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This Day In Wrestling History – January 31st‏



Events

In 2009, ROH Caged Collision was held in Chicago Ridge, Illinois

– Necro Butcher & Jerry Lynn defeat The Age Of The Fall (Delirious & Brodie Lee)
– Tyler Black defeats Austin Aries, Bryan Danielson & Jimmy Jacobs
– Nigel McGuinness defeats El Generico to retain the ROH World Title
– Brent Albright, Roderick Strong, Erick Stevens, Jay Briscoe & Ace Steel defeat Sweet n Sour Inc (Adam Pearce, Tank Toland, Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards & Bobby Dempsey) in a Steel Cage Warfare Match

In 2010, WWE Royal Rumble was held in Atlanta, Georgia

– Christian defeats Ezekiel Jackson to retain the ECW Title
– The Miz defeats MVP to retain the WWE United States Title
– Sheamus defeats Randy Orton by DQ to retain the WWE Title
– Mickie James defeats Michelle McCool to win the WWE Womens TItle
– The Undertaker defeats Rey Mysterio to retain the World Heavyweight Title
– Edge wins the Royal Rumble, last eliminating John Cenai

Title Changes

1981 – The Grappler defeats Karl Kox to win the MSW Mississippi Title

1981 – Les Thornton defeats Jerry Stubbs to win the NWA Junior Heavyweight Title

1990 – Jushin Liger defeats Naoki Sano to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title

1994 – Eddie Gilbert defeats Jerry Lawler to win the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Title

2000 – on Raw, Hervina defeats Miss Kitty in a Lumberjill Snowbunny Match to win the WWF Womens Title. Hervina was later revealed to be Harvey Whippleman in disguise

Birthdays

Today would have been the birthday of former WCW, WWF and New Japan wrestler Giant Gonzalez/El Gigante (46)

In Memoriam

On this day in 1999, the wrestling world lost All Japan Pro Wrestling founder Shohei ‘Giant’ Baba aged 61. Baba began his sporting career as a baseball pitcher for the Yomiuri Giants, but failed to make any kind of impact on the team, recording 0-1 for his 3 games. In the late 1950′s/early 1960′s, he was approached by Japanese wrestling legend Rikidozan, who was looking for a successor to take over his JWA promotion. Baba jumped at the chance and began training under Riki in April 1960, alongside another young protege, Kanji (later known as Antonio) Inoki. Baba and Inoki would form a successful tag team, holding the NWA International Tag Team Titles 4-times. He also worked briefly for Vince McMahon Sr in the early 60′s, challenging for the NWA and WWWF World Titles, though coming up short on both counts. By 1972, the JWA was in decline, and first Inoki, then Baba left to form their own promotions (New Japan and All Japan respectively). Baba proved himself to be a strong business leader, taking the Japanese NWA spot from the JWA when it eventually folded, leading to an influx of foreign talent. Baba himself became a 3-time NWA World Champion, albeit only holding the title in Japan. In 1984, Baba was stepping back from active competition, allowing his younger trainees to take the spotlight. This led to wrestlers such as Genichiro Tenryu, Kenta Kobashi, Jumbo Tsuruta and perhaps most importantly, Mitsuharu Misawa, getting their first major exposure in the business. Baba further proved his business skills, selling out over 250 consecutive shows in Tokyo in the early 90′s. In fact, at the company’s peak, they sold tickets for their next show at all live events and routinely sold out on the night. Baba made his final active stand in 1993, competing alongside Stan Hansen in the World’s Strongest Tag League. The pair made it to the final, but were beaten by Baba’s proteges, Misawa and Kobashi. He continued to wrestle sporadically until his final match in December 1998, by which time his health was failing. He attended the January 22nd All Japan show, before being admitted to hospital, dying 9 days later of cancer.






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