This Day In Wrestling History – July 15th
1955 – Lou Thesz defeats Leo Nomellini, to become the Undisputed NWA World Heavyweight Champion. The title change isn’t recognized by the NWA, who lists Thesz as being World Heavyweight Champion from November 27, 1949 until March 15, 1956 – a span of 2,300 consecutive days.
1960 – After 38 years of operation, Boston’s American Wrestling Association closes. Not to be confused with the American Wrestling Association founded in Minneapolis, that ran from 1960-1991.
1963 – Dick the Bruiser defeats King Curtis Iaukea, to win the NWA (Hawaii) United States Heavyweight Championship.
1965 – Giant Baba & Toyonobori defeat The Destroyer & Billy Red Lyons, to win the JWA All Asia Tag Team Championship.
1967 – In Indianapolis, Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher defeat The Devil’s Duo (Chris Markoff & Angelo Poffo), to win the WWA World Tag Team Championship.
1975 – Al Madril defeats John Tolos, to win the NWA Texas Heavyweight Championship.
1982 – Rocky Johnson defeats Rip Oliver, to win the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship.
1983 – In a tournament final, Ric Flair defeats David Von Erich, to win the vacant NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship.
1985 – Terry Taylor defeats Phil Hickerson, to win the CWA International Heavyweight Championship. At the same event, Jerry Lawler defeats Rick “Mountain Man” Link, to win the NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Championship.
1985 – Iceman Parsons defeats Killer Tim Brooks, to win the WCCW Television Championship.
1989 – Ivan Koloff defeats Invader I, to win the WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Championship.
1991 – Robert Fuller & Jeff Jarrett defeat The Barroom Brawlers (Bonecrusher & Crowbar), to win the USWA World Tag Team Championship.
1992 – Vince McMahon announces the disbanding of the World Bodybuilding Federation (WBF), that he had created just two years earlier.
1995 – ECW’s second annual Heat Wave event is held at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, in front of 1,000 fans.
– Mikey Whipwreck defeats Mike Norman.
– Don E. Allen & Tony Stetson defeat ECW World Tag Team Champions Stevie Richards & Raven, via count-out. Richards and Raven retain the titles.
– Hack Meyers defeats Val Puccio.
– In a Six-Man Tag Team Match, Tommy Dreamer and The Pitbulls (#1 & #2) defeat Raven and The Dudley Brothers (D-Von & Snot).
– Dean Malenko & 2 Cold Scorpio defeat Taz & Eddy Guerrero.
– The Sandman defeats Axl Rotten, to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.
– In a Steel Cage Match, Luna Vachon defeats ECW World Tag Team Champion Stevie Richards, via submission. After the match, Tommy Dreamer handcuffed Raven to the cage, and broke a folding chair over Raven’s head.
– In a Tag Team Steel Cage Match, The Gangstas (New Jack & Mustafa Saed) defeat The Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge & Rocco Rock).
1996 – In the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro (3.4 TV rating) defeats WWF Monday Night RAW (2.6 rating). This was Hulk Hogan’s first appearance since forming the NWO at the July 8th Bash at the Beach. Hogan changes from his red & yellow attire to an all-black attire.
1998 – Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka defeats Cho-Ten (Masahiro Chono & Hiroyoshi Tenzan), to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.
2002 – On RAW, the 24/7 Rule for the WWE Hardcore Championship sees Johnny Stamboli pin Bradshaw, to become the new champion. Bradshaw had been in the middle of a title defense against Christopher Nowinski. Later in the evening, Bradshaw pins Stamboli in the backstage area, to reclaim the title. Afterwards, Bradshaw would rename it the WWE Texas Hardcore Championship.
On the same night, Vince McMahon introduces the new General Manager of RAW, none other than his former WCW rival, Eric Bischoff.
2006 – Brock Lesnar is stripped of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship by New Japan Pro Wrestling, after “problems with a working visa.” After winning a tournament final, Hiroshi Tanahashi would become new champion. Despite this, Antonio Inoki’s Inoki Genome Federation (IGF) continued to recognize Lesnar as the true IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and considers his reign from IWGP still active, Lesnar would be presented with the newly created IGF version of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
2006 – Octagon defeats Zumbido, to win the Mexican National Middleweight Championship. Octagon would be the final champion before the title is retired in December 2008. The AAA promotion had decided to stop using the Mexican National Championships, and focus on its own AAA-branded championships instead.
2007 – At AAA’s Triple Mania XV, The Mexican Powers (Crazy Boy & Joe Lider) defeat The Black Family (Dark Cuervo & Dark Ozz), to win the AAA World Tag Team Championship. During the event, the first two inductees into the AAA Hall of Fame were announced: Rey Misterio, Jr. and AAA founder Antonio Pena (inducted posthumously, Pena had passed away in October 2006).
2007 – TNA’s Victory Road is held at the Impact! Zone in Orlando, with 900 fans in attendance.
– Serotonin (Havok & Martyr) defeat Akira Raijin & Brute Isseia.
– In an Ultimate X Gauntlet Match, Christopher Daniels defeats Shark Boy, Jay Lethal, Puma, Petey Williams, Sonjay Dutt, Homicide, Elix Skipper, Kazarian, and Senshi, to become #1 contender for the X Division Championship.
– The Voodoo Kin Mafia (BG James & Kip James) defeat Damaja & Basham.
– James Storm defeats Rhino.
– The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) (with Kevin Nash) defeat Jerry Lynn & Bob Backlund.
– In a Mixed Tag Team Match, Eric Young & Gail Kim defeat Robert Roode & Ms. Brooks.
– Christian Cage defeats Chris Harris.
– Sting & Abyss defeat AJ Styles & Tomko.
– In a Tag Team Match, Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe defeat Team 3D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon). He who scored the pinfall would win the title of the challenger he pinned. As Joe pinned Ray, he wins the TNA World Tag Team Championship, and is allowed to choose his partner. But Joe decides to hold the titles alone. Angle’s TNA World Heavyweight Championship was on the line, as was Samoa Joe’s X Division Championship.
2009 – Bobby Lashley officially signs a contract with TNA Wrestling. Lashley had already made two appearances in TNA, one at the Lockdown pay-per-view, and later on an episode of Impact!. Both times Lashley would smile and point at The Main Event Mafia. Lashley had been released by WWE in February 2008 and had been on the independent circuit prior to signing with TNA.
2012 – WWE’s Money In The Bank is held in Phoenix, in front of 9,000 fans. The main event was billed as a Four-Way Match. But The Miz made his return to WWE at the event (after filming The Marine 3: Homefront), and inserted himself into the match. Also at the event, Kane set the record for competing in the most Money In The Bank Ladder Matches, with his sixth appearance. Kane made his 7th appearance in 2015, which is still the record for most MITB Ladder Match appearances; three others are tied at six appearances each.
– R-Truth & Kofi Kingston defeat Camacho & Hunico.
– Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero) wins the evening’s first Money In The Bank Ladder Match, for a World Heavyweight Championship contract.
– Sheamus defeats Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
– Primo & Epico defeat The Prime Time Players (Darren Young & Titus O’Neil).
– In a No Disqualification Match, CM Punk defeats Daniel Bryan, to retain the WWE Championship. AJ (Lee) was the special guest referee.
– Ryback defeats Tyler Reks & Curt Hawkins, in a Handicap Match.
– In a Six Diva Tag Team Match, Kaitlyn, Layla, & Tamina Snuka defeat Eve Torres, Beth Phoenix, & Natalya.
– John Cena wins the evening’s second Money In The Bank Ladder Match, for a WWE Championship contract. Cena defeats Chris Jericho, The Big Show, Kane, and The Miz. Only previous WWE Champions were allowed to participate in this match, as announced by Vickie Guerrero in late-June.
2015 – On Impact Wrestling, Brooke defeats Taryn Terrell, to win the TNA Knockouts Championship.
2017 – In a six-way elimination match, Joey Matthews defeats Anthony Henry, Brandon Scott, Joey Janela, Shaheem Ali, and Lio Rush, to win the Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup.
2018 – After a three-year suspension, WWE announces that Hulk Hogan will be reinstated into their Hall of Fame.
2018 – WWE Extreme Rules is held in Pittsburgh, in front of 14,739 fans.
Kickoff Show Matches:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Indie wrestler Brandon Espinoza (31 years old); 15-time WWC World Tag Team Champion Huracan Castillo (56 years old); 4-time WWE Tag Team Champion Heath Slater (35 years old); WWE Hall of Famers Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura (67 years old) & Mil Mascaras (76years old); former WWE Diva Cherry (43 years old); and former WWE wrestler The Boogeyman (54 years old).