Over the years we tend to forget about all that has come before us. In this series I will endeavour to recount some of the major events in pro wrestling history from the week gone by. Enjoy!
On August 3, 1997, WWF produced the 10th annual SummerSlam Pay Per View. The two biggest matches leading up to the show were a match between Owen Hart and Steve Austin for the Intercontinental Championship and Bret Hart vs. The Undertaker for the WWF Championship, with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee.
The special stipulation of the Intercontinental Title match was that if Stone Cold Steve Austin lost to Owen Hart, he would have to kiss Hart’s ass. Luckily for Austin, he went on to win the title. This match is most famous for the botched finish that left Austin with a neck injury that he never recovered from.
When Hart went for a piledriver, he landed the move on top of Austin’s head. Austin managed to clumsily roll up Hart for the win, but subsequently had the title stripped from him because he wasn’t able to defend it.
The main event of the night between Bret Hart and The Undertaker ended when the special guest referee, Shawn Michaels, accidentally hit Undertaker with a steel chair when he was trying to get Hart. That incident led to the first ever Hell In A Cell at Survivor Series later that year.
This week was also a popular one for birthdays. Dean Malenko was born this week in 1960, as was Sable in 1967, Steven Richards in 1971, and Scott D’Amore in 1974.
Ron Killings, now known as WWE’s R-Truth, won his first NWA World Heavyweight Championship this week at TNA’s eighth weekly Pay Per View in 2002. He won it from Ken Shamrock, TNA’s first NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and held the title for 15 weeks. He eventually lost the title to Jeff Jarrett on November 20, 2002.
This week, in 1966, Ed “Strangler” Lewis was found dead in his New York home at the age of 75 years old. Throughout his legendary 37-year-long career, Lewis wrestled in 6200 matches, but only lost a total of 33. Other wrestling legends such as Lou Thesz and Verne Gagne have said that Lewis was the greatest wrestler in history and he couldn’t be beaten unless he wanted to be.
In the year of 1997, this week was a very popular one for World Title changes. On August 4, Lex Luger defeated Hulk Hogan to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Just five days later on August 9, Hulk Hogan won back the same title from Lex Luger. On that same day Sabu beat Terry Funk for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.
Lastly, on August 9, 1986, Ric Flair won the NWA World Heavyweight Championship for the fifth time. Flair ended up holding the title for 412 days before relinquishing it to Ron Garvin.
So that’s what happened this week in pro wrestling history. I hope you enjoyed this brief walk down memory lane.