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This Day In Wrestling History – October 16th‏



Trivia

1968 – Dusty Rhodes makes his professional wrestling debut

1984 – Shawn Michaels makes his professional wrestling debut

Events

In 1988, Ted DiBiase wins the WWF King Of The Ring Tournament, defeating Randy Savage in the final

In 2011, TNA Bound For Glory was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

– Austin Aries defeats Brian Kendrick to retain the TNA X-Division Title
– Velvet Sky defeats Winter, Mickie James & Madison Rayne to win the TNA Knockouts Title
– AJ Styles defeats Christopher Daniels in an I Quit Match
– Sting defeats Hulk Hogan to regain control of TNA for Dixie Carter
– Kurt Angle defeats Bobby Roode to retain the TNA World Title

Title Changes

1961 – Red McKim defeats Corsica Joe to win the TSW Oklahoma Junior Heavyweight Title

1965 – Jack Brisco defeats Don Kent to win the TSW Missouri Junior Heavyweight Title

1976 – Paul Jones defeats Blackjack Mulligan to win the NWA Mid-Atlantic United States Title

1981 – Les Thornton defeats Gerald Brisco to win the NWA Junior Heavyweight Title

1987 – The Sheepherders (Luke Williams & Butch Miller) defeat The Lightning Express (Brad Armstrong & Tim Horner) to win the UWF Tag Team Titles. This would be the final reign before UWF was absorbed into JCP later that year

1987 – Nelson Royal is awarded the vacant NWA Junior Heavyweight Title

1997 – Bam Bam Bigelow defeats Shane Douglas to win the ECW World Title

2000 – on Raw, William Regal defeats Al Snow to win the WWF European Title

2003 – Special K (Dixie & Izzy) defeat The Backseat Boyz (Johnny Kashmere & Trent Acid) to win the ROH Tag Team Titles

2007 – Kurt Angle defeats Sting to win the TNA World Title

2011 – Atsushi Aoki & Kotaro Suzuki defeat Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kenta to win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles. Also, Ricky Marvin defeats Satoshi Kajiwara to win the vacant GHC Junior Heavyweight Title, but refuses the belt, saying that he wants to earn it by defeating injured former champion Katsuhiko Nakajima

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former CZW Junior Heavyweight Champion Derek Frazier (32), former Chikara regular Jimmy ‘Equinox’ Olsen (26), one-time ECW World Champion Justin Credible (39), WSU Hall of Famer Missy Hyatt (49), current IGF Champion Kazuyuki Fujita (42) and current AJPW Tag Team Champion Takao Omori (43)

Also, today would have been the birthday of former WCW Television Champion Rick ‘The Renegade’ Wilson (47)

In Memoriam

The wrestling world has lost two personalities on this date.

Firstly, in 2003, WWE Hall of Famer and tag team legend Road Warrior Hawk died at the age of 46. Hawk and Animal actually met as children, with both moving to Minneapolis at a young age. The pair attended different high schools, but maintained a friendship into adulthood and were recruited into wrestling by Eddie Sharkey whilst working together at a local nightclub. Interestingly, Barry Darsow was also working at the same club and was also recruited by Sharkey. Hawk began his career working in Vancouver as ‘Crusher Von Haig’, but it was in 1983 that his career would begin to take off. Animal’s scheduled tag team partner had run into legal difficulties, so Hawk was brought in to fill the spot. Ole Anderson christened them ‘The Road Warriors’ and a legend was born. Over the next 9 years, the duo became probably the most popular tag team on the planet before the infamous WWF ‘Rocco’ gimmick saw Hawk leave the promotion (and his tag team partner) behind. Hawk turned to Europe and Japan where he was able to compete as a singles wrestler (he found himself ‘typecast’ as a tag team specialist in the US) and did so with moderate success. In 1996, a reunion with Animal proved too much to let go and he returned to the States to compete for WCW before the New World Order storyline saw them jump ship to the WWF once again. By the turn of the millennium, Hawk was struggling with personal demons and was later diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, all of which saw him take nearly a year away from wrestling. Towards the end of his life, Hawk still teamed regularly with Animal, appearing once more on WWE programming before his passing of an apparent heart attack at his home in Florida. Several tributes were paid to him following the news; WWE aired an ‘in memory of’ graphic at the following shows, Animal dedicated his entire mid-2000’s WWE run to his former partner and finally, in 2011, the pair were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame alongside their manager Paul Ellering. Across a 20-year career, the pair amassed 17 Tag Team Title reigns across 3 continents.

Also in 2003, fellow WWE Hall of Famer and legendary trainer Stu Hart died at the age of 88. Hart was an accomplished amateur wrestler in his youth, winning the welterweight class at the 1937 Canadian National Championships. This victory put him in line to compete at the 1940 Olympic Games, but the breakout of World War II put paid to that dream. Hart instead served a term of duty in the Canadian Navy before returning to his homeland to become a professional wrestler. He never managed to achieve great success as a competitor, seemingly preferring behind the scenes roles to in-ring competition, however, he was a well-respected athlete both in Canada and the USA (where he had competed under Toots Mondt). In 1948, he founded Stampede Wrestling in Calgary and would later purchase a mansion in Patterson Heights. This famous house would contain the infamous Hart Dungeon, probably the most respected training facility to have ever existed within professional wrestling. Hart oversaw many of the trainees himself and can count several world champions among his alumni, including Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Edge, Christian, Jushin Liger and Roddy Piper as well as his sons Bret and Owen. Hart was also renowned outside of the wrestling industry for his charitable pursuits; he was a benefactor for over 30 organizations, mostly children’s charities. He was so well respected that he was awarded the Order of Canada in May 2001. Hart died after treatment for an elbow infection saw him develop pneumonia, though his health had been failing for a long while previously. In 2005, a street was named after him in Saskatoon and he was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010.



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