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This Day in Wrestling History (Oct. 29): Hard Times AND THE YET-TAY!

this day in wrestling history

31 years ago today on Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, Dusty Rhodes delivered what would be his most famous promo: the “Hard Times” promo, which spoke to what NWA world champion Ric Flair did when he took Dusty Rhodes out of action.

First of all, I would like to thank the many, many fans throughout this country that wrote cards and letters to Dusty Rhodes "The American Dream" while I was down. Secondly, I want to thank Jim Crockett Promotions for waiting and taking the time because I know how important it was. Starrcade 1985. It is to the wrestling fans. It is to Jim Crockett Promotions. And Dusty Rhodes "The American Dream" With that wait, got what I wanted.

Ric Flair, the world's heavyweight champion. I don't have to say a lot more about the way I feel about Ric Flair. No respect. No honor! There is no honor among thieves in the first place! He put...hard times on Dusty Rhodes and his family! You don't know what hard times are, daddy! Hard times are when the textile workers around this country are out of work! They got four or five kids and can't pay their wages, can't buy their food!

Hard times are when the auto workers are out of work and they tell them "Go home". And hard times are when a man has worked at a job for thirty years. THIRTY years! They give him watch, kick him in the butt, and say "Hey, a computer took your place, daddy!" That's hard times! That's hard times. And Ric Flair, you put hard times on this country by taking Dusty Rhodes out. That's hard times and we all have had hard times together.

And I admit I don't look like the athlete of the day is supposed to look. My belly is a little big. My hiney is just a little big, but brother, I am bad and they know I'm bad. And there were two bad people. One was John Wayne and he's dead, brother. And the other one is right here. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. The world's heavyweight title belongs to these people. I'm going to reach out right now. I want you at home to know. My hand is touching your hand for this gathering of the biggest body of people in this country, in this universe, all over the world reaching out because the love that was given me and this time, I will re-pay you now because I will be the next world's heavyweight champion of this hard times' blues. Dusty Rhodes' tour '85.

And Ric Flair. "Nature Boy". Let me leave you with this. One way to hurt Ric Flair is to take what he cherishes more than anything in the world. That's the world's heavyweight title. I'm going to take it. I've been there twice. This time when I take it, daddy, I'm going to take it for you. Let's gather for it. Don't let me down now because I came back...for you. For that man up there who died ten, twelve years ago who never got the opportunity to see a real world's heavyweight champion. I'm proud of you and thank God I have you. I love you. Love you!

Rhodes would go on to win the NWA world title at Starrcade '85, only to have the decision overturned on a technicality a week later.

28 years ago today in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) defeated The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane) to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship.

26 years ago today, WWF taped Survivor Series Showdown ‘90 from the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. The show aired November 18, just four days before Survivor Series.

The show featured singles matches with one member of each of the ten teams competing on the PPV.

21 years ago today, WCW presented Halloween Havoc (WWE Network link) from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. About 13,000 were in attendance, with 120,000 homes watching on PPV.

While it's down from 220,000 buys for the 1994 edition that had the Hogan-Flair "retirement match", It's up from 95,000 buys for Fall Brawl the previous month (however, it's down from 160,000 for Bash at the Beach). The show featured the in-ring debut of The Giant.

  • In a WCW Main Event preshow match, Eddie Guerrero defeated Disco Inferno.
  • In a WCW Main Event preshow match, Paul Orndorff defeated Renegade.
  • In a WCW Main Event preshow match, Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko defeated The Blue Bloods (Bobby Eaton and Steven Regal).
  • Johnny B. Badd defeated Diamond Dallas Page to win the WCW World Television Championship.
  • Randy Savage defeated Zodiac in just 90 seconds.
  • Kurasawa defeated Road Warrior Hawk.
  • Sabu defeated Mr. JL. It was Sabu's only PPV match in WCW, as he returned to ECW just three weeks later. Post-match, The Sheik threw a fireball at Mr. JL.
  • Lex Luger defeated Meng by disqualification.
  • In a match taped the previous night on the roof of Cobo Hall, Hulk Hogan defeated The Giant in a monster truck Sumo match. Post-match, the two would come to blows and Hogan knocked The Giant off the roof, assumingly plunging to his death.

Another side note: it was asked whether Giant fell off towards the river or towards the concrete and what difference it would have made. Big difference. No matter what side Giant fell off, he would have hit concrete. The Detroit River is actually about a mile from Cobo Hall. No, seriously.

  • Ric Flair & Sting defeated Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman by disqualification. Near the end of the match, Flair turned on Sting (of course!) and reformed the Horsemen with Anderson and Pillman (and soon after, newcomer Chris Benoit).
  • Randy Savage defeated Lex Luger.
  • The Giant defeated Hulk Hogan by disqualification to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

A few notes (there's quite a bit to digest): Giant returned for the match with nary a scratch on him and it was never explained how he survived the fall (if you remember, he was tipped over by Hogan). I mean, it was a five story fall. I never fell five stories, but I know I'm not coming out uninjured and you're probably not either.

Fast forward to the match: Hogan hits the leg drop of death, then as the referee counts, Jimmy Hart nails the referee, getting Hogan disqualified. Post-match, you get this Giant-YET-TAY double hug/humping experience thing (this, by the way is the WCW debut of Ron Reis, who would be repackaged as Super Giant Ninja a few weeks later--no I'm not making that up) and about seventy-three run-ins (ok, that might be a little exaggerating. It might have been like three or four).

Turns out all this was an elaborate scheme: the belt shot disqualifies Hogan, and per a pre-match stipulation (which wasn’t revealed until the next night), the title could change hands on a disqualification, meaning the Giant in his debut match is the WCW World Heavyweight Champion thanks to new Dungeon of Doom member Jimmy Hart. This, by the way, ends Hogan’s 469-day run as WCW world champion, the longest in the title’s history (he would begin the second longest reign ever 10 months later). I assure you this all really happened.

This didn't last as The Giant was forced to vacate the title just over a week later due to the controversial finish. The title remained vacant until World War 3 on November 26, where the winner of a 60-man battle royal would be crowned the new champion. Macho Man Randy Savage won the battle royal, last eliminating One Man Gang.

16 years ago today, WCW presented Halloween Havoc (WWE Network link) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. 7,582 were in attendance, with just 70,000 homes watching on PPV.

These are the end times indeed, as (1) this was less than a third of 1999's buyrate (230,000 buys) and (2) this was the end of the Russo era in WCW, as a concussion he suffered in a cage match earlier that month virtually ended his time with the company.

The show was voted by Wrestling Observer Newsletter readers as the worst major show of 2000.

  • The Natural Born Thrillers (Mark Jindrak and Sean O'Haire) defeated The Filthy Animals (Billy Kidman and Rey Mysterio, Jr.) and The Boogie Knights (Disco Inferno and Alex Wright) in a triangle match to retain the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Reno defeated Sgt. AWOL to retain the WCW Hardcore Championship.
  • The Misfits In Action (Lt. Loco and Cpl. Cajun) defeated The Perfect Event (Shawn Stasiak and Chuck Palumbo).
  • Konnan and Tygress defeated Shane Douglas and Torrie Wilson.
  • Buff Bagwell defeated David Flair in a First Blood DNA match. Don't laugh, that's what the match was called. The match was such so that the one of the two men could submit a sample as to who fathered Stacy Keibler's unborn child (an angle which ultimately went unresolved. Thank goodness. Interviews years later revealed that either Ric Flair or Vince Russo would be the father.).
  • Mike Sanders defeated Ernest Miller by countout in a kickboxing match.
  • Mike Awesome defeated Vampiro.
  • General Rection defeated Team Canada (Lance Storm and Jim Duggan) in a handicap match to win the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship.
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Sting.
  • Booker T defeated Scott Steiner by disqualification to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Goldberg defeated KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clark) in a handicap elimination match.

4 years ago today, Hulk Hogan and Bubba the Love Sponge settle their lawsuit over a leaked tape that had Hogan and Bubba's wife at the time Heather Clem. As part of the settlement (financial terms were not disclosed at the time), Bubba released the following statement:

October 29, 2012

Re: Public Apology to Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) and Retraction of Statements

After further investigation, I am now convinced that Hulk Hogan was unaware of the presence of the recording device in my bedroom. I am convinced he had no knowledge that he was being taped. Additionally, I am certain that he had no role in the release of the video.

It is my belief that Terry is not involved, and has not ever been involved, in trying to release the video, or exploit it, or otherwise gain from the video's release in any way.

Regrettably, when Hulk filed the lawsuit against me, I instinctively went on the offensive. The things that I said about him and his children were not true. I was wrong and I am deeply sorry for my reaction, and for the additional pain that it caused Hulk and his children on top of the pain that they already were feeling from having learned that Terry was taped without his knowledge, and the public release of the video.

I am committed to helping Hulk and his attorneys find whoever is responsible for the release of the tape and holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

Financial terms were eventually disclosed as part of Hogan’s lawsuit with Gawker Media over the tape; Bubba got all of $5,000 in the settlement.

Hogan, who was fired from WWE for racial remarks he made on the tape in July 2015, made out a whole lot better: he won judgments totaling $140 million in March 2016.

3 years ago today, WWE 2K14, the first WWE game to be released under the 2K banner, is released in North America.

The games two main hooks were the "30 Years of Wrestlemania", allowing players to play through the history of Wrestlemania, and the "Streak" mode, where players could face and endless string of opponents as The Undertaker "defending the streak", or players could challenge a higher-difficulty Undertaker in "defeating the streak".

The game received generally positive reviews, but up against the pending launch of the Playstation 4 and XBox One (and coming out after the record-breaking Grand Theft Auto V), the game sold just 2.32 million copies worldwide; that’s down from 2.82 million copies for WWE ‘13.

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