2014-10-23 This Day in Wrestling History (October 23) - 20 years ago today, WCW presented Halloween Havoc (WWE Network link) from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. About 14,000 were in attendance with 210,000 homes watching on PPV (though some estimates have it at 220,000 homes), more than double the number of buys the 1993 edition got. The hook of the show was a career vs. career world title match between Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. In a preshow dark match, Booker T defeated Brian Armstrong. WCW World Television Champion Johnny B. Badd fought The Honky Tonk Man to a 10-minute time-limit draw. Pretty Wonderful (Paul Orndorff and Paul Roma) defeated Stars 'n' Stripes (The Patriot and Marcus Alexander Bagwell) to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship. Dave Sullivan defeated Kevin Sullivan by count-out. Dustin Rhodes defeated Arn Anderson. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan defeated "Stunning" Steve Austin by disqualification to retain the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship. Vader defeated The Guardian Angel. The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) defeated Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck. Hulk Hogan defeated Ric Flair in a Steel Cage career vs. career match to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Mr. T was the special enforcer. As a result of the loss, Flair was forced to retire (which, of course, did not stick). 19 years ago today on RAW from Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, Alundra Blayze defeated Bertha Faye to win the WWF Womens Championship. She would be the company's last champion until 1998 when in December she appeared on Nitro and dumped the women's title belt. On the same show, Owen Hart wins a 20-man battle royal for a future shot at the WWF Intercontinental Championship. 15 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ECW stunned the wrestling world with the return of former ECW world champion Mikey Whipwreck after spending the last two years in WCW. He lost to then-ECW world champion Mike Awesome. As it turned out, he wasn't the only ECW world champion to return. Sandman came back too, less than a year after leaving for WCW. Also on the card, ECW World Television Champion Rob Van Dam and Sabu wrestled to a 30-minute time limit draw. 14 years ago today on RAW is WAR, The Hardy Boyz, disguised as Los Conquistadores, defeated Edge in a handicap match to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. Though Edge and Christian tried to dispute the outcome, the decision stood. 14 years ago today, Rodney Agatupu Anoa'i, best known to wrestling fans as Yokozuna, dies of pulmonary edema, a buildup of fluid in the lungs. He was just 34. Born October 2, 1966 in San Francisco, Anoa'I grew up in the famed wrestling family and was trained by his uncles, the Wild Samoans. After wrestling in Japan and Mexico as the Great Kokina, he entered the AWA as Samoan superstar Kokina Maximus managed by Sheik Adnan El Kassey. Anoa'I is in AWA lore for breaking the leg and ending the career of Greg Gagne. On Halloween 1992, Anoa'I debuted in the WWF as Japanese sumo wrestler Yokozuna under the management of Harry Fujiwara (aka Mr. Fuji). As Yokozuna, he was pushed as a monster heel in every sense of the word. At Survivor Series, he easily defeated Virgil. Two months later he defeated Koko B. Ware on the first Monday Night RAW. He eliminated a match-high seven competitors, last eliminating Randy Savage to win the 1993 Royal Rumble match, and with it, a WWF Championship match at Wrestlemania IX. Yokozuna in the first few months was rarely knocked off his feet; only Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Savage were able to do so in his first six months in the company. At Wrestlemania IX, Yokozuna defeated Bret Hart to win the WWF Championship, only to lose the title just two minutes later to Hulk Hogan. Hogan would not defend the title in his two and a half months as champion, losing it back to Yokozuna at King of the Ring (at this point he weighed about 570 lbs.; he entered the WWF at 505 lbs.) with, ironically, a leg drop. With Yokozuna and Fuji claiming they ended Hulkamania (in reality, Hogan had indeed left the company to pursue an acting career), they issued a Bodyslam Challenge on the Fourth of July. After dozens of amateur and professional athletes tried unsuccessfully, Lex Luger, arriving via helicopter, did so. This established Luger as the next man up for Yokozuna's title. Luger would go on to defeat Yokozuna at Summerslam, albeit by countout. Despite it being Luger's one and only shot at the title, the two would feud for most of the remainder of the year. Yokozuna feuded with the Undertaker during the holiday season and into 1994, culminating in a casket match at the Royal Rumble event. With the help of a dozen competitors and a broken urn, Yokozuna defeated Undertaker. At the same show, Bret Hart and Lex Luger co-won the Royal Rumble match, establishing both men as challengers to the title at Wrestlemania X. While Luger got disqualified in his title bout with Yokozuna, Bret Hart defeated the behemoth to win the WWF Championship. With Yokozuna's championship days behind him, he tagged with Crush for a few months, then finished his feud with Undertaker; this time with the Deadman defeating Yokozuna in a casket match. Yokozuna wrestled sporadically until Wrestlemania XI when he was revealed as the surprise tag team partner of Owen Hart. Together, they knocked off the Smoking Gunns to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. They would hold the titles until In Your House 3: Tripleheader in September when Shawn Michaels and Diesel defeated them for the titles-sort of (Davey Boy Smith subbed for Owen Hart in the match, yet it was Owen who got pinned). Michaels and Diesel were forced to return the belts the next night back to Owen and Yokozuna, but they would lose them by the end of the hour to the Smoking Gunns. While Yokozuna's weight increased, his in-ring success decreased. By 1996, he ballooned to 650 pounds and he was becoming an increasing liability. Jim Cornette tried to broker peace between Yokozuna and newcomer Vader, but it did not work out; Yokozuna turned face, retaining his original manager Mr. Fuji (waving an American flag as opposed to a Japanese flag in his previous three years in the company) and speaking English. The two super heavyweights feuded until shortly after Wrestlemania XII when Vader broke Yokozuna's leg (in reality, it was to give Yokozuna some time off to lose weight). Post-match, Yokozuna had to be carried off on a forklift. Yokozuna defeated Vader at In Your House 8: Beware of Dog, but the match never aired due to a severe thunderstorm in the area. A rematch was done two nights later, this time won by Vader. Three months later in an event eerily similar to his humiliating defeat at Wrestlemania X, Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Yokozuna in the Summerslam preshow. The next night, he seemingly turned heel again, facing WWF Champion Shawn Michaels in a non-title match, but lost. After appearing at Survivor Series that November, Yokozuna was taken off TV again to lose weight. Despite losing over 100 pounds, he could not be medically cleared to wrestle and was finally released in 1998. Yokozuna's last notable appearance was in October 1999 for the infamous Heroes of Wrestling PPV event. He was set to take on King Kong Bundy in a featured bout, but an intoxicated and inebriated Jake Roberts forced a change in the match, with Yokozuna (now at 760 pounds and getting bigger in an attempt to break the world record for heaviest pro wrestler ever) teaming with Roberts to take on Bundy and Jim Neidhart, with the latter team winning. At the time of his death, Rodney weighed about 580 pounds, about his weight at the time of his WWF title win in 1993. Anoa'I, the only man with victories over both Bret Hart and Hulk Hogan, was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by his cousins the Usos in 2012. 13 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Omaha, Nebraska, The Dudley Boyz defeated The Hardy Boyz to win the WCW Tag Team Championship. Though the titles were WWF-owned, they would be the only duo to win tag team championships in the WWF, WCW, and ECW. They would be the last team to hold the titles, as they were unified with the WWF tag team titles following Survivor Series a few weeks later. 12 years ago today at an NWA-TNA weekly PPV taping in Nashville, Tennessee, AJ Styles defeated Syxx-Pac to win the TNA X Division Championship. 10 years ago today in Highland, Indiana, CM Punk defeated AJ Styles to win the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship for the fifth time. 9 years ago today, TNA presented Bound for Glory from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando. This was the first TNA event in the Impact Zone era where priority seating was offered; those who paid for tickets for their weekend Total Nonstop InterAction fanfest were the first to get seats for the show, as Universal Orlando prohibits charging admission for shows on their property. Sonjay Dutt defeated Alex Shelley, Austin Aries and Roderick Strong in a four-way match. Samoa Joe defeated Jushin Liger. Diamonds In The Rough (David Young, Elix Skipper and Simon Diamond) defeated Apolo, Shark Boy and Sonny Siaki. Monty Brown defeated Lance Hoyt. Team Canada (A1, Bobby Roode & Eric Young) defeated 3 Live Kru (BG James, Konnan & Ron Killings). Petey Williams defeated Chris Sabin & Matt Bentley in a #1 contender's Ultiimate X match for the TNA X Division Championship. America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm defeated The Naturals (Andy Douglas & Chase Stevens) to retain the NWA World Tag Team Championship. Rhino defeated Abyss, Jeff Hardy and Sabu in a Monster's Ball match. AJ Styles defeated Christopher Daniels 1-0 in a 30-minute Ironman match to retain the TNA X Division Championship. Styles scored the only fall of the match with two seconds remaining. Rhino defeated Abyss, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Kip James, Lance Hoyt, Monty Brown, Ron Killings, Sabu & Samoa Joe in a Gauntlet Battle Royal to become #1 Contender to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Rhino defeated Jeff Jarrett to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Tito Ortiz was the special referee. 8 years ago today, Monty Brown and Larry Zbyszko were released from TNA. Brown would turn up in WWE three months later as Marcus Cor Von, but only stuck around a few months before leaving due to family issues. 8 years ago today, WWE airs the 700th episode of Monday Night RAW. In the show's main event, Randy Orton defeated Triple H. 6 years ago today, TNA Impact enters the high-definition era with a live episode from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the first episode of Impact to take place anywhere other than the Impact Zone in Orlando or the Asylum in Nashville. The big story of the evening was the formation of the Main Event Mafia. On the same show, the TNA Legends Championship (which would go through several name changes) is born and Booker T christens himself as the first champion. 4 years ago today, Cain Velasquez defeated Brock Lesnar via first-round TKO to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship. 3 years ago today, WWE presented Vengeance (WWE Network link) from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. About 8,000 were in attendance, with just 130,000 homes watching on PPV. With 70,000 domestic buys, it's the least-bought PPV in the States since December to Dismember in 2006 (55,000 buys). In a preshow match, Wade Barrett defeated Daniel Bryan. Air Boom (Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston) defeated Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship. Dolph Ziggler defeated Zack Ryder to retain the WWE United States Championship. Beth Phoenix defeated Eve Torres to retain the WWE Divas Championship. Sheamus defeated Christian. The Awesome Truth (The Miz & R-Truth) defeated CM Punk & Triple H. Randy Orton defeated Cody Rhodes. Mark Henry fought The Big Show to a no contest for the World Heavyweight Championship. Alberto Del Rio defeated John Cena in a Last Man Standing match to retain the WWE Championship. Cageside Seats
    2014-09-16 2014-15 Southern Conference Basketball Preview - The Southern Conference has changed a lot in the last few years losing several high profile members, but this year one of the nation's oldest conferences looks to it's past for new members and added three new faces. Who is the team to beat in the new look SoCon and who are some of the teams to keep an eye on? The pillaging of the Southern Conference is likely over for a while as Charleston, Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, Elon, and Davidson have all found new homes.  To replace their losses the SoCon invited VMI and East Tennessee State back and also added Atlantic Sun power Mercer to the fray. Can the Wofford Terriers defend their conference title in the new look SoCon? 1. Wofford Terriers Last Year: 20-13 (11-5), t-3 SoCon, SoCon Tournament Champion, NCAA 2nd RdDepartures: Aerris Smith (1.5 ppg), Indiana Faithfull (TR, 1.8 ppg), Zac Grossenbacher (TR, 1.9 ppg)Key Returners: Karl Cochran (15.7 ppg), Spencer Collins (12.5 ppg), Lee Skinner (11.1 ppg)Must Follow: @TalkinTerriers After flirting a bit with the opening at Charleston, Wofford head coach Mike Young is back with a loaded roster that won the Southern Conference Tournament a year ago.  Karl Cochran, who averaged 15.7 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game a year ago will likely be the SoCon Preseason Player of the Year and he'll be joined by a solid scoring tandem in fellow senior Lee Skinner and junior guard Spencer Collins. The Terriers will be tested early and often with out-of-conference road trips to Stanford, North Carolina State, West Virginia, and Duke. Despite the tough early slate, expect the Terriers to be top dogs in the SoCon again this year. 2. East Tennessee State BuccaneersLast Year: 19-16 (10-8), t-4 ASun, 2nd Rd CITDepartures: Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (10.9 ppg), Hunter Harris (9.1 ppg), Lukas Poderis (1.9 ppg), Todd Halvorsen (1 ppg), Maurice O'Field (TR)Key Returners: Rashawn Rembert (16.8 ppg), Jalen Riley (13.4 ppg), Lester Wilson (10.1 ppg)Must Follow: @ETSUfans The Bucs are back in the Southern Conference after a decade in the Atlantic Sun and they come back to their old home with quite a bit of momentum from the 2013-14 season. After a 10-8 finish in the ASun, ETSU nearly knocked off Florida Gulf Coast in the conference tournament and then was invited to the CIT where they took down Chattanooga in the first round.  While the Bucs did lose a little of their scoring power form last year, Rashawn Rembert will be among the best players in the SoCon after averaging 16.8 points a year ago. Two names to keep an eye on is Providence transfer Ron Giplaye and former Northeastern and Tennessee State forward Alex Bates.  Giplaye played sparingly a year ago after open heart surgery in August and Bates adds some experience to the Bucs frontcourt. 3. VMI KeydetsLast Year: 22-13 (11-5), 2nd Big South, CIT SemifinalsDepartures: DJ Covington (20.1 ppg), Rodney Glasgow (18.9 ppg), Drew Absher (1.4 ppg)Key Returners: QJ Peterson (19 ppg), Brian Brown (6.8 ppg), Jordan Weethee (6.7 ppg)Must Follow: @VMIathletics Duggar Baucom made the Keydets a household name due to their scoring prowess and style of play in the Big South. Unfortunately for VMI that style never reaped any Big South Championships but it should still keep the Keydets very competitive in the SoCon. While Baucom losses a lot in all-everything post presence DJ Covington and stellar point guard Rodney Glasgow, the tenth year head coach always seems to reload. QJ Peterson stepped right in for Stan Okoye last year finishing the year ranked fourth among freshman scorers with 19 points per game. The Keydets may  have another freshman sensation this year in 6'4 guard Jon Elmore who had offers from programs in the Atlantic 10, MAC, Sun Belt and American Athletic Conference. Also, look for Brian Brown and Jordan Weethee to become double-digit scorers in the SoCon as well. Don't be surprised if you find the Keydets dancing for the first time since 1977. 4. Chattanooga MocsLast Year: 18-15 (12-4), 2nd SoCon, 1st Rd CITDepartures: Z Mason (18.1 ppg), Andrew Houts (1.8 ppg), Anthanee Doyle (TR, 2.1 ppg), Gee McGhee (TR, 10 ppg), T.J. Williams (TR, 1.5 ppg)Key Returners: Casey Jones (12.2 ppg), Ronrico White (10.8 ppg)Must Follow: @GoMocsMBB Will Wade's first year at Chattanooga was a successful one when he installed CHAOS to match VCU's HAVOC for the Mocs. Now the real test begins for Wade though without one of the nation's most chaotic players in Z Mason, who has graduated. Beyond losing Mason another blow was thrown the Mocs way when guard Gee McGhee decided to transfer to Murray State. Despite losing both Mason and McGhee, the Mocs do return some fire power and 23 points per game in senior Ronrico White and junior Casey Jones. UTC will also get a lift with former VCU big man Justin Tuoyo joining the fray along with a slew of JUCO transfers. We'll find out just how good of a coach Wade is this year dependent on how fast the new look Mocs can gel. 5. Mercer BearsLast Year: 27-9 (14-4), ASun Tournament Champion, NCAA 3rd RoundDepartures: Langston Hall (14.7 ppg), Daniel Coursey (10.1 ppg), Bud Thomas (8.9 ppg), Anthony White Jr. (8.5 ppg), Jakob Gollon (8.1 ppg), Monty Brown (4.5 ppg), Kevin Canevari (1.5 ppg)Key Returners: Ike Nwamu (8.3 ppg)Must Follow: @MercerMBB Nearly everyone is gone from last year's Cinderella team that knocked off Duke in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, so why are the Bears picked towards the middle of the pack in the SoCon? Two words... Bob Hoffman. Hoffman will rely on a slew of newcomers but he'll definitely have his Bears competing. Ike Nwamu becomes the go-to scorer for the Bears and they'll also look for immediate impact from JUCO transfers Jestin Lewis and 7'1 Andrew Fishler. Five freshmen will also help to rebuild Mercer including guard Jordan Strawberry, who turned down an offer from Saint Louis. 6. UNC Greensboro SpartansLast Year: 14-18 (7-9), 6th SoConDepartures: Kyle Cain (15.4 ppg), Drew Parker (1.8 ppg), Allen Baez (TR), Tyrone Outlaw (TR, 5.4 ppg), Jordan Potts (TR, 6.6 ppg)Key Returners: Tevon Saddler (12.5 ppg), Kayel Locke (11.6 ppg), Nicholas Paulos (8.5 ppg)Must Follow: @G_Fans_Nation UNC Greensboro looked like it was over before it began this summer when Kyle Cain moved on for a pro career and Tyrone Outlaw, Jordan Potts, and Tevon Saddler planned to transfer. Wes Miller got some good news though when Saddler, the reigning SoCon Freshman of the Year, chose to return to UNCG. The Spartans have a shot to make some noise in the SoCon with scoring trio Saddler, Kayel Locke, and Nicholas Paulos. Wes Miller also has a bit of a wild card in Loyola Marymount transfer Ben Dickinson who was given immediate eligibility by the NCAA. 7. Western Carolina Catamounts Last Year: 19-15 (10-6), 5th SoConDepartures: Trey Sumler (17.4 ppg), Brandon Boggs (12.5 ppg), Tom Tankelwicz (8.9 ppg), Tawaski King (7.6 ppg), Josh Mendenhall (1.8 ppg)Key Returners: James Sinclair (11.8 ppg)Must Follow: @CatSportsForum Larry Hunter's Catamounts knocked off Elon and Davidson in route to the SoCon Championship Game a year ago where they fell to Wofford 56-53.  Unfortunately for Hunter and Catamount fans the roster is nearly depleted with the bulk of talent, including dynamite guard Trey Sumler, moving on. James Sinclair is now the Catamount premier scoring threat and newcomer Ashley Williams has a chance to make an immediate impact. 8. Furman PaladinsLast Year: 9-21 (3-13), 10th SoConDepartures: Charlie Reddick (6.8 ppg), Keith Belfield (TR, 5.5 ppg), Dominic Early (TR, 4.4 ppg), Damien Leonard (TR), Adonis Rwabigwi (TR, 4.8 ppg)Key Returners: Stephen Croone (19.1 ppg), Kendric Ferrara (9.8 ppg), Larry Wideman (9.0 ppg), William Gates Jr. (8.2 ppg)Must Follow: @SoConJohn22 Neko Medved struggled in his first year as the Paladins head coach with a super young squad. The good news was that Furman had a slew of scorers and South Carolina transfer Damien Leonard was set to give the Paladins a shot in the arm.  Instead Leonard opted to head to Division II Georgia Southwestern and three other Paladins transferred. Scoring machine Stephen Croone is back but Furman is still a really young squad that needs to find their way. 9. Samford Bulldogs Last Year: 13-20 (6-10), 8th SoConDepartures: Hamilton Bailey (0.8 ppg), Tony Thompson, Jordan Capps (TR, 5.3 ppg), Raijon Kelly (TR, 10.1 ppg), Chris Longoria (TR, 3.8 ppg), Connor Miller (TR, 6.4 ppg), Isaiah Williams (TR, 11.9 ppg), Tim Williams (TR, 17.6 ppg), Russell Wilson (TR, 3.0 ppg)Key Returners: Tyler Hood (7.8 ppg)Must Follow: @samford_sports Samford was ready to compete for a SoCon title this upcoming year but then Bennie Seltzer was fired very late in the coaching carousel process. Dominos started to fall and seven Bulldogs transferred before former Kentucky star Scott Padgett could take over the reigns. Padgett's first season now likely depends on the performance of JUCO transfers Darius Gibson and Jamal Shabazz. Padgett also made signed solid high school recruits Evan Taylor and Gerald Smith. Maybe Samford could surprise some teams this season? 10. The Citadel Bulldogs Last Year: 7-26 (2-14), 11th SoConDepartures: Raemond Robinson (TR, 2.9 ppg), Dylen Setzekorn (4.5 ppg), Matt Van Scyoc (14.3 ppg)Key Returners: Ashton Moore (14.1 ppg), Brian White (11.2 ppg)Must Follow: @SandlapperSpike Chuck Driesell is likely fighting for his job in Charleston this year and needs a decent year from his Bulldogs. Unfortunately the Citadel's leading scorer, Matt Van Scyoc, bolted for Indiana State and no one is coming in to really bolster the Bulldogs lineup. Look for Ashton Moore and Brian White to both be double-digit scorers again, but they might be the only highlight for the Bulldogs this year. Mid-Major Madness
    2014-09-16 2014-15 Southern Conference Basketball Preview - 2014-15 Southern Conference Basketball Preview The Palm Beach Post
    2014-08-28 7 Professional Wrestlers Who Played NFL Football - Professional wrestling and football have a lot in common. So it makes perfect sense that these former NFL players wound up in the wrestling ring. CBS Local
    2014-08-28 7 Professional Wrestlers Who Played NFL Football - Professional wrestling and football have a lot in common. So it makes perfect sense that these former NFL players wound up in the wrestling ring. CBS Local
    2014-08-28 7 Professional Wrestlers Who Played NFL Football - Professional wrestling and football have a lot in common. So it makes perfect sense that these former NFL players wound up in the wrestling ring. CBS Local
    2014-08-28 7 Professional Wrestlers Who Played NFL Football - Professional wrestling and football have a lot in common. So it makes perfect sense that these former NFL players wound up in the wrestling ring. CBS Local
    2014-08-28 7 Professional Wrestlers Who Played NFL Football - Professional wrestling and football have a lot in common. So it makes perfect sense that these former NFL players wound up in the wrestling ring. CBS Local
    2014-08-28 7 Professional Wrestlers Who Played NFL Football - Professional wrestling and football have a lot in common. So it makes perfect sense that these former NFL players wound up in the wrestling ring. CBS Local
    2014-03-22 Search for new memories in Raleigh - RALEIGH, N.C. -- Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin played "One Shining Moment" enough times when his team struggled during the season that junior forward ... espn
    2014-03-22 Mercer player doesn't remember epic upset of Duke - One Mercer player doesn't remember upset of Duke. Fox Sports
    2014-03-22 Monty Brown of Mercer Bears not expected to play - Mercer likely won't have senior center Monty Brown for Sunday's NCAA tournament game against Tennessee due to a possible concussion. espn
    2010-09-03 Roundup: Houston Texans cut last original member Kris Brown - None espn

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