30 years ago today, WWF airs the first-ever Slammy Awards. The "awards show", taped the previous December at the Baltimore Civic Center in Baltimore, Maryland, was mainly used to promote The Wrestling Album, which was released back in November. Basically, a three-month old "awards show" was used to promote a four-month old album.
25 years ago today in Yokohama, Japan, New Japan Pro Wrestling presented its 20th Anniversary Show. In a featured bout, Bam Bam Bigelow & Big Van Vader defeated Hiro Hase & Keiji Mutoh to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.
18 years ago today, ECW presented Living Dangerously (WWE Network link) from the Asbury Park Convention Center in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
- Jerry Lynn and Chris Chetti defeated The F.B.I. (Little Guido and Tracey Smothers).
- Masato Tanaka defeated Doug Furnas.
- Rob Van Dam defeated 2 Cold Scorpio.
- New Jack and Spike Dudley defeated The Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh Ray and D-Von) and The Hardcore Chair Swingin' Freaks (Balls Mahoney and Axl Rotten) in a three-way dance.
- Tommy Dreamer defeated Justin Credible.
- Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Taz to win the ECW World Television Championship. Taz had Bigelow locked in the Tazmission, but Bigelow fell back to break the hold, but in doing so, legitimately broke the wooden ring floor under the canvas. Taz hit his head on a ring support, knocking him out. Bigelow pulled Taz out of the hole, covered him, and won the title.
- Sabu defeated The Sandman in a Dueling Canes match. The match was taped before the PPV and aired in place of a match between Al Snow and John Kronus. The Snow-Kronus match was ultimately cancelled.
- Al Snow and Lance Storm defeated Shane Douglas and Chris Candido. Post-match, the crowd littered the ring with Styrofoam heads.
11 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Albany, New York, Orlando Jordan defeated John Cena to win the WWE United States Championship.
10 years ago today in Louisville, Kentucky, Brent Albright defeated CM Punk to win a one-night tournament for the vacated OVW Heavyweight Championship. The title was vacated February 8 following the announcement that Matt Cappotelli had brain cancer.
6 years ago today, Wrestlicious made its debut on MavTV in the United States and BiteTV in Canada. The all-female comedy promotion (a la GLOW from the 1980s), founded by Powerball winner Jonathan Vargas, produced just ten episodes. There was talk of a second season in May 2011, but it ultimately never came to pass.
6 years ago today on RAW from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, ShoMiz (The Big Show and The Miz) defeated D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels & Triple H) to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship. Of note, this would be Michaels' last time teaming with Triple H on television. They'd team together one last time at a house show nine days later.
5 years ago today, Johnny Curtis is announced as the winner of NXT Volume 4. Brodus Clay finished second.
1 year and 1 day ago today, Vince Russo quits the website he founded, PyroandBallyhoo.com. The statement through his Facebook page:
TO ALL VISITORS OF PYROANDBALLYHOO.COM,
As of today I am no longer associated with the website, or brand, pyroandballyhoo.com in any way, shape, or form. I will not be posting anything---blogs, videos, podcasts, from this point going forward. I am no way any longer associated with the site.
Please know, that if you renew your monthly membership, you will not be getting any content from Vince Russo from this day going forward. I also ask you to not buy any Vince Russo merchandise, as I no longer have access to the orders.
I will keep you all updated of my future endeavors here on my Facebook page.
As always I have been and still am very thankful for all your support.
I'll keep you posted.
The next day, he released a video on Youtube (sorry, video is no longer available on the tubes) detailing what had happened with the site, essentially saying he was locked out of a website he never owned, and he only found out when he tried to do a post for it, and he was even locked out of his own Twitter. Today, Russo is a host on his own video podcast network, The Brand.
1 year ago today, Ring of Honor presented 13th Anniversary Show: Winner Takes All from the Orleans Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Of note, Samoa Joe, fresh from quitting TNA, returned to the company for the first time since 2008.
- In a preshow dark match, The Decade (Adam Page & Jimmy Jacobs) defeated Adam Thornstowe & Luster the Legend.
- Matt Sydal defeated Cedric Alexander
- Moose defeated Mark Briscoe.
- The Kingdom (Michael Bennett & Matt Taven) defeated Karl Anderson and The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) in a three-team tag team match. Doc Gallows of the Bullet Club was to team with Anderson, but could not make the event due to travel issues.
- Roderick Strong defeated B.J. Whitmer.
- ODB defeated Maria Kanellis.
- AJ Styles defeated ACH.
- reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) defeated The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) to retain the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
- Jay Lethal defeated El Patron Alberto to retain the ROH World Television Championship.
- Jay Briscoe defeated Hanson, Michael Elgin, and Tommaso Ciampa in a Four Corner Survival match to retain the ROH World Championship.
Birthdays aplenty today, so profiles today will be brief. My apologies in advance.
It's a happy 27th birthday for Tenille Averil Dashwood, best known to wrestling fans as Emma.
The Melbourne, Australian-born Dashwood trained under Lance Storm and wrestled most notably for PWA Australia, Shimmer, and Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling as Tenille Tayla and Tenille Williams before signing with WWE in 2011. Her debut was delayed as she had to undergo shoulder surgery. She debuted for Florida Championship Wrestling just before its shutdown in August 2012 as Emma.
She debuted on the rebranded NXT that November as Emma, a clumsy dancer. In 2014, she competed on the live special NXT Arrival in a losing effort to Paige. A month prior, she debuted on the main roster and would develop an on-screen relationship with Santino Marella. In June, she was arrested for allegedly stealing an iPad case. Her lawyer claimed she simply forgot to self check it out. The charge was dropped after she performed community service and took an online course, but she was briefly fired by WWE. Around the same time, Santino and Emma's alliance ended when the former retired from in-ring competition.
She would return to NXT in 2015, where she's been ever since. Dashwood was in a relationship with former NXT wrestler William McNamee. She's currently in one with current NXT wrestler Matthew Cardona, aka Zack Ryder.
It's a happy 30th birthday for Ettore Ewen. Known once upon a time as Big E Langston, he's simply known as Big E.
Before trying his hand at wrestling, the son of Afro-Carribean immigrants played one season of college football for the Iowa Hawkeyes, then became a powerlifter for two years. During his brief time as a powerlifter, he would set state and national raw powerlifting records in the heavyweight and super heavyweight divisions for deadlift and total weight and would win the USAPL National Powerlifting Championship in 2011.
He signed a developmental deal with WWE in 2009 and would win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship with Calvin Raines as Big E Langston, but it was in 2012 he took off. He went on a winning streak and was so dominant he demanded the referee count five. In January 2013, Langston would defeat Seth Rollins for the NXT Championship. He'd hold it for the next six months before losing it to Bo Dallas.
A month before his NXT title win, he made his WWE main roster debut as an enforcer for AJ Lee and her on-screen boyfriend, Dolph Ziggler. After the alliance split in the summer, Langston began a singles run. In November 2013, Langston would defeat Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship. He would hold it until the following May when Bad News Barrett defeated him.
The now-shortened Big E would go into a losing rut teaming with Kofi Kingston. Xavier Woods convinced the duo that kissing babies and shaking hands wasn't going to get them anywhere. They would join forces, but would quickly disband on television. But not for long: they would reform as The New Day, a trio of overly positive babyfaces. However, crowds reacted negatively to the trio, and they were turned heel. At Extreme Rules in April 2015, Big E and Kofi would win the WWE Tag Team Championship from Tyson Kidd & Cesaro. They would defend the title under the Freebird Rule (any two of the three can defend the title). They'd lose them to the Prime Time Players at Money in the Bank in July, but would win them back at Summerslam.
Ewen is a Wrestling Observer Newsletter award winner, having won for Best Gimmick as part of The New Day this past year.
It's a happy 33rd birthday for Wesley David Richards, best known to wrestling fans as Davey Richards.
Richards is best known as one-half of the American Wolves with Eddie Edwards, with whom he has won tag team championships with in TNA, Ring of Honor, and Squared Circle Wrestling, and has also won the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Tag Team of the Year award with Edwards in 2009.
As a solo performer, Richards is a four-time world champion, with two Full Impact Pro world titles, and one world championship each from Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. He has also won tag team championships with Super Dragon and Roderick Strong for PWG and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship with Rocky Romero. In 2006, Richards won the East Coast Wrestling Association Super 8 tournament and PWG's Battle of Los Angeles.
Richards is currently married to fellow pro wrestler Lauren Williams, best known to wrestling fans as Angelina Love. The couple married in June 2015, and announced a month later they were expecting their first child.
It's a happy 50th birthday for Scott Antol. Known for a time in ECW as Scotty Anton, he's best known to wrestling fans as Scotty Riggs.
Trained by Ted Allen, Antol worked the independent circuit for about three years before signing with WCW in 1995. He was placed in a tag team with Marcus Alexander Bagwell. As The American Males, the pretty boy duo was wildly popular, especially with the ladies, but would only win the WCW World Tag Team Championship once, and for only eight days in September 1995 (though the title change from the American Males to Harlem Heat didn't air until a month after the change took place).
The duo split in November 1996 when Bagwell joined the New World Order, leaving Riggs behind in the midcard. Riggs would join Raven's Flock in late 1997 after some resistance (especially following an eye injury; Riggs still claims the eye injury he suffered at the time was legit; Riggs would wear an eye patch for a time). After the group disbanded at Fall Brawl 1998, Riggs adopted a narcissistic gimmick, but it went nowhere, and Riggs remained on the undercard until his release in December 1999.
Antol's best friends' connection with Rob Van Dam got him in ECW in 2000. Shortly after his debut as Scotty Anton, he turned on Van Dam, allowing Jerry Lynn to defeat him, giving Van Dam his first pinfall loss in two years. He would join The Network stable as a hired gun. His highest-profile bout with the company came at Heat Wave in July when he was defeated by Van Dam. Of note, Anton was the first person to get the Van Terminator finisher.
After leaving ECW in late 2000, he returned to the independent circuit, and found his greatest success with Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling. He was a three-time heavyweight champion and tag team champion with Erik Watts. He left the business when TCW closed in 2003 to deal with personal issues and his father's failing health (he would die of lung cancer a year later). He would eventually return to the business as Scotty Riggs in 2007, but mounting injuries forced him to retire in 2009.
Today's the 51st birthday of Booker Huffman, Jr., but he's best known to wrestling fans as Booker T.
The youngest of eight children from Houston, Texas overcame a rough upbringing (his parents had died before his fifteenth birthday, he was in jail for a year and a half for aggravated robbery, and he was a single father) to become one of the most successful performers in wrestling history.
Booker is a 19-time tag champion, with more than half coming with his brother Lash (who performed as Stevie Ray; together, they were Harlem Heat) with five different organizations (WCW, WWF/E, TNA, Global Wrestling Federation, Reality of Wrestling), a six-time WCW world television champion, the last WCW United States Champion pre-sale, a five-time WCW world champion, and a World Heavyweight Champion (the first non-mixed African-American male world champion in WWE history). He's also been an Intercontinental Champion, a three-time United States Champion, two-time Hardcore Champion, and the 2006 King of the Ring. In TNA, he was the first-ever Legends Champion.
Booker is married to Sharmell Sullivan, who burst on the national scene as Nitro Girl Storm, and have been married for 11 years. The couple have five-year old twins, and Booker has a son from a previous relationship. In 2005, Booker opened a wrestling school with his brother Lash in Houston, and started his own wrestling promotion, Pro Wrestling Alliance. Known today as Reality of Wrestling, it served as the place for Booker's final match, when the reunited Harlem Heat defeated the Heavenly Bodies for the ROW Tag Team Championship in February 2015.
Booker was Pro Wrestling Illustrated's most improved wrestler of 1998 and was the publication's most inspirational wrestler of 2000. In 2001, he was ranked the #5 singles wrestler in the world. In 2002, he won Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Most Underrated Award. In 2013, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his brother Lash.
It's a happy 77th birthday for Adnan Bin Abdul Kareem Ahmed Alkaissy El Farthie. Known to longtime wrestling fans as Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey and Billy White Wolf, he's probably best remembered as General Adnan.
The one-time high school friend of Saddam Hussein began wrestling professionally in the 1960s for Pacific Northwest Wrestling as Adnan Kaissey and in the 1970s as Native American Billy White Wolf. He was a WWWF tag team champion with Chief Jay Strongbow, but was stripped of the titles when White Wolf (Al-Kaissey) had to get neck surgery. In the late 1970s, Al-Kaissey tried to introduce professional wrestling to Iraq, but Hussein's paranoia concerning potential political rivals severed those plansâand their friendship.
With tensions between the United States and the Middle East brewing, Adnan went to the American Wrestling Association in 1981 as Sheik Adnan El Kaissey. He had made it his mission to get the AWA world title from Nick Bockwinkel. He tried and failed, so he would buy off wrestlers from other managers to get the job done for him, including Jerry Blackwell and Ken Patera (both of whom also failed). Adnan stepped away from the ring around this time, though he would wrestle occasionally (albeit rarely) for the remainder of the decade. He would also serve as the top heel manager for the AWA until its closing, usually managing foreign talent including King Kong Bruiser Brody, Nord the Barbarian, Boris Zhukov, Kokina Maximus, King Tonga, and the Mongolian Stomper.
Adnan joined the WWF in 1990 as General Adnan, a pro-Iraqi sympathizer. He was mostly in a managing role for Sgt. Slaughter during his Iraqi sympathizer phase and Colonel Mustafa, aka The Iron Sheik. He left the WWF shortly after the 1992 Royal Rumble.
Adnan published an autobiography, The Sheik of Baghdad: Tales of Celebrity and Terror from Pro Wrestling's General Adnan in 2005.
It's a happy 81st birthday for film and TV actor Robert Conrad. The actor, best known for his role as James T. West on the hit 1960s television series The Wild Wild West, was the special referee for the only steel cage match in Wrestlemania history, the main event of Wrestlemania 2 for the WWF Championship between Hulk Hogan and King Kong Bundy. These days, Conrad hosts a weekly national radio show, The PM Show with Robert Conrad.