10/21 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: WWE SIGNS BRET HART TO A 20 YEAR DEAL (ALTHOUGH IT DOESN'T WORK OUT THAT WAY)
By Mike Johnson
on 2013-10-21 08:00:00
On this day in history in ....
1955 - Ray Gunkel and Wilbur Snyder defeat Duke Keomuka and Danny Savich in Houston, Texas, ending Keomuka and Savich's fifth NWA Texas Tag Team Title reign.
1968 - Rocket Monroe defeats Bob Kelly to win the NWA Mississippi Heavyweight Title.
1969 - Fritz Von Erich wins his seventh NWA American Heavyweight Title by defeating Johnny Valentine in Dallas, Texas.
1969 - Danny Hodge defeats Chuck Karbo in Little Rock, Arkansas to win the Mid-South North American Heavyweight Title.
1971 - Dick Murdoch & Bobby Duncum defeat The Australians (Larry O'Day & Ron Miller) in Tampa, Florida to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Title.
1972 - All Japan Pro Wrestling holds it's first ever show at Machida City Gym in Tokyo, Japan. The show is headlined by a two out of three fall tag team match, with Bruno Sammartino & Terry Funk defeating Giant Baba & Thunder Sugiyama. Funk pinned Sugiyama to win the first fall, Sugiyama pinned Funk to win the second, and Baba & Sugiyama were counted out in the final fall.
1972 - The Sheik defeats Fred Curry for the NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Title in Honolulu, Hawaii.
1974 - Ernie Ladd defeats Carlos Colon in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the WWC North American Heavyweight Title.
1976 - Akihisa Takachiho & Samson Kutsuwada defeat Jerry & Ted Oates to win the All Japan All-Asian Tag Team Title in Gifu, Japan. This was the fourth anniversary of the very first All Japan show.
1976 - Mike George and Super Intern defeat Mad Dog Vachon and Baron Von Raschke to win the Central States version of the NWA World Tag Team Title in Kansas City, Kansas.
1977 - Ricky Steamboat defeats Ric Flair for the NWA United States Heavyweight Title in Charleston, South Carolina.
1977 - Victor Rivera and Texas Red defeat Black Gordman and Goliath for the NWA Americas Tag Team Title, ending Rivera and Red's thirteenth of seventeen reigns as champions.
1978 - Ken Patera defeats Tony Atlas to win his second NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title in Greensboro, North Carolina.
1979 - Manny Fernandez defeats Terry Funk in Orlando, Florida to win the NWA Florida Heavyweight Title.
1982 - King Kamaka and General Hiro defeat Mark Lewin and Al Perez for the NWA Australasian Tag Team Title in Auckland, New Zealand.
1983 - Jack and Jerry Brisco begin their second reign and end the fourth reign of Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood as NWA World Tag Team Champions in Richmond, Virginia.
1985 - All Japan Pro Wrestling holds it's 13th Anniversary show at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The main event sees NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs. AWA World Heavyweight Champion Rick Martel end in a double countout after over a half hour of action. Other notable matches: Jumbo Tsuruta & Genichiro Tenryu defeated the Road Warriors via DQ. ... Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu defeated Mil Mascaras & Art Cruz. ... Tiger Mask (Misawa), Terry & Dory Funk defeated Chavo Guerrero, Terry Gordy & Billy Robinson. ... Killer Khan defeated The Great Kabuki via DQ.
1985 - Phil Hickerson defeats Mongolian Stomper in Memphis, Tennessee to win the AWA International Heavyweight Title for the third time.
1985 - King Parsons defeats John Tatum for the WCCW Television Title in Fort Worth, Texas.
1986 - All Japan Pro Wrestling holds it's 14th Anniversary show at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The show is headlined by PWF World Heavyweight Champion Riki Choshu defeating Terry Funk via submission and Jumbo Tsuruta defeating Stan Hansen for the NWA International Heavyweight Title. Also on the card, Giant Baba & Genichiro Tenryu defeat The Road Warriors via DQ.
1989 - Pirata Morgan ends Satanico's second reign as NWA World Light Heavyweight Champion in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
1992 - Fantasma de la Quebrada defeats Ciclon Ramirez for the Mexican National Welterweight Title.
1992 - All Japan Pro Wrestling holds it's 20th Anniversary show at Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan. In the main event, Triple Crown Champion Mitsuharu Misawa defeats Toshiaki Kawada. Also on the show, Jumbo Tsuruta, Andre The Giant & Terry Gordy defeat Giant Baba, Stan Hansen & Dory Funk Jr. when Tsuruta pins Funk.
1996 - Bret Hart, ending months of rumors and speculation, signs a 20-year contract with the World Wrestling Federation, turning down a lucrative offer from WCW. As part of the agreement, which will see Hart become a part of the WWF office following his in-ring career, Bret is allowed to go into the ring during a live edition of Raw and discuss his decision. Hart does not blast WCW (as some within WWF were hoping), but does reveal that he is staying with the WWF. One year later, Vince McMahon would be asking Bret to drop the WWF Title to Shawn Michaels at the Survivor Series and releasing him from the contract, beginning the most famous story in wrestling history, the Montreal Screwjob.
1996 - Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeats Marc Mero the WWF Intercontinental Title, his first title in WWF/E.
1996 - Wolfie D (Kelly Wolfe) and Brian Christopher defeat Bill and Jamie Dundee to win the held up USWA Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee.
1997 - All Japan Pro Wrestling holds it's 25th Anniversary show at Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan. In the main event, Triple Crown Champion Mitsuharu Misawa defeats Kenta Kobashi. Other notable results from the show: Toshiaki Kawada defeats Yoshihiro Takayama. ... Akira Taue defeats Johnny Ace. ... Giant Baba, Stan Hansen & Jumbo Tsuruta defeat Kamala II, Tamon Honda & Masa Fuchi.
2001 - WWF held their No Mercy Pay-per-view in St. Louis, Missouri at the Savvis Center, continuing the WCW-WWF "Invasion" storyline. Tim Whitehead's original report:
WWF No Mercy looked to be just another show going in, but it turned out to be one of the best PPV's of the year. Appropriately, considering it aired from St. Louis, it was a wrestling-based PPV in a city where legendary promoter Sam Muchnick always put the in-ring product, and its credibility, over the gimmickry and cartoon aspects. There were fewer run-ins on the undercard and those in the main events at least made storyline sense. Both top matches were great, as was the ladder match. Nothing was particularly bad. The lingerie match wasn't good wrestling but it was, shall we say, very watchable. Commentary was solid from Jim Ross & Paul Heyman. The live crowd was hot for most of the show.
THE HARDY BOYZ beat LANCE STORM & HURRICANE to retain the WCW Tag Titles in 7:41. Heyman brought up that Hurricane and the Hardys had matches against each other on local shows back in the Carolinas before hitting it big. They seemed to be emphasizing history more on this show, since they were in St. Louis. Storm and Hurricane did a cool double team spot on Matt. Jeff cleaned house but bumped out while going after Ivory, who had interfered. Hurricane started for a plancha but Lita lariated him. Hurricane donned the cape and did a high (and I mean really high) dive to the floor. Jeff nearly killed Storm as he came off a springboard move. They went to a lot of near falls with big crowd pops and Lita, Ivory, and Molly all getting involved. I love Lita's huracanrana spots. Matt nailed Hurricane with the twist of fate and then pinned him after a swanton from Jeff. Real good opener.
Rob Van Dam arrived and William Regal demanded that he apologize to Steve Austin for five-starring him on Smackdown. RVD refused. Regal also accused him of being involved with Vince McMahon, but RVD said he's in it for himself and no one else.
Michael Cole interviewed the arriving Vince McMahon. Vince demanded that Cole help him with his jacket. Cole was nervous and dropped it. Vince didn't say much, just that he was there to make an impact. He told Cole that if he ever drops his jacket again, he'll drop him.
TEST beat KANE in 10:08. Mostly brawling. There were a couple of off-center spots but it was way better than you'd expect. Overall, a decent match of this type. Test used the ring bell right in front of referee Nick Patrick, who didn't call for a DQ (still doing the heel ref act). Test got a busted lip. Test delivered some hard kicks and Kane did his chokeslam. They got some good crowd pops for near falls. Test got a chair but Kane dropkicked it back into Test's face. Kane went for another chokeslam but Test blocked it and gave Kane a hard boot to the face and got the pin. Afterward, Kane gave Patrick two chokeslams and a powerbomb.
Jonathan Coachman wanted to interview Austin but Debra said he doesn't want to talk. However, Austin yelled out to Debra to tell Coachman that Kurt Angle is a sorry son of a bitch, RVD is a big piece of trash, Vince is an even bigger piece of trash, and there's no way he'll lose the WWF Title. Even though Coachman (and everyone else) heard Austin, Debra repeated everything, though cleaning up the language.
Stacy Keibler arrived and encountered Matt Hardy. She flirted with him and showed him her lingerie. Matt stared after her as she walked away. Lita arrived and asked what he was staring at. He stammered out some excuse and turned his attentions to Lita.
TORRIE WILSON beat STACY KIEBLER in the lingerie match in 3:07. I guess since they were on hallowed St. Louis ground, they didn't do the regular lingerie gimmick where the girls strip each other down to their undies. Instead, it was a regular wrestling match with both already in their undies. JR said up front that this wouldn't be comparable to Dory Funk vs. Jack Brisco. Stacy did two perfect cartwheels (she's a former cheerleader). They mostly wrestled around and reversed each other's roll-up attempts until finally Torrie scored the three count.
Angle was interviewed by Cole. He said Vince marches to the beat of a different drum and acted a little concerned that Vince was seen on Smackdown with RVD. Vince walked up and wished Angle luck. Angle said he doesn't need luck.
Lilian Garcia interviewed Christian. He said that Edge found out that however good you are, there's always someone a little bit better, comparing that to Mark McGuire's record being shattered as a way of rubbing it in to the St. Louis fans.
EDGE beat CHRISTIAN in a ladder match to regain the IC Title in 22:14. This was a great match but it came off looking a little slower paced than some prior ladder matches. That's partly because some of the prior ones set standards that are hard to beat without committing suicide and also because a multiple tag team ladder match allows for some team members to remain active while others sell the killer spots. They brawled early with Christian taking a high backdrop. The crowd started getting into it when the first ladder appeared. Both took bumps into the ladder, and Christian got crotched in a spot that looked very risky. Edge took the requisite teeter-totter shot. Christian took the first bump off the ladder. Edge blocked a chairshot and got slammed on a ladder. Each went up separate ladders and both bumped off. Christian got two chairs to do the one-man "concerto" but Edge blocked it. Edge brought in a third ladder. Both took more bumps off, including Edge spearing Christian off a ladder. Both went up yet again and ended up bumping all the way to the floor. Both recovered and climbed again. This time, Edge crotched Christian with a chair and managed to do the one-man "concerto" on Christian on top of the ladders. Christian fell off and Edge grabbed the belt for the win. Excellent match!
Spike Dudley appeared at WWF New York. Heyman sarcastically asked him about being dumped by Molly. But a hot chick began coming on to Spike, who said, "Molly who?"
THE DUDLEYS defeated BIG SHOW & TAJIRI in 9:18 to retain the WWF Tag Titles. The Dudleys pounded Tajiri, who made occasional comebacks with his kicks and handsprings. JR compared the Dudleys to the Midnight Express, which set Heyman off asserting that the Dudleys are superior to the Midnights in numerous ways. Heyman has long had legit heat with Jim Cornette, who was manager of the Midnights, so I guess this was Heyman's way of taking a verbal shot. Actually, any fan from the eighties knows that the Midnights were off-the-charts spectacular. Tajiri finally hot tagged, after earlier doing a spot where the ref didn't see a tag. Show cleaned house until taking a low blow. Tajiri came back in but accidentally misted the referee. Rhyno ran in and gored Show (the only undercard run-in). Tajiri kicked D-Von's head off but only scored a two. The Dudleys then 3D'ed Tajiri and got the pin. A solid match.
Rhyno told Regal backstage that he did the run-in because he's tired of the Alliance being disrespected and treated as a joke. They should have thought of that six months ago when they made the decision to have the WCW guys job in their first appearances, and they've been mostly jobbing ever since.
UNDERTAKER beat BOOKER T in 12:11. Booker attacked Undertaker as he got off his motorcycle. Guess he should have worn a helmet. They brawled on the floor. Booker's shoulder hit the post and he sold it for the rest of the match. UT did his rope walk. The crowd was quiet for the first part of this match but popped by the end. Booker hit a great missile kick and scored a series of near falls. UT scored a near fall with a serious looking DDT. Booker got a pop for the spinaroonie. Booker was pounding UT in the corner when UT simply lifted him up and gave him the last ride for the pin. Booker really needed the win here since they've made him into something of a buffoon lately. But it was a decent match.
CHRIS JERICHO defeated ROCK in 23:40 to capture the WCW World Title. JR mentioned that Jericho was in WCW for three years and never even got a WCW Title shot. Anybody else hear Kevin Nash's name echoing around the room? JR & Heyman put over history big time here, mentioning Ric Flair, Rick Steamboat, and even back as far as Gene Kiniski and Whipper Billy Watson. They were using the generic title lineage linking the old NWA Title to the WCW belt. JR also mentioned the Black Scorpion, though not in a positive context. Rock blocked an early attempt by Jericho to hook the walls hold. Jericho springboard kicked Rock off the apron. Jericho hit an elbow off the top and a flying forearm. They traded hard chops. Heyman put over Jericho's international experience. Rock hit a superplex. The crowd was really into this one, and with good reason. Rock did a Samoan Drop, and JR noted it was a move used by High Chief Peter Maivia, the late grandather of Rock. Rock rammed Jericho into the announcers' desk. Jericho hit an excellent missile kick and got a near fall with Rock's own Rock Bottom move, followed by a lionsault. The heat for the last few minutes was awesome. Jericho tried for a People's Elbow but Rock rolled clear. Rock used a sharpshooter for a pop. Jericho made the ropes. Rock put Jericho through the Spanish table with a Rock Bottom. Back in the ring, they did a fantastic spot where Jericho blocked a People's Elbow and turned it into the walls hold. Stephanie then arrived and tossed in a chair, presumably for Rock (the lesser of two evils to her) to use. However, Rock dragged her into the ring and flattened her with a Rock Bottom. But this allowed Jericho to catch Rock from behind and full nelson slam him on the chair for the pin and title change, which drew a huge babyface pop. So Jericho finally won the big one, thanks to Stephanie. Steph was hysterical when she came to and saw what happened. When Rock revived he teased hitting Jericho with the chair but instead handed the chair to Jericho in a gesture of goodwill. Excellent match from top to bottom.
STEVE AUSTIN beat KURT ANGLE and ROB VAN DAM in the Triple Threat match to retain the WWF World Title in 15:14. They announced earlier on Heat that this was now a no-DQ match (i.e., expect the McMahons to get involved). Here's a lesson for the WWF. Normally, they job any newcomer who arrives there from other federations to the point that they rarely get them over at top tier level. But for whatever reason, they didn't job RVD and allowed him to score pins on top tier guys. The result? RVD is now a main eventer in record time and the guys who put him over weren't hurt a bit. Angle started off by suplexing the hell out of both Austin and RVD. They then joined forces to beat up Angle. Angle got an ankle lock on Austin but RVD made the save. RVD laid in the kicks on both opponents and hit the rolling thunder on Angle. Angle took several major bumps out to the floor. Austin kept working on RVD's leg. Austin and Angle brawled on the floor and RVD did a somersault plancha onto both of them. The crowd was really into this. Angle hit RVD with a high moonsault, as in Kenta Kobashi high. That's really a scary looking move to take. Austin hit a stunner on Angle but RVD broke up the pin. Angle saved when RVD hit the split-leg moonsault on Austin. Angle hit his Olympic Slam on RVD but Austin saved. Austin and Angle traded hard chops. Angle backdropped Austin onto the desk, followed by RVD doing a tope on Angle. Vince then arrived to a big crowd reaction. RVD went up for the five star but Angle superplexed him. Austin hit another stunner on Angle, but Angle fell out of the ring afterward and Austin couldn't get the pin. Vince went in and plastered Austin with a chairshot which legit cut Austin around the ear and he juiced. Funny, everyone was waiting for RVD to potato someone and it was Vince who did it. RVD hit the five star on Austin but Angle went after RVD and gave him the multiple German suplexes. Shane McMahon ran in and assaulted Angle. Vince attacked Shane and they bumped hard across the desk with Vince pounding away. While this was going on, Austin hit the stunner out of nowhere on RVD and got the pin. Austin staggered out, bloody but victorious. Vince didn't look pleased. It all was set up to look like Vince was trying to help RVD more than Angle. The match was a very strong main event to end a hot show.
2001 - A.J. Styles defeats Petey Williams, Christopher Daniels and Chris Sabin in a four-way match to win the vacant IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Title in Evansville, Indiana.
2003 - Doug & Danny Basham defeat Eddie & Chavo Guerrero for the WWE Tag Team Title in Albany, New York, ending the second and final reign for the uncle-nephew tandem of the Guerreros.
2006 - WWE announced that former star Cpl. Kirchner had died, although it turned out to be an error on their part. PWInsider.com received the following statement this morning from Jean Kirchner, the mother of former WWF star Cpl. Kirchner in regard to the erroneous WWE.com report of his passing.
My name is Jean Kirchner and I'm Cpl. Kirchner's mother.
While I thank you for your condolences, they aren't necessary because Mike (a.k.a. Cpl. Kirchner) is alive and well.
Who Thomas Spears is, I haven't a clue, and my condolences to his family. He was never the "Corp" and I assume this is some kind of mix-up in the WWE database since the information came from them.
I called them as soon as my brother-in-law told me about the article and they removed it.
All I can tell you is that I wrote the book and my son is, thankfully, alive and well.
a.k.a. G.M. O'Callaghan
The gaffe brought about a number of convention appearances for Kirchner. Strangely, while they never issued a correction, WWE did do a "Where are they now?" article on Kirchner several years later.
2007 - Ring of Honor ran their first event in San Francisco, California at the Cow Palaca. Keith Lipinski filed the following report:
*Chris Hero defeated The Human Tornado with the Hangman's Clutch in 12:56. Good opener with plenty of Tornado dancing. Claudio Castagnoli hit the ring and beat on Hero
*FIP champion Roderick Strong defeated Claudio Castagnoli in 13:31 with the Gibson Driver.
*Adam Pearce defeated Karl Anderson in 7:35 after a piledriver. Anderson looked good and "may have lost a tooth" from a stiff lariat. During the match, Delirious hit ringside and bit Shane Hagadorn.
*Brent Albright defeated Delirious with the T-Bone suplex in 8:12. During the match, Delirious had Albright tapping to the Cobra Stretch but the referee missed it as he was distracted by Adam Pearce.
*The Age of the Fall's Jimmy Jacobs and Necro Butcher defeated Davey Richards and Rocky Romero. Lots of brawling in the crowd. Necro hit a Tiger Driver on Richards while Jaobs hit his guillotine choke into a DDT on Romero.
*Bryan Danielson defeated Austin Aries in 18:47 with a small package in what was described as an incredible match.
*ROH champion Nigel McGuiness defeated Jay Briscoe in his first title defense with a wrist submission in 18:52. The Age of the Fall brawled with the Briscoes. Rocky Romero and Davey Richards hit the ring, followed by a series of run-ins with Austin Arues, Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli to end the show with a big brawl.
2008 - WWE broadcast ECW. Mike Johnson filed the following TV report:
ECW champ Matt Hardy made his way to the ring. Hardy noted they are five days away from Cyber Sunday and that it's up to the fans to decide who gets to challenge him for the title. Hardy mentioned "Fit" Finlay and Evan Bourne, but Hardy said he wanted to talk about Mark Henry. Hardy said that two weeks ago he was left laying in the ring and Henry was trying to send him a message that he wanted one more shot at the belt. Hardy said that he's heard the message loud and clear and "he's sure the WWE Universe is going to vote you in because they hate you." Hardy said Henry is getting his vote. Even after Creative voted to bury the guy last night?
Finlay's music hit and he and Hornswoggle came to the ring. Finlay said that they were both drafted to ECW in June and have been opponents and partners, but they haven't faced off for the title on Hardy's shoulder. Finlay said that if he gets voted in, that will change and so will the ownership of the title.
Evan Bourne's music hit. He got a nice pop coming out. Bourne said that if Finlay is campaigning, he should join the party. Bourne said he's new but he won't be overlooked. Finlay mocked his height and called him "Bournswoggle." It died. Bourne said that he can have the jokes because Bourne wants the jokes.
Mark Henry came out to insure this felt like a Raw opening. The fans started chanting "What" to make it feel like a Raw opening from seven years ago. Henry promised that he was going to dominate tonight in their three-way and then everyone will know who to vote for. Henry promised that Hardy's title run would come to an end at Cyber Sunday. Hardy told them all that winning the vote at Cyber Sunday is the only thing they were going to win. Fans chanted for Hardy. Matt promised he'd be the winner when it was all "said and done."
Jack Swagger vs. Brett Braderly
Swagger looked impressive in a quick win over Braderly. The announcing focus was on why Swagger would want to mess with Tommy Dreamer. Have you see him win lately? Afterwards, Grisham tried to question Swagger, asking him what would happen when they crossed paths in the ring. Swagger responded, "Tommy who?" and walked off smiling.
Lena Yada interviewed John Morrison and The Miz. They said that Cryme Time tried to vote for themselves for Cyber Sunday but the cell phones they stole were already turned off. Miz said he has a bigger segment of female voters than Sarah Palin. They promised to take out Shad Garpard tonight and told Lena to "be jealous." She had this great look of disgust and "Can you believe these two" when they left that was awesome.
Shad Gaspard vs. The Miz
OK match, but they had the worst back bodydrop attempt of all time, to the point I am shocked it wasn't exited off the broadcast. At one point, Striker said Miz and Morrison should call themselves the Hollywood Brunettes. Morrison tried to interfere, but the referee caught him and that allowed JTG to trip Miz. Morrison kicked Shad in the head from behind but the referee caught him and called for the DQ. Miz didn't understand why he was DQ'd and before he could figure it out, was dropkicked out of the ring by JTG.
They pushed John Cena's return hard, then the PPV.
Tiffany, dressed as a go-go dancer who can't act, was getting macked on by Ricky Ortiz. Hornswoggle showed up looking to trick or treat and got candy from Teddy Long dressed as Shaft. What's next, Tony Schiavone returning to reprise those Halloween Havoc PPVs dressed like the Phantom of the Opera?
Mark Henry vs. Evan Bourne vs. Finlay
Well put together match. Finlay nailed Bourne with a shoulderbreaker but only got a two count. Finlay picked up and dropped Bourne over the ropes throat-first, then shoulderblocked Bourne into the corner. Finlay went for a back suplex but Bourne landed on his feet. He nailed a rana, sending Finlay into Henry. Their heads clunked and Bourne covered Finlay for a two count. Finlay tried to turn it over into a crucifix but Henry dragged Bourne to the floor, nailed him, then went after Finlay in the corner. Bourne covfered Finlay but Henry broke up the pin. Henry nailed a reverse clothesline on Finlay. So far so good. When they returned, Henry continued to clean house on Henry. They went back and forth. Henry had Finlay beat and called for Atlas to grab Hornswoggle. Atlas pulled him from under the ring but Finlay made the save. He nailed Henry with the shillelagh, allowing Evan Bourne to nail a shooting star press and get the pin.
Your winner, Evan Bourne!
2008 - World Wrestling Entertainment announced that Lia Maivia, who was a long-time promoter in Hawaii, the wife of the late Peter Maivia and grandmother of former WWF champ Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, has passed away. The cause of death was not mentioned in the WWE.com article. Maivia was 81.
Maivia took over the promotional end of NWA Polynesian Pro Wrestling when Peter Maivia passed away in 1982. Lia Maivia had strong connections with New Japan Pro and World Class in Dallas, Texas in the 1980s. Working with booker Lars Anderson, among the talents who worked the territory at the time were Kevin Von Erich, Don Muraco, Jimmy Snuka, Ric Flair (defending the NWA title) and future son-in-law Rocky Johnson.
At the time, Maivia was considered something of a viper and as ruthless as one could imagine when it came to promotional wars. The word at the time was not to cross her, because it would be to your own physical detriment, something that Lars Anderson found out as he was heavily beaten after a falling out with the company.
Maivia's nastier side was publicly chronicled in-depth in Bruno Lauer's autobiography, which was released earlier this year. In the book, Lauer wrote about working in the office during the latter days of the company and how hard he fought to get on her good side, not really doing so until the end of his tenure there. Still, when running into her years later at a Wrestlemania event, he noted in the book, "She was very cordial to me, but in general, she was still a nasty b**ch."
In more recent years, a softer Maivia was seen at ringside for a number of major matches featuring The Rock, especially during the end of his in-ring career.
Maivia was last seen publicly at the 2008 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony in Orlando, where she accepted Peter Maivia's induction into the Hall. Maivia's daughter Ata married Rocky Johnson, who was also inducted into the Hall last March. Both were inducted by Dwayne Johnson, one of the highlights of the event.
2009 - TNA star Chris Sabin was injured during an Impact taping for the episode scheduled to air on 10/29. Sabin and partner Alex Shelley were wrestling Team 3D when Sabin took a bad bump on his neck while working with Brother Ray. The bump took place during what was described to me as a move similar to an uranage, but I don't have that confirmed 100% as the move. I was told it was an extremely scary moment but Sabin did eventually walk out of the ring. We are waiting to hear details on the severity of the injury.
When Kevin Nash came out later in the taping for a live promo directed at the World Elite group, he actually addressed the injury. I was told that Nash said he was glad that TNA was a taped show and then "tore down the company" for not stopping the match after they learned of Sabin's injury.
Nash also had a huge outburst backstage following Sabin's injury. Following the match, Nash was screaming to whoever would listen that the production of the match should have been halted because of Sabin's injury and was loudly complaining that the company continued on with the match when it was obvious Sabin had injured his neck. TNA sources also confirmed that when Nash went out before the crowd and made reference to the incident and that the company should have halted the match, he was going into business for himself and shooting. It wasn't something scripted for him or added to his promo at the last second by TNA creative. I suspect those comments will be edited off the 10/29 Impact broadcast.
One rumor making the rounds is that Nash was screaming at Team 3D for the situation, but according to witnesses I spoke to, there isn't anything to that. I was told Nash wasn't yelling at 3D or any other talents during his tirade but more screaming and "throwing a tantrum to anyone in ear shot" about the production truck not being responsible to the wrestlers. As one source noted about that story, had Nash been complaining about 3D continuing the match and "not protecting Sabin" following the injury, there would be a lot of irony there as when Nash blew out his quadriceps during a July 2002 episode of Monday Night Raw, it was Brother Ray who immediately realized something was wrong and pulled Nash to the ropes during a 10 Man tag bout.
2009 - During an interview with CNN to promote his second autobiography, Hulk Hogan claimed that he once tried to commit suicide, having downed rum and Xanax, and was about to shoot himself, when a phone call from Laila Ali (co-host of American Gladiators with Hogan, and the daughter of Muhammad Ali) stopped him.
2009 - Comedy Central's South Park featured a pro wrestling-centric episode. The plot featured characters Kyle, Stan, Cartman and the crew deciding to create their own backyard wrestling promotion after attending a WWE event. The episode featured animated versions of Edge, John Cena and Vince McMahon, lampooning the soap opera aspects of professional wrestling as well as fans who buy into the idea that the storylines are real. Edge and Cena were shown wrestling each other in the opening segments when the boys attended the WWE event. Vince McMahon, portrayed as having a British accent, attended a "WTF Smackdown" event the boys put on while "scouting for the talent." He was placed in an private balcony and watched the performance using opera glasses. In the end, McMahon hired their former amateur wrestling coach, who arrived with a rocket launcher (natually killing Kenny) and ranted about what was real wrestling. As is usual with South Park when celebrities appear, the WWE talents' voices were performed by voice actors, not the actual WWE performers. There were a lot of theatrical comparisons between professional wrestling and theater, including a scene where the boys auditioned new wrestlers that was lifted right out of "A Chorus Line."
2010 - CNN featured a piece on a fast food restaurant manager and a patron wrestling a would-be robber down when he tried to rob a Miami Subs, referring to them going "WWE" on the alleged criminal. That's certainly one of the more humorous ways to describe the incident.
2010 - TNA broadcast Impact on SpikeTV. Stu Carapola filed the following TV report:
Tonight's episode opens with a recap of last week's game-changing events where Hulk Hogan and the Immortals took over the company and kicked Dixie Carter out of the building, Jeff Jarrett left Kurt Angle laying, Fortune joined the Immortals, and Jeff Hardy took his place as the new Antichrist of professional wrestling.
We head to the Impact Zone where Ken Anderson, wearing a sling as a result of a shoulder injury suffered at the hands of the new champion last week, comes out to the ring. Interesting to note that he is wearing his gear, which is strange for a guy who presumably isn't in condition to wrestle. Anderson gets a microphone and begs Jeff Hardy to take his testicles out of Hogan and Bischoff's purse, put his mascara on, and come to the ring right now. Rob Van Dam comes out and asks Anderson if he feels ripped off because he didn't get the chance to win the title he never lost. Suddenly, Jeff Hardy appears on screen to say that forgiveness is something we all have in us, and we all are messed up and do each other wrong. It's human nature, and he did both of them wrong: he ordered Abyss to take care of RVD and beat Anderson at his own game. So he asks RVD and Anderson to find it in their heart to forgive them, and then lets out an evil chuckle. Here comes Eric Bischoff out from the back and he's glad to see RVD and Anderson out there, because he wants to invite them to a special episode of Reaction tonight where he and Hulk reveal how they orchestrated the takeover of TNA. But he wants Anderson to know that he feels somewhat responsible for what happened, and wants Anderson to forgive him for not giving him the opportunity he should have when he saw potential in him. He doesn't think he's challenged Anderson enough, but tonight he's going to make it up to him by putting him in the ring with Frankie Kazarian in an X-Division Match (I assume he means Ultimate X), and then says he can only imagine what it must be like to be RVD and have your best friend hand you like a ham sandwich to Abyss. He wants RVD to know, because he cares about him, that everybody wants to be part of Immortal and tonight he's going to team with someone he probably thinks is a very good friend in Sabu tonight, and not to worry about it at all.
Cue the opening, which focuses entirely on Hogan and company and shows their enemies being destroyed. Nice touch. Tonight: Sarita takes on Mickie James and Beer Money take on RVD & Sabu! Plus, Ken Anderson takes on Frankie Kazarian in Ultimate X.
We catch a clip that apparently aired on TMZ of the TMZ crew harassing the Shore, and we're at commercial.
Backstage, D-Lo is trying to calm RVD down as he bursts into the EV2.0 locker room and starts yelling at them to figure out which of them is plotting to turn on him. Tommy Dreamer tries to calm him down and RVD stares at them all suspiciously and storms out.
Last week, JWOWW came to TNA Impact and beat the tar out of Cookie, and then afterward she said it's pretty intense and the adrenaline rush made her think she could get in there, and she's been bitten by the TNA bug. From there we go back to TMZ bugging the Shore in the parking lot and Cookie saying that JWOWW better not show her face in TNA again.
Speaking of the Shore, let's head to the ring for our first match...
Robbie E vs Amazing Red
Red looks amused by Robbie, and makes the mistake of turning his back before the match and Robbie attacks him from behind viciously stomping him and laying him out with a short clothesline. Red tries mounting a comeback but Robbie rams Red into the corner and hits a series of shoulderblocks. Robbie whips Red to the ropes, but Red comes out with a flying headscissors and a climbing enziguiri and spinkick for 2. Red comes off the top but Robbie just shoves him to his back, measures him, and hits the Diamond Cutter for the win.
Winner: Robbie E
Cookie brings Robbie a mic and tells Jay Lethal to look at what he just did to his buddy Red, and he's going to do it to them too and bling out the X Division Title. They get a BIG boring chant.
Earlier this week, the Pope was at a strip club in Harlem telling the dancers to shake their asses in his face, but takes a break to tell the camera that he had to take on a pack of hyenas by himself. It's gang warfare: something Pope knows very well, and he intends to fight even if he has to fight by himself. He's going to start at the top and calls AJ out, and he doesn't even want to wrestle him, he just wants to fight.
We go to footage from Mick Foley's recent book signing tour as he takes a question from Brian Kendrick as he asks a bunch of stuff that goes over everyone's heads, and then has Mick make the autograph out to Spanky.
We head backstage to Fortune, as they're having a good laugh at the expense of Rob Van Dam, the Pope, and AJ accepts Pope's challenge AND he's going to put his TV Title on the line! He forgets where he left the belt and Flair grabs it and...you guessed it, there's another bottle of Smirnoff Ice behind it, and Flair chugs it. Eric Bischoff comes in and breaks up the party and says that in fairness to Pope, if Fortune interferes in any way, they're going to strip AJ of the TV Title and give it to Pope. Flair says not to worry about it because they're Fortune, and then he tosses his bottle and walks away.
We go to the Beautiful People's dressing room as Miss Tessmacher comes in and says she's sorry and she was just trying to do her job, and she wants them to help her learn how to wrestle. Velvet Sky gets in her face and says to kiss her ass, then decides to go to the gym after all. Lacey leaves with her, and Angelina looks up and sees Katie Lea Burchill standing behind her staring off into space calling herself Winter and saying she's Angelina's biggest fan. Angelina turns around when Velvet walks back in to get her bag, and when she turns back Winter is gone. Angelina asks Velvet if she saw Winter, and Velvet tells her she needs sleepies. This division just gets better by the week.
Let's head back to the ring for our next match...
TV Title Match: AJ Styles vs The Pope
Pope didn't get his money drop on the way to the ring, and presumably that's Hogan and Bischoff cutting costs in these tight fiscal times. Pope calmly tapes up his fists as AJ makes his entrance and goes after him in the entranceway. Pope with a back elbow and tries to hit AJ with the title belt, but AJ ducks and takes a few shots at Pope, but then Pope cracks him again, slams him into the steps, and then catapults him into the ringpost. Pope slams AJ's face into the ring apron and then chokes him out with his wrist tape before firing him back into the ring. AJ uses the high ground to stomp Pope coming into the ring and then kicks him low, but this is a no DQ streetfight apparently, so it's legal. AJ works Pope over in the corner and snapmares Pope into the middle of the ring where he fishhooks Pope's mouth. Pope fights out of the hold and gets a clothesline and a back elbow, but AJ goes to the eyes and nails Pope. Pope responds with a quick series of punches and AJ goes down and Pope covers for 2. Pope goes to pick AJ up but AJ recovers and shoves Pope out through the ropes and to the floor. AJ waits for Pope to get to his feet and then slingshots over the top rope, but Pope moves out of the way and takes AJ out with a clothesline. Pope sends AJ back in the ring and AJ starts to beg off into the corner, but as Pope slowly advances on AJ, Abyss comes out of the crowd to attack Pope and beats him down. See, because Abyss isn't a member of Fortune. Pope slowly tries to pull himself to his feet, and Abyss just lays him out with the Black Hole Slam. AJ slaps him on the ass and tells him to leave the ring and then covers Pope and Earl Hebner slowly and reluctantly counts 3.
Winner: AJ Styles
Fortune comes out to the top of the ramp and applaud, and Brischoff comes out and celebrates with them.
Backstage, Sarita is stretching in preparation of her match with Mickie James tonight and says it's too bad they didn't give Mickie an easier Knockout to make her debut against.
Backstage, Pope is making his way backstage and bumps into Samoa Joe and asks if he likes what he saw out there. Joe says he doesn't want to have anything to do with him, and Pope says he can join the team or fight alone.
We head to Bischoff's office where he's just getting off the phone with Hulk Hogan, and he tells Flair that Hogan said he's not just the Dirtiest Player In The Game, but also the Smartest Player In The Game.
Time to switch tracks and take a look at Team 3D, who decided to retire because there's nothing left to accomplish. Bubba tells a story about Alexander The Great looking out his front door one day and crying because he realized he's conquered everything there is to conquer. After they wrestle the Motor City Machine Guns, they're done, that's going to be their last match because they have other things they want to do outside the business. But still, they are going to see one last, great match with the Machine Guns.
Speaking of the MCMGs, we go to them playing basketball outside with Velvet Sky and a camera crew asks them what they think about Team 3D when Generation Me crashes the party. GenMe accuses them of hiding behind a girl, so the Guns beat them up.
We look back at a video package from last week on Reaction as Jeff Jarrett talks about how Kurt Angle has messed with his life outside the ring, even after Jarrett was the one who brought him to TNA. From there we go to a great promo with a bloody Samoa Joe talking about no matter what Jarrett does to him, he's still kicking, punching, and kneeing and killing people who get in his way. We wrap the segment up with Jeff Jarrett backstage heading to the ring, saying that he's regretted what happened last week for seven days now, and it got way out of hand and he's got no other option than to go out there and apologize to Kurt. We head to commercial.
We're back and Jeff Jarrett is on his way to the ring, and as he walks we take a look back at last week when Jarrett went to town on Kurt Angle to the point where Taz had to leave the broadcast booth and step in. Crowd with a big "you sold out" chant, but Jarrett waves them off and says he's come out to publicly apologize for what he did to Kurt last week. He wants to apologize for humiliating him in front of the whole world (pause for a Jarrett sucks chant), and says that if Angle was standing here right in front of him, he'd tell him how much he deeply regrets...not kicking the crap out of him more than he did, because the King Of The Mountain is back on top again and Kurt is gone from TNA forever. Just like many more before in TNA and many more to come, he made Angle and he broke him. The ironic thing is that he's the one who gave Kurt a job when nobody else wanted him, and he stripped Angle of everything: his dignity, his pride, his honor...oh yeah, and his precious career. And let's not forget, Kurt...oh wait, Samoa Joe's music hits. Joe comes out and he does not look happy. He powerwalks down to the ring and Overzealous Security grab Joe and handcuff him as Jarrett comes out for some free shots on Joe like he did to Kurt like last week, but Joe reverses it and chokes Jarrett with the cuffs. Security intervenes again and beat up Joe, and Jarrett takes a few more shots and throws Joe over the back of the stage, which presumably leads to a long drop. Mike Tenay stands up and starts yelling at Jarrett about what's gotten into him. Tenay said that for eight years, he's been telling everyone that they need to be a team to survive, and now he's turned his back on all of them. Taz just looks solemnly at the ground as Jarrett seems to briefly regret what he did, but then he walks over to the railing and looks down at Joe, and it is indeed a long drop. Jarrett looks up, smiles, and says it looks like Joe does need some help.
We head to commercial, and when we come back, we take a look at what just happened with Jeff Jarrett and Samoa Joe before heading back to the ring for...
Beer Money vs Sabu & Rob Van Dam
RVD and James Storm starts and Storm comes off the ropes, RVD tries a hiptoss but Storm blocks and tries one of his own and RVD blocks and kicks him in the face, then catches him with a monkey flip out of the corner. Sabu and RVD hit Poetry In Motion and RVD spinkicks Storm and Sabu covers for 2. Storm goes to the eyes and tags in Robert Roode, but Sabu with a series of rights, a clothesline, and a clothesline and then whips Roode to the corner and catches him coming off the ropes with another clothesline. Roode reverses a whip and clotheslines Sabu, and Roode starts putting the boots to him. Roode rams Sabu into the corner and tags Storm in, and Storm lays in a few shots and then tags back out to Roode, who delivers an inverted atomic drop and a vertical suplex, followed by a kneedrop for 2. Roode is so old school, I love it. Storm tags back in again and he continues working Sabu over in the corner, but Sabu comes out of nowhere with a springboard tornado DDT and makes the hot tag to RVD. RVD comes in and gets a straight kick to Roode's jaw, suplexes Sabu onto Roode, then hits a standing moonsault for 2. RVD slams Roode and they hit Rolling Thunder for 2. All four men are in the ring and Sabu goes out to the floor with Storm as Roode hits a spinebuster on Van Dam for 2. Roode and Storm go for the DWI but RVD escapes, and Storm tries to spit beer at RVD but RVD moves out of the way and Storm spews in Roode's face, allowing RVD to roll Roode up for 2. Sabu comes in with a chair and tries to throw it at Roode, but Roode ducks out of the way and the chair cracks RVD in the face, and Storm dumps him while Roode covers RVD for the win.
Winners: Beer Money
I do believe that was RVD's first pinfall loss in TNA. RVD isn't happy and shoves Sabu and Sabu shoves him back, and they circle one another until the rest of EV2.0 comes out and gets between them.
We go to a fake rodeo where Mickie James is riding a plastc cow and tells Sarita that she may be a world class wrestler, but Mickie is a world class champion.
We head backstage where Eric Bischoff is telling Flair and Kazarian that they came highly recommended from Hogan himself and then walks off, and Flair tells Kazarian that he's getting big matches just like Flair promised him months ago.
Back to the ring...
Sarita vs Mickie James
They tie up and Sarita begins working the arm, but Mickie rolls through and monkey flips Sarita across the ring. Sarita shoves Mickie and tries a clothesline, but Mickie responds with a spinkick and a dropkick for 2. Mickie gets a duck under and goes for an O'Connor Roll, but Sarita holds the ropes and yanks Mickie down by the hair. Sarita sprints up the ropes and goes for a twisting splash, but Mickie moves and dropkicks Sarita to the floor, then baseball slides out of the ring right into a flying headscissors on Sarita. Sarita begs off as Taz makes a comment about Mickie's John Nord boots and then she drop toeholds Mickie into the ring steps and rolls her back in the ring and covers for 2. Mickie fires back with a couple of forearms but Sarita stomps her down and rams her face first into the turnbuckle and gets a bow and arrow over the back and turns it into an airplane spin, but Mickie turns that into a crucifix for 2. Mickie starts mounting a comeback on Sarita, laying her out with clothesline after clothesline and then a flying headscissors. Mickie goes up top and gets a top rope Thesz Press and then a spinning back kick to the jaw and covers for the win.
Winner: Mickie James
Tara sneaks into the ring and attacks Mickie from behind, hitting the Widow's Peak and figuratively kicking dirt in Mickie's face.
We head backstage to Ken Anderson, who points to his injured shoulder that he got from his buddy Jeff, and in order to get a shot at Jeff, he has to get through this next match tonight with the injured shoulder. Anderson says there are only three things that are true in this life: death, taxes, and the face that he is going to whup the **** out of Jeff Hardy. Draw your own conclusions as to what **** was. We're at commercial.
We come back and Mickie is angrily stalking out the back door and to Hogan and Bischoff's office, because if Tara wanted a fight, she's messing with the wrong girl.
Ken Anderson is backstage, and he's...WALKING!...right into a trap, as Fortune jumps him 6-on-1 and carries him out to the top of the entrance ramp where they continue to stomp Anderson into a messy pulp. They start to leave, then AJ comes back and kicks him in the ribs again for good measure. Oh, and guess what? That's right, it's main event time!
Ultimate X: Ken Anderson vs Frankie Kazarian
Kazarian walks out for his entrance and pretends to be surprised to find Anderson in this contition. He tells the referee to ring the bell and slowly, casually takes his time climbing up to the cables and makes his way out to the center and goes for the X, but Anderson recovers in time to make it into the ring and yank him down. Anderson fights him with one arm, clotheslining Kazarian and dropping a series of elbows with the good arm. He heads out to the floor and looks for something under the ring, but Kazarian nails him with a baseball slide as we head to commercial.
We're back and Anderson again grabs Kazarian's ankle as he tries to climb the corner, but Kazarian kicks him off. Anderson tumbles to the apron, but makes it back in as Kazarian climbs out to the center and Anderson swings him back and forth until Kazarian loses his grip and takes a HUGE back bump. Anderson climbs up the corner and tries to make his way out to the center, but can't hold on because of the injured arm, and Kazarian capitalizes by kicking Anderson in the arm and giving him a hammerlock slam. Kazarian with a slingshot legdrop over the top and tries to pick Anderson up, but Anderson with a chinbreaker and more right hands before Kazarian goes to the eyes. Kazarian slingshots Anderson's throat off the top rope, then springboards off the top rope and onto the cable. He kicks off an Anderson attempt to pull him down, but Anderson gets him on the second try and hits the Mic Check. Anderson rolls out to the floor and pulls a ladder out from underneath the ring. Hey, there's some ingenuity. I gotta side with Taz though, it is a shortcut in a strictly technical sense. Anderson sets up the ladder and climbs up, but Fortune comes pouring out of the back and Morgan hits a big sitout powerbomb on Anderson as Douglas Williams kicks the ladder out to the floor. Morgan picks Kazarian up on his shoulders and walks out to the middle of the ring where Kazarian removes the X and gets the win.
Winner: Frankie Kazarian
Anderson crawls back under the ring as Fortune celebrates in the rnig and comes out with a pipe in his hand. He rolls back in and nails Morgan and Williams with it as the rest of Fortune bails out to the floor, but as Anderson is facing Fortune and holding them off with the chair, Jeff Hardy runs out of the back and cracks Anderson in the back with a chair, coldly staring at Anderson with an emotionless look on his face as blood starts to pour out of the back of Anderson's head. Hardy puts Anderson's arm in the ladder and then slams the chair on the ladder, sandwiching the arm. The crowd boos Hardy, and he responds by going out to the floor and ripping up their signs.
We go to the back again with Flair and Bischoff and they head out to the garage and get into a stretch limo to head off to the club. The limo starts to leave, but suddenly comes to a jarring stop as Kurt Angle, wearing a shoulder sling of his own and with a pipe in his hand, is blocking the limo. He chases off the driver and smashes in the rear window before security runs him off. Flair and Bischoff get out of the limo and Flair tells Bischoff to have Angle arrested, and we're out.
2011 - CM Punk made a scheduled appearance at the Florida Championship Wrestling show in Kissimmee, Florida for a meet and greet with fans.
During the show, CM Punk ended up wrestling Dean Ambrose in the main event.
2012 - WWE ran Hartford, CT. Keith Lagrasse filed the following live report:
The WWE's RAW crew held their 5 p.m. house show at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. Small crowd, probably in the 3 to 4 thousand range.
Brodus Clay pinned Jack Swagger in 5:17.
Damien Sandow pinned JTG in 6:48 3.
Eve pinned Layla in 6:28 to retain the Divas Title
Michael McGillicutty pinned David Otunga in 22 seconds (yes, you read that right).
Kane and Daniel Bryan beat Epico and Primo in about 12 minutes, to retain the tag team titles.
Santino Marella pin Tensai in 7 minutes.
Antonio Cesaro pinned Sin Cara in 10:21 to retain the US title.
In the main event, Ryback beat CM Punk by DQ in just over 16 minutes when Paul Heyman entered the ring and hit Ryback with the WWE title belt.
Notes: Before the show, my friends and I had seats up in the last row, in the upper deck in one end. A WWE staffer wound up handing us 5th row ringside seats for free, which made for one hell of a seat upgrade! The only show plugged, besides next week's PPV was the 12/11 SmackDown TV taping, coming to Bridgeport, CT.
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