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This Day in Wrestling History (May 30): The Heat Dies Down

Happy Memorial Day (if you're in the States), and thanks to those who have served in the military, and those who serve today. May your sacrifices never be forgotten.


43 years ago today, Tony Garea & Haystacks Calhoun defeated Professor Tanaka & Mr. Fuji to win the WWWF Tag Team Championship.

35 years ago today in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sweet Ebony Diamond (a masked Rocky Johnson) defeated Greg Valentine to win the NWA Television Championship.

30 years ago today in Houston, Texas, Terry Gordy defeated Hacksaw Jim Duggan in the finals of a one-night tournament to become the first ever Universal Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Champion.

20 years ago today in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Sean Morley defeated El Bronco to win the WWC Television Championship. Morley would go on to hold the championship for nearly three years before finally vacating it in March 1999. Morley spent the last year of his title reign working in the WWF as Val Venis.

16 years ago today at a Thunder taping in Boise, Idaho, Chuck Palumbo & Shawn Stasiak defeated Kronik (Bryan Clark & Brian Adams) to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship.

8 years ago today, airs the final edition of Heat.

The show resided on WWE's website since it was dropped following their programming's move back to USA in the fall of 2005. The series, originally called Sunday Night Heat but changed to just Heat when the show was moved to airing on Fridays, ends just two months shy of its tenth anniversary, with 513 total episodes aired.

For the curious, the final episode, taped four days earlier from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, saw Snitsky defeat Super CrazySantino Marella defeat "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan (in Duggan's final match as a full-time roster member), and Lance Cade defeat Jeff McAllister.

5 years ago today, Kia Stevens, best known to wrestling fans as Amazing Kong (or Awesome Kong), but most recently as Kharma in WWE, announces she is pregnant and is forced to take a leave of absence.

Stevens announced she gave birth on New Year's Eve that year, but later recanted that announcement when she revealed she miscarried. She would make just one more appearance for the company, taking part in the 2012 Royal Rumble match, which was her only official bout in WWE. Stevens would be released from the company in July 2012.

She remained largely on the independent circuit following her release, even saying she would in a November 2012 interview she would never again work for TNA—which of course she does when she returns to the company in January 2015. Stevens was released in February 2016 following an altercation with Rebecca Hardy.

4 years ago today, Randy Orton is suspended sixty days following his second violation of the WWE's Wellness Policy.

Mexican wrestling website report that oral steroid methandrostenolone, aka Dianabol, was found in his system, as well as marijuana. A conflicting report from Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Newsletter said that it was a high level of testosterone that contributed to his suspension.

Either way, had Orton been suspended in connection with being a part of the Signature Pharmacy scandal back in 2007 (he wasn't; WWE claimed the issue was addressed a year prior with his 60-day suspension), that would have been his third strike, which would have triggered an automatic termination of his contract, with a minimum one-year ban before being allowed to return (if ever).

The WWE Wellness Policy was amended in November 2013, allowing anyone who violated the policy twice to remove one violation if they undergo an extensive 18-month "redemption process" (this is unofficially known as the Orton rule). The policy was also amended at that time to include therapeutic use exemptions for medicines that contained substances that would normally go against the policy.

3 years ago today, both Ring of Honor and TNA announce major signings.

TNA signs MMA fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Jackson would would debut a week later and would be done with the company by the end of the summer when MMA promotion Bellator pulls him and Tito Ortiz from all TNA programming due to an upcoming fight the two were scheduled to have (a fight that ultimately never took place).

Ring of Honor signs Adam Cole a new contract, ending speculation that he was WWE-bound. Cole would win the ROH World Championship just under four months later.

2 years ago today, NXT presented its 100th taping (WWE Network link, officially listed as episode #225) from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.

  • In a dark match, Baron Corbin defeated Wesley Blake.
  • Mojo Rawley defeated Aiden English.
  • Charlotte defeated Bayley.
  • Jason Jordan & Tye Dillinger defeated Phillip Gooljar & Stewart Cumberland.
  • Adrian Neville defeated Justin Gabriel.

It's a happy 61st birthday to Aurelian Smith, Jr., best known to wrestling fans as Jake "The Snake" Roberts.

The son of famed 1960's wrestler Grizzly Smith, Roberts had two runs in the WWF, his more famous coming in the 1980s and early 1990s, with a second one in 1996-97. He also wrestled for AAA, WCW, and ECW in the 1990s and made appearances for TNA in the 2000s.

Roberts is known for his intense, cerebral, and charismatic promos, and is credited as the inventor of the DDT. Roberts was one of the featured subjects in the 1999 documentary Beyond the Mat, which chronicled his continuing struggles with alcohol and drug abuse. He sought help from fellow wrestler Diamond Dallas Page in 2012. Two years later, it was Page that inducted Roberts into the WWE Hall of Fame.

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