On this day in history in ....
1887 - Evan "Strangler" Lewis defeats Joe Acton in Chicago, Illinois to win the World Catch-as-Catch-Can Heavyweight Title.
1918 - Young Hackenschmidt (Neil Olsen) defeats Louis Nelson for the World Welterweight Title in New York City, New York.
1944 - Babe Sharkey defeats Ed "Strangler" Lewis to win the Maryland World Heavyweight Title in Baltimore, Maryland.
1947 - Vic Christy defeats Orville Brown to win the Midwest Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title in St. Joseph, Missouri.
1950 - Miguel GuzmÃ¡n and Rito Romero defeat Al Lovelock and Danny McShain to win the NWA Texas Tag Team Title in Dallas, Texas.
1952 - Hombre Montana and Leo Nomellini defeat Ben and Mike Sharpe for the San Francisco NWA World Tag Team Title in Oakland, California, ending the Sharpes' fifth reign.
1960 - Ivan and Karol Kalmikoff defeat Ilio DaPaolo and Whipper Billy Watson to win the NWA Canadian Open Tag Team Title in Toronto, Ontario, ending DaPaolo and Watson's second reign.
1964 - Bryan Clark, known by his given name as well as Adam Bomb and Wrath, is born in Tallahassee, Florida.
1968 - The Mighty Yankees (Frank Morrell and Eddie Sullivan) defeat Len Rossi and Tamaya Soto to win the Mid-America NWA World Tag Team Title in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
1968 - Larry Hennig defeats Kurt Von Brauner for the Amarillo NWA Brass Knuckles Title in Amarillo, Texas.
1970 - Dale Lewis and The Missouri Mauler defeat Bronko Lubich and Chris Markoff for the NWA Florida Tag Team Title in Tampa, Florida.
1973 - Tommy Gilbert and Eddie Marlin defeat Bobby Hart and Lorenzo Parente to win the NWA Mid-America Tag Team Title in Nashville, Tennessee, ending Hart and Parente's third reign and began Gilbert and Marlin's second.
1977 - Guy Mitchell wins his third Vancouver NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Title in Vancouver, British Columbia, ending Gene Kiniski's sixth reign.
1977 - Nick Gulas' promotion in Memphis, Tennessee held a tournament for the Mid-America NWA Southern Tag Team Title at the Mid-South Coliseum. The title was vacated in February after Porkchop Cash and Gorgeous George, Jr. split up. Dennis Condrey and Phil Hickerson defeated Ricky and Robert Gibson in the finals to win the vacant title, beginning their third reign.
1978 - Dino Bravo and Dominic DeNucci defeat Mr. Fuji an Prof. Tanaka in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the WWWF World Tag Team Title, ending Fuji and Tanaka's third reign.
1980 - Tiger Conway, Jr. and Jose Lothario defeat Mr. Hito and Mr. Sakurada for the World Class American Tag Team Title in Houston, Texas.
1980 - The Junkyard Dog defeats Ernie Ladd to win the Mid-South Louisiana Heavyweight Title in Shreveport, Louisiana.
1980 - Chavo Guerrero defeats The Hood (Johnny Mantell) for the NWA Americas Heavyweight Title in Los Angeles, California, to begin his 16th and final reign.
1980 - Bruiser Brody defeats Mark Lewin to win the NWA Texas Brass Knuckles Title in Houston, Texas. This began and ended each man's fifth reign.
1981 - The WWF held an event at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The results:
- Pete Doherty defeated Fred Marzino.
- Johnny Rodz defeated Joe Crugnale.
- Bruno Sammartino defeated Stan Hansen in a steel cage match.
- The Moondogs (Rex and Spot) defeated Pedro Morales and Dominic DeNucci.
- The Hangman defeated Steve King.
- Hulk Hogan defeated John Callagan.
- Special Delivery Jones defeated Baron Mikel Scicluna.
1981 - Killer Karl Krupp defeats Pierre Martel for the WWC North American Heavyweight Title in BayamÃ³n, Puerto Rico, ending Martel's second reign.
1982 - The WWF held an event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The results were:
- Tony Garea and Rick Martel defeated The Executioner (Baron Mikel Scicluna) and Charlie Fulton.
- Pat Patterson defeated Lou Albano by countout.
- The Fabulous Moolah and Wendi Richter defeated Velvet McIntyre and Princess Victoria.
- Steve Travis defeated JosÃ© Estrada.
- Greg Valentine defeated Special Delivery Jones.
- AndrÃ© the Giant and Rick McGraw defeated WWF Tag Team Champions Mr. Fuji and Mr. Saito in a two-out-of-three falls match.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Pedro Morales pinned Adrian Adonis to retain the title, after he lifted one of his shoulders after a suplex where both men's shoulders were down.
- WWF Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund pinned Jesse Ventura with a bridging roll-up, and a fast count by guest referee Ivan Putski.
1982 - Bobby Eaton and Sweet Brown Sugar defeat Ricky and Robert Gibson in a tournament final in Louisville, Kentucky to win the AWA Southern Tag Team Title.
1984 - Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham defeat Black Bart and Ron Bass for the Florida NWA United States Tag Team Title in Miami, Florida.
1986 - Brad Armstrong defeats Robert Fuller to win the NWA Southeast Continental Heavyweight Title in Mobile, Alabama.
1987 - The WWF aired the 10th edition of Saturday Night's Main Event on NBC, which got an 11.6 rating. The show was taped on February 21 in Detroit, Michigan at Joe Louis Arena. The results were:
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage (with Miss Elizabeth) defeated George Steele by countout after Savage hit Steele with a chair on the floor. Savage retained the title and Miss Elizabeth, as both were on the line.
- Hercules won a 20-man battle royal, last eliminating Billy Jack Haynes. Also in the match were: AndrÃ© the Giant, Ron Bass, Brian Blair, Jim Brunzell, Demolition Ax, Demoliton Smash, Haku, Hillbilly Jim, The Honky Tonk Man, WWF Champion Hulk Hogan, Blackjack Mulligan, Paul Orndorff, Lanny Poffo, Butch Reed, Sika, Tama, Nikolai Volkoff, and Koko B. Ware.
- King Kong Bundy (with Bobby Heenan) defeats Jake Roberts by disqualification, after Roberts attacked the referee after he tried to prevent Roberts from grabbing his snake bag.
- WWF Tag Team Champions The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart (with Danny Davis and Jimmy Hart)) defeated Tito Santana and Dan Spivey, when Hart pinned Santana after Davis hit Santana with Jimmy Hart's megaphone while Santana had Bret in the Figure Four leglock.
- Ricky Steamboat pinned The Iron Sheik (with Slick) after a chop off the top rope.
1987 - Ivan Koloff and Dick Murdoch defeat Ron Garvin and Barry Windham for the NWA United States Tag Team Title in Atlanta, Georgia.
1987 - Frankie Lancaster ends Invader III's sixth WWC World Junior Heavyweight Title in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.
1989 - William Cobb, better known as Happy Humphrey, dies of a heart attack at age 62. He was one of the heaviest professional wrestlers of all time, averaging 750 pounds throughout his career during the 1950s and 60s.
1993 - Saigoncito Dragon defeats Orito for the CMLL World Mini-Estrella Title in Mexico City, Mexico.
1994 - Eddie Gilbert defeats Brian Christopher to win the USWA Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee. This began Gilbert's second reign and ended Christopher's 10th.
1994 - Yamato defeats Canek for the UWA World Heavyweight Title in Puebla, Mexico, ending Canek's 12th reign.
1997 - Stix 'n' Stones (Bone Crusher and Quinn Magnum) defeats J.B. Destiny and Dennis Gregory to win the Pro Wrestling eXpress Tag Team Title in North Versalles, Pennsylvania.
1999 - WCW held the fifth-annual "Uncensored" pay-per-view at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky, before 15,930 fans. The results were:
- WCW Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman pinned Mikey Whipwreck after a shooting star press to retain the title.
- Stevie Ray pinned Vincent in a Harlem Street Fight, after hitting him with a slapjack, to gain control of nWo black and white.
- Kevin Nash (with Miss Elizabeth and Lex Luger) pinned Rey Misterio, Jr. after a Jackknife powerbomb.
- Jerry Flynn defeated Ernest Miller and Sonny Onoo in a handicap match by pinning Onoo.
- Hak (The Sandman) defeated Bam Bam Bigelow and Raven (with Chastity) in a Falls Count Anywhere Triple Threat match, by pinning Raven after Chastity hit a low-blow headbutt on Raven.
- Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko defeated WCW World Tag Team Champions The West Texas Rednecks (Curt Hennig and Barry Windham) in a Lumberjack match, when Benoit pinned Hennig after a diving headbutt, to win the title. The lumberjacks for the match were Arn Anderson, Bobby Duncum, Jr., Kenny Kaos, Meng, Hugh Morrus, Prince Iaukea, Norman Smiley and Kendall Windham.
- Saturn pinned Chris Jericho (with Ralphus) in a Dog Collar match, after a Death Valley Driver.
- Booker T pinned WCW World Television Champion Scott Steiner to win the title, after Buff Bagwell hit Steiner with a chair intended for Booker. This began Booker's sixth reign as TV champ, and ended Steiner's second.
- Ric Flair defeated WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan in a First Blood Steel Cage match to win the title. Flair pinned Hogan with Hogan in the Figure-Four leglock. Flair bled first, but referee Charles Robinson never stopped the match. This began Flair's sixth reign and ended Hogan's fifth. This also was Flair's overall 16th official World title win.
1999 - Naoya Ogawa ends Dan Severn's four-plus-year reign as NWA World Heavyweight Champion in Yokohama, Japan. Severn had held the title since February 24, 1995, when he won the title from Chris Candido at a SMW event in Erlanger, Kentucky.
1999 - Moody's Mob (The New Dr. X and Bull Schmitt) defeat The Blackbird Posse (Larry Green and Chris Young) for the NWA Texas Tag Team Title in North Richland Hills, Texas.
2001 - The infamous Bob Costas interview of Vince McMahon airs on HBO's "On the Record with Bob Costas". McMahon looked very intense and visably upset when Costas asked him questions about the fledgling XFL and the sex and violence in the WWF.
2001 - Ultimate Pro Wrestling held "When Worlds Collide" at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana, California. The show featured wrestlers from ECW and All Pro Wrestling, along with the usual UPW crew. The results:
- The Definition of Pain (Alkatrazz and Bad Boy Basil (with Rio Storm)) defeated Hell's Bells (Mike Bell and Smelly).
- The Blue Meanie (with Diane and Elaine Power (the Klimaszewski twins)) defeated UPW Internet Champion Navajo Warrior (with The Big Schwag) to win the title.
- Evolution (Frankie Kazarian and Nova) (with Looney Lane) defeated Hardkore, Inc. (Hardkore Kidd and Adam Pearce) in a UPW Tag Team Title Tournament semifinal match.
- UPW Southern California Champion Tony Jones defeated King Faviano.
- Hi Impact (Andy Van Dam and UPW Lightweight Champion The Prodigy) defeated Da Playas (B-Boy and Funky Billy Kim).
- Bison, Horshu and Luminous defeated Andy Judge and The Cash Money Brothas (John Black and Under Pressure).
- Roadkill defeated Keiji Sakoda (with The Big Schwag).
- Michael Modest and Donovan Morgan (with Roland Alexander, All Pro Wrestling promoter) defeated The Urban Outlaws (Marshall and Mike Knox (with Savvy)).
- The Prototype (John Cena) defeated C.W. Anderson.
- The Ballard Brothers (Shane and Shannon) defeated The Ultimate Army (Jon Heidenreich and Nathan Jones) in a UPW Tag Team Title Tournament semifinal match.
- Samoa Joe defeated UPW Heavyweight Champion Christopher Daniels in a Loser Leaves UPW match to win the title.
- Rob Van Dam defeated Mikey Henderson (Suicide Kid).
2003 - A.J. Styles defeated Super Hentai for the International Wrestling Cartel Super Indy Title in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania.
2004 - WWE sets a record for the highest grossing wrestling event ever held in Madison Square Garden in New York City, pulling in over $2.4 million in ticket sales for WrestleMania XX, which was headlined by Chris Benoit defeating Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a three way match for the World Heavyweight Title. The event also sees the final WWE appearances (to date) for Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg.
Here is Tim Whitehead's original report on the show:
The twentieth annual WrestleMania (3/14 from a sold-out Madison Square Garden) was one of the best hyped shows in WWE history, and fortunately it turned out to be a strong show. Lasting over four-and-a-half hours, it had its share of "filler" matches, but with four bouts in the very good to excellent range it was a clear thumbs' up show. Chris Jericho vs. Christian, the handicap tag match, and the two world singles title matches all delivered. Perhaps the most anticipated match, Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg with Steve Austin as referee, was a basically good match given their styles, though the crowd turned on both the wrestlers and the match. Other bouts were about what one would expect to see on RAW or Smackdown, namely regular action. The evening gown match was bad, but it was very short and delivered on its promise to show some scantily clad babes. Commentary from both teams was solid, except for Jerry Lawler's usual drooling during the women's bout. Crowd heat varied, as one would expect on such a long show. The top matches were heated but things got pretty cold during some of the lower tier bouts. The show opened with the Harlem Boys Choir singing "America the Beautiful". This was followed by a very emotional video putting WrestleMania over as a truly major event and pushing the theme that WM XX is where it will all begin again. Some would say the sight of Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero standing as the two reigning world champs at the end of the show is itself a turning point many of us never dreamed we'd see.
JOHN CENA defeated BIG SHOW to capture the U.S. Title in 9:13. Cena did his pre-match rap. Show overpowered Cena, including hurling him over the top rope for a bump. Cena came off the top but Show caught him and slammed him for a two count. Show did the methodical big man offense, clubbing Cena with blows and tossing him all over the ring. Cena took a big boot to the face. Show hit a legdrop and hooked the cobra clutch. Cena managed to escape. Show missed a charge into the corner when Cena moved. Cena hit the FU out of nowhere, but Show kicked out at two to a good pop (even though fans were behind Cena they liked the kick-out). Cena grabbed his chain and threatened to use it. The ref took it from him. As the ref was disposing of the chain, Cena pulled out brass knux, walloped Show, and pinned him after a second FU. The crowd popped big for the title change. Kind of slow paced since Show was on offense most of the match, but the good crowd heat made it okay.
Jonathan Coachman was walking around backstage, greeting guys like Tom Prichard and Theodore Long, as if he was the company owner or something. He visited Eric Bischoff, who was talking with apprentice Johnny Spade. Bischoff ordered Coach to get an interview with Undertaker. Coach seemed afraid, and tried to get out of it by noting that UT is a Smackdown wrestler. But Bischoff wanted to get the scoop over Smackdown by being the first to put UT on live TV since his return from the "dead". So Coach headed off in search of UT.
Randy Orton did a long promo recapping his feud with Mick Foley. He noted that their first encounter was last year when he threw Foley down a flight of stairs right there in the Garden.
ROB VAN DAM & BOOKER T won a four-way match over THE DUDLEYS, LA RESISTANCE, and MARK JINDRAK & GARRISON CADE in 7:51 to retain the RAW World Tag Titles. RVD hit some kicks on Rene Dupree, bumping him from the ring. Bubba Ray pounded Booker and gave him a neckbreaker. Booker stopped Bubba's Dusty routine by kicking him. Cade laid Booker out but somehow Rob Conway ended up tagging in. He worked Booker over. RVD hot tagged and began throwing his kicks all over. He went to the top, but D-Von shoved him off and he took a bump. Everyone began brawling. Cade stopped the Dudleys from 3D'ing Booker. Most of the guys brawled out to the floor. In the ring, Booker hit the scissor kick on Conway and RVD, who had recovered, frog splashed him for the pin. Standard action. The crowd, anticipating bigger matches to come, stayed cool except for a pop at the finish.
Coach failed to find UT, but he did hear some noises coming from a room. It sounded like people were having sex inside. Gene Okerlund emerged, with his hair and clothes all messed up. Well, the clothes were, anyway, as he has no hair. Bobby Heenan then came out with his hair and clothes looking the same way. When they saw Coach they began making various excuses for what was going on in that room, denying there was anything sordid going on. But then Fabulous Moolah & Mae Young came out of the room and began kissing on Okerlund & Heenan. I guess Vince McMahon just had to put this on the show.
CHRISTIAN defeated CHRIS JERICHO in 14:52. Jericho went after Christian with fists, an elbow, and a suplex. He backdropped Christian out to the floor and then dived out onto him. Jericho threw Christian back in and hooked the walls hold. Christian escaped to the ropes. Christian sent Jericho out for a major bump. He scored several twos on Jericho after a knee lift and some other basic moves. Jericho tried for the walls again, with Christian raking the eyes to escape. Both went down after a collision. Jericho revived first and called Christian a "creepy little bastard". Jericho hit an enzuigiri. They traded twos with a series of roll-ups. Jericho scored with a Northern Lights suplex. Jericho hit the bulldog but Christian got his knees up when Jericho went for the lionsault. Christian hit a swinging neckbreaker. Jericho rolled through when Christian did a bodypress off the top for a near pin. Christian hooked the Texas cloverleaf. In a great move, Jericho reversed it into the walls. Christian made the ropes. Jericho hooked the walls on the floor but had to break it fast to avoid a DQ. Both went to the top, and after nearly falling off, Jericho hit a superplex. Trish Stratus came out and began cheering for Jericho. Christian hit one of those scary straight down on the head DDT's on Jericho and then dragged Trish into the ring. He threw Trish down. Jericho went to her, wanting to get her out of the ring so she wouldn't get hurt, but she elbowed him in the face. Jericho staggered back and was rolled up and pinned by Christian. It was made to look like she elbowed Jericho because she thought he was Christian. She apologized to Jericho for causing him to lose, and though disappointed, he accepted it. Christian began taunting Jericho from the apron. Jericho started after him, but suddenly Trish lit into Jericho like a wildcat, slapping his face over and over. Christian then laid Jericho out with the unprettier and left arm in arm with Trish. They kissed passionately at the ramp top, with Trish coming off as a real vixen for betraying Jericho. The match was very good with solid heat, and the angle with Trish came off great because no one saw it coming and the crowd reacted huge to it.
Lilian Garcia interviewed Foley, who was about to have his first official match in four years (not counting the non-sanctioned one on RAW a few weeks ago). Foley said he hoped the hate and emotions he has toward Evolution wouldn't get the better of him. Rock arrived and told Foley to use his emotions to his advantage. Rock did a hot promo, saying everyone knows it's the Rock & Sock Connection's night. He pointed to Hurricane & Rosey, Jimmy Snuka & Don Muraco, and the live crowd as examples of people who know. He got in most of his catch phrases, and also told Lilian to stop staring at him since the buffet is closed. Rock ended by telling Foley to slap the lips off Evolution and then kick their asses.
RIC FLAIR & RANDY ORTON & BATISTA defeated ROCK & MICK FOLEY in a handicap match in 16:59. They all brawled at the bell, with all three Evolution guys bailing out. Order was restored and Flair started off against Rock. Rock did the Flair strut. Flair chopped Rock. Rock backdropped Flair in the ring and then backdropped him on the floor. Foley walloped Flair and did the bang-bang. Foley punched out Orton and hung him upside down, where he took blows from both Foley and Rock. Rock lariated Orton. Batista pulled down the ropes, causing Rock to bump out. Batista and Flair worked Rock over. Flair did his strut. Flair went to the top, but got tossed off as always. Rock tagged Foley in, who punched out all three foes. Batista lariated Foley, who bumped out. Orton rammed Foley into the stairs. Foley fought back and put the mandible claw on Batista. Orton broke it up. Rock hot tagged and destroyed everyone until Batista flattened him with a spinebuster. Flair wanted to do the people's elbow on the downed Rock, but he spent too much time strutting during the rebounds off the ropes. Rock revived and gave Flair a spinebuster. He then gave Flair the people's elbow. Rock gave Orton a Rock Bottom. Flair grabbed a chair and ran around threatening to use it. This was done to distract the ref so Orton and Batista could double on Rock. Batista gave Rock a sit-down powerbomb, but Rock kicked out at two. Foley tagged in and DDT'd Orton. He pulled out Mr. Socko, but as he went to apply it, Orton revived and, out of nowhere, hit the RKO on Foley to score the surprise clean pin. Great match with strong heat. Foley once again put a guy over in the best tradition of building toward the future. Afterward, Foley was despondent over being pinned but Rock hugged him and the crowd chanted "Foley" to revive his spirits.
Footage aired of the previous night's Hall of Fame ceremony. This year's inductees were then announced. They were Bobby Heenan, Tito Santana, the late John Studd, Harley Race, Pete Rose, Don Muraco, Greg Valentine, the late Junkyard Dog, Superstar Graham, Sgt. Slaughter, and Jesse Ventura. Studd was represented by his son John Minton, Jr. and JYD by his daughter Latoya Ritter. Everyone got a nice pop except Rose, who was booed, though I guess that fit his character. Heenan bit back tears, as he has been fighting throat cancer and was clearly moved by the crowd response to him. Ventura now looks like a Yukon lumberjack. This was a very nice ceremony, hosted by Gene Okerlund.
TORRIE WILSON & SABLE beat STACY KEIBLER & MISS JACKIE in a Playboy evening gown match in 2:33. Unlike normal evening gown matches, the goal wasn't to strip one's opponent of her gown. Instead, it was a regular match. Sable, Torrie, and Stacy stripped down to bra & panties before the bell. For unknown reasons, Jackie refused, so Sable & Torrie stripped her. So I guess it really wasn't an evening gown match. The match was pretty bad as far as wrestling goes, though Torrie did do a bodypress off the top onto Jackie. Mostly they rolled around and teased showing more skin. After a bunch of roll-ups and reversals, Torrie pinned Jackie. Jackie acted mad and stormed off. Stacy seemed mad at Jackie, too.
Eddie Guerrero visited Chris Benoit, who was pacing back and forth in his locker room, on pins and needles over his big upcoming match. Eddie said that win or lose, he'll be proud of Benoit for his effort. Benoit took that as less than a full vote of confidence and seemed upset. Eddie then said that no one really thinks Benoit can win the big one. Benoit exploded and was furious with Eddie, but Eddie then laughed and said he was just trying to get Benoit angry to psych him up. He hoped the anger would bring out the Benoit who fought all those legendary matches in Japan and who has the heart of a champion inside him. Eddie predicted both of them would leave 'Mania with a world title.
CHAVO GUERRERO JR. won a nine man gauntlet match to retain the Cruiserweight Title at 10:29. The rules were that each man entered via a number chosen in a random drawing, except for Chavo who was awarded the last entry position for being the reigning champ. The first two in were ULTIMO DRAGON and SHANNON MOORE. Lots of fast paced spots. Moore missed a corkscrew moonsault when Dragon rolled clear. Dragon won at 1:18 with his unique DDT maneuver. JAMIE NOBLE went in. Dragon hit some kicks and a neckbreaker but Noble forced him to tap at 2:16 to a legscissors submission. FUNAKI was in next. He immediately went for a bodypress off the top, but Noble rolled through on it and pinned him at 2:24. NUNZIO went in. He traded spots with Noble until taking a bump out. Noble then somersault splashed him on the floor. Nunzio ended up counted out at 4:17. Though eliminated, Nunzio dragged Noble out and fought with him on the floor. The next entrant, BILLY KIDMAN, nailed both with a shooting star press which saw Kidman almost land on his head. Back in the ring, Kidman hit an enzuigiri on Noble. He then pinned Noble at 6:08 with a powerbomb off the top. REY MYSTERIO JR. was next. Kidman hit him with a killer dropkick. Akio, who was at ringside, tripped Mysterio. But Mysterio came back and pinned Kidman at 7:28 with a sunset flip off the top. TAJIRI came in. He hooked the tarantula. Mysterio hit the 619 but Tajiri evaded the West Coast Pop. Akio tried to interfere but it backfired. Tajiri ended up misting Akio. Mysterio cradled Tajiri for the pin at 8:36. Chavo came in as the final entrant. Tajiri had sucker punched Mysterio on the way out, so Chavo lit into him. Mysterio rebounded with a springboard huracanrana. He kicked Chavo Guerrero Sr., who was threatening to interfere. Mysterio vaulted over the ref's back onto Sr. on the floor. Mysterio went for a sunset flip back into the ring, but Chavo dropped on him and, with some illegal leverage from Sr., pinned Mysterio at 10:29. The match was all good action, but the pinfalls came ridiculously fast. Seven guys got pinned or submitted, plus one counted out, in amazingly short order. They'd have been better off with one regular Cruiserweight match, but since this was 'Mania they wanted more guys to get show time so they went with this format.
BILL GOLDBERG beat BROCK LESNAR in 13:42. Steve Austin was the special ref. He called it right down the middle. The crowd tore into Lesnar as soon as he hit the ring with "you sold out" and "Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye" chants. JR mentioned the "rumor" that Lesnar is leaving WWE for the NFL. Both wrestlers stalled forever, which was done for psychology but the crowd, already predisposed to be pissed at Lesnar, and also not sure of Goldberg's WWE future, turned against both guys and the match. They finally tied up at 2:45 but neither could overpower the other. They traded shoulderblocks. The crowd started a "boring" chant. Goldberg press slammed Lesnar, but Lesnar sidestepped when Goldberg went for the spear. Goldberg hit the post. I'm not sure of the practicality of a finisher that backfires as often as Goldberg's spear. Lesnar put the boots to Goldberg and suplexed him. There was a "Goldberg sucks" chant, but anti-Lesnar heat soon drowned it out. Lesnar hooked a chinlock, a rest hold which drew more negative heat. Lesnar threw some shoulderblocks. Goldberg came back with a lariat, a neckbreaker, and the spear. Lesnar kicked out at two, to Goldberg's dismay. Lesnar then hit the F5, with Goldberg kicking out at two, so each got to survive the other's finisher once. Lesnar thought he got a three count, but as he argued with Austin he got hit with another Goldberg spear, this time followed by a jackhammer for the three count. The crowd sang "Na Na Hey Hey" yet again to Lesnar, who flipped the crowd off. He looked legit a little pissed over the crowd reactions. Austin got a huge pop for giving Lesnar a stunner. Goldberg celebrated his win by drinking beer with Austin, but Austin gave him a stunner, too. The match is kind of hard to rate. It was okay for a bout with two musclemen with conflicting styles. There was a lot of heat, but much of it was crowd anger rather than positive heat. The one thing clear was that the guy most expected to really get put over was Austin, and he was.
Vince McMahon thanked the fans for supporting twenty years of WrestleManias. Los Angeles was announced as the site for WM XXI.
RIKISHI & SCOTTY 2 HOTTY won a four-way match over THE A.P.A., THE BASHAMS, and CHARLIE HAAS & SHELTON BENJAMIN to retain the Smackdown World Tag Titles in 6:00. Bradshaw started off by pounding Benjamin. Haas gave Danny Basham a backbreaker. Scotty suplexed Haas and did a moonwalk. Haas & Benjamin doubled on Scotty. The Bashams then worked Scotty over. Rikishi came in and flattened everybody. Rikishi sent Benjamin flying with an ass bump, which was pretty funny. Rikishi also backed his ass up on Haas. Haas & Benjamin both ended up on the floor. Bradshaw tossed Doug Basham out onto them. He then gave Danny the lariat from hell. Rikishi Samoan dropped Bradshaw and gave Danny the Banzai ass drop for the pin. No heat all atl. Haas & Benjamin deserve better matches.
Ventura came out and interviewed Donald Trump, who was on the front row. Trump promised to finance a future Ventura presidential candidacy, with Jesse hinting at a 2008 run.
VICTORIA defeated MOLLY HOLLY to retain the women's title in 4:52. Molly bailed out quickly, so Victoria lariated her on the floor. Molly hit a suplex and some kicks when the action returned to the ring. She scored some twos, but again there was no heat. Lawler dwelled on panties. Victoria hit a powerslam. Molly did a sunset flip off the top and almost lost it. Victoria then scored a quick pin with a backslide. A typical women's match like we might see weekly on RAW, though the main focus here was the hair stipulation. Molly had signed to be shaved bald if she lost, so after the match she fled. Victoria chased her. Molly ambushed her backstage and dragged her to the barber chair. Molly was about to start cutting Victoria's hair, but Victoria recovered, laid Molly out, and strapped her into the barber chair. Victoria shaved Molly bald, and I mean totally bald, as Molly threw a tantrum. I'm glad they followed through on the stip. After this, any guy who loses a hair match and fails to get shaved bald will really look like a wimp.
EDDIE GUERRERO defeated KURT ANGLE to retain the WWE World Title in 21:32. They traded mat spots, as most fans chanted for Eddie, though a decent sized minority were for Angle. They each did shoulderblocks, with Eddie getting the best of the deal as Angle bailed. Back to the ring, they did some great mat stuff. The crowd was a little slow to get into it, but they eventually did. Eddie blocked a suplex and hit some arm drags. They traded suplexes. Angle tried to suplex Eddie off the apron but Eddie blocked it and Angle bumped to the floor. Eddie came off the top. Angle moved and Eddie crashed onto the ring barrier. Eddie sold a rib injury from this. Angle went to work on the rib area, hitting a bunch of suplexes as well. Both went to the top. Angle took a bump off to the mat. Eddie went for the frog splash, with Angle rolling clear and Eddie crashing hard to the canvas. Angle pounded Eddie with fists. Eddie hit lariats and a suplex. Angle did a German suplex. Eddie countered an Angle slam attempt into an arm drag. Eddie hit a spinning headscissors and several suplexes. Angle hooked the ankle lock, with Eddie managing to escape. Angle hit a superplex and another German suplex. Eddie hit an excellent DDT and nailed the frog splash, but Angle kicked out at two to a huge pop. Eddie coutered anoher ankle lock attempt. Angle bumped out. Eddie loosened his bootlaces, acting as if he was sore from the earlier ankle lock. Angle came back in and hooked the ankle lock yet again, but the loosened boot came off, causing Angle to lose the hold. Eddie then rolled the surprised Angle up for the pin. Excellent match with a huge pop for the finish.
UNDERTAKER beat KANE in 7:46. Paul Bearer led Undertaker out, past an army of Druids with torches. Kane freaked out at the sight of UT. UT attacked Kane at the bell. They brawled out to the floor. UT legdropped Kane on the apron. Kane tried to hotshot UT on the ropes but he was too far away and it looked pretty bad. Kane fought back with his slow offense. UT hit a boot to the face. Each tried to chokeslam the other, with Kane scoring. But UT sat back up. UT then won with a chokeslam and a tombstone piledriver. It wasn't a good match, but the crowd was into seeing UT back with his dead man character so they popped for it.
CHRIS BENOIT beat TRIPLE H and SHAWN MICHAELS in a three-way match to capture the RAW World Title in 24:46. Benoit and the Heartbreak Kid chopped each other as HHH watched. HBK threw HHH out, and he stayed out there a while just to watch Benoit and HBK beat on each other. HBK twice blocked Benoit from hooking the crossface. The crowd was totally behind Benoit here, to the point that many of them booed HBK. HHH blindsided HBK and threw him over the top. HBK skinned the cat and dumped Benoit out to the floor. HBK backdropped HHH. HHH hit a high knee on HBK. HHH went out after Benoit on the floor, with HBK moonsaulting on them from the top. Back in the ring, HHH set HBK up for a pedigree but Benoit stopped it by lariating HHH. Benoit sent HBK crashing shoulder-first into the post. Benoit suplexed HHH. Throughout all this, there were occasional pin attempts, all ending with only a two count. HBK hit a flying forearm on HHH. HBK kipped up afterward and was immediately lariated by Benoit. Benoit did the multiple German suplexes on HHH. HHH superplexed Benoit. Benoit put the crossface on HHH. HBK broke it up. Benoit gave HBK the multiple Germans and a diving headbutt for a near fall. An HBK flying forearm sent Benoit crashing to the floor. HBK lariated and slammed HHH. He hit the sweet chin music on HHH, but Benoit broke the pin up. Benoit sent HBK into the post and he juiced a major gusher. Benoit hooked the crossface on HBK. In a neat spot, HBK lifted his arm to tap out, but HHH stopped the arm from hitting the mat and then broke up the crossface. HHH and Benoit fought out to the floor, where HHH sent Benoit into the stairs. All three ended up fighting on the Spanish broadcast desk. HHH & HBK joined forces to double suplex Benoit from the Spanish table through the French table. HHH and HBK ended up fighting back to the ring. HHH took a bump back out and landed on a cameraman. HBK posted HHH and he juiced big. HHH fought back and pedigreed HBK. HHH almost scored the pin, with Benoit barely reviving in time to make the save. Benoit put the sharpshooter on HHH to great heat. HBK nailed Benoit with the chin music, saving HHH. HBK went for the pin on Benoit, who kicked out at two to a huge pop. Benoit ducked a second chin music attempt and dumped HBK out to the floor. Benoit blocked a pedigree from the revived HHH, and hooked the crossface. With HBK still out on the floor, HHH, after a struggle, tapped out to the crossface for the title change. There was a massive pop, as this was a great match and this was the perfect ending the fans wanted to see. Benoit nearly had tears in his eyes as he was presented with the belt. Eddie Guerrero came in and they hugged, with Eddie literally crying. What a great ending! There was once a time when two wrestlers like Benoit and Guerrero, no matter how great, could never dream of holding a WWE World Title because of their size. To see them both leave 'Mania as world champs is literally amazing. Where it all begins again, indeed!
2004 - Momoe Nakanishi defeats Yoshiko Tamura to win the NWA Pacific Women's Title in Kawasaki, Japan, ending Tamura's fourth reign.
2005 - WWE held the 616th episode of RAW live and taped the 341st Sunday Night Heat at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Georgia, suburban Atlanta. The results were:
- Viscera pinned Simon Dean with a splash.
- Chris Masters defeated Jimmy Rave by submission with the Masterlock.
- Maven and Molly Holly defeated Val Venis and Victoria, when Maven pinned Venis with a roll-up following a low blow.
- Kane defeated Christian and Tyson Tomko in a handicap match, by pinning Tomko after a chokeslam.
- WWE Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin pinned Edge after the T-bone suplex.
- The Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels) defeated La RÃ©sistance (Rob Conway and Sylvain Grenier), when Jannetty pinned Grenier after the Rocker Dropper as Michaels hit the Sweet Chin Music on Conway. This was The Rockers' first match together as a team since December 30, 1991.
- Batista defeated Gene Snitsky by disqualification when Ric Flair interfered and clipped Batista's knee while he had Snitsky up for the Batista Bomb.
- In a dark match after the show, Batista and Shawn Michaels defeated Edge and World Heavyweight Champion Triple H (with Ric Flair), when Batista pinned Triple H after Jake Roberts came out, scared Flair away, and distracted Triple H. After the match, Triple H was DDT'd by Roberts and Roberts put his snake on him.
2006 - WWE taped the 190th Velocity and 344th Friday Night SmackDown! at the CenturyTelCenter in Bossier City, Louisiana. The results:
- In a dark match, Test defeated Sylvan.
- Tatanka defeated Vito (with Nunzio).
- The Gymini (Jake and Jesse (with Simon Dean)) defeated The Mexicools (Psicosis and Super Crazy).
- Paul London defeated Brian Kendrick, Kid Kash and Jamie Noble in a four-way match to become #1 contender for the Gregory Helms' WWE Cruiserweight Title.
- Finlay defeated Bobby Lashley in a Lumberjack Money in the Bank qualifying match.
- Paul Birchill and Kristal defeated William Regal and Jillian Hall.
- Booker T defeated Jeremy Young.
- Matt Hardy defeated The Road Warrior by disqualification in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. This was the debut of the Road Warrior character for the former Road Warrior Animal.
- WWE United States Champion Chris Benoit defeated Orlando Jordan.
- World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio, Jr. and Randy Orton defeated Mark Henry and WWE Tag Team Champions MNM (Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro).
- In dark match after the show, World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle defeated Mark Henry, Randy Orton and The Undertaker to retain the title.
2007 - Ohio Valley Wrestling held it weekly television taping at Davis Arena in Louisville, Kentucky. The results were:
- T.J. Dalton and Jamin Olivencia defeated The Frat Pack (Mikey and Nicky).
- Tomasso defeated Vic D. Vine.
- Kassidy James defeated ???.
- Tony Braddock defeated Ranger Milton.
- OVW Women's Champion Katie Lea defeated Serena.
- K.C. James defeated Mike Tolar.
- Sylvan defeated Jake Hager.
- Johnny Jeter and The Miz defeated Deuce and Domino.
- The Belgium Brawler and Nick Sinn defeated Terminal Velocity (Chet the Jett and Steve Lewington).
- Boris Alexiev defeated OVW Television Champion Mike Kruel, beginning his second reign.
- Cody Runnels and Shawn Spears defeated OVW Southern Tag Team Champions Charles Evans and Justin LaRouche to win the title.
- Idol Stevens defeated OVW Heavyweight Champion Paul Birchill to win the title, ending Burchill's second reign.
2008 - Vince McMahon receives a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.