This Day In Wrestling History – July 2nd
1970 – Bulldog Brower defeats Johnny Powers, to win the Buffalo/Cleveland version of the NWA North American Heavyweight Championship.
1971 – The Mongols (Bepo & Geto) defeat Bruno Sammartino & Dominic DeNucci, to win the WWWF International Tag Team Championship.
2000 – At a house show in Tampa, Crash Holly defeats Steve Blackman, to win the WWF Hardcore Championship. But with the 24/7 Rule in effect, Crash would lose the title back to Blackman before the end of the night.
2000 – Naoya Ogawa vacates the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, in order to focus on an MMA match against Rickson Gracie, scheduled for early 2001. The MMA match never occurred, as Gracie’s son, Rockson, was found dead in a New York hotel room, in December 2000.
2001 – The long awaited “debut” of the new WCW, on this evening’s WWF RAW, was a flop. Given the final half hour of the show, Buff Bagwell and Booker T had what many fans felt was the worst main event in the history of the program. Bagwell, who had his first match in months the day before, blew up quickly, and was using long restholds in a match that should have been non-stop action, to put over the quality of the WCW performers. Booker T tried, but was still shaking off the ring rust himself, and was not in a position to carry Bagwell. The match was embarrassing, and chants of “Boring,” and “This Match Sucks” were clearly heard throughout. A WWF source said Vince McMahon “absolutely hated” the whole WCW segment. The Bagwell-Booker T match ended in a no-contest.
2005 – WWE announcer Marc Lloyd, who hosted Afterburn and Byte This on WWE.com, is released by the company.
2006 – Beth Phoenix returns to the ring from her broken jaw, wrestling for WWE developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling.
2007 – On RAW, Umaga defeats Santino Marella, to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
2008 – Ashley Massaro announces that she had requested her release from WWE, citing the need to be with her seven-year old daughter, who was ill. Massaro was officially released July 9th. Massaro has not worked in pro wrestling since being granted her release.
2009 – WWE Hall of Famer Roddy Piper is arrested for DUI, after being stopped for a field sobriety test.
2012 – Armando Estrada, who had been quietly re-signed and then used only once in WWE, announces that he has been released by the company. In what was his second stint with the company, Estrada was only used on one episode of WWE Superstars in May 2011, as the manager for Tyson Kidd. The release came shortly after Estrada had asked a friend to bring up his name to WWE management. The creative team, as if turned out, had forgotten he was signed.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Former WWF Tag and Light Heavyweight Champion Scotty 2 Hotty (44 years old); former WCW wrestler Joe Gomez (44 years old); current WWE referee Charles Robinson (53 years old); WWE Hall of Famer Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart (60 years old); former WWE diva Amy Weber (47 years old); 11-time OVW Women’s Champion Jessie Belle (32 years old).