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This Day in Wrestling History (May 6): WORST. PLANE RIDE. EVER.

32 years ago today, World Class Championship Wrestling presented the David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions. The show, a tribute to the late David Von Erich who died while on tour in Japan about three months earlier, took place at Texas Stadium in the Dallas suburb of Irving, with 32,123 fans in attendance.

  • Johnny Mantell fought Kelly Kiniski to a 15-minute time limit draw.
  • Chris Adams & Sunshine defeated Jimmy Garvin & Precious.
  • Butch Reed defeated Chic Donovan.
  • Kamala and The Great Kabuki fought to a double disqualification.
  • The Junkyard Dog defeated The Missing Link by disqualification.
  • Rock 'n Soul (Buck Zumhofe & King Parsons) defeated The Super Destroyers (Super Destroyer 1 & Super Destroyer 2) to win the WCCW American Tag Team Championship.
  • Fritz von Erich, Kevin von Erich, and Mike von Erich defeated The Fabulous Freebirds (Buddy Roberts, Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy) to win the WCCW World Six Man Tag Team Championship. Kerry would replace Fritz on the team when the elder Von Erich retired.
  • Kerry von Erich defeated Ric Flair to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

27 years ago today, famed joshi Chigusa Nagoyo retires on her 26th birthday.

It wasn't her call; Japanese regulations at the time stated that all female wrestlers had to retire by their 26th birthday. Nagoyo was one half of the legendary Crush Gals with Lioness Asuka and were the WWWA Tag Team Champions together, as well as the IWA Womens World and All Pacific Champion. Her retirement bouts came at AJW's Wrestlemaripad in Yokohama. In their final tag title defense together, The Crush Gals defeated Akira Hokuto and Mitsuko Nishikawa. In her final match, Lioness Asuka defeated Nagoyo. The mandatory retirement age stipulation would eventually be lifted, and Nagoyo returned to the ring in 1995 and would find GAEA Japan. In a bit of irony, both of the Crush Gals retired for good in 2005 just a week apart.

16 years ago today, WWF presented Insurrextion (WWE Network link) from Earl's Court in London, England. About 17,000 fans were in attendance. The UK-exclusive event was released on WWF Home Video July 18.

  • Too Cool (Grand Master Sexay & Scotty 2 Hotty) defeated Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn.
  • Kane defeated Bull Buchanan.
  • The Road Dogg defeated Bradshaw.
  • The Kat defeated Terri Runnels in an arm wrestling match.
  • The Big Show & Rikishi defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von).
  • Kurt Angle defeated Chris Benoit.
  • The British Bulldog defeated Crash Holly to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
  • The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) defeated Edge and Christian by disqualification in a WWF Tag Team Championship match.
  • Eddie Guerrero defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WWF European Championship.
  • The Rock defeated Shane McMahon and Triple H in a triple threat match to retain the WWF Championship.

14 years ago today, the organization formerly known as the World Wrestling Federation issued a press release, changing their name to World Wrestling Entertainment. The press release:

World Wrestling Federation Entertainment Drops The "F" To Emphasize the "E" for Entertainment

New Name And Logo Reflects International Growth Plans and Increasing Diversity of Entertainment Properties

STAMFORD, CONN., May 6, 2002 - To further capture a greater share of the global marketplace and to represent the growing diversity of its entertainment properties, World Wrestling Federation Entertainment today announced it is changing its name to World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE). The company's website, one of the most popular in the world, will now be found at

A new logo reflecting the name change will be introduced tonight on WWE's top-rated television show RAW on TNN at 9 p.m. (ET).

"As World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, we have entertained millions of fans around the United States and around the globe," said Linda McMahon, CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment. "Our new name puts the emphasis on the "E" for entertainment, what our company does best. WWE provides us with a global identity that is distinct and unencumbered, which is critical to our U.S. and international growth plans."

Mrs. McMahon said the company began considering dropping the word "Federation" from its name when World Wildlife Fund (a/k/a World Wide Fund for Nature) prevailed in a recent court action in the United Kingdom. The court ruling prevents the World Wrestling Federation from the use of the logo it adopted in 1998 and the letters WWF in specified circumstances. The "Fund" has indicated that although the two organizations are very different, there is the likelihood of confusion in the market place by virtue of the fact that both organizations use the letters WWF. The Fund has indicated that it does not want to have any association with the World Wrestling Federation. "Therefore," said, Mrs.McMahon, "we will utilize this opportunity to position ourselves emphasizing the entertainment aspect of our company, and, at the same time, allay the concerns of the Fund."

Mrs. McMahon said the name change provides a distinct and unencumbered global identity that will further cast World Wrestling Entertainment as an integrated entertainment and media company. "World Wrestling Entertainment and WWE will now be the identity that we use from the television base we have established in 130 countries," she said. "As WWE, we will launch our further expanded U.S. and international touring, our international expansion of branded merchandise and licensed products, and our further integration into the film, publishing and music businesses."

The successful development of the "Tough Enough" television series on MTV, a new book deal with Simon and Schuster, and the hit motion picture, "The Scorpion King," executive produced by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and WWE, are examples of the types of activities the company plans to undertake as it expand its horizons in the global entertainment industry.

New logo art has been provided to business partners, licensees and vendors. The company expects that, for the most part, the changeover to the new name and logo will be completed within five months.

WWE will continue to trade as WWF on the New York Stock Exchange until a suitable replacement symbol is found. The company will be providing the appropriate documentation and filings with regulators to solicit shareholder approval of the name change.

In conjunction with the name change, WWE announced it has changed the name of its entertainment complex in New York City's Times Square from WWF New York to The World, currently the name of its popular night club.

Despite the spin, it was a British court decision a day earlier that forced the name change. The World Wildlife Fund successfully challenged the World Wrestling Federation over unfair trade practices. The name change to WWE would cause quite a stir in the wrestling world and would force the company to edit its video library for years.

And still it's probably not the worst thing that happened to WWE that day.

14 years ago today, a number of WWE personnel got in hot water as a result of a series of incidents that happened on the flight back from London for the Insurrextion PPV.

Michael Hayes and John "Bradshaw" Layfield got into a fight, Sean "X-Pac" Waltman cut Hayes' hair, Scott Hall passed out from drinking too much, Ric Flair walked around the plane wearing little more than a robe and exposed himself to a female flight attendant, and Dustin Runnels, aka Goldust, got on the PA system and badly attempted to serenade his ex-wife Terri. Oh, and Curt Hennig and Brock Lesnar got into an impromptu wrestling match on the plane and got real close to a plane door.

Also on board of the plane were road agents Gerry Brisco, Dave "Fit" Finlay, Arn Anderson, senior writers Stephanie McMahon and Paul Heyman, vice-president of talent relations Jim Ross, and The Undertaker, who had always been seen as a strong figure in the locker room. Ross issued an apology on his blog The Ross Report a few days later:

"The flight was about seven hours in length and at times was low-lighted by a handful of people who consumed too much alcohol and consequently acted like children whose parents were away and left the liquor cabinet unlocked. The conduct of this inebriated minority was unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Procedures have been put in place to ensure such conduct does not occur in the future.

The bottom line is this: yours truly is the person in charge of the talent roster and the buck stops with me. We will do all we humanly can to solve the problem." 

Hennig and Hall, who was already on thin ice due to his erratic behavior, were both released. Dustin would be in the proverbial doghouse until his very public release in early 2004. That same year, two flight attendants sued WWE, Flair, Hall, and Runnels for sexual harassment. The suit was ultimately settled out of court. The flight, which actually took place a day earlier, would become known in wrestling lore as "The Plane Ride From Hell".

Oh, and there was an episode of RAW, the first of the WWE era.

14 years ago today on RAW from Hartford, Connecticut (WWE Network link), William Regal defeated Spike Dudley via submission in just 36 seconds to win the WWE European Championship.

On the same show, Bubba Ray Dudley wins the WWE Hardcore Championship from Steven Richards... only to lose it to Raven, who loses it to Justin Credible, who loses it to Crash Holly, who loses it to Trish Stratus (who joined Molly Holly and Bobcat as the only women to hold the title), who loses it to Steven Richards, who began the evening as the champion.

12 years ago today on show Byte This, Tommy Dreamer announced his retirement from in-ring competition and would transition to an office role with the company. It wouldn't last long: he worked the occasional independent show and returned full-time when ECW was reborn in 2006. He left again in 2010 following the shutdown of ECW. Dreamer still wrestles sporadically to this day.

10 years ago today, WWE hires Dylan Posti. Posti, who wrestled on the independent circuit as "The World's Sexiest Midget" Shortstack, made his debut a few weeks later as unnamed the leprechaun partner of Finlay. Nicknamed "Little Bastard" at first on commentary, Posti would be officially named Hornswoggle in February 2007.

Posti was released from WWE on his tenth anniversary Friday.

7 years ago today at NJPW Dissidence in Tokyo, Japan, Manabu Nakanishi defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

4 years ago today, WWE releases Dustin Runnels. At the time of his release, he was a producer for the company. After a few months on the independent circuit, Runnels returned—again—for the fifth time—at the 2013 Royal Rumble. Originally a one-shot deal, Runnels has been on the roster full time since the fall of 2013.

1 year ago today in Las Vegas, Nevada, Global Force Wrestling announces the first members of their roster: PJ Black, David Hart Smith, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, Chris Mordetsky, Lance Hoyt, Lei'D Tapa, Thea Trinidad, Quinn "Moose" Ojinnaka, and Seiya Sanada.

The Jeff Jarrett-founded promotion also announced Chael Sonnen would serve as the promotion's "expert analyst". Despite taping some matches for television, the promotion remains without a TV deal more than two years after its founding.

1 year ago today, Bill Demott gave his first public interview since resigning from his post as the head trainer at the WWE Performance Center following allegations of creating an unsafe work environment and repeatedly making racist and homophobic remarks. In the interview with Vince Russo, Demott more or less didn't like working with "millennials":

"Yeah, you become a babysitter, big brother, guidance counsellor, authority figure, person of confidence, their trainer. The trick to this generation now is how do you be, I don't know if this is the right word, how do you be friendly and not be their friend?


"I always use the term it's never the quarterback, it's the coach. We talk about football and a guy will stink the joint out, so it wasn't Tony Romo, it was the other guy and he was gone. Millennials, I think right that's what this generation is called the millennials. I think it's in the whole world. So what I can say and what I will say is as a dad as you are, as I am, I try to figure that out to keep my children away from that entitlement. I guess it's old school that you get what you earn and you try to earn what you want. I think that's all I am going to say about that because I think no matter what the case, Walmart, Publix, IBM, I always use IBM I don't know why, I go to a lot of management seminars and that's a lot of the conversation, the opening conversation: 'What do we do when they don't like that?' And I want to walk out because I'm not going to learn anything if I'm still trying to figure out [that]. It's tough, it's going to be tough for whoever has to figure out what they want tomorrow. And that's a challenge I think."

Today, Demott hosts a weekly podcast on the RELM Network, the same site that houses Russo's show.

Quite a few birthdays today, so profiles will be briefer than usual.

It's a happy 28th birthday for Cheree Crowley, best known to wrestling fans as Evie.

Debuting in December 2007, the New Zealand-born wrestler made her debut for Impact Pro Wrestling in 2007, where she still competes today. Her greatest singles success has come there, as she's won their women's championship three times. She is a former women's champion for Sydney, Australia-based Pro Wrestling Alliance, and is a former Artist of Stardom Champion as 1/3 of Team Hyper Destroyers with Kellie Skater and Hiroyo Matsumoto.

Evie has also competed in the United States, most notably for Shimmer Women Athletes and Shine Wrestling. She's also made one appearance for NXT last year, losing to the debuting Nia Jax. Her first trip to the United States was profiled for the New Zealand version of 20/20 back in 2013.

It's a happy 32nd birthday today for Kevin Steen, though these days you may know him as Kevin Owens.

First competing at age 16, the Quebcois-born Steen wrestled under his birth name for many independent organizations, most notably Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (where he was their world champion  and tag team champion three times each), All American Wrestling (where he was their heavyweight champion), and Combat Zone Wrestling (where he held their Iron Man championship for 364 days, longer than anyone in the promotion's history).

Steen is most famous for his seven-year run in Ring of Honor, attached for much of that run with fellow Canadian El Generico. The duo, known loosely as Steenerico, won the ROH World Tag Team Championship in September 2008 and held them until April 2009. After failing to regain the titles following Final Battle that December, the duo had a violent falling out, with Steen turning on Generico. The two engaged in a year-long feud, one voted the Best Feud of 2010 by Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The feud ended the following December at Final Battle with El Generico defeating Steen in a mask versus career match. The feud, booked largely by Steen himself, was indeed a write-off for Steen as his contract was set to expire.

Though Steen would return to the company in time for Best in the World in June 2011, it wouldn't be until Final Battle that December where Steen won back his job when he defeated Steve Corino. In May 2012, Steen defeated Davey Richards to win the ROH World Championship. He would soon form S.C.U.M. (Suffering, Chaos, Ugliness, and Mayhem) with Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs. He wrapped up his feud with longtime rival El Generico at Final Battle 2012: Doomsday in December when he defeated him in a ladder match. Steen would hold the title until Supercard of Honor VII the following April when he was defeated by Jay Briscoe. SCUM would soon turn on Steen, but it would be Steen that disbanded the stable he founded that summer. He wrestled as a face until leaving the promotion in July 2014.

The next month he signed a deal with WWE and was assigned to their developmental property, NXT. He soon debuted as Kevin Owens, a longtime wrestler who had seen some of his friends and rivals get signed to WWE first, but now he would fight anyone and everyone to provide for his family.

Owens debuted for NXT at Takeover: R Evolution, where despite suffering a broken nose, he defeated CJ Parker. He turned heel in the show's final moments when he attacked Sami Zayn shortly after he had defeated Adrian Neville for the NXT Championship. Two months after his debut, at Takeover: Rival, Owens defeated Zayn via referee stoppage to win the NXT Championship. The rematch at Takeover: Unstoppable went to a no contest after he continued to assault Zayn until Samoa Joe arrived. In their only NXT bout between the two, Joe and Owens went to a no contest. Owens would lose the NXT title at Beast in the East to Finn Balor in July, then lose the return bout in a ladder match at Takeover: Brooklyn.

Owens while NXT Champion made his WWE main roster debut in May 2015 as a challenger for John Cena's United States Championship "open challenge". A match never took place, as Owens attacked Cena and stomped on the United States title belt in a show of disrespect. The two eventually met in a trio of bouts over the next two months, with Kevin winning a non-title bout at Elimination Chamber, then Cena winning the rematches at Money in the Bank and at Battleground for the US title.

In September 2015, Owens would defeat Ryback to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship, making him the first French-Canadian wrestler to hold any WWE championship since Maryse in 2010. He would hold it until TLC in December when he was defeated by Dean Ambrose. Owens eliminated the debuting AJ Styles in the 2016 Royal Rumble match before being eliminated by his former friend and NXT rival Sami Zayn. The next month, Owens won the Intercontinental title for a second time, pinning Dean Ambrose in a five-way bout. He would lose it at Wrestlemania in a ladder match to Zack Ryder.

Kevin is married to his wife Karina, and the couple have two children, son Owen (named after fellow Canadian wrestler Owen Hart), and daughter Elodie Leila. The three-time Wrestling Observer Newsletter winner for Best Brawler (2010-2012) was ranked the #10 singles wrestler in the world by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 2013 and 2015.

It's a happy 36th birthday for Scott Colton. Wrestling under such names as Scotty Goldman and Matt Classic, he's best known to wrestling fans as Colt Cabana.

A graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in business marketing, Colton decided on a wrestling career shortly after graduating in 2002. In his early years, he teamed with—and fought against—fellow Chicagoan CM Punk. Along with trainer Ace Steel, the trio became known as the Second City Saints, but it was Punk and Colton, aka Colt Cabana, that garnered the gold, winning the Ring of Honor tag team titles twice. Punk would leave ROH in 2005, but Cabana remained until 2007.  In his early years, Colton competed for promotions in Scotland, Germany, France, England, Ireland, Canada, and Japan. In 2006, Colton briefly wrestled for the MTV series Wrestling Society X as Matt Classic, a throwback to wrestlers of yesteryear.

Having previously worked preliminary and dark matches for the company, Colton would sign with WWE in April 2007 and would be assigned to their developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling, then later Florida Championship Wrestling. He would make his main roster debut as Scotty Goldman in August 2008. He never won a match on WWE television, losing his debut to The Brian Kendrick and The Great Khali notably, and eliminated in two qualifying match battle royals. His final match was a loss to Umaga in February 2009; he was released the day the show aired.

Colton returned to the independent circuit following his release, competing for Pro Wrestling Guerilla just a day after his release, then for Ring of Honor a month later. He chased both of those promotion's world titles during the year, but came away empty each time. His first heavyweight title came for Revolution Championship Wrestling when he won their title from Hank Calhoun in October 2010. In March 2011, Colton as Colt Cabana won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Adam Pearce. He would lose it just over a month later to The Sheik II (no relation to the original Sheik). Cabana would defeat Pearce for the title in April 2012, leading to an international rivalry that spanned six months and seven matches. The Seven Levels of Hate series ended in October in Melbourne, Australia with Cabana winning the match, but not the title, as their deciding match was not sanctioned. Both Cabana and Pearce left the NWA following the bout.

Since 2012, Colton has hosted a weekly Art of Wrestling podcast. The podcast, which gained international fame when CM Punk spoke of his release in November 2014; the podcast led to Colton being named as a co-defendant in a lawsuit by WWE physician Christopher Amann. The suit is still in litigation. The podcast this week presented its 300th episode.

Cabana also recently returned to Ring of Honor, confronting Ring of Honor World Champion Jay Lethal at Supercard of Honor X.

Colton, who has won championships for over 30 different organizations in his career, was listed as one of the top 50 singles wrestlers in the world by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 2012.

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