This Day In Wrestling History – June 24th

Jun 24, 2013 - by Jamie Cruickshank


In 1995, the WWF Hall of Fame Ceremony was held in Philadeplhia, Pennsylvania. The class of 95 are:

– Antonino Rocca – Ernie Ladd – George ‘The Animal’ Steele – Ivan Putski – The Fabulous Moolah – The Grand Wizard – Pedro Morales

In 2001, WWF King of the Ring was held in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The event featured the WWF debut of Booker T

– on Heat, Matt Hardy defeats Justin Credible to retain the WWF European Title – The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) defeat Kane & Spike Dudley to retain the WWF Tag Team Titles – Edge wins the King of the Ring Tournament, defeating Kurt Angle in the final – Jeff Hardy defeats X-Pac to retain the WWF Light Heavyweight Title – Kurt Angle defeats Shane McMahon in a Street Fight – Steve Austin defeats Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho in a Triple Threat Match to retain the WWF Title. This was Benoit’s final appearance for a year, having suffered a neck injury

In 2007, WWE Vengeance: Night of Champions was the final PPV in the Vengeance chronology and featured all 9 WWE Titles being defended. It has become infamous as the event that Chris Benoit no-showed for ‘personal reasons’. He and his family were later found dead at their house

– Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch defeat The Hardys (Matt & Jeff) to retain the World Tag Team Titles – Chavo Guerrero defeats Jimmy Wang Yang to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Title – Johnny Nitro (subbing for Benoit) defeats CM Punk to win the vacant ECW Title – Santino Marella defeats Umaga by DQ to retain the WWE Intercontinental Title – MVP defeats Ric Flair to retain the WWE United States Title – Deuce n Domino defeat Sgt Slaughter & Jimmy Snuka to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles – Edge defeats Batista by countout to retain the World Heavyweight Title – Candice Michelle defeats Melina to win the WWE Womens Title – John Cena defeats Mick Foley, Bobby Lashley, Randy Orton & King Booker in a 5-Way Challenge Match to retain the WWE Title

In 2012, ROH Best In The World was held in New York City

– The Briscoe Brothers (Mark & Jay) defeat The Guardians of Truth. The GoT were not identified on the show, but are widely reported to have been played by Glenn Ruth & Charles Warrington, better known as The Headbangers – Adam Cole defeats Kyle O’Reilly in a Hybrid Fighting Rules Match – Michael Elgin defeats Fit Finlay – Roderick Strong defeats Tommaso Ciampa & Jay Lethal in a 3-Way Match to retain the ROH Television Title – The All Night Express (Rhett Titus & Kenny King) defeat Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) to win the ROH Tag Team Titles – Kevin Steen defeats Davey Richards in a No-DQ Match

Title Changes

1972 – Stan Stasiak defeats Red Bastien to win the Texas Heavyweight Title

1984 – Wahoo McDaniel defeats Ricky Steamboat to win the NWA United States Title. The title would be vacated a week later as Tully Blanchard interfered to help McDaniel

1985 – The Dynamic Duo (Gino Hernandez & Chris Adams) defeat The Fantastics (Bobby Fulton & Tommy Rogers) to win the WCCW American Tag Team Titles

1988 – Tatsumi Fujinami defeats Riki Choshu to win the vacant IWGP Heavyweight Title. Also, Shiro Koshinaka defeats Owen Hart to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title

1996 – on Nitro, Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) defeat Sting & Lex Luger to become the first 5-time WCW Tag Team Champions

2001 – Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeats Juventud Guerrera in the final of a tournament to become the first GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion

2008 – Taylor Wilde defeats Awesome Kong to win the TNA Womens Title


Happy birthday to Puerto Rican star Chicky Starr (55), former WWF and WCW wrestler Tommy ‘Zeus’ Lister (55), 5-time NWA World Champion Adam Pearce (35) and hardcore indy star Mad Man Pondo (44)

Also, today would have been the birthday of two-time Mexican National Tag Team Champion Ángel Azteca (50) and former NWA and WWC regular Don Kent (80)

In Memoriam

The wrestling world has lost two personalities on this day, both in 2007.

Firstly, WWF and WCW Triple Crown Champion Chris Benoit took his own life aged 40 in a very well-documented incident. Benoit trained in the famous Hart Dungeon and debuted in Calgary in 1985. He idolized Tom Billington (better known as The Dynamite Kid) and adopted much of his moveset, most notably the diving headbutt. In his three years with Stampede, he became an 8-time champion, winning singles and tag team titles. Stampede closed in 1989 and Benoit moved to Japan, competing for New Japan Pro Wrestling as ‘The Pegasus Kid’. He would only hold one title in New Japan, but won their Best Of The Super Juniors tournament twice aswell as one Super J Cup. In 1992, he began competing in North America again, firstly for WCW, then ECW. It was in ECW where he gained the ‘Crippler’ nickname after putting Rocco Rock and Sabu out of action. The intention was for Benoit to become ECW World Champion in 1995, but Paul Heyman failed to renew his American work visa on time, so he returned to Japan and (by way of the promotions’ working agreement) WCW. His WCW career kicked off when he became part of the reformed Four Horsemen stable, leading to numerous reigns as WCW Television and United States Champion. Despite his obvious potential, Benoit was never given a main event push and he (like several others) grew tired of the constant backstage politicking in the company. Despite winning the WCW World Title at Souled Out in 2000, he (along with his friends Dean Malenko, Perry Saturn & Eddie Guerrero) left the company the next day to join the WWF. He instantly became a main event competitor in the WWF, winning the Intercontinental Title and challenging for the World Title. However, his momentum was killed after he suffered a neck injury, forcing him to sit out most of 2001 and 2002. Upon his return, he was used primarily as a mid-card level talent, competing for tag team and secondary singles titles. However, after winning the 2004 Royal Rumble from number one, he was thrust into the main event once more and went on to win the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania 20. Benoit’s run as champion ended at Summerslam and he was relegated down the card again, competing for the US and Tag Team Titles. By the end of his career, he was wrestling on the ECW brand and was booked to win the ECW Title at Vengeance, but failed to show at the event for reasons which would become clear over the next few days

Secondly, Canadian indy star and ECW part-timer Biff Wellington died aged 42. Wellington also trained at the Hart Dungeon, but credited Hiroshi Hase and Mr Hito as his primary trainers. He debuted in Stampede in 1986 and competed regularly for the promotion until it closed in 1989. He then plied his trade on the Canadian indies, whilst also appearing in Japan and one-off appearances for WCW and WWF. In 1995, he debuted for ECW, but wouldn’t make an impact in the promotion before an eye injury suffered in a match with Taz forced his in-ring retirement. He would later compete for several of his local independents, but was never the same wrestler. His health began to fail in the mid-2000’s and he eventually passed of a heart attack, having suffered a series of strokes across the previous year. Eerily, he and Benoit regularly wrestled as tag team partners early in their careers, winning the Stampede Tag Team Titles together on one occasion.

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