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This Day in Wrestling History (Oct. 28): Thunderdome Comes to WCW

this day in wrestling history

27 years ago, NWA presented WCW Halloween Havoc: Settling the Score (WWE Network link) from the Philadelphia Civic Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. About 7,300 were in attendance, with 175,000 homes watching on PPV.

  • Tom Zenk defeated Mike Rotunda.
  • The Samoan Swat Team (Samu, Fatu and The Samoan Savage) defeated The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) and Steve Williams.
  • Tommy Rich defeated The Cuban Assassin.
  • The Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin and Michael Hayes) defeated The Dynamic Dudes (Shane Douglas and Johnny Ace) to retain the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Doom (Ron Simmons and Butch Reed) defeated The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott).
  • Lex Luger defeated Brian Pillman to retain the NWA United States Championship.
  • The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) defeated The Skyscrapers (Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey) by disqualification.
  • Ric Flair and Sting defeated The Great Muta and Terry Funk in a Thunderdome cage match. The cage (part of which actually caught fire pre-match) was decorated in the spirit of the holiday and electrified to prevent outsiders from entering and competitors from leaving. The match could only end when one of the managers threw in the towel on their team's behalf. Ole Anderson nailed Gary Hart, causing Hart's towel to fly into the ring, causing special referee Bruno Sammartino to end the match.

16 years and a day ago today, Bret Hart announces his retirement from wrestling.

The announcement comes a week after he was fired via FedEx from WCW; the company exercised its inactivity clause, the same clause they would use to infamously fire Ricky Steamboat in 1994 and Steve Austin in 1995.

Hart last appeared on WCW programming in September 2000 when Hart blocked a Goldberg spear with a hidden steel plate, then quit the company on-camera. Wrestling-wise, he had not wrestled since suffering from post-concussion syndrome in January following a Goldberg thrust kick at Starrcade '99.

The announcement, which had been teased for a week, from Bret's website:

We are never prepared for what we expect.

It is with deep regret and sadness that I officially announce that my career as a professional wrestler is over...forever. Due to the severity of numerous concussions, I received in late December 1999 and early January 2000 as the reigning WCW World Champion my Doctors have advised me that any physical return to the ring would hold serious consequences for me. So, after great deliberation is has become clear that it is best for me, my family and my fans that I say goodbye. I would like to thank every single wrestler I ever worked with. I wanted to thank my loyal fans all around the world. I owe you all for what I am. I never really worked for an honest wrestling promoter except my Dad who I especially want to thank.

Wrestling has been my life forever. I have been extremely fortunate in what I have achieved and what I have attained through wrestling. Wrestling will always be in my blood. I sincerely hope that I can impart some of the lessons I have learned to those now involved and to those on the way up. I hope that by doing so, the wrestling business will be a better business for the people that make it happen. The wrestlers.

Every hero becomes a bore at last.

Thank you

Bret Hitman Hart

Post-retirement, Hart had finished his autobiography (but not until 2007; he had suffered a stroke in 2002, putting his work on hold), performed as Aladdin in a stage production of a play of the same name, appeared on numerous talk shows (especially following the death of Chris Benoit), and would make amends with Shawn Michaels and WWE. Oh, and he would win one more championship: the WWE United States Championship in 2010.

13 years ago, Low Ki, one of the central figures of Ring of Honor, leaves the company over creative and financial differences. He would have an on-and-off relationship with the company from 2004 to 2006.

11 years ago today, WWE signs Oleg Prudius following a visit to WWE headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut.

Prudius was accompanied by TNA minority owner Jerry Jarrett, and this gets Jerry in some serious hot water—so serious, his minority stake would be bought out and it would estrange his relationship with his son Jeff.

In a bit of trivia, WWE signed Prudius, who would go to have a little success with the company as Vladimir Kozlov, without seeing him in the ring. Also in a bit of shrewd movement, Jerry purposefully went to WWE headquarters to get himself out of TNA, saying he was tired of the personal stress and aggravation with dealing with the company post-Carter family takeover.

10 years ago today following an event in Racine, Wisconsin, WWE announces that ECW house shows would be suspended indefinitely, as they would be combined with the Smackdown events going forward. The ECW house shows would never return.

9 years ago today, WWE presented Cyber Sunday (WWE Network link) from the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. 10,094 were in attendance, with 194,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 228,000 for the 2006 edition.

The hook of the show of course was that every match and stipulation on the show would be decided by a fan vote.

  • In a preshow dark match, Jesse and Festus defeated Deuce and Domino.
  • Rey Mysterio defeated Finlay in a stretcher match. The stretcher match won the fan vote with 40%, followed by no disqualification at 36% and a shillelagh on a pole match with 24%.
  • CM Punk defeated The Miz to retain the ECW Championship. The Miz won the title shot with 39% of the vote. Other challengers were John Morrison (33%) and Big Daddy V (28%).
  • Mr. Kennedy defeated Jeff Hardy. The two were forced to face one another as they did not win the vote to challenge Randy Orton for the WWE Championship.
  • Kane defeated WWE United States Champion Montel Vontavious Porter by countout. Kane was the fans' choice with 67% of the vote. Other challengers were The Great Khali (24%) and Mark Henry (9%).
  • Shawn Michaels defeated WWE Champion Randy Orton by disqualification . Michaels won the title shot with 59% of the vote. Jeff Hardy got 31%, and Mr. Kennedy got 10%.
  • Triple H defeated Umaga in a Street Fight. Street fight was the stipulation of choice with 57%, followed by steel cage with 26% and first blood match with 17%.
  • Mickie James won a Divas Halloween Costume Contest. She won with 21% of the vote. The rest of the top five were Kelly Kelly (17%), Torrie Wilson (15%), Melina (12%), and Maria (12%). Other participants (in order of finish) were Layla, Jillian Hall, Victoria, Brooke Adams, and Michelle McCool.
  • Batista defeated The Undertaker to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. Stone Cold Steve Austin was the overwhelming choice for special referee with 79%. Other options were Mick Foley (11%) and John "Bradshaw" Layfield (10%).

4 years ago today, WWE presented Hell in a Cell (WWE Network link) from the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. About 10,000 were in attendance, with 199,000 homes watching on PPV. That's up a bit from the 2011 edition, which had 180,000 buys.

  • Randy Orton defeated Alberto Del Rio.
  • Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow) defeated Team Hell No (Kane & Daniel Bryan) by disqualification in a WWE Tag Team Championship Match.
  • Kofi Kingston defeated The Miz to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • Antonio Cesaro defeated Justin Gabriel to retain the WWE United States Championship.
  • Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara defeated The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O'Neil).
  • The Big Show defeated Sheamus to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Eve Torres defeated Layla and Kaitlyn in a triple threat match to retain the WWE Divas Championship.
  • CM Punk defeated Ryback in a Hell In A Cell match to retain the WWE Championship. The loss was the first for Ryback since he joined the main roster in April.

2 years ago today, WWE 2K15 is launched in North America.

The WWE debut for the current generation of consoles had the game rebuilt from the ground up, including an emphasis on realism, 2K Showcase (focusing on WWE rivalries of the past), and a MyCareer mode similar to the NBA 2K series, where players guide a created wrestler’s career from NXT to the main event of Wrestlemania.

The game, which was released on PC in April 2016 (the first WWE PC game since WWF RAW in 2002), was not well-reviewed, mainly due to its limitations (slower gameplay, barebones creator suite, lack of ability to create female wrestlers). Despite that, 3.23 million copies of the game were sold, a million more than the previous year (about 250,000 more when not accounting for PC, XBox One, and PS4 editions of the game).

1 year ago today, Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that well-accomplished independent wrestler Melissa Anderson, best known as Cheerleader Melissa (and briefly Alissa Flash in TNA) had signed with Lucha Underground.

There were conflicting reports from the Observer and women’s wrestling news site Diva-Dirt as to what Melissa’s role would be; Observer said she would play the sister of Marty “The Moth” Martinez, while Diva-Dirt said she would play someone that “played heavily into Lucha Underground's tribe mythology”.

Turned out they were both right. She debuted on the March 9 episode as Marty’s sister Mariposa.

It's a happy 36th birthday for Christina Lee Hemme, or simply Christy Hemme.

Born in Poway, California and raised in Temecula, California, the self-professed tomboy enjoyed racing street bikes and dirt bikes and majored in dance at Mt. San Jacinto College in Riverside, California.

After graduation, Christy relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career in modeling. She joined a burlesque dance team and performed on motorcycle rallies and appeared in music videos for Blink-182 and Trace Adkins. She also would appear in commercials for AT&T and TrimSpa and was a spokesmodel for Hawaiian Tropic. In 2003, she was a part of the Juggy Dance Squad on the Comedy Central series The Man Show.

In the summer of 2004, Hemme participated in the first ever televised WWE RAW Diva Search and would best Playboy Playmate of the Year Carmella DeCesare in the final to win the competition and $250,000. Almost immediately, she was thrust into her first feud; she and DeCesare feuded for about the next month, culminating with Hemme winning a lingerie pillow fight.

In the run-up to Wrestlemania 21, Hemme scored the cover of the April 2005 Playboy. Trish Stratus, then the women's champion, was none too happy about the attention she'd got. Hemme slapped Stratus; Stratus responded with a Chick Kick and a derogatory term sprayed on her back. Hemme would challenge Trish for the women's title at Wrestlemania, but despite having Lita in her corner, Trish retained.

Hemme then would feud with Victoria, first on the RAW house show circuit, then on television through June 2005. Victoria would defeat her at Vengeance. Hemme briefly aligned herself with Eugene before being traded toSmackdown in August 2005. A month later, she feuded with Melina and MNM. Hemme would join with a rebooted Legion of Doom.

The two would split four television bouts (one of them an intergender six-man tag match, another a bra and panties match) over six weeks. Christy would then be moved to OVW, but less than a week after her arrival, she was released from WWE, with the company claiming budget cuts and creative having nothing for her. Christy gave a different account of her release in 2008:

"I stuck to my guns on my morals and values as a human being. I knew in my gut that it would be the end, but I also knew that carrying guilt for knowingly doing something against what I believed wasn't worth getting ahead. Leaving broke my heart... but doing the right thing is something I will always be proud of."

Hemme joined TNA in 2006, generally as a host for Impact, but also refereed a match. Between TNA tapings, Hemme traveled to Windsor, Ontario, Canada to train under Scott D'Amore.

In the beginning of 2007, Hemme feuded with the Voodoo Kin Mafia over the state of women in wrestling. Despite making quite a bit of sense, Hemme was seen as the heel (TNA, people. Don't ask.). Hemme would enlist teams to defeat the VKM over the next few months, including the Heartbreakers, Serotonin, and the Basham Brothers, but ultimately, all three would fall to VKM.

Late in the year, Lance Hoyt and Jimmy Rave would form a partnership with Hemme as the Rock ‘n Rave Infection. The group would act as if they were a rock band, with Hemme as its lead singer. The group feuded most notably with Latin American Exchange (LAX) and the Prince Justice Brotherhood (Shark Boy, Curry Man, and Super Eric).

In October 2008, Rock and Rave would be assaulted by Kurt Angle, leaving Hemme on her own. She turned face after she was assaulted by The Beautiful People. Hemme got a sizable singles push for a bit, but would injure her neck while training with AJ Styles. After about seven months, she returned to the ring and would form an alliance with her old WWE rival Victoria (known now as Tara). The duo would make it to the semifinals of a tournament to crown the first Knockouts tag champions, but would fall to The Beautiful People.

Late in October 2009, Hemme, Hamada, and ODB would be defeated by The Beautiful People in a six-woman tag team match. It would end up being her final match for TNA. She would wrestle a few matches on the independent circuit in November for Northeast Wrestling before announcing her retirement in a statement on MySpace in December.

In December 2009, she would transition to a role as a backstage interviewer, and eventually their ring announcer. She was involved in a storyline involving Sam Shaw for about six months in late 2013 and early 2014. In April 2014, she joined TNA's creative team. She took a hiatus from TNA in February 2016 before leaving the company altogether in April.

Hemme, an avid motorcyclist, has a brother and a sister (who is also a model). Hemme is married to Charley Patterson and have one girl, Charlie Rose. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

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