32 years ago today at a WWF Championship Wrestling taping in Poughkeepsie, New York, Elizabeth Huelette makes her WWF debut.
For weeks prior to her debut, many managers courted the services of Randy “Macho Man” Savage, who debuted for the company about two months prior as “wrestling’s hottest free agent”. Managers Luscious Johnny V, Mr. Fuji, Bobby Heenan, Jimmy Hart, and Freddie Blassie all pitched their services, and were all there when Savage made the announcement. The gig went to Savage’s real-life wife (something that would not be acknowledged in WWF canon until the couple divorced in 1992).
An interesting side note: the gig almost went to a young Missy Hyatt. George Scott, a booker for the WWF at the time, suggested Hyatt (she was with World Class Championship Wrestling at the time; it wasn’t the first time WWF tried to bring Missy in, as she tried out for the company in 1987), but Savage countered by suggesting his wife.
Miss Elizabeth, as she would be later known, would manage Savage for most of the next seven years, then again briefly when she joined WCW.
17 years ago today, i-Generation Superstars of Wrestling taped its only PPV event, Rodman Down Under (link is for the German home video version of the event). About 10,000 were in attendance at the Superdome in Sydney, Australia.
They were "treated" to one of the worst wrestling shows ever. The show would not air in the States until December, by which point, the promotion disbanded. The event was eventually released on home video, but not until 2006.
- The Road Warriors (Animal and Hawk) defeated Public Enemy (Rocco Rock and Johnny Grunge) in an elimination tables match to win the i-Generation Tag Team Championship. For the second time. The belt had changed hands between the teams twice in two days before this show. Public Enemy would win the belts back four days later, but the Road Warriors would win them one more time in December.
- The Barbarian defeated Brute Force (Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake) in a hardcore match.
- Sweet Destiny defeated Brandi Wine.
- One Man Gang defeated Tatanka to win the i-Generation Australasian Championship. Tatanka won the title two days earlier, and would win it again four days later. One Man Gang would win the belt back in December.
- Curt Hennig defeated Dennis Rodman by disqualification in an Australian Outback match to retain the i-Generation World Heavyweight Championship. Hennig would lose the title to the Barbarian three days later, but would hold the title for just one day before Hennig won it back.
16 years ago today on RAW from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (WWE Network link), Booker T defeated Kurt Angle in a no disqualification match to regain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. It would be Booker T’s fifth and final WCW world title, and his last world title of any kind until 2006.
On the undercard, X-Pac defeated Billy Kidman in a title-for-title match to retain the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship and win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
The win began Sean Waltman’s second run as cruiserweight champion; the first came back in 1997 as Syxx for WCW
7 years ago today at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's Seven in Resada, California, Scorpio Sky defeated Scott Lost.
It was billed as the final match for Lost, real name Scott Epperston. Epperston was one of six co-founders of PWG in 2003, which has grown to one of the world's premier independent wrestling organizations.
Epperston, who is now a comic book artist, wrestled just once since his retirement, a win in a tag team match with Joey Ryan over Brian Cage-Taylor and Ryan Taylor at All-Star Weekend 8 in May 2011.
5 years ago today, the 1001st episode of Monday Night RAW (WWE Network link) began with a major hitch as part of the RAW set catches fire just as fans were filing into the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. No injuries were reported and the damage appeared to be minor, but fans were still filing into the arena as the show began.
The show featured the return of Randy Orton from his 60-day suspension for violating the WWE Wellness Policy. In his return bout, he defeated Heath Slater in just 77 seconds.
In the show’s main event, John Cena and The Big Show went to a no contest in a #1 contender’s match for the WWE Championship.
Not surprisingly, the show’s viewership returned to levels consistent with what they did at the time; just under 4.5 million viewers on average for RAW’s 1001st episode, down from 6.02 million for RAW 1000.
It's a happy 70th birthday for actor/bodybuilder/politician/general famous person Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger.
A seven-time Mr. Olympia and the youngest ever winner of Mr. Universe (he won it at age 20), Arnold is quite the expert on bodybuilding as he's penned many articles and books on the sport, though he had admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs while they were legal.
He transitioned to movies in the early 1980s, breaking through with starring roles Conan the Barbarian and The Terminator. As an actor, he's appeared in over 30 movies, including four of the five Terminator movies, Commando, The Running Man, Predator, Kindergarten Cop, and True Lies.
In late 2003, Schwarzenegger won a recall election to replace Gray Davis as the 38th Governor of California. He would serve the remainder of that term, plus win a full term in 2006. Shortly after leaving office, Schwarzenegger separated, then eventually divorced his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver.
After leaving office, Arnold returned to acting, most notably appearing in The Expendables 2 and 3 (he was also in the original), The Last Stand, and in a yet-to-be-released remake of Conan the Barbarian, entitled Conan the Conquerer.
Wrestling connection: Arnold appeared on Smackdown in 1999 and was given an honorary WWF Championship belt and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015. Schwazenegger, both in his human and Terminator forms, was made a playable character in WWE 2K16.