This Day In Wrestling History – April 1st

Apr 1, 2017 - by Bill Fenbers

Happy birthday to The Viper!! (photo credit: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.)

For recaps on the four WrestleMania’s to occur on April 1st, click on this link.

1979Ric Flair defeats Ricky Steamboat, to win the NWA (Mid-Atlantic) United States Championship.  Elsewhere, The Spoiler defeats Kevin Von Erich, to win the NWA American Heavyweight Championship.

1980Masked Superstar wins a tournament, to win the vacant NWA Television Championship.

1982Andre The Giant wins the fifth NJPW MSG Series, defeating Killer Khan in the final.  Antonio Inoki was supposed to face Andre in the final, but was injured and could not compete.

1985Scott Casey defeats Dennis Condrey, to win the WCCW Television Championship.

1989Master of Pain defeats Jerry Lawler, to win the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship.

1994 – In Smoky Mountain Wrestling, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Robert Gibson & Ricky Morton) defeat The Heavenly Bodies (Jimmy Del Ray & Tom Prichard), to win the SMW Tag Team Championship.  This was a Steel Cage, Losing Team Leaves SMW Match.

1996 – In the Monday Night Wars, WWF Monday Night RAW, (2.9 TV rating) barely beats WCW Monday Nitro (2.8 rating).

2001WCW WorldWide airs its final episode.  This is the last-ever WCW television show to be aired;  the final episode of Monday Nitro had aired March 26th.  At the time of its cancellation, WorldWide was the longest-running, uninterrupted weekly syndicated show of any kind, on the air in the United States.

2002 – On this evening’s RAW, Bubba Ray Dudley defeats Raven, to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.

2003 – At a SmackDown taping in Spokane, Washington, Sable makes her to the WWE after a 4-year absence.  Sable interrupts Torrie Wilson’s celebration over her Playboy magazine cover.  The return shocked many, given the bad blood between Sable and the WWE, which included Sable filing a $110 million lawsuit against the WWE at one point, for sexual harassment.  The SmackDown taping aired on UPN April 3rd.

2006 – The annual WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony is held at the Rosemont Theatre, outside of Chicago.  The Class of 2006 is listed below.

Bret Hart (inducted by Stone Cold Steve Austin)
Eddie Guerrero (inducted by Chris Benoit, Chavo Guerrero Jr., and Rey Mysterio)
Gene Okerlund (inducted by Hulk Hogan)
The Blackjacks, Lanza & Mulligan (inducted by Bobby Heenan)
Sensational Sherri (inducted by Ted DiBiase, Sr.)
Verne Gagne (inducted by his son Greg Gagne)
Tony Atlas (inducted by S.D. Jones)
William ‘The Refrigerator’ Perry (inducted by John Cena)

2007Jun Akiyama & Takeshi Rikio defeat Takeshi Morishima & Muhammad Yone, to win the GHC Tag Team Championship.

2008 – Former WCW wrestler Harrison “Hardbody Harrison” Norris Jr. is sentenced to life in prison, and lifetime supervised release, for committing multiple violations of federal sex trafficking and forced labor statutes, in connection with a scheme to force women into prostitution.  He is also sentenced to pay a $2,400 special assessment.

2010 – Linda McMahon resigns from her position on the Connecticut State Board of Education.  State law did not allow board members to solicit campaign contributions.  McMahon, making a run for Senate, said, “Although the opinion does not preclude a board member from running for public office, it does disallow them from engaging in many of the activities that are necessary to be a successful candidate.”

2011 – At Day 1 of ROH’s Honor Takes Center Stage, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) defeat The Kings of Wrestling (Claudio Castagnoli & Chris Hero), to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship.  In Day 1’s main event, Eddie Edwards defeats Christopher Daniels, to win the ROH World Championship.

2012 – In Florida Championship Wrestling, Corey Graves & Jake Carter defeat Husky Harris & Bo Rotundo, to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship.  The match originally occurred on an FCW TV taping March 15th, and was aired April 1st via tape delay, on the Bright House Sports Network.

2016NXT TakeOver: Dallas is held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, in front of a sell-out crowd of 9,000 fans.

American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable) defeat The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder), to win the NXT Tag Team Championship.
Austin Aries defeats Baron Corbin.
Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Sami Zayn.
Asuka defeats Bayley, via technical submission, to win the NXT Women’s Championship.
Finn Balor defeats Samoa Joe, to retain the NXT Championship.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: 12-time WWE World Champion Randy Orton (37 years old);  former TNA wrestler Jesse Sorensen (28 years old);  and German wrestler Stefan Hackelberg (31 years old)

SOURCES: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Wrestle Zone, Linda McMahon on Wikipedia, WCW WorldWide on Wikipedia, gerweck.net, wrestlingdata.com, The Internet Wrestling Database

Follow me on Twitter at @Bill_Fenbers.

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