Great Moments In Championship History: United States X

The final installment of the U.S. Title Moments takes us back to the land of WCW:

“Ladder Match” (WCW Starrcade 1999)

Setup: The United States Championship Match was signed to be between Chris Benoit (the challenger) and Scott Hall (the champion), in a Ladder Match. However, Hall suffered a knee injury and was forced to vacate the title to Benoit. Benoit then issued an open challenge to the locker room… answered by Jeff Jarrett, who had defeated Dustin Rhodes earlier in the show in a Bunkhouse Brawl match (plus attacked Sid Vicious for good measure).

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Aftermath: Benoit’s reign lasted one day- Jarrett won the U.S. Title on Nitro the next night. Jarrett would go on to 2 title reigns… and never be pinned or otherwise defeated for the belt in either reign: he vacated the title at Souled Out 2000 (injury), was awarded the title when Kevin Nash became WCW Commissioner, then “lost” it again when Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo stripped all champions of their titles in a “reset” of WCW (Scott Steiner would win the tourney for the U.S. Title).

These have been 10 of the more memorable moments of the United States Championship. I’ve learned a few things while researching these clips, such as the above-mentioned Jeff Jarrett reigns and the fact the Eddie Guerrero won 2 U.S. Titles by winning tournaments for the vacated title. Time to recharge the batteries for a few days, then I will take a look at memorable moments of the Intercontinental Championship. Until then…!


Great Moments In Championship History: United States VIII

“The Champ… Begins” (WWE WrestleMania XX)

Setup: The “Nelson Time Travel Machine” takes  us back only a handful of years: 2004. We start at the Royal Rumble, where rookie John Cena is surviving longer than most people would have believed. Cena ends up in the final 6 to be eliminated, thrown out by the United States champ, The Big Show. Thus, like almost all Royal Rumble matches with a big elimination, a feud was born. It didn’t help matters that Show was aligned with then-WWE Champion Brock Lesnar, who Cena had feuded with, earlier in the year. Cena would go on to chase Big Show and the U.S. Title, until he finally caught up with him at WM XX: Read more of this post

Great Moments in Championship History: United States VII

After a day off (stupid arctic weather…!), we return with memorable U.S. Title moment 7 of 10:

“LatinWo Heat?” (WCW Starrcade 1996)

Setup: Eddie Guerrero had been involved in an off-and-on feud with Diamond Dallas Page throughout the majority of ’96. The main object of their feud was the “Lord of the Ring” nickname and trophy (an actual ring); DDP won it, Eddie wanted it. DDP got the best of Guerrero more often than not. This feud carried over into a tournament for the vacated United States Championship (vacated by Ric Flair, after sustaining a shoulder injury). The finals- Page vs. Guerrero would take place at Starrcade:

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Aftermath: The nWo (mainly Hall and Nash) continued to “woo” DDP, showing him that there was strength in numbers. Page responded at “WCW/nWo Souled Out 1997” with one of the most famous “answers” in wrestling history:

Page would spend almost all of 1997 feuding with the nWo, mainly “Macho Man” Randy Savage.

Great Moments In Championship History: United States VI

“‘Reality’ Check

Setup: February 8, 1999 and WCW Nitro was the setting. The defending U.S. Champion, Bret Hart, had been milking a groin injury for months. Then-WCW President Ric Flair wasn’t buying it. He booked a match between Hart and a Hart friend, Roddy Piper. However, a 3rd player would enter this game…

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Great Moments In Championship History: United States Title V

“64 Seconds”

The last “Moment” posted was the ending of Lex Luger’s 17-month reign as U.S. Champ. These next “Moments” are on the other side of the spectrum: the 2 shortest U.S. Title changes ever. One match involved a Hall-Of-Famer, the other involved one that should be in it.

Part 1: The Old Record

Setup: WCW Fall Brawl 1994 was the scene of this crime. The participants: “Stunning” Steve Austin and Ricky Steamboat. Austin and Steamboat were involved in a GREAT feud throughout the majority of 1994 for the title, with Austin losing it to Steamboat at Clash of the Champions in August. Fall Brawl would be Austin’s rematch.

Match: Steamboat did not make the Fall Brawl match, due to an injury. As a result, Austin was awarded the U.S. Title. However, he still needed an opponent. In steps…

Aftermath: …”Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, debuting in WCW. The match was a total squash. Duggan pins Austin in 37 seconds! This was the shortest U.S. Championship match in history (until it was broken 21 years later). Steve Austin also earned another dubious honor from this match: the shortest reign as U.S. Champion- it lasted just under 5 minutes. As for Duggan, he successfully defended the title twice against Austin (DQ wins), ultimately drooping the belt to Vader at Starcade 1994.

Part 2: The New Record(s) (WWE Summerslam 2005)

Setup: Fast-forward 21 years. The U.S. Champion is now Orlando Jordan. He earned the title with a win over John Cena on a March episode of Smackdown!. He was set to defend the title at Summerslam against Chris Benoit:

Aftermath: This is one of the most famous (or infamous, depending on how you want to look at it) moments in WWE history. It led to some pretty hilarious segment with Benoit- he would compare the match length with other things you could do in under 30 seconds, like make a cup of coffee or take a leak.

This actually wasn’t the shortest match between the 2. Jordan got a rematch and lost in 23.4 seconds; a second rematch lasted 22 seconds. A 3rd (and final) title match versus Benoit saw Jordan make progress: he only lost in about 50 seconds.

Great Moments In Championship History: United States Title

The Nelson brings to you a look back at some of the great moments of the United States’ pro wrestling championships. We start with 10 of the most memorable, intense, and just plain great moments of the U.S. Title:

The United States Championsip: perhaps the most prestigious “mid-card” championship in wrestling. Its roots go back to 1975, when Harley Race was named the 1st U.S. Champion. The title was a staple of NWA Wrestling, then the WCW in the ’90s, and finally made its way to the WWF/WWE in 2001. Some of the greatest names in wrestling- Race, Ric Flair, Wahoo McDaniels, Roddy Piper, Eddie Guerrero, etc.- have held this belt. The current champion is Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson of ROH fame).

Act I: Magnum TA and Tully Blanchard

Setup: Tully Blanchard had just come off of a bloody feud with Dusty Rhodes over the NWA TV Championship (a belt that Blanchard lost, after a 1 year reign). he then set his sights on the U.S. Champion at the time Magnum TA. This feud quickly became one of the most intense, VERY bloody feuds in NWA history, esp. with the constant interference of Blanchard’s valet, Baby Doll. The title switched hands a couple of times throughout mid-1985. However, the feud culminated at Starcade 1985, in an “I Quit” match (this clip may be too bloody for work viewing):

Aftermath: Tully Blanchard fired Baby Doll (slapping her in an interview), leading to Dusty Rhodes to come in and make the save. Blanchard hired JJ Dillon as manager; that, plus his increasingly frequent tag team matches with Arn Anderson and Ric Flair, led to the formation of the Four Horsemen in early 1986. Magnum TA started a feud with Flair for the NWA World Title but had his career cut short by a car accident.

My TNA tryout Part 1

Sure, I know I lambast TNA with every awful episode of Impact that airs.  But I’m not completely against the company!  After all, I do watch the show each and every week!  In fact, I’ve got the show down so well, I feel like I can be a strong addition to the writing/booking staff.  To prove my worth, I’ll be submitting TNA tryout angles/storylines – sure to be worthy of the high bar set.

The Setup
Four Knockouts – we’ll say Angelina Love, Madison Rayne, Mickie James and Sarita – all take a few weeks off.  We have Taz and Mike Tenay drop the line that all four are on maternity leave and are coincidentally expecting all at the same time.  To throw off the nay-sayers, we’ll just have Taz joke that they really weren’t showing.  Anyway, all four of them come back at the same time with their babies, and begin arguing over who’s is the cutest.  We get some awkward moments of TNA talents (Jesse Neal, Eric Young, James Storm) being asked which is the best, until finally they four begin brawling in defense of their children!  Because that’s what women do, right?

The Payoff
At the PPV, we have the first ever Baby in a Corner Match in which there are four cribs in the ring – one in each corner.  The idea is that one Knockout has to put their baby into their particular crib for ten seconds while no one else has their baby in one.  We can’t use real babies, so we’ll have dolls instead.  Tenay and Taz will act like they’re real, so no one will notice.  The finish will come when Eric Young, dressed in drag, comes down to the ring with his own baby and crib and places them in the middle of the ring while the four are brawling outside of the ring.  Hilarious!

The Aftermath
We finish the match with more brawling, but on the next Impact, we reveal that all four were impregnated by Ric Flair.  They go to him for child support, be he has a clause in his contract that says should he get any of the female talent pregnant, he only has to support the earliest one.  Then we get a hilarious set of bits where the Knockouts argue over who got knocked up first (revealing that they all slept with Flair numerous times) and even bring in other people who have gotten a ride on “Space Mountain”.  On the following PPV, we get a Custody Agreement on a Pole Match with the winner getting Naitch’s support for their kid.  This, again, is won by Eric Young, who then starts acting like a little kid Ric Flair.

So how about it, TNA?