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This Day in Wrestling History (July 21): The Rock’s Record-Breaking Title Win


36 years ago today in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Tony Garea and Rick Martel defeated The Moondogs (Rex and Spot) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.

The win made Garea the first man to hold the WWF Tag Team Championship five times. He held it with four different partners: Haystacks Calhoun, Dean Ho (both in 1973), Larry Zbyszko in 1978, and twice with Martel (1980 and 1981).

Side note: dating back to when the title was vacated in August 1980, three of the four tag title changes happened in Allentown, PA (it would do so eight of ten times through November 1983).

33 years ago today in Charlotte, North Carolina, Tully Blanchard defeated Magnum TA to win the NWA United States Championship.

22 years ago today in Tampa, Florida, Dean Malenko defeated Eddie Guerrero to win the ECW World Television Championship.

The event holds a bit of infamy for the post-match of the ECW world title match between The Sandman and Mikey Whipwreck, who won a 12-man battle royal for a shot at the title earlier in the show. Sandman won and retained the title; per prematch stipulations, Whipwreck would receive ten shots from Sandman’s kendo stick.

Mikey took three lashes and could barely stand. Ring announcer Ron Lemieux offered to take the other seven, but Woman, Sandman’s manager at the time, turned down the offer. Mikey took four more lashes before ECW commissioner Tod Gordon ordered Mikey to be stretchered out. Referee Bill Alfonso warned Gordon that Mikey had to take all ten or he would be committing fraud and lose his promoter’s license. Sandman finished his caning, going well beyond the ten lashes before Marty Jannetty made the save... and he would take a hell of a caning.

So what’s the big deal, you ask?

Well, even though this aired late nights (very late in some cases) on The Sunshine Network, a regional cable sports channel, the caning combined with Woman getting turned on (so to speak) by the brutality was a bridge too far. The August 1 episode (WWE Network link) never aired on the channel, and ECW was briefly pulled from the Sunshine Network.

But wait, there’s more: following the conclusion of the main event where The Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge and Flyboy Rocco Rock) defeated The Gangstas (New Jack & Mustafa), many fans rushed the ring to celebrate. The ring collapsed with all the weight in it. No one was hurt, though the ring collapse would be a part of ECW’s opening montage for some time.

21 years ago today, WWF presented In Your House 9: International Incident (WWE Network link) from General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia. 14,804 were in attendance, with about 122,000 homes purchasing the event on PPV.

  • In the preshow Free For All match, Justin Bradshaw defeated Savio Vega.
  • The Body Donnas (Skip & Zip) defeated The Smoking Gunns (Bart & Billy Gunn).
  • Mankind defeated Henry Godwinn.
  • Steve Austin defeated Marc Mero.
  • The Undertaker defeated Goldust by disqualification.
  • Camp Cornette (Owen Hart, The British Bulldog, and Vader) defeated The People's Posse (Ahmed Johnson, Shawn Michaels, and Sycho Sid).

15 years ago today, WWE presented Vengeance (WWE Network link) from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. About 12,000 were in attendance, with 375,000 homes watching on PPV. It's up 60,000 from the event of the same name the previous December, but down 400,000 from last July's PPV offering, Invasion.

  • In a preshow match on Sunday Night Heat, Goldust defeated Steven Richards.
  • Bubba & Spike Dudley beat Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero in a tables match.
  • Jamie Noble defeated Billy Kidman to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
  • Jeff Hardy defeated William Regal to retain the WWE European Championship.
  • John Cena defeated Chris Jericho.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated Brock Lesnar by DQ to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • Booker T defeated The Big Show.
  • The Un-Americans (Christian & Lance Storm) defeated Hulk Hogan & Edge to win the WWE Tag Team Championship. The loss ended Hogan's only tag team championship reign in his career.
  • The Rock defeated Kurt Angle and The Undertaker in a triple threat match to win the WWE Championship. The win gave The Rock his seventh WWE championship, a record that would stand for nearly seven years, until Triple H won the WWE Championship for the eighth time in February 2009. John Cena currently holds the record with 13.

12 years ago today, longtime manager, wrestler, and commentator "Lord" Alfred George James Hayes died following a series of strokes in Dallas, Texas. He was 76.

Born August 8, 1928 in London, England, Hayes worked on the British wrestling circuit from the late 1950s to late 1970s as "Judo" Al Hayes, based on his black-belt training in judo as a youngster. After a long feud with Dr. Death for Paul Lincoln Promotions, Hayes joined the WWF in 1982, but his popularity took off in 1984 with WWF talk show Tuesday Night Titans as Vince McMahon's sidekick.

He served as a sideline reporter for the original Wrestlemania and commentated the main event of Wrestlemania II. His humorous and gentle demeanor also made him a mainstay on WWF home video releases, usually with Sean Mooney, and in skits for Saturday Night's Main Event, Prime Time Wrestling, and WWF Mania.

Though he was generally a face commentator, he leaned heel towards the end of his WWF run. Hayes left the WWF in 1995 following a series of budget cuts that affected the company. McMahon and the office took the loss of Hayes hard.

Around the same time, he was involved in an auto accident that ultimately resulted in part of his leg being amputated, confining him to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life. His last major wrestling gig came for the short-lived American Wrestling Federation in 1996.

Hayes spent his final years in nursing homes and hospitals; it was at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas where he ultimately passed away on July 21, 2005 following a stroke.

At the time of his death, he was survived by his son and daughter, along with three grandchildren. Posthumously, he was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2014. His voiceover has been used for old school-themed episodes of RAW since his passing.

8 years ago today at a TNA Impact taping at Universal Orlando, The British Invasion (Brutus Magnus and Doug Williams) defeated Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) in a tables match to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.

Airing July 30, title match was not sanctioned by New Japan Pro Wrestling (the organization responsible for handling the belts), nor did they officially recognize the title change until August 10.

In the show’s main event, Bobby Lashley and Mick Foley defeated Kevin Nash and Kurt Angle. As Foley got the pinfall on Nash, Foley won the TNA Legends Championship. Kurt Angle’s TNA World Heavyweight Championship was also at stake.

5 years ago today at a Metro Pro Wrestling taping in Kansas City, Kansas, Adam Pearce defeated Colt Cabana in a two-out-of-three falls match to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

It would be the fifth and last of Adam’s NWA world title reigns. His reign ended in controversy in October when he vacated the title after he was not allowed to defend it in Australia.

The best of cSs on this day:

2016: Nikki Bella hints she’s been cleared to train, is heading to the WWE Performance Center (Nikki Bella tweets a pic of the Performance Center, indicating an imminent return to the ring)

2015: WWE Raw ratings (July 20, 2015): Viewers up for Undertaker return, Battleground fallout (Viewership up from previous week’s RAW thanks to the Undertaker, but down against 2014)

2014: CM Punk: 'I'm never, ever going back to WWE' (CM Punk at the Alternative Press Music Awards says he’s never coming back to WWE)

2013: Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff & Dixie Carter - the departures needed from TNA? (TNA’s rash of releases do nothing to fix the root of the problem says Keith Harris)

2012: Video: Road Warrior Animal returns to WWE on Smackdown to squash Heath Slater (Animal of the Road Warriors the latest legend to notch a win over Heath Slater)

2011: CM Punk-Triple H tiff at WWE Comic-Con panel improves Raw in hindsight (What does CM Punk crashing a San Diego Comic-Con panel mean for RAW in the short-term?)

2010: [Spoilers] - The Undertaker won't be facing Kane at SummerSlam (Rey Mysterio wins a best-of-three falls match, will challenge Kane for World Heavyweight Championship at Summerslam)

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