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This Day In Wrestling History – December 26th



26th

Events

In 1988, NWA Starrcade was the first event promoted by WCW under the NWA banner after Ted Turner’s rebranding of the former JCP promotion

– Kevin Sullivan & Steve Williams defeat The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton & Tommy Rogers) to win the NWA United States Tag Team Titles
– Rick Steiner defeats Mike Rotunda to win the NWA Television Title
– Barry Windham defeats Bam Bam Bigelow by countout to retain the NWA United States Title
– Sting & Dusty Rhodes defeat The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) by DQ (The Road Warriors retain the NWA World Tag Team Titles)
– Ric Flair defeats Lex Luger to retain the NWA World Title

Title Changes

1981 – Bugsy McGraw defeats The Great Kabuki to win the WCCW American Heavyweight Title

1983 – The Iron Sheik defeats Bob Backlund to win the WWF Title

1985 – Ted DiBiase & Steve Williams defeat Eddie Gilbert & Dick Murdoch (subbing for The Nightmare) to win the MSW Tag Team Titles

1990 – Tatsumi Fujinami defeats Riki Choshu to win the IWGP Heavyweight Title. Also, Hiro Saito & Super Strong Machine defeat Hiroshi Hase & Kensuke Sasaki to win the IWGP Tag Team Titles

1993 – Terry Funk defeats Sabu in a No-DQ Match to win the NWA-ECW Title

2004 – Austin Aries defeats Samoa Joe to win the ROH World Title

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former WWF Tag Team and European Champion Dennis ‘Mideon/Phineas Godwinn’ Knight (44), renowned trainer Tom Howard (43), one-time AAA Reina de Reinas Champion Faby Apache (32) and UK indy regular ‘Xtreme’ Dean Allmark

In Memoriam

On this day in 1963, the wrestling world lost WWE Hall of Famer Gorgeous George aged just 48. George trained at his local YMCA in Houston, Texas and having competed on the carnival circuit, was taking bookings from Morris Siegel aged just 17. He won his first championship in 1938, defeating Buck Lipscomb for the Northwest Middleweight Title. It was in the late-30′s that George began to realize the potential for a showman in wrestling. He debuted the Gorgeous George persona in 1941 in Oregon to a rapturous reception and was soon the top draw in the area, as fans came from all over to ridicule the overly-effeminate character. He also became the first man to properly utilize entrance music, strutting to the ring to ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ (later used by Randy Savage). After the dawn of televised wrestling, George became a national celebrity. He was able to command 50% of the gate for his performances, giving him annual earnings of over $100,000 (over $800,000 at today’s rates). Over the next few years, he would win titles in Boston, Georgia and the Gulf Coast, but by the 1960′s, age and alcohol abuse had begun to take their toll on his performances. George retired in 1962, following a match against The Destroyer, after which he opened a turkey farm and a restaurant. Sadly, a series of bad investments ruined his finances and his health, with stress rumored to have played a large part in his fatal heart attack. Gorgeous George’s impact on wrestling and indeed wider pop-culture cannot be underestimated; Muhammad Ali, James Brown, Elton John and Bob Dylan have all claimed to take inspiration from him in some form.

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One Response

  1. Phil says:

    It’s hard to believe George died at just 48 , One of he All-Time Greats ,may he Rest in Peace.

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