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This Day in Wrestling History (August 28): The Big Event

this day in wrestling history

30 years ago today in Los Angeles, Wahoo McDaniel defeated Tully Blanchard to win the NWA National Heavyweight Champion.

He would be the organization's final National champion, losing to Nikita Koloff, at the time the NWA United States Champion, in a unification match a month later.

30 years ago today, WWF presented The Big Event (WWE Network link) from Canadian National Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

About 74,000 were in attendance for the event (though that number is disputed; the actual attendance is believed to be closer to 64,000—61,470 paid). Regardless, it’s the largest attendance for a professional wrestling show ever. The attendance record would last all of seven months before being broken by Wrestlemania III. The mark still stands for any wrestling event in Canada.

The event was a part of the 18-day annual Canadian National Exhibition, one of the largest fairs in the world. Surprisingly, WWF made no money at the gate for the event; the organizers paid the company a set fee to stage an event there.

The Big Event was released later in the year on Coliseum Home Video in an edited form; the uncut version was briefly available through WWE’s Classic On Demand service.

  • The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair & Jim Brunzell) defeated The Funk Brothers (Hoss Funk & Jimmy Jack Funk).
  • King Tonga and the Magnificent Muraco fought to a 10-minute time limit draw.
  • Ted Arcidi defeated Tony Garea.
  • The Junkyard Dog defeated Adrian Adonis by countout.
  • Dick Slater defeated Iron Mike Sharpe.
  • Big John Studd, Bobby Heenan, and King Kong Bundy defeated Captain Lou Albano & The Machines (Big Machine & Super Machine) by disqualification.
  • Ricky Steamboat defeated Jake Roberts in a Snake Pit match.
  • Billy Jack Haynes defeated Hercules Hernandez.
  • The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques Rougeau & Raymond Rougeau) defeated The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine).
  • Harley Race defeated Pedro Morales.
  • Hulk Hogan defeated Paul Orndorff by disqualification to retain the WWF Championship.

27 years ago today, WWF presented Summerslam (WWE Network link) from the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. About 20,000 were in attendance, with 625,000 homes watching on PPV, the most for the event until 1998.

  • The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) defeated The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart).
  • Dusty Rhodes defeated The Honky Tonk Man.
  • Mr. Perfect defeated The Red Rooster.
  • Rick Martel and The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond) defeated Tito Santana and The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty).
  • The Ultimate Warrior defeated Rick Rude to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
  • Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Demolition (Smash and Ax) defeated André the Giant and The Twin Towers (The Big Boss Man and Akeem).
  • Greg Valentine defeated Hercules.
  • Ted DiBiase defeated Jimmy Snuka via countout.
  • Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake defeated Randy Savage and Zeus.

22 years ago today in Indianapolis, Indiana, Shawn Michaels and Diesel defeated The Headshrinkers to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.

The Headshrinkers were scheduled to defend the titles against IRS and Bam Bam Bigelow at Summerslam the next night. The match still went on as scheduled.

16 years ago today on Nitro from Las Cruces, New Mexico (WWE Network link), Kevin Nash defeated Booker T to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

13 years ago today in Osaka, Japan, Yoshihito Takayama defeated Masahiro Chono by knockout to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. The match took place in a steel cage, amazingly the first in the 30-year history of New Japan Pro Wrestling.

9 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Albany, New York, Matt Hardy and MVP defeated Deuce and Domino to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.

6 years ago today, a TV taping for Lucha Libre USA in Charlotte, North Carolina is cancelled with MTV2 dropping the promotion from the network after just seven episodes.

The event does go on as planned and featured the debuts of David and Reid Flair and Petey Williams. The promotion would return to the network a year later, but would again be dropped in 2012.

1 year ago today, WWE announces that Rich Brennan was promoted to the lead announcer role on Smackdown. Brennan replaced Tom Phillips as the show’s play-by-play announcer, who took over for Michael Cole following Wrestlemania 31.

Brennan wouldn’t have the position long; he was replaced by longtime combat sports announcer Mauro Ranallo when the show moved to USA Network earlier this year. Brennan would be released from WWE altogether in April 2016.

It's a happy 38th birthday for Linda Miles.

A former collegiate basketball player, she made her way into the wrestling business when she was one of two winners of the second season of Tough Enough in 2002. After some time in OVW, she briefly managed Shelton Benjamin before quietly disappearing again when Benjamin formed Team Angle with Kurt Angle and Charlie Haas.

Linda returned in the summer of 2003 as Shaniqua, the dominatrix manager of the Basham Brothers. She also feuded with some of the divas on Smackdown and occasionally interfered in matches involving the Bashams. One of said interferences got her a clothesline from hell from Bradshaw, one that in storyline (and I'm not making this up) resulted in "permanent swelling in the chest area" (in reality, she got breast implants). Miles last appeared for the company at No Way Out 2004 when she was pinned in a six-person intergender tag team match. She was released from WWE shortly thereafter.

Following her release, she retired from the business and returned home to Cincinnati, where she a substitute teacher.

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