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This Day In Wrestling History – July 16th‏



Events

In 1985, the first ever Great American Bash was promoted by Jim Crockett, under the NWA banner, and was held in Charlotte, North Carolina. The concept is credited to Dusty Rhodes. The next 2 Bashes would be tours rather than single events, with the original format returning for 1988

– Ole & Arn Anderson defeat Buzz Sawyer & Dick Slater to retain the NWA National Tag Team Titles
– Krusher Khruschev & Ivan Koloff fought The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) to a double-DQ
– Magnum TA defeats Kamala by DQ to retain the NWA United States Title
– Ric Flair defeats Nikita Koloff with David Crockett as special guest referee to retain the NWA World Title
– Dusty Rhodes defeats Tully Blanchard in a Cage Match to win the NWA Television Title and the services of Blanchard’s valet Baby Doll for 30 days (though she would go on to become Rhodes’ full-time valet)

In 1995, WCW Bash At The Beach was held in Huntington Beach, California

– Sting defeats Meng to retain the WCW United States Title
– The Renegade defeats Paul Orndorff to retain the WCW Television Title
– Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) defeat The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) & The Blue Bloods (Lord Steven Regal & Earl Robert Eaton) in a Triangle Match to retain the WCW World Tag Team Titles
– Randy Savage defeats Ric Flair in a Lifeguard (Lumberjack) Match
– Hulk Hogan defeats Vader in a Cage Match to retain the WCW World Title

In 2000, ECW Heat Wave was the 7th and final Heat Wave event, held in Los Angeles, California

– Yoshihiro Tajiri defeats Mikey Whipwreck, Little Guido & Psicosis in a 4-Way Dance
– Rhino defeats The Sandman to retain the ECW Television Title
– Rob Van Dam defeats Scotty Anton
– Justin Credible defeats Tommy Dreamer in a Stairway to Hell Match to retain the ECW World Title

In 2006, TNA Victory Road was held in Orlando, Florida

– Senshi defeats Kazarian to retain the TNA X-Division Title
– Raven defeats Larry Zbyszko in a Hair vs Hair Match
– Sirelda, AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels defeat Gail Kim, Chris Harris & James Storm to retain the NWA World Tag Team Titles for Styles & Daniels
– Sting defeats Scott Steiner, Samoa Joe & Christian Cage in a Road To Victory Match

Title Changes

1983 – Butch Reed defeats Junkyard Dog to win the MSW North American Title

1994 – Sid Vicious defeats Jerry Lawler by forfeit to win the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Title

1996 – Cho-Ten (Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) defeat Kazuo Yamazaki & Takashi Iizuka to win the IWGP Tag Team Titles

2003 – KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji defeat Jushin Liger & Takehiro Murahama in the final of a tournament to win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles

2010 – Los Invasores (Mr Aguila & Hector Garza) defeat La Sombra & Volador Jr to win the CMLL Tag Team Titles

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former ECW FTW Champion Chris Chetti (38), 2-time WWE-ECW Champion Bobby Lashley (36) and one-time NWA World Champion Blue Demon Jr (46)

Also, today would have been the birthday of one-time AWA World Champion Mighty Igor Vodic (81)

In Memoriam

The wrestling world has lost 3 personalities on this date:

Firstly, in 2001, former NWA and WCW Tag Team Champion Terry Gordy died aged just 40. Gordy began his career in 1975 as ‘Terry Mecca’, but quickly reverted to using his real name and, alongside Michael Hayes, founded The Fabulous Freebirds. The duo (later trio, after Buddy Roberts joined the group) competed as top heels in several southern NWA territories throughout the 1980’s. Gordy also found singles success, winning championships in the Southeastern and Mid-South territories. In the early 90’s, he competed in Japan alongside Steve Williams as ‘The Miracle Violence Connection’, with the duo eventually becoming 5-time AJPW Unified Tag Team Champions. Throughout the rest of the 90’s, Gordy competed in all of the big 3 promotions, though did not last long in any of them. He passed of a heart attack caused by a blood clot.

In 2005, the first WWC Heavyweight Champion Miguel Perez died at the age of 68. Perez began his professional career in Montreal in 1954, wrestling for the Montreal Athletic Commission. He later formed a tag team with Antonino Rocca, competing in the New York territory for NWA Capitol (the forerunner of today’s WWE). They were the first recognised tag team champions of the promotion. Rocca left the area in 1963, which saw Perez become an undercard wrestler. Perez himself left the area in 1968 and after a stint of relative inactivity, became the face of WWC in it’s infancy. He became a 3-time WWC Puerto Rican Heavyweight Champion before reuniting with Rocca for a stint as the promotion’s tag team champions. After Rocca’s death in 1977, Perez won one more Puerto Rican Heavyweight Title before being forced to retire from the ring through injury in 1979. He remained with WWC through to 1981 in various roles before leaving wrestling altogether. He died of a heart attack at his home on the island.

Finally, in 2006, former NWA and AWA star Bob Orton Sr died aged 76. Orton competed in several NWA promotions across his career, winning championships in the Midwest, Central States, Florida, Texas, Mid-South, Western States and St Louis territories. He also had a stint in the WWWF, teaming with Buddy Rogers. However, it is perhaps his legacy rather than his championships that is best remembered in today’s wrestling world. He was one of the first wrestlers to utilize the Piledriver move and was instrumental in the popularization of the move. I also read (though I can’t guarantee the authenticity) that he innovated the move that we today know as ‘The Pedigree’. Orton only retired from the ring in 2000 after a near 50 year career, living out his life in Las Vegas, before passing of a series of heart attacks. Orton’s descendants continued his legacy in the wrestling business; his sons Bob Jr and Barry both competed for the WWF and grandson Randy is a 9-time World Champion.

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One Response

  1. Old School says:

    The 1st Great American Bash was held on July 6th (not July 16th).

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