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This Day in Wrestling History (July 14): WCW Begins The Post-Flair Era

30 years ago today, Harley Race defeated Pedro Morales in the final match to win the King of the Ring tournament. Race also defeated George "The Animal" Steele and Nikolai Volkoff. Other participants included Billy Jack Haynes, The Iron Sheik, Don Muraco, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Dan Spivey, the Junkyard Dog, Paul Orndorff, Rudy Diamond, Mike Rotundo, and Mr. X.

25 years ago today, WCW presented The Great American Bash (WWE Network link) from the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. About 7,000 were in attendance, with about 145,000 homes purchasing the event on PPV.

It's the first major show for WCW since the sudden departure of their world champion at the time, Ric Flair. Flair left and/or was fired (depending on who's telling the story) from the promotion over a contract dispute and took the WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt with him (the Big Gold belt) since he was owed his deposit on the belt.

NWA, as it was a separate entity from WCW, still recognized Flair as their world champion until his WWF debut in September. WCW commissioned a new belt, but it was not ready in time for the show, so Dusty Rhodes used an old heavyweight title belt from Florida as a makeshift WCW world title belt.

Performers could be seen given less than full effort on the show in protest of the Flair departure, and fans throughout the arena chanted "We want Flair!" during the night. The combination of elements made this one of the worst PPVs in wrestling history.

Not surprisingly, the show was voted the Worst Major Wrestling Card of 1991 by Wrestling Observer Newsletter readers.

  • The Junkyard Dog defeated Black Bart in a preshow dark match.
  • P.N. News and Bobby Eaton defeated Steve Austin and Terrance Taylor in a scaffold match. Prior to the match, the rules were changed from a traditional scaffold match to a "Capture the Flag" scaffold match, where one team had to reach the other's flag.
  • The Yellow Dog defeated Johnny B. Badd by disqualification.
  • Ron Simmons defeated Oz.
  • Big Josh defeated Black Blood in a lumberjack match.
  • Dustin Rhodes and The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong) defeated The Fabulous Freebirds (Badstreet, Jimmy Garvin, Michael Hayes) (with Big Daddy Dink) in an elimination match. In a side nugget, the seventeen minute bout had all five eliminations occur within the final four minutes.
    • Hayes pinned Armstrong.
    • Hayes was disqualified.
    • Garvin pinned Smothers.
    • Rhodes pinned Garvin.
    • Rhodes pinned Badstreet.
  • The Diamond Studd defeated Tom Zenk.
  • El Gigante defeated One Man Gang.
  • Richard Morton defeated Robert Gibson.
  • Nikita Koloff defeated Sting in a Russian Chain match. The chain match was contested under traditional strap match rules (touch all four corners in succession to win).
  • Lex Luger defeated Barry Windham in a Steel Cage match to win the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Rick Steiner and Missy Hyatt defeated Arn Anderson and Paul E. Dangerously in a steel cage match. Side nugget again: the Maryland State Athletic Commission had a rule (that still exists today) that forbids man versus woman wrestling matches, so to get around it, Hyatt was taken out of the match via "kidnapping" by the Dangerous Alliance. So how do you explain the Vince McMahon vs. Stephanie McMahon I Quit match from No Mercy 2003 (which took place in the same building) you ask? The WWE paid the fine in advance.

21 years ago today in Casper, Wyoming, Ken Shamrock defeated Dan Severn via submission to win the UFC Superfight Championship. On the same card, dubbed UFC 6: Clash of the Titans, Oleg Taktrov defeated Tank Abbott in the finals via submission to win the UFC 6 tournament.

19 years ago today on RAW is WAR from San Antonio, Texas (WWE Network link), Stone Cold Steve Austin and Dude Love defeated Owen Hart & The British Bulldog to win the vacated WWF Tag Team Championship.

The championship was vacated when Michaels and Austin had a falling out as a team. In reality, the championships were vacated as punishment for Michaels, who was suspended for getting into a backstage altercation with Bret Hart a month earlier.

18 years ago today at a RAW is WAR taping from Binghamton, New York (WWE Network link), D-Lo Brown defeated Triple H win the WWF European Championship.

7 years ago today, Wayne Coleman, best known as Superstar Billy Graham, auctions off his WWE Hall of Fame ring on eBay as a response to his release from his position as a consultant for WWE.

Coleman and Vince McMahon have had a contentious relationship dating as far back as the early 1990s during the steroid scandal that plagued the company.

The ring eventually sold for $11,500. Later that summer, he would also sell off his Hall of Fame plaque and the jacket he wore to the ceremony.

3 years ago today, WWE presented Money in the Bank from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 18,147 were in attendance, with 199,000 homes watching on PPV. That's up from 188,000 homes for the 2012 edition.

  • In a preshow match, The Shield (Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) defeated The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
  • Damien Sandow defeated Dean Ambrose, Fandango, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Antonio Cesaro, and Jack Swagger in a Money in the Bank ladder match for a future World Heavyweight Championship match up to one year.
  • Curtis Axel defeated The Miz to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • AJ Lee defeated Kaitlyn to retain the WWE Divas Championship.
  • Ryback defeated Chris Jericho.
  • Alberto Del Rio defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • John Cena defeated Mark Henry to retain the WWE Championship.
  • Randy Orton defeated CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Christian, and Rob Van Dam in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a future WWE Championship match up to one year.

Happy 45th birthday to Joseph Carmine Bonsignore, also known as Joey Styles.

Today, he's the Vice President for Digital Media Content for WWE, but he's best known as the longtime voice of both the original and rebooted ECW. Following the closure of the original ECW in 2001, Joey took a break from the wrestling business, but returned to the booth for Court Bauer's Major League Wrestling in 2002. In 2012, he hosted a weekly webcast showcasing the best plays of the week for the New York Yankees.

Also having a happy 45th birthday today is Mark LoMonaco, known to wrestling fans these days as Bubba Ray Dudley.

LoMonaco is one of the most successful tag team wrestlers of this generation, teaming with kayfabe half-brother Devon Hughes, aka D-Von Dudley. Forming The Dudley Boyz (later named Team 3D during their TNA run), the duo have won 25 world tag team championships spanning ECW, New Japan, NWA, TNA, WCW, WWF/E, Hustle, and 2CW. LoMonaco's biggest singles success has been in TNA, where he won two TNA World Heavyweight Championships. Mark is currently in a relationship with Jamie Szantyr, who is best known for her time in TNA as Velvet Sky.

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