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Friday, December 27, 2013

Wrestling Magazine Cover of the Day

Summer 1984

Today in Wrestling History - Big Van Vader Debuts in Japan

December 27th 1987
Big Van Vader debuts in New Japan 

One of the most memorable debuts in the history of wrestling takes place at New Japan's "Inoki Toukon Live III" event at Sumo Hall in Tokyo. Riki Choshu & Masa Saito defeated Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura in one of the feature matches of the evening. Following the bout, Antonio Inoki defeated Choshu in an anti-climactic main event, winning via disqualification in six minutes. Big Van Vader then entered Sumo Hall and obliterated Inoki, knocking him out and pinning the Japanese legend with a powerslam in a match that didn't even last three minutes. The crowd rioted, resulting in New Japan being banned from running events at Sumo Hall for over a year. Vader immediately skyrocketed to the top of New Japan, as it had been years since Inoki had lost a match via clean pinfall.

The man behind the Vader mask, Leon White, had previously wrestled as "Baby Bull" Leon White in the AWA, and as Bull Power in Germany. He was actually scheduled to debut for All Japan Pro Wrestling, but New Japan worked out a deal with their promotional rival to sign him away for the Big Van Vader gimmick. Interesting to note, the first two choices New Japan had for the Vader gimmick were Sid Vicious and The Ultimate Warrior. Vader's debut in Sumo Hall is one of the most memorable, and controversial, events in New Japan history. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Today in Wrestling History - December 17th

1906 - Frank Gotch defeats Fred Beel in Kansas City, Missouri to win the American Heavyweight Title for the third time. Gotch would go on to defeat George Hackenschmidt two years later to unify the belt with the World Heavyweight Title.

1970 - Kim Il and Pak Song defeat Gorgeous George, Jr. and Rufus R. Jones to win the NWA Texas Tag Team Title.

1979 - The WWF ran at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, with a card airing live on the MSG Network in the New York area, but also in Japan, as this card was almost immediately following the Antonio Inoki-Bob Backlund WWF title controversy in Japan, as well as featuring many Japanese stars. This card also featured the Madison Square Garden debut of Hulk Hogan. The results were:
- Larry Zbyszko pinned Bulldog Brower.
- Riki Choshu and Seiji Sakaguchi defeated Bad News Allen and Jo Jo Andrews, when Sakaguchi made Andrews submit with a Boston crab, to retain the NWA North American Tag Team Title. This match was billed as being for the "Japanese Tag Team Title".
- Mike Graham defeated Johnny Rodz by submission with a figure-four leglock.
- Hulk Hogan defeated Ted DiBiase by knockout with a bearhug.
- Bob Backlund defeated Bobby Duncum in a Texas death match to win the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Title. WWF President Hisashi Shinma had possession of the title beltbefore the match, although the title vacancy was not mentioned to the United States television audience.
- Antonio Inoki pinned Hussein Arab after an enzuigiri to retain the NWF Heavyweight Title. This match was billed as being for the "Japanese Heavyweight Title".
- Harley Race defeated Dusty Rhodes by referee stoppage, due to Rhodes' excessive bleeding, to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Title.
- Pat Patterson pinned Dominic DeNucci, after reversing a monkey flip into a roll-up, to retain the WWF Intercontinental Title.
- Tatsumi Fujinami pinned Johnny Rivera with a back suplex to retain the WWF World Junior Heavyweight Title.
- Ivan Putski and Tito Santana defeated Victor Rivera and Swede Hansen to retain the WWF World Tag Team Title, when Santana pinned Hansen with a top rope crossbody.

1994 - ECW held their "Holiday Hell" show at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Here are the results:
- Stevie Richards defeated JT Smith.
- Dean Malenko defeated Ray Odyssey.
- Chris Benoit defeated Hack Myers.
- 911 defeated The Pitbulls in a Handicap match.
- Mikey Whipwreck defeated Don E. Allen.
- Tommy Dreamer & Cactus Jack defeated Tommy Cairo & The Sandman.
- ECW World Champion Shane Douglas defeated Ron Simmons.
- ECW World Tag Team Champions The Public Enemy defeated Sabu & Taz.

1995 - The WWF held the fifth In Your House pay-per-view, subtitled "Season's Beatings" at the Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylania, before 7,289 fans. The results:
- Savio Vega pinned Bob Backlund in a dark match.
- Razor Ramon and Marty Jannetty defeated The 1-2-3 Kid and Sycho Sid when Ramon pinned Sid after a bulldog from the second rope.
- Ahmed Johnson pinned Buddy Landel (subbing for Dean Douglas) after the Pearl River Plunge. Prior to the match, Jerry Lawler presented Jeff Jarrett with a gold record for his country album, "Ain't I Great?". Jarrett was guest commentator for the match. After the match, Jarrett attacked Johnson with the gold record.
- Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Henry Godwinn in an Arkansas Hog Pen match. Hillbilly Jim was the guest referee.
Owen Hart defeated Diesel when Diesel was disqualified for shoving the referee.
- The Undertaker defeated King Mabel in a Casket match.
- Bret Hart pinned The British Bulldog to retain the WWF Title.
In dark matches after the broadcast:
- Goldust pinned Duke Droese.
- WWF Tag Team Champions The Smokin' Gunns (Billy and Bart), Hakushi, and Barry Horowitz defeated The Bodydonnas (Skip and Zip), Yokozuna, and Isaac Yankem, DDS.

1995 - Dr. Wagner, Jr. defeats Atlantis in Mexico City, Mexico to win the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Title for the second time.

2000 - The 18th, and final, Starrcade event was held in Washington, DC at the MCI Center. Three months later, WCW would be purchased by the World Wrestling Federation, and thus ending the eighteen year streak of Starrcade events, going back to the days of Jim Crockett Promotions. 
13 Count (Shane Helms and Shannon Moore) defeated The Jung Dragons (Yun Yang and Kaz Hayashi) (with Leia Meow), and Jamie Knoble and Evan Karagias[12]Ladder match13:49
2Lance Storm (with Major Gunns and Elix Skipper) defeated The Cat (with Ms. Jones)[12]Singles match07:25
3Terry Funk defeated Crowbar (c) (with Daffney)[12]Singles match for the WCW Hardcore Championship10:21
4KroniK (Brian Adams and Bryan Clark) fought Big Vito and Reno (with Marie) to a no contest[12]Tag team match08:18
5Mike Awesome defeated Bam Bam Bigelow[12]Ambulance match07:56
6General Rection (c) defeated Shane Douglas by disqualification[12]Singles match for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship09:46
7Jeff Jarrett and The Harris Brothers (Ron and Don) defeated The Filthy Animals (KonnanRey Mysterio, Jr. and Billy Kidman) (with Tygress)[12]Bunkhouse Street Fight12:31
8The Insiders (Diamond Dallas Page and Kevin Nash) defeated The Perfect Event (Chuck Palumbo and Shawn Stasiak) (c)[12]Tag team match for the WCW World Tag Team Championship12:04
9Goldberg defeated Lex Luger[12]No Holds Barred Match07:17
10Scott Steiner (c) (with Midajah) defeated Sid Vicious[12]Singles match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship10:12

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tag Team Thursday

WCW Monday Nitro
June 24th 1996
Charlotte, NC

WCW World Tag Team Titles 
(Triple Threat/Triangle Match)

Sting and Lex Luger
The Steiner Brothers
Harlem Heat

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Match of the Night (Backlund vs Patera)

WWF Heavyweight Title
May 19th 1980
Madison Square Garden

Texas Death Match

Ken Patera
WWF Intercontinental Champion
Bob Backlund
WWF Heavyweight Champion