47 years ago today in Bloomington, Minnesota, Dr. X defeated Verne Gagne to win the AWA World Heavyweight Championship.
30 years ago today in Charlotte, North Carolina, Nikita Koloff defeated Magnum T.A. to win their best of seven match series 4-3 to claim the vacated NWA United States Championship.
Magnum T.A. was stripped of the title back in May when he assaulted then-NWA president Bob Geigel during a contract signing for a title match. In a side note, Koloff won the first three matches of the series, but would lose the next three before winning the deciding match.
29 years ago today in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Nikita Koloff defeated Tully Blanchard to win the NWA World Television Championship.
19 years ago today, ECW presented Hardcore Heaven ’97 (WWE Network link) from the War Memorial Auditorium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 1,950 were in attendance, with about 84,000 homes watching on PPV, which is down from 104,000 for ECW’s first PPV Barely Legal.
- Taz defeated Chris Candido to retain the ECW World Television Championship.
- Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Spike Dudley.
- Rob Van Dam defeated Al Snow in a Monday Night Wars rules match.
- The Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh Ray Dudley and D-Von) defeated PG-13 (J.C. Ice and Wolfie D) to retain the ECW World Tag Team Championship. Prior to the match, the Dudleys were awarded the tag titles by forfeit. The original scheduled match was The Gangstas, the champions at the time, challenging The Dudleys. Mustafa Saeed, one-half of the Gangstas, had left the company.
- Tommy Dreamer defeated Jerry Lawler. Of note, Jake “The Snake” Roberts made his one and only ECW appearance in this match.
- Shane Douglas defeated Sabu and Terry Funk in a three-way dance to win the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.
13 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Jun Akiyama to win the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax tournament.
8 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Hirooki Goto defeated Togi Makabe to win the NJPW G1 Climax tournament.
8 years ago today, WWE presented Summerslam (WWE Network link) from the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana. 12,480 were in attendance, with 477,000 homes watching on PPV. That’s down from 537,000 in 2007 and 547,000 in 2006.
It’s the first PPV of the PG era (WWE went PG a couple days after last month’s Great American Bash), and features the last televised Hell in a Cell match not to occur in October (the month of the Hell in a Cell PPV since 2009) until Wrestlemania XXVIII in 2014. Despite the PG rating, there was a man-on-woman violence moment when Chris Jericho struck Shawn Michaels’ wife Rebecca during a promo segment.
- Montel Vontavious Porter defeated Jeff Hardy.
- Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix defeated Kofi Kingston and Mickie James in a mixed tag team match to win the WWE Intercontinental and Womens Championships.
- Matt Hardy defeated Mark Henry by disqualification in an ECW Championship match.
- CM Punk defeated John Bradshaw Layfield to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
- Triple H defeated The Great Khali to retain the WWE Championship.
- Batista defeated John Cena. During the match, Cena suffered a herniated disk in his neck. The injury required surgery and would keep him out of action until Survivor Series.
- The Undertaker defeated Edge in a Hell in the Cell match.
6 years ago today, Ted Lipscomb, aka “Nightmare” Ted Allen, passed away at his home from a heart attack in his home in Cartersville, Georgia. He was 54.
Born November 17, 1955 in Carterville, Georgia, Allen was multi-talented as a kid. He was a four-sport athlete, edited the Cass High School newspaper, and even did play-by-play for some of their games. At age 14, he was the ring announcer for the weekly matches at the Sports Palace in Cartersville.
Allen made his pro wrestling debut in the summer of 1975 shortly after dropping out of college and got married. By 1977, he was wrestling in Nashville under Nick Gulas while maintaining a real job; however, he’d often quit in the name of a good booking. He would wrestle full time by 1980 as one half of the masked Nightmares with Danny Davis. Wrestling under a mask was almost a way of life for Allen: he was a Mr. Wrestling, a Black Tiger, even a Power Ranger for Smoky Mountain Wrestling.
Allen’s biggest contribution to the business came as a trainer. He most notably trained Arn Anderson, Ray Traylor (aka Big Boss Man), Scotty Riggs, Bull Buchanan, and referee Randy “Pee Wee” Anderson. Post-in-ring career, he promoted local wrestling shows in Georgia, ran a furniture moving business, and even built wrestling rings.
Allen died in his home in Carterville, Georgia on August 17, 2010. He was 54. At the time of his death, he was survived by two children and three grandchildren.
6 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Bakersfield, California, Alberto Del Rio and his “personal ring announcer” Ricardo Rodriguez both make their WWE television debuts.
Del Rio (real name Jose Alberto Rodriguez) came into the company from CMLL where he was a former world heavyweight champion and the winner of the 2006 La Copa Junior. He had some amateur cred too, winning the gold medal in wrestling in the 1999 Pan American Games.
Ricardo Rodriguez (real name Jesus Rodriguez, no relation) competed primarily on the west coast independent circuit as the masked Chimaera. He wrestled occasionally too, as the masked El Local.
Del Rio was in the show’s main event, submitting Rey Mysterio to win his debut, then injuring Mysterio post-match.
4 years ago today, Shine Wrestling presented its second ever event from the Orpheum in Ybor City, Florida.
- Su Yung defeated Kimberly.
- Sojournor Bolt defeated Heidi Lovelace and Taeler Hendrix.
- Mia Yim defeated Sassy Stephie.
- Jessicka Havok defeated Reby Sky.
- Rain defeated Santana.
- Leva Bates defeated Portia Perez.
- Made In Sin (Allysin Kay & Taylor Made) defeated MSEERIE (Christina Von Eerie & MsChif).
- Jazz vs. Mercedes Martinez went to a no contest.
2 years ago today, WWE presented Summerslam (WWE Network link) from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. 17,537 were in attendance, with 150,000 homes watching on PPV. That’s down from 298,000 homes for Summerslam 2013. Understandable, as this was the first Summerslam to be broadcast via the WWE Network.
Of note, this was the first event to adopt the WWE Network logo as its company logo. The logo would replace the scratch logo used in some form since 1998. Also of note, in a Summerslam first, every championship contested on the show changed hands.
- In a preshow match, Rob Van Dam defeated Cesaro.
- Dolph Ziggler defeated The Miz to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
- Paige defeated AJ Lee to win the WWE Divas Championship.
- Rusev defeated Jack Swagger in a flag match.
- Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose in a lumberjack match.
- Bray Wyatt defeated Chris Jericho.
- Stephanie McMahon defeated Brie Bella. In a bit of trivia, this was Stephanie’s first match since being defeated by her father Vince in an I Quit match at No Mercy 2003.
- Roman Reigns defeated Randy Orton.
- Brock Lesnar defeated John Cena to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
2 years ago today, AAA presented Triplemania XXII from Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City.
Of note, this was the first AAA event to be broadcast in both Spanish and English. The recently fired Alberto Del Rio (as El Patron Alberto) and Rey Mysterio (via satellite) both made appearances at the event, while Jeff Jarrett and Ricochet missed the show due to travel issues.
- Aero Star, Jennifer Blake, Mascarita Sagrada, and Pimpinela Escarlata defeated Mamba, Mini Abismo Negro, Sexy Star, and Súper Fly.
- El Hijo del Fantasma defeated Daga, Fénix, Angélico, Australian Suicide, Bengala, Drago, Jack Evans, Joe Líder and Pentagón Jr. in a ten-man elimination match to unify the AAA Fusion and Cruiserweight Championships. The Fusion Championship was retired, with Fenix as its only champion before the unification bout.
- Taya defeated Faby Apache to retain the AAA Reina de Reinas Championship.
- Electroshock was the last man in the cage in a six-man luchas de apuestas cage match. Other participants were Averno, Blue Demon Jr., Chessman, El Mesías and La Parka. All participants had their hair or masks at stake.
- Psycho Clown defeated El Texano Jr. in a hair versus mask match. With Texano, Jr. losing, he got his head shaved.
- El Hijo del Perro Aguayo defeated Cibernético, Dr. Wagner Jr. and Myzteziz in a four-way elimination match to win the Copa Triplemania XXII.
It’s a happy 24th birthday to Saraya-Jade Bevis. Once known as Brittani Knight, she’s known these days as Paige.
Born in Norwich, England to wrestling parents (her father was a promoter and her monther a wrestler), Saraya-Jade began wrestling at age 13. She had won championships in a few independent promotions throughout Europe before making her United States debut for SHIMMER in 2011. During her brief time there, she was managed by–then feuded with–her mother Saraya. Saraya-Jade tried out for WWE on two occasions before finally getting the call in September 2011. Initially debuting for Florida Championship Wrestling under her real name Saraya, her ring name was changed to Paige when she made her TV debut in February 2012.
When FCW was rebranded as NXT, she gained a huge surge in crowd support, leading her to the NXT Womens Championship in 2013. Her success kept going when she made her main roster debut the night after Wrestlemania XXX when she ended AJ Lee’s nearly ten-month run as WWE Divas Champion in just 79 seconds. The win made Paige, then just 21, the youngest Divas champion in WWE history and the only one to both hold ladies’ titles available in the company simultaneously. It wouldn’t last long; just over two weeks later, Paige had to vacate the NXT women’s title. Paige would win the Divas title a second time on her 22nd birthday.
Last year, Paige joined the cast of E! reality series Total Divas, and was a judge on the rebooted Tough Enough. She also is a co-founder of a coffee company, The Dark Gypsy. She is currently dating Jose Alberto Rodriguez, aka Alberto Del Rio.
It’s a happy 34th birthday to “Cheerleader” Melissa Anderson.
Born in Los Angeles, Melissa is a second generation wrestler, with her father Doug having wrestled in the 1980s. In high school, she was a two sport athlete for Palmdale High School; one of them was wrestling, where she was one of four girls on the team. Her amateur wrestling knowledge translated quickly to the pros where she started for Billy Anderson’s (no relation) wrestling school in age 15. While traning, she became the valet for the Ballard Brothers and worked primarily for West Coast-based All Pro Wrestling. While there, she trained under Christopher Daniels, Robert Thompson, and Bryan Danielson.
She wrestled her first pro match 16 years ago today on her 17th birthday against Lexie Fyfe. Thanks in part to the Internet, Melissa still managed to get her high school diploma while training and touring. After wrestling for Ultimate Pro Wrestling, she was invited to tour Japan for Joshi promotion Arison. For her 20th birthday, Melissa took on Lioness Asuka, one half of legendary Japanese women’s tag team the Crush Gals. She turned full pro-time in 2004 and won the APW Above the Law Championship from Robert Thompson that summer.
In the fall, she would be a part of the all-female ChickFight tournament and eventually become the face of the tournament/promotion, appearing in the first ten ChickFight tournaments, appearing in four finals and winning twice. She would feud with Sweet Saraya, Eden Black, and Wesna Busic during the ChickFight series. The success of ChickFight would lead to lead to the formation of Shimmer Women Athletes, the sister promotion of Ring of Honor. Melissa would be in one of the company’s first heated feuds against MsChif, a feud that would eventually see the duo team briefly against the Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew, then more on a full-time basis from 2008 to 2010. Anderson would chance the Shimmer Championship for more than a year before winning the title in October 2011 from Madison Eagles, ending Eagles’ 18-month run as champion, then a company record. Melissa’s five-month run following the win would actually be the shortest in the promotion’s history, losing the title to Sweet Saraya in March 2012.
It would be more than a year before Melissa would win the title back from her, winning it the night before Wrestlemania 29 in a steel cage match. The win would make Melissa the only two-time Shimmer Champion in the promotion’s six-year history. Melissa now holds the record for longest SHIMMER championship reign ever, holding it for 560 days before losing it to Nicole Matthews in a fatal-four way elimination match in October 2014.
Anderson would have a tryout match in 2006 for WWE against Victoria, but would have a more prominent television role as a TNA Knockout in 2008 rotating between Raisha Saeed (as a manager for Awesome Kong) and Alissa Flash (a self-proclaimed future legend), though the Flash persona would not debut until the summer of 2009, but a lack of TV time led to her requested release in January 2010. She reappeared twice for the promotion since, in March 2011 and March 2013. More recently, Anderson joined Lucha Underground as the masked Mariposa, the sister of Marty “The Moth” Martinez.
The well-traveled Anderson also won Attack of the Show‘s MySpace Girl of the Week in September 2006 and made occasional appearances on the show. In 2013, Anderson was ranked the #1 female wrestler in the world by Pro Wrestling Illustrated.
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