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This Day In Wrestling History – January 18th‏



Events

In 1998, WWF Royal Rumble, held in San Jose, California, saw Shawn Michaels suffer the back injury that would force his original retirement

– The Rock defeats Ken Shamrock by DQ to retain the WWF Intercontinental Title
– The Legion Of Doom (Hawk & Animal) defeat The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn) by DQ (The Outlaws retain the WWF Tag Team Titles)
– Steve Austin wins the Royal Rumble, last eliminating The Rock
– Shawn Michaels defeats The Undertaker in a Casket Match to retain the WWF Title

Title Changes

1971 – Ivan Koloff defeats Bruno Sammartino to win the WWWF Title, ending Sammartino’s near 8 year reign

1980 – Ernie Ladd defeats Mike Sharpe Jr to win the MSW Louisiana Title

1988 – Kengo Kimura & Tatsumi Fujinami defeat Kazuo Yamazaki & Yoshiaki Fujiwara to win the IWGP Tag Team Titles

2003 – Brother Love defeats Jimmy Rave to win the NWA Junior Heavyweight Title

2004 – Kaz Hayashi & Satoshi Kojima defeat Arashi & Keiji Mutoh to win the AJPW Unified World Tag Team Titles

Birthdays

Happy birthday to 6-time World Champion Dave Batista (43), one-time IWGP Tag Team Champion Karl Anderson (32), WWE Hall of Famer ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase (58) and one-time Mexican National Heavyweight Champion Perro Aguayo (66)

Also, today would have been the birthday of WWWF co-founder Toots Mondt (118)

In Memoriam

On this day in 2003, the wrestling world lost WWE Hall of Famer The (Original) Sheik at the age of 76. Sheik made his debut in 1949, wrestling primarily in Texas and the Midwest at the start of his career, before branching out to New York with the upstart WWWF. This national exposure earned him such fame that he began wrestling in Canada and Japan as well, using his innovative hardcore style. Sheik became renowned for his use of a sharp pencil to cut his opponents, as well as being one of the first to use the fireball technique in the US. The height of his fame came in the late 60s and early 70s, where he went 127 matches unbeaten in Toronto, as well as selling out venues all over the US. By the later stages of his career, Sheik had begun working exclusively as a hardcore wrestler, often teaming with his nephew Sabu. Interestingly, in 1992, he was working a fire death match (the ring ropes were replaced with flaming barbed wire) with Sabu against Atsushi Onita and Tarzan Goto, when he suffered such severe burns that he fell into a coma. Fortunately he recovered, though he quickly wound down his career, wrestling his final match in 1998. He retired to his Michigan estate, where he died of heart failure. 4 years after his death, Sabu and Rob Van Dam inducted him into the WWE Hall of Fame






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