This Day In Wrestling History – January 13th
1990 – Chris Chavis, wrestling as “Tatanka” makes his pro wrestling debut in a match against Joe Thunderstorm, at Larry Sharpe’s wrestling school, “The Monster Factory,” in Philadelphia.
1993 – WCW Clash of the Champions XXII is held in Milwaukee in front of 4,000 fans; it receives a 2.9 TV rating. This is the final Clash event for announcer Jim Ross; shortly after this event JR left WCW to work in the WWF. Shane Douglas & Ricky Steamboat defeat Steve Austin & Brian Pillman, to retain the WCW & NWA World Tag Team Championship. In the main event, Dustin Rhodes, Sting, and Cactus Jack defeat Big Van Vader, Barry Windham, and Paul Orndorff, in the Thundercage Match.
1997 – In the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro (3.4 TV rating) beats WWF Monday Night RAW (2.3 rating).
2000 – This evening’s WWF SmackDown, building up to the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, features the return of Cactus Jack, one of Mick Foley’s three personas. Cactus Jack had not been on television in almost two years.
2005 – On this evening’s SmackDown (still airing on Thursdays at the time), The Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny) become the new WWE Tag Team Champions. The Bashams win a Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match that included previous champs Rey Mysterio & Rob Van Dam, Booker T & Eddie Guerrero, and Mark Jindrak & Luther Reigns. Full match video is below.
2006 – Only two matches are held on this evening’s Friday Night SmackDown. In the first match, Randy Orton (subbing for an injured Booker T), wins the seventh and final match, in Booker’s Best-of-Seven United States Championship Series with Chris Benoit. Booker defeated Benoit in the first three matches. Orton took over after Booker suffered an injury, but lost the next three matches vs Benoit, setting up the seventh and decisive match. Despite Orton getting the victory, and wrestling in place of Booker T for more than half the best-of-seven, Booker is awarded the vacant WWE United States Championship.
The second match is a 20-man Battle Royal for the World Heavyweight Championship. Batista vacates the title, after suffering a triceps injury, in a match against Mark Henry at a house show a few days earlier. The winner of the Battle Royal, and neeeeeewwwww World Heavyweight Champion, would be RAW‘s Kurt Angle. Angle would move to SmackDown following his title win.
2007 – At Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s Based on a True Story event, Human Tornado defeats Joey Ryan, in a Guerrilla Warfare Match, to become the new PWG World Champion.
2009 – On this evening’s ECW on Sci Fi, the undefeated Jack Swagger defeats Matt Hardy, to win the ECW Championship. Full match video is below.
2012 – The main event on Friday Night SmackDown is a No Disqualification & No Count-Out Match, for the World Heavyweight Championship, between Big Show and Daniel Bryan. The match ends in a no-contest after Big Show runs over AJ Lee, forcing her to be carried away on a stretcher. AJ had accompanied Bryan to the ring for the match. After being injured by Big Show she was off television for three weeks.
2013 – TNA Genesis is held at the Impact Zone in Orlando in front of 1,100 fans. Christian York defeats Kenny King, in the finals of the X Division Championship #1 Contender Tournament. York gets assaulted by King after the match but would still immediately face X Division Champion Rob Van Dam. RVD defeats York to retain the title. In the main event, Jeff Hardy defeats Austin Aries and Bobby Roode, in a Three-Way Elimination Match, to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
2014 – It’s announced on this evening’s WWE Monday Night RAW, that The Ultimate Warrior would be the first inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2014. In the main event of the evening, The Usos defeat The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt & Daniel Bryan) in a Steel Cage Match. As I was out of the loop on wrestling storylines (no cable access), this is the first time I was aware that Daniel Bryan was ever part of The Wyatt Family. But anyway, here’s a highlight video from WWE’s YouTube page.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Indy wrestling valet Trina Michaels (34 years old); former WWE Tough Enough contestant Luke Robinson (32 years old); former FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion & former Nexus member Mason Ryan (35 years old); former Cryme Tyme tag team member Shad Gaspard (36 years old); former NWA World Tag Team Champion Reno Riggins (50 years old); former IWGP Junior & Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Yujiro Takahashi (36 years old); and Stampede Wrestling Hall of Famer Bruce Hart (67 years old).
Today would’ve been the 48th birthday for 4-time ECW Tag Team Champion “The Eliminator” John Kronus. Today would’ve been the 85th birthday for Bearcat Wright, who helped desegregate professional wrestling in the late 1950s and early 1960s.