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3/29 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WRESTLEMANIA III SHATTERS RECORDS, RIC FLAIR IS INDUCTED INTO WWE HALL OF FAME, STEAMBOAT WINS INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE, STEVE AUSTIN WINS FIRST WWF TITLE, SHAWN MICHAELS' RAW FAREWELL, HOGAN VS. ANDRE AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2012-03-29 08:00:33

March 29th

On this day in history in ...

1933 - Ray Steele wins his second California Heavyweight Title in Los Angeles, California, defeating Jim McMillen.

1934 - Abe Kaufman defeats Louie Miller for the California Light Heavyweight Title in San Francisco, California.

1939 - Steve Casey wins his second American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title in Boston, Massachusetts, ending Gus Sonnenberg's second reign.

1945 - Frankie Talaber defeats Pierre Labelle to win the Midwest Wrestling Association World Junior Heavyweight Title in Columbus, Ohio, beginning his fifth reign.

1947 - Hans Schnabel is awarded the vacant Illinois Midwest Heavyweight Title. He would be later recognized as world champion in Illinois.

1955 - Bulldog Curtis and Tommy Martinez defeat Kurt Von Poppenheim and Leo Wallick to win the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title.

1956 - Pat O'Connor defeats Lord Athol Layton for the vacant Toronto NWA British Empire Heavyweight Title in Toronto, Ontario. The title was vacated after Whipper Billy Watson won the NWA World Heavyweight Title on March 15.

1959 - Michael Hayes is born in Marietta, Georgia.

1960 - Karl and Kurt Von Brauner defeat Tex Riley and Len Rossi for the Mid-America NWA World Tag Team Title in Nashville, Tennessee, ending their second reign.

1961 - Guy Mitchell defeats Skull Murphy in Columbus, Georgia for the Georgia NWA Southern Heavyweight Title, ending Murphy's second reign.

1962 - Don Curtis and Joe Scarpa (Chief Jay Strongbow) defeat Karl and Kurt Von Brauner to win the Florida NWA World Tag Team Title in Jacksonville, Florida, ending the Von Brauner's third reign.

1965 - The WWWF held an event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The results:
- Miguel Perez defeated The Golden Terror by disqualification.
- Argentina Apollo defeated Smasher Sloan.
- Gorilla Monsoon defeated Don McClarity
- Wahoo McDaniel defeated Dr. Jerry Graham.
- WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino defeated Bill Watts by disqualification.
- Sonny Boy Cassidy and Pancho Lopez defeated Billy the Kid and Fuzzy Cupid.
- WWWF United States Tag Team Champions Gene Kiniski and Waldo Von Erich fought Bobo Brazil and Haystacks Calhoun to a draw.

1969 - The WWWF held an event at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The results were:
- Duke Savage defeated Pete Sanchez.
- John L. Sullivan (Johnny Valiant) defeated Carlos Colón.
- Bulldog Brower defeated Ricky Sexton.
- World Women's Champion The Fabulous Moolah and Patty Neilson defeated Peggy O'Neill and Vivian Vachon.
- Victor Rivera defeated Baron Mikel Scicluna.
- Killer Kowalski defeated Haystacks Calhoun.
- WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino defeated The Sheik in a steel cage match.

1972 - Jim Barnett's Mid-South Sports changes its name to Georgia Championship Wrestling.

1973 - Ben Justice and Tojo Yamamoto win the Mid-America NWA World Tag Team Title from The Fabulous Kangaroos (Al Costello and Don Kent) in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

1973 - The Brute (Bugsy McGraw) defeats Gene Kiniski to win the Vancouver NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Title in Vancouver, British Columbia, ending Kiniski's third reign.

1976 - Serge Dumont defeats Johnny Rougeau in Montreal, Quebec to become the first International Wrestling International Heavyweight Champion.

1976 - Buck Robley and Bob Slaughter (Sgt. Slaughter) defeat The Hollywood Blonds (Jerry Brown and Buddy Roberts) for the Tri-State NWA United States Tag Team Title in Tulsa, Oklahoma, ending the Blonds' fourth reign.

1977 - Mr. Wrestling II defeats James Dillon for the NWA Macon Heavyweight Title in Macon, Georgia.

1978 - Championship Wrestling from Florida held an event at the Convention Hall in Miami, Florida. The results:
- Don Serrano defeated Terry Gibbs.
- Porkchop Cash defeated Len Denton.
- NWA Florida Television Champion Pedro Morales defeated Carl Cook to retain the title.
- NWA Florida Southern Heavyweight Champion Dick Slater defeated Rocky Johnson to retain the title.
- NWA Florida Heavyweight Champion Jack Brisco defeated Bob Roop to retain the title.
- NWA Florida United States Tag Team Champions Mike Graham and Steve Keirn defeated NWA Florida Tag Team Champions Mr. Saito and Mr. Sato (The Great Kabuki) by countout to retain their title.
- Dusty Rhodes defeated Killer Karl Kox in a steel cage match. The guest referee was Ivan Putski.

1979 - The World Wide Wrestling Federation drops a W from its name and becomes the World Wrestling Federation.

1979 - Salvatore Martino (Bellomo) defeats Gene Kiniski to win the Vancouver NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Title in Vancouver, British Columbia, ending Kiniski's seventh reign.

1980 - Ray Stevens and Greg Valentine defeat Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood for the NWA World Tag Team Title in Charlotte, North Carolina.

1980 - Austin Idol ends Mr. Wrestling II's 10th reign as NWA Georgia Heavyweight Champion in Atlanta, Georgia.

1980 - Americo Rocca wins his second Mexican National Welterweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico, defeating Lizmark.

1982 - Championship Wrestling from Florida held an event at the City Auditorium in West Palm Beach, Florida. The results:
- Terry Allen and Jerry Brisco defeated Derek Draper and Hiro Matsuda.
- Bubba Douglas pinned Bob Russell after a headbutt.
- Brian Blair and Avalanche Tyler fought to a 15-minute time-limit draw.
- Mike Graham defeated NWA Florida Southern Heavyweight Champion David Von Erich by disqualification, after Von Erich threw Graham over the top rope. Von Erich retained the title.
- Kendo Nagasaki pinned Sweet Brown Sugar after a throat thrust.
- Gran Apolo pinned Ciclon Negro in a brass knuckles match with a sunset flip.
- Hacksaw Reed defeated NWA International Heavyweight Champion Dory Funk, Jr. by reverse disqualification. Funk retained the title.

1982 - Bugsy McGraw defeats José Lothario to win the NWA Texas Brass Knuckles Title in Fort Worth, Texas, ending Lothario's third reign and beginning McGraw's second.

1984 - Billy Jack (Haynes) defeats Kendo Nagasaki (Kazuo Sakurada) for the NWA Florida Heavyweight Title in Lakeland, Florida.

1984 - A 10-team tournament was held by Central States Wrestling in Kansas City, Kansas for the vacant NWA Central States Tag Team Title. The title was vacated in December after Bob Brown, who held it with Buzz Tyler, was injured. Tyler teamed with King Cobra to face Tully Blanchard and Ron Starr for the vacant title on January 5, but that match ended in a double-disqualification, so the tournament was made. The results were:
First round:
- Wahoo McDaniel and Butch Reed defeated The Mongols.
- Jim Duggan and Scott Ferris defeated T.G. Stone and Dan White.
- The Grapplers (Len Denton and Tony Anthony) defeated Ron Ritchie and Buzz Tyler to advance to the semifinal round.
- Jerry and Ted Oates defeated Roger Kirby and Les Thornton.
- Luke Graham and One Man Gang defeated Tommy Rogers and Dale Wolfe.
Quarterfinals:
- Wahoo McDaniel and Butch Reed defeated Jim Duggan and Scott Ferris.
- Jerry and Ted Oates defeated Luke Graham and One Man Gang to advance to the final match.
Semifinals:
- The Grapplers defeated Wahoo McDaniel and Butch Reed.
Finals:
- The Grapplers defeated Jerry and Ted Oates to win the vacant NWA Central States Tag Team Title. However, the title was immediately held up because The Grapplers used a loaded boot. A rematch between The Grapplers and Jerry and Ted Oates was then scheduled for the following week.

1985 - Americo Rocca wins his third Mexican National Welterweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico, ending El Talisman's second reign.

1986 - Rick Davis and Rocky Dellaserra defeat Buddy Austin and Mike Stone in Vancouver, British Columbia to become the last holders of the Vancouver NWA Canadian Tag Team Title.

1987 - The WWF held WrestleMania III before a reported world record crowd of 93,173 fans at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. The event got a 8.0 buyrate. The results were:
- The Can-Am Connection (Rick Martel and Tom Zenk) defeated The Magnificent Muraco and Bob Orton (with Mr. Fuji), when Martel pinned Muraco after a crossbody as Zenk tripped Muraco from behind.
- Billy Jack Haynes fought Hercules to a double-countout. After the match, Hercules hit Haynes with a chain-wrapped fist.
- Hillbilly Jim, The Haiti Kid and Little Beaver defeated King Kong Bundy, Little Tokyo and Lord Littlebrook by disqualification in a Mixed Tag Team match, after Bundy attacked Little Beaver. After the match, all the Hillbilly Jim and all the other competitors made the save against Bundy. Bundy's attack on Beaver caused him a legitimate back injury, ending his 37-year career.
- King Harley Race (with Bobby Heenan and WWF Women's Champion The Fabulous Moolah) pinned The Junkyard Dog in a Loser Must Bow match, after a belly-to-belly suplex. After the match, JYD did bow to Race, but then attacked him and stole his robe.
- The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine (with Dino Bravo and Johnny V) defeated The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques and Raymond), when Valentine pinned Raymond. After the match, Valentine, Johnny V, and Bravo abandoned Beefcake in the ring.
- Roddy Piper defeated Adrian Adonis (with Jimmy Hart) in a Hair vs. Hair match, with a sleeper hold. Adonis had Piper in a sleeper prior, but let it go and Brutus Beefcake revived Piper. Piper and Beefcake shaved Adonis' head, which led to Beefcake's nickname, "The Barber".
- The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) and Danny Davis (with Jimmy Hart) defeated The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and The Dynamite Kid) and Tito Santana, when Davis pinned Smith after hitting him with Jimmy Hart's megaphone.
- Butch Reed (with Slick) pinned Koko B. Ware with a roll-up.
- Ricky Steamboat (with George Steele) pinned WWF Intercontinental Champion Randy Savage (with Miss Elizabeth), by countering a scoop slam into a small package, to win the title.
- The Honky Tonk Man (with Jimmy Hart) pinned Jake Roberts (with Alice Cooper) while holding the ropes. After the match, Roberts and Cooper attacked Jimmy Hart with Jake's snake.
- The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff (with Slick) defeated The Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair and Jim Brunzell) by disqualification, after Jim Duggan interfered and hit the Sheik with his 2x4.
- WWF Champion Hulk Hogan pinned André the Giant (with Bobby Heenan) after a scoop slam and a leg drop to retain the title.

1990 - The Superflys (Ricky Knight and Jimmy Ocean) defeat King Ben and Kid McCoy for the British Tag Team Title in Bristol, England.

1993 - The USWA held an event at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee. The results were:
- Lauren Davenport defeated USWA Women's Champion Miss Texas to win the title. This began Davenport's fourth reign and ended Miss Texas' fifth.
- The Rock 'n' Roll Phantom defeated Tony Williams.
- Danny Davis and Frank Morrell defeated PG-13 (JC Ice and Wolfie D), when Morrell pinned Wolfe. Miss Texas was the guest referee.
- The Moondogs (Splat and Spot) defeated USWA Tag Team Champions Brian Christopher and Scotty Flamingo, when Spot pinned Christopher, to win the title and begin their fourth reign.
- The Harlem Knights (Bobby and Nelson Knight) defeated USWA Southern Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett and USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion Jerry Lawler by disqualification.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels defeated USWA Southern Heavyweight Champion Jeff Jarrett.

1994 - Men on a Mission (Mabel and Mo) defeat The Quebecers (Jacques and Pierre) at a house show at London, England's Royal Albert Hall to win the WWF Tag Team Title. Mabel accidentally fell on top of Pierre and the referee counted the pin, causing an unplanned title change, ending the Quebecers' second reign.

1996 - Frankie DeFalco and Johnny Mercedes defeat Chad Love and Eric Love to win the Mid-American Wrestling Tag Team Title in West Allis, Wisconsin.

1997 - Brian Christopher defeats Elijah to win the USWA Heavyweight Title for the 25th time in Memphis, Tennessee. At the same event, Flash Flanagan and Billy Travis win their second USWA Tag Team Title from The Truth Commission (The Interrogator and Recon).

1997 - Huracán Castillo, Jr. defeats Ray Gonzalez for the WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Title in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, ending Gonzalez's second reign and beginning Castillo's third.

1997 - Gene Miller defeats Bo Lewis for the Border City Wrestling Television Title in Windsor, Ontario.

1998 - 19,028 fans packed the FleetCenter in Boston, Massachusetts for the WWF's WrestleMania XIV. The event got a 2.3 buyrate, the highest for a WrestleMania in seven years. The results were:
- L.O.D. 2000 (Animal and Hawk (with Sunny)) won a 15-team battle royal, last eliminating The New Midnight Express (Bodacious Bart and Bombastic Bob), to earn a WWF Tag Team Title match at the next month's Unforgiven pay-per-view. The other teams in the match were: Los Boricuas (Miguel and Savio on one team, José and Jesús on another), Bradshaw and Chainz, Steve Blackman and Flash Funk, The Disciples of Apocalypse (8-Ball and Skull), The Godwinns (Henry and Phineas), The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher), The Nation of Domination (D'Lo Brown and Mark Henry on one team, Faarooq and Kama Mustafa on another), The Quebecers (Jacques and Pierre), The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton), The Truth Commission (Recon & Sniper) and Too Much (Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor).
- WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Taka Michinoku pinned Águila after the Michinoku Driver to retain the title.
- WWF European Champion Triple H pinned Owen Hart after the Pedigree to retain the title. During the match, Chyna was handcuffed to WWF Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter to prevent her from interfering.
- Marc Mero and Sable defeated The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust and Luna in a Mixed Tag Team match, when Sable pinned Luna after the TKO.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion The Rock defeated Ken Shamrock by reverse disqualification to retain the title. Shamrock had originally won the match by submission with the ankle lock, but he wouldn't release the hold after the match. The referee forcibly broke the hold, with Shamrock attacking him and several other officials, after which the decision was reversed.
- Cactus Jack and Chainsaw Charlie defeated WWF Tag Team Champions The New Age Outlaws (Billy Gunn and Road Dogg) in a Dumpster match to win the title.
- Pete Rose then came to the ring as guest ring announcer for the next match. Rose began to put down the Boston crowd, making numerous references to the Red Sox's World Series drought, which then stood at 79 years. Kane came out, and gave Rose a Tombstone piledriver.
- The Undertaker pinned Kane (with Paul Bearer) after a Tombstone piledriver. After the match, Kane Tombstoned Undertaker on a chair.
- Steve Austin pinned WWF Champion Shawn Michaels, after countering Michaels' Sweet Chin Music into a Stone Cold Stunner, to win the title. Mike Tyson, the ringside enforcer and "teammate" of Michaels, counted the fall after the referee was knocked out. After the match, Michaels confronted Tyson about his actions, tried to punch him, with Tyson knocking out Michaels with a right hook, and draped an Austin 3:16 shirt over Michaels body. This ended Michaels' third WWF Title reign.

1998 - Kodo Fuyuki and Hido defeat Mr. Gannosuke and Yukihiro Kanemura for the FMW Brass Knuckles Tag Team Title in Sanjo, Japan.

1998 - Nene defeats Ray Gonzalez to win the WWC Universal Heavyweight Title in Gurabo, Puerto Rico, ending Gonzalez's third reign and beginning Nene's second.

1998 - Chikayo Nagashima and Sugar Sato defeat Sonoko Kato and Meiko Satomura to win the AAAW Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title in Osaka, Japan.

1999 - The Monday Night War continued, with WWF RAW is WAR beating WCW Monday Nitro, 6.5 to 3.6, in the ratings.

The 185th WCW Monday Nitro took place live from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. 16,195 fans attended. The results were:
- Konnan defeated Vincent by submission with the Tequila Sunrise.
- Wrath pinned Kenny Kaos after the Meltdown.
- Rick Steiner pinned Scott Norton after a top-rope bulldog.
- WCW World Television Champion Booker T pinned Chris Adams after a missile dropkick to retain the title.
- Chris Jericho pinned Jerry Flynn while holding the ropes.
- Buff Bagwell pinned Norman Smiley after the Blockbuster.
- Billy Kidman and WCW Cruiserweight Champion Rey Misterio, Jr. defeated WCW World Tag Team Champions Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko to win the title, when Misterio pinned Malenko after Raven DDT'd Malenko as he had Misterio in the Texas Cloverleaf.
- Hollywood Hulk Hogan pinned Diamond Dallas Page.

WWF RAW is WAR's 305th show was live from Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Also taped beforehand were the 101st and 19th respective editions of Shotgun Saturday Night and Super Astros. 15,213 fans attended. The results were:
In a dark match, Malia Hosaka defeated Brandi Alexander.
Shotgun Saturday Night:
- Too Much (Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor) defeated The Disciples of Apocalypse (8-Ball and Skull), The Hardy Boyz (Jeff and Matt) and Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock in a four-way match.
- Al Snow defeated WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Gillberg.
- Droz defeated Kevin Starr.
- Tiger Ali Singh defeated Lance Diamond.
Super Astros:
- El Merenguero (Jesús Castillo, Jr.) defeated Apolo Dantes and Miguel Pérez, Jr. in a handicap match.
- El Hijo del Santo and Negro Casas defeated Pantera and Taka Michinoku.
RAW is WAR:
- Ivory and Tori defeated Jacqueline (with Terri Runnels) and WWF Women's Champion Sable, when Tori pinned Jacqueline with a backslide after Sable hit Jacqueline in the back with her title belt.
- Big Show defeated Test after a chokeslam.
- WWF Hardcore Champion Hardcore Holly pinned Steve Williams (with Jim Ross) to retain the title after Al Snow hit Williams with a frying pan and put Holly on top for the cover.
- The Rock (with Shane McMahon) pinned Billy Gunn after the Rock Bottom and People's Elbow..
- Ken Shamrock defeated Gangrel by submission with the ankle lock. After the match, Shamrock got a bloodbath from The Brood, but Shamrock put Christian in the ankle lock.
- Goldust (with The Blue Meanie) pinned WWF Intercontinental Champion Road Dogg after the Curtain Call to win the title after The Blue Meanie hit Road Dogg with the title belt. After the match, Goldust said on the mic that he now knew who he was and soon everyone else would, too.
- WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett (with Debra) defeated The Legion of Doom (Animal and Hawk (with Paul Ellering)), when Owen pinned Animal after Jarrett hit Animal with his guitar, to retain the title.
- X-Pac defeated Triple H (with Chyna and Shane McMahon) by disqualification after Chyna clotheslined X-Pac.

1999 - FMW held a pay-per-view event at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The results were:
- Naohiro Yamazaki defeated Ryuji Hijkata.
- Hideki Hosaka defeated Yoshinori Sasaki.
- Takeshi Ono and Masao Orihara defeated Ricky Fuji and Gedo, when Orihara pinned Fuji.
- Koji Nakagawa defeated Super Leather.
- Armageddon defeated Hido and Yukihiro Kanemura, when Armageddon I pinned Hido.
- Daisuke Ikeda and Muhammad Yone defeated Mr. Gannosuke and Hisakatsu Oya, when Ikeda pinned Oya.
- Hayabusa and Kodo Fuyuki fought Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Masato Tanaka to a 30-minute draw.

2000 - Three UPW titles change hands in San Diego, California. The Enterprise wins a battle royal, last eliminating Frankie Dee, to win the UPW Lightweight Title, beginning his second reign, Samoa Joe wins the UPW No Holds Barred Title from J.D. Dempsey, and Smelly wins the UPW Heavyweight Title from Bad Boy Basil.

2000 - The Suicide Blondes (Derrick King and Jason Lee) defeat B.J. Payne and Scotty Sabre for the OVW Southern Tag Team Title in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

2000 - Gene Austin wins his fifth NWA Michigan Hardcore Title in Carleton, Michigan, ending Woody Lee's second reign.

2002 - Nick Berk and Z-Barr defeat Wrongful Death (Dagon Briggs and Naphtali) for the NWA Florida Tag Team Title in St. Petersburg, Florida.

2003 - J.C. Bailey defeats Nate Webb to win the IWA Mid-South Light Heavyweight Title in Clarksville, Indiana, ending Webb's second reign.

2003 - 3PW held "Legends Collide" at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The results:
- Josh Daniels defeated Damian Adams.
- Da Hit Squad (Mafia and Monsta Mack) defeated The Blue Meanie and Roadkill.
- Matt Stryker defeated Rockin' Rebel.
- Balls Mahoney defeated NOSAWA in a Falls Count Anywhere match.
- Homicide defeated Xavier.
- 3PW Heavyweight Champion Gary Wolfe defeated Joey Matthews to retain the title.
- Jasmin St. Claire defeated Missy Hyatt in a Panties and Pasties match. Tod Gordon was the guest referee.
- Terry Funk defeated Abdullah the Butcher and Dusty Rhodes in a three-way Last Man Standing match.

2003 - Pero defeats Ebessan for the Osaka Pro Wrestling World's Best Attraction Title in Osaka, Japan.

2004 - WWE held a live RAW, the 566th episode, live from the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. The show got a 4.3 rating on Spike TV. The 292nd episode of Sunday Night Heat was taped as well, which got a 0.9 rating on Spike TV on April 4. The results were:
Sunday Night Heat:
- Garrison Cade pinned Rosey after a flying elbowsmash.
- La Résistance (Rob Conway and Sylvain Grenier) defeated Brent Albright and Mike Mondo, when Grenier pinned Mondo with a spinning spike DDT.
- Val Venis defeated Steven Richards by submission with the Figure Four Leglock.
RAW:
- Nidia pinned Molly Holly with a roll-up.
- Rhyno pinned Lance Storm after the Gore.
- World Tag Team Champions Batista and Ric Flair defeated World Heavyweight Champion Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels by disqualification to retain the title, after guest referee Johnny Nitro called for the bell after Michaels hit him, because he fast-counted Michaels. Benoit and Michaels had won after Michaels pinned Flair after the Sweet Chin Music, but the match continued because Flair wasn't the legal man in the ring.
- Tajiri defeated Kane by countout by countout in a no-disqualification match after spitting green mist in Kane's eyes.
- Shelton Benjamin pinned Triple H (with Ric Flair) after a Stinger splash and roll-up, after Triple H was distracted by Chris Benoit confronting Ric Flair at ringside.

2005 - WWE taped the 294th edition of SmackDown! at Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas. The show aired on UPN on March 31 and got a 3.5 rating. Also, the 147th episode of Velocity was taped, but it aired only internationally, due to the Saturday broadcast of the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The results were:
- In a dark match, Brent Albright and ??? defeated Eddie Craven and Mike Fox.
Velocity:
- Akio pinned Nunzio with a roll-up.
- Charlie Haas and Hardcore Holly defeated Russell Simpson and Jared Steele, when Holly pinned Steele after the Alabamaslam.
- Luther Reigns pinned John Blitzen after an inverted DDT.
- Mark Jindrak pinned Billy Kidman after a punch.
SmackDown!:
- Danny Basham (with Doug Basham) pinned WWE Tag Team Champion Eddie Guerrero with a roll-up after Doug backdropped Rey Mysterio on the floor, with Mysterio accidentally kicking Guerrero in the head.
- Paul London won an eight-man battle royal, last eliminating Billy Kidman, to win Chavo Guerrero's WWE Cruiserweight Title, ending Guerrero's fifth reign. The order of elimination was: Chavo Guerrero by everyone else in the match, Funaki by Nunzio, Nunzio by Billy Kidman, Spike Dudley by Scotty 2 Hotty, Scotty 2 Hotty by Akio, Akio by Kidman, and Kidman by London.
- Booker T pinned Luther Reigns after the scissors kick.
- Doug Basham (with Danny Basham) defeated WWE Tag Team Champion Rey Mysterio after Eddie Guerrero came out to stop Danny from interfering, pulling him off the ring apron, but causing Mysterio to crotch himself on the top turnbuckle.
- Akebono defeated Eddie Vegas after throwing him into the corner. Before the match was the weigh-in for the Big Show-Akebono sumo match at WrestleMania 21. The weights were 493 pounds for Big Show, and 504 for Akebono.
- Carlito vs. John Cena ended in a no-contest after WWE Champion JBL came out and had police arrest Cena for vandalizing his limousine.

2008 - The WWE Hall of Fame ceremony is held, putting Ric Flair, Rocky Johnson and Peter Maivia into the Hall.  The event features the first WWE appearance of Dwayne Johnson in several years.  Mike Johnson and Buck Woodward filed the following report:

Welcome to our coverage of the 2008 WWE Hall Of Fame ceremony.  The first half of the Hall Of Fame is being presented in a webcast on WWE.com, while the balance of the show is being taped for tonight's broadcast on the USA Network and The Score. For those unable to follow the webcast, we will have a recap here following each induction and we will have live reports from the ceremony itself throughout the evening. 

Mike Johnson, reporting live from the Hall Of Fame: 

We are live from the Amway Arena.

WWE is selling several special Ric Flair shirts, one listing every star he defeated for a World title and the other reading "Thank you Ric."

The ceremony started 10 minutes late.

The Rock is up first. 

After a video package, Todd Grisham introduced The Rock who received a monster standing ovation.  The crowd chanted "Please Come Back".  Rock seemed genuinely moved and thanked everyone humbly before whipping out his trademark "Finally the Rock has come back to Orlando."

Rock said he wanted to congratulate all the new Hall of Famers tonight and seeing everyone tonight, shouting out Steve Austin.  The crowd chanted "One More Match" at them.  Rock asked the crowd if they wanted to see them wrestle one more time.  Fans chanted "Austin-Rocky".  Rock said he loved Austin and they headlined three Wrestlemanias.  He told a story of them facing off in the ring at Wrestlemania and saying to Austin in the ring that they were going to make history ... so Austin punched him in the face and said "shut up".

Rock then pointed out a smiling Mick Foley.  He said Foley was the only man who can use a sweaty sock to make Rock a better man.  Foley whipped out a Socko drawn to wear a tuxedo.

Rock pointed out Coachman then said, "Awww no one cares about you".  Rock pointed out Chris Jericho and said he can't believe Jericho is still talking about the night he beat Rock and Austin but its better than talking about the haircut that makes him look 12 years old.

Rock asked where Triple H was.  He said HHH is so obsessed with winning the WWF...he corrected himself and said WWE title...then said somehow that makes Stephanie pregnant.  They showed her in the front row.

Rock then said that other than going to Iraq this is the most special night of the year.  He said that there's controversy because the military has a new torture technique...forcing insurgents to watch "The Marine".  John Cena laughed and Rock said "Hey, I made Doom."  He told Cena that he hasn't made it until a building chants "you suck" and Rock knows that better than anyone.

Rock then tricked Santino into trying to say his name and pulled out "it doesn't matter what your name is".

Buck Woodward, reporting from in front of his computer:

WWE decided to do the Rock's induction of his father and grandfather first, taping it for television.  The webcast will then begin, and we will see the inductions of the Brisco Brothers, Mae Young, Eddie Graham and Gordon Solie.  The webcast will end, then Ric Flair's induction will close the show, with it being taped for television. So, while WWE said the webcast would begin "approximately" at 7:30pm, the truth is that the webcast won't begin until the Johnson and Maivia inductions are finished. 

Mike Johnson, reporting live from the Hall Of Fame: 

Rock closed out with "If you smell what the Rock is cooking" then said that was "The Rock part".  They were having audio problems with the upper deck being unable to hear him.  Rock joked it was a billion dollar company with no real mics.

Rock read a statement he said he wrote last night as a third generation star who loves the business.  Fans chanted "Please Come Back" while another catcalled for him to stay away.  There was a "No More Movies" chant.  He finally started using a handheld mic and the place popped.  Rock said he loves and misses the "interactive nature" of wresting.

Rock read a wonderful speech about the passion of being a wrestler and the learning experiences that come with being a wrestler.   He discussed his father and grandfather and they went to video features.

Rocky Johnson gave a nice speech saying if you would have told him he would make history and be part of a dynasty, he would have said you were crazy.  He talked about being one half of the first African American tag champs and put over the Wild Samoans.  He said he worked for the NWA and considers WWE his home.

Johnson then thanked Lia Maivia for all she did for the Samoans in the business and being the only Samoan promoter.  He thanked his wife for sticking with him for 35 years and thanked his children, including Dwayne.  He said he Rock resisted getting in the business and said he would only train him on the condition Rocky wouldn't go hard on him.

Rocky told a story of teaming with Rock in the Bahamas saying his son tried to tell him he was doing everything wrong, which led to the punchline of Rocky refusing to tag in because he wasn't doing it right.

He then praised Jimmy Snuka for breaking the door down for Islanders in the business.  He talked about the racial prejudices he dealt with while breaking in.  He told stories of wrestling Ric Flair in Charlotte and called him a class act who made him look like a million dollars.  He said Flair helped him become a black performer fans could believe in.  He told a story of wrestling in Memphis as the Southern Heavyweight champ.

Harley Race is in the house.

Rocky said he'd like to be remembered for paving the road for not just black athletes but all athletes.  He thanked Lia Maivia, Sika, Greg Valentine, Andre the Giant, Linda McMahon and more.

He then told a story of teaching the Rocky Johnson shuffle to Muhammad Ali and joked Shane McMahon stole it.

They tried to play music to cut him off and he then finally closed out.

WWE is playing a graphic that reads STANDING OVATION to lead the crowd.

Buck Woodward, reporting from in front of his computer:

At 8:10, they got rid of the "approximately 7:30" graphic and replaced it with "Coming Soon".

Mike Johnson, reporting live from the Hall Of Fame: 

Rocky Johnson left.  Rock thanked the fans for supporting his dad.  He pointed out that three people he always wanted to wrestle are here....Rey Mysterio, John Cena and Shawn Michaels.  The crowd chanted for more Rock matches.

Rock then inducted Peter Maivia, discussing his importance on not just the business but everyone he knew.  He talked about Maivia's charisma as a face and as a heel.  He said that Maivia was known as not just the toughest but also the kindest.

They played a video for Peter Maivia.   Rock pointed out his grandmother then talked about how when he debuted he wanted to make his family proud.  He got very choked out and said that in everything he's done he hopes he's made his grandfather proud because he is so proud of his grandfather.

Rock introduced his mother, Ata Johnson, to accept for Peter.  She said she was worried about speaking about her father in public because she gets emotional talking about him privately.    She told stories of meeting Andre when he was young in France and Peter working for Steve Rickard in Europe.   She told a story of Peter breaking his big toe in the ring while wrestling barefoot against Pat Patterson, then setting it inside the ring and continuing.

She told stores of Dwayne as a child, calling her their pebble.  The crowd chanted pebble and Rock said to never do that again.

Ata told stories of Peter's kindness and said he lived his life to the fullest and loved the business.  She said that's a trait among all wrestlers and she loves them for their passion.  She thanked the Monsoons, the Skaalands and the Strongbows for all they did for the Samoans in the wrestling business.  She said Peter would be so proud of his family for all they've done.

She said it is a proud moment and day for her family and her heart was pounding.  She told her father to take his final bow because tonight is the big finish.  She said as they say in the business, its time to go home.  The crowd gave a standing ovation.

Buck Woodward, reporting from in front of his computer:

At 8:30, the webcast finally began, with Lilian Garcia introducing Mean Gene Okerlund.  Okerlund gave a shout out to Bobby Heenan, which got a pop, then introduced a video package on Jack & Gerald Brisco. Gene then introduced JBL to induct them, and he was given a rousing ovation of boos.  

JBL came out wearing a cowboy hat with his tuxedo.  JBL said that the Rock had forgotten the two most important words in wrestling, "Go Home", saying he went on for so long, Ric Flair and the Briscos had sobered up backstage.  JBL said that Gerald was supposed to attend his wedding, but his son was in a wrestling championship that day.  JBL said Gerald promised to attend his next "two or three" weddings.  JBL talked about being a Texan inducting Oklahomans, but said they had a common Indian relative, they were derived from "Chief Slapaho".  JBL said that the Briscos were the greatest tag team of all time, mentioning they were better than even the Road Warriors, Dudleys, Steiners and APA.  JBL then talked about Jack Brisco's NCAA wrestling career.  JBL said if Jack hadn't turned to pro wrestling because he needed money, he would have been the greatest amateur wrestler ever.  JBL then pointed out Gerald's amateur success.  JBL then cut a promo about Christopher Columbus missing his mark and naming Native Americans "Indians".  JBL said the result was the Briscos being introduced to "fire water".  JBL then talked about the Briscos stretching wrestlers, including Vader, Steve Austin, Barry Windham and more.  JBL then delivered some humorous tales about the Briscos and their drunken antics.  JBL talked about how the Native Americans were screwed over in the sale of Manhattan.  JBL said in 1983, the "redman" got revenge, when the Briscos sold Georgia Championship Wrestling to Vince McMahon. JBL said as a result, the Briscos never need to work again, they work because they want to.  JBL then noted all the wrestlers the Briscos helped bring into the business, including Hulk, Kevin Nash, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar and himself. 

The Briscos were then escorted out by Kelly Kelly. Jack spoke first, said that his dream was to team with his brother in pro wrestling.  He said his inspiration in that dream were Lou Thesz and Danny Hodge. Jack listed a slew of wrestlers that he worked with during his career, saying he was grateful to these legends.  Jack then thanked his brother, and his wife for her support.  

Gerald joked that since he was on the stage, there was no one in the Gorilla Position to tell him to go home.  He then joked to Chris Jericho in the crowd that he only has "two minutes" for his match tomorrow.  Gerald thanked JBL, and noted that he had his feeling Bruce Pritchard helped him with that speech.  Gerald thanked his sons, calling them the "next Brisco Brothers" and thanked his family.  Gerald noted he has worked in wrestling for 40 years now, starting in Australia with Jim Barnett.  Brisco said Barnett taught them that "if you're going to get anywhere in this business, you need to speak up."  Gerald then thanked Jim Crockett Sr. for giving him his first chance as a singles wrestler.  Gerald thanked Eddie Graham for teaching them about the wrestling business from "the other side" of things, working in the office.  Gerald talked about the pride he and his brother take in their Native American heritage.  Gerald joked that he has stretched Brother Love 3,000 times, and JBL 3,000 times.  Gerald said Steve Austin told him this week that he "let him" stretch him.  Gerald joked that he believed him.  Gerald then said he hired JBL while he was in the shower, and said that "everything in Texas isn't bigger".  Gerald talked about working with the younger stars in WWE, and said that the pressures young talent go through today are more than he ever had to deal with.  He said he knew the business was in good shape with these young stars, and thanked them for their dedication.  Gerald talked about the long road his career has taken him, and said it has all been "worth the drive".  

Mike Johnson, reporting live from the Hall Of Fame: 

Lilian Garcia filmed the opening and introduced Gene Okerlund.  They probably filmed Rock first because he's due to be on set tomorrow AM in California shooting Escape from Witch Mountain for Disney.  Okerlund welcome everyone then made a mention of Bobby Heenan saying he hopes Heenan gets well soon.

They aired a video feature on the Brisco Brothers. JBL came out to induct them and said they were among the best tag teams of all times, mentioning The Dudleys, The Road Warriors, The Von Erichs and  Shaun and Steve Simpson(!).

He put over the Briscos and said he wasn't going to tell stories about the Briscos, then talked about their Native American heritage, stretching WWE stars in Dubai, selling Georgia Championship Wrestling to Vince McMahon, Gerald's partnership with Pat Patterson, and Briscos breaking Hulk Hogan, JBL and Kurt Angle into the business.

Jack Brisco ran down a huge list of names he worked with and thanked WWE for the honor. He thanked Gerald for always having his back.

Gerald joked he didn't know who was running gorilla and then said he thinks he wanted to thank JBL.  He thanked his sons and family.  He said he's worked for 40 years in the business.  He praised Jim Barnett for giving them a chance in Australia and for telling them to speak up.  Gerald thanked Jim Crockett Sr. For giving him a chance at breaking out on his own.  He said you give the people back what they give you and the people have given them so much.

Gerald put over a  bunch of wrestling personalities from Texas and joked that Oklahomans love to kick the crap out of Texans.  Gerald praised the passion of the young talents in the WWE and thanked them because they will keep the business in great shape the next 40 years.  He thanked one and all for their sacrifices in the business.  He said despite the bumpy road, its worth the drive.

Buck Woodward, reporting from in front of his computer:

After a Wrestlemania commercial, Gene Okerlund introduced a video package on Gordon Solie.  WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross was then introduced to induct Solie.  JR said that he has been thinking about Solie lately, because tomorrow he gets to call Ric Flair vs. Shawn Michaels, and said they will look to "raise the bar" tomorrow.  Ross said that Solie possessed the rarest of qualities, "when he talked, people listened".  Ross said that when he was 12 years old, he heard Gordon Solie calling wrestling in 1964.  Ross said if he hadn't heard Solie, he would not have become an announcer.  Ross joked about Solie's classic lines, like "wearing the crimson mask" and it's a "pier six brawl".  Ross said he thought a "vertical suplay" was a pie or cobbler.  Ross told a story about Solie, Bill Watts, Dusty Rhodes, and the Briscos driving around Atlanta trying to find promoter Jim Barnett's house.  When the drunken group arrived, they paid off the doorman to allow them into Barnett's penthouse.  Solie said he felt someone would be fired, and noted Watts was the booker, Rhodes was the top star and the Briscos were the top tag team.  Well, it turns out Solie wasn't fired, the doorman was.  Jim Ross talked about getting to call the famous Terry Funk vs. Ric Flair "I Quit" match with Gordon, saying it was a dream come true for him.  JR noted the late Gary Hart was working ringside for Funk at the match.  Ross noted Solie's classic line from the bout "Five letters, two words, I Quit".  Jim Ross talked about calling four hours of TV matches with Gordon for WCW once, and how they used orange juice and vodka to get through some of the most boring wrestling ever. Jim Ross talked about how the night Gordon Solie died, Ric Flair called him.  Ross noted that at the end of their conversation, the two men told each other they loved each other.  Jim Ross said there will always be one voice in wrestling that will live forever.  Ross said that Gordon Solie is the best wrestling announcer ever, and "all us other yayhoos" are fighting for number two. 

Eve Torres escorted out the five children of Gordon Solie. On of his sons began to speak, and some "fan" decided to yell "speak up" and catcall him.  His son said that Solie was never the show, he just worked to make the show better.  Another son spoke about the other sports Gordon called, but noted his love was wrestling.  He made a joke that Gordon would have loved to call a match between the three presidential candidates this year.  He then told a story of how a blind man told him that he "watched" Florida Championship Wrestling through the words of Gordon Solie.  He ended the speech with Gordon's trademark farewell, "So long from the Sunshine State". 

Mike Johnson, reporting live from the Hall Of Fame: 

TNA's Rocka Khan is at the Hall Of Fame, sitting with the with the FCW developmental wrestlers. 

Buck Woodward, reporting from in front of his computer:

Mean Gene Okerlund introduced a video package on Mae Young.  Gene then introduced Pat Patterson to induct Mae into the Hall Of Fame. Pat said he had a lot of stories to tell tonight, but he was told to "cut it down", which got some boos. Pat pulled out a small piece of paper, but then read off a bar order and said it came from the previous night's party.  Pat said that Mae Young loves the business, and wants to wrestle a match when she turns 100.  Pat talked about meeting Mae Young when he was 16, and couldn't speak much English.  He was told by a promoter that he was going to be riding with Mae Young.  They were driving, and Mae told him he needs to smoke cigars if he wants to be a wrestler, so the two smoked cigars during the whole ride.  Patterson said he watched Mae wrestle that night, and decided he never wanted to wrestle her, because she beat the hell out of everyone in the match that night.  Patterson then told a story of how Mae, who lived across the street from him, showed up at his door one night in her underwear, a drink in her hand.  She told Patterson that they were going to drink, and Patterson wondered what was wrong.  He asked her, but the drunk Mae just kept waving her arms at him.  They fell asleep, but the next day, Mae was gone. When Patterson caught up with her, he asked what she was trying to say to him that night.  Mae said I was trying to do this (obscene gesture) but I was too drunk to do it.  Patterson then noted that Mae has been wrestling for 65 years, a record that will never be broken.  Patterson then sang part of "My Way" and introduced Mae Young. 

Mae Young was escorted out by Kelly Kelly.  She was waving her arms and looked to be having a blast.  Mae thanked her fans, and she said that she was the first female wrestling champion in Florida, and that she won it in Orlando.  Mae said she planned on sticking around for a few more years, and that she would have that match when she was 100.  Mae said that she wrestled as an amateur, and when she heard about the women's wrestling champion Mildred Burke coming to Tulsa, Oklahoma, she had her brother take her there so she could fight her.  The promoter said "You've never had a match" and Mae said "But I can beat her".  Mae talked about her first wrestling training session, and how she would snatch her opponents (Elvira Snodgress and Gladys Gillam) and take her down in seconds.  Mae talked about going to Charlotte, North Carolina for training and meeting the Fabulous Moolah.  She talked about working with Moolah, and how the business is so much better now.  Mae said she met Ed "Strangler" Lewis.  Mae said that Lewis told her "I don't like girl wrestlers, women should be in the kitchen.  But after seeing you, you belong in the ring."  Mae then talked about her love for the fans, saying she did it all for them, and that she would wrestle for them on her 100th birthday.  Mae and Pat Patterson then started dancing, and Mae looked happier than anyone I think I've ever seen at one of these things. 

Mike Johnson, reporting live from the Hall Of Fame: 

Former Mean Street Posse member Pete Gas is in attendance at the Hall Of Fame.

Buck Woodward, reporting from in front of his computer:

Another Wrestlemania commercial aired. Mean Gene then introduced the video package on Eddie Graham.   Dusty Rhodes was introduced to induct Graham, and Dusty came out dancing to his old WWF theme music.  There was a "Dusty" chant from the fans.  Dusty said he was glad that "The People's Elbow left when the Bionic Elbow came out".  Dusty made a remark that Rock's speech will make for a "good two hour special" if they ever need it.  Dusty talked about Eddie Graham being his mentor, and that the only time Eddie got mad at him was when Dusty said "funky like a monkey", because Graham didn't know what that meant.  Dusty talked about the famous MSG match with Eddie & Jerry Graham vs. Miguel Perez & Antonino Rocca, which resulted in a riot in the crowd.  Dusty said the next day, the cleaning crew came in, and that because there were fans of both teams on the cleaning crew, they got into a fight too.  Dusty talked about how he would go up to Graham and ask how his match was, the way John Cena comes up and asks Dusty today, with Rhodes noting how good it makes him feel.  Dusty talked about working the old Florida circuit and "bringing home the bacon", then somehow turned it into a promo about Wrestlemania.  Dusty said he would not be "The American Dream" if Eddie Graham didn't believe in him.  Dusty said that Graham taught him that you cannot short change the fans of the wrestling industry.  Dusty said that Eddie Graham "gave me my wings to fly".  Dusty introduced Eddie's son, Mike Graham, noting that Mike is the godfather of Dusty's youngest daughter.  

Eve Torres escorted Mike Graham out, and he embraced Dusty.  Mike noted that he was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the event.  Some guy yelled out "Hogan" and Mike said "We'll talk about him later".  Mike talked about how Eddie learned how to wrestle because as a kid someone beat him up and took the money he earned on his paper route.  He noted that Eddie went to Texas and met Dory Funk Sr. and began to learn about professional wrestling.  Mike said Eddie wrestled under the name "Rip Rogers" there.  Mike noted that in Eddie beat up a politician in Texas who thought he knew about wrestling, and the result was Graham being banned in Texas.  Mike then talked about Eddie Graham going to New York to work for Vince McMahon Sr., and how he learned about the "big business" side of wrestling.  Mike noted how fans hated Eddie so much, they would try to turn his car over when he arrived at Wrestlemania.  Mike then spoke of how Eddie went to Florida and combined what he learned from Dory Funk Sr. and Vince McMahon Sr. and created a style of wrestling that swept over the world.  Mike noted that if Eddie Graham hadn't gone into a YMCA, he never would have gotten into wrestling, which is why Eddie always gave back to YMCA in Florida.  Mike then said he had something to give back.  He pulled out a framed black and white photo, and noted it was a picture from the first National Wrestling Alliance meeting in 1961 in Toronto, Canada.  He noted that this was the forefathers of the wrestling business as we know it, pointing out that Vince McMahon Sr., Eddie Graham, Gorilla Monsoon, Buddy Rogers, Pat O'Connor and others were in the picture. Mike said he was honored to accept his father's induction into the Hall Of Fame, and to give this picture for wrestlers and fans to see where wrestling came from. 

As Graham walked off, the webcast ended at 9:55pm. 

Mike Johnson, reporting live from the Hall Of Fame: 

Lilian Garcia introduced John Cena, who was booed by the majority of the audience.  He said that based on the atmosphere tonight, everyone knows Wrestlemania is tomorrow.  He said its the greatest spectacle on Earth and we wouldn't have it without the Hall of Famers that came before.  He said that wrestlers often say they wouldn't exist without the fans, but the Hall Of Famers turned everyone into fans to begin with.  He asked everyone to rise and applaud not just the honorees tonight but everyone in the Hall.  It was a great speech.

Mike Johnson, reporting live from the Hall Of Fame: 

Triple H was introduced.  He said that the fact the building is jampacked tonight to show love for the past of the business is awesome and thanked the fans.

Triple H said, "How do you talk about this guy?"  He said Flair deserves not to be in the Hall of Fame but to have his own wing.

They played a video feature on Flair's career.

HHH pointed out Michael Hayes and said he looked like a Stay Puft Marshmallow Pimp.

HHH said Flair inspired him to get in the business watching him on Saturdays on TBS.  He told a story of going to a gym convention in Columbus, Georgia and meeting Flair in a hotel where Flair was walking around naked except for a pair of dress shoes and socks and a balloon tied to his penis.  HHH saw Flair strut into the bar and thought that everything he heard about that man is true.  He said all the crazy Flair stories were true.

HHH said Flair was his idol and is one of his closest friends but he was terrified by the prospect of inducting the greatest pro wrestler in history.  He said that Flair inspired every single wrestler in the company in some way.  HHH said that when he saw Steve Austin this weekend, Austin said he didn't want to miss Flair being inducted.

HHH asked what made Flair the best and said he was one of the greatest stick man in the history of the business.  He said that he had the greatest phrases ever in the history of the wrestling.

HHH said Flair could go 60 minutes with a broomstick and get the broom over.  He pointed out Flair's classic matches with Bruiser Brody, Sting, Harley Race and Dusty Rhodes among others.

He said all those things helped Flair but it was his passion to be the best wrestler that was the key.  HHH noted that it's been said that Flair is "arguably" the best wrestler of all time.  HHH said he is still waiting to hear the argument against because he's the greatest of all time, period.

HHH introduced Flair, who got the longest standing ovation I have ever seen.  Flair pulled out a photo of himself and Gordon Solie and said to Shawn Michaels that's who he had to fight.  Flair said he would never retire and let out a whoo.

He said in a moment like this, he realizes that for all he's done, he must have done something right.   He was crying a lot.

Flair said he's worried about not remembering enough people to thank. He started by thanking Kevin Dunn and the WWE production team for what they do every week and making him look good the last seven years.

Flair said he wanted to thank the legal department because some of the things he used to pull don't fly anymore.  He thanked a lot of WWE officials including Sue Aitchensen and Mark Carano.

Flair said he loves to talk to the young guys and praised all the WWE agents for working their ass off every week.  He thanked Mike Rotunda, Barry Windham, Finlay, Jamie Noble, Pat Patterson, Sgt Slaughter, Jerry Brisco, Arn Anderson and Rick Steamboat.

Flair then thanked the writing team, saying that although they sometimes argue about what they are asked to do, they are creative and talented.  He named many of them by name and apologized to Ed Koskey for all the times he scared him by saying things he wasn't supposed to be.

Flair thanked those who made his robes over the years and his boots. Flair said he figured out today he bought 582 pairs of boots over the years.

Flair began crying as he thanked his attorney John Taylor.  He said he was in a lawsuit with WCW and Taylor advised him he could sit back and get rich or go back to work.

Flair thanked Steve Lombardi for all his hard work in putting together the interviews we see all the time and Downtown Bruno for bringing him a 12-pack every night.

Flair joked that his family thought Chris Jericho was Bon Jovi.  Flair talked about Big Show, saying he knew Andre the Giant when he was first breaking in.  Flair said Big Show was the best big man he's ever been in the ring with.  Show began openly sobbing.

Flair praised Tony Garea and Tim White for all the draws they give him on the road.

Flair began praising Edge and said he's a special guy and a great champ.  He told the story of working a ladder match with him saying he did something with Edge he never did before and loved it.

Flair said now the speech would begin!!

He showed off NWA title cufflinks HHH gave Flair.

Flair began breaking down thanking Betty Skaaland and the late Arnold Skaaland for all their kindness.  Flair told a story of going out drinking all night and running up a bartab of $30K during Summerslam 1992 weekend and Skaaland saving his rear end.

Flair said Ray Stevens once told him the day the goose bumps go away, his career should end and Flair said he has goose bumps tonight.  He said tonight was the end of a journey he's lived for so many years.

Flair put over the other members of this year's Hall of Fame class.  He said it was special to receive the honor while still active.  He said that he wants all of the talents to know how much he respects all of them and thanks them for their friendship and respect.  He said the last 7 years have been special to him and he's honored to be inducted in Orlando, "the second home of Space Mountain".

Flair talked about working in Florida as a territory and doing interviews with Gordon Solie.  Flair said he owes everything he had, has, and will be to the wrestling business.  He said he hopes that fans realize that Flair gave everyone the best he could.

Flair thanked those who helped him who are no longer with them.

Ric Flair talked about being laid up after his plane crash and George Scott suggesting he be modeled after Buddy Rogers.  He thanked Scott for seeing something in him.

Flair began talking about the toughness of Blackjack Mulligan and living next to him.  Flair told a story of Blackjack and Barry Windham against The Andersons and BJ not liking how it was going.  He sent Windham to the locker room, hit Ole and Gene, then told them if they wanted a piece of him, he'll be waiting in their locker room.  He said the Andersons still haven't entered.  He praised Blackjack's ability to show how special he is and told the young talents that is what they need to do... show how special they are.

Flair discussed winning the NWA title from Harley Race.

This is seriously beyond awesome.  If you ever loved Ric Flair, the NWA or WCW, you need to see this speech.

Flair talked for a long time about his friendship with Ken Patera and said Ken introduced Flair to Verne Gagne.

Gagne warned Flair there was no quitting if he started training.  He said the second day, he wanted to quit and talked a long time about training in Gagne's barn.   He quit and went home.  Gagne came to Flair's house and threw him down and told him to come back.  A week later Flair quit again and Gagne called and warned him to come back or he was coming over.  Flair returned and 2 months later he was in the business.

Flair began telling Wahoo McDaniel stories I couldn't do justice too.  He praised Wahoo for teaching him and showing him how to be the best.

Flair said Dusty Rhodes became one of his idols and wanted to be just like him.  He told stories about wanting to be Rambling Ricky Rhodes when he was breaking in and said Dusty's connection to the fans was as awesome as anything Flair has ever seen.  He talked about Dusty seeing something in him and naming the first Starrcade 'A Flair for the Gold'.  He said Dusty is the most charismatic person in the business.

Flair said his greatest opponent was Rick Steamboat, saying that was "as good as it got" and he's fortunate to have had Steamboat to work with to create a body of work that will stand the test of time.

Flair talked about working in St. Louis under Sam Muschnick, saying it was the crown jewel of the NWA and praised Sam for his integrity and honesty.  He said wrestling there was as big an honor as it was to wrestle in Madison Square Garden and anywhere in the Carolinas.

Flair praised the Crockett family for pushing him to be NWA champ. He said he wishes them nothing but the best.

Flair pointed out Carlos Colon in the crowd and talked about how Carlos and Vince McMahon Sr. were the deciding votes to make him NWA champ.   Flair told a story about sending in a heel promo about hating Trinidad that got him arrested when he arrived.  Flair told the story about the riot in the Dominican Republic and that Carlos paid off the airline for Flair to travel without a passport.

Flair said no one will understand how good the Four Horsemen were inside and outside the ring.  He praised Arn, Malenko, Mongo and Benoit (by name, which was later edited off the WWE Hall of Fame DVD) and said they were the reason he came back to WCW.  Benoit's name got some boos but mostly cheers.

Flair began crying as he praised Arn Anderson as a friend and as a performer.  He told some great stories about partying with Arn and told him he loved him.

Flair praised Tommy Young and Charles Robinson for their great referee work.  Nora Greenwald was sitting with Robinson.

Flair praised Gordon Solie and Jim Ross provided the soundtrack of his career.  Flair said no one could ever replace Jim Ross and that he knew the business inside and out.

Flair said Bobby Heenan was the greatest manager and one of the greatest workers of all time.  He told some stories of Heenan managing the Blackjacks when a riot broke out.  He said Heenan is not in good health right now but he wants everyone to know he's one of the best friends Flair ever had.

Flair then told some stories about Gene Okerlund and said he wouldn't have made it through WCW without going drinking with him after the shows.  He said Okerlund is wrestling and is awesome.

Flair talked about his confidence issues and thanked Michael Hayes for being a close friend and for never letting Flair forget who he was.  He told a story about seeing Hayes with Cher and Greg Allman.

They just gave Flair a "go home" sign, which the crowd booed.

Flair said he knows his last match could be tomorrow and it could be in front of his family at ringside and told Shawn "to be the man you have to beat the man".  He thanked everyone for their love.

Flair praised Undertaker for being so great in the ring and that he loved their match at Wrestlemania 18.

Flair thanked the McMahons and said Vince has treated him with nothing but respect while Linda is one of the smartest women he's ever known.  Flair said when the time comes, WWE will be in equally good hands with Stephanie and Shane.

Flair praised John Cena's love and passion.  He said he's tireless and is the "go to guy" in the company.  Flair said his heart is in the business and he won't leave the business for Hollywood.  Flair said he corrupted Cena and told stories about making him drink.

Flair said he was tired of hearing Hulk Hogan was the greatest of all time in the WWF and WWE when it was really Steve Austin.  He said Austin was the best.

Another "go home" sign.  More boos.

Flair praised Batista and Randy Orton.  Flair said he lives his life vicariously thru Batista now.

They are rushing Flair since the Hall is on the air now.

Flair praised HHH and said he wishes he could wrestle him back when Flair was good.  Flair then talked about Shawn Michaels saying he was way ahead of Flair a long time ago but tomorrow, Shawn has "The Man" to contend with.

Flair said he's so thankful to have a wonderful family.  He said his father was the bravest man he ever knew and his mom is amazing.  He said his wife is his best friend and inspires him every day.   Flair told his kids he loved them and thanked his first two wives for all their hard work as mothers.  His children were all crying.

The Wrestlemania DVD will be a "must buy" for anyone, simply due to Flair's induction speech.  It was almost like a shoot interview at points, with Flair discussing his incredible career. 

The fans were very upset at the constant calls for Flair to wrap up, and at one point turned their wrath towards Triple H, who helplessly responded with a "It's not my call" expression.

2008 - Ring of Honor ran Orlando, FL.  Michael Carr filed the following live report:

Go defeats Delirious in 12:18. They started by playing a game of stop and go. Big chops from Go. Delirious blocked a moonsault. Panic attack. Shadows over hell countered into a superkick plus a delayed german for two. Cobra stretch applied but Go gets to the ropes. Lariat by Go for two. Small package countered by Go into the Go Flasher for the win.

YRR defeat D.I.N.G.O., Alex Payne and Bushwacker Luke in 8:15. Dingo and Sal start it off. Payne in now with King. Catatonic backbreaker on Payne by King. Dingo cleans house. Luke does his trademark stuff on the YRR. His team then does the Bushwacker strut. YRR triple team Dingo. Springboard spinning reverse 180 kick on Dingo for the win.

NRC of Davey Richards and Rocky Romero retain the ROH World Tag Team Titles over The Vulture Squad of Ruckus and Jigsaw

Sweeney is out and calls Roderick a hothead. Rod takes the mic and says NRC is his group and they have no interest in Sweet and Sour Inc. Stevens is out and he brawls with Roderick around ringside. Rod's chest is bleeding. They both take out the ref. Low blow by Rod. At ringside now Rod puts a chair around Stevens' head and pushes him into the turnbuckle. Stevens is bleeding. Erick shoves Rod headfirst into a turnbuckle. Sets a chair up. Kobashi like chops by Erick. Rod is bleeding from the head now. ****ing brutal. Stevens bites Rod's head. Huge German on Roderick. Choo choo. Lariat. Rod is up and enziguri and a sick kick. Forearm exchange. Stiff. Rod kills Erick with a chair. NRC come out with clippers and cut off Erick's hair. About an 18 min brawl.

Roderick Strong vs. Erick Stevens ends in a no contest. Stevens needs help out. Crowd chants loudly for him.

The Age of the Fall of Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black defeat Jay and Mark Briscoe. Mark does a Shooting Star Press onto everyone to start. Briscoes have a table. Jimmy and Mark fight near the bleachers (I'm guessing on a ladder ... Satan didn't specify) 15 feet up. Mark and Jimmy tease spots off of it. Mark misses a dive onto Tyler on the table but Milo Beasley from FIP (who was a guest of AOTF) was put thru instead. HOLY ****! Jay has Tyler in the ring. AOTF double team Jay in the corner. Jimmy hits a cannonball senton for two. Mark is still down. Falcon arrow by Jay on Jimmy for two. DVD on Tyler for two. AOTF hits a powerbomb contra code for two. Tyler goes up and Mark pushes him off. Doomsday Device countered into a End Time (guillotine choke). Jay taps at 15:06. Another awesome brawl.

Homicide, Hernandez, Low Ki (on crutches) and Johnny Devine are backstage at the show.

Best match so far is a tie between Strong vs. Stevens and Briscoes vs. AOTF. Also Satan said that this show is already better than last night in his opinion.

INTERMISSION

Satan is having phone problems.

SHINGO and BxB Hulk defeat Steenerico in 17:30 in an incredible contest.

Nigel McGuinness defeats Austin Aries to retain the ROH World Heavyweight Title via Jawbreaker Lariat in 25 minutes. Said to be better than Rising Above match.

AOTF come out and Lacey almost gets Aries to leave with her. Sunny comes out and questions what Aries is thinking. Aries leaves with Lacey. AOTF hold Sunny. Rain goes to slap her but Briscoes make the save.

Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino & Genki Horiguchi defeat CIMA, Dragon Kid & Ryo Saito when Doi pinned Kid after a move that was similar to B-Boy's So Cal Cutter. This DG 6man was said to be the best out of all three.

2009 - Former ECW champion Shane Douglas announced at the Hardcore Reunion ECW themed convention in Allentown, PA that he would be running a ECW reunion show in November 2009, calling it the "November to Remember."  The event would never take place.

2010 - TNA released former Tag Team champion Consequences Creed.  He is soon signed to a WWE developmental deal and named Xavier Creed in FCW.

2010 - The day after Wrestlemania 26, WWE vs. TNA on Monday Nights continued.   Raw scored a 3.62 while Impact scored a 0.62.

Stu Carapola's TNA Impact report:

Welcome to tonight's live coverage of TNA Impact!

The show opens with a recap of last week's events involving Eric Bischoff, Mick Foley, and Jeff Jarrett. If you're just joining us, Bischoff made a match between Foley and Jarrett where the loser would be fired by TNA, and Foley came up on the short end of that stick.

From there, we go to Hogan's office where he is conversing with Jeff Jarrett. Hogan says he has to get out the door to go to New York City to conduct some business, but before he leaves, he has to apologize for Bischoff because he gets so caught up in his schtick, but he was impressed with the way Jarrett handled himself during his issues with Bischoff and says that if he can beat AJ Styles tonight, he'll be the number one contender to the TNA World Title after Lockdown. Jarrett thanks Hogan and leaves as Jay Lethal comes in in full Macho Man gimmick and says he understands that Hogan won't be here for tonight's episode and offers to take control of the show tonight, and Hogan says there's nobody he can think of that he'd rather let run the show than Jay Lethal.

Tonight on Impact: Tara vs Daffney in a First Blood Match, Jeff Jarrett faces AJ Styles, and the Band takes on RVD, Jeff Hardy, and Eric Young!

The Band comes out to the old Wolfpac music from WCW with Bubba The Love Sponge leading the way. Bubba tears on the audience and calls them marks, and says that not one of them wouldn't want to be him because he's a national radio star who works for Howard Stern (part time) and he doesn't even need this job, but if he's going to, he wants to hang out with the Band. No disrespect to Christy Hemme and Jeremy Borash, but they have no business interviewing legends like the Band. He hands off the mic to Kevin Nash who says that he's become friends with Eric Young over the last year, and he'd like for him to come down here so Nash can offer him an apology. Young makes his way out to the ring, and Nash says that what they did to him was wrong, but he's got to realize that the two of them are friends and it was just business, not personal. The Band talked it over and decided that if anyone deserves to join the Band, it's Eric Young, but one thing...the match tonight isn't going to happen. Nash says Hardy and RVD aren't in their league, and suggests throwing the match out and Young joining the Band. The Band throws up the Too Sweet hand signal, but Young attacks Nash and takes a shot at all the Band members, but gets taken down when he goes after Bubba. Nash says Young made a big mistake as the Band lays him out. RVD and Jeff Hardy run out to the ring and the Band clears out, though Bubba took an extra couple of seconds to waddle out while RVD pretended he couldn't get ahold of him. Hardy takes the mic and says they're ready to do the six man right now, but since the Band thinks they're the main event, they'll make it the main event right here tonight, and in honor of Lockdown, tonight's six man main event will be in a steel cage! So I guess that in addition to Dixie Carter, Hulk Hogan, and Eric Bischoff, Jeff Hardy also has matchmaking power.

After a commercial break, we come back for our first match...

X-Division Champion Doug Williams & Brian Kendrick vs Shannon Moore & Frankie Kazarian

I hate Moore's stupid punk gimmick so much. Moore goes right after Williams to start and works him over in the corner then tags out to Kazarian who comes in with a nice dropkick on Williams for 2. Kazarian slams Williams and then gets a slingshot legdrop for 2. Williams picks the ankle and tags out to Kendrick, but he walks right into a series of armdrags from Kazarian then gets whipped hard into the corner. Kazarian with the springboard dropkick in the corner, but Williams comes in illegally and nails him from behind, allowing Kendrick to cover for 2. Williams tags back in and hits a kneedrop to the forehead, then scissors the head. He tags back out to Kendrick, who chokes Kazarian with his boot and then locks him in a rear chinlock and starts laying in several wicked looking crossfaces. Kazarian fights his way out and comes off the ropes, but he and Kendrick hit head to head and both men are down. Kazarian goes for the hot tag, Kendrick catches him and carries him back to the corner, but Kazarian escapes his grasp and rolls back to his corner and tags in Shannon Moore, who comes in and cleans house on the heels. Moore with a top rope Frankensteiner on Williams for 2,. Kendrick comes in, but Moore dropkicks Kendrick into a German Suplex from Kazarian. Williams whips Moore into the corner and follows him in with a charge, Moore comes off the ropes and Williams moves but Moore nails Kendrick and covers him for the win.

Winner: Shannon Moore & Frankie Kazarian

Eric Bischoff is on the phone with Hogan backstage telling him to have fun in New York, and he'll take care of everything. He calls in his super hot new assistant and says that somebody's going to try to get in his office, and she is not to let him in. She asks him who it is she's not to allow in, and at that moment Jay Lethal comes in and says that he and Bischoff will be working side by side tonight and if they're able to work well enough together, he'll make Bischoff the third member of the Megapowers. He's made up a card for tonight which Bischoff reads off: the Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff vs the Killer Bees, Koko B Ware vs "The African Dream" Akeem, and King Kong Bundy vs the Junk Yard Dog. Bischoff says that Lethal is far too valuable to waste his talent on the undercard, and to concentrate on coming up with something for the main event. Lethal goes OOH YEAH and leaves, and then Bischoff sends Hot Assistant Girl to go get him Beer Money.

Still to come, Jeff Jarrett vs AJ Styles and the Band vs RVD, Jeff Hardy, and Eric Young, but up next, the Pope has something to say!

We're back from commercial and we're joined by "The Pope", D'Angelo Dinero. Pope says that at Lockdown, Pope takes on AJ Styles in a cage match for the TNA World Title, a moment the Pope has dreamed about and worked for his entire life, only to have it jeopardized by AJ and Flair. He says he won't call Flair the Nature Boy anymore because he was the Nature Boy 50 years ago and it's time to grow up. He says AJ has been walking on edge hoping that Pope doesn't realize he's alive, but Pope is the guiding light of TNA, and he warns AJ that daybreak is soon to come. What Pope wants AJ to do is head to Cape Canaveral and buy the most expensive astronaut suit of all time, because at Lockdown, Pope is going to take him to the outer limits, and for all that he is...yes, he's the champion, and yes he's Phenomenal when he wants to be, but he'll never, EVER be the charismatic, pimptacular...and a bunch of other stuff Pope, D'Angelo Dinero. The crowd chants "Pope is pimpin'". Pope says when the smoke is cleared, Pope will be standing in the middle of the ring with the TNA World Title and the Pope and his congregation will declare that not only has the Pope arrived, but the Pope...is...PIMPIN'! I loved this promo.

But wait, it looks like we're not done yet, because out comes Chelsea! Pope holds the ropes for her to come in the ring. Pope asks what he can do for her, and Chelsea says there is one thing he can do for her, Chelsea's always had everything she's ever wanted out of life, but there's just one other thing she was hoping Pope could help her with...she wants to be a ho for the Pope. Pope says before they get down to business, he wants to know if she knows how to drive a stick. She says she can't say that she knows exactly, but she's a real quick learner. She asks if that's a gun in his pocket or if he's just happy to see her. Predictably, Desmond Wolfe comes out of the crowd to attack Pope, but Pope asks Chelsea to hold the microphone for a moment, then he turns around and beats up Desmond as he comes in the ring and sends him out to the floor, then turns back to Chelsea. He asks where they were, then remembers: he dips Chelsea and kisses her, then stuffs a dollar bill down her top.

Tara is backstage, and she's...WALKING! We're at commercial!

We come back with a grainy video of Samoa Joe saying that THEY have spoken, and the results will be different...very different. Hm, mysterious.

Speaking of mysterious, Orlando Jordan is lowered from the roof of the arena covered in caution tape and starts cavorting around in the ring and on the rampway in a manner reminiscent of a stripper. He makes his way out to ringside where a couch is set up for him, complete with a girl and a flamboyantly dressed guy sitting on it. We cut to a shot of a very confused looking Taz and Mike Tenay as Jordan pulls off his sunglasses to reveal that he's wearing eyeshadow, and sits down on the couch between the guy and girl.

From there, we go backstage to JB with Tara. Tara says Daffney took her spider and everyone thinks Daffney is crazy and dangerous, but she doesn't know anything about crazy or dangerous, because tonight it's First Blood and that's okay with her. Daffney runs in and attacks Tara and the two of them brawl in the back with Tara getting the advantage, and the First Blood Match for the Knockouts Title is up next!

We're back and Tara and Daffney fight their way out the entranceway, and the bell rings to start...

TNA Knockouts Title First Blood Match: Tara vs Daffney

Daffney bites the head of Tara, but Tara doesn't bleed. Tara gets a lungblower and starts beating on Daffney and drags her down the stairs, but Daffney gets a boot to the head and starts firing back. Daffney whips Tara into the wall then chokes her with a cable and drags her across the floor with the cable around Tara's neck. Daffney grabs a broom from under the ring and rams it repeatedly into Tara's gut, then rolls Tara into the ring. Daffney breaks the broom in half and tries to stab Tara with the sharp edge, but Tara blocks and kicks Daffney off. Daffney tries another stab, but Tara gets a boot to the gut and hits the Widow's Peak, but there's no pinfalls in this match! Tara gets back to her feet and grabs a toolbox from ringside and cracks Daffney in the head with it, and that's enough to bust Daffney open and give Tara the win.

Winner: Tara

We see a closeup of Daffney's head, and it's a really light cut, but Daffney wipes the blood off her head and licks it off of her hands and she laughs wickedly.

AJ is backstage with Ric Flair and they're...WALKING! And...ROLLING! We're off to commercial.

We come back with a repeat of our earlier Bischoff/Foley/Jarrett video package, and then head to the ring for our next match...

Jeff Jarrett vs TNA World Champion AJ Styles

Hey, remember when Jeff Jarrett was Ric Flair's handpicked Chosen One? Eh, didn't think so. Tieup to start and AJ armdrags Jarrett. Another tieup and AJ takes a headlock and chain wrestles his way around Jarrett. A third tieup and this time Jarrett reverses an Irish Whip and goes for a hiptoss, but AJ blocks and reverses to a hiptoss of his own. Jarrett looks frustrated. The two men circle again, but AJ simply struts away from Jarrett. Finally AJ comes off the ropes with a shoulderblock, but Jarrett counters another one with a drop toehold, hiptoss, and ducks a clothesline and comes back with a series of rights and an inverted atomic drop, then clotheslines AJ over the top to the floor, and then Jarrett pulls out a strut of his own. Jarrett follows AJ to the floor and rams him into the guardrail then rolls him back in the ring, but AJ catches him coming in and nails him. AJ whips Jarrett into the corner, but Jarrett moves out of the way of a forearm. Jarrett off the ropes with a boot, AJ catches the boot, but Jarrett follows up with an enziguiri for 2. AJ recovers and hits a kneebreaker then starts going to work on Jarrett's knee and traps him in the figure four. Flair rolls his way down to the ring and sticks his cane in the ring so AJ can use it for leverage and the ref catches him, but for some reason doesn't force the break. AJ lets go on his own and tries the sam enziguiri trick Jarrett pulled out, but Jarrett ducks and slaps on a figure four of his own. Jarrett makes the ropes, but Flair hits his hands with the cane. The ref catches him again, and this time he's had enough and sends Flair to the back. Security comes out and wheels Flair to the back as Jarrett nails AJ on the ramp and tosses him back in the ring as we go to commercial.

We're back from commercial and AJ has HIT THE CHINLOCK! We look back to events during the break where AJ hit a low blow and then a dive to the floor on AJ. Jarrett fights his way out of the chinlock and gets a crucifix into a sunset flip, but AJ drills him in the face and hits a kneedrop, then it's BACK TO THE CHINLOCK! Jarrett fights his way out again and AJ yanks him down to the mat by the hair. AJ works Jarrett over in the corner, hits a snapmare and then...you guessed it, BACK TO THE CHINLOCK! Jarrett fights his way out yet again, but AJ shuts him down with an elbow to the back of the neck. Jarrett reverses a whip and gets a big backdrop and a series of clotheslines and a back suplex. Jarrett with a boot to the gut and the Pedigree...but only gets 2! Ha. Jarrett goes to the second rope, but AJ catches him coming off and hits a belly to belly suplex. AJ goes to the apron and comes in with the springboard forearm and gets 2.999. AJ goes for the Styles Clash, but Jarrett blocks and reverses to an Alabama Slam and both men are down. Chelsea wheels Flair back to ringside where he WHOOOOS at the referee, but Jarrett whips AJ into the ropes and bumps the ref to the floor. Jarrett puts AJ up top and hits the Stroke from the second rope and goes for the cover...but there's no ref! Eric Bischoff comes in the ring with a guitar and goes to hit Jarrett, but Jarrett blocks and gets the guitar. Bischoff gets on his knees and begs for mercy, and Jarrett hesitates long enough for AJ to lowblow Jarrett and hit the Styles Clash. Bischoff goes to the floor and revives the ref and rolls him back in the ring where he makes the three count. Looks like AJ legit split his hand open because it was bleeding pretty badly.

Winner: AJ Styles

JB is backstage with RVD, Eric Young, and Jeff Hardy. Eric thanks Hardy and RVD for bailing him out earlier. He says he may not be the smartest man ever, but he is clever, and says that Nash used to be clever but he's tied his rope to a sinking ship. RVD says he and Jeff believe that once you've been to the top, you have to fight to stay at the top. The Band disrespected Eric Young and they're going to pay. Jeff says he's climbed the ladder to the top of the business, but the ladder he's on now leads to the main event where the Band will be waiting for them. Eric tells Nash to look at his partners and then look at Eric's partners and ask himself which one of them traded up.

Jay Lethal is backstage working on tonight's main event: Brutus Beefcake vs The Model! Bischoff says no, there's only one main eventer in the building tonight, and there's only one person who should be in the ring tonight: and that's Jay Lethal. Bischoff says he'd better get going because they're going to play his music any second. Jay Lethal hightails it to the entranceway for...

"Black Machismo" Jay Lethal vs Beer Money Inc

It's an Epsenhart Special! Beer Money double team Lethal to start. They take him ot the corner and beat him up some more. They whip Lethal into the ropes and give him a huge double backdrop. Lethal tries to bail to the floor, but Beer Money follow him out and whip him into the stairs, and Storm gets right in his face and asks him how it feels to be a main eventer. They toss Lethal back in the ring and double suplex him then do the Beer...Money pose. Lethal starts to fight back, but Roode catches him and they hit the assisted Hurricane. Storm goes for his beer at ringside and Roode goes to pick Lethal up, but Lethal small packages him for the win.

Winner: Jay Lethal

Lethal celebrates by stealing and drinking Storm's beer as Bischoff is sitting in his office with a look of disbelief on his face.

Up next: Desmond Wolfe faces The Pope!

We're back with Taz and Mike Tenay while they take a moment to discuss last week's incident where Matt Morgan kicked Hernandez in the head and injured him. They say Hernandez suffered severe head and neck injuries and it may be months before he returns to action, but next week Matt Morgan will be here and will talk about what he did to Hernandez.

We now head back to the ring for...

Desmond Wolfe vs "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero

Desmond nails pope from behind to start and locks him in a Cobra Clutch, but Pope reverses to a hammerlock. Desmond goes to the ropes but gets a cheap elbow off the break and follows up with a European Uppercut. Desmond with an Indian Deathlock, but Pope rolls over and reverses the pressure, but Desmond makes the ropes as we see Chelsea looking unhappy at ringside. Desmond with a stiff European Uppercut and rams Pope into the turnbuckle, then whips Pope down to the mat by the arm. Desmond with a wristlock takedown and drops his body weight on Pope's arm. He goes for another arm drop, but Pope rolls through and nails Desmond with a flying forearm. Desmond comes off the ropes right into a Thesz Press by Pope, but catches him with a boot to the gut. Desmond tries a charge into the corner, but Pope moves and gets an open hand strike to Desmond's jaw and then the springboard elbowdrop. Chelsea climbs seductively to the ring apron to distract Pope as Desmond wraps a chain around his fist and nails Pope with it to knock him out and pick up the win.

Up next, our main event of The Band taking on Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy, and Eric Young in a steel cage!

The cage is up, but before we get to the main event, Kurt Angle comes out to cut a promo saying that after Destination X, people think Ken Anderson might be as good as Kurt Angle. Angle doesn't believe it, and he wants to give some insight as to who Kurt Angle really is. He's an Olympic Champion who's made a living out of winning and playing by the rules. He's always in command and always in control, but somehow he lost his control. Maybe it was because of Anderson spitting in his face, or cutting him up with his warrior tag, or maybe it was because Anderson degraded the troops of the USA, or maybe it was all those things, but there's one thing for sure: at Lockdown, it'll be Angle vs Anderson one last time, in a cage, no rules or regulations, and no control, and the only way to survive is to walk out the door. Angle promises that the ending of that match will be Angle covered in Anderson's blood. This brings out Ken Anderson, who would like to share his thoughts as well. Anderson thinks it's about time for them to be, as Kurt would put it, damn real. Anderson says their feud has to stop before they kill each other. Week after week they bloody each other, lay each other out with chairs, and they beat each other. They're cancelling each other out, so TNA managment put them in a cage to settle it once and for all. Anderson says a little birdie came and sat on his shoulder in the back, and says he sanctioned a match for next week's Impact between Angle and Anderson, and it's not just any old wrestling match, it's going to be...a ladder match! And at the top of that ladder is going to be a key to open up a lock, which will open up the door to the cage at Lockdown. Ken Anderson says the better man will not win, because he admits that Angle is a better man than he is: he's a better father, son, and role model than Anderson will ever be. He says Angle's a nice guy, but nice guys finish last, and next week and again at Lockdown, he's an a(bleep)hole...A(bleep)HOLE!

Angle makes his way to the back as the Band's music hits. Nash and Angle do the Too Sweet handshake as they pass, and we'll have our main event right after this commercial.

Scott Hall, Kevin Nash & Sean Waltman vs Eric Young, Rob Van Dam & Jeff Hardy

Scott Hall looks great, he's obviously worked hard to drop weight since January 4th. Jeff's got his "Sensational Queen Sherri at Summerslam 90" facepaint on tonight. The Band jumps the babyfaces on the apron before the bell, and Nash and Hardy make their way into the ring to officiall start the match. Hall and Waltman toss RVD in and then lock the door behind them, locking Young out on the floor. The Band works RVD and Hardy over 3-on-2, and Hall rams RVD into the cage as Waltman spinkicks Hardy in the jaw and hits the Bronco Buster. Hall holds Hardy for Waltman chops as Nash goes to work on RVD in the corner, but RVD starts firing back on Nash with punches and kicks, but Hall comes from behind and shuts him down. Waltman goes for a Frankensteiner but Hardy powerbombs him and hits the double legdrop to the nads and then the dropkick to the face. Hall keeps beating RVD up in the corner, but Hardy springboards off of RVD's back and leg lariats Hall. Young starts making his way over the cage, but Waltman catches him coming in and nails him. RVD comes up and nails Waltman and tosses him off the ropes into the ring as Hardy lays out both Nash and Hall and RVD hits a Five Star Notebook Splash on Hall as Hardy hits a Swanton on Nash and then Young with a flying elbowdrop off the top of the cage on Waltman for the win.

Winner: Eric Young, Jeff Hardy & Rob Van Dam

Christy Hemme is backstage with Abyss, who says that Sting once mentored him and guided him through some of the toughest times in his life, but now he's on the other side, and then he reveals that the first member of Team Hogan in Lethal Lockdown is none other than...Jeff Jarrett! Jarrett says the deal with he and Bischoff is far from over, but now he's on Team Hogan, and he says if Ric Flair wants to get involved in Jarrett's matches, he's going to get involved in Flair's match at Lockdown. Jarrett's got a lot of pent up frustrations, and he's going to blow it off at Lockdown!

Richard Trionfo's Raw report, featuring the Shawn Michaels farewell report:

We start off with a video package for last night’s main event between the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels.

We are live from Phoenix, Arizona and your announcers are Michael ‘Are you sure we aren’t still in Glendale’ Cole and Jerry ‘Live and Let Die’ Lawler.

We are told by Jerry Lawler that Shawn Michaels will bid farewell to the WWE later tonight.

The former WWE Champion Batista comes out and he is not happy. The spotlight does not come on until he is almost in the ring. Batista says that he knows that all of ‘you people’ expect to see him throw a fit and complain about what happened last night, but he is not going to give them the satisfaction. Last night was a blip on the radar and a fluke. Next month, no one will remember Wrestlemania. The crowd chants ‘You Tapped Out’ at Batista. Batista says that he is entitled to a rematch and he will regain his WWE Title. He says that it doesn’t matter what happened last night, John Cena cannot beat him.

John Cena’s music plays and he comes to the ring. Cena is in a good mood as he shows his name on the title belt to the cameras. Cena says that there is a lot of Wrestlemania energy in the building. Cena says that there was a man who said that John Cena couldn’t beat Batista, but that guy must have missed Wrestlemania because John Cena did defeat Batista. After all of the talk about wanting the match at Wrestlemania to call himself the face of the company, if Batista is the face of the company he did not look too good before he tapped out. The crowd chants ‘You Tapped Out’ again. Cena says that nobody is going to forget Wrestlemania because Wrestlemania moments live on forever. Cena says that Batista can make history because Shawn Michaels will write the final chapter in his storybook career. As Shawn’s career ends, Batista can write a chapter in his history because he can have a rematch on maybe the most historic Raw ever. It will be Shawn Michaels’ farewell and John Cena versus Batista for the WWE Title. Cena says that this is when the other guy says that he doesn’t want to have the match tonight. Cena tells Batista to give everyone what they want. If Batista wants to be the face of the company, say yes and have the rematch tonight.

Batista says that everyone would love to see the rematch tonight, but it is not going to happen tonight. Batista tries to punch Cena but Cena blocks it and punches Batista. Batista goes to the floor. Jack Swagger hits Cena from behind with the briefcase and hits Cena in the back. Swagger wants a referee because he is cashing in the Money in the Bank briefcase.

Cena tries to put Swagger in the STF but Swagger escapes. Swagger says that the match is not going to happen.

Swagger and Cena have a face off from a distance before Swagger goes to the back.

Cole says that we will see some of Shawn Michaels’ defining moments.

We go to June 18, 1988 when Shawn Michaels made his debut as a part of the Rockers against the Rougeaus.

We go to commercial.

We are back with the Slam of the Week: Randy Orton’s photo defeating photos of Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase last night at Wrestlemania.

WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase comes out with IRS, Nick Bockwinkel, Pat Patterson, and Arn Anderson.

Roddy Piper comes out with Sergeant Slaughter, Tony Garea, and Ricky Steamboat. Jerry Lawler says that there is a legend missing around the ring and Cole wonders where Lawler is going.

It is time for the guest hosts from Hot Tube Time Machine, Clark Duke and Rob Corddry come out. Clark says that they are excited to be here hosting Raw. They announce that Batista and Jack Swagger will face John Cena and a partner of his choosing in one main event. There will also be a hot tub match tonight. Rob and Clark will be facing the Divas. Clark says that the legends are around the ring because they went to the 80s so there will be a Legends Lumberjack match.

As Ted DiBiase comes to the ring for the first match, we are told that Cody Rhodes suffered a concussion and will be out for a few weeks.

We go to commercial.

Match Number One: Christian versus Ted DiBiase in a Legends Lumberjack Match

Christian goes to the turnbuckles and hits a sunset flip for a near fall. Christian with a punch to Ted but Ted with a kick. Christian sends Ted over the top rope and they help him back into the ring. Christian punches Ted but Ted hits a clothesline as Christian comes off the ropes and gets a near fall. Ted punches Christian in the corner but Christian with a punch to the head. Ted blocks a tornado DDT and then he kicks Christian and gets a near fall. Ted tries for another clothesline but Christian sees it coming and hits an inverted DDT for a near fall. Christian comes off the turnbuckles and gets another near fall. Christian returns to the turnbuckles but Ted pulls Christian off and then he tries for Dream Street but Christian backs Ted into the corner. Christian with the pendulum kick and hits the corkscrew back elbow from the turnbuckles. Christian sets for the Killswitch but Ted counters. Ted clotheslines Christian over the top rope and both men go to the floor. They roll both men in and then the lumberjacks start to fight on the floor. Ted looks at what is going on outside the ring and that allows Christian to hit the Killswitch for the three count.
Winner: Christian

Round Two of the legends go to the back with Christian while Ted goes into the ring to check on his son. Ted wants to know what his son was doing. Ted Junior leaves the ring while his father stands in the ring.

It is time for the next Shawn Michaels Memory. This one is from January 11, 1992 when Shawn ended his association with Marty Jannetty on the Barber Shop with the superkick heard round the world and Marty being thrown through the window of the Barber Shop.

Triple H is walking in the back as we go to commercial.

We are back it is time to recap the events from Arizona leading up to Wrestlemania.

Rob and Clark are in their robes. They talk about how they got rid of Craig Robinson and John Cusack. Santino walks by with a boombox and says no to worry about Cusack.

Rob and Clark enter the hot tub with the Bellas, Rosa Mendes, and Tiffany. They say the winner is the one who stays in the longest. Rob and Clark pull out some beverages for the ladies as the lights go down.

Triple H comes out and he stands on the stage. He surveys the crowd and then he says that it is kind of a surreal night because it is the end of an era. Hunter says that he never thought it would end this way for Shawn. Hunter says that he knew Shawn could beat the Undertaker. Hunter says that it was just yesterday that he came into the company and saw Shawn Michaels on the other side of the locker room in his overalls with a bad mullet haircut. They took on the world and at times they only had each other. They fought everybody and they fought side by side and back to back. Sometimes they fought face to face. They fought for each other and with each other. Hunter throws out the clique symbol and says that when they left, it was just them. Hunter starts to get emotional and then he wanted to say something to Shawn that he never said before . . .

Before he can say it, Sheamus attacks Hunter from behind. The crowd is in shock at what just happened.

We go to commercial while the medical staff checks on Hunter.

We are back with a Moments Ago Moment of Triple H about to tell everyone something he wanted to say to Shawn only to be attacked with a little pipe by Sheamus.

Match Number Two: Kelly Kelly, Mickie James, Eve Torres, Beth Phoenix, and Gail Kim versus Michelle McCool, Vickie Guerrero, Layla, Maryse, and Alicia Fox in a Wrestlemania Rematch because you loved this match 24 hours ago

Eve and Maryse start things off and Maryse tells Eve to talks to the hand and when Maryse does her pose, Eve with a rollup for the three count.
Winners: Eve Torres, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Beth Phoenix, and Gail Kim

After the match, Vickie gets cornered but she escapes to the back. We have a nine Diva brawl in the ring until we are left with the team that won the match.

We go to another Shawn Michaels Moment and it is the Ladder Match from Wrestlemania X when Shawn Michaels with Diesel faced Razor Ramon.

Bret Hart is walking in the back and we go to commercial.

We are back and Did You Know that the photos from last night’s main event have already been viewed ten million times on WWE.com? Did you know that the Did you Know moments are back after a short hiatus.

It is time for another Shawn Michaels Moment and it is the Iron Man Match against Bret Hart from Wrestlemania 12.

Bret Hart comes to the ring and he has something to say. Bret starts off by congratulating Shawn Michaels on an epic and storybook career. Bret says that Shawn is one of the greatest wrestlers he ever stepped in the ring with and one of the best of all time. Bret wishes Shawn well in the future. Bret says that Shawn said that good things were going to happen if he came back. Bret says that he got his closure by beating the holy hell out of Vince McMahon last night. Not only did he beat Vince, the entire Hart family beat Vince. Bret says that he can feel his dad, mom, Owen, and the British Bulldog giving him high fives from heaven because it has been a great time for the Hart family. Bret shows his t-shirt which has a photo of him with Owen. Bret says that he thought he might be leaving with a bad taste in his mouth, but now it is all joy and satisfaction. On behalf of the Hart family, he thanks his fans and says that the last three months have been a great ride.

The Unified Tag Champions, the Big Show and Miz (The Shiz) come out to the ring to talk to Bret. Miz asks Bret ‘really’. He says that Bret comes back and beats Vince in a glorified 25 on 1 handicap match and he is proud of that. Miz says that Bret is a thief. He came back to get his closure robbed the Miz of his time. It is time that he cannot get back. Miz says that he heard about a lot of screwing and he is sick of it. Miz points out that he is the US and Unified Tag Champion and if anyone deserves to talk about himself, it is him. Miz says that he won his first Wrestlemania Match. He is seventeen wins away from matching the Undertaker. He tells the fans not to laugh at him. Miz says that he is awesome while Bret is overrated. Miz says that Bret and his entire family is overrated. Miz says that Bret is the most overrated there is, was, or ever will be. Miz tells Bret to get out of the ring before his fist gives Bret’s face closure.

Bret tells Miz that if he wants him to leave the ring to make him.

Show gets in Bret’s face and the Hart’s music plays and the Hart Dynasty comes to the ring and they stand by Bret’s side.

Show and Miz leave the ring and Bret wants to know where the clowns are going. Bret tells them to get in the ring so the Hart Dynasty can embarrass them like they embarrassed Vince McMahon yesterday.

Miz and Show argue about whether they want to accept the challenge. Show reluctantly agrees and we have a match.

We go to commercial.

Match Number Three: David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd with Natayla and Bret Hart versus Big Show and The Miz in a Non Title Match

We join the match in progress with Smith holding Miz in the air for a delayed vertical suplex. Miz with a kick but Smith clotheslines Miz over the top rope to the floor. Smith sends Kidd over the top rope onto Miz and then Kidd gets a near fall on Miz. Miz goes to the floor and Kidd chases after him. Show tags in but Kidd sees him coming in and hits a drop kick. Show pushes Kidd away but Kidd with more kicks. Show picks up Kidd and throws him down. Show with a slam as he yells at Miz. Miz tags in and Show sends Miz into the corner for a clothesline on Kidd and gets a near fall. Miz backs Kidd into the corner and Show tags in and chokes Kidd. Show with a chop that echoes through the building. Show with a reverse chin lock on Kidd and Miz makes the blind tag and he kicks Kidd in the chest. Kidd escapes the chin lock and Smith tags in and he hits a flying shoulder tackle followed by a series of clotheslines and a power slam. Kidd tags in and they hit a springboard Hart Attack. Kidd puts Miz in the Sharpshooter and Show gets to the floor and asks Miz if he is going to listen to him. Show pulls Miz out of the hold and to the floor. Show picks Miz up and asks him if he is going to be stupid any more. They walk to the back while the referee makes the ten count.
Winners: David Hart Smith and Tyson Kidd by count out

Time for another Shawn Michaels Moment and it is a look at some of the greatest moments from Degeneration X.

We go to commercial.

We are back with the WWE Rewind: Photos from last night’s Money in the Bank, which was won by Jack Swagger.

We are back at the hot tub and all six participants are still in there. Rob and Clark say that they are doing great. Rob suggests a way to get an edge and think about gyrating. Tiffany and Rosa leave. Craig Robinson is on the monitor and he says that someone changed his ticket. Craig says that even though he isn’t there, he is still a guest host. He tells the Bellas that they won and they can leave. It is time for more people to come into the hot tub. Craig says that it is time for Mark Henry to get into the hot tub. Mark says that he is going to enjoy this and asks them about Hollywood. Rob says that something bit him and Hornswoggle appears and he has a snorkel since he was underwater the entire time.

Michael and Jerry talk about Shawn Michaels’ farewell tonight and it is time to take a look back at Sheamus’ attack on Triple H earlier tonight.

Swagger gets on the mic and he says that he can smell money in the bank. He says that he told everyone that he was going to win Money in the Bank. When he wants something, he is the odds on favorite to get it. Swagger says he was just toying around and messing with John Cena. When he really cashes in the briefcase, the All-American American American American American is the odds on favorite to become the WWE Champion.

Match Number Four: Jack Swagger and Batista versus John Cena and a Mystery Partner of John Cena’s choosing

John gets on the mic and he tells everyone that he has a major announcement regarding his partner. Cena tells Batista that he will recognize him because he is a friend of Dave’s. It is Randy Orton.

Cena and Batista start things off but Swagger is tagged in before anything happens. They lock up and Swagger misses a punch in the corner and Cena with punches and an Irish whip followed by a fisherman’s suplex. Cena tags in Orton and Orton with the Garvin Stomp and we get a double barrel vintage. Orton with a leaping knee drop and then he sets for the RKO with the RKO push ups but Swagger goes to the floor. We go to commercial.

We are back and Swagger with a waist lock on Cena. We see footage from the commercial when Batista hit a clothesline on Cena to give him and Swagger the advantage. We are back to live action and Swagger maintains the waist lock. Swagger with a suplex for a near fall. Swagger with the double jump Vader Splash for a near fall. Batista tags himself in and gives Cena a hard Irish whip. Batista stomps on Cena’s hand. Batista with a snap mare and leap frog neck snap followed by a kick for a near fall. Cena with punches to Batista but Batista with a spinebuster. Batista shakes the ropes and then he sets for the Batista Bomb but Cena with a back body drop and both men are down. Orton wants the tag and Orton is in and so is Swagger. Orton with clotheslines and a power slam. Orton with the Viper Backbreaker for a near fall but Batista breaks up the cover. Batista with a spear to Cena. Orton with an RKO to Batista and then one to Swagger for the three count.
Winners: Randy Orton and John Cena

It is time for the next Shawn Michaels Moment and it is from last year when he lost to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 25 but still had his career.

We go to commercial.

We are back and it is time for Shawn Michaels to come to the ring for his farewell.

The crowd chants ‘HBK’ before Shawn starts to speak. Then the gong sounds as the lights go out and the Undertaker comes out. Taker tips his hat to Shawn and then goes to the back.

Shawn looks like he is about to cry as the fans chant ‘HBK’ again. Shawn says that he doesn’t really know what it is that he is going to say tonight. The fans chant ‘Please don’t go’ as he takes in the emotion of the moment. He says that when he was 19 years old, he started doing this stuff. At 23, he started coming into everyone’s homes every week. The idea of being 44 and not coming into your homes on your television sets will be tough to get used to. The chants change to ‘Thank you Shawn’. Shawn says that he appreciates what the fans are saying, but he has to thank the fans. Shawn says that the ring and the fans were the only think he had in his life for a while. He says that it was the only place he felt good. Night in and night out, they were the only ones who ever made him like himself. Shawn starts to cry and then he says that he would like to thank so many people, but he is afraid that he will forget someone. He says that there is one guy and he mentions Hunter. He thanks Hunter for being his friend when nobody else in the world wanted to touch him. There were a lot of people who did not like him years ago. He says that he was not an easy person to get along with. He says that Hunter never left his side. It is a tough line of work to have friendships but he thanks Hunter for the real friendship that he has been able to have for the last sixteen years.

Shawn says that there are a lot of people in the trucks out back and at ringside holding the cameras as well as Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Jim Ross who he calls the greatest announcer of all time. Shawn thanks all of them for making him so much better than he really was and he appreciates that. Shawn says that there is a crazy red headed kid in Stamford, Connecticut who puts together the videos of him and he says that Adam is one of the most talented people he has met. Someone starts a ‘one more match’ chant and everyone else joins in and Shawn laughs for a second. He says that he knows how a lot of people feel about career ending matches and there are a lot of people who are skeptical of his decision. He says that he doesn’t want to go back on his word to the people or to the Undertaker. Shawn says that he does not hide a lot from the people when he comes out because it is easier to be himself with the fans. He says that he wants to honor his word to everyone and he says that he is going to do everything in his power to make sure that it doesn’t happen.

Shawn says that there is one other person he wants to thank and that person is Bret Hart. Shawn says that he drove Bret crazy back in the 90s. Everything that Bret ever said about him, he had every right to say it. Shawn thanks Bret for understanding, accepting, and believing that he knew that he made the mistakes and he is a changed man. He says that he would be honored to be Bret’s friend again if he ever gave him that opportunity. Shawn then mentions Vince McMahon. Shawn says that he doesn’t know if he will get in trouble for saying some things, but it is his farewell speech. Shawn says that he could never work for anyone else after working for that crazy son of a gun for twenty years. He says that he will never have a regular gig. Shawn says that Vince is the only man he drove crazier than Bret Hart. Shawn says that Vince gave him the opportunity to do what he loves to do, but he thanks Vince for not allowing him to make bigger mistakes. He says that he was on a crash course going nowhere, but if Vince did not keep him on course, he would not be here today. He thanks Vince one more time.

Shawn says that he wants to thank everyone. Shawn says that he got to travel all over the world and got to meet millions of people. He got to listen to everyone for the majority of his life. He has spent more of his adult life with the fans than his own family. Shawn says that he does not have any regrets and he thanks everyone for the privilege to come out and show off for everyone each night of his career.

The fans chant ‘HBK’ one more time. He thanks Jesus for saving him. He tells Rebecca, Cheyenne, and Cameron that ‘Daddy’s coming home’. Shawn says this is how we started and this is how it will end. Shawn says that the Heartbreak Kid has left the building.

Shawn leaves the ring and says that he is going to miss everyone.

He goes up the ramp and gets his final ovation on the stage. As his music plays, Triple H comes out and hugs Shawn. Hunter has a set of DX glow sticks and sets them on the stage before going to the back. We go to credits.

2011 - World Wrestling Entertainment released their top Producer/Agent Dave Finlay.

The story making the rounds, later confirmed by Finlay himself, was that The Miz was booked to come out and interrupt the national anthem during a house show in Champaign, IL over the weekend in order to cut a promo that would set up himself vs. Randy Orton to open the card. There were a number of representatives for the National Guard, who are a HUGE partner and sponsor for WWE, in attendance. Obviously, they were not pleased with the anthem being used to get heel heat.

When word made it's way back to WWE management, the decision was made to release Finlay, who as the top Producer of the show, "had to fall on the sword", as it was described to me.   There were a lot of shocked people within the company when word began to make the rounds among the wrestlers and staff.

Finlay, a third generation wrestler, had been with the company from 2001 and was considered the top Producer backstage, with Arn Anderson directly behind him in the line of command. Finlay had long been given credit for the rise and improvement of the WWE Divas division over the last decade.

Finlay worked for several years behind the scene for the company before returning as a wrestler in a full-time role as well in 2006, mostly to help introduce the Hornswoggle character and work with younger talents that needed help in the ring. WWE had quietly retired him as a wrestler in 2010 when the decision was made to go with younger faces on the television product.

Finlay had been wrestling since 1974. He was considered one of the top heels in Europe in the 1990s and also toured New Japan Pro Wrestling. He finally made his way to the United States during the Monday Night Wars for WCW as the "Belfast Bruiser."   He returned to the independent scene several months later, showing almost immediately that he was still a top flight worker.

2011 - The following press release was issued today:

Memphis Heat Draws Real Heat! Top 5 in Nation Box Office Screen Average Opening Weekend

Memphis Heat: The True Story of Memphis Wrasslin’ opened to rave reviews from the media, the fans, and the wrestlers themselves. Additionally, the limited run premiere held an average screen box office of over $3900, enough to rank just behind Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Sucker Punch, Limitless, and the Lincoln Lawyer at #5 in the U.S.A. for the avg. screen box office for the weekend of March 25-27th!

The documentary chronicling the rough and tumble, fire-throwing and brawling Southern wrestling territory from 1950s to the mid-1980s featuring such stars as Sputnik Monroe, Jackie Fargo, Jerry “the King” Lawler, “Handsome” Jimmy Valiant, and “The Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart.

Owner of the territory and one of the top wrestlers in the Memphis region in the 1970s, Jerry Jarrett was quoted in The Memphis Daily News as saying, “I think they did a great job of catching the magic of that era and putting it on film.” Jerry “the King” Lawler, who attended an advanced screening of Memphis Heat, said that he loved it. Jimmy Hart flew in from Wrestlemania 27 preparations to enjoy a victory lap in the territory where he became the top heel manager in the world.

2011 - WWE broadcast NXT.  Richard Trionfo filed the following TV report:

We are wild and young and we are also live on tape on the internet and your announcers are Todd ‘Lincoln Hawk’ Grisham and William ‘Announcer of the Year’ Regal and your host is Matt ‘Meet Me Halfway’ Striker.

There is something set up in the ring and Matt Striker is in there too. Matt brings out the rookies because the pros are sitting on the stage.

The rookies stand in front of the ring and Matt reminds everyone that the rookies are veterans of NXT and they can advance to Season Six and play ‘Choose Your Own Pro’.

Darren Young is in the lead with 7 Redemption Points and Titus O’Neill has 5. This challenge is worth four points and it is the Arm Wrestling Challenge.

Darren Young faces Byron Saxton in the first round. Matt tells us the winner of their first round match in the fastest time advances to the finals. Saxton embraces his inner Stallone with the hat. Saxton fights to avoid elimination and Young wins in 23.7 seconds. Saxton gets to go to the back.

Conor O’Brian and Lucky Cannon is the second first round match up. Lucky lubes his hand up to get a better grip, but Cannon decides to cheat and he is disqualified. Conor advances with a time of 11.2 seconds. Even though Lucky did not win, Regal was proud of his performance.

The final first round match is Jacob Novak versus Titus O’Neill. Novak with a false start but he does not realize that he did not wait for the referee to start things. On the second attempt O’Neill wins in 3.5 seconds.

Our semi-final match is Darren Young versus Conor O’Brian. O’Brian gets the win because Young could not go ‘over the top’.

Titus and Conor face off in the finals and the big rig is on the line. O’Neill wins the competition and he now has 9 Redemption Points.

We will have a six man tag match tonight.

We go to commercial.

We are back and Did You Know they are still showing the graphic for the number of autographs that are going to be signed at Wrestlemania Axxess.

We go to a Darren Young video package. He says that he wasn’t able to show what he was about because his pro didn’t give him the chance. When he was given the chance to be in Season Five, he saw it as a step forward, not a step back. We hear some of the commentary from Regal as well as Chavo. Darren says that it is time to go to work.

Regal says that Young is a credible rookie with the most experience and it helps to have Chavo Guerrero as his pro.

Did you know that Triple H will be facing the Undertaker at Wrestlemania? We have a video package to remind you.

We go to commercial.

We are back and it is time to look at a video package for the six person mixed tag match featuring John Morrison, Dolph Ziggler, Trish Stratus, Michelle McCool, Layla, and Snooki.

Who wants some more commercials.

We are back and Keri Hilson will be singing America The Beautiful.

If you are in Atlanta, we see what you can do this week if you want to be inundated with WWE stuff.

It is time for the Raw Rebound and FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFffinally, the Rock got put in his place by John Cena.

We go to commercial.

We are back and in case you missed the best part of last night’s Raw, we have the footage. Enjoy Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and Undertaker.

Match Number One: Darren Young, Lucky Cannon, and Jacob Novak versus Titus O’Neill, Conor O’Brien, and Byron Saxton

Cannon and O’Brian start things off and Cannon fixes his hair. They lock up and Conor with a side head lock and shoulder tackle for a near fall. O’Brian with an arm drag into an arm bar. Conor slams Cannon’s arm into the mat and gets a near fall. O’Brian with a hammer lock and a knee to the arm.

O’Brian returns to the arm bar. Conor tags in Titus and Titus works on the arm and drops a leg on the arm. Cannon with a knee and boot to the head. Young is tagged in and Titus with an arm drag or two into an arm bar. Saxton tags in and he punches Young in the midsection. Saxton with a side Russian leg sweep for a near fall.

Saxton tries to work on the arm and Young backs Saxton into the turnbuckles. Young with a forearm to the back and then he sends him into the turnbuckles. Young with an Irish whip but he runs into a boot. Saxton with forearms to Young but Saxton with a kick. Young with a back elbow and he sends Young into Novak’s boot.

Novak tags in and he kicks Saxton. Novak with a suplex and he gets a near fall. Cannon makes the tag and he kicks Saxton and then he starts to work on the leg. Cannon with a bow and arrow and then he follows that with knees to the back and a rear chin lock. Saxton punches Cannon but Cannon backs Saxton into the corner and Young tags in and he punches Saxton. Novak and Cannon kicks Saxton while the referee is trying to deal with Young.

Young with a swinging neck breaker for a near fall. Novak tags back in and he connects with a knee to the back but he misses an elbow drop. Novak with a knee and then he hits an elbow drop. Novak with a reverse chin lock into a front face lock. Titus tags in and he hits a flying clothesline followed by a back breaker. Young and Cannon try to interfere but they fail. Titus with a power slam for a near fall when Young breaks up the cover. O’Brian takes Young over the top rope. Titus blocks a boot and Titus hits the Sky High for the three count.

Winners: Titus O’Neill, Conor O’Brian, and Byron Saxton