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This Day in Wrestling History (Nov. 23): Sting Arrives In WWE

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this day in wrestling history

35 years ago today in New York City, Pedro Morales defeated Magnificent Don Muraco to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. The win made Morales the first man to win the Intercontinental title more than once.

27 years ago today, WWF presented Survivor Series (WWE Network link) from the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois. 15,294 were in attendance, with 385,000 homes watching on PPV, though some estimates have the number of buys as high as 426,000. Either way, it's either up from 1988 or massively up from 1988 (250,000-310,000 buys depending on the source).

This was the first Survivor Series event to feature 4-on-4 matches instead of 5-on-5. Sole survivors in bold.

  • In a dark match, Boris Zhukov defeated Paul Roma.
  • The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Brutus Beefcake, The Red Rooster and Tito Santana) defeated The Enforcers (The Big Boss Man, Bad News Brown, Rick Martel and The Honky Tonk Man) 4-2 in a Survivor Series match.
  • The King's Court (Randy Savage, Canadian Earthquake, Dino Bravo and Greg Valentine) defeated The 4x4's: (Jim Duggan, Bret Hart, Ronnie Garvin and Hercules) 4-1 in a Survivor Series match.
  • The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Demolition (Ax and Smash) and Jake Roberts) defeated The Million $ Team (Ted DiBiase, Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian) and Zeus) 4-3 in a Survivor Series match.
  • The Rude Brood (Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond)) defeated Roddy's Rowdies (Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka and The Bushwhackers (Butch and Luke)) 4-3 in a Survivor Series match. Interesting quirk: this was the only match on the show where the winning team's captain was eliminated.
  • The Ultimate Warriors (The Ultimate Warrior, The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) and Jim Neidhart) defeated The Heenan Family (Bobby Heenan, André the Giant, Haku and Arn Anderson) 4-3 in a Survivor Series match.

22 years ago today, WWF presented Survivor Series (WWE Network link) from the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas. About 10,000 were in attendance, with 278,000 homes watching on PPV.

This was the last Survivor Series event to take place around the Thanksgiving holiday, and the last WWF PPV to take place on a Wednesday night. Beginning with the 1995 Royal Rumble, all their PPVs have been first-run on Sunday (though they briefly experimented with Tuesday PPVs in the 2000s).

  • The Bad Guys (Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, British Bulldog, Fatu, and Sionne) defeated The Teamsters (Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart, and Jeff Jarrett) 5-4 in a Survivor Series match. The Teamsters were up 4-0 when an errant attack by Michaels led to him and Diesel fighting it out. The fight spilled the the floor, with Owen, Neidhart, and Jarrett trying to break it up. All five men were counted out as a result.
  • The Royal Family (Jerry Lawler, Sleazy, Queasy and Cheesy) defeated Clowns R' Us (Doink the Clown, Dink, Pink and Wink) 4-0 in a Survivor Series match.
  • Bob Backlund defeated Bret Hart in a submission match to win the WWF Championship. The match was stopped when Bret's mother Helen was convinced to throw in the towel on his behalf by Owen Hart. The win made Backlund, age 45 at the time, the oldest WWF Champion in company history.
  • The Million Dollar Team (King Kong Bundy, Tatanka, Bam Bam Bigelow, Jimmy Del Ray and Tom Prichard) defeated Guts and Glory (Lex Luger, Mabel, Adam Bomb, Billy Gunn and Bart Gunn) 5-3 in a Survivor series match.
  • The Undertaker defeated Yokozuna in a casket match. Chuck Norris was the special enforcer. Yes, THAT Chuck Norris.

22 years ago today, Arthur Leon "Art" Barr was found dead in his home in Springfield, Oregon. He was just 28.

Born October 8, 1966 in Portland, Oregon, Barr was a second-generation wrestler; his father Sandy had wrestled, as had older brother Jesse. Art became friends with Roddy Piper while Piper was on the Northwest independent circuit. Barr became an accomplished amateur wrestler, winning four district and two state championships. He attended Oregon State University, but dropped out when his first wife became pregnant.

Barr would work in a steel mill during the day while training at night to break into the wrestling business. After being trained by his father, brother, and Matt Osborne (who would go on to moderate fame and success as the original Doink the Clown), Barr debuted for Pacific Northwest Wrestling in April 1987. At the suggestion of Roddy Piper, in 1988, Barr began wrestling as Beetlejuice, named after the title character of the movie. Wearing facepaint and and flour in his hair, Barr became a bit of a fan favorite.

In July 1989, Barr had a sexual encounter after a PNW event in Pendleton, Oregon with a 19-year old girl; the girl would file rape charges. Despite the attention the incident brought to him and the promotion, Barr continued to wrestle for PNW as Beetlejuice. Just as his trial was to begin, he took a plea deal and was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse about a year later. He would get probation, community service, and a $1,000 fine, but would not serve jail time; Barr maintained that he would have won out in court, but took the plea bargain on the advice of legal counsel.

The conviction, combined with a previous possession of cocaine charge, meant he could no longer wrestle in Oregon when his license renewal came up. Around that time, he caught the eye of WCW and then president Jim Herd. He would be brought in in 1990 as "The Juicer" to avoid copyright conflicts and to draw younger fans to the company. However, Barr's rape conviction charge followed him to Atlanta; a faxing campaign combined with his relatively small size (he was 6'1", 240 pounds) would get Barr released after just a few months.

He finally found success in Konnan's Empresa Mexicana de la Lucha Libre (EMLL) in Mexico. As "The American Love Machine", he was embroiled in an epic feud with Blue Panther, culminating in a mask versus mask match watched by over 26,000 people in and around Arena Mexico in Mexico City (to this day, still the attendance record for the building). Blue Panther won the match after Barr was disqualified for using a piledriver, an illegal maneuver in Mexican wrestling.

After a brief run back at Pacific Northwest Wrestling, Barr and Konnan would leave for Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion (AAA). Barr would team with Eddie Guerrero to form La Pareja del Terror (The Pair of Terror). The duo would win their tag team championship and become the most hated duo in lucha libre history. Their team would expand to include Madonna's Boyfriend, Konnan, and Jake Roberts (THAT Jake Roberts) among others to form Los Gringos Locos, The Crazy Americans. Though he was a huge success, Barr got homesick and turned to alcohol and drugs.

On November 6, 1994, Barr would be a part of the double main event for When Worlds Collide in Los Angeles. La Pareja del Terror lost to El Hijo de Santo and Octagon in a two out of three falls double hair vs. mask match. The bout would get a five-star rating by Wrestling Observer Newsletter and was voted one of the top ten matches of the year by the publication. Barr and Guerrero would both garner interest from WWF, WCW, ECW, and New Japan Pro Wrestling.

On November 23, 1994, Barr was found dead in his home lying with his child. Though preliminary reports said he died of an aneurysm, and speculation arose that his death may have been drug-related (drugs and alcohol were found in his system), no official cause of his death was determined. Barr, who used a frog splash as his primary maneuver, would be adopted by Guerrero and numerous wrestlers following his death.

19 years ago today, WCW presented World War 3 (WWE Network link) from the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. 17,128 were in attendance, with 205,000 homes watching on PPV. Though it's up 30,000 buys from 1996's edition of the event, it's about half of what Halloween Havoc did the previous month (405,000 buys), the biggest such drop from one PPV to the next in a very profitable 1997.

  • The Faces of Fear (Meng and The Barbarian) defeated Glacier and Ernest Miller.
  • Perry Saturn defeated Disco Inferno to retain the WCW World Television Championship.
  • Yuji Nagata defeated Último Dragón.
  • The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) defeated The Blue Bloods (Lord Steven Regal and Squire David Taylor) to retain the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Raven defeated Scotty Riggs in a no disqualification match.
  • Steve McMichael defeated Alex Wright.
  • Eddy Guerrero defeated Rey Misterio, Jr. to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Curt Hennig defeated Ric Flair to retain the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship.
  • Scott Hall won the 60-man, three-ring battle royal, last eliminating The Giant to win a shot at the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Other participants in the match were Chris Adams, Brad Armstrong, Marcus Bagwell, The Barbarian, Chris Benoit, Bobby Blaze, Booker T, Ciclope, Damien, El Dandy, Barry Darsow, Disco Inferno, Jim Duggan, Fit Finlay, Héctor Garza, Glacier, Johnny Grunge, Juventud Guerrera, Chavo Guerrero, Jr., Eddy Guerrero, Curt Hennig, Hollywood Hogan, Prince Iaukea, Chris Jericho, Lizmark, Jr., Lex Luger, Dean Malenko, Steve McMichael, Meng, Ernest Miller, Rey Misterio, Jr., Hugh Morrus, Mortis, Yuji Nagata, Kevin Nash, John Nord, Diamond Dallas Page, La Parka, Stevie Ray, Lord Steve Regal, The Renegade, Rocco Rock, Randy Savage, Silver King, Norman Smiley, Louie Spicolli, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner, Super Calo, Squire David Taylor, Ray Traylor, Último Dragón, Greg Valentine, Villaño IV, Villaño V, Vincent, Kendall Windham, Wrath and Alex Wright. A couple of notes: (1) Kevin Nash (disguised as Sting) descended from the rafters with a baseball bat, causing Hogan to eliminate himself. "Sting" then attacked and eliminated the Giant to give Hall a shot at the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, a shot he would not get until Uncensored 1998. (2) The match began with only 59 competitors. When there were only 3 men left (Hall, Page and the Giant), Hollywood Hogan (who was WCW Champion at the time) entered the match as the 60th entry. He did this to personally eliminate the last competitors so nobody would win the title shot.

9 years ago today, Linda Hogan announces that she had filed for divorce from Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan after 24 years of marriage (the actual filing came four days earlier). At the time of the announcement, Linda had been away from Hulk for about three weeks.

Shortly after filing for divorce, Linda, who was 48 at the time, briefly dated a 19-year old who went to the same high school as their children Nick and Brooke. Linda would reveal about a year later that the decision to file for divorce came from Hulk's alleged affair with a woman who worked on Brooke Hogan's album in 2006. The series Hogan Knows Best was cancelled shortly after the announcement.

The former couple settled in 2009 for a then undisclosed amount, but a motion filed in 2011 regarding owed revenues made said settlement public: Linda got about 70% ownership of the couple's liquid assets, 40% ownership of Hulk's companies, and a $3 million property settlement, totaling over $7.4 million. Hulk wound up with about $3 million, but did not have to pay alimony. The exes still have animosity toward each other to this day.

8 years ago today, WWE presented Survivor Series (WWE Network link) from the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 12,498 were in attendance, with 319,000 homes watching on PPV. That's slightly down from 2007's event with 325,000 buys. Sole survivors in bold.

  • In a dark match, The Brian Kendrick defeated Kung Fu Naki.
  • Team HBK (Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Cryme Tyme (JTG and Shad), and The Great Khali) defeated Team JBL (John Bradshaw Layfield, John Morrison, The Miz, Montel Vontavious Porter, and Kane) 5-2 in a Survivor Series match.
  • Team Raw (Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Candice Michelle, and Jillian Hall)) defeated Team SmackDown (Michelle McCool, Victoria, Maria, Maryse, and Natalya) 5-4 in a Survivor Series match.
  • The Undertaker defeated Big Show in a casket match.
  • Team Orton (Randy Orton, Shelton Benjamin, William Regal, Cody Rhodes, and Mark Henry) defeated Team Batista (Batista, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Matt Hardy, and R-Truth) 5-3 in a Survivor Series match.
  • Edge defeated Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov in a triple threat match to win the WWE Championship.
  • John Cena defeated Chris Jericho to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

7 years ago today, Jesse "The Body" Ventura guest hosts RAW from Nashville, Tennessee (WWE Network link). It was his first appearance on RAW since August 1999.

In the featured bout, Sheamus last eliminated Kofi Kingston to win a “Breakthrough Battle Royal” to earn a WWE Championship match.

6 years ago today, the Philadelphia Spectrum was torn down.

The building hosted many WWF events from 1974 to 1996, but would remain open until 2009. The building hosted two WWF pay-per-view events, Summerslam in 1990 and King of the Ring in 1995.

It was host to six Stanley Cups, four NBA Finals, two Final Fours, and numerous concerts, including The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd, The Doors, The Who, Aerosmith, KISS, Whitney Houston, Pink, and Taylor Swift. Pearl Jam was the last public act in the building, with their final concert on Halloween 2009 lasting more than three and a half hours.

2 years ago today, WWE presented Survivor Series (WWE Network link) from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. About 12,000 were in attendance, with 100,000 homes watching via traditional PPV.

The show is noted for the WWE debut of Sting. Sole survivors in bold.

  • In a preshow match, Fandango defeated Justin Gabriel.
  • In a preshow match, Jack Swagger defeated Cesaro by submission.
  • The Miz & Damien Mizdow defeated Goldust & Stardust, The Usos (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso) & Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) in a Fatal 4-Way Match to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.
  • Team Fox (Alicia Fox, Emma, Naomi, and Natalya) defeated Team Paige (Paige, Cameron, Layla, and Summer Rae) 4-0 in a Survivor Series match.
  • Bray Wyatt defeated Dean Ambrose by disqualification.
  • Adam Rose & The Bunny defeated Slater Gator (Heath Slater & Titus O'Neil).
  • Nikki Bella defeated AJ Lee in just 35 seconds to win the WWE Divas Championship. The quick win began the longest run in the championship’s history, not ending until 301 days later.
  • Team Cena (John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, Erick Rowan, and Ryback) defeated Team Authority (Seth Rollins, Kane, Mark Henry, Rusev, and Luke Harper) 5-4 in a Survivor Series match. With the loss, the Authority was forced to disband. Of course, it didn't stick, and the group was back together just over a month later.

The best of cSs on this day:

2015: Big E turns on Sasha Banks, assists Becky Lynch with her latest pun (The New Day’s Big E makes a cameo appearance in Becky Lynch’s latest pun; Sasha Banks not impressed)

2014: Sting makes WWE debut at Survivor Series in St. Louis (The former NWA, WCW, and TNA world champion makes his long-awaited WWE debut)

2013: WWE makes controversial changes to their Wellness Policy (PWInsider’s Stephen Fernades reports changes made to the WWE Wellness Policy effective July 2013 to include therapeutic use exceptions and a redemption program that clears two-time violators of one of their strikes should they stay clean for 18 months)

2012: Jake 'The Snake' Roberts rehabs his battered reputation in a Newsday.com interview (Roberts gives a brutally honest account of his many struggles as part of promoting The Resurrection of Jake “The Snake” Roberts)

2011: Triple H talks 'unique relationship' with The Rock: There's still professional tension and weirdness there (Triple H talks The Rock’s return with Greg and The Morning Buzz)

2010: Huge shake-up of WWE Creative underway, will make little difference (Christopher Dejoseph among as many as five writers fired in WWE’s latest creative shakeup)