defeated Ron Simmons 2-1 in a best of three falls match to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

24 years ago today, WWF taped the 31st of Saturday Night's Main Event (WWE Network link) from the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Indiana.

The episode, airing November 14, was dubbed a “title tripleheader” with all three championships in the WWF at stake. With interest in the company declining (in part due to the steroid allegations surrounding the WWF at the time), Saturday Night’s Main Event was abandoned. Save for a one-off special on Wrestlemania XI in September 1995, WWF would not return to network television until the Smackdown pilot in April 1999.

Saturday Night’s Main Event returned in 2006, long after the series had outlived its usefulness, as matches once usually reserved for the show had become commonplace.

  • The Ultimate Maniacs (The Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage) defeated Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) by countout in a WWF Tag Team Championship match. Of note, this would be Warrior's last major television appearance with the WWF until Wrestlemania XII. Warrior would be fired November 21 (a week after the show airs, and just four days before Survivor Series) after he no-showed events in response to his being suspended for having HGH (human growth horomone).
  • Shawn Michaels defeated The British Bulldog to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
  • Bret Hart defeated Papa Shango by submission to retain the WWF Championship.

23 years ago today in Blackburn, England, Martin Lunde and Sid Eudy, aka Arn Anderson and Sid Vicious, got into a heated hotel room scuffle. According to various accounts, the scuffle carried on from an argument at the hotel bar about Sid’s place as a member of the Four Horsemen, while Arn was told he never drew money in the wrestling business. A scuffle broke out, but cooler heads prevailed and both men retreated to their hotel rooms.

The argument from earlier picked up soon after. Allegedly, Sid burst into Arn’s room with a hotel chair (what Sid had in his hand exactly depends on who’s telling the story). Arn tried to defend himself with a pair of safety scissors. The fight spilled out into the hotel room hallway, and Sid eventually gets a hold of the scissors. The two men would stab each other a combined 24 times, with Anderson getting 20 of the 24 stab wounds, losing a pint and a half of blood. 2 Cold Scorpio broke up the fight, and was credited with saving Anderson’s life. Vader may have saved Sid’s life; one of the his four stab wounds was in his stomach, and Vader plugged the hole with his finger until help arrived.

Both men were rushed to a hospital; after an overnight stay, both Eudy and Anderson were deported back to the United States. No charges were filed in the incident, however, neither man got off scot-free.

After hearing of the incident, several wrestlers threatened a mutiny if Sid (seen as the instigator) was not reprimanded. Then-WCW Executive Vice President Eric Bischoff had little alternative but to drop the hammer; Sid, who was booked to become the WCW World Heavyweight Champion at Starrcade that December, was fired. Anderson was suspended for his part in the incident.

For what its worth, the two men have since made peace over the incident, as Sid later apologized to Arn for what went down that night.

If you have a few minutes to kill, check out the transcribed accounts of three men that were there that night courtesy of Pro Wrestling Stories here.

20 years ago today, WCW presented Halloween Havoc (WWE Network link) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. About 10,000 were in attendance, with 250,000 homes watching on PPV. That's more than double 1995's edition with 120,000 homes. The show ended with the WCW debut of Rowdy Roddy Piper.

  • In a preshow dark match, Jim Powers defeated Pat Tanaka.
  • In a preshow dark match, Psychosis and Juventud Guerrera defeated Damien and Halloween.
  • Dean Malenko defeated Rey Misterio, Jr. to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Eddy Guerrero.
  • The Giant defeated Jeff Jarrett by disqualification.
  • Syxx defeated Chris Jericho.
  • Lex Luger defeated Arn Anderson.
  • Steve McMichael and Chris Benoit defeated The Faces of Fear (Meng and The Barbarian).
  • The Outsiders (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) defeated Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship. In a side note, the Outsiders would have a death grip on the tag titles, holding them five times for a total of 460 of the next 567 days through Slamboree in 1998.
  • Hollywood Hogan defeated Randy Savage to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

14 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, The Great Muta defeated Genichiro Tenryu to win the AJPW Triple Crown Championship

13 years ago today on RAW from Fayetteville, North Carolina (WWE Network link), Chris Jericho defeated Rob Van Dam to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship...only to lose the title moments later in a steel cage match back to Van Dam when co-general manager Stone Cold Steve Austin ordered an immediate rematch.

8 years ago today, Ring of Honor fires their long-time booker and co-founder Gabe Saplosky.

ROH owner Cary Silkin defended his decision to fire the man that had won Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Best Booker award four years running in a Newsday interview two months later:

"A lot of it boiled down to simple business and as a company there needed to be some changes.

“It was the right time to make a change. It's pretty much as simple as that. He did a tremendous amount of good things in his time, but it had sort of run its course and the change was important."

Sapolsky was replaced by multi-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce. Pearce himself would be replaced less than two years later by Hunter “Delirious” Johnson. Saplosky went on to launch Dragon Gate USA and co-found Evolve Wrestling.

8 years ago today on RAW from Tuscon, Arizona (WWE Network link), CM Punk and Kofi Kingston defeated Legacy (Cody Rhodes & Ted Dibiase) to win the World Tag Team Championship.

7 years ago today at a press conference in Madison Square Garden to promote his new book, Hulk Hogan announces that he has signed with TNA. Eric Bischoff was also at the press conference, and although nothing formally was announced about Bischoff, he too would sign with the company.

4 years ago today in Melbourne, Australia, Colt Cabana defeated Adam Pearce in a steel cage match to win their "Seven Levels of Hate" series 4-3 and the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

At least, that was the plan. NWA officials did not approve of their match being for the title. Post-match, both Cabana and Pierce cut scathing promos on the organization. Both men refused the title in the aftermath, and Pearce left the NWA entirely... for all of three months.

Pearce continued to appear regularly for NWA until retiring from in-ring competition in 2014. Pearce, now a trainer at the WWE Performance Center, was inducted into the NWA Hall of Fame in 2015.

As for Colt, he’s still on the independent circuit. When he’s not wrestling, he’s talking wrestling on his Art of Wrestling podcast. He is currently in a lawsuit against WWE as a co-defendant over his November 2014 podcast with CM Punk.

3 years ago today, WWE presented Hell in a Cell (WWE Network link) from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. About 9,000 were in attendance, with 228,000 homes watching on PPV, up from 199,000 in 2012.

  • In a preshow match, Damien Sandow defeated Kofi Kingston.
  • Cody Rhodes & Goldust defeated Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins & The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) in a Triple Threat Tag team match to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
  • Fandango & Summer Rae defeated The Great Khali & Natalya.
  • Big E. Langston defeated Dean Ambrose by countout in a WWE United States Championship match.
  • CM Punk defeated Ryback & Paul Heyman in a handicap Hell in a Cell match.
  • Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) defeated The Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro & Jack Swagger).
  • John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio to win the World Heavyweight Championship. Cena would be the last man to win the World Heavyweight Championship, as it would be unified with the WWE Championship two months later.
  • AJ Lee defeated Brie Bella to retain the WWE Divas Championship.
  • Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan in a Hell in a Cell match to win the vacant WWE Championship. Shawn Michaels was the special referee.

1 year ago today, WWE 2K16 launched in North America.

The fourth game under the WWE 2K banner is a marked improvement from the previous edition, featuring a reworked pin/submission system, limited reversals to prevent reversal spamming, a revamped creator suite, and the largest roster in the game’s history with 120 playable characters (though who they didn’t include created quite a bit of controversy: Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Bayley, and Charlotte).

The game’s showcase mode featured Stone Cold Steve Austin, covering the WWE Hall of Famer’s career in WCW, ECW, and WWE.

Reviews were largely positive, but sales for the game were down compared to the 2K15 edition (2.82 million copies worldwide for WWE 2K16, against 3.23 million copies for WWE 2K15).

It's a happy 51st birthday to Bruno Lauer, but wrestling fans know him best as Harvey Whippleman.

Born in Pennsylvania, he broke into the wrestling business at age 14 by breaking down the ring after wrestling shows at a circus in exchange for free admission. He would be mentored by Jonathan Boyd of the Royal Kangeroos and trained by Geeto Mongol, who gave him the ring name Dr. Lennerd Spazzinsky.

He would eventually land in Memphis as Downtown Bruno and would become one of the top managers in the territory. He would be mentored by the likes of Jerry Lawler and Sid Eudy (whom he would manage a few years later), who at the time competed as the masked Lord Humongous. He would be the Continental Wrestling Federation's last Southeastern United States Junior Heavyweight Champion, winning it in September 1989, just two months before the promotion shut down.

In 1991, with Eudy putting in a good word for him, Lauer landed in the WWF as Dr. Harvey Whippleman, a Pee-Wee Herman-like character with pinstriped suits, red bowtie, and flat cap. He briefly managed Big Bully Busick and The Warlord before taking on his friend Sid Justice shortly after his heel turn. Following Sid's matches, Whippleman would get a stethoscope and listen to the hearts of the men Justice defeated.

When Sid left the company, Whippleman would manage Kamala for most of the remainder of the year until he was defeated in a coffin match at the 1992 Survivor Series. Kamala left Whippleman, but Harvey kept his grudge against The Undertaker and would manage the eight-foot Giant Gonzalez in 1993. He also managed Mr. Hughes in his short time in the WWF. Harvey also managed Adam Bomb in late 1993 and early 1994 during his heel run.

In July 1994, Lauer was the passenger in the car crash that killed referee Joey Marella. Lauer was wearing his seat belt, while Marella was not. Though he suffered severe injuries, Lauer survived.

Harvey's most successful managerial run came in 1995 when he managed on-screen girlfriend Bertha Faye to the WWF Women's Championship over Alundra Blayze. When thewomen's division was abandoned late in the year, Whippleman disappeared from television and Bertha subsequently released.

Harvey in 1996 became a referee when Whippleman complained to Gorilla Monsoon about the lack of consistency amongst officials. In March 1997, he learned the hard way about the hazards of the job when Chyna gorilla pressed him on to a group of referees. His final appearance during this period came in November 1997 when he appeared with D-Generation X as "Handsome Harry" in response to Ravishing Rick Rude leaving WWF for WCW (the previous week, Rude appeared on both a pre-taped RAW and a live Nitro). He would serve as a scab referee on a couple of occasions in 1999; ironically both times involved Jeff Jarrett matches for the Intercontinental Championship.

On January 31, 2000, Whippleman, disguised as a woman, defeated The Kat in a lumberjill snowbunny match to win the WWF Womens Championship. He would be the first—and only—male to hold the championship. He would also be the company's shortest reigning women's champion ever, losing it just a day later to Jacqueline. Whippleman appeared in backstage and non-match segments through 2001, where he transitioned to road agent duty and today serves as WWE's unofficial concierge.

He would come out for managing twice more: as part of the gimmick battle royal atWrestlemania X-Seven with Kamala and Kim Chee and managing the Brooklyn Brawler in a squash loss to Ezekiel Jackson in 2010.

Lauer wrote an autobiography released in 2008, Wrestling with the Truth.

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