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This Day in Wrestling History (June 18): Summer of Punk

48 years ago today in San Angelo, Texas, Dory Funk, Jr. and Terry Funk defeated Karl and Kurt Von Brauner to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship.

21 years ago today, WCW presented The Great American Bash (WWE Network link) from the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio. About 6,000 were in attendance, with 100,000 homes watching on PPV, though some estimates have the number of home buys at only 90,000. This was the first Great American Bash on PPV since 1992.

  • In a WCW Main Event match, Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) defeated The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers).
  • In a WCW Main Event match, Sgt. Craig Pittman defeated Scott D'Amore.
  • In a WCW Main Event match, Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck defeated Frankie Lancaster and Barry Houston.
  • Alex Wright defeated Brian Pillman.
  • Dave Sullivan defeated Diamond Dallas Page) in an arm wrestling contest.
  • Jim Duggan defeated Sgt. Craig Pittman by disqualification.
  • Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) (w/ Sister Sherri) defeated Dick Slater and Bunkhouse Buck.
  • The Renegade defeated Arn Anderson to win the WCW World Television Championship.
  • The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) defeated The Blue Bloods (Earl Robert Eaton and Lord Steven Regal) to retain the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Sting defeated Meng to win the vacant WCW United States Championship. The championship was vacated back in March when Commissioner Nick Bockwinkel stripped Vader of the championship after deliberately injuring Dave Sullivan.
  • Ric Flair defeated Randy Savage.

15 years ago today on RAW is WAR (WWE Network link) from Tampa, Florida, Diamond Dallas Page makes his WWF debut as the mystery man who stalked The Undertaker's wife Sara through a series of cryptic videos for weeks.

While it was the debut he got, it wasn't the one he wanted, as he revealed in a 2012 interview with SportsTown Chicago Fight Club. He calls it his only regret in his wrestling career:
"I figured out how I'm gonna go show up in the WWF when I finally go there. (WWF is) gonna turn off all the lights and everybody's gonna think it's gonna be Jericho. But it's gonna go 10 seconds, 20 seconds, still no lights. JR goes, ‘hold on we got a problem here, just hang with us.' Then you hear my voice for the first time in a WWF arena, [saying] ‘whose the real people's champion?' The spotlight hits me and I go, ‘You're looking at him.' The place pops, yells, boos, cheers, whatever. I do the diamond cutter sign, boom! Big explosion. I go to the ring and I start busting The Rock's chops. He can be hurt, maybe he's doing a movie or something. The Rock wasn't in a movie spot at that point, but that's where my head was going. I was literally seeing my destiny. If I would have stayed the course. When I got there to do the stalker thing, Vince (McMahon) and Shane (McMahon) really wanted me to do that. I didn't want to do that, but I agreed to that."
Nagging injuries, most notably degenerating discs in his spinal column, end his WWF run less than a year later. Soon after, Page undergoes spinal and neck surgery and retires from wrestling full-time.

12 years ago today in Mexico City, Mexico, Dr. Wagner, Jr. defeated El Canek to win the UWA World Heavyweight Championship. Though the title is rarely defended, it is still considered active. Dr. Wagner has not lost the championship since, making him the UWA world champion for over 4,300 days running.

11 years ago today, Ring of Honor presented Death Before Dishonor III from the Mennan Sports Arena in Morristown, New Jersey. The show was highlighted by CM Punk's final match with the company before heading to WWE.

  • BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs defeated The Embassy (Jimmy Rave & Fast Eddie) to retain the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
  • In a dark match, Lacey defeated Cindy Rogers.
  • The Carnage Crew (HC Loc & Tony DeVito) defeated the Ring Crew Express (Dunn & Marcos) in an "anything goes" match.
  • Samoa Joe defeated Colt Cabana to retain the ROH Pure Championship.
  • AJ Styles defeated Petey Williams.
  • Lacey's Angels (Izzy & Deranged) defeated Generation Next (Roderick Strong & Jack Evans).
  • Nigel McGuinness defeated Azrieal, Homicide and James Gibson in a Four Corner Survival match.
  • Jay Lethal and Low Ki fought to a no contest.
  • CM Punk defeated Austin Aries to win the ROH World Championship. Remember that stuff about being CM Punk's final match? Turned out he was a liar, liar, pants on fire. Post-match, he ripped into his now former employer and its fans.
"Isn't this the prettiest little thing you've ever seen? It was over a year ago I held this belt high in the air after I fought for it for the first time in Dayton, Ohio against Samoa Joe and I proclaimed this belt the most important thing to me. Right now, in my hands, as of this day 6/18/05, THIS becomes the most important belt in the world!

This belt in the hands of any other man is just a belt, but in my hands it becomes power. Just like this microphone in the hands of any of the boys in the back is just a microphone, but in the hands of a dangerous man like myself it becomes a pipe-bomb. These words that I speak spoken but anybody else are just words strung loosely together to form sentences. What I say I mean, and what I mean I say, and they become anthems!

You see, if I could be afforded the time here a little bit of a story. There was once an old man, walking home from work. He was walking in the snow, and he stumbled upon a snake frozen in the ice. He took that snake, and he brought it home, and he took care of it, and he thawed it out, and he nursed it back to health. And as soon as that snake was well enough, it bit the old man. And as the old man lay there dying he asked the snake, 'Why? I took care of you. I loved you. I saved your life.'

And that snake looked that man right in the eye and said, 'You stupid old man. I'm a snake.'

The greatest thing the devil ever did was make you people believe he didn't exist...and you're looking at him right now! I AM THE DEVIL HIMSELF! And all of you stupid, mindless people fell for it! You all believed in the same make-believe superhero that the legendary Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat saw some year ago today. No, you see, you don't know anything. You followed me hook-line and sinker, all of you did, and I'm not mad at you...I just feel sorry for you. This belongs to me! Everything you see here belongs to me, and I did what I had to do to get my hands on this. Now I am the GREATEST PRO WRESTLER walkin' the Earth today!

This is my stage, this is my theater, you are my puppets! When I pulled those marionette strings, and I moved your emotions, and I played with them, and honestly it's 'cause I get off on it. I hate each and every single one of you with a thousand burns and I will not stop...I will not stop until I prove that I am better than you, that I am better than Low Ki, that I am better than AJ Styles! I'm better than Samoa Joe. Ladies and gentlemen, the champ is here! You don't have to love it, but you better learn to accept it. 'Cause I'm taking this with me, and there's not a single person in that locker room that can stop me!"
Punk would hold the title for just 55 days, but it was a long 55 days for Ring of Honor; he signed his WWE deal on the ROH world title belt, he purposefully ducked out of title defenses, and threatened to drop the championship at the feet of Vince McMahon, a la Madusa when she dumped the WWF Women's Championship belt in a trash can back in December 1995. In the end, Punk never got around to dumping the belt at the feet of McMahon; James Gibson would defeat Punk for the title in August, and after a bout against longtime friend Colt Cabana the next night, Punk left for WWE. The two-month period is forever etched in wrestling lore as "the summer of Punk".

10 years ago today, TNA presented Slammiversary from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando. The show is noted for the TNA debut of Jim Cornette, who would serve as their on-screen authority figure.

  • In a dark match, Team Canada (Eric Young and A-1) defeated The Naturals (Andy Douglas and Chase Stevens).
  • Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) defeated The James Gang (B.G. James and Kip James) in a Bingo Hall Brawl.
  • Rhino defeated Team Canada (Bobby Roode and Coach D'Amore) in a 2-on-1 handicap match.
  • Senshi defeated Sonjay Dutt, Alex Shelley, Shark Boy, Petey Williams, and Jay Lethal in an X Division elimination match.
  • Kevin Nash defeated Chris Sabin.
  • A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels defeated America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm) to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Samoa Joe defeated Scott Steiner.
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Christian Cage, Abyss, Ron Killings, and Sting in a King of the Mountain matchto win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

10 years ago today, AAA presented Triplemania XIV from El Toreo in Naucalpan, Mexico.

  • La Parkita, Mascarita Sagrada, and Octagóncito defeated Jerrito Estrada, Mini Abismo Negro, and Mini Chessman.
  • Abismo Negro, Gran Apache, La Diabólica, and Tiffany defeated El Alebrije, Billy Boy, Estrellita and Faby Apache.
  • The Black Family (Chessman, Cuervo, Escoria, and Ozz) and Real Fuerza Aérea (Laredo Kid, Némesis, Rey Cometa, and Super Fly) fought to a no contest for the Mexican National Atomicos Championship.
  • La Fiera, Mocho Cota, Pimpinela Escarlata, and Sangre Chicana versus Casandro, El Brazo, Espectro, Jr., and Pirata Morgan went to a no contest.
  • El Ángel, El Intocable, Octagón, and Vampiro defeated Los Guapos VIP (Alan Stone, Scorpio, Jr., Shocke,r and Zumbido).
  • Charly Manson defeated El Zorro in a last man standing steel cage match to win the Mexican National Heavyweight Championship. With the loss, El Zorro also lost his hair.
  • La Parka defeated Muerte Cibernetica in a mask versus mask match. Muerte Cibernetica was unmasked and was revealed to be Ricky Banderas.

5 years ago today, AAA presented Triplemania XIX from Palacio de los Deportes in Mexico City, Mexico. The show, featuring competitors from TNA, introduced two new championships: the AAA Latin American Championship and the AAA World Trios Championship.

  • In a dark match, Aero Star, Argos, Fénix, and Sugi San defeated La Milicia Extrema (Dark Dragon, Decnnis, Tigre Cota, and Tito Santana).
  • La Legión Extranjera (Angelina Love, Mickie James, Sexy Star, and Velvet Sky) defeated Cynthia Moreno, Faby Apache, Mari Apache and Lolita.
  • Electroshock, Heavy Metal, and Joe Líder defeated La Maniarquía (Chessman, Silver Cain and Último Gladiador) in a TLC match.
  • Los Bizarros (Cibernético, Billy el Malo, Charly Manson, and Escoria) defeated El Inframundo (La Parka, Dark Ozz and Drago) and Octagón.
  • Extreme Tiger and Jack Evans defeated Abyss and Mr. Anderson in a steel cage match to retain the AAA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Los Perros del Mal (Damián 666, Halloween and X-Fly) defeated Los Psycho Circus (Monster Clown, Murder Clown and Psycho Clown) in an extreme rules match to become the first ever AAA World Trios Champions.
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated El Zorro to win the AAA World Heavyweight Championship. The win made Jarrett the first foreign-born wrestler to win the AAA heavyweight championship.
  • L.A. Park defeated El Mesías in a mask versus hair match. With the loss, El Mesias had his head shaved bald.
  • Dr. Wagner, Jr. defeated Rob Van Dam to become the first AAA Latin American Champion. In a side note, people were seen leaving the building prior to the main event as the show had run longer than usual.

4 years ago today on RAW from Uniondale, New York, Cyndi Lauper and Wendi Richter make their first appearance in a WWE ring since 1985.

The segment also featured Rowdy Roddy Piper giving a gold record to Lauper to replace the one he bashed over the head of the late Captain Lou Albano back in 1985. Cyndi moments later bashed the gold record over the head of Heath Slater. The segment was filmed for Lauper's reality series, She's So Unusual.

Today would have been the 70th birthday of Frank Donald Goodish, but wrestling fans know him as Bruiser Brody.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Goodish was an all-state football and basketball player at Warren High School in Warren, Michigan. He played football at West Texas A&M and for the NFL's Washington Redskins before transitioning to wrestling.

Though he's wrestled all over the world, his biggest successes came in Japan where he won the NWA International Heavyweight Championship three times and was a PWF tag team champion with Stan Hansen for All Japan Pro Wrestling. His brawling style made him a pioneer and sought after competitor, winning the Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Best Brawler award seven times in the 1980s (including five years in a row from 1980 to 1984; the Best Brawler Award is now named for him). His legitimately uncooperative demeanor also made him a potential poison to any locker room.

On July 16, 1988, Goodish was stabbed twice in the stomach in a locker room confrontation in Bayamon, Puerto Rico prior to a match. Tony Atlas and Dutch Mantel were among the first on the scene of the stabbing. He had to be physically carried to a waiting ambulance as paramedics could not move him. Goodish died the next morning in a local hospital due to excessive blood loss.

Jose Gonzalez, aka Invader I, a part owner of World Wrestling Council at the time, was initially charged with first degree murder, but the charge was later reduced to involuntary homicide. There was also some speculation that WWC principal owner Carlos Colon may have had a hand in the murder. With virtually no witness testimony at the trial (Dutch Mantel recalled that he did not receive his summons after the trial had ended), Gonzalez was ultimately acquitted of all charges in January 1989. Goodish at the time of his death left behind a wife, Barbara Smith, and son, Geoffrey Dean.

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