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This Day In Wrestling History – September 23rd‏



Trivia

1999 – Keiji Mutoh & Scott Norton win the NJPW G1 Climax Tag League, defeating Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi in the final

Events

In 2001, WWF Unforgiven was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

– The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) defeat The Big Show & Spike Dudley, Lance Storm & The Hurricane and The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff) in a Fatal Four Way Elimination Match to retain the WWF Tag Team Titles
– Christian defeats Edge to win the WWF Intercontinental Title
– The Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker & Kane) defeat KroniK (Brian Adams & Bryan Clark) to retain the WCW Tag Team Titles
– Rob Van Dam defeats Chris Jericho to retain the WWF Hardcore Title
– The Rock defeats Booker T & Shane McMahon in a Handicap Match to retain the WCW World Title
– Rhyno defeats Tajiri to win the WCW United States Title
– Kurt Angle defeats Steve Austin to win the WWF Title

Title Changes

1974 – Tex McKenzie & Johnny Valentine defeat The Blackjacks (Lanza & Mulligan) to win the WCCW American Tag Team Titles

1975 – Jose Lothario defeats Billy Graham to win the Texas Brass Knuckles Title

1986 – Kengo Kimura & Tatsumi Fujinami defeat Akira Maeda & Osamu Kido to win the IWGP Tag Team Titles

1996 – on Nitro, Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge & Rocco Rock) defeat Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) to win the WCW Tag Team Titles

1996 – on Raw, Marc Mero defeats Faarooq in the final of a tournament to win the vacant WWF Intercontinental Title

1998 – Scott Norton defeats Yuji Nagata to win the vacant IWGP Heavyweight Title

2000 – Lance Storm defeats Terry Funk to win the WCW United States Title

2002 – on Raw, Hurri-Kane (Kane & The Hurricane) defeat The Un-Americans (Lance Storm & Christian) to win the WWF Tag Team Titles

2002 – Mitsuharu Misawa defeats Yoshihiro Takayama to win the GHC Heavyweight Title. Also, Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito defeat Wild II (Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio) to win the GHC Tag Team Titles

2003 – on Smackdown, Tajiri defeats Rey Mysterio to win the WWE Cruiserweight Title

2009 – Akebono & Ryota Hama defeat Minoru Suzuki & Nosawa Rongai to win the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Titles

2010 – Amazing Red defeats Jay Lethal to win the TNA X-Division Title

Birthdays

Happy birthday to 6-time WWF/World Tag Team Champion Matt Hardy (38), former WWE wrestler Romeo Roselli (32), 5-time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion Yoshinobu Kanemaru (36) and 2-time IWGP Tag Team Champion Osamu Nishimura (41)

Also, today would have been the birthday of Mexican legend El Santo (95)

In Memoriam

On this day in 1967, the wrestling world lost 2-time World Heavyweight Champion Stanislaus Zbyszko at the age of 88. Zbyszko was born in Poland but grew up in Austria. He was somewhat of a child prodigy, excelling in the academia as well as possessing fantastic athletic abilities. In 1900, he gained his first exposure to the world of wrestling, when he challenged and defeated a professional wrestler at a local circus. Initially dismissing the sport, Zbyszko’s mind was changed when he saw the rise to fame of fellow Eastern European competitor Georg Hackenschmidt. In his early career, Zbyszko was involved in one of wrestling’s first scandals; he was competing on a tour of England, wrestling the Turkish competitor Kara Suliman. However, Suliman was revealed to a Bulgarian by the name of Ivan Offtharoff and was actually employed by Zbyszko and promoter CB Cochrane. In 1909, Zbyszko made his first major impact in America, wrestling Frank Gotch to a one-hour draw. He was involved in further controversy the following year; during a match with Gotch for the World Heavyweight Championship, Zbyszko approached his opponent for the customary handshake, only to be jumped and pinned by Gotch in 6.4 seconds. Gotch would go on to take the second fall in approximately half an hour and despite a protest from Zbyszko, the result stood. In 1921, Zbyszko returned to America and defeated Ed ‘Strangler’ Lewis for his first World Heavyweight Championship, however, his reign was not a box office success and he dropped the title back to Lewis the following year. Soon after, Zbyszko was involved in one of wrestling’s first screwjobs. Joe Stecher had fallen out with the ‘Gold Dust Trio’ of promoters and formed his own faction of wrestlers. Zbyszko remained with the Trio who were booking football star Wayne Munn as their champion, despite his little wrestling experience. Munn was booked to defeat Zbyszko in a match, but Zbyszko accepted a payoff from Stecher and defeated Munn in humiliating fashion, ruining his credibility, before dropping the title to Stecher a month later. This incident indirectly led to the rise of Lou Thesz, as promoters believed that his ‘hooking’ ability would prevent such double-crosses. Zbyszko retired soon after this incident and became a talent scout and trainer, discovering such talent as Harley Race, Antonino Rocca and Johnny Valentine. In his old age, he operated a chicken farm in New Jersey before passing of a heart attack.

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