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This Day in Wrestling History (August 9): Chris Jericho’s WWF Debut

36 years ago today, WWF presented Showdown at Shea from Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York. 36,295 fans were in attendance for the show.

  • The Hangman defeated Rene Goulet.
  • Ivan Putski defeated Johnny Rodz.
  • Angel Marvilla defeated Jose Estrada.
  • Beverly Slade & Kandy Maloy defeated Fabulous Moolah & Peggy Lee.
  • Dominic DeNucci defeated Baron Mikel Scicluna.
  • Greg Gagne defeated Rick McGraw.
  • Pat Patterson defeated Tor Kamata via disqualification.
  • Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Chavo Guerrero to retain the WWF Junior Heavyweight Championship.
  • Antonio Inoki defeated Larry Sharpe via submission to retain the WWF Martial Arts Championship.
  • Andre the Giant defeated Hulk Hogan.
  • Tony Atlas defeated Ken Patera by countout in a WWF Intercontinental Championship match.
  • Bob Backlund & Pedro Morales defeated The Samoans (Afa & Sika) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. The new champions couldn't leave with the belts though; WWF had a one person, one belt rule at the time, meaning Backlund, who was the WWF Champion, had to vacate the championship on the team's behalf.
  • Bruno Sammartino defeated Larry Zbyszko in a steel cage match.

30 years ago today in St. Louis, Missouri, Ric Flair defeats Dusty Rhodes to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship for the fifth time. Rhodes was in the figure four leglock, but did not submit. The pain was too much for Rhodes (thanks in part to an assault by the Four Horsemen two days prior), and as he passed out, his shoulders were counted down.

19 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sabu defeated Terry Funk in a barbed wire match to win the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. (WARNING: THE LINKED VIDEO MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL VIEWERS.)

The match became the main event of the show, appropriately named Born to Be Wired, two weeks prior when a number of injuries forced a shuffling of the card. Due to its violent and graphic nature, the match never aired in its entirety on ECW programming.

The match doesn't last long either; the men became so entangled in the barbed wire at one point, Sabu went to the finish rather than separate and do more spots. The two had to be cut from the wire post-match. Sabu's second and final reign would only last eight days before losing the title to Shane Douglas at Hardcore Heaven.

In interviews since the match, ECW promoter Paul Heyman has said the level of violence bothered him so much, he would never again book such a match—and he never did.

  • Little Guido defeated Pablo Marquez.
  • Mikey Whipwreck defeated Louie Spicolli.
  • Spike Dudley defeated Bam Bam Bigelow.
  • Chris Candido defeated Chris Chetti.
  • Shane Douglas defeated Lance Storm.
  • Taz defeated Al Snow to retain the ECW World Television Championship.
  • The Dudley Boyz (Big Dick, Buh Buh Ray, and D-Von) defeated Axl Rotten, Balls Mahoney, and Hack Meyers.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated Tommy Dreamer.
  • Sabu defeated Terry Funk in a barbed wire match to win the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.

19 years ago today, WCW presented Road Wild (WWE Network link) from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. About 6,500 were in attendance for the free show (free as in WCW did not make a dime in ticket sales) with 240,000 homes watching on PPV, which was up slightly from 1996's Hog Wild (220,000 buys).

The event was renamed Road Wild due to a potential trademark lawsuit with Harley-Davidson, who owned the "HOG" trademark.

  • Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) defeated Vicious and Delicious (Buff Bagwell & Scott Norton).
  • Konnan defeated Rey Misterio Jr. in a Mexican deathmatch.
  • Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael defeat Dean Malenko & Jeff Jarrett 2-0 in an elimination tag team match.
  • Steve McMichael eliminated Jeff Jarrett.
  • Steve McMichael eliminated Dean Malenko.
  • Alex Wright defeated Chris Jericho to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Ric Flair defeated Syxx.
  • Curt Hennig defeated Diamond Dallas Page.
  • The Giant defeated Randy Savage.
  • The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner) defeated The Outsiders (Kevin Nash & Scott Hall) by disqualification in a WCW World Tag Team Championship Match.
  • Hollywood Hogan defeated Lex Luger to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

17 years ago today was a big day in the Monday Night Wars for both WWF and WCW.

On WCW Monday Nitro (WWE Network link) from Boise, Idaho, Chris Benoit defeated David Flair to win the WCW United States Championship.

In the show's main event, Hulk Hogan wore his trademark red and yellow for the first time in three years as he, Sting, and Goldberg defeated Sid Vicious, Kevin Nash, and Rick Steiner. Despite the return of Hogan, it could not turn around the steady ratings slide; the show did a 3.1 rating.

Over in the WWF on RAW is WAR from Chicago, Illinois (WWE Network link), Chris Jericho made his debut.

Jericho signed with the WWF just a month earlier, and though WCW made a last-ditch effort to keep Jericho around (not a big effort as it turned out, even though they were ready to pay him double what he’d gotten before), the four-time cruiserweight champion had already given his 90-day notice back in April, citing that he wasn’t seen as a priority. Jericho’s signing was announced on WWF’s own website, a rarity for the company at the time.

In the weeks that followed, a “Countdown to the Millennium” aired on WWF programming, counting down until shortly after 10pm ET on the night of his debut. In Jericho’s debut, he cut a worked shoot promo on the “state of the WWF” before verbally shut down by The Rock.

RAW had a title change too: Kane and X-Pac defeated The Acolytes (Faarooq & Bradshaw) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. Post-match, Kane spoke without a voicebox for the first time.

In the show’s main event, Chyna defeated Triple H and The Undertaker in a triple threat falls count anywhere match to become the #1 contender for the WWF Championship, making her the first woman to become the top contender for the WWF's top prize.

It wouldn't last; despite Chyna beating Triple H again the next week, she would lose the shot to Mankind, who would then be involved in a double pin with Triple H in that show’s main event. The show did a 6.4 rating.

6 years ago today, TNA taped The Whole F'N Show from the Impact Zone at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

The taping for the August 12 Impact was the original card for Hard Justice, but was postponed for TNA's ECW reunion show, Hardcore Justice.

  • Kurt Angle defeated AJ Styles.
  • Angelina Love defeated Madison Rayne to win the TNA Knockouts Championship.
  • Matt Morgan defeated D'Angelo Dinero & Mr. Anderson in a three-way match.
  • Jeff Hardy defeated Shannon Moore.
  • The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) defeated Beer Money Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) 2-1 in a best of three falls match to win the best of five series 3-2 and retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated Abyss in a "Stairway to Janice" match to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Eric Bischoff was the special referee.

5 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Sacramento, California, Cody Rhodes defeated Ezekiel Jackson to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

5 years ago today on Impact from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando, Mexican America (Anarquia and Hernandez) defeat Beer Money (Robert Roode & James Storm) to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship.

1 year ago today, AAA presented Triplemania XXIII from Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City. About 18,000 fans were in attendance for the event.

The English over-the-air PPV broadcast, the first for the Mexican promotion since the WCW/AAA co-promoted When Worlds Collide in 1994, was plagued with technical problems throughout, from a repeating buzzing noise to video interruptions (topped off by the feed cutting out during the show-ending angle). The company issued the following statement moments after the show ended:

We thank all of you for giving AAA your Sunday night. No excuse undoes a night plagued with audio difficulties. Fans purchased this event with a level expectations and it was our goal to exceed those expectations. We are still investigating the source of the issues with our audio malfunctions, but we thank you for giving us a shot. Audio issues can occasionally happen with live televised sporting events and luckily were resolved in time for tonight's main events.

Everyone and we do mean everyone's desire at AAA was and is to give you a flawless pay-per-view experience. Unfortunately, tonight that didn't happen and we are as frustrated and as disappointed as you with these technical issues.

On behalf of everyone, we apologize and thank you for support and patience.

Hopefully you enjoyed the matches and consider trying AAA again.

Despite that, reception for the event was almost universally negative. The event was a runaway choice for the Worst Major Wrestling Show of 2015 by Wrestling Observer Newsletter readers, and the Villanos vs. Los Psycho Circus bout was voted the Worst Match of 2015 from the same publication.

Both Perro Aguayo Jr. and Hector Garza were posthumously inducted into the AAA Hall of Fame during the show.

  • Dinastia, Drago, Goya Kong, and Pimpinela Escarlata defeated Daga, Mamba, Mini Psycho Clown, and Sexy Star in a Relevos Atómicos de Locura match. (A Relevos Atómicos de Locura match is a four-on-four match where each team has one male wrestler, one female wrestler, one mini, and one exotico.)
  • Los Villanos (Villano III, Villano IV, and Villano V) defeated Los Psycho Circus (Monster Clown, Murder Clown, and Psycho Clown). The bout, billed as Villano III’s retirement match, received -5 stars (that’s minus five stars) from Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s Dave Meltzer. It’s believed to be just the fifth time Meltzer handed out the lowest possible rating to a bout.
  • Los Hell Brothers (Averno, Chessman, and Cibernetico) defeated Angelico, Fenix, and Jack Evans and El Hijo del Fantasma, El Texano Jr. & Pentagon Jr. in a three-team steel cage match to retain the AAA World Trios Championship.
  • Blue Demon Jr. & La Parka defeated Electroshock & El Mesias.
  • El Patron Alberto defeated Brian Cage in a lucha de apuestas hair versus hair match. As Cage lost, he was shaved.
  • Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Myzteziz.

It’s a happy 25th birthday to Alexis Kaufman, best known to wrestling fans these days as Alexa Bliss.

A competitive athlete pretty much her entire life, Kaufman took up bodybuilding after battling a life-threatening eating disorder. Her bodybuilding experience got her in the doors of WWE in May 2013.

After a one-off as a ring announcer for NXT and a cameo appearance at Wrestlemania XXX, Kaufman made her in-ring debut in May 2013 with a win over former Divas Champion Alicia Fox. After serving as a valet for NXT Tag Team Champions Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy (the latter she is currently dating), Bliss had a brief singles run before joining the main roster last month on the Smackdown brand.

It’s a happy 33rd birthday to Elizabeth Miklosi, aka Lizzy Valentine.

Trained by Homicide, Elizabeth spent most of her time on the independent circuit, feuding with Alexis Laree (aka Mickie James) in Northeastern independent promotions. She had a cup of coffee in TNA as part of an all-female stable known as Bitchslap. The storyline was dropped due to lack of female competition at the time. After some time on the west coast indy circuit (notably Pro Wrestling Guerrilla), she gained fame as Matt Sydal's (the future Evan Bourne's) girlfriend on Wrestling Society X. She was also part of the short-lived Wrestilicious series as Kandi Kisses and a member of The Right stable in Lucha Libre USA.

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