This Day In Wrestling History – April 2nd

Apr 2, 2017 - by Bill Fenbers

For recaps of the four WrestleMania’s to occur on April 2nd (1989, 1995, 2000, and 2006), click on ths link.

1989  – NWA / WCW Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin’ Cajun is held in New Orleans in front of 5,300 fans.  Clash of the Champions, receiving a 4.3 TV rating, went head-to-head with WrestleMania V on free TV, in an attempt to hurt the WWF’s pay-per-view buyrate.  This was the second year in a row Clash of the Champions aired directly opposite WrestleMania.

The Samoan Swat Team (Fatu & Samu) defeat The Midnight Express.
The Great Muta defeats Steven Casey.
– The Junkyard Dog defeats Butch Reed.
Bob Orton defeats Dick Murdoch.
The Varsity Club (Mike Rotunda & Steve Williams) defeat The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal,) to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship.  Referee Teddy Long fast-counted the pinfall on Hawk.  As a result, Long would be fired as a referee and became a manager.
Ranger Ross defeats The Iron Sheik via disqualification.
Eddie Gilbert & Rick Steiner defeat Dan Spivey & Kevin Sullivan, to retain the NWA United States Tag Team Championship.
Ricky Steamboat defeats Ric Flair,  in a Two-out-of-Three Falls Match, to retain the NWA World Championship.
– In a post-show dark match, Sting defeats Rip Morgan, to retain the NWA Television Championship.
– In a post-show dark match, Lex Luger defeats Jack Victory, to retain the NWA United States Championship.

1993 – In Smoky Mountain Wrestling, Tracy Smothers defeats The Dirty White Boy, to win the SMW Heavyweight Championship.  This was a Tennessee Chain Match.  Elsewhere, Dr. Wagner Jr. defeats Pierroth Jr., to win the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship.  And finally, Tony Stetson & Larry Winters defeat The Super Destroyers (A.J. Petrucci & Doug Stahl), to win the NWA-ECW World Tag Team Championship.  This match would air via tape delay May 11, 1993.

1999Negro Casas & El Hijo del Santo defeat Bestia Salvaje & Scorpio Jr., to win the CMLL World Tag Team Championship.

2001The Rock gets his rematch for the WWF Championship on this evening’s RAW IS WAR, facing new champion Stone Cold Steve Austin in a Steel Cage Match.  At WrestleMania X-Seven the night before, Austin had turned heel, and defeated The Rock with help from Vince McMahon.  In the Steel Cage Match, The Rock attempts to pin or make Austin several times, but McMahon would either distract the referee or pull the ref out of the cage before he can count to three.  The match eventually disintegrates, and The Rock gets beaten down by Austin Vince McMahon.  Triple H enters the cage with a sledgehammer.  He teases a fight with Austin.  But they both turn and, along with McMahon, triple-team The Rock and leave him lying in the ring bleeding.  Austin and Triple H forge an alliance that would be known as The Two-Man Power Trip.

2005 – The annual WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony is held at the Universal Amphitheater, in Hollywood, CA.  The Class of 2005 is listed below.

Hulk Hogan (inducted by Sylvester Stallone)
Roddy Piper (inducted by Ric Flair)
Bob Orton (inducted by Randy Orton)
Jimmy Hart (inducted by Jerry Lawler)
Paul Orndorff (inducted by Bobby Heenan)
The Iron Sheik (inducted by Sgt. Slaughter)
Nikolai Volkoff (inducted by Jim Ross)

2005B.J. Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs defeat Jay Lethal & Samoa Joe, to win the vacant ROH World Tag Team Championship.  Elsewhere, Averno & Mephisto defeat Atlantis & Blue Panther, to win the CMLL World Tag Team Championship.

2007 – On this evening’s RAW, The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) win a 10 Tag Team Battle Royal, last eliminating Trevor Murdoch & Lance Cade, to become the new World Tag Team Champions.  The previous champions were John Cena & Shawn Michaels.

2010Chris Kanyon is found dead in his apartment by his brother.  Kanyon, who had threatened suicide multiple times, overdosed on antidepressants and left a note of apology to his family.  Kanyon was a two-time WCW Tag Team Champion & one-time WWF Tag Team Champion.

2010Lance Cade is released by WWE for the second time.  Cade had been released in October 2008 but was brought back in September 2009.  He appeared in WWE’s developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling, but had not returned to the main roster at the time of his April 2010 release.

2010Jack Swagger takes advantage of a beaten down Chris Jericho (the World Heavyweight Champion) on this evening’s Friday Night SmackDown.  After Jericho is attacked and speared by Edge, Swagger comes to the ring to cash in his Money in the Bank Contract.  One gutwrench powerbomb later, Swagger pins Jericho, to win the World Heavyweight Championship (video below).

2011 – The annual WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony is held at Philips Arena, in Atlanta.  The Class of 2011 is listed below.

Jim Duggan (inducted by Ted DiBiase, Sr.)
Bob Armstrong (inducted by his sons: Scott, Brian (Road Dogg), & Brad)
Sunny (inducted by All the WWE Divas)
Drew Carey (inducted by Kane)
Abdullah The Butcher (inducted by Terry Funk)
The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal, along with manager Paul Ellering) (inducted by Dusty Rhodes)

2011 – Night 2 of ROH’s Honor Takes Center Stage is held in Atlanta.

The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) defeat Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly.
Colt Cabana defeats Dave Taylor (with Prince Nana, R.D. Evans, Princess Mia, & Ernesto Osiris).
Daizee Haze & Tomoka Nakagawa defeat Ayumi Kurihara & Hiroyo Matsumoto, to retain the SHIMMER Tag Team Championship.
The Briscoe Brothers (Mark & Jay) defeat The All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus).
El Generico defeats Roderick Strong (with Truth Martini).
Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) defeat The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards).

2012 – One night after losing to The Rock at WrestleMania 28, John Cena addresses the Monday Night RAW crowd in Miami, to accept his loss.  Cena invites The Rock to come out to the ring so he could congratulate him.  Cena is greeted instead by Brock Lesnar, making his return to WWE after an eight-year absence (video below).

2016 – At EVOLVE 59, Catch Point (Drew Gulak & Tracy Williams) defeat Drew Galloway & Johnny Gargano, to win the EVOLVE Tag Team Championship.

2016 – At SHIMMER 80, Nicole Savoy defeats Heidi Lovelace and Candice LeRae, to become the inaugural Heart of SHIMMER Champion.  Savoy has held the title for exactly one year now.

2016 – The annual WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony is held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.  The Class of 2016 is listed below.

– Sting (inducted by Ric Flair) – Sting is the second active wrestler to be inducted, though he would announce his retirement during his induction speech.
– The Godfather (inducted by Ron Simmons & John Bradshaw Layfield)
– The Big Boss Man (inducted by Slick)
Jacqueline (inducted by The Dudley Boyz)
– Stan Hansen (inducted by Vader)
The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, Buddy Roberts & Jimmy Garvin (inducted by The New Day)
Snoop Dogg (inducted by John Cena)

The Warrior Award was presented, by Dana Warrior, to Joan Lunden (longtime host of ABC’s Good Morning America, Breast Cancer Survivor, and Spokesperson for Susan G. Komen.

This is also the first year for the “Legacy Wing” of the Hall of Fame, featuring wrestlers from the early days of professional wrestling (early part of the 20th Century).  These individuals are inducted posthumously and recognized via video package at the Ceremony.

– Mildred Burke
– Frank Gotch
– George Hackenschmidt
– Ed “Strangler” Lewis
– Pat O’Connor
– Lou Thesz
– “Sailor” Art Thomas

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: 4-time AAA World Tag Team Champion Jack Evans (35 years old);  2-time Frontier Wrestling Alliance (FWA) British Heavyweight Champion Jody Fleisch (37 years old);  indy wrestler Alex Reigns (30 years old);  and six-time New England Championship Wrestling (NECW) Tag Team Champion King Adamo (44 years old).

SOURCES: Clash of the Champions on Wikipedia, WWE Hall of Fame on Wikipedia,,, The Internet Wrestling Database

Follow me on Twitter at @Bill_Fenbers.

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