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This Day in Wrestling History (July 13): The Divas Revolution Has Arrived

34 years ago today in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Mr. Fuji and Mr. Saito defeated Chief Jay & Jules Strongbow to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.

21 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Wild Pegasus (a masked Chris Benoit) defeated Shinjiro Otani in the final match to win the Best of the Super Juniors tournament. This was Benoit's second tournament title in three years (his first came in 1993), and he was the last gaijin (foreigner) to win the tournament until Ireland's Prince Devitt wins it in 2010.

20 years ago today, ECW presented Heatwave '96 from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Of note, news crews from NBC, American Journal, and Inside Edition were there to film the event.

Highlights of the event aired on the July 16 and 23 episodes of Hardcore TV (WWE Network links).

  • The Gangstas (Mustafa & New Jack) defeated The Samoan Gangsta Party (Mack Daddy Kane & Sammy Silk) via referee stoppage. Both teams were originally disqualified, but the match was restarted and the Samoan Gangsta Party could not continue.
  • Mikey Whipwreck defeats Paul Lauria.
  • The Eliminators (John Kronus & Perry Saturn) defeated Mikey Whipwreck & Sabu to retain the ECW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Tarzan Goto defeated Axl Rotten.
  • Shane Douglas defeated Chris Jericho, Pitbull #2, and Too Cold Scorpio in an elimination match to win the ECW World Television Championship. The bout would be the last major appearance for Chris Jericho; he would be WCW-bound about a month later.
  • Louie Spicolli defeated El Puerto Ricano.
  • Sabu defeated Louie Spicolli.
  • Terry Gordy, The Sandman, and Tommy Dreamer defeated Brian Lee, Raven, and Stevie Richards in a "Rage in the Cage" match. Raven's ECW Championship was at stake in the match, and would change hands if anyone defeated Stevie Richards (don't ask). Sandman pinned Raven, so the championship did not change hands.

19 years ago today, WCW presented Bash at the Beach (WWE Network link) from the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida. 7,851 people were in attendance, with 325,000 homes purchasing the event on PPV. That's up 75,000 from 1996's edition.

The event is highlighted by Kevin Sullivan's final WCW match and Dennis Rodman's in-ring debut.

  • Mortis and Wrath defeated Glacier and Ernest Miller.
  • Chris Jericho defeated Ultimo Dragon to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
  • The Steiner Brothers defeated The Great Muta and Masahiro Chono.
  • Juventud Guerrera, Héctor Garza, and Lizmark, Jr. defeated La Parka, Psicosis, and Villano IV.
  • Chris Benoit defeated Kevin Sullivan. As a result of the loss, Sullivan was forced to leave WCW.
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Steve McMichael to retain the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship.
  • Scott Hall and "Macho Man" Randy Savage defeated Diamond Dallas Page and Curt Hennig.
  • Roddy Piper defeated Ric Flair.
  • Lex Luger and The Giant defeated Dennis Rodman and Hollywood Hogan.

18 years ago today on RAW is WAR from East Rutherford, New Jersey (WWE Network link), Kane and Mankind defeated the New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. The Outlaws exercised their rematch clause later in the show, and the second tag title bout went to a no contest.

11 years ago today, controversy erupts in WWE on two fronts.

First, UPN, the network that broadcast SmackDown at the time, tells WWE to pull the Muhammad Hassan character following a controversial angle involving Hassan and The Undertaker that aired on the same day as the terrorist attacks in London, England. The angle receives massive mainstream coverage, including a cover story in the New York Post.

To cover for this, WWE posted a segment that was edited from the next day's episode stating through his "attorney" (played by a young Tomasso Ciampa) that he would not appear again until The Great American Bash due to the backlash.

The backlash never went away, and WWE dropped the character altogether following the PPV. This resulted in huge fan backlash as his character was quite over with the fans. Mark Copani, the man who played Hussan, was released two months later and subsequently left the wrestling business altogether.

In recent years, it's been revealed that Hussan would have won the World Heavyweight Championship from Batista at Summerslam that August were it not for the backlash. It would have made Copani, at the time 23, the youngest world champion in WWE history.

Second, on's Byte This!, Matt Hardy calls in, confronting Amy Dumas (aka Lita) during an interview as to why she left him for Adam Copeland (aka Edge). This comes just two days after the fired Hardy appeared on RAW ambushing Edge.

9 years ago today, funeral services were held for Nancy and Daniel Benoit in Daytona Beach, Florida. Nancy and Daniel, along with Chris Benoit, all died two weeks prior in a double murder/suicide in their home in Atlanta.

8 years ago today, TNA presented Victory Road from Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas.

  • Team TNA (Curry Man, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin) defeated Team International (Alex Koslov, Doug Williams, and Tyson Dux), Team Japan (Milano Collection A.T., Masato Yoshino, and Puma), and Team Mexico (Último Guerrero, Rey Bucanero, and Averno) in a four team triple elimination match in the third round of the World X Cup tournament.
  • Gail Kim defeated Angelina Love.
  • Sonjay Dutt defeated Jay Lethal.
  • The Latin American Xchange (Homicide and Hernandez) defeated Beer Money (James Storm and Robert Roode) in a "Fan's Revenge" lumberjack match to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Taylor Wilde defeated Awesome Kong to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship.
  • Volador Jr. defeated Kaz, Naruki Doi and Daivari in a Ultimate X match in the final round of the World X Cup tournament. The win clinches the tournament for Team Mexico.
  • Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) and Kurt Angle defeated Rhino, Christian Cage, and A.J. Styles in a Full Metal Mayhem match.
  • Samoa Joe fought Booker T to a no contest for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

6 years ago today at an Impact taping, Dixie Carter and Tommy Dreamer announce that the coming PPV would serve as an ECW reunion.

The reunion, Hardcore Justice, would be widely panned by critics and fans alike, and would be voted the worst major show of 2010 by Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The regularly scheduled card for Hard Justice would be moved to Wednesday after Hardcore Justice on a special Impact called The Whole F'N Show.

4 years ago today on Impact from Universal Orlando, AJ Styles defeated Rob Terry to win the TNA Global Championship. On the same episode, Madison Rayne is awarded the TNA Knockouts Championship after threatening to sue the company following the controversial finish to the title match at Victory Road earlier in the week.

1 year ago today on RAW from Atlanta, Georgia (WWE Network link), NXT Womens Champion Sasha Banks, former NXT Womens Champion Charlotte, and Becky Lynch all make their WWE main roster debuts.

The three confronted the rest of the then-Divas roster before all hell breaks loose. The nine ladies would be broken into trios (Team Bella, Team BAD, and the Submission Sorority, renamed Team PCB), but all three would be broken up by the end of the year.

Less than a year after their main roster debuts, the three would be in a featured bout at Wrestlemania 32 for the reborn WWE Women's Championship.

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