On This Day in Wrestling History…22nd July

On 22nd July in wrestling history, WWE’s InVasion PPV set buyrate records and saw Steve Austin turn his back on Vince McMahon and company.

Paul Heyman, Stephanie McMahon, Steve Austin & Shane McMahon

Credit: WWE

1996 – Shawn Michaels teamed up with Intercontinental Champion Ahmed Johnson on the live edition of WWF Raw from Seattle to challenge The Smoking Gunns for the WWF Tag Team Titles.  The match, which was booked to start the live edition of Raw was rescheduled for the main event, after Michaels nailed Billy Gunn with a superkick.  During the official match Ahmed Johnson was attacked by the debuting Farooq Assad.

On one of the following taped edition of Raw Johnson won an eleven-man battle royal to become the number one contender for WWF World Title.  However Johnson was diagnosed with legitimate kidney problems from the attack by Farooaq, and was unable to compete at Summerslam, or challenge for the WWF Title on the night after SummerSlam.  

Other notable match ups from this setting of tapings included ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin and The Undertaker fighting to a no-contest, Vader defeating Marc Mero, Brian Adams returning as Crush in a new shoot-kayfabe former convict gimmick and defeating Savio Vega. Shawn Michaels pinned Owen Hart in the main event of the final taped edition when Michaels was attacked by his SummerSlam opponent Vader.

1996 – Lex Luger, Randy Savage & Sting defeated Four Horseman members Arn Anderson, Steve McMichael & Chris Benoit in the main event of WCW Monday Nitro from MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida.

1997 – Ultimato Dragon defeated Lord Steven Regal for the WCW World Television Title on a special Tuesday edition of WCW Nitro from Jacksonville, Florida.  In the main event ,The Outsiders Scott Hall & Kevin Nash defeated Chris Benoit & Ric Flair.

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2001 – One of the WWF’s most notable and historic pay-per-views took place in Cleveland, Ohio.  InVasion featured wrestlers from the WWF, ECW and the recently purchased WCW and was a pivotal event in the invasion storyline.  The event drew the highest pay-per-view buyrate of 770,000 in North America for the WWE in a non-Wrestlemania event.

In the main event ‘Inaugural Brawl’ he Alliance team of Booker T, The Dudley Boys Bubba Ray & D’Von, Rhyno and Diamond Dallas Page defeated Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Kane and WWF Champion ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin.  At the conclusion of the match Austin turned on Angle by hitting him with a stunner and Booker T pinned Angle for the win.  Austin celebrated with Paul Heyman, Shane & Stephanie McMahon as the pay-per-view went off the air.

Other notable matches on the pay-per-view included Rob Van Dam defeating Jeff Hardy for the Hardcore Title and WCW and WWF head referees Nick Patrick and Earl Hebner facing off in a ‘match’ officiated by Mick Foley.

2002 – On WWE Raw from Grand Rapids, Michigan the Raw General Manager Eric Bishoff introduced Triple H to the red brand and named Shawn Michaels as Triple H’s manager. Later on the show an impromptu DX reunion was short lived with Triple H turning heel on Michaels and attacked him with a pedigree.

On This Day in Wrestling History...24th July

Also on the night, Rob Van Dam unified the European and Intercontinental Championships with a victory over Jeff Hardy in a Ladder match. As a result of the unification the European Championship was officially retired. Also, Brock Lesnar defeated ECW legend Tommy Dreamer, and in the main event the new Undisputed WWE Champion The Rock defeated Eddie Guerrero in a non-title match.

2003 – The World’s Greatest Tag Team Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin, and The Big Show defeated Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle and Zach Gowen in the main event of the WWE SmackDown taping from Fresno, California.

2007 – At WWE Great American Bash in San Jose, California John Cena retained the WWE Championship in the main event against Bobby Lashley.  The Great Khali retained the World Heavyweight Championship in a Triple Threat match against Batista and Kane and John Morrison retained the ECW Championship against CM Punk.  Also Hornswoggle won the WWE Cruiserweight Championship in a six-way Cruiserweight match, Randy Orton defeated Dusty Rhodes in a Texas Bullrope match, and Candice Michelle retained the WWE Women’s Championship against Melina.

2009 – At the TNA Impact tapings in Orlando Matt Morgan defeated AJ Styles, Scott Steiner beat Brother Ray in a No Disqualification match, and Booker T, Brutus Magnus, Doug Williams & Scott Steiner defeated Brother Devon, Brother Ray, James Storm and Robert Roode in a eight-man tag-team match.

On This Day in Wrestling History...25th July

2012 – Four title changes took place at Day 30 of the NJPW 40th Anniversary show in Yagamata.  In the main event Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Masato Tanaka for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and Shinsuke Nakamura pinned Hirooki Goto for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.  Also Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima defeated Takashi Iizuka & Toru Yano for the IWGP World Tag Team Titles, and Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero defeated Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles.

2018 – Impact Wrestling Slammiversary XVI took place in Toronto, Canada. On the show, Brian Cage won the X-Division Championship from Matt Sydal.

2019 – WWE held a ‘Reunion’ special of Raw from Tampa, Florida. On the night, various legends and notable former stars had short lived reigns with the 24/7 title. Winners (and losers) on the belt included Pat Patterson, Candice Michelle, Gerald Brisco, Kelly Kelly and Ted DiBiase.

Notable Wrestling Birthdays:

  • Blake Christian (1997)
  • Maki Ito (1995)
  • Fandango (1987)
  • Thunder Rosa (1987)
  • James Mason (1979)
  • Shawn Michaels (1965)
  • David Von Erich (1958)
  • The Fabulous Moolah (1923)

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