Today In Wrestling History 8/19: Rey Mysterio Loses Cruiserweight Title, Early WCW Screw-Up, & More

* 26 years ago in 1989, one of the more famous gaffes of WCW's first year took place: TBS inadvertently aired the July 29th edition of the flagship "World Championship Wrestling" show at 6:05 p.m on Saturday night show instead of the intended new episode. The reason? Somebody put the July 29th tape in the August 19th box. What nobody could explain is why the problem wasn't remedied during a commercial break.

The show that was supposed to air (and never did) was taped three days earlier in Atlanta. It was Ric Flair's first as head of the booking committee, and featured a few major angles: Rick Steiner and Robin Green going out on their first date (a lunch date to precede the famous skit airing the following week where she glamours herself up as "Woman") and a Sting vs. Dick Slater match turning into a wild brawl where Ric Flair broke Slater's arm with Terry Funk's branding iron. To make matters worse, at the same taping, someone forgot to flip the right switch to record the closing match and angle for the next week's show, which meant they had to hold an "emergency taping" on August 2nnd in Greenville, South Carolina.

WCW became known for this kind of embarrassing production snafu. On multiple occasions, segments were aired out of order, with a "Coming upů" segment airing after what it was previewing (WCW Saturday Night's recap of The Hollywood Blondes winning the tag team titles) and a recap airing before the original segment (Jeff Jarrett dressing up as one of Los Villanos). Perhaps most famously, in 1994, they mistakenly aired a "Control Center" preview for Bash at the Beach which spoiled the results of the main event of Clash of the Champions XXVII (Ric Flair vs. Sting in world title unification match) that preceded it. That one was so blatantly business exposing that Sting cut a vague promo at the Clash show about Flair playing mind games, presumably with the idea that two segments were shot and Flair got someone to air the won that had him as the winner.

* 24 years ago in 1991, the WWF taped three weeks of Superstars at the War Memorial in Rochester, New York. While this was before SummerSlam, every show was set to air afterwards. Of note:

As was the norm back then, they did a fake out title change in an early dark match, as Virgil defeated "Million Dollar Man' Ted DiBiase to win the Million Dollar Belt. Randy Savage was the special gust referee for the match. As always, the title was returned at the end of the taping on some technicality, but they had taped everything with virgil as champion so it workd out.

A couple of recognizable names got wins on in tryout matches. "Surfer" Ray Odyssey defeated fellow northeast independent standout The Tasmaniac, who would of course be repackaged as Taz in ECW in 1995. Obviously, neither got a job out of it, with Taz not getting signed by the company until over eight years later at the end of 1999. Odyssey eventually ended up in ECW, too, but kind of vanished after 1994 or thereabouts.Mike Durham, the future Johnny Grunge, did a TV squash job fr Ted DiBiase at this taping, as well.

* 16 years ago in Lubbock Texas, WCW shot a live broadcast of WCW Thunder. The episode was notable for Lenny Lane defeating Rey Misterio Jr. to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship. As strange as it may sound, this was celebrated by a lot of fans online at the time. After losing his mask, Misterio became something approximating Konnan's "Mini-Me" (or at least that was the joke everyone told) and his new act had gotten really annoying. He had also toned down his style without necessarily emphasizing other aspects of his work (like theatrical selling) that made his WWE run work when he wasn't the most spectacular high flyer in the world anymore. So even though he lost to a comedy wrestler who honestly wasn't even that good, it was a breath of fresh air.

Less than two months later, Lane dropped the title. Sort of. He and Lodi were doing a stereotypical gay gimmick. as the West Hollywood Blondes, and eventually, GLAAD took notice, getting mainstream attention when they complained to Turner Broadcasting. Turner Standards and Practices decided to ban the character from TV, not even letting him drop the title as plain old Lenny Lane without Lodi around. They claimed Psicosis won the title at a house show, and he immediately dropped it to Disco Inferno.


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