This Day In Wrestling History – February 26th
1967 – On his 41st birthday, Verne Gagne wins the AWA World Heavyweight Championship for the 8th time; Gagne defeats Mad Dog Vachon.
1978 – Dick Murdoch defeats Ted DiBiase, to win the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship.
1988 – Kenta Kobashi makes his professional wrestling debut, in All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW).
1988 – Terry Taylor defeats Matt Borne, to win the WCWA Texas Heavyweight Championship.
1990 – In the United States Wrestling Association, Jimmy Valiant defeats Jerry Lawler, to win the USWA Unified World Heavyweight Championship.
1993 – Heavy Metal defeats Rey Misterio, Jr., to win the Mexican National Welterweight Championship.
1994 – In Smoky Mountain Wrestling, The Hornet defeats Robbie Eagle, to win the SMW Beat the Champ Television Championship.
1995 – At SMW’s Sunday Bloody Sunday II, Bobby Blaze defeats Jerry Lawler, to win the SMW Heavyweight Championship. Blaze would later successfully defend the title, in a match against Buddy Landel.
1996 – In the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro (3.2 TV rating) edges out WWF Monday Night RAW (3.1 rating).
2000 – In a Title vs Career Match for the WCW World Television Championship, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan (Title) defeats Lord Steven Regal; Duggan retains the title and Regal is forced to retire. Regal would resurface in the WWF later in the year.
2000 – In Memphis Championship Wrestling, The Blue Meanie & Jim Neidhart win separate Battle Royals, and are named the inaugural MCW Southern Tag Team Champions.
2001 – In the Monday Night Wars, WWF RAW IS WAR (5.1 TV rating) beats WCW Monday Nitro (2.1 rating).
2007 – On this evening’s WWE RAW, World Tag Team Champions John Cena & Shawn Michaels defeated Rated–RKO (Edge & Randy Orton) to retain the title. Cena pinned Orton after the FU, after Michaels’ Sweet Chin Music. Edge had walked out on Orton after he thought Orton hit him with one of the title belts, when it was actually Michaels. Edge suffered a broken jaw during the match and wouldn’t be in the ring again until WrestleMania 23.
2010 – Several talents are released by WWE: Paul Burchill, Gregory “The Hurricane” Helms, Maria Kanellis, and referee Scott Armstrong. Armstrong would be brought back to WWE almost a year later.
2010 – On this evening’s Friday Night SmackDown, Michelle McCool defeats Mickie James, to win the WWE Women’s Championship. Vickie Guerrero served as special guest referee for the match.
2011 – In Ohio Valley Wrestling, Rudy Switchblade defeats Mohamad Ali Vaez, to win the OVW Television Championship.
2011 – At Ring of Honor’s 9th Anniversary Show, The Kings of Wrestling (Claudio Castagnoli & Chris Hero) defeat The All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus), to retain the ROH World Tag Team Championship. In a Two out of Three Falls Match, Christopher Daniels battles Eddie Edwards to a time limit draw, and retains the ROH World Television Championship. And in a No Holds Barred Streetfight, Roderick Strong defeats Homicide, to retain the ROH World Championship.
2012 – In the main event of CHIKARA’s Caught in the Spider’s Den, Eddie Kingston defeats Vin Gerard, to retain the CHIKARA Grand Championship.
2016 – At Ring of Honor’s 14th Anniversary Show, Tomohiro Ishii wins a 3-Way Match (with Roderick Strong & Bobby Fish), to retain the ROH World Television Championship. In a No Disqualification Match, War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) retain the ROH World Tag Team Championship, defeating The All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus). In the main event, Jay Lethal wins a 3-Way Match (with Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly), to retain the ROH World Championship.
2016 – At SHINE 33, Amber Gallows defeats Thunderkitty, to retain the NWA World Women’s Championship. Marti Belle & Jayme Jameson retain the SHINE Tag Team Championship, after defeating Amanda Carolina Rodriguez & Ivelisse. In the main event, Taylor Made defeats Kimber Lee, to retain the SHINE Championship.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: former WCW / ECW / & TNA manager James Mitchell (52 years old); and current Lucha Underground Champion Pentagon Jr. (32 years old).
Today would’ve been the 29th birthday for Reid Flair (Ric Flair’s son & Charlotte’s brother). Today would’ve been the 91st birthday for AWA founder & WWE Hall of Fame 2006 Inductee Verne Gagne.