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This Day In Wrestling History – April 24th‏



Trivia

2005 – Hiroshi Tanahashi wins the New Japan Cup, defeating Manabu Nakanishi in the tournament final

Events

In 2005, TNA Lockdown was held in Orlando, Florida. As with all Lockdown events, all matches were held in a cage. Chris Candido suffered the injury at this event that would indirectly lead to his death

– America’s Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm) defeat Team Canada (Petey Williams & Eric Young) in a Strap Match to retain the NWA World Tag Team Titles
– Christopher Daniels defeats Elix Skipper to retain the TNA X-Division Title
– Sean Waltman, Diamond Dallas Page & BG James defeat Jeff Jarrett, The Outlaw & Monty Brown in a Lethal Lockdown Match
– AJ Styles defeats Abyss

Title Changes

1939 – John Swenski defeats Bob Kenaston to win the World Junior Heavyweight Title (note that wrestling historians debate whether this change may have occurred in January)

1989 – Big Van Vader defeats Shinya Hashimoto in the final of a tournament with Lou Thesz as special guest referee to win the vacant IWGP Heavyweight Title

2000 – on Raw, Matt Hardy defeats Crash Holly to win the WWF Hardcore Title

2000 – on Nitro, Diamond Dallas Page defeats Jeff Jarrett in a Cage Match to win the WCW World Title

2001 – on Smackdown, Matt Hardy defeats Eddie Guerrero to win the WWF European Title

2001 – Steve Corino defeats Mike Rapada to win the NWA World Title

2004 – The Second City Saints (CM Punk & Colt Cabana) defeat The Briscoe Brothers (Mark & Jay) to win the ROH Tag Team Titles

2007 – Mickie James defeats Melina & Victoria in a Triple Threat Match to win the WWE Womens Title, but loses it back to Melina in a singles match later in the night

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former AJPW and IWGP Champion Yuji Nagata (44)

Also, today would have been the birthday of the legendary Lou Thesz (96) and 3-time Mexican Welterweight Champion Blue Demon (90)

In Memoriam

On this day in 2001, the wrestling world lost NWA Hall of Famer Johnny Valentine aged 72. Debuting in 1947, Valentine quickly ascended the ranks and was competing for major titles before the turn of the decade. In the early part of his career, he competed primarily in Capitol Wrestling, but made regular appearances all over America. By the 1960s, he was competing and winning titles in Canada as well, primarily in the Toronto territory. He toured Japan in the mid-60’s and is credited with launching the career of Antonio Inoki, putting over the youngster in a fine series of matches, including dropping the NWA Toronto United States Title to Inoki. He competed in the early days of the WWWF promotion, winning their United States Tag Team Titles, but left the promotion soon afterwards, preferring his NWA commitments. He continued to compete across the southern states, finding most success in Florida and Texas. He won his one and only NWA World Title in 1973, defeating Harley Race, but would lose the belt to Terry Funk around a month later. Just as Valentine’s career seemed to be peaking, he was involved in the infamous plane crash which ended the careers of both Valentine and Bob Bruggers, and caused serious injury to ‘Mr Wrestling’ Tim Woods, David Crockett and a young Ric Flair. The crash embedded a bone fragment in Valentine’s spine, rendering him paralyzed for life. Despite the severity of the injury, Valentine returned to wrestling as a manager, using his wheelchair to get around the ring. Following this managerial stint, Valentine stayed away from the wrestling business, living out a quiet life in Texas. He suffered a fall at his home in August, causing the frail man several serious injuries. He was admitted to hospital, but would never leave. In a final sad episode, Valentine’s health insurance (bought through an HMO) refused to pay out upon his death. Fortunately, Lou Thesz, a longtime friend of Valentine’s, convinced the Cauliflower Alley Club to contribute to the payments.






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