September is a great month for WWE fans
Let’s face it — September kind of stinks. Vacation's over, suntans are fading, kids are trudging toward school with all the excitement of a local competitor headed into a match with Mark Henry. But that doesn’t mean some extraordinary WWE events haven’t occurred in the early autumn. From historic title changes to unforgettable acts of aggression, WWE.com opens up the history books and offers up five good reasons why September is so memorable — or at least better than February.
September 1, 1979: Pat Patterson becomes the first Intercontinental Champion
It was 31 years ago on a balmy summer’s night in Rio De Janiero, Brazil when legendary grappler Pat Patterson won a grueling tournament to unify the World Wrestling Federation North American Championship and the South American Championship to become the first-ever Intercontinental Champion in WWE history. Much of the footage and documentation of the night has been lost to time, but the title’s legacy carries on with WWE Hall of Famers like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels and Bret “Hit Man” Hart included in its esteemed lineage.
September 4, 1995: WCW Nitro makes its debut at the Mall of America
Like 1980s pop sensation Tiffany and the gooey hand grenade known as Cinnabon, World Championship Wrestling's flagship program WCW Monday Nitro first made its mark under the fluorescent lights of a shopping mall. With Ric Flair battling Sting in the ring as railroad enthusiasts perused The Great Train Store, it’s hard to believe this show would go on to beat Raw in the ratings for 84 straight weeks and ignite the infamous “Monday Night Wars,” which brought sports-entertainment to heights of popularity the medium hadn’t enjoyed since the golden age of the mid-1900s.
September 22, 1997: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin Stuns Mr. McMahon for the first time
The night the line was crossed. Frustrated with WWE officials’ ruling that he couldn’t compete after injuring his neck months prior at SummerSlam, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin lashed out at the establishment, trampling every suit that got in his way. When Mr. McMahon finally got in The Rattlesnake’s face, it looked as though the marauding redneck might finally be stopped. After all, who is going to strike the guy that signs their paychecks? “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, that’s who. Blasting his boss with an unforgettable Stunner, The Rattlesnake shocked the WWE Universe and kick started his four-wheeler ride to sports-entertainment immortality.
September 13, 2001: WWE pays tribute to the victims and heroes of 9/11 on SmackDown
In the unsettling days after the September 11th terrorist attacks, normality was hard to come by in American life. Strange, then, that viewers would find familiarity in a show as unpredictable as SmackDown. Making the decision to go live from the Compaq Center in Houston, Texas on September 13th, Mr. McMahon and the Superstars and Divas of WWE put on an unforgettable show in what was the first major public event following that dark morning. Filled with emotional interviews and a rousing rendition of the national anthem by Lilian Garcia that brought even the toughest competitors to tears, the night was a small, but important step on the road to recovery.
September 17, 2010: Edge smashes the anonymous Raw GM’s computer
In the war of man vs. machine, score one for man. Waging a personal battle against the faceless, anonymous Raw General Manager, the former World Heavyweight Champion struggled to combat an enemy he couldn’t see. Constantly interrupted by the mysterious GM’s messages during his matches, The Rated-R Superstar finally came face-to-monitor with the computer in September of 2010 and took out of his frustrations with the unknown authority the only way he knew how — by smashing the laptop to bits. The GM would soon upgrade to an iPad, but his or her identity has yet to be revealed.