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This Day in Wrestling History (May 13): NWA Severs Ties with TNA

this day in wrestling history

29 years ago today in Houston, Texas, Barry Windham defeated Nikita Koloff in the finals of a one-night tournament to win the vacated NWA United States Championship.

The title was vacated about a month earlier when Dusty Rhodes was stripped of the title after attacking Jim Crockett.

Other participants in the tournament were Ivan Koloff, Lex Luger, Al Perez, and The Midnight Rider, who unmasked to reveal himself as the Italian Stallion.

23 years ago today at an Eastern Championship Wrestling taping in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (WWE Network link), Mikey Whipwreck defeated “Pitbull #1” Gary Wolfe to win the ECW Television Championship.

The win came as a shock to many, as Whipwreck had never successfully hit an offensive move on anyone. And he still hadn’t: The Tazmaniac distracted Wolfe, leading Whipwreck to get the flash pin and the title.

Mikey would have three successful title defenses on the taping, defeating Kevin Sullivan, Mr. Hughes, and Johnny Grunge, all via disqualification.

22 years ago today, WWF presented A Night to Rememeber from the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.

This would be the final show at the long-time home of the Boston Celtics, who would move to the FleetCenter in the fall. Many WWF dignitaries were there, including Vince McMahon, Gorilla Monsoon, Arnold Skaaland, George "The Animal" Steele, Pat Patterson, Tony Garea, Chief Jay Strongbow, and Killer Kowalski.

  • The Heavenly Bodies (Jimmy Del Ray and Tom Prichard) defeated The Bushwhackers (Butch and Luke).
  • Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Phil Apollo.
  • Man Mountain Rock defeated Kwang.
  • The British Bulldog and Bret Hart defeated Hakushi and Jerry Lawler by submission.
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated Razor Ramon in a ladder match to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
  • The Undertaker defeated Kama.
  • Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Tatanka.
  • Diesel defeated Sycho Sid to retain the WWF Championship. Gorilla Monsoon was the guest ring announcer.

22 years ago today, ECW presented Enter the Sandman from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Highlights of the show aired on ECW Hardcore TV on May 16, May 23, May 30, June 6, and June 13 (WWE Network links).

  • Hack Myers defeated Tony Stetson.
  • 911 & The Tazmaniac defeated The Oriental Connection (Hiroyoshi Iekuda & Tsubo Genjin).
  • Axl Rotten defeated Ian Rotten in a barbed wire baseball bat match.
  • Raven & Stevie Richards defeated Mikey Whipwreck & Tommy Dreamer by disqualification. The disqualification was handed down by Bill Alfonso, a new referee brought in via petition to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission by Shane Douglas. The disqualification for a closed fist
  • Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko fought to a 30-minute time limit draw for the ECW World Television Championship.
  • The Sandman defeated Cactus Jack to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Eddie Guerrero defeated Marty Jannetty to retain the ECW World Television Championship.
  • The Sandman defeated Shane Douglas to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • The Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge & Rocco Rock) defeated The Pitbulls (Pitbull #1 & Pitbull #2) in a double dog collar match to retain the ECW World Tag Team Championship.

15 years ago today on RAW from Toronto, Ontario, Canada (WWE Network link), Hulk Hogan defeated Ric Flair to retain the WWE Undisputed Championship.

Despite being in the company together back in 1991 and 1992, this is the only nationally televised singles match between the two in a WWE ring.

The two met one-on-one in a televised match seven times in WCW, with Hogan winning five of the seven meetings. In fact, Flair pinned Hogan just once in ten total one-on-one televised bouts (the other two aired on regional sports channel MSG Network in late 1991), on an episode of WCW Monday Nitro in January 1996.

On the undercard, Trish Stratus and Bubba Ray Dudley defeated Jazz and Steven Richards in a mixed tag team match.

Per pre-match stipulations, with Trish pinning Jazz, Trish won the WWE Women’s Championship. Bubba Ray Dudley's Hardcore title was also at stake in the match.

11 years ago today, Combat Zone Wrestling presented Best of the Best VI: CZW vs. ROH from the New Alhambra Arena (that's the old ECW Arena, kids) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Best of the Best tournament was conducted in three rounds: the first featured four triple threat matches. The man who is pinned or made to submit is eliminated, with the two survivors continuing on to the semifinals. The survivors face off in singles bouts, with the four winners facing off in a four-way elimination final.

Best of the Best Tournament:

  • Austin Aries and B-Boy defeated Jigsaw.
  • Claudio Castagnoli and Roderick Strong defeated Jay Lethal.
  • Sabian and Matt Sydal defeated Sonjay Dutt.
  • CZW World Heavyweight Champion Ruckus and Christopher Daniels defeated Derek Frazier in a Best of the Best Tournament quarterfinal match. Daniels got the pinfall to win the CZW World Heavyweight Championship, but he refused the title. Nonetheless, the decision—and the title change—stood.
  • Austin Aries defeated B-Boy.
  • Claudio Castagnoli defeated Roderick Strong.
  • Sabian defeated Matt Sydal.
  • Ruckus defeated Christopher Daniels to win the CZW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • CZW World Heavyweight Champion Ruckus defeated Austin Aries, Claudio Castagnoli and Sabian in an elimination match to win the CZW Best of the Best tournament and retain the CZW World Heavyeight Championship.

Non-tournament bouts in order of occurence:

  • Team AnDrew (Andy Sumner and Drew Gulak) defeated Pelle Primeau and Rhett Titus.
  • Up in Smoke (Cheech and Cloudy) defeated The Heretic and Ravage.
  • The BLKOUT (Eddie Kingston and Joker) defeated Necro Butcher and Super Dragon to retain the CZW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Niles Young defeated Cloudy to retain the CZW Junior Heavyweight Championship.
  • The H8 Club (Nick Gage and Justice Pain) defeated Christopher Bishop and Lionel Knight.
  • Chris Hero defeated Ruckus to win the CZW World Heavyweight Championship.

10 years ago today, NWA announces it would end their relationship with TNA Wrestling effective immediately. The news of the split as reported by PWTorch:

PWTorch has learned that TNA Wrestling and the NWA have agreed to a split of their partnership.

Bob Trobich, head of legal for the NWA, and Steve Campbell, head of legal for Panda Energy as representative of TNA, have negotiated to terminate the working agreement between the NWA and TNA. NWA will take back possession of the NWA Hvt. Title and NWA Tag Titles with a storyline to be set up at the Destination X PPV.

Jeff Jarrett has been the third party representing TNA during the negotiations to cease the working relationship.

There have been a lot of rules that the NWA has that TNA has not been following. As TNA has grown, and as the NWA name has become less of a marketing asset, a split was considered a strong possibility. TNA long ago stopped using the title "NWA-TNA" as its name.

TNA aligned with the NWA initially because TNA founder Jerry Jarrett, Jeff's father, believed that the "NWA" name carried credibility with the target audience for the weekly Wednesday night PPV format TNA began with. The heritage of the NWA World Title has been a marketing tool for TNA over its four-plus year history. TNA, though, did not want to abide by NWA rules such as having to notify the NWA board ahead of time when a title change was planned, use the NWA name in all marketing, and pay the NWA a fee if TNA ran an event in another NWA member's territory. For those and a variety of other reasons, an agreement to split has been reached.

The split was first reported back in March and had been in the works for some time. The main issue stems from rights fees the NWA did not receive for TNA running shows in their area. In addition, TNA’s national profile increase dramatically after getting a national TV deal with Spike TV in 2005. In essence, it was only a matter of time before the split ultimately went down (this is hardly the first time the NWA separated from a major wrestling company. The two most notable examples of this were WWWF’s split from NWA in 1963, and WCW’s split in 1993).

The divorce ends a five-year association between the two wrestling properties. The licensing deal, which was renewed back in 2004, was to last for ten years. With the split, Christian Cage and Team 3D are stripped of their NWA world heavyweight and tag team championships respectively.

Oh... and this news came down on the day of a TNA PPV.

That evening, TNA presented Sacrifice from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.

  • Chris Sabin defeated Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt in a three-way match to retain the TNA X Division Championship.
  • Robert Roode defeated Jeff Jarrett.
  • Christopher Daniels defeated Rhino.
  • Basham and Damaja defeated Kip James in a handicap match.
  • Chris Harris defeated James Storm in a Texas deathmatch.
  • Jerry Lynn defeated Tiger Mask IV, Alex Shelley, and Senshi in a four corners match.
  • Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) defeated Scott Steiner and Tomko and The Latin American Xchange (Homicide and Hernandez) in a three-team match to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Samoa Joe defeated A.J. Styles.
  • Kurt Angle defeated Sting and Christian Cage via submission to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. OR DOES HE? At the end of the match, Angle had Sting in the anklelock submission as Sting rolled up Christian. The three count and the tapout happened at the exact same time, and though Angle was announced the winner and new world champion, he would be stripped of the title the next night due to the inconclusive finish.

6 years ago today, New Japan Pro Wrestling holds its first ever show in the United States with Attack on East Coast: Day 1 from the Rahway Recreation Center in Rahway, New Jersey.

  • Low Ki & Homicide defeated Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask.
  • Satoshi Kojima defeated Kenny Omega.
  • BULLET CLUB (Giant Bernard, Karl Anderson, Prince Devitt, and Ryusuke Taguchi) defeated CHAOS (Shinsuke Nakamura, Jado, and Gedo) and Davey Richards.
  • Yujiro Takahashi defeated Hideo Saito.
  • Tetsuya Naito defeated Josh Daniels.
  • Toru Yano defeated Dan Maff.
  • MVP defeated Kazuchika Okada via submission.
  • Charlie Haas and Rhino defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Togi Makabe.

5 years ago today, TNA presented Sacrifice from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.

  • Christopher Daniels & Kazarian defeated Samoa Joe & Magnus to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
  • Gail Kim defeated Brooke Tessmacher to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship.
  • Devon defeated Robbie E and Robbie T in a three way match to retain the TNA Television Championship.
  • Mr. Anderson defeated Jeff Hardy.
  • Crimson defeated Eric Young.
  • Austin Aries defeated Bully Ray.
  • Kurt Angle defeated A.J. Styles.
  • Bobby Roode defeated Rob Van Dam in a ladder match to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.

Birthdays aplenty, so profiles will be brief.

It's a happy 26th birthday for Elizabeth Chihaia, best known to wrestling fans as Scarlett Bordeaux.

The musically-trained Chicagoan has appeared in about a dozen organizations, including Ring of Honor (where she occasionally bounced between valet and ring announcing duties), Chikara, Combat Zone Wrestling, TNA, and WWE (where she made about 15 appearances for the company as one of Adam Rose's "Rosebuds"). She also wrestled one match for the company, a squash defeat at the hands of Nia Jax last December.

Away from the ring, she works as a waitress at The Underground, a nightclub in Chicago. There, she delivers high-end bottles of liquor to high rollers and celebrities. In 2014, Bordeaux was named one of the 35 Most Beautiful Women in Wrestling by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in their 35th anniversary issue.

Scarlett’s only championship was when she won the DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship from Joey Ryan in July 2016; she traded in the title for an autograph from Rhyno. True story.

It's a happy 36th birthday for James Carson Yun. Though he performed as Jimmy Wang Yang and Akio, James is probably best known as Jimmy Yang.

The Korean-American wrestler burst on the national scene for WCW in January 2000 as Jimmy Yang, one third of the Jung Dragons. The trio feuded mostly with 3 Count until Jamie-san (Jamie Noble) unmasked and left the group. The remaining members of the group, Kaz Hayashi and Yang, feuded with Jamie-san and Evan Karagias until WWF bought out WCW. Yun was picked up by the WWF post-purchase, but was never used initially, being released by their developmental territory, the Heartland Wrestling Association, in January 2002.

After a brief stint in All Japan Pro Wrestling, Yang competed for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as one third of the Flying Elvises. Yang was a part of TNA's first ever match, where he, Sonny Siaki, and Jorge Estrada, defeated AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, and Low KI.

After a brief stint in Major League Wrestling, Yun joined WWE in September 2005 as Akio, a reference to famed Japanese wrestler Akio Sato. He teamed with Ryan Sakoda to form Kyo Dai, the henchmen for Tajiri. The group broke up when Sakoda was released and Tajiri was traded to RAW from Smackdown, leaving Yun to compete primarily in the lower card and on Smackdown's B-show, Velocity, until his release in July 2005.

After a brief run in Ring of Honor, Yun rejoined WWE in 2006. His gimmick was Jimmy Wang Yang, a proud Asian redneck. He chased the Cruiserweight Championship late in the year and in the summer of 2007, but would never win it. James never regained traction after he was suspended following a Wellness Policy violation in June 2008. Yang would team with Slam Master J in late 2009 and early 2010 before he was released in April 2010.

Yang returned to TNA in June 2011 for one night only as part of a tournament for a TNA contract, but would lose to Low Ki in a three-way match that included another TNA original, Matt Bentley.

Today, Yun owns a pro wrestling school and a pest control business in the Cincinnati area. He also owns a party bus service.

It's a happy 53rd birthday for Raymond M. Lloyd, but he is best known to wrestling fans as Glacier.

Lloyd, a skilled martial artist, competitive kickboxer, and former teacher had multiple stints in WCW. His first came in 1989 when he was on the Great American Bash tour. He had a second brief stint in 1993, wrestling primarily The Great Muta on the WCW house show circuit. Lloyd moved to Japan following the set and joined UWFI, and remained there until the company folded in 1996.

At the request of Diamond Dallas Page, Eric Bischoff signed Lloyd to WCW in 1996. He joined the company as Glacier, a take on the Sub-Zero character in the Mortal Kombat series of games. He was a combination pro wrestler/martial artist. His entrance, complete with armor, costume, and light show, cost over a half million dollars, one of the most extravagant entrances in wrestling history. The full entrance was used a total of four times.

Glacier was set to debut in July 1996, but his debut was held off until the fall due to the massive impact the New World Order debut had on the company. His first major angle didn't come until the following March when Glacier was put in a somewhat infamous angle, "Blood Runs Cold" against fellow Mortal Kombat-inspired wrestlers Mortis and Wrath. The angle was discontinued in July 1997 when creative couldn't evolve the characters or the story further.

Nonetheless, Glacier remained undefeated in singles for nearly an entire year from his debut, but would never rise out of the midcard. Not even a heel turn in early 1998 changed his fortunes; he went winless for about three months in early 1998 before feuding briefly with Perry Saturn. The final match in the feud, a win by Saturn in September 1998, was the last ever match presented on WCW Worldwide before it switched to a recap/magazine format.

Glacier shed the gimmick in early 1999 when he sold his armor, mask, and helmet to Kaz Hayashi and Ernest Miller. He returned later in the year as Coach Buzz Stern, inspired by his real-life experience as a football coach. The angle was shelved after audiences reacted with indifference; Lloyd wrestled only one match as Coach Stern, a November 1999 loss to Eddie Guerrero. Later that month, the angle was shelved Lloyd was subsequently released.

After a brief run in Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling (where he was their heavyweight champion for about three months in 2000), Lloyd re-signed to WCW in late 2000. Lloyd would return to WCW in January 2001 as Glacier, this time as a super hero parody; the character was openly mocked on commentary for weeks prior to his return. Glacier, who was supposed to watch Norman Smiley's back, never quite did that, as he spent more time with the fans than watching his back. Norman was defeated decisively by Mike Awesome and Bam Bam Bigelow. Despite never wrestling a match this time around, the gimmick got over, but was abandoned just a month later when he was written off in an offscreen beatdown by Sean O'Haire.

Lloyd returned to Turnbuckle Championship Wrestling and would win the TCW and NWA tag team titles with Jorge Estrada and Jason Sugarman respectively. He would revive his Glacier Gimmick in 2002, winning the TCW tag titles for a second time, this time with Big Ron Studd, and would later win the TCW heavyweight title for a second time.

After TCW shut down in 2003, Lloyd largely competed on the independent circuit, wrestling most notably for Georgia Championship Wrestling and Chikara, competing in a pair of King of Trios tournaments. Lloyd also briefly held a backstage position in TNA briefly before taking up teaching full time.

Today, Lloyd's an actor, appearing in infomercials for business and doing independent films. His biggest acting credit to date came in 2007 when he appeared on an episode of Burn Notice. Despite often being labeled as one of the biggest disappointments in wrestling history, Glacier was ranked among the best 500 singles wrestlers of the PWI Years by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 2003.

Lloyd still wrestles sporadically to this day too, appearing most recently for Game Changer Wrestling in a thirteen-man Clusterfuck (that’s what the match is called) at Joey Janela’s Spring Break in March 2017.

It's a happy 56th birthday for Dennis Keith Rodman.

The part-time wrestler, nicknamed "The Worm", is best known for his time in the NBA, playing for five different teams, most famously the Detroit Pistons for seven seasons, the San Antonio Spurs for two seasons, and the Chicago Bulls for three seasons. Rodman, a five-time NBA Champion (two with the Pistons in 1989 and 1990, and three with the Bulls from 1996-1998), is considered one of the great rebounders in NBA history, having led the league in rebounds per game for seven consecutive years, a league record that still stands today.

Rodman's basketball days are most infamously remembered for his many controversial antics on and off the court, many of which came following an aborted suicide attempt in 1993. He repeatedly dyed his hair, adorned himself in many tattoos and piercings, regularly clashed with both players and officials, and once kicked a cameraman in the groin. Rodman had a brief affair with singer Madonna and married actress Carmen Electra in late 1998 (the marriage lasted six months). Rodman also infamously wore a wedding dress to promote his second autobiographies, Bad as I Wanna Be, in 1996 (he's written five autobiographies in all, most recently Dennis the Wild Bull in 2013).

Rodman took up his hobby of professional wrestling while he was on suspension from the NBA in 1997, first appearing alongside Hollywood Hulk Hogan for WCW that March. He would make his professional wrestling debut that summer at Bash at the Beach when he and Hogan were defeated by Lex Luger and the Giant. The next month at Road Wild, Rodman appeared as an imposter Sting and cost Luger the WCW world title.

Rodman appeared sporadically for WCW for the next year; at Bash at the Beach in July 1998, Rodman and Hogan this time were victorious in a tag team match over Diamond Dallas Page and fellow NBA player Karl Malone.

Rodman returned to the ring for the Australian-based i-Generation Superstars of Wrestling in July 2000, where he lost via disqualification to Curt Hennig in an Australian Outback match. The match was the featured bout on their only PPV event, Rodman Down Under. Rodman retired from the ring following the match.

He came out of retirement in 2008 as a part of the only season of Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling. He beat out fellow celebrities including Butterbean, Danny Bonaduce, and Tiffany to win the competition. It wasn’t his first reality show win; in 2004, Rodman won the second season of Celebrity Mole, winning $222,000 for charity.

In 2011, Rodman's #10 was retired by the Detroit Pistons; that summer, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The best of cSs on this day:

2016: Sexy Star discusses the importance of her No Más match, and takes a couple shots at WWE's version of women's wrestling (In an interview with Forbes, Sexy Star talks her No Mas bout with Mariposa and WWE’s take on women’s wrestling)

2015: How will a tag team Elimination Chamber match work? (WWE announces first ever tag team elimination chamber match; Dave Meltzer suspects it will be fought under tornado rules with teams sharing pods)

2014: State of the WWE world heavyweight championship to be addressed on Raw next week (Daniel Bryan likely to be stripped of WWE World Heavyweight Championship on next RAW)

2013: WWE Extreme Rules 2013 match card: Dean Ambrose gets U.S. title shot against Kofi Kingston (Dean Ambrose to challenge Kofi Kingston for the United States title at Extreme Rules for some reason)

2011: In The Club: Rashad and Bones Almost Come to Blows (Rashad Evans and Jon Jones nearly got into a fight at a Las Vegas nightclub just days after Tito Ortiz and Matt Mitrione nearly get into a fight at the UFC Summit)

2010: The Dan Severn interview (Victator interviews MMA legend and long-running NWA world champion Dan Severn—the interview link still works)

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