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This Day In Wrestling History – March 29th



Trivia

2007 – Bret Hart is inducted into the GERWECK.NET Hall of Fame

Events

In 1987, WWF Wrestlemania III, held in Pontiac, Michigan, set the all-time attendance record for an indoor sports arena in North America with 93,173 fans in attendance. The record was only broken by the 2010 NBA All-Star game

– Harley Race defeats Junkyard Dog in a Loser Must Bow Match
– Roddy Piper defeats Adrian Adonis in a Hair vs Hair Match
– Ricky Steamboat defeats Randy Savage to win the WWF Intercontinental Title
– The Honky Tonk Man defeats Jake Roberts
– Hulk Hogan defeats Andre The Giant to retain the WWF Title. This was the match where Hogan famously bodyslammed Andre

In 1998, WWF Wrestlemania XIV was held in Boston, Massachusetts. This event is generally cited as the beginning of the Attitude Era and saw the last in-ring appearance of Shawn MIchaels until 2002.

– Taka Michinoku defeats Aguila to retain the WWF Light Heavyweight Title
– Triple H defeats Owen Hart to retain the WWF European Title
– The Rock defeats Ken Shamrock by DQ to retain the WWF Intercontinental Title
– Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie defeat The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn & Road Dogg) in a Dumpster Match to win the WWF Tag Team Titles
– The Undertaker defeats Kane
– Steve Austin defeats Shawn Michaels with Mike Tyson as special guest enforcer to win the WWF Title

In 2008, the WWE Hall Of Fame Ceremony was held in Orlando, Florida. The class of 2008 are:

– Ric Flair
– Peter Maivia
– Rocky Johnson
– Mae Young
– Jerry & Jack Brisco
– Eddie Graham
– Gordon Solie

Title Changes

1968 – Spoiler #1 defeats Billy Red Lyons to win the Texas Heavyweight Title

1976 – Buck Robley & Bob Slaughter defeat The Hollywood Blondes (Jerry Brown & Buddy Roberts) to win the TSW United States Tag Team Titles

1982 – Bugsy McGraw defeats Jose Lothario to win the Texas Brass Knuckles Title

1994 – Men on a Mission (Mabel & Mo) defeat The Quebecers (Pierre & Jacques) to win the WWF Tag Team Titles

1999 – on Nitro, The Filthy Animals (Rey Misterio Jr & Billy Kidman) defeat Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko to win the WCW Tag Team Titles

1999 – on Raw, Goldust defeats Road Dogg to win the WWF Intercontinental Title

2005 – on Smackdown, Paul London wins a Battle Royal to win the WWE Cruiserweight Title

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former WCW, NWA and WCWA Tag Team Champion Michael Hayes (54)

In Memoriam

On this day in 1974, the wrestling world lost 3-time World Heavyweight Champion Joe Stecher at the age of 81. Having established himself as a top amateur competitor, Stecher turned professional in 1912. After winning his first few fights comfortably, he took on his brother Tony (an equally accomplished amateur wrestler) as his trainer/manager, who encouraged him to develop a ‘finishing hold’. In time, Stecher became known as the ‘Scissors King’, having perfected the leg scissors hold. In the mid-1910’s, Stecher came to the attention of ‘Farmer’ Martin Burns, who was touring the area with then-World Heavyweight Champion Frank Gotch and ‘The Terrible Turk’ Yussiff Hussane. Burns attempted to pull his regular con on Stecher, claiming that the local wrestler could not defeat his ‘strongman’ Hussane. However, after a 45 minute contest, Stecher was able to get Hussane into his Leg Scissor hold, after which Hussane was disqualified for biting the leg of Stecher. This catapulted Stecher to national notoriety and in 1915, he defeated Charles Cutler to win the World Heavyweight Title, becoming the youngest person to do so at the time. However, Stecher remained in the shadow of Frank Gotch, who had retired as unbeaten champion. It was only natural then that a Gotch-Stecher match was set up, however, it would never take place, as Gotch broke his leg in training, leading to a series of health problems that would eventually cause his death a year later. Stecher thereby became the de facto ‘top star’ of wrestling. He reigned as champion until 1917, when he surprisingly lost to Earl Caddock, though would later defeat Caddock in the final of a tournament to win back the title. Incidentally, this second match with Caddock was filmed, and is the oldest surviving film of a wrestling match. Following the battle with Caddock, Stecher engaged in a feud with Ed ‘Strangler’ Lewis, who would defeat Stecher for the title in December 1921. The feud continued well into the 20s; Stecher and Lewis formed rival wrestling promotions, and in 1925, were involved in the first ‘Screwjob’, where Lewis’ champion (ex-football player Wayne Munn) was soundly beaten by Stecher’s challenger (respected grappler Stanislaus Zbyszko). Stecher later beat Zbyszko to win the title, but with his best years behind him, the duo came to an agreement and Stecher dropped the title back to Lewis in 1928, retiring later that year. In retirement, Stecher suffered from depression and following a nervous breakdown, was institutionalised in St Cloud, Minnesota, where he would remain for most of his life. He was released in 1964, aged around 70 and lived out a quiet life before dying peacefully of natural causes. In 1996, Stecher was one of the inaugural inductees to the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame

Also, for those interested, the video of the match between Stecher and Caddock can be found on Youtube, though as you’d expect, the quality is poor. You can find it at this link – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQl6mmAtkbE



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