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This Day in Wrestling History (July 23): RAW 1000

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33 years ago today, MTV presented The Brawl to End it All from Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The one-hour special was the main event of a full card presented for the crowd and broadcast on MSG Network, a regional sports channel in the New York area. The show’s hook was a WWF Women’s Championship match between long-reigning champion The Fabulous Moolah and upstart Wendi Richter.

The event, sparked by a chance meeting between Cyndi Lauper and Captain Lou Albano while filming the music video for "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", set off the famous "Rock ‘n Wrestling Connection" that would culminate with the first Wrestlemania a few months later.

The event wasn’t a huge success at the box office compared to the previous month’s main event in Madison Square Garden (15,000 seats sold for Brawl compared to the previous month’s show featuring a boot camp match between Sgt. Slaughter and The Iron Sheik that drew 21,000 to the Garden), but it was a huge winner for MTV. It drew a massive 9.0 rating for the network, making it the most-watched show in the music channel’s history at the time.

  • Paul Orndorff defeated Chief Jay Strongbow.
  • Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch defeated Sgt. Slaughter & Terry Daniels to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
  • Bob Backlund defeated Butcher Vachon via submission.
  • Tito Santana and Cowboy Bob Orton, Jr. fought to a 20-minute draw for the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
  • Hulk Hogan defeated Greg Valentine to retain the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
  • Antonio Inoki defeated Charlie Fulton to retain the WWF World Martial Arts Championship.
  • The Iron Sheik defeated Tony Garea.
  • Samoan Sika defeated Ron Shaw.
  • Samoan Afa defeated Rene Goulet.
  • Antonio Inoki won a 20-man battle royal.
  • Wendi Richter defeated The Fabulous Moolah to win the WWF Womens Championship. Save for four brief runs not recognized by WWE today, the win ends The Fabulous Moolah's dominant run as women's champion at an astounding 10,170 days, or over 27 years. Accounting for those brief runs, it’s an even 10,100 days.

28 years ago, the NWA presented The Great American Bash: Glory Days (WWE Network link) from the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. 12,500 were in attendance, with about 140,000 homes purchasing the event on PPV.

The event made $188,000 in ticket sales, a record that would stand for WCW until Halloween Havoc in October 1996.

  • Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey were co-winners of a Two-Ring King of the Hill Battle Royal worth $25,000. Vicious won in one ring, while Spivey was the last man standing in the other ring, and the two were to face off for the money, but their manager Teddy Long put a stop to that. Other participants (who qualified by winning battle royals during house shows prior to the event) were Eddie Gilbert, Terry Gordy, Scott Hall, Bill Irwin, Brian Pillman, Ranger Ross, Mike Rotunda, Ron Simmons, Rick Steiner, Scott Steiner and Kevin Sullivan. Of note, this was Scott Steiner's PPV debut.
  • Brian Pillman defeated Bill Irwin.
  • The Skyscrapers (Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey) defeated The Dynamic Dudes (Johnny Ace and Shane Douglas).
  • Jim Cornette defeated Paul E. Dangerously in a tuxedo match.
  • The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) defeated Mike Rotunda and Kevin Sullivan in a Texas Tornado match.
  • Sting defeated The Great Muta to retain the NWA World Television Championship. However, replays post-match showed Muta had a shoulder up before the three count while Sting's shoulders were still down, thus holding up the title. Muta would win the title in September in Atlanta.
  • Lex Luger defeated Ricky Steamboat by disqualification to retain the NWA United States Heavyweight Championship. The match was originally booked as a no-disqualification match, but Luger refused to compete unless the no-disqualification rule was lifted.
  • The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal), The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) and Steve Williams defeated The Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin, Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy) and The Samoan Swat Team (Samu and Fatu) in a WarGames match when Hawk forced Garvin to submit.
  • Ric Flair defeated Terry Funk to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

25 years and two days ago today in Portland, Maine, Bret Hart defeated Shawn Michaels in a ladder match to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

Predating the famous Shawn Michaels-Razor Ramon ladder match by nearly two years, the first ever ladder match in company history took place at the conclusion of a Wrestling Challenge taping. It would be a part of the WWF Coliseum Home Video release Smack ‘Em Whack ‘Em released in April 1993 (the same tape has Bret Hart’s first world title win over Ric Flair taking place three months later).

17 years ago today, WWF presented Fully Loaded 2000 (WWE Network link) from the Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. 16,504 were in attendance, with about 420,000 homes watching on PPV. That's up from 360,000 for 1999's edition.

  • The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) and Lita defeated T & A (Test and Albert) and Trish Stratus in a mixed tag team match.
  • Tazz defeated Al Snow.
  • Perry Saturn defeated Eddie Guerrero to win the WWF European Championship.
  • The Acolytes (Faarooq and Bradshaw) defeated WWF Tag Team Champions Edge and Christian by disqualification.
  • Val Venis defeated Rikishi in a Steel cage match to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
  • The Undertaker defeated Kurt Angle.
  • Triple H defeated Chris Jericho in a Last Man Standing match.
  • The Rock defeated Chris Benoit to retain the WWF Championship. Benoit originally won the match and the title via disqualification (per a prematch stipulation), but the bout was restarted by Commissioner Mick Foley.

16 years ago on RAW is WAR from Buffalo, New York (WWE Network link), Lance Storm defeated Albert to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.

11 years ago today, WWE presented The Great American Bash (WWE Network link) from the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. 9,750 were in attendance, with 232,000 homes watching on PPV. That's down from 280,000 homes for the 2005 event.

  • In a preshow dark match, Funaki defeated Simon Dean.
  • Paul London and Brian Kendrick defeated The Pit Bulls (Jamie Noble and Kid Kash) to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
  • Finlay defeated William Regal to retain the WWE United States Championship.
  • Gregory Helms defeated Matt Hardy.
  • The Undertaker defeated The Big Show in a Punjabi Prison match.
  • Ashley Massaro defeated Kristal Marshall, Jillian Hall, and Michelle McCool in a fatal four-way bra and panties match.
  • Mr. Kennedy defeated Batista by disqualification.
  • King Booker defeated Rey Mysterio to win the World Heavyweight Championship.

9 years ago today, WWE made amendments to their Wellness Policy to include concussion testing using the same program that used by the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NHL, and the NCAA.

In addition, WWE announced they would provide drug treatment services to anyone who ever performed under contract to WWE.

6 years ago today at PWG Eight in Resada, California, Claudio Castignoli defeated Chris Hero to retain the PWG World Championship... only to lose it moments later to Kevin Steen.

5 years ago today, WWE presented the 1000th episode of Monday Night RAW (WWE Network link) from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. 18,308 were in attendance, with an average of six million viewers watching the first episode of the three-hour era, the most since 2009, and a number that hasn't been eclipsed since.

D-Generation X (minus Chyna) reunited for the first time as a group since 2000, Jim Ross did commentary, Mick Foley appeared as Dude Love, and legends galore including Jim Duggan, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Sid Vicious, Vader, Ron Simmons, Bob Backlund, and Diamond Dallas Page.

The Rock returned for the first time since the night after Wrestlemania XXVIII to challenge the WWE Champion at the Royal Rumble, and AJ Lee, just moments before she was to be married to Daniel Bryan, was announced as the new general manager of RAW.

  • Rey Mysterio, Sheamus, and Sin Cara defeated Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho, and Dolph Ziggler.
  • Brodus Clay defeated Jack Swagger.
  • The Miz defeated Christian to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • Lita defeated Heath Slater in a no disqualification match.
  • John Cena defeated CM Punk by disqualification for the WWE Championship. Punk retained the WWE Championship, and the win by DQ was pretty much a loss for Cena, as he became the first person to fail to win the title in his Money in the Bank cash-in match. Post-match, Punk turned heel when he attacked The Rock just as he was doing the People's Elbow on Big Show.

It's a happy 30th birthday for Lucas Eatwell, but wrestling fans tend to call him Zack Sabre, Jr.

Wrestling since the age of 14, Sabre is well-travelled, competing for many UK promotions including NWA UK Hammerlock, One Pro Wrestling, IPW:UK, Pro Wrestling NOAH, PROGRESS, and Triple X Wrestling, where gained international recognition for about in 2008 against Bryan Danielson.

A former GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, Sabre won the Wrestling Observer Newsletter award for Best Technical Wrestler in each of the last three years. In March 2016, Sabre defeated Adam Cole to win the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's World Championship for the first time. He held the title until just over two weeks ago when he was defeated by Chuck Taylor.

Sabre competed in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic tournament. He made it to the semifinals before falling to eventual runner-up Gran Metalik. Pro Wrestling Torch later reported that Sabre was booked to go out in the semifinals due to him not agreeing to a WWE contract.

Earlier this year, Sabre joined New Japan Pro Wrestling, debuting at the 45th anniversary show in March. Sabre was surprisingly left off the Best of the Super Juniors tournament, but that’s because the promotion classified him as a heavyweight, enabling him to participate in the G1 Climax tournament.

Earlier this month, Zach was defeated in the semifinals of the first ever IWGP United States Championship tournament, losing to tournament runner-up Tomohiro Ishii. His biggest singles win to date came earlier this week when Zach defeated seven-time IWGP heavyweight champion and reigning Intercontinental Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi.

“The Technical Wizard” is the current EVOLVE World Champion and Revolution Pro Wrestling British Heavyweight Champion (he’s also a tag team champion there with Marty Scurll) and is a vegan.

Today would have been the 38th birthday of Pedro Aguayo Ramirez, best known to lucha libre fans as Perro Aguayo Jr. or El Hijo de Perro Aguayo.

The son of lucha legend Perro Aguayo, he was best known as the leader of rudo stable Perros del Mal (Dogs of Evil) in the mid 2000s. He would form his own independent promotion of the same name after leaving CMLL. He had two runs in AAA; his first from 1995 to 2003 (his professional debut came at just age 15), and his second coming in 2010. The 1995 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Rookie of the Year and 2012 AAA Rey de Reyes winner won tag team championships with World Wrestling Association, CMLL, and AAA. Aguayo had competed in 13 luchas de apuestasmatches (wager matches, such as hair versus hair or hair versus mask) in his career, winning them all.

On March 20, 2015, Aguayo wrestled in a tag team match with Manik against Rey Mysterio and Xtreme Tiger. During the bout, Mysterio hit a headscissors takedown on Aguayo, who was then sent out of the ring. When Aguayo returned, he was kicked into the back and shoulder setting up for the 619. Manik then fell onto the middle rope and Aguayo's body appeared to have gone limp. The match soon went to a quick finish, with Mysterio pinning Manik.

Konnan, who was at ringside, attempted to revive Aguayo, as did paramedics when he was brought to a local hospital. Aguayo was pronounced dead at 1am the next morning. He was just 35.

Initially reported as a death via cervical spine trauma, Aguayo died of cardiac arrest due to a cervical stroke caused by having his C1, C2, and C3 vertebrae broken. There was criticism that Aguayo had not been attended to in a timely manner and had also been not properly carried out (he was carried out on a piece of plywood, as the stretcher was already in use to attend to another wrestler that suffered a spinal injury). The cororner ruled it would have made no difference, as the fractures killed him almost instantaneously.

Posthumously, several promotions, including AAA, Lucha Underground, CMLL, The Crash, and World Wrestling League, paid tribute to Aguayo following his death. Less than a month after his death, the Mexican Senate Sports Commission introduced an initiative to regulate combat sports nationwide in the country, including a code of ethics, a consolidation of agencies, and granting federal licenses.

Perro Aguayo, Jr. was posthumously inducted into the AAA Hall of Fame that summer at Triplemania XXIII and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame late in the year.

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