clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

This Day in Wrestling History (Feb. 4): The Women of Wrestling Are Unleashed!

this day in wrestling history

21 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sabu and the Tazmaniac defeated The Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge & Flyboy Rocco Rock) in a double tables match to win the ECW World Tag Team Championship.

16 years ago today, Women of Wrestling (WOW) presented their only PPV, Unleashed, from the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. About 9,500 were in attendance with just 6,000 homes watching on PPV. That is not a misprint: more people were in the building for the show than home viewers.

The extremely low buyrate contributed in part to the promotion's collapse, and WOW would stop producing original episodes just a month later (a second PPV was announced during Unleashed, but was obviously cancelled when the promotion folded).

The PPV itself was plagued by technical difficulties, production glitches, and low-quality bouts (half the bouts on the show finished in under five minutes; the first four matches on the show lasted less than three minutes each), making this in the eyes of many one of the worst shows in professional wrestling history.

A side note: WOW was rebooted last year, with their shows now being presented exclusively on their site. Their fourth season will begin later this month.

  • Randi Rah Rah defeated Jacklyn Hyde.
  • The Beach Patrol (Sandy and Summer) fought Farah and Paradise to a double-pin draw.
  • Tanja the Warrior Woman defeated Jane Blond.
  • Nicky Law defeated Heather Steele.
  • Boom Boom and Caliente defeated The Asian Invasion (Jade and Lotus).
  • Bronco Billie defeated The Disciplinarian.
  • Roxy Powers and Slam Dunk fought to a double-disqualification.
  • Riot defeated Wendi Wheels in a hardcore match.
  • Jungle Grrrl defeated Beckie the Farmer's Daughter in a splash match, where the winner was the first to hit a splash. Jungle Grrrl hit a splash off the top of a ladder set up outside the ring.
  • Caged Heat (Delta and Loca) defeated Harley's Angels (Charlie Davidson and Easy Ryder) to become the first WOW Tag Team Champions.
  • Terri Gold defeated Danger to win the WOW Championship.
  • Patti Pizzazz defeated Ice Cold and Poison in a hair versus hair match. As Ice Cold was the one that got pinned, she got the haircut.
  • Thug defeated Selina Majors in a steel cage match.

13 years ago today at an NWA-TNA weekly PPV taping in Nashville, Tennessee, Abyss and AJ Styles defeated Red Shirt Security (Joe E. Legend & Kevin Northcutt) to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship.

12 years ago today at a RAW taping in Saitama, Japan (WWE Network link), William Regal and Tajiri defeated La Resistance (Robert Conway & Sylvain Grenier) to win the World Tag Team Championship.

3 years ago today, WWE began quietly removing all references to CM Punk from their programming.

This comes off the heels of Punk walking out on the company following the Royal Rumble event a week prior. This began what would be a very public divorce between the parties that continues to this day.


1 year ago today, Brian Knighton, best known to wrestling fans as Axl Rotten, was found dead in a McDonald’s bathroom in Linthicum, Maryland. He was 44.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Knighton dropped out of Southern High School in the eleventh grade to pursue his dream of being a pro wrestler. After being trained by Ricky Lawless and Joey Maggs, Knighton debuted on the independent circuit as Axl Rotten, a portmanteau of rockers Axl Rose and Johnny Rotten. He teamed with Lawless for Star Cavalcade Wrestling and would win their tag titles in the summer of 1988. Late that year, he would win their promotion’s title after Lawless was murdered.

Gaining fame as one half of the Bad Breed with John Benson Williams, aka Ian Rotten, Axl gained noterity in ECW in the mid- and late-1990s. After losing a match to The Pitbulls where the losing team was forced to split up, Axl and Ian engaged in a blood feud lasting a year and a half, from hair versus hair to barbed wire weapons matches. Their feud peaked in July 1995 when Axl defeated Ian in a "Taipei deathmatch" where both men had their fists taped and covered with broken glass. Amazingly, the duo reconciled and reunited in early 1996.

In 1997, he teamed with Balls Mahoney as the Hardcore Chair Swinging Freaks. They, along with Spike Dudley and New Jack, feuded primarily with the Dudley Boyz until he left ECW in early 1999. He would perform primarily on the independent circuit for the decade and a half, competing most notably for Xtreme Pro Wrestling, Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling, and in one-off ECW reunion shows for WWE and TNA, and non-affiliated Hardcore Homecoming and Extreme Reunion.

Brighton appeared in an uncredited role on the pilot episode of Homicide: Life on the Street; he’s being questioned in “The Box” as Lt. Al Giardello gives Detective Tim Bayliss his tour of the Homicide Unit.

A spinal injury in his final years forced Knighton to retire and confined him to a wheelchair. On February 4, 2016, Knighton was found dead in a McDonald's bathroom in Linthicum, Maryland. An autopsy later revealed it was an accidental heroin overdose that contributed to his death. He was 44. His final tweet, sent just ten hours before his death, was a reflection on how he lived his life: "The way I do things may not be the way you do things but you will find out there is only 1 way. My away! (sic) #AxIsTruth."

In July, Brighton’s estate was named as part of a class action lawsuit against WWE regarding head injuries and their risks. In October 2016, it was revealed that Brighton had suffered from CTE.

The best of cSs on this day:

2016: The whispers of a Hulk Hogan return to WWE are getting louder (Hulk Hogan may be back in WWE by Wrestlemania 32, says Wrestling Observer Newsletter)

2015: Triple H: Roman Reigns' Royal Rumble win was tainted by The Rock (Triple H in his weekly interview says it’s The Rock’s fault Roman Reigns won the Rumble; Triple H is incorrect)

2014: Wrestling Word Association (WWA): "Botch" (Cagesiders say the first things that come to their mind when they see or hear the word “botch”)

2013: Report: More WWE backstage resentment towards The Rock (PWTorch reports that not everyone’s happy to see The Rock back)

2012: WWE's TLC PPV draws a relatively solid number of buys (TLC does 182,000 buys, just 9,000 less than the prior year)

2011: The Most Ridiculous Bit of Pro Wrestling You'll See in 2011 (Video’s no longer available on the page, but pro wrestling may have peaked with this dance)

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats