This Day In Wrestling History – April 7th
WrestleMania Season is over for me. Today I recap the final two we hadn’t covered yet (1986 and 2013). No WrestleMania has occurred later than April 7th. But that will change with next year’s event in New Orleans being held on April 8th (Easter is on April 1st next year, hence the later date).
1978 – Giant Baba wins the AJPW Champion Carnival, defeating Abdullah the Butcher in the finals. This is Giant Baba’s fifth Champion Carnival win in six years.
1986 – WrestleMania 2 is the first to air on national pay-per-view. It was held in three separate locations simultaneously, with four matches taking place at each venue. Combined attendance was 40,085.
Here are the results from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. Commentators were Vince McMahon and Susan Saint James; Howard Finkel was the ring announcer.
– Paul Orndorff fights The Magnificent Muraco (with Mr. Fuji) to a double countout.
– Randy Savage (with Miss Elizabeth) defeats George Steele, to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
– Jake Roberts defeats George Wells.
– In a Boxing Match, Mr. T (with Joe Frazier & Haiti Kid) defeats Roddy Piper (with Bob Orton & Lou Duva), by disqualification.
Here are the results from the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois. Commentators were Gorilla Monsoon, Gene Okerlund, and Cathy Lee Crosby. Chet Coppock was the ring announcer.
– The Fabulous Moolah defeats Velvet McIntyre, to retain the WWF Women’s Championship.
– In a Flag Match, Corporal Kirchner defeats Nikolai Volkoff (with Freddie Blassie).
– Andre The Giant wins the 20-Man WWF vs. NFL Battle Royal, by last eliminating Bret Hart. The six current or former NFL players to participate were Jimbo Covert, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, Ernie Holmes, Harvey Martin, Bill Fralic, and Russ Francis.
– The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & The Dynamite Kid) (with Lou Albano & Ozzy Osbourne) defeat The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine) (with Johnny Valiant), to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.
Here are the results from the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Commentators were Jesse Ventura, Lord Alfred Hayes, and Elvira. Lee Marshall was the ring announcer.
– Ricky Steamboat defeats Hercules Hernandez.
– Adrian Adonis (with Jimmy Hart) defeats Uncle Elmer.
– Terry Funk & Hoss Funk (with Jimmy Hart) defeat Junkyard Dog & Tito Santana.
– In a Steel Cage Match, Hulk Hogan defeats King Kong Bundy (with Bobby Heenan), to retain the WWF Championship.
1989 – Eric Embry defeats Gary Young, to win the WCWA Texas Heavyweight Championship.
1995 – At Smoky Mountain Wrestling’s Bluegrass Brawl III, The Dynamic Duo (Al Snow & Unabomb) defeat The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Robert Gibson & Ricky Morton), to win the SMW Tag Team Championship.
1997 – In the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro (3.7 TV rating) beats WWF RAW IS WAR (2.2 rating). On Nitro, Ultimo Dragon defeats Prince Iaukea, to win the WCW World Television Championship. In a dark match that was taped for a future Main Event episode, Toshie Uematsu defeats Malia Hosaka, to become the inaugural WCW Women’s Cruiserweight Champion. The Women’s Cruiserweight Title was a joint venture between WCW and GAEA Japan. The weight limit for the Women’s Cruiserweight Division was 130 pounds.
2002 – At a house show in Denver, the 24/7 Rule on the WWF Hardcore Championship sees the belt pass from Bubba Ray Dudley to William Regal, to Goldust, to Raven, and back to Bubba Ray. Each counts as a separate title reign.
2002 – At Day 16 of Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Encountering Navigation, Makoto Hashi defeats Naomichi Marufuji, to win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship. Hashi relinquishes the title the next day, feeling it wasn’t fair that he won by referee stoppage; Marufuji had injured his knee during the match. In the main event, Yoshinari Ogawa defeats Jun Akiyama, to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship.
2002 – In a Four-Way Match, Nathan Jones defeats Jeff Jarrett, Brian Christopher, and Scott Steiner, to win the WWA Heavyweight Championship (in Sydney, Australia).
2005 – On this evening’s SmackDown, new WWE Champion John Cena introduces the “spinner belt.” Previous champion John Bradshaw Layfield, who lost to Cena at WrestleMania 21, continued to wear the original title belt, claiming to still be the champion. Cena would take the original belt as well, after defeating JBL in an “I Quit” Match at Judgement Day (May 22, 2005).
2007 – At Combat Zone Wrestling’s Out With The Old, In With The New, Scotty Vortekz defeats Jigsaw, to win the CZW World Junior Heavyweight Championship.
2009 – On this evening’s ECW on Sci Fi, General Manager Teddy Long announces he is replacing Vickie Guerrero as SmackDown GM; replacing Long as ECW GM, on an interim basis, will be Tiffany (later known as Taryn Terrell in TNA Wrestling).
2011 – WWE Superstars airs its 104th, and last, episode on WGN America, registering a 0.57 TV rating. WGN America had announced a month earlier, that it would not renew its broadcast rights to the show, because it hadn’t lived up to expectations. The program would move to WWE.com the following week.
2013 – Kazuchika Okada defeats Hiroshi Tanahashi, to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
2013 – WrestleMania 29 (aka WrestleMania NY/NJ) is held at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, in front of 80,676. At the time it was the second-highest attended event in company history after WrestleMania III; it would be surpassed by the reported 101,763 in attendance for WrestleMania 32. This was the first time since WrestleMania XIII (1997) that there were no women’s matches on the card.
– The Miz defeats Wade Barrett, via submission, to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
– In a Six-Man Tag Team Match, The Shield (Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, & Dean Ambrose) defeat Randy Orton, The Big Show, & Sheamus.
– Mark Henry defeats Ryback.
– Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane) defeat Big E Langston & Dolph Ziggler (with AJ Lee), to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship.
– Fandango defeats Chris Jericho.
– Alberto Del Rio defeats Jack Swagger, via submission, to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
– The Undertaker defeats CM Punk (with Paul Heyman), to extend his unbeaten streak to 21-0 at WrestleMania.
– In a No Holds Barred Match, Triple H (with Shawn Michaels) defeats Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman). Had Triple H lost, he would’ve had to retire.
– John Cena defeats The Rock, to win the WWE Championship.
2014 – NXT Women’s Champion Paige makes her debut on the main roster, on this evening’s Monday Night RAW in New Orleans (one night after WrestleMania XXX). In her debut match, Paige defeats AJ Lee, to win the WWE Divas Championship. At age 21 Paige is the youngest Divas Champion in history, the first to win the title in her debut match, and the first to simultaneously hold the NXT and Divas Championships.
Also on RAW, The Ultimate Warrior makes his final public appearance (video below). It was his first appearance on RAW since June 1996. Warrior would pass away less than 24 hours later.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Indy wrestler Jake Dirden (34 years old); former NXT performer Anya (27 years old); Impact Wrestling performer Sonjay Dutt (35 years old); Japan wrestler Ken Ohka (40 years old); former World Tag Team Champion (WWE) Rosey (47 years old); former WWF wrestler Droz (48 years old); 2-time WWE Tag Team Champion & current SmackDown Live commentator David Otunga (37 years old); and former WWC World Tag Team Champion & Universal Heavyweight Champion Steve DiSalvo (68 years old).
SOURCES: SLAM! Sports, prowrestlinghistory.com, WCW Women’s Cruiserweight Championship on Wikipedia, John Cena on Wikipedia, wrestlingdata.com, The Internet Wrestling Database, gerweck.net
Follow me on Twitter @Bill_Fenbers.