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This Day in Wrestling History (July 10): The Price For Freedom

28 years ago today, the NWA in association with Jim Crockett Promotions presented The Great American Bash '88: The Price for Freedom (WWE Network link) from the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland.

Though The Great American Bash had been around since 1985 (first as a single show, then a series of shows), this is the first one on PPV. About 13,000 were in attendance, with around 190,000 homes watching on PPV. It's the first PPV for Jim Crockett Promotions since the failed Bunkhouse Stampede in January.

  • In a preshow dark match, Rick Steiner & Dick Murdoch defeated Tim Horner and Kendall Windham.
  • Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard fought Sting and Nikita Koloff to a 20-minute time limit draw for the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
  • The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) defeated The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers) to win the NWA United States Tag Team Championship.
  • The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal), Steve Williams, Jimmy Garvin and Ron Garvin defeated Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Al Perez, The Russian Assassin and Ivan Koloff in a Tower of Doom match.
  • Barry Windham defeated Dusty Rhodes to retain the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship.
  • Ric Flair defeated Lex Luger via referee stoppage to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. The match produced quite the controversial finish: Luger, on the verge of winning the title via Human Torture Rack of Doom, was profusely bleeding, and the bout was stopped by the Maryland State Athletic Commission, awarding the bout to Flair.

18 years ago today, WCW presented LA Melee from the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. A sold out crowd of 15,678 were in attendance for an Internet audio PPL (pay-per-listen) event. This was the last of six such events WCW held.

  • WCW TV Champion Booker T defeated Fit Finlay.
  • Eddie Guerrero defeated Chavo Guerrero.
  • Juventud Guerrera, Psychosis, & Ciclope defeated Damien, Villano IV, & Villano V.
  • The Ultimo Dragon defeated Dean Malenko by countout.
  • WCW Cruiserweight Champion Chris Jericho defeated Rey Mysterio Jr. via disqualification.
  • Konnan defeated Vincent by submission.
  • Kevin Nash & Lex Luger defeated Bret Hart & the Giant via disqualification.
  • WCW World Heavyweight Champion Bill Goldberg defeated Curt Hennig.
  • Sting defeated Hollywood Hogan in a steel cage match via submission.

15 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Birmingham, Alabama (WWE Network link), Jeff Hardy defeated Mike Awesome to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.

The show is probably best remembered for Kurt Angle's acoustic rendition of "Jimmy Crack Corn". In 2009, the moment was selected as the fifth greatest in Smackdown history.

12 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sonjay Dutt defeated Roderick Strong in the final match to win Combat Zone Wrestling's Best of the Best 4 tournament. Other participants were Homicide, Jack Evans, Chri$ Ca$h, B-Boy, Jimmy Rave, Alex Shelley, Bobby Quance, Ruckus, Petey Williams, and Spyder Nate Webb.

11 years ago today, CZW announces their annual Tournament of Death would take place at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia after the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission agrees to relaxed rules regarding death matches. The agreement didn't stick and less than two weeks before the show, the event was moved back to Delaware. Outside of a couple special events in Germany, the annual show been mostly held in June every year in Delaware ever since.

5 years ago today, TNA presented Destination X from the Impact Zone at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

  • Kazarian defeated Samoa Joe.
  • Douglas Williams defeated Mark Haskins in an open challenge match.
  • Eric Young and Shark Boy defeated Generation Me (Jeremy Buck and Max Buck). It would be Generation Me's last appearance with the company, as the next day they asked for and was granted their release.
  • Alex Shelley defeated Robbie E, Shannon Moore & Amazing Red in a Ultimate X match to become the new number one contender for the TNA X Division Championship.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated Jerry Lynn.
  • Austin Aries defeated Zema Ion, Low Ki, and Jack Evans in a four-way match to win a TNA contract. Zema Ion and Low Ki would eventually also be signed to contracts.
  • Brian Kendrick defeated Abyss to win the TNA X Division Championship.
  • A.J. Styles defeated Christopher Daniels.

Today would have been the 90th birthday of Reginald Lisowski, best known to wrestling fans as The Crusher.

Lisowski was best known as one half of a legendary tag team with William Afflis, aka Dick the Bruiser. The duo won the AWA tag team championship five times (Crusher would win them nine times total) and the World Wrestling Association tag titles six times. He was also a singles success, winning the AWA world title three times and the Omaha version of the World Heavyweight Championship. He was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame in 1994 and the inaugural class of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1996. Just before his death in 2005, he was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame with his longtime tag partner Dick the Bruiser.

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