On This Day in Wrestling Wrestling…23rd June

On 23rd June in wrestling history, Steve Austin won King Of The Ring, birthed Austin 3:16 and sold millions and millions of t-shirts.

Steve Austin King Of The Ring

Credit: WWE

1987 – Hulk Hogan retained the WWF World Heavyweight Championship against Harley Race in a dark match at the WWF Superstars of Wrestling tapings at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana.

1994 – WCW World Champion Ric Flair defeated the WCW International World Champion Sting in a Unification match in the main event of Clash of the Champions XXVII in North Charleston, South Carolina.  The unified title was represent by the famous Big Gold Belt.

1996 – The fourth WWF King of the Ring pay-per-view took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Marc Mero in the semi-finals, and then pinned an injured Jake Roberts in finals to the win the tournament.  Austin’s post-match promo and victory speech debuted the infamous “Austin 3:16” tagine which would go on to become one of most popular catchphrases in professional wrestling history. Also on the card, The Undertaker was defeated for the third time on TV up to this point when his match with Mankind was stopped due to a kayfabe unconscious submission. Ahmed Johnson defeated Goldust to become the first African-American Intercontinental Champion and The Smoking Gunns retained the WWF Tag Team Titles against The Godwinns. The Ultimate Warrior defeated Jerry “The King” Lawler, and Shawn Michaels retained the WWF Championship against The British Bulldog in their return match from ‘In Your House: Beware of Dog’ the previous month.

1997 – On WWF Raw from Detroit, Michigan, Nation of Domination members Faarooq & D-Lo Brown defeated WWF Champion The Undertaker & Vader in the main event.  Owen Hart retained the Intercontinental title in a Triple Threat match against Goldust & Hunter Hearst Helmsley.  Flash Funk and Sabu fought to a double-count, and The Legion of Doom defeated The Godwinns in a Tag Team Championship tournament match.

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1997 – Diamond Dallas Page picked up a disqualification win over NWO member Scott Hall in the main event of WCW Monday Nitro from Macon, Georgia.

2002 – Brock Lesnar defeated the Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam in the tournament final of the final King of the Ring PPV which was held in Columbus, Ohio.  By winning the tournament Lesnar became the number one contender for the Undisputed WWF Championship at SummerSlam. Jamie Noble pinned The Hurricane to win the Crusierweight Championship, and Molly Holly defeated Trish Stratus for the WWF Women’s Title.  In the main event The Undertaker retained the Undisputed title against Triple H. 

2003 – Triple H retained the World Heavyweight Championship against in a Mask vs Title match on WWE Raw from Madison Square Garden in New York City.  Raw Co-General Manager ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin had previously offered Kane a World Title opportunity if he refused Triple H’s invitation to join Evolution.  However, the other Raw Co-General Manager Eric Bischoff added the stipulation that if Kane did not win the championship, then he would be forced to unmask which he did at the end of the show.

2006 – Bryan Danielson defeated BJ Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs in a Triple Threat Elimination match to retain the ROH World Championship at ROH Throwdown from Detriot, Michigan. Also Delirious won a Four Corners Survival match against Davey Richards, Jimmy Rave and Samoa Joe. The Briscoes defeated Ace Steel & Colt Cabana, and KENTA pinned Roderick Strong in the main event.

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2007 – At ‘ROH Driven’ in Chicago Takeshi Morishima retained the ROH World Championship against Adam Pearce, and then retained the title in three minutes and fifty-six seconds against Jimmy Rave.  Also, Bryan Danielson defeated Nigel McGuinness to become the ROH World Title number one contender.

2008 – Booker T defeated Kevin Nash in a No Disqualification in the main event of the TNA Impact in Orlando, Florida.

2008 – The first night of the sixth WWE draft took place on WWE Raw from San Antonio, Texas. This draft was announced to help with the decline in ratings for Raw in the United States since Wrestlemania XXIV, and also for its initial purpose of freshen up the roster and storylines. WWE Champion Triple H defeated Mark Henry to win the first draft pick of Rey Mysterio being drafted from Smackdown to Raw.  In the main event Edge won a 15 man all-brand battle royal to win two draft picks which were Mr Kennedy from Smackdown to Raw, and WWE Champion Triple H from Raw to Smackdown.  Other notable draft picks included CM Punk who was the Money in the Bank contract holder from ECW to Raw, Jim Ross was drafted from Raw to Smackdown, and Michael Cole was drafted from the blue brand to Raw.  Unlike on previous drafts, and with outcomes being scripted and played in kayfabe, many of the talent were not told of their scripted changes before this draft.

2009 – Chris Jericho & Edge defeated Jeff Hardy & Rey Mysterio in a Tag Team Steel Cage match in the main event of the WWE SmackDown taping from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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On This Day in Wrestling History...23rd July

2014 – On WWE Raw from Washington DC, Bad News Barrett retained the Intercontinental Championship against Dolph Ziggler and Stephanie McMahon defeated Vickie Guerrero in a Mud Wrestling match.  In the main event John Cena, Roman Reigns & Sheamus defeated Alberto Del Rio, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro and Randy Orton in a Handicap tag-team match.

2015 – WWE Champion Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose in the main event of the SmackDown taping in Toldeo, Ohio.

2016 – WWE began taping their landmark Cruiserweight Championship tournament at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida. The 32 man tournament featured a number of significant international names brought into the company specifically for the tournament including Kota Ibushi and Zack Sabre Jr. The first round was taped in one night and included matches such as Johnny Gargano defeating Tommaso Ciampa and Lince Dorado defeating Mustafa Ali.

2018 – Matt Riddle retained the Evolve Title against Shane Strickland in a No Rope Break match in the main event at Evolve #106 in Woodside, New York.  Also Joey Janela defeated Austin Theory for the WWN Title.

2019 – Ricochet became the WWE United States Champion by defeating Samoa Joe at the WWE Stomping Grounds 2019 PPV from the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. The other title change on the night saw Drew Gulak win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship in a triple threat dark match against champion Tony Nese and Akira Tozawa.

Notable Wrestling Birthdays:

  • Billie Kay (1989)
  • Brandi Rhodes (1983)

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