This Day In Wrestling History – May 23rd

May 23, 2017 - by Bill Fenbers

1961Leo Nomellini & Wilbur Snyder defeat Hard Boiled Haggerty & Gene Kiniski, to win the AWA World Tag Team Championship.

1981David & Kevin Von Erich defeat The Great Kojika & Motoshi Okuma, to win the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Championship.

1983The Great Kabuki defeats Jos DeLuc, to win the NWA Television Championship.

1984The Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey & Bobby Eaton) defeat The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Robert Gibson & Ricky Morton), to win the Mid-South Tag Team Championship.

1992 – On a taping of WCW Worldwide, Steve Austin defeats Barry Windham, to win the World Television Championship.  The Worldwide taping aired on June 13th.

1993Oro defeats Mano Negra, to win the NWA World Middleweight Championship.

1993 – WCW Slamboree: A Legend’s Reunion is held in Atlanta in front of 7,008 fans.  The event featured the first inductees into the short-lived WCW Hall of Fame.  The Class of 1993 consisted of Mr. Wrestling II, Lou Thesz, Verne Gagne, and Eddie Graham.

Marcus Bagwell & 2 Cold Scorpio defeat Chris Benoit & Bobby Eaton.
Sid Vicious (with Robert Parker) defeats Van Hammer.
– In a Six Man Tag Team Match, the team of Jimmy Snuka, Don Muraco, & Dick Murdoch battle Wahoo McDaniel, Jim Brunzell, & Blackjack Mulligan to a no contest.
Brad Armstrong & Thunderbolt Patterson defeat Ivan Koloff & Baron von Raschke.
Dory Funk, Jr. (with Gene Kiniski) wrestles Nick Bockwinkel (with Verne Gagne), to a time-limit draw.
Rick Rude & Paul Orndorff defeat Kensuke Sasaki & Dustin Rhodes.
Sting defeats The Prisoner.
– In a Steel Cage Tag Team Match, The Hollywood Blonds (Brian Pillman & Steve Austin) defeat Dos Hombres (Ricky Steamboat & Tom Zenk), to retain the NWA & WCW World Tag Team Championship.
Barry Windham defeats Arn Anderson, to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
– With the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on the line, challenger Davey Boy Smith defeats champion Big Van Vader, via disqualification.  Vader retains the WCW World Title as the title can’t change hands on a disqualification.

1996Jun Akiyama & Mitsuharu Misawa defeat The Holy Demon Army (Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue), to win the AJPW World Tag Team Championship.

1999 – WWF Over the Edge is held in Kansas City, MO in front of 16,472 fans.  The event is infamous for the tragic death of Owen Hart.  On this night he was scheduled to face The Godfather for the Intercontinental Championship.  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.  Vince McMahon made the decision to continue the show as ‘it’s what Owen would have wanted’.  Commentator Jim Ross announced his death to the TV audience later in the show, but the fans in the arena were never informed.

Sunday Night Heat:
Meat defeats Brian Christopher.
The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) defeat The Blue Meanie & Goldust.
Vince McMahon vs. Mideon ends in a no contest.
Kane & X-Pac defeat D’Lo Brown & Mark Henry (with Ivory), to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
Al Snow defeats Hardcore Holly, to retain the WWF Hardcore Championship.
– In a Mixed Tag Team Match, Val Venis & Nicole Bass defeat Jeff Jarrett & Debra.
– Billy Gunn defeats Road Dogg.
– In an Eight Man Tag Team Elimination Match, The Union (Test, Mankind, The Big Show, and Ken Shamrock) defeated The Corporate Ministry (The Big Bossman, Viscera, Faarooq, and Bradshaw)
The Rock defeats Triple H (with Chyna) via disqualification.
The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) defeats Stone Cold Steve Austin, to win the WWF Championship.  Both Vince and Shane McMahon served as special guest referees.

2007Jill Jarrett, the wife of TNA’s Jeff Jarrett, passes 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.

2008Akitoshi Saito & Bison Smith defeat Team Ikko (Naomichi Marufuji & Takashi Sugiura), to win the GHC Tag Team Championship.  Elsewhere, Hector Garza & Mistico defeat Averno & Mephisto, to win the vacant CMLL World Tag Team Championship.

2010Atsushi Aoki & Go Shiozaki defeat Taiji Ishimori & Takeshi Morishima, to win the AAA World Tag Team Championship.

2010 – WWE Over the Limit is held in Detroit in front of 11,000 fans.

Dark Match:
defeats Chavo Guerrero, Jr.
Kofi Kingston defeats Drew McIntyre, to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
R-Truth defeats Ted DiBiase, Jr. (with Virgil).
Rey Mysterio defeats CM Punk in a Straight Edge Society Pledge vs Hair Match.  Punk’s loss required him to shave his head.
The Hart Dynasty (David Hart Smith & Tyson Kidd) (with Natalya) defeat Chris Jericho & The Miz, to retain the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship.
– With the World Heavyweight Championship on the line, challenger Big Show defeats Jack Swagger via disqualification.  Because of the disqualification, Swagger retains the title.
Eve Torres defeats Maryse, to retain the WWE Divas Championship.
John Cena defeats Batista in an ‘I Quit’ Match, to retain the WWE Championship.

2011 – On this evening’s RAW, The New Nexus (David Otunga & Michael McGillicutty) defeat Big Show & Kane, to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.

2012 – The sixth season of WWE NXT officially begins.  Despite initially being referred to as Season 6, this version of NXT lost the competition element of past series, in favor of becoming a standard television show featuring WWE developmental talent.

2013 – On Impact Wrestling, Mickie James defeats Velvet Sky, to win the Knockouts Championship.

2013 – On an NXT taping, Bo Dallas defeats Big E Langston, to win the NXT Championship (televised via tape delay June 12th).

2016Monday Night RAW airs its 1,200th episode.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO:  Former WWE Champion & Tag Team Champion Bray Wyatt (30 years old);  WWE Hall of Famer Drew Carey (59 years old);  and former TNA Tag Team & X Division Champion Alex Shelley (34 years old).  Some records indicate that today is also the birthday of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla co-founder Super Dragon;  other records list June 8th as his birthday.  Super Dragon’s birth year is also in dispute;  he was either born in 1975 or 1980.

Today would’ve been the 90th birthday for WWWF International Tag Team Champion Mitsu Arakawa, and the 75th birthday for one-time NWA World Women’s Tag Team Champion Donna Christianello.

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