On This Day In Wrestling History…17th July

July 17th is a day of momentous events in wrestling history including the first ever Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair PPV match and THAT CM Punk vs John Cena match.

CM Punk

Credit: WWE

1990 – The All-Japan Wrestling Triple Crown Championship changes hands in Ishikawa, Japan when Terry Gordy defeats Stan Hansen to begin his second reign with the title. Due to a painkiller overdose leading to hospitalisation, he is forced to vacate the title just 10 days after winning it.

1994 – WCW’s first ever Bash At The Beach PPV took place at the Orlando Arena in Orlando, Florida. More importantly, this event marked the in-ring WCW debut of Hulk Hogan and the first ever televised clash between the biggest star in WWF history at that point and the biggest star outside of Vince McMahon’s organisation during the same time period, Ric Flair. Hogan defeated Flair in the main event to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship with Mr. T and Orlando Magic superstar Shaquille O’Neal in his corner. The event would set the record for the most purchased WCW PPV to that point with 225,000 homes purchasing the event.

1999 – WCW Monday Nitro was taped inAuburn Hills, Michigan and featured the final of a tournament for the vacant WCW United States Championship. Lance Storm won the tournament and the belt with a victory over Mike Awesome.

2004 – Doug Williams defeated Alex Shelley to win the vacant ROH Pure Championship in the final of a one night tournament in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The belt was vacated when TNA barred all their talent from appearing in ROH due to then ROH owner Rob Feinstein being caught on camera grooming an underage boy. This prevented champion AJ Styles from fulfilling his obligations to defend the title.

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On This Day In Wrestling History...18th July

2005 – TNA Wrestling’s No Surrender PPV took place at the Impact Zone in Orlando, Florida. The show marked the TNA debut of Rhino who gored the NWA World Heavyweight Champion Raven after he successfully defended his title against Abyss in a Dog Collar Match main event.

2006 – In Sapporo, Japan, NJPW held a one night tournament to crown a new IWGP Heavyweight Champion after reigning champion Brock Lesnar left the organisation three days earlier due to being unable to agree a financial deal. Hiroshi Tanahashi won the tournament by defeating Giant Bernard in the final. It was the first time Tanahashi would win the prestigious title. He would eventually go on to win the belt seven times before it was retired in 2021.

2007 – The Great Khali would become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at a SmackDown taping in Laredo, Texas. The title win came in a 20-man battle royal held to determine a new champion after reigning title holder Edge suffered a torn pectoral muscle the week prior and would be out of action for an undetermined amount of time.

2011 – WWE held one of their most acclaimed PPV events of all time when Money In The Bank 2011 took place at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois. The event was heavily built on CM Punk challenging John Cena for the WWE Championship in Punk’s home town of Chicago. Weeks earlier, Punk had dropped his famous ‘Pipebomb’ promo on Raw and announced that his WWE contract expired the day after Money In The Bank and he would be leaving the company whether he won the belt or not. The atmosphere for the match was amongst the best in WWE history and ended with Punk overcoming inteference from Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis to defeat Cena and claim the title in a classic match. After the match, Alberto Del Rio, who had won a Money In The Bank briefcase earlier that night, tried to cash in his contract and win back the title but Punk thwarted him and left through the adoring crowd with the championship in one of WWE’s most enduring PPV moments.

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2021 – Impact Wrestling held their annual Slammiversary PPV at Skyway Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. The main event saw Kenny Omega retain the Impact World Championship against Sami Callihan in a brutal no disqualification match. After the match, NJPW’s Jay White made a shock Impact debut to confront Omega and his running buddies The Good Brothers.

Notable Wrestling Birthdays:

  • Lacey Von Erich (1986)
  • Daffney (1975)
  • Randy Anderson (1959)

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