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This Day In Wrestling History- January 7th



Trivia

2002- On WWF Raw, WWF Women’s Champion Trish Stratus & Terri had a no contest in a wet T-shirt contest when Jazz attacked Trish

Events

In 2001, ECW’s final PPV (& indeed final broadcast) Guilty As Charged was held in New York City:

– Bilvis Wesley pinned Mike Bell in a dark match
– Danny Doring & Amish Roadkill defeat Hot Commodity (Julio Dinero & EZ Money) to retain the ECW Tag Team Titles
– Nova pinned Chris Hamrick in an impromptu match
– Tommy Dreamer defeats CW Anderson in an I Quit Match
– Yoshihiro Tajiri and Mikey Whipwreck defeated The Full Blooded Italians (Little Guido & Tony Mamaluke), & Super Crazy and Kid Kash in three-way dance to become #1 contenders for the ECW World Tag Team Title
– The Sandman defeats Steve Corino & Justin Credible in a 3-Way Tables, Ladders, Chairs & Canes Match to win the ECW World Title
– Rhino defeats The Sandman to win the ECW World Title
– Rob Van Dam defeats Jerry Lynn

In 2007, the final WWE New Year’s Revolution was a Raw-exclusive event, held in Kansas City, Missouri

– Jeff Hardy defeats Johnny Nitro in a Cage Match to retain the WWE Intercontinental Title
– Mickie James defeats Victoria to retain the WWE Women’s Title
– Rated RKO (Randy Orton & Edge) fought D-Generation X (Triple H & Shawn Michaels) to a no-contest to retain the World Tag Team Titles
– John Cena defeats Umaga to retain the WWE Title

Title Changes

1941 – Ivan Rasputin defeats Bobby Managoff to win the Pacific Coast Heavyweight Title in San Francisco, California

1961 – Don Leo Jonathan defeats Dr. X (Bill Miller) to win the Omaha version of the World Heavyweight Title in Omaha, Nebraska

1966 – Gene Kiniski defeats Lou Thesz to win the NWA World Title

1969 – Karl Von Stronheim & Treacherous Phillips defeat Lorenzo Parente & Skandar Akbar to win the TSW United States Tag Team Titles

1971 – Pedro Morales defeats Bobo Brazil to win the WWWF United States Title

1974 – Sharon Lee and Jackie West defeat Mariko Akagi & Peggy Kuroda to win the WWWA World Tag Team Title in Niigata, Japan

1976 – Greg Valentine & Bill Watts defeat The Hollywood Blondes (Jerry Brown & Dale Valentine) to win the vacant TSW United States Tag Team Titles

1978 – Ted DiBiase defeats Bob Brown to win the NWA Central States Heavyweight Title  in Kansas City, Kansas

1979 – Terry Gordy & Michael Hayes defeat Bobby Eaton & George Gulas to win the NWA Mid-America Tag Team Title in Chattanooga, Tennessee

1985 – Billy Jack Haynes defeats Gino Hernandez (subbing for Chris Adams) to win the WCCW Television Title

1991 – The Fabulous Ones (Steve Keirn & Stan Lane) defeat Tony Anthony & Doug Gilbert for the USWA Tag Team Title in Memphis, Tennessee

1995 – Kevin Von Erich defeats Greg Valentine to win the NWA North American Heavyweight Title in Dallas, Texas

1999 – Jun Akiyama & Kenta Kobashi defeat The Holy Demon Army (Akira Taue & Toshiaki Kawada) to win the AJPW Unified World Tag Team Titles

2001 – One Man Gang defeats champion Carlos Colon & Abdullah the Butcher to win the WWC Hardcore Title in a 3-way match in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

2002 – on WWF Raw, Spike Dudley & Tazz defeat The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) to win the WWF Tag Team Titles

2004 – Chris Sabin defeats Michael Shane, Christopher Daniels & Low Ki to win the TNA X-Division Title

2007 – The Briscoe Brothers (Mark & Jay) defeat Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Sugiura to win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles

2008 – Awesome Kong defeats Gail Kim to win the TNA Knockout’s Title

Birthdays

Happy birthday to retired Joshi star Devil Masami (52), indy regular Alexxis Nevaeh (27), UK star El Ligero (29), former ECW regular CW Anderson (43), & one-time WWE Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero Sr (65)

In Memoriam

The wrestling world has lost four personalities on this day:

In 1990, Bronislau “Bronko” Nagurski, a fullback for the Chicago Bears as well as a multiple-title winning wrestler, dies at age 81 in International Falls, Minnesota.  He was one of the first football players to succeed as a professional wrestler. Nagurski won the World Heavyweight Title in 1937 and also held the Los Angeles, Minneapolis and National Wrestling Association versions of the title, as well as winning the Minneapolis NWA World Tag Team Title with Verne Gagne in 1957. Nagurski played eight seasons with the Bears, two of those years championship years (1931 and 1932), and is a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1963).

In 2000, 2-time AJPW Unified Tag Team Champion Gary Albright died aged just 36. Albright had an impressive amateur career, going 55-2 in high school and later set the Nebraska State record for most falls in an NCAA season. His first professional appearances came in the final days of the (original) Stampede Wrestling promotion, where he competed against such names as The British Bulldogs & Chris Benoit. The closure of Stampede led him to find work in Japan, competing first for Nobuhiko Takada’s UWFi and later for All Japan. Sadly, Albright died whilst competing in a match; after being hit with a three-quarter facelock bulldog, Albright collapsed motionless to the canvas. His opponent (Lucifer Grimm) rolled Albright on top of him to finish the match before resuscitation was attempted, though he was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. The official cause of death is a heart attack, though his autopsy later found that he suffered from diabetes, blocked arteries & an enlarged heart, all of which could have contributed to his death. Albright was a member of the famed Anoa’i family by marriage, having wed the youngest daughter of Afa The Wild Samoan

In 2002, one-time AWA World Champion Mighty Igor Vodic at the age of 70. Vodic got into wrestling after knocking out fellow wrestler Brute Bernard in a gym, gaining the attention of Michigan promoter Bert Ruby. Vodic’s success with Ruby gained him bookings across the country, leading to his national exposure with the AWA. His time with the AWA didn’t last long, nor in fact did his career, as he preferred the quiet life on the family farm in north Michigan. Vodic lived the peaceful life, passing away of a heart attack at his home

In 2011,  Valentino “Big Val” Puccio, who competed in the original Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1995, passed away at the age of 45.  Puccio appeared for several months in ECW playing a large monster heel against the likes of Mikey Whipwreck and Hack Myers, also using the nickname the “Big Valley.” He was briefly aligned with JT Smith after Smith began doing his Italian gimmick.  Trained by WWE Hall of Famer Johnny Rodz, Puccio was originally one half of a tag team known as The Undertakers with his brother, Tony Puccio. The pair worked for a number of Northeastern staples at the time, including the Savoldi’s ICW.
When WWF created The Undertaker character, The Undertakers team was brought into WWF for a series of house show appearances under the team name Double Trouble. Urban legend at the time was that the team received the bookings as part of an agreement that the brothers would stop using the name, which they had been utilizing prior to the WWF character’s debut.  On his Facebook page, Tony Puccio stated, “The world lost a great man tonight!!!! And God got his Soldier!! We shared a lifetime of good Memories. But it will not stop here, you will always be in our hearts. And I will finish what we set out to do!!!!! I love you, Bubba!!!!! Remember we didn’t come here to lose T-Bird!!!!”

 

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