This Day In Wrestling History – April 8th
1964 – Neff Maivia defeats Hard Boiled Haggerty, to win the NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Championship.
1965 – Gorilla Monsoon & Bill Watts defeat Gene Kiniski & Waldo Von Erich, to win the WWWF United States Tag Team Championship.
1981 – Dory Funk, Jr. defeats Barry Windham, to win the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship.
1988 – John Tatum & Jack Victory defeat Steve & Shaun Simpson, to win the WCWA Texas Tag Team Championship.
1989 – In Calgary, Chris Benoit & Biff Wellington defeat Makhan Singh & Vokkan Singh, to win the Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship.
1990 – AWA’s final SuperClash event is held in St. Paul, Minnesota, in front of 2,000 fans.
– Jake Milliman defeats Todd Becker.
– The Texas Hangmen (Killer & Psycho) defeat D.J. Peterson & Brad Rheingans.
– Baron von Raschke (substituting for The Junkyard Dog) defeats Colonel DeBeers, via countout.
– Tully Blanchard defeats Tommy Jammer.
– John Nord defeats Kokina Maximus (later known in the WWF as Yokozuna).
– Larry Zbyszko defeats Mr. Saito, to win the AWA World Heavyweight Championship. Nick Bockwinkel served as the special guest referee.
– In a Steel Cage Tag Team Match, The Trooper & Paul Diamond defeat The Destruction Crew (Mike Enos & Wayne Bloom).
1991 – At a Pro Wrestling America event in Fridley, Minnesota, The Lightning Kid (Sean Waltman) defeats Jerry Lynn, to win the PWA Light Heavyweight Championship.
1995 – Shannon Moore makes his professional wrestling debut, in a singles match against Jeff Hardy, in North Carolina.
1995 – In Smoky Mountain Wrestling, Buddy Landel defeats Bobby Blaze, via TKO, to win the SMW Heavyweight Championship. Landel’s car, money, and watch were also on the line in this match.
1996 – On this evening’s Monday Night RAW, Vader defeats Yokozuna via referee stoppage, after giving Yokozuna a Vader Bomb on one of his legs. After the match, Yokozuna was unable to make his way out of the arena under his own power; he was taken from the ring and out of the arena on a forklift. RAW receives a 4.7 rating, helped by WCW Monday Nitro being preempted (I’m guessing due to NBA playoff coverage on TNT).
2000 – At Combat Zone Wrestling’s Winner Takes All event, Justice Pain defeats Ric Blade, to win the CZW World Junior Heavyweight Championship.
2002 – On this evening’s RAW, Spike Dudley defeats William Regal, to win the WWF European Championship.
2012 – Hirooki Goto wins the 2012 New Japan Cup, defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi in the tournament final. It’s Goto’s third New Japan Cup win in four years.
2012 – Colt Cabana defeats Adam Pearce, to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
2013 – There are two title changes on this evening’s Monday Night RAW, one night after WrestleMania 29. Wade Barrett invokes his rematch clause, and defeats The Miz, to reclaim the Intercontinental Championship. Also, after Alberto Del Rio wins a 2-on-1 Handicap Match vs Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter, Dolph Ziggler cashes in his Money in the Bank contract and pins Del Rio, to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
2014 – WWE Hall Of Famer James Brian Hellwig, aka The Ultimate Warrior, passes away at the age of 54. Warrior had just been inducted into the Hall of Fame three nights earlier, at a ceremony in New Orleans. The night before he passed away, Warrior had appeared live, on Monday Night RAW (also from New Orleans), for the first time since June 1996. The next day he collapsed while walking to his car with his wife in Scottsdale, Arizona, and was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed that Warrior had suffered a heart attack. He left behind his wife Dana, and two young daughters.
2016 – La Mascara defeats Angel de Oro, to win the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship. As of this writing, La Mascara has held the title for exactly one year.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: 6-time Big Japan Pro Wrestling (BJW) Deathmatch Heavyweight Champion Ryuji Ito (41 years old); 4-time GHC Tag Team Champion Akitoshi Saito (52 years old); and CHIKARA’s Robbie Ellis (74 years old).
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