Today In Wrestling History- May 18th

today-in-wrestling-history

Trivia

1964 – Gorilla Monsoon defeated WWWF World Champion Bruno Sammartino via DQ in Pittsburgh, PA

2002 – WWF aired the final episode of their Saturday evening “Excess” series on the USA Network, making room for WWF Confidential

2005 – TNA officially suspended Jeff Hardy.  TNA announced at the very last minute of their pre-game show for Hard Justice several days earlier that Sean Waltman would be replacing Jeff Hardy on the PPV.  They waited until the last second to announce it, hoping Hardy would make it from North Carolina to Florida.  Hardy did arrive after the PPV and was at the hotel where the wrestlers stay but arrived so late TNA needed to substitute Sean Waltman into a match he had been advertised for against Raven. Hard Justice wasn’t been the first time that Hardy was late (or an outright no-show) at TNA events, although he had been on his best behavior in recent months

2007 – World Wrestling Entertainment released developmental talent Angel Williams (who would go on to stardom as TNA Knockout Angelina Love), ECW Diva Ariel (Shelly Martinez), long tenured undercard star Scotty Too Hotty, & former Spirit Squad member “Mitch” (real name Nick Mitchell) from their contracts.  In the case of Ariel, she was released after a backstage argument with WWE star Batista over his relationship with WWE Diva Melina.  Martinez would later term it as “standing up for someone” and politically, ended up iced over the situation

Events

In 1979, NWA Night of Champions was a 1-off event held in Knoxville, Tennessee:

– Bob Roop & Bob Orton Jr. defeated Jerry Blackwell & Dean Ho to retain the Southeastern Tag Team Titles
– Alexis Smirnoff defeated Ronnie Garvin to win the Southeastern Heavyweight Title
– Kevin Sullivan defeated Mike Graham to win the NWA Alabama United States Junior Heavyweight Title
– Thunderbolt Patterson defeated Boris Malenko to retain the CWA Memphis Title
– Mr. Fuji defeated Terry Gibbs
– Harley Race fought Ron Fuller to a double-DQ to retain the NWA World Title

In 1997, WCW Slamboree was held at the Independence Arena, in Charlotte, North Carolina. With an attendance of 9,643:

Dark Match:
– Nuji Nagata defeated Pat Tanaka
– The Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge & Rocco Rock) defeated Harlem Heat (Stevie Ray & Booker T)
PPV:

– Steven Regal defeated Ultimo Dragon (with Sonny Onoo) to win the WCW Television Title
– Madusa defeated Luna Vachon
– Rey Mysterio Jr. defeated Yuji Yasuraoka
– Glacier defeated Mortis (with James Vandenberg) via DQ
– Dean Malenko defeated Jeff Jarrett (with Debra) to retain the WCW United States Title
– Meng defeated Chris Benoit (with Woman) in a Death Match
– The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) defeated Hugh Morris & Konnan (with Jimmy Hart)
– Steve McMichael (with Debra McMichael) defeated Reggie White (with Kent Johnston)
– Ric Flair, Roddy Piper & Kevin Greene defeated The nWo (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, & Syxx)

In 2003, WWE Judgment Day was also held at the Charlotte Coliseum, in Charlotte, North Carolina. With an attendance of 13,000:

Sunday Night Heat:
– The Hurricane defeated Stevie Richards
PPV:
– John Cena & The FBI (Johnny Stamboli & Chuck Palumbo) (with Nunzio) defeated Spanky (Brian Kendrick), Rhino, & Chris Benoit
– La Resistance (Rene Dupree & Sylvain Grenier) defeated Test & Scott Steiner (with Stacy Keibler)
– Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri defeated Team Angle (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) in a Ladder Match to win the WWE Tag Team Titles
– Christian wins a Battle Royal to win the vacant WWE Intercontinental Title. Also in the match was: Rob Van Dam, Kane, Chris Jericho, Val Venis, Booker T, Goldust, Test, & Lance Storm
– Torrie Wilson defeated Sable in a Bikini Challenge
– Mr. America (with Zach Gowen) defeated Roddy Piper (with Sean O’Haire)
– Kevin Nash defeated Triple H via DQ (HHH retains the World Heavyweight Title)
– Jazz (with Theodore Long) defeated Trish Stratus, Victoria (with Steven Richards), & Jacqueline in a Fatal Four Way Match to retain the WWE Women’s Title
– Brock Lesnar defeated The Big Show in a Stretcher Match to retain the WWE Title

In 2008, WWE Judgment Day was held at the Qwest Center, in Omaha, Nebraska. With an attendance of 11,324:

Dark Match:
– Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes defeated Santino Marella & Carlito to retain the World Tag Team Titles
PPV:
– John Cena defeated John “Bradshaw” Layfield
– John Morrison & The Miz defeated Kane & CM Punk to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles
– Shawn Michaels defeated Chris Jericho
– Mickie James defeated Beth Phoenix & Melina in a Triple Threat Match to retain the WWE Women’s Title
– The Undertaker defeated Edge via countout (the World Heavyweight Title remains vacant)
– Jeff Hardy defeated MVP
– Triple H defeated Randy Orton in a Cage Match to retain the WWE Title

In 2013, WWE Extreme Rules was held at the Scottrade Center, in St. Louis, Missouri. With an attendance of 14,500:

Pre-Show:
– The Miz defeated Cody Rhodes
PPV:
– Chris Jericho defeated Fandango (with Summer Rae)
– Dean Ambrose defeated Kofi Kingston to win the WWE United States Title
– Sheamus defeated Mark Henry in a Strap Match
– Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) defeated Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter) in an I Quit Match to become the #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Title
– The Shield (Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins) defeated Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan & Kane) in a Tornado Tag Team Match to win the WWE Tag Team Titles
– Randy Orton defeated The Big Show in an Extreme Rules Match
– WWE Champion John Cena fought Ryback to a no contest in a Last Man Standing Match to retain the title
– Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) defeated Triple H in a Steel Cage Match

Title Changes

1970 – Boris Malenko defeated Mil Mascaras to win the vacant WCCW American Heavyweight Title

1973 – Jose Lothario defeated Blackjack Mulligan to win the Texas Heavyweight Title

1984 – Gino Hernandez defeated Jimmy Garvin to win the WCCW American Heavyweight Title. This was a phantom match, it never actually took place

2004 – on Smackdown, Chavo Classic defeated Chavo Guerrero, & Spike Dudley in a Triple Threat Match to win the WWE Cruiserweight Title

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former ECW star The Blue Meanie (41), former GHC & IWGP Tag Team Champion Toru Yano (36), WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka (71), one-time WWWF Tag Team Champion Gino Brito (73), former WWF Hardcore Champion Cynthia ‘Bobcat’ Lynch (43), & All Japan star Kaz Hayashi (41)

Also, today would have been the birthday of 2-time All Japan Tag Team Champion Gary Albright (51), & one-time WWF Tag Team Champion Moondog King (65)

In Memoriam

On this day in 2002, the wrestling world lost 2-time WWF European, Tag Team and Hardcore Champion ‘The British Bulldog’ Davey Boy Smith at the age of 39. Smith debuted in his native England aged just 15, competing on the famed ‘World of Sport’ television show, where he wrestled the far more experienced Bernie Wright to a time-limit draw at one fall each. He also competed against or alongside Big Daddy, Dave ‘Fit’ Finlay and Blackjack Mulligan before moving to Canada at the behest of Stu Hart. During his time at Stampede, he also made his first tour of Japan, where he and Tom ‘Dynamite Kid’ Billington teamed as ‘The British Bulldogs’ for the first time in 1984. Later that year, the pair were signed by the WWF, where they would become one of the top tag teams in an initial 4-year run. In 1988, he left the promotion following an incident between Billington & Jacques Rougeau, following which they returned to Stampede and All Japan. The pair had a falling out in 1990, and Smith returned to the WWF alone. It was during this run where Smith hit the peak of his popularity, culminating in an Intercontinental Title victory over Bret Hart at Summerslam 92, though he would be released from the company barely 6 months later after it was revealed that he (as well as The Ultimate Warrior) were receiving shipments of steroids. Brief runs in WCW (from where he was released after yet another behind-the-scenes incident) and the UK preceded another WWF return. This run was somewhat less memorable, but did include Tag Team and European Title reigns before he left the promotion again following the Montreal Screwjob. A second WCW run ended after he was released while recovering from a serious back injury suffered after landing on a trap door built into the ring. His final major run was with the WWF in 1999-2000, when he was used primarily as a midcard talent. He was admitted to rehab by Vince McMahon in 2000 after developing an addiction to painkillers but was released from the company during the treatment process amid rumors of a relapse. He had been training for a return to the ring when he suffered a heart attack while on holiday with his girlfriend in Canada. His autopsy revealed that steroid use may have played a part in his death, however, the only clear results were that stress, serious injury, & drugs had taken their toll

Also on this day in 2002, Erich Kulas, whose 1 match stint in ECW as Mass Transit led to one of the most infamous moments in recent wrestling history, passed away at his home in Cranston, RI, on 5/14 due to complications stemming from a recent gastro-bypass surgery. He was only 22 years old.  In 1996, Kulas, when he was 17, worked a tag match for ECW in Revere, MA, subbing for Axl Rotten and teaming with D-Von Dudley vs. the Gangstas. New Jack destroyed Kulas, billed as “Mass Transit”, during the match, including cutting him open with an Xacto knife. Anyone who saw the tape of the match will not soon forget the sight of Kulas pouring blood out of his forehead. Charges of criminal assault were brought against Jack. He was found not guilty. Kulas later sued Jack & ECW (among others), claiming permanent disfigurement and emotional distress. That suit was also dismissed.  The aftermath of the incident saw ECW’s initial PPV canceled for a short time.  Kulas had not disclosed his age to ECW when he entered the ring

 

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