Today In History 9/6: 1st Brock Lesnar - Triple H Bout, Fake Razor Ramon & Diesel Angle Starts, More

* 19 years ago in 1996, the WWF had a Raw Championship Friday special on USA Network thanks to Monday Night Raw being preempted by U.S. Open tennis that week. While the in-ring action, taped August 19th, wasn't exactly newsworthy, Jim Ross dropped a bombshell on commentary: During Mankind's victory over Alex Porteau, he announced that Razor Ramon and Diesel would be returning to the WWF.

Obviously, Scott Hall and Kevin Nash were in WCW. With the NWO angle being a bit too far over the line in terms of pushing them as invading WWF wrestlers at first (especially with Scott Hall using his Razor Ramon accent), the WWF sued WCW for violating their trademarks. It was decided that as a legal strategy, to strengthen their case, they would bring back the characters with new performers to show how WCW had diluted their trademarks.

As luck would have it, Rick "Big Titan" Bogner had just done a few matches in ECW as Razor knock-off Slice 'n' Dice Ramirez after impressing Paul Heyman with a dead on impression of Hall. Meanwhile, Glenn Jacobs, the former Dr. Isaac Yankem/future Kane was under contract and not doing much, so he would be Diesel. Leading up to their debut/"return," Ross made it clear he knew Hall and Nash were under contract to WCW, but he still had it on good. Eventually, WWF President Gorilla Monsoon made it clear that Scott Hall and Kevin Nash wouldn't be returning, but Ross was insistent that Razor Ramon and Diesel were on their way back.

This all led to Jim Ross becoming a bitter heel angry at the WWF/Vince McMahon for firing him in 1994 when he first became afflicted with Bell's Palsy. So he brought in the fakes to punish McMahon...or the fans...or both...or something. Fake Razor and Fake Diesel became a generic undercard tag team, eventually splitting and feuding in the USWA when it was the WWF's unofficial developmental promotion.

On the same show, there was an update on Ahmed Johnson's legitimate kidney injury suffered during the angle in July where Faarooq debuted by attacking him. With hindsight, this was probably not the best idea because the doctor giving the update was one Dr. Joel Hackett. Within a few years, Hackett had his license suspended and was brought up on charges of improperly prescribing controlled substances to a number of pro wrestlers...including Tony "Ahmed Johnson" Norris. In late 1997 and early 1998, both Brian Pillman and Louie "Spicolli" Mucciolo died with prescription bottles bearing Hackett's name next to them. The WWF eventually banned Hackett from being brought backstage as a guest, while WCW wrestlers flew Hackett in to a pay-per-view days after Spicolli died.

This was not the first time something like this happened. In 1983, the WWF shot an angle where Eddie Gilbert, returning from a car accident where he badly injured his neck, had his neck "re-broken" by the Masked Superstar. The doctor used to get the angle over? Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission physician Dr. George Zahorian, of course. Yes, the same Zahorian who was convicted in 1991 of improperly distributing drugs to wrestlers. When you needed a real doctor to get an angle over, it was only natural that someone "friendly" with the wrestlers was used.

* 13 years ago in 2002, WWE ran a house show with the first ever WWE Champion vs. World Heavyweight Champion match. In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, WWE Champion Brock Lesnar cleanly retained his title by defeating World Heavyweight Champion Triple H (his title wasn't on the line). Lesnar counted the Pedigree into the F5 for the win. Being something of a hometown show for Lesnar (Sioux Falls is about two hours away from Lesnar's hometown for Webster, and it's not like WWE would run closer), Lesnar worked the Raw tour and got a big win. Most likely, this match was already advertised as the main event before the decision was made to make Lesnar and his title SmackDown-exclusive, and being in South Dakota, WWE decided not to change it.

This was the first singles meeting between Lesnar and Triple H, and they wouldn't be in the same match again until their main event battle at SummerSlam 2012 almost a decade later. Their only prior in-ring interaction with each other consisted of a tag team match in Birmingham, West Midlands, England (Lesnar and The Undertaker vs. Triple H and Matt Hardy) and a triple threat match with The Rock a month before the Sioux Falls match on the Global Warning show at Colonial Stadium (now Ethiad Stadium) in Melbourne, Australia.


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