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This Day in Wrestling History (Apr. 9): Mike Awesome Signs with WCW

this day in wrestling history

30 years ago today, Jim Crockett Promotions finalizes the purchase of Mid-South Sports, the parent company of the Universal Wrestling Federation.

The Bill Watts-ran organization began as Mid-South Wrestling in 1979 after he purchased the territory from promoter Leroy McGuirk. The promotion, covering parts of Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana, tried to break through nationally, but the failing oil economy in Oklahoma, combined with a lack of a national television deal and the monstrous success of the WWF at the time left Mid-South in the dust. The final purchase price: $4 million (about $8.57 million in today's dollars).

Despite new ownership, UWF remains operational through the end of the year, and though promises were made to make UWF talent meaningful under Crockett, most of its roster were buried or de-emphasized, and its championships discontinued.

The purchase does little to turn around the financial fortunes of JCP; just over a year later, media mogul Ted Turner buys Jim Crockett Promotions for $9 million and rebrands it World Championship Wrestling, named after the company's then-Saturday night show.

The UWF would reboot in 1990 under Herb Abrams, but it bears no relation or resemblance to the original, nor it would duplicate the success of the original.

17 years ago today, SLAM! Wrestling and Live Audio Wrestling report that Michael Alfonso, aka Mike Awesome, had signed with WCW, and could debut as early as Monday. The deal came after he had no-showed an ECW TV taping scheduled in Buffalo that weekend.

Alfonso's signing with WCW presented a problem, as (a) he was still contracted to ECW, (b) was still their world champion, and (c) was still in possession of their world title belt. Alfonso alleged that ECW had owed him back pay and he refused to sign a new deal until he got what he owed.

Through a series of legal maneuverings, Awesome agreed to one last title defense later in the week, where he dropped it to a surprise opponent: Tazz, who was contracted to the WWF at the time. In the end, WCW pays nearly $1.2 million to bring Awesome in, including a $950,000 deal over three years, and a $75,000 buyout of his ECW deal.

16 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Kazuyuki Fujita defeated Scott Norton to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

12 years ago today in Newark, Delaware, Petey Williams defeated Puma to win the East Coast Wrestling Association Super 8 tournament. Other participants were Eric Matlock, JJ Perez, Tyson Dux, Alex Shelley, Andrew Ryker, and Rory Fox.

7 years ago today, women's comedy wrestling promotion Wrestilicious went on hiatus after its original run of ten episodes. Though a return was teased in 2011, no new episodes were filmed.

6 years ago today, Kurt Angle pled guilty to reckless driving from an incident on March 25 in Thompson, North Dakota where Angle's SUV was found stopped in the median of Interstate 29.

Under the plea agreement, Angle was sentenced to a year of unsupervised probation, had to pay a $475 fine, and would undergo a chemical dependency evaluation. He also received a ten day suspended jail sentence.

6 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Adam Cole defeated Sami Callahan to win the CZW Best of the Best tournament. Other participants included Daisuke Sekimoto, Zack Sabre Jr., Jake Crist, AR Fox, Brandon Gaston, Chuck Taylor, Kyle O'Reilly, and Johnny Garango.

1 year ago today in Voohrees, New Jersey, Jonathan Gresham defeated David Starr to win the CZW Best of the Best 15 tournament.

Other participants in the tournament were Joey Janela, Lio Rush, Rickey Shane Page, Ethan Page, Ryan Galeone, Shane Strickland, Anthony Henry, Curt Robinson, Dave Crist, and Dezmond Xavier.

1 year ago today at a Lucha Underground taping in Los Angeles, California, Sexy Star last eliminated Mil Muertes to win Aztec Warfare 3 and the Lucha Underground Championship.

Other participants in the match in order of entry were Lucha Underground Champion “The Monster” Matanza Cueto, Johnny Mundo, Son of Havoc, Jeremiah Crane, Pentagon Jr., PJ Black, Mariposa, Rey Mysterio, Dr. Wagner Jr., Marty the Moth, Jack Evans, Black Lotus, Ricky Mandel, Mascarita Sagrada, Famous B, The Mack, Kobra Moon, and Drago.

The best of cSs on this day:

2016: So is Shane McMahon running Raw now or...? (Despite losing at Wrestlemania 32, Shane McMahon may indeed be controlling RAW)

2015: Great Khali returning to WWE? (Great Khali may be returning to WWE, says Indian website iamin; WWE refutes the report the next day: “Khali is not returning to WWE.”)

2014: The Alexander Rusev/Lana combination might work in WWE after all (A look back and Lana and Rusev’s first nights as full-time main roster members)

2013: Triple H explains that accident all over his stomach at WrestleMania 29 (Turns out the burn he suffered at Wrestlemania 29 was because of the dry ice in his entrance)

2012: CM Punk: Brock Lesnar has a cloud hanging over him for 'cracking under the pressure of being WWE champion' (WWE Champion CM Punk takes a wait-and-see approach on Brock Lesnar’s return in an interview with FOX 5 Washington)

2010: Orlando Jordan thinks he's some kind of gay pioneer, only he's 52 years too late (Orlando Jordan talks with OutSports’ Ross Forman about his character)

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