This Day In Wrestling History – July 4th

Jul 4, 2017 - by Bill Fenbers

Finn Balor won the NXT Championship on this date in 2015.

Better late than never on today’s edition of “This Day In Wrestling History.”  I hope everyone is having a happy and safe 4th of July.

1974 Gary Michael Cappetta makes his official debut as a ring announcer, at a WWWF event in Wildwood, NJ.  Elsewhere, Ric Flair & Rip Hawk defeat Paul Jones & Bob Bruggers, to win the NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship.

1981Paul Orndorff defeats Jake Roberts, to win the Mid-South North American Heavyweight Championship.

1982 – In Atlanta, a rare WWF vs. NWA World Title Match sees WWF Champion Bob Backlund and NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair ends in a double count-out.

1983 – WCCW’s Independence Day Star Wars is held in Fort Worth, TX in front of 12,000 fans.  At the event, David Von Erich defeats Jimmy Garvin, to win the vacant WCCW Texas Heavyweight Championship.  Also, in a Two-Out-of-Three Falls Match, The Von Erichs (David, Kerry & Kevin) defeat The Fabulous Freebirds (Terry Gordy, Michael Hayes, & Buddy Roberts), two falls to one, to win the WCCW World Six-Man Tag Team Championship.

1984 – WCCW’s Independence Day Star Wars is held in Forth Worth, TX in front of 12,700 fans.  At the event, King Parsons defeats Bill Irwin, in a singles match, to win the WCCW American Tag Team Championship;  Parsons would choose Buck Zumhofe as his new tag team partner.  Also, The Fabulous Freebirds (Terry Gordy, Michael Hayes, & Buddy Roberts) defeat The Von Erichs (Kerry, Kevin, & Mike) to win the vacant WCCW World Six-Man Tag Team Championship.

1986 – WCCW’s Independence Day Star Wars is held in Dallas, TX in front of 11,500 fans.  At the event, Chris Adams defeats Rick Rude, to win the WCWA World Heavyweight Championship.  Also, Buzz Sawyer defeats Brian Adias to win the WCWA Texas Heavyweight Championship.  And finally, Abdullah The Butcher defeats The Great Kabuki, to win the WCWA Brass Knuckles Championship.

1988Kerry Von Erich is awarded the WCWA Texas Heavyweight Championship, after previous champion Terry Taylor signs with the WWF.

1988 – Former AWA and WWF World Tag Team Champion ‘Adorable’ Adrian Adonis is one of three men killed in Newfoundland, when their minivan falls from a bridge onto a creek below.  Adonis was 33 years old at the time.  The driver, Mike Kelly, allegedly swerved to avoid hitting a moose and was blinded by the setting sun, causing van to careen off the bridge.  Mike Kelly was the only survivor but suffered severe leg injuries.  Pat Kelly and Dave ‘Canadian Wildman’ McKigney were also killed in the crash.

1990Brutus Beefcake suffers serious facial injuries, during a parasailing accident in Florida. Over 100 metal plates were needed to repair the facial skeleton.  Beefcake makes a full recovery, but does not return to wrestling until April 1993.

1993Lex Luger arrives via helicopter on the deck of the USS Intrepid in New York City, and successfully bodyslams WWF champion Yokozuna;  as a result Luger becomes the next major challenger to Yokozuna’s WWF Championship.  Many wrestlers and athletes had tried to slam the 550-lb Yokozuna, with no success.  Luger’s successful slam aired on the following night’s Monday Night RAW.

1994 – Longtime WWF referee Joey Marella, the adopted son of Gorilla Monsoon, is killed in a car accident.  Marella, 31 years old at the time, had fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed his vehicle on the New Jersey Turnpike.  He was on his way home after refereeing at a WWF show in Ocean City, NJ.  Harvey Whippleman was in the vehicle with Marella and was critically injured.  Whippleman was wearing his seatbelt, but Marella was not.

1997 – In All Pro Wrestling, Michael Modest defeats Donovan Morgan, in a tournament final, to win the vacant APW Universal Heavyweight Championship.

2002 – On this evening’s SmackDown, the team of Edge & Hollywood Hulk Hogan defeat Billy & Chuck, to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.  This was the only time Hogan was a Tag Team Champion, in WWF/E or WCW.

2006 – In an Extreme Rules Match, on this evening’s ECW on Sci-Fi, The Big Show defeats Rob Van Dam, to win the ECW World Championship.  This comes only one night after RVD had lost the WWE Championship to Edge, in a Triple Threat Match, on RAW.

2010Taiyo Kea & Akebono defeat Suwama & Ryota Hama, to win the vacant AJPW World Tag Team Championship.

2013 – On Impact Wrestling, Chris Sabin defeats Austin Aries and Manik, to win the TNA X Division Championship (Three-Way Match).

2014Kushida defeats Kota Ibushi, to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.

2014 – Though I can’t confirm, it appears this evening’s Friday Night SmackDown is the lowest-rated ever, for a first-run episode.  The show receives a 1.37 TV rating (1.881 million viewers) on Syfy.

2015 – At WWE’s The Beast in the East event in Japan, Finn Balor defeats Kevin Owens, to win the NXT Championship.

2016Monday Night RAW from Columbus, OH draws its worst TV rating in 20 years.  The three-hour show receives a 1.87 TV rating (2.658 million viewers).

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO:  WWE Hall of Famer Barry Windham (57 years old).

Despite what some records indicate, today is NOT Sid Vicious’ birthday.  He was born in December

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