bb6yxa50 years ago today in Omaha, Nebraska, Dick the Bruiser defeats Mad Dog Vachon to win the AWA World Heavyweight Championship.
He would hold the championship for just a week before Mad Dog won it back, ironically, in Omaha.
15 years ago today on RAW from Boston, Massachusetts (WWE Network link), The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) defeated Booker T & Test to win the WWF Tag Team Championship for the fifth time.
On the same show, Edge defeated Kurt Angle to win the WCW United States Championship. Edge would be the last United States Champion under the WCW banner (the title was unified with the Intercontinental Championship at Survivor Series the following Sunday).
The United States Championship would be revived in July 2003 as Smackdown’s secondary championship. It carries the lineage of the WCW United States Championship (which was born as the NWA Mid-Atlantic United States Heavyweight Championship) and is still around to this day.
13 years ago today, Lex Luger wrestles for the first time since being arrested on possession of steroids following a police search on his house after Elizabeth Huelette (aka Miss Elizabeth) died in his home back in May.
In the bout taking place on NWA-TNA's weekly PPV from Nashville, Tennessee, AJ Styles and Sting defeated Luger and Jeff Jarrett. Reportedly, it was longtime friend Sting that insisted that Luger be a part of the show.
This would be Luger’s final match with a major promotion. Luger continued to appear sporadically on the Independent circuit over the next few years before officially retiring in 2007.
7 years ago today, TNA Impact opens with a video of a meeting that took place involving the TNA roster and president Dixie Carter.
The meeting stemmed from the roster's concerns about the decision to bring in Hulk Hogan. Reactions from the meeting from a week earlier run the gamut. Some saw it as Dixie sending a strong message to the roster about the future direction of the company, while others saw it as a owner who didn't have a clue about what she was doing.
Though Hogan would bring some national credibility to TNA, the decision to bring him ultimately proved costly. Hogan’s massive contract combined with the company not getting enough a return on their investment (i.e. television ratings
6 years ago today in Dearborn, Michigan, Eddie Edwards outlasts Kenny King, Claudio Castignoli, Rhett Titus, Adam Cole, and Kevin Steen (who was eliminated 15 seconds into the final) to win the 2010 Ring of Honor Survival of the Fittest tournament and a future ROH World Championship match.
Other participants in the tournament but did not advance out of qualifying were Colt Cabana, Grizzly Redwood, Kyle O'Reilly, Steve Corino, Chris Hero, and El Generico.
5 years ago today, TNA returned to Nashville for a house show dubbed "Farewell to the Asylum" from the Nashville Fairgrounds in Nashville, Tennessee. It was the first time TNA was in its original home since 2004 when they left for Orlando.
Despite the event being billed as the last show in the arena, it still stands today six years later. In 2014, Ring of Honor held Best in the World their first live PPV, in the building
- Raven defeated AJ Styles. This was Raven's final TNA match, which came just one day after he was formally released from the company.
- Madison Rayne defeated Velvet Sky.
- Abyss defeated Eric Young.
- The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) defeated Beer Money (James Storm & Robert Roode) and Ink Inc. (Jesse Neal & Shannon Moore) to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
- Jeff Jarrett defeated Samoa Joe.
- Jeff Hardy defeated "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
Today is the 37th birthday of Tough Enough III winner Matthew Lee Cappotelli, or simply Matt Cappotelli.
Born in Caledonia, New York, he attended college at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he was a part of their football team. In 2003, Matt along with John Hennigan won the third Tough Enough competition, and with it a WWE contract. (Side note: the two winners were the only members of the Season 3 cast to get a contract. Three people who auditioned for the third season but did not make the final cast got contracts: Shawn Davari, Daniel Puder (who won the fourth Tough Enough) and Melina Perez.) Cappotelli was involved in one of the more controversial moments that season when he was on the business end of a stiff beating at the hands of Bob "Hardcore" Holly during a practice bout.
After making a few appearances on RAW and Sunday Night Heat, he was sent to OVW (Ohio Valley Wrestling) to continue development. Cappotelli spent the most of the first two years with Johnny Jeter to form the Thrill Seekers. While competing in a tag match in July 2005, Matt landed awkwardly on a suplex and suffered a broken fibula. The injury kept him out of action for about two months. During his absence, his now former partner Johnny had become the OVW Heavyweight Champion. In November 2005, Cappotelli won the title from Jeter.
The next month, as plans were made for Matt to join the main roster, he was diagnosed with grade 2/3 astrocytoma. In February 2006, Matt announced that the tumor was cancerous, and in an emotional speech, vacated the OVW Heavyweight Championship. He would undergo surgery to remove the cancerous tumor in May 2007. The surgery was a success and the majority of the tumor was removed. He underwent some 30 radiation treatments post-surgery. He remained under WWE contract until its expiration in January 2009.
Today, Cappotelli has retired from active competition, but now runs the OVW Beginners Program.
It's a happy 61st birthday for television personality, comedian, actress, and entrepreneur Rhonda Honey Shear.
Best known as the hostess of the 1980s and 1990s B-movie series USA Up All Night, she was the guest timekeeper for the Wrestlemania X main event between WWF Champion Yokozuna and Lex Luger. These days, she's a designer and entrepreneur, selling her own line of intimate products, most notably the best-selling Ahh Bra.
It's a happy 79th birthday for famed boxing referee, judge, and television personality Mills Bee Lane III.
Born in Savannah, Georgia, the grandson of a prominent banker before his most famous gig was a boxer himself, nearly qualifying for the 1960 Summer Olympics and going 10-1 as a pro. In 1979, Lane with degrees in business and law, became Chief Deputy Sheriff of Investigative Services for the Washoe County, Nevada Sherriff's Office, then was elected District Attorney in 1982 and District Judge in 1990.
Of course, he's most famous as a boxing referee. He would referee more than 100 world championship fights over three decades, but he became a household name when on June 28, 1997, he refereed the famous "Bite Fight" between Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. The bout ended with a Holyfield win via disqualification when Tyson bit Holyfield's ear twice. Less than a month later, he refereed another world title fight, Lennox Lewis and Henry Akinwande, which also ended in a disqualification when Akinwande repeatedly clinched Lewis. Lane retired from boxing in November 1998.
His tough and sassy personality made him a television star, presiding over the court show Judge Mills Lane for three seasons (and a cameo appearance on RAW is WAR in 1998), and lending his voice for MTV series Celebrity Deathmatch, both making quite a bit of use of his catchphrase "Let's get it on!" (Of note, Lane suffered a stroke in 2002, leaving him partially paralyzed and virtually unable to speak; Chris Edgerly would voice Lane in the 2006 reboot.)
In 1998, he wrote the autobiography Let's Get It On: Tough Talk from Boxing's Top Ref and Nevada's Most Outspoken Judge. In 2013, Lane was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.