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This Day In Wrestling History- May 23rd



Trivia

2012 – The 6th 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

2007 - Jill Jarrett, wife of TNA’s Jeff Jarrett, has passed away following a long battle with cancer. She had been an important piece of the birth and early growth of TNA, including overseeing the upgrades made to the TNA Asylum in Nashville, TN

Events

In 1993, WCW Slamboree: A Legend’s Reunion was held at the Omni, 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. With an attendance of 7,008:

– Marcus Bagwell & 2 Cold Scorpio defeated Chris Benoit & Bobby Eaton
– Sid Vicious (with Robert Parker) defeated Van Hammer
– Jimmy Snuka, Don Muraco, & Dick Murdoch fought Wahoo McDaniel, Jim Brunzell, & Blackjack Mulligan to a no contest in a 6-man tag team match
– Brad Armstrong & Thunderbolt Patterson defeated Ivan Koloff & Baron Von Raschke
– Dory Funk Jr. (with Gene Kiniski) fought Nick Bockwinkel (with Verne Gagne) to a time limit draw
– Rick Rude & Paul Orndorff defeated Kensuke Sasaki & Dustin Rhodes
– Sting defeated The Prisoner (Nailz)
– The Hollywood Blonds (Brian Pillman & Steve Austin) defeated Dos Hombres (Ricky Steamboat & Tom Zenk) in a Cage Match to retain the NWA & WCW Tag Team Titles
– Barry Windham defeated Arn Anderson to retain the NWA World Title
– Davey Boy Smith defeated Big Van Vader via DQ (Vader retains the WCW World Title)

In 1999, WWF Over The Edge was held at the Kemper Arena, 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 16,472 fans in the live audience were never informed:

Sunday Night Heat:
– Meat (Shawn Stasiak) defeated Brian Christopher
– The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) defeated The Blue Meanie & Goldust
– Vince McMahon vs. Mideon ended in a no contest
PPV:
– Kane & X-Pac defeated D’Lo Brown & Mark Henry (with Ivory) to retain the WWF Tag Team Titles
– Al Snow defeated Hardcore Holly to retain the WWF Hardcore Title
– Val Venis & Nicole Bass defeated Jeff Jarrett & Debra in a Mixed Tag Team Match
– Mr. Ass (Billy Gunn) defeated Road Dogg
– The Union (Test, Mankind, The Big Show, & Ken Shamrock) defeated The Corporate Ministry (The Big Bossman, Viscera, & The Acolytes (Farooq & Bradshaw)
– The Rock defeated Triple H (with Chyna) via DQ
– The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) defeated Steve Austin with Vince & Shane McMahon as special guest referees to win the WWF Title

In 2006, WWE Smackdown was taped at the Rabobank Arena, here in Bakersfield, Ca. I was at this event live in person. The main event saw JBL challenge Rey Mysterio Jr. for the World Title, if he didn’t win the title he would retire. Uniquely, I was also at Wrestlemania 25 in Houston, Tx. 3 years later, when Rey Mysterio Jr. once again retired JBL (this time permanently as of date). Also on the show rap group 3 6 Mafia performed Mark Henry’s entrance live in the arena for his entrance. & we saw the coronation of Booker T, whom had won the King of The Ring 2 nights prior at Judgement Day. This segment dragged on for over 25 mins. Over 20 of which was William Regal on the mic saying “All Hail King Booker!”:

– Bobby Lashley defeated John Bradshaw Layfield to win the WWE United States Title
Tatanka defeated Simon Dean
– Chris Benoit fought  Mark Henry to a no contest after they brawled all over ringside, eventually Mark Henry laid out Benoit, To the point he had to be stretchered out
– WWE Tag Team Champions Paul London & Brian Kendrick defeated Vito & Nunzio
– Finlay defeated Paul Burchill
– Rey Mysterio Jr. (with Chavo Guerrero Jr.) defeated JBL to retain the WWE World Title. As per pre match stipulations, JBL was forced to retire

In 2010, the 1st WWE Over The Limit was held at Joe Lois Arena, in Detroit, Michigan. The event was unusual, as most new events of the time were match-specific. With an attendance of 11,000:

Dark Match:
MVP defeated Chavo Guerrero Jr.
PPV:
– Kofi Kingston defeated Drew McIntyre to win the WWE Intercontinental Title
– R-Truth defeated Ted Dibiase Jr. (with Virgil)
– Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated CM Punk in an SES Pledge vs Hair Match, forcing Punk to shave his head
– The Hart Dynasty (DH Smith & Tyson Kidd) (with Natalya) defeated Chris Jericho & The Miz to retain the WWE Unified Tag Team Titles
– The Big Show defeated Jack Swagger via DQ (Swagger retains the World Heavyweight Title)
– Eve Torres defeated Maryse to retain the WWE Divas Title
– John Cena defeated Batista in an I Quit Match to retain the WWE Title

Title Changes

1961 – Wilbur Snyder & Leo Nomellini defeated Hard Boiled Haggerty & Gene Kiniski to win the AWA World Tag Team Championship in Minneapolis, Minnesota

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

1983 – The Great Kabuki defeated Joe Le Duc to win the NWA Television Title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former TNA Tag & X-Division Champion Alex Shelley (31), & PWG founder Super Dragon (39)

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

In Memoriam

Firstly, on this date in 1994, Ray Candy of the Zambuie Express died of a heart attack in Georgia at the age of 43

Secondly 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. 2 years impressing in Canada & Japan led to a WWF deal, for whom he debuted in 1989, wrestling as the masked superhero ‘The Blue Blazer’. Following an uneventful 1 year run, Hart left the promotion, choosing to tour the world both under his real name & 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 & Bret retained the title. Following the 1995 Royal Rumble, the brothers halted their feud, with Owen returning to the tag team division, 1st alongside Yokozuna, then The British Bulldog & much later, reuniting with Bret. Following the Montreal Screwjob, Owen remained with the WWF & 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 &  personalities paid tribute to Owen in the following weeks & months


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One Response

  1. TheBlackDiamondKliffHanger says:

    Still Miss Owen Hart.

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