This Day In Wrestling History – January 21st
1983 – In Dallas, Terry Gordy defeats Kevin Von Erich, to win the WCCW American Heavyweight Championship.
1985 – At a house show in Hartford, Connecticut, The U.S. Express (Barry Windham & Mike Rotunda) become the new WWF Tag Team Champions, defeating The North-South Connection (Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch).
1990 – The third annual WWF Royal Rumble is held in Orlando in front of 16,000 fans. The winner of the 30-man Royal Rumble Match would be Hulk Hogan. Hogan, the 25th entry into the Rumble, wins by last defeating Mr. Perfect, the 30th and final entry. The match is known for the brief battle between Hogan (the WWF Champion) and The Ultimate Warrior (Intercontinental Champion); although it only lasted a minute or so, it was enough to provide the setup needed, for their Title vs Title Match at WrestleMania VI.
1992 – WCW Clash of the Champions XVIII is held in Topeka, Kansas; the event draws 5,500 fans and a 3.7 TV rating on TBS. In the main event, the tag team of Sting & Ricky Steamboat defeat the team of Steve Austin & Rick Rude.
1996 – The ninth annual WWF Royal Rumble is held in Fresno, California in front of 9,600 fans. The event receives 440,000 pay-per-view buys. Goldust becomes the new Intercontinental Champion after defeating Razor Ramon. The winner of the Royal Rumble Match, and receiving a WWF Championship Match at WrestleMania XII, is Shawn Michaels. HBK, the 18th entry, wins by last eliminating Diesel, the 22nd entry.
1997 – WCW Clash of the Champions XXXIV is held in Milwaukee in front of 6,800 fans. One title changes hands; Dean Malenko becomes the new WCW Cruiserweight Champion after defeating Ultimo Dragon.
2001 – WCW Hardcore Champion Meng leaves the company, and is a surprise return in this evening’s WWF Royal Rumble. Meng goes back to the Haku name he used in the WWF from 1986-1992. He presents the WCW Hardcore Title to Barbarian as a gift, at an independent wrestling event. The title is listed as “abandoned” on this date with Meng the final champion. The belt would not be defended in the final two months WCW operated. The WCW Hardcore Championship would be handed over to the WWF, after Vince McMahon buys out WCW March 26, 2001. As the WWF had its own Hardcore Championship, the WCW version was not used in the “Invasion” storyline.
2001 – The 14th annual WWF Royal Rumble is held in New Orleans in front of 17,137 fans. The event receives 625,000 pay-per-view buys. The Dudley Boyz win the WWF Tag Team Championship for the second time, defeating Edge & Christian. In a Ladder Match, Chris Jericho defeats Chris Benoit, to become a 4-time Intercontinental Champion. The winner of the 30-man Royal Rumble Match, and receiving a WWF Championship Match at WrestleMania X-Seven, would be Stone Cold Steve Austin. Austin, the 27th entry, wins by last eliminating Kane (the 6th entry). Comedian Drew Carey was also in the Rumble, as the 5th entry. Carey would eliminate himself before Kane is able to choke slam him.
2007 – On Day 10 of Pro Wrestling NOAH’s First Navigation ’07, Ricky Marvin & Kotaro Suzuki win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, defeating The Briscoe Brothers (Jay & Mark).
2008 – Tonight’s broadcast of WWE RAW is its first in High Definition.
2011 – Wade Barrett (kicked out of The Nexus by CM Punk) along with Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel (who voluntarily leave The Nexus) join forces with Ezekiel Jackson, to form the stable known as The Corre, on this evening’s WWE Friday Night SmackDown.
2012 – On OVW TV, tag team OMFG! (Johnny Spade & Shiloh Jonze) defeat The Mascagni Family (Jesse Godderz & Marcus Anthony), to win the Ohio Valley Wrestling Southern Tag Team Championship.
2013 – It is announced on this evening’s Monday Night RAW that Bob Backlund would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame during WrestleMania Weekend. Backlund held the WWF Heavyweight Championship from February 20, 1978 till December 26, 1983, a span of 2,135 consecutive days.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Two-time WWE Divas Champion Maryse (34 years old); former ROH World Tag Team Champion Alex Koslov (33 years old); current GHC Tag Team Champion Go Shiozaki (35 years old); former WCW Nitro Girl Vanessa Sanchez aka “Tygress” (46 years old); and WWF/E Hall of Fame 1995 Inductee Ivan Putski (76 years old).
Today would’ve been the 55th birthday for former WCW referee Mark “Shooter” Curtis. Today would’ve been the 92nd birthday for WWF/E Hall of Fame 1994 Inductee Arnold Skaaland. Today would’ve been the 79th birthday for referee & promoter Sandy Barr.