April 2nd – On This Day In Wrestling History

Jeff And Matt Hardy WrestleMania
Credit: WWE

1989 – WWF WrestleMania V takes place in front of 18,946 fans (with 767,000 watching on PPV) at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was the second year in a row WrestleMania was held at Trump Plaza and the crowd was quiet for a lot of the matches, but more than made up for it during the main event. On the show:

  • Hercules defeated King Haku via pinfall.
  • The Twin Towers (Akeem and The Big Bossman) defeated The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty), with Akeem getting the pin on Michaels following a Big Splash.
  • Brutus Beefcake and Ted DiBiase fought to a double countout.
  • The Bushwhackers (Luke and Butch) defeated The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond).
  • Mr. Perfect defeated The Blue Blazer (Owen Hart) with the Perfectplex for the pin.
  • In a Handicap Tag match, Demolition (Ax and Smash) defeated Mr. Fuji and The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian).
  • Dino Bravo defeated Ronnie Garvin.
  • The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) defeated Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana). Folowing some miscommunication between Martel and Santana, Martel left the match halfway through leaving Tito to get beaten down and pinned by Anderson.
  • Jake Roberts defeated André the Giant, with Big John Studd as the special referee. During the match Studd admonished André because he wouldn’t allow Roberts back in the ring and so the Giant attacked Studd, giving Jake the win by disqualification. After the bell Roberts threw his snake into the ring, causing André to flee.
  • The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) defeated The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine via pinfall after Hart hit the Honky Tonk Man with a megaphone and got the cover.
  • Rick Rude defeated The Ultimate Warrior to become the WWF Intercontinental Championship. This was Warrior’s first pinfall loss since debuting in the WWF. It came about because Warrior was suplexing Rude into the ring and Heenan (Rude’s manager) grabbed Warrior’s leg, causing Rude to fall on top of him. Heenan held on to the leg from the outside while the referee counted the pinfall.
  • ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan and Bad News Brown fought to a double disqualification when both men attacked the other with weapons. (A chair and a 2×4 respectively).
  • The Red Rooster defeated Bobby Heenan in just 31 seconds.
  • Hulk Hogan defeated Randy Savage to win the WWF Championship. The match ended via pinfall when Savage hit Hogan with his Elbow from the top rope but Hogan kicked out, ‘Hulked Up’ and hit Savage with punches, the Big Boot and then the Legdrop. With the win Hogan became the first man to win the WWF title more than once since Bruno Sammartino in 1973, and would hold it for a day shy of a full year, before losing it the the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VI.

1989 – NWA Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin’ Cajun was in New Orleans, Louisiana. The main event of the show saw Ricky Steamboat retain the NWA World Heavyweight Title in a ‘Two out of Three Falls’ match against Ric Flair. The match was rated five stars out of five in Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter and was voted the 1989 Match of the Year by Wrestling Observer readers.

1993 – CMLL 37th Anniversary show was held in Mexico City. Dr. Wagner, Jr. became CMLL World Lightweight champion after defeating Pierroth, Jr. in a ‘Best Two out of Three Falls’ match.

1995 – In Tokyo, Japan, ‘Bridge Of Dreams – Dome Spring Full Bloom’ was held. On the show the team of Terry Funk, Leatherface, and Shoji Nakamaki defeated Cactus Jack, Headhunter A, and Headhunter B in a (deep breath) ‘Barbed Wire Board and Barbed Wire Baseball Bat Bunkhouse Tag Deathmatch’.

1995 – WretleMania XI was live at the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Connecticut. 16,305 fans were in attendance with a further 340,000 watching on PPV. On the show:

  • The Allied Powers (Lex Luger and The British Bulldog) defeated The Blu Brothers (Jacob and Eli).
  • Razor Ramon defeated Intercontinental champion Jeff Jarrett by disqualification when the Roadie (later Road Dogg) attacked Ramon in the ring, meaning Jarrett retained the title.
  • The Undertaker defeated King Kong Bundy via pinfall. Bundy was too big to get up for a Tombstone so ‘Taker finished him off with a Powerslam and a jumping clothesline for the win and his fourth WrestleMania victory.
  • The Smoking Gunns (Billy and Bart) defended the WWF Tag Team titles against Owen Hart and a mystery partner, who turned out to be a returning Yokozuna. Yokozuna hit Billy Gunn with a Banzai Drop and Hart tagged himself in to get the pin (after considering going for the Sharpshooter) and won the titles for his team. Also, this was Hart’s first championship reign in the WWF.
  • Bret Hart defeated Bob Backlund in an ‘I Quit’ match in what Hart would describe in his autobiography as “without a doubt, my worst pay-per-view match ever.” Rowdy Roddy Piper was the special referee.
  • Despite distractions from Sid on the outside, Diesel defeated Shawn Michaels to retain the WWF Championship. The win made Diesel just the second man to successfully defend the WWF Championship at a WrestleMania (the first being Hulk Hogan at both WrestleManias II and III).
  • In the main event of the night, NFL star Lawrence Taylor defeated Bam Bam Bigelow by pinfall with Pat Patterson as the referee.

1998 – WCW Malice at the Palace was held in the Amelie Arena (AKA Ice Palace), in Tampa, Florida. Not strictly a PPV in the traditional sense, it was a Pay-Per-Listen due to the fact that is was broadcast on the WCW website and was audio only. These events (there were six in total, two were free) were not recorded by WCW but fans present at the events filmed some of the matches. The main event of the night saw (heard?) Sting retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship in a Steel Cage match against Hulk Hogan.

1998 – The Madhouse Of The Mid-South, in Louisville, Kentucky hosted the IWA-MS Louisville Show. Suicide Kid defeated American Kickboxer to win the IWA:MS Lightheavyweight Title and then Shark Boy became the new IWA:MS Television with a win over Chip Fairway.

2000 – WWF WrestleMania 2000 was held in Arrowhead Pond, Anaheim, California in front of 19,776 fans. Uniquely for WrestleMania there was only one singles match on the card and even that was billed as a Cat Fight. On the show:

  • The Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan defeated The Godfather and D’Lo Brown, with Buchanan getting the pin on D’Lo.
  • A 15-minute Hardcore Battle Royal was held for the WWF Hardcore Championship with whoever won the last fall within the 15 minutes leaving as champion. The participants were Tazz, Viscera, Joey Abs, Rodney, Pete Gas, Taka Michinoku, Funaki, Headbanger Thrasher, Headbanger Mosh, Crash Holly, Hardcore Holly, Faarooq, and Bradshaw. All decisions counted for championships and their title reigns are recognized in WWE’s championship history. The match ended when Hardcore Holly smashed a sweet jar over the heads of Crash Holly and Tazz. Holly got the pin, even though it looked like Crash kicked out and the referee stoped counting at two, and was declared the winner.
  • T&A (Test and Albert) defeated Head Cheese (Al Snow and Steve Blackman) by pinfall.
  • A Triple-Threat Tag Team Ladder match was held for the WWF Tag Team championships. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) were defending the belts against Edge and Christian and The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff) with all six men making their WrestleMania debuts.. The match ended when Edge and Christian pulled down the belts to become new champions.
  • Terri Runnels defeated The Kat in a catfight. Val Venis was the special referee.
  • Chyna and Too Cool (Grand Master Sexay and Scotty Too Hotty) defeated The Radicalz (Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn, and Dean Malenko) with Chyna getting the pin on Guerrero.
  • A triple threat match was held between Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho. (As with the earlier tag team triple threat, all three of these wrestlers were making their WrestleMania debuts). Angle went into the match as both Intercontinental and European champion and both belts were on the line. The first fall was won by Benoit pinning Jericho to win the Intercontinental Championship, then the second fall saw Jericho pin Benoit to win the European Championship. Kurt Angle wasn’t involved in either decision but ended up losing both belts.
  • Rikishi and Kane defeated D-Generation X (X-Pac and The Road Dogg) via pinfall after Kane hit X-Pac with a Tombstone Piledriver.
  • The main event was a ‘Fatal 4-Way No Disqualification Elimination’ match featuring WWF Champion Triple H, The Rock, Mick Foley, and The Big Show. All four wrestlers were in the ring at the same time and could only be eliminated by pinfall or submission. The Big Show was eliminated first after the Rock hit him with the Rock Bottom and got the pin. Foley was the next out when Triple H Pedigreed him on a chair and got the cover. Finally, after some Vince McMahon with a chair interference, Triple H lastly pinned the Rock to retain the WWF Championship.

2005 – On Day 2 of the PWG All Star Weekend in Los Angeles, California, A.J. Styles defeated Super Dragon in the main event to become the new PWG (Pro Wrestling Guerrilla) Champion.

2005 – CZW Trifecta Elimination III: Prove Your Worth was held at the 2300 Arena (the former ECW Arena) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On the show Sabian became the new CZW Jr. Heavyweight Champion after beating Mike Quackenbush.

2005 – In Asbury Park, New Jersey, ROH held their Best Of American Super Juniors Tournament. B.J. Whitmer and Jimmy Jacobs won the ROH World Tag Team Titles from Jay Lethal and Samoa Joe with Whitmer getting the pin on Lethal, and the tournament itself is won by Dragon Soldier B, defeating Black Tiger IV in the final match.

2006 – FWA ‘Crunch’ is at the Broxbourne Civic Hall, Broxbourne, England in front of 300 fans. In a Three-Way match for the FWA Flyweight Title, champion Ross Jordan, PAC, and Stevie Lynn all face off against each other, with PAC getting the win and the belt.

2006 – WrestleMania 22 was held at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois, in front of 17,159 fans with another 930,000 watching on PPV. It featured the WWE debut of C.M. Punk as as one of the gangsters during John Cena’s entrance. In a pre-show match Viscera won an 18-man Battle Royal outlasting Eugene, Gene Snitsky, Goldust, Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro, Lance Cade, Matt Striker, Psicosis, Road Warrior Animal, Rob Conway, Sho Funaki, Simon Dean, Steven Richards, Super Crazy, Trevor Murdoch, Tyson Tomko, and William Regal. On the main show:

  • Kane and The Big Show defeated Carlito and Chris Masters to retain the World Tag Team Championship, with Kane getting the pin on Carlito after a Chokeslam.
  • Rob Van Dam defeated Shelton Benjamin, Ric Flair, Finlay, Matt Hardy, and Bobby Lashley in a Money in the Bank ladder match.
  • John Bradshaw Layfield defeated Chris Benoit by pinfall to win the WWE United States Championship.
  • In a Hardcore Rules match, where falls count anywhere, Edge Speared Mick Foley through a table that had been set on fire and then got the pin on the outside to win.
  • The Boogeyman defeated Booker T and Sharmell in a handicap match. During the match, Boogeyman kissed Sharmell with a mouth full of worms, causing her to run away from ringside. Boogeyman then hit Booker with a Falling Chokebomb and got the pin.
  • Mickie James defeated Trish Stratus with a Chick Kick to win the WWE Women’s Championship for the first time.
  • The Undertaker defeated Mark Henry in a casket match. Following a Tombstone the Undertaker pushed Henry into the casket to win the match and take his WrestleMania record to 14–0.
  • In a ‘No Holds Barred’ match, Shawn Michaels took on Vince McMahon. The match ended with a win for Michaels following an Elbowdrop from the top of a ladder, then finishing off McMahon with Sweet Chin Music.
  • World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle put the belt on the line against both Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton in a triple threat match. Mysterio hit the 619 on Orton followed by a West Coast Pop to get the win and the title.
  • Torrie Wilson defeated Candice Michelle in a Playboy pillow fight with Wilson getting a roll-up pin.
  • John Cena defeated Triple H by submission to retain the WWE Championship. Triple H went for the Pedigree, but Cena countered with an FU for two count. Cena locked in the STFU but Triple H reached the ropes. Triple H tried another Pedigree, but was countered into the STF again by Cena, which caused Triple H to tap out. The win made Cena just the fourth man to successfully retain the WWE Championship at WrestleMania (joining Hulk Hogan, Diesel, and Triple H).

2007 – On Monday Night RAW Tag Team Champions John Cena and Shawn Michaels retained the belts in a Tag Team Battle Royal, but then have to defend them again straight away in ANOTHER Tag Team Battle Royal. This time Michaels turns on Cena and eliminates him (meaning both men are out of the match) and the match is eventually won by Matt and Jeff Hardy making them new champions.

2010 – Former WCW United States and Television Champion Chris Kanyon was found dead after committing suicide at the age of 40.

2011 – OVW Saturday Night Special is in Louisville, Kentucky. Mohamad Ali Vaez takes the OVW Television Title from Rudy Switchblade in a ‘Hair vs. Title’ match and then Adam Revolver and Ted McNaler became new OVW Southern Tag Team champions after defeating Christopher Silvio and Raphael Constantine in a ‘Championship Losing Tag Team Must Split’ match.

2012 – On the Monday Night RAW after WrestleMania XXVIII, Brock Lesnar made his return to WWE after eight years, confronting John Cena in the ring and delivering a huge F-5 to close the show. Also returning on the episode was the wrestler formerly known as Albert/A-Train, Matt Bloom, this time as Lord Tensai. Lesnar’s return was a huge success, Bloom’s… not so much.

2016 – SHIMMER Volume 80 was held at Eddie Deen’s Ranch, in Dallas, Texas. It was a 12-woman single elimination tournament, with the final being a triple threat elimination match to win the newly created Heart Of SHIMMER Championship. In the final match of the tournament Nicole Savoy defeated both Candice LeRae and Heidi Lovelace to be crowned the first ever Heart of SHIMMER champion and would hold the belt for the next 462 days.

2017 – WWE WrestleMania 33 was held at the Camping World Stadium (AKA Citrus Bowl) in Orlando, Florida. On the Kickoff show Neville retained the WWE Cruiserweight Title against Austin Aries, Mojo Rawley won the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royale, and then Dean Ambrose retained the Intercontinental Championship against Baron Corbin. On the main show:

  • AJ Styles defeated Shane McMahon after Shane missed a Shooting Star Press and Styles hit him with his Phenomenal Forearm to get the pin.
  • Kevin Owens defeated Chris Jericho to become the new United States Champion.
  • Bayley retained the Raw Women’s Title in a Fatal 4-Way Elimination match against Charlotte Flair, Nia Jax, and Sasha Banks. Jax was eliminated first, followed by Banks. Bayley got the pin on Flair after an Elbowdrop from the top rope.
  • The Hardy Boyz (Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy) made a shocking return to WWE and made the Triple Threat Ladder match into a Fatal 4-Way Ladder match. The Hardys defeated the teams of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Cesaro and Sheamus, and Enzo Amore and Big Cass and became new Raw Tag Team Champions.
  • John Cena and Nikki Bella defeated The Miz and Maryse in a mixed tag team match. Following the match Cena proposed to Nikki, who accepted.
  • Seth Rollins defeated Triple H in a Non-Sanctioned match. The match ended when Rollins hit Triple H with a Superkick, who then knocked into Stephanie McMahon, causing her to crash through a table. Rollins then performed a Pedigree on Triple H to get the pin and the win.
  • Randy Orton defeated Bray Wyatt by pinfall to win his ninth WWE Championship.
  • Brock Lesnar defeated Goldberg for the WWE Universal Championship. Throughout the short match Lesnar suplexed Goldberg 10 times and then hit his F-5 finisher to get the pin, giving Goldberg his first clean loss in his career.
  • Alexa Bliss defended the Smackdown Women’s Championship in a Six-Pack Challenge match against Naomi, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Mickie James, and Natalya. The match and championship was won by Naomi after making Bliss submit.
  • Roman Reigns defeated The Undertaker in a No Holds Barred match. Reigns got the pin after multiple Spears giving the Undertaker his second loss ever at WrestleMania. After the match The Undertaker left his gloves, coat, and hat in the centre of the ring and then broke character and kissed his wife Michelle McCool, who was seated in the front row.

Notable Wrestling Birthdays:

  • Madman Fulton (1990)
  • Jack Evans (1982)
  • Jody Fleisch (1980)
  • King Adamo (1973)