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6/18 THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CYNDI LAUPER RETURNS TO WWE, TRENT ACID PASSES AWAY

By Mike Johnson on 2017-06-18 08:00:00

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY

June 18th

On this day in history in ....

1950 - Arjan Singh defeats Sandor Szabo to win the NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Title in Honolulu, Hawaii.

1951 - Salvatore Bellomo is born in Hornu, Belgium.

1951 - Miguel Guzman defeats Wayne Martin for the NWA Texas Heavyweight Title in Fort Worth, Texas, beginning his eighth reign.

1968 - Dory Funk, Jr. & Terry Funk defeat Kurt & Karl Von Brauner to win the Texas version of the NWA World Tag Team Title in San Angelo, Texas, ending the Von Brauner's third reign.

1971 - Bruno Sammartino and Dominic DeNucci defeat The Mongols (Geeto and Bepo) for the WWF International Tag Team Title in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1971 - The Fabulous Kangaroos (Al Colstello & Don Kent) win their second WWA World Tag Team Title, ending the second reign of Wilbur Snyder and Moose Cholak in Indianapolis, Indiana.

1972 - Enrique Vera defeats Raul Mata for the Mexico National Light Heavyweight Title.

1977 - Jimmy & Johnny Valiant defeat Moose Cholak & Paul Christy for the WWA World Tag Team Title in Indianapolis, Indiana, beginning their third reign.

1977 - Hercules Ayala defeats Huracan Castillo to win the WWC Puerto Rico Heavyweight Title in Caguas, Puerto Rico, beginning his second reign.

1978 - Dusty Rhodes defeats Dick Slater to win the NWA Florida Southern Heavyweight Title in Miami, Florida, beginning his fifth reign.

1980 - Bob Brown & Pat O'Connor defeat Takachiho (The Great Kabuki) & Pak Song for the NWA Central States Tag Team Title in Des Moines, Iowa.

1981 - Bob Sweetan & Terry Gibbs defeat The Fabulous Freebirds (Terry Gordy & Michael Hayes) to win the vacant NWA Central States Tag Team Title in Kansas City, Kansas. The title was vacated earlier in the year when Terry Taylor, who held the title with Bob Sweetan, left the area.

1982 - Ringo Mendoza & Cachorro Mendoza defeat Satanico & Espectro, Jr. for the Mexico National Tag Team Title.

1983 - Jack and Jerry Brisco defeat Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood to win the Mid-Atlantic version of the NWA World Tag Team Title in Greenville, South Carolina, ending Steamboat and Youngblood's third reign.

1984 - Davey Boy Smith defeats Bad News Allen in Vancouver, British Columbia for the Stampede North American Heavyweight Title, ending Allen's third reign.

1984 - Phil Hickerson & The Spoiler (Frank Morrell) defeat Tommy Rich & Eddie Gilbert to win the AWA Southern Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee.

1989 - The Marine Wolves (Suzuka Minami & Akira Hokuto) defeat Grizzly Iwamoto & Bison Kimura for the vacant WWWA World Tag Team Title in Tokyo, Japan. The title was vacated on May 6, when The Crush Gals (Lioness Asuka & Chigusa Nagayo) gave up the belts when Nagayo retired.

1995 - WCW holds the ninth Great American Bash at Dayton, Ohio's Hara Arena. The show received a 0.51 buyrate.
In matches airing on WCW's Main Event.
- Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) defeated The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers), when Booker pinned Rogers.
- Sgt. Craig Pittman defeated Scott D'Amore by submission with the Code Red.
- Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater defeated Frankie Lancaster and Barry Houston.
Pay-per-view matches:
- Alex Wright pinned Brian Pillman
- Dave Sullivan defeated Diamond Dallas Page in an Arm Wrestling match to win a date with the Diamond Doll.
- Jim Duggan defeated Craig Pittman by disqualification.
- Harlem Heat defeated Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater, when Booker pinned Buck.
- The Renegade pinned Arn Anderson to win the WCW World Television Title.
- The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) defeated The Blue Bloods (Earl Robert Eaton and Lord Steven Regal), when Knobbs pinned Eaton, to retain the WCW World Tag Team Title.
- Sting pinned Meng to win the vacant WCW United States Heavyweight Title, beginning his second reign.
- Ric Flair pinned Randy Savage.

1997 - Mima Shimoda & Etsuko Mita defeat Tomoko Watanabe & Kumiko Maekawa in Sapporo, Japan to win the WWWA World Tag Team Title.

2002 - Doug Williams defeats Justin Starr for the British Heavyweight Title in Southampton, England, beginning Williams' second reign and ending Starr's third.

2004 - Dr. Wagner, Jr. defeats Canek to win the UWA World Heavyweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico, ending Canek's 15th reign.

2005 - Ring of Honor holds "Death Before Dishonor III" at Mennan Sports Arena in Morristown, New Jersey. The results:
- BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs defeated Jimmy Rave and Eddie Vegas to retain the ROH Tag Team Title.
- Lacey defeated Cindy Rogers.
- The Carnage Crew (Loc and DeVito) defeated The Ring Crew Express (Dunn and Marcos) in an Anything Goes Street Fight.
- Samoa Joe defeated Colt Cabana to retain the ROH Pure Title.
- NWA World Heavyweight Champion A.J. Styles defeated Petey Williams.
- Lacey's Angels (Izzy and Deranged )defeated Generation Next (Roderick Strong and Jack Evans).
- Nigel McGuiness defeated James Gibson, Homicide and Azrieal in a Four Corners Survival match.
- Low Ki and Jay Lethal fought to a no contest.
- CM Punk defeated Austin Aries to win the ROH Heavyweight Title in what was announced as his farewell match from the company.  After winning the belt, Punk turned heel and walked out of the venue with the belt, spending the remainder of the summer "holding the belt hostage" as Punk teased he was taking the belt with him to WWE.

2005 - Hiroshi Tanahashi defeats Toru Yano for the IWGP U-30 Title in Kyoto, Japan, beginning his second reign.

2005 - Georgia Championship Wrestling United States Television Champion Damien Steele defeats GCW United States Junior Heavyweight Champion Elix Skipper in Columbus, Georgia to unify the two titles.

2005 - Stixx & Stone (Stixx and Martin Stone) defeat Hampton Court (The Duke of Danger and Simmons) to win the Frontier Wrestling Alliance Tag Team Title in Morecambe, England.

2005 - Daniels and Xander Graves defeat Kato and Honey for the Keystone Championship Wrestling Tag Team Title in Altoona, Pennsylvania, beginning their fourth reign.

2006 - TNA holds the second-annual Slammiversary pay-per-view, at the iMPACT! Zone in Orlando, Florida. During which Jim Cornette was introduced as the new head of TNA Management. The results:
- In the pre-show match, Team Canada (Eric Young and A-1) defeated The Naturals (Andy Douglas and Chase Stevens), when Young pinned Douglas after a flying elbow.
- Team 3D (Brother Ray and Brother Devon) defeated The James Gang ( B.G. and Kip James) in a "Bingo Hall Brawl", when Devon pinned Kip after a 3D through a table.
- Rhino defeated Team Canada (Bobby Roode and Scott D'Amore) in a Handicap match, by pinning D'Amore after a Gore
- Senshi defeated Sonjay Dutt, Alex Shelley, Shark Boy, Petey Williams and Jay Lethal in an Elimination match, last eliminating Dutt by pinfall after a Warrior's Way, to become #1 contender to the TNA X Division Title.
- Kevin Nash pinned Chris Sabin after a Jackknife Powerbomb following interference from Alex Shelley.
- A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels defeated America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm) to win the NWA World Tag Team Title, ending AMW's sixth reign.
- Samoa Joe pinned Scott Steiner after a Snap Scoop Powerslam.
- Jeff Jarrett defeated champion Christian Cage, Abyss, Ron Killings and Sting in a King of the Mountain match to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title, beginning his sixth reign.

2010 - Former Combat Zone Wrestling and Ring of Honor headliner Michael Verdi, who wrestled professionally as Trent Acid, passes away due an accidental overdose,  Verdi, who had been fighting personal demons for several years, was best known as one half of the Backstreet Boyz tag team before breaking out on his own.  Mike Johnson wrote the following column remembering Verdi:

The independent world of professional wrestling is a strange world.  It's where hobbyists pretend to be wrestlers.  It's where young legitimate wrestlers go to become stars.  It's where old stars go to eek out that last paycheck.  There are scammers and carnies and there are talented stars, although it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer masses and the alphabet soup of promotions, but sometimes, there's a diamond in the rough.

We all know that diamond the second we see it.  The performer who just knows how to exude the right attitude without overacting.  The performer who doesn't act like a wrestler, but becomes one the second they come down the aisle.  The performer who has the timing, the showmanship, the cocky walk, the..it.  You don't know how to describe it, but you know they have it the second you lay eyes on them.

Michael Verdi, known to the masses as Trent Acid, had it.

While most of the accounts of his death this past Friday have focused on the latter end of his life, to truly understand what a loss this is to the local wrestling community in Philadelphia, one has to go back well over a decade.

It's 1994 and in a stifling, packed Bingo Hall, the original ECW is holding itself up as the architect of a new revolution for professional wrestling.  It was hardcore wrestling for hardcore fans, before that term became a joke.  It was wrestling for the sheet reading, tape traders.   We all know that story.

However, it was also wrestling for South Philadelphia.  South Philly is a pretty rough place.  To me, it's always reminded me of the rougher areas of Brooklyn.  If you had nowhere to hang out, you walked the streets with your boys, you talked to the local girls and you got into fights.   It was working class, broken glass in the streets and everyone had some sort of story, good or bad, about the hardships of their working class family.

When ECW moved into a dilapidated Bingo Hall that was so beat up, it's good days were never behind it - it just never had them, it became a haven for the local kids to go.  It's not hard to see why - blood, violence and boobs.  What teenaged kid didn't want to see that? 

Within that realm, there were probably no more infamous teenage denizens than the Psycho Kids, as they eventually were dubbed, Mikey and Billy.  They were immediately part of the bleacher bums, a group of fans that raised hell at the shows with their chants - sometimes crude, often inside, always funny - and during intermission, to pop those same fans, they would end up doing spots and wrestling amongst themselves, right down to moonsaults and dives off the back of creaking wooden bleachers to the hard concrete floor below.

Those kids loved their pro wrestling and their ECW, so it's not a shock to see they both ended up becoming wrestlers, especially since ECW broke the barriers for smaller performers to make their mark.  Billy went on to become Billy Reil, who had a good knack for psychology and once had the chance to blow the crowd in that same venue away in a Three-Way against Crowbar and Roadkill.  Today, he's more infamous for having the knack of being in the right place at the right time and assisting in stopping several Philadelphia crimes and maybe one day, he'll use that knack to find himself back in the thick of professional wrestling again.

Psycho Kid Mikey, however, morphed into Trent Acid.  He, like so many other independent wrestlers, made his way around the Northeast indy scene, immediately standing out.  There was an innate charisma to him as a person, much less a performer.  He had this wide-grinned smile that just made you love the guy the second you met him.  He loved to talk professional wrestling and he loved, loved, loved Pearljam.  Trent Acid wasn't the biggest wrestler you'd come across, but when he walked into the room, you knew he was someone by the way he carried himself.

He was the first generation of talents to grow up watching names like Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Sean Waltman and a host of others become top stars by being athletically talented.  Then pepper in first-hand exposure to the world of ECW and the tape-trading that was all the rage and you had the melting pot that created Trent Acid.  That's one of the tragedies here.  Trent should have been the talent we all pointed to that came up the ranks and went on to make a mint in a national company. 

As a performer in CZW, Acid found himself in a position he probably never realized.   As CZW grew from a promotion that ran some of the best shows in 2001 (I'll put their tapes up against anything from that time period) in a converted Soccer Arena that was impossible to find in Sewell, New Jersey to a promotion running weekly television on TV-48 in Philadelphia and monthly shows at that same ECW Arena, Acid had morphed into the performer that was now inspiring others the way he had been inspired by that ECW time period.

Trent Acid was the local guy made good.  He was the kid you'd see on South Street one day and the next he was tearing down the house with Johnny Kashmere against the likes of Ric Blade and Nick Mondo.  One day, he'd be partying in the bar with you and on the TV, there he was drilling people with the most beautiful Yakuza Kick this side of Masa Chono.  He was the local star that the other up and coming independent guys wanted to be - he was a good looking guy with a great knack for the business, who had tons of girls wanting to cozy up to him and lots more great matches than he should have been having for a guy his age and experience level.  Whatever it was, Trent had it, and he inspired a lot of local fans to try their own hand in becoming wrestlers.

You'd be remiss to talk about Trent Acid without looking at the Backseat Boyz, the perfect tag team for that moment in time.  When they were babyfaces working for Don Bucci's Phoenix Wrestling, out they would come to a sappy boy band song with their long trenchcoats, kissing and hugging every teeny bopper girl.  Once they got into the ring, they were the local equivalent of Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson, only working a 2001 style.  As heels, those same Backseats were now devious male strippers out for blood and power.   Kashmere had a good gift of gab, Acid had the pizzazz and together they had the best series of double-team synchronized maneuvers since, well, the team they took their theme music from, The Midnight Express.

When CZW ran the ECW Arena for the first time in December 2001, they turned away at least 150-200 fans and a good part of that was the Backseats.  While CZW was populated by insanely crazy talented brawlers with a willingness to destroy themselves for the good of the show and the company, the Backseats added a different dimension to the live gate - they brought in the women.  In the early part of this decade, there was a time period where I'd go to 5-7 independent shows a month, because I was cutting my teeth writing and trying to make it my profession.  There would always, without fail, be more pretty girls and more groups of pretty girls at CZW, drinking and having a good time, out to see the guys, specifically the Backseats.

Trent was a local star for CZW and with that came attention from other companies.  XPW wanted them Backseats to jump just so they could take away from CZW.  That spurred CZW to begin working with Ring of Honor, their prime competition in the war for Philadelphia that arose out of the ashes of ECW's death.  The Backseats now had CZW's blessing to work ROH and Acid immediately began a feud with Homicide, culminating in some of the most overlooked matches in the company's history.  Again, like CZW's 2001 tapes, I'll put Acid vs. Homicide up against anything on the independent scene today and guarantee it will stand out.  It was that good and beyond that, The Backseats coming to ROH at the time was huge and helped bring a different dimension into the Murphy Rec center - some of those same girls that came to see CZW. While I wouldn't say the act was more important than Samoa Joe or Ki in building ROH, the Backseats certainly had a part in that early era.

The Backseats should have been the next big thing in professional wrestling.  I don't know that they would have made it to WWE, although I'm sure someone might have tried to get them looked at.  It seems more likely that eventually they would have landed in TNA, where they would have fit in perfectly with the likes of the Motor City Machineguns, Beer Money, the British Invasion and other teams that have populated the company over the years. 

It never happened.

It's been covered elsewhere, so everyone knows the stories.  There were falling outs with companies.  There were issues with the partnership.  There were personal issues and suddenly the crisp Trent Acid everyone was wowing over was suddenly just another guy on the independent scene.  He still commanded a position based on who he was, but more and more, fans were seeing through his performances and knowing something wasn't right.  It's not even that, in the beginning at least, his matches were awful.  It was that one or two steps he was off, that speed that just wasn't as fast, that crisp kick that just wasn't as crisp.  Where before he was a diamond in the rough, now he was just another wrestler..and the fans, those same fans that were weaned on the same smart wrestling culture that weaned Trent Acid, knew better - they saw right through it.

We all know the stories of those who get lost in their demons.  We've all mourned for those souls and we've cheered for them to find themselves.  Michael Verdi was no different.  There were fights with friends.  There were friends who begged him to take care of himself.  There were jail sentences and heart-breaking moments with family members.  There were attempts to get clean and moments of weakness.  There were friends who tried tough love and friends who asked others to help him.  There were offers, many offers, from people who were willing to be there for him, to help him anyway they could, but in the end, the responsibility fell on Michael Verdi's shoulders and it wasn't something he was able, or willing, or sound enough to deal with.

He could hold an audience in the palm of his hand, as a heel or babyface, and make magic.  He could look like he was going to be the next great thing.  He could make you take notice with that grin or with a smart-ass comment, but he wasn't able to steer himself clear of his problems.  

To me, that's the most heart-breaking thing of all and the thing that has haunted me the last few days.  It's not that he squandered his talent.  It's not that the can't miss star of the future flamed out.  It's not that he's not going to deliver another classic match.  It's that at 29, he's missed his chance to really grow up and have a life.  Sure, he got to travel the world and be a "star", but in the grand scheme of life, these are small things.  They are of no condolence to his family or to the friends who will forever wonder "What could I have done to save Trent?" for the rest of their lives.

It's a question that's bothered me the last few days. 

I'll never state I was the guy's best friend or we spent great amounts of time together outside of wrestling shows we were both at, but I knew him for well over a decade.  He was a constant fixture in the wrestling scene I loved.  I watched him grow up and cross the rail from fan to wrestling star in that unique indy universe I wrote about earlier.  He helped my writing career when he (along with CZW star of the time Z-Barr and then-announcer Eric Gargiulo) pushed me to come to CZW for the first time, cornering me at an indy show so obscure I can't remember where the hell it was.  By doing so, he helped place me at the epicenter of the Philadelphia indy explosion that was to come. 

When I was promoting bus trips to shows all over the Northeast, if the Backseats were booked on those shows, guaranteed they were on the bus doing Q&As or just showing up to hang out and talk to the fans, getting them to harass CZW referee Brian Logan with goofy chants or just doing what people who loved wrestling did - talked wrestling with other fans.  Half the time I had to throw them off the bus so we could leave and get back to NYC at a Godly hour.  I have serious doubts that the bus trips would have lasted as long as they did for me had the Backseats not done that of their own accord and when they started to falter, so did the trips.  Yet another dimension of how Acid touched people, same way he inspired a number of indy talents today to try and make their mark - and another dimension he himself probably wasn't aware of.

When Acid ended up sent to jail, I did my best to stay in touch with him and when he got out, I'll always be thankful we ran into each other backstage at a Jersey All Pro show where we talked more about life and the future than anything wrestling related.  I never, ever thought it would be the last time I saw him alive, although like most of his friends, I had my fears and I'm really saddened those fears became a reality.

There are going to be people who look at the life and death of Trent Acid and say he was a druggie and tossed his life away. I can certainly see why they will say that.  There are going to be people who don't have sympathy for him.  From a sterile, logical standpoint, I can understand that point of view.  As someone who knew him, I see that point of view as unfortunate. 

To me, Michael Verdi was a guy who found his unique talent in the world.  He helped pave the way for a lot of people, he entertained a lot of people and he helped a lot of people, but the one person who needed that help the most - himself - was the one person he wasn't able to help in the end. That breaks my heart.

So, if you can't have sympathy for him because of the way he died or the circumstances of the last few years - don't - but have it for his family, have it for his friends, have it for those who wanted to help and were unable, have it for the unfulfilled dreams, have it for those who are going to never fill the void left by his loss, and have it for that kid who walked into the ECW Arena and found his life forever changed.

Michael Verdi, Trent Acid, was not an innocent person.  He wasn't perfect.  None of us are, but in that crazy, unique independent wrestling world - he was a standout, he was a hell of a hand, he was a star.  It's just a damn shame no one will ever get to see how bright that star may have shined, and that his family is robbed of seeing where the rest of his life might have taken him.

Goodbye Trent.  Goodbye, Michael.

2011 - WWE ran a Supershow at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, NJ.  Rob B. filed the following live report:

I found it funny most shirts at the stand are $ 30 while Cena's shirts are 25. Both sides of the arena 200 sections have a black curtain over them. Guess they didn't sell out those seats. 

1st match up is Evan Bourne vs. Sheamus. Sheamus said last night he suffered a concussion but despite that being a great athlete he will still compete tonight. It was a decent match a few near falls. Sheamus used the "concussion" at the start of the match. Sheamus set up for the Celtic Cross, missed, tried the Brogue Kick but missed. Bourne got 2 kicks to head and hit Air Bourne for the 123.

Kelly Kelly says there is some kind of contest but I couldn't understand her. The Bellas came out to attack Kelly but Beth Phoenix came in for the save.  Then the Raw GM (oh god!) emails in and announces Beth vs. Brie Bella up now.  The Bellas tried "twin magic" but Kelly was still at ring side and stopped it. Beth did her finisher on Brie for the 123. This was a typical divas match.

IC title match up next Wade Barrett vs. Ezekiel Jackson.  Good back and forth match. Wade did a beautiful side walk slam but Jackson dominated the match. Wade still rolled up Jackson and held the ropes for the 123.

Daniel Bryan vs. Christian was next.  This match was pretty good with a lot of back and forth action. Bryan locked in the LaBell Lock but Christian got to the ropes. Christian got the win with the Killswitch. A lot of cheers for Christian. So far this heel thing isn't working too much, at least here.

There were a lot of Zack Ryder mini chants from the start of the event.

Alberto Del Rio comes out and starts his usual promo but Big Show cuts him off and before the introduction of Show is finished her went right after Del Rio and was all over him.  Del Rio got very little offense in and it was basically a squash match. Big Show got the win when Alberto came off the top rope in to a choke slam.

Cody Rhodes comes out and has two guys handing out paper bags. Cody has Tony Chimmel announce him again and gets on the mic talks about Rey Mysterio and what he did to him. He also said he will be facing him again soon. Sin Cara comes out with trampoline.  Cara got the win over Rhodes with a version of a sun set flip. Other than the high spots, which looked great live, every thing else he did looked forced and he wasn't comfortable.

Kelly Kelly is back out. Still can't understand her. She did a dance contest with 4 fans, 2 kids and 2 adults...A surprising note, the winner of the dance contest could meet any WWE superstar they wanted. When one of the kids won, Kelly asked who he wanted to meet and suggested John Cena. The kid said Big Show instead. And now we go to intermission.

The next match is a WWE Tag Title match, New Nexus vs. Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov. Mason Ryan is huge live!! And the tag belts look not so great.  Santino starts off with Otunga. Santino is doing the comedy and teased The Cobra a few times. Michael McGillicutty got the pin on Kozlov with a swinging neck breaker after Mason Ryan get involved while Santino and Otunga fought on the outside distracting the ref (Little Guido).

They announce Bret Bart will be appearing at the Smack down house show in white plains ny.

Next match up is US Title match: Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler, with out Vickie Guerrero.  Kofi got the pin. I didn't catch the finish due to being distracted but there were several near falls. Dolph kicked out of Trouble in Paradise. Good match.

Main event time up next, WWE title match: John Cena vs. R-Truth, The Miz, and CM Punk. Miz is out first. Miz takes the mic and talks about tomorrow's PPV match with Alex Riley and rips on the crowd for the "what" chant. Miz gives a good long promo and Alex ran in for the beat down and runs off Miz. 

The match was changed to a Triple Threat. R-Truth came out with mic I hand, saying hi to little Jimmys wearing John Cena shirts along the entrance way. He says he will win the WWE Title tonight. Punk was out next. Big pop for Punk. He seems to be enjoying it. He got on the mic and starts blahing, saying nothing but blah. There was a music screw up and they played Punk's music for Cena by mistake but got it corrected right away. Huge pop for Cena. Punk tried to silence the people but no luck. Cena is the only one who does speak. Punk looks to be having fun. Truth goes to the outside of the ring as Punk and Cena start.

After a little back with Cena and Punk, Punk gets on the mic and tells Truth, who is still outside the ring, that he pinned Cena on Monday and truth pinned Cena to get the title match tomorrow on the PPV so go to the back and let him and Cena wrestle for the title. Truth comes in to the ring and Cena and Punk double team him for a bit, then Truth goes to the outside again and doesn't come back in until both Cena and Punk are down. Punk is out on the floor. Truth was working over Cena when Cena comes back and dumps Truth on the floor. Punk comes back in and works over Cena. Cena gets dumped on the floor.  Punk and truth go at it. Cena kicks out of the Punk kick that had knocked out others like Big Show. He slaps on the STF, but Truth makes the save. Truth is sent to the stairs outside and the ref goes out to check on him, which allows punk to take 2 chair shots and Cena wins with the AA to send everyone home happy.

2012 - In a segment taped for her reality series, Cyndi Lauper made her first appearance for WWE since 1985.  Richard Trionfo filed the following TV report:

We are live from Uniondale, New York and your announcers are Michael ‘I never liked John Laurinaitis, unless he comes back’ Cole and Jerry ‘The King of Not Quite Queens’ Lawler.

Jerry reminds us that John Laurinaitis was fired last night and we hear Vince’s proclamation.

We are reminded that Cyndi Lauper will be on the show this week, but we have another legend to come to the ring first.

Mick Foley makes his way to the ring. Mick says that he was on his way to the arena tonight to help promote the 1000th episode of Raw and show that he was a major part of Raw. Then he got a call from the Board of Directors that while they were thinking of the next permanent General Manager of Raw and Smackdown, they were going to reach out to former General Managers.

Foley reminds us that he was the Commissioner and from Long Island to save considerable transportation costs. This week, Raw and Smackdown will be hosted by Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy. He has a huge tag match for tonight. Kane and Daniel Bryan will face CM Punk and Sheamus.

Mick reminds us that John Laurinaitis was fired last night, he will be given the opportunity to give a farewell address.

Mick wants everyone to give a warm welcome to the former Vice President of Talent Relations and former General Manager of Raw and Smackdown.

John Laurinaitis comes to the ring and he has a neck brace and sling to accompany his crutch for the walking wounded hat trick.

The fans remind Johnny of his employment status.

John reminds us who he is but the crowd does not appreciate him. He asks Mick to have the crowd show him some respect. Mick asks John if he wants to tell the crowd that he thinks Long Island sucks.

John says that the people of Long Island are extremely rude. He will wait until later to give his farewell address. John made the made event before he got fired. John Cena will face Big Show, David Otunga, and him. That is Johnny’s parting gift to the WWE Universe.

John tells Mick to have a nice day.

Sheamus’ music plays and will Johnny remember to move out of the way when Sheamus goes to the ring.

Sheamus walks past Johnny who is against the ringside barrier.

CM Punk makes his way to the ring and Johnny remembers to stay away from Punk. Punk kicks metaphorical dirt on Johnny and tells him to get out of here.

We go to commercial.

 

Match Number One: Sheamus and CM Punk versus Daniel Bryan and Kane

 

Bryan and Sheamus start things off and Sheamus with a side head lock take down. Sheamus with a shoulder tackle and then Sheamus catches Bryan and tries for the fireman’s carry slam but Bryan escapes and sends Sheamus to the floor. Sheamus with a slingshot shoulder tackle. Bryan with a boot but Sheamus with a back breaker for a near fall.

Punk tags in and hits a slingshot senton and gets a near fall. Punk with knees and a kick that is blocked by Bryan. Bryan with a kick to the leg and then he tags in Kane. Kane sends Punk into the turnbuckles and connects with a knee. Kane with an Irish whip and clothesline into the corner for a near fall. Kane with an arm bar. Punk with a forearm and back heel kick and a kick to the chest.

Kane with an uppercut for a near fall. Kane with an Irish whip but he runs into a boot from Punk. Punk fights his way out of the corner but Kane stops him. Punk with a suicide dive onto Bryan when he ducks under Kane’s clothesline. Punk drops Kane on the top rope and then he goes for a springboard clothesline but Kane with an uppercut and we go to commercial.

We are back and Punk tries to get Kane on his shoulders for the Go To Sleep but Kane is able to avoid it. Punk with a kick to the shoulder and both men are down. Sheamus tags in and he hits the flying shoulder off the turnbuckles and then he knocks Bryan off the apron. Sheamus with a running shoulder into the corner followed by a knee lift and power slam for a near fall.

Sheamus hits the uranage back breaker on Kane and then he stops Bryan from interfering and he connects with a series of forearms across the chest on Bryan before Kane knocks Bryan off the apron. Kane sends Sheamus over the top rope to the floor and then Bryan with a running drop kick to Sheamus on the floor.

The referee tells Punk to get in the corner. Kane rolls Sheamus back in and tags Bryan into the match. Bryan with another drop kick to the shoulder. Bryan with kicks to the chest while the referee warns Bryan. Bryan with the running drop kick into the corner and he hits it and gets a near fall.

Bryan with a rear chin lock but Sheamus with punches. Bryan with a knee to the midsection and a kick to the chest for a near fall. Kane tags himself back in. Kane kicks Sheamus but Sheamus punches Kane. Kane with an Irish whip and side slam as Sheamus comes out of the corner and Kane gets a near fall. Kane goes up top for the clothesline and he hits it but only gets a two count.

Bryan tags back in and he kicks Sheamus in the chest. Sheamus kicks Bryan away but Bryan keeps Sheamus from making the tag. Bryan kicks Sheamus in the chest and then he tries for the running drop kick into the corner again but he misses this time when Sheamus moves out of the way.

Sheamus crawls towards his corner and he makes the tag to Punk. Punk with a leg lariat and tries for the swinging neck breaker but Bryan escapes. Punk with a power slam for a near fall. Punk with a running knee into the corner followed by a bulldog. Punk goes up top for the elbow drop but Bryan stops Punk and Bryan hits a superplex and both men are down.

AJ’s music plays and she comes out dressed like Kane. Action stops as she goes around the ring and up the ramp. Kane is mesmerized that someone can look so good in that outfit and walks up the ramp.

Sheamus tags in and Punk hits the Go to Sleep and Sheamus hits the Brogue Kick for the three count.

 

Winners: CM Punk and Sheamus

 

We go to commercial.

We are back and Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler are arguing. Jack talks about how Ziggler was World Champion for only four minutes. Dolph says that Vickie knows who the real star of the team is. Vickie interrupts them and she tells Dolph and Jack that she is tired of their arguing and bickering. She is going to determine who deserves her admiration and affection. Vickie tells Jack and Dolph that they are going to settle this in the ring right now.

Johnny and David Otunga are laughing at what happened between Johnny and Foley. Big Show enters and he wants to know what is funny. Show wants to know what is so funny. Johnny says that Cena can’t beat the three of them. He says that Show is going to knock out Cena and Laurinaitis will cover him to get the three count. He says that is what is funny. John says that the people don’t deserve them after what he did for People Power. He will leave a lasting impression that everyone will remember.

Show says that he doesn’t find anything funny and leaves.

Otunga says that Show is in a bad mood. Johnny says that John Cena is going to get his tonight. David drinks some of his latte.

 

Match Number Two: Dolph Ziggler versus Jack Swagger in a Vickie Finally Chooses One or the Other Match

 

They lock up and Swagger with a waist lock take down and then Jack does some push ups. Ziggler goes for the leg and he takes Swagger to the mat. Swagger pushes Ziggler and Dolph pushes back.

Swagger pushes Ziggler but Ziggler with a side head lock. Ziggler lands on his feet but he appears to have reinjured his knee. Swagger goes for the injured knee and Swagger drives the knee into the mat. Swagger stands on the knee before sending Dolph into the corner and wrapping the knee in the ropes. Swagger with an elbow drop and a knee to the injured knee.

Swagger tells Ziggler that he is better than Dolph. Swagger pushes Ziggler but Ziggler with an inside cradle for a near fall. Ziggler tries for the Fameasser but his knee buckles again. Swagger applies the ankle lock and Ziggler tries to get to the ropes.

Swagger pulls Ziggler into the center of the ring and Ziggler kicks Swagger in the midsection but Swagger holds on to the ankle lock. Ziggler sends Swagger into the turnbuckles and then hits the Zig Zag for the three count.

 

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

 

After the match, Vickie hugs Dolph and then she kisses him. Ziggler and Vickie leave the ring together.

We see some of Triple H’s comments from last night and his challenge to Brock for SummerSlam.

A limo pulls into the garage but who is in it?

We go to commercial.

We are back with a Raw 1000 Memorable Moment and this week it is Jerry Lawler’s favorite moment. Jerry takes us back to 1998 and Mr. Socko visiting Vince McMahon before Steve Austin hits Vince with a bedpan.

Brock Lesnar’s music plays and Paul Heyman makes his way to the ring.

Paul tells everyone who he is and he says that he is here as the advocate for Brock Lesnar. He says that everyone up in the tower caters to each of Triple H’s whims. Paul says that Brock is not one of them. He says that he has a word for Triple H that he might not be used to. He says no. Brock will not drop his lawsuit against WWE. Paul says that he will not drop his lawsuit against Triple H. Brock Lesnar will not fight Triple H at SummerSlam.

Paul thanks everyone for their attention and he thanks Triple H for his time.

Paul leaves the ring and Triple H’s music starts to play.

Hunter says that they aren’t in a bingo hall and he isn’t one of Paul cronies from the 90s drinking the Kool Aid. He says that Paul is a habitual liar. Hunter says that Brock is going to fight him at SummerSlam.

Hunter says that he only wants to hear from Brock Lesnar. He wants to hear Brock say that he will step up and be a man and fight Hunter at SummerSlam. Hunter says that he can give Brock what he wants. He can make Brock the star.

Hunter shows Paul a tentative poster for SummerSlam with Brock’s face on it. All Brock has to do is step up and agree to fight him.

Paul says that Brock Lesnar has no ego.

Hunter laughs at that and says that Paul lies better than that. Hunter reminds Paul of Brock’s demand to have his name on Raw. It is all about ego for Brock. Hunter says that he has a building of lawyers salivating about getting Paul into the courtroom. Brock is all about ego. If Brock doesn’t do it, he will go down as the man who is afraid of Triple H.

Paul says that Hunter is that damn good. Hunter almost had Paul going. Paul tells Hunter to stop. He adds a pretty please and tells Hunter to stop pretending to be a wrestler and the ass kicker that he used to be. He tells Hunter to go to the tower where everyone does what he wants.

In Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar’s world, Hunter is the king of nothing. He wants to know if Hunter is getting angry or mad and if Hunter is going to hit Paul. He says that Hunter is getting more like Vince every day. He says that he knows how to push Hunter’s buttons. Brock will not fight Hunter at SummerSlam and Paul tells Hunter to hit him. Paul says that he is willing to take one for Team Lesnar because they will own the joint. In Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar’s WWE, they have nothing for Hunter.

Paul says that he has something for Stephanie and Hunter grabs Paul by the collar. Paul says that he can’t breathe. Paul tells Hunter to do it but Hunter thinks about it. Hunter lets go of Paul and Paul says that he knew that Hunter wouldn’t hit him. Paul says that he can outthink Hunter every time and he knows what Hunter is going to do. Paul says that he can see everything from a mile away.

Paul must not have super vision because Hunter punches Paul.

Hunter stands over Paul and he asks him if he saw that coming. Hunter tells Paul to tell Brock that he will see him at SummerSlam . . . unless Brock is afraid of the same thing happening to him.

We go to commercial.

 

Match Number Three: Alberto Del Rio with Ricardo Rodriguez versus Santino Marella

 

Del Rio kicks Santino in the corner followed by a snap mare and drop kick to the head for a near fall. Del Rio with an arm bar. Santino with a split and hip toss but Santino misses the diving head butt. Santino kicks Alberto and he reaches in for the cobra but Del Rio with a drop kick and Santino goes down and Del Rio applies the cross arm breaker and Santino taps out.

 

Winner: Alberto Del Rio

 

After the match, Ricardo holds the ropes open for Del Rio but Ricardo with a divorce court to Santino.

We see footage of some of Cyndi Lauper’s previous wrestling related appearances.

We go to commercial.

We are back and Layla is in the ring. She says that in honor of the 1000th Episode of Raw celebration, she wants to bring out two women who are the reason for the Divas of today. WWE Hall of Famer Wendi Richter and Cyndi Lauper, who is making her first appearance in a WWE ring in 27 years.

Cyndi says that it has been a long time and it is great to see Wendi again.

Wendi says that it feels like yesterday when she was her manager at the first Wrestlemania.

Heath Slater interrupts and he makes his way to the ring. He says that we are nowhere near the Long Island Railroad but this is nothing but a train wreck.

Cyndi wants to know who Heath is.

Heath wants to know if that is a joke because he is the one man band. Heath says that he is not going to let Cyndi ruin his moment. He tells the girls to bop out of the ring so they can witness his first single.

Heath starts to sing his entrance music.

Roddy Piper’s music plays and he makes his way to the ring. Roddy says hello to the ladies and then tells Ms. Slater to take a hike.

Heath wants to know why he cares about Cyndi.

Roddy says that he doesn’t care what anyone says because it was the Rock and Wrestling Connection that launched WWE to where it is today. Roddy says that he has been waiting a long time to do this. Roddy says that he loves Cyndi and her singing. He has something special for Cyndi.

Roddy says that a long time ago there was a great manager named Captain Lou Albano and Roddy was having a bad day and he hit Lou over the head with a gold record. Roddy says that he was sorry for that. Roddy tells Cyndi that he wants to give this gold record on behalf of himself, on behalf of Captain Lou, and behalf of the entire WWE Universe. He says that Cyndi is the best lady who has ever been paired with this company.

Roddy and Cyndi hug.

Heath returns to the ring and he says that it was 20 years ago and no one cares or remembers it. Heath tells everyone to get out of the ring so everyone can hear his single because he will be getting his own gold record.

Roddy takes Heath he sings like a vulture. Piper with a thumb to the eye and then Cyndi hits Slater with the gold record.

We go to commercial.

We are back with the Slam of the Week. The Number One Contender Tag Match from No Way Out.

Match Number Four: Epico and Primo with Rosa Mendes versus Darren Young and Titus O’Neil with Abraham Washington

Epico and Titus start things off and Titus with a knee and forearm. Epico with punches but Titus with a boot to the midsection. Darren tags in and Titus with a slam and then he drops Darren on Epico with a gourdbuster for a near fall. Darren gets another near fall. Darren with a rear chin lock.

Primo tags in and he chops Darren. Primo with a back elbow and clothesline followed by a drop kick. Primo with a chop and then he hits a splash off the turnbuckles but Titus breaks up the cover. Titus sends Epico to the floor but Primo sends Titus to the floor. Primo with a lungblower but Titus pulls Darren to the floor. Epico and Primo with baseball slides to Darren and Titus.

Abe pulls Darren and Titus out of the way when Epico and Primo set up for dives to the floor.

The referee counts Darren and Titus out.

Winners: Epico and Primo

The men who will be facing John Cena tonight talk strategy in the back.

Chris Jericho will be on Raw next week.

We are back and John Laurinaitis is in the ring and he tells us who he is and what he did. John says that John Cena cheated last night because Cena and five other men beat up Show to allow Cena to win. Then Cena got him on his shoulders before Vince could utter those two words. Then he was sent through an announce table.

Laurinaitis says that he is not the loser here. Show is not the loser here. Laurinaitis says that the people are the losers because they no longer have People Power. Johnny says that we will see him next when he is inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. This is one of the darkest days in WWE history. What we are going to see is the biggest beat down of John Cena.

Teddy Long comes to ringside and he rips off his name tag.

Big Show says that it took six men to beat him last night and one of them was John Cena. Because of that loss, John Laurinaitis was fired. Show says that he wants to thank John for the iron clad contract and his big fat bonus. He thanks Johnny for finally letting him be him. He is not beholden to anyone. Not even Johnny. Show has proven that he can beat John Cena on his own so he is off to bigger and better things. Show says that he sees no reason why he should compete in this ring tonight. Show tells them that they are on their own.

Match Number Five: John Cena versus David Otunga and John Laurinaitis

Otunga starts things off for his team and then Otunga poses as he shows off his most impressive wrestling move. They lock up and Cena with a slam and elbow drop. Cena sends Otunga into the turnbuckles followed by an Irish whip and bulldog. Laurinaitis goes to the floor so he does not get tagged in.

Cena hits Otunga in the back and then he suplexes Otunga. Cena slaps Otunga in the back again and then he hits a side slam. Cena sends Otunga into the turnbuckles but he misses a charge when Otunga moves out of the way. Otunga sends Cena into the ring steps. Otunga brings Cena back into the ring and he kicks Cena.

Otunga with an Irish whip and shoulder tackle for a near fall. Otunga poses and then he hits another shoulder tackle for a near fall. Otunga with an elbow drop using the ropes for extra leverage.

Otunga with another elbow drop and Otunga poses. Laurinaitis wants to get into the match and Otunga tags him in. Laurainitis is okay and he kicks Cena. Cena kicks out. Otunga refuses to tag back in and he walks away.

Laurinaitis doesn’t want to turn around and Cena with punches and then he slaps Laurinaitis in the back. Cena with the Blue Thunder Bomb and then it is time for the Five Knuckle Shuffle and the Attitude Adjustment. Cena thinks about what to do next and Teddy tells Cena to give him another. Cena with another Attitude Adjustment. Cena picks up Laurinaitis and gives him a third before applying the STF and Johnny taps out.

Winner: John Cena

We go to credits.

2013 - The following press release was issued:

Post® Fruity Pebbles™ Connects Fans With WWE® Champion John Cena®

Cereal Features WWE Superstar in TV Commercials, Mobile App, and Toy Giveaway

By Post Foods, LLC and WWE

PARSIPPANY, N.J. AND STAMFORD, CONN., JUNE 18, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ -- WWE Superstar John Cena can add another notch to his WWE Championship title, this time knocking Fred Flintstone® out of the ring, off of the box, and out of TV commercials. Post Fruity Pebbles is expanding its existing partnership with WWE and Cena, through the launch of two new TV commercials, a photo app, and an on-pack giveaway. Previously, John Cena appeared as a "Pebble-ized" character on special boxes of Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles, and now he's back for more.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/62161-post-fruity-pebbles-connects-fans-with-wwe-champion-john-cena

"We're thrilled to be expanding our partnership with John Cena beyond the cereal box and connecting him with fans both on TV and at play," said Sharon Pupel, Marketing Director at Post Foods.  "We hope kids enjoy virtually interacting with the 'champ' through the launch of the PebblesPics app and on-pack giveaway, and we want to make sure we continue to provide fans with fun and positive experiences, not only at the breakfast table, but throughout the day whenever and wherever they choose to play."

"I am excited to continue to develop WWE's relationship with Post Fruity Pebbles," said Cena. "The ability to reach young WWE fans through the brand's commercials and new mobile app is a great opportunity."

The TV campaign consists of two new spots, both of which are currently on air. The first TV spot features Cena enjoying a bowl of Fruity Pebbles to amp up his morning. In the second spot, Cena drives fans to a new interactive mobile app, PebblesPics, giving them the chance to virtually get in the ring with the record-breaking WWE Champion.

PebblesPics, available today through iTunes and in the Google Play store, allows users to create a photo of themselves "posing" with Cena by superimposing an image of him alongside their own image, making it appear as though the user has actually been photographed standing with the WWE Superstar. Two photos of Cena are available upon download, and additional bonus images can be unlocked when the user scans their Pebbles cereal box via a QR code. Users also have the option to share the images with their friends across multiple platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Additionally, fans can take Cena home - this time in action figure format.  With the purchase of two boxes of Pebbles cereal, fans can receive two free Mattel® WWE® Rumblers® figures.

For more information about Post Pebbles™ or to download the photo app, please visit Facebook.com/PebblesCereal or PebblesMania.com/app. 

2014 - Former WWE Divas champion Eve Torres landed a series role in "Matador", a spy series on the El Rey cable network.  Torres played reporter Reyna Flores, who recurred in the series.

2015 - Dustin "Rhodes" Runnells posted his eulogy for his father online today:

"Thank you all for being here today. I know dad is looking down right now on this and us, and i truly believe he knows just how loved he really was. Our father would have loved all this attention. What can i say about the worlds greatest dad? Pops was honorable, he was kind, he was more than fair, he was sweet, charismatic, he was gentle, he was so loving and giving. He cared with a passion unlike anything that I have ever seen. To me when times were tough he told me on a daily basis to keep steppin. He worked hard at everything he put his hands on and created magic. He touched so many. Dad was an incredible man. He loved life and he loved us, his family so much. I know we have all heard this before and I hadn't really realized it until now, that Life is a lot shorter than any of us realize and you just don't know what you have until it's gone. He was greatness and I miss him terribly. I loved the time that I spent with pops whether it be hunting, or at the house, or at the office, there were always lessons to be had. When he told stories he captivated a room. My father was simply put the greatest man I ever knew. He was an incredible husband an incredible father to us kids, an incredible grandfather, an incredible teacher and an incredible friend. He taught me so so many lessons in life. I never stop moving and try to stay busy because of him. It is sad that he is gone but I know he is not in pain now and now he is getting funky like a monkey with the angels in heaven. I miss you dad. I love you dad. You are and forever will be my hero. God loved you and now you're home. I will see you again someday. Thank you pops! And to my family. Luke 1:37 says For with God, nothing shall be impossible. If we as a family can put our trust in god, we can and will get through anything. While on the ride called life, you have to take the good with the bad, smile when you are sad, love what you've got and remember what you had. Always forgive, but never forget. Learn from your mistakes but never regret. People change. Things go wrong. Just remember, the ride goes on. I love you guys, and I love you dad."

2016 - WWE ran Los Angeles, CA.  James Washington filed the following results:

Cesaro beat Alberto Del Rio.

The Club beat The Lucha Dragons.

Baron Corbin beat Dolph Ziggler.

Paige, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Natalya beat Charlotte, Dana Brooke, Summer Rae and Eva Marie.

Dean Ambrose beat Chris Jericho in an LA Street Fight.

Rusev beat Titus O'Neil to retain the US Title.

Lana was there with Rusev.

Sami Zayn beat Kevin Owens.

Roman Reigns beat AJ Styles and Seth Rollins to retain the WWE World Title.

2016 - AWW ran Merrionette Park, Illinois. Qamar Zaman filed the following live report:

AAW Pro Wrestling Redefined kicked off the summer in style with “Killers Among Us”.   The show drew 600 plus standing room.

Before the show began, AAW play-by-play announcer Phil Colvin revealed that he was assigned a commentator to call the action. That commentator was none other than the leader of the Iron Curtain, Gregory Iron.

1.) The opening match of “Killers Among Us” was a fatal four way tag team match contested to one fall. The tag team match pit the team of Eddie Machete & Conor Braxton (with Scarlett Bordeaux) against the team of Candice LeRae & Heidi Lovelace, the team of Kongo Kong and Xavier Desmond, and the War Rig of Shane Hollister and Markus Crane. Kong had initially removed Desmond’s tag partner and inserted himself into the match.

Kong started the match eyeing Machete and Braxton, but the two brash youngsters turned their back on him and sneak attacked LeRae and Lovelace. The cowardice of Machete and Braxton continued, as they departed the ring. The crazy Markus Crane elected to go after Kong, but that proved to be a big mistake. Xavier Desmond tagged in wanting to contribute, but after taking Hollister out of the ring, Machete came in and took him out. LeRae then righted an earlier wrong as she attacked Machete. Lovelace and Braxton then dueled before Braxton brought out his infamous hoverboard. Braxton imitated the Cesaro swing while riding the hoverboard, as the crowd enjoyed the entertainment.

While Kong surveyed the action that was taking place inside, he decided to help out LeRae and Lovelace by helping them hit reverse hurricanranas. Crane tried taking exception to it, but Kong hit a spike tombstone. Then, LeRae and Lovelace hit simultaneous Ballsplexes on Braxton and Machete. The two youngsters were able to return the favor, but Kong would have none of it. Braxton tried to use the hoverboard when going head to head with Kong, but Kong got out of the way and laid him out. Kong then climbed to the top rope to splash Machete and earn the pinfall victory for he and Xavier Desmond. Kong even knocked out his partner when trying to take credit for the win.

After the match, an irate Scarlett got on the mic to berate Machete and Braxton for losing the fatal four way tag match. She said that girls like her don’t work with losers, and also blamed the fans for their poor effort. She issues an open challenge to anyone who wants to face Machete and Braxton.

Answering the call was none other than the Sicilian Psychopath, Tommaso Ciampa. With the crowd chanting “Psycho Killer”, Ciampa berated Machete, Braxton, and even Scarlett. Braxton was wondering why Ciampa came out alone to answer the challenge. The cocky duo then warmed up for the match in the ring while Ciampa looked on. Ciampa then destroyed both men, capping it off with a Project Ciampa to Machete, forcing them all to retreat.

Ciampa got on the mic and mentioned his loss last month to Sami Callihan at “Take No Prisoners”. Ciampa wondered who would accept his open challenge, naming various names before requesting a referee to begin the open challenge.

2.) Answering the challenge and shocking the crowd was the returning “Walking Weapon” Josh Alexander. The one-time AAW Heavyweight Champion was forced to retire from wrestling, but his doctor’s prognosis about a neck injury turned out to be a lot worse than reality. He answered Ciampa’s challenge and the two men showed good sportsmanship before the bell rang.

The two men worked methodically to try and gain an upper hand in the match, answering the call from one another at various points of the match. With Alexander’s neck being the target, Ciampa took control and continued with a barrage of attacks to the neck. However, Alexander showed the same resiliency that led him to a title reign, fighting back against the Psycho Killer. Alexander was able to hit a devastating elbow to the face of Ciampa to knock him down to a two count before Ciampa reached out for the bottom rope.

Trading chops on the apron, Ciampa was able to turn the tables and deliver a shoulder breaker to the returning star. The battle continued on the outside as Ciampa whipped Alexander into the guardrail and then laid him over another guardrail before hitting a running knee lift. Alexander was able to recover and suplexed Ciampa onto the apron. Back inside the ring, Ciampa was able to reverse out of a spinning tombstone by Alexander into an armbar. Alexander was able to crawl to the ropes. Alexander then tried a sitdown powerbomb, which got a count of two, and put Ciampa into an ankle lock. Ciampa got out of it, sending Alexander to the apron, and then kneed him off the apron and onto the wooden post. Ciampa got Alexander back in the ring, but only got a one count. An enraged Alexander then tossed his headgear at Ciampa, who delivered a violent running kick to the face. That knocked Alexander out and allowed Ciampa to get the pinfall victory.

After the match, Ciampa rose the arm of Alexander and returned his headgear before leaving the ring to allow Alexander another opportunity to soak in the crowd’s approval.

3.) It was time for a women’s match. Jessicka Havok, along with JT Davidson representing the Killer Cult, was in singles action against Kimber Lee. Being the smaller of the two, Kimber quickly went to attack the much bigger Havok. That strategy worked in the short term, as it forced Havok to the outside. But, while on the outside, Havok was able to turn the tables on Kimber by gaining the upper hand in the match.

Back inside the ring, Havok used her size to her advantage by taking apart Kimber at every opportunity she could. Havok went into backbreaker mode, but Kimber was able to eventually reverse out of it and put Havok into a cross armbreaker. Havok used her size to rise up and get out of the submission move.

Trying her best to stay in the match, Kimber surprised Havok with a German suplex that earned her a two count. However, Havok was able to get back up and hit an Air Raid Crash to get the victory.

After the match, Havok continued attacking Kimber Lee until Heidi Lovelace entered. Heidi was quickly subdued and got an Air Raid Crash of her own. Havok and Davidson celebrated the destruction that lay within the ring.

4.) In singles competition, Drew Gulak went one-on-one with Silas Young. But before the match could begin, Silas berated the crowd and then turned his attention to his opponent. Silas called himself “the measuring stick” when referencing Gulak’s mat skills. Silas then offered a thinly veiled attack at Gulak’s manhood.

Once the bell rung, Gulak took Silas to task the only way a mat technician could do. The two men continued their match with a mix of grappling and violent attacks. Gulak then sought out the target of the brace on Silas’ left knee, ripping it off. However, Silas used it as a weapon against Gulak. Gulak was able to turn the tables and sent Silas to the outside. Gulak then dove through the ropes to Silas on the outside.

After a contentious battle at ringside, the two men returned inside the ring. Silas used his knee brace as part of a submission maneuver, choking Gulak out while stretching his back. Gulak was able to reverse out of the move and applied it Silas himself. Gulak then targeted the bare left knee of Silas and applied an ankle lock. Silas tried to hit the backbreaker-clothesline combo, but Gulak got out of it. Silas remained steadfast in his attack, but Gulak stayed with him at every turn.

Gulak then tried to use the knee brace one more time on Silas, trying it out with a figure four leglock. Silas read it the entire way, reversing the attempt into a small package pin attempt. It worked out this time for the “Last Real Man” as he earned the three count and delivered on his guarantee that he would win.

5.) The AAW Tag Team Championships were on the line as The Hooligans along with their manager, Buck Nasty, looked to regain the titles against the reigning champs, The Besties in the World, Davey Vega and Mat Fitchett. The Cutter brothers immediately jumped the titleholders before the bell rang. Fitchett took the immediate brunt of the two-man attack, but was able to kick out of an early pin attempt. Bucky then dished out further punishment to Fitchett on the outside as the Hooligans centered their attention on Vega.

After several minutes contending with both Devin and Mason Cutter, Vega was able to break free and tag in Mat Fitchett. Fitchett then went on a roll against the Hooligans, showing off his high-risk maneuvers delighting the crowd. While Fitchett was on top, Bucky got involved and attacked Fitchett. Vega was able to save his partner from another two-on-one attack, and try to isolate one of the Cutter brothers.

The Hooligans thought they had the match won when they hit their combo finisher on Vega, but the referee said the wrong brother who attempted the pinfall was not the legal man. In the ensuing argument, Fitchett ran in and hit a spike hurricanrana, while Vega had the other Cutter brother in an ankle lock. Fitchett was able to successfully earn the pinfall and retain the tag titles for he and Vega.

6.) It was time for a dream match, as Chris Hero went head-to-head with luchador Drago. Donning a #23 Duke basketball jersey and Duke-inspired ring gear, Hero was ready to bring the fight of a Blue Devil to the lucha star. The crowd was vocal at the onset, taking in what both men were about to present.

Hero had a major size advantage over Drago, but it was Hero’s versatility that gave him the early edge. Drago tried to take down the bigger Hero by attacking Hero’s legs and focusing submission attempts on them. Drago used his quickness and agility to regain control in the match, but Hero was abrasive in his manner of attacking a tiring Drago. He would come across as arrogant and cocky when overpowering the smaller opponent, Drago.

However, Drago was able to strike back and attack Hero, sending him out of the ring. With a dazed Hero at ringside, Drago was able to deliver devastating kicks to Hero’s torso and capped it off with a headscissors off the apron. With Hero tossed back inside, Drago went to the top rope, but Hero cut him off with a boot to the face. Drago was able to kick out at two following an elbow to the back of the head from Hero.

Drago delivered one last burst of offense against Hero featuring a tornado DDT that only earned him a two count. Hero recovered and pulled out a piledriver on Drago, but the luchador kicked out at two. Frustrated by his inability to put down Drago, Hero tried once more to hit elbows to the face of Drago, but he would not stay down for the three count. In the end, it was the tombstone piledriver that allowed Hero to finally put away Drago for the pinfall victory.

After Hero celebrated his win, he fell to his knees in front of Drago and extended his hand to the luchador. They shook hands, rising together, as Hero rose the arm of Drago before departing the ring. Fans displayed their affection to Drago by tossing money into the ring.

Following intermission, we see a video of Eddie Kingston and The Notorious 187, Homicide. Both men discuss their plan of attack for their match against Sami Callihan and Dave Crist. The men reprised their Outlaw Inc. moniker and promised plenty of violence in their match later in the show.

7.) The AAW Heritage Championship was on the line as lucha star Aerostar challenged the champion, AR Fox. Aerostar had an impressive entrance to the ring with fire pyrotechnics that he brought with him. Fox needed no such glamour to hit the ring, as he brought with him the championship belt.

The contest opened with a flurry of quick moves that dazzled the throng of fans in attendance. Fox maintained an advantage over the visitor from Mexico’s AAA promotion, but Aerostar fought back with an array of acrobatic moves hit both inside and outside of the ring. On the outside, Fox was able to recover and use the ringpost to catapult himself onto Aerostar.

Back inside the ring, Aerostar and Fox challenged each other to hit one impressive move after another. Fox was able to fully hit one, nailing a perfect 450 splash onto a downed Aerostar to retain his title.

After the match, Fox shook hand and hugged Aerostar. However, Mat Fitchett interrupted the party. Fitchett assured that he meant no ill will to Aerostar, shaking his hand. His beef was with Fox, reminding the champ that he was pinned last month. Fitchett issued a challenge to AR Fox for the Heritage title at “United We Stand” next month. Quickly, Davey Vega hit the ring to interject himself in Fitchett’s affairs. Vega reminded Fitchett about their tag team title reign. Fox and Vega got into an argument of their own. After Fox shoved Vega, he granted Fitchett a shot at the title next month.

8.) The next match was a fatal four way match consisting of Andrew Everett, Cedric Alexander, Moose, and Trevor Lee. The crowd was excited to see all four participants in the fatal four way, and it was difficult to determine who had the collective rooting interest. Before the match would begin, all four participants had a little dance competition that even had the referee get involved.

Once the bell rang, all four wrestlers departed the ring to give the notion that they were done. They would all return to the ring to start the match properly. It began as a group attack on Moose, but the former NFL lineman was able to break loose and dish out some punishment. Cedric Alexander and Moose traded blows until Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett returned to the ring. Then, the match turned into a dive fest as Cedric Alexander, Trevor Lee, and Everett, who springboarded himself off the top rope and flipped to the outside, all took turns going out of the ring.

There were not only aerial attacks from off the top rope by Everett and Alexander, but Moose even jumped from off the stage and into the ring on all three opponents. The carnage continued on the outside when Moose powerbombed Everett on the apron and then onto the wooden post. The ante was upped when Trevor Lee climbed to the balcony and dove onto both Moose and Alexander.

Andrew Everett went on a spike rana spree and then Moose would reappear to spear two men. When he tried to deliver a third spear to Trevor Lee, Lee reversed it into fall away slam to pin Moose and take the victory in the fatal four way match. After Lee departed to celebrate the win, the three losing participants received their approval from the AAW fans.

9.) The penultimate match of the night saw the return of Zack Sabre, Jr. to AAW, as he went one-on-one with Johnny Gargano. AAW put together this featured attraction which includes two participants in WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic tournament to be held this summer. The fans eagerly anticipated this match between “Johnny Wrestling” and ZSJ.

There was a long feeling out process between the two men, as they tried to test the mental and physical acuity of each other. Sabre relied on a mat-based attack with submission attempts, while Gargano used counters to apply submissions of his own. Each submission or attack was either reversed or countered with excellence. Before long, the two men drew their fight to ringside. It was there that Gargano took advantage over the British star. Once regaining control, Gargano tossed Sabre back into the ring, but that was not a smart move. Sabre readied for Gargano and nearly had Gargano tapping out with an impressive stretch submission.

Sabre targeted the left forearm and wrist of Gargano, twisting, turning, and smashing it in excruciating pain. Gargano was able to fight through the pain and gain some offensive attacks on Sabre. This leveled the playing field so to speak, as both men fought through their own pain to dish it out to one another. Gargano was able to sneak out of another submission attempt to hit a lawn dart on Sabre into the middle turnbuckle. That initiated a burst out of Gargano that saw him dive onto Sabre on the outside and hit a DDT on Sabre that landed a two count.

Gargano was able to put Sabre into the Gargano Stretch, but the Brit was able to sneak out of the submission maneuver. Sabre then put Gargano in a submission move. Sabre added elbows to the ribcage, forcing Gargano to submit.

10.) In the main event, Homicide makes his debut in AAW to reunite with his Outlaw Inc. partner in crime, Eddie Kingston. The duo took on the leader of the Killer Cult, AAW Heavyweight Champion Sami Callihan and Dave Crist, who were joined by JT Davidson.

Matters escalated quickly when Kingston brought an empty beer bottle into the ring. Crist brought one from ringside to even the odds, but referee PJ Drummond cleared the ring of those beer bottles. The four men then went to blows, ending up with Callihan and Homicide inside the ring and Kingston and Crist outside the ring. Crist pulled Homicide under the ropes, but knocked him away in time to avoide a dive from Callihan. Callihan landed onto his partner on the outside. The diving continued when Kingston landed on Crist on one side of the ring, and Homicide landed on Callihan and Davidson at another.

The fight intensified on the outside when Crist springboarded himself over the guardrail and into the crowd. All of the action landed in the crowd, as Homicide battled Crist while Kingston took care of Callihan. Homicide threw a garbage can into Crist and beat him up with it. Kingston and Callihan destroyed several of the seats during their encounter. The action then moved to the bar area.

While Crist and Homicide dueled on top of the bar, Callihan and Kingston beat each other up at another end. Homicide hit a DDT on Crist on the top of the bar. Callihan went after both men, but he took a beating from Outlaw Inc. Callihan and Homicide then made their way over by the merchandise area, while Kingston and Crist remained fighting over by the bar. Crist went on a kicking spree against Kingston. Callihan and Homicide went upstairs to the balcony to continue their fight, as the champ attempted to throw Homicide over the rails. Meanwhile, Kingston used one of the tables to attack Crist.

The action returned inside the ring as Homicide paid tribute to Eddie Guerrero with a series of suplexes to Sami Callihan. At that same time, Crist returned to ringside with Kingston soon chasing after him. After a bloodied Crist stopped Homicide from a top rope attack, Kingston bounced him off of the apron. Kingston and Callihan then took their turns fighting one another, but the champ was soon disposed of by ‘Cide. Crist recovered in time to hit an amazing springboard DDT on Homicide, but he kicked out at two.

Kingston then hit a Frankensteiner on Crist, as Homicide then put him into a Boston Crab. However, Jake Crist surprisingly ran into the ring and broke up the submission attempt. Kingston then chased Jake and Dave Crist to the back, while Homicide and Callihan did battle in the ring.

After hitting an Ace Crusher on Callihan, Homicide thought he had the match won. The champ kicked out at two, forcing Homicide to pull out a fork from his boot. That drew JT Davidson to enter the ring, and he sacrificed himself for the champ. Homicide brutally used the fork to open up the forehead of the Killer Cult’s manager. That opening eventually allowed Callihan to hit his double underhook tombstone on Homicide to get the three count and win the match.

A battered and bloodied JT Davidson rose the arm of the champion, as he stood tall with the AAW Heavyweight Championship over his shoulder. Callihan got on the mic after the match to brag about his successes. Callihan says he backs up his guarantees of winning, brags about his undefeated record in AAW, and brags about his successes in other independent companies. Callihan said the fans would boo him louder when he beats up and bloodies Pentagon, Jr. next month at “United We Stand”.

AAW Pro Wrestling Redefined returns to 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park, Illinois on Saturday, July 23rd for “United We Stand”. Already announced for that event is the AAW Heavyweight Championship match between the titleholder Sami Callihan and Pentagon, Jr. The AAW Heritage Championship will also be on the line when Mat Fitchett challenges the champion, AR Fox. Also scheduled to appear that night are Fenix, Marty Scrull, Tommaso Ciampa, Andrew Everett, Trevor Lee, Zack Sabre, Jr., Johnny Gargano, and much more. More information and tickets can be purchased at AAWrestling.com.

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