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This Day in Wrestling History (Apr. 2): THE MEGA-POWERS EXPLODE!

26 years ago today, WWF presented Wrestlemania V: The Mega-Powers Explode (WWE Network link) from the Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino (really Atlantic City Convention Hall, known today as Boardwalk Hall) in Atlantic City, New Jersey. 18,946 were in attendance, with 767,000 homes watching on PPV. That's up from 485,000 for Wrestlemania IV. It would be the company's most-bought show for nearly a decade.

Boardwalk Hall was the only time a venue hosted consecutive Wrestlemania events. Despite the high buyrate, the show was voted Worst Major Wrestling Show of 1989 by Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

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.

  • Hercules defeated King Haku. (0.5/5)
  • The Twin Towers (Akeem and The Big Bossman) defeated The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty). (1.75)
  • Brutus Beefcake and Ted DiBiase fought to a double countout. (1.75)
  • The Bushwhackers (Luke Williams and Butch Miller) defeated The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau). (-4)
  • Mr. Perfect defeated The Blue Blazer. (2.25)
  • Demolition (Ax and Smash) defeated The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian) and Mr. Fuji in a handicap match to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship. (0)
  • Dino Bravo defeated Ronnie Garvin. (0)
  • The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) defeated Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana). Martel turned on Santana near the end of the match, splitting up Strike Force. (2.5)
  • Jake Roberts defeated André the Giant. Big John Studd was the special referee. (-3)
  • The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) defeated Rhythm & Blues (The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine). (2.25)
  • Rick Rude defeated The Ultimate Warrior to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. This was Warrior's first pinfall loss in the WWF. (2.5)
  • Jim Duggan and Bad News Brown fought to a double disqualification. (0)
  • The Red Rooster defeated Bobby Heenan in just 31 seconds. (0)
  • Hulk Hogan defeated Randy Savage to win the WWF Championship. The win made Hogan the first man to win the WWF title more than once since Bruno Sammartino in 1973. (2.75)

CLASH OF THE CHAMPIONS 6 part 4 by nitroe

26 years ago today, NWA presented Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin' Cajun (WWE Network link) from the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The show went head to head with Wrestlemania V, but unlike the previous year, this decision comes back to bite the NWA: just 5,300 were in attendance at the Superdome. The Superdome holds over 76,000 for football.

  • The Samoan Swat Team (Fatu & Samu) defeated The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane). (3/5)
  • The Great Muta defeated Steven Casey. (3.25)
  • The Junkyard Dog defeated Butch Reed. (-1)
  • Bob Orton defeated Dick Murdoch. (0.5)
  • The Varsity Club (Mike Rotunda & Steve Williams) defeated The Road Warriors (Road Warrior Animal & Road Warrior Hawk) to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship. (3.25)
  • Ranger Ross defeated The Iron Sheik by disqualification. (-0.5)
  • Eddie Gilbert & Rick Steiner defeated Danny Spivey & Kevin Sullivan to retain the NWA United States Tag Team Championship. (1.75)
  • Ricky Steamboat defeated Ric Flair 2-1 in a best of three falls match to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Flair pinned Steamboat in the first fall with a small package in the first fall at about 19 minutes. In the 35th minute, Flair submits to the double chicken wing stretch, tying the match. In the 56th minute, Steamboat looked to submit Flair for the second time with the double chicken wing, but his knee collapses, and Flair falls on top of Steamboat. There seemed to be a double pin with Flair's foot under the bottom rope, but Steamboat bridges out in time. However, Tommy Young counts three and awards the fall and the match to Ricky Steamboat. The five-star classic is voted Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Best Match of 1989. (5)
  • In a post-show dark match, Sting defeated Rip Morgan to retain the NWA World Television Championship.
  • In a post-show dark match, Lex Luger defeated Jack Victory to retain the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship.

21 years ago today, WWF presented Wrestlemania XI (WWE Network link) from the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Connecticut. 16,305 were in attendance, with 340,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 420,000 homes for Wrestlemania X. While it's often called the worst Wrestlemania of all time, the show did not get a vote in Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Worst Major Wrestling Card of 1995.

  • The Allied Powers (Lex Luger and The British Bulldog) defeated The Blu Brothers (Jacob and Eli). (0.5/5)
  • Razor Ramon defeated Jeff Jarrett by disqualification in a WWF Intercontinental Championship match. (2.75)
  • The Undertaker defeated King Kong Bundy. Major League Baseball umpire Larry Young was the special referee. At the time it was initially announced, Major League Baseball players were on strike, but the work stoppage ended on the day of the show. The baseball season didn't begin until three weeks later. (0.5)
  • Owen Hart and Yokozuna defeated The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. (2)
  • Bret Hart defeated Bob Backlund in a "I Quit" match. Rowdy Roddy Piper was the special referee. (1.25)
  • Diesel defeated Shawn Michaels to retain the WWF Championship. The win made Diesel just the second man to successfully defend the WWF Championship at a Wrestlemania. The first: Hulk Hogan (1986 and 1987). (4)
  • Lawrence Taylor defeated Bam Bam Bigelow. (2.75)

18 years ago today, WCW presented the Internet-only pay-per-listen event Malice at the Palace from the Ice Palace in Tampa, Florida. This was the first of three audio-only events WCW did in 1998.

  • Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Bubba the Love Sponge defeated The Texas Hangmen.

  • Juventud Guerrera & Kaz Hayashi defeated Psicosis & El Dandy.

  • Ultimo Dragon defeated Chavo Guerrero, Jr. via submission.

  • Bill Goldberg defeated Jerry Flynn.

  • Diamond Dallas Page & Chris Benoit defeated Raven & Saturn by submission in a no disqualification match.

  • Ric Flair pinned Curt Hennig.

  • Bret Hart defeated Brian Adams via submission.

  • Sting defeated Hulk Hogan in a steel cage match to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

16 years ago today, WWF presented Wrestlemania 2000 (WWE Network link) from the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. 18,034 were in attendance, with 824,000 homes watching on PPV. That's up from 800,000 homes for Wrestlemania XV.

The event was preceded by an eight-hour retrospective on the show's history, including highlights and interviews. Notably, Hulk Hogan, still under contract to WCW at the time, makes a cameo appearance in an interview segment during the retrospective. As for the show itself, there was only one singles match on the show, the least for a Wrestlemania ever.

  • The Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan defeated The Godfather and D'Lo Brown. (0.25/5)
  • Hardcore Holly won a 15-minute Hardcore Battle Royal to win the WWF Hardcore Championship. Other participants were Crash Holly, Tazz, Viscera, Joey Abs, Rodney, Pete Gas, Taka Michinoku, Funaki, Headbanger Thrasher, Headbanger Mosh, Faarooq and Bradshaw. All decisions counted for championships and their title reigns are recognized in WWE's championship history. (0.5)
    • Tazz pinned Crash with a capture suplex. (0:26)
    • Viscera pinned Tazz after a Powerslam. (1:00)
    • Funaki pinned Viscera with a flying shoulderblock from Bradshaw. (7:51)
    • Rodney pinned Funaki after throwing him into a backstage wall. (8:11)
    • Joey Abs pinned Rodney with a gutwrench suplex. (8:24)
    • Thrasher pinned Joey Abs after a clothesline. (8:46)
    • Pete Gas pinned Thrasher after a fire extinguisher shot. (9:29)
    • Tazz pinned Pete Gas with a T-bone suplex. (10:17)
    • Crash pinned Tazz after a cookie sheet shot. (14:20)
    • Hardcore won by pinning Crash last after hitting him with a candy jar to win the title. (14:59)
  • T & A (Test and Albert) defeated Head Cheese (Al Snow and Steve Blackman). (-0.25)
  • Edge and Christian defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) and The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) in a triangle ladder match to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. (4)
  • Terri Runnels defeated The Kat in a catfight. Val Venis was the special referee. (-1)
  • Too Cool (Grand Master Sexay and Scotty Too Hotty) and Chyna defeated The Radicalz (Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn, and Dean Malenko). (2.5)
  • Chris Benoit defeated Chris Jericho in the first fall of a two-fall triple threat match to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Jericho defeated Benoit in the second fall to win the WWF European Championship. Kurt Angle was both the Intercontinental and European Champion heading into the match. (2.75)
  • Rikishi and Kane defeated D-Generation X (X-Pac and The Road Dogg). (1)
  • Triple H defeated The Rock, Mick Foley, and The Big Show in a fatal four-way elimination match to retain the WWF Championship. As this was Foley's final match, had he won the WWF Championship, it would have been made vacant the next night on RAW. (3)

10 years ago today, WWE presented Wrestlemania 22: Big Time! (WWE Network link) from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. 17,159 were in attendance, with 930,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 980,000 for Wrestlemania 21.

With gross sales of about $2.5 million, it's the largest grossing single-day event in the history of the building. This was the last of the "arena" Wrestlemanias as the event has been held in football stadiums ever since.

  • In a preshow dark match, Viscera won an 18-man Interpromotional Battle Royal. Other participants included, Eugene, Goldust, Snitsky, Tyson Tomko, Rob Conway, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch, Matt Striker, Super Crazy, Psicosis, Funaki, Steven Richards, Johnny Nitro, Joey Mercury, Road Warrior Animal, William Regal, Simon Dean.
  • Kane and The Big Show defeated Carlito and Chris Masters to retain the World Tag Team Championship. (1.75/5)
  • Rob Van Dam defeated Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Finlay, Matt Hardy and Bobby Lashley in a Money in the Bank ladder match. (4)
  • John "Bradshaw" Layfield defeated Chris Benoit to win the WWE United States Championship. (2.75)
  • Edge defeated Mick Foley in a hardcore match. (4)
  • The Boogeyman defeated Booker T and Sharmell in a handicap match. (-1)
  • Mickie James defeated Trish Stratus to win the WWE Women's Championship. (2)
  • The Undertaker defeated Mark Henry in a casket match. (1.5)
  • Shawn Michaels defeated Vince McMahon in a no holds barred match. (3.5)
  • Rey Mysterio defeated Kurt Angle and Randy Orton in a triple threat match to win the World Heavyweight Championship. At 160 pounds at the time of the match, Rey was the lightest World Heavyweight Champion in the belt's long history. (3.5)
  • Torrie Wilson defeated Candice Michelle in a Playboy pillow fight. (0)
  • John Cena defeated Triple H by submission to retain the WWE Championship. The win made Cena just the fourth man to successfully retain the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania (Hulk Hogan, Diesel, Triple H). In a side nugget, CM Punk made his WWE debut during the show as one of the Chicago gangsters during Cena's entrance. Punk at the time was working for WWE developmental group Ohio Valley Wrestling. (3.75)

9 years ago today on RAW, the Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) last eliminated Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch to win a tag team battle royal and the World Tag Team Championship.

Other teams were John Cena & Shawn Michaels (at the time the defending World Tag Team Champions), Rob Van Dam & Sabu, Elijah Burke & Matt Striker, Deuce & Domino, The Highlanders, Eugene & Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Cryme Tyme, Chris Masters & Kenny Dykstra, King Booker & Finlay, Paul London & Brian Kendrick, Val Venis & Viscera, Johnny Nitro & The Miz, Dave Taylor & William Regal, The Sandman & Tommy Dreamer, Kevin Thorn & Marcus Cor Von, and Chavo Guerrero & Gregory Helms.

Cena & Michaels won a 10-team battle royal to retain the titles, but a second 10-team battle royal was immediately commissioned; Michaels eliminated Cena in the second battle royal, costing them the titles.

4 years ago today on RAW (WWE Network link), Brock Lesnar returns to WWE after an eight-year absence.

While he was gone, he successfully sued WWE to briefly wrestle for New Japan Pro Wrestling and try out for the NFL before turning to mixed martial arts. In just his fourth professional MMA fight, he became the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Two bouts with diverticulitis ended his MMA career following a loss to Alistar Overeem in December 2011.

In his first act back with the company, he F5's John Cena, setting up a bout between the two at Extreme Rules a few weeks later.

Also returning to WWE on the show is Matt Bloom. Last seen as A-Train in 2004, he was a very successful wrestler in Japan, winning the GHC and IWGP Tag Team Championships as Giant Bernard (his tag title run with Karl Anderson as Bad Intentions is the longest IWGP tag title reign in New Japan Pro Wrestling History).

He returns as Lord Tensai. The gimmick largely flops and Bloom retires from active competition in 2014. Today, Bloom is the head trainer for the WWE Performance Center.

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