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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Today in Wrestling History May 10th

1981 - Verne Gagne announced he was retiring as AWA World Heavyweight Champion. Verne vacated the title (it was his 9th or 10th reign, depending on what records you use), and it would later be awarded to number-one contender Nick Bockwinkel, who Gagne had defeated for the belt on July 18, 1980.

1981 - WWF champion Bob Backlund defeated George Steele in the main event of a Manchester, NH event at the JFK Coliseum.

1983 - Eddie Gilbert sustained major injuries, including a broken neck, in a car accident traveling from a WWF television taping in Allentown, PA.      

1983 - Roddy Piper fought NWA World Champion Ric Flair to a draw in a Best 2 out of 3 falls match; fall #3: the 60-minute time-limit expired in Portland, Oregon.

1985 - The very first WWF Saturday Night's Main Event was taped at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The matches would be shown the next night on NBC in the spot usually occupied by Saturday Night Live, earning an 8.8 rating.
Here are the matches that aired on the show:
- Barry Windham, Mike Rotundo & Ricky Steamboat defeated The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff & George "The Animal" Steele when Windham pinned Steele.  After the match, Sheik and Volkoff turned on Steele, leading to a face turn for the "Animal" who was befriended by Captain Lou Albano.
- WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan defeated Cowboy Bob Orton via DQ when Roddy Piper interfered.
- WWF Women's Champion Wendi Richter defeated The Fabulous Moolah with a small package.
- Junkyard Dog defeated Pete Dougherty with a powerslam.
- Also on the show was an edition of Piper's Pit where Roddy Piper blamed Paul Orndorff for the Wrestlemania I loss, leading to Piper and Orton beating down Orndorff and Mr. T making the save.  They also filmed a "Mother's Day Party" backstage, hosted by Cyndi Lauper in one of her last WWF appearances.

1999 - Debra defeated Sable for the WWF Women's Title in a very unusual manner during a Raw broadcast from Orlando, Florida. Nicole Bass subbed for Sable in an evening gown match in Orlando, Florida, and easily ripped off Debra's gown to get the victory. However, then-WWF Commissioner Shawn Michaels came to the ring and said that, in his opinion, the winner of the evening gown match should be the woman who loses her clothing first, so he gave the win, and the title, to Debra.  The main event of the broadcast saw WWF champion Steve Austin, the Rock, & Vince McMahon defeated The Undertaker, Triple H  & Shane McMahon at 4:38 when Austin pinned Shane with the   Stone Cold Stunner.  Moments earlier, Austin hit the Stunner on Shane and a dazed Vince made the cover, only for Austin to pull him off and hit a second Stunner on Shane before making the cover himself; Shawn Michaels was the guest referee for the bout.

2001 - Vince McMahon officially announces the end of the XFL. Although Vince had been telling potential advertisers that he was speaking with the WB about airing XFL, and that UPN was in the running to carry games, it was obvious he had been posturing. Variety reported that a WB spokesman said, "The WB is not interested in getting the rights to the XFL and neither are any of our affiliates." McMahon, even with his posturing, admitted that if they didn't get a weekly timeslot for the league to replace NBC (which had pulled out at the conclusion of the first season), they would have to shut it down, and it came to pass.

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