This Day In Wrestling History- December 16th
2004 – Daniel Puder wins the 4th series of WWE Tough Enough
2008 – Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler had its official Hollywood premiere.
2009- Christy Hemme officially retires from in-ring competition.
In 1987 – The WWF held their second annual “Slammy Awards” in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at Caesar’s Palace.
This was the infamous program where Vince McMahon sang “Stand Back”, footage that still haunts many fans to this day.
Here are the winners:
Best Performance by an Animal: George Steele
Woman of the Year: Miss Elizabeth
Best Ring Apparel: Harley Race (This was followed by Race brawling with Hacksaw Duggan, who was presenting the award. For the rest of the show, Race and Duggan brawled all over the building and backstage, while Gorilla Monsoon, following them with a camera crew, provided commentary.)
Hulk Hogan Real American Award: Billy Graham
Jesse “The Body” Award: Rick Rude
Greatest Hit: Jim Duggan
Manager of the Year: Presenter Gorilla Monsoon announced that the envelope was empty, so there was no winner, ticking off Bobby Heenan, Mr. Fuji, Jimmy Hart, and Slick.
Best Personal Hygiene: Nikolai Volkoff, Boris Zuhkov and Slick
Best Vocal Performance:
Song of the Year: There was no winner, as Sika the Samoan ate the envelope.
Best Group: One Man Gang
Humanitarian of the Year: Ted DiBiase (the story was that he bought the award)
Best Head: Gene Okerlund and Bam Bam Bigelow
Bobby “The Brain” Heenan Scholarship Award: Islanders Haku and Tama, Andre the Giant, Hercules, King Kong Bundy, and Harley Race (who were all managed by Heenan at the time).
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
1880 – John McMahon defeats H.M. Dufur in Boston, Massachusetts to win the American Collar-and-Elbow Title, ending Dufur’s second reign
1941 – Black Guzman defeats Tarzan Lopez in Mexico City, Mexico for the NWA World Middleweight Title
1949 – Verne Gagne defeats Leo Newman in Houston, Texas to win the NWA Texas Heavyweight Title
1963 – Edouard Carpentier wins his second World Wrestling Association (Los Angeles) World Heavyweight Title by forfeit, when Bearcat Wright no-shows a title defense in Indio, California
1970 – Bill Robinson defeats The Destroyer (Dick Beyer) for the Hawaii version of the NWA North American Heavyweight Title
1971 – Ole Anderson defeats Jack Brisco in Tampa, Florida for the NWA Florida Television Title, ending Brisco’s second reign with the belt
1975 – Rock Riddle and John Tolos defeat Micky Doyle and Mando Lopez to win the NWA Americas Tag Team Title
1977 – The Canadian (Roddy Piper) wins his fourth NWA Americas Heavyweight Title by ending the 11th reign of Chavo Guerrero in Los Angeles, California
1983 – Mike Rotundo defeats Greg Valentine in a tournament final for the vacant NWA Florida Heavyweight Title in St. Petersburg, Florida
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
2000 – Thunder and Lightning win their second WWC Tag Team Title, defeating The West Texas Rednecks (Barry and Kendall Windham) in Carolina, Puerto Rico
2006 – Carlito defeats Jon Heidenreich to win the WWC Universal Heavyweight Title in Caguas, Puerto Rico, beginning his short-lived 11th reign. Heidenreich would win the title back the same night
2008 – Consequences Creed & Jay Lethal defeat Beer Money Inc (James Storm & Robert Roode) to win the TNA Tag Team Titles
Happy birthday to one-time Chikara Young Lions Cup winner Jigsaw (29) and former WWF and ECW wrestler Men’s Teioh
Also, today would have been the birthday of former NWA star Jerry Graham (91)
The wrestling world has lost two 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 then-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, touring with a circus for a short while afterwards, before retiring for good. 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 fifth 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, holding 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 his fatal heart attack whilst on a park bench on his way home from a training session