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THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RIC FLAIR WRESTLES HIS FIRST PROFESSIONAL MATCH 38 YEARS AGO TODAY, TERRY FUNK WINS THE WORLD TITLE, SIX-PERSON HELL IN A CELL

By Buck Woodward on 2010-12-10 08:00:00
December 10th

On this day in history in ....

1957 - The Atomic Blonds (Johnny Valentine & Chet Wallich) defeated Joe & Guy Brunetti for the AWA World Tag Team Title in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1968 - The Medics (Billy Garrett & Jim Starr) defeat Wahoo McDaniel & Jose Lothario in the finals of a tournament to become the first NWA Florida Tag Team Champions.

1972 - In an undercard bout on an AWA show, Ric Flair makes his professional wrestling debut, going to a ten minute draw with George "Scrap Iron" Gadaski.

1973 - Antonio Inoki defeats Johnny Powers for the NWF World Heavyweight Title in Tokyo, Japan, ending Powers' second title reign.

1975 - Terry Funk defeats Jack Brisco to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title in Miami, Florida. This match ended Brisco's second reign with the belt, and also made Terry and Dory Funk, Jr. the only brothers to both hold the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.

1977 - Don Kent defeats Lanny Poffo in Chattanooga, Tennessee to win the NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Title for the fourth time.

1980 - Antonio Inoki & Bob Backlund defeat Hulk Hogan & Stan Hansen in the finals of a tournament to win New Japan's first annual MSG Tag League.

1981 - Andre The Giant & Rene Goulet defeat Antonio Inoki & Tatsumi Fujinami in the finals of a tournament to win New Japan's second annual MSG Tag League.

1982 - Antonio Inoki & Hulk Hogan defeat Killer Khan & Tiger Toguchi in the finals of a tournament to win New Japan's third annual MSG Tag League.

1995 - Combat Toyoda defeats Shark Tsuchiya in Tokyo, Japan to win the FMW Independent World Women's Title for the second time.

1999 - Genichiro Tenryu defeats Keiji Mutoh in Osaka, Japan to win New Japan's IWGP Title. This marked the end of Mutoh's third and final reign.

2000 - Super Crazy defeats Sean Hill to win the IWA Junior Heavyweight Title in Moca, Puerto Rico.

2000 - WWF held their Armageddon event at the Jefferson Civic Center in Birmingham, Alabama, headlined by the first (and to date, only) six-person Hell In A Cell match.  Here is Tim Whitehead's original report on the show:

WWF's Armageddon (12/10 from Birmingham) was a classic one match show. The undercard hovered pretty much around the center, mostly standard matches such as you might see on RAW or Smackdown. There were two title changes to spice things up. The crowd was into the action at first but died somewhat in the middle of the show, when two non-wrestling segments were followed by an overly long Last Man Standing match. Commentary was very good, with Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler doing an excellent job of getting over the main event. And it was the main event, a heated, action-packed Hell in the Cell match featuring the six top stars in the promotion, which carried the show. Throughout the broadcast they built to the final match by showing classic footage from prior great Hell in the Cell confrontations. They conveniently, and wisely, left out last year's Big Bossman vs. Al Snow fiasco with the dogs.

The show had an eerie opening video of bombs going off and war footage.

Mick Foley reiterated his vow that he would resign the commissionership if any of the six participants were seriously injured. Vince McMahon arrived in his limo, where he was met by Pat Patterson & Gerald Brisco doing their stooge routine. Vince was still wanting to stop the Hell in the Cell match.

EDDIE GUERRERO & PERRY SATURN & DEAN MALENKO defeated THE HARDY BOYZ & LITA in an elimination match in 8:05. Footage aired of Malenko's unfortunate date with Lita from Smackdown. Guerrero looked good, and got solid heel heat. Jeff Hardy hit a plancha. Jeff blocked a huracanrana attempt from Guerrero, with Lita then DDT'ing Guerrero and Jeff eliminating him with a swanton at 2:56. Jeff hit a corkscrew dropkick, and JR mentioned that Jeff may not have a long career. Saturn nailed Jeff at 3:42 with a powerslam for the pin. Matt Hardy hit the twist of fate on Saturn for a pin at 5:07. Terri came in but was speared by Lita. Malenko surprised Matt with a schoolboy at 5:33, leaving Malenko alone with Lita. Lita got pops hitting her signature moonsaults and spinning headscissors but Malenko took control and nailed her with a superplex and backbreaker. He twice had her beat but lifted her up by the hair at the two count, before forcing her to tap to the cloverleaf at 8:05. I really don't like inter-gender matches but this was a solid opener. Malenko hurled Lita from the ring afterward, with the Hardys making the save. Michael Cole stuck a mic in Lita's face and she vowed to beat Malenko as she was helped to the back.

Lilian Garcia tried to interview Kurt Angle as he was doing his pre-match warm-up exercises. He was pissed that she interrupted him. He put over the seriousness of his first Hell in the Cell and called it barbaric and acted like it was beneath the dignity of a pure wrestler such as himself. He also ridiculed the Alabama fans as inbred hicks. For a second, I thought I was watching an old Continental tape.

WILLIAM REGAL defeated HARDCORE HOLLY to retain the European Title in 4:53. Regal lectured the fans on using handkerchiefs and told them not to "love" their farm animals. I had a Continental flashback again. Holly came out and got a good pop since he's from Alabama (Mobile) and they put it over big. They did mostly mat wrestling and standard spots. Holly hit Regal with the old Lex Luger steel rod forearm. Regal sold it but the live crowds still don't react to this spot. Raven then sneaked in behind the ref's back and DDT'd Holly, with Regal getting the pin.

Kevin Kelly interviewed Rikishi. Kelly mentioned that Angle had turned on him on Smackdown and suggested that HHH might do so as well. Rikishi said he's ready for anything in the Hell in the Cell.

VAL VENIS defeated CHYNA in 5:02. Did I mention not liking inter-gender bouts? Chyna, who looks more like an Amazon than ever, attacked Val in the aisle, and also nailed Ivory. Chyna had Val reeling for a couple of minutes. Val came back but missed on the money shot. Ivory tripped Chyna, and Chyna left the ring to chase her. Val caught Chyna with a fisherman suplex when she returned to the ring for the pin. Chyna grabbed Ivory afterward and was going for the powerbomb but Val made the save and powerbombed Chyna.

Stephanie told Vince she's worried that HHH will be hurt in the Hell in the Cell. Vince promised to put a stop to the match.

Undertaker did a fantastic promo, taped earlier inside the Hell in the Cell, where he discussed his great Cell matches with Foley and Shawn Michaels and footage was shown of those bouts. They had the footage out of sequence for the Foley match (the bump through the cage before the bump off the cage) with UT acting like that was the correct sequence. But other than that technicality, this was a super interview with UT saying he becomes an animal inside that cage and that he made Foley and Michaels famous, and wondered who he would make famous in the upcoming match.

Vince came out, walking with a cane and accompanied by the stooges. He said he meant every word on Smackdown when he asked Linda for a divorce. He then went off on his tirade against Hell in the Cell and the danger it posed to his top six investments. He tried to make the case that he was a humanitarian, truly concerned about the six wrestlers' physical well-being. He asked fans to show their support for banning the match by standing. Of course, a few did, but most didn't. He began screaming for them to stand up as JR compared him to Jimmy Swaggart. Vince left in frustration, saying any injuries would be on the fans' consciences.

CHRIS JERICHO beat KANE in a Last Man Standing match in 17:15. They brawled to the back quickly, where they encountered a bunch of workmen hanging around a truck filled with sawdust (which was used in an angle later). One of the workmen got beat up. By the time this match began, they had had two non-action segments in a row (the UT interview, while awesome, was taped for the PPV crowd and was not live in the arena). The crowd was mostly dead as a result. They brawled back to the ring and did some decent stuff to no response. Both guys were trying but it just didn't click, and ran too long as well. Jericho went for his lionsault but Kane got his knees up. Kane chokeslammed Jericho hard. Jericho barely beat the ten count to stand up. Jericho blocked an attempted tombstone piledriver on a chair and hit Kane with the chair. By this point the match finally got some heat. Jericho lionsaulted a chair on Kane's chest and both went down for the count, barely standing up in time. They fought back to a set where there were a bunch of old cars and assorted junk. Jericho gave Kane a weak bulldog on a table. Finally, Jericho overturned a bunch of oil barrels on Kane, who was protected by a table, but sold it that he couldn't get out from under the barrels and was counted down.

Jonathan Coachman asked Foley if he was having second thoughts about the Hell in the Cell, but Foley said he was more determined than ever to see the match through.

Shawn Michaels did a promo from WWF New York to put over the main event.

EDGE & CHRISTIAN defeated GOODFATHER & BULL BUCHANAN and THE DUDLEYS and ROAD DOGG & K. KWIK to capture the WWF World Tag Titles in 9:41. Edge & Christian started off against the Dudleys. Kwik went in and did his acrobatic spots. There was a huge chant for tables. Kwik got pounded and got a busted lip. He has potential but they're rushing him. Buh Buh Ray cleaned house. The Dudleys did the wazzup spot on both Edge & Christian. They got a table and took it in. Goodfather & Bull both took 3D's but Steven Richards interfered and DDT'd D-Von on the table. Edge then gave Buh Buh the Tomokaze and Christian pinned him to capture the titles (this was not an elimination match). Solid action.

Stephanie whined to HHH about participating in the Hell in the Cell. HHH, who looks huge, did an intense promo saying the WWF Title means more to him than anything else and saying he'll go into the cage no matter the consequences.

CHRIS BENOIT beat BILLY GUNN to capture the IC Title in 10:02. Benoit stomped Gunn. Gunn tossed Benoit out but Benoit hurled him into the stairs for a good bump. Benoit worked on Gunn's knee. Benoit hit his multiple suplexes but missed the diving headbutt. JR was dwelling on Gunn's earrings for some reason. Gunn hit the famouser, but did so weakly to sell the bad knee. Benoit hooked the crossface, with Gunn making the ropes, but Benoit hooked it again and Gunn tapped. A decent technical match. Afterward, Gunn said Benoit hasn't seen the last of him.

In a pre-taped segment, JR interviewed Steve Austin, who put over the danger of the Hell in the Cell very well.

IVORY defeated TRISH STRATUS and MOLLY HOLLY in 2:12 to retain the WWF Women's Title. Trish and Ivory kept trying to cooperate but also argued. Molly powerbombed Trish, but Ivory threw Molly out and pinned Trish herself. Test & Albert attacked Molly afterward. Crash Holly saved but T & A were about to beat him up when the Acolytes made their big return and ran T & A off. The match was mainly a backdrop for the Acolytes return, and it was put on in this spot since there was no way it would upstage the main event.

Rock did a promo and promised to kick all the candy asses in the Hell in the Cell.

KURT ANGLE defeated STEVE AUSTIN & ROCK & HUNTER HEARST HELMSLEY & UNDERTAKER & RIKISHI in the Hell in the Cell in 32:12 to retain the WWF World Title. Angle wouldn't go into the cage, but when Austin arrived, he threw him in. Rock started off against Rikishi, while Austin went at it with HHH and Angle fought Undertaker. Austin got some twos on HHH. Rock hit a great Samoan drop on Angle for a near fall. Austin lariated the hell out of HHH and raked his face repeatedly on the cage, juicing him big. Rikishi walloped Austin's bad neck. He hugged his supposed ally HHH, but HHH turned on him and Pedigreed him. Rock then DDT'd HHH, Angle Olympic slammed Rock, Austin stunnered Angle, and Undertaker chokeslammed Austin. So everyone was breaking up everyone else's pin. Undertaker mauled HHH on the cage for more juice. JR & Lawler were selling this great. Vince & the Stooges then arrived on the sawdust truck. Vince had the workmen rip the cage door off and ordered them to dismantle the entire cage, but Foley arrived and beat up the stooges and had the road agents haul Vince out, screaming "I own this damn place!" The truck remained parked there next to the cage. And you were wondering what that sawdust was for! With the door gone, HHH staggered out, followed by Austin and the others. The brawled around the old cars and junk, taking bumps on and off the cars. Rock juiced after HHH Pedigreed him on a car. Austin juiced big when HHH smashed his face through the sawdust truck window. Austin catapulted HHH onto a car. Undertaker beat Angle with a microphone. Angle juiced UT with a hard chairshot. HHH climbed the cage, and Austin followed him up, with JR freaking out. Angle and UT then went up, and it was noticed that Angle was bleeding, which Lawler sold huge since he has never juiced before. All four brawled on top. Rock and Rikishi went up, but Austin, HHH, and Angle wisely climbed down. Rock climbed down pretty quickly as well. This left UT and Rikishi up there, two big guys so that was scary. UT ended up using his last burst of strength to hurl Rikishi off the top and he fell onto the sawdust in the truck. A good bump, but well-padded. UT then collapsed on the cage top. Meanwhile, the other four were back in the cage. Rock gave Austin a spinebuster and was going for the People's Elbow but HHH nailed him. Angle was now juicing big. Austin gave Rock a stunner but was attacked by HHH, allowing Angle to barely get his arm over Rock for the pin. The ending sort of came out of nowhere. Austin did a stunner on Angle afterward. A great main event.

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