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This Day in Wrestling History (Mar. 9): Cactus Jack Leaves ECW

25 years ago today in Montgomery, Alabama, The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) defeated Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship. The championship would be known soon as the WCW World Tag Team Championship. The Steiners actually won the titles on February 18, but it didn't air until March 9. At the time of the title win, The Freebirds (Hayes & Garvin) were the recognized tag team champions, but lost them at the tapings, then won the titles from Doom on PPV at Wrestlewar six days later. Translation: the Freebirds have a negative day title reign (-6 days).

Big Ass Extreme Bash 3.9.1996 - Cactus Jack vs... by Kapitas

20 years ago today, ECW presented Big Ass Extreme Bash Night 2 from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It's noted for being the final appearance for Mick "Cactus Jack" Foley before leaving for the WWF. Portions of the event aired on the March 19 and March 26 editions of ECW Hardcore TV (WWE Network links).

  • JT Smith defeated Axl Rotten.
  • Bad Crew versus El Puerto Ricano & Damien Stone fought to a no contest.
  • The Eliminators defeated Buh Buh Ray Dudley & Hack Myers to retain the ECW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Chris Jericho defeated Taz via disqualification. Taz had beaten Jericho, but the decision was reversed when he refused to release the Tazmission.
  • Rey Misterio Jr. defeated Juventud Guerrera 2-1 in a best of three falls match. Post-match, Misterio powerbombed Guerrera through a table. It turned out to be the final ECW match for both men before leaving for WCW.
  • Cactus Jack defeated Mikey Whipwreck with a piledriver on a chair. Post-match, he said his final words, then danced off with Stevie Richards and The Blue Meanie.
  • The Pitbulls versus The Bruise Brothers fought to a no contest.
  • Sabu defeated Big Titan.
  • Raven defeated Shane Douglas to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • The Gangstas defeated The Sandman & 2 Cold Scorpio and The Headhunters in a three way dance.

15 years ago today, ECW officially cancels Living Dangerously 2001 just two days before the show was set to take place. With no television to promote it, no venue booked for the show, and no tickets to sell, the decision came as no surprise. Some cable outlets offered refunds for PPV orders, while others replayed Guilty as Charged. The cancellation, combined with ECW owner Paul Heyman appearing on WWF programming, and ECW not running a show since a few days after Guilty as Charged, signaled the end of ECW.

14 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Dan Severn defeated Shinya Hashimoto to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. He would be the last NWA champion of the pre-TNA era; the title would be vacated three months later after Severn failed to defend the title for TNA.

10 years ago today, WWE releases their entire Smackdown Juniors division (Mascarita Sagrada, Tsuki, Pequeno Violencia, Octagoncito, Piratita Morgan, and Super Porky).

8 years ago today, TNA presented Destination X from the Norfolk Scope in Norfolk, Virginia.

Match ratings are provided by Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer as recorded in the Internet Wrestling Database. Ratings are out of a possible five stars.

  • In a dark match, Roxxi Laveaux defeated Angelina Love.
  • The Latin American Xchange (Homicide and Hernandez) defeated The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley) and The Rock 'n Rave Infection (Lance Hoyt and Jimmy Rave) in a three-way match to become number one contender to the TNA World Tag Team Championship. (3.5/5)
  • Jay Lethal defeated Petey Williams to retain the TNA X Division Championship. (3.25)
  • Kaz and Eric Young defeated Black Reign and Rellik. (2.75)
  • Awesome Kong defeated Gail Kim and ODB in a three-way match to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship. (3.5)
  • Curry Man and Shark Boy defeated Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) in a Fish Market Street Fight. (3)
  • Robert Roode defeated Booker T in a "Stand By Your Man" strap match. (1.75)
  • Rhino defeated James Storm in a Elevation X match. (0)
  • Samoa Joe, Kevin Nash, and Christian Cage defeated The Angle Alliance (Kurt Angle, A.J. Styles, and Tomko). (2.5)

7 years ago today on RAW from Jacksonville, Florida, John "Bradshaw" Layfield defeated CM Punk to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

The win made Bradshaw just the tenth Grand Slam champion in WWE history, joining Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kane, Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, Eddie Guerrero, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, and Jeff Hardy. Just four men have done it since: Christian in 2011, Big Show and The Miz each in 2012, and Daniel Bryan last year. Also of note, this would be Layfield's last championship before retiring at Wrestlemania 25 a few weeks later.

5 years ago today, WWE begins filming the Tough Enough reboot.

5 years ago today, TruTV begins filming Hulk Hogan's Micro Championship Wrestling.

4 years ago today, Jerry Lynn announces that he intends to retire at the end of the year. He would not actually retire until the following March to coincide with the 25th anniversary of his professional wrestling debut.

2 years ago today, TNA presented Lockdown from the BankUnited Center in Miami, Florida. In a throwback to Lockdown's past, every match on the show was contested in a steel cage. Of note, Kurt Angle was to face Ethan Carter III on the show, but Angle was pulled from the show just two days prior to undergo surgery on a torn MCL.

  • Team Wrestle-1 (The Great Muta, Sanada, and Yasu) defeated Team TNA (Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) and Chris Sabin). (3.25/5)
  • Samuel Shaw defeated Mr. Anderson. The match could only be won by escaping the cage. (1.25)
  • Tigre Uno defeated Manik. This was Tigre Uno's TNA debut. (2.5)
  • Gunner defeated James Storm in a last man standing rules steel cage match. (3.25)
  • Madison Rayne defeated Gail Kim to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship. (3)
  • Magnus defeated Samoa Joe by knockout to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. The match could only be won by submission or knockout. (2)
  • Team MVP (MVP, The Wolves (Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards) and Willow) defeated Team Dixie (Bobby Roode, The BroMans (Robbie E and Jessie Godderz) and Austin Aries) in a Lethal Lockdown match. With MVP's team winning, he got 100% control of TNA. The same would have been true for Dixie Carter had her team won the match, as well as Robert Roode getting a minority stake in the company. Bully Ray was the special referee. (2.5)

1 year ago today, WWE announces via press release that superfan Connor Michalek would posthumously receive the Warrior Award at Wrestlemania 31. The press release in part:

Connor Michalek, a Pittsburgh native and passionate WWE fan who passed away last year from cancer, will be the first-ever recipient of the Warrior Award, which will be presented each year at the WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

The Warrior Award will be given to someone who has exhibited unwavering strength and perseverance, and who lives life with the courage and compassion that embodies the indomitable spirit of WWE Hall of Famer, The Ultimate Warrior. This year, the award will be presented by The Ultimate Warrior's widow, Dana Warrior, and WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to Steve Michalek, Connor's father.

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