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This Day in Wrestling History (July 14): WE WANT FLAIR!

Today’s TDIPWH is presented in two parts. The second part will focus on the WWF’s takeover of the 6:05 timeslot in 1984 known as Black Saturday.


31 years ago today, Harley Race defeated Pedro Morales in the final match to win the King of the Ring tournament. Race also defeated George "The Animal" Steele and Nikolai Volkoff.

Other participants included Billy Jack Haynes, The Iron Sheik, Don Muraco, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Dan Spivey, the Junkyard Dog, Paul Orndorff, Rudy Diamond, Mike Rotundo, and Mr. X.

29 years ago today, WWF taped the 100th episode of Wrestling Challenge from the Five Seasons Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

  • “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase defeated JT Thomas by submission.
  • Jake “The Snake” Roberts defeated Tom Stone.
  • The Bolsheviks (Boris Zhukov & Nikolai Volkoff) defeated Chris Zarma & Frank DeFalco.
  • Tito Santana defeated Rick Gantner.
  • Greg “The Hammer” Valentine defeated Warren Bianchi via submission.
  • Terry Taylor defeated Scott Casey via submission.
  • The Big Boss Man defeated Tom Dixon in just 88 seconds.

26 years ago today, WCW presented The Great American Bash (WWE Network link) from the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. About 7,000 were in attendance, with about 145,000 homes purchasing the event on PPV.

It's the first major show for WCW since the sudden departure of their world champion at the time, Ric Flair. Flair left and/or was fired (depending on who's telling the story) from the promotion over a contract dispute and took the WCW World Heavyweight Championship belt with him (the Big Gold belt) since he was owed his deposit on the belt.

NWA still recognized Flair as their world champion until his WWF debut in September. WCW commissioned a new belt, but it was not ready in time for the show, so Dusty Rhodes used an old heavyweight title belt from Florida as a makeshift WCW world title belt.

Performers could be seen given less than full effort on the show in protest of the Flair departure, and fans throughout the arena chanted "We want Flair!" during the night. The combination of elements made this one of the worst PPVs in wrestling history.

Not surprisingly, the show was voted the Worst Major Wrestling Card of 1991 by Wrestling Observer Newsletter readers.

  • The Junkyard Dog defeated Black Bart in a preshow dark match.
  • P.N. News and Bobby Eaton defeated Steve Austin and Terrance Taylor in a scaffold match. Prior to the match, the rules were changed from a traditional scaffold match to a "Capture the Flag" scaffold match, where one team had to reach the other's flag.
  • The Yellow Dog defeated Johnny B. Badd by disqualification.
  • Ron Simmons defeated Oz.
  • Big Josh defeated Black Blood in a lumberjack match.
  • Dustin Rhodes and The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong) defeated The Fabulous Freebirds (Badstreet, Jimmy Garvin, Michael Hayes) (with Big Daddy Dink) in an elimination match. In a side nugget, the seventeen-minute bout had all five eliminations occur within the final four minutes.

Hayes pinned Armstrong.

Hayes was disqualified.

Garvin pinned Smothers.

Rhodes pinned Garvin.

Rhodes pinned Badstreet.

  • The Diamond Studd defeated Tom Zenk.
  • El Gigante defeated One Man Gang.
  • Richard Morton defeated Robert Gibson.
  • Nikita Koloff defeated Sting in a Russian chain match. The chain match was contested under traditional strap match rules (touch all four corners in succession to win).
  • Lex Luger defeated Barry Windham in a steel cage match to win the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Rick Steiner and Missy Hyatt defeated Arn Anderson and Paul E. Dangerously in a steel cage match. Side nugget again: the Maryland State Athletic Commission had a rule (that still exists today) that forbids man versus woman wrestling matches, so to get around it, Hyatt was taken out of the match via "kidnapping" by the Hardliners (Dick Slater & Dick Murdoch). So how do you explain the Vince McMahon vs. Stephanie McMahon I Quit match from No Mercy 2003 (which took place in the same building) you ask? WWE paid the fine in advance.

22 years ago today in Casper, Wyoming, Ken Shamrock defeated Dan Severn via submission to win the UFC Superfight Championship.

On the same card, dubbed UFC 6: Clash of the Titans, Oleg Taktrov defeated Tank Abbott in the finals via submission to win the UFC 6 tournament.

23 years ago today in Uniondale, New York, Terry Bollea, best known to wrestling fans as Hulk Hogan, takes the stand in the Vince McMahon steroid distribution trial.

A recap as presented the next day in The New York Times:

Gone were the screaming yellow muscle T-shirt and the manic persona of the charismatic Hulkster. Mr. Bollea, his long blond hair spilling over the collar of a dark business suit, answered questions somberly as the Government tried to show that Mr. McMahon's Titan Sports Corporation had illicitly provided him with anabolic steroids. Defense lawyers, in cross-examination, sought to show that Mr. Bollea's nearly 14-year use of the drugs had been an entirely personal action. Steroid Use Called Common

Prosecutors have charged that Mr. McMahon provided steroids to his wrestlers to build up their physiques and thus make them more appealing to audiences.

Under questioning by a prosecutor, Sean O'Shea, Mr. Bollea, who was testifying under immunity from prosecution, said that steroid use "was fairly common" among wrestlers working for the World Wrestling Federation in the 1980's. He said that while touring for the W.W.F., he would call Emily Feinberg, then Mr. McMahon's executive secretary, "and ask her to place an order for me with Dr. Zahorian." George T. Zahorian is a Harrisburg, Pa., physician who has been convicted of illegally distributing steroids and who has been named as an unindicted co-conspirator in this case. Paycheck, Mail and Steroids

Mr. Bollea, who now wrestles on a rival circuit, Ted Turner's Atlanta-based World Championship Wrestling, said that when the steroid orders arrived at Titan Sports headquarters in Stamford, Conn., he would "pick them up along with my paycheck, fan mail or whatever."

Mr. Bollea said that he took anabolic steroids not only for body building but "to heal injuries, to keep on going," but that he no longer uses the drugs.

During cross-examination, Laura A. Brevetti, a lawyer for Mr. McMahon, sought to demonstrate that the steroids were not used or distributed illicitly.

"I believed it was legal because I had a prescription for it," said Mr. Bollea. He also said that Mr. McMahon never ordered him to take steroids and never purchased any steroids for him.

A crowd of nearly 80 people, about 30 of them forced to stand, filled the small audience section of Judge Jacob Mishler's courtroom here. Many of the onlookers were pro wrestling devotees.

The fans saw the Hulk Hogan character reassert itself as Mr. Bollea left the courthouse. Before stepping into an airport taxi en route to a special cable television event this weekend, he smiled, pointed into the camera lenses and said, "Better watch the Pay Per View this Sunday, brother!"

Hogan’s testimony under oath contradicted what he had said on The Arsenio Hall Show back in 1991, where he said he had never taken steroids.

Three days later, Hogan in his WCW in-ring debut defeated Ric Flair at Bash at the Beach for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

20 years ago today on RAW is WAR from San Antonio, Texas (WWE Network link), Stone Cold Steve Austin and Dude Love defeated Owen Hart & The British Bulldog to win the vacated WWF Tag Team Championship.

The championship was vacated when Michaels and Austin had a falling out as a team. In reality, the championships were vacated as punishment for Michaels, who was suspended for getting into a backstage altercation with Bret Hart a month earlier.

19 years ago today at a RAW is WAR taping in Binghamton, New York (WWE Network link), D-Lo Brown defeated Triple H win the WWF European Championship.

8 years ago today, Wayne Coleman, best known as Superstar Billy Graham, auctions off his WWE Hall of Fame ring on eBay as a response to his release from his position as a consultant for WWE.

Coleman and Vince McMahon have had a contentious relationship dating as far back as the early 1990s during the steroid scandal that plagued the company.

The ring eventually sold for $11,500. Later that summer, he would also sell off his Hall of Fame plaque and the jacket he wore to the ceremony.

Believe it or not, things are good between Coleman and WWE. In 2015, Graham signed a WWE legends deal, allowing him to make sporadic appearances for the company. He did come under controversy for seeking out the position left behind by Dusty Rhodes following his passing.

4 years ago today, WWE presented Money in the Bank from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 18,147 were in attendance, with 199,000 homes watching on PPV. That's up from 188,000 homes for the 2012 edition.

  • In a preshow match, The Shield (Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns) defeated The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
  • Damien Sandow defeated Dean Ambrose, Fandango, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Antonio Cesaro, and Jack Swagger in a Money in the Bank ladder match for a future World Heavyweight Championship match up to one year.
  • Curtis Axel defeated The Miz to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • AJ Lee defeated Kaitlyn to retain the WWE Divas Championship.
  • Ryback defeated Chris Jericho.
  • Alberto Del Rio defeated Dolph Ziggler to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • John Cena defeated Mark Henry to retain the WWE Championship.
  • Randy Orton defeated CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Christian, and Rob Van Dam in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match for a future WWE Championship match up to one year.

2 years ago today, WWE presented the second round of the Cruiserweight Classic from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.

  • In a dark match, TM-61 (Nick Miller & Shane Thorne) defeated Mustafa Ali & Sean Maluta.
  • Gran Metalik defeated Tajiri.
  • Kota Ibushi defeated Cedric Alexander.
  • Akira Tozawa defeated Jack Gallagher.
  • Noam Dar defeated Ho Ho Lun via submission.
  • Brian Kendrick defeated Tony Nese via submission.
  • Rich Swann defeated Lince Dorado.
  • Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Drew Gulak.
  • TJ Perkins defeated Johnny Gargano via submission.

The best of cSs on this day:

2016: Women’s tag team match set for WWE Battleground 2016 (Charlotte and Dana Brooke to face Sasha Banks and a player to be named later at Battleground—player to be named later turns out to be Bayley)

2015: Video: Stephanie McMahon congratulates emotional Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks after Raw call up (Stephanie McMahon meets with new main roster members Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks after their big debut)

2014: Sting announced as WWE 2K15 pre-order bonus (Sting makes his WWE games debut as the preorder bonus for WWE 2K15)

2013: Report: WWE will announce Ultimate Warrior to appear in 2K14 video game (Wrestling Observer Newsletter and PWInsider both report Ultimate Warrior may be a part of WWE 2K14)

2012: Vince McMahon talks the history of Monday Night Raw on (Vince McMahon talks about the history of RAW ahead of RAW 1000)

2011: "Macho Man" Randy Savage tribute show turns out to be a huge disaster (Tampa Bay Times report on a really bad tribute show)

2010: TNA to copy WWE's ECW One Night Stand concept at their next PPV Hard Justice (TNA’s doing an ECW reunion show in August)

2009: You got your pro wrestling in my MMA (Mike Garza does not approve of Brock Lesnar’s antics at UFC 100)

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