clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This Day in Wrestling History (Apr. 12): Tragedy Hits The Von Erich Family

36 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Wild Samoans (Afa & Sika) defeated Ivan Putski and Tito Santana to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.

29 years ago today, Michael Brett Adkisson, best known to wrestling fans as Mike Von Erich, dies of an intentional overdose of Placidyl, a tranquilizing medication, and alcohol. He was just 23.

A few days prior to his death, Michael was arrested on drunk driving and drug charges. The previous summer, he suffered head injuries from an auto accident in which his vehicle overturned. Prior to his death, Mike left a suicide note for his family, then went to Lake Dallas, overdosed, and wrapped himself in a sleeping bag. Mike at the time of his death was one-third of the World Class Championship Wrestling six-man tag team champions with brothers Kevin and Lance (Lance was not legitimately related to Michael and Kevin).

It would be the beginning of a tragic period for the Von Erich family. Over the next six years, two more of the Von Erichs would take their own lives: Chris in 1991, and Kerry in 1993.

19 years ago today at New Japan Pro Wrestling's Battle Formation '97, Riki Choshu and Kensuke Sasaki defeated Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.

In the show's main event, 1992 Olympic silver medalist in judo Naoya Ogawa defeated IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shinya Hashimoto by knockout. It was Ogawa's professional wrestling debut. About 60,500 were in attendance for the event, one of the largest crowds in professional wrestling history.

17 years ago today on RAW is WAR from Detroit, Michigan (WWE Network link), The Godfather defeated Goldust to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

13 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, B-Boy defeated Sonjay Dutt to win the 2003 CZW Best of the Best tournament. Other participants included Ruckus, Chris Cash, Trent Acid, Ric Blade, Tony Mamaluke, Lil' Cholo, Deranged, Jay Briscoe, Jimmy Rave, Jason Cross, AJ Styles, and Mark Briscoe (Mark was an injury replacement for Ruckus who advanced out of the first round, but was injured during the match).

BONUS! From 11 years ago today, Kurt Angle takes on Eddie Guerrero at a Smackdown taping in Chicago, Illinois. The match was rated 4¼ stars from Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer.

7 years ago today, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla presented One Hundred from American Legion Post 308 in Resada, California. As the name implies, this was the 100th event in the promotion's history.

  • The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) defeated The Cutler Brothers to retain the PWG World Tag Team Championship.
  • Roderick Strong defeated Scott Lost.
  • Bryan Danielson defeated Kenny Omega via submission.
  • Joey Ryan defeated Paul London.
  • Austin Aries, Human Tornado, and Chuck Taylor defeated B-Boy, Candice LeRae, and Scorpion Sky.
  • Davey Richards defeated Tyler Black.
  • El Generico defeated Sonjay Dutt
  • Chris Hero defeated Colt Cabana to retain the PWG World Championship.

6 years ago today at a RAW taping in Cardiff, Wales, Eve Torres defeated Maryse to win the WWE Divas Championship.

5 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Albany, New York, Christian last eliminated Jack Swagger in a 20-man battle royal to challenge Alberto Del Rio for the vacated World Heavyweight Championship. Other participants in alphabetical order were Brodus Clay, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Cody Rhodes, Curt Hawkins, Drew McIntyre, Ezekiel Jackson, Heath Slater, JTG, Justin Gabriel, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio, The Big Show, Trent Barreta, Tyler Reks,Wade Barrett, and Yoshi Tatsu.

4 years ago today in Vorhees, New Jersey, Alex Colon defeated AR Fox to win the CZW Best of the Best 2012 tournament. Other participants included Jonathan Gresham, Biff Busick, Caleb Konley, Tommy End, Alex Reynolds, Shane Hollister, Rich Swann, Shane Strickland, Chiva Kid, and Uhaa Nation.

2 years ago today, TNA taped One Night Only: X-Travaganza II from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.  The show's hook was a showcase of past and present X Division wrestlers.

  • Ultimate X qualifying matches:
    • Low Ki defeated Chris Sabin.
    • Rashad Cameron defeated DJ Z.
    • Kenny King defeated Rubix.
    • Ace Vedder defeated Manik.
    • Sonjay Dutt defeated Rockstar Spud.
    • Tigre Uno defeated Petey Williams.
  • The Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) defeated Bad Influence (Daniels & Kazarian) in the Ethan Carter III Invitational ladder match. Ethan Carter tried to take off with the $25,000 prize, but The Wolves laid out Carter and got their check.
  • Sanada defeated Austin Aries 2-0 in a best of three falls match to retain the X Division Championship.
  • Low Ki defeated Rashad Cameron, Kenny King, Ace Vedder, Sonjay Dutt, and Tigre Uno in a Ultimate X match to earn a future X Division Championship match.

On the same night, TNA taped One Night Only: World Cup of Wrestling II. The hook of the event was a four-team competition where representatives from each team competed in different disciplines (singles, tag, X-Division, knockout) for points. Singles match wins were worth 1 point, tag team wins were worth 2. The two teams with the most points would face off in the show's final bout for the World Cup of Wrestliing. The event was made available for PPV audiences on September 5.

The teams:

  • Team Young: Eric Young, Bully Ray, Eddie Edwards, Gunner, ODB
  • Team Angle: Kurt Angle, Davey Richards, Mr. Anderson, Sanada, Madison Rayne
  • Team EC3: Ethan Carter III, Jessie Godderz, Robbie E, Magnus, Gail Kim
  • Team Roode: Bobby Roode, James Storm, Kenny King, Samuel Shaw, Angelina Love
  • Eddie Edwards defeated James Storm
  • Bro Mans (Jessie Godderz & Robbie E) defeated Mr. Anderson & Sanada
  • Gail Kim defeated Madison Rayne
  • Eric Young defeated Bobby Roode
  • Kurt Angle defeated Magnus
  • Angelina Love (w/ Velvet Sky) defeated ODB
  • Ethan Carter III defeated Davey Richards
  • Bully Ray & Gunner defeated Samuel Shaw & Kenny King
  • Team Young (Eric Young, Bully Ray, Eddie Edwards, Gunner, ODB) defeated Team ECIII (Ethan Carter III, Bro Mans (Jessie Godderz, Robbie E), Magnus, Gail Kim) 5-4 in an elimination tag team match to win the World Cup of Wrestling. Young defeated Magnus in the deciding fall to win the match.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats