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This Day in Wrestling History (Apr. 5): Legends Steal Wrestlemania 25

34 years ago today in Memphis, Tennessee, Andy Kaufman defeated Jerry Lawler by disqualification after Lawler used a then-banned piledriver on Kaufman. This of course did not stop Lawler from using said piledriver a second time on Kaufman. Andy had to be stretchered out of the Mid-South Coliseum.

30 years ago today in Yokohama, Japan, Riki Choshu defeated Stan Hansen to win the Pacific Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship.

24 years ago today, WWF presented Wrestlemania VIII (WWE Network link) from the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. 62,167 were in attendance, with 390,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 400,000 forWrestlemania VII.

The show was headlined by the first double main event in Wrestlemania history: a WWF title match at the show's halfway point, and Hulk Hogan's billed retirement match against Sid Justice. This would be the last stadium Wrestlemania until Wrestlemania X-Seven in 2001. Both Ric Flair and Bret Hart were caught blading, a no-no by the WWF at the time. Flair was fined, while Hart was not.

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

  • In a dark match, The Bushwhackers (Luke Williams and Butch Miller) defeated The Beverly Brothers (Blake and Beau). (1/5)
  • Shawn Michaels defeated Tito Santana. (2)
  • The Undertaker defeated Jake Roberts. (0.75)
  • Bret Hart defeated Roddy Piper to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. (3.5)
  • The Big Boss Man, Virgil, Sgt. Slaughter, and Jim Duggan defeated The Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags and Brian Knobbs), Repo Man, and The Mountie. (0.25)
  • Randy Savage defeated Ric Flair to win the WWF Championship. (4.25)
  • Tatanka defeated Rick Martel. (1.25)
  • The Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon) defeated Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster) by countout in a WWF Tag Team Championship match. (-2)
  • Owen Hart defeated Skinner in just 71 seconds. (0)
  • Hulk Hogan defeated Sid Justice by disqualification. (-2)

13 years ago today in Wilmington, Delaware, Paul London defeated Chance Beckett to win the ECWA Super 8 tournament. Other participants were Frankie Kazarian, Chris Sabin, Spanky (who would go on to moderate success as Brian Kendrick), Chris Cage, Sedrick Strong, and Alex Orion.

7 years ago today, WWE presented Wrestlemania 25 (WWE Network link) from Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. 72,744 were in attendance, with 960,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 1,024,000 homes for Wrestlemania XXIV.

For the third consecutive year, their ticket sales broke company records, this time with $6.9 million at the gate, more than a million dollars more than the previous Wrestlemania.

  • In a dark match, Carlito and Primo defeated John Morrison and The Miz in a lumberjack natch to unify the WWE Tag Team Championship and World Tag Team Championship.
  • CM Punk defeated Kane, Mark Henry, Montel Vontavious Porter, Shelton Benjamin, Kofi Kingston, Christian and Finlay in a Money in the Bank ladder match. The win made Punk the first (and to this day, the only) man to win the Money in the Bank ladder match more than once. (3.75)
  • Santina Marella, Santino Marella in drag, last eliminated Beth Phoenix and Melina to win the Miss WrestleMania 25 Diva Battle Royal. Other participants were Alicia Fox, Brie Bella, Eve Torres, Gail Kim, Jackie Gayda, Jillian Hall, Joy Giovanni, Katie Lea Burchill, Kelly Kelly, Layla, Maria, Maryse, Michelle McCool, Mickie James, Molly Holly, Natalya, Nikki Bella, Rosa Mendes, Sunny, Tiffany, Torrie Wilson and Victoria. Of note, Candice Michelle, who was at ringside for the event, made her last WWE television appearance at the show. (0)
  • Chris Jericho defeated Roddy Piper, Ricky Steamboat and Jimmy Snuka in a 3-on-1 handicap elimination match. (2)
  • Matt Hardy defeated Jeff Hardy in an Extreme Rules match. (3.25)
  • Rey Mysterio defeated John Bradshaw Layfield in just 21 seconds to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Post-match, Layfield quit. (NR)
  • The Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels. (4.75)
  • John Cena defeated Edge and The Big Show in a triple threat match to win the World Heavyweight Championship. (3.25)
  • Triple H defeated Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship. Had Triple H been disqualified or counted out, he would have lost the championship. (2.5)

6 years ago today on TNA Impact from Universal Orlando, Angelina Love wins a Knockouts Lockbox Challenge to win the TNA Knockouts Championship. On the same show, Matt Morgan injures Hernandez, forcing him to vacate his half of the TNA World Tag Team Championship. And in the most TNA fashion, Morgan declares himself the tag team champions. And he really would be the tag team champions for the next month.

5 years ago today, WWE officially announces that The Rock and John Cena would be the main event of Wrestlemania XXVIII.

2 years ago today in Newark, Delaware, Matt Cross defeated John Skyler to win the 2014 ECWA Super 8 tournament. Other participants included Steve Walters, Kao Storm, Matt Saigon, Ricky Martinez, Oliver Grimsley, and Gran Akuma.

1 year ago today, New Japan Pro Wrestling presented Invasion Attack 2015 from Ryogoku Kokugikan (Sumo Hall) in Tokyo, Japan.

  • Alex Shelley, Captain New Japan, Kushida, Yohei Komatsu, and Yuji Nagata defeated Jushin Thunder Liger, Manabu Nakanishi, Ryusuke Taguchi, Sho Tanaka and, Tiger Mask.
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, and Tomoaki Honma defeated Bullet Club (Cody Hall, Tama Tonga, and Yujiro Takahashi).
  • Roppongi Vice (Baretta and Rocky Romero) defeated The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.
  • Kenny Omega defeated Máscara Dorada to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
  • The Kingdom (Matt Taven and Michael Bennett) defeated Bullet Club (Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson) to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.
  • Hirooki Goto, Tetsuya Naito and Togi Makabe defeated Chaos (Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi).
  • Kazushi Sakuraba and Toru Yano defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Katsuyori Shibata.
  • Kazuchika Okada defeated Bad Luck Fale.
  • A.J. Styles defeated Kota Ibushi to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

It's a happy 30th birthday for Ashley Elizabeth Fliehr, but wrestling fans know her best as Charlotte.

The daughter of famed pro wrestler Ric Flair and the sister of fellow wrestlers David and Reid Flair, Ashley was a four-time state volleyball champion in high school. After graduating from North Carolina State University with a degree in public relations, she became a personal trainer before joining the family business.

Ashley signed a developmental deal in May 2012, but would not make her television debut until July 2013 as Charlotte. In May 2014, Charlotte defeated Natalya in a tournament final to become the second ever NXT Womens Champion. She held it until the following February when she was defeated by Sasha Banks.

Charlotte, along with Banks and Becky Lynch, joined the main roster last July; Charlotte would become one-third of the Submission Sorority (later named Team PCB) with Lynch and Paige. After winning a Divas "Beat the Clock" challenge on RAW, Charlotte challenged Nikki Bella's and would eventually defeat her for the WWE Divas Championship (Charlotte won via disqualification on her first attempt on the September 14, 2015 RAW; she would win the rematch at Night of Champions six days later), ending Nikki's title reign at 301 days, the longest in company history.

Following Charlotte's win, the group splintered; Paige broke away from the group less than a month later, then Charlotte split from Becky Lynch in early January. It was around this time Charlotte began being accompanied to the ring by her father, Ric Flair. Charlotte made her Wrestlemania debut earlier this week by winning a triple threat match against Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks to become the WWE Women's Champion.

Ashley was married to Thomas Latimer for two years (Latimer worked in the WWE developmental system as Kenneth Cameron, then in TNA as Bram); the couple divorced in October 2015.

It's a happy 60th birthday for Page Joseph Falkinburg, best known to wrestling fans as "Diamond" Dallas Page.

Born in Port Pleasant, New Jersey, his parents divorced at an early age. He was raised by his father from ages three to eight before he was raised by his grandmother. A star basketball player in high school and a dyslexic, Page attended Coastal Carolina University before leaving school to work full-time.

Page ran a nightclub in Fort Myers, Florida before breaking into the wrestling business at the ripe age of 32 in 1988. He began as a manager in the American Wrestling Association for Badd Company, managing them to the AWA World Tag Team Championship. He actually didn't do a lot of dates for AWA, as they taped about a month of television at a time over a single day. Page worked as a color commentator for Florida Championship Wrestling (later named the Professional Wrestling Federation) alongside Gordon Solie. His professional wrestling in-ring debut came against Dick Slater in 1989.

In 1990, Page got a tryout with the WWF as an announcer, but was not hired. He does make a single appearance for the company, driving Rhythm and Blues to the ring in his pink Cadillac. Page went back into the club business until Dusty Rhodes came calling for WCW in early 1991.

Page entered WCW in 1991 again as a manager; this time for the Fabulous Freebirds. He added Scott Hall, aka the Diamond Studd. Away from the ring, he also was a color commentator alongside Eric Bischoff for WCW's lower-tier programming. With rumors that Page and Studd were to be separated, Page, on the advice of Magnum T.A., began training to become a full-time wrestler. He would train at WCW's Power Plant on days he was not booked; when he was booked, it was usually in jobber duty. Despite that, he continued to manage his Diamond Mine, which included Scotty Flamingo (who would go on to great success as Raven) and Vinnie Vegas (who would find bigger success as Diesel and his real name Kevin Nash). Vegas and Page would form a short-lived tag team in the Vegas Connection in late 1992. The duo split up when Page tore his rotator cuff and Nash left for the WWF. Page was fired by WCW while he was on the disabled list.

With the help of Jake Roberts, Page returned to WCW in 1994 with his wife Kimberly, aka the Diamond Doll, and an on-screen bodyguard, Max Muscle. Many of Page's early angles involved his wife Kimberly, including arm wrestling contests for a date with Kimberly, and a $13 million Bingo game that was thought to have been won by Page, but in reality on by Kimberly (in storyline, obviously). At Fall Brawl 1995, Page defeated Renegade for the WCW World Television Championship. In the month that followed, there would be dissension between Page and Kimberly; said dissension cost Page the title to Johnny B. Badd the next month at Halloween Havoc; a month later at World War 3, Page would lose his Diamond Doll to Badd. And to complete the trifecta, Page would lose his job in a "loser leaves town" match to The Booty Man the following March at Uncensored.

Page returned two months later at Slamboree, winning the Battlebowl match and the title of Lord of the Ring. He was to receive a world heavyweight championship match, but it was revoked when replay showed his feet hit the floor when he was thrown over the top rope. Page feuded with Eddie Guerrero for most of the remainder of 1996, and would be courted into the New World Order by former tag partners Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. At Souled Out in January 1997, Page turned them down by giving them both Diamond Cutters.

He would embark on a feud with "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Early on in the feud, it was outed by Miss Elizabeth and Savage that Page and Kimberly were in fact husband and wife. Page would get the better of Savage at Spring Stampede, but would lose the following two times to Savage in PPV bouts, with Savage winning an "anything goes, lights out" match at The Great American Bash, and at Bash at the Beach when Hennig turned on Page in a tag bout against Savage and Scott Hall. Page would even the score when he and Lex Luger defeated Hall and Savage at Fall Brawl, and while dressed as La Parka, defeated Savage on Nitro. The two fought one last time in a Las Vegas Sudden Death match, with Savage winning with help from Hollywood Hogan. Page ended 1997 with the WCW United States Championship, having defeated Curt Hennig for the title.

In 1998, Page feuded with Chris Benoit and Raven over the title; at Uncensored, Page won a falls count anywhere three way match against the two when he put Raven through a table with a diamond cutter. The next month at Spring Stampede, he would lose the title to Raven (who would lose it the next night to Goldberg). Page picked up his feud with Hollywood Hogan later in the year; notably, he teamed with NBA star Karl Malone in a losing effort to Hogan and fellow NBA star Dennis Rodman at Bash at the Beach; Page would gain some measure of revenge in another celebrity tag bout the next month when he and late-night talk show host Jay Leno defeated Hogan and Eric Bischoff.

In September, Page scored the deciding fall in the three-team WarGames match for a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match at Halloween Havoc. In what was voted the Match of the Year by WCW Magazine readers, Goldberg defeated Page to retain the title. However, most of the people that ordered the show never saw it, as the event ran longer than expected. The bout re-aired in its entirety the next night on Nitro, and the company was forced to issue refunds. On the night of the re-airing, Page defeated Bret Hart to regain the WCW United States Championship. He would win the rematch at World War 3, but would lose the title back to Hart on Nitro the following night when The Giant interfered. The two briefly feuded, with Page defeating Giant at Starrcade.

At Spring Stampede in April 1999, Diamond Dallas Page won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship for the first time when he defeated Sting, Hollywood Hogan, and Ric Flair in a four-way match, with his old rival Randy Savage as special referee. Following his title win, Page's attitude drastically changed, as fans were no longer into Page as a hero. He cemented his heel turn following a successful title defense with Goldberg. He knocked out Goldberg using brass knuckles and repeatedly hit Goldberg's leg with a steel chair until Kevin Nash ran him off. Page's first title reign was brief; he would lose it to Sting on Nitro on April 26, but would win it back the same night in the show's main event. Page would lose the title to Nash at Slamboree.

Following his brief run as champion, Page aligned with Bam Bam Bigelow and would win the WCW World Tag Team Championship from Perry Saturn and Raven in late May. Page and Bigelow would be joined by Chris Kanyon as the Jersey Triad. As they were aligned with "WCW President for Life" Ric Flair, the trio under the Freebird rule defended the tag titles... for all of ten days when Saturn and Chris Benoit won the titles from the group. But the Triad wouldn't be without the belts for long; they would win them back just three days later at The Great American Bash, but would lose them again in August at Road Wild to Harlem Heat. The Jersey Triad soon dissolved, and after briefly feuding with Hulk Hogan again, Page feuded with his former Triad mates Bigelow and Kanyon.

Page's next major feud came following the hard storyline reboot in April 2000. At that month's Spring Stampede, he faced Jeff Jarrett for the WCW world title. With the match in hand, Dallas' wife Kimberly turned on him, leading to Jarrett getting the win and the title. Eight days later, Page would get payback when he defeated Jeff for the title in a steel cage match. He wouldn't hold the title long; David Arquette won the title from Page when he scored the fall in a tag match against Eric Bischoff and Jeff Jarrett at the Thunder taping the next night. Page nearly won the title back at Slamboree in early May, but Arquette turned on Page when the actor hit Page with a guitar. Page would briefly feud with Mike Awesome, culminating in an ambulance match at The Great American Bash. Awesome would win when Kanyon turned on Page.

Page returned late in the year as one half of the Insiders with Kevin Nash, winning the WCW tag titles from Perfect Event (Chuck Palumbo & Shawn Stasiak) at Mayhem. They were stripped of the titles, but would win them back with Starrcade. After feuding with the returning Kanyon in early 2001, Page feuded with Scott Steiner over the WCW world title; Steiner would defeat Page with the Steiner Recliner at Greed, WCW's final PPV event.

Just over a week after Greed, WCW was purchased by the WWF; Page, unlike most of the big names in WCW, took a payout from their AOL Time Warner deal to join the company. He debuted in June 2001 as the stalker of the Undertaker's then-wife Sara. His reason: he wanted to make an immediate impact.

His feud with the Undertaker lasted the summer; in the meantime, Page's rival and friend Chris Kanyon would reunite when Kanyon helped Page attack the Undertaker. The next day at a Smackdown taping, Page and Kanyon defeated the APA for the WWF Tag Team Championship. This would eventually set up a tag title unification match with WCW tag champions The Undertaker and Kane; the Brothers of Destruction defeated Page and Kanyon at Summerslam in a steel cage match. Page would be injured in the bout and would sit out the next two months.

While he was on the mend, Page adopted a motivational speaker gimmick. With catchphrases like "Yo! It's me, it's me, it's DDP!" and "That's not a bad thing, that's... a good thing!" and his unusually upbeat attitude, he became unofficially known as Positively Page, based on the 2000 autobiography of the same name. The character was born out of Page attending a Tony Robbins seminar a year prior.

Following the disillusion of the Alliance after Survivor Series (his Alliance side lost the winner-take-all match), Page was out of work. He would earn his job back when he defeated The Big Bossman on the January 17, 2002 Smackdown. He competed in the Royal Rumble match three days later, scoring one elimination before being ousted by Christian. He would defeat Christian on the January 31 episode of Smackdown. He would defeat him in a rematch at Wrestlemania X-8 in March. Two days later at a Smackdown taping, he would lose the title to William Regal. A month later, he would be injured in a match with Hardcore Holly. Nagging injuries, mostly around the neck and spinal area, forces Page to retire at age 46.

His retirement didn't last long; after wrestling a few matches on the independent circuit, Page returned to the ring in November 2004 for TNA. He would feud with Raven, Erik Watts, and Jeff Jarrett (the latter over the NWA world title). Page took on Jarrett at Destination X in March 2005, but was defeated when Monty Brown turned heel and hit Page with the Pounce. Page would leave TNA following a loss at Hard Justice two months later in a tag match to Brown and "The Outlaw" Kip James. After an appearance for Juggalo Championship Wrestling in August 2009, Page retired from wrestling.

Since 2010, Page has made sporadic appearances for WWE and has hosted three volumes of The Very Best of WCW Monday Nitro (the first was released in 2011, the second in 2013, the third last summer). He appeared at RAW 1000 alongside other WWE and WCW legends during Heath Slater's match against Lita. In 2014, he inducted Jake "The Snake" Roberts into the WWE Hall of Fame. Last year, he made a one-night return at the Royal Rumble event during the show's titular match as the 14th entrant. He was eliminated by the eventual runner-up, Rusev.

In 1996, Page created the Diamond Cutter hand gesture, joining the thumb and index fingers together, then parting them quickly. That hand gesture got famed rapper Jay-Z in legal hot water in 2005 when he allegedly illegally adopted the gesture for himself. The lawsuit, citing copyright and trademark infringement, would be settled in 2007, with Jay-Z paying out an undisclosed amount. Page would sue electronic music group 3OHI3 in 2010 over infringement of the gesture. The suit appears to still be in litigation.

Back in 1998, with the help of his then-wife Kimberly, Page developed a yoga program. Initially called Yoga for Regular Guys (YRG), the program is now known as DDP Yoga. The fitness program took off in May 2012 when mainstream media picked up on the story of one of its users, Arthur Boorman. Once told he would never walk again, Boorman lost 140 pounds over 10 months and not only regained the ability to walk and run, he can do so without the aid of crutches.  The program appeared on an episode of Shark Tank in 2014, where he declined to sell a 5% share in the company for $200,000. Page hoped to use the money to develop a mobile app. Page said DDP Yoga had over $1 million in sales in the week following his appearance, more than the entire previous year in profits combined.

Page legally changed his name in 2013 to Dallas Page. He was married to Kimberly Faulkinberg (today known as Kimberly Bacon) from 1991 to 2005. They have two adopted daughters, Brittany Leonard and Kimberly Leonard. Page has since married again, this time to Brenda Nair. The couple got married in Cancun last summer.

The WCW Triple Crown champion was Wrestling Observer Newsletter's and Pro Wrestling Illustrated's most improved wrestler of 1996. His diamond cutter won WON's best wrestling maneuver of 1997; that same year, he won PWI's feud of the year award with Randy Savage. He was ranked by PWI as the #4 singles wrestler in the world in 1997 and 1998 and is one of the top 100 singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003. In 2014, Page won the Frank Gotch award from the George Tragos/Lou Thesz International Wrestling Institute for his contributions to the wrestling business outside the ring, particularly in the rehabilitations of Scott Hall and Jake Roberts.

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