26 years ago today, WWF presented Summerslam (WWE Network link) from the Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 19,304 were in attendance with 508,000 watching on PPV. That's more than 100,000 down from the previous year.
- Power and Glory (Paul Roma and Hercules) defeated The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty).
- The Texas Tornado defeated Mr. Perfect to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Brutus Beefcake was originally scheduled to compete for the title, but was pulled out after a parasailing incident.
- Sensational Queen Sherri defeated Sapphire by forfeit.
- The Warlord defeated Tito Santana.
- The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) defeated Demolition (Smash and Crush) 2-1 in a best of three falls match the WWF Tag Team Championship. In an interesting note, The Hart Foundation won one of the falls via disqualification. Usually, the titles do not change hands if one of the falls was decided by disqualification, but that was not the case here.
- Jake Roberts defeated Bad News Brown with special guest referee The Big Bossman.
- Nikolai Volkoff and Hacksaw Jim Duggan defeated The Orient Express (Tanaka and Sato).
- Randy Savage defeated Dusty Rhodes. Before the match, Ted DiBiase came out to announce that he had bought out Sapphire. Savage would surprisingly make quick work of Rhodes, defeating him in under two minutes.
- Hulk Hogan defeated Earthquake.
- The Ultimate Warrior defeated Rick Rude in a steel cage match to retain the WWF Championship.
22 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Shane Douglas defeated 2 Cold Scorpio in the finals of a one-night tournament to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. The match aired six days later on ECW Hardcore TV and can be seen via WWE Network here.
The story wasn't what went down with the match or the tournament (which featured the ECW debuts of Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Osamu Nishimura). Post-match, Douglas, at the time the Eastern Championship Wrestling heavyweight champion, ran down the NWA and threw down its world title belt, and declared himself the ECW World Heavyweight Champion.
NWA's Dennis Coraluzzo was in attendance at the show and was left in a state of confusion as Eastern Championship Wrestling, which would change its name to Extreme Championship Wrestling in the days following the shocking actions, officially broke away from the NWA. In interviews since then, Paul Heyman admitted that he was one of only three men who knew what would go down that fateful day; the other two were Douglas and then-ECW commissioner Tod Gordon.
On the same taping, Cactus Jack and Mikey Whipwreck defeated Public Enemy to win the ECW World Tag Team Championship. That match aired the following week on Hardcore TV and can be seen here.
21 years ago today, WWF presented Summerslam (WWE Network link) from the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. An arena record 18,062 were in attendance, with 220,000 watching on PPV.
That's down 95,000 from the previous year and the second lowest viewership in the promotion's history (pre-WWE Network era; next year's event with just 145,000 buys is the low).
- Hakushi defeated The 1-2-3 Kid.
- Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Bob Holly.
- The Smokin' Gunns (Billy and Bart) defeated The Blu Brothers (Jacob and Eli).
- Barry Horowitz defeated Skip.
- Bertha Faye defeated Alundra Blayze to win the WWF Women's Championship.
- The Undertaker defeated Kama in a casket match.
- Bret Hart defeated Isaac Yankem by disqualification.
- Shawn Michaels defeated Razor Ramon in a ladder match to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
- Diesel defeated King Mabel to retain the WWF Championship.
17 years ago today, ECW on TNN debuts (WWE Network link).
The first edition is a recap of ECW's history, highlighted by Rob Van Dam versus Jerry Lynn for the ECW World Television Championship from the recent Hardcore Heaven PPV. The show ran for fourteen months, ending in October 2000, about a month after the network got the rights to WWF programming.
16 years ago today, WWF presented Summerslam (WWE Network link) from the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. 18,124 were in attendance, with 570,000 watching on PPV. That's down slightly from 1999's 600,000 buys.
The show debuted the Double S logo, the logo that would be used for the event for much of the decade.
- Right to Censor (Steven Richards, Bull Buchanan and The Goodfather) defeated Too Cool (Scotty 2 Hotty, Grand Master Sexay, and Rikishi).
- X-Pac defeated Road Dogg.
- Eddie Guerrero and Chyna defeated Val Venis and Trish Stratus in a mixed tag team. Chyna won the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
- Tazz defeated Jerry "The King" Lawler.
- Steve Blackman defeated Shane McMahon to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
- Chris Benoit defeated Chris Jericho 2-1 in a best of three falls match.
- Edge & Christian defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray Dudley & D-Von), and The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. This would be the first of three such encounters over the next year, and the second of four total including the triangle ladder match from Wrestlemania 2000.
- The Kat defeated Terri Runnels in a stinkface match.
- The Undertaker and Kane fought to a no contest.
- The Rock defeated Triple H and Kurt Angle in a Triple Threat Match to retain the WWF Championship. Angle suffered a concussion and missed most of the match due to an announce table collapsing as Triple H went to Pedigree Angle.
15 years ago today on RAW is WAR from Grand Rapids, Michigan, The Hurricane defeated Matt Hardy to win the WWF European Championship.
11 years ago today in Buffalo, New York, Nigel McGuiness defeated Samoa Joe to win the ROH Pure Championship.
7 years ago today, Dixie Carter makes her television debut on TNA Impact. In her first interview, she announces TNA's new deal with Spike TV that would extend through 2012.
6 years ago today, Gertrude Elizabeth "Luna" Vachon was found dead at her home in Pasco County, Florida. She was 48.
A second-generation wrestler born in Atlanta, her family and friend Andre the Giant at first were not too approving of her looking to get in the business, but around age 16, she began to train with her aunt Vivian Vachon, and later The Fabulous Moolah, for whom she would wrestle early in her professional career. She was part of a four-woman traveling troupe led by Mad Maxine.
She debuted for Florida Championship Wrestling as Trudy Herd in 1985, but while giving an award to Kendall Windham, she would be knocked unconscious, then eventually assimilated into Sullivan's Army of Darkness as Luna Vachon. There, she got her trademark style (half-shaved Mohawk, facial paint, sneer). She would begin a long-standing rivalry with Madusa Miceli while in Florida. Over the next three years, she would wrestle for Powerful Women of Wrestling in the States, in Puerto Rico, and in Japan under the management of her father Butcher Vachon.
She transitioned into managing in the early 1990s, seconding the Blackhearts. One half of the duo, David Heath, would be her future husband. After a stint in All-Japan Pro Wrestling and the Universal Wrestling Federation, she was discovered by the WWF in 1992, but would not debut until Wrestlemania IX in 1993 (true story: a private investigator was hired to find Luna-she was found working as a waitress). Luna would develop an on-screen relationship with Bam Bam Bigelow and developed a rivalry with Sensational Sherri then Doink. Luna would briefly feud with Madusa before leaving the company, but not before becoming the first woman to appear in a WWF game, WWF RAW in 1994.
She would have brief stints in ECW, AWF, and WCW before returning to the WWF in 1997 as Goldust's manager, feuding with Marc Mero and Sable (the latter feuding spilling to behind the scenes). Luna would chase Sable and the WWF Womens Championship in late 1998 and early 1999, but a backstage fight with Sable would get her suspended and a PPV bout cancelled. She would briefly again chase the Womens Championship later in the year against Ivory, but would ultimately be unsuccessful . She would briefly manage her husband Heath (then known as Gangrel) before being released in early 2000 following another fight.
She would manage Gangrel on the independent circuit through 2007, a year after the couple divorced. She retired in December 2007 as Great Lakes Championship Wrestling Ladies Champion, having won the belt six months earlier from TNA's Traci Brooks. Post-retirement, she was honored with the Ladies Wrestling Award in April 2009 at the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion. She also took an interest with Canadian wrestlers, particularly Nattie Neidhart. Around Christmas 2009, Vachon's house was destroyed in a fire, prompting fellow wrestlers to come to Luna's aid, including Mick Foley.
Luna was found dead in her home with crushed pill residue and snorting straws, having died via accidental overdose of oxycodone and benzodiazepine. Just a year earlier, she underwent successful rehabilitation paid for by WWE. She is buried at the ranch once owned by Andre the Giant.
5 years ago today, All Japan Pro Wrestling, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Pro Wrestling Noah co-presented All Together from Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan.
The event, the first major event promoted by all three of the top Japanese promotions since 1979, was to benefit those affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that occurred on March 11 that killed more than 15,000 people. More than six dozen wrestlers appeared on the card. The show's semi-main event was voted the Match of the Year by Tokyo Sports magazine. The event raised over 58 million yen ($450,000 in US dollars) for the Japanese Red Cross.
- Bushi, Hiroshi Yamato, Kota Ibushi, and Taiji Ishimori defeated Kaz Hayashi, Ricky Marvin, Shuji Kondo, and Tiger Mask.
- Seiya Sanada, Shuhei Taniguchi, and Tetsuya Naito defeated Manabu Soya, Muhammad Yone, and Yujiro Takahashi.
- Akitoshi Saito and Togi Makabe defeated Hirooki Goto and Taiyō Kea.
- Kai, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kotaro Suzuki, Prince Devitt, and Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Genba Hirayanagi, Kenta, Koji Kanemoto, Minoru, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru.
- Jushin Thunder Liger, Masakatsu Funaki and Takuma Sano defeated Atsushi Aoki, Minoru Suzuki and Taichi.
- Kentaro Shiga last eliminated Gedo to win a 26-man battle royal for the Destroyer Cup. Other participants (in order of elimination) were Hiromu Takahashi, King Fale, Takumi Soya, Black Bushi, Yasufumi Nakanoue, Hideo Saito, Takaaki Watanabe, René Duprée, Akira Taue, Yoshinari Ogawa, Soshun, Lee Jae-kyung, Mazada, Zack Sabre Jr., Satoshi Kajiwara, Tomohiro Ishii, Tomoaki Honma, Kushida, Jun Nishikawa, Joe Doering, Kento Miyahara, Masanobu Fuchi, Super Strong Machine, and Masao Inoue. Dick "The Destroyer" Beyer presented the trophy to the winner.
- Akebono, Ryota Hama, Takeshi Morishima, and Yutaka Yoshie defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Osamu Nishimura, Wataru Inoue, and Yuji Nagata.
- Jun Akiyama and Kensuke Sasaki defeated Takao Omori and Yoshihiro Takayama.
- Keiji Mutoh and Kenta Kobashi defeated Chaos (Takashi Iizuka and Toru Yano).
- Go Shiozaki, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Suwama defeated Kenso, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Takashi Sugiura.
It’s a happy 34th birthday to Lauren Lorraine Jones.
The actress has a small wrestling connection: after appearing on the November 2004 cover of Smackdown magazine with The Big Show, she was hired by the company. She lasted less than a year before leaving the company.
Following her release, she was the official spokesperson for the MET-Rx line of health supplements, starred in her own reality series Anchorwoman (which was cancelled after just two episodes), and was one of the last Barker's Beauties on The Price is Right.
Cinematically, she appears as a reporter in Spider-Man 3 and was Mickey Rourke's love interest Cheyenne in the first Expendables. Also post-wrestling career, she's launched two shoe lines, Lauren Jones Footwear in 2009, and Lauren Lorraine in 2013.
It’s a happy 68th birthday to Robert Remus, best known to wrestling fans as the legendary Sgt. Slaughter.
Known for his dark sunglasses, large hat, and Vietnam War-era military costume, Sgt. Slaughter actually did serve in the US Marines before turning to professional wrestling. He had multiple runs in the WWF; his first run in 1980 and 1981 was highlighted by feuds with Bob Backlund and Pat Patterson and his weekly challenges to anyone who could break his cobra clutch hold. He turned face late in his second run to feud with the Iron Sheik, but the blowoff match never came to pass, as Slaughter, who was arguably the second most popular wrestler on the roster, left for the AWA.
Slaughter's popularity in part came due to his appearances on the cartoon series G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. That popularity led him to being one of just four men immortalized as a G.I. Joe action figure (the others being Roddy Piper, William "Refrigerator" Perry, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin). He would also appear in other children's outfits G.I. Joe: The Movie and the Super Mario Bros. Super Show!
Slaughter spent most of the latter half of the 1980s in the American Wrestling Association, highlighted by his run as the last Americas Heavyweight Champion, and challenging for the AWA and NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Slaughter was a team captain for the Team Challenge Series that ultimately sank the company in 1990.
Following the AWA's collapse, Slaughter returned to the WWF, but this time as an Iraqi sympathizer. The role got a little too real for some, as he received death threats and had to wear bulletproof vests and have security with him at public outings. Slaughter won the WWF Championship in early 1991, but was all but a transitional champion, losing the title to Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania VII. The feud between Slaughter and Hogan culminated at Summerslam 1991's Match Made in Hell when Hogan and Warrior defeated Slaughter's "Triangle of Terror". He turned face following the feud and would team with Hacksaw Jim Duggan before being phased out of television in 1992.
He would return in the summer of 1997 as the on-screen commissioner of the WWF, replacing Gorilla Monsoon, who had recently retired due to on-going health issues. He held the role for about a year before passing it on to Shawn Michaels. He's occasionally wrestled since then, sometimes wrestling on house shows, and once in a blue moon to put over younger talent on television. Slaughter was released from his role as a producer in 2009, but continues to occasionally make appearances on WWE programming. In late 2014, he rejoined the company as an official ambassador.