This Day In Wrestling History – January 8th
1996 – The Monday Night War continued. WWF Monday Night RAW defeated WCW Monday Nitro: 3.0 to 2.8 rating
1998 – WCW Thunder begins airing on TBS
2001 – The Monday Night War continued in its final months. WWF RAW’s 4.8 rating more than doubled WCW Monday Nitro’s 2.1 rating
2009 – WPXI in Pittsburgh, PA listed former WWWF champion Bruno Sammartino as #36 in the top 50 figures in Pittsburgh history
2010 – World Wrestling Entertainment released former ECW brand star Steve “DJ Gabriel” Lewington
In 1983, The WWF holds an event at Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland:
– Salvatore Bellomo defeated Charlie Fulton.
– Tony Garea defeated Pete Sanchez.
– Special Delivery Jones defeated Johnny Rodz.
– Curt Hennig (subbing for Victor Rivera) and Eddie Gilbert fought to a draw.
– Superstar Billy Graham defeated Pat Patterson.
– Rocky Johnson defeated Buddy Rose by forfeit.
– Jimmy Snuka defeated Ray Stevens.
– WWF Tag Team Champions Chief Jay and Jules Strongbow defeated The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) by forfeit to retain the title. This match was scheduled for two out of three falls.
– WWF Intercontinental Champion Pedro Morales defeated Mr. Fuji to retain the title.
– Don Muraco defeated WWF Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund. This match was advertised as for the title, but there was no title change
In 1993, The WWF runs a show at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:
– Virgil defeated The Brooklyn Brawler.
– The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner) defeated The Executioners (subbing for Double Trouble).
– Tatanka pinned Damien Demento.
– Bob Backlund pinned The Berzerker.
– WWF Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels pinned Marty Jannetty to retain the title.
– The Headshrinkers (Samu & Fatu) defeated High Energy (Owen Hart & Koko B. Ware).
– The Undertaker pinned Papa Shango (subbing for Nailz).
– WWF World Champion Bret Hart pinned Ric Flair to retain the title
In 2006, WWE New Year’s Revolution was a Raw-exclusive event, held in Albany, New York:
– Ric Flair defeats Edge by DQ to retain the WWE Intercontinental Title
– Trish Stratus defeats Mickie James to retain the WWE Women’s Title
– John Cena defeats Kurt Angle, Chris Masters, Carlito, Shawn Michaels & Kane in an Elimination Chamber Match to retain the WWE Title
– Edge cashes in his Money In The Bank and defeats John Cena to win the WWE Title
In 2012, TNA Genesis was held in Orlando, Florida
– Austin Aries defeats Kid Kash, Jesse Sorensen & Zema Ion in a Four-Way Elimination Match to retain the TNA X-Division Title
– Gail Kim defeats Mickie James by DQ to retain the TNA Knockouts Title
– Crimson & Matt Morgan defeat Samoa Joe & Magnus to retain the TNA Tag Team Titles
– Jeff Hardy defeats Bobby Roode by DQ (Roode retains the TNA World Title)
1925 – Wayne Munn defeats Ed ‘Strangler’ Lewis to win the World Heavyweight Title
1965 – Pepper Martin defeats Pat Patterson for the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title, 5 days after Patterson had defeated Martin to win the same title.
1990 – Jerry Lawler defeats King Cobra to win the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Title
1995 – Arn Anderson defeats Johnny B Badd to win the WCW Television Title
1998 – Juventud Guerrera defeats Ultimo Dragon to win the WCW Cruiserweight Title
2003 – B-Boy & Funky Billy Kim defeat The Ballard Brothers (Shane & Shannon Ballard) for the UPW Tag Team Title in Santa Ana, California
Happy birthday to former UWF and AWA Tag Team Champion ‘Bushwhacker’ Luke Williams (68), former WWE wrestler Chris Masters (32), retired joshi legend Keiko ‘Bull’ Nakano (47), former GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Ricky Marvin (35), current CMLL Trios Champion La Mascara (33), & retired Mexican star Rey Misterio Sr (57)
Also, today would have been the birthday of former NWA regular ‘Hangman’ Bobby Jaggers (67)
On this day in 1937, the wrestling world lost one-time American Heavyweight Champion Martin ‘Farmer’ Burns at the age of 75. Burns’ father died when he was just 11, leading him to work at a local farm to help support his family. In his later youth, he also worked in grading camps, where the workers often held wrestling matches between one another. Burns possessed immense physical strength, but it was his techniques and strategies that saw him win the vast majority of these matches. At 19 years old, he wrestled his first professional match, battling the vastly more experienced David Grafft to an over 2 hour draw. His early professional record was somewhat unimpressive, losing decisions to Tom Connors and a ‘pre-Strangler’ Evan Lewis. Burns realized that his neck strength was a weakness, as he was regularly succumbing to chokeholds, so he underwent a rigorous neck-muscle training scheme, eventually building an impressive 20-inch neck. His neck strength was such that he could survive a six-foot fall into a hangman’s noose, a stunt which he regularly performed at carnivals. In 1889, Burns traveled to Chicago and, by pure chance, saw a flyer offering $25 to anyone who could last 15 minutes in the ring with Jack Carleek and Evan Lewis. Sensing his opportunity for revenge, Burns took the challenge and successfully defeated both men. Within 5 years, Burns had risen to become arguable America’s top grappler and he earned another match against Lewis, this time for the latter’s American Heavyweight Title. Burns comfortably defeated Lewis and went on to hold the title for two years. By the turn of the century, Burns had largely retired from active competition, preferring to train young wrestlers. His students included two future World Champions (Frank Gotch and Earl Caddock) and a myriad of other top names including Toots Mondt, one of the co-founders of what is now WWE. In 1914, Burns published a widely-respected training manual, championed by the likes of Ed ‘Strangler’ Lewis and Lou Thesz in years to come. Burns eventually died of natural causes at his home in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
In 2010, Former professional wrestler, boxer & politician Tony Halme was found dead in his apartment at age 47. Halme, who wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling in the early 90’s, had a brief run in 1993 & 1994 for the WWF under the name Ludvig Borga, feuding with Lex Luger. After his wrestling career, Borga tried his hand at MMA, then later he served in parliament in Finland from 2003-2007.