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This Day in Wrestling History (Feb. 13): Shawn Michaels Loses His Smile

this day in wrestling history

20 years ago today, WWF presented Thursday RAW Thursday (WWE Network link) from the Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, Massachusetts.

The second-ever two-hour episode of RAW (the first came a week earlier when WWF expanded the show to two hours to compete with WCW’s Monday offering) aired in its usual Monday night timeslot in Canada, but was presented pre-taped for American audiences due to the USA Network airing the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. With the show airing three days later, WWF promoted the special episode as Thursday RAW Thursday.

  • Rocky Maivia defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. The win made Maivia, age 26, the youngest Intercontinental Champion in WWF history (the mark has since been surpassed; Randy Orton holds the record, winning his first Intercontinental title at age 23 in 2003).
  • The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher) defeated Aldo Montoya & Bob Holly.
  • The Undertaker defeated Savio Vega.
  • Steve Austin defeated Sycho Sid via disqualification.
  • The Nation of Domination (Faarooq & Crush) defeated Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith via count-out.
  • Bret Hart defeated Vader.

The show is most noted for Shawn Michaels vacating the WWF Championship, claiming a knee injury. During the segment, Michaels said he lost a lot of things over the last year, but the biggest thing has been his smile. Michaels (promo transcript courtesy of

"Well there's uh, one thing about me is I can't do anything halfway and I, and I come here and I hear the people and they chant uh, Sid's name or they chant Bret's name or they chant a lot of peoples' names, and one thing's for sure, you're going to have all of that in the future, um, and that's what I want for the World Wrestling Federation fans. In spite of, uh, what people may think about me, what I've always wanted for all these people is, is for them to have a good time and to enjoy themselves.

I've always tried to be the one to provide it whether it was on the good side or the bad side. But what was always important to me was the performance, was the performance so that these people, each time they reached in their pocket, they paid to get a WWF ticket, they didn't regret it because they knew that if they saw my name on the card they could yell, they could come and they could cheer and they could boo and they could do whatever they wanted as long as they had a good time.

Over the last couple of months, uh, there's been a lot of talk of people, uh, having bad attitudes and a lot revolving around this belt. Uh, all I know today is that one thing that's not going to revolve around this belt, for a long time, is going to be Shawn Michaels. I don't know where I'm at right now. I have to, uh, I have to have everything checked. I may have... I may be beyond reconstructive surgery. I may, or may not be able to fix it. But if I can't come back and perform at the level I performed at, before... I can't, I can't perform. I can't come out here and just go half-ass. I have to come out here and I have to romp and stomp and I have to get tossed around. I have to toss people around and I have to have fun.

The schedule over the last year I took on because I didn't feel like I could say no. I wanted to do everything. I wanted to enjoy my life as the WWF Champion. I wanted to, I wanted to ride in lear jets and ride in limousines and I wanted to be on TV shows and I wanted to do autograph sessions and I got to do every bit of that. If nothing else, I have all of that to take with me. Again, and I know right now we're in the middle of a time where toughness is real big here in the World Wrestling Federation, and unfortunately all I've got right now for you is a lot of sorrow, a lot of tears, and a lot of emotion. I don't have any toughness for anybody, so I guess, here you go, here's your belt.

What I'm going to do is go back home and see what's left for me; whether it'll be in this ring... whether it'll be out of this ring. I know that over the, uh, the last several months I've lost a lot of things and one of them has been my smile. And, and I know it doesn't mean a whole lot to everbody else, but it means a lot to me. So I have to go back and fix myself, and take care of myself, and I have to go back and I have to find my smile because somewhere along the line I lost it and I don't care, really, I don't care if it's unpopular, and I don't care if, uh, people want to make fun of me because I'm an emotional guy. But, um, this is all I've ever wanted to do and uh, over the last year I got to do it and whether you like me or not, I just want to tell you that, uh, last year was the most wonderful year of my life. And, uh, if I never do get to do it again, it'll be okay because I got to live one full year as being the number one guy in this business and it was the single greatest year of my life. And I have you to thank, and I have everybody here to thank, and it means a lot to me and, uh, I'm gonna go home now. Okay?"

To this day, there is speculation as to whether Michaels really did injure his knee to the point where he had to give up the title. The vacation of the title only heightened tension between Shawn Michaels and the man many say was lined up to be the WWF Champion coming out of Wrestlemania 13, Bret Hart.

The championship was declared vacant, with a new champion to be crowned at In Your House: Final Four. Bret Hart, Vader, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Undertaker, four of the final men in the previous month’s Royal Rumble match, would face off for the title. Sycho Sid, Michaels’ original challenger for the title at the PPV, would face the winner the next night on RAW (For the record, Bret Hart won the title, only to lose it the next night to Sid).

One more note: with this act, Michaels became the first man to forfeit all three major championships in the WWF in his career. Michaels forfeited the Intercontinental title due to suspension in 1993 and the tag team titles with Diesel in late 1994. It would not be the only time he forfeited a title in 1997; four months later, he forfeited his half of the tag team titles when he was suspended following a backstage fight with Bret Hart.

11 years ago today, WWE announces that Bret "The Hitman" Hart, a man who had a very public falling out with the company a decade earlier, would be inducted into their Hall of Fame.

Bret would appear at the ceremony, but would not appear at Wrestlemania 22.

10 years ago today, WWE announces "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

9 years ago today, Mattel Inc. announces they have acquired WWE's toy licensing rights.

The deal comes a couple of months after a lawsuit against Jakks Pacific where they accused the toymaker of bribery to win their most recent licensing deal was dismissed. Mattel would become WWE's toy maker effective January 2010. Their original five-year deal expired last month, but the deal was extended in 2014 and now runs through 2019.

Right after the deal was announced, Jakks Pacific announces they will be making toys for "rival company" TNA effective January 2010.

9 years ago today, Stephanie McMahon announced that she was pregnant for the second time. She would give birth to Murphy Claire Levesque in July 2008. She has since given birth a third time, to Vaughn Evelyn, in August 2010.

7 years ago today, Ring of Honor presented their 8th Anniversary Show from the Manhattan Center in New York City.

  • Roderick Strong defeated Brian Kendrick. This was Kendrick's first ROH match in four years.
  • The Kings Of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) defeated The Bravado Brothers (Harlem Bravado & Lance Bravado).
  • Eddie Kingston & Necro defeated The Embassy (Erick Stevens & Joey Ryan) in an unsanctioned match.
  • Davey Richards defeated El Generico.
  • The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) defeated The Dark City Fight Club (Jon Davis & Kory Chavis) to retain the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
  • Delirious defeated Kenny King, Rasche Brown, and Steve Corino in a Four Corner Survival match.
  • Colt Cabana defeated Kevin Steen by disqualification.
  • Tyler Black defeated Austin Aries to win the ROH World Championship. In the event the match went to a one-hour time limit draw, three judges (Roderick Strong, Kenny King, and Jim Cornette) would decide the winner by a majority vote. Had Tyler lost the match, he could never again challenge for the title as long as Austin Aries was champion.

6 years ago today, TNA presented Against All Odds from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.

  • Robbie E defeated Max Buck and Jeremy Buck via countout in just 27 seconds to become the #1 contender to the TNA X Division Championship. In reality, Generation Me had travel issues that prevented them from making it to the show.
  • Kazarian defeated Robbie E to retain his TNA X-Division Championship.
  • Beer Money Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) and Scott Steiner defeated Immortal (Rob Terry, Gunner, and Murphy).
  • Samoa Joe defeated D'Angelo Dinero.
  • Madison Rayne defeated Mickie James in a last Knockout standing match to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated Matt Hardy.
  • Bully Ray defeated Brother Devon in a street fight.
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Kurt Angle. With the win, Angle was forced to walk Karen Angle down the aisle for Jeff & Karen's wedding. Had Angle won, he would have (and I wish I were making it up, but it's TNA) gained sole custody of Kody and Kyra Angle.
  • Jeff Hardy defeated Mr. Anderson in a ladder match to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

7 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jon Moxley defeated B-Boy to win the CZW World Heavyweight Championship.

4 years (and 2 weeks) ago today, British Ambition (Adrian Neville and Oliver Grey) defeat The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper and Erick Rowan) in a tournament final to become the first NXT Tag Team Champions.

WWE officially recognizes their title run to begin on February 13, the day the episode aired.

2 years ago today, TNA taped One Night Only: Hardcore Justice 4 from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando. The event was made available on PPV April 1.

The show’s hook was that every match on the show had a hardcore wrestling-based stipulation.

  • The Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) defeat The Revolution (Manik & The Great Sanada) in a ladder match for a future TNA World Tag Team Championship match.
  • Drew Galloway defeated Kenny King in a "pipe on a pole" match.
  • Eric Young defeated Gunner in a tables match.
  • Gail Kim defeated Havok in a street fight.
  • Matt Hardy defeated Abyss in a Monster's Ball match.
  • James Storm last eliminated Mr. Anderson to win a weapons gauntlet battle royal. Other participants were Chris Melendez, Crazzy Steve, Crimson, DJ Z, Jessie Godderz, Khoya, Knux, Robbie E, Samuel Shaw, and Tyrus. For those wondering, this was basically a Royal Rumble match with weapons.
  • Ethan Carter III defeated Rockstar Spud in a first blood match.
  • Bobby Roode defeated Lashley in a last man standing match.
  • Bram defeated Tommy Dreamer in a Six Sides Of Steel cage match.

On the same day, TNA also taped One Night Only: TNA vs. The World. Also known as Global Impact 2015: USA vs. The World, the event did not air until December 4. The show's hook was a series of matches pitting TNA's US-born talent versus their foreign-born talent.

  • Davey Richards defeated Tigre Uno.
  • Taryn Terrell defeated Angelina Love.
  • Austin Aries defeated The Great Sanada.
  • Bram defeated Eddie Edwards.
  • Drew Galloway defeated Jessie Godderz.
  • Khoya defeated Gunner.
  • Rockstar Spud defeated DJ Z.
  • James Storm and Magnus fought to a double disqualification.
  • Ethan Carter III defeated Sonjay Dutt.
  • The Great Muta defeated Mr. Anderson, giving Team International the 5-4 series win.

It's a happy 55th birthday today to Nickla Ann Roberts, best known to wrestling fans as Baby Doll.

Born to wrestlers Nick Roberts and Lorraine Johnson in Lubbock, Texas, Roberts joined the family business at a young age when she sold programs for her father's events. While selling programs, she would befriend future wrestling royalty in Bruce and Keith Hart and Kerry and Kevin Von Erich. Roberts growing up in the business made her want to become a professional wrestler herself.

But in 1984, Roberts was working to become an emergency medical technician. She heard through her parents that her childhood crush, Gino Hernandez, was in need of a valet. That ended up being her way in the door: through WCCW booker David Manning, Roberts left college for San Antonio, Texas, and debuted alongside Hernandez at an event at the Freeman Coliseum.

After some training with Nelson Royal, Roberts became the punk-styled Andrea the Lady Giant (a direct reference to Andre the Giant). Roberts was presented as a dominant wrestler, booked to overpower both men and women. Hernandez and Roberts feuded with Mike Von Erich and Sunshine.

Late in 1984, Roberts left WCCW. After a brief absence, she joined Jim Crockett Promotions as “The Perfect 10” Baby Doll, the manager for Tully Blanchard. Baby Doll often assisted Blanchard in his feuds, particularly with Magnum T.A. And Dusty Rhodes. In July 1985, Rhodes defeated Blanchard for the NWA World Television Championship and Blanchard's valet, Baby Doll, for a month. Rhodes tried to make a “real lady” out of Baby Doll, and it worked. In early 1986, Blanchard slapped Baby Doll and fired her. Rhodes came to her rescue and she would assist in his feud with the Four Horsemen.

Baby Doll would also play a part in a feud with the Midnight Express, with Roberts, Rhodes, and Magnum T.A. defeating Cornette and The Midnight Express in a steel cage match in July 1986. She also teamed with the Rock 'n Roll Express and The Road Warriors during the Great American Bash tour that summer.

In August, Roberts turned on Rhodes, helping Ric Flair retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Roberts would briefly manage Flair before being reassigned to the NWA Central States territory due to their disapproval of her marriage to wrestler Michael Smith, aka Sam Houston (the couple married on July 30, less than two weeks before the NWA world title bout).

After a brief stint with the Universal Wrestling Federation and on the independent circuit, Roberts returned to Jim Crockett Promotions, managing Larry Zbyszko during his feud with Barry Windham. Her run was short, as her husband working with the WWF was seen as a conflict of interest. Roberts tried out for the WWF as part of an effort to restart the women's division in 1988, but the WWF would go with her sister-in-law Robin Smith over Roberts.

Nickla retired from professional wrestling in 1992 after giving birth to her second daughter, Mickla Joy (she gave birth to her first, Mikka Tyler, a year prior). Roberts and Smith were separated in 1991, but would briefly reconcile in 1992 before divorcing in February 1995.

Roberts has worked in a number of fields since retiring, including baggage handling, cable installation, making wrestlers' apparel, and working for the US Postal Service and Wal-Mart. Roberts to this day still occasionally appears on the independent circuit. Last year, she appeared for Big Time Wrestling in Spartanburg, South Carolina in a battle of the sexes match with Jim Cornette.

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