clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This Day in Wrestling History (Jun. 3): The Debut of TNA Impact

Steve Austin vs Bobby Eaton, TV Title (1991.07... by hafner-michael

25 years ago today in Birmingham, Alabama, Steve Austin defeated Bobby Eaton to win the WCW World Television Championship.

14 years ago today on RAW from Dallas, Texas (WWE Network link), Bradshaw defeated Steven Richards to win the WWE Hardcore Championship.

The episode is best remembered for Shawn Michaels' surprise return to the WWE as the newest member of the New World Order. Michaels was last seen on WWE programming in the summer of 2000 as the outgoing commissioner of the WWF. Michaels wouldn't be nWo for long; after Kevin Nash is injured just over a month later, the group is dissolved.

In the show's main event, Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Ric Flair in a "pure wrestling rules" match. It would be Austin's last match on RAW before his sudden walkout two weeks later.

13 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Anaheim, California (WWE Network link), Rey Mysterio defeated Matt Hardy to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

The show is probably best remembered for Kurt Angle returning to the WWE following neck surgery. Opting for an alternative method where only the neck spurs and part of the affected discs were removed, Angle's rehab time was cut from a full year to just three months.

12 years ago today, TNA taped its first ever episode of Impact from Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

For many, this show, which would air the next day, would be their first exposure to the promotion. Prior to their first national broadcast TV deal, TNA was a PPV-only promotion; consumers had to pay $9.99 a week for their two-hour show (which still ran until September 2004). Impact aired on Fox Sports Net on Friday afternoon, but it would often be rescheduled or pre-empted altogether due to local sporting events or other programming.

Impact also introduced TNA's six-sided ring. It also introduced a modified set of rules which would only apply for Impact tapings: ten-minute time limits for non-title matches, thirty minutes for title matches. In the event a match went the full-time limit, three judges at ringside would render a decision.

  • In a dark match, Desire, Pat Kenney, and Sonny Siaki defeated the New York Connection (Trinity, Glen Gilberti, and Johnny Swinger).
  • In a dark match, Heavy Metal defeated Kazarian.
  • Team International (Amazing Red, Sonjay Dutt, and Hector Garza) defeated Team Canada (Petey Williams, Bobby Roode, and Eric Young).
  • Abyss defeated Shark Boy.
  • America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm) defeated Kid Kash & Dallas to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
  • AJ Styles defeated Elix Skipper, Chris Sabin, and Michael Shane to earn a TNA X Division Championship match.

9 years ago today, WWE presented One Night Stand: Extreme Rules (WWE Network link) from the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. 13,250 were in attendance, with 186,000 homes watching on PPV.

  • In a dark match, Santino Marella defeated Chris Masters.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated Randy Orton in a stretcher match. Post-match, Van Dam was assaulted by Orton, got an elevated DDT from the barricade, and was stretchered out. The post-match beating was a write-off; it was Van Dam's final appearance for the company, as he was leaving to tend to his ailing wife. Other than a one-off appearance at the 2009 Royal Rumble, Van Dam would not appear again for a major promotion until his TNA debut in 2010. He did return to WWE in 2013.
  • CM Punk, The Sandman & Tommy Dreamer defeated The New Breed (Elijah Burke, Marcus Cor Von & Matt Striker) in a tables match.
  • The Hardy Boyz (Jeff & Matt Hardy) defeated The World's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) in a ladder match to retain the World Tag Team Championship.
  • Mark Henry defeated Kane by knockout in a lumberjack match. Serving as lumberjacks were Chris Benoit, Val Venis, Santino Marella, Balls Mahoney, Stevie Richards, The Miz, Kevin Thorn, Chris Masters, Johnny Nitro, Chavo Guerrero, Kenny Dykstra and Carlito.
  • Bobby Lashley defeated Mr. McMahon in a street fight to win the ECW Championship.
  • Candice Michelle defeated Melina in a pudding match.
  • Edge defeated Batista in a steel cage match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • John Cena defeated The Great Khali in a falls count anywhere match to retain the WWE Championship.

8 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Los Angeles, California, Natalya defeated Cherry, Layla, Maryse, Michelle McCool, and Victoria in a "Golden Dreams" gold-star-on-a-pole match.

Lest you think this match served no purpose, this was actually a qualifying match to crown the first ever WWE Divas Champion. There would be a second "Golden Dreams" match (same rules, same participants sans Natalya), but not until a month later. That match was won by Michelle McCool, who would go on to win the Divas title at The Great American Bash.

The same episode Cousin Sal of Jimmy Kimmel Live fame defeating Santino Marella.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats