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This Day In Wrestling History – February 4th‏



Title Changes

1965 – Gene Kiniski & Waldo von Erich defeat Luke & Dr Jerry Graham to win the WWWF United States Tag Team Titles

1985 – Rip Oliver defeats Buck Zumhofe to win the vacant WCCW Television Title

1995 – Sabu & The Tazmaniac defeat The Public Enemy to win the ECW Tag Team Titles

2001 – the WWF Hardcore Title 24/7 Rule sees the belt pass from Raven to K-Kwik, to Crash Holly and back to Raven

2002 – on Raw, Jazz defeats Trish Stratus to win the WWF Womens Title

2003 – on Smackdown, Team Angle defeats Los Guerreros to win the WWE Tag Team Titles

2005 – on Raw, William Regal & Tajiri defeat La Resistance to win the World Tag Team Titles

Birthdays

Happy birthday to 4-time TNA X-Division Champion Chris Sabin (31), now-retired UK regular Stevie Knight (37) and one-time Chikara Young Lions Cup winner Vin Gerard (27)

In Memoriam

On this day in 1990, the wrestling world lost two-time World Heavyweight Champion Whipper Billy Watson aged 74. Watson was first exposed to the wrestling business when his brother George convinced him to skip a piano lesson to attend an amateur wrestling session. He began his career in 1936, wrestling on what were billed as ‘amateur wrestling shows’ in Toronto, and later that year, went on a tour of the UK, on which he was billed as Billy Watson. He fell victim to the hard shoot-style of British wrestling, suffering injuries that would sideline him for six months. He returned to Canada in 1940, beginning a 31-year run at the Maple Leaf Gardens during which time promoter Frank Tunney estimated that he drew over 5 million fans. His superstar status was confirmed in 1941, when he won four matches in a night to become number one contender to the British Empire Title, winning it the following April. By 1947, Watson was aiding Tunney with the running of the Toronto territory whilst also appearing regularly in St Louis, where he won the NWA World Title from Wild Bill Longson, but would only hold the belt for two months before dropping it to Lou Thesz. The following year, Tunney and Watson bought the St Louis territory from the retiring Tom Packs, and, nearly a decade later, Watson himself bought the Seattle territory, though it would fold only months later. In 1956, Watson gained his last major title, when he defeated Lou Thesz to win the NWA World Title, in a match refereed by boxer Jack Dempsey. His reign ended in November of that year, losing once again to Thesz. His career came to an end in 1971, when he was hit by an out-of-control car, shattering his knee. He would recover from surgery, but was unable to wrestle again. In retirement, he was famed all over Canada for his charity work, especially for raising money for crippled children. He died at an Orlando hospital, having suffered a heart attack at his winter home in Florida.


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