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September 23rd – Taz Jumps the RAW Rail

September 23rd

On this day in history in ….

1968 – Nick Kozack defeats Johnny Valentine in Orlando, Florida for the NWA Florida Heavyweight Title, ending Valentine’s third title reign.

1968 – WWWF World Champion Bruno Sammartino defeats Rocky Fitzpatrick with a backbreaker in the main event of a card at Madison Square Garden. Fitzpatrick is also known as Bob Orton Sr., grandfather of current WWE star Randy Orton.

1977 – Andre The Giant defeated Gorilla Monsoon in San Juan, Puerto Rico at Roberto Clemente Stadium. However, this wasn’t a wrestling match, with was a boxing match, with Jersey Joe Walcott as the special referee. The match is available on the Andre The Giant DVD.

1985 – Andre The Giant defeated King Kong Bundy at Madison Square Garden in New York City in a bout billed as “The Colossal Jostle”. Andre won via disqualification when Big John Studd interfered as Andre was about to score the pin with a sit-down splash. Andre then grabbed a chair to run off Studd and Bundy.

1986 – Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura defeat Akira Maeda & Osamu Kido in Tokyo, Japan for the IWGP Tag Team Title, ending Fujinami & Kimura’s second and final reign as champs.

1987 – WWF taped their twelfth Saturday Night’s Main Event show at the Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The show would air on October 3rd, earning a 9.7 rating for NBC. Here are the results from the televised portion of the show:
- Randy Savage defeated Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man via disqualification. As the Hart Foundation worked over Savage, Miss Elizabeth brought Hulk Hogan out to help Savage, starting the storyline that would eventually lead to Hogan and Savage teaming as the Megapowers.
- WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan defeated Samoan Sika.
- King Kong Bundy defeated Paul Orndorff.
- WWF Tag Team Champions The Hart Foundation defeated Paul Roma & Jim Powers.

1990 – Rick Valentine & Eric Embry defeat Hurricane Castillo Jr. & Miguelito Perez to win the WWC Caribbean Tag Team Title in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico, ending the fourth reign of Castillo & Perez.

1991 – FMW hold’s their Fall Spectacular at Kawasaki Stadium, drawing 33,000 fans for a show headlined by Atsushi Onita defeating Tarzan Goto in a No Ropes Explosive Barbed Wire match.

1992 – New Japan Pro Wrestling abandons the WWF Martial Arts Heavyweight Title. The Great Muta would be the final champion, having beaten Riki Choshu for the belt on August 16, 1992 in Fukuoka, Japan. The belt was mostly a plaything for Antonio Inoki in the 70′s and 80′s when he would wrestle in the U.S., and it often went years without being defended or referred to.

1996 – During a Raw taping in Hershey, Pennsylvania with Marc Mero defeated Faarooq with a shooting star press to win a tournament for the Intercontinental Title. During a match with Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith vs. Skip & Zip, Tazz (then part of ECW) jumped over the rail with a sign that said “Sabu Fears Taz”. This was night two of the “invasion” angle that would result in ECW wrestlers appearing on Raw.

1996 – Kensuke Sasaki defeats Shiro Koshinaka in the finals of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s “Japan-U.S. All Star Tournament”. Sasaki defeated Lex Luger, Ric Flair, and Scott Norton on his road to winning, while Koshinaka beat Hugh Morrus, Sting, and Shinya Hashimoto to reach the finals.

1998 – Shadow WX defeats “Mr. Danger” Mitsuhiro Matsunaga in Tokyo, Japan to win the Big Japan Pro Wrestling Death Match Title.

1998 – Scott Norton defeats Yuji Nagata for the vacant IWGP Heavyweight Title in Yokohama, Japan. The title had been vacated by Masahiro Chono due to a neck injury.

2000 – Inferno Kid defeats JJ The Ring Crew Guy for the ECWA Heavyweight Title in Newport, Delaware.

2002 – The top two titles in Pro Wrestling Noah changed hands at their show at legendary Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan. Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito defeated Takeshi Rikio & Takeshi Morishima for the Global Honored Crown Tag Team Title, and Mitsuharu Misawa defeated Yoshihiro Takayama to win the Global Honored Crown Heavyweight Title.

2001 – WWE holds their Unforgiven Pay-per-view in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, highlighted by hometown hero Kurt Angle defeating Steve Austin for the WWF World Heavyweight Title, Angle’s second World Title win. The show also saw Christian defeat Edge for the Intercontinental Title and Rhyno defeat Yoshihiro Tajiri for the United States Title. Here is Tim Whitehead’s original report on the show:

Unforgiven was yet another good WWF PPV event, airing live from the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. The key matches were all good and the crowd was hot for them, even if some of the mid-card came off heatless and sometimes disappointing. Commentary from Jim Ross & Paul Heyman was great. There are way too many titles now, though, and their significance is essentially nil except for the WWF World Title.

Jennifer Holliday opened the show singing “America the Beautiful”.

THE DUDLEYS beat THE HARDYS, LANCE STORM & HURRICANE, and BIG SHOW & SPIKE DUDLEY in a four-way elimination match to retain the WWF Tag Titles in 14:20. Real good opener. They put Hurricane over big by letting him do hot spots with both Hardys and with Spike early. Hurricane put on his cape, which is a sign he’s going to fly, and did a crossbody from the top. JR noted that Hurricane is getting popular and hinted that he should therefore be in the WWF, which is a problem because they seem to want all the popular guys out of WCW. Everyone ended up on the floor except Show and Spike. Spike vaulted off Show’s shoulders onto everyone on the floor. Show then started up the ropes as if he was going to jump off but Bubba Ray stopped him. In the ring, Storm came off the top and was caught and chokeslammed by Show for a pin at 6:52. Matt and Spike traded some good spots, with Matt nailing Spike with the twist of fate for the pin at 7:56. The Dudleys then worked Jeff over until he suddenly hit a springboard twisting moonsault and hot tagged Matt. Matt did an Asai Moonsault. The Dudleys hit the 3D on Matt but Jeff saved with a swanton. However, the Dudleys recovered and Bubba gave his bomb move to Matt for the pin.

Stephanie offered to help Rob Van Dam in his match with Chris Jericho in any way she could. She was being very suggestive. RVD said he’s a one man show and doesn’t need help, but thanked Steph anyway. He did suggest that he deserves a bigger dressing room since he’s a superstar. She agreed and told him to take the largest one.

Kurt Angle’s family was shown on the front row, and they interviewed his mother and one brother.

PERRY SATURN beat RAVEN in 5:06. Nothing much to it, and no heat. As if a feud over a mop is gonna blow the lid of the place. Terri was out there with Raven. Actually, the match wasn’t really bad, it was just sort of there. At one point, Raven did a cobra clutch. Saturn won clean with a fisherman suplex.

CHRISTIAN beat EDGE to capture the IC Title in 11:52. Kind of disappointing as there was no heat. I don’t think the fans wanted to see this team break up. Christian tried to flee early but was caught on the ramp. They brawled a lot, standard action mostly. Christian kept calling Edge names to try and anger the crowd but they stayed silent. Edge got a hardway cut below one eye. Edge went under the ring and came out the other side to do a crossbody spot but the crowd still barely reacted. Christian tried to do the one man concerto but Edge blocked it. Edge then tried it, and as the ref struggled with him for the chair, Christian hit Edge with the other chair in the crotch and got the pin. It was a weak finish but the crowd gave it a babyface pop. Weird!

UNDERTAKER & KANE beat KRONIK to retain the WCW Tag Titles in 10:20. Just slow brawling with not much heat. Not a lot of selling, either. They all brawled some on the floor. Kane got doubled on for a while. Undertaker won the thing by chokeslamming Bryan Clarke for the pin. Afterward, Steven Richards got trapped between UT and Kane, and Kane chokeslammed him, which was the most entertaining part of the match.

Tazz told Booker T & Shane that Stephanie pinned Rock last week so it would really be a disgrace if the two of them together couldn’t beat him. They didn’t appreciate that comment.

Steph was outside RVD’s door, talking to him through it, saying tomorrow is her birthday and it would be very pleasurable for her if he totally massacred Jericho. Jericho walked up and asked if she’s going to be 37 or 38. She indignantly said 25, and Jericho said that’s the number of men she was with last week. He promised to bring party items but not balloons, since Steph already has those. He wished her the “breast” for her birthday.

ROB VAN DAM defeated CHRIS JERICHO to retain the Hardcore Title in 16:32. They got a big pop early for a series of moves and counters. They sort of messed up one move but quickly recovered. There were competing “RVD” and “Y2J” chants, with the RVD’s getting the upper hand. He’s definitely over. Jericho hit an enzugiri. Jericho bumped out and RVD hit a crossbody. They did some spots along the ring barrier. Jericho used a ladder on RVD. They sold it as if RVD’s shoulder was hurt, and Jericho followed up on it by sending his shoulder twice into the post. Each guy took a sick bump on the ladder. RVD did his split leg moonsault but Jericho got his knees up. Jericho juiced hardway below the eye. RVD threw in the kicks but missed a frog splash when Jericho rolled clear. RVD hit Jericho with the ladder and a chair. He then climbed the ladder but Jericho clocked him with a chair and hooked a submission hold on him on the ladder. RVD bumped off the ladder to the floor. Jericho came off the ladder but hit the barrier when RVD moved. RVD did a tope but went straight into a chair. Jericho hooked the Fujiwara arm bar, with RVD making the ropes. Jericho used a chair on RVD. Stephanie then showed up on the apron. Jericho swung the chair at her, missing, and when he turned around got nailed with the Van Daminator. One frog splash later and Jericho was pinned. Excellent finish to a great match!

ROCK beat BOOKER T & SHANE McMAHON in a handicap match to retain the WCW World Title in 15:21. Heyman put Shane over as a PPV legend, and he wasn’t far off the mark. The early part of the match was Rock dominating Booker except when Shane interfered to turn the tide. They ended up outside and took bumps across the Spanish table. Back in the ring, Shane tried to hit Rock with the belt but accidentally hit Booker. Shane then successfully hit Rock with it, and it was right in front of WCW ref Nick Patrick, who did nothing about it. JR was furious over that. Shane missed an elbow off the top. Rock did a big comeback and hit a Rock Bottom on Shane and a spinebuster on Booker. He was going for the People’s Elbow when Test attacked him and kicked his head off. Bradshaw ran Test off. Patrick rolled Rock back in the ring for Booker to pin but WWF ref Mike Ciotta stopped the pin. Patrick finally started counting but Rock kicked out at two. Ciotta walloped Patrick. Booker walloped Ciotta. Rock hit the Rock Bottom on Booker and this time Earl Hebner ran in and counted the pin. Good match!

RHYNO beat TAJIRI in 4:50 to capture the U.S. Title. Tajiri’s ribs were taped from the gore he took on RAW. He sold the ribs throuughout which limited his repertoire, so this was another match that was just sort of there. Rhyno chased Torrie Wilson and tried to gore her but Tajiri made the save. However, Tajiri then got gored and pinned.

KURT ANGLE beat STEVE AUSTIN in 23:10 to capture the WWF World Title. They brawled immediately on the ramp. Back in the ring, Austin found an opening to go for a stunner but hesitated, which was a great spot since they sold it that he was afraid to try it since Angle blocked it and hit his slam in a similar spot on RAW. Angle hit the Thesz press, which is an Austin move. Angle superplexed Austin and then sold it as if it hurt his own neck, a match-long storyline from the piledriver spot on Smackdown. Austin tried to flee with his belt but Angle caught him at the ramp top, pounded him, and threw him off to the floor. He dragged Austin back to the ring area and posted him. Austin began juicing somewhere along here, possibly hardway. Angle lifted the mats to piledrive Austin on the floor, but Austin nailed him from behind. Austin tried to piledrive Angle but Angle backdropped him. The same thing happened to Angle when he tried to piledrive Austin. Austin went to work on Angle’s neck as a “USA” chant started. Austin flipped off Angle’s family. They went to rest holds for a while, before Angle started throwing suplexes, again selling that it hurt his own neck. Austin started shoving the referee to try and get a DQ like last month. Angle low blowed Austin and gave him a DDT. Angle gave Austin a stunner but only got two. Austin then used Angle’s own Angle slam on him, also only for two. Austin then piledrived Angle, which JR sold like it was the end but Angle kicked out at two for a big pop. Angle immediately hooked the ankle lock out of nowhere and Austin, unable to reach the ropes, tapped out to a huge pop for the submission title change. Great match! And the follow up was great as well as Angle’s family all came in the ring and hoisted him in the air, and the WWF wrestlers
all came out to congratulate him for bringing the belt home.

2002 – On an edition of Raw from Anaheim, California, Kane and his mystery partner, The Hurricane, defeat Lance Storm & Christian with a double chokeslam to win the WWE Tag Team Title.

2003 – Yoshihiro Tajiri defeats Rey Mysterio to win the WWE Cruiserweight Title at a Smackdown taping in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after spitting red mist in his face and delivering a kick to the head.

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