34 years ago today in St. Louis, Missouri, Harley Race defeated Ric Flair 2-1 in a best of three falls match to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
The win gave Race his seventh NWA world title, a record for the promotion. Not counting Jack Veneno and Carlos Colon (their reigns are not recognized by NWA today), Race ended a 631-day run as champion for Flair, dating back to September 1981.
22 years ago today, AAA presented TripleMania III-A from Orizaba, Mexico. This was the first of a three-show TripleMania series.
- Martha Villalobos, La Nazi and Neftali defeated La Sirenita, Irma Gonzales and Irma Aguilar in a lucha libre rules match.
- Los Misioneros del Muerte (El Signo, Negro Navarro and Misionero) defeated El Torero, El Mexicano and Dragón de Oro in a lucha libre rules match.
- Los Villaños (Villaño I, Villaño III and Villaño IV) defeated Los Payasos (Coco Rojo, Coco Verde and Coco Amarillo) 2-0 in a best of three falls lucha libre rules match.
- All three Villaños pinned Coco Rojo and Coco Verde.
- Los Payasos were disqualified.
- Super Caló and Winners went to a draw with Marabunta and Ángel Mortal in a Relevos Suicidas tag team match. Marabunta pinned Super Caló at the same time as Winners pinned Ángel Mortal. As a result the two people taking the pinfall would face off in a mask vs. mask match.
- Super Calo pinned Ángel Mortal in a in a mask vs. mask match.
- Konnan, Perro Aguayo, La Parka and Octagón defeated Cien Caras, Máscara Año 200, Pentagón and Jerry Estrada in an atomicos match.
- Payasito Rojo was the last man in the cage in a minis cage match. Other participants included Bandita, Espectrito I, Espectrito II, Jerrito Estrada, Fuercita Guerrera, Mascarita Sagrada, Mini Calo, Octagóncito, La Parkita, Payasito Azul, Super Muñequito, and Torerito. Because Payasito Rojo was the last man in, he was forced to unmask.
21 years today on Nitro (WWE Network link) from Wheeling, West Virginia, Kevin Nash makes his return as Scott Hall's "big surprise" to WCW.
Nash was last seen in the WWF as "Big Daddy Cool" Diesel. To say that he had a pretty fruitful three years there would be an understatement: on his debut night, he helped Shawn Michaels regain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
In January 1994, he eliminated seven consecutive men from the Royal Rumble match (a record that still stands today). By the end of the year, he would be a WWF Triple Crown champion, holding the Intercontinental, tag team, and world titles (his world title win coming with an eight-second victory over Bob Backlund in November 1994).
He would go on to hold the WWF Championship for 358 days, the tenth longest reign in company history and the longest of the 1990s.
However, it is a taped RAW (WWE Network link), headlined by a British Bulldog versus Undertaker match, that beats Nitro in the ratings 2.7 to 2.6. It would be the last time RAW beat Nitro head-to-head until April 1998.
15 years ago today, Stone Cold Steve Austin walks on WWE just hours before RAW was set to air from Atlanta, Georgia. The story as reported in Pro Wrestling Torch on June 15, 2002:
Before Raw on Monday afternoon, Steve Austin went home against management’s wishes for the second time this year.
WWE management had proposed to Austin on Sunday that he wrestle Brock Lesnar on Raw. Austin apparently didn’t like the storyline as proposed and believed that they were using the equity he had spent years to build up on a hotshot match with Brock Lesnar in order to try to pop a ratings increase. He didn’t want his hard–earned equity to be used to make up for their weak storywriting in recent months. He showed up at Raw early in the afternoon, and was on his way to the airport to fly home shortly thereafter.
It’s possible his departure will be more than short-term, considering that his grievances from two months ago were not, in his opinion, adequately addressed. Austin had expressed on the WWE web show Byte This two weeks ago that he thought that WWE storylines had been “piss poor” lately. McMahon agreed with those sentiments on last week’s Byte This show, and promised a huge edition of Raw this week in an attempt to begin correcting the problems.
Raw was originally scripted where about 25 percent of the segments would include Austin, so the show had to be rewritten and reformatted at the last second. As a result, the Vince McMahon-Ric Flair storyline dominated the show instead. The McMahon-Flair storyline was created due to Austin’s departure since McMahon needs Flair in a babyface role to replace Austin headlining Raw crew house shows. The fact that a last second decision was made to turn Flair indicates McMahon may not be confident that Austin will be back anytime soon.
And he wasn’t. Less than a week after the walkout, WWE actively and explicitly buried their once-upon-a-time top star on their magazine show Confidential, all of his merchandise pulled from their store, and all references to him removed from their website. The next week’s RAW was centered around Austin’s walkout, even though all images of him were removed from the show’s opening. Austin would not return until February 2003.
The full results from that tumultuous RAW (WWE Network link):
- The nWo (Booker T, Big Show, and X-Pac) defeated Shawn Stasiak, Spike Dudley, and Tommy Dreamer.
- William Regal defeated Bradshaw to retain the WWE European Championship.
- Molly Holly defeated Trish Stratus.
- Rob Van Dam defeated Eddie Guerrero in a King of the Ring qualifying match.
- Brock Lesnar defeated Bubba Ray Dudley in a King of the Ring qualifying match.
- Vince McMahon defeated Ric Flair in a no holds barred match to become 100% owner of the WWE.
12 years ago today, Hardcore Homecoming was presented from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Hardcore Homecoming was an independent event put together by former ECW world champion Shane Douglas, wrestler-turned-promoter Mark Keenan (aka Cody Michaels), and TNA jack-of-all-trades Jeremy Borash (Keenan and Douglas would reunite a few years later to form Extreme Reunion, later Extreme Rising).
In an interesting side nugget, Terry Funk turned down a lucrative offer to work One Night Stand to work this event, citing he couldn't give his best effort for two high-profile matches that weekend. The event was released on DVD with a companion documentary on ECW, Forever Hardcore.
- Chris Chetti & Mikey Whipwreck defeated CW Anderson & Simon Diamond.
- Tracy Smothers defeated The Blue Meanie.
- 2 Cold Scorpio defeated Kid Kash.
- Bad Breed (Axl Rotten & Ian Rotten) versus John Kronus & New Jack ended in a no contest.
- Jerry Lynn defeated Justin Credible.
- Raven defeated The Sandman.
- Sabu defeated Shane Douglas and Terry Funk in a no-ropes barbed wire three-way dance.
9 years ago today, Taryn Terrell, a finalist in the 2007 WWE Diva Search, made her WWE television debut as Tiffany, the assistant to ECW general manager Teddy Long.
Terrell remained in ECW until the brand’s shutdown in February 2010, when she was reassigned to Smackdown. She was suspended that August for her role in a domestic incident with her then-husband Drew Galloway
5 years ago today, TNA presented Slammiversary from College Park Center in Arlington, Texas.
The event is noted for three things: it was the largest attendance for a TNA show ever at the time (about 5,500 fans), Sting being inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame, and former WWE and NWA world champion Christian making a cameo appearance.
- Austin Aries defeated Samoa Joe to retain the TNA X Division Championship.
- Hernandez defeated Kid Kash.
- Devon & Garett Bischoff defeated Robbie E & Robbie T.
- Mr. Anderson defeated Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy in a triple threat match to become the #1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
- James Storm defeated Crimson in an Open Challenge. After over 15 months, this was Crimson's first loss in a TNA ring.
- Brooke Tessmacher defeated Gail Kim to win the TNA Knockouts Championship.
- Joseph Park defeated Bully Ray in an anything goes match.
- A.J Styles & Kurt Angle defeated Christopher Daniels & Kazarian to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
- Bobby Roode defeated Sting to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
The best of cSs on this day: