This Day In Wrestling History – December 16th

Dec 16, 2012 - by Jamie Cruickshank


2004 – Daniel Puder wins the 4th series of WWE Tough Enough


In 1990, NWA Starrcade, held in St Louis, Missouri, was the final one promoted under the NWA banner. WCW would produce all future events with no NWA involvement

– Lex Luger defeats Stan Hansen in a Texas Lariat Match to win the NWA United States Title
– Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed) fought Arn Anderson & Barry Windham (replacing Ric Flair) to a no-contest in a Street Fight due to a double pinfall (Doom retain the NWA World Tag Team Titles)
– The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) win the Pat O’Connor Memorial International Tag Team Tournament, defeating Mr Saito & The Great Muta in the final
– Sting defeats The Black Scorpion in a Title vs Mask Cage Match with Dick The Bruiser as special guest referee to retain the NWA World Title. The Black Scorpion was revealed to be Ric Flair

In 2007, WWE Armageddon was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

– Rey Mysterio defeats MVP by countout (MVP retains the WWE United States Title)
– Jeff Hardy defeats Triple H
– Chris Jericho defeats Randy Orton by DQ (Orton retains the WWE Title)
– Beth Phoenix defeats Mickie James to retain the WWE Womens Title
– Edge defeats Batista & The Undertaker in a Triple Threat Match to win the World Heavyweight Title

Title Changes

1988 – Terry Gordy & Stan Hansen win the All Japan World’s Strongest Tag Team League to win the vacant AJPW Unified World Tag Team Titles

1992 – El Dandy defeats Bestia Salvaje to win the CMLL World Middleweight Title

2008 – Consequences Creed & Jay Lethal defeat Beer Money Inc (James Storm & Robert Roode) to win the TNA Tag Team Titles

2011 – LA Park defeats Dr Wagner Jr to win the AAA Latin American Title


Happy birthday to one-time Chikara Young Lions Cup winner Jigsaw (28), Mexican star Psycho Clown (27) and former WWF and ECW wrestler Men’s Teioh (46)

Also, today would have been the birthday of former NWA star Jerry Graham (90)

In Memoriam

The wrestling world has lost three personalities on this day:

Firstly, in 1917, one-time World and 3-time American Heavyweight Champion Frank Gotch died aged just 39. Gotch wrestled his first match in April 1899, then just one month later, held his own for over two hours against the reigning American Heavyweight Champion Don McLeod. Though he would eventually lose the match, he won the respect of the champion. After further training from ‘Farmer’ Martin Burns, Gotch again challenged for the American Heavyweight Title, losing the first match, but winning his rematch to claim the title. He then moved to challenge the undefeated World Champion Georg Hackenschmidt, who he defeated at the first attempt, though Hackenschmidt forfeited the fall rather than being defeated by Gotch. That said, it was obvious to all in attendance that Gotch was well on his way to beating the champion, a fact that has been supported by Hackenschmidt himself. Over the next few years, Gotch established himself as the dominant force in the world of wrestling, becoming a national celebrity in the process. He finally retired in 1913 after a win over Georg Lurich. He died after a year-long battle with illness, the cause being recorded as uremic poisoning. Gotch remains the fourth longest serving World Champion, only behind Bruno Sammartino’s WWF Title reign, Lou Thesz’s NWA Title reign and Verne Gagne’s AWA Title reign

Secondly, in 2000, Mexican star Blue Demon died at the age of 78. He wrestled and won his first match in 1948 in Texas, before adopting the Blue Demon persona and returning to his native Mexico. His status was solidified in the 50’s during a legendary feud with El Santo, who he eventually defeated for the NWA World Welterweight Title,going on to hold it for 5 years. Demon also appeared in several luchador films through the 60’s and 70’s. He retired from the ring in 1988, following a tag team match with his son Blue Demon Jr. He suffered a fatal heart attack whilst on a park bench on his way home from a training session.

Finally, in 2006, former southern-states star Don ‘The Spoiler’ Jardine died aged 66. He made his debut in Toronto in 1955 and competed primarily in that area until 1964. In the 60’s, he began competing more regularly in America, including challenging for (and in some cases, winning) championships in St Louis, Los Angeles, Texas, Oklahoma and Florida. By the end of the decade, he was arguably the premier masked wrestler in the southern states and had also made a name for himself in Japan. He was unmasked by Billy Red Lyons in 1972, but continued to don the mask from time-to-time aswell as competing under his own name. In the mid-70’s, he debuted a new masked character, The Super Destroyer, who became a top name in Georgia, the Mid-Atlantic and the AWA. As The Spoiler, he was also a founding member of The Legion of Doom. In 1984, following WWF’s buyout of Georgia Championship Wrestling, Jardine began making semi-regular appearances on their programming, but did not achieve anything of major note. Jardine retired from wrestling in 1994 and returned to Canada to manage a car wash business, whilst also dedicating time to philanthropic pursuits. He was writing a novel based on his wrestling career when he developed leukaemia and died after a short battle with the disease. Some may be interested to know that Jardine invented a move where he would walk along the top rope, then jump onto his opponent. He taught the move to a young Mark ‘The Undertaker’ Calaway in the mid-80’s.

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