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This Day In Wrestling History – July 20th



Events

In 2008, the final WWE Great American Bash was held in Uniondale, New York. The event would be renamed The Bash for 2009. It was also the final PPV before the company moved to a PG rating. The Great American Bash name was revived for a TV special in 2012, but has yet to return to the PPV lineup

– Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder defeat John Morrison & The Miz, Jesse & Festus and Finlay & Hornswoggle in a Fatal Four Way Match to win the WWE Tag Team Titles
– Shelton Benjamin defeats Matt Hardy to win the WWE United States Title
– Mark Henry defeats Tommy Dreamer to retain the ECW World Title
– Chris Jericho defeats Shawn Michaels
– Michelle McCool defeats Natalya to become the first WWE Divas Champion
– CM Punk fought Batista to a double-DQ after Kane attacked both men. As a result, Punk retains the World Heavyweight Title
– JBL defeats John Cena in a New York City Parking Lot Brawl
– Triple H defeats Edge to retain the WWE Title

Title Changes

1963 – Verne Gagne defeats The Crusher to win the AWA World Title

1973 – Jack Brisco defeats Harley Race to win the NWA World Title

1979 – Gino Hernandez & El Gran Markus defeat Jose Lothario & El Halcon to win the WCCW American Tag Team Titles

1986 – Eddie Gilbert & Sting defeat The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton & Tommy Rogers) to win the UWF Tag Team Titles

1992 – The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) defeat Money Inc (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R Schyster) to win the WWF Tag Team Titles

1992 – Eddie Gilbert defeats Ricky Morton to win the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Title

1998 – on Nitro, Scott Hall & The Giant defeat Sting & Kevin Nash to win the WCW Tag Team Titles. Also, Bret Hart defeats Diamond Dallas Page to win the WCW United States Title

2000 – Tatsuhito Takaiwa defeats Jushin Liger to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title. Also, Ten-Koji (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Koji Kanemoto) defeat Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata to win the IWGP Tag Team Titles

2001 – Masayuki Narase defeats Minoru Tanaka to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title. Also, Gedo & Jado defeat El Samurai & Jushin Liger to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles

2007 – Negro Casas & Mistico defeat Ultimo Guerrero & Dr Wagner Jr to win the CMLL Tag Team Titles

Birthdays

Happy birthday to one-time WCW Cruiserweight Champion ‘Above Average’ Mike Sanders (43)

Also, today would have been the birthday of the first World Heavyweight Champion Georg Hackenschmidt (135)

In Memoriam

On this day in 1998, the wrestling world lost former AWA and NWA Womens Champion June Byers at the age of 76. Byers grew up in a wrestling family and often played in the ring as a small child. As she grew up, she got to know some of the wrestlers, who taught her a few moves. Eventually, she was spotted by famed women’s promoter Billy Wolfe, who gave her formal training and arranged for her debut in 1944. After a few years competing as a jobber to the likes of Mildred Burke and Mae Young, Byers began teaming with Millie Stafford, and the pair won two regional NWA Tag Team Titles. In 1953, then-champion Mildred Burke had a bitter falling out with Wolfe and left his promotion, leaving the championship vacant. Byers won a 13-woman tournament to clinch the title and shot to mainstream fame, appearing on several game shows, including What’s My Line. Burke was eventually coaxed into returning for a match with Byers; Byers won the first fall, with the second called a draw after over an hour of stalemate. Despite the non-result, the Atlanta Athletic Commission (and most media outlets) declared Byers as the undisputed champion. Byers became the face of womens wrestling across the next decade, only retiring after a car crash caused her serious leg injuries and permanently blurred her vision. He relinquishing of the NWA Womens Title allowed The Fabulous Moolah to begin her rise to prominence. Byers moved to Houston in retirement and became a real-estate agent. She died at her home of pneumonia.

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