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This Day in Wrestling History (Mar. 17): Icon Meets Icon

Happy St. Patrick's Day! If you're going out to celebrate, do so responsibly, kay? Kay. Also custom Becky Lynch titantron from Youtuber Alextronz for no reason.

35 years ago today in Allentown, Pennsylvania, The Moondogs (Rex & King) defeated Tony Garea & Rick Martel to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. Moondog King would be replaced by Moondog Spot about two months later when legal issues prevented King from reentering American soil from Canada.

23 years ago today in Dublin, Ireland, Big Van Vader defeated Sting to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship just six days after losing the title to Sting in London.

19 years ago today on RAW is WAR from Syracuse, New York (WWE Network link), Sid defeated Bret Hart in a steel cage match to retain the WWF Championship. The bout, just six days before Wrestlemania 13, sets up Sid versus The Undertaker for the title. Had Bret Hart won, he would have defended the WWF Championship in a submission match with Stone Cold Steve Austin.

But the story was went down moments after the match. After a commercial break, Vince McMahon, then still the play-by-play announcer for RAW, got an interview with Hart. Well, at least he tried to.

Vince McMahon: "Bret Hart, you've got to be terribly frustrated, extremely frustrated about what just happened." [Hart grabs the mic and shoves McMahon down.]

Bret Hart: "Frustrated isn't the goddamn word for it! This is bullshit! You screwed me! Everybody screwed me! And nobody does a goddamn thing about it. Nobody in the building cares, nobody in the dressing room cares. So much goddamn injustice around here! I've had it up to here! 

Everybody knows it! I know it! Everybody knows it. I should be the World Wrestling Federation champion! Everybody just keeps turning a blind eye. You keep turning a blind eye to it [referring to Vince McMahon]. I got that Gorilla Monsoon, he turns a blind eye to it. Everybody in that goddamn dressing room knows that I'm the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be! If you don't like it - tough shit!" 

Steve Austin: [via titantron while Hart continues his rant] " ass, Bret. All you wanna do anytime you go out in the ring is cry like a baby. I tried to go out there and help you and you threw it all away because you are a loser! It could have been you and me for the championship at WrestleMania, but you blew the whole damn thing because you are a loser! At WrestleMania will quit. And one of these days, well, it's you and me for the title. You're looking at the next champ! And there is nothing you can do about it!" 

Hart: "You know what? They call you Stone Cold 'cause your stones are so cold, your stone... You will come out here and step in the ring with me? You always gonna jump me from behind. You don't got the guts to come out here. Come on! Everybody knows... well, there's Sycho Sid. [Sid comes down to the ring] If you think for one second that that belt belongs to you, you are wrong! That is my belt. You know it, I know it and everybody in this building knows it!"

Sid, The Undertaker, and Stone Cold Steve Austin would return to the ring and split off into pull-apart brawls to end the show.

The censors were more or less asleep at the wheel at the time of Hart's tirade; after all, cursing to that degree pretty much never happened on WWF programming. Because of Hart's tirade, live WWF programming going forward would have a seven-second delay.     

16 years ago today, Beyond the Mat, a pro wrestling documentary directed by Barry Blaustein, makes its nationwide theatrical debut.

The documentary followed three professional wrestlers outside the ring: Mick Foley, Terry Funk, and Jake "The Snake" Roberts, as well as some people aspiring to make it to the big leagues. The footage was shot over a span of three years and includes clips of ECW's first PPV, Barely Legal, and the infamous I Quit match from the 1999 Royal Rumble event.

Made on just a $500,000 budget and intended for a limited release, a fan campaign for a full national rollout means the film, one that was promoted as "the film Vince McMahon doesn't want you to see" (the WWF did not promote the film on their wrestling programming) turns a profit with over $2 million in the box office.

15 years ago today, Scott Norton defeated Kensuke Sasaki to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

14 years ago today, El Canek defeated Pirata Morgan, Cibernetico, and Octagon in an elimination match to win the Rey de Reyes tournament.

WrestleMania 18 [WM X8] canción subtitulada... by nikotaker100

14 years ago today, WWF presented Wrestlemania X8: The One and Only (WWE Network link) from the Skydome (today known as Rogers Centre) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 68,237 were in attendance, a record for the building, with 840,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from the record 1,040,000 buys for Wrestlemania X-Seven.

To this day, this remains the last Wrestlemania to take place outside the United States. It's also the last to bear the WWF name; two months after the event, a court order forces the name change from WWF to WWE.

Star ratings are from Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter, and are listed in the Internet Wrestling Database. Star ratings are out of 5.

  • In a preshow Sunday Night Heat match, Rikishi, Scotty 2 Hotty, and Albert defeated Mr. Perfect, Lance Storm and Test.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated William Regal to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. (2/5)
  • Diamond Dallas Page defeated Christian to retain the WWF European Championship. (1.75)
  • Maven fought Goldust to a no contest for the WWF Hardcore Championship because... (-0.5)
  • Spike Dudley defeated Maven to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • The Hurricane defeated Spike Dudley to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • Kurt Angle defeated Kane. (2.25)
  • The Undertaker defeated Ric Flair in a no disqualification match. The win made The Undertaker the first man to win ten matches at Wrestlemania. To this day, he's still the only man to win ten matches or more at the event. (3)
  • Edge defeated Booker T. (1.25)
  • Mighty Molly defeated The Hurricane to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Scott Hall. (1)
  • Billy and Chuck defeated the APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq), the Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von), and the Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) in a four corners elimination match to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship. (2.25)
  • Christian defeated Mighty Molly to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • The Rock defeated Hollywood Hulk Hogan. Post-match, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash turned on Hogan, and The Rock and Hogan together fought off Hall and Nash. (3)
  • Jazz defeated Lita and Trish Stratus in a triple threat match to retain the WWF Women's Championship. (-1)
  • Maven defeated Christian to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • Triple H defeated Chris Jericho to win the WWF Undisputed Championship. (3)

13 years ago today on RAW from St. Louis, Missouri, Steve Austin defeated Eric Bischoff in a no disqualification match. This was his final free televised match, as Austin retired following Wrestlemania XIX two weeks later.

8 years ago today, WWE announces via press release that George Barrios, most recently Vice President and Treasurer of the New York Times, would become the new chief financial officer for the company effective the following week. He replaces the retiring Frank Serpe, who was WWE's CFO for twenty-one years. Barrios still holds the position today.

7 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Corpus Christi, Texas, MVP defeated Shelton Benjamin to win the WWE United States Championship.

6 years ago today, The Hartford Courant revealed in a report that chairshots to the head were banned by WWE effective January 2010. Per WWE spokesperson Robert Zimmerman:

"In January 2010, WWE amended its Talent Wellness Program, specifically regarding the ImPACTTMConcussion Management Program originally instituted in 2008, eliminating the use of folding chairs or props to "strike" an opponent in the head.  Prior to this policy change, The Tables, Ladders and Chairs event in question took place on December 13, 2009.  "Incidentally, no performer suffered a concussion during the TLC event."

The company's concussion program features annual examinations of talents as well as evaluations of whether they can return to active competition following head trauma.

The verbiage involving chair shots reads as follows:

*The WWE has eliminated using folding metal chairs to "strike" an opponent in the head.

*The WWE penalizes through fine and/or suspension the following:

*The intentional use of a folding metal chair to "strike" an opponent in the head.

*Any blow to the head that is deemed an INTENTIONAL act.

*The fine and/or suspension will be directed by the EVP of Talent Relations.

4 years ago today, Matt Bloom, best known as Albert in WWE, denies reports that he had agreed to rejoin the company, saying on Twitter,  "Haha! False. Wife just had a baby. I'll be on next tour." Haha, joke's on you, Prince Albert, as it turned out you did re-sign with WWE as vignettes soon began airing to promote the debut of his new gimmick, Tensai.

3 years ago today, TNA taped One Night Only: 10 Reunion 2013 from the Impact Zone in Universal Orlando. The show, airing August 2, celebrated the company's first ten years.

  • Kenny King defeated Petey Williams and Sonjay Dutt in a three-way match.
  • Velvet Sky defeated Gail Kim.
  • Matt Morgan defeated Cassidy Riley, Chase Stevens, Jesse, Johnny Devine, Johnny Swinger, Joseph Park, Mr. Anderson, and Shark Boy in a 10 man gauntlet battle royal.
  • Aces and Eights (Bully Ray & Devon) defeated Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels & Kazarian) and Latin American Exchange (Hernandez & Homicide) in a three-way tag team match.
  • Jeff Hardy defeated Austin Aries.
  • Bobby Roode defeated James Storm.
  • Kurt Angle defeated Samoa Joe.

On the same day, TNA taped One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown 2013 from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando. The show was made available for PPV audiences September 6.

The hook of the all-women's show was a one night tournament to crown the "Queen of the Knockouts". All of the preliminary match winners would advance to a two-part show ending battle royal (first part being over the top rope, the second being a singles match when two women remained.

  • Gail Kim defeated Alissa Flash.
  • Lei'D Tapa defeated Ivelisse.
  • Tara defeated Mia Yim.
  • Brooke Tessmacher defeated Santana Garrett.
  • ODB defeated Trinity.
  • Jackie Moore defeated Taryn Terrell.
  • Hannah Blossom defeated Sojournor Bolt and Taeler Hendrix in a three-way match.
  • Velvet Sky defeated Jillian Hall.
  • Mickie James defeated Serena Deeb.
  • Gail Kim and Mickie James were the last two women in an over-the-top battle royal. Other participants in order of elimination were Hannah Blossom, Jackie Moore, Lei'D Tapa, Miss Tessmacher, ODB, Tara, and Velvet Sky.
  • Gail Kim defeated Mickie James to win the Queen of the Knockouts tournament.

3 years ago today in Monterrey, Mexico, El Mesias defeated La Par-K and Canek in an elimination match to win the AAA Rey de Reyes tournament. On the same show, Fabi Apache defeated LuFisto, Mari Apache, and Taya Valkyrie in an elimination match to win the vacated AAA Reina de Reinas Championship.

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