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The history and evolution of Pro Wrestling


Guest fujiwara

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Guest fujiwara

Just a short piece (relitivly) about the history of wrestling which I have been doing for a few days in between Playing games on the net aswell as AJPW Giant Gram 2000 (great game) and starting writing reviews.

 

We love it! The world of professional wrestling and yet until

recently I knew next to nothing about the history of sports entertainments favourite son, where it all began what has happened, what has changed and what has evolved.

 

When you turn on your Television on a Friday or Saturday evening (in the UK) and go to Sky Sports what you see in front of you is phenomenon of Professional Wrestling. Fireworks go off, pyro explodes and lights flash all of these things are eye catching. There Is a lot of drama, a lot of razzmatazz. The wrestlers themselves wear colourful exciting costumes which add to the spectacle of WWE programming but before these seemingly enlightened times what went on well I’m about to tell you.

 

Wrestling, in its many forms, has been around for thousands of years. The Greeks and Romans both practiced a form of the sport hense the term “Greco Roman” But the sport as we loosely know it was not introduced to the main stream until the 1800’s. It was known as catch hold. The two men would start with a tie up, a collar and elbow tie up to be precise, a move that is still traditionally used to begin matches even today. From here they would try to take each other down, a bit like amateur wrestling today. Then a new style hit dubbed “Catch as catch can” this was a new way of Wrestling. The two no longer had to tie up before the match. In other words they just tried to throw each other down and pin them. Now there were two types of these wrestlers there were the “hookers” who were the new kids on the block that used any tricks at their disposal to win matches and the “shooters” who had backgrounds in the wrestling world and had been doing it for years. With this new style came new foreign stars like George Hackenshmidt who was known as the best wrestler around for years. Then there was Frank Gotch and there were many others. Just think of them as the Rock and Austin of the early 20th century.

 

Now when I think of great heavyweight champions Names like Ric Flair, Steve Austin, The Rock and dare I say it Hulk Hogan come in to my mind immediately but George Hackenshmidt was actually recognized as the first World Heavyweight Champion for the National Wrestling Alliance. This was way back in May of 1904! Any way back in those days wrestling was a brutal but strangely respected sport. Back then Wrestlers would hit each other with a lot of force in other words it was real! Some matches were quite short but major attractions featuring the likes of Gotch could last up to 2 hours, infact, some matches went to a 5 hour five hour draw!. The promoters and wrestlers had no idea who was going to win until the fight was over. That is until Ed “Strangler” Lewis showed up. As far as skill went Gotch and Lewis were very near the top of the list aswell as Hackenschmidt. But Strangler made a choice to throw a match and lose his NWA title to a virtual unknown, Wayne Munn. He did this for one reason, money. To most peoples knowledge he was the first wrestler to do this although we don’t know that it didn’t happen before. So according to the records Ed “Strangler” Lewis was the first wrestler ever to do the “job” Lewis had started a trend which others would follow and his decision changed the wrestling landscape for ever. From then on the outcomes of most wrestling matches were predetermined. And so in a sense the era of entertainment had began. Of course just because wrestlers were now doing the “job” didn’t mean that they were throwing each other through tables and cutting profanity based interviews immediately. No, far from it. Wrestling as we know it was still a long way off in the future. Sure the fundamentals were there and so were some of the more traditional moves of today such as the sleeper hold but for one thing there was only one real federation in the wrestling world, the NWA.

 

However this soon changed. In 1933 The world champion Jim Londos, fought and lost to a wrestler called Joe Savoldi for the title. But Jim refused to aknowledge that he had lost. Several other wrestlers like Jim Browning were recognized as world champion in some states. One of these was Lou Thesz. This led to the separation of wrestlers into different federations or companies, although many of them were still part of the NWA they each had a territory. And so the companies that we know today were created initially by a stubborn wrestler who refused to accept that he lost.

 

Wrestling soon got investigated for its authenticity. Fixed matches were banned as were dropkicks after a court hearing. No- one paid attention to these new rules however. Despite this set back Wrestling still remained popular with the masses drawing new attendance records. In the late 1940’s a new ground breaking invention came to light, the Television. Wrestling was on TV six nights a week and names of wrestlers were known throughout America. With the birth of TV came the birth of the interview in to wrestling. Pretty soon the interview became an integral part of wrestling and with it came the gimmick……

 

Gimmicks were all of a sudden common place and could help transform a wrestler from virtually nothing in to a main event man, loved or hated by the fans who tuned in or came to the shows. One such example was gorgeous George who’s persona got him over big time. He would strut down to the ring whilst women sprinkled rose petals around him and sprayed perfumes for him, this cocky heel got over in no time. With gimmicks in place heels and faces became clearly established in their separate camps. Nature Boy Buddy Rogers was another man who had a gimmick. He practically invented the pre match interview. His Nature Boy gimmick was later given to Ric Flair, another great on the mic.

 

Rogers met Lou Thez in 1963 for the NWA heavyweight title. Thesz won the match that night. The decision was not a popular, many wanted Rogers to walk out as champion. The NWA refused to acknowledge the title change and thus The capital wrestling corporation broke away from the huge wrestling utopia that was the NWA and renamed itself the WWWF (world wide wrestling federation) and created its own world title. The WWWF owned territories including New England, New York and New Jersey. However the promotion rejoined 8 years later due to poor finances, the company renamed itself the World Wrestling Federation or WWF in 1979. Then broke away again in 1983 and that’s when things started to get big.

 

In the past, up until this point wrestling had been a hard hitting sport, a lot of skill went into it. From around the 70’s Wrestling became considerably more brawl based there was plenty of blood spilt. Feuds, like today were common place and were often ended inside the confines of a steel cage. Also during the 70’s high flying basically was created, in Mexico. Back then a cross body was a death defying leap but nowadays this can be seen by pretty much anybody at any wrestling show. Things have certainly evolved since then as wrestlers continue to push the boundaries of physics with more dangerous stunts, the reasons why this is happening is because of the fans they are becoming harder to please and so once a spot like a moonsault has been seen a few times it loses its thrill and so people start trying to rotate further the same with the splash which turned into a flip (somersault senton)

from the top or swanton bomb as many know it as, this has now been surpassed by the 450 splash or phoenix splash which ever you prefer. The senton splash has been updated by Jushin Lyger into a Shooting Star Press and recently a mind boggling Shooting star leg drop has been hit by Jason Cross. And its not just high flying moves it is also high risk moves seen in hardcore matches as wrestlers try more and more dangerous moves like using lightbulbs and glass as well as barbed wire and fire in matches. And falls are being attempted from ever higher and more dangerous places. An example of this has to be Mick Foley’s dive from the top of the cell at KOR 98. But a more recent and more dangerous stunt was Vic Grimes’ brush with death from around 30 feet up through 2 tables hitting the ropes in the process. Aswell as this impact moves have certainly evolved with wrestlers using more and more unique and innovative maneuvers to put their opponent away (especially in the indy promotions. Moves like the Styles Clash and the cattle mutilation or the Ki Krusher never fail to impress.

 

 

 

Anyhow, Vince McMahon Jr took control of the WWF and set about changing it from territorial company into a world wide phenomenon. He did this by cutting out the violence and replacing it with spectacle, lights, grand stages. The more family orientated formula worked and the WWF was one of the biggest things around. Story lines became more prominent in the industry as Wrestlers now needed a reason to fight rather than just getting in the ring and seeing who was the better man. As of late the story lines have taken a more soap opera approach. An example of this was the love triangle storyline between Kurt Angle, HHH and Stephanie McMahon. Also as a result of this there have been increasingly more weddings in pro wrestling. And then of course there are the stupider story lines like last years acclaimed (yeah right) rape with a dummy in a funeral parlor whilst wearing a Kane mask brilliantly portrayed by the mighty HHH and lets not even go in to the whole Mae Young and Mark Henry Fiasco.

 

Gimmcks had changed aswell. In McMahon land a wrestler had to have a gimmick to get anywhere and each gimmick seemed to be more outlandish than the last. In the NWA things hadn’t changed all that much, however when a new company within the NWA known as WCW emerged things became a little different, not straight away but when they saw what the WWF was doing then they started to copy. The gimmicks started to die down around 1995. they were still there but many of them weren’t as strange or cheesy as previously. Wrestlers now took on more realistic characters over the next few years. Stone Cold Steve Austin the rebel who fans loved, Bret Hart the anti American, The cocky DX. Of course there were exceptions to this, Kane the estranged and hideously burned brother as the Undertaker and the deranged Mankind. This was the attitude era in which the wrestling business had great success. By this time it was normal to find more violence and plenty of profanity laden interviews. This era ended when Stone cold turned heel at Wrestle Mania X-7. That was also around the last time it was cool to watch Wrestling. Which brings us pretty much up to date.

 

In conclusion ladies and jelly spoons (to quote Eddie Izzard) Professional Wrestling has come along way since it was created over a century ago for better and for worse. Gone are the days of Lou Thesz, the territories are just a distant memory to those who can remember. One thing is for sure, it will be interesting to see what unfolds in years to come.

 

P.S: Info from various sources including the wasteland that is my brain.

PP.S: Hhuu! Maybe it wasn't so short after all.

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Guest Cactus Jack

I thought this might help you.

 

WARNING - VERY LENGTHY!

 

Wrestling's first masked wrestler enters the ring in Paris. He is known simply as the Masked Wrestler.

 

1874:

 

Viro Small, a former slave from Beaufort, South Carolina, beomes North America's first known African American professional wrestler. Small's training involved hauling beer barrels around New York City.

 

1877:

 

February 6: William Muldoon wins the Greco Roman championship from French champion Christol in two straight falls of 10 and 17 minutes. He also wins about $2,000 in side bets.

 

1878:

 

April 27: Frank Gotch is born on a farm near Humboldt, Iowa.

 

July 20: George Hackenscmidt, later nicknamed "The Russian Lion," is born in Dorpat, Russian. His mother was Swedish and his father was German.

 

1881:

 

The National Police Gazette coins the phrase "The Championship of the World." The ideas was to sell newspapers describing a bare-knuckle match between Paddy Ryn and John L. Sullivan.

 

1885:

 

September 26: Australia's first professional wrestling match, William Miller vs. Clarence Royal, is staged at Melbourne's Theatre Royal. Whistler won, but died after due to internal bleeding after swallowing glass while eating a champagne glass.

 

1887:

 

March 14: Evan "The Stangler" Lewis defeated Joe Acton in Chicago, Illinois to win the American Catch-as-Catch Can Championship.

 

1893:

 

March 2: Evan "The Strangler" Lewis defeated Ernest Roeber in New Orleans, Louisiana to unify the American Catch-as-Catch Can and the American Greco-Roman Championships. This match was a best out of 5 falls with alternating catch-as-catch can and Greco-Roman falls.

 

1894:

 

Despite his small size (5'10", 170 Lbs.), Martin Burns wins the United States Catch-as-Catch Can heavyweight championship. Folllowing his success, Burns started to train other wrestlers such as Frank Gotch, who was arguably the best North American wrestler of the 20th Century.

 

1895:

 

Martin Burns defeated Evan "Strangler" Lewis, three falls to two, in Chicago to win the American Heavyweight Championship.

 

1896:

 

George Hackenschmidt made his wrestling debut in September.

 

1897:

 

Janury 2: Jim Lindos is born Chris Theophelos in Argos, Greece.

 

October 26: Don McLeod defeated Martin Burns in Indianapolis, Indiana to capture the American Heavyweight Championship.

 

1899:

 

In Vienna, Austria, George Hackenschmidt wins the European Heavyweight Wrestling Championsip. The event was billed as the "World Championships," but the group were so glaring that calling them the "European Championship" was more precise.

 

April 2: Frank Gotch made his pro wrestling debut by defeating Marshall Green in Humboldt, Iowa.

 

1900:

 

After winning the Russian National Championship, George Hackenscmidt follws up with convincing wins in Dresden, Germany; Budapest, Hungary; and Paris, France. After these wins, George Hackenschmidt sets up camp in London, England and challenged any British wrestler to defeat him.

 

1901:

 

San Francisco promoters introduce tag team wrestling to improve the sport's entertainment value. Another Californian innovation was an 18-foot padded mats laid atop risers, which is still being used today in American Pro Wrestling, but didn't became popular until the 1930's.

 

November 7: Tom Jenkins defeated Don McLeod to win the American Heavyweight Title.

 

1902:

 

December 26: Don McLeod defeated Tom Jenkins in Worcester, Massachuttes to regain the American Heavyweight Title, two falls to one when Jenkins forfeited the third fall due to blood poisoning.

 

1903:

 

February 22: Tom Jenkins defeated Frank Gotch in Cleveland, Ohio in the first meeting of diminant American wrestlers of the era.

 

April 3: Tom Jenkins defeated Don McLeod in Buffalo, New York in two striaght falls to regain the American Heavyweight Title.

 

1904:

 

January 27: Frank Gotch defeated Tom Jenkins in Bellingham, Washington to win the American Heavyweight Championship for the first time. Gotch won the first fall, and Jenkis was Disqualified in the second fall for fouling Gotch.

 

1905:

 

February 5: Frank Gotch defeated Tom Jenkins in Cleveland, Ohio to retain the American Heavyweight Title. enkins took the first fall, while Gotch took the last two.

 

March 15: Tom Jenkins defeated Frank Gotch at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York to regain the American Heavyweight Title for the third time, two falls to one.

 

May 5: World Greco-Roman champion, George Hackenschmidt, dominated American Heavyweight Champion, Tom Jenkis, in two straight falls, in Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York in a match to crown the "World Catch-as-Catch Can Heavyweight Champion." This match is the origin of the first "World Heavyweight Title" in the United States.

 

May 19: Tom Jenkins comes back to defeat Frank Gotch at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York to retain the American Heavyweight Title, two falls to one.

 

1906:

 

May 23: Frank Gotch defeated Tom Jenkins to win the American Heavyweight Title, two falls to one.

 

December 1: Fred Beell defeated Frank Gotch in New Orleans, Louisiana, to win the American Heavyweight Title in one of the biggest upsets in pro-wrestling history, two falls to one.

 

1908:

 

April 3: Frank Gotch defeated George Hackenscmidt to win the World Heavyweight Title at the Dexter Park Pavillion in Chicago, Illinois that was three years in the making. Before the match, Gotch doused himself with oils and other substances to make himself impossible to grasp. Gotch used rule-breaking tactics and Hackenschmidt quit the match after two hours of fighting and the referee awarded the decision and the title to Gotch.

 

1910:

 

Frank Gotch defeated Stanislaus Zbyszko in 6.4 seconds in the first fall in Chicago, Illinois in their World Title match. Gotch took the second fall to retain the title.

 

1911:

 

September 4: Three years after their controversial first match, Frank Gotch defeated George Hackenschmidt in Chicago, Illinois at Comisky Park to retain the World title after Hackenschmidt injured his knee during the match. The live gate was $87,053, the biggest gate during that time.

 

1913:

 

April 1: Frank Gotch announces his retirement after beating George Lurich in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

1915:

 

July 4: Joe Stecher defeated Charlie Cutler in Omaha, Nebraska to become the first recognized World Heavyweight Champion afeter the retire ment of Frank Gotch.

 

October 20: Joe Stecher defeated Ed "Strangler" Lewsi to retian the World Heavyweight Title in Evansville, Indiana, two falls to one. Lewis couldn't continue the second fall after hitting his head on the floor after being driven out of the ring.

 

1916:

 

January 27: Joe Stecher defeated The Masked Marvel to retain the World Heavyweight Title in two straight falls in Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The Masked Marvel revealed to be Mort Henderson.

 

July 5: Joe Stecher and Ed Lewis wrestled to a five hour draw in a World Title Match in Omaha, Nebraska. Stecher retains the World Heavyweight Title.

 

July 18: Frank Gotch returns to wrestling and fractured his leg in an exhibition match against Bob Managoff, Sr. in Kenosha, Winsconisin. Gotch would never wrestle again.

 

1917:

 

Jim Lindos made his professional wrestling debut.

 

April 9: Earl Caddock defeated Joe Stecher by forfeit in Omaha, Nebraska to win the World Hravyweight Title. Stecher was so frustrated after loosing in the second fall, that he refused to wrestle in the third fall.

 

1920:

 

January 30: After defeating Waldek Zbyszko and Ed "Strangler" Lewis to earn a World Title shot, Joe Stecher regained the title by defeated Earl Caddock in 2 hours at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.

 

December 13: Ed "Strangler" Lewis defeated Joe Stetcher in less than two hours to regain the World Heavyweight Title for the first time in New York.

 

1921:

 

May 6: Stanislaus Zbyszko defeated Ed "Strangler" Lewis to win the World Heavyweigh Title in New York.

 

September 22: The New York State Atheltic Commission takes wrestling under control and issues stringent rules regarding the use of certain holds such as headlocks, toelocks, and scissorholds, which are used specifically to punish an opponent are to be foul methods resulting in a Disqualification.. Repeat offenders would have their licenses revoked.

 

November 8: New York State Commissioner, William Muldoon, redefines the commission's rules to make an execption for holds that are applied as decisive elements in producing a fall.

 

1922:

 

Gobar Goho defeated Ad Santel in San Francisco, California to become the first Asian to win the "World Professional Wrestling Championhip" in the United States.

 

1924:

 

December 2: Wrestler Nick Gotch defeated World Light-Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Battling Siki, in a "wrestler vs. boxer" match in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 

1925:

 

Jess McMahon, father of Vince McMahon Sr., promoted his first boxing card in the "old" Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.

 

January 8: In one of the biggest upsets in pro-wrestling, Wayne Munn defeated Ed "Strangler" Lewis to win the World Heavyweight Title in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

1927:

 

April 13: Antonio Basetton, the man who become known as Antonio Rocca, is born along with his twin sister in Treviso, Italy.

 

December: Ad Santel introduces American-style professional wrestling in Sydney, Australia.

 

1928:

 

February 28: Ed "Strangler" Lewis defeated Joe Stetcher to regain the World Heavyweight Title for the third time, two falls to one, in Saint Louis, Missouri.

 

1929:

 

June 7: Ernie Roth, "The Grand Wizard," was born in Canton, Ohio.

 

August 23: Dick Shikat defeated Jim Lindos to gain recognition as the World Heavyweight Champion in New York and Pennsylvania State Atheltic Commissions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The state commissions withdrew their recognition from reigning champion, Gus Sonneberg.

 

1930:

 

April 4: Hugh Nichols defeated Joe Banaski in the National Boxing (Wrestling) Association tournament final to win the Woeld Light-Heavyweight Title in Cincinatti, Ohio.

 

June 6: Jim Lindos defeated Dick Shikat in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to win the New York-Pennsylvania Commission recognized World Heavyweight Title.

 

November: Promoters Antholl Oakelet and Jeff Dickson introduced American-style professional wrestling to London. The British press called this style of wrestling, "Baboon Wrestling."

 

1931:

 

April 13: Ed "Strangler" Lewis defeated Ed Don George in straight falls at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, California to win a then-record fourth World Heavyweight Championship.

 

May 4: The World Heavyweight Title would be fragmented furthers after a controversial finish between Henri DeGlane and Ed Lewis in Montreal, Quebec, Canada after a biting call. Therefore, parts of New England and Canada recognized DeGlane as World Champion while Ed Lewis was recognized as World Champion in California and Illinois.

 

June 29: Jim Lindos applied what presumed to be wrestling's first sleeperhold on Ray Steele at Yankee Stadium in New York City, New York.

 

1932:

 

September 23: Former World Heavyweight Champion, Dick Shikat, broke his arm in an automobile accident.

 

October 10: The New York State Athletic Commission recognized Ed "Strangler" Lewis as World Heavyweight Champion. The Commission ordered Jim Lindos to face Ed Lewis in a title match, when Lindos refused, the Commission stripped Lewis of his title recognition.

 

October 25: Paul Boesch made his professional wrestling debut against Benny Ginsburg in Staten Island, New York.

 

1933:

 

Texas passes state laws leagalizing and governing boxing and wrestling. Morris Siegel receives the first license issued in both sports.

 

February 20: Jim Browning defeated Ed "Strangler" Lewis to win the World Heavyweight Title in Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.

 

Apirl 7: Joe Salvodi defeated Jim Lindos in Chicago, Illinois to win Lindos' version of the World Title. Salvodi then lost to New York World Champion, Jim Browning. Lindos, refused the recognition and continued to bill himself as "World Champion.

 

December 18: Jim Browning and Ed Don George meet in a Unification World Heavyweight Title Match at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The match was declared a draw.

 

1934:

 

January 26: The New York State Athletic Commission issues new rules, outlawing syndicate agreements between promoters and banning the dropkick.

 

February 15: A Johannesburg, South Africa council bans professional wrestling as "brutal and degrading.

 

March 5: Leroy McGuirk wins the NWA World Lightweight Title by defeating Hugh Nichols in Tulsa, Okalhoma.

 

June 25: Jim Lindos returns to New York and defeats Jim Browining at the Garden Bowl in Queens, New York to win the New York State version of the World Title.

 

September 20: Jim Lindos defeated Ed "Strangler" Lewis at Chicago, Illinois' Wrigley Field. The match drew $96,302. The special referee in the match was former World Boxing Heavyweight Champion, Jack Dempsey.

 

1935:

 

Jim Crockett Sr. forms Jim Crockett Promotions.

 

Vince McMahon Sr. promos his first wrestling card.

 

Seventeen-year-old Mildred Bliss of Kansas City, Missouri, pestered promoter Billy Wolfe to teach her how to wrestle. Wolfe asked some of his wrestlers to slam her so hard that she will quit. Bliss pinned the man twice and Wolde hired her as a carnival wrestler. Bliss renamed herself as "Mildred Burke."

 

June 27: Danno O'Mahoney upsets Jim Lindos at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachuttes to win the New York version of the World Heavyweight Title.

 

July 30: Danno O'Mahnoey defeated Ed Don George in Boston, Massachuttes to become the undisputed World Heavyweight Champion.

 

1936:

 

March 2: Dick Shikat defeated Danno O'Mahoney for the World Title. The promotional alliance brought about an undisputed World Champion the year before quickly dissolves and sends the title picture back into confusion.

 

April 20: Albion Britt defeated Ted Christy in the finals at Hollywood Legion Stadium in California to become the first NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion.

 

1937:

 

Mud wrestling was invented in Seattle, Washington by mistake. Promoter Paul Boesch added too much water with dirt to have a "Hindu Match" between Prince Bhu Pinder and former World Champion, Gus Sonneberg. Mud wrestling then moved to San Francisco. Women's mud-wrestling soon followed.

 

February 9: Billy Wolfe defeated Clara Mortensen in a "man vs. woman" match by Disqualification in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

June 30: Bronko Nagurski defeated Dean Detton in Minneapolis, Minnesota to win one of many versions of the World Heavyweight Title. Bronko Magurski would go on to win the National Wrestling Association version of the World Heavyweight Title on two occasions.

 

July 8: Lou Thesz claims the National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title because Everett Marshall will not meet him in Kansas City, Missouri for the title.

 

September 29: Japan's first American-style Pro Wrestling match was held at Susaki Baseball Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. The main event was Korea's Ken Gen against former Japanese Olympian Kiyoshi Kose.

 

October 2: The first "Texas Tornado" match was held in Houston, Texas. It was the brainchild of Morris Sigel. The Texas Tornado match is a tag team match where all four wrestlers are in the ring at one time. The first match was Milo Steinborn and Whiskers Savage against Tiger Daula and Fazul Mohammed.

 

December 29: Lou Thesz defeated Everett Marshall in Saint Louis, Missouri to win another version of the World Heavyweight Title.

 

1938:

 

February 11: SteveCasey defeated LouThesz in Boston, Massachuttes to win the old version of the AWA World Heavyweight Title.

 

September 14: Everett Marshall is awarded the National Wrestling Association's version of the World Heavyweight Title.

 

November 18: Jim Lindos defeated Bronko Nagurski in Phialdelphia, Pennsylvania to win a claim to the World Heavyweight Title. Jim Lindos never lost this version of the title and defending it sucessfully across the country until he retired.

 

December 5: Danny McShain defeated Leroy McGuirk at Hollywood Legion Stadium in California to regain the NWA World Light-Heavyweight Title. Leroy McGuirk moves up in weight class to concentrating on winning the World Junior Heavyweight Title.

 

1939:

 

June 19: Leroy McGuirk defeated Jon Swneski at Hollywood Legion Stadium to win the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title.

 

1940:

 

March 7: Ray Steele defeated Bronko Nagurski for the National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title in Saint Louis, Missouri.

 

1941:

 

August 9: Bill Longson defeated Frank Sexton in San Jose,California for the Pacific Coast Heavyweight Title.

 

August 29: Primo Carnera, former Boxing Heavyweight Champion of the World, takes up wrestling at the age of 34.

 

December 1: Billy Varga defeated Wild Bill Berry at the Hollywood Legion Stadium in California to win the NWA World Light-Heavyweight Title.

 

1944:

 

California has banned women from participating in public combat (boxing and wrestling) for profit. Illinois, upheld the right of women to wrestle in 1955. By 1972, most states had follow suit.

 

1945:

 

April 2: Babe Ruth, legendary baseball player and manager, announced he will become a referee on two cards in Portland, Maine and in Boston, Massachuttes.

 

1946:

 

February 23: Gory Guerrero (father of Chavo, Mando, Hector, and Eddie) defeated Tarzan Lopez to win the NWA World Middleweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico. Gory continued to win other NWA World titles in the welterweight and light-heavyweight divisions.

 

March 15: El Santo defeated Pete Pancof in Mexico City, Mexico for the NWWA World Welterweight Title. El Santo would go on to become the most famous wrestler in Mexican Wrestling History.

 

May 19: Andre The Ginat is born in Grenoble, France.

 

June 14: Bruiser Brody is born.

 

1947:

 

Killer Kowalski made his pro wrestling debut.

 

Former boxer, Tony Galento, defeated "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers

 

1948:

 

Don Owens promoted wrestling cards that aired on television in Portland, Oregon.

 

Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon represented Canada in the Olympic Games.

 

The National Wrestling Alliance is first formed in Waterloo, Iowa. The first NWA President was P.L. "Pinkie" George.

 

Orville Brown was recognized as the first National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Champion.

 

1949:

 

Paul Boesch announces his first televised wrestling match.

 

February 22: Gorgeous George headlines the first Madison Square Garden wrestling card in 12 years, against Ernie Dusek. Gorgeous George won the match in front of 4,197 fans.

 

April 18: Verne Gagne decided to go into professional wrestling after declining offers to play football for the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns. He defeated Abe Kashey by Disqualification in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 3rd.

 

April 20: Primo Carnera's winning streak was ended at 321 by Antonio Rocca.

 

October 4: Lilliam Ellison (later known as Fabulous Moolah) defeated Cecilia Blevins in Kansas City, Missouri. The match was on the undercard in the Orville Brown-Bill Longson, NWA World Heavyweight Title Match.

 

November 1: Orville Brown and Bob Bruns were severely injured in a car accident in Eagleville, Missouri.

 

November 27: The National Wrestling Alliance recognized Lou Thesz as the World Heavyweight Champion. Thesz was the current National Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Champion at that time and was supposed to meet Brown for a title-vs-title match on November 25th. Brown was injured in a car accident on November 1st.

 

1950:

 

Jim Lindos comes out of retirement to wrestle Primo Carnera at Chicago's Wrigley Field. The match drew wrestling's biggest gate during that time at $54,000.

 

July 27: Lou Thesz defeated Gorgeous George in Chicago, Illinois to win the old version of the AWA World Heavyweight Title to merge with the NWA World title.

 

November 13: Verne Gagne defeated Sonny Myers in Tulsa, Oklahoma to win the vacant NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title.

 

1951:

 

Japan's first post-war wrestling card was held.

 

Verne Gagne moves up to the heavyweight division.

 

November 19: Danny McShain defeated Verne Gagne at the Ellis Auditorium in Memphis, Tennessee to win the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title. Danny McShain joins Leroy McGuirk to win both the NWA World Junior and Light-Heavyweight Titles.

 

1952:

 

The Sheik made his professional wrestling debut.

 

May 21: Lou Thesz defeated Baron Michele Leone in Los Angeles, California to win the California version of the World Heavyweight Title to merge with the World Heavyweight Title. At that moment, Lou Thesz becomes the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World. Plus, the match drew first $100,000 gate in United States Wrestling history at $103,277.

 

1953:

 

Captain Lou Albano made his professional wrestling debut by defeating Bob Lazaro in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

 

March 6: The first Brass-Knuckles match was held when Danny McShain against "Wild" Bill Curry. Curry won the match and Paul Boesch promoted this match in Houston, Texas.

 

May 11: The New York State Athletic Commission lifts a ban on tag team wrestling.

 

September 3: Verne Gagne was awarded the NWA United States Heavyweight Title.

 

1954:

 

January 11: Wilbur Snyder defeated Mr. Moto at Hollywood Legion Stadium in California to win the International Television Title.

 

December 22: In Tokyo, Japan, a former sumo wrestler named Rikidozan defeated Masahiko Kimura to become the first All-Japan Professional Wrestling Champion.

 

1955:

 

August 5: Pepper Gomez defeated Mr. Moto in Houston, Texas to win the NWA Texas Heavyweight Title for the first time.

 

1956:

 

April 7: Wilbur Snyder defeated Verne Gagne in Chicago, Illinois to win the NWA United States Heavyweight Title, ending Gange's 31 month reign as champion.

 

November 26: The first Madison Square Garden show promoted by Vince McMahon Sr. drew a dismal 10,400 to see Antonio Rocca and Dick the Bruiser.

 

1957:

 

February 4: A sellout crowd of 19,300 at Madison Square Garden witnessed a match between Antonio Rocca and Verne Gagne against Hans Schmidt and Karl Von Hess.

 

April 1: Danny Hodge appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

 

June 14: Eduard Carpentier defeated Lou Thesz in Chicago, Illinois when Thesz was injured and was unable to wrestle in the third fall. Carpentier is announced as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion in the building, but the NWA still recognizes Lou Thesz as the champion. A number of mid-western promoters recognize Carpentier as World Champion, creating a first crack in the NWA World Title being seen as the undisputed title in wrestling.

 

October 7: Lou Thesz faced Rikidozan in Tokyo, Japan for the first ever NWA World Heavyweight Title Match held in Japan. The match ended in a draw.

 

November 11: Ray Stevens defeated Tor Yamata to win the Southern Junior Heavyweight Title in Birmingham, Alabama.

 

1958:

 

April 12: Verne Gagne defeated Dick The Bruiser to win the NWA United States Heavyweight Title for the second time in Chicago, Illinois.

 

June 5: Dory Funk Jr. defeated Angelo Salvodi to win the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title in Amarillo, Texas.

 

August 27: Rikidozan defeated Lou Thesz for the NWA International Heavyweight Title in Los Angeles, California. The NWA International Title is part of All-Japan's Triple Crown.

 

1959:

 

Bruno Sammartino made his professional wrestling debut.

 

February 13: Dory Dixon defeated Al Kashey for the NWA World Light-Heeavyweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico. The title is one of the most prestigous title in Mexico.

 

April 28: Danny Hodge was Knocked Out by Nino Valdes in Witchita, Kansas. Hodge then announced his retirement from boxing.

 

October 7: "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers faced "Jersey" JoeWalcott in a "wrestler-vs-boxer" match at The Forum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

 

1960:

 

May 13: Rikidozan defeated Leo Nomellini in Tokyo, Japan to win the second annual World League Singles Tournament.

 

May 27: Eduard Carpentier defeated Lou Thesz in Los Angeles, California to retain the WWA World Heavyweight Title.

 

July 22: Danny Hodge defeated Angelo Savoldi for the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

 

September 30: Shohei "Giant" Baba and Antonio Inoki made their wrestling debut in Tokyo, Japan for the Japanese Wrestling Association.

 

1961:

 

March 4: Promoter Ray Shire presented his first wrestling card in San Francisco, California famed Cow Palace.

 

June 12: Fred Blassie defeated Eduard Carpentier in Los Angeles, California to win the WWA World Heavyweight Title.

 

October 17: Jackie Fargo and Lester Welch defeated Great Mephisto and Dante to win the Southern Tag Team Titles in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

1962:

 

Ray Stevens performed a "Bombs Away" drop from a ladder onto Pepper Gomez' throat injuring him.

 

March 28: Rikidozan defeated Fred Blassie at the Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium to win the WWA World Heavyweight Title. He was the first Japanese to win a major United States title.

 

April 27: Dick Beyer dons the mask as "The Destroyer" and defeated Seymour Koenig in San Diego, California.

 

August 2: Bruno Sammartino was awarded the NWA World Heavyweight Title after defeating Buddy Rogers in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, but refused to accept the title because Rogers wrestled with an injury.

 

November 7: Gorgeous George lost in a "hair-vs-hair" match to the Destroyer at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.

 

1963:

 

January 24: Lou Thesz defeated NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Buddy Rogers, in one fall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for the title. Shortly after, promoters from the Northeast broke away from the NWA to form the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF), later renamed the World Wrestling Federation. WWWF Promoters continued to recognize Rogers as World Champion.

 

February 7: NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Lou Thesz, defeated Buddy Rogers in a return two-out-of-three falls match in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

April 15: Lou Thesz defeated "Jersey" Joe Walcott in the fourth round of a "wrestler-vs-boxer" match.

 

May 19: The Destroyer defeated Rikidozan in Osaka, Jaoan in one of the most famous matches in Japanese wrestling history and becomes an instant legend in Japan. It's the last singles match Rikidozan would lose.

 

October 15: Bobo Brazil vs. Tino Tim Anderson marks the first professional wrestling match involving black wrestlers in Tampa, Florida.

 

December 15: The father of Japanese pro wrestling, Rikidozan, died from stab wounds that he suffered on December 8th. His last singles match was successfully defending the NWA International Title against the Destroyer on December 4th in Osaka, Japan.

 

1964:

 

Andre The Giant and Mil Mascaras made their pro wrestling debuts.

 

March 11: Antonio Inoki made his pro wrestling debut in Honolulu, Hawaii.

 

May 12: Toyonobori defeated Gene Kiniski in Tokyo, Japan to win the sixth annual JWA World League Tournament. Toyonobori is the first wrestler other than Rikidozan to win the tournament.

 

1965:

 

Jack Brisco, representing Oklahoma State, captures the NCAA Wrestling title in the 191-Pound class.

 

June 5: Jack Brisco made his wrestling debut by defeating Terry Garvin in Okalhoma City, Oklahoma.

 

November 24: Giant Baba defeated Dick The Bruiser in Tokyo, Japan to win the NWA International Heavyweight Title. The title had been vacated since the death of Rikidozan.

 

1966:

 

February 24: Tarzan Tyler defeated Bob Orton Sr. to win the Southern Heavyweight Title in Jacksonville, Florida.

 

October 14: Lou Thesz defeated Buddy Austin in Los Angeles, California to win the WWA World Hravyweight Title. It would be the last title Thesz would win in the United States.

 

1967:

 

July 15: In a WWWF Heavyweight Title vs. United States Heavyweight Title Match, Ray Stevens defeated Bruno Samartino un San Francisco, California by Count Out after delivering his "bombs away" move. Steven claims to be the WWWF Champion, but the WWWF does not recognize him since rules states that a WWWF title cannot change hands on a Count Out.

 

October 31: Giant Baba and Antonio inoki defeated Bill Watts and Tarzan Tyler in Osaka, Japan to win the NWA International Tag Team Titles.

 

November 11: Bearcat Wright eliminates Ray Stevens to win the first famous battle royal at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, California.

 

1968:

 

February 19: In the main event of the first wrestling card in the "new" Madison Square Garden, Bruno Sammartino defeated Bull Ramos in New York City, New York.

 

May 17: Giant Baba defeated Killer Kowalski win their 10th annual JWA World League Tournament.

 

1969:

 

August 4: Fritz Von Erich defeated Johnny Valentine in Fort Worth, Texas to win the NWA American Heavyweight Title.

 

December 2: In the first NWA World Heavyweight Title match in Japan in 12 years, Dory Funk Jr. and Antonio Inoki wrestled to a 60-minute draw.

 

1971:

 

Bob Backlund captures the NCAA Division II 190-pound amateur wrestling championship at North Dakota State.

 

March 26: Antonio Inoki defeated John Tolos in Los Angeles, California to become the NWA United National Heavyweight Champion. The belt is part of All-Japan's Triple Crown.

 

May 18: Andre the Giant wins the annual IWA round-robin tournament in Japan. Karl Gotch and Billy Robinson tied for second.

 

June 1: Andre the Giant made his Canadian debut at Verdun in Quebec, Canada.

 

1972:

 

Ken Patera represents the United States at the Olympic Games in super-heavyweight weightlifting.

 

March: Japan-based New Japan Pro Wrestling is formed. The top stars during that time are Antonio Inoki, Osamu Kido, and Tatsumi Fujinami.

 

September 16: Harley Race defeated Pak Song in Saint Louis, Missouri to win the NWA Missouri State Heavyweight Title.

 

October: Japan-based All-Japan Pro Wrestling is formed. Featuring stars such as Shohei "Giant" Baba, Matoshi Okuma, Akio Sato, and Mitsuo Mamata.

 

December 18: Mil Mascaras becomes the first masked wrestler to compete in Madison Square Garden. He defeated The Spoiler, who had been previously been denied the right to compete with his mask in New York.

 

December 19: Giant Baba defeated The Destroyer in Niigata, Japan. In a stipulation, the Destroyer agreed to become one of Baba's partners and wrestle full-time in Japan. He would spend the next five-years as the first American wrestler to wrestle full-time in Japanese history.

 

1973:

 

Giant Baba won the All-Japan PWF World Heavyweight Title. The title is part of All-Japan's Triple Crown.

 

February 27: Giant Baba completes a series of 10 matches with a record of 8 wins, 0 loses, and 2 draws, against Bruno Sammartino (one win, one draw), Terry Funk, Abdullah The Butcher, The Destroyer, Wilbur Snyder (one win, one draw), Don Leo Johnathan, Pat O'Connor, and Bobo Brazil.

 

March: Hacksaw Jim Duggan captures the New York State high school wrestling championhip in the 250-Pound Division.

 

May 18: Bill Watts defeated Mr. Wrestling II in Atlanta, Georgia to win the NWA Georgia Heavyweight Title.

 

December 10: Antino Inoki defeated Johnny Powers in Tokyo, Japan to win the NWF World Heavyweight Title. The NWF title becomes New Japan's top title prior to the creation of the IWGP title.

 

1975:

 

May 9: Bruno Sammartino and Giant Baba meet in Tokyo, Japan with sammartino putting his WWWF Heavyweight Title and Baba putting up his PWF Heavyweight Title. It was the first time ever a WWWF Heavyweight Title match held in Japan, and ends in a no-decision.

 

October 4: Ric Flair suffers a broken back when a Cesna 310 he is riding in crashes in Wilmington, North Carolina. Also on the plane was Johnny Valentine and Bob Bruggers. Doctors says Flair will never wrestle again.

 

1976:

 

"Bad News" Allen Coage wins a bronze medal in judo for the United States in the Olympic Games.

 

March 17: Danny Hodge suffers a broken neck in a car accident newar Monroe, Louisiana and never wrestled again.

 

April 26: Bruno Sammartino suffers a broken neck at the hands of Stan Hansen at Madison Square Garden in New York.

 

May 24: Ric Flair defeated Wahoo McDaniel in Charlotte, North Carolina for the NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title. The match stipulated that McDaniel would put up his title against Flair's hair.

 

June 25: Boxer Muhammad Ali and wrestler Antonio Inoki went to a 15-round draw in Tokyo, Japan.

 

December 25: Ric Flair wins his first NWA World Title when he teamed with Greg Valentine to defeat Gene and Ole Anderson in Greensboro, North Carolina for the NWA World Tag Team Titles.

 

1977:

 

September 25: El Canek defeated Lou Thesz in Mexico City, Mexico to win the UWA World Heavyweight Title. It was the last major title Thesz would ever hold, remarkably 40 years after winning his first World Heavyweight Title.

 

September 26: Bob Backlund made his Madison Square Garden debut in New York.

 

December 15: Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk defeated Abdullah The Butcher and The Sheik in Tokyo, Japan in a wild match to win the first annual World Tag League tournament. The match turned the Funks into fan favorites in Japan.

 

1978:

 

January 23: Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Jose Estrada at Madison Square Garden in New York to win the WWWF World Junior Heavyweight Title.

 

October 6: NWA World Hreavyweight Champion, Harley Race bodyslams Andre The Giant.

 

1979:

 

Brad Rhenigans, who would later win the AWA World Tag Team Titles with Ken Patera, won the World Cup in Greco-Roman wrestling.

 

January: Bruiser Brody causes a sensation during his first tour of All-Japan.

 

April: The WWWF (World Wide Wrestling Federation) drops the "W" to become known as the "World Wrestling Federation."

 

July 8: "Nature Boy" Ric Flair uses the figure-four leglock to defeat "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers in Greensboro, North Carolina.

 

August 26: Bitter promotional rivals, Antonio Inoki and Giant Baba, set aside their differences for one night to team up and defeat Abdullah The Butcher and Tiger Jeet Singh in an all-star dream match held in Tokyo, Japan.

 

November 30: Antonio Inoki pinned Bob Backluns in Tokushima, Japan to win the WWF World Heavyweight Title. The title change was not recognized in the United States by the World Wrestling Federation.

 

1980:

 

Tatsumi Fujinami, WWWF World Junior Heavyweight Champion, defeated Steve Keirn in Sapporo, Japan to win the NWA International Junior Heavyweight Title.

 

February 8: Stan Hansen defeated Antonio Inoki in Tokyo, Japan to win the NWF World Heavyweight Title. It was the first major Japanese title Hansen has won.

 

April: Ken Patera defeated Pat Patterson on April 21st for the WWF Intercontinental Title and then defeated Kevin Von Erich on April 25th for the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Title.

 

Agust 3: The "Last Tango in Tampa" main event was Harley Race successfully defending the NWA World Heavyweight Title against Dusty Rhodes in a Best-two-out-of-three falls. Fritz Von Erich was the special referee.

 

August 9: Bruno Sammartino defeated Larry Zbyszko in the main event of a steel cage match at New York's Sheas Stadium. Also on the card, Andre the Giant pinned Hulk Hogan, Bob Backlund and Pedro Morales won the WWF World Tag Team Titles from the Samoans, and WWF Intercontinental Champion Ken Patera lost to Tony Atlas by Count Out.

 

1981:

 

April 23: The original Tiger Mask (Sataru Sayama) made his debut in New Japan by defeatin Dynamite Kid.

 

April 30: Dory Funk Jr. defeated Bruiser Brody and Terry Funk to win the vacant NWA International Title in Matsudo, Japan.

 

May 2: Killer Kahn leapt off the top rope onto Andre the Giant during a match in Rochester, New York breaking his ankle in the process.

 

May 10: AWA World Heavyweight Champion, Verne Gagne, successfully defended his title against Nick Bockwinkle and retired from wrestling.

 

May 10: Stan Hansen defeated Hulk Hogan in Tokyo, Japan in New Japan's annual MSG Singles Tournament.

 

June 7: Terry Taylor defeated Les Thorton in Roanoke, Virginia to win the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title. Thorton would regain the belt two weeks later in the same city.

 

September 23: Andre the Giant and Stan Hansen wrestled in a wild brawl in one of the most anticipated matches in the year.

 

December 13: In one of the most surprising stories of the year, Stan Hansen jumps from New Japan to All-Japan.

 

December 21: Andre the Giant is the subject of a profile in Sports Illustrated, up to that time it was one of the largest profiles of any individual athlete ever.

 

1982:

 

Steve Williams, at one time a senior at Oklahoma, loses in the NCAA finals to Bruce Baumgartner, who then went on to the 1984 Olympic Games and won a gold medal for the United States.

 

WTBS changes their wrestling television program from "Georgia Championship Wrestling" to "World Championship Wrestling."

 

May: The originial Tiger Mask won both the NWA and WWF World Junior Heavyweight Titles on consecutive nights. First on May 25th by defeating Les Thorton in Shizuoka, Japan for the NWA title and on May 26th by defeating Black Tiger for the WWF title in Osaka, Japan.

 

June: Vince McMahon Jr. and Titan Sports purchased Capitol Wrestling Corporation (WWF) from his father and its shareholders.

 

June 28: In one of the most memorable and dramatic moments in Madison Square Garden, Jimmy Snuka performed his "Superfly" leap from the top of the steel cage onto Bob Backlund in a WWF World Title match. Snuka missed and Backlund left the cage and retained the title.

 

July 4: WWF World Champion, Bob Backlund, and NWA World Champion, Ric Flair faced off at the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia. The bout ended in a Double-Disqualification.

 

July 29: Comedian Andy Kaufman and wrestler Jerry "The King" Lawler appeared on Late Night with Dave Letterman show. Kaufman, who was wearing a neck brace due to an injury he sustained in a match against Lawler, gets into an obscened-laced shouting match against Lawler and then threw Letterman's coffee on Lawer. The story made national headlines all over the country.

 

December 25: Kerry Von Erich battled NWA World Champion Ric Flair in a steel cage match in Dallas, Texas with Michael Hayes serving as special referee. With Von Erich and Flair dazed in the ring, Michael Hayes dragged Von Erich on top of Flair and counted to three. Von Erich didn't want to win the title that way and Hayes called him an "idiot." Von Erich tried to leave the cage, but Terry Gordy slammed the door into Von Erich's head igniting a Freebirds-Von Erichs feud in Texas.

 

1983:

 

March 20: Larry Zbyszko paid Killer Tm Brooks $25,000 for the NWA National Heavyweight Title. NWA President Bob Geigel strips Zbyszko of the title.

 

June 2: Hulk Hogan defeated Antonio Inoki for the first IWGP World Heavyweight Title.

 

July 15: Ric Flair defeatede David Von Erich in the finals of a 20-man tournament final to win the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Title. Harley Race vacated the title after winning the NWA World Heavyweight Title from Flair on June 10.

 

October 23: The Tommy Rich-Buzz Sawyer feud raged on for more than 18 months into a bloody climax at "The Last Battle of Atlanta" cage match in the Omni, Atlanta, Georgia. Tommy Rich won that match.

 

November 24: The first StarrCade card was held in Greensboro, North Carolina in front of a crowd of 15,447 in the Greensboro Coliseum and joined about 30,000 via closed-circuit television throughout the Mid-Atlantic. In the main event, Ric Flair defeated Harley Race to capture his second NWA World Heavyweight Title.

 

1984:

 

January 22: Two-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Bronko Nagurski, is given the honor of tossing the coin at the start of Super Bowl XVIII in Tampa, Florida.

 

January 24: Hulk Hogan defeated The Iron Sheik at Madison Square Garden to win the WWF World Heavyweight Title and "Hulkamania" was born.

 

February 7: Dynamite Kid defeated The Cobra in Tokyo, Japan to win the vacant WWF World Junior Heavyweight Title. The Dynamite Kid defeated Davey Boy Smith in the semi-finals of the tournament. Some historians say that this was one of the greatest junior heavyweight tournaments in wrestling history.

 

March: Ric Flair and Harley Race exchanged the NWA World Heavyweight Title in the South Pacific several times, but was never acknolwedged by the NWA. Race defeated Flair in Wellington, New Zealand on March 21st, while Flair regained the title in Kallang, Singapore on March 23rd. The NWA finally recognized those changes in the 1990's.

 

April: Japan-based UWF is formed at the time with such stars as Akira Maeda, Yoshiaki Fujiwara, Nobuhiko Takada, and Rusher Kimura.

 

April 6: Ken Patera and Mr. Saito threw a 30-Pound boulder through the window of a McDonald's in Waukesha, Winsconsin when they were refused service after hours.

 

April 25: Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen won All-Japan's tournament to crown PWF Tag Team Champions.

 

May 29: The first card of NWA wresrling in the New York area in 20 years, dubbed "The Night of Champions," is held in New Jersey's Byrne Meadowlands Arena.

 

June 14: Antonio Inoki defeated Hulk Hogan to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Title.

 

July 14: The WWF takes over the NWA's airtime on Atlanta's WTBS World Championship Wrestling. Hundreds of complaints were received. NWA wrestling was quickly reinstated on TBS on Saturday mornings and was returned to the Saturday evening tim slot about nine months later.

 

September: JWP (Japanese Wrestling Promotions) is formed and is affiliated with All-Japan.

 

December 28: The Cobra defeated Black Tiger in Madison Square Garden to win the vacant WWF World Junior Heavyweight Title.

 

1985:

 

February 18: "The War to Settle the Score" is broadcasted live on MTV. The main event was Roddy Piper defeating WWF World Champion, Hulk Hogan, by Disqualification when Mr. T and Cindi Lauper interfered.

 

February 21: ABC airs an installment of 20/20 during which "Doctor D" David Schultz hirs reporter John Stossel in the ears. Stossel sued the WWF and received $280,000 from the WWF.

 

March 9: The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) made their Tokyo wrestling debut and became an instant hit in Japan.

 

March 10: Bill Watts' Mid-South Wrestling made its debut, but only lasted for a few months.

 

March 28: Richard Belzer is injured when Hulk Hogan drops him to the floor while demonstrating a front facelock during a broadcast of Belzer's cable TV show, Hot Properties. He received nine stiches in his head and received an undisclosed amount of money in a lawsuit.

 

Marh 31: The first WrestleMania card is held in Madison Square Garden in New York City, The card was made available to 135 closed-circuit locations, drawing estimated viewership of 400,000. In the main event, Hulk Hogan and Mr. T defeated Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff when Hogan pinned Orndorff.

 

April: In need of revenue, Vince McMahon Jr. sold his WTBS timeslot to Jim Crockett Promotions for $1 million.

 

April 11: Bruiser Brody jumps from All-Japan to New Japan.

 

April 18: Bruiser Brody wrestled Antonio Inoki in his first singles match for New Japan at Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

 

April 29: Hulk Hogan appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated, next to the swimsuit issue, it was the magazine's best seller.

 

May 11: Professional wrestling returns to network television after a 34-year abscence as WWF's "Saturday Night's Main Event" premeirs on NBC. In the main event, WWF World Champion, Hulk Hogan, battled Bob Orton, with Roddy Piper, Mr. T, and Paul Orndorff at ringside.

 

June 5: Steve Williams received 108 stitches in his right eye following a match against Brad Armstrong in Shreveport, Louisiana. He wrestled again hours after being stitched up.

 

August 22: Mike Von Erich is operated on at Granville C. Morton Cancer and Research Hospital in Dallas, Texas for an injured shoulder, He was released four days later with no apparent complications, but was reamitted a day later with 105-Degree fever. His temperature soared to 107-Degrees as he begins a month long battle against Toxic Shock Syndrome.

 

August 27: ESPN airs wrestling for the first time as it begins airing AWA wrestling shows.

 

September 2: A Florida-based show "Battle of the Belts" aired on free television throughout Florida, Bostton, Dallas, and Charlotte.

 

October 8: New York State Senator Abraham Bernstein opens hearing to ban professional wrestling in New York.

 

November 19: Lex Luger captures the NWA Southern Heavyweight Title from Wahoo McDaniel in Tampa, Florida in less than three weeks after making his professional wrestling debut.

 

December 12: Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura defeated Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi to win the annual New Japan tag team tournament to become the first IWGP Tag Team Champions.

 

1986:

 

February: Dallas-based World Class Championship Wrestling secedes from the NWA.

 

February 6: Shiro Koshinaka defeated The Cobra in the finals of New Japan's tournament to crown the first IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.

 

February 7: WTBS airs the first prime-time wrestling card, "Superstars on the SuperStation," more than two years before the first Clash of the Champions.

 

March 1: MTV airs the WWF's first-ever "Slammy" awards program.

 

April 19: The SuperDome in New Orleans, Louisiana hosts the first Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament Cup. The Road Warriors won the 24-team tournament by defeating Magnum TA and Ronnie Garvin in the finals for the cup and check for $1 million.

 

May: The Four Horsemen are formed consisting of Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Ole and Arn Anderson with manager James J. Dillon.

 

June 4: Kerry Von Erich was severly injured in a motorcycle accident in Argyle, Texas. He suffered a dislocated hip, and severely injured his knee and ankle.

 

June 17: Antonio Inoki defeated Andre the Giant by submission in Nagoya, Japan.

 

October 9: Antonio Inoki defeated former World Boxing Heavyweight Champion, Leon Spinks in the eighth-round of a "wrestler-vs-boxer" match in Tokyo, Japan in front of a sellout crowd of 11,520.

 

October 14: Magnum TA was severly injured in a car accident in Charlotte, North Carolina damaging his vertebrae resulting in extensive surgery and physical therapy. Remarkably, he beat the odds to survive and walk again.

 

December 13: Dynamite Kid collapses due to a severe back injury during a match in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

 

1987:

 

February: Riki Coshu decided to jump back to New Japan from All-Japan. Masa Saito, Kuniaki Kobayashi, Super Strong Machine, and Hiro Saito follw Coshu to New Japan. Yoshiaki Yatsu, Coshu's regular tag team partner, stays with All-Japan.

 

March 1: Two-time former WWF World Heavyweight Champion, Bruno Sammartino, is inducted into the Italian-American sports Hall of Fame at a banquet in his long-time residence, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

March 12: The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) defeated Jumbo Tsturuta and Genichiro Tenryu in Tokyo, Japan to win the NWA International Tag Team Titles, at this time the titles were the oldest and most prestigeous titles in Japan.

 

April 9: Jim Corckett Promotions purchases the Universal Wrestling Federation, headed by Bill Watts.

 

April 10-11: The Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland hosts the second Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Cup Tournament. Dusty Rhodes and Nikita Koloff defeated Tully Blanchard and Lex Luger in the finals of the 24-team tournament and captured the cup and $1 million check.

 

April 27: Jerry Lawler and Austin Idol battled to a "hair-vs-hair" cage match for the Southern Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennesee. Tommy Rich helped Austin Idol to win the match and cut Lawler's hair, which caused a near riot in the Mid-South Coliseum.

 

May 26: Hacksaw Jim Duggan and The Iron Sheik were arrested by New Jersey state police. Duggan was charged with possession of marijuana and DUI while the Sheik was arrested for possession of cocaine and marijuana.

 

November 19: Akira Maeda takes a cheap shot at Riki Coshu's face by breaking his orbital bone with a kick to the face. Maeda never wrestled again for New Japan and reopened his UWF promotion.

 

December 27: Big Van Vader made his pro wrestling debut in Japan by defeating Antonio Inoki in less than three minutes and cause a near riot in Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan. On the undercard, Hiroshi Hase made his wrestling debut and defeated Kuniaki Kobayashi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title.

 

1988:

 

February 5: Wrestling returns to prime-time network teleivisions after a 33 year abscence with a broadcast of WWF's "The Main Event" on NBC. The show was taped from Indianapolis, Indiana where Andre The Giant ended Hulk Hogan's 4 year WWF World Title reign by beating him for the title.

 

March 27: Bruiser Brody defeated Jumbo Tsuruta to win the NWA International Heavyweight Title for the third time. It would be the final major title Brody would ever hold.

 

March 27: In the first-ever Clash of the Champions on TBS, Ric Flair and Sting battled to a 45-minute draw for the NWA World Heavyweight Title in Greensboro, North Carolina. On the same card, Lex Luger and Barry Windham defeated Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson to win the NWA World Tag Team titles.

 

March 27: Randy Savage defeated Ted DiBiase in a 14-man elimination tournament to win the WWF World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania 4 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

 

April 22-23: The third annual Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament Cup was held in Greenville, South Carolina and Greensboro, North Carolina. Sting and Lex Luger defeated Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard in the 24-team tournament to win the Cup and $1 million check.

 

June: In Japan, Jumbo Tsuruta and Yoshiaki Yatuse defeated Gneichir Tenryu and Ashura Hara to win the PWF Tag Team Titles on June 6th in Sapporo and they defeated the Road Warriors for the NWA International Tag Team Titles on June 10th in Tokyo. They become the first All-Japan Unified World Tag Team Champions.

 

July 16: Bruiser Brody was stabbed to death in the showers of Bayoman Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Jose Gonzales is charged with the murder, but later acquitted.

 

July 27: Riki Coshu pinned Antonio Inoki in Sapporo, Japan.

 

October 17: Forbes Magazine reports that the World Wrestling Federation was worth $100 million.

 

November: Ted Turner purchases NWA cornerstone Jim Crockett Promotions, then renamed the organization World Championship Wrestling.

 

November 7: Titan Sports promotes its first ever non-wrestling PPV event, a boxing match between Sugar Ray Leonard and Donny Lalonde.

 

December 13: Stan Hansen and Terry Gordy defeated Genichiro Tenryu and Toshiaki Kawada to will All-Japan's annual tag team tournament and the vacant All-Japan World Tag Team Titles.

 

 

 

1989:

 

April 18: NWA International Champion, Jumbo Tsuruta, defeated PWF and NWA United National Champion, Stan Hansen, in Tokyo, Japan to become the first All-Japan Triple Crown Champion.

 

May 25: Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Shiro Koshinaka in Osaka, Japan to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title for the first time.

 

June 6: Genichiro Tenryu defeated Jumbo Tsuruta to win the All-Japan Triple Crown in Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Some say it was the Japanese Wrestling Match of the Year.

 

July 4: Davey Boy Smith, Jason the Terrible, and Cris Benoit were injured in an automibile accident in Jasper, Alberta, Canada. Smith suffered a crack vertebra in his back and needed 100 stitches in his head. Jason the Terrible suffered two fractures in his leg and Chris Benoit suffered an injured knee.

 

November 22: Big Van Vader defeated El Canek in Mexico City, Mexico to win the UWA World Heavyweight Title. He becomes the first wrestler to hold three major titles on three different continents. The IWGP Heavyweight Title (Asia), the CWA Heavyweight Title (Europe), and the UWA Heavyweight Title (North America).

 

November 28: Veteran NWA referee Tommy Young suffered a career-ending neck and back injuries while officiating a match between Mike Rotundo and Tommy Rich at Center Stage in Atlanta, Georiga.

 

November 29: Akira Maeda's UWF promotion draws a sellout 60,000 fans in the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.

 

1990:

 

February 6: Sting suffers a ruptured left patella tendon at Clash of the Champions X. He was forced to bow out of the upcoming title match against Ric Flair, and Lex Luger took his place.

 

February 10: Rival promotions New Japan and All-Japan work together for only the second time. The result was a sold out crowd of 63,900 fans, paying $3.2 million. The main event was Big Van Vader retaining his IWGP Heavyweight Title against Stan Hansen by fighting to a Double Count Out.

 

April 13: All-Japan, New Japan, and WWF put on a combined show at the Tokyo Dome. The top matches were Hulk Hogan defeated Stan Hansen and Genichiro Tenryu defeated Randy Savage.

 

May 14: After nearly six years as the second Tiger Mask, Mitsuharu Misawa, takes off his mask in the middle of a tag team match revealing his identity.

 

June 8: A new superstar is born at Tokyo's Budokan Hall as Mitsuharu Misawa defeated All-Japan's top star, Jumbo Tsuruta. Stan Hansen defeated Terry Gordy to win All-Japan's Triple Crown for the fourth time in his career.

 

July 4: Brutus Beefcake suffered massive facial injuries in a parasailing accident in Lutz, Florida as the knees of a parasailer crahsed into his head. He undergoes 8 1/2 hours if surgery during which eight steel plates, 40 screws, and more than 100 staples were insterted into his head.

 

September: Tully Blanchard announces his retirement form wrestling and devoted his life to the ministry.

 

September 1: Eddie Gilbert, driving his brother's car, attempts to run down Jerry Lawler during a broadcast of USWA Championship Wrestling. Lawler saved USWA matchmaker Eddie Marlin from Gilbert. Lawler only suffered a bruised hip during the incident.

 

November 6: Jesse Ventura is elected mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota by defeating 18-year incumbent Jim Krautkremer.

 

December 26: Lou Thesz, 74, defeated his former student Masahiro Chono, 27, in a New Japan card in Hamamatsu, Japan. In the main event, Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Riki Coshu regained the IWGP Heavyweight Title.

 

1991:

 

March 21: New Japan and WCW hels a joint show that drew 64,000 fans at the Tokyo Dome. The main event was IWGP Heavyweight Champion, Tatsumi Fujinami, pinning NWA World Hevyweight Champion, Ric Flair, in a double title match to "win" the NWA World title. In Japan, Fujinami was recognized as the NWA World Champion, while in the United States, WCW disputed the finish. In the summer of 1991, the NWA board officially recognized the title change and Flair regained the title from Fujinami on May 19th in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

 

June 12: Scott Steiner's left biceps tendon was torn from the bone when he was attacked by Dick Slater and Dick Murdoch after a successful IWGP Tag Team Title match against Hiroshi Hase and Masahiro Chono ar Clash of the Champions XV.

 

June 27: Dr. George T. Zahhorian, a physician who formerly served as ringside physician at WWF events in Pennsylvania, is convicted of 12 of 14 courts od selling anabolic steroids to four pro wrestlers and a weightlifter in a tiral held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

 

July 2: In of the most shocking events of the decade, Ric Flair quits or was fired by WCW.

 

July 16: At a press conference in New York, Vince McMahon announces that the WWF wrestlers will now undergo mandatory testing for anabolic steroids as part of its anti-drug policy.

 

August 3: Cactus Jack and Eddie Gilbert wrestled to a best-of-three falls series in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The first match was a Falls Count Anywhere match, the second was a stretcher-match, and the third was a cage match.

 

August 11: Masahiro Chono wins New Japan's first Grade One (G1) tournmant by defeating The Great Muta (Keiji Muto) in the finals in Tokyo, Japan. Chono defeated Riki Coshu, Bam Bam Bigelow, and Shinya Hashimoto on the way to the finals.

 

August 26: After the SummerSlam PPV, Jake Roberts and The Under crash the "reception" on Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth leading to a heated and twisted feud. At one point, Savage was bitten on the arm by Roberts' cobra. The feud climaxes when Randy Savage defeated Jake Roberts at "Tuesday in Texas" PPV event on December 3rd in San Antonio, Texas.

 

September 8: The NWA Board strips Ric Flair of recognition as NWA World Heavyweight Champion.

 

September 10: Ric Flair wrestled in his first match in the WWF by defeating Jim Powers by submission in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada.

 

October 23: The first-ever match between Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair took place in Dayton, Ohio. Flair wins the match by Count Out.

 

December 6: Dynamite Kid, a legend in Japan and well known in the United States, announced his retirement from wrestling during a ring ceremony in Budikan, Japan. Also on the card, Terry Gordy and Steve Williams become the first time to win All-Japan's annual tag team tournament in consecutive years.

 

1992:

 

January 20: Dino Bravo wrestled in his last match before retiring against the Barbarian at the Forum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

 

February 8: Kerry Von Erich was arrested in Richardson, Texas for attempting to falsify two drug perscriptions. He was released on $6,000 bond.

 

March 2: Two top-ranking WWF officials, Pat Patterson and Terry Garvin, resign their position on the heels of allegations of sexual misconduct leveled by former WWF employees.

 

March 13: Vince McMahon appeared on Larry King Live on CNN to address the allegations of sexual misconduct and steroid abuse.

 

March 16: The WWF denies allegations of sexual misconduct within its organization and promises to conduct its own investigation on the charges.

 

April 4: The USA Network debuts, WBF BodyStars from Titan Sports. A weekly program about bodybuilding featuring former WCW World Champion, Lex Luger. The show became a ratings failure.

 

May 30: After 68 years in the wrestling business, Don Owens relenquishes control of Pacific Northwest and says goodbye.

 

September 2: WCW's Clash of the Champions XX celebrates 20 years of wrestling on TBS. It also marks the last United States appearance of Andre The Giant.

 

October 1: Kerry Von Erich is sentenced on six felony counts of perscription forgery. He receives a 10-year suspended sentence, 10 years of supervised probation, and a $6,000 fine.

 

October 30: Eric Embry suffers badly bruised liver and severe ligament and cartilage damage to his left knee when his car an of the road in Beaver Dam, Kentucky.

 

December 14: The Hellraisers (Road Warrior Hawk and Kensuke Sasaki) defeated Scott Norton and Tony Halme to win the IWGP Tag Team Titles in Tokyo, Japan. Road Warrior Hawk was won tag team titles from five promotions: All-Japan, New Japan, AWA, WWF, and the NWA.

 

1993:

 

January 4: WAR's Genichiro Tenryu defeated New Japan's Riki Coshu in the main event of New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome Show. Also, The Great Muta (Keiji Muto) defeated Masahiro Chono in a title-vs-title match to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Title.

 

January 29: The WWF donates $100,000 to relief efforts in Somalia during a ceremony at Madison Square Garden.

 

February 21: Ric Flair returns to WCW at SuperBrawl III in Ashville, North Carolina after competing in the WWF for 18 months.

 

April 30: AAA draws 48,000 fans to Plaza de Toros in Mexico City, Mexico for Triple Mania. In the main event, Cien Caras wins a retirement match over Konnan due to the interference of Jake Roberts.

 

May 28: Riki Coshu suffers a broken bone around the rim if is right eye as the result of a Kengo Kimura elbowdrop during a match in Tokyo, Japan.

 

June 12: Jushin Thunder Liger suffered a broken left leg in a match against 2 Cold Scorpio in Chigasaki, Japan.

 

July 4: Lex Luger bodyslams Yokozuna on the deck of the USS Intrepid in New York City.

 

August 28: The Mexico-based AAA organization runs a card at the Los Angeles Sports Arena that draws a sellout of 16,742 fans. The main event was Konnan defeating Cien Caras and Jake Roberts in a triangle match.

 

October 28: An early-morning brawl at the Moat House Hotel in Blackburn, England, takes place between Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson. Both men were rushed to a local hospital. Anderson received 20 stab wounds from a pair of scissors while Vicious suffered 4 punctured wounds.

 

November 18: WWF Head Vince McMahon is indicted on charges of possession of anabolic steroids and conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids, facing up to eight years in prison and a $500,000 fine on both counts if convicted.

 

December 5: UWFi Heavyweight Champion, Nobuhiko Takada, forced WCW World Champion, Big Van Vader, to submit to a cross-arm breaker in a non-title match at Tokyo's Jingu Baseball Stadium. The match drew a sellout crowd of 46,168.

 

1994:

 

February 28: Jim Crockett holds a taping at the Manhattan Centerin New York for a new venutre entitled, World Wrestling Network. Stars appearing at the taping included Sabu, Terry Funk, Road Warrior Hawk, Public Enemy, Jake Roberts, Shane Douglas, and Missy Hyatt.

 

March 16: Two-thirds of Cactus Jack's right ear is severed when he became entangled in the ropes during a match in Germany against Big Van Vader.

 

April 13: Jesse Ventura was awarded $809,958 by a federal jury in Saint Paul, Minnesota, as the result of a lawsuit aginast Titan Sports. All but $8,625 was for royalties on videotapes which Ventura did color commentary. Ventura originally sought for $2 millinon in the case.

 

April 16: "Wild Pegasus" Chris Benoit wins the seven-promotion "Super J Cup" tournament at a sold out Sumo Hall in Tokyo, Japan. In the final match, Chris Benoit defeated Michinoku Pro's The Great Sasuke in the junior heavyweight match of the decade.

 

April 16: At Tokyo's Budokan Hall, Toshiaki Kawada defeated Steve Williams in the finals of All-Japan's annual Champions Carnival singles tournament.

 

April 29: Chad Austin, a jobber in the WWF, was paralyzed after a 1990 tag team match against the Rockers in Tampa, Florida. He was awarded $26.7 million in a lawsuit against the federation.

 

June 9: Fred Blassie, Bobo Brazil, James Dudley, Gorilla Monsoon, Buddy Rogers, Arnold Skalland, and Chief Jay Strongbow were inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame during ceremonies at the Omni Inner Harbor Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland.

 

June 11: Hulk Hogan signs with World Championship Wrestling.

 

July 5: The trial of WWF head Vnce McMahon on steroid distribution charges gets underway in Uniondale, New York.

 

July 22: Vince McMahon gets acquitted of conspiracy to distribute steroids to wrestlers following 16 hours of jury deliberation.

 

August 7: Masahiro Chono defeated Kensuke Sasaki in Tokyo, Japan to win New Japan's GI tournament championship in four years.

 

August 27: NWA Eastern Championship Wrestling renames itself "Extreme Championship Wrestling" when Shane Douglas won the NWA World Heavyweight Title tournament in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He threw down the NWA World title, picked up his ECW title and proclaimed himself ECW World Heavyweight Champion.

 

September 24: Jushin Thunder Liger breaks his leg in a tag team match and had to vacate his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title and was out of action for nearly 11 months.

 

December 3: After more than a decade in competing with the WWF, Randy Savage made his WCW debut on a live broadcast of WCW's "Saturday Night."

 

1995:

 

January 7: Tully Blanchard comes out of retirement to wrestle Shane Douglas for the ECW World Heavyweight Title in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The match ended in 60-minute draw.

 

January 24: Harley Races suffers a broken hip and two broken hands in a car accident in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

February 18: Eddie Gilbert dies of a heart attack in his apartment in Isla Verda, Puerto Rico. He was 33.

 

February 18: Roddy Piper makes a rare appearance at a wrestling card to presnt a commemorative plaque to longtime promoter, Don Owens in Portland, Oregon.

 

February 26: Smoky Mountain Wrestling shows signs of financial trouble when its supercard, "Sunday Bloody Sunday II" draws only 1,100 fans - less than a third of the 4,000 in the previous year.

 

March 13: Crush was arrested at his home in Kona, Hawaii after narcotics officers search his home and discovered 500 unites of anabolic steroids and several unregistered semi-automatic guns. He was released on $10,275 bail.

 

April 7: NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Dan Severn, wins the Ultimate Fighting Championship V in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

April 28: Aprroximately 150,000 attend a New Japan Pro Wrestling event in Korea, settingg an attendence record for one day as nearly 190,000 fans attend the second day of wrestling at the Korean cultural festival.

 

April 28 and 29: New Japan draws 320,00 fans over two nights to shatter the wrestling attendence record.

 

May 5: In Japan, FMW's Atsushi Onita retires after defeating Hayabusa at Kawasaki Baseball Stadium in front of 48,000 people.

 

May 13: The Boston Garden holds its last pro wrestling show ever, the WWF's "A Night to Remember."

 

June 9: Toshiaki Kawada and Akira Taue defeated Mitsuharu Misawa and Kenta Kobashi to win All-Japan's Unified World Tag Team Titles. The match was considered the Japanese Tag Team Match of the Year.

 

June 13: Chris Benoit wins New Japan's annual Super Juniors round-robin tournament for the second time by defeating Shinjiro Ohtani in Hiroshima, Japan.

 

June 24: The Grand Wizard, Fabulous Moolah, Antonio Rocca, Ivan Putski, George "The Animal" Steele, Pedro Morales, and Ernie Ladd are inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame.

 

July 12: WWF President Jack Tunney resigns from office.

 

July 22: The Ultimate Warrior wrestles his first match in more than two years before 2,000 fans in Las Vegas, Nevada. He defeated the Honky Tonk Man.

 

July 23: Hiroshi Hase is elected to the Japanese House of Councilors.

 

August 15: Keiji Muto defeated Shinya Hashimoto to win New Japan's G1 tournament.

 

August 20: Cactus Jack defeated Terry Funk to win the IWA King of the Death Matches tournaments at Kawasaki Stadium in Japan.

 

August 29: Big Van Vader and Paul Orndorff are involved in a locker room brawl at Atlanta's Center Stage Theater that results in Vader's suspension and eventual dismissal from the organization.

 

September 4: WCW debuts "Monday NITRO" live from the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. Lex Luger shocked the world by appearing on the show after wrestling for the WWF the previous night and challenged Hogan for the WCW World title the following weeek.

 

September 11: WCW wins the first head-to-head meeting of Monday NITRO vs. Monday Night RAW posting a 2.5 rating for NITRO to Raw's 2.2

 

September 11: Jesse Ventura scores a major victory in the United States Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit Court in Saint Paul, Minnesota, affirms an April 3, 1994, verdict awarding Jesse Ventura $809,958 in a lawsuit against the WWF over his participation in wrestling videotapes.

 

September 25: Ted Turner agrees to sell TBS and all its holdings including WCW, to Time Warner Inc, which would take control in 1996.

 

October 14: A sleeping Shawn Michaels is pulled out of a car in front of Club 37 in Syracuse, New York, and was beaten by several men, who flee the scene before police arrived.

 

October 28: Crush is sentenced to five years probation after pleading No Contest to 11 counts of drug and weapons charges.

 

October 28: A near riot occurs at ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when Cactus Jack brought a chair wrapped in a flaming towel that ignited parts of Terry Funk's clothing. Funk flingsthe towel into the crowd, the lights go out, fire extinguishers are squirteed toward the crowd, panic ensues.

 

October 29: Hulk Hogan pushes the Giant off the roof of Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan follwoing a monster truck battle.

 

October 29: Jimmy Hart, manaer and confidante of Hulk Hogan, turned against Hogan.

 

November 20: Shawn Michaels "collapsed" in the ring against Owen Hart in Richmond, Virginia.

 

November 26: Smoky Mountain Wrestling announces in Cookeville, Tennessee that it is closing down its operations.

 

December 9: Mitsuharu Misawa and Kenta Kobashi defeated top rivals Toshiaki Kawada and Akira Taue to become the first team to three-peat in All-Japan's annual tag team tournament.

 

December 13: Jushin Thunder Liger returns from a broken leg to win the secons Super J Cup in a one-night, multi-promotional juniors tournament. He defeated Ultimo Dragon in the semi-finals and Gedo in the finals.

 

 

1996:

 

January 5: Shane Douglas makes his triumphant return to ECW at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and made derrogatory remarks about the WWF.

 

January 22: Big Van Vader's second night in the WWF resulted in suspension after he attacked WWF President Gorilla Monsoon. Roddy Piper was named acting president while Monsoon recuperates.

 

January 23: The long-awaited reunion of the Road Warriors finally occured at WCW's Clash of the Champions in Las Vegas, Nevada. Elizabeth returns to the side of Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage temproarily.

 

February 3: The NWA held its innagural Eddie Gilbert Memorial Brawl in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

 

February 19: Days after announcung of a Razor Ramon-Goldust street fight at WrestleMania XII, Ramon receives six weeks suspension ofr "unprofessional conduct."

 

March 5: The WWF issues a statement that "Big Daddy Cool" Diesel (Kevin Nash) will be leaving for WCW. His last day with the WWF will be on June 6th.

 

March 11: Rick and Scott Steiner make a surprise return to WCW and challenged the Road Warriors on WCW Monday NITRO.

 

March 17: Diesel officially turns rulebreaker when he attacked his best friend, Shawn Michaels, in front of a sellout crowd in Madison Square Garden.

 

March 24: Diamond Dallas Page's wrestling career came to an end when he was defeated by the Booty Man at WCW's "Uncensored." In a stipulation, Page has to retire. He would come back several months later.

 

April 15: Brian Pillman suffers numerous injurues in a serious automibile accident in Kentucky.

 

May 18: After several years of wrestling as a rulebreaker in the WWF and a fan favorite in the USWA, Jerry Lawler finally turns rulebreaker in the USWA.

 

May 19: Diamond Dallas Page wins WCW's "Lord of the Ring" by winning the BattleBowl battle royal at WCW's Slamboree.

 

May 27: During the first two-hour Monday NITRO broadcast, Scott Hall (Razor Ramon) emerges fromm the audience to declare war on WCW.

 

May 28: Ted DiBiase is forced to leave the WWF due to prematch stipulation after his charge, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, loses a Carribean Strap Match to Savio Vega.

 

June 1: The first World Peace Festival, organized by Antonio Inoki, is held at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. It features wrestlers from promotions such as WCW, EMLL, AAA, and New Japan. The WWF chose not to send any wrestlers.

 

June 1: Brian Pillman, restricted to a wheelchair because of an ankle injury, make his first appearance in a wrestling arena since his April automobile accident when he shows up at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 

June 10: Brian Pillman signs with the WWF in an enventful and chaotic press conference at Titan Towers.

 

June 10: Kevin Nash (Diesel) returns to WCW at the side of Scott Hall and reveals himself to be the second of three "Outisders."

 

June 16: Scott Hall and Kevin Nash attacked Eric Bischoff at WCW's Great American Bash. Nash powerbombed Bischoff through a table.

 

June 16: The Four Horsement return to full-force when Steve McMichael attacked his partner, Kevin Greene, in a tag team match and joined the Horsemen.

 

June 29: Sid Vicious returns to wrestling and returns to the WWF (subsituting for the Ultimate Warrior) and defeated Owen Hart in Detroit, Michigan.

 

July 7: Hulk Hogan reveals himself to be the third "Outsider" when he joined Kevin Nash and Scott Hall in their main event match at WCW's Bash at the Beach agfainst Randy Savage, Sting, and Lex Luger. The group formally became known as the New World Order.

 

July 8: WWF President Gorilla Monsoon suspends the Ultimate Warrior for his failure to appear on several WWF house show cards. He never appeared in the WWF again.

 

July 13: Pit Bull I's neck broken in a match by Shane Douglas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 

July 22: Ahmed Johnson suffers a ruptured kidney after WWF newcomer Faarooq (Ron Simmons), with manager Sunny, sneaked attacked him during a live broadcast of WWF Monday Night RAW.

 

August 18: Paul Bearer turned against the Undertaket at SummerSlam in Cleveland, Ohio. Bearer's betrayal allows Mankind to defeat the Undertaker in a "Boiler Room Brawl."

 

August 19: The tournament for the WWF Intercontinental title begins after Ahmed Johnson was tripped of the belt due to injuries. Marc Mero would go on and win the title.

 

August 19: Ted DiBiase would make his first appearance on NITRO when he sits at ringside to observe the matches. He would later reveal himself as the "money man" of the nWo.

 

September 2: The Giant shocks WCW by joining the nWo just 23 days after losing the WCW World Title to Hulk Hogan.

 

September 6: Jim Ross confuses everyone when he announced on a special Friday edition of Monday Night RAW that Razor Ramon and Diesel have been negotiating a return to the World Wrestling Federation. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall deny the claim.

 

September 9: Millions of NITRO viewers witness what appears to be Sting attacking Lex Luger and driving off in a limosuine with the New World Order. Later, it would be revealed that it was an nWo replica of Sting.

 

September 16: Syxx (1-2-3 Kid, Sean Waltman) joins the nWo.

 

September 22: ECW makes it presence known at a WWF In Your House PPV when the Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, and Paul E. Dangerously buy ringside tickets. The three were escorted out of the building after the Sandman spit beer on Savio Vega.

 

September 23: For a second straight night, ECW wrestlers upset WWF Monday Night RAW as Taz and Bill Alfonso break the security barriers and taunt other wrestlers. Jim Ross lashes out WWF head Vince McMahon for firing him twice and introduces a new Razor Ramon and new Diesel.

 

October 7: Amidst speculation that he will join the nWo, Jeff Jarrett made his NITRO debut and aligns himself with WCW.

 

October 21: Bret Hart ends months of speculation and announces that he has turned down a lucrative offer from WCW to return to the WWF. A match with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, whom Hart and McMahon both call the best wrestler in the WWF, is immediately signed for Survivor Series.

 

October 22: The Smokin' Gunns officially break up when Billy attacks Bart in Cincinatti, Ohio.

 

October 27: Roddy Piper confronts WCW World Champion, Hulk Hogan, after his Halloween Havoc match against Randy Savage in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their old feud is rekindled as the two men argue who is the biggest icon.

 

November 4: After nearly four years in the same timeslot, WWF Monday Night RAW moves up to an hour earlier in an effort to boost ratings. The night features the infamous gun confrontation between Brian Pillman and Steve Austin.

 

November 16: The WWF inducts Captain Lou Albano, Killer Kowalski, Vince McMahon Sr., Pat Patterson, Johnny Rodz, Baron Mikel Scicluna, Jimmy Snuka, and Jimmy and Johnny Valiant into its Hall of Fame.

 

November 18: WCW Senior Vice President Eric Bischoff reveals his allegiance to the nWo by embracing Hulk Hogan on a live NITRO and watching the nWo attack Roddy Piper.

 

November 25: Eric Bischoff announces on NITRO that all WCW wrestlers have 30 days to convert their WCW contracts to nWo contracts or risk becoming targets of the nWo. Marcus Alexander Bagwell was first to sign up.

 

December 9: Ric Flair and Roddy Piper appear side by side on NITRO as Flair offers assitance to long-time rival in his feud with Hulk Hogan. Piper respectfully declines the offer.

 

December 29: Roddy Piper defeated Hulk Hogan by giving him his first clean loss since WrestleMania VI at StarrCade with a sleeperhold. After the match, Hogan, Hall, and Nash exchange angry words with the Giant, who failed to choke-slam Piper during the match.

 

December 30: The Giant is officially booted out of the nWo as the rest of the group attacks him under the orders of Hulk Hogan.

 

1997:

 

Janury 4: Shotgun Saturday Night debuted at the Mirage Nightclub in New York. The Sisters of Love (The Headbangers) made their first and last WWF appearance and Marlena reveals her "assets" to the Sultan.

 

January 20: Randy Savage returns to WCW as a free agent. He stages a sit-in on NITRO.

 

January 24: Goldust wrestled and lost to Hunter Hearst Helmsley in the WWF and defeated Lance Diamond in Pennsylvania Championship Wrestling.

 

January 25: The nWo presents Souled Out, it's first PPV. Even though the nWo was largely successful, the show itself was a failure.

 

February 13: Wekks after winning the WWF World title, Shawn Michaels relinquishes the belt on a live Thursday RAW Thursday, citing a knee injury and the loss of his "smile."

 

February 17: After Bret Hart's WWF World Title loss to Sid Vicious, the Hitman physically and verbally assaults Vince McMahon.

 

February 23: Randy Savage officially joins the New World Order after attacking Roddy Piper and causing him to lose in a title match at SuperBrawl to Hulk Hogan.

 

February 24: ECW wrestlers made their debut at the Manhattan Center on RAW one week after Jerry Lawler criticized ECW. Paul E. Dangerously served as color commentator and heavily plugged Barely Legal, ECW's first PPV.

 

March 16: Sting made his intentions clear and loyalties when he attacked the New World Order at Uncensored.

 

March 25: Two nights after WrestleMania XIII, Bret Hart turns heel in a speech filled with hatred and bitterness toward American wrestling fans. He then reunites Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith to form the new Hart Foundation.

 

April 11: Big Van Vader is detained by authorities in Kuwait after he attacks Bossam Al Otham, host of Good Morning Kuwait, after taking offense to Otham's questions.

 

April 13: ECW finally debuts on PPV with Barely Legal.

 

May 5: The WWF airs an up-and-personal interview with Goldust in which he reveals his true identity as Dustin Rhodes and spoke about his father.

 

May 11: Ken Shamrock made his WWF PPV debut at In Your House when he made Big Van Vader submit.

 

May 12: Rob Van Dam officially becomes "Mr. Monday Night" when he debuted alongside Jerry Lawler on RAW IS WAR. He defeated Matt Harsy in his first WWF outing, although he did not sign a formal contract.

 

May 17: Terry Funk dropped Stevie Richards on a gaurdrail injuring his neck causing him to be temporarily paralyzed. Doctors told him to stay away from the ring for four to six weeks, he doesn't heed that warning.

 

May 18: Ric Flair returns to active competition at Slamboree in Charlotte, North Carolina after being sidelined with a rotator cuff injury. Reggie White made his WCW debut and lost to Steve McMichael.

 

June 7: Raven loses a "loser-leaves-ECW" match to Tommy Dreamer at the ECW Arena. Raven appears in WCW later on. On the same card, Jerry Lawler enters enemy territory when he, Sabu, Rob Van Dam, and Bill Alfonso attack Tommy Dreamer and nearly every ECW wrestler.

 

June 9: Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels brawl backstage before a RAW broadcast. Michaels would temporarily leave the WWF, and vowed to return.

 

June 15: Madusa loses a retirement match to Akira Hakuto at the Great American Bash.

 

July 13: Curt Hennig wrestled his first match in nearly four years. He would turn against his partner, Diamond Dallas Page at Bash at the Beach against the nWo's Scott Hall and Randy Savage. On the same card, Dennis Rodman made his wrestling debut by teaming with Hulk Hogan against Lex Luger and The Giant.

 

July 22: Raven arrives in WCW. Fritz Von Erich suffers a mild stroke. Upon further examination, doctors discover that he has lung cancer which was spreading to his brain and adrenal glands.

 

August 3: Steve Austin suffers spinal shock syndrome after a Tombstone piledriver by Owen Hart at SummerSlam. He would go on to win the WWF Intercontinental title.

 

August 16: Japanese wrestler Plum Mariko, 29, died as a the result of a head injury suffered in a tag team match the previous day.

 

September 5: Todd Gordon and ECW severe ties amid allegations that Gordon acted as a mole with the organization he founded to help by supplying WCW with talent.

 

September 14: Curt Hennig turns against The Four Horsemen and joins the New World Order at Fall Brawl.

 

September 29: Ric Flair officially disbands the Four Horsemen.

 

November 9: Bret Hart attacks Vince McMahon following his controversial WWF World Title loss at Survivor Series to Shawn Michaels. Hart just signed a three-year deal with WCW and was convinced that McMahon had called for the bell to cause his defeat.

 

November 17: Rick Rude shocks the wrestling world when he showed up with Hulk Hogan on NITRO 24 hours after appearing on a WWF show. One the same night, Rude would appear on a RAW episode taped the week before. Vince McMahon appears on RAW to defend his decision in the Survivor Series controversy by concluding, "Bret Screwed Bret."

 

December 14 and 15: The meain events of the WWF cards in Memphis and Little Rock are canceled when it is determined that the fans have become too unruly.

 

December 15: Bret Hart made his first WCW appearance on NITRO when he accepts James J. Dillion's invitation to referee in a match between Eric Bischoff and Larry Zbyszko at StarrCade.

 

1998:

 

January 4: Riki Coshu wrestles his final card at the Tokyo Dome by competing in five wrestling matches. He defeated Kauyuki Fujita, Yutaka Yoshie, Tatsutoshi Takaiwa, and loses to Takashi Iizuka, and then defearted Jushin Thunder Liger.

 

January 8: WCW Thunder debuted at 8 PM on TBS, giving WCW two weekly live wrestling shows on prime-time cable. Thunder later changed its format to live broadcasts on alternate weeks.

 

January 10: Mike Tyson and the WWF agreed to a deal that Mike Tyson would serve as a special "enforcer" for the Shawn Michaels-Steve Austin Match at WrestleMania XIV.

 

January 13: Eric Bischoff was promoted to President of WCW while Nick Lambros is promoted to Executive Vice President. Lambors would later resign to accept another position for Turner Sports.

 

January 20: Bobo Brazil, one of professional wrestling's most influential black athletes, diees due to a complication of a stroke in Saint Joeseph, Michaigan. He was 74.

 

January 24: Dusty Rhodes becomes a member of the New World Order after blindsiding Larry Zbyszko during a match against Scott all.

 

January 26: The use of the powerbomb is banned in WCW by James J. Dillion after the Giant suffered a concussion when being powerbombed by Kevin Nash at Souled Out on January 24th.

 

January 27: Japan's WAR promtion announces it will be shutting down at the end of February due to low ticket sales.

 

January 31: WCW attempts to do a live Pay-per-Listen from a Boston,Massachuttes show through the internet, but they had technical difficulties.

 

February 15: Louie Spicolli (Muciollo), 27, was found dead in his San Pedro, California home. The cause of death was arherosclerotic heart disease caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart).

 

February 16: NITRO drew a 5.1 rating setting an all-time record high. The show was unopposed during that night when RAW was preemted due to the shwoing the the Westminister Dog Show.

 

February 17: Randy Savage receives the prestigius Harvard Lampoon;s 1998 Real Man of the Year award on the steps of Lampoon Castle in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachuttes.

 

February 22: Scott Steiner turned against his brother, Rick, in a WCW World Tag Team Title match against the Outisders and joined the New World Order. Also on the card, Juventud Guerrera loses his mask to Chris Jericho.

 

February 27: A near-riot took place at a WCW show in Lincoln, Nebraksa when rowdy fans pelted objects at Chirs Jericho for making remarks about Nebraska and Curt Hennig making a remark about 'Huskers' coach Tom Osbourne.

 

March 3: Pitbulls I and II are placed three years probation for admittedly selling steroids and marijuana in 1995.

 

April 13: RAW finally defeats NITRO 4.6 to 4.3 since they went head-to-head on June 10, 1996.

 

April 21: WCW begins legal action against Ric Flair for breach of contract. Flair failed to appear at several showws, prompting WCW to file a $2 million suit. Flair countersues.

 

April 22: Buff Bagwell sustains spinal shock syndrome after receiving a top rope bulldog from Rick Steiner during a live Thunder broadcast. Bagwell was paralyzed for four minutes and later underwent successful surgery to repair damage to his vertebrae.

 

April 27: RAW and NITRO broadcasted in the Norfolk, Virginia area at the same time. RAW sets an all-time ratings record at 5.7 when DeGeneration X "invaded" WCW.

 

June 2: The Junkyard Dog, one of wrestling's most beloved wrestling figures, dies in a car crash near Forest, Mississippi after falling asleep at the wheel.

 

June 8: Dennis Rodman appears on NITRO instead of reporting to practice for the Chicago Bulls' NBA final series against the Utah Jazz. Rodman called his appearance "prepreation" for his match with Hulk Hogan against Diamond Dallas Page and Karl Malone at Bash at the Beach.

 

June 20 and 21: The WWF cancelled cards in Oklahoma City and Tusa to give the main stars, Kane, Steve Austin, and the Undertaker a chance to recover from illnesses and injuries.

 

June 22: Joey Styles begins legal action against WWF for seeking damages and unathorized use of him and Steve Austin from a 1995 ECW show.

 

July 6: Buff Bagwell appears on NITRO for the first time since his accident. Bill Goldberg defeated Hulk Hogan for the WCW World title on the same night in Atlanta, Georgia on NITRO.

 

July 20: The USA Network announces a new wrestling program on Sunday called "Sunday Night Heat."

 

August 11: Shane McMahon was promoted president of New Media at Titan Sports.

 

September 8: Hacksaw Jim Duggan told a viewing audience on WCW Saturday Night and told that the doctors diagnosed him with cancer and will have to retire. Two days later, Jim Duggan underwent successful surgery to remove the cancerous kidney from his body. The Sandman, shocks the wrestling world when he signed a three-year deal with WCW.

 

September 14: Although Ric Flair and WCW remained deadlocked in their legal battle, Flair made an emotional return to WCW on NITRO when he was reunited with Arn Anderson, Dean Malenko, Steve McMichael, and Chris Benoit to reform the Four Horsemen in Greenville, South Carolina.

 

November 3: Capturing 37 percent of the votes, Reform Party candidate Jesse Ventura wins the 1998 Minnesota gubernatorial election.

 

November 16: Bam Bam Bigelow crashes NITRO and challenges Bill Goldberg on the same night.

 

Novmeber 26: Hulk Hogan announces his "retirement" on the Tonight Show and indicates that he will run for office for the Pesidency of the United States in the year 2000.

 

November 27: Dennis Rodman files suit against WCW for failure to pay him the full amount of money he was entitles to for wrestling at Bash at the Beach.

 

December 6: The WWF runs its second UK only PPV from the London Arena before a sellout crowd of 10,441. WWF Vice President and Announcer Jim Ross suffers a bout of Bell's Palsy while calling a match, temporarily forcing him from his on-air role with the WWF.

 

December 18: Sable does an all-day photo shoot for Playboy.

 

December 27: Bill Goldberg's winning streak was ended at StarrCade byt Kevin Nash. Nash becomes the fifth man in history to capture the WCW/NWA and WWF World Title. Other wrestlers were: Buddy Rogers, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, and Randy Savage.

 

December 28: Ric Flair defeated Eric Bischoff for administrative control for WCW. The Four Horsemen shielded the New World Order away from the ring. Shawn Michaels was fired by Vince McMahon as WWF Commissioner for allowing Mankind to beat up on Shane McMahon.

 

1999:

 

January 1: Eddie Guerrero was severly injured in a car accident near his home in Tampa, Florida.

 

January 4: Hulk Hogan returns to WCW and "pins" Kevin Nash to win the WCW World Heavyweight Title in Atlanta, Georgia and reforming the nWo Wolfpack with Lex Luger, Kevin Nash, Scott Steiner, Buff Bagwell, and Scott Hall.

 

January 10: Taz wins the ECW World Heavyweight Title from Shane Douglas at ECW' Guilty as Charged PPV in Kissimmee, Florida. Also, Sid Vicious made his ECW debut by defeating John Kronus.

 

January 12: Shawn Michaels underwent extensive back surgery.

 

January 22: Toshiaki Kawada defeated Mitsuharu Misawa for All-Japan's Triple Corwn. He suffered a broken arm during the match and had to vacate the title.

 

January 24: Rocky Maivia defeated Mankind to win the WWF World Title at the Royal Rumble. Vince McMahon won the Royal Rumble battle royal by eliminating Steve Austin.

 

January 31: Shohei "Giant" Baba dies of liver failure at the age of 61.

 

January 31: Mankind defeated Rock Maivia in an empty arena match to win the WWF World title in Tucson, Arizona.

 

February 12: The Gangstas reunite in ECW to face the Dudley Boyz. Mustapha Saed turned against his partner after the match.

 

February 14: Steve Austin defeated Vince McMahon in a steel cage match at WWF's Saint Valentine's Day Massacre. Paul Wight made his WWF debut at the PPV helping Vince McMahon.

 

February 15: Rocky Maivia regained the WWF World title from Mankind in a ladder match on RAW in Birmingham, Alabama.

 

February 19: Bill Goldberg appears on The Tonight Show and challenges Steve Austin by offering him $100,000.

 

February 21: Rey Misterio Jr. loses his mask to Kevin Nash on SuperBrawl in a tag team match against Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. Misterio teamed with Konnan.

 

March 1: Jim Ross returns to WWF televison after a three month abscence after suffering from Bell's Palsy.

 

March 6: Jumbo Tsurta announces his retirement in an All-Japan wrestling card. Also on the card, Big Van Vader defeated Akira Taue to win the Triple Crown.

 

March 28: Steve Austin defeated Rocky Maivia to win the WWF World Heavyweight Title on WrestleMania XV.

 

March 29: Bret Hart "quits" WCW on NITRO in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

March 31: Davey Boy Smith was diagnosed with a spinal infection. He was then fired from WCW.

 

April 11: Diamond Dallas Page defeated Ric Flair, Sting, and Hulk Hogan in a 4-way match to win the WCW World Title at Spring Stampede in Tacoma, Washington.

 

April 13: The WWF released several wrestlers including: The Blue Meanie (who was later reinstated), Public Enemy, Disciples of Apocalypse, Steve Williams, Gillberg, Steven Regal, and Golga (John Tenta).

 

April 16: Vader wins the All-Japan Champion Carnival by defeating Kenta Kobashi in Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

 

April 20: Rick Rude was found dead in his Alpharetta, Georgia home. At the time of his death, he was trying to make a comeback to the ring. Hulk Hogan underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee.

 

April 26: Stin wins the WCW World Heavyweight Title from Diamond Dallas Page on NITRO, but lost it later that night back to Page.

 

April 29: The WWF aired its first episode of WWF SmackDown on UPN.

 

May 2: An All-Japan Pro Wrestling card draws 65,000 in the Tokyo Dome for a memorial card honoring the late Giant Baba. Legends Bruno Sammartino, Gene Kiniski, and The Destroyer (Dick Beyer) attended the ceremony. The main event was Mitsuharu Misawa defeated Vader for the Triple Crown.

 

May 9: Kevin Nash defeated Diamond Dallas Page at Slamboree in Saint Louis, Missouri to win the WCW World title.

 

May 16: Taz defeated Chris Candido early on in the ECW Hardcore Heaven PPV and defeated Buh-Buh Ray Dudley later on to retain the ECW World title. Shane Douglas and ECW split ways after Douglas no-showed at the ECW PPV to face Justin Credible.

 

May 23: Owen Hart falls to his death from the ceiling of the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri at WWF's Over the Edge PPV. One the same card, The Undertaker defeated Steve Austin to win the WWF World title.

 

June 4: Rena "Sable" Mero sues the WWF for $110 million for unsafe conditions and sexual harassment. Within months, the parties settled out of court.

 

June 15: Owen Hart's widow, Martha, files a wrongful death lawsuit against the WWF, the city of Kansas City, and the harness manufacturer.

 

June 15: Sid Vicious attacked Kevin Nash at WCW's Great American Bash in Baltimore, Maryland shortly after competing in ECW.

 

June 17: ECW made its Chicago, Illinois debut at the Odeum Theater in suburban Villa Park.

 

June 28: Steve Austin regained the WWF World title from the undertaker in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

June 30: CBS Cable Network announces that ECW will begin a weekly program starting on August 27th on TNN.

 

July 12: The WWF announced that Minnesota Governer Jesse Ventura will serve as special referee at SummerSlam at the Target Center on August 22nd.

 

July 30: Wrestlers from the WWF, WCW, ECW, and independents donate their paychecks for a special triibute/benfit card for cancer stricken referee Mark Curtis (Brian Hildebrand).

 

August 3: The WWF announces plans to go public offering stock. The stock is officially trading on the NASDAQ market with the ticker symbol "WWFE."

 

August 14: Hulk Hogan defeated Kevin Nash in a "retirement" match at WCW's Road Wild in Sturgis, South Dakota.

 

August 22: Mankind defeated Steve Austin to win the WWF World Title in a three-way match with Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Minnesota Governer, Jesse Ventura, was the special referee.

 

August 23: Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Mankind to win the WWF World title in Ames, Iowa.

 

August 23: Eric Bischoff holds a special meeting with WCW talent. He offers a release on the spot, if they want to leave. Raven took up the offer and left WCW.

 

August 26: WWF's SmackDown premiers on UPN's Fall schedule.

 

August 26: The Dudley Boyz won the ECW World Tag Team titles from Balls Mahoney and Spike Dudley on the first ECW on TNN taping. Then they lost the titles to Raven and Tommy Dreamer before heading to the WWF.

 

August 27: ECW on TNN airs nationally at 8 PM on Friday.

 

September 8: Referee Mark Curtis (Brian Hildebrand) dies of cancer at the age of 37.

 

September 9: Eric Bischoff is removed from his position by Turner Sports, the parent company of WCW.

 

September 12: Sting defeated Hulk Hogan to win the WCW World title at Fall Brawl in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and turned heel during the match.

 

September 14: Vince McMahon defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley to win the WWF World title in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

September 19: Mike Awesome defeated Masato Tanaka and Taz at ECW's Anarchy Rulz PPV in Villa Park, Illinois to win the ECW World Title.

 

September 20: Vince McMahon vacated the WWF World title and the title will be up for grabs in a six-pack match at Unforgiven on September 26.

 

September 22: The WWF announced that it has signed former ECW World Champion, Taz, to a multi-year deal.

 

September 26: Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Mankind, Kane, Big Show, and the British Bulldog to win the WWF World Heavyweight Title at Unforgiven in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

October 3: Vince Russo and Ed Ferrera, TV writers for the WWF, shocked the wrestling world by leaving the WWF and signed with WCW.

 

October 5: Darren Drozdov was severely injured at the hands of D'Lo Brown during a running powerbomb attempt in Uniondale, New York.

 

October 6: Gorilla Monsoon, Robert "Gino" Marella, dies at his home in Moorestown, New Jersey from liver and kidney complications. He was 62.

 

October 7: Jerry Lawler places third in the Memphis Mayoral Election.

 

October 17: Chyna defeated Jeff Jarrett to win the WWF Intercontinental Title at WWF's No Mercy in Cleveland, Ohio.

 

October 18: Vince Russo and Ed Ferrera take over WCW television starting on NITRO in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Also, Jeff Jarrett made his WCW debut.

 

October 24 and 25: The WCW World Title picture becomes muddled when Sting defeated Hogan to retain the title, then challenged anybody. Goldberg came out and defeated Sting. The Sting-Goldberg match was not aa sanctioned match and the WCW World title was stripped from Sting when he attacked an official setting up a title tournament.

 

October 30: Vader defeated Mitsuharu Misawa to regain All-Japan's Triple Crown at Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

 

November 4: The WWF announces that Terry Taylor has left the WWF creative team for WCW.

 

November 14: The Big Show defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley in a triple-threat match with Rocky Maivia to win the WWF World Title at Survivor Series in Detroit, Michigan.

 

November 21: Bret Hart defeated Chris Benoit in the finals of the WCW World Title tournament at WCW's Mayhem in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 

November 24: Steve Austin was diagnosed with a bone spur touching his spinal cord. His surgery was successful on January 17, 2000 and should return to action within months.

 

November 27: Hiro Matsuda, legendary former NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion, dies of cancer at the age of 62.

 

December 6: Hunter Hearst Helmsley "marries" Stephanie McMahon. The following week on December 12th at WWF's "Armageddon." Stephanie turns on her father and brother to form the "Helmsley-McMahon Era."

 

December 17 and 23: Masato Tanaka and Mike Awesome traded the ECW World Heavyweight title in six days. Both title changes were shown on ECW on TNN.

 

December 19 and 20: Bret Hart defeated Bill Goldberg at WCW's "StarrCade" to retain the title. Then vacated the title due to a "controversial" finish. Bret Hart defeated Goldberg again to win the WCW World title in Baltimore, Maryland and the nWo is reformed with Bret Hart, Jeff Jarrett, and The Outsiders.

 

2000:

 

January 3: Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated "The Big Show" Paul Wight to regain the WWF World Heavyweight Title for a 3rd time in Miami, Florida.

 

January 5: Gary Albright passes away in the ring at an WXW Card in Hazelton, Pennsylvania.

 

January 13: Vince Russo has been ousted as WCW's head writer due to the lack of ratings and backstage heat he has been getting from the top management. Kevin Sullivan was officially named head WCW Booker.

 

January 16: Chris Benoit defeated Sid Vicious to win the WCW World Heavyweight Title at "Souled Out" in Cincinatti, Ohio. Bret Hart vacated the title days earlier due to a concussion. On the same card, Kevin Nash defeated Terry Funk to be "WCW Commissioner."

 

January 17: The WCW World Heavyweight Title was vacated by Chris Benoit when Benoit left the company because of disagreements with the Booking staff. Perry Saturn, Shane Douglas, Dean Malenko, Eddy Guerrero, and Chris Benoit want to be relased after refusing to work with Sullivan as head booker.

 

January 24: Bobby Duncum Jr. passes away at the age of 34 after overdosing on perscribed medicine in Austin, Texas. Sid Vicous defeated Kevin Nash to win the WCW World Heavyweight Title in Los Angeles, California. Only to be stripped by "commisioner" Kevin Nash the next day in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sid Vicious defeated Kevin Nash and Ron Harris in a steel cage rematch for the title. Ric Flair made his triumphant WCW television return in Las Vegas for Thunder.

 

January 31: Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn, and Eddy Guerrero show up on RAW IS WAR in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as "friends" of Mick Foley. They pounded on the New Age Outlaws during a WWF World Tag Team Title defense. They made their wrestling debut the next night on SmackDown! in Detroit, Michigan. Eddy Guerrero severly injured his elbow in one match and Chris Benoit faced Hunter Hearst Helmsley in the main event. On the same night, Ric Flair returned to NITRO in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and challenged Terry Funk to a match at "SuperBrawl" in San Francisco, California.

 

February 2: Hulk Hogan returned to WCW on Thunder after a 4 1/2 month absence from the ring. He faced "The Total Package" Lex Luger on February 20th at "SuperBrawl" in San Francisco, California

 

February: Vince McMahon, owner of the World Wrestling Federation Entertainment company, announced the launch of a new professional football league to debut in Spring 2001. This league will be called the eXtreme Football League (XFL) and the league will host 8 major city franchise teams. The cities are: Chicago Enforcers, Los Angeles Xtreme, Las Vegas Outlaws, Orlando Rage, Birmingham Bolts, San Fransico Demons, New York-New Jersey Hitmen, and Memphis Manix. On October 28th, the XFL announces their first draft picks.

 

February 27: "Cactus Jack" Mick Foley loses in a "career-vs-title" match against Hunter Hearst Helmsley at WWF's "No Way Out" PPV. Also on the card, Kurt Angle becomes a double champion when he defeated Chris Jericho for the WWF Intercontinental Heavyweight Title. Angle, is the regining European champion at that time. The Dudley Boyz defeated The New Age Outlaws to win the WWF World Tag Team Titles. "The Big Show" Paul Wight pinned "The Rock" Rocky Maivia to earn a shot at the WWF World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania 16.

 

March 18: The Rock appears on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." It turned out to be one of the best shows in recent memory.

 

March 22: WCW President, Bill Busch, resigned from WCW after failing ratings and PPV buyrates as well as dismal attendence records. Eric Bischoff assumed the position as President of WCW.

 

March 24: Vince Russo agrees to work with Eric Bischoff to improve WCW's product.

 

April 2: WrestleMania 16 was held at the Pond in Anaheim in Anaheim, California. The main event was Hunter Hearst Helmsley retaining the World Heavyweight Title in a four way match against The Rock, Mick Foley (in his last wrestling match), and The Big Show. Over 13 title changes happened at WrestleMania, which is a record for a wrestling PPV event. The World Hardcore Title changed hands 10 times in the battle royal, Chris Benoit won the Intercontinental Title and Chris Jericho won the European Title in a triple threat match against Kurt Angle, and Edge and Christian won the World Tag Team Titles in a three-way tables and ladders match against The Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz. Vince McMahon turned heel again at WrestleMania when he nailed The Rock with the steel chair.

 

April 10: Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff appeared on WCW's "Monday NITRO" in Denver, Colorado. Russo's first step was stripping the wrestlers of their titles and the titles will be on the line at "Spring Stampede" in Chicago, Illinois on April 16th. Current ECW World Champion, Mike Awesome, made his WCW debut on "NITRO" making him the third man in wrestling history to appear on television as a current champion from another promotion. The first one was in 1988 when Jerry Lawler, AWA World Champion, fought Kerry Von Erich, World Class World Champion, in a title-vs-title match. In 1991, Ric Flair, NWA World Champion, appeared on WWF television.

 

April 13: Taz, coming from the WWF, saves ECW by winning their World Heavyweight Title from Mike Awesome in Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

April 22: Tommy Dreamer realizes his dream by winning the ECW World title from Taz at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His reign was cut short when Justin Credible challenged and pinned Dreamer to win the title.

 

April 25: David Arquette shocked the wrestling world to its foundation when he pinned Eric Bischoff in a tag team match to win the WCW World Heavyweight Title in a stipulation tag team match between Diamond Dallas Page and David Arquette vs. Jeff Jarrett and Eric Bischoff.

 

April 30: The Rock pinned Triple H to win his fourth WWF World Heavyweight Title at WWF's "Backlash" in Washington, D.C. Shane McMahon was the special guest referee.

 

May 7: David Arquette vacated the title on May 1st. Jeff Jarrett defeated David Arquette and Diamond Dallas Page in a triple cage match to win the WCW World Heavyweight Title. Dave Arquette turns on Diamond Dallas Page during the match allowing Jarrett to win the title.

 

May 16: Former AWA World Champion and All-Japan's first Triple Crown Winner, Tomomi "Jumbo" Tsuruta, died in a Phillipine Hospital from Internal Bleeding at the age of 49.

 

May 21: Triple H wins the WWF World Heavyweight Title from The Rock in a 60-Minute Iron Man Match at WWF's "Judgement Day" in Louisville, Kentucky. Shawn Michaels was the special guest referee. On the same night, The Undertaker returns to the ring as the "American Badass" after a long leave of abscence from the ring.

 

June: Mitsuharu Misawa, President of All-Japan, breaks away from All-Japan and takes most of the Japanese-Born workers and created a new promotion called, "NOAH." Vader is the only American-born wrestler to compete in NOAH....Also, WWF leaves the USA Network and signs a deal with Viacom to carry its programming on Viacom's TNN and MTV. TNN will receive "RAW IS WAR," "Livewire," and "Superstars" while MTV gets "Sunday Night Heat." TNN ends ECW's deal and the show will end on September 22nd.

 

June 25: Kurt Angle defeated Chris Jericho, Crash Holly, and Rikishi Phatu to win the WWF's "King of the Ring" tournament in Boston, Massachusetts. Also on the card, The Rock won his fifth WWF World Heavyweight Title when The Rock, Undertaker, and Kane defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Shane McMahon, and Vince McMahon when The Rock pinned Vince McMahon to win the title.

 

June 26: Mick Foley was named "WWF Commissioner" by Shawn Michaels.

 

July 9: Hulk Hogan pinned Jeff Jarrett to win the World Heavyweight Title. But, Russo claims it was "Hulk Hogan Memorial Belt" and Jarrett was recognized the champion in a "worked shoot." Later on the card, Booker T. pinned Jeff Jarrett to win the WCW World Heavyweight Title at WCW's "Bash at the Beach" in Daytona Beach, Florida.

 

July 18: Lance Storm defeated Buff Bagwell, Shane Douglas, and Mike Awesome in a one-night tournament to win WCW's United States Heavyweight Title on "NITRO" in Detroit, Michigan.

 

July 24 - 31: Lance Storm defeated Big Vito (July 24th) for the WCW World Hardcore Title, and he defeated "Lt. Loco" Chavo Guerrero Jr. (July 31st) to win the WCW World Cruiserweight Title to become the first wrestler in the history of the promotion to hold three titles simultaneously (US, Cruiserweight, Hardcore).

 

July 27: Gordon Solie, the legendary voice of professional wrestling, passed away at the age of 71 from brain cancer. He was an announcer for NWA Florida and Georgia, and worked briefly in WCW.

 

July 30: New Japan Pro Wrestling held it's first PPV in Yokohama, Japan. The main event was Riki Choshu pinned Atsushi Onita in an "electric explosive barbed wire" match.

 

August 5: NOAH debuts in Tokyo, Japan. The main event was Jun Akiyama and Kenta Kobashi defeated Mitsuharu Misawa and Akira Taue in two straight falls.

 

August 6: Jun Akiyama wins the first NOAH World Heavyweight Title in Tokyo, Japan when he defeated Kenta Kobashi to win the title.

 

August 27: Steve Blackman pinned Shane McMahon to win the WWF Hardcore Title, Chyna pinned Val Venis in a tag team match to win the Intercontinental Title, and The Rock defeated Kurt Angle and Triple H in a "triple threat" match to retain the WWF World title at "SummerSlam" in Raleigh, North Carolina.

 

September 19: "Colorado Kid" Mike Rapada wins the NWA World Heavyweight Title by defeating former WCW wrestler, "Lightning Foot" Jerry Flynn in the finals of a tournament in Tampa, Florida.

 

October 6: "ECW on TNN" was the last show and ECW's run on a national cable network until they get on a new network.

 

Mid-October: Rumors on the internet were flying about the WWF interested in buying out WCW.

 

October 12: Juventud Guerrera was arrested during a WCW Australian tour in Brisbane, Australia for acting drunk and disorderly conduct. He was fired from WCW the next day.

 

October 22: Kurt Angle wins the WWF World Heavyweight Title from The Rock at WWF's "No Mercy" in Albany, New York. Also on the card, Steve Austin returns to action after being on the shelf for several months by fighting Rikishi Phatu to a no contest.

 

October 23: "Yokozuna" Rodney Anoia passes away at a hotel in London, England at the age of 34 from natural causes.

 

October 25: WWFE moves from the NASDAQ to NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) under the ticker symbol, "WWF." Matches held on Wall Street were: The Hardy Boyz defeated Lo Down, The Dudley Boyz defeated T&A, Tazz defeated Al Snow, Billy Gunn defeated Steven Regal, and Chris Benoit defeated Kane by Disqualification.

 

October 25: On Bloomberg.com, Linda McMahon, CEO of the WWF, confirmed the rumors that the WWF is interested in puchasing WCW.

 

October 26: Bret "Hitman" Hart retires from professional wrestling. He was a former 2-Time WCW and 5-Time WWF World Champion.

 

November: Rumors fly that WCW is being sold to Eric Bischoff.

 

November 14: Sabu captures the NWA World Heavyweight Title from Mike Rapada in Tampa, Florida.

 

November 19: Kurt Angle pins the Undertaker to retain the WWF World Title and Steve Austin fought to a No Contest against Triple H at "Survivor Series" in Tampa, Florida.

 

November 26: Scott Steiner captures his first WCW World Heavyweight title when he defeated Booker T. at WCW's "Mayhem" in Milwaukee, Winsconsin.

 

December 18: "Big Poppa Pump" Scott Steiner and Diamond Dallas Page fought backstage when Steiner made inappropriate remarks on television. It took several men to break them up.

 

December 27: Mark Madden was fired from WCW after commenting about Scott Hall and about WCW being for sale on television.

 

2001:

 

January 11: Eric Bischoff and Fusinet Media announced the acquisition of WCW from Time Warner-AOL. It has been reported that WCW was losing $80 million last year.

 

January 12: ECW held their last TV taping in Popular Bluff, Missouri. Their have been contradicting reports that this is the last ECW show for the promotion and another report has it that this the last TV show for ECW before taking a few months off. This lead to believe that ECW will be closing its doors and the last PPV will be held on March 12th.

 

January 14: WCW renames their PPVs starting with "Sin" from Indianapolis, Indiana. The PPV was formerly called "Souled Out." Road Warrior Animal returned to WCW as the "Mystery Opponent" in a four way match between Sid Vicious, Jeff Jarrett, and World Champion Scott Steiner. In a horrific accident, Sid Vicious shattered his fibia and tibia bone by coming off the second ropes in the main event. He will be out for almost a year. Scott Steiner retained the title by pinning the injured Sid. There were three title changes at "Sin:" Shane Douglas won the United States title by defeated General Rection, Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire won the World Tag Team Titles from Diamond Dallas Page and Kevin Nash, and Meng won the Hardcore title in a three-way match involving Crowbar and Terry Funk.

 

January 21: The WWF kicked off their first PPV of the year with the "Royal Rumble" in New Orleans, Louisiana. Kurt Angle retained his WWF World Title by defeating Triple H and Steve Austin won the Royal Rumble Battle Royal by eliminating Kane and the shot at the WWF World Title at WrestleMania 17 in Houston, Texas on April 1st. Former WCW competitor, Meng, returned to the WWF as "Haku" and The Big Show returned after competing in WWF's farm league, Ohio Valley Wrestling.

 

February 2: Jim Ross confirmed in his "WWF Ross Report" that Justin Credible, Jerry Lynn, and ECW Unified World Champion Rhino has signed with the WWF. Lynn and Rhino had verbal agreements while Credible signed a three year deal on January 26th. Bobby Eaton signed with the WWF on January 26th and will be used as an instructor in Memphis, Tennessee with Memphis Championship Wrestling to help develop talent for the WWF.

 

February 3: The Xtreme Football League (XFL), co-owned and operated by WWFE and NBC, kicked off its inagural season. The Las Vegas Outlaws defeated The New York/New Jersey Hitmen, 19-0, in Las Vegas. And, the Orlando Rage defeated the Chicago Enforcers 33-29 in Orlando. Jess Ventura and Matt Vasgersian announced the NY/NJ-LV game while Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler, announcers for WWF RAW IS WAR, announced the Chicago-Orlando game.

 

February 27: In a shocking development, Jerry "The King" Lawler and his wife, Stacy "The Kat" Carter, left the World Wrestling Federation on Tuesday, Febrary 27, 2001 during the tapings of "WWF SmackDown!" Vince McMahon decided to release The Kat for "misconduct" and Jerry Lawler left in protest of McMahon's decision.

 

March 5: Paul Heyman debuted as the new color commentator for WWF's "RAW IS WAR." Heyman replaces Lawler who left last week. Tazz replaces Lawler on WWF "SmackDown" with Michael Cole.

 

March 10: Paul Heyman announces the cancellation of ECW's "Living Dangerously" PPV.

 

March 14: Vince McMahon was interviewed on "On The Record with Bob Costas" on HBO. Vince McMahon looked very intense and visably upset when Costas asked him questions about the fledgling XFL, the sex and violence in the WWF.

 

March 16: Turner Sports head Brad Siegel officially acknowledged today that World Championship Wrestling would be going on a “hiatus”, beginning after the March 26 “Spring Breakout” edition of Nitro. In addition to the memo, an article on Broadcasting & Cable reported that Nitro and Thunder have been officially cancelled by AOL Time Warner. There are rumors that WWFE are back in the hunt along with Bischoff/Fusinet Media to purchase the failing WCW.

 

March 17: NOAH's Global Honor Crown Heavyweight Title Tournament begins in Tokyo, Japan when Mitsuharu Misawa defeated Akitoshi Saito.

 

March 18: WCW held their last PPV, "Greed," in Jacksonville, Florida. Some of the results were: World Cruiserweight Tag Team Title Match: Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo defeated Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman (13:48) when Romeo pinned Misterio to win the tag team titles. World Cruiserweight Title Match: Shane Helms pinned Chavo Guerrero Jr. (13:55) to win the title. United States Heavyweight Title Match: Booker T. pinned Rick Steiner (7:23) to win the title. World Heavyweight Title Match: Scott Steiner defeated Diamond Dallas Page (14:17) to retain the title.

 

March 23: The WWF has officially announced its purchase of WCW. The press release headlines: "World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. Acquires WCW from Turner Broadcasting" The subheadline reads: "Cross-Brand Storylines To Create Intriguing Possibilities for Fans. Expected to Increase Television Ratings, PPV Buys" The complete press release states: "STAMFORD, Conn., March 23, 2001 - World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWF) today announced its purchase of the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) brand from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS Inc.), a division of AOL Time Warner. The purchase of WCW creates a tag team partnership with the World Wrestling Federation brand that is expected to propel the sports entertainment genre to new heights."

 

March 24: The Pro Wrestling Torch released the names whose contracts were bought by the WWF along with the name 'WCW', the tape library and almost all the trademark names including the popular 'nWo'. These superstars are: Lance Storm, Sean O'Haire, Mike Awesome, Chuck Palumbo, Miss Hancock, Shane Helms, Shannon Moore, Mike Sanders, Hugh Morrus, Billy Kidman, Elix Skipper, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Shawn Stasiak, Kaz Hayashi, Yang, and Mark Jindrak. Dave Meltzer of the Observer reported that TNN agreed to carry a WCW show on Saturday nights between 11PM and 1AM EST.

 

March 26: WWFE Chairman, Vince McMahon, appeared on NITRO for the very first time and announced that the WWFE has purchased WCW from Time-Warner/AOL. Also on NITRO, Booker T. wins his 4th WCW World Title by pinning Scott Steiner. And Billy Kidman and Rey Misterio Jr. defeated Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo for the WCW World Cruiserweight Tag Team Titles. Also, Vince McMahon, Trish Stratus, and Shane McMahon are the other two WWF wrestlers that appeared on NITRO and RAW at the same time. Rick Rude was the first wrestler to ever do that in 1998.

 

April 1: WWF's "WrestleMania X-Seven" was held at The Astrodome in Houston, Texas. The crowd at the event was 67,925, which was the second highest WrestleMania crowd in history and ranks 10th in the largest crowd category at a wrestling event. In the main event, Steve Austin turns heel and wins his 5th WWF World Heavyweight Title against The Rock; Edge and Christian wins their 7th WWF World Tag Team Title by defeating the Dudley Boyz and The Hardy Boyz in a "Tables, Ladders, and Chairs II" match; Kane defeated Raven and The Big Show in a three way to win the Hardcore Title; and Eddie Guerrero wins his second WWF European Title by defeating Test. Also, Shane McMahon defeated Vince McMahon in a "street fight" with his own version of the Van-Terminator.

 

April 4: WWF cancelled the May 9th WCW tapings at the Soveriegn Arena in Trenton, New Jersey and rescheduled them for June. June was also the month that WCW will debut it's show on TNN on Saturday at 11 PM.

 

April 11: ECW declared bankruptcy making it officially dead. Triple Crown Champion and Booker, Gen'ichiro Tenryu, defeated Taiyo Kea in Tokyo, Japan to win 2001 Champion Carnival tournament.

 

April 15: Mitsuharu Misawa defeated Yoshihiro Takayama in the finals of a tournament to win the NOAH Global Honor Crown Heavyweight Title in Tokyo, Japan.

 

April 21: The Los Angeles Xtreme defeated the San Francisco Demons, 36-6, to win the "The Million Dollar Game," XFL Championship.

 

April 24: Steve Corino pinned Mike Rapada to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title in Tampa, Florida on an NWA Florida card. Also, The Heavenly Bodies (Casanova Chris & Vivacious Vito) defeated Bad Attitude (Rick Michaels & David Young) to win the NWA World Tag Team Titles....Johnny Valentine, father of Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, passes away at the age of 73.

 

April 30: WWF World Champion, Steve Austin, and Intercontinental Champion, Triple H, defeated Kane and The Undertaker to win the WWF World Tag Team Titles at "Backlash" in Chicago, Illinois. All three titles were on the line for this match. Austin and Helmsley become the 2nd team in WWF history where a WWF World Champ and IC Champ win the World Tag Team titles while holding the other titles.

 

May 10: WWFE Inc. and NBC announces the cancellation of the XFL after a severe ratings drop all through the season.

 

June 8: Keiji Mutoh defeated Gen'ichiro Tenryu to win the Triple Crown title in Tokyo, Japan.

 

June 24: Edge pinned Kurt Angle to win the 2001 WWF King of the Ring Tournament in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Also on the card, Kurt Angle defeated Shane McMahon in a very brutal Street Fight match.

 

July 2: In the first time in WWF history, the WCW World Heavyweight Title was defended on "RAW IS WAR" in Tacoma, Washington. Booker T. defeated Buff Bagwell by Disqualification when Kurt Angle and Steve Austin ran-in and attacked Booker during the match.

 

July 3: A WCW championship changed hands for the first time on a WWF television show when Billy Kidman pinned "Hollywood" Shane Helms to win the WCW World Cruiserweight Title at a "WWF SmackDown!" Television taping in Tacoma, Washington.

 

July 9: In the most bizarre episode on "RAW," a new faction has entered into the WWF Vs. WCW angle. Paul Heyman shocked the world when he introduced the ECW faction. Lance Storm and Mike Awesome, from WCW, joined ECW's faction along with several WWF stars including Rhino, Justin Creidble, Raven, The Dudley Boyz, and Tazz. Tommy Dreamer and Rob Van Dam made their WWF debuts when they joined the ECW faction. ECW and WCW factions joined forces at the end of "RAW" and Shane McMahon introduced Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley as the new "owner" of ECW.

 

July 17: WWFE was in trouble for using the ECW name and rights when several creditors, who were owed by HHG, the parent company of ECW, complained about the WWFE using the "ECW" name....Terry Gordy, 1/3 of the Fabulous Freebirds, died of a Heart Attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

 

July 22: The first "inter-promotional" PPV began at "Invasion" from the Gund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. Rob Van Dam of ECW won the WWF World Hardcore Title from Jeff Hardy. And Steve Austin turned against the WWF, by stunning Kurt Angle in the main event and joined the WCW/ECW stable. Booker T., The Dudley Boyz, Rhyno, and Diamond Dallas Page defeated Steve Austin, Chris Jericho, Kane, The Undertaker, and Kurt Angle in the main event.

 

July 24: The WCW World Heavyweight Title changed hands for the first time on a WWF television show when Kurt Angle made Booker T. submit to the ankle lock to win the title on "WWF SmackDown!" in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

 

July 31: X-Pac won the WCW World Cruiserweight Title from Billy Kidman at "RAW IS WAR" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to unify the title with the WWF World Light-Heavyweight Title. A week later, X-Pac loses the WWF World Light-Heavyweight Title to Yoshihiro Tajiri on "RAW IS WAR" in Anaheim, California.

 

August 7: The WWF and WCW World Tag Team Titles changed hands on WWF "Smackdown" in Los Angeles, California when Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon defeated The Acolytes (Faarooq and Bradshaw) to win the WWF World Tag Team Titles. Also, Kane and The Undertaker defeated Shawn O'Haire and Chuck Palumbo to win the WCW World Tag Team Titles.

 

August 19: WWF "SummerSlam" was held at the Compaq Center in San Jose, Arena. The Rock becomes the 8th man in history to hold the WWF and WCW World Heavyweight Titles. The WWF World Light-Heavyweight and WCW World Cruiserweight Titles were unified once again when X-Pac pinned Yoshihiro Tajiri to win both titles. The WWF and WCW World Tag Team Titles were unified in a steel cage match when Kane and The Undertaker, WCW World Tag Team Champions, defeated Diamond Dallas Page and Chris Kanyon to regain the WWF World Tag Team titles. Also, Rob Van Dam regained the WWF World Hardcore title from Jeff Hardy in a ladder match, Kurt Angle defeated WWF World Champion, Steve Austin, by Disqualification, and Edge defeated Lance Storm to win the Intercontinental Title.

 

September 8: The first WCW/WWF World Heavyweight Title Unification match occured at a house show in Dallas, Texas. WCW World Champion, The Rock, defeated WWF World Champion, Steve Austin, by Disqualification when the Dudley Boyz interfered. The last unification match involving the WWF World Heavyweight Title occurred on July 4, 1982 in Atlanta, Georgia when NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Ric Flair, fought to a Double CountOut against WWF World Champion, Bob Backlund.

 

September 11: Before 9:00 AM in New York City, New York, a United Airlines flight crashed into the World Trade Center. Minutes later another commercial aircraft slammed into the second tower in the most despicable terroristic act to hit US soil. Two other planes where one crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and another in rural Western Pennsylvania, Somerset County. It is believed the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania was headed toward a target in Washington, D.C. The WWF cancelled the SmackDown! tapings in Houston, Texas. Only to hold them live on Thursday. All other major sporting events including Major League Baseball, NFL, College Football, and PGA golf cancelled games during the weekened in light of the terror attack. Truly, this was a sad day for mankind and modern civilization.

 

September 23: The WWF "Unforgiven" PPV was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Mellon Arena. In the main event, Kurt Angle defeated Steve Austin by submission to win the WWF World Heavyweight Title. This makes him the first wrestler in history to win two major wrestling titles in his hometown, the WWF and WCW World Heayweight Title. Also, Christian pinned Edge to win the Intercontinental Title, and Rhyno defeated Yoshihiro Tajiri to win the WCW United States Heavywright Title. The Rock retained the WCW World Heavyweight Title in a handicap match when he defeated the team of Booker T. and Shane McMahon.

 

October 21: The WWF "No Mercy" PPV was held in Saint Louis, Missouri at the Savis Center. In the main event, Steve Austin retained the WWF World Heavyweight Title in a three-way match against Kurt Angle and Rob Van Dam, also, Chris Jericho defeated The Rock to win the WCW World Heavyweight Title. Edge defeated Christian in a ladder match to regain the Intercontinental Title.

 

October 23: The Dudley Boyz become the second Triple Crown tag team in history as they defeated The Hardy Boyz at the "SmackDown!" tapings in Omaha, Nebraska by winning the WCW World Tag Team Titles. The Dudley Boyz now held the WWF, WCW, and ECW World Tag Team Titles from 1997-2001. The first Triple Crown tag team were The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) as they captured the AWA, NWA, and WWF World Tag Team Titles from 1985-1991.

 

November 18: WWF's "Survivor Series" originated from the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. In the Survivor Series Elimination Main Event, "Winner Takes All," Team WWF (The Rock, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Kane, and The Big Show) defeated Team Alliance (Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Booker T., Rob Van Dam, and Shane McMahon) (44:00). Big Show was eliminated at (12:40) by Shane McMahon. Shane McMahon was eliminated at (14:30) by Chris Jericho. Kane was eliminated at (18:19) by Rob Van Dam. Booker T. was eliminated at (22:33) by the Rock. Rob Van Dam was eliminated at (24:51) by Chris Jericho. Kurt Angle was eliminated at (31:53) by The Rock. Chris Jericho was eliminated at (34:29) by Steve Austin. Steve Austin was eliminated at (44:57) by the Rock. The Rock is the sole survivor. Thus, killing WCW for good.

 

December 9: Chris Jericho made professional wrestling history at WWF's "Vengeance" in San Diego, California when he unified the WCW and WWF World Heavyweight Titles. Chris Jericho defeated The Rock to capture the WCW World Heavyweight Title and then went on to defeat Steve Austin to win the WWF World Heavyweight Title. He is the third man along with Shawn Michaels and Hunter Hearst Helmsley to be in the "Grand Slam" club and is now the first man in WWF history to hold every WWF title which in cludes the Intercontinental, European, Hardcore, Tag Team, and World Heavyweight titles.

 

December 14: Independent star and WWF Development wrestler, Russ Haas, dies of a Heart Attack at the age of 27.

 

December 15: Shin’ya Hashimoto defeated Gary Steele and Steve Corino in a Round-Robin Ironman match to win the held-up NWA World Heavyweight Title title

 

December 25: "Maniac" Mike Davis dies of a Heart Attack at the age of 46.

 

2002:

 

January 20: Triple H returns to the WWF after surgery on his leg that kept him out for 8 months to win the WWF Royal Rumble in Atlanta, Georgia. Also, Chris Jericho retains the Undisputed World Heavyweight Title by defeating the Rock on the card.

 

February 3: Former NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion, Nelson Royal, passes away at the age of 70.

 

February 5: Vince McMahon coldly announces ther return of the nWo (Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall)...WWF's "Tough Enough" winner, Maven, wins the WWF World Hardcore Title from The Undertaker on "SmackDown!" in Los Angeles, California.

 

February 16: FMW, most hardcore wrestling promotion in Japan, that kicked off the "Hardcore Revolution" thus helping ECW reach stardom, folds....Tadao Yasuda wins New Japan's IWGP World Heavyweight Title by defeating Yuji Nagata in a tournament final.

 

February 17: The nWo (Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall) returns to the WWF and on PPV with a speech at WWF's "No Way Out" in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the card, Chris Jericho pinned Steve Austin to retain the Undisputed World Heavyweight Title.

 

February 24: Toshiaki Kawada wins his 4th All-Japan Triple Crown title by defeated Keiji Mutoh in Tokyo, Japan.

 

March 9: Dan Severn defeated Shin'ya Hashimoto on a Zero-One Card in Tokyo, Japan to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title.

 

March 17: WWF's "WrestleMainia X-8" set a new SkyDome record with 68,237 in attendance in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Here are the results of this phenomenal card: Intercontinental Heavyweight Title Match: Rob Van Dam pinned William Regal (9:39) to win the title...European Heavyweight Title Match: Diamond Dallas Page pinned Christian to (9:16) retain the title...World Hardcore Title Match: Spike Dudley pinned Maven (5:05) to win the title. The match was originally, Goldust vs. Maven. Thanks to the 24/7 Hardcore Title Defense Rule...World Hardcore Title Match: Hurricane Helms pinned Spike Dudley (3:00) to win the title...Kurt Angle pinned Kane (16:14)...No Disqualification Match: The Undertaker pinned Ric Flair 28:20 in a "No Disqualification" match...Edge pinned Booker T. (9:45)...World Hardcore Title Match: Mighty Molly pinned Hurricane Helms to win the title...Steve Austin pinned Scott Hall (15:26)...World Tag Team Title Match (Four-Corners Elimination Match): Chuck Palumbo and Billy Gunn defeated The Hardy Boyz (Jeff and Matt Hardy), The Dudley Boyz (Buh-Buh Ray and D-Von), and The Acolytes (Faarrooq and Bradshaw) (22:16) in a four-way match to retain the tag team titles. D-Von pinned Faarooq. Jeff Hardy pinned Buh-Buh Ray Dudley (19:00). Chuck Palumbo pinned Jeff Hardy (22:16)...World Hardcore Title Match: Christian pinned Mighty Molly...The Rock pinned Hulk Hogan (26:57)...Women's World Title Match: Jazz defeated Trish Stratus and Lita (9:00) in a "three-way" match to retain the title when Jazz pinned Lita...Undisputed (WWF and WCW) World Heavyweight Title Match: Triple H pinned Chris Jericho (29:34) to win the Undisputed World Title.

 

March 25: WWF hosted a "Draft" to split their roster into two brand extension names. Simply calling them "RAW Roster" and the "SmackDown! Roster." Ric Flair chooses the following wrestlers to appear on his RAW show: The Undertaker, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, X-Pac, Kane, Booker T., The Big Show, Buh-Buh Ray Dudley, Brock Lesnar, William Regal, Rob Van Dam, Lita, Bradshaw, Stevie Richards, Matt Hardy, Raven, Jeff Hardy, Curt Hennig, Spike Dudley, D-Lo Brown, Shawn Stasiak, Terri, Jacquline, Goldust, Trish Stratus, Justn Credible, Big Boss Man, Tommy Dreamer, Crash Holly, Mighty Molly, Eddie Guerrero....Vince McMahon chooses the following wrestlers to appear on his SmackDown! show: The Rock, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Hulk Hogan, Billy Gunn, Chuck Palumbo, Edge, Rikishi, D-Von Dudley, Mark Henry, Maven Huffman, Billy Kidman, Yoshihiro Tajiri, Chris Jericho, Ivory, Albert, Hurricane Helms, Al Snow, Lance Storm, Torrie Wilson, Diamond Dallas Page, Scotty 2 Hotty, Stacey Keibler, Christian, Test, Faarooq, Tazz, Hardcore Holly, Val Venis, Perry Saturn, Randy Orton, Sho Funaki, Triple H.

 

April 13: Gen'ichiro Tenryu defeated Toshiaki Kawada to win his third All-Japan Triple Crown in Tokyo, Japan. Kawada vacated the title a few weeks ago when he injured his knee.

 

April 14: Legendary NWA Mid-Atlantic wrestler, Chief Wahoo McDaniel, passed away at the age of 63 in Houston, Texas.

 

April 21: WWF's "Backlash" was held at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri. Some of the results were: World Cruiserweight Title Match: Yoshihiro Tajiri pinned Billy Kidman (9:04) to win the title...Intercontinental Heavyweight Title Match: Eddie Guerrero pinned Rob Van Dam (11:37) to win the title...The Undertaker pinned Steve Austin (27:02). Ric Flair was the special guest referee...Undisputed World Heavyweight Title Match: Hulk Hogan pinned Triple H (22:00) to win the title.

 

April 28: One of the greatest professional wrestlers and only undisputed World Heavyweight Champion, Lou Thesz, passes away at the age of 86 of natural causes. Shortly after having bypass surgery a few weeks ago.

 

May 5: After 23 years of calling themselves the "World Wrestling Federation." The promotion renamed themselves "World Wrestling Entertainment" following a lawsuit with the World Wildlife Federation. They even renamed "WWF New York" to "The World." [Editor's Note: This is a lame way to name a promotion.]

 

May 8: The WWE announced they will be renaming their TV shows starting May 24th. RAW (TNN, Monday, 9-11 PM), SmackDown! (UPN, Thursday, 8-10 PM), and HEAT (MTV, Sunday, 7-8 PM) will remain the same. Excess (TNN, Saturday, 10 PM - 12 AM) will be broken into two seperate shows and renamed, WWE Velocity (TNN, Saturday, 10-11 PM) which will cover highlights from SmackDown!, and WWE Confidential (TNN, Saturday, 11 PM - 12 AM) which will be a magazine-style show. WWE After Burn (Syndicated, Check Local Listings) will replace WWE Jakked/Metal (Syndicated, Check Local Listings), but will be the same show showcasing the SmackDown! talent.

 

May 19: WWE "Judgement Day" was held in Nashville, Tennessee. In the main event, The Undertaker pinned Hulk Hogan to win the Undisputed World Champion.

 

May 27: Chris Benoit makes his triumphant return to the WWE after neck surgery. Also, Rob Van Dam defeated Eddie Guerrero in a ladder match to win the Intercontinental Champion.

 

May 28: Dan Severn was stripped of the NWA World Heavyweight Title by the NWA Board of Directors. The title will be on the line at the NWA's PPV "NWA Total Non-Stop Action" in Huntsville, Alabama on June 19th.

 

June 10: Stone Cold Steve Austin leaves WWE RAW early in the afternoon after learning that he will have to job to Brock Lesnar in the KOTR Qualifying match. This is the second time this year Austin no-shows a WWE event due to his dissatisfaction with the Creative Writing Team. Later on in the night, Vince McMahon defeated Ric Flair to claim ownership of both "RAW" and "SmackDown!" A couple of days later, Austin was released by the WWE.

 

June 15: Debra Williams, wife of Steve Austin, reports to San Antonio police that Steve Austin assaulted her in their home. Steve Austin fled the scene afterwards.

 

June 19: Ken Shamrock defeated Malice (WCW's The Wall) to win the NWA World Heavyweight Title on NWA'S PPV in Huntsville, Alabama. Ricky Steamboat was the special guest referee. Shamrock and Malice were the finalists of a Gauntlet Battle Royal featuring: Jeff Jarrett , Buff Bagwell, Lash Leroux, Norman Smiley, Gran Apollo, K-Krush, Slash, Del Rios, Justice, Konnan, Bruce (Alan Funk), Rick Steiner, Malice, Scott Hall, Steve Corino, Ken Shamrock, and Brian Christopher...NWA World Heavyweight Title Match: Ken Shamrock defeated Malice (WCW's The Wall) to win the title. Ricky Steamboat was the special guest referee.

 

June 20: Vince Russo comes back to the WWE as a head writer for their shows.

 

July 8: Rob Van Dam pinned Jeff Hardy on "RAW" in Grand Rapids, Michigan to unify the Intercontinental and European Heavyweight title belts.

 

July 9: Vince Russo leaves WWE after being demoted as head writer and signs up with NWA TNA as their new writer.

 

July 15: Eric Bischoff returns to wrestling after a two year absence to become "General Manager" of the WWE RAW brand.

 

July 20: Shane Douglas returns to XPW to win the World title from Johnny Webb.

 

July 21: The Rock defeated Kurt Angle and The Undertaker at "Vengeance" in Detroit, Michigan to win the WWE Undisputed World Title.

 

July - September: A bunch of wrestlers flipped-flopped between the RAW and SmackDown! rosters including: Triple H, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, Matt Hardy, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, and Crash Holly.

 

August 7: "The Truth" Ron Killings AKA K-Kwik, becomes the first black NWA World Heavyweight Champion, by pinning Ken Shamrock to win the title in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

August 25: Brock Lesnar becomes the youngest man to win the WWE World Heavyweight Title at the age of 25 by pinning the Rock at SummerSlam in Uniondale, New York. Also on the card, Shawn Michaels comes back to wrestle one more match after 4 years by pinning Triple H.

 

August 26: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley announced Brock Lesnar and the WWE Undisputed World Title is exclusive to WWE SmackDown! Rob Van Dam pinned Tommy Dreamer on "RAW" in New York City, New York to unify the Intercontinental and Hardcore Title belts.

 

August 31: Bill Goldberg wrestles for All-Japan Pro Wrestling and pinned Taiyo Kea in his debut match.

 

September 2: Eric Bischoff introduced Hunter Hearst Helmsley as WWE RAW's version of the World Heavyweight Champion by awarding him the WCW World Heavyweight Title belt.

 

September 18: Brian James, AKA Road Dogg, made his debut in NWA TNA

 

October 2: Sean Waltman, AKA X-Pac/Syxx/Syxx-Pac, made his debut in NWA TNA.

 

October 3: Stephanie McMahon announced a tournament for the WWE SmackDown! version of the World Tag Team Titles.

 

October 9: Curt Hennig makes his debut in NWA TNA when he teamed with Brian James and Syxx-Pac against Ron Killings, Jeff Jarrett, and Brian Lawler.

 

October 10: Nicole Bass fails to win a case against the WWE in a Sexual Harassment lawsuit.

 

October 20: The Intercontinental Championship ended it's 32 year run as a singles title when it was unified with the RAW version of the World Heavyweight Title when Triple H pinned Kane to unify both titles. Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit became the first World Tag Team champions of the SmackDown! Brand when they defeated Edge and Rey Misterio in the finals. Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker in a "Hell in a Cell" match to retain the SmackDown! version of the World Heavyweight Title. All this occured at WWE's "No Mercy" in Little Rock, Arkansas.

 

October 25: WWA World Champion, Scott Steiner, signed with the WWE.

 

October 27: NWA 54th Anniversary Show was held in Corpus Christi, Texas. Ron "The Truth" Killings defended the NWA World Heavyweight Title against NWA National Champion, Hotstuff Hernandez, in a Best Two out of Three Falls match. Chris Harris and James Storm retained the NWA World Tag Team titles against AJ Styles and Rocky Reynolds. NWA TNA's Jorge Estrada defeated Paul Atlas for the NWA North American title.

 

November 17: Bill Goldberg pinned Rick Steiner in Antonio Inoki's "Wrestle-1" Event in Tokyo, Japan...WWE's "Survivor Series" was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Main event saw Shawn Michaels defeated Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Booker T., Chris Jericho, Kane, and Rob Van Dam (39:12) in the "Elimination Chamber" match to win the WWE RAW World Title. Booker T. eliminated Rob Van Dam. Chris Jericho eliminated Booker T., Chris Jericho eliminated Kane. Shawn Michaels eliminated Chris Jericho. Shawn Michaels eliminated Hunter Hearst Helmsley.

 

November 18: Scott Steiner made his WWE Television debut on RAW

 

November 20: Jeff Jarrett realized his dream by winning the NWA World Heavyweight title from Ron Killings in Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville became the third city that the NWA World title changed hands with a record of 4 times tying Tokyo, Japan and Tampa, Florida.

 

December 6: Lex Luger defeated Sting in Glasgow, Scotland to win the WWA World Heavyweight Title.

 

December 13: Sting defeated Lex Luger and Malice in a three way match to win the WWA World Heavyweight Title in Zurich, Switzerland.

 

December 15: WWE's "Armageddon" was held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Matches were: (SmackDown! Match) World Heavyweight Title Match: Kurt Angle pinned The Big Show to win the title...(RAW Match) World Heavyweight Title Match (Best Two out of Three Falls): Triple H defeated Shawn Michaels (38:30) in a "best two out of three falls" match to win the title. Triple H pinned Shawn Michaels in a "Street Fight" match. Shawn Michaels pinned Triple H in a "steel cage" match. Triple H defeated Shawn Michaels (38:30) in a "ladder" match.

 

2003:

 

January 18: "The Original Sheik" Ed Farahat passes away in a Michigan hospital. He was the uncle of current international superstar, Sabu.

 

January 19: Brock Lesnar won the 2003 WWE Royal Rumble by eliminating The Undertaker in Boston, Massachusetts. Other matches were: (RAW) World Heavyweight Title Match: Scott Steiner defeated Triple H by Disqualification (17:00). Triple H retains the title...(SmackDown!) World Heavyweight Title Match: Kurt Angle defeated Chris Benoit (17:18) by submission to retain the title......(RAW) World Tag Team Title Match: The Dudley Boyz (Buh-Buh Ray and D-Von Dudley) defeated Lance Storm and William Regal (7:26) when D-Von Dudley pinned Lance Storm to win the tag team titles.

 

January 20: Lance Storm and William Regal regain the WWE RAW World Tag Team Titles in Providence, Rhode Island.

 

January 21: Hulk Hogan returns to the WWE Television for "SmackDown!" after a long layoff due to a dispute between Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan.

 

February 4: Team Angle, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas, defeated Eddie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero to win the WWE SmackDown! World Tag Team Titles in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania.

 

February 5: The NWA World Tag Team Titles were held-up after a match between Triple xXx (Low-Ki and Elix Skipper) and the New Church (Brian Lee and Slash) when Slash pinned Skipper while Low Ki pinned Lee. A tournmanent was held to face Triple xXx for the held-up titles during the month of February.

 

February 10: Former AWA World, AWA World Tag, WWE Intercontinental, WCW United States Champion, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig dies unexpectedly in a Florida hotel prior his appearance on a card promoted by Jimmy Hart. Autopsy results were revealed on the week of March 23rd, appears to be an acute Cocaine overdose.

 

February 19: Japan's NOAH Superstar, Vader, returns to America Television after 5 years when he saved Dusty Rhodes on the PPV episode of NWA TNA in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

February 23: Shinya Hashimoto from NWA Zero-One defeated Keiji Mutoh to win All-Japan's Triple Crown title in Tokyo, Japan...WWE held their PPV, "No Way Out," in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Some matches were: WWE World Cruiserweight Title Match (SmackDown! Match): Matt Hardy pinned Billy Kidman (9:30) to win the title...RAW World Heavyweight Title Match: Triple H pinned Scott Steiner (13:02) to retain the title...RAW Match: Steve Austin pinned Eric Bischoff (4:28)...SmackDown! Match: The Rock pinned Hulk Hogan (12:10).

 

February 27: Rhyno returns to the WWE on the "SmackDown!" roster after being out for over a year when he had surgery on his neck to fuse a herniated disk.

 

March 1: Kenta Kobashi pinned long time rival, Mitsuharu Misawa, to win NOAH's Global Honor Crown title in Tokyo, Japan.

 

March 10: WWE star, Edge, underwent surgery for his injured neck that he sustained at an overseas house show in South Africa. He will be out for a year.

 

March 12: Christopher Daniels and Low Ki defeated America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris and James Storm) when Daniels pinned Harris to win the held-up NWA World Tag Team titles in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

March 24: Former WCW World and United States Champion, Bill Goldberg, signed with the WWE. He is rumored to appear on WWE RAW on March 31st, the day after WrestleMania in Seattle, Washington...Lance Storm and William Regal were stripped of the titles when Regal could not compete due to a stomach virus and a concussion. Sean Morley and Storm were awarded the titles on the same night.

 

March 30: WWE WrestleMania 19 was held at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington where the attendance was 54,097. Some of the results were: RAW Match: Shawn Michaels pinned Chris Jericho (22:34)...(RAW) World Heavyweight Title Match: Triple H pinned Booker T. (18:50) to retain the title...Street Fight (SmackDown! Match): Hulk Hogan pinned Vince McMahon (20:53) in a "Street fight" match...RAW Match: The Rock pinned Steve Austin (17:52)...(SmackDown!) World Heavyweight Title Match: Brock Lesnar pinned Kurt Angle (21:07) to win the title.

 

April 27: WWE's Backlash occurred in Worcester, Massachusetts. Some of the results were: SmackDown! World Heavyweight Title Match: Brock Lesnar pinned John Cena (15:15) to retain the title...(RAW Match) Six-Man Tag Team Match: Triple H, Ric Flair, and Chris Jericho defeated Kevin Nash, Booker T., and Shawn Michaels (17:45) when Triple H pinned Kevin Nash...RAW Match: Bill Goldberg pinned The Rock (15:00).

 

May 1: Another tragedy in pro wrestling occurred when Miss Elizabeth (Elizabeth Heulette) passes away in here Atlanta, Georgia home.

 

May 2: The IWGP and NWF World Heavyweight Titles were unified in Tokyo, Japan when Yoshihiro Takayama (NWF Heavyweight Champion) pinned Yuji Nagata (IWGP Heavyweight Champion) to win the title.

 

May 6: Hulk Hogan made his WWE return as "Mr. America" during a SmackDown! Television taping.

 

May 18: WWE's Judgment Day was held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Some of the results were: WWE Intercontinental Title Battle Royal (RAW Match): Christian won the "battle royal" (11:55) to win the Intercontinental Title. Other participants were: Booker T., Val Venis (Chief Sean Morely), Chris Jericho, Kane, Goldust, Lance Storm, Rob Van Dam, and Test...SmackDown! Match: Mr. America pinned Roddy Piper (4:50)...RAW World Heavyweight Title Match: Kevin Nash defeated World Champion, Triple H, by Disqualification (7:22). Triple H retains the title...SmackDown! World Heavyweight Title Match (Stretcher Match): Brock Lesnar defeated The Big Show (15:27) in a "stretcher" match to retain the title.

 

May 25: The NWA and WWA (World Wrestling All-Stars) World Heavyweight titles were unified when NWA World Champion, Jeff Jarrett, pinned WWA World Champion, Sting, to unify the belts in Auckland, New Zealand.

 

There :xyx

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Guest sam bird
Originally posted by fujiwara

Wrestling, in its many forms, has been around for thousands of years.

 

Yep. It's a contest between it, boxing and running as to what exactly is the oldest sport in the world.

 

 

Now there were two types of these wrestlers there were the “hookers” who were the new kids on the block that used any tricks at their disposal to win matches and the “shooters” who had backgrounds in the wrestling world and had been doing it for years.

 

Also ''rippers'', too, who combined the skills and techniques of shooting and hooking to deliberately break a part of an opponent's body. Harsh.

 

The promoters and wrestlers had no idea who was going to win until the fight was over.

 

Now, this is the dodgy area, full of mystique and the 'unknown'.

 

Many newpaper reports at the time were not only hugely sceptical of wrestling and some of it's results, but have openly written and described, during some matches, of some spectators yelling ''fake'' and other similar adjectives at parts of the match that they felt looked 'uncontest-like'.

 

Also, some of Frank Gotch's matches have long since been highly suspected of ''works'' i.e His loss and quick return win against Fred Beal (who most thought as his inferior) and his legendary two bouts against George Hackenschmidt were not only marred in controversy, but do look like very early blue-prints of a ''planned'' feud to keep the punters coming back.

 

Of course, there's no 100% proof either way, and that's what makes it even more intriguing; that mystery and not knowing for sure. It's how magic and UFO's keep people interested.

 

But one thing is for sure, that, whether many or few of the match finishes were ''worked'', most of the wrestlers back then knew how to wrestle legitimately and how to hurt and cripple people if they so desired.

 

Awesome effort though, mate.

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Guest therock88
:) well do that man...that was a hell of a read...some very interesting facts and other bits and pieces in their..you certainly learn something new every day.
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  • 10 months later...
Guest mary kay blair

To Catus Jack: Do you know anything about Captain Hewy Chandler that wrestled in the 1930's and maybe even 40's.? I know he wrestled in Mid missouri to the Miama ,Ok

area. I also know that he died in accident heading to his first ever match inside an area. He wrestled in circus tents before then at county fairs.

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