This Day In Wrestling History – January 18th

Jan 18, 2017 - by Bill Fenbers

Happy birthday to “The Animal!” (Photo Credit: World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.)

If you missed yesterday’s edition, here’s January 17th in Wrestling History.

1971 – In New York City, Ivan Koloff defeats Bruno Sammartino, to become the new WWWF Heavyweight Champion.  This ends Sammartino’s 2,803-day reign as champion, dating back to May 17, 1963.  I found video of the match on YouTube, albeit poor quality video.

1982 – At a WWF event in New York City, Adrian Adonis defeats WWF Champion Bob Backlund, after the referee stops the match, due to Backlund excessively bleeding.

1982 – Jerry Lawler wins the Memphis Wrestling / AWA Southern Heavyweight Championship for the 25th time, after defeating Dutch Mantel.

1986 – Scott Hall and Curt Hennig become the new AWA World Tag Team Champions;  Hall and Hennig defeat Steve Regal and Jimmy Garvin.  This is labeled as a “Phantom Match,” to cover for Regal (not to be confused with William Regal) leaving company while still champion.

1988 – In New Japan Pro Wrestling, Kengo Kimura and Tatsumi Fujinami win the IWGP Tag Team Championship, after defeating Kazuo Yamazaki and Yoshiaki Fujiwara.

1998 – WWF’s eleventh annual Royal Rumble is held in San Jose, in front of 18,542 fans.  Stone Cold Steve Austin (the 24th entrant) wins the Royal Rumble Match to secure a WWF Championship Match at WrestleMania XIV;  Austin wins after last eliminating The Rock (the 4th entrant).  Brief highlight video is below.  The Rock was the longest lasting Royal Rumble participant, at 51 minutes 32 seconds.  In the main event, Shawn Michaels wins a Casket Match over The Undertaker, to retain the WWF Championship.  However, during the match Michaels herniates two discs in his back and crushes a third disc;  HBK’s injuries would force him to retire after WrestleMania XIV.

1999 – In the Monday Night Wars, WWF RAW IS WAR (5.6 TV rating) beats WCW Monday Nitro (4.4 rating).

2004 – In All Japan Pro Wrestling, tag team Kojikaz (Kaz Hayashi & Satoshi Kojima) win the AJPW World Tag Team Championship after defeating Arashi and Keiji Mutoh.

2005 – At Combat Zone Wrestling’s Live Again event, Ruckus defeats Trent Acid, to win the CZW World Junior Heavyweight Championship.  Also, Nate Hatred wins a Fans Bring the Weapons Match, to win the vacant CZW Death Match Championship;  Nick Mondo and John Zandig also competed for the Death Match Title.

2007 – WWE announces the release of eleven superstars, a majority of them from the ECW roster: C.W. Anderson, Doug & Danny Basham, Gangrel, The Gymini (Mike & Todd Shane), Jazz, Rodney Mack, Tony Mamaluke, Sylvester Terkay, and Al Snow.  Snow was released as a wrestler, but was retained by WWE to work as a trainer for Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW).

2008 – Ring of Honor’s Undeniable airs on pay-per-view, albeit on a three-month tape delay.  In the main event, Nigel McGuinness defeats Takeshi Morishima, to become the new ROH World Champion.  Ring of Honor recognizes McGuinness’ reign as beginning on October 6, 2007, the night Undeniable pay-per-view was originally held.

2009Los Ángeles Rebeldes (Hector Garza, El Hijo del Fantasma, & La Mascara) win the CMLL World Trios Championship after defeating Los Guerreros Negros (Atlantis, Negro Casas, & Ultimo Guerrero).

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Indy wrestler Samantha Heights (28 years old);  indy wrestler Adam Ohriner aka The Big O (31 years old);  Global Force Wrestling performer Adam Thornstowe (34 years old);  7-time WWF Light Heavyweight Champion Perro Aguayo (71 years old);  6-time WWE World Champion Batista (48 years old);  and WWE Hall of Fame 2010 Inductee Ted DiBiase (63 years old).

SOURCES: WrestleView, Archives, Wikipedia,, The Internet Wrestling Database

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