This Day In Wrestling History – February 16th
1971 – Jack and Jerry Brisco defeat The Infernos (Frankie Cain & Rocky Smith), to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship.
1984 – Ashura Hara & Takashi Ishikawa defeat Thomas Ivey & Jerry Morrow, to win the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Championship.
1985 – Bruno Sammartino ends his three-year retirement, to team with his son David. The two would defeat Paul Orndorff and Bobby Heenan in Philadelphia.
1997 – WWF In Your House 13: Final Four is held in Chattanooga, TN in front of 6,399 fans. What was originally supposed to be a Four-Way Elimination Match, to determine the #1 contender to the WWF Championship, turned out to be for the championship itself. Shawn Michaels had vacated the title a few days earlier, after suffering a knee injury. In the Four-Way Match, Bret Hart would defeat Stone Cold Steve Austin, Vader, and The Undertaker, to become a 4-time WWF Champion. This event also marks the WWF debut of Chyna, serving as Hunter Hearst Helmsley’s bodyguard.
1998 – In the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro (5.1 TV rating) beats WWF RAW IS WAR (3.0 rating). On Nitro, Rick Martel defeats Booker T, to win the WCW World Television Championship.
1999 – The Public Enemy make their WWF television debut on a taping of RAW, defeating Edge and Gangrel via disqualification. They then become victims of a “Brood Bloodbath.”
2002 – Tadao Yasuda defeats Yuji Nagata, to win the vacant IWGP Heavyweight Championship. The title had been vacated a month earlier by Kazuyuki Fujita, after he suffered an Achilles Tendon injury. Also, Minoru Tanaka defeats Masahito Kakihara, to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
2002 – In Maryland Championship Wrestling, The Bruiser defeats Orlando Jordan, to win the MCW Heavyweight Championship for the 5th time.
2004 – On this evening’s WWE RAW, Booker T & Rob Van Dam defeat Evolution (Batista & Ric Flair), to win the World Tag Team Championship.
2005 – Satoshi Kojima defeats Toshiaki Kawada, to win the AJPW Triple Crown Championship.
2006 – Four-time ECW World Tag Team Champion Johnny Grunge dies at the age of 39, due to complications from sleep apnea.
2008 – On OVW TV, Jay Bradley defeats Matt Sydal, to win the OVW Heavyweight Championship. Bradley is the first Heavyweight Champion since WWE ended its partnership with Ohio Valley Wrestling.
2010 – WWE ends its version of the ECW brand, with this evening’s series finale of ECW on Syfy. In the evening’s main event, Ezekiel Jackson becomes the new (and final) ECW Champion; Jackson defeats Christian in an Extreme Rules Match. The title is deactivated after Jackson’s title win. The final ECW episode draws a 1.14 TV rating.
2014 – Mistico II defeats Polvora, to win the CMLL World Welterweight Championship.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: former WWF star Gangrel (48 years old); indy wrestler Chris Kadillak (32 years old); and former AJPW All Asia Tag Team Champion Shunji Takano (53 years old);
Today would’ve been the 35th birthday for 2-time Ground Breaking Wrestling (GBW) Tag Team Champion JT Roberts. Today would’ve been the 100th birthday for former NWA World Light Heavyweight Champion Dr. John Bonica. Today would’ve been the 93rd birthday for Ray Gunkel, who was a 28-time Tag Team Champion among various NWA territories.