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This Day in Wrestling History (May 15): DAMN! It's Ron Simmons' Birthday!

24 years ago today, Asistencia Asesoria y Administracion (Assistance, Consulting, and Administration), or AAA for short, has its debut show at Auditorio Benito Juarez de Veracruz. In the featured bout, Perro Aguayo, El Fantasma, and Mascara Sagrada defeated Los Hermanos Dinamita (Cien Caras, Mascara Ano Dos Mil, and Universo Dos Mil).

Under the guidance of then-CMLL booker Antonio Pena and a hungry roster made up of mostly ex-CMLL talent, AAA quickly overtook CMLL as the top company in Mexico. The first golden age of the company peaked with the When Worlds Collide PPV with WCW in 1994. The company looked to be in the midst of a second golden age with Lucha Underground, but the promotion had run into some serious financial problems in the last year and a half, costing them ex-WWE talents in Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio.

21 years ago today in Niigata, Japan, Reggie Bennett defeated Manami Toyota to win the IWA Womens World Championship.

21 years ago today at a Monday Night RAW taping in Binghamton, New York, Hunter Hearst Helmsley made his RAW debut, defeating John Chrystal with a standing cutter.

17 years ago today, Troy Martin, aka Shane Douglas was fired by ECW after stating he would not be at the Hardcore Heaven PPV unless he was paid money he was owed by the company. Douglas left for a second run with WCW (he was with the company in 1992 and 1993), and never returned to ECW.

Ric Flair vs. Jeff Jarrett-WCW Title by Stinger1981

16 years ago today, three championships change hands on a wild Nitro from Biloxi, Mississippi.

Kronik (Brian Adams & Bryan Clark) defeated Shane Douglas and The Wall (substituting for Buff Bagwell) to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship.

Crowbar won the WCW Cruiserweight Championship when his partner Daffney defeated Tammy Lynn Sytch and then champion Chris Candido. Per pre-match stipulations, the male member of the winning team won the title. This would become a point of contention with Daffney and Crowbar over the next few weeks.

In the show's main event, Ric Flair defeated Jeff Jarrett to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Including the vacancy on April 10, this is the sixth time the WCW world title has changed hands in five weeks, and the third consecutive week a new world champion was crowned.

May 15 2000 - Raw (1) by notricorodriguez

15 years ago today on RAW is WAR from Cleveland, Ohio (WWE Network link), Cynthia Lynch, one of the Godfather's "hos" (who would have a brief run in TNA in 2002 as Bobcat) defeated Crash Holly to win the WWF Hardcore Championship...only to lose it moments later back to Crash Holly.

Although it was for a few seconds, Lynch held the distinction of being the only female hardcore champion in WWF history for nearly two years. In 2002, Mighty Molly, Terri, and Trish Stratus would all briefly hold the Hardcore Championship.

12 years ago today in Lexington, Massachusetts, The Second City Saints (CM Punk & Colt Cabana) defeated The Briscoes (Jay & Mark) to win the ROH Tag Team Championship.

11 years ago today, TNA presented Hard Justice from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando. The show was dedicated to Chris Candido, who died from complications from surgery on April 28, just four days after suffering a leg injury at Lockdown.

  • In a preshow match, Shark Boy defeated David Young to earn an entry into the Gauntlet for the Gold battle royal match.
  • Team Canada (Eric Young & Petey Williams) defeated Apolo & Sonny Siaki.
  • Michael Shane & Trinity defeated Chris Sabin & Traci in a mixed tag team match.
  • Raven Defeated Sean Waltman in a Clockwork Orange House of Fun match.
  • Monty Brown & The Outlaw defeated Diamond Dallas Page & Ron Killings.
  • The Naturals (Andy Douglas & Chase Stevens) defeated America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm) to retain the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Christopher Daniels defeated Shocker to retain the TNA X-Division Championship.
  • Abyss last eliminated Ron Killings in a Gauntlet for the Gold battle royal to become #1 contender for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Other participants were A1, Apolo, BG James, Bobby Roode, Cassidy Riley, Chris Sabin, Elix Skipper, Eric Young, Jerrelle Clark, Lance Hoyt, Mikey Batts, Petey Williams, Shark Boy, Sonny Siaki, The Outlaw, Trytan, and Zach Gowen.
  • AJ Styles defeated Jeff Jarrett to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Tito Ortiz was the special referee.

10 years ago today on RAW from Lubbock, Texas, Shelton Benjamin defeated Rob Van Dam in a Texas Tornado rules match to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. WWE Champion John Cena, Triple H, and Chris Masters were also involved in the match where the WWE Championship was also at stake.

9 years ago today, Terry Brunk, best known to wrestling fans as Sabu, was reported to be released from WWE after arriving several hours late to a Smackdown/ECW taping in Baltimore without his ring gear. One of four men to win ECW's triple crown, Sabu was a primary focus of the relaunch of ECW, but was deemphasized after last year's Summerslam. Brunk's release would be made official the next day.

5 years ago today, TNA presented Sacrifice from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.

  • Mexican America (Hernandez and Anarquia) defeated Ink Inc. (Jesse Neal and Shannon Moore).
  • Brian Kendrick defeated Robbie E.
  • Mickie James defeated Madison Rayne to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship. With the win, Tara's contract with Madison is deemed null and void.
  • Kazarian defeated Max Buck to retain the TNA X Division Championship.
  • Crimson defeated Abyss.
  • Beer Money, Inc. (Robert Roode and James Storm) defeated Immortal (Matt Hardy and Chris Harris).
  • Tommy Dreamer defeated A.J. Styles in a no disqualification match.
  • Kurt Angle and Chyna defeated Jeff Jarrett and Karen Jarrett by submission.
  • Sting defeated Rob Van Dam to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

It's a happy 57th birthday for WWE Hall of Famer Ron Simmons.

Known most recently as Faarooq, Simmons is actually one of the most celebrated performers in wrestling history. Before wrestling, he was an All-American defensive tackle for Florida State University. In his four years there, FSU went 39-8 with two Orange Bowl berths (both losing efforts to Oklahoma). In 1979, Simmons finished ninth in the Heisman voting (USC running back Charles White won the award). Simmons, whose #50 was retired by the school in 1988, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. He had a brief career in the NFL, playing two seasons for the Cleveland Browns before signing with the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits from 1983-1985.

Simmons joined the NWA in 1988 as a babyface, but quickly turned heel. Under the management of Woman, he and Butch Reed formed Doom, but it wasn't until they were managed by former referee Teddy Long they experienced sustained success, when they won the NWA World Tag Team Championship at Capital Combat in May 1990 and held them long enough to be recognized as the first WCW world tag champs. Simmons' most famous moment came on August 2, 1992 when he was selected at random to face Vader for the WCW world title when Jake Roberts injured Sting. The win made Simmons the first African-American to hold a recognized world championship in professional wrestling history. He held the title for the remainder of the year, losing it on December 30 back to Vader.

After a brief run in ECW, Simmons joined the WWF in the summer of 1996. Debuting initially as gladiator Faarooq Assad and managed by Sunny, Simmons made a name for himself as Faarooq, leader of the (mostly) black militant group the Nation of Domination. He led the faction until a falling out at Wrestlemania XIV when Faarooq left The Rock to his own devices when he was caught in Ken Shamrock's anklelock submission.

Post-Nation, Faarooq had a brief singles run before teaming with Bradshaw as "Hell's Henchmen" under the guidance of The Jackyl. When Jackyl left the WWF, they were repackaged as the Acolytes to the Undertaker's Ministry of Darkness. Even after the group's disbanding in the summer of 1999, the duo remained together as beer drinking, cigar smoking brawlers...who also happened to be mercenaries and bodyguards for hire. They would be known as the Acolyte Protection Agency. The duo had moderate success, winning the WWF Tag Team Championship three times, but never having a lengthy run. The duo split when they were drafted to separate brands in 2002, but would reunite in June 2003. Simmons, under his real name so as to not associate his gimmick name with that of a terrorist training camp, was kayfabe fired by Paul Heyman in 2004 after losing a tag team match. In reality, it was a write-off; Simmons retired from in-ring competition.

Simmons had made sporadic appearances since, usually to utter his catchphrase, "Damn!" at the sight of odd happenings in WWE. In 2012, Simmons was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his old tag team partner John "Bradshaw" Layfield.

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