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This Day in Wrestling History (Mar. 18): WCW's Last PPV Ever

31 years ago today in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Ivan and Nikita Koloff defeated Manny Fernandez and Dusty Rhodes to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship. Krusher Kruschev would later join the Koloffs, and the three would defend the tag team championship together a la The Fabulous Freebirds.

21 years ago today, ECW presented Extreme Warfare from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Selected matches from the event aired on the March 21March 28, and April 4 episodes of ECW Hardcore TV (WWE Network links).

  • Mikey Whipwreck defeated Jason Knight.
  • Ron Simmons defeated Hack Myers.
  • Tommy Dreamer defeated Tony Stetson.
  • Tommy Dreamer defeated Johnny Hot Body.
  • Tommy Dreamer defeated Stevie Richards.
  • Raven defeated Tommy Dreamer.
  • 2 Cold Scorpio defeated Dean Malenko to win the ECW World Television Championship.
  • Axl Rotten defeated Ian Rotten in a strap match.
  • The Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock) defeated The Pitbulls (#1 and #2).
  • Sabu defeated Mikey Whipwreck by submission.
  • Terry Funk and The Sandman defeated Cactus Jack and Shane Douglas.

16 years ago today at an ECW on TNN taping in Salem, New Hampshire, Super Crazy defeated Yoshihiro Tajiri in a deathmatch. They would face each other just one other time after this in ECW, about eight months later.

15 years ago today, WCW presented Greed (WWE Network link) from the Jacksonville Memorial Coliseum in Jacksonville, Florida. 5,030 were in attendance, with just 50,000 homes watching on PPV.

This matches the lowest number of PPV buys for a WCW event ever, and in terms of percentage (0.10), it's the lowest in company history. This is the last PPV ever for WCW, as the company would be bought out by the WWF later in the week after a deal for Eric Bischoff-led company Fusion Media Ventures to buy the company fell through.

  • Jason Jett defeated Kwee Wee.
  • Elix Skipper & Kid Romeo defeated The Filthy Animals (Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio Jr.) to become the first ever WCW Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions.
  • Shawn Stasiak defeated Bam Bam Bigelow.
  • Lance Storm & Mike Awesome defeated Hugh Morrus & Konnan.
  • Shane Helms defeated Chavo Guerrero Jr. to win the WCW World Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Chuck Palumbo & Sean O'Haire defeated Totally Buffed (Buff Bagwell & Lex Luger) in just 54 seconds to retain the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Ernest Miller defeated Kanyon.
  • Booker T defeated Rick Steiner to win the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship.
  • Dustin Rhodes & Dusty Rhodes defeated Jeff Jarrett & Ric Flair. As a result of the loss, Jeff Jarrett had to kiss Dusty Rhodes' ass... which turned out to be a literal jackass.
  • Scott Steiner defeated Diamond Dallas Page in a falls count anywhere match to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. With the loss, Page was banished from WCW.

14 years ago today on RAW from Montreal, Quebec, Canada (WWE Network link), Hulk Hogan and The Rock defeated The Outsiders (Scott Hall & Kevin Nash) by countout. Earlier in the show, Hogan received a huge ovation and after some encouragement from The Rock, the man that beat him one night earlier at Wrestlemania X8, Hogan ripped off the nWo shirt, severing his ties with the group he rejoined just a month earlier.

Earlier in the evening, Brock Lesnar makes his WWF television debut, interrupting a hardcore championship match between Maven and Al Snow. Paul Heyman returned to WWF television with Lesnar in his first appearance since being fired the night after Survivor Series the previous November. Heyman would serve as Lesnar's manager for multiple stints in his career.

The show opens with WWF CEO Linda McMahon announcing there would be a brand extension, effectively splitting the company's large roster in half and each of its main shows, RAW and Smackdown running its own events (and eventually, its own PPVs with its own championships).

10 years ago today, WWE aired Saturday Night's Main Event (WWE Network link) from Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan. It was the first Saturday Night's Main Event since October 1992, and the first on NBC since April 1991.

This was the first episode of the rebooted series, but it wouldn't last nearly as long: NBC ran just five episodes before cancelling the series in 2008. It was "plausibly live", as the show aired on a one-hour tape delay. The show also featured Stone Cold Steve Austin and John "Bradshaw" Layfield in a drinking contest.

  • In a dark match, Big Show defeated Carlito.
  • John Cena and Triple H defeated Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio, and Randy Orton in a 2-on-3 handicap match of Wrestlemania 22 main events.
  • Mickie James and Trish Stratus defeated Candice Michelle and Victoria. Post-match, Mickie embraced Trish, but when Trish pushed off twice, Mickie Chick Kicked Trish, cementing her heel turn and setting up their match at Wrestlemania 22.
  • Shane McMahon defeated Shawn Michaels by "submission" in a street fight. Vince McMahon called for the bell a la the Montreal Screwjob when Shane had Shawn in the Sharpshooter.

5 years ago today, WGN America confirms via e-mail that WWE Superstars would be cancelled effective April 7. No specific reason was given for the cancellation. The series lives on via the Internet on WWE Network and still airs in many international markets.

5 years ago today, Extreme Tiger defeated Carlito Carribean Cool, L.A. Park, and El Mesias in an elimination match to win the 2011 AAA Rey de Reyes tournament.

4 years ago today, El Hijo de Perro Aguayo defeated Hector Garza, Jack Evans, and L.A. Park in an elimination match to win the 2012 AAA Rey de Reyes tournament.

4 years ago today, Shimmer presented Volume 47 and Volume 48 from the Eagles Club in Berwyn, Illinois.

Volume 47

  • In a dark Match, Nikki St. John defeated Angelus Layne.
  • Rhia O'Reilly defeated Taylor Made.
  • Kellie Skater defeated Veda Scott.
  • Kalamity defeated KC Spinelli.
  • Kana & LuFisto defeat Christina Von Eerie & MsChif.
  • Athena defeated Sassy Stephie.
  • The Canadian Ninjas (Nicole Matthews & Portia Perez) defeat Davina Rose & Mia Yim.
  • Shazza McKenzie defeated Saraya Knight by disqualification.
  • Courtney Rush & Sara Del Rey defeat Regeneration X (Allison Danger & Leva Bates).
  • Mercedes Martinez defeated Hailey Hatred.
  • Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara defeat Leon & Ray to retain the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship.
  • Cheerleader Melissa defeated Jessie McKay to retain the SHIMMER Championship.

Volume 48

  • KC Spinelli defeated Nikki.
  • Davina Rose & Mia Yim defeat Melanie Cruise & Mena Libra.
  • Shazza McKenzie defeated Rhia O'Reilly.
  • Kana defeated Kellie Skater.
  • Leon defeated LuFisto.
  • Christina Von Eerie & MsChif defeat Hailey Hatred & Kalamity.
  • Athena defeated Ray.
  • Courtney Rush & Sara Del Rey defeat Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara (c) and Regeneration X (Allison Danger & Leva Bates) and The Canadian Ninjas (Nicole Matthews & Portia Perez) in a four corners elimination tag team match to win the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship.
    • The Canadian Ninjas eliminated Regeneration X.
    • Sara Del Rey & Courtney Rush eliminated Ayako Hamada & Ayumi Kurihara.
    • Sara Del Rey & Courtney Rush eliminated The Canadian Ninjas.
  • Saraya Knight defeated Cheerleader Melissa to win the SHIMMER Championship. Knight would hold the championship for just over a year before being defeated by Cheerleader Melissa.

3 years ago today, Steve Austin announces he was launching a podcast series. The Steve Austin Show and its adult-themed companion The Steve Austin Show Unleashed! are available via the PodcastOne site and on iTunes. Last month, the show aired its 300th podcast, an interview with longtime WWE stalwart The Big Show. Austin's podcasts also air once a month on the WWE Network.

3 years ago today, TNA taped two One Night Only PPVs both from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.

First, TNA taped One Night Only: World Cup of Wrestling. The event first aired on PPV on December 6. This format, different from past TNA World Cups, featured four teams (USA, UK, International, Aces & 8s), each with five wrestlers (one heavyweight, one tag team, one X Division, and one Knockout). Points were awarded for each win, with the two high scores facing off in an intergender elimination tag team match final.

  • Magnus defeated Mr. Anderson.
  • Kenny King defeated Sonjay Dutt.
  • Lei'd Tapa defeated Hannah Blossom.
  • DOC and Knox defeated Funaki and Petey Williams.
  • Wes Brisco defeated Rockstar Spud.
  • Daniels and Kazarian defeated Doug Williams and Rob Terry.
  • Ivelisse defeated Mickie James.
  • James Storm defeated Judas Mesias.
  • Team USA (Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian), James Storm, Kenny King, and Mickie James) defeated Aces & Eights (DOC, Knox, Mr. Anderson and Wes Brisco, and Ivellise) in an elimination tag team match to win the World Cup of Wrestling.

TNA also taped One Night Only: Tag Team Tournament 2014. The hook of the show, which did not air until January 3, 2014, was a one-night tournament for bragging rights as the best tag team in TNA history.

  • Play-In Round
    • Generation Me (Jeremy Buck and Max Buck) defeated Petey Williams and Sonjay Dutt.
    • Aces & Eights (Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco) defeated The Hot Shots (Cassidy Riley and Chase Stevens).
  • Quarterfinals
    • Wet Dream Team (Austin Aries and Bobby Roode) defeated The British Invasion (Douglas Williams and Rob Terry).
    • Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez defeated Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian).
    • Magnus and Samoa Joe defeated Aces & Eights (Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco).
    • Team 3D (Bully Ray and Devon) defeated Generation Me (Jeremy and Max Buck).
  • Semifinals
    • Austin Aries and Bobby Roode defeated Magnus and Samoa Joe.
    • Team 3D (Bully Ray and Devon) defeated Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez.

  • Finals
    • Team 3D (Bully Ray and Devon) defeated Austin Aries and Bobby Roode.

Today's the 90th birthday of legendary wrestling announcer Lance Lanier Russell.

Announcing professional wrestling particularly in the Memphis territory from 1959 to 1997, Russell was renowned for his relaxed wrestling style, preferring to punctuate heated moments with dramatic statements over shouting over top of them. Russell is often most associated with Dave Brown, who began teaming with Russell in 1967 (Brown himself would become a fixture in the Memphis area, becoming a programming executive for three television stations and the premier weather forecaster in Memphis).

Russell, who had always been identified with his "Baxter suits", would often get in the middle of the action, from ringing the bell to begin matches (and ringing it loudly in the event of a fracas) to calling to the locker room when a babyface was being attacked by multiple heels. He'd get physical too, though often by his own doing: in 1981, he was assaulted by The Dream Machine; in 1985, Jimmy Hart poured a bag of flour on him; in 1988, Hennig and a local Memphis businessman came to blows, and Russell had to physically restrain them.

In addition to announcing for the Continental Wrestling Association, he would serve as an announcer for WCW from 1989 to 1992 and would work weekly Monday night bouts at the Mid-South Coliseum (those shows would be edited for syndication for the rest of the region). He also announced for Smoky Mountain Wrestling in its later years before going into semi-retirement in 1997.

Post-retirement, Russell has a small role in the 1999 Andy Kaufman film Man on the Moon as the Memphis ring announcer (longtime ring announcer Jim Ross handled the play-by-play in the movie, but Russell did the commentary for the Lawler-Kaufman match; the commentary can be found on the WWE DVD release Greatest Wrestling Stars of the 80s).

Russell, a member of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter's inaugural Hall of Fame class (1996; he won the publication's best television announcer award from 1984 to 1987) and the Memphis Wrestling Hall of Fame (1994), will receive the Cauliflower Alley Club Announcer's Award next month in Las Vegas. He was married to his wife Audrey for 67 years before she passed away in June 2014.

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