This Day In Wrestling History – January 24th‏

Jan 24, 2013 - by Jamie Cruickshank


In 1988, the first WWF Royal Rumble, held in Hamilton, Canada, was broadcast as a TV special on the USA Network

– Ricky Steamboat defeats Rick Rude by DQ
– The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Tateno & Itsuki Yamakazi) defeat The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai) to win the WWF Womens Tag Team Titles
– Jim Duggan wins the Royal Rumble, last eliminating One Man Gang. This Rumble only featured 20 wrestlers, rather than the 30 which would become the norm
– The Islanders (Haku & Tama) defeat The Young Stallions (Paul Roma & Jim Powers) in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match

In 1988, the final NWA Bunkhouse Stampede was held in Uniondale, New York. The event was promoted by JCP and despite being the final Bunkhouse Stampede, was the first to be aired on PPV

– Nikita Koloff fought Bobby Eaton to a time-limit draw to retain the NWA Television Title
– Larry Zbyszko defeats Barry Windham to win the UWF Western States Title
– Road Warrior Hawk defeats Ric Flair by DQ (Flair retains the NWA World Title)
– Dusty Rhodes defeats Arn Anderson, The Barbarian, Tully Blanchard, Ivan Koloff, Road Warrior Animal & The Warlord in a Steel Cage Bunkhouse Stampede Match

In 1993, WWF Royal Rumble was held in Sacramento, California and saw the debut of Giant Gonzalez

– Shawn Michaels defeats Marty Jannetty to retain the WWF Intercontinental Title
– Bret Hart defeats Razor Ramon to retain the WWF Title
– Yokozuna wins the Royal Rumble, last eliminating Randy Savage

In 1998, WCW Souled Out was held in Trotwood, Ohio

– Chris Jericho defeats Rey Misterio Jr to win the WCW Cruiserweight Title
– Booker T defeats Rick Martel to retain the WCW Television Title
– Kevin Nash defeats The Giant
– Bret Hart defeats Ric Flair
– Lex Luger defeats Randy Savage

In 1999, WWF Royal Rumble was held in Anaheim, California

– Ken Shamrock defeats Billy Gunn to retain the WWF Intercontinental Title
– X-Pac defeats Gangrel to retain the WWF European Title
– Sable defeats Luna Vachon in a Strap Match to retain the WWF Womens Title
– The Rock defeats Mankind in an I Quit Match to win the WWF Title
– Vince McMahon wins the Royal Rumble, last eliminating Steve Austin. Austin & McMahon were entrants 1 & 2 respectively

Title Changes

1963 – Lou Thesz defeats Buddy Rogers to win the NWA World Title. Toots Mondt & Vince McMahon Sr leave the NWA in protest, forming the WWWF, which would go on to become the WWE of today

1988 – Larry Zbyszko defeats Barry Windham to win the UWF Western States Heritage Title. This would be the final reign, as the title was retired when Zbyszko left UWF the following year

1996 – Gary Albright & Stan Hansen defeat The Holy Demon Army (Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada) to win the AJPW Unified World Tag Team Titles

2000 – on Nitro, Sid Vicious defeats Kevin Nash to win the vacant WCW World Title


Happy birthday to current ROH Tag Team Champion Jay Briscoe (29), 2-time IWGP Tag Team Champion Akira Maeda (54) and former WCW World Champion (sigh…) Vince Russo (52)

Also, today would have been the birthday of 2-time ECW World Champion Mike Awesome (48) and famed manager Gary Hart (71)

In Memoriam

The wrestling world has lost three personalities on this date:

Firstly, in 1981, former NWA World Champion Orville Brown died aged 72. Brown made his name in the St Louis area, impressing many in matches against former World Champions Jim Londos and Ed ‘Strangler’ Lewis. He later made the Kansas-based MWA promotion his home, winning their Heavyweight Title 11 times in his career. He was recognized as the first NWA World Champion in 1948, holding the title until suffering career-ending injuries in a car accident in November 1949. Brown would recover from his injuries, but not sufficiently to step back in the ring. He instead turned to promoting, running his MWA promotion until it was taken over by Bob Geigel in 1958. He never actively participated in the wrestling business after this, but kept an interest, and was a long-standing fan of Lou Thesz. He lived out a quiet retirement in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, eventually passing away of natural causes in a nursing home in nearby Maryville.

Secondly, in 1997, one-time WWWF United States Tag Team Champion Dr Jerry Graham died aged 75. Graham began his wrestling career aged 14 in Phoenix, Arizona, but it was founding the legendary Graham wrestling family which made his name. ‘Crazy’ Luke, ‘Superstar’ Billy, Eddie & Mike found major success in many territories alongside Jerry, primarily in the tag team divisions. Jerry and Eddie, wrestling as The Golden Grahams, sold out Madison Square Garden on multiple occasions throughout the 50s and 60s, with Jerry also selling out the arena as a singles competitor several times, most notably when an event featuring Graham against Bruno Sammartino required 10,000 fans to be turned away. During this time, Jerry was involved in one of the most infamous matches in history; he was competing in a tag team match with Dick The Bruiser against Argentina Rocca and Edouard Carpentier, when the actions of all four wrestlers incited a riot amongst the fans, during which 8 police officers were injured by flying chairs. Graham died of a stroke, having long since retired from the wrestling business after a series of legal problems

Lastly, in 2000, former WCW wrestler Bobby Duncum Jr died at the age of 34. Duncum began wrestling in his native Texas, though failed to find a great deal of success, leaving the business in 1993. He returned in 1995, competing in Japan before returning to Texas. He also spent time in ECW in 1997-98, though again failed to find any success. He finally found success upon joining WCW in 1998, defeating Chris Jericho in his debut match, though he failed to win Jericho’s Television Title, as he won by countout. After the feud with Jericho ended, Duncum joined the West Texas Rednecks stable, which won the WCW Tag Team Titles twice, though Duncum wasn’t involved in either match. Duncum took time off from WCW in 2000 in order to recover from shoulder surgery, however, he would not return to the ring, as he died of an accidental overdose of prescription painkillers

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