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This Day in Wrestling History (August 15): Randy Orton Wins The World Heavyweight Championship

this day in wrestling history

26 years ago today, WWF presented Summerslam Fever from the Memorial Auditorium in Utica, New York. Airing four days later on USA Network, the event (replacing that week’s Prime Time Wrestling) served as the hype show for Summerslam happening a week later. The event had nine matches, all of whom had at least one participant on the Summerslam card. It also had appearances by Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart on The Brother Love Show.

In an interesting bit of trivia, six of the show’s nine matches finished in under three minutes.

22 years ago today at a Monday Night RAW taping in Lowell, Massachusetts, The Undertaker defeated Kwang. Big deal, you’re probably saying, right?

Well, yeah. It kinda was a big deal. This match, which did not air until the September 12 episode of RAW (WWE Network link) due to US Open tennis coverage, served as a major spoiler for the Summerslam 1994 main event between the two Undertakers. Fans, who assumed that the real Undertaker wouldn’t be back until Summerslam, got excited when they realized that the Undertaker they were seeing was the real McCoy.

21 years ago today, Keiji Mutoh defeated Shinya Hashimoto to win the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax tournament. Amazingly, this is the only time the man also known as The Great Muta would win the annual tournament.

20 years ago today, WCW held Clash of the Champions XXXIII (WWE Network link) from the Denver Coliseum in Denver, Colorado.

  • Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Dean Malenko to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
  • VK Wallstreet defeated Jim Duggan.
  • Konnan defeated Ultimate Dragon.
  • Madusa defeated Bull Nakano.
  • Eddie Guerrero defeated Diamond Dallas Page in a Lord Of The Ring match.
  • The Giant defeated Chris Benoit.
  • Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) versus Lex Luger & Sting versus The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner) went to a no contest for the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Ric Flair defeated Hollywood Hogan by disqualification in a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match.

17 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Manabu Nakanishi defeated Keiji Mutoh to win the NJPW G1 Climax tournament.

12 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi by submission to win the NJPW G1 Climax tournament.

12 years ago today, WWE presented Summerslam (WWE Network link) from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 17,640 were in attendance with just 415,000 homes purchasing the event on PPV. It's down from 465,000 the previous year and 540,000 in 2002.

  • The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley, Spike Dudley, D-Von Dudley) defeated Billy Kidman, Paul London, and Rey Mysterio.
  • Kane defeated Matt Hardy in a "Till Death Do Us Part" match. As a result of the win, Kane won the right to marry Lita.
  • John Cena defeated Booker T in the first match of a best of five series for the WWE United States Championship. (Cena would go on to win the series 3-2 and the United States Championship.)
  • Edge defeated Chris Jericho and Batista to retain the Intercontinental Championship.
  • Kurt Angle defeated Eddie Guerrero.
  • Triple H defeated Eugene.
  • The Raw Diva Search contestants (Christy Hemme, Michelle McCool, Maria Kanellis, Joy Giovanni, Amy Weber, and Tracie Wright) defeated the Raw Divas (Victoria, Molly Holly, Jazz, Gail Kim, Nidia, and Stacy Keibler) 6-1 in Diva Dodgeball. Legend has it that the men’s locker room wasn’t particularly happy about the result, so the losing side was taken to Wrestler’s Court over it. The “charges” were dropped when the divas presented Triple H with vouchers to the Red Roof Inn.
  • John Bradshaw Layfield defeated The Undertaker via disqualification to retain the WWE Championship.
  • Randy Orton defeated Chris Benoit to win the World Heavyweight Championship. The win made Orton, at the time just 24 years of age, the youngest world heavyweight champion in WWE history.

11 years ago today on RAW from Montreal, Quebec, Canada (WWE Network link), Hulk Hogan defeated Kurt Angle via disqualification. This would be Hogan's last match on RAW.

6 years ago today, WWE presented Summerslam (WWE Network link) from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. 14,178 were in attendance, with 350,000 homes watching on PPV, down slightly from 369,000 for the 2009 edition.

The show is highlighted by the return of Daniel Bryan, who was fired earlier in the summer after being caught on camera choking ring announcer Justin Roberts with his own tie.

  • In a preshow dark match, Evan Bourne defeated Zack Ryder.
  • Dolph Ziggler defeated Kofi Kingston to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • Melina defeated Alicia Fox to win the WWE Divas Championship.
  • The Big Show defeated Straight Edge Society (CM Punk, Luke Gallows and Joseph Mercury) in a one-on-three handicap match.
  • Kane defeated Rey Mysterio to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Team Cena (John Cena, John Morrison, R-Truth, Edge, Bret Hart, Chris Jericho, and Daniel Bryan) defeated Team Nexus (Wade Barrett, David Otunga, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Darren Young, Skip Sheffield, and Michael Tarver) 7-6 in an elimination tag team match. Cena won the match for Team WWE from down 6-5 by eliminating Justin Gabriel and Wade Barrett in quick succession.

6 years ago today, New Japan Pro Wrestling presented the final of G1 Climax XX: 20th Anniversary from Ryogoku Kokugikan (New Sumo Hall) in Tokyo, Japan.

  • Yujiro Takahashi defeated Yuji Nagata.
  • Go Shiozaki and Shinsuke Nakamura fought to a 30-minute time limit draw.
  • Satoshi Kojima defeated Hirooki Goto.
  • Toru Yano defeated Prince Devitt.
  • Tetsuya Naito defeated Manabu Nakanishi.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Togi Makabe.
  • Bad Intentions (Giant Bernard & Karl Anderson) defeat Strong Man & Wataru Inoue.
  • Genichiro Tenryu, Tiger Mask, and Toshiaki Kawada defeated AKIRA, Riki Choshu, and Super Strong Machine.
  • Satoshi Kojima defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the G1 Climax tournament.

5 years ago today, WWE suspends head referee Mike Chioda and Tough Enough winner Andy Leavine 30 days each for violation of the WWE's Wellness Policy.

Chioda is still around, serving as WWE’s senior referee (he’s been in that position since 2005). As for Leavine, his WWE run never recovers from the suspension; Leavine was released the following April without making a single main roster appearance.

4 years ago today at an Impact taping at Universal Orlando, Miss Tessmacher defeated Madison Rayne to win the TNA Knockouts Championship.

3 years ago today, TNA presented Hardcore Justice on a special episode of Impact Wrestling from the Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia.

  • Kazarian defeated Jeff Hardy , A.J. Styles, and Austin Aries in a Bound for Glory Series ladder match.
  • ODB defeated Mickie James and Gail Kim in a three-way hardcore match.
  • Bobby Roode defeated Magnus, Mr. Anderson, and Samoa Joe in a Bound for Glory Series tables match.
  • Bully Ray defeated Chris Sabin to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Had Bully Ray lost the bout, he could never challenge for the world title again.

The following week's episode was also taped on this day; in the main event, Main Event Mafia (AJ Styles, Magnus, Rampage Jackson, Samoa Joe, and Sting) defeated Aces and Eights (Devon, Garett Bischoff, Knux, Mr. Anderson, and Wes Brisco). The match, originally set to take place on the August 15 episode, was delayed due to Kurt Angle entering rehab following his DUI arrest two weeks prior. Devon was pinned in that match, and per pre-match stipulations, Devon was fired from TNA.

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