This Day In Wrestling History – January 25th
If you missed the January 24th edition of This Day In Wrestling History, click here.
1989 – Mighty Inoue defeats Joe Malenko, to win the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Championship.
1991 – In Dallas, Bill Dundee wins the vacant USWA Texas Heavyweight Championship, defeating Gary Young in a tournament final.
1993 – The Harris Brothers win the vacant USWA World Tag Team Championship, defeating Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett in a tournament final.
1995 – WCW Clash of the Champions XXX is held in Las Vegas in front of 3,200 fans. In the main event, the tag team of Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage defeat Kevin Sullivan & The Butcher.
1997 – nWo Souled Out is held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on a Saturday, with 5,120 in attendance. One title changes hands; The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) defeat The Outsiders (Kevin Nash & Scott Hall), to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
1998 – The Holy Demon Army (Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue) win the AJPW World Tag Team Championship after defeating Johnny Ace & Kenta Kobashi.
1999 – In the Monday Night Wars, WWF RAW IS WAR (5.5 TV rating) beats WCW Monday Nitro (5.0 rating). On RAW, Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett become the new WWF Tag Team Champions, after defeating The Corporation (Ken Shamrock & Big Boss Man).
2004 – The 17th annual WWE Royal Rumble is held in Philadelphia in front of 17,289 fans. Chris Benoit, the first entry, would win the Royal Rumble Match. Benoit last eliminates Big Show, entry #24. Benoit, lasting 1:01:35, also eclipses Bob Backlund’s 1993 Royal Rumble longevity record.
2009 – Mickey Rourke is interviewed about the support of the professional wrestling industry, when it comes to the film The Wrestler. Rourke said the wrestling industry had been very supportive, specifically naming Ric Flair & Roddy Piper. Rourke then said, “It looks like I’m going to Houston for WrestleMania. Y2J better look out, I’m going to kick his a-s-s.” Rourke had come to terms with WWE to make an appearance but it was meant to be kept under wraps. Critical reaction to Rourke led to the angle being scrapped, and some felt it also cost him an Academy Award for “Best Actor” in The Wrestler, in 2009. Rourke did appear at WrestleMania 25 in a reduced role, punching out Jericho.
2009 – The 22nd annual WWE Royal Rumble is held in Detroit in front of 16,685 fans. Melina becomes the new Women’s Champion, defeating Beth Phoenix. Edge becomes the new WWE Champion, defeating Jeff Hardy in a No Disqualification Match, after his brother Matt turned heel and hit Jeff with a steel chair.
Randy Orton wins the Royal Rumble Match. Orton, the #8 entry, last eliminates Triple H, the #7 entry. “Legend” entries were Rob Van Dam at #25, and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan at #29. Below is the 2009 Royal Rumble Match in its entirety.
2014 – On Day 11 of Pro Wrestling NOAH’s First Navigation 2014, Maybach Taniguchi & Takeshi Morishima win the GHC Tag Team Championship, defeating Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste.
2015 – The 28th annual WWE Royal Rumble is held in Philadelphia in front of 17,164 fans; it’s the first Royal Rumble to air on the WWE Network. Brock Lesnar retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after winning a Triple Threat Match against John Cena and Seth Rollins. Surprise entrants in the Royal Rumble Match include The Boogeyman, Diamond Dallas Page, and Bubba Ray Dudley. The winner of the Royal Rumble Match, to the chagrin of many, is Roman Reigns. Reigns, the 19th entry, wins by last eliminating Rusev, the 15th entry. The Rock also appeared during the match, helping take out Kane and Big Show from The Authority. The two had been eliminated by Reigns but re-entered the ring and began attacking Reigns.
The crowd grew more displeased as the match went on, as fan favorites Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, and Daniel Bryan were eliminated. Bryan’s elimination was the most criticized by fans and pro wrestling writers. Fans took to Twitter, and #CancelWWENetwork became the top trend that night after the Royal Rumble was over. Cancelling subscriptions proved to be difficult, as WWE Network’s website crashed. Subscribers attempting to call WWE by phone to cancel their WWE Network subscription were told to call another day; there were too many people attempting to manually cancel their subscription.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: WWF/E’s longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion, at 454 days, The Honky Tonk Man (64 years old); 4-time ROH Tag Team Champion BJ Whitmer (39 years old); WWE United Kingdom Championship tournament participant Mark Andrews (25 years old), and 2-time WWE Divas Champion & 2-time Women’s Champion Michelle McCool (37 years old).