This Day In Wrestling History – March 17th
1981 – The Moondogs (Rex & King) defeat Tony Garea & Rick Martel, to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.
1993 – At a house show in Dublin, Ireland, Big Van Vader defeats Sting, to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
1997 – In the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro (3.6 TV rating) beats WWF RAW IS WAR (2.4 rating).
1998 – On Tuesday Night RAW, Triple H defeats Owen Hart, via referee stoppage, to win the WWF European Championship.
1999 – Koji Kanemoto defeats Jushin Thunder Liger, to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
2000 – Beyond the Mat, a documentary on professional wrestling directed by Hollywood screenwriter Barry W. Blaustein, opens in theaters. The film focuses on Jake Roberts, Terry Funk, & Mick Foley, and also includes sections on Vince McMahon, Droz, New Jack, Koko B. Ware, and ECW’s first pay-per-view, Barely Legal. The film would open at number 19 in it’s first week, and make $2,053,648 over its nine week theatrical run.
2001 – Scott Norton defeats Kensuke Sasaki, to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
2002 – WrestleMania X8 is held in Toronto, in front of 68,237 fans at SkyDome.
Sunday Night Heat:
– In a six-man tag team match, Tool Cool (Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty) and Albert defeated Mr. Perfect, Test, & Lance Storm.
– Rob Van Dam defeats William Regal, to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
– Diamond Dallas Page defeats Christian, to retain the WWF European Championship.
– Spike Dudley pins Maven (who was actually in the middle of a title match with Goldust), to win the WWF Hardcore Championship. The title changes hands several times via the 24/7 rule. Spike gets pinned by The Hurricane, who then gets pinned by Mighty Molly. Molly gets pinned by Christian, who gets pinned by Maven.
– Kurt Angle defeats Kane.
– The Undertaker defeats Ric Flair in a No Disqualification Match, to go 10-0 at WrestleMania.
– Edge defeats Booker T.
– Stone Cold Steve Austin defeats Scott Hall (with Kevin Nash).
– Billy & Chuck retain the WWF Tag Team Championship after defeating The APA (Bradshaw & Faarooq), The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) and The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff), in a Four Corners Match.
– In the Icon vs Icon Match, The Rock defeats Hollywood Hulk Hogan.
– Jazz defeats Trish Stratus and Lita, in a Triple Threat Match, to retain the WWF Women’s Championship.
– Triple H defeats Chris Jericho (with Stephanie McMahon), to win the Undisputed WWF Championship.
2011 – On this evening’s Impact!, Gunner defeats Murphy and Rob Terry, to win the vacant TNA Television Championship (vacated by Abyss due to injury).
2013 – At AJPW’s 2013 Pro Wrestling Love in Ryoguku: Basic & Dynamic, Go Shiozaki & Jun Akiyama defeat Manabu Soya & Takao Omori, to win the AJPW World Tag Team Championship. Also, Suwama defeats Masakatsu Funaki, to win the AJPW Triple Crown Championship.
2013 – TNA One Night Only: Knockouts Knockdown is held in Orlando in front of 1,400 fans. Taped as a pay-per-view; it would not air on television until September 6th. The winners of the nine matches on the card would compete in a Gauntlet Match, to determine the “Queen of the Knockouts.” Gail Kim wins the crown after defeating Hannah Blossom, Jackie Moore, Lei’D Tapa, Mickie James, ODB, Miss Tessmacher, Tara, and Velvet Sky.
2014 – Mr. T is announced as the final inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame for the Class of 2014.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: World Heavyweight Champion in TNA & ROH, and 2-time NXT Champion Samoa Joe (38 years old); former TNA president Billy Corgan (50 years old); and former NWA-TNA wrestler Lollipop (38 years old).
Today would’ve been the 42nd birthday for former WWF Hardcore, Intercontinental, European, & Tag Team Champion Andrew Martin aka “Test.”