45 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Professor Tanaka & Mr. Fuji defeated Chief Jay Strongbow & Sonny King to win the WWWF Tag Team Championship.
19 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rob Van Dam and Sabu defeated Chris Candido and Lance Storm to win the ECW World Tag Team Championship.
In the show's main event, The Dudley Boyz (Buh-Buh Ray, D-Von, and Big Dick) defeated The Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, and deathmatch legend and FMW founder Atushi Onita. Late in the match, Onita turned on Sandman. The turn and post-match press conference was to lead to an Onita-Sandman feud, but the match would never take place, making this Onita's one and only appearance in ECW.
18 years ago today WWF presented King of the Ring (WWE Network link) from the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. 19,761 in attendance, and about 430,000 homes watching on PPV.
- In a preshow dark match, Meat defeated Kurt Angle.
- In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) and Edge and Christian fought to a no contest in a #1 contender's match for the WWF Tag Team Championship.
- In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, Mideon and Viscera defeated The Big Boss Man in a handicap match.
- In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, Prince Albert defeated Val Venis.
- In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, Ken Shamrock defeated Shane McMahon via disqualification.
King of the Ring Quarterfinals
- X-Pac defeated Hardcore Holly.
- Kane defeated The Big Show.
- Mr. Ass defeated Ken Shamrock.
- Road Dogg defeated Chyna.
King of the Ring Semifinals
- Mr. Ass defeated Kane.
- X-Pac defeated Road Dogg.
King of the Ring Final
- Mr. Ass defeated X-Pac to win the King of the Ring tournament.
Non-tournament matches in order of occurrence:
- The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) defeated The Brood (Edge and Christian).
- The Undertaker defeated The Rock to retain the WWF Championship.
- Shane McMahon and Vince McMahon defeated Steve Austin in a handicap ladder match for 100% ownership of the WWF.
17 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Hartford, Connecticut (WWE Network link), Steve Blackman defeated Crash Holly to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.
17 years ago today, the Delaware Court of Chancery rules that the WWF can move its programming from USA Networks to Viacom in September.
The decision comes from Viacom bidding $12.6 million for the rights to their cable programming, including RAW is WAR, Sunday Night Heat, Superstars, and Livewire ($8 million transfer fee, $1.1 million for producing new TV series and movies, and $3.5 million for seven annual specials), as well as a $500,000 weekly payment.
USA Networks contended that they matched the bid, but did not have to match the incentives (the "first refusal" clause as it was called). USA was offered a settlement before the ruling came down, but they turned it down hoping for a decision to come down in their favor.
The ruling ended a 17-year relationship between USA and the WWF, beginning with WWF All-American Wrestling in 1983. USA would regain the rights to WWE programming in 2005, where it has remained ever since.
In a bit of trivia, it was during the negotiations in October 1999 that WWF had first floated around with the idea of creating a wrestling-themed cable network, with the company buying the Sci-Fi Channel. Then-president of USA Networks Barry Baker told then-WWF CEO Linda McMahon that nobody was going to give her a network. He was right as it turned out, but that wrestling-themed network did come true in 2014.
13 years ago today, WWE presented The Great American Bash (WWE Network link) from the Norfolk Scope in Norfolk, Virginia. About 6,500 were in attendance, with 238,000 homes watching on PPV.
Created by Dusty Rhodes, The Great American Bash was born in 1985 was presented annually (first as a house show, then a series of events, then as a standalone PPV beginning in 1988) until 2000, WCW's last full year of operation. The Great American Bash is to date the only PPV event carried over from the sale of WCW.
This event was voted the Worst Major Wrestling Show of the year by Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
- In a Sunday Night Heat preshow match, Spike Dudley defeated Jamie Noble.
- John Cena defeated Rene Dupree, Booker T, and Rob Van Dam in a fatal four-way elimination match to retain the WWE United States Championship.
- Luther Reigns defeated Charlie Haas.
- Rey Mysterio defeated Chavo Guerrero to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
- Kenzo Suzuki defeated Billy Gunn.
- Sable defeated Torrie Wilson. This was Sable's final WWE PPV appearance; she would leave WWE just over a month later.
- Mordecai defeated Hardcore Holly.
- John "Bradshaw" Layfield defeated Eddie Guerrero in a Texas Bullrope match to the WWE Championship.
- The Undertaker defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) in a Concrete Crypt handicap match. The bout was made infamous for two reasons: (1) footage of a rehearsal of the ending leaked online (via hacking into an unencrypted satellite feed) and that footage aired in many markets (despite Undertaker winning, he pulled the lever, encasing Bearer), and (2) though a stunt double was used, the show's parting shot was Bearer being covered in cement (in reality, it was probably oatmeal). The TL;DR: WWE pretty much ended a PPV with a kayfabe murder. They had to walk it back later in the week, saying that Bearer was able to be pulled out of the crypt, but was gravely injured. This would be Bearer's final television appearance on WWE programming until September 2010.
4 years ago today, the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship, held for sixteen months by ODB and Eric Young, was officially retired.
This comes a week after Brooke Hogan strips the duo of the championship due to Eric Young be a guy. Mind you, no one thought to do this before this point. Its championship history and profile was removed subsequently removed from TNA's website.
Interesting side note: other than when the belts were introduced at No Surrender in 2009, the TNA Knockouts tag titles changed hands on PPV once: Victory Road in 2011. Every other title change occurred on Impact.
2 years ago today, SHINE Wrestling presented Shine 20 from The Orpheum in Ybor City, Florida.
- Legendary (Brandi Wine & Malia Hosaka) defeated The Buddy System (Heidi Lovelace & Solo Darling), The S-N-S Express (Jessie Belle Smothers & Sassy Stephie), and Kimber Lee to earn a SHINE Tag Team Championship match later in the show.
- Crazy Mary Dobson defeated Amber O'Neal by disqualification.
- Su Yung defeated Justine Silver.
- La Rosa Negra defeated Shanna.
- Candice LeRae defeated Nevaeh.
- Legendary (Brandi Wine & Malia Hosaka) defeat The Lucha Sisters (Leva Bates & Mia Yim) to win the SHINE Tag Team Championship.
- Allysin Kay defeats Jessicka Havok in a Last Woman Standing match.
- Ivelisse and Serena Deeb fought to a one-hour time limit draw for the SHINE Championship.
It’s a happy 27th birthday to Kimberly Frankele. Known these days as NXT’s Abbey Laith, she’s best known from her time on the independent circuit as Kimber Lee.
The Seattle-born Frankele wanted to be a dancer growing up, but as a teenager, she took interest in wrestling. Debuting in 2011 for Combat Zone Wrestling after becoming the first woman to graduate their wrestling school, she would compile quite the resume on the independent circuit.
Kimber would win the Women Superstars Uncensored tag team titles twice with Annie Social as Chicks Using Nasty Tactics (their second reign lasting nearly one calendar year). Her most successful pairing came with Cherry Bomb as the Kimber Bombs. The duo won both the SHIMMER and Shine tag team titles in 2015, with the duo holding the SHIMMER tag titles for 442 days (they had to vacate the Shine tag titles in October 2015 due to a Cherry Bomb shoulder injury; the injury occurred during SHIMMER’s offseason, allowing them to hold those titles while Cherry was on the disabled list).
In December 2015, Kimber Lee’s Crown’s Court won CHIKARA’s Challenge of the Immortals tournament, despite not picking up a win until about halfway through the double round-robin. On the same night, she cashed in her Golden Opportunity (akin to WWE’s Money in the Bank) to defeat Hallowicked for the CHIKARA Grand Championship, the promotion’s top title. The win made her the first woman to win the top title in a predominantly male promotion. She would hold the title until losing it back to Hallowicked in May 2016.
After appearing on an episode of NXT in December 2016, Kimberly signed with WWE in January 2017. She continued to use the Kimber Lee name until her television debut in April where she debuted under her real name with a loss to Ruby Riot. Earlier this month, Frankele was renamed Abbey Laith and is set to compete in the Mae Young Classic, a 32-woman tournament set to take place later this summer.