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This Day in Wrestling History (Feb. 14): The Rock Returns to WWE

this day in wrestling history

29 years ago today in Fort Worth, Texas, John Tatum & Jack Victory won back the World Class Championship Wrestling Texas Tag Team drawing the high card from a deck of cards. No, seriously.

The titles were held up on January 29, one day after a match between Tatum and Victory and The Fantastics.

18 years ago today, WWF presented In Your House 27: St. Valentine's Day Massacre (WWE Network link) from The Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee. 19,028 were in attendance, with 448,000 homes watching on PPV. That's more than double what the February In Your House PPV got the previous year (No Way Out of Texas got 189,000 buys).

The show is noted for the WWF debut of Paul Wight, who spent the previous three and a half years in WCW as The Giant.

Match ratings are from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter as recorded in the Internet Wrestling Database. Ratings are out of a possible five stars.

  • In a dark match, Too Cool (Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor) defeated The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff).
  • In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, Viscera defeated Test by disqualification.
  • In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, Debra defeated Ivory.
  • In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, Billy Gunn fought Tiger Ali Singh to a no contest.
  • Goldust defeated Bluedust. (-1/5)
  • Bob Holly defeated Al Snow to win the vacant WWF Hardcore Championship. (1)
  • The Big Bossman defeated Mideon. (-1)
  • Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart defeated D-Lo Brown & Mark Henry to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship. (1)
  • Val Venis defeated Ken Shamrock to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. Billy Gunn was the special referee. (1.25)
  • Chyna and Kane defeated Triple H and X-Pac. (2.5)
  • Mankind and The Rock fought to a draw in a last man standing match for the WWF Championship. Both men hit the other with chairshots at the end of the bout, and neither man could answer the referee's ten count. (3.75)
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Vince McMahon in a steel cage match. The official match time was around eight minutes, but the bout went much longer. Austin and McMahon were never in the cage at the same time for more than half the match, and McMahon even went through the announce table spine first. Austin refused a forfeited victory and demanded the match go on if McMahon was still alive. Eventually, they got in and the match proceeded. With Austin on the verge of victory, Paul Wight came from under the ring and repeatedly threw Austin into the cage. One of those throws was so forceful, the panel closest to the entrance swung open and Austin fell out. As Austin’s feet technically hit the floor outside of the cage, he was declared the winner. With the win, Austin earned a WWF Championship match at Wrestlemania XV. (2.75)

13 years ago today, Ring of Honor presented its Second Anniversary Show from the National Guard Armory in Braintree, Massachusetts, about 13 miles south of Boston. The show's hook was to crown the first ever ROH Pure Wrestling Champion.

ROH Pure Tournament First Round:


  • CM Punk defeated Doug Williams.
  • AJ Styles defeated Matt Stryker.


  • AJ Styles defeated CM Punk to win the ROH Pure Wrestling Championship.

Non-tournament matches (in order of occurrence):

  • Special K (Izzy, Dixie & Hydro) defeated The Carnage Crew (HC Loc, Tony DeVito & Justin Credible) in a Country Whipping match.
  • The Briscoe Brothers (Jay & Mark Briscoe) defeated The Backseat Boyz (Trent Acid & Johnny Kashmere to retain the ROH Tag Team Championship.
  • Samoa Joe defeated BJ Whitmer, Dan Maff, and Low Ki in a Four Corner Survival match to retain the ROH World Championship.

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

The show's hook was the Eight Card Stud Tournament, a one-night single elimination tournament to determine who would face the TNA World Heavyweight Champion at Lockdown in April.


  • D'angelo Dinero defeated Desmond Wolfe.
  • Matt Morgan defeated Hernandez.
  • Mr. Anderson defeated Kurt Angle.
  • Abyss defeated Mick Foley.


  • D'angelo Dinero defeated Matt Morgan.
  • Mr. Anderson defeated Abyss.


  • D'angelo Dinero defeated Mr. Anderson to win the Eight Card Stud Tournament and a TNA World Heavyweight Championship match at Lockdown.

Non-tournament bouts (in order of occurrence):

  • The Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags and Brian Knobbs) defeated Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon).
  • A.J. Styles defeated Samoa Joe to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. Eric Bischoff was the special referee.

7 years ago today, Combat Zone Wrestling presented A Decade of Destruction: CZW 10th Anniversary from the New Alhambra Arena (the old ECW Arena) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • Drew Gulak defeats Little Mondo.
  • Sami Callihan defeats Jon Dahmer.
  • Adam Cole & Tyler Veritas last eliminated GNC (Alex Colon & Joe Gacy) to win a tag team gauntlet match. Other participants were 2.0 (Jagged & Shane Matthews), All Money Is Legal (K-Murda & K-Pusha), Izzy Kensington & LJ Cruz, and The SAT (Joel Maximo & Jose Maximo).
  • Sabian defeats Egotistico Fantastico.
  • Drew Blood defeats Pinkie Sanchez.
  • Sexisto The Latin Lover and The Best Around (Bruce Maxwell & TJ Cannon) defeat 2 Girls 1 Cup (Beef Wellington & Greg Excellent) and Lord Everett DeVore.
  • Devon Moore defeats B-Boy and Ruckus in a three-way match.
  • Ryan McBride defeats Carter Gray to retain the CZW Junior Heavyweight Championship.
  • The H8 Club (Nate Hatred & Nick Gage) defeat Vulgar Display Of Power (Brain Damage & Deranged) in a "fans bring the weapons" match.
  • Sami Callihan defeats Brain Damage to win the CZW Iron Man Championship.
  • Drake Younger defeats Eddie Kingston in a no ropes barbed wire match to retain the CZW Heavyweight Championship.

6 years ago today on RAW from Anaheim, California (WWE Network link), Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson returns to WWE.

Johnson was last a regular part of WWE programming in 2004 in the lead-up to Wrestlemania XX. His contract expired at the end of the year, and no one in WWE contacted Johnson regarding a renewal. Johnson opened up about this throughout 2005, most notably in an October 2005 interview with While Johnson’s acting career blossomed, he appeared sporadically on WWE programming through 2009.

The Rock’s return was kept secret, not just from wrestlers, but from production staff as well. In fact, it wasn’t until the day of the show that there was any hint of his return. He teased his return on his Facebook page and launched his own Twitter account. He posted a photo of himself filming a promo backstage just an hour before his return. Johnson, who was purposefully a late arrival to the building, was kept isolated until his segment came up.

The Rock was announced as the host and star of Wrestlemania XXVII. Johnson’s return began a two-year story arc with John Cena; The Rock and John Cena’s Wrestlemania bouts in 2012 and 2013 would headline the highest-grossing events in WWE history.

5 years ago today, TNA announces through Dixie Carter's Facebook page that the company has parted ways with Vince Russo. From Dixie's Facebook:

"TNA and Vince Russo have mutually parted ways as of this week. The separation is amicable and professional. We are glad for the opportunity to have worked together and wish each other nothing but good luck and success in the future."

Russo rejoined TNA in September 2006; he was originally with the company from 2002 to 2004 and claimed he came up with the original promotion’s initials. Russo also claimed that he never wrote a show during his first run with the company. In October 2011, Bruce Pritchard became the head writer for TNA programming, while Russo continued on in a contributing role.

The separation, as it turned out, wasn't a permanent one. In July 2014, Russo would be outed as a creative consultant for the company after an email surfaced between Vince Russo and wrestling reporter Mike Johnson. The outing, first reported three months earlier, in part led to Spike TV not renewing their TV deal with TNA.

2 years ago today, New Japan Pro Wrestling presented The New Beginning in Sendai from Sendai Sun Plaza in Sendai, Japan.

  • Captain New Japan & Manabu Nakanishi defeated Satoshi Kojima & Yohei Komatsu.
  • reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) defeated Jay White & Tiger Mask.
  • Time Splitters (Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA) & Mascara Dorada defeat BULLET CLUB (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson).
  • Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Chase Owens to retain the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship.
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Rob Conway to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Kota Ibushi & Tetsuya Naito defeat Kazushi Sakuraba & Toru Yano.
  • CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI) defeated BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi).
  • Hirooki Goto, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Katsuyori Shibata defeated BULLET CLUB (Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, and Tama Tonga).
  • Tomohiro Ishii defeated Tomoaki Honma to win the vacant NEVER Openweight Title Championship. This bout earned five stars from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and actually finished eighth in the Match of the Year voting in the 2015 Wrestling Observer Awards.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Yuji Nagata to retain the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

2 years ago today, TNA taped One Night Only: Joker's Wild 3 from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.

Like the previous Joker's Wild events, the hook of the show is a series of matches featuring randomly paired teams competing against each other, with the winners to advance to a winner-take-all battle royal at the end of the show for $100,000. The show first aired on PPV on March 6.

  • Bro Mans (Jessie Godderz & Robbie E) defeated Al Snow & Mr. Anderson.
  • Awesome Kong & Rockstar Spud defeated DJ Z & Samuel Shaw.
  • The Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) defeated Austin Aries & Bobby Roode.
  • Crazzy Steve & Ethan Carter III defeated Knux & Tyrus.
  • Bram & Eric Young defeated Magnus & Tommy Dreamer.
  • Gunner & James Storm defeated Bram & Chris Melendez.
  • Gail Kim & Sonjay Dutt defeated Manik & Tigre Uno.
  • Khoya & Lashley defeated The Revolution (Abyss & The Great Sanada).
  • Lashley last eliminated Ethan Carter III to win the Joker's Wild $100,000 battle royal. Other participants were Awesome Kong, Bram, Crazzy Steve, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Eric Young, Gail Kim, Gunner, James Storm, Jessie Godderz, Khoya, Robbie E, Rockstar Spud, and Sonjay Dutt.

On the same day, TNA taped Knockouts Knockdown 3 also from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.

The show's hook was an all-ladies series of matches culminating in a battle royal to be crowned "Queen of the Knockouts". The PPV broadcast also featured a replay of a three-way Knockouts title match from November 2014 between Havok, Taryn Terrell, and Gail Kim.

  • Gail Kim defeated Laura Dennis.
  • Thea Trinidad defeated Angelina Love.
  • Havok defeated Solo Darling.
  • Taryn Terrell defeated Su Yung.
  • Brooke defeated Mia Yim.
  • Madison Rayne defeated Alisha.
  • Awesome Kong defeated Andrea.
  • In a non-battle royal intergender tag team elimination match, The Menagerie (Rebel, Knux, and Crazzy Steve) defeated The Bro Mans (Robbie E and Jessie Godderz) and Angelina Love.
  • Awesome Kong last eliminated Havok to win the Queen of the Knockouts battle royal.

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