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This Day in Wrestling History (Mar. 2): Flying Angel

Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat/Shane Douglas vs... by TSteck160

23 years ago today at a WCW Worldwide taping in Macon, Georgia, the Hollywood Blonds (Brian Pillman & Steve Austin) defeated Ricky Steamboat & Shane Douglas to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship. The match airs on tape delay 25 days later.

Erik Watts vs Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff-WCW... by TSteck160

23 years ago today at a WCW Power Hour taping in Macon, Georgia, Paul Orndorff defeated Erik Watts in a tournament final to win the WCW World Television Championship. The match also airs on tape delay 25 days later. An interesting little nugget: future world champions Cactus Jack, Vinnie Vegas, Chris Benoit, and Robbie V were all a part of the 16-man tournament.

An even crazier coincidence: both the Hollywood Blonds and Paul Orndorff would lose their championships on the same day: Clash of the Champions XXIV on August 18 (The Blonds to Arn Anderson and Paul Roma; Orndoff to Steamboat).

Mitsuharu Misawa vs Takeshi Morishima (Part 2) by ROH4ever

8 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Takeshi Morishima defeated Mitsuhara Misawa to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship. That ended Misawa's 448-day run as champion, at the time the second longest in Pro Wrestling NOAH history. It would also be the last championship held by the legendary Misawa; he died in the ring in June 2009, possibly of a spinal injury (the official cause has never been released to the public).

3 years ago today, Ring of Honor presented its 11th Anniversary Show from Frontier Fieldhouse in Chicago Ridge, Illinois.

  • ACH defeated Q.T. Marshall, Adam Page, Silas Young, Mike Sydal, and TaDarius Thomas in a Six-Man Mayhem match.
  • S.C.U.M. (Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino) defeated Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander.
  • B.J. Whitmer defeated Charlie Haas in a no holds barred match.
  • The American Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) defeated The Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov and Rocky Romero).
  • Michael Elgin defeated Roderick Strong 2-1 in a best of three falls match.
  • Matt Taven defeated Adam Cole to win the ROH World Television Championship.
  • reDRagon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly) defeated The Briscoe Brothers (Jay and Mark Briscoe) to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
  • Kevin Steen defeated Jay Lethal to retain the ROH World Championship.

Today would have been the 36th birthday of Lance Kurtis McNaught, best known to wrestling fans as Garrison Cade and later Lance Cade.

Born in Carroll, Iowa, Lance trained with Shawn Michaels at the Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy in Sana Antonio, Texas. Cade teamed with Bryan Danielson for Japanese promotion Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling. He left FMW after just three months and returned to the United States.

He signed with the WWF in 2001 and went to the Heartland Wrestling Association, then a developmental company for the WWF. He would have two runs (one lasting a day) as HWA heavyweight champion and a tag team title run that lasted only a few minutes, as they broke up right after winning the titles. Cade moved over to Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2003 and teamed with Rene Dupree and Mark Jindrak before they were both called up. Cade would be called up himself that year and team with Jindrak until just after Wrestlemania XX when Jindrak moved over to Smackdown.

After a stint in OVW following an injury, Cade returned as Lance Cade with new tag partner Trevor Murdoch in 2005 won the tag titles together less than a month later. They'd lose the titles just over a month later to Kane and The Big Show. The duo split up for six months, but reunited for a brief feud with D-Generation X. They toiled on Heat for a bit before winning the tag titles twice in 2007. After the duo split up for good in 2008, he was a protégé for Chris Jericho in his feud with Shawn Michaels.

Following a drug-induced life-threatening seizure, Cade was released from WWE in October 2008. After almost a year on the independent circuit and in Japan, he re-signed with WWE in September 2009, but was released the following April under some pretty questionable circumstances.

Lance was taken to a San Antonio hospital on August 10, 2010 complaining of shortness of breath, but would discharge himself the next day. Two days later, Lance died of heart apparent heart failure. He was just 30 years old. McNaught's death was ruled accidental, stating intoxication from a mix of drugs and cardiomyopathy contributed to his death.

It's a happy 45th birthday for joshi legend Manami Toyota.

Born in Masuda, Shimane, Japan, Toyota made her professional wrestling debut at age 16 in 1987. In 1989, Toyota as one half of the Tokyo Sweethearts with Mima Shimona, broke through in a tag team match on the Wrestlemarinpiad event. Her bout was released as part of a four-hour wrestling compilation, and her popularity grew almost overnight.

In November 1989, Toyota defeated Mika Takahashi for the All Japan Womens Pro-Wrestling (AJW) Championship. She would vacate it the following September to go after the AJW All Pacific Championship (the #2 title in the promotion), and win it in October. In January 1992, Toyota and Toshiyo Yamada, first rivals before becoming the second incarnation of the Tokyo Sweethearts, won the UWA Womens World Tag Team Championship from KAORU and Lady Apache. Despite that, they had a singles beef with one another, culminating in a hair versus hair match that August. Toyota won the match, but did not want her partner to get her head shaved. Manami had to be physically restrained as Yamada went ahead and honored the stipulation. It would be the first of what would be fourteen five-star rated matches by Wrestling Observer Newsletter, far and away the most for any woman.

At AJW Dreamrush On November 26, 1992, Toyota and Yamada defended the WWWA World Tag Team Championship against Dynamite Kansai and Mayumi Ozaki in a best of three falls match. Their rematch at Dreamslam II in April 1993 was won by Kansai and Ozaki (and with it the titles); the bout was voted Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Match of the Year for 1993, the first time a woman's match won the award. They fought one last time at St. Battle Final in December, with Toyota and Yamada winning the titles back.

The duo would hold the championships until October 1994 when Kyoko and Takako Inoue (no relation) won the titles. A few weeks prior, Toyota defeated Kyoko to unify the IWA and All Pacific Singles championships. Toyota eventually vacated the unified championship to chase AJW's biggest prize, the WWWA World Heavyweight Championship. On March 26, 1995, Toyota defeated Aja Kong to win the title. In her first major defense at AJW Queendom III in May, Toyota went to a one-hour draw with Kyoko Inoue at Korakuen Hall. The bout was voted Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Match of the Year; to date it's the last time a women's match earned the honor. Toyota would lose the title back to Kong, but she won the right to challenge for the title by winning the AJW Grand Prix tournament that summer. In December, she knocked off then-champion Dynamite Kansai for her second WWWA Championship. She would hold it for a year before losing it to long-time rival Kyoko Inoue in a three-title unification match. That year, she would also win Wrestling Observer's Most Outstanding Wrestler award, the only woman to win in the category, and finished third in the Wrestler of the Year category, behind only Shawn Michaels and Mitsuharu Misawa.

In November 1998, Toyota faced off against fellow joshi legend Chigusa Nagoyo; Nagoyo won the 15-minute bout in what would end being their only singles bout against one another. Manami would largely be a freelance competitor for the next few years before going on hiatus following a 20th anniversary tribute show in 2007 in which she wrestled every match on the card (she went won two, lost two—including one to Aja Kong, and went to a 10-minute draw with former tag partner Mima Shimoda).

In September 2010, she wrestled for the first time on American soil for Chikara, defeating Daizee Haze. She returned to the promotion the following April for their annual King of Trios tournament. Her trio, which included Jigsaw and Mike Quackenbush, were defeated in the second round by Team Michinoku Pro (Dick Togo, Great Sasuke, and Jinsei Shizaki). That December, she was honored with the Diva Dirt Legacy Award for her in-ring contributions.

The trio of Toyota, Quackenbush, and Jigsaw were together again for the 2012 King of Trios tournament; they again advanced to the second round before being defeated by Team Sendai Girls (Dash Chisako, Meiko Satormura, and Sendai Sachiko).

One week later, Toyota produced her 25th anniversary show; like her 20th anniversary event, she wrestled every match on the show, but this time she won just one out of five bouts (a win over Miho Wakizawa).

Toyota, voted by Wrestling Observer Newsletter readers in a 2009 poll as the greatest female wrestler of all time, was inducted into the publication's Hall of Fame in 2002.

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