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This Day in Wrestling History (June 19): The NWA and TNA Are Born

68 years ago today, the National Wrestling Alliance was formed.

Midwest promoter Paul "Pinkie" George joined five other regional performers (Al Haft, Tony Stretcher, Harry Light, Sam Muchnick, and the man that would be the first ever NWA world champion, Orville Brown) in an effort to consolidate the many regional championships into one absolute, undisputed world champion of professional wrestling. The idea was also to act as an official governing body for professional wrestling through talent and brand name franchising and a territorial system. Though its influence isn't nearly what it once was, the National Wrestling Alliance is still the largest operating league of independent wrestling companies in the world.

30 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Antonio Inoki defeated Dick Murdoch to win the International Wrestling Grand Prix. Dating back to the World League in 1974, it's the eighth time Inoki won New Japan's annual league tournament.

22 years ago today, WWF presented King of the Ring (WWE Network link) from the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. About 12,000 were in attendance, with 185,000 homes watching on PPV.

Of note, on guest commentary was Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Donovan, who spent most of his career and life in Baltimore. The show is often criticized for Donovan's commentary (especially for often quipping "how much does this guy weigh?"; the quote has gained infamy in wrestling lore) and for featuring a main event that ran counter to WWF's New Generation campaign.

  • In a dark match, Thurman "Sparky" Plugg defeated Kwang.

King of the Ring Quarterfinals:

  • Razor Ramon defeated Bam Bam Bigelow.
  • Irwin R. Schyster defeated Mabel.
  • Owen Hart defeated Tatanka.
  • 1-2-3 Kid defeated Jeff Jarrett.

King of the Ring Semfiinals:

  • Razor Ramon defeated Irwin R. Schyster.
  • Owen Hart defeated 1-2-3 Kid.

King of the Ring Final:

  • Owen Hart defeated Razor Ramon to win the King of the Ring tournament. The win made Owen and Bret the first (and to this day, only) set of brothers to win the tournament.

Non-tournament matches in order of occurrence on the PPV:

  • Diesel defeated Bret Hart by disqualification in a WWF Championship match.
  • The Headshrinkers defeated Crush & Yokozuna to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • Roddy Piper defeated Jerry Lawler.

16 years ago today on RAW is WAR from Nashville, Tennessee (WWE Network link), Gerald Brisco defeated Crash Holly to win the WWF Hardcore Championship...only to lose it to Pat Patterson moments later.

16 years ago today on Nitro , Big Vito defeated Johnny the Bull to gain sole possession of the WCW Hardcore Championship. The two held the championship together for two weeks after Eric Bischoff defeated Terry Funk for the title, then awarded it to the Mamalukes as a reward for their help.

15 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Orlando, Florida (WWE Network link), The Dudley Boyz defeated Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.

14 years ago today, NWA presented the first ever Total Nonstop Action show from the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The show featured a live performance by Toby Keith, which was interrupted by Jeff Jarrett. This would come back to haunt Jarrett as he was eliminated by Keith in the Gauntlet for the Gold battle royal.

  • In a dark match, Cheex defeated Frank Parker.
  • In a dark match, Apolo defeated David Young.
  • The Flying Elvises (Jorge Estrada, Sonny Siaki, and Jimmy Yang) defeated A.J. Styles, Jerry Lynn, and Low Ki.
  • Teo defeated Hollywood.
  • The Johnsons (Richard and Rod) defeated Psicosis and James Storm.
  • The Dupps (Bo and Stan) defeated Christian York and Joey Matthews.
  • Ken Shamrock & Malice were the last two men in a Gauntlet for the Gold battle royal. Other participants were Brian Christopher, Bruce, Buff Bagwell, Chris Harris, Del Rios, Devon Storm, Gran Apolo, Jeff Jarrett, Justice, K-Krush, Konnan, Lash LeRoux, Norman Smiley, Rick Steiner, Scott Hall, Slash, Steve Corino, and The Vampire Warrior.
  • Ken Shamrock defeated Malice to win the vacant NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Ricky Steamboat was the special referee. The championship was vacated when champion Dan Severn had a scheduling conflict preventing him from appearing on the show.

The second ever TNA weekly PPV was also taped on this night. The show, airing a week later, is noted for the introduction of the X Division Championship.

  • Scott Hall defeated Jeff Jarrett.
  • Cheex defeated Frank Parker.
  • Brian Christopher defeated K-Krush.
  • Taylor Vaughn last eliminated Elektra to win the Miss TNA lingerie battle royal. Other participants were Alexis Laree, Erin, Francine, Joanie, Miss Sasha, Shannon, and Tyler.
  • Gran Apolo defeated David Young.
  • America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm) defeated The Rainbow Express (Bruce & Lenny).
  • AJ Styles defeated Jerry Lynn, Low-Ki, and Psicosis in a fatal four-way double elimination match to win the TNA X Division Championship. Ricky Steamboat was the special referee.

11 years ago today, TNA presented Slammiversary from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.

  • In a preshow match, Simon Diamond & Trytan defated Sonny Siaki & Apolo
  • Shark Boy defeated Delirious, Elix Skipper, Jerrelle Clark, The Amazing Red, and Zach Gowen in a six-pack challenge.
  • Shocker defeated Alex Shelley.
  • Ron Killings defeated The Outlaw.
  • The Naturals (Andy Douglas & Chase Stevens) defeated Team Canada (Eric Young & Petey Williams) to retain the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Samoa Joe defeated Sonjay Dutt. This was Samoa Joe's TNA debut.
  • Bobby Roode defeated Lance Hoyt.
  • America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm) defeated 3 Live Kru (BG James & Konnan).
  • Christopher Daniels defeated Chris Sabin and Michael Shane in a three-way elimination match to retain the TNA X-Division Championship.
  • Raven defeated AJ Styles, Abyss, Monty Brown, and Sean Waltman in a King of the Mountain match to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

10 years ago today at a TNA Impact taping in Orlando, Florida, Senshi defeated Samoa Joe and Sonjay Dutt in a three-way elimination match to win the TNA X Division Championship.

9 years ago today at a TNA Impact taping in Orlando, Florida, Samoa Joe defeated Jay Lethal to win the TNA X Division Championship.

7 years ago today, Candice Michelle and Sim Snuka are both released from WWE.

Candice, the first Diva Search contestant to win a championship in WWE, cracked her clavicle in a match in October 2007, then shattered it completely in her first match back in March 2008. Her career essentially never recovered. She was drafted to Smackdown two months before her release, but never appeared on the show. Outside the ring, Michelle was most famous for being the "Go Daddy Girl" for four years.

Snuka, aka Deuce, was a former WWE tag team champion, but was infamous for being on the business end of a scary bump the Undertaker took during his match with Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25. There were conflicting reports that Snuka, who was the "cameraman" on the bump, either caused the bump to be the near disaster or saved the bump from being a disaster.

6 years ago today, New Japan Pro Wrestling presented Dominion 6.19 from Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Osaka, Japan.

  • Akira, El Samurai and Koji Kanemoto defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Super Strong Machine and Tama Tonga.
  • Chaos (Gedo, Takashi Iizuka and Tomohiro Ishii) defeated Kushida, Manabu Nakanishi and Mitsuhide Hirasawa.
  • Muhammad Yone defeated Tomoaki Honma.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Daniel Puder.
  • Hirooki Goto defeated Masato Tanaka.
  • Bad Intentions (Giant Bernard and Karl Anderson) defeated Seigigun (Wataru Inoue and Yuji Nagata) and No Limit (Tetsuya Naito and Yujiro Takahashi) in a three-team elimination match to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.
  • Prince Devitt defeated Naomichi Marufuji to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Toru Yano in a hair versus hair match.
  • Togi Makabe defeated Go Shiozaki to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

5 years ago today, WWE presented Capitol Punishment (WWE Network link) from the Verizon Center in Washington, DC. 9,850 were in attendance, with 170,000 homes watching on PPV. That's up from 143,000 homes for the June 2010 event, Fatal 4-Way.

  • In a dark match, Santino Marrella and Vladimir Kozlov defeated Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel.
  • Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston by knockout to win the WWE United States Championship.
  • Alex Riley defeated The Miz.
  • Alberto Del Rio defeated The Big Show by referee stoppage.
  • Ezekiel Jackson defeated Wade Barrett to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • CM Punk defeated Rey Mysterio.
  • Randy Orton defeated Christian to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Evan Bourne defeated Jack Swagger.
  • John Cena defeated R-Truth to retain the WWE Championship.

3 years ago today at an NXT taping in Orlando, Florida, Adrian Neville and Corey Graves defeated Erick Rowan and Luke Harper to win the NXT Tag Team Championship.

2 years ago today at a TNA Impact taping in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Bobby Lashley defeated Eric Young to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

1 year ago today, Ring of Honor presented Best in the World 2015 from Terminal 5 in New York City.

  • Mark Briscoe defeated Donovan Dijak.

  • The Decade (Adam Page & BJ Whitmer) defeated Matt Sydal & ACH.

  • Dalton Castle defeated Silas Young.

  • War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) defeated C & C Wrestle Factory (Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander).

  • Roderick Strong defeated Moose and Michael Elgin in a three-way match to become the #1 contender for the ROH World Television and World Championships.

  • Bullet Club (A.J. Styles & The Young Bucks) defeated The Kingdom (Adam Cole & Michael Bennett & Matt Taven).

  • The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) defeated reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) in no disqualification match to retain the ROH World Tag Team Championship.

  • Jay Lethal defeated Jay Briscoe in a title-for-title match to retain the ROH World Television Championship and win the ROH World Championship.

Happy 61st birthday to the founder of the original ECW, Tod Gordon.

Gordon founded Eastern Championship Wrestling in 1992, renamed to Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1994 following their very public breakup. Gordon sold ECW to Paul Heyman in May 1995, but remained as their on-screen authority figure for a few years. Post-ECW, Gordon was involved with Pro-Pain Pro Wrestling (3PW) and Pro Wrestling Unplugged. Today, he owns a pawn shop in Philadelphia.

Happy 64th birthday to Felipe Estrada, but lucha libre fans know him better as El Canek (or simply Canek).

Estrada began wrestling in 1972 as El Universitario, but changed his gimmick name to Canek just a year later. In 1978, he gained international fame by defeating the legendary Lou Thesz for the UWA World Heavyweight Championship. He would go on to hold that championship 15 times (three of them coming after the UWA shut its doors in 1995).

At the height of his popularity, he often traveled to Japan to face the best of New Japan Pro Wrestling's talents. The talent exchange proved so popular, the UWA used it for other talents as well for more than a decade. In 2002, Canek won AAA's Rey de Reyes tournament. Today, he makes his home part-time in CMLL, where he has a tag team and trios championship to his credit, along with having been a National Light Heavyweight Champion.

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