This Day In Wrestling History – January 19th
1991 – The 4th annual WWF Royal Rumble is held at the old Miami Arena (on a Saturday) in front of 16,000 fans. The event receives over 1.2 million pay-per-view buys. Sgt. Slaughter, with an assist from Randy Savage, becomes the new WWF Champion after defeating The Ultimate Warrior.
In the main event, Hulk Hogan wins The Royal Rumble Match for the second year in a row. Hogan, the 24th entrant, wins by last eliminating Earthquake (entrant #22). I couldn’t find a highlight clip.
1992 – The 5th annual WWF Royal Rumble is held in Albany, New York in front of 17,000 fans. The event receives 720,000 pay-per-view buys. Roddy Piper becomes the new Intercontinental Champion, defeating The Mountie. In the main event, with the vacant WWF Championship on the line, Ric Flair wins The Royal Rumble Match to become the new champion. Flair, the third entrant, wins by last eliminating Sid Justice (entrant #29), with an assist from an already-eliminated Hulk Hogan.
1997 – The 10th annual WWF Royal Rumble is held at The Alamodome in San Antonio, with 60,477 in attendance. The event receives 280,000 pay-per-view buys. Stone Cold Steve Austin (5th entrant out of 30) wins The Royal Rumble Match; Austin wins by last eliminating Bret Hart (entrant #21). Austin had actually been eliminated by Hart, but with the referees distracted with Mankind and Terry Funk, Austin snuck back into the ring to eliminate The Undertaker and Vader. Hart eliminated Diesel before getting tossed out of the ring by Austin.
In the main event, Shawn Michaels, in his hometown, defeats Sycho Sid, to win the WWF Championship.
1998 – In the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro (4.44 TV rating) beats WWF RAW IS WAR (4.0 rating).
2000 – On this evening’s WCW Thunder, The Mamlukes (Big Vito & Johnny the Bull) defeat David Flair & Crowbar, to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
2003 – WWE’s 16th annual Royal Rumble is held in Boston in front of 15,338 fans. The event receives 585,000 pay-per-view buys. One title change occurs; The Dudley Boyz win the World Tag Team Championship for the 7th time, defeating William Regal and Lance Storm. The winner of the Royal Rumble Match is Brock Lesnar, the 29th entrant. Lesnar last eliminates The Undertaker (the 30th and final entrant) to earn a WWE Championship shot at WrestleMania XIX.
2009 – CM Punk becomes the new WWE Intercontinental Champion in his hometown of Chicago, on this evening’s RAW; Punk defeats William Regal in a No Disqualification Match. This was the third straight week the two had met for the title. On January 5th Punk won via disqualification, which allowed Regal to retain. Regal would win via disqualification January 12th to again retain the title, leading RAW General Stephanie McMahon to make the third match a No DQ Match.
On the same night as Punk’s title win, Mr. McMahon demands an apology from Randy Orton in the middle of the ring. Orton had insulted Stephanie McMahon, claiming he was worth more than her, and called her “worthless.” Vince demands an apology and threatens to fire Orton if he refuses. Orton refuses to apologize, and just as Vince is about to say “You’re fired!,” Orton knocks Vince down, kicks him in the face, and then punts him in the head.
2013 – On the 700th episode of OVW TV, The Coalition (Crimson & Jason Wayne) defeat The Gutcheckers (Alex Silva & Sam Shaw), to win the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship.
2015 – WWE’s RAW Reunion is held in Dallas in front of 12,000 fans, with an average of 4.1 million viewers on USA Network. Past WCW/WWE superstars to appear on the show include: Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn), The nWo (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, & X-Pac), and The APA (Ron Simmons & John “Bradshaw” Layfield, who had been wearing an APA shirt under his suit, while doing commentary).
Sting makes his first ever appearance on Monday Night RAW. Sting appears on the TitanTron, then comes out to the stage during the main event; John Cena facing The Authority (Seth Rollins, Kane, & Big Show) in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match.
Cena’s victory over The Authority means the rehiring of Ryback, Dolph Ziggler, and Erick Rowan. Had Cena lost, he would have lost his title shot at the Royal Rumble (facing Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship).
2016 – In the main event on Impact Wrestling on Pop TV, Matt Hardy defeats Ethan Carter III, in a Career-vs-Title, Last Man Standing Match, to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. After months of talking about “wanting to do the right thing by Impact Wrestling,” Hardy turns heel during the match. Matt low blows EC3, executes a Twist of Fate with EC3’s head stuck in a steel chair, and had tried to use a hammer Reby Sky had in her diaper bag. Matt Hardy also gets a little help from Tyrus; Tyrus had been EC3’s bodyguard, but during the match he interfered and attacked EC3, aligning himself with Hardy.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Indy wrestler Ron Mathis (32 years old); WWE SmackDown Live star Tyler Breeze (29 years old); WWF/E Hall of Fame 1996 Inductee Pat Patterson (76 years old); former One Pro Wrestling (1PW) Tag Team Champion Liam Thomson (31 years old); tag team champion in various independent promotions Joseph Schwartz (33 years old); Japan indy wrestler Manabu Hara (35 years old); former WCW wrestler Curtis White aka Toad (46 years old); and former NWA, TNA & WWE Tag Team Champion Ron Killings aka R-Truth (45 years old).