This Day In Wrestling History – June 23rd
1961 – Waldo Von Erich defeats Pepper Gomez, to win the NWA Texas Heavyweight Championship.
1980 – Mr. Hito & Mr. Sakurada defeat Jose Lothario & Tiger Conway, Jr., to win the NWA American Tag Team Championship.
1982 – Ted DiBiase defeats Junkyard Dog, to win the Mid-South North American Heavyweight Championship.
1984 – Gino Hernandez defeats NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair, to win the vacant WCCW Texas Heavyweight Championship. The championship had been vacant since the death of David Von Erich on February 10th.
1987 – The Sheepherders (Luke Williams & Butch Miller) defeat Mike Graham & Steve Keirn to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship.
1989 – Tom Prichard defeats Wendell Cooley, to win the Continental Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship. Elsewhere, The Stud Stable (Robert Fuller & Brian Lee) defeat Jeff Jarrett & Mil Mascaras, to win the WCWA World Tag Team Championship.
1992 – In a tournament final, The Super Destroyers (AJ Petrucci & Doug Stahl) defeat Glen Osbourne & Max Thrasher, to become the inaugural NWA-ECW World Tag Team Champions.
1994 – WCW Clash of the Champions XXVII is held in Charleston, SC in front of 6,700 fans, receiving a 3.0 TV rating on TBS.
– Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan defeat The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags), to retain the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
– The Guardian Angel defeats Tex Slazenger.
– Steven Regal defeats Larry Zbyszko, to win the WCW Television Championship.
– Johnny B. Badd defeats Steve Austin via disqualification. Austin retains the WCW United States Championship.
– In a Title Unification Match, Ric Flair defeats Sting, to unify the WCW World Heavyweight Championship AND the International World Heavyweight Championship. The Big Gold Belt is now referred to as the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and would remain the major title in WCW, until the promotion’s 2001 shutdown.
1995 – Apolo Dantes defeats Silver King, to win the CMLL World Heavyweight Championship.
1996 – WWF King of the Ring is held at the MECCA Arena (now known as UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena) in Milwaukee, in front of 8,762 fans. It was the first King of the Ring not to feature the quarter final matches. It was also the event that featured the famed ‘Austin 3:16 Speech’, leading to the creation of the Stone Cold Steve Austin character.
– Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeats Aldo Montoya (later known as Justin Credible).
Match airing on Free for All Pre-Show:
– The Bodydonnas (Skip & Zip) (with Kloudi) defeat The New Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Leif Cassidy.
– Stone Cold Steve Austin defeats Marc Mero (with Sable), in a King of The Ring Tournament Semifinal Match.
– Jake Roberts defeats Vader (with Jim Cornette) via disqualification, in a King of The Ring Tournament Semifinal Match.
– The Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart) (with Sunny) defeat The Godwinns (Henry O. & Phineas I.) (with Hillbilly Jim), to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
– The Ultimate Warrior defeats Jerry Lawler. This would be Ultimate Warrior’s final WWF pay-per-view match.
– Mankind defeats The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer), via TKO. Undertaker passed out while in the Mandible Claw.
– Ahmed Johnson defeats Goldust (with Marlena), to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
– Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the King of the Ring Tournament, defeating Jake Roberts in the tournament final. During his coronation as King of the Ring, Austin mocked Roberts’ Bible-Preacher gimmick with his infamous quote: “You sit there and you thump your Bible, and you say your prayers, and it didn’t get you anywhere! Talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16… Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!”
– Shawn Michaels (with Jose Lothario) defeats The British Bulldog (with Diana Smith & Jim Cornette), to retain the WWF Championship. Mr. Perfect served as Special Outside Enforcer.
1997 – In the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro (3.3 TV rating) beats WWF RAW IS WAR (2.4 rating).
2002 – WWE King of the Ring is held in Columbus, OH in front of 14,198 fans. This was the final pay-per-view under the King of the Ring name.
Match airing on Sunday Night Heat:
– The Hardy Boyz (Jeff & Matt) defeat Steven Richards & Raven.
– Rob Van Dam defeats Chris Jericho, in a King of The Ring Tournament Semifinal Match.
– Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) defeats Test, in a King of The Ring Tournament Semifinal Match.
– Jamie Noble (with Nidia) defeats The Hurricane, to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
– Ric Flair defeats Eddie Guerrero.
– Molly Holly defeats Trish Stratus, to win the WWE Women’s Championship.
– Kurt Angle defeats Hulk Hogan, after making Hogan submit to the ankle lock.
– Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) defeats Rob Van Dam, to win the King of the Ring Tournament. Lesnar also earns the right to challenge for the Undisputed WWE Championship at SummerSlam.
– The Undertaker defeats Triple H, to retain the Undisputed WWE Championship.
2003 – In a Title vs Mask Match, Triple H defeats Kane, to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. Kane is forced to unmask for the first time since he debuted in 1997.
2006 – 2 Cold Scorpio defeats Trent Acid, to win the Pro Wrestling Unplugged Heavyweight Championship.
2006 – Inaugural WWWF World Tag Team Champion ‘Crazy’ Luke Graham passes away from congestive heart failure, at the age of 66.
2007 – Ring of Honor’s Driven pay-per-view is held in Chicago Ridge, Illinois. It was ROH’s second-ever pay-per-view; it was taped on this night and aired on television on September 21st.
– Alex Payne & Ernie Osiris defeat Dingo & Mitch Franklin.
– In a Six Man Tag Team Match, The No Remorse Corps (Roderick Strong, Davey Richards, & Rocky Romero) defeat Delirious and The Resilience (Erick Stevens & Matt Cross).
– Claudio Castagnoli defeats Matt Sydal.
– Naomichi Marufuji defeats BJ Whitmer.
– The Briscoe Brothers (Jay & Mark) defeat Kevin Steen & El Generico, to retain the ROH Tag Team Championship.
– Takeshi Morishima defeats Jimmy Rave, to retain the ROH World Championship.
– Bryan Danielson defeats Nigel McGuinness. This match actually occurred June 4th, but was included in the PPV broadcast.
More Dark Matches:
– The Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew (Rain & Lacey) (with Jimmy Jacobs) defeat MsChif & Daizee Haze.
– Nigel McGuinness defeats Chris Hero (with Bobby Dempsey, Larry Sweeney, & Tank Toland).
– Kenta defeats Bryan Danielson; this match occurred live unlike the Danielson / McGuinness match).
– Takeshi Morishima defeats Adam Pearce (with Shane Hagadorn), to retain the ROH World Championship.
2008 – The WWE Draft is held on this evening’s RAW. The Supplemental Draft was held live on the WWE Fan Nation website, on Wednesday June 25th.
– Rey Mysterio was drafted to RAW.
– Jeff Hardy was drafted to SmackDown.
– CM Punk was drafted to RAW.
– United States Champion Matt Hardy was drafted to ECW; the title became property of ECW.
– Long-time RAW announcer Jim Ross was drafted to SmackDown.
– Long-time SmackDown announcer Michael Cole was drafted to RAW.
– Batista was drafted to RAW.
– Umaga was drafted to SmackDown
– ECW World Champion Kane was drafted to RAW; the title became property of RAW.
– Mr. Kennedy was drafted to SmackDown
– WWE Champion Triple H was drafted to SmackDown; the title became property of SmackDown.
2010 – WWE releases Angela Fong, aka Savannah, from her contract. Fong was a backstage interviewer on the ECW brand and later its ring announcer. She moved on to become ring announcer for WWE: NXT Season One, after ECW was shut down in February 2010. Prior to announcing, Fong wrestled in WWE’s developmental Florida Championship Wrestling. She was considered to have been very athletically gifted, but was only used as an announcer upon her promotion to the main roster. Fong is currently performing in Lucha Underground as Black Lotus.
2014 – Monday Night RAW airs its 1,100th episode.
2016 – The WWE Cruiserweight Classic gets underway, with the first round of the 32-man tournament. The entire tournament aired exclusively on WWE Network. Notable first round winners were: TJ Perkins, Jack Gallagher, Tony Nese, Taijri, Cedric Alexander, Brian Kendrick, Akira Tozawa, and Rich Swann.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Former WWE interviewer / ring announcer and FCW & Impact Wrestling performer Eden Stiles aka Brandi Rhodes (34 years old); current NXT wrestler Billie Kay (28 years old); and former IWGP Tag Team Champion George ‘The Cobra’ Takano (59 years old).