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This Day in Wrestling History (June 21): Are You Tough Enough?

35 years ago today in Atlanta, Georgia, Dusty Rhodes defeated Harley Race to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. At just 88 days, it's the longest of Dusty's three world title reigns (his first and third lasted a combined total of three weeks).

WWF Tough Enough Season 1 (2001) Intro by sportsvipwiner

14 years ago today, WWF presents the first ever episode of Tough Enough.

The wrestling reality competition showcases thirteen men and women undergoing rigorous training for a WWE contract. The show, as well as the complete series (the million dollar fourth season is the DVD release of the season's highlights), is available on WWE Network here.

7 years ago today, TNA presented Slammiversary from the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit, Michigan. The show featured two King of the Mountain matches for the first--and only--time in TNA history.

  • Suicide defeated Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Consequences Creed, and Jay Lethal in a King of the Mountain match to retain the TNA X-Division Championship.
  • Daniels defeated Shane Douglas.
  • Angelina Love defeated Tara to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship.
  • Abyss & Taylor Wilde defeated Daffney & Raven in a Monster's Ball tag team match.
  • Sting defeated Matt Morgan.
  • Beer Money Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) defeated Team 3D (Brother Devon & Brother Ray) to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Kurt Angle defeated Mick Foley, AJ Styles, Jeff Jarrett, and Samoa Joe in a King of the Mountain match to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Of note, this would be the last King of the Mountain match presented by TNA for six years.

7 years ago today, former WWE Diva Candice Michelle issues a statement on her WWE Universe blog just a day after her release from the company. The statement unfortunately doesn't stay up long, as the blog and her section was removed from WWE's website. Thankfully, the Internet preserved it. So here it is.

Dear WWE Universe,

Today is the first day of my next journey! I am filled with excitement and gratitude that I wanna express! First and foremost I wanna say thank-you to the McMahon family! Thank-you Vince, Linda, and Stephanie! I have had an amazing 5 years wrestling for you guys! You have taught me and given me so many incredible memories! My time in the WWE was so heartfelt and an incredible journey that I will never forget. I wanna thank the people who have helped me there to be successful! Thank-You Johnny Laurenitis, Mark Corrono, and the rest of talent relations! You guys are awesome at what you do and I appreciate everything you have done for me! Thanks to the amazing agents Arn, Dean, Ricky, Mike, Fit, Barry, Steve, and Billy. You guys are incredible at what you do and it was so exciting for me to get the oppurtunity to learn from the BEST! Speaking of the best, John Cena was a champ in every sense of the word, inside and outside of the ring! Thank-you John for our great friendship, conversations, and encouragement in the business! I have so many fun filled memories on the road that I will never forget thanks to Victoria, Torrie(vote for her, shes amazing), Carlito, Tommy ( what a Dream), and Mickie ( one half of the nasty girls)! You guys will be my buddies for life and I will never forget you! Thank you to the other amazing superstars and Divas! You guys are simply the best at what you do! You have contributed so much in me becoming a wrestler, thanks to HHH, Big Show, Melina, Mickie, John Cena, Tommy Dreamer, Shawn Michaels, and everyone else who every helped me in the ring(in no particular order)! Thanks to the awesome crew and people behind the scenes, without them the show wouldnt even begin, they are all so incredible and full of talent! My time in the WWE was a true blessing!

I am excited that I was the FIRST WWE Diva Search contestant to become the WWE Womans Champion! I know I have paved a way for the woman like me and am so proud of them now! Go get em ladies, your all so talented and beautiful!

A special dedication to all the amazing and wonderful fans who have supported me, made sites for me, were always positive, and mostly just showed your love! I really appreciate you! I hope to see you in my next journey! I feel it coming fast! You can see my new website in less than 1.5 months at and catch up with my updates, also on twitter!

I have loved that journey and am ready to grow into this next chapter! Stay tuned.... much more to come!

Yours Truly,

Candice Michelle

5 years ago today, NWA Hollywood in a press release (and this is not made up, we swear) offers employment to locked out NFL players. The press release:


Top-Rated Professional Wrestling TV Series Gives All Current NFL Players a Chance to Get Back In the Game

LOS ANGELES, CA, June 16, 2011 - With the lockout between the National Football League's owners and players still in effect, the L.A. based television series NWA CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING FROM HOLLYWOOD extends an open invitation to all currently locked-out NFL players to join them as professional wrestlers.

With current NFL players like Cincinnati Bengals superstar Chad Ochocinco venturing into the world of professional bull riding and Minnesota Vikings' Ray Edwards trying his hand(s) at boxing, the world of pro wrestling seems like a perfect fit for these athletes, who are all revved up with nowhere to go. And, as history proves, it might just be the best move.

"There is a long list of players who've made the jump from the gridiron to the squared circle of pro wrestling," says 3-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion "Scrap Iron" Adam Pearce. "NFL and AFL greats like Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White, Kevin Greene, Bronko Nagurski, Wahoo McDaniel, and many others became pro wrestlers - so why not a Hines Ward, Ndamakong Suh, Michael Vick, Plaxico Burress, or Ben Roethlisberger?" Pearce adds, "It's also an excellent way to keep them out of jail. Or worse."

Professional wrestling has long been a spot for pro athletes to make cameo appearances, from Muhammad Ali to Karl Malone to Mike Tyson, but Pearce wants to make it clear that this is a chance at something more. "I'm tired of sports celebs getting into the ring for what's playfully referred to as ‘sports entertainment'. That's not what this is about. This is good, old-fashioned American pro wrestling. And if you wanna step into the ring with me or anyone else from the National Wrestling Alliance - you'd better be ready to go. This ain't some pretty boy pose with flashing lights and fireworks. This is about kicking some ass. And there are quite a few NFL players that would fit the bill nicely. Believe that."

Interested NFL players are told that the door is open and info regarding applying for a spot on the roster can be found at the website.

The NFL's owners and players do come to a new collective bargaining agreement just over a month later, allowing the season to begin on schedule (in fact, only one preseason game, the annual Hall of Fame Game, is cancelled). It's safe to assume that nobody in the NFL took up NWA Hollywood's offer.

2 years ago today, New Japan Pro Wrestling presented Dominion 6.21 from the Bodymaker Coliseum in Osaka, Japan.

  • Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) defeated The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.
  • Tetsuya Naito defeated Tama Tonga.
  • Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata defeated Tomoaki Honma & Yuji Nagata.
  • TenKoji (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) defeated Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer) to retain the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Kota Ibushi defeated Ricochet to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
  • Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka) defeated Kazushi Sakuraba & Toru Yano.
  • BULLET CLUB (AJ Styles & Yujiro Takahashi) defeated CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii).
  • BULLET CLUB (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe to retain the IWGP Tag Team Championship.
  • Bad Luck Fale defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

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