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This Day In Wrestling History‏ – December 26th



(26th)

Events

In 1988, NWA Starrcade, held in Norfolk, Virginia, was the first event promoted by WCW under the NWA banner after Ted Turner’s rebranding of the former JCP promotion

– Kevin Sullivan & Steve Williams defeat The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton & Tommy Rogers) to win the NWA United States Tag Team Titles
– Rick Steiner defeats Mike Rotunda to win the NWA Television Title
– Barry Windham defeats Bam Bam Bigelow by countout to retain the NWA United States Title
– Sting & Dusty Rhodes defeat The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) by DQ (The Road Warriors retain the NWA World Tag Team Titles)
– Ric Flair defeats Lex Luger to retain the NWA World Title

Title Changes

1981 – Bugsy McGraw defeats The Great Kabuki to win the WCCW American Heavyweight Title

1983 – The Iron Sheik defeats Bob Backlund to win the WWF Title

1985 – Ted DiBiase & Steve Williams defeat Eddie Gilbert & Dick Murdoch (subbing for The Nightmare) to win the MSW Tag Team Titles

1990 – Tatsumi Fujinami defeats Riki Choshu to win the IWGP Heavyweight Title. Also, Hiro Saito & Super Strong Machine defeat Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki to win the IWGP Tag Team Titles

1993 – Terry Funk defeats Sabu in a No-DQ Match to win the NWA-ECW Title

2004 – Austin Aries defeats Samoa Joe to win the ROH World Title

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former WWF Tag and European Champion Dennis Knight, better known as Phineas I Godwinn and Mideon (43), one-time NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champion Tom Howard (42) and UK indy regular and former TNA America’s X-Cup participant ‘X-Treme’ Dean Allmark (26)

In Memoriam

On this day in 1963, the wrestling world lost WWE Hall of Famer Gorgeous George at the age of 48. Weighing just 215lbs at the start of his career, George was not a physically imposing man by the standards of the day, but he was one of the first to understand that wrestling needed personalities. In 1941, the overtly effeminate ‘Gorgeous George’ character debuted and wrestling was never the same again. Huge crowds turned out to ridicule George, making him one of the, if not the biggest box office draw of his day. The character later evolved into the first ‘cowardly villain’ character that the sport had ever seen and with wrestling beginning to appear on television, George became a national celebrity, cited as being as popular as Bob Hope and Milton Berle. By the 1950′s George was such a popular character that he was able to command 50% of the gate for his performances, thus making him the highest paid athlete in the world (with yearly earnings in excess of $800,000 at current rates). He was forced to quit wrestling in 1962, having been diagnosed with a serious liver condition caused by years of alcohol abuse. He suffered a heart attack on Christmas Eve of the following year, succumbing to its effects two days later. George’s legacy is far-stretching; such names as Elton John, Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali and James Brown all considered him an inspiration, and his gimmick has been re-used countless times in the wrestling business. I believe it is safe to say that Gorgeous George was wrestling’s first star






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