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This Day In Wrestling History – May 23rd‏



Trivia

2012 – The sixth season of WWE NXT officially begins. Despite initially being referred to as series 6, this version of NXT lost the competition element of past series in favour of becoming a standard television show featuring WWE developmental talent.

Events

In 1993, WCW Slamboree: A Legend’s Reunion was held in Atlanta, Georgia and featured the first inductees into the short-lived WCW Hall of Fame. The Class of 93 were Mr Wrestling II, Lou Thesz, Verne Gagne & Eddie Graham

– The Hollywood Blonds (Brian Pillman & Steve Austin) defeat Dos Hombres (Ricky Steamboat & Tom Zenk) in a Cage Match to retain the NWA & WCW Tag Team Titles
– Barry Windham defeats Arn Anderson to retain the NWA World Title
– Davey Boy Smith defeats Big Van Vader by DQ (Vader retains the WCW World Title)

In 1999, WWF Over The Edge was held in Kansas City, Missouri. The event is infamous for the tragic death of Owen Hart, which I’ll cover later in the column. Vince McMahon made the decision to continue the show as ‘it’s what Owen would have wanted’. Jim Ross announced his death to the TV audience later in the show, but the live audience were never informed

– Kane & X-Pac defeat D’Lo Brown & Mark Henry to retain the WWF Tag Team Titles
– Al Snow defeats Hardcore Holly to retain the WWF Hardcore Title
– The Rock defeats Triple H by DQ
– The Undertaker defeats Steve Austin with Vince & Shane McMahon as special guest referees to win the WWF Title

In 2010, the first WWE Over The Limit was held in Detroit, Michigan. The event was unusual, as most new events of the time were match-specific

– Kofi Kingston defeats Drew McIntyre to win the WWE Intercontinental Title
– Rey Mysterio defeats CM Punk in an SES Pledge vs Hair Match, forcing Punk to shave his head
– The Hart Dynasty (DH Smith & Tyson Kidd) defeat Chris Jericho & The Miz to retain the WWE Unified Tag Team Titles
– The Big Show defeats Jack Swagger by DQ (Swagger retains the World Heavyweight Title)
– Eve Torres defeats Maryse to retain the WWE Divas Title
– John Cena defeats Batista in an I Quit Match to retain the WWE Title

Title Changes

1981 – The Von Erichs (David & Kevin) defeat The Great Kojika & Motoshi Okuma to win the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Titles

1983 – The Great Kabuki defeats Jos Le Duc to win the NWA Television Title

1983 – The Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey & Bobby Eaton) defeat The Rock N Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson) in a No-DQ Match to win the MSW Tag Team Titles

1992 – Steve Austin defeats Barry Windham to win the WCW Television Title

1996 – Jun Akiyama & Mitsuharu Misawa defeat The Holy Demon Army (Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada) to win the AJPW Unified World Tag Team Titles

2000 – on Thunder, Kevin Nash defeats Jeff Jarrett & Scott Steiner in a Triple Threat Match to win the WCW World Title

2008 – Akitoshi Saito & Bison Smith defeat Naomichi Marufuji & Takashi Sugiura to win the GHC Tag Team Titles

2008 – Hector Garza & Mistico defeat Averno & Mephisto to win the held-up CMLL Tag Team Titles

2010 – Atsushi Aoki & Go Shiozaki defeat La Legion Extranjera (Taiji Ishimori & Takeshi Morishima) to win the AAA Tag Team Titles

2011 – The New Nexus (David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty) defeat Kane & The Big Show to win the WWE Tag Team Titles

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former TNA Tag and X-Division Champion Alex Shelley (30), current NXT wrestler Bray Wyatt (27) and PWG founder Super Dragon (38)

Also, today would have been the birthday of one-time NWA Womens Tag Team Champion Donna Christanello (71) and former AWA Tag Team Champion Mitsu Arakawa (86)

In Memoriam

On this day in 1999, the wrestling world lost former WWF Intercontinental, European and Tag Team Champion Owen Hart aged just 34. Hart originally did not want to become a wrestler, but after failing to find a steady, enjoyable job, he began training at his father’s famous Dungeon and debuted for Stampede in 1986. Two years impressing in Canada and Japan led to a WWF deal, for whom he debuted in 1989, wrestling as the masked superhero ‘The Blue Blazer’. Following an uneventful one year run, Hart left the promotion, choosing to tour the world both under his real name and as The Blue Blazer, until losing the Blazer mask to El Canek in Mexico. After a 5-match run for WCW in 1991, Hart returned to the WWF, competing as part of the New Hart Foundation alongside Jim Neidhart. The pair failed to gain any momentum before Neidhart left the WWF, so Hart branched out on his own, feuding with his brother Bret. In August 1994, Owen defeated Bret for the WWF Title, though the match was restarted due to interference and Bret retained the title. Following the 1995 Royal Rumble, the brothers halted their feud, with Owen returning to the tag team division, first alongside Yokozuna, then The British Bulldog and much later, reuniting with Bret. Following the Montreal Screwjob, Owen remained with the WWF and feuded with Triple H over the European Title. He had a brief stint with The Nation of Domination before another tag team run, this time alongside Jeff Jarrett, which saw the return of the Blue Blazer gimmick. As mentioned earlier in the column, Hart died at the Over The Edge PPV. Competing as The Blue Blazer, Hart was scheduled to descend to the ring from the rafters on a harness. Details of the cause of the accident are sketchy at best, however, what is known is that the harness failed for some reason, causing Hart to fall nearly 80 feet, landing chest-first on the top rope. He was rushed to hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival of massive internal bleeding. The WWF aired a tribute show, ‘Raw is Owen’, the following night, which I will detail in tomorrow’s column. Several other promotions and personalities paid tribute to Owen in the following weeks and months


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7 Responses

  1. Josh Dionio says:

    Rest well, Owen. Hopefully all the drama between your widow and the WWE are now a thing of the past and you’re smiling wherever you may be.

  2. Discount double check says:

    The Undertaker won the WWF title from Stone Cold at Over the Edge 1999 as well.

  3. Jamie says:

    I *have* reported the Taker-Austin match. It’s the last bullet point under Over The Edge

  4. Discount double check says:

    But it is most certainly *NOT* under the title change section.

  5. Jamie says:

    True, because it is listed in one place, I do not list it in the other. The title changes section is for title changes which happen outside of major events

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