On this day in history in ....
1973 - At a WWWF event at the Boston Garden, Moondog Mayne won a battle royale for a title match when the bout came down to himself and Fred Blassie. The two refused to fight each other, so a coin toss was held with Moondog winning. Moondog would go on to challenge, and lose, to WWWF World Champion Pedro Morales.
1985 - Wrestlemania I was held. Mike Johnson penned the following:
Location: New York City
Arena: Madison Square Garden
Announced Attendance: 19,121
*Tito Santana pinned The Executioner with a flying forearm, followed by a figure four leglock for the submission. The Executioner was Buddy Rose, who promised to work on Santana's "bad knee" from his feud with then-Intercontinental champion Greg Valentine.
*King King Bundy (then managed by Jimmy Hart) pinned SD Jones in 9 seconds after an avalanche in the corner.
*Ricky Steamboat pinned Matt Borne with a flying bodypress.
*David Sammartino (with Bruno Sammartino) fought Brutus Beefcake (with Johnny Valiant) to a double disqualification. The finish of the bout saw Beefcake throw David out of the ring, where Valiant attacked him. Bruno made the save and destroyed Valiant, setting off a brawl and the DDQ.
*The Junkyard Dog defeated WWF Intercontinental champion Greg Valentine by countout. Valentine, then managed by Jimmy Hart, pinned JYD with his feet on the ropes. Tito Santana, who had lost the IC belt to Valentine and been "injured" in the process hit the ring to tell the referee. The bout was restarted but Valentine walked and was counted out. Santana would eventually regain the belt from Valentine to blow off their feud.
*The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff defeated WWF Tag Team champions The U.S. Express, Mike Rotundo and Barry Windham after manager Freddie Blassie hit Windham with his cane to set up a Volkoff pin. In a great post-match interview, Blassie denies ever having a cane.
*In the $15,000 Bodyslam Challenge, Andre the Giant slams Big John Studd to win the money. Andre starts tossing it out to the fans at ringside, and Studd's manager Bobby Heenan grabs it and runs off.
*Wendi Richter (with manager Cyndi Lauper) pinned Leilani Kai (with The Fabulous Moolah) to win the WWF Ladies championship. Beyond the Mr. T connection, Lauper was the biggest celebrity tie-in WWF had at the time as the connection built to WWF's relationship with MTV. The relationship backfired on Lauper who lost credibility as an artist and never recovered. Richter rolled up Kai for the pin after Kai went for a bodypress and it was reversed. Richter regained the belt from a previous bout where Moolah interfered to cause the loss. Richter would later lose the belt to Moolah, under the mask as The Spider Lady, and leave WWF never to return.
*Hulk Hogan & Mr. T (with Jimmy Snuka) defeated Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff (with Bob Orton) when T pinned Orndorff after Bob Orton, sporting a cast on his arm, accidentally hit Orndorff. The match was a backdrop for a calvacade of celebrities (see below). Mr. T did an airplane spin on Piper, which got a lot of photo coverage in the newspapers.
NOTES: The show featured Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura on commentary and was a huge hit on the video rental market....Gene Okerlund, of all people, sang the national anthem to open the event....Pat Patterson worked the main event as a referee, likely to help Mr. T keep up with the program....There was a story in both Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper's autobiographies that noted Hogan had to literally drag T. to the locker room after he refused to work the show because he wasn't allowed to bring two limos full of guests into the Garden....One longstanding story surrounding the show is that a rival promoter offered the late Bruiser Brody, considered to be among the toughest men in the sport at the time, $100,000 if he would go to the Garden and attack T in the aisle as he entered the ring to ruin the show. Brody turned down the offer.
CELEBRITIES: Beyond Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper performing on the show, former New York Yankees manager Billy Martin was the guest ring announcer, the late Liberace was the guest time keeper, and boxing legend Muhammad Ali was the guest referee outside the ring.
JOHNNY VALIANT ON WORKING EARLY WRESTLEMANIA EVENTS: It was like "The Birth of A Nation" to the movie business because it was something totally new. They chose to do it in NYC as it is the entertainment capitol of the world and the first time they went out of the business to get names as big as Ali, Liberace, Lauper. If Liberace or Ali or Lauper would be a part of a wrestling show, it gave it a lot of show business legitimacy and it was electric and you could feel the spark. Even as a manager I felt it. There was so much hype that went into it and there was a grand party afterward in the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center in the NBC building and I was drinking with Billy Martin. He was a fan and Liberace came up to meet me. Muhammed Ali wanted to take a picture with me and he knew who I was! It was very flattering. I managed Beefcake on the first one and then Beefcake and Valentine on the second and then Bravo & Valentine for Wrestlemania 3. I can't believe it was 20 years ago! Time certainly flies.
Dave Scherer: What I remember the most about the first Mania was the pomp and circumstance surrounding the event. The hype for the show was amazing, with the WWF telling anyone who will listen that this was the greatest show on earth. They did an amazing job of starting a tradition with the show. Looking back on it now, that will be the legacy of the first WrestleMania, that while it wasn't named "The granddaddy of them all", in reality that is exactly what it has become
Mike Johnson: Wrestlemania 1 set the standard for today's WWE, mixing a number of celebrities with WWF workers to create a unique atmosphere. With the main event of WWF champion Hulk Hogan and actor Mr. T ("The A-Team", "Rocky III") teaming to defeat top heels Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff, much of the younger audience that WWF needed to grab paid attention and turned WWF into a huge hit. With celebrities ranging from Liberace to Billy Martin, WWF set the idea that Wrestlemania was an event where celebrities from all ventures could transcend and exist in one universe for one evening, to have a little fun and get a payday. Between the celebrities and the charisma of Hulk Hogan, as well as the promotion's placement in the all-important New York market, WWF was set as the force in wrestling. There was nothing truly amazing on the show from an in-ring standpoint, but for the new audience watching wrestling as a new fad for the first time, it set up Hogan, Andre, Piper, and others as the stars of the industry.
Buck Woodward: To this day, I don't think people realize how important this show was. Vince McMahon had purchased the company from his father after taking out a loan with a huge balloon payment that was coming due. If Wrestlemania had bombed, McMahon would have lost the WWF, and who knows what would have happened to the world of wrestling. That's why the Brody offer was made. As it turns out, the show was a success across the board, with Closed Circuit locations doing well, except in Dallas, the heart of Von Erich land at the time. ... King Kong Bundy's win was hyped as the fastest match ever, and began a year long push for Bundy that included a feud with Andre The Giant where Andre never got a pin on Bundy, and finished with Bundy being positioned for the Wrestlemania II main event with Hulk Hogan. ... Three months after Wrestlemania, I attended my first live wrestling event, which saw a Mania rematch between Windham & Rotundo vs. Sheik & Volkoff. ... I loved how they had real money in the duffel bag that Andre started tossing out to ringside after the Bodyslam match. ... Who would guess that, of all the wrestlers on this card, Lelani Kai would be the one to wrestle at Mania I and X? ... I still don't understand why WWF had Jimmy Snuka working as a corner man. He was at the tail end of his WWF run, but was still one of the top babyfaces in the company alongside Hogan, Andre and JYD. He really should have had a match. ... Looking back on the card, it was really just a standard MSG card (note the first few matches, which were typical WWF mid-card stuff) but with a lot more hype and a unique main event.
Jess McGrath: Buck was 100% right when he compared the card to a typical Madison Square Garden show of the time. By today's standards, most of the split-brand PPV's have more hype. Even back then, the Starrcade 83 and 84 lineups blew this one away as far as which was more of a "super card". But as Vince proved on that night, and has proved pretty much every day since that point, it's about presentation, not quality. It's an interesting show to reflect back on, as it's really a mix of things Vince was trying at the time, some of which flew and some didn't. Junkyard Dog and Ricky Steamboat getting pushes led to big runs for them as top babyfaces; same for King Kong Bundy as a heel. And let's not forget that this did more to solidify Hulk Hogan as the name synonymous with "pro wrestling" than anything else. The failure side would include Wendi Richter, and more generally, the attempt to promote women's wrestling at the same level as the men's. The whole "David Sammartino as a star" thing didn't work either, although it's not like they didn't play it perfectly with Bruno's involvement and all.
1986 - At a WWF television taping in Poughkeepsie, New York, Big John Studd & King Kong Bundy challenged Andre The Giant and a partner of his choosing for a tag team match. It was announced that Andre had selected Hillbilly Jim, but when the match took place, Andre The Giant didn't appear, and Hillbilly Jim & Ted Arcidi defeated Studd & Bundy via DQ after Studd & Bundy hit the referee. As a result of Andre not appearing, he was suspended by the WWF, setting up the introduction of the masked "Giant Machine".
1989- Sting defeats Mike Rotunda for the NWA World Television Title in the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia. This was Sting's first singles title victory.
1994 - The Quebecers defeat Men On A Mission for the WWF World Tag Team Title in Sheffield, England, after losing the belts only two nights earlier in London. This would begin the third title run for the Quebecers.
1996 - Wrestlemania XII takes place. Mike Johnson penned the following:
Location: Anaheim, CA
Arena: The Arrowhead Pond
Announced Attendance: 18, 853
*Vader & Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith managed by Jim Cornette defeated Yokozuna & Jake Roberts & Ahmed Johnson when Vader pinned Roberts after a powerbomb. This would be the Wrestlemania debut for the former WCW World champion and the final Mania appearance for Yokozuna, who's babyface run never took off.
*Roddy Piper fought Goldust in a "Hollywood Backlot Brawl." They go back and forth with the fight, leading to Goldust peeling off in a car with Piper following in a white bronco. Piper would chase Goldust across LA in a cute usage of news footage from the OJ Simpson police chase. When they finally got the Arena, it ended with Piper beating Goldust down and stripping him of his clothes (cue Rocky Horror Show outfit), as well as planting a kiss on his lips. Piper was the winner by default in what would be his final Wrestlemania match appearance.
*Steve Austin defeated Savio Vega with a cobra clutch. A very good back and forth match that served as Austin's Wrestlemania debut, but doubly served as the background to the Piper-Goldust car chase using the OJ footage.
*The returning Ultimate Warrior pinned Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Warrior just destroys Triple H, kicking out of the Pedigree, and hits a gorilla press, drops the future McMahon family member and splashes him for the pin. Rena Mero was Helmsley's valet (at the time he had a bevy of beautiful women walking him to the ring.) Helmsley would end up in a backstage confrontation with the debuting Wildman Marc Mero (Imagine that) to set up a feud. Warrior would be gone within 6 months from the company, never to return. Helmsley would...what did ever become of Helmsley, anyway?
*The Undertaker pinned Diesel with a chokeslam and tombstone in Kevin Nash's final Wrestlemania match.
*Shawn Michaels pinned Bret Hart with a superkick in overtime of a 60 minute Iron Man Match. Michaels did the famous zip line entrance from the top of the Arena here. Highlights of the bout saw Shawn take a sick backwards bump over the ringpost to the floor, nearly killing a cameraman along the way. Timekeeper Mark Eaton was superkicked "accidentally" by Michaels when Hart moved out of the way. The finish saw Hart have Shawn in the Sharpshooter but time ran out. WWF President Gorilla Monsoon announced
Celebrities: None. Zilch. Nada.
Notes: Vince McMahon and Jerry Lawler handled commentary....During the countdown show of the PPV, there was a sketch where "The Huckster" fought "The Nacho Man" with McMahon and Lawler handling Mystery Science Theatre 3000-esque commentary to make fun of WCW....The Bodydonnas, Skip and Zip defeated The Godwins to win the WWF Tag Team championships during the PPV preview as well....The marketing of the main event featured Michaels training under Jose Lothario while Bret returned to the dungeon. They teased it would be hard hitting wrestling vs. almost a Lucha Libre style....Razor Ramon was the original opponent for Goldust, but was suspended due failing a drug test. Ramon would serve out the suspension, then head for WCW with Nash....Wrestlemania weekend events including a Slammy Awards at the Anaheim Marriot. The black-tie presentation aired on the USA Network. As a rib on Kevin Nash, he was seated next to the WWF's Ted Turner parody Billionare Ted. Afraid to offend his new bosses, Nash refused and walked away....This event was the first Wrestlemania where the company began issuing main event plaques featuring signed photos of the victor and a piece of the actual ring mat from the show.
Mike Johnson: A mess of a show. Nothing clicked here. They would have been better off advertising it as simply a championship match and doing the 60 minute draw, then having Monsoon say that at Wrestlemania fans deserve a clean finish. WWF fans were bored and watching the clock tick down. The match never really kicks into high gear like you would expect with Bret and Shawn involved. I recall being completely bored watching at home as I expected a classic match and was treated to an endless stream of nothing. WWF was hurting bad at this point as a lot of talented performers (Vader, Owen, Austin) were completely underutilized. WWE pushed the Michaels win as the start of a new generation, but it would be a year later when Steve Austin took the reigns that things really kicked in.
Jess McGrath: Mike is dead-on about what they should have done with Bret and Shawn. Fans at the time were even less into sitting and watching a great match than they are today. The last time that they tried the Ironman match, HHH-Rock, they did a ton of pinfalls and lots of craziness throughout the hour. Here, they did straight wrestling. And I didn't even find it all that interesting. Like Mike, I couldn't wait for them to do the finish everybody knew they were going to do. They would have been better served having the match go to a one hour draw, though I guess some people would have been suspicious if they announced a time limit before the match. I remember there was a lot of hype over the return of Warrior. In particular, they never showed him at all on TV before the match, so it was the "What's he going to look like?" mystery too. A very forgettable Mania. If you've seen Shawn Michaels' ring entrance, you've seen all you need to see.
Buck: My problem with this Wrestlemania was that it seemed very predictable. ... The opening six-man was fine, but nothing special. ... I actually got a kick out of Piper vs. Goldust, but the use of the OJ footage was beyond hokey. ... Austin vs. Vega was actually my favorite match of the show. Vega was so underrated, and Austin was a few months away from starting his huge run with Austin 3:16. ... The Ultimate Warrior squashed Triple H in a match that started up another failed comeback. It also proves that HHH was getting buried even before the clique incident. ... WWE released a statement that Diesel was leaving the company, so the winner of the match with the Undertaker was hardly in doubt. ... I remember being bored with the Ironman match. I love mat wrestling, but after 20 minutes, it became very apparent that they were going to go the full hour with no falls. As a result, it was just waiting for the clock to run down. Still, HBK's entrance would become a permanent Wrestlemania highlight.
Dave Scherer: The best thing I can say about this show is that it was really the last year of the blah WWE product. Thank God that the Attitude era was about to start. With that said, Hart-Michaels and Austin-Vega were good matches, but this just didn't seem like what a WrestleMania should be.
2003 - Kane & Rob Van Dam defeat champions Lance Storm & Sean Morley and The Dudley Boyz in a three way match for the (Raw) World Tag Team Title in San Jose, California during an edition of Raw. On the same show, Bill Goldberg made his WWE debut, interrupting a promo by The Rock and informing him that "He's next" before spearing him.
2008 - WWE gives Ric Flair a "farewell" on Raw the night after Wrestlemania, including a reunion with the Four Horsemen (Tully Blanchard, JJ Dillon, Arn Anderson, Barry Windham). It would be their only televised reunion until later tonight, when they go into the WWE Hall of Fame.
2012 - Ring of Honor held their Showdown in the Sun Night Two iPPV from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Richard Trionfo filed the following live report:
Welcome to PWInsider.com’s coverage of Ring of Honor’s Showdown in the Sun Day 2 from the War Memorial in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness are in the ring and they welcome everyone to Day Two.
While Nigel and Kevin talk about the Tag Title Match, Jimmy Jacobs comes to the ring. Jimmy says that him and Steve Corino tried to change their ways, but they were stopped by Kevin Steen. Jimmy says that Kevin Steen changed him and he had been celibate for a year when he drove the spike into Steen’s head and he orgasmed for the first time in a year. Jimmy says that Steen was right.
El Generico’s music plays and he comes out.
El Generico punches Jacobs in the corner and Jimmy goes to the floor. Generico with a dive to the floor.
Match Number One: El Generico versus Jimmy Jacobs
Generico punches Jacobs in the head and hits a standing moonsault for a near fall. Generico tries for the arm drag using the ropes but Jacobs crotches Generico on the top rope. Jacobs with a baseball slide. Jacobs sends Generico into the apron and then back into the ring.
Generico punches Jacobs in the corner, but Jacobs rakes the eyes. Jacobs punches Generico and then he snap mares him and continues to punch Generico. Generico gets a few shots in but they do not stop Jacobs. Generico with a clothesline and then he goes to the apron and up top for a cross body and a near fall.
Generico tries for a belly-to-back suplex but Jacobs blocks it. Generico is able to hit a spinning sit out power bomb but Jacobs kicks out at two. Jacobs blocks the running Yakuza kick and then Jacobs gets a near fall after a tornado DDT. Jacobs bites Generico in the mask and then the hand.
Jacobs with a cutter after leaping off the second turnbuckle for a near fall. Jacobs takes some time to go up top and that allows Generico to stop Jacobs. Generico sets for the brainbuster on the turnbuckles but Jacobs stops him. Jacobs pushes Generico off. Generico with an Exploder into the turnbuckles. Generico tries for the Yakuza kick again but Jacobs hits End Time. Generico gets his foot on the ropes and Jacbos releases the hold.
Jacobs pulls out the spike and he prepares to us it while the referee is not looking. Jacobs misses and the spike is in the turnbuckle pad. Generico points to that turnbuckle and looks at the spike and thinks about using it. Jacobs with a rollup and he gets the spike. He misses Generico but Jacobs with a rollup for the three count.
Winner: Jimmy Jacobs
A good opener. The crowd was into the action. I thought that we might see Dark Generico return.
Match Number Two: Cedric Alexander (with Caprice Coleman) versus Tomasso Ciampa (with the Embassy)
Ciampa attacks Alexander before the bell and he pulls him to the floor. Ciampa sends him into the guardrails and gets a chair. The referee takes the chair. Alexander sends Ciampa into the apron but Ciampa returns the favor. He puts Alexander in the chair and hits a running boot to the head. Ciamapa rolls Alexander back into the ring and connects with a forearm. He kicks Alexander in the corner.
Alexander with forearms and chops but he misses a kicks. They go for waist locks and switches. Alexander with a half nelson front driver for a near fall. Alexander with a forearm to the head. Alexander charges into the corner but Ciampa moves out of the way. They go to the floor and Ciampa sends Alexander into the guardrails and then hits him with a forearm.
Alexander gets a few near falls when the action returns to the ring. Nana says something to Ciampa to motivate him and he ducks when Alexander charges at him. Ciampa sends Alexander into the turnbuckle and then he goes to the apron and pulls down the knee pad. Ciampa with a running knee to the head. Ciampa hits a second one and gets the three count.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
After the match, Coleman goes after Nana and Ciampa attacks Coleman and hits Project Ciampa.
I thought the match was okay. Alexander looked good in the match. I was not expecting the finish but I guess they were saving Project Ciampa for Coleman after the match. I was also surprised that the Embassy really did not get involved in the match.
Match Number Three: Fire Ant versus TJ Perkins
Each man tries to gain the first advantage in the match. They have a Greco Roman knuckle lock followed by a number of leg sweeps to a stalemate. Perkins with a waist lock take down. Fire Ant with a head butt and arm drag but Perkins with a head scissors and side head lock take down. Ant with an arm bar but Perkins with a take down and side head lock. Ant with a wrist lock take down and a springboard arm drag. Ant goes to the turnbuckles and ropes for a springboard double jump arm drag. Perkins puts Ant into the tree of woe but Ant escapes and hits a rana followed by a drop kick that sends Perkins to the floor.
Ant goes for a dive but Perkins returns to the ring and he drops Ant to the mat and gets a near fall after a leg drop. Perkins with a suplex and a near fall. Perkins tries for the Gory Special but Ant escapes and hits a fireman’s carry followed by a back senton for a near fall.
Perkins goes to the ropes and moves when Ant tries for a dive. Ant with a kick to the head and he hits a suicide dive and then returns to the ring for a flip dive. Ant goes up top while Perkins returns to the ring but Perkins is able to hit a drop kick when Ant comes off the turnbuckles. Perkins with a neck breaker followed by running knees. Perkins tries for a power bomb but Ant counters with a jawbreaker and a Shining Wizard.
Fire Ant gets a near fall after a tornado DDT. Ant with a kick and he puts Perkins on the top turnbuckle. Ant with an enzuigiri. Perkins avoids a reverse piledriver from the turnbuckles and hits a running sit out power bomb for a near fall. Perkins goes up top and hits a 450 splash for the three count.
Winner: TJ Perkins
I thought this match was okay but seemed like it was a half beat off for a Chikara style match. The crowd was into the match at parts but the times when the crowd wasn’t into it, the match seemed to suffer a bit.
They probably showed a segment in the back, but it was not broadcast in the building.
Match Number Four: Adam Cole versus Kyle O’Reilly
They lock up and O’Reilly with an arm drag. They go to a knuckle lock and Cole with an arm drag. They lock up and Kyle with a wrist lock into an arm bar. O’Reilly misses a few kicks and Cole misses a drop kick and they go to a stalemate.
Cole has something to say to Kyle and the referee give Kyle a mic. Kyle tells Cole that he doesn’t deserve to be in this ring with him. He says that he was Future Shock. He tells Cole that he is the reason why he is here.
Cole takes the mic and he says that he will do his best Kyle O’Reilly impersonation and he cries and says ‘I love Davey Richards’ and ‘I have PMS every day.’
Kyle says that he doesn’t watch PBS because he doesn’t have cable.
Cole tells Kyle that he will always be Davey’s little bitch.
Kyle says that Cole will always be his bitch.
Cole tells Kyle to shut his mouth so they can wrestle.
Kevin Kelly gets up from the announce table and yells at Kyle and Adam, wanting to know what is going on.
The mics are down and it is time to wrestle. Kyle with a waist lock take down and Cole with a reversal. Kyle escapes and the crowd chants ‘Davey’s bitch’.
Kyle leaves the ring and threatens to leave but he returns. They lock up and Cole with a side head lock and take down. Kyle with a rollup for a near fall. Kyle with a head scissors and Cole escapes. Kyle returns to the head scissors and Cole tries to bridge out. Cole with an arm drag and O’Reilly tries to roll through and escape but Cole holds on. Kyle with a side head lock.
Kyle with a bow and arrow but Cole with a lateral press for a near fall. Cole with an arm drag into an arm bar. Kyle with a snap mare but Cole with a hammer lock. Kyle escapes and applies a cross arm breaker. Kyle escapes and gets a near fall.
Cole with punches and forearms while Kyle tries to work on the arm. Cole with an enzuigiri and running leg lariat for a near fall. Cole tries for a suplex but Kyle with a knee. Kyle hits a discus clothesline for a near fall. Kyle kicks Cole in the corner and taunts him. Kyle slaps Cole in the head and kicks him in the corner. Cole pushes Kyle away.
Kyle misses a forearm into the corner and Cole with forearms. The referee warns him. Kyle with an Irish whip and running forearm followed by running boot. Kyle with a tornado DDT but Kyle with a shoulder breaker out of a suplex for a near fall.
Kyle with a forearm and Cole with a forearm of his own. They get face to face and each go with forearms until they tire. Then they get a second wind. Cole with a running forearm. Kyle with a running boot to the head. Cole with another forearm. Cole sees Kyle coming off the ropes and hits a super kick and follows it with another kick and gets a near fall.
Cole with a cross body but Kyle rolls through and gets the three count.
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly
The promo during the match really affected the quality of the match. The second part of the match definitely picked up. I thought the finish of the match was real good with Kyle rolling through to get the pin on the move that Cole used to beat Davey Richards at the Tenth Anniversary Show.
Truth Martini comes to the ring and he has something to say. He mentions that today we will have a new champion when Michael Elgin defeats Davey Richards. Truth suggests that the fans are also sick of Davey.
Truth turns his attention to Nigel McGuinness and he makes his way from the announce table. The fans want Nigel to do horrible things to Truth. Truth says that he was kidding.
Bobby Cruise comes out and he tells everyone that they are going to film something for the television show, airing on your local Sinclair affiliate.
It is time for intermission.
We are back from intermission.
Match Number Five: Dual Duel Match: Young Bucks versus All Night Xpress in a Street Fight
The Bucks enter the ring first and they have brooms to wait for Titus and King to come to the ring. King and Titus come through the crowd and throw a trash can into the ring.
Titus and King have street signs and they hit the Bucks. The action moves quickly to the floor and Titus and King are in control. King and Titus work on Nick and they kick him and put a trash can over his head. King with a round kick and Titus with a super kick. They send Nick over the top rope to the floor. They do the same to Matt but with the broomsticks.
Nick hits Rhett with the trash can lid but Titus sends him into the ring post. Titus Irish whips Nick into the guardrail while Kenny sends Matt into the apron. King and Titus send The Bucks into the stage. The Bucks stop Titus and King from sending them onto the stage. Nick with a leaping X Factor to Titus. Matt chokes King on the floor. The Bucks focus on King and send him into the guardrail. Nick grabs the trash can and climbs the turnbuckles before throwing it onto Titus on the floor.
Nick goes to the stage and hits a swanton onto Titus. Matt punches King in the head and then they get the shopping cart. Matt puts King in the shopping cart and he pushes him into a super kick from Nick.
The Bucks return to the ring and pose for the fans. Titus recovers and he gets a chair. Titus hits both Bucks in the ribs and then he hits Matt in the leg a few times. Then he turns his attention to Nick to get revenge for what they did to him. Titus hits Matt in the back. Titus gets another chair but Matt with a jawbreaker.
Nick kicks Titus but Titus sends Nick into the turnbuckles. Titus kicks the chair into Matt’s head and then connects with a clothesline. Nick hits Rhett in the knee with the chair. Nick tries to suplex Rhett into the ring onto the chair but Titus blocks it and he sends Nick to the apron.
They exchange forearms on the apron until Rhett gains control. Nick with an elbow but Titus with a kick to send Nick to the floor. King goes for the running drop kick but he misses Nick. Matt with a double jump DDT onto the apron.
Nick goes for a table but King stops him with a twisting plancha onto Nick. King puts the table into the ring. On the other side of the floor, Titus hot shots Matt on the guardrail. King sets up the table in the ring while Rhett rolls Matt in.
Titus sets for a power bomb and King is on the top turnbuckle. While Titus hits the power bomb through the table, King goes through the table as well on a superplex.
Matt covers King to get the three count.
Winners: Young Bucks
I thought this was a good street fight. I thought having Titus going after the Bucks’ knees was a good thing based on what happened to him in the past.
Mike Bennett comes to the ring with Maria.
The crowd chants CM Punk and Maria says that she has been there and got the t-shirt, but he left her unsatisfied. Last night, the Prodigy proved . . .
The crowd chants ‘Sloppy Seconds’ and Maria says that there is nothing sloppy about her and that she is now with the best.
Mike asks if he can be serious for a minute but he says that he is awesome. He welcomes everyone to the first live Prodigy Service Announcement. ROH came to him and begged for him to be on the show even though he didn’t have a match. He says that people probably wouldn’t have shown up. Mike asks Lance Storm to come out, but he says that Lance is busy healing his wounds from last night. Mike says that he should call himself the World Champion because he is that good. Mike says that they are going to get out of this hell hole of Fort Lauderdale and go to South Beach to hang out with people almost as good looking as him. They are not only going to celebrate that he is the best in the world, but better than the best.
Mike kisses Maria in the center of the ring and it goes for a while.
Match Number Six: Ring of Honor World Tag Team Title Match: Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team versus The Briscoes
The referee wants one person from each team to star and it will be Mark and Haas. Haas goes to the floor before locking up and the crowd is not happy with the challengers’ tactics. They lock up and go to a stalemate. Haas with a takedown and he rolls Mark on the mat while in a front face lock. Haas with a side head lock and shoulder tackle. Mark with a big boot to the head and then he punches Haas.
Charlie goes to the floor again. Jay goes after Charlie and punches him before sending Charlie into the guardrails. He sends Charlie into a sign a fan is holding. Mark sends Benjamin into the guardrails and then Mark sends Haas into the sign.
Jay sends Haas into the sign one time before sending him back into the ring. Mark with a boot to the head followed by a punch and more kicks. Jay tags in and they hit a double running shoulder tackle. Jay with a European uppercut or two. Jay with an Irish whip but Benjamin pulls Haas out of the corner and Benjamin kicks Jay. Haas kicks Jay in the hamstring.
Benjamin tags in and he continues to work on the leg with an atomic drop to the knee and then he applies a modified Indian death lock until Mark comes in to break things up. Haas tags back in and he kicks Jay. Haas uses the ropes to add pressure to the leg and then he punches Jay in the leg. Jay fights out of the corner but Haas with a take down to prevent Jay from making the tag.
Benjamin tags in and he kicks Jay. Shelton puts Jay in the tree of woe and kicks him. Shelton pulls on the leg until Mark kicks Shelton. Benjamin with a boot to the head while the referee tells Mark to stay in the corner so Mark chews on the tag rope.
Haas tags in and Benjamin with a suplex followed by a slingshot senton by Haas. Benjamin tags in and Jay with a kick to Haas and he makes the tag to Mark. Mark with chops to both men. Mark lands on his feet on a back body drop and hits an enzuigiri on Benjamin. Mark with a drop kick that sends Haas into the corner before he puts Benjamin on the turnbuckles and hits a cross arm driver.
Mark goes to the apron when Haas pulls down the ropes. Benjamin Irish whips Mark into the ring post and he goes to the floor. Benjamin with a knee to Mark and then he Irish whips him into the guardrails. Shelton attacks Mark on the floor while the referee tells Jay to stay in the corner.
Haas tags in and he sends Mark into the turnbuckles followed by an Irish whip and a running shoulder tackle into the corner. Haas with a butterfly suplex for a near fall. Haas continues to ground Mark with a chin lock and body scissors. Jay has had enough and he attacks Haas until the referee warns him. Haas with a snap mare and kick to the back.
Benjamin tags back in and he suplexes Mark. Benjamin puts Mark on the turnbuckles and sets for a super belly-to-back suplex but Mark is able to rotate and he lands on top of Benjamin. Haas and Jay tag in and Jay with punches and a back body drop. Jay with a Yakuza kick to knock Benjamin off the apron. Jay follows that with a super kick to Haas and a plancha onto Benjamin. Jay goes up top for a cross body and gets a near fall.
Jay with a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. Jay sets for the Jay Driller but Benjamin with a super kick and Haas gets a near fall with a rollup. Mark takes care of Benjamin. Haas with a running boot Mark. Haas and Jay exchange boots to the head and some pleasantries. They each connect with kicks at the same time and all four men are down in the ring.
They all get up at the same time and they face off in the ring. Haas and Benjamin with punches and then it is the Briscoes’ turn until the champions gain control. Haas with a German supelx to Mark and then Benjamin sends Jay to the apron. Benjamin slingshots to the floor and hits a DDT onto the apron.
Haas with an Olympic Slam to Jay and then he signals that it is over. Haas applies the Haas of Pain. Benjamin sends Mark into the guardrails to prevent him from making the save. Jay gets to the ropes and Haas breaks the hold. They set Jay for the Leap of Faith but Mark hits a missile drop kick and Jay rolls up Haas for the three count.
Winners: The Briscoes
After the match, Jay attacks Haas but Benjamin hits Paydirt on Jay. Haas and Benjamin pull Jay into the ring post the hard way. They decide to do it again. They do it a third time and then Haas and Benjamin take the tag title belts. They attack Mark before going to the back.
I thought this was a good match. I thought the finish was good with the way the Briscoes avoided the Leap of Faith. The post match attack was also good. It sets up a potential rematch.
Match Number Seven: Blind Destiny Match: Eddie Edwards versus Kevin Steen
Before the match starts, Steen takes his frustration out on a photo of Jim Cornette.
The crowd is split as the action starts. They lock up and Steen backs Edwards into the corner. Steen misses a punch and Edwards with a forearm. Steen with a side head lock and shoulder tackle but Edwards stays on his feet. They have another shoulder tackle and neither man goes down. They talk about another shoulder tackle and we get the same result. The fourth one has no winner. They apply so much force on the shoulder tackles that they go back and forth. Edwards with a kick but Steen with a drop toe hold and a flip leg drop to the head.
Steen with forearms and then he rakes the eyes until the referee warns him. Steen punches Edwards in the face. Steen chokes Edwards in the ropes and then kicks Edwards in the ribs. Steen with a forearm after a punch from Edwards.
Edwards with a boot and then he goes to the turnbuckles for a Codebreaker followed by a rollup for a near fall. Edwards goes for a crossface but Steen gets to the ropes. Edwards with an Irish whip but Steen sends him to the apron. Edwards with forearms and then Steen kicks Edwards when Eddie goes for a shoulder tackle and hits a DDT. Steen with a cannonball.
Steen with a chop but Edwards responds with one of his own. Steen Irish whips Edwards into the stage. Edwards with an elbow and then he tries for a springboard move but Steen pulls him onto the apron. Edwards with a rana on the floor and Steen responds with a power bomb onto the apron.
Steen rolls in to break up the count. The fans want Steen to put Edwards onto the stage and he obliges the fans. Edwards and Steen with forearms and Edwards with a kick. Steen hits a running boot to the head. Edwards sends Steen to the floor and then hits a leaping double stomp from the stage.
They get back to the ring and Edwards runs into a boot but Edwards hits an enzuigiri followed by a backpack stunner for a near fall. Edwards with chops to Steen and he follows with chops and slaps. Steen with a power bomb for a near fall. Edwards tries for the Achilles lock and he applies it. Steen with an inside cradle for the three count.
Winner: Kevin Steen
This was a match that I was really looking forward to when it was announced and I liked it. I would have preferred more in ring action from the two men and less outside the ring. I want to see more with these two in the ring in the future. I was a bit surprised by the finish but it was something you wouldn’t expect from Steen and Edwards, but it worked for me. At this point, this has been the best match of the show.
Match Number Eight: Blind Destiny Match for the Ring of Honor World Television Title: Roderick Strong (with Truth Martini) versus Jay Lethal
Before the match starts, Tommaso Ciampa comes out with the ROH Television Title belt. Ciampa asks Jay if he missed him much. Ciampa says that the title belt looks better with him than it ever did with Jay. He says that he is a man of his words. When R.D. Evans uses a lot of lawyer talk to say that he is going to give him back his title belt, he is going to do it. Ciampa says that before he hands it to him. He wants Jay to prove that he is a man of his word and give Roddy Strong a title match tonight. If Jay wants to prove that he is the champion, he can beat Strong and he will give Jay the title belt back and tell him that he is the better man.
Lethal tells Ciampa that he will accept the challenge, but if Ciampa is not a man of his word, he will kick Ciampa’s ass.
They lock up and Lethal with a wrist lock but Strong reverses. Lethal with a reversal of his own. Strong goes for the legs and he takes him down to the mat and applies a front face lock. Lethal with a hammer lock but Strong with a reversal and this continues for a few more reversals.
Lethal with a side head lock and shoulder tackle. Lethal with an ankle submission while lifting Strong in the air but Strong does not tap out. Lethal with a suplex and then he goes to the apron for a slingshot senton for a near fall. Lethal with a kick to the midsection followed by a chop.
Strong chops back but Lethal outchops the man known for his chops. Lethal with a slap thrown in. Strong with a kick to the knee but Lethal avoids being sent into the turnbuckles. Lethal with a delayed vertical suplex and he gets a near fall. Lethal sends Strong to the apron and Strong tries to send Lethal into the turnbuckles but Jay blocks it and he sends Strong into the turnbuckles before hitting a springboard drop kick and suicide dive.
Lethal stares at Ciampa on the floor and that allows Strong to recover. Strong tries to get Martini to interfere but Lethal stops him. Strong drops Lethal across the ropes and then hits a belly-to-back suplex onto the apron. Strong with a back breaker for a near fall. Strong punches Lethal and gets a near fall. Strong with a chop and Lethal chops back. Lethal with more chops that turn Strong’s chest red but Strong with a kick to stop Lethal.
Strong gets a near fall and then he applies a waist lock. Lethal gets a second wind and he connects with a series of elbows. Lethal with a hip toss and cartwheel but Strong recovers before the drop kick and he applies the Strong Hold and turns it into a Boston Crab. Lethal gets to the ropes and Strong releases the hold.
Strong with a forearm to the bridge of the nose. Strong hits a delayed vertical suplex for a near fall. Lethal with punches to Strong followed by chops. Lethal with the hip toss and cartwheel followed by the drop kick and both men are down.
Strong runs into a boot and Lethal with punches to the head. Lethal alternates punches and chops. Lethal with a series of drop kicks. Strong tries for a drop kick but Lethal holds on to the ropes. Lethal hits the handspring back elbow for a near fall. Strong with an inside cradle for a near fall.
Strong with a knee followed by the alley oop gutbuster but Lethal kicks out at two. Strong sets for the Gibson Driver but Lethal counters with a rana and then hits a super kick for a near fall.
Strong with elbows to avoid the Lethal Combination but Jay is able to hit the move. Lethal goes up top for an elbow drop and he hits it but Strong kicks out at two. Jay calls for the Lethal Injection but Strong with a drop kick as Lethal comes off the ropes. Ciampa sends Lethal into the ring post while the referee dealt with Strong on the other side of the ring.
Strong with a suplex that he turns into a gutbuster for the three count.
Winner: Roderick Strong
I thought this was a really good match that would be considered better if it was in front of a different crowd. Lethal and Strong always deliver in the ring. I thought maybe they were going to go for a time limit draw so Ciampa didn’t have to tell Lethal he was the best, but I liked that there was a finish to the match. It sets up a Ciampa/Strong feud as a way to call in the favor as well as House of Truth/Embassy. We have a new favorite match of the show.
Match Number Nine: Blind Destiny Match for the Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Title: Michael Elgin (with Truth Martini) versus Davey Richards
Richards with knees but he cannot get Elgin down with a shoulder tackle. He is able to get the big man down with a drop kick. Elgin goes to the apron and Richards kicks Elgin in the back and sends him to the floor. Richards with a suicide dive onto Elgin. Richards kicks Elgin in the chest as he goes around ringside. Davey goes to the turnbuckles while Elgin is on the apron but Elgin blocks it and chops Richards.
They both go onto the turnbuckles but Richards knocks him to the apron. Elgin clotheslines Richards off the turnbuckles and gets a near fall. Elgin with forearms to the chest. Elgin with a delayed vertical suplex and he keeps Richards in the air for close to a minute before making impact and getting a near fall.
Elgin with forearms across the chest while Davey is hanging over the edge of the ring. Elgin with a leg drop across the chest and he gets a near fall. Elgin tries for a power bomb but Davey blocks it and he sends Elgin into the corner and connects with shoulders.
Elgin blocks a running forearm tries for a Death Valley Driver but Richards escapes. Richards goes for a handspring move but Elgin catches Richards on his shoulders and hits Shock Treatment but can only get a near fall. Elgin tries for a belly-to-back suplex but Richards holds on to the ropes.
Richards punches Elgin and Elgin punches back. Elgin with a chop that sends Richards to the mat and it looks like the champion has no idea how to handle his opponent. Elgin with a forearm to the back. Richards with a jawbreaker but Elgin with a shoulder tackle and a German suplex for a near fall.
Elgin with a surfboard. Richards gets to his feet but when he tries to escape Elgin holds on and continues to work on the back. Richards lands on his feet on a belly-to-back suplex attempt. Richards with kicks to Elgin including an enzuigiri. Richards with a missile drop kick for a near fall. Richards sets for the running forearm but Elgin with a boot.
Elgin with a forearm and it gets Davey angry. Richards with a forearm of his own and it is time for both men connect with forearms. Richards with a series of forearms and a running forearm followed by an Exploder suplex and Richards gets a near fall.
Richards with a running knee to the chest and then he puts Elgin on top. Richards sets for a superplex. Elgin with forearms but Richards with head butts. Richards hits the superplex but Elgin pops up. Richards with a running boot ot the head and it does nothing to Elgin. Elgin with an enzuigiri. Richards with a kick and German suplex followed by a clothesline for a near fall. Richards with an ankle lock but Elgin gets to the floor.
Richards misses the running kick on the apron and Elgin hits a muscle buster on the floor. Elgin hits a running power bomb into the guardrails. Elgin rolls Richards into the ring and he can only get a two count. Elgin goes up top for a moonsault and he hits a twisting senton for a near fall.
Elgin puts Davey on the turnbuckles but Richards applies a key lock and elbows Elgin in the head. Richards tries for a sunset flip power bomb but Elgin holds on to the turnbuckles. Richards crotches Elgin but Elgin knocks Davey to the mat. Davey tries for a German suplex from the turnbuckles but Elgin holds on. Richards with a kick to the head.
Richards hits a super Dragon suplex but Elgin kicks out at two. Richards applies the ankle lock but Elgin gets to the ropes. Davey kicks Elgin in the chest and it looks like Elgin is struggling to stay on his knees. Richards with a third kick and Elgin is on his feet. Elgin pie faces Richards.
Richards with Kawada kicks but Elgin with a cravate and knees to the head. Richards with more kicks and Elgin with more knees. Richards with a kick to the chest and he puts Elgin against the ropes and hits a series of kicks. Elgin with an O’Connor roll into a German suplex for a near fall. Elgin with a kick followed by a suplex into a side slam for a near fall. Elgin with a crossface and Davey almost taps out.
Richards gets his foot on the ropes and the referee tells Elgin to break the hold. Richards is laying on the apron and Elgin goes to the top turnbuckle. Richards with forearms and then Richards with the dragon screw leg whip in the ropes. Richards goes up top and hits a double stomp onto the apron. Richards goes up top for another double stomp for a two count.
Richards hits the running forearm but Elgin with a kick. Richards with a discus clothesline followed by an Exploder suplex for a near fall. Richards gets to his feet first and he signals that it is all over. Elgin blocks a kick but Davey with an enzuigiri. Elgin with a forearm elbow followed by an inverted suplex into an Island Driver for a near fall.
Elgin is the first to his feet this time and Davey looks to be out on his feet. Elgin with a buckle bomb but Ricahrds with a kick. Elgin with a clothesline. Richards with a sunset flip and he rolls into the ankle lock. Elgin counters into a Crossface but Richards gets a near fall with a rollup. Elgin with a kick to the head followed by a back fist and the spinning sit out power bomb for a near fall.
Elgin returns to the crossface and Richards fights to get to the ropes but Elgin rolls through and gets into the center of the ring. Davey goes for the ankle and he is able to get Elgin into the ankle lock. Elgin reaches for the ropes and Richards pulls him into the center of the ring. Elgin with kicks to the head but Richards holds on to the ankle lock. Elgin wants to tap but he rolls through and sends Richards into the corner. Richards with a kick to the head and he only gets a one count. Richards with a series of kicks for a near fall. Richards with a round kick to the head for the three count.
Winner: Davey Richards
After the match, Davey Richards gets on the mic and he says that he gets a lot of crap for his MMA work, but he says that his heart and soul is in Ring of Honor. He says that everyone in this room are a family and they are part of something very special. He thanks everyone for letting him be a part of it. Davey says that it is funny that they call this weekend the Super Bowl of Wrestling because the Super Bowl is on Sunday, but he thinks that there is only entertainment on Sunday and the real Super Bowl was today and last night in this building.
He tells the people in Connecticut and Orlando to save their money because if they came into the ring with him, they will be sent packing.
Davey says that while he got to walk out of the ring with the title, Michael Elgin is the real champion. Davey says that someday, the belt will be Michael’s. . . but not right now. He says that Michael is one hell of a wrestler, an athlete, and a man. He says that when he was in the ring with Samoa Joe and Bryan Danielson, he was taught that things will be better if he has the fan’s support instead of Truth Martini.
This was a good main event. It got the best reaction from the crowd. There were a few too many near falls in the last ten minutes for me considering the moves they were hitting. It definitely brought the crowd in the building back into the show.
Thank you for following PWInsider.com’s coverage of Ring of Honor’s Showdown in the Sun Day Two.
2012 - DGUSA held their Mercury Rising iPPV in Miami, Florida. Stu Carapola filed the following iPPV report:
Welcome to PWInsider.com's live, ongoing coverage of Dragon Gate USA: Mercury Rising 2012!
Bobby Fish vs Jon Davis
They tie up and Davis takes Fish to the ropes, but breaks clean. Fish shoots and takes Davis down with a single leg and grapevines the ankle. Davis manages to roll free and goes behind Fish, then takes him down and floats over to a front facelock. Fish sits out and goes for an armbar, but Davis again rolls out of Fish's grasp and we're back to even Steven. Davis takes Fish down with a pair of shoulderblocks, but Fish manages to connect with a dropkick and starts firing away with kicks. Fish off the ropes right into a spinebuster from Davis that gets 2. Davis has the advantage now, slamming Fish hard to the mat. Davis picks himback up and delivers another bodyslam, getting a somewhat negative reaction from the fans in attendance. Fish tries to muster a comeback, firing right hands at the midsection of Davis, but walks right into a back elbow and he finds himself back on the mat. Davis covers for 2, then goes back to firing in those big bombs, dropping Fish to the mat with a hard forearm. Davis whips Fish hard into the corner and gets more boos from the fans. He doesn't let it faze him and he sets up for a suplex, but Fish fires kicks to the knee of Davis, which only serves to anger the big man as he drives Fish back to the mat with a forearm, then pops him up into a vertical suplex and holds him in the air for several seconds in an impressive display of strength that finally gets cheers from the crowd, but only gets him a 2 count. Davis again tries to ground Fish with an inverted bearhug, but Fish gets back to his feet and they go toe to toe in the ring. Fish gets the advantage with a series of kicks, Davis goes for a right hand but Fish catches the armand pulls him down into a kneelift that sends a dazed Davis down to the canvas. Fish tries to capitalize by cover for a cover, but only gets 2. Fish goes for a moonsault, Davis rolls out of the way but Fish lands on his feet and puts Davis back on the mat with a Dragon Screw legwhip. Fish goes for the Fishhook, but Davis kicks him off and then drives Fish across the ring with the Pounce. Davis goes for Three Seconds Around The World, but Fish drops to the mat and goes for a Fujiwara armbar. Davis blocks that and lifts Fish into the air and hits a powerslam for 2. Davis is worn down, but tries to put Fish away, but a big right hand is countered again by Fish, who takes Davis down into the Fishhook. Davis tries to get to the ropes, but can't quite make it and is forced to tap out.
Winner: Bobby Fish
Great opener, and a big win for Bobby Fish since Davis has been on a roll for months now. He gets a microphone from the ring announcer and tells Davis that he gave him a hell of a fight, but he also wants to say that they need a title in EVOLVE, and whenever that title is created and a champion is decided, he wants in.
Lenny Leonard gets in the ring and introduces PAC, who thanks Low Ki for the war they had last night, and he'd love to have the opportunity to face him again...before this weekend is done. He says that we all know CIMA is not 100%, so DGUSA asked him to step into the main event. The crowd does the Bryan Danielson "YES!" chant, but then Chuck Taylor gets in the ring and the crowd changes to a "NO!" chant. PAC says he can't even stand being in the same ring as Taylor right now, and he throws down the microphone and walks out. Taylor picks up the microphone and barely gets two words out before the fans ask him nicely to please stop talking. He says that if PAC's in the main event, there's no PAC Invitational tonight, so instead we should have the Chuck Taylor Invitational, and since there's no more Ronin, we'll have that match whenever he wants.
AR Fox vs Arik Cannon
Colt Cabana joins Lenny Leonard on commentary as Fox and Cannon go back and forth early on in the match and quickly go out to the floor. Fox goes into the rail, but quickly pops up and hits the kickflip to wipe out both Cannon and Pinkie Sanchez. Fox gets 2 off of that, but Cannon turns it right back around with a rolling neckbreaker. Cannon has a look on his face that tells you he knows he's in charge as he hits a vertical suplex for 2, then follows that up with a back elbow that puts Fox right back on the canvas. Cannon gets a 2 count, then ties Fox up in a standing variation of the figure four leglock as Pinkie grabs a beer from a fan at ringside and hands it to Cannon, who takes a swig from the bottle and tosses it back to Pinkie before dropping an elbow on Fox. Fox with a Stunner out of nowhere, then sits Cannon up top and goes for the springboard Spanish Fly, but Cannon just shoves him off and Fox lands on the back of his head. He's all kinds of woozy as Cannon leans him on the top ropes and drills him with a chop, and responds to chants from the crowd for one more chop by just thumbing Fox in the eye. Leonard scares the hell out of me by calling Fox the Sexual Spider Monkey, but Fox nonetheless shows off some of the athletic prowess that no doubt serves him well in that other life by hitting a spinning enziguiri. Fox goes out to the apron and hits a springboard forearm into the ring, driving Cannon out to the floor, but Fox doesn't miss a step as he comes right after Cannon with a springboard 450 to the floor. Fox rolls Cannon onto the ring apron and comes off the top rope with a guillotine legdrop, but only gets 2. Cannon charges Fox in the corner and runs into the boot, but Fox makes the mistake of coming off the second rope and Cannon catches him, then elevates him into a powerbomb into the corner. Cannon hits a hard lariat and a BIG right hand, followed by a superkick and then Total Anarchy, but Fox miraculously kicks out at 2. Cannon is in shock as the crowd gets behind Fox, and it seems to energize Fox as he gives Cannon a Flatliner into the second turnbuckle and then a springboard splash for 2. Fox with a guillotine choke, but Cannon muscles him into the air and hits a brainbuster for 2. Fox winds up out on the apron and hits a leaping enziguiri, but misses a 450 splash. He does connect with a springboard Ace Crusher, but Cannon again is out at 2. Fox hits an inverted senton in the corner and sets Cannon up top, but Sami Callihan runs out to ringside and nails Fox with a chair, resulting in a disqualification.
Winner: AR Fox by DQ
The DUFs continue beating Fox down as Callihan comes out and says it ends now, as Sami Callihan faces Sabu one on one. Sabu is a pathetic waste of life, and he's going to get killed in the ring in his final wrestling match ever. Callihan wants it to happen right now, and tells Sabu to get out here right now.
Street Fight: Sabu vs Sami Callihan
The lights go down and Sabu is in the ring when they come back up. The DUFs jump him as soon as they see him, but Jon Davis comes in to make the save and chases Cannon and Sanchez to the back, leaving Sabu and Callihan alone in the ring. Sabu hits a tornado DDT and goes to the outside to look for a table under the ring, but can't find one before Callihan comes out after him. He nails Sabu and sends him back in the ring, then he finds a table and puts it onto the ring apron, but Sabu baseball slides it right into Callihan's face. Sabu sets up a chair and goes for the triple jump to the floor, but miscalculates and crotches himself on the top rope. Callihan goes after him, taking him off the apron and over the rail into the crowd, but Sabu sends Callihan crashing into the guardrail and then drags him back to ringside and posts him. Sabu gets a chair and throws it right at Sami's head, but Sami avoids certain doom by ducking out of the way at the last second. Sabu gets back into the ring with a chair, but Callihan isn't scared in the least, walking right back in while looking Sabu square in the eyes. They both have chairs in their hands and get into a kind of fencing match, but Callihan catches a chairshot right in the face and rolls out to the floor. Sabu goes out after him and tosses Callihan right on top of some fan, but helps him back up before going back to beating up Sabu. Callihan with a boot right in the face of Sabu, then takes a swig of beer from a ringside fan and spits it right into the face of Sabu. What a charmer. Sabu appears to be cut somewhere on his face, and Callihan goes after the wound with right hands, then rolls Sabu back into the ring, takes the ring bell from the timekeeper, and rings it right on top of Sabu's hand. Callihan continues the punishment by smashing a chair right onto the left hand of Sabu, then takes another chair and puts it over Sabu's injured hand, then smashes the original chair on top of the other one to do major damage to Sabu's hand. Callihan does the same thing to Sabu's leg and makes a cover, but only gets 2. Sabu somehow staggers up to his feet, but Callihan throws a chair right in his face, sending Sabu back to the mat, and Callihan picks the chair back up and drives it right into Sabu's midsection. Callihan gets another table from underneath the ring and again gets it baseball slid into his ribs, but gets back into the ring as Sabu sets the table up and nails him again. Both men go for springboard moves, and both go down. Double clothesline and they both go down again. Sabu gets Callihan in the Camel Clutch as Davis, Cannon, and Sanchez come back through the crowd after apparently having fought through the back this entire time. They wind up in the ring where Davis dumps Cannon to the floor, then press slams Sanchez onto Cannon before coming over the top rope to take the both of them out. Callihan goes up top but catches a flying chair to the skull, and Sabu again goes for a triple jump to the outside and this time he hits it. Sabu rolls back in and Callihan slowly follows him, Sabu makes a cover but Callihan is out at 2. Crowd is starting to get behind Callihan as Sabu hits Air Sabu in the corner, but Callihan again kicks out at 2. Sabu tries it again, but Callihan kicks the chair into Sabu's shin, then sticks Sabu's ankle in a chair Pillman-style and repeatedly smashes a chair into it. Callihan drags Sabu out to the middle of the ring and catches him in the Stretch Muffler, but Sabu gets a chair and smashes Callihan in hte head over and over until he breaks the hold, then hits an Arabian legdrop with the chair to the back of Callihan's head and covers for 2. Sabu gets another chair and puts it on top of the table, but turns around right into another beer spew from Callihan, and Callihan then takes his bottle of dip and pours it on Sabu's head. Callihan goes to the second rope with a chair, but AR Fox comes running out and dropkicks the chair into Callihan's face, then hits the springboard Spanish Fly on Callihan. Sabu smashes Callihan in the skull with a chair, sending him sprawling onto the table, and Sabu comes off the top rope with an Arabian facebuster through the table for the win.
Callihan sits in the corner with his head in his hands, then gets up and starts throwing chairs around the ring in frustration. Some DGUSA officials come out to try and calm Callihan down, but he flattens them all, stretching a young guy named Johnny Vandal out on the floor with the Stretch Muffler before smashing a chair into him and walking off.
Lince Dorado vs Samuray Del Sol
They barely get to make contact before Chuck Taylor runs in and says that the Chuck Taylor Invitational starts now. He attacks both men before CIMA and Rich Swann run in and chase him off. He gets a microphone in the aisle and said that he's sick of CIMA and also sick of carrying Swann, but before he gets to continue, El Generico's music hits and he comes running out and nails Taylor, then gets into the ring. Well, as Taylor said, it lookslike Dorado vs Del Sol is off and instead, we get...
Chuck Taylor Invitational: Chuck Taylor vs Lince Dorado vs Samuray Del Sol vs El Generico vs Rich Swann vs CIMA
Swann and CIMA start us off with some back and forth chain wrestling, with CIMA rolling Swann into a crucifix for 2. More mat wrestling, and they shake hands as a show of respect before CIMA boots Swann in the gut. CIMA comes off the ropes right into a dropkick that sends CIMA to the outside, and then he bails out so Dorado and Del Sol can go at it. They do some back and forth lucha stuff with flippy dips and armdrags, but Dorado goes outside and Generico comes in to go at it with Del Sol, who is coming off a HUGE upset win over Masato Yoshino earlier in the tour. Generico monkey flips Del Sol, but Del Sol lands on his feet so Generico connects with a leg lariat, but takes too much time celebrating and gets nailed from behind by Taylor, who quickly tags out to Dorado and bails to the floor. Dorado also quickly goes out and CIMA comes in and ties Generico's tassels on his mask to the ropes and then tags out to Swann, who quickly finds himself on the receivinig end of right hands from Generico, but Taylor takes advantage of the situation by tagging himself in...then dragging Swann across the ring and tagging out to Del Sol, who connects with a standing dropkick for 2. Del Sol with a slingshot 450 splash for 2, but Swann pops up and comes off the ropes with a spinning back elbow. Taylor again tags himself in at Swann's expense, and Taylor responds by ramming Del Sol into Swann, knocking him off the apron, then hits Sole Food on Del Sol for a 2 count. Taylor with a back suplex and makes a cover, but CIMA comes in to break up the fall and picks up Taylor's foot, but apparently passes out from the smell and rolls outside. The distraction was enough for Del Sol to pop up and hit an unassisted Sliced Bread #2, and tags out to Generico, who comes in and cleans house on Taylor, hitting a tornado DDT, and then all heck breaks loose as everyone else in the match comes in and gangs up on Taylor. Now they all turn on each other and do the sequence where they all take turns hitting spots on each other, one after another until Generico hits the top rope brainbuster on Dorado for the win.
Winner: El Generico
Lenny Leonard welcomes us back and puts over how important this weekend is, and introduces CIMA (representing Dragon Gate USA) and DJ Hyde (representing Combat Zone Wrestling) to make an announcement regarding next year's Wrestlemania weekend events in the New Jersey area. CIMA says that next year's Wrestlemania weekend should be even bigger than this year's, and DJ Hyde says that since DGUSA and CZW are the two best wrestling companies, they're going to do a super weekend that includes Dragon Gate USA, CZW, and also CHIKARA that will take place at the Meadowlands Convention Center.
Dos Bendejos vs The Scene
I'd like to apologize in advance that I don't know the Bendejos individual names, but I haven't seen them before and nobody said their name on commentary, so I'll do the best I can. Konley does a back and forth with one of the Bendejos early on, and the Bendejo with a flying headscissors followed by an armdrag off the second rope. Bendejos with a series of double teams on Konley, and Reed tags in and tries a backdrop, but the Bendejo lands on his feet and outmaneuvares Reed with a series of speed moves. Bendejos kick Reed's legs out from under him and hit stereo knockout kicks for 2. Konley tags in and puts the boots to the Bendejo he has in the ring, but the Bendejo hits a flying headscissors and goes for a dive, but Konley hides behind one of the girls at ringside and Reed comes in from behind and dumps the Bendejo out to the floor. The Scene with a double elbowdrop for 2, then Konley with a three quarter nelson, followed by a knee to the breadbasket and a vertical suplex, and he holds the Bendejo up while Reed chops him in the chest before dropping him. Reed nails the other Bendejo off the apron before giving the one in the ring a vertical suplex for 2. The battered Bendejo finally makes the hot tag and the other Bendejo comes in and cleans house, hitting a double kneedrop to Konley for 2. Bendejos with a series of double teams, but Scene gets control and Konley catapults one of the Bendejos into a powerslam from Reed, and then they hit their finish for the win.
Winners: The Scene
The girls gyrate on the Scene at ringside before they make their way to the back.
Open The Freedom Gate Title Match: Johnny Gargano vs Masato Yoshino
Some light chain wrestling to start as Chuck Taylor, who joins Lenny Leonard on commentary, discusses how much he hates Gargano because he takes things to seriously and lost his sense of humor. Taylor says he sees through the facade of what DGUSA is as Yoshino scores with a leg lariat, but gets dumped to the outside where Gargano follows him out with a dive through the ropes and a rolling senton off the apron. Gargano begins working over Yoshino's arm, then ties him up in a Tequila Cloverleaf. Yoshino makes it to the ropes, so Gargano puts the boots to Yoshino and suplexes him for 2. Gargano goes back to the arm, but Yoshino makes the ropes so they trade chops in the middle of the ring and Yoshino drills Gargano with a back elbow before pounding him to the mat in the corner. Yoshino rolls Gargano to the mat in a sort of seated Royal Octopus with a hammerlock thrown in for good measure, but Gargano makes his way to the ropes and Yoshino is forced to break. Yoshino puts the boots to Gargano in the corner, but Gargano fires back with some right hands of his own before Yoshino puts him right back down with a stiff shot. Gargano tries to catch Yoshino with a dropkick as he comes off the ropes, but Yoshino holds onto the top rope and Gargano crashes to the mat. Gargano with a rollup out of nowhere and catches Yoshino with a boot to the side of the head. Yoshino rolls out to the apron, Gargano tries a double stomp over the ropes, but Yoshino rolls back inside and hits the ropes, so Gargano slingshots his way between the ropes and hits the spear. Gargano with a modified version of the Tarantula in the ropes, followed by a high knee in the corner. Yoshino goes for a Frankensteiner but Gargano drops right down into a sitout powerbomb and gets 2. Gargano goes for Snake Eyes, Yoshino slips out the back and hits Slingblade. Yoshino tries a missile dropkick off the top, Gargano dodges and backdrops Yoshino to the apron, Yoshino tries to slingshot his way back in, but Gargano catches him coming in and hits an Alabama Slam followed by a kick to the head for 2, then goes right into the Gargano Escape but Yoshino quickly makes his way to the ropes. Yoshino with a twisting slam for 2, followed by a missile dropkick for 2. Yoshino is tired, but goes back after Gargano with a series of counters as they both go for their submission finishers, then each others' hold, and Yoshino gets Gargano in the Gargano Escape. Gargano starts to fade out, but comes back to and makes his way to the ropes. Yoshino comes off the top rope with a double stomp to the arm and Tormelino, then rolls Gargano right into Sol Naciente. Gargano becomes one of the first people to ever escape that hold and catches Yoshino right in the Gargano Escape, but Yoshino hangs in there and scoots to the ropes. They're both on their knees going toe to toe in the middle of the ring, Gargano with a pair of superkicks, Yoshino with a boot to the face, and Gargano with a discus lariat and both men are down. Gargano with a running dropkick in the corner, Snake Eyes into the second turnbuckle, Hertz Donut attempt that Yoshino rolls through into a pinning combination for 2. Gargano with a superkick and Hertz Donut for 2, another Hertz Donut and then the Gargano Escape and Yoshino is forced to tap out.
Winner: Johnny Gargano
Nice show of sportsmanship after the match as they shake hands, but Chuck Taylor runs in and nails Gargano from behind before superkicking him in the face. Taylor drags Gargano out to the floor and rams his injured back into the ringpost twice and then into the guardrail. Rich Swann chases him off and then goes to check on Gargano while the crowd lets Taylor know what they think of him.
Low Ki, Akira Tozawa & BxB Hulk vs PAC, Ricochet & Masaaki Mochizuki
Hulk and Tozawa attack PAC's team before the bell, but Low Ki just shakes his head and steps out of the ring as his partners work Mochizuki over. Mochizuki comes back with kicks to the chest of both men,and nearly breaks through Hulk's chest with one big kick. Ricochet comes in to go at it with Hulk, and dropkicks him out to the floor. Low Ki comes in and Ricochet smartly decides to tag out to PAC so they can renew their rivalry from the previous evening. Low Ki comes off the ropes with a shoulderblock, but they do a fast paced back and forth and Ki again takes PAC down with a shoulderblock. PAC rolls outside to break the momentum, then comes back in a moment later and Ki muscles PAC into the corner and tears into him with a hard chop. PAC dodges a charge and hits a flying headscissors, then gets a snap suplex for 2. PAC with a charging forearm in the corner and Ki crumples to the mat, PAC covers but Ki is out at 1. They go back to the corner where PAC scores with a knee to the breadbasket, but Ki with a mule kick and a double leg cradle for 2. PAC finally decides that discretion is the better part of valor and heads to his corner, allowing Ricochet and then Mochizuki into the ring. Mochizuki and Ki have an insane kick exchange, with Mochizuki winning early on before Ki scores with a stiff kick to the back of Mochizuki's head. Mochizuki recovers and hits a running punt that sends Ki to the outside, then rolls Ki back inside where Ricochet covers him for 2. Ricochet makes the mistake of getting into a kick exchange with Ki and gets floored with one kick. Ricochet does manage to headscissor Ki to the outside and tries a dive through the ropes, but Ki hits an enziguiri and then Tozawa and Hulk take out the rest of Ricochet's team before Tozawa hits a senton for 2. Tozawa puts a chair over Ricochet's chest and hits a senton as the referee's back is turned, then Hulk comes in and destroys Ricochet with a series of kick, followed by a Flatliner for 2. Mad Blenkey with a series of kick to Ricochet and Tozawa covers for 2. Ki tags back in and gives Ricochet a flapjack for 2, then Hulk comes in to work Ricochet over with more kicks and a twisting standing moonsault for 2. Tozawa with a series of chops in the corner on Ricochet and a straight right hand to the jaw for 2. Hulk and Tozawa with a series of double teams followed by a kick to the top of the head by Hulk for 2. Ricochet finally gets an opening and makes a comeback and gets the hot tag to Mochizuki, and now it's one. Ricochet with a twisting dive over the top rope to take out Hulk and Tozawa on the floor, and then Ki and PAC go at it in the ring. Ki goes for a top rope Frankenstiner, PAC rolls through into a sunset flip, and Ki rolls through that and hits a double stomp. Hulk and Mochizuki come in and have an epic kick battle, Tozawa comes in and goes for a German suplex on Ricochet, but Ricochet escapes and Tozawa hits a boot. Ricochet with a leaping enziguiri, then springboards right into a double gutbuster. Hulk and Tozawa with a double team on Ricochet and then Hulk missile dropkicks Ricochet into a Saito suplex from Tozawa for 2. Ricochet blocks a German suplex from Tozawa and Mochizuki takes Tozawa's head off with a big kick and then Ricochet with a standing 450 senton for 2. Triple team on Tozawa and PAC with a HUGE sitout powerbomb for 2. Another kick war between Hulk and Mochizuki with Hulk coming out on top this time, but Mochizuki sweeps Hulk's legs out, then Ki with a flapjack to PAC,followed by Mad Blankey holding PAC up for a springboard enziguiri from Ki for 2. Ricochet with an Ace Crusher to Tozawa, Ki comes in with a shotgun dropkick to Ricochet, and we're back to PAC and Ki, as PAC with a shooting star splash to the back of Ki. Now Tozawa and Mochizuki go at it in the ring and trade Yakuza kicks, Tozawa German suplexes Mochizuki, Hulk with a series of flash kicks to Mochizuki, and Tozawa witha bridging German suplex on Mochizuki for 2. Tozawa hauls Mochizuki back to his feet and hits a straitjacket German suplex for the win.
Winners: Low Ki, Akira Tozawa & BxB Hulk
Another huge win for Tozawa, and a hell of a main event. Low Ki also cuts a nice promo afterward putting both PAC and Ricochet over and saying he'll face them again anytime they want.
2012 - WWE held their WWE Hall of Fame ceremony in Miami, Florida. Mike Johnson filed the following live report from the ceremony:
Jerry Lawler is the master of ceremonies. He thanked everyone for the welcome and welcomed everyone to the Hall of Fame. He said its the night everyone comes together to honor the past. Then asked everyone to give a round of applause for all the current stars.
Jerry Lawler introduced a video on Ron Simmons.
JBL came out to induct Simmons. JBL said a writer came up to him to help him write the speech. He said since this isn't the attitude era, he can't repeat what he told the writer. He said the day he can't talk about his best friend is the day you put him in the ground.
JBL talked about Simmons' great college football career. He talked about Simmons' owning and driving cars with his own picture painted on the hood. He then talked about Simmons' strength. He said when Simmons came to WWE wearing a blue helmet, Steve Austin said he's the only man who can walk in wearing that and no one will say a damn thing.
JBL talked about Simmons breaking the barriers by becoming the first African American WCW World champion. He said if there wasn't a Ron Simmons, there wouldn't have been The Rock. He said athletes have no barriers now because of what Simmons accomplished in wrestling.
He talked about the APA being put together and said he can't tell us what he thought of the former head of creative but you saw what happened when he went to WCW. He said that the writer wanted to make it about one of them being black and one being white and Ron said absolutely not. He talked about getting a 8.6 quarter when they faced each other. He said if one of the guys can do that today, please tweet him.
JBL said that they were guys who loved the business and told some wild stories about being on the road during the Attitude era. He said that people love stories of wrestling but especially about Ron Simmons who had nothing growing up and earned everything he was.
JBL said the best thing in his life was Ron Simmons becoming his friend. He said Simmons gave an amazing speech as his best man and like his wife, his friendship with Ron is 'til death do they part.
Simmons came out and said the entire evening he has been sitting in the back trying to think of one word to say. The crowd chanted, "Damn." He instead said, "Honored". He thanked everyone and said over the last few years he's had the fortunate luck of being honored in different Hall of Fames but this one was the one he treasures the most.
He said that he learned from a number of different generations, thanking Hiro Matsuda, Ric Flair, Junkyard Dog and Dusty Rhodes. He said that he looks back and wondered what his life may have been. He said that in his heart, the fans will always be brothers to him.
He talked about his run as World champion and how it led to runs like Booker T thanking him. He said it made the 27 years in the ring worthwhile. He said so many were on the journey but he has to thank the true Hall of Famer, his wife. He said he's gotten all these awards but he's never known fear until the day he came home at 5:30 in the morning and looked into her eyes...and he knew the meaning of fear.
Simmons thanked WWE and his family. He said he cannot remember a time where he had a problem and could not go to someone in the organization about it. He thanked everyone in the company on behalf of his family.
Simmons thanked the fans because without them there is no WWE. He finished off with damn!
Jerry Lawler pitched it to a video about Mil Mascaras.
Lawler introduced Alberto Del Rio. He bragged that he's back but tonight he isn't here to talk about himself. Del Rio said that his uncle was the first Mexican in WWE and MSG and now he's the first in the WWE Hall of Fame.
He said his uncle has done movies and broken records and he's led the way for other Mexican stars. He introduced his uncle.
Mascaras thanked everyone very much. He said that he didn't know what to say to what his nephew said. He said that he paid the price and when you pay the price for what you do, you have to ask where you would be without everyone and everything. He said he gets asked about his longevity and said it was due to training, good food and a little wine here and there.
Mascaras thanked his family and his wife, saying he met an American woman in Chicago and she takes care of everything. He said he has a beautiful wife. He talked a little about touring Japan but I couldn't really hear it well. He mentioned another wife...like he has more than one. I was totally confused.
He said he's wrestled all over the world and started talking about beautiful places and beautiful restaurants. He thanked everyone and all the fans around the world. He finally thanked everyone.
Jerry Lawler introduced a Four Horsemen video. The video was off the charts. I literally had chills.
Dusty Rhodes came out to introduce them. How strange it is for a fan that loved the NWA in the 80s to see this. Rhodes said that the Beatles were a faction and they laid the foundation for the music industry. In the movies, The Rat Pack did the same. He said that wrestling has seen different groups blaze up and fade away, until the Four Horsemen rode the lightning bolt known as professional wrestling.
He said that this is the first time someone has been inducted into the Hall of Fame twice. He said he have loved and hated and partied and been tired with him, but no one in the business can accomplish what he has. He said Ric Flair is a national treasure.
Rhodes called JJ Dillon was a master strategist. He said today wrestlers want to get their bus but the Horsemen rode in limos and housed themselves in fancy hotels. Dillon was the man behind all that. He talked about Dillon breaking his shoulder in the War Games.
Dusty called Barry Windham was the best natural athlete who ever walked into the business. He said Barry is and was a Horsemen and a gift to the industry.
Dusty said that Tully Blanchard was a master powerhouse and never made a mistake. He truly believed he was the best and was the glue of the Horsemen.
Dusty said that Arn Anderson was the heart of the Horsemen who did anything and everything that needed to get done no matter the act, the beating or the time it took to do it right.
Dusty talked about how Arn Anderson has the heart for pro wrestling. He said that all Arn is and was is a pro wrestler but tonight he's something more...a Horseman and a Hall of Famer.
The Horsemen came out to a looooong standing ovation. There was a huge "Thank you Horsemen" chant.
JJ Dillon said there was a day 25 years ago where all the exceptional athletes carried all the major championships. He said that all the planets and the stars were in the right position that day because something magical really happened. He said they never thought that it was something that would last the way that it has. He thanked Dusty Rhodes for being the catalyst. Dillon said that he is proud to wear his Hall of Fame ring and to have run with these guys. He said tonight is special because his three daughters and his son are here.
Ric Flair took the mic. He said this is emotional and is going to tell a story. He said that his ex- wife once asked him when he was going to grow up when he told her he was going to have a few drinks with John Cena and how could he have anything in common with someone 30 years younger. Flair responded you won't find out tonight and slammed the phone down. He said once a Horsemen, always a Horsemen.
Flair said that he's had the most wonderful career that any athlete could possibly have. He said that for the years this group ran together it was the best time of his life. They couldn't wait to get to the Arena and wanted to show it. He broke down as he said they loved being the best at what they were doing.
Flair started crying as he began talking about Arn, Tully and Windham. He said Windham was the only person who could match him in a lot of ways. He said they were all JJ Dillon's kids in a lot of ways.
Flair told a story of his ex-wife Beth trying to make him go home and Flair refusing so his wife threatened to take their daughter and leave. Flair told JJ to stake out his house only for JJ to fall asleep and miss her being taken. Flair thanked his children. No TNA mention.
Barry Windham said it all began for him in Florida and he said this honor means so much to him and is something he cant even begin to imagine. He met Ric when he was 14 years old driving him around and ripped the car up. He met Tully about the same time and then met JJ when he was refereeing in Texas. JJ's car broke down while Barry was driving the ring truck and Barry thought he saw a ghost but it was JJ and he got to find out later. He said he had some of his best matches ever with and against Arn Anderson. They were the utility crew for Jim Crockett Promotions doing long matches to close the shows so others could shower and leave. He said his father is a Hall of Famer and is at home doing fine. He thanked everyone.
Tully took the podium and said he has stood behind this group every Saturday morning for years as they talked about the symbol of excellence and being the best at what they do. He said they used to have an internal competition to see which of them could steal the show and who could follow that. He said there is not anyone on the planet that the Horsemen cannot follow. He said they can talk about the way they all interacted but he remembers something his father told him. The wrestling business is the entertainment business and the job is to make everyone scream. He said to be in limos and jets every night and twice on Sundays to entertain you was amazing so fans could get what used to be ten dollars of entertainment. He said that he went on a different path and his children who are here did not know this part of his life. He said that they are the four people he loved the most in the world and he didn't know what love was until they were born.
Blanchard thanked Pat Patterson and told a story of Patterson running into him and handing him a business card, opening the door for the Brainbusters to come to the WWF. He said it was a great thrill for them to win the WWF titles while he and Arn were working with Bobby Heenan. Blanchard said he was told a few months ago about the Hall of Fame but his children didn't find out until the official announcement. He joked that his son wasn't impressed until he found out that his dad was getting a ring.
Blanchard talked about his father passing away. He said he was best friends with his dad. He said that a week ago Thursday his father passed away and now he's here accepting this award. He said having the lowest low and the highest high in six days will take him a long time to process.
Blanchard said he wakes up with all sort of twinges in his back and doesnt want anything for it because he loved every second of it. He said the fans deserve every ounce of energy when they go into the ring. His speech was awesome.
Arn Anderson closed and received a standing ovation before he even spoke a word. The fans began chanting Double A. Arn said he was asked a few times about writing a speech but he's just going to talk to the fans if that's OK. It was.
Anderson talked about watching Nick Gulas when he was seven years old and became hooked on wrestling. He said his passion and desire to be in the industry drove him. He said Dick Slater and Bob Orton were his idols. He praised his grandparents for instilling the work ethic he had. He told a story about his grandmother asking if he was wrestling with his glasses on...and how she thought Michael Hayes was the sexiest thing she had ever seen.
Anderson talked of breaking in under Ted Allen and working with the Armstrongs and doing TV for Bill Watts. He said he drove himself to death to learn the industry and got his break when Junkyard Dog suggested he be sent to Atlanta. Anderson asked how many people can say he was managed by Dillon, Heyman and Paul Ellering.
Arn said that everyone tonight will praise their family and said that their families give them the power to go out through the curtain and entertain. Anderson talked about his children and how proud he is to be their father.
He said that his career ended very suddenly in WCW. He said that he was told it was surgery or losing his left hand. He had the surgery and that put him on another career path. He praised the other WWE Producers by name for all their hard work. He said their job is to take the younger guys and to make them better so they can entertain the fans.
Anderson said he looks at CM Punk. Three years ago, did you ever think Punk and team leader would be in the same sentence? He did. Anderson praised Big Show and Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton for their work. He said Orton is just as good as Arn's idol, Randy's father. Arn praised names like Edge, Kane and Undertaker saying they were the golden circle the likes of which will never be seen again.
Anderson praised John Cena saying he makes everyone's lives in the industry better. He said that everyone in the room is a caretaker of the industry and its up to them to make sure there is an industry to have for their children to enjoy. He praised Chris Jericho.
Arn said that as much as he thinks he chose this path, its nicer to think this industry chose him.
Just awesome. A speech fitting of the Horsemen.
They played a video feature for Mike Tyson.
Shawn Michaels and Triple H came out to induct Tyson. Michaels talked of Tyson's boxing career and how you had to see a Tyson fight because it was an event. It led to a story about them rushing from a show to see a Tyson fight and Michaels missing it. They were doing comedy stuff.
HHH said Tyson helped turn the tide of the Monday Night Wars with his encounter with Steve Austin, joining DX and then knocking out Michaels at Mania 14. Michaels teased that he wasn't liking being the butt of the joke like he was last year. This led to a bunch of back and forth comedy banter. HHH even mocked Michaels being "better than him.". That led to a "Shawn was Better" chant.
They were cracking up trying to introduce Tyson.
Tyson thanked everyone. He said it was so overwhelming to be a Hall of Famer in WWE. He said he grew up watching Bruno Sammartino, Lou Albano, Moondog Mayne, The Valiant Brothers and others.
He said that he always wanted to be a wrestler and he appreciates being part of this family. He said that if he didn't do Wrestlemania he would have been disgusted not to have done it. He said he was over three hours alcohol free. He said his family never came to his boxing fights but they came here.
Tyson started joking about John Cena really being black and making gang signs. He started talking about making movies and getting back in the public eye again. He then talked about how Dusty Rhodes was really black and walked off laughing.
Tyson was obviously having the time of his life but it was hard to understand him due to his speech mannerisms.
It appears Tyson, Yokozuna and Edge will be on the HOF broadcast Monday.
They aired a nice video on Yokozuna.
The Usos. They said they are proud and honored to do this for their family. They said Samoans are no strangers to this business and talked about the famous members of their family. They said that there was only one and the first to be WWE champion, their uncle Yokozuna.
They were only five or six at the time he debuted on TV. They were told their Uncle was on TV and ran in and saw him and said...He's Japanese and we are Samoan. He said what you saw on TV was the opposite of who he was in real life, Uncle Rodney was someone who loved to laugh.
They introduced Rikishi with members of Yokozuna's family to accept. He said he was so happy to be here with everyone. He said it is his humble honor to accept this award for his family and a son of Samoa.
He said that Yokozuna was born into wrestling. It was his blood and his passion. He could go through stats and accomplishments to finishing moves. He said that he hailed from one of the most dedicated families in the wrestling business. He said the dynasty lives on today and it is unreal that one family has produced so many talents over so many years.
Rikshi talked of Yokozuna's skill and heart. He said that a Yokozuna was the highest title in sumo and now Rodney has that title as a WWE Hall of Famer.
He congratulated Yokozuna's family. He said that on behalf of the whole world, they miss him and they love him.
Gene Okerlund, Mick Foley, Billy Kidman are also here.
Jerry Lawler discussed Edge's career stats. They went to a video on Edge. Christian was introduced to induct Edge.
Christian said that everyone has heard the news, something that could be bigger than Rock vs. Cena and Taker vs. HHH....someone got a haircut. That led to some Justin Bieber jokes.
Christian said it was so amazing...amazing Edge was trying to emulate his career and now the haircut proves it. He joked that Edge was going to delete title reigns to do that. He said they were just a couple of idiot kids that grew up in Toronto and knew that somehow they knew they were going to make it. He talked about them wrestling in Middle School in an area that was square like a ring. He said that no matter what you do in life sooner or later the kid goes back to the school and recreates that moment and pulls out security footage of Edge doing just that. It was pretty damn funny.
Christian said he's proud to be inducting him because of something he said when they were breaking in. He said Edge grew up with his mother working multiple jobs. He said that he knew that he had to make it in the business so he could take care of his mom. Christian said he did that.
He talked about this time last year when he got the word that Edge was going to have to retire. He said they knew the clock was ticking but they thought it was going to end on his terms. Christian said they did end on his terms...as the World champ at Wrestlemania. He said that he thought you didnt get a bigger celebration of his career but he was wrong...that was tonight.
Edge came out. He and Christian hugged for a long time. Edge did all the mannerisms from his ring introduction. He had a huge smile on his face.
He said that he told himself he wouldn't cry but he already was backstage. He thanked a number of names that he said wouldn't mean anything to anyone but him.
Edge said this a celebration so he wanted this to be happy. He showed some photos to make fun of himself. He showed photos of himself and Christian as kids. He made fun of his hair then.
Edge told the story of writing an essay and winning a contest to become trained by Ron Hutchison and Sweet Daddy Siki. He said they taught him the basics and fundamentals and anyone who left that school was ready. He credited Siki as one of the first African American wrestlers in this industry. He said he loved Siki.
Edge talked about some of the students from that era, who were there and how they went on the road for promoters. He talked about the Tony Condello tours and pointed out Lance Storm, who was sitting with Scott D'Amore and Rhino. Edge praised Gerry Morrow for teaching him. Edge pointed out Rhino and mentioned that they named him Rhino when they were both chubby kids. He said they went to these terrible places and talked of the death store driving over frozen lakes. He told a story of driving over a frozen lake and seeing a huge hole in the ice. Condello decided to gun it and driving over it. Rhino meanwhile is rocking back and forth muttering to himself. The van sinks so they get out. They get out and Christian falls through the ice to his hips. Edge is laughing. Rhino freaks that it going to shatter and runs away. He turns as Christian is getting out and nails Christian with the first ever gore.
Edge thanked Bret Hart for helping him get to WWF. He told of asking Bret how to get into the company and Hart invited him to train with him. He got the call to wrestle Bob Holly as a tryout. He kept going and going and finally got signed.
Edge said that once he got here, he had some great opponents. He said the hard part was getting to the top. He said that he had Shawn Michaels who was one of the first people to text him after finding out Edge was going into the Hall of Fame.
Edge talked about having the first ever TLC match of Ric Flairs career, Mick Foley, Eddie Guerrero, Owen Hart, The Hardys, The Dudleys, Batista, John Cena, Kurt Angle and Undertaker.
Edge told a story about Being on tour in Iraq and letting loose with bad gas, really making the Undertakers eyes roll in the back of his head.
Edge thanked Vickie Guerrero and Lita for helping him realize the Rated R Superstar. He thanked Hulk Hogan for making a dream come true and it was one that had nothing to do with a sex tape.
Edge said that the Fabulous Freebirds should be in the Hall of Fame because of Michael Hayes and talked of his experiences working with Hayes. He said Hayes is rock and roll. He showed a roll call of Hayes' suits over the years and said tonight he looks like Kermit the Frog's pimp.
Edge said that he's had a lot of friendships over the year. He mentioned Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder and told them they are near and dear to his heart. He said that he knows the influence he was on them like Bret and Shawn were to him and thanked them and told them to keep it up.
He praised William Regal for his unwavering friendship and sense of humor. He talked about Rey Mysterio. He thanked Glen and Mark. He then talked about Matt Striker's anxiety towards Taker and teased him.
Edge thanked Tommy Dreamer and told stories about their many road trips. He said Dreamer was a terrible driver who fears fogs and night tornados and told a funny story about Dreamer driving in a fog and being pulled over by a cop with Dreamer saying he shouldn't be driving to the cop. He tells a story of how he usually doesnt like to room with anyone because he wants alone time but Dreamer tells him he doesn't snore. He of course immediately snores so Edge did the Superfly Splash onto Dreamer...while naked.
Edge talked about how Dreamer was his Kramer, Striker was his George and Christian was his Elaine. He said they have been friends for 27 years. He said he loves Christians morals and that he was the best husband hes ever known.
He thanked his girlfriend Beth for coming to his life and making it so much better. He then thanked the true best friend of his life, his mom. He talked about how little they had growing up but when he told his mom that he wanted to be a wrestler, she told him to do it. She encouraged him to do it. He thought the best look on her face was when he bought her a home but tonight was even better.
He thanked everyone in WWE and the fans. He said he loved it all over the years. He said he could be here all night and he thanked everyone he could for the past. He played an old clip of him and Christian as fat Elvis to close it out.
They started playing the Hall theme but Edge said no. He didn't want to do that. He instead had them play the music from his induction video and did the old five second poses. He was walked off by the Divas