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This Day in Wrestling History (May 7): Flair-Steamboat III

Today’s TDIPWH is presented in two parts. The second will focus on the career and life of Owen Hart. He would have been 52 today.

this day in wrestling history

103 years ago today in Kansas City, Missouri, Stanislaus Zbyszko defeated Americus (Gus Schoenlein) to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

28 years ago today, NWA presented Wrestlewar '89: Music City Showdown (WWE Network link) from Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. About 5,200 were in attendance, with 120,000 homes watching on PPV.

The show. which featured a live performance from The Oak Ridge Boys, finished second for Best Major Wrestling Card of 1989 from Wrestling Observer Newsletter readers.

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

  • The Great Muta defeated Doug Gilbert. (2/5)
  • Butch Reed defeated Ranger Ross. (0.25)
  • Dick Murdoch defeated Bob Orton, Jr. in a bullrope match. (0.5)
  • The Dynamic Dudes (Shane Douglas and Johnny Ace) defeated The Samoan Swat Team (Samu and Fatu). (2.75)
  • Michael Hayes defeated Lex Luger to win the NWA United States Championship. (3)
  • Sting defeated The Iron Sheik to retain the NWA World Television Championship. (0)
  • Ric Flair defeated Ricky Steamboat to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Post-match, Flair was attacked by Terry Funk and piledriven through a ringside table. Flair would miss the next two months due to injury. The bout finished second to their Clash of the Champions encounter for Wrestling Observer Newsletter Match of the Year for 1989. The first bout in the trilogy from Chi-Town Rumble finished third. (5)
  • The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) defeated The Varsity Club (Mike Rotunda and Steve Williams) in a NWA World Tag Team Championship match. Nikita Koloff was the special referee. Shortly after the match, The Varsity Club were stripped of the tag team titles. (3.5)
  • Eddie Gilbert and Rick Steiner defeated The Varsity Club (Kevin Sullivan and Dan Spivey) to retain the NWA United States Tag Team Championship. (2.5)

17 years ago today, WCW presented Slamboree (WWE Network link) from the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. 7,165 were in attendance, with just 65,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 115,000 for Spring Stampede a month earlier, and from 195,000 homes for the 1999 Slamboree event.

  • Chris Candido defeated The Artist to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. (2/5)
  • Terry Funk defeated Norman Smiley and Ralphus in a handicap hardcore to retain the WCW Hardcore Championship. (2)
  • Shawn Stasiak defeated Curt Hennig. (1)
  • Scott Steiner defeated Captain Rection to retain the WCW United States Championship. (2.25)
  • Mike Awesome fought Kanyon to a no contest. (3.25)
  • The Total Package defeated Buff Bagwell. (1)
  • Shane Douglas defeated Ric Flair. (3)
  • Sting defeated Vampiro. (2.5)
  • Hulk Hogan defeated Billy Kidman. Eric Bischoff was the special referee. (2.5)
  • Jeff Jarrett defeated David Arquette and Diamond Dallas Page in a triple cage match to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Post-match, Mike Awesome attacked Page, with Kanyon looking to make the save. Kanyon was thrown off the stage by Awesome from the second cage to the entrance ramp below, breaking it. (3.25)

16 years ago today following a WWF Jakked taping in Uniondale, New York, Perry Saturn was sent home following a match with Mike Bell.

In the bout’s early moments, Bell botches a snapmare arm drag, causing Saturn to land on his head and shoulder. Saturn reacted badly (to be kind), attacking Bell and throwing him through the ropes, dropping him on his head on the outside. Though neither man suffered serious injuries from the match, Saturn was reprimanded.

Possibly as punishment for his actions against Bell, he was put in a demeaning storyline where after he suffered a concussion, Saturn began acting eccentrically and dumped his valet Terri Runnels for a mop.

Though the gimmick got over relatively well with fans, Saturn never got out of the doghouse with WWE management. He injured his ACL in April 2002 and was released by WWE that November before making a full recovery. Interestingly enough, Saturn was still getting paid by WWE until his contract expired in January 2003.

15 years ago today, Scott Hall is released from WWE.

The firing comes less than three months after Hall rejoined the company as a member of the reborn New World Order. It also comes after Hall showed up to consecutive WWE events in no condition to perform (Insurrextion and RAW the next night). Allegedly, Hall had gotten so drunk, he had passed out backstage during the UK PPV.

Hall’s misbehavior peaked during the infamous Plane Ride from Hell, where it was believed his partying and drunkenness was the catalyst for the events of the flight. Though Hall appeared to be no worse for wear during RAW during the show-closing six-man tag, it wasn’t the case earlier in the day as he showed up to work intoxicated for the second time in as many shows.

Hall considered filing a wrongful termination suit, but ultimately nothing came of it.

12 years ago today, Ring of Honor debuts in New York City with Manhattan Mayhem from the New Yorker Hotel.

  • Lacey's Angels (Izzy & Deranged) defeated Dixie & Azrieal.
  • Nigel McGuinness defeated Colt Cabana.
  • James Gibson defeated Black Tiger.
  • BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs defeated Generation Next (Roderick Strong & Jack Evans) to retain the ROH Tag Team Championship.
  • Samoa Joe defeated Jay Lethal to win the ROH Pure Championship.
  • Fast Eddie defeated Davey Andrews.
  • Jimmy Rave defeated CM Punk in a dog collar match.
  • Austin Aries defeated Alex Shelley to retain the ROH World Championship.
  • The Rottweilers (Homicide & Low Ki) defeated Samoa Joe & Jay Lethal.

10 years ago today on RAW from State College, Pennsylvania (WWE Network link), Edge defeated Mr. Kennedy in just eight seconds to win Kennedy’s Wrestlemania 23 Money in the Bank contract.

What’s the story with the first time—and to this day, only time—Money in the Bank briefcase changing hands? It appears the reason is two-fold. A week prior, the Undertaker, at the time the World Heavyweight Champion, was diagnosed with a torn biceps injury. Later in the week, Kennedy was diagnosed with a torn triceps.

For Undertaker, he would be sidelined until September. Kennedy, on the other hand, would be back just a month later—it turned out his torn triceps was just a massive hematoma. Kennedy, however, would never reach the heights he did at Wrestlemania 23, especially after he catches a suspension for violating the WWE’s Wellness Policy in September.

As for Edge, he would waste little time with his newly won briefcase: he cashed it in the next night and claim the World Heavyweight Championship.

2 years ago today, reported that Kenta Kobayashi, aka Hideo Itami, would miss six to eight months due to a shoulder injury.

The news comes just two weeks before he was set to face Finn Balor and Tyler Breeze in a #1 contender's match for the NXT Championship at Takeover: Unstoppable.

After just over a year of inactivity, Itami returned at a NXT house show in June 2016. His return was brief; in October, he suffered a neck injury off a botched powerslam at another NXT house show.

Itami returned to WWE programming on the April 19 episode of NXT, giving NXT Champion Bobby Roode the Go to Sleep.

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