This Day In Wrestling History – February 20th
1964 – In the Japan Wrestling Association (All Japan Pro Wrestling’s predecessor), Michiaki Yoshimura & Toyonobori defeat Prince Curtis Iaukea & Don Manoukian, to win the vacant Asia Tag Team Championship.
1978 – At a house show in New York City, Bob Backlund defeats Superstar Billy Graham, to win the WWWF Heavyweight Championship. This begins Backlund’s 2,135-day reign as champion, not ending until December 26, 1983.
1984 – Kelly Kiniski defeats Iceman Parsons, to win the WCCW Television Championship.
1986 – Incumbent WCCW American Heavyweight Champion Rick Rude is announced as the first WCWA World Heavyweight Champion, as the promotion secedes from the NWA.
1989 – NWA / WCW Chi-Town Rumble is held in Chicago in front of 8,000 fans. Mike Rotunda defeats Rick Steiner, to win the NWA World Television Championship. Lex Luger defeats Barry Windham, to become the new United States Champion. In the main event, Ricky Steamboat defeats Ric Flair, to become the new NWA World Heavyweight Champion.
1993 – On SMW TV, The Nightstalker defeats Tracy Smothers, to win the SMW “Beat the Champ” Television Championship.
1994 – WCW SuperBrawl IV is held in Albany, Georgia in front of 7,600 fans. Lord Steven Regal defeats Arn Anderson, to retain the WCW World Television Championship. In a Six-Man Thundercage Match, the team of Brian Pillman, Sting, & Dustin Rhodes defeat the team of Steve Austin, Rick Rude, & Paul Orndorff. In another Thundercage Match, Ric Flair defeats Vader, to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship; The Boss (aka Big Boss Man) served as guest referee.
1996 – The Holy Demon Army (Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue) defeat Gary Albright & Stan Hansen, to win the AJPW World Tag Team Championship.
2000 – Steve Williams & Vader defeat Jun Akiyama & Kenta Kobashi, to win the AJPW World Tag Team Championship.
2000 – WCW SuperBrawl 2000 is held in San Francisco in front of 8,569 fans. Brian Knobbs becomes the new Hardcore Champion, after defeating Bam Bam Bigelow. The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea defeats Lash LeRoux, to win the vacant Cruiserweight Championship. The Mamalukes (Big Vito & Johnny the Bull) retain the World Tag Team Championship, defeating Crowbar & David Flair in a Sicilian Stretcher Match. Ric Flair defeats Terry Funk in a Texas Death Match. In the main event, Sid Vicious wins a Triple Threat Match (with Jeff Jarrett & Scott Hall), to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
2005 – In a Title vs Title Match, Satoshi Kojima defeats Hiroyoshi Tenzan, to retain the AJPW Triple Crown Championship, AND win Tenzan’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
2005 – WWE No Way Out (a SmackDown exclusive pay-per-view) is held in Pittsburgh in front of 9,500 fans. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. becomes the new Cruiserweight Champion, after winning a Cruiserweight Open. Guerrero wins by pinning Paul London. Other participants were Funaki (who lost the title), Spike Dudley, Shannon Moore, and Akio. Eddie Guerrero & Rey Mysterio win the WWE Tag Team Championship, defeating The Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny). John Cena defeats Kurt Angle, to become the #1 contender for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21. In the first-ever Barbed Wire Steel Cage Match, John “Bradshaw” Layfield defeats Big Show, to retain the WWE Championship.
2006 – On this evening’s RAW, Shelton Benjamin defeats Ric Flair, to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. It is also announced that Eddie Guerrero would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, during WrestleMania weekend.
2009 – Colt Cabana is released by WWE. This comes on the same day his final match airs on the evening’s SmackDown; Cabana lost to Umaga.
2011 – WWE Elimination Chamber is held in Oakland in front of 11,500 fans. The Corre (Heath Slater & Justin Gabriel) win the WWE Tag Team Championship, defeating Santino Marella & Vladimir Kozlov. The Miz retains the WWE Championship after defeating Jerry Lawler. Edge wins the first Elimination Chamber Match (with Rey Mysterio, Kane, Drew McIntyre, Wade Barrett, and Big Show), to retain the World Heavyweight Championship. John Cena wins the second Chamber Match (with CM Punk, John Morrison, Sheamus, Randy Orton, and R-Truth); with the win Cena earns a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania 27.
2016 – Day two of the NJPW / ROH co-produced Honor Rising: Japan 2016 is held in Tokyo, Japan, in front of 1,718 fans. The team of Kenny Omega, along with Matt & Nick Jackson defeat Toru Yano and Jay & Mark Briscoe, to win the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship. In the main event, Jay Lethal defeats Tomoaki Honma, to retain the ROH World Championship.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: 2016 TNA Hall of Fame Inductee Gail Kim (40 years old); NJPW founder & WWE Hall of Famer Antonio Inoki (74 years old); 4-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Gedo (48 years old); indy wrestler Phil Atlas (32 years old); and 2-time Mexican National Women’s Champion Tiffany (44 years old).
Today would’ve been the 96th birthday for the inaugural WWWF Heavyweight Champion Buddy Rogers.