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2/19 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: MIKE AWESOME PASSES AWAY

By Mike Johnson on 2013-02-19 08:00:00
On this day in history in ....

1920 - Paul Bowser defeats Billy Schoeber in Newark, Ohio for the American Middleweight Title.

1939 - Octavio Gaona, recognized as World Middleweight Champion by EMLL, defeats National Wrestling Association World Middleweight Champion, Gus Kallio, in Mexico City, Mexico. Gaona became the first NWA World Middleweight Champion with this win, which was upon EMLL's entrance as a member of the NWA.

1942 - Marshall Estep defeats Steve Brody to win the Midwest Wrestling Association World Junior Heavyweight Title in St. Joseph, Missouri. This began and ended each man's second reign.

1942 - Bill Longson defeats Sandor Szabo in St. Louis, Missouri to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title. This would be the first of three title reigns for Longson.

1943 - Bill Longson defeats Bobby Managoff for the National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title in Houston, Texas, to begin his second reign.

1948 - Big John Studd is born in Butler, Pennsylvania.

1948 - Wayne Martin wins the Southwest Junior Heavyweight Title from Al Getz in Amarillo, Texas.

1954 - The Japan Wrestling Association held an event at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The results:
- Harold Toki and Kiyomigawa fought to a draw.
- Surugaumi defeated Kaichi Nagasawa.
- Kokichi Endo defeated Bob Mumphrey.
- Bobby Bruns defeated Toshio Yamaguchi.
- Masahiko Kimura and Rikidozan fought Ben and Mike Sharpe to a 1-1 draw in a Two-out-of-Three Falls match.

1957 - Wilbur Snyder wins the Chicago NWA United States Heavyweight Title in Chicago, Illinois from Hans Schmidt. This made Snyder the first two-time champion.

1958 - Mr. Moto defeats Sandor Szabo for the Alaska Heavyweight Title in Anchorage, Alaska.

1959 - Don and Luke (Bobby) Fields defeat The Corsicans (Jean and Joe) in Chattanooga, Tennessee to end their ninth and final Mid-America NWA World Tag Team Title reign.

1963 - Hiro Matsuda ends Eddie Graham's third Florida NWA Southern Heavyweight Title reign in Tampa, Florida.

1966 - Bill Watts defeats Kinji Shibuya for the San Francisco NWA United States Heavyweight Title in San Francisco, California, ending Shibuya's second reign.

1968 - Former World Heavyweight Champion George Hackenschmidt, who many consider to be the first true "World Champion", passes away at the age of 90.

1968 - In New York City, New York, the WWWF held its first event in the fourth and current incarnation of Madison Square Garden. The previous Madison Square Gardens opened in 1879, 1890 and 1925, respectively. The new MSG had opened officially two days earlier. The results of the show were:
- The Magnificent Maurice defeated Karl Steif.
- Virgil the Kentucky Butcher defeated Édouard Carpentier.
- Victor Rivera defeated Hans Mortier.
- Dominic DeNucci and Prof. Toru Tanaka fought to a draw.
- Miguel Perez defeated Gil Gordon.
- The Sheik defeated Louis Cerdan.
- Earl Maynard defeated Luke Graham with a West Indian backbreaker.
- Little Beaver and Little Jackie defeated Little Brutus and Sky Low Low.
- WWWF World Heavyweight Champion Bruno Sammartino defeated Bull Ramos by submission.

1969 - Gene Kiniski wins the Hawaii NWA North American Heavyweight Title from Toru Tanaka in Honolulu, Hawaii.

1970 - The Great Kojika defeats El Medico in Bakersfield, California for the Los Angeles NWA Pacific Coast Heavyweight Title.

1974 - Danny Doring is born in New Jersey.

1976 - Bob Geigel and Akio Sato defeat Ken Mantell and Ron Bass for the Central States NWA World Tag Team Title in St. Joseph, Missouri.

1978 - Maple Leaf Wrestling held an event at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario. The results were:
- Billy Red Lyons defeated Chris Tolos.
- Stan Stasiak defeated The Wolfman.
- Dewey Robertson defeated The Wildman by disqualification.
- AWA World Tag Team Champions The High Flyers (Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne) defeated AWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Bockwinkel and Bobby Heenan to retain the title.
- British Heavyweight Champion Billy Robinson defeated Duncan McTavish to retain the title.
- WWWF Heavyweight Champion Superstar Billy Graham defeated Édouard Carpentier to retain the title.
- Angelo Mosca defeated Peter Maivia by referee decision.
- Dusty Rhodes defeated Ken Patera.

1978 - Stan Frazier and Terry Sawyer defeat Dennis Condrey and Phil Hickerson to win the AWA Southern Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee. The title had been vacated after Norvell Austin and Bill Dundee split up.

1979 - Mark Lewin and The Spoiler defeat David and Kevin Von Erich for the NWA American Tag Team Title in Fort Worth, Texas.

1981 - Shawn Spears, also known as Gavin Spears in WWE, is born in St. Catharines, Ontario.

1982 - Spike Huber and Wilbur Snyder win their second World Wrestling Association World Tag Team Title in a possibly fictitious match in Peoria, Illinois, from The Kelly Twins (Mike and Pat).

1983 - The WWF held an event at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The results:
- José Estrada defeated Curt Hennig.
- Johnny Rodz defeated José Luis Rivera.
- Tony Garea defeated Charlie Fulton.
- Swede Hanson defeated S.D. Jones.
- Eddie Gilbert defeated Baron Mikel Scicluna.
- Big John Studd defeated WWF Champion Bob Backlund by countout. Backlund retained the title.
- The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) defeated Chief Jay and Jules Strongbow in a Two-out-of-Three Falls match. The Strongbows were disqualified in the first fall, with the second fall a double-disqualification. This gave the Wild Samoans a 2-1 victory.
- André the Giant, Salvatore Bellomo, Rocky Johnson, Pedro Morales and Jimmy Snuka defeated Mr. Fuji, Superstar Billy Graham, Don Muraco, Buddy Rose and Ray Stevens in a Three-out-of-Five Falls match, 3-1. Fuji pinned Bellomo, Bellomo pinned Fuji, Snuka pinned Rose, and André pinned Rose. This was the first 10-man tag team match at the Spectrum.

1989 - The WWF held an event at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario. The results were:
- Paul Roma defeated Jose Estrada.
- Koko B. Ware defeated Nikolai Volkoff.
- The Blue Blazer defeated Danny Davis.
- King Haku defeated Jim Powers.
- Brutus Beefcake defeated Rick Rude.
- The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) defeated The Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels).
- Greg Valentine defeated Jim Neidhart.
- Andre the Giant defeated Jake Roberts.

1990 - The WWF held an event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The results:
- Tito Santana pinned Buddy Rose after a flying forearm. This match aired on the March 5 edition of Prime Time Wrestling.
- Earthquake pinned Ronnie Garvin with the Earthquake Splash.
- Rick Martel defeated The Red Rooster by submission with the Boston Crab. The match aired on Prime Time Wrestling on March 12.
- Brutus Beefcake and WWF Champion Hulk Hogan defeated The Genius and Mr. Perfect, when Hogan pinned the Genius after the legdrop.
- Bad News Brown pinned Jim Brunzell after the Ghetto Blaster.
- Dusty Rhodes (with Sapphire) defeated Akeem (with Slick) by countout after Slick accidentally hit Akeem on the floor.
- Jim Duggan and The Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels) defeated Mr. Fuji and The Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord), when Jannetty pinned Fuji after Duggan hit Fuji with his 2x4.

1992 - Longtime Memphis wrestler and manager Tojo Yamamoto commits suicide with a handgun at age 65. Yamamoto had been suffering from kidney problems and diabetes, which had forced him out of wrestling several months earlier. Friends said Yamamoto had become extremely depressed about his failing health.

1994 - The Heavenly Bodies (Jimmy Del Ray and Tom Prichard) defeated The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton) for the SMW Tag Team Title at a Midwest Territorial Wrestling event in Taylor, Michigan. This began the Bodies' second reign and ended the Express' sixth.

1994 - Vicky Carranza and Briosa defeat Pantera Sureña and Martha Villalobos for the Mexican National Women's Tag Team Title in Xochimilco, Mexico City, Mexico.

1994 - Two of West Coast Championship Wrestling's three titles change hands in Cloverdale, British Columbia. The New Canadians (Johnny Canuck and Mike Starr) defeat The Billionaire Boys' Club (Mike Roselli and Randy Tyler) for the WCCW International Tag Team Title, and Dillon Powers wins the WCCW Mid-Heavyweight Title from Al Tomko.

1995 - WCW held its fifth-annual SuperBrawl pay-per-view event at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, before 13,390 fans. The show got a 0.95 buyrate. The results:
- Alex Wright pinned Paul Roma after a roll-up after a dropkick from behind.
- Jim Duggan pinned Bunkhouse Buck (with Col. Robert Parker and Meng) after a running clothesline after knocking Parker off the apron.
- Kevin Sullivan (with The Butcher) pinned Dave Sullivan with a roll-up and grabbing Dave's tights after ramming Dave into The Butcher on the apron.
- WCW World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray (with Sister Sherri)) defeated The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) by reverse decision to retain the title. Knobbs had originally pinned Stevie Ray after Sherri accidentally hit him with her loaded purse, but referee Randy Anderson came to the ring and informed match referee Nick Patrick that Sags threw Booker from the ring over the top rope soon before.
- The Blacktop Bully (with Col. Robert Parker) pinned Dustin Rhodes when Parker grabbed Rhodes' leg as he tried to suplex the Bully into the ring. Parker then held Rhodes foot down for the cover.
- Randy Savage and Sting defeated Avalanche and The Butcher, when Sting pinned Avalanche with a crossbody off the top.
- WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan (with Jimmy Hart) defeated WCW United States Heavyweight Champion Vader by disqualification to retain his title, when Hogan attacked Ric Flair, who interfered.

1995 - Koji Kanemoto ends Norio Honaga's third IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title reign in Tokyo, Japan.

1998 - The Independent Professional Wrestling Alliance Heavyweight Title changes twice in Alexandria, Virginia, as Lance Diamond ends Cueball Carmichael's third reign, then loses the title to Jimmy Cicero.

1999 - AAA held its first-annual Reina de Reinas (Queen of Queens) Tournament at Arena Puebla in Puebla, Mexico. The tournament featured 16 women in 5 four-way matches. The results were:
Semifinals:
- Xóchitl Hamada defeated La Fugitiva, Alda Moreno and Venus.
- Miss Janeth defeated Lady Discovery, La Migala and Princesa Sujei.
- Rossy Moreno defeated Vicky Carranza, La Nazi and Linda Starr.
- Esther Moreno defeated Briosa, Sahori and Martha Villalobos.
Final:
- Xóchitl Hamada defeated Miss Janeth, Esther Moreno and Rossy Moreno to win the Reina de Reinas.

1999 - Brian Adias defeats Khris Germany to win the NWA Texas Heavyweight Title in North Richland Hills, Texas, beginning his second reign.

1999 - The Ark Angels (Damon D'Archangelo and Phoenix King) win the NWA New England Tag Team Title from The House of Pain (Frank and Joe Gulli) in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Later the same night, The House of Pain won the title back, beginning their second reign.

1999 - The Bushwhackers win the Allied Powers Wrestling Federation Tag Team Title from The House of Kane in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, then vacated the title right after. Also at that event, The Black Cat defeats Bad Bubba Brewer for the APWF Heavyweight Title.

2000 - Chris Candido wins the vacant NWA Jersey Heavyweight Title in Barnegat, New Jersey by defeating The Equalizer.

2000 - Ray González wins his 11th WWC Universal Heavyweight Title in Carolina, Puerto Rico by defeating Carly Colón.

2000 - The Rock 'n' Roll Express (Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton) defeat Bad Attitude (Rick Michaels and David Young) to win the NWA Wildside Tag Team Title in Cornelia, Georgia.

2000 - Mason Cage defeats Shane Black in Hazleton, Pennsylvania to win his second WXW Cruiserweight Title, ending Black's third. At the same show, Sugaa wins the WXW Heavyweight Title from Jak Molsonn, ending his third reign.

2000 - Jeff Peterson defeats Frankie Capone for the IPW Light Heavyweight Title in Crystal River, Florida, to begin his second reign.

2000 - Cody Hawk and Anthony McMurphy defeat Alexis Machine, GQ Masters III and Suicido in a Handicap match in Hamilton, Ohio to win Machine and Brian Fury's HWA Tag Team Title. Also at that event, Shark Boy becomes the first two-time HWA Cruiserweight Champion by defeating Matt Stryker. Stryker won a battle royal earlier in the night for the right to face Shark Boy for the title, which had been stripped from Rory Fox for no-showing.

2000 - Dirk Ciglar and Scott Venom defeat Armageddon (Rapture & Revelation) and Brian Anthony & Brandon K in a three-way tournament final to become the first Pittsburgh Wrestling League Tag Team Champions.

2000 - Alexander Worthington III defeats Dave Vicious for the Eastern Wrestling Alliance Heavyweight Title in Lewiston, Maine.

2002 - WWE taped February 24's Sunday Night Heat and February 21's SmackDown! at the MetroCenter in Rockford, Illinois. The results:
Dark matches:
- Albert and Scotty 2 Hotty defeated Brock Lesnar and Ron Waterman.
- Leviathan (Batista) and Mr. Perfect defeated Shelton Benjamin and Randy Orton.
Heat:
- WWF Cruiserweight Champion Tajiri defeated The Hurricane to retain the title.
- Test defeated The Godfather.
- Booker T defeated Val Venis.
- WWF Intercontinental Champion William Regal defeated Rikishi to retain the title.
SmackDown!:
- Kane defeated Kurt Angle.
- Edge defeated Christian by submission.
- The Hardy Boyz (Jeff and Matt) and Rob Van Dam defeated The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) and Lance Storm.
- Billy and Chuck (with Rico) defeated WWF Tag Team Champions Spike Dudley and Tazz to win the title.
- Triple H and The Undertaker's match never got underway when The Undertaker refused to wrestle.

2002 - Robbie Brookside wins his second European Heavyweight Title in a tournament final in Yeovil, England. He defeated Justin Starr. The title was vacated after The Flatliner suffered a broken leg.

2003 - Nick Dinsmore defeats champion The Damaja and Doug Basham in a triple threat match in Louisville, Kentucky to win the OVW Heavyweight Title for the seventh time.

2004 - Shiro Koshinaka and Takao Omori defeat Shinjiro Otani and Masato Tanaka in Tokyo, Japan for the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Title, ending Otani and Tanaka's second reign. At the same event, Low Ki and Leonardo Spanky (Brian Kendrick) defeat Ikuto Hidaka and Dick Togo to win the NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Title.

2005 - Dan Maff and B.J. Whitmer defeat The Havana Pitbulls (Ricky Reyes and Rocky Romero) at the Third Anniversary Show in Elizabeth, New Jersey to win the ROH Tag Team Title.

2005 - Taka Michinoku wins the Michinoku Pro Tohoku Junior Heavyweight Title from The Great Sasuke in Iwate, Japan.

2005 - 3PW held its Third Anniversary Show at the New Alhambra Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The results:
- Amish Roadkill defeated Damian Adams.
- Mike Kruel defeated Matt Striker.
- April Hunter defeated The Blue Meanie by submission.
- A.J. Styles defeated Simon Diamond.
- C.J. O'Doyle defeated Rob Eckos.
- Simon Diamond and Mike Kruel defeated Damian Adams and Monsta Mack to win the vacant 3PW Tag Team Title. Gary Wolfe had held the title with Mike Kruel, but was fired from the promotion.
- Matt Striker defeated Rockin' Rebel.
- Slyck Wagner Brown defeated 3PW Heavyweight Champion Christopher Daniels to win the title.

2005 - S.U.V. (Onslaught and Tiger Wylde) are named American Championship Pro Wrestling's first Tag Team Champions in Wilmington, Delaware.

2006 - WWE held its eighth-annual No Way Out pay-per-view event at the 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. 11,000 fans attended the SmackDown! brand show, which got a 0.56 buyrate. The show was headlined by The Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle in what many consider to be one of the best matches of that year. Buck Woodward filed the following PPV report:

Pre-Show

- Josh Mathews and Steve Romero hosted the pre-show, and revealed that another inductee to the WWE Hall Of Fame will be revealed tomorrow on Raw. 

- In the Heat match, The Boogeyman defeated Simon Dean with a powerslam. Dean cut a promo before the match, saying he could beat anyone, then looked annoyed when Boogeyman's music hit, even though it had been announced earlier that Dean vs. Boogeyman was the Heat match.

- The rest of the pre-show was made up of video packages and hype for the show. 

No Way Out

No Way Out opened with a video pushing the fact that Kurt Angle, Undertaker, Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton are all traveling the "road to Wrestlemania" and fighting to be the World Champion. 

Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms vs. Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Paul London vs. Brian Kendrick vs. Sho Funaki vs. Super Crazy vs. Psicosis vs. Nunzio vs. Kid Kash. 

All of the wrestlers were in the ring together, with the first pinfall or submission winning the title. Helms wouldn't enter the ring at the start of the match, so the other Cruiserweights began wrestling each other. London hit Nunzio with a top rope mule kick, and London & Kendrick gave Scotty a double dropkick, but they were thrown out by the Mexicools. The Mexicools gave Kendrick and London stereo pescados. Kash and Funaki went at it in the ring, with Kash missing a moonsault. Funaki bulldogged Kash, but Helms ran in to break up the cover. Helms stomped Kash, but he was surrounded by all the other wrestlers, who stomped him down. The match then went back to being a free for all. 

London gave Psicosis a rana, but Crazy caught London with a top rope dropkick. Kendrick missed a top rope dropkick, and the Mexicools gave him a double rolling leg catapult. Funaki gave Nunzio an enzugiri. Helms and London exchanged punches and kicks in a corner. Funaki dropkicked Psicosis off the ring apron. Scotty gave Kash a back suplex. Helms gave Scotty a fireman's carry into a facebuster on the knee. Kash and Helms began shoving each other, and started exchanging punches. Helms backdropped Scotty to the ring apron. Scotty then held the ropes open while Kash threw Helms out of the ring. Scotty gave Helms a somersault senton off the apron. Kash avoided a Psicosis powerbomb, then dodged a dropkick so Psicosis would fall to the floor. Kash gave Psicosis a slingshot rana on the floor. 

Nunzio gave London the Sicilian Slice, but Kendrick broke up the cover. Kendrick and London worked as a team against Funaki and Nunzio, sending them to the floor, then taking out both of them, and Scotty with top rope dives. Super Crazy prepared for a dive, but Helms cut him off with an elbow. Crazy avoided the Shining Wizard by Helms and hit a dropkick for a cover, but Kendrick broke it up. Kendrick gave Helms Sliced Bread #2, but Crazy broke it up and they went to the floor. London gave Helms a top rope senton, but Scotty broke up the cover. Scotty superkicked London out of the ring, then gave Helms the Worm, but Psicosis broke it up. Psicosis covered Helms, but Kash broke it up. 

Kash went for a tilt-a-whirl on Psicosis, but Psicosis fell out of it. Psicosis went for a German suplex, but Kash flipped out of it and gave Psicosis a brainbuster. Kash covered Psicosis, but Super Crazy gave him a moonsault. Kash, Psicosis and Crazy were all down, and Helms got in the ring and covered Psicosis for the pin at the eleven minute mark. 

Winner: Gregory Helms.

The Cruiserweights that were on the floor during the pinfall chased Helms to the back. 

Booker T and Sharmell were complaining to Smackdown Manager Theodore R. Long, saying Booker was still injured, despite the "miracle" that occurred on Smackdown when his leg was fine. Long wasn't listening to their excuses, so Booker and Sharmell got on their knees and begged Long to let Booker out of the match. Long told Booker if he didn't defend the title tonight against Chris Benoit, he would forfeit it. 

Kristal was getting ready to conduct an interview, when Fit Finlay interrupted her. Finlay said he came for a fight, and if no one would give him one, he would go looking for one. Finlay then picked up Kristal and carried her to the ring. Finlay put her down, and was about to beat her up, when Bobby Lashley ran in. Lashley and Finlay began brawling, and JBL's music hit. JBL, seeing Lashley at a disadvantage, ran from his limo to the ring. However, by the time JBL got to the ring, Lashley hit Finlay with a belly to belly suplex. Referees got Finlay away from the ring as the bell rang for the scheduled Lashley-JBL match. 

JBL, with Jillian Hall, vs. Bobby Lashley. 

They went back and forth at the start, with JBL hitting a boot to the face, but Lashley returning fire with a backdrop and elbowdrop. Lashley backdropped JBL again, and he went to the floor to regroup. Lashley went after him, and JBL used Jillian as a shield and then cheapshotted Lashley. JBL tried to ram Lashley into the ring steps, but Lashley blocked it and rammed JBL into the steps. Jillian Hall hit Lashley with her clipboard, but it had no effect. Lashley gave JBL and belly to belly suplex on the floor, then a delayed vertical suplex in the ring. Lashley set up for the Dominator, but JBL got around him and threw Lashley between the ropes and to the floor. As Lashley got on the apron, JBL hit him with a boot to the face, knocking him back to the floor. 

JBL rammed Lashley into the ring steps twice, as the fans chanted "JBL sucks". JBL tossed Lashley back in, and hit a top rope elbowdrop. JBL dropped an elbow to the back as Lashley rose, then worked him over in a corner. JBL hit a neckbreaker, then a second. There was a "Let's Go Lashley" chant as JBL delivered a series of elbowdrops for a two count. JBL and Lashley exchanged right hands, with Lashley getting the better of it. JBL applied a sleeper, as Michael Cole and Tazz argued about whether Lashley had been building momentum or not. Lashley slumped to the mat, and JBL went for a cover, but Lashley kicked out. JBL stomped Lashley in the head and kicked him in the chest. JBL went to the top rope, and dove right into a Lashley powerslam. 

Lashley decked JBL with a right hand, then hit a pair of running forearms and a clothesline. Lashley hit a quartet of overhead belly to belly suplexes, and JBL was bleeding from around his eye. Lashley went for the Dominator, but JBL floated out of it and went for a Clothesline From Hell. Lashley ducked and hit an Exploder suplex for a two count. Finlay came in from the crowd, and threw ring announcer Tony Chimel into the ring. Lashley gave JBL a clothesline in the corner. As the referee got the ring announcer out of the ring, Finlay jumped onto the apron and hit Lashley with the shillelagh. JBL followed that with a Clothesline From Hell as Finlay left. JBL got the pin on Lashley at the eleven minute mark. 

Winner: JBL. 

JBL had a lot of blood and swelling around his eye. 

Tony Chimel introduced "Tonight's special guest" and Batista, wearing a suit, came out to a huge ovation. Batista got on the mic, and said it was the "thrill of a life" every time he walked out the curtain. Batista said he was there for three reasons. One, he wanted to see Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker. Two, he missed the Smackdown audience, saying it was hard to watch Smackdown on TV every week and hear the roar of the crowd. The fans chanted his name. Third, was that his "torn tricep ain't torn anymore". Batista said that "sooner rather than later" he would be back. Batista said it doesn't matter who the World Champion is when he comes back, as he stated that he "will reclaim MY world title". 

Backstage, Kurt Angle was watching Batista on a monitor. Randy Orton walked in, and said he would be World Champion when Batista returns from his injury. Orton said maybe he would then get some respect from people like Angle. Orton began to question Angle offering encouragement to Rey Mysterio, but Angle told Orton that he is the World Champion, and he isn't even concerning himself with Orton, as he has the Undertaker tonight. 

JBL was shown in the WWE.com area, talking about his win. 

WWE Tag Team Champions MNM (Joey Mercury & Johnny Nitro, with Melina) vs. Matt Hardy & Tatanka.

This was a non-title match. The crowd wasn't very loud for the revelation that Tatanka was the mystery partner. I guess there is a storyline reason here, as MNM eliminated Tatanka at the Royal Rumble. Hardy started off with Mercury, and Mercury pounded Hardy down to the mat. Hardy fought back with right hands and gave him an arm wringer. Hardy dropped a leg on the arm and tagged in Tatanka. Tatanka continued to work on the arm, and chopped Mercury to the mat. Nitro tagged in, and Tatanka took him down with an armdrag. Hardy and Tatanka gave Nitro a double backdrop and gave Mercury a double elbow and a double back suplex. MNM regrouped on the floor. 

Mercury pulled Hardy throat first across the top rope as he teased getting into the ring, and Nitro went to work with kicks to the back, then choked Hardy across the middle rope. Melina said Hardy could have been on a "winning team" and slapped him. MNM went for a double suplex, but Hardy floated over and hit a double neckbreaker. Tatanka tagged in and went to work with chops on both opponents. MNM went to the floor, and Tatanka followed Mercury, ramming him into the security wall and chopping him on the floor. Melina raked Tantanka in the face with her nails, and Nitro hit him with a dropkick off the apron. Nitro took Tatanka back into the ring and hit some shoulderblocks in a corner. 

Mercury tagged in, snapmared Tatanka and delivered a kneedrop. Some "Boring" chants could be heard. MNM mocked Tatanka's war cry and chops. Mercury choked Tatanka with the tag rope. Tatanka tried to rally against Nitro, but MNM took him down with a double elbow. Mercury put Tatanka in a sleeper, then hit a neckbreaker as Tatanka tried to fight out of it. Mercury went to the top rope, but Tatanka caught him in a reverse atomic drop. Nitro jumped off the top rope, but landed on his feet and Tatanka nailed him with a clothesline. Tatanka made the hot tag to Hardy, who cleaned house and gave Mercury a spinning side slam, and gave Nitro a bulldog, while clotheslining Mercury at the same time. 

Hardy gave Mercury a second rope legdrop, and gave Nitro the Side Effect. Hardy went for the Twist Of Fate on Mercury, but Mercury shoved him into the ropes and Nitro nailed him with a superkick. Hardy came back with a double clothesline, then tagged Tatanka, who hit a top rope chop on both men. Tatanka did the war dance, then gave Mercury the Samoan Drop while Hardy gave Nitro the Twist Of Fate. Tatanka got the pin on Mercury at the ten minute mark. 

Winners: Matt Hardy & Tatanka. 

A video package on the events leading to Booker T vs. Chris Benoit was shown. 

Coverage continued on next page. 

U.S. Champion Booker T, with Sharmell, vs. Chris Benoit.

Booker got on the mic before the bell rang. Booker said he had made up his mind, and that there would not be a U.S. Title match tonight. Booker called out Theodore R. Long. Booker said he could beat Chris Benoit when he is healthy, but he isn't healthy tonight. Booker said he would make it official, and forfeit the U.S. Title. Sharmell appeared to be pleading with Booker, and Booker started to walk away. Benoit got on the mic and started a "Coward" chant at Booker. Benoit said he would not accept the title by forfeit, and told Booker to "take defeat like a man". Sharmell said this was all Benoit's fault, and slapped him repeatedly while yelling at him. With Benoit distracted, Booker ran back into the ring and ambushed Benoit from behind. The bell rang, and Long confirmed to the announcers that this match was on and was still for the U.S. Title. 

Booker hit a back elbow, but Benoit came back with some punches. Booker missed a side kick and Benoit unloaded some chops. Benoit knocked Booker to the floor, then followed him out and kneed him in the head. Benoit gave Booker a chop, then tossed him back in. Booker got the advantage in the ring, kicking Benoit in the gut. Booker went for a suplex, but Benoit blocked it and delivered a snap suplex. Benoit gave Booker a back suplex for a two count, then chopped him in the corner. Booker tried for a double leg takedown, but Benoit rolled through it and pounded Booker on the mat, then kicked him to the floor with a baseball slide. 

On the floor, they exchanged blows and Benoit whipped Booker into the ring steps. Booker went shoulder first into the steps, but Booker started grabbing his previously injured groin. Booker told the referee to back up Benoit because he was hurt, but it was a ploy to allow Booker to grab Benoit's tights and yank him into the ring steps. Booker tossed Benoit back into the ring, and hit a superkick to the chest for a two count. Booker applied a top wristlock, but as Benoit fought up, Booker took him down with a waistlock and rode Benoit on the mat. Every time Benoit got up, Booker would bring him back down. Benoit tripped out of it, but Booker applied a full nelson. Benoit tried to get out, but Booker put Benoit in a hammerlock. Benoit escaped the hold and hit Booker with a German suplex. 

Benoit jumped onto Booker and tried for a Crossface, but Booker rolled through it and hit Benoit with a spinkick. Booker got a two count, then applied a sleeperhold. Benoit went down to one knee, and the referee checked his arm, but Benoit fought up and escaped using a back suplex. Booker T caught Benoit with a Hot Shot, then delivered a vertical suplex. Booker hit a second vertical suplex for a two count. They traded chops, and Benoit got the better of it, but was caught off as he charged into a Booker boot to the face. Booker set up for the ax kick, but Benoit dodged it and fired off some chops and a pair of running forearms. Benoit hit the Three Amigos suplexes for a two count. Benoit hit some right hands, but Booker reversed a whip and hit a spinning leg lariat. 

Booker T went to the top rope, but Benoit cut him off with a chop and a slew of headbutts. Benoit delivered a top rope superplex, but Booker kicked out at two. Benoit hit some punches, but Booker caught him with a spinebuster. Booker went to the top rope and went for the Harlem Hangover (forward flip into a legdrop), but Benoit moved out of the way. Benoit delivered three consecutive German suplexes, then called for the top rope headbutt. Sharmell got on the apron, which distracted Benoit and Booker T was able to crotch Benoit on the top rope. Benoit fell into the ring, and Booker hit the ax kick, but Benoit kicked out at two. 

Booker chopped Benoit and went for a sunset flip out of the corner, but Benoit rolled through it and went for a Sharpshooter. Booker kicked it off, and Benoit fell into the ropes, knocking Sharmell off the apron and to the floor. Booker went for a side kick, but Benoit ducked it, grabbed Booker's legs and applied the Sharpshooter, to a big pop. Booker struggled in the hold, and Benoit then switched from the Sharpshooter into the Crippler Crossface. Booker tapped out at the nineteen minute mark. 

Winner and new U.S. Champion: Chris Benoit. 

After Benoit left, the fans chanted "You tapped out" at Booker. 

Backstage, Rey Mysterio, Bobby Lashley, Theodore R. Long, Pat Patterson, and the babyface Cruiserweights congratulated Benoit on his win. Chavo Guerrero and Vicki Guerrero congratulated Benoit as well. Benoit then told Rey Mysterio he needed to go win it for Eddie. There was a slight "Eddie" chant from the crowd. 

A video package on the events leading to Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton were shown. 

Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton - Winner receives World Title match at Wrestlemania 22. 

Rey came out to his music, and was wearing a Rey Mysterio shirt. No lowrider (the entrance ramp wasn't really conducive to that kind of entrance). He did have the "EG" armband on. Rey's daughter was shown at ringside. There was a loud "Eddie" chant as the bell rang. Orton backed Rey into the corner on a lockup, and grinned at him. Orton took Rey down with a waistlock and applied a front facelock. Rey made the ropes to break it, and Orton slapped Mysterio in the back of the head. Mysterio kicked Orton in the gut and took him down with a side headlock. Orton tossed Rey towards the ropes, and Rey reversed a hiptoss into a bodyscissors into a bulldog. Rey hit some punches in the corner, ducked a clothesline, but missed a springboard bodyblock, crashing to the mat as Orton ducked. 

Orton stomped Mysterio's back, then pounded him with forearms. There was a "Randy sucks" chant as Orton hit Mysterio with a kneedrop. Orton slapped and shoved Mysterio in a corner, then whipped him hard across the ring into the opposite turnbuckles. Orton covered Rey for a two count. Orton hit a forearm to the back, then mocked Eddie Guerrero as the fans were chanting "Eddie". Orton hit Rey with an uppercut, but Mysterio came back with a kick to the head and a tilt-a-whirl headscissors that sent Orton to the floor. Rey jumped off the apron for a rana on the floor, but Orton caught it and swing Rey side first into the ringpost. Orton got back in the ring and posed as Rey held his arm on the floor. 

Orton went to the floor and threw Mysterio back into the ring, where Orton applied an armwringer on the hurt limb. Orton turned it into a hammerlock, but Mysterio elbowed out, slid under Orton's legs and kicked him from the mat. Orton scooped up Mysterio into an over the shoulder backbreaker, then dropped him with a neckbreaker for a two count. Orton then went back to the arm, locking in a hammerlock again. Orton threw Rey into the ropes, and Mysterio caught him with a rana, but couldn't capitalize on it due to his arm hurting. Orton tossed Rey to the floor and rammed Rey's arm into the ring steps. Orton put Mysterio back into the ring for a two count. Orton continued to work on the arm, wrapping it around the ropes. 

Orton put Rey in an over the shoulder backbreaker again, but Mysterio armdragged out of it, and Orton rolled to the floor. Orton got back in, and Mysterio hit him with a flying forearm. Orton charged Rey, and Mysterio gave him a drop toe hold into the turnbuckles. Mysterio climbed the ropes, slowly, but Orton caught him and went for a second rope electric chair, but Rey turned it into a sunset flip style powerbomb for a two count. Mysterio hit a spinkick, then did the Eddie Guerrero dance and dropkicked Orton's leg out from under him. Mysterio hit a springboard senton, then a rolling neck snap for two. Orton developed a cut between his eyebrows. Orton tried to stop Mysterio with a slam, but Mysterio floated over and kicked Orton. Orton went to lift him again, but Mysterio drove Orton backwards to the mat and covered him for a two count. 

Orton poked Mysterio in the eyes, but Rey kicked Orton as he charged him. Mysterio went to the top rope, but Orton dropkicked him in the gut as Mysterio jumped off. Orton measured Mysterio for an RKO, but Mysterio caught him with a dropkick. Orton fell to the ropes in 619 position, and Rey went for the move, but Orton ducked under the 619, then cradled Rey for the pin, grabbing the ropes to get the three count at the eighteen minute mark. 

Winner: Randy Orton. 

Randy Orton went to the stage, as Rey was visibly upset in the ring. Orton stopped before leaving, got on the mic and announced that he was going to the main event at Wrestlemania. Orton then posed and smiled on the stage before leaving. They kept the camera on Rey in the ring for a long time, but there wasn't much reaction from the crowd as he left. The announcers played up what was going through Rey's head over what had happened.

They went backstage, where Rey cursed and began profusely apologized for letting the Guerrero family down. Chavo told him to pick his chin up, that he didn't let anyone down, and that if he tried his hardest, nothing else mattered. Vicki told Mysterio they all still loved him. They all hugged, then Rey walked off. Rey walked past the babyface cruiserweights and Lashley, who mostly stared at him, except for Super Crazy, who started to say something (it would appear, trying to console Rey), but Psicosis stopped him. The camera followed Rey as he walked down a hallway alone, stopping to hit a wall. 

A video package on the events leading to Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker were shown. 

World Champion Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker. 

Angle tried a waistlock at the start, but Taker kept his feet and Angle went to the floor to regroup. Taker applied a side headlock, and Angle shoved it off, but Taker hit him with a shoulderblock. Taker went after the arm of Angle, then rammed his arm into the turnbuckle. Undertaker lifted Angle off the mat by his arm, then dropped a leg on it and applied a short arm scissors. Undertaker started to climb the ropes for the Old School rope walk, but Angle stopped him with right hands. Taker stopped a whip and flipped Angle to the mat by the arm. There were dueling chants for Undertaker and Angle. Undertaker delivered the Old School rope walk and forearm, then gave a charging Angle a faceplant for a two count. 

Undertaker gave Angle Snake Eyes, but missed a boot to the face and Angle tossed Taker with a German suplex for a two count. Angle stomped Taker in the corner, then hit some shoulderblocks. Taker reversed a whip and hit a running knee in the corner, but missed a boot to the face and ended up on the ring apron. Angle charged Taker, knocking him off the apron and into the security wall. Angle went outside and rammed Taker into the wall again, then jumped at him from the apron, but Taker caught him and rammed Angle into the ringpost. Taker stretched Angle across the ring apron and drove an elbow into his chest, then hit the ring apron legdrop. 

Taker rolled Angle into the ring and got a two count, then measured Angle for a chokeslam. Angle kicked Taker's leg to escape it, but Taker decked him with an uppercut. Undertaker missed a clothesline and Angle clipped his knee from behind. Angle stomped Undertaker's leg, then rammed it into the ringpost twice. Angle applied a ringpost figure four, breaking it as the referee counted four. Taker was limping on the floor, and Angle put Taker's bad leg on the ring apron and elbowed it several times. Back in the ring, Angle kicked at the leg some more, then punched Taker in the head. Angle dropped all his weight on the leg as it was stretched on the bottom rope, then did it a second time. 

Angle continued to stomp the leg, but Taker grabbed Angle by the singlet and pulled him through the ropes and to the floor. Taker followed and hit some kneelifts to Angle. Taker put Angle on the apron again, and kicked Angle in the side of the head. Taker went for the legdrop on the apron again, but Angle caught it and applied an ankle lock on the floor. Angle broke the hold and rolled into the ring at seven to break the count, then rolled back out and reapplied the ankle lock for another seven count, then broke the count again. Back in the ring, Angle dropped some elbows on the leg, then applied a leglace. Angle continued to work on the leg, twisting it and dropping elbows on it. Undertaker broke out of a leglace by using his good leg to legdrop Angle's face. 

Angle took Taker down with a double leg takedown, then punched Taker, but Undertaker grabbed his arm and applied a triangle choke. Angle got his foot on the bottom rope to break the hold. Angle rolled to the floor, and Taker followed, ramming Angle head first into the security wall. Undertaker tossed Angle into the ring announcer and chairs at ringside. Taker worked over Angle with punches on the floor, then kicked him in the face. Undertaker started to clear off the announcers table, then rolled into the ring to stop the count. Taker went back outside, but Angle caught him with an Angle Slam, putting the Undertaker through the Spanish Announce table. 

Angle rolled into the ring, as Undertaker slowly recovered on the floor. Undertaker was about to be counted out, but Angle stopped the count (using quite a bit of profanity, which was bleeped) and said he wanted to beat him in the ring. Angle went outside and worked over Taker with punches, kicks and elbows. Angle went for a whip on the floor, but Undertaker reversed it and Angle went back first into the ringsteps, then as he fell, he caught his throat on the edge of the Announcers Table caver, which had been thrown to the floor earlier. Undertaker tossed Angle back into the ring, then went to the top rope, but Angle crotched him with a few punches. Angle went for a superplex, but Undertaker blocked it and punched Angle to the mat. Undertaker went to the top again, but Angle ran the ropes and delivered a belly to belly superplex for a two count. Taker rallied, hitting Angle with a boot to the face for a two count.

Undertaker measured Angle for a chokeslam, but as he lifted him, Angle turned it into a bodyscissors and rolled into an ankle lock. Taker rolled over, but Angle stuck with it and maintained the hold. Undertaker rolled again, and locked Angle in a triangle choke, but Angle reversed it again and reapplied the ankle lock. Undertaker rolled out of the hold and kicked Angle away. Undertaker caught Angle with a chokeslam, but Angle kicked out at two and a half. Undertaker went for the Last Ride powerbomb, but Angle flipped over it and into a sunset flip, which he then turned into another ankle lock in the center of the ring. Undertaker struggled for the ropes, but Angle pulled him back into the center of the ring. Undertaker rolled over and kicked Angle off of him. Taker got to his feet, missed a right hand, and Angle hit the Angle Slam on Undertaker for a near fall. 

Angle screamed in the ring and pulled down his straps. At the same time, Undertaker sat up and then got to his feet. They traded right hands, then Undertaker whipped Angle into the ropes and went for a tombstone piledriver. Angle reversed it, going for a tombstone of his own, then Undertaker reversed it back, but Angle slid out of the hold, hooking Undertaker's ankle. Angle applied an ankle lock, and added a leglace this time. Undertaker appeared on the verge of tapping, but rolled over and kicked Angle in the face repeatedly until he released the hold. Undertaker got to his feet, but Angle grabbed him with another Angle Slam. Angle went to advance on Undertaker, but Taker locked him in another triangle choke. Angle struggled in the hold, and then fell limp. The referee checked his arm twice, but Angle kept it up on the third time. Angle got his feet under him, and flipped over the Undertaker, cradling him into a pinning position while still trapped in the triangle choke. Angle got the pin at the twenty nine minute mark. 

Winner: Kurt Angle. 

Undertaker thought he might have won, until the referee gave the belt to Angle. Undertaker lifted Angle to his feet, then put him in a corner and said "I've got your number, I'm not through with you yet". Taker and Angle stared at each other as the show came to an end. 

2006 - New Japan held an event at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The results:
- Koji Kanemoto defeated GENTARO.
- Gedo, Jado and Jushin Liger defeated Badboy Hido, Tetushiro Kuroda and Kintaro Kanemura, when Gedo pinned Hido.
- Takashi Iizuka and Naofumi Yamamoto defeated Togi Makabe and Toru Yano, when Yamamoto pinned Yano.
- El Samurai and Ryusuke Taguchi defeated IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Hirooki Goto and Minoru to win the title, when Samurai made Minoru submit.
- Tiger Mask IV defeated NWA World and IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Black Tiger IV (Rocky Romero) to win both titles. This began Tiger Mask's third IWGP reign.
- IWGP U-30 Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Yuji Nagata.
- IWGP Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Akebono and Riki Choshu, when Lesnar pinned Choshu.
- IWGP Tag Team Champions Masahiro Chono and Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Giant Bernard and Manabu Nakanishi to retain the title, when Chono pinned Nakanishi.

2006 - Keith Loughman and Robbie Morrisey defeat Justin Bred and Danny Butler for the NWA Ireland Tag Team Title in Bray, Ireland.

2007 - Former ECW World champion Mike Awesome passed away as a result of a suicide. Awesome, real name Michael Alfonso, was 42 at the time of his passing.

Mike Johnson penned the following when Awesome passed away:

A Florida native, Awesome was trained by Steve Keirn and was a tremendously agile performer. Standing well over 6 feet, Awesome looked like any other monster performer at first glance, but was well beyond your average muscle-bound bruiser, gifted with tremendous agility. It was nothing for Awesome to hit topes and dives like a Cruiserweight before powerbombing his hapless opponents through tables en route to victory.

Like many wrestlers during that era, Awesome broke in making some appearances in Memphis, TN for the USWA and did some independent work in Florida as well as enhancement work. He truly began making his name when he began working as the facepainted Gladiator for Atsushi Onita's Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling in the early 1990s. The forerunner to ECW and the hottest promotion among tape traders at the time, Awesome teamed with Horace Boulder and often worked with or against Sabu, Onita, Hisakatsu Ooya, Mr. Pogo and Mr. Gannosuke among others. The styles was physical with crazy bumps, barbed wire, and lots of explosion matches.

While he was well known overseas, at the time Awesome was only known to the most hardcore fans in the United States. He made sporadic appearances in the early days of NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling, including an early 1994 match in ECW where he decimated JT Smith before losing to him at the Night the Line Was Crossed). 
Within the United States, Awesome was best known for his storied feud with Masato Tanaka, which began in FMW in Japan and later moved to the United States in ECW, including a memorable match at the promotion's Heatwave '98 PPV in Dayton, Ohio. 

After suffering a knee injury, Awesome sat out for a year following surgery. He didn't return to FMW, instead doing a tour of All Japan Pro Wrestling when he returned. In September 1999, Awesome joined ECW full-time as a surprise, immediately winning a Three-Way Dance to capture the promotion's World championship from Tazz at the Anarchy Rulz '99 PPV in Chicago. The storyline was that Awesome had crashed the match, upset that ECW was using footage of Tanaka defeating him to build up Tanaka as a challenger. Tazz offered him the chance to enter the match, and was pinned within a minute, shocking everyone. Although it was well known Tazz was on his way out of the company, no one could have predicted a one minute loss for ECW's monster badass champion.

Awesome defeated Tanaka as well in the process, so their feud was once again off to the races. During his reign as champion Awesome defeneded the title against New Jack, Tanaka, Spike Dudley, Kid Kash, and Tommy Dreamer, among others. Managed by Jeff Jones, Awesome also briefly held the ECW World Tag Team championship with Raven as well. Tanaka and Awesome traded the ECW title back with a win for Tanaka in Nashville, TN and Awesome regaining it in White Plains, NY. The ECW on TNN episodes featuring the changes were among the highest rated for the series, falling on Christmas eve and New Year's Eve for that year.

The plan at the time was to build to ECW's top babyface at the time, Rob Van Dam chasing Awesome for the belt. Just after an angle was shot to begin the chase, Van Dam broke his ankle working a house show and would be out for several months. During that timeframe, Awesome (who had claimed publicly to have been under an ECW contract), signed a deal to jump to World Championship Wrestling without dropping the ECW World title belt. 

Rightfully fearful of Awesome (who had possession of the title belt) would debut on Monday Nitro and desecrate it, ECW's legal team went into overdrive. Awesome was immediately vilified by those loyal to Extreme Championship Wrestling, although the bottom line was he had a chance to make a great deal of money for his family in one shot and took the chance. ECW did gain an injunction against him appearing and negotiations were made that Awesome would appear, would not have the championship with him (but WCW would name him as champion, then plug a title defense in Indianapolis - which WCW didn't do), and appear in street clothes (to mask his physique and dilute his debut). When Awesome's title change wasn't plugged, the legal battled raged again briefly with ECW feeling they were doublecrossed, before all sides came to settlement terms.

In the end, an agreement was made for Awesome to return and drop the ECW title, which he did, losing it to then-WWF star Tazz in Indianapolis, Indiana in the historic first-ever WCW vs. WWF bout (taking place inside an ECW ring no less). ECW refused to allow Awesome into the locker room, so he waited at a nearby hotel, met with Tazz and Tommy Dreamer to go over the bout, then came through the crowd. After Awesome lost the belt, he left again through the crowd.  
The match aired in edited form on TNN but if you've never seen the Fancam version and heard the crowd reaction to the Tazz return and title win, you've never truly experienced the moment. In many ways, the departure allowed for a "happy" final appearance in ECW for the Tazz character, who signed with WWE after losing the belt and never truly got a sendoff in the same vein that other ECW stars did.

Once signed by WCW, Awesome was yet another victim of WCW's political turmoil, ever-changing storylines, and poor creative direction during the Vince Russo regime, morphing from a monstrous table smashing killer to a comedic undercard character that was lost in the 1970s and traveled in a takeoff of the Patridge Family bus. He was later saddled with a gimmick where he was (seriously) a "Fat Chick Thriller" and was also a member of Team Canada alongside Elix Skipper and Lance Storm. He may have been making the biggest amount of money ever in his career, but artistically, Awesome had never been less of a player for any company and was never booked worse.

When World Wrestling Entertainment bought out WCW in early 2001, Awesome's contract was among the assets purchased. He became the first "WCW" wrestler to compete in the WWF and in Madison Square Garden, attacking WWF Hardcore champion Rhyno backstage and pinning him as part of the storyline where the now defunct championship could be defended anytime, anywhere. When WWF revived ECW as part of the Invasion storyline, Awesome become one of many faces lost in the crowd as a member of the Alliance, was considered to not be a strong performer by WWF veterans who buried him (and many others) politically and was later released in September 2002.

Awesome made several appearances for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling during their weekly PPV event run in Nashville, TN.

Awesome also competed for Court Bauer's Major League Wrestling in 2003, winning the MLW championship from Satoshi Kojima, only to lose it several minutes later to Steve Corino. Awesome would make several more appearances for the company against Masato Tanaka and Samoa Joe, among others. He did another brief run for Jersey All Pro Wrestling, tagging with Vader in a feud against Samoa Joe and Danny Maff in a main event feud.

Awesome quietly disappeared from the business before being booked for the 2005 Extreme Championship Wrestling One Night Stand PPV in New York City in 2005. The original plan was for Awesome to appear as a surprise alongside Eric Bischoff, playing off the WCW jump in 2000 but creative directions changed and Awesome was announced as facing long-time foe Tanaka. The PPV was among the most emotional and memorable of the year, with Tanaka vs. Awesome tearing apart the Hammerstein Ballroom for what was undoubtedly the best match on the show (and of the entire ECW rebirth). Awesome blew out his knee during the bout, which he won following an Awesomebomb to the floor through a table and a splash. 

Awesome never wrestled again after the first ECW PPV. He was working in real estate at the time of his death.

2007 - WWE held a live RAW and taped WWE.com Heat at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield, California. The results were:
Heat:
- Chris Masters defeated Eugene.
- Super Crazy defeated Mike Wellington.
- Cryme Tyme (JTG and Shad) defeated The World's Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas).
RAW:
- Umaga (with Armando Alejandro Estrada) pinned WWE Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy after the Samoan Spike to win the title. This ended Hardy's third reign.
- Carlito (with Torrie Wilson) and Ric Flair defeated Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, when Carlito pinned Murdoch after the Backcracker.
- Edge pinned Rob Van Dam after a spear to qualify for WrestleMania 23's Money in the Bank Ladder match.
- Melina pinned WWE Women's Champion Mickie James with a roll-over countered from a hurricanrana to win the title. This ended Mickie's second reign.
- The Great Khali defeated The Highlanders (Rory and Robbie McAllister) in a Handicap match by pinning Robbie with one foot after a tree slam.
- World Tag Team and WWE Champion John Cena defeated Randy Orton by disqualification when Edge interfered and speared Cena as he had Orton up for the FU. Edge and Orton went for a Conchairto on Cena with Shawn Michaels making the save.
- In a dark match after Raw, World Tag Team Champions - WWE Champion John Cena and Shawn Michaels defeated Rated-RKO (Edge and Randy Orton) to retain the title.

2008 - WWE broadcast ECW on Sci Fi. Mike Johnson filed the following TV report:

Welcome to this week's coverage of ECW on Sci Fi, which is on a tape delay of about 25 minutes from the

Smackdown/ECW taping San Diego, California.

Joey Styles welcomed everyone to the show. Ric Flair came to the ring. Tazz met him in the ring and said that he's been in the business for 22 years and from the day that he started, the one name everyone respected was Flair. Tazz congratulated him on being named the first member of the 2008 WWE Hall of Fame.

Flair thanked Tazz and all the fans. He said that being inducted was a huge honor and that it was something wrestlers only dream of. He said that being the first active wrestler inducted may be the biggest honor of his career. Flair said that his induction was a symbol that he was getting ready to retire, because he would be forced to retire is he loses, but said it's not to happen.

Flair began to talk about how WWE was the greatest company in the world, Elijah Burke came to the ring and said he had three words for Flair, "Jim Crockett Promotions." OK, he didn't, but that's what I was thinking. Burke really said that he was a fan of Flair growing up and wanted to be the first to welcome Flair to "his house, ECW." Burke said he was hand-picked by Vince McMahon to lead the New Breed of ECW.

Shelton Benjamin's music hit and he came to the ring. He then said he had three words for Flair. "Mid-Atlantic Wrestling." OK, that didn't happen either. He said that he had the same idea that Elijah did. Benjamin said that Flair was the gold standard for wrestling and introduced himself as the new gold standard of professional wrestling. He said that Flair's time was over.

Flair said he was struggling with their level of sincerity, and said that if they wanted to talk about gold, he wanted to remind them that no matter what they have accomplished or will accomplish, it will never mean more than the 16 World titles held by Flair. He's shooting! They attacked Flair and CM Punk made the save.

They aired a great No Way Out PPV recap video package.

Backstage, Elijah Burke and Shelton Benjamin were hot over CM Punk getting involved. Armando came up to them and said that they were both nuts for going after Flair, but thanked them for trying to get revenge for Terry Funk after all these years. OK, he really told them they were wrestling Flair and Punk later tonight. That'll be the first time Punk and Flair have ever teamed.

Kofi Kingston vs. Jason Riggs

Kofi controlled the match early. Riggs cut off the momentum and cinched in a rear chinlock. Kofi fought his way out of it. Kofi tipped up and nailed a jawbreaker. Kofi cleaned house with his unique kicks and punches. Kofi followed up with a Russian Legsweep, his boot boot boot legdrop and the Jamaican Buzzsaw (great nod to Tajiri and WWE should steal that nickname and trademark it) kick for the pin. Kingston is really unique. He reminds me of a young Sting mixed with a young RVD, very charismatic and raw.

Joey Styles interviewed Kofi Kingston. Kingston said ECW was like paradise for him and if there's ever trouble in paradise, Kofi will take care of it. I really like Kofi thus far.

They aired a video feature on the great Hornswoggle angle last night. They announced he may have bleeding on the brain. 

The Miz vs. Colin Delaney

Tommy Dreamer and John Morrison were in the corners. Miz killed Colin early. He kept killing him. Dreamer rallied the crowd. Delaney actually nailed a few shots, but Morrison interfered. The referee tossed Morrison out of ringside. Delaney rolled up Miz, who kicked up. Miz cut him off with a clothesline and nailed the Reality Check for the pin.

Your winner, The Miz!

Miz kept working over Delaney so Dreamer attacked him. Morrison attacked Dreamer and nailed his corkscrew neckbreaker. They laid out poor Mikey. Delaney actually had a bloody lip as they went to commercial.

They aired clips of Beth Phoenix vs. Maria last night.

They asked Kelly Kelly about Maria's Playboy shoot. She said Maria always wanted to do Playboy and that's something Kelly has always wanted to do as well. They announced there would be footage of Maria's photo shoot on Raw.

Stevie Richards vs. James Curtis

Before the match, they aired clips of the great Stevie interview from two weeks back. Richards nailed a drop toehold on Curtis, then nailed a kick to the chest. Curtis came back with a clothesline and went after Richards' throat. Curtis applied a side chinlock. Stevie came back with a neckbreaker, the hit a running clothesline in the corner. Stevie drilled him with the Stevie-T for the pin.

Your winner, Stevie Richards!

We went to the Raw Rebound. How many times are we going to show what happened last night in an hour?

They show Flair and CM Punk walking the halls in the back exchanging "Woos." That was cool.

Ric Flair & CM Punk vs. Elijah Burke & Shelton Benjamin

They showed a sign that said "I paid to see CM Punk" as Punk came to the ring. The sign had the ROH logo on it, which cracked me up. Can someone explain to me why the BABYFACES came to the ring first? Joey Styles noted that because it was a tag team match, Flair's career was not on the line.

Punk started with Burke. Punk controlled him early and tagged in Flair. Flair worked over Burke with chops in the corner and covered Burke for a near fall. Burke nailed him with a thumb to the eye. He went to the top, but Flair, remembering all the times this strategy failed for him, caught and slammed Elijah off the top.

When they returned, Benjamin was working over Flair. Flair finally made the hot tag to Punk. He cleaned house on Benjamin and hit the running knee into the corner but was shoved off when he attempted a bulldog out of it. Burke tagged in and peppered Punk with punches, then nailed a suplex for a two count.

Burke and Benjamin worked over Punk. Benjamin went for a running powerbomb into the corner and something went wrong because Punk just fell over the ropes and to the floor. Punk returned to the ring and they tried again, but this time Punk escaped as planned and kicked Benjamin in the mush.

Punk tagged Flair, who unloaded with chops on Burke. Punk hit the Cactus clothesline on Benjamin. Burke missed the Elijah Express and was caught with the figure four. That was all she wrote.

Your winners, CM Punk and Ric Flair!

A decent main event. You just know all three were having fun getting the chance to work with Flair.

2008 - The Tampa Tribune reported that the presiding judge in Nick Hogan's criminal case stemming from his August 2007 car wreck has ordered a pre-sentencing investigation into Nick's family background and personal life. As mentioned earlier today on PWInsider.com, this is usually done while taking a plea bargain into account. The Tampa Tribune noted that Hulk Hogan's son, could qualify from a sentence ranging from probation up to five years in prison. Nick's lawyer, Kevin Hayslett, told the Tribune that Hogan hasn't been driving (which is good, considering his license was revoked) and that he is working on ways he can do community service to try and create something positive out of the situation. Hogan ended up spending several months in prison.

2009 - While doing press in Hong Kong for his Disney movie "Race To Witch Mountain", Dwayne Johnson responded to a question about returning to World Wrestling Entertainment by stating "I retired five years ago. That was a character I loved playing. That gave me the great opportunity to move on and to transition. That created a platform for me that can never be duplicated.

2009 - In a case of real life imitating art Scott Siegel, the actor who appeared in Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler" playing a drug dealer that provides Mickey Rourke's Randy the Ram with steroids in a memorable scene, was arrested tonight in Upstate New York following a lengthy car chase and charged with distribution of steroids and assaulting an officer.
Siegel was apprehended after a dramatic car chase where he rammed several police vehicles during a chase through several areas of Westchester, New York. He was finally caught in Eastchester after abandoning his SUV and attempting to flee on foot. Full circumstances of the chase and arrest have not yet been released by authorities.

According to an interview Rourke gave on Jimmy Kimmel Live several months back, he and Darren Aronofsky discovered Siegel in a club and offered him the role despite having no previous acting experience. Rourke claimed in the interview that Siegel's work had led to two additional acting roles since "The Wrestler." In his scene with Rourke, Siegel plays a drug dealer that hooks up Randy the Ram with steroids in a gym locker room.

2010 - TNA signed Shannon Moore.

2010 - Hulk and Nick Hogan settled the lawsuit that was filed against them on behalf of John Graziano, who was seriously injured in Nick's 2007 car crash.

2010 - Ezekiel Jackson, the final ECW champion in the WWE version of that entity, was moved to Smackdown.

2010 - WWE ran a Supershow in Chicago, IL. Gregory Davis filed the following results:

Allstate Arena was 99% sold out. Justin Roberts was the ring announcer. Kelly Kelly was the guest hostess.

1. Mickie James, Eve Torres, and the Bella Twins defeated Michelle McCool, Maryse, Beth Phoenix, and Alicia Fox
2. Primo defeated Chavo Guerrero
3. Ezekiel Jackson defeated Goldust
4. Show-Miz defeated MVP and Mark Henry to retain the Unified Tag Team Championship
5. Kofi Kingston defeated Carlito
6. Drew McIntire vs. Kane for the IC Championship went to a double countout.
7. John Morrison defeated CM Punk w/ Luke Gallows
8. John Cena, Edge, and the Undertaker defeated Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Batista

2012 - Then-WWE developmental wrestler Taylor Rotunda (Bo Dallas), who is the son of WWE Producer Mike Rotunda, was arrested by Temple Terrace, FL police at 2:36 in the morning for drunk driving.  He was given two breathalyzer tests and blow a .166 and a .178. Both are more than double the legal limit In Florida.