On this day in history in ….
1966 – The Viking & Jack Donovan defeat Bob Eillis & The Stomper in Kansas City, Kansas to win the NWA North American Tag Team Title.
1978 – Dick The Bruiser defeats Dick Murdoch in St. Louis, Missouri to win back the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Title, the second title change in a feud between the two men that would last for well over a year.
1984 – Ted DiBiase defeats The Spoiler in Macon, Georgia to win the NWA National Heavyweight Title, ending Spoiler’s second reign as champion and starting his own second run with the belt.
1986 – WWF held their second-ever King Of The Ring Tournament in Foxboro, Massachusetts. In a non-tournament match, WWF Tag Team Champions The British Bulldogs defeated Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake. Here are the results of the tournament:
- Billy Jack Haynes defeated The Iron Sheik.
- Harley Race defeated George Steele.
- Don Muraco (who won the inaugural tournament) vs. Roddy Piper ended in a double-DQ. Piper, appearing for the first time since Wrestlemania II, was cheered by the fans, despite the fact that his babyface turn had yet to take place.
- Nikolai Volkoff defeated Dan Spivey.
- Junkyard Dog defeated Paul Orndorff.
- Pedro Morales defeated Rudy Diamond.
- Mike Rotundo & Mr. X received byes into the next round.
- Billy Jack Haynes defeated Mr. X.
- Nikolai Volkoff defeated Junkyard Dog.
- Pedro Morales defeated Mike Rotundo.
- Harley Race received a bye into the next round.
- Harley Race defeated Billy Jack Haynes.
- Pedro Morales defeated Nikolai Volkoff.
- Harley Race defeated Pedro Morales to win the King Of The Ring tournament.
1991 – WCW’s Great American Bash 1991 was held, a show best remembered for who wasn’t there, Ric Flair. The event, held at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, was originally built around NWA/WCW World Champion Ric Flair defending the title against Lex Luger. When then-WCW Vice President Jim Herd fired Flair right before the PPV during contract negotiations, the card was thrown into disarray. At one point, Flair was going to drop the title to Barry Windham prior to the Bash, but when Flair told Herd that he wanted back his deposit (at that time, the NWA champion left a bond as a security deposit when he was given the belt) before giving back the title, Herd told Flair to just keep the belt.
A new WCW belt was created (actually, I think they just put a new plate on an old title belt), since Flair still had the “big gold belt”, and a match was announced between Lex Luger and Barry Windham to determine a new champion. The fans, many of whom had purchased their tickets before all this went down, chanted “We Want Flair” throughout the night, a chant that would become very familiar in WCW for the next several months. The chants were clearly audible throughout the PPV broadcast.
Windham, meanwhile, had been previously advertised for a steel cage match where he would team with Arn Anderson and Paul E. Dangerously against Rick & Scott Steiner and Missy Hyatt. However, an injury to Scott Steiner and Windham’s being moved into the title match changed it to Dangerously & Anderson vs. Rick & Hyatt. Then the Maryland State Athletic Commission stepped in and informed them that a woman could not wrestle a man in that state. So, an angle had to be thought up to get Hyatt out of the match. As an interesting side note, that rule still exists, so when WWE put on a Stephanie McMahon vs. Vince McMahon match in Maryland a few years ago, WWE had to pay a fine (actually, they paid it in advance) for the match.
Another interesting side note in all this is that the NWA (which, as an organization, was separate from WCW) continued to recognize Flair as “their champion” all the way until Flair’s WWF debut. This would mark the first time the WCW and NWA titles were seen as separate entities.
Here are the results for the show which many have branded one of the greatest PPV disasters of all time:
- In a dark match, Junkyard Dog defeated Black Bart. Strangely, this match between the two past-their-prime veterans went over 12 minutes, longer than all but two matches on the PPV card.
- PN News & Bobby Eaton defeated Steve Austin & Terrance Taylor in a Scaffold match. Out of nowhere, WCW changed the rules of a Scaffold match, which traditionally didn’t end until someone fell off the scaffold into the ring. Just before the bout began, it was announced that you could win the match by crossing the scaffold and grabbing the opposing team’s “flag” which was secured to the opposite end of the scaffold from where your team started. After six minutes of light brawling on the scaffold, Eaton grabbed the flag for an anti-climactic victory. In hindsight, putting three of the best workers in the company in a gimmick match like this was a poor decision.
- The Diamond Stud (Scott Hall) defeated Tom Zenk in nine minutes with a back suplex as Zenk was going after Stud’s manager, Dallas Page.
- Ron Simmons defeated Oz (Kevin Nash) in eight minutes after a series of shoulderblocks.
- Ricky Morton defeated Robert Gibson in seventeen minutes. Morton, who had just turned heel and joined the York Foundation, spent the majority of the match working on Gibson’s knee, then got the win by hitting Gibson with Alexandra York’s laptop computer. York would later be known as Marlena and Terri in WWE.
- Dustin Rhodes and the Young Pistols (Tracey Smothers & Steve Armstrong) defeated The Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin, Badstreet & Michael Hayes) in an elimination match that went seventeen minutes, and all the eliminations took place in the last four minutes of the match. Here is the order of elimination:
* Hayes pinned Armstrong.
* Hayes was disqualified.
* Garvin pinned Smothers.
* Rhodes pinned Garvin.
* Rhodes pinned Badstreet with a bulldog to win the match.
- The Yellow Dog (Brian Pillman in a mask to circumvent a loser-leaves-WCW stip) defeated Johnny B. Badd via disqualification in six minutes when Teddy Long interfered.
- Big Josh defeated Blackblood (Billy Jack Haynes) in a little over five minutes in a lumberjack match after Dustin Rhodes hit Blackblood with an ax handle, setting up the pin.
- El Gigante defeated One Man Gang, with Kevin Sullivan, in six minutes when Gigante kicked powder that Gang was going to use into his own face.
- Nikita Koloff defeated Sting in a Russian chain match in eleven minutes. Both men had touched three corners, and Sting then dove for the fourth, but in doing so knocked Nikita back first into the corner, so Nikita was declared the winner. The same finish was used many years later in a Bullrope match between JBL and Eddie Guerrero to set up JBL’s WWE Title win.
- Lex Luger defeated Barry Windham in a Steel Cage match with a piledriver to win the vacant WCW World Title. Harley Race and Mr. Hughes came out towards the end, and aligned with Lex Luger, although they never actually got involved in the match. Luger then became a heel (even though he was a face to this point), despite not actually doing any heel tactics in order to win the title. The fans couldn’t seem to care less, chanting “We Want Flair” for almost the entire duration of the match.
- Rick Steiner defeated Arn Anderson & Paul E. Dangerously in a steel cage match in two minutes. Steiner came out with Hyatt, but the Hardliners (Dick Murdoch & Dick Slater) came out and carried Hyatt to the back. Steiner did nothing to help his “kidnapped” partner. Anderson was accidentally knocked out by Paul E. Dangerously’s phone, and Steiner pinned Dangerously with a clothesline.
1995 – Ken Shamrock defeats Dan Severn in under two minutes via submission to win the UFC SuperFight Title at the sixth Ultimate Fighting Championship event. Several years later, WWF would tease rematching the two in a pro wrestling match.
1997 – Steve Austin & Dude Love (Mick Foley) defeat Owen Hart & Davy Boy Smith in a tournament final for the WWF World Tag Team Title in San Antonio, Texas. The belts had been vacated by previous champions Austin & Shawn Michaels, who refused to team together.
1998 – D’Lo Brown defeats Hunter Hearst Helmsley for the WWF European Heavyweight title in Binghamton, New York, ending the second reign with the title for Helmsley.