On this day in history in ....
1967 - WWWF World Champion Bruno Sammartino defeats Gorilla Monsoon in a Texas Death match at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
1980 - The Samoans defeat Tony Garea & Rene Goulet in a tournament final for the WWWF World Tag Team Title in Allentown, Pennsylvania, starting their second title run. The titles had been vacated when Pedro Morales & Bob Backlund defeated The Samoans, but Backlund was unable to defend the tag belts due to being WWWF World Heavyweight Champion.
1986 - Dusty Rhodes defeats Arn Anderson for the NWA Television Title in Columbia, South Carolina, starting his third reign with the belt.
1991 - Ric Flair wrestles his first match for the WWF following his departure from WCW the previous July. He defeats Jim Powers at a WWF Television taping in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
1993 - Shane Douglas won the ECW Heavyweight Title via forfeit from Tito Santana. In truth, this was a "phantom" title change, as the supposed show in Roanoke, Virginia where Douglas vs. Santana was to have taken place never really existed.
2000 - Rhino defeats Kid Kash in Mississauga, Ontario to become the last ECW Television Champion, as he would hold the title until the company officially shuts down in April 2001.
2002 - On an edition of Raw from Ames, Iowa, Rob Van Dam defeats The Big Show, Jeff Hardy and Chris Jericho in an elimination match to earn a title match with World Champion Triple H at Unforgiven. Show was disqualified with the referee caught him with a chair (which Show actually grabbed away from Jericho). Jericho pinned Hardy with a Lionsault after shoving Hardy off the top rope. Van Dam pinned Jericho with the five star frog splash after ramming him into an exposed turnbuckle (that Jericho had pulled the cover off of).
2003 - At a Smackdown taping in Birmingham, Alabama, U.S. Champion Eddie Guerrero defeated John Cena in a Parking Lot Brawl with a frog splash off the roof of a van onto Cena, who was laid out on the hood of a car. Also on the show, Stephanie McMahon was forced to wrestle Brock Lesnar by her father, Vince McMahon. The match, which wasn't much of a bout, quickly ended in a no-contest when Kurt Angle attacked Lesnar and Stephanie hit low blows on both Lesnar and her father.
2008 - Kurt Angle was found not guilty of driving under the influence and careless driving today in an Allegheny County, PA courtroom. Judge David Cashman made the ruling in a non-jury trial on charges filed Sept. 28. Angle had been arrested for DUI after a witness filed a complaint. Angle's lawyer challenged the use of the witness since police couldn't corroborate her claims.
2008 - WWE broadcast ECW on Sci Fi.
2009 - "The Wrestler" actor Mickey Rourke was voted International Man Of The Year at the GQAwards yesterday in London.
2010 - WWE broadcast an episode of WWE Superstars.
Frank Talent, a well known member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission going back decades who was a regular fixture at professional wrestling events, passed away at the age of 74 from brain cancer.
Mike Johnson penned the following....Talent was quite a character and I mean that in the nicest sense of the word. The best way to describe him is that he was like that goofy but caring grandfatherly figure that everyone meets at some point in their life.
Since at least the 1980s, but likely longer, Talent attended the majority of professional wrestling events promoted in Philadelphia acting as a Commission Representative. He would be seen sitting ringside and would often get into the act, giving static to heels as Talent "got" what the business was supposed to be.
A few times during the 80s, Talent even ended up ring announcing WWF matches at the Spectrum. He was pretty awful at it and one had to wonder if he did it just because he knew he could get away with it, but that was Talent. I can distinctly remember him once introducing Roddy Piper and hugging him in the Spectrum while Piper had this look on his face wondering who the hell this was.
During the post-ECW independent explosion in the early part of this decade, Talent became a more well known personality in front of the fans, often making announcements pointing out celebrities who were attending the shows and issuing "official edicts" when shows were delayed, etc.
Talent was one of those eccentric characters you took for granted as always being around. He was seemingly everywhere at every show and if he wasn't, you took a mental note that it seemed strange he wasn't lurking at ringside.
I noted earlier that Talent "got" what the business was supposed to be and that was an important asset for shows he was covering. Often, Talent would give pre-show instructions to the different locker rooms at events, reminding them of what was expected by the State, but for the most part, as long as the performers weren't being too reckless, he would let things go. The lone exception would be that he wouldn't allow any spitting out of the ring towards the audience. But beyond that, within reason, he would allow things to go and allow the promotions to do their thing.
One thing that always amused me was that Talent seemingly had an endless list of friends that he would visit whenever there were shows. Whenever I was set up doing coverage for live shows on one of the stages or balconies of the ECW Arena, which have been converted into "VIP" areas in recent years, Talent would show up visiting different families he personally knew that were in those areas, bringing talent for visits and autographs. If Talent asked for a favor, the wrestlers were quick to do it, since he commanded respect in his position and was pretty much well liked by the workers.