On This Day In Wrestling History…23rd May

On May 23rd in wrestling history, the three company figureheads of the Monday Night Wars met in the centre of a ring for the very first time on WWE Raw.

Paul Heyman, Vince McMahon & Eric Bischoff

Credit: WWE

1995 – Steve Austin won the WCW World Television Championship from Barry Windham at a WCW Saturday Night taping in Atlanta, Georgia.

1993 – WCW Slamboree: A Legends Reunion took place at the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia. The event saw the reformation of The Four Horseman featuring the combo of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson and Paul Roma. Sid Vicious made his WCW return after a stint with the WWF. He defeated Van Hammer in 35 seconds. In the main event, Davey Boy Smith defeated Big Van Vader by disqualification in a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match.

1999 – During WWE’s ‘Fully Loaded’ PPV at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City Missouri, Owen Hart tragically fell to his death when an entrance stunt went tragically wrong and led to Hart falling to his death from the rafters of the arena. He was just 34 years old. Shamefully, the decision was made for the event to continue after Hart’s death despite all performers clearly being uncomfortable being in front of a crowd. For what it’s worth, The Undertaker defeated ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin in the main event to win the WWF World Championship in a match with both Vince and Shane McMahon as referees.

2000 – Kevin Nash won a three-way match against Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner at a WCW Thunder taping in Saginaw, Michigan to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. This was the fifth time the title changed hands in the month of May.

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2005 – In a segment on Raw designed to promote the upcoming ECW: One Night Stand PPV, WWE chairman Vince McMahon, former ECW owner Paul Heyman and former WCW president Eric Bischoff all met together in a ring for the first time.

2006 – At a SmackDown taping in Bakersfield, California, Bobby Lashley won the WWE United States Championship with an 82 second victory over John ‘Bradshaw’ Layfield. Right after this match, Rey Mysterio defeated JBL in an impromptu match for Mysterio’s World Heavyweight Championship. After the loss, Layfield retired. He would return to action in late 2007.

2010 – WWE presented their ‘Over The Limit’ PPV from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. In the main event, John Cena retained the WWE Championship against Batista in an I Quit match. This was to be Batista’s last wrestling match until the 2014 Royal Rumble. Earlier in the night, Kofi Kingston defeated Drew McIntyre for the Intercontinental Championship.

2011 – On Raw from Portland, Oregon, David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty (Representing The New Nexus) defeated Big Show and Kane for the WWE Tag Team Championship.

2013 – Bo Dallas became the third NXT Champion after defeating Big E. Langston at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.

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2013 – The TNA Knockouts Championship changed hands at an Impact taping in Tampa, Florida when Mickie James defeated Velvet Sky.

2016 – WWE Extreme Rules took place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. In the main event, Roman Reigns retained the WWE Championship in an Extreme Rules match with AJ Styles. The only title change of the night saw Rusev defeat Kalisto via submission to win the WWE United States Championship.

2020 – Wrestling fans around the world mourned as it was announced that up and comping Stardom star Hana Kimura had committed suicide at the age of 22.

2021 – AEW held their first PPV since the start of the global pandemic. Double Or Nothing took place at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville, Florida. The main event Stadium Stampede match was pre-taped the day prior. Two new champions were crowned on the night. Hikaru Shida defeated Nyla Rose for the AEW Women’s Championship and Cody defeated Lance Archer in the final of a tournament to determine the first ever TNT Champion. Jon Moxley retained the AEW World Championship with a win over Mr. Brodie Lee.

Notable Wrestling Birthdays:

  • Alex Shelley (1983)
  • ‘The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero (1978)
  • Super Dragon (1975)
  • Frenchy Martin (1950)
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