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This Day In Wrestling History – May 13th‏



Events

In 2007, TNA Sacrifice was held in Orlando, Florida. The NWA severed ties with TNA earlier this day, meaning that the NWA belts were used, but were not referred to as such. For the same reason, Kurt Angle’s win is not recognized by the NWA

– Chris Sabin defeats Jay Lethal & Sonjay Dutt in a 3-Way Match to retain the TNA X-Division Title
– Chris Harris defeats James Storm in a Texas Death Match
– Team 3D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon) defeat Scott Steiner & Tomko & The LAX (Homicide & Hernandez) in a 3-Way Match to retain the ‘World Tag Team Titles’
– Kurt Angle defeats Sting & Christian Cage to win the ‘World Heavyweight Title’. Angle later claimed that he was the first TNA World Champion, but the title was vacated on Impact by Jim Cornette

Title Changes

1975 – Dominic DeNucci & Victor Rivera defeat Jimmy & Johnny Valiant to win the WWWF Tag Team Titles

1979 – Wahoo McDaniel defeats The Spoiler to win the WCCW American Heavyweight Title

1984 – Rick Martel defeats Jumbo Tsuruta to win the AWA World Title

1984 – Magnum TA defeats Mr Wrestling II to win the MSW North American Title

1988 – Barry Windham defeats Nikita Koloff in the final of a tournament to win the vacant NWA United States Title

2002 – on Raw, Trish Stratus defeats Jazz to win the WWE Womens Title

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former WWE, WCW and TNA wrestler Jimmy Yang (31)

In Memoriam

On this day in 2000, the wrestling world lost the first AJPW Triple Crown Champion Jumbo Tsuruta aged 49. He was an accomplished amateur wrestler in Japan, winning competitions in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling at the superheavyweight level. This success took him to the 1972 Munich Olympics, though he found considerably less success there, losing both of his preliminary matches to European opponents. All Japan promoter Giant Baba approached Tsuruta, later sending him to Texas to train under Dory Funk Jr. and it was here that he debuted in 1973. It is said that he was the first Japanese wrestler to compete as a crowd-favourite in America, as fans cheered him for his wrestling ability and superior work ethic. Following this training period, he quickly rose through the ranks of All Japan, becoming the first AJPW Unified Tag Team Champion with Yoshiaki Yatsu in 1988, before unifying the NWA International, PWF Heavyweight and NWA United National Titles into the AJPW Triple Crown Title the following year. He would go on to hold those titles a total of 10 times through his career. Notably, he was also instrumental in the rise of Mitsuharu Misawa, giving the young wrestler his first main event win in 1990. Tsuruta’s career declined in 1992 after being diagnosed with Hepatitis B. He took an office job with the promotion while recovering, eventually making a minor return in a comedic role before retiring for good in early 1999. Barely two weeks later, he was forced out of his office position by Motoko Baba (the widow of Giant Baba) who had assumed control of her deceased husband’s promotion. He briefly moved to Portland, Oregon before returning to Japan after being diagnosed with kidney cancer, from which he would not recover. Tsuruta died of complications from an attempted kidney transplant, though it was found that his cancer had spread to his liver as well. Tsuruta was revered by the wrestling press; he competed in well over 3000 matches in his career, and has been described as ‘the best pure wrestler in the world in the 1980s’ and ‘the strongest wrestler in the history of Japanese wrestling’.

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One Response

  1. CMBurnham says:

    Today is also the birthday of wrestling legend Danny Hodge!

    And would have been the birthday of Killer Karl Krupp.

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