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This Day in Wrestling History (Apr. 9): An Awesome Jump

29 years ago today, Jim Crockett Promotions finalizes the purchase of Mid-South Sports, the parent company of the Universal Wrestling Federation.

The Bill Watts-ran organization began as Mid-South Wrestling in 1979 after he purchased the territory from promoter Leroy McGuirk. The promotion, covering parts of Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana, tried to break through nationally, but the failing oil economy in Oklahoma, combined with a lack of a national television deal and the monstrous success of the WWF at the time left Mid-South in the dust. The final purchase price: $4 million (about $8.3 million in today's dollars).

Despite new ownership, UWF remains operational through the end of the year, and though promises were made to make UWF talent meaningful under Crockett, most of its roster were buried or deemphasized, and its championships discontinued. The purchase does little to turn around the financial fortunes of JCP; just over a year later, media mogul Ted Turner buys Jim Crockett Promotions for $9 million and rebrands it World Championship Wrestling, named after the company's then-Saturday night show.

The UWF would reboot in 1990 under Herb Abrams, but it bears no relation or resemblance to the original.

16 years ago today, SLAM! Wrestling and Live Audio Wrestling report that Michael Alfonso, aka Mike Awesome, had signed with WCW, and could debut as early as that Monday. The deal came after he had no-showed an ECW TV taping scheduled in Buffalo that weekend.

Alfonso's signing with WCW presented a problem, as (a) he was still contracted to ECW, (b) was still their world champion, and (c) was still in possession of their world title belt. Alfonso alleged that ECW had owed him back pay and he refused to sign a new deal until he got what he owed.

Through a series of legal maneuverings,  Awesome agreed to one last title defense later in the week, where he dropped it to a surprise opponent: Tazz, who was contracted to the WWF at the time. In the end, WCW pays nearly $1.2 million to bring Awesome in, including a $950,000 deal over three years, and a $75,000 buyout of his ECW deal.

15 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Kazuyuki Fujita defeated Scott Norton to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

11 years ago today in Newark, Delaware, Petey Williams defeated Puma to win the East Coast Wrestling Association Super 8 tournament. Other participants were Eric Matlock, JJ Perez, Tyson Dux, Alex Shelley, Andrew Ryker, and Rory Fox.

6 years ago today, women's comedy wrestling promotion Wrestilicious went on hiatus after its original run of ten episodes. Though a return was teased in 2011, no new episodes were filmed.

5 years ago today, Kurt Angle pled guilty to reckless driving from an incident on March 25 in Thompson, North Dakota where Angle's SUV was found stopped in the median of Interstate 29. Under the plea agreement, Angle was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation, had to pay a $475 fine, and would undergo a chemical dependency evaluation. He also received a ten day suspended jail sentence.

5 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Adam Cole defeated Sami Callahan to win the CZW Best of the Best tournament. Other participants included Daisuke Sekimoto, Zack Sabre Jr., Jake Crist, AR Fox, Brandon Gaston, Chuck Taylor, Kyle O'Reilly, and Johnny Garango.

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