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Timeline

1873 – The first masked wrestler, appropriately named “The Masked Wrestler,” debuts in Paris.

1878 – Frank Gotch is born in Homboldt, IA.

September 26, 1885 – Australia’s first professional wrestling bout, William Miller vs. Clarence Whistler, is staged at Melbourne’s Theater Royal. Whistler won, but died afterward. The cause of death was internal bleeding caused by eating a champagne glass after the match.

August 3, 1887 – Barbed wire is patented.

September 26, 1894 – Ernest Roeber is awarded the European Greco-Roman title in Hamburg, Germany.

September 1896 – George Hackenschmidt, 18, makes his wrestling debut.

April 2, 1899 – Gotch, trained by Martin Burns, makes his wrestling debut by defeating Marshall Green.

1901 – San Francisco hosts wrestling’s first tag team matches.

February 22, 1903 – Tom Jenkins defeats Frank Gotch in Cleveland in the first meeting of the dominant American wrestlers of the era.

May 5, 1905 – Hackenschmidt defeats Tom Jenkins for the Catch-as-Catch-Can championship. The title is later re-named the NWA World Heavyweight title.

April 3, 1908 – Hackenschmidt and Gotch do battle at Chicago’s Dexter Park. The match ended when a frustrated Hackenschmidt leaves the ring, leaving Gotch with the World title.

September 4, 1911 – The Hackenschmidt/Gotch rematch draws 28,757 fans to Comiskey Park, drawing a $87,000 gate.

April 1, 1913 – Gotch announces his retirement from wrestling in Kansas City, MO.

July 14, 1915 – Joe Stecher beats Charlie Cutler in Omaha, NE, to become the first widely recognized world heavyweight champion after the retirement of Frank Gotch.

1916 – A battle between Ed “Stranger” Lewis and Joe Stecher ends in a five-hour draw.

July 5, 1916 – Joe Stecher and Ed Strangler Lewis wrestle to a legendary five-hour draw in Omaha, NE. Lewis is soundly hooted by the crowd for wrestling defensively and making no attempts to go on the offense against the champion. Some fans at points showered the ring with their seat cushions to show their displeasure with Lewis.

July 18, 1916 – Gotch fractures his leg in an exhibition match with Bob Managoff Sr. at a Sells-Floto Circus performance in Kenosha, WI. The great champion would never wrestle again.

1917 – Gotch passes away.

April 9, 1917 – Earl Caddock defeats Joe Stecher in Omaha, NE to win the world heavyweight championship.

February 8, 1918 – Freddie (Kenneth) Blassis is born in St. Louis, MO.

December 13, 1920 – “Stranger” Lewis becomes World champion by beating Stetcher.

1925 – Jess McMahon, grandfather of Vince McMahon Jr., promotes his first boxing card in the “old” Madison Square Garden in New York City.

January 8, 1925 – In one of the biggest upsets of all time, Wayne Munn beats Ed “Strangler” Lewis in Kansas City, MO to win the World title.

February 28, 1928 – After chasing Joe Stecher for nearly three years, Ed Strangler Lewis wins the World title a third time, taking two out of three falls in St. Louis, MO.

October 10, 1932 – The New York Athletic Commission recognizes Ed Strangler Lewis as World Heavyweight Champion. The commission had ordered Jim Londos to meet Lewis following Lewis’ June 9 victory over Dick Shikat. When Londos refused, the commission stripped him of title recognition.

October 25, 1932 – Paul Boesch makes his professional wrestling debut against Benny Ginsburg in Staten Island, New York.

1933 – Texas passes state laws legalizing and governing boxing and wrestling. Morris Siegel receives the first license issued in both sports.

September 21, 1933 – EMLL (Empresa Mexicana de Lucha Libre) is formed.

Septmeber 30, 1934 – Jim Londos scores the first win of his career against bitter rival Ed “Strangler” Lewis at Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The match draws a then-record gate of $96,302 (attendance: 35,265). Former heavyweight boxing champ Jack Dempsey serves as referee.

1935 – Jim Crockett Sr. forms Jim Crockett Promotions. In the same year, Vince McMahon Sr. promotes his first wrestling card.

September 24, 1935 – Vincent Lopez defeats Nick Lutze to retain the California version of the world title in Los Angeles.

1937 – Mud wrestling is invented in Seattle, but by mistake. Promoter Paul Boesch used too much water on the dirt used for a “Hindu match” between Prince Bhu Pinder and former champion Gus Sonnenberg. Mud wrestling then moved to San Francisco. There, the ring was filled with mud and the bout filmed and shown in newsreels across the world. Women’s mud wrestling soon followed.

July 8, 1937 – Lou Thesz claims the National Wrestling Association title because, he says, Everett Marshall will not wrestle him in Kansas City in mid-July.

September 29, 1937 – A pro wrestling show is held in Tokyo, Japan at Susaki baseball stadium with Japanese Olympian Kiyoshi Kose defeating Ken Gen (Korea) in two falls.

November 16, 1937 – Ray Steele is suspended 60 days by the New York State Athletic Commission for using a knee on Bronko Nagurski in a title match.

September 14, 1938 – Everett Marshall is awarded the National Wrestling Association’s version of the World Title.

November 18, 1938 – Jim Londos beats Bronko Nagurski in Philadelphia to win a claim to the World title. Londos never loses this version of the title, defending it successfully across the country until he retires.

April 19, 1939 – After being disqualified in a Los Angeles Olympic Auditorium match with Sandor Szabo, Man Mountain Dean is stabbed by an irate fan wielding a pen knife.

March 3, 1945 – A USO plane crashes in Europe, killing wrestlers George Mack, Jack Ross, Lester (Kid) Chapman, Hal Sabath, Gaius W. Young and Ben Reuben.

September 25, 1945 – Gory Guerrero defeats Bobby Bonales for the EMLL National Middleweight title in Mexico City.

March 15, 1946 – El Santo beats Pete Pancof in Mexico City to win the NWA World welterweight title (was most recently a part of the unified eight title J-Crown). El Santo would go on to become the biggest star in the history of Mexican wrestling. He was the father of current superstar El Hijo del Santo.

May 19, 1946 – Andre The Giant is born in Grenoble, France.

1947 – A New York match between Buddy Rogers and Billy Darnell is such a wild brawl, a ringside fan dies of a heart attack. Both wrestlers are disqualified from New York competition for two years … Fred Blassie suffers a head injury that places him on the verge of retirement when he is bounced out of the ring by Rudy Dusek.

1948 – The National Wrestling Alliance is first formed in Waterloo, IA. The first NWA President was P.L. “Pinkie” George.

July 30, 1948 – Pro wrestling debutes on the Dumont Network.

September 25, 1948 – Joe Lynam is killed in a plane crash in Oregon at the age of 31.

February 22, 1949 – Gorgeous George headlines the first Madison Square Garden wrestling card in 12 years, against Ernie Dusek. Gorgeous George won the match in front of 4,197 fans.

April 20, 1949 – Primo Carnera’s winning streak ends at 321 when he is defeated by Antonio Rocca.

October 4, 1949 – Lillian Ellison (later known as Fabulous Moolah) defeated Cecilia Blevins in Kansas City, MO.

November 25, 1949 – Lou Thesz is awarded his first of six NWA World titles after Orville Brown’s career is ending by a car accident.

May 26, 1950 – Gorgeous George defeats AWA world champion Don Eagle in a double cross finish in Chicago.

1951 – Japan’s first post-war professional wrestling card is held … Verne Gagne moves up to the heavyweight division.

1952 – The Sheik makes his professional wrestling debut.

November 17, 1952 – El Santo defeated Black Shadow in a mask vs. mask match after a 70-minute struggle at Arena Coliseo.

1953 – Captain Lou Albano makes his professional wrestling debut by defeating Bob Lazaro in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

May 11, 1953 – New York lifts a state ban on tag team wrestling.

April 27, 1956 – Arena Mexico opens.

April 1, 1957 – Wrestler Danny Hodge appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine.

1959 – Bruno Sammartino makes his professional wrestling debut.

October 7, 1959 – “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers faces “Jersey” Joe Walcott in a wrestler-boxer contest at The Forum in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

August 1960 – The American Wrestling Assocation (AWA) is formed.

September 30, 1960 – Antonio Inoki makes his pro debut in Tokyo, Japan losing to Kintaro Oki (Ill Kim). On the same show Giant Baba makes his debut defeating Y. Tanaka.

June 30, 1961 – A Buddy Rogers vs. Pat O’Connor headlining match at Chicago’s Comiskey Park draws 38,622.

1962 – Gorgeous George loses his hair, after dropping his match with the Destroyer in L.A.

1962 – Ray Stevens does the “bombs away” off a ladder onto Pepper Gomez’s throat, injuring Gomez. Their grudge match sells out the San Francisco Cow Palace to the tune of 17,000 fans paying a gate of $65,000.

February 7, 1963 – NWA World champion Lou Thesz defeats Buddy Rogers in a return two-out-of-three falls match in Toronto, Ontario. The result has largely been forgotten in wrestling history.

February 15, 1963 – At the 711 Hall in Mansfield, OH, Killer Kowalski fought The Flying Frenchman Edward Carpentier in the main event. Kowalski won the best 2-out-of-3 match in front of 800 people. On the undercard was a midget bout pitting Irish Jackie and Fuzzy Cupid against PeeWee Lopez and Sonny Boy Cassidy.

April 1963 – The World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) recognizes its first champion, Buddy Rogers.

May 19, 1963 – The Destroyer beats Rikidozan in Osaka, Japan, in one of the most famous matches in Japanese wrestling history and becomes an instant legend in Japan. It’s the last singles match Rikidozan would ever lose.

July 19, 1963 – Verne Gagne defeats The Crusher in Minneapolis, MN to win the AWA World Heavyweight Title for the fourth time. Gagne also won the Omaha version of the World Title, which Crusher had won from Fritz Von Erich five months earlier.

October 15, 1963 – Bobo Brazil vs. Tino Tim Anderson marks the first professional wrestling bout involving black male wrestlers in Tampa, FL.

1964 – Andre Rene Rusinoff (later known as Andre the Giant) debuts at the Butcher.

May 17, 1964 – Sammartino defeates Buddy Rogers for the WWWF title. He retains the title until January 1971 when Ivan Koloff relieves him of the gold.

1965 – Dory Funk Sr. and Mike DiBiase battle for three hours and ten minutes in a death match in Amarillo, TX.

October 14, 1966 – Lou Thesz beats Buddy Austin in Los Angeles to win the WWA heavyweight title. It’s the last major title Thesz would win in the United States.

November 11, 1967 – The first “Cow Palace” battle royal in San Francisco, CA is won by Bearcat Wright.

December 2, 1969 – In the first NWA World title match in Japan in 12 years, Dory Funk Jr. and Antonio Inoki wrestle to a 60-minute draw. Inoki’s strong showing elevates him to superstardom.

July 23, 1971 – AWA Tag Team champion Hercules Cortez is killed in an auto accident near St. Cloud, MN.

August 27, 1971 – A match featuring Fred Blassie vs. John Tolos at the Los Angeles Coliseum draws 25,847 fans for a gate of $142,158.

March 1972 – New Japan Pro Wrestling is formed.

September 16, 1972 – Harley Race beats Pak Song in St. Louis, MO to become the first NWA Missouri State champion.

September 30, 1972 – In a battle of two of the greatest ethnic heroes of the era at New York’s Shea Stadium, WWWF World champion Pedro Morales wrestled Bruno Sammartino to a seventy five minute draw.

October 1972 – Shohei “Giant” Baba forms All Japan Pro Wrestling.

1973 – Giant Baba is declared the first All-Japan PWF heavyweight champion. The belt is now part of All-Japan’s Triple Crown.

1973 – Jim Crockett Jr. takes over Crockett promotions.

May 9, 1975 – WWWF champion Sammartino defends the title against PWF Giant Baba in Japan. The match ends in a no decision.

October 4, 1975 – Ric Flair suffers a broken back when the Cessna 310 he is riding in crashes near Wilmington, NC. Also on the plane are Johnny Valentine and Bob Bruggers. Doctors say Flair will never wrestle again.

November 8, 1975 – Nick Bockwinkel ends Verne Gagne’s seven year plus AWA title reign.

December 25, 1976 – Ric Flair wins his first world title when he teams with Greg Valentine to beat NWA World Tag Team champions Gene and Ole Anderson in Greensboro, NC.

December 15, 1977 – Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk beat Abdullah the Butcher and The Sheik in Tokyo in a wild match to win the first World Tag League tournament. The match, legendary in Japan for its sheer violence, turned the Funks into fan favorites in Japan.

April 1979 – Vince McMahon Sr. renames the WWWF the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

July 8, 1979 – Ric Flair uses the figure-four leg-lock to defeat “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers in Greensboro, NC.

July 18, 1980 – Verne Gagne wins his tenth AWA title by defeating Nick Bockwinkle in Chicago, IL. Bockwinkle had been champion since 1975.

August 9, 1980 – Bruno Sammartino defeats Larry Zbyszko in the main event of a steel cage match at New York’s Shea Stadium. Also on the card: Andre the Giant pins Hulk Hogan and Bob Backlund and Pedro Morales win the WWF tag team titles from The Samoans.

April 24, 1981 – Harley Race and Ric Flair battle to a 60-minute time limit draw in St. Louis, MO.

May 1, 1981 – After dropping the NWA title to Tommy Rich, Race regained the title in Gainesville, GA. However, the match was never taped.

May 2, 1981 – Killer Khan leaps off the top rope onto Andre the Giant during a match in Rochester, NY, breaking Andre’s left ankle and igniting the feud of the year.

September 17, 1981 – Flair captures his first World title from Dusty Rhodes.

June 1982 – Vince McMahon Jr. purchases the WWF from his father.

Summer 1982 – In one of the most memorable and dramatic moments in Madison Square Garden wrestling history, Jimmy Snuka performs his “Superfly” flying bodypress from the top of the steel cage in a match against WWF World champion Bob Backlund.

September 12, 1982, Gory Guerrero wrestles in final match before a sellout 18,000 fans at the bullring in Naucalpan.

November 24, 1983 – The first Starrcade is staged in Greensboro, NC.

1984 – McMahon purchases Georgia Championship Wrestling for $1,000,000 and closes the promotion.

January 24, 1984 – Hulk Hogan pins The Iron Sheik at Madison Square Garden for the WWF title. Hogan begins a four year title reign.

February 5, 1984 – El Santo, the most famous wrestler in the history of Mexico, died of a heart attack at age 67. Santo (real name Rodolfo Guzman Huerta), in addition to his wrestling fame, crossed over into movies, starring in over 50 action/horror films.

February 7, 1984 – Dynamite Kid beats The Cobra in Tokyo to win the vacant WWF junior heavyweight title. Kid beats British Bulldogs’ teammate Davey Boy Smith in the semifinals of what is considered one of the greatest junior heavyweight tournaments in wrestling history.

April 6, 1984 – Ken Patera and Mr. Saito throw a boulder through the window of a McDonald’s in Waukesha, WI, when they are refused service after hours. A brawl with Waukesha police officers takes place shortly thereafter at the Holiday Inn where Patera and Saito are staying.

April 25, 1984 – Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen thrash the field to win All-Japan’s tournament to crown the first PWF tag team champions.

May 6, 1984 – Kerry Von Erich defeats Ric Flair for the NWA title at Texas Stadium in Irving, TX before 32,123 fans.

July 14, 1984 – The WWF takes over the NWA’s airtime on Atlanta Superstation WTBS’ World Championship Wrestling. Hundreds of calls of complant are received, to which WWF head Vince McMahon responds: “We’ll show those complainers the difference between a major league and a minor league production, given time.” NWA is quickly reinstated on TBS on Saturday mornings.

July 18, 1984 – The Mayor of Madison, WI declares it “Sailor” Art Thomas Day.

July 23, 1984 – The “brawl to settle it all” is staged at Madison Square Garden featuring the Fabulous Moolah (with “Captain” Lou Albano) versus Wendi Richter (with Cyndi Lauper).

August 29, 1984 – A card headlined by Bad News Allen vs. Davey Boy Smith draws 6,500 fans in Vancouver.

September 25, 1984 – Hulk Hogan, Wendi Richter, and Cyndi Lauper appear as guest VJ’s on MTV.

October 26, 1984 – Harley Race battles AWA chmapion Rick Martel to a 60 minute time limit draw in St. Louis, MO.

On January 20, 1985 – Eddie Gossett (Graham) is found dead in his home, the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

February 5, 1985 – Wrestling returns to prime-time network television after a 33-year absence with the broadcast of WWF’s “Main Event” program on NBC.

February 18, 1985 – “The war to settle the score” is staged at Madison Square Garden featuring Hulk Hogan against “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. The special on MTV scores a 9.1 rating.

February 21, 1985 – ABC airs an installment of “20/20″ during which Dr. D David Shultz hits reporter John Stossel in the ears; Stossel later sued and received a $280,000 settlement from the WWF.

March 31, 1985 – Vince McMahon Jr. stages the first Wrestlemania on closed circuit television.

April 1985 – The first-ever wrestling videotape — “Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Lords of the Ring” — is released by Vestron Video.

May 10, 1985 – NBC airs the first episode of “Saturday Night’s Main Event.” The show features Hogan defeating “Cowboy” Bob Orton, Jr. to retain the WWF title.

August 13, 1985 – Hulk Hogan defeats Big John Studd at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus, OH before 50,000 fans.

August 27, 1985 – AWA debuts on ESPN.

September 1, 1985 – Jay Youngblood dies in New Zealand after suffering a ruptured spleen and three heart attacks. He was 30.

November 19, 1985 – Lex Luger captures the Southern heavyweight title from Wahoo McDaniel in Tampa, FL, less than three weeks after making his pro debut.

February 7, 1986 – WTBS airs its first prime-time wrestling special, “Superstars on the Superstation,” more than two years before the first Clash of the Champions.

March 1, 1986 – MTV airs the WWF’s first-ever “Slammys” award program.

April 5, 1986 – WWF stages Wrestlemania II, headlined by a Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy main event.

May 1986 – The Four Horsemen are formed, a quartet consisting of Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson, with management by James J. Dillon.

August 28, 1996 – A WWF card headlined by a Hulk Hogan-Paul Orndorff match staged in Toronto draws 64,000 fans.

1987 – Jim Crockett purchases Mid South Sports (UWF) from Bill Watts for $4 million.

March 29, 1987 – Wrestlemania III is hosted by the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. A crowd of over 78,000 fans witnesses Hogan successfully defending the WWF title against Andre the Giant in the main event.

April 27, 1987 – Jerry Lawler and Austin Idol wrestle a hair vs. hair cage match for the Southern title in Memphis, TN. Tommy Rich comes out from underneath the ring to aid Idol in winning, causing Lawler to lose not only the match, but his hair. The Mid-South Coliseum crowd nearly riots in outrage.

May 11, 1987 – Kevin Von Erich collapses in the middle of the ring during an eight-man bout pitting him, the Fantastics and Bruiser Brody against Brian Adias, Black Bart, Al Madril and Al Perez. Fantastic Tommy Rogers, seeing Von Erich turning blue, administers cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

May 26, 1987 – “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and The Iron Sheik are arrested by New Jersey state police. Duggan is charged with possession of marijuana and drinking alcohol while driving; Sheik is charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana. Duggan receives a conditional discharge; Sheik receives a year probation.

July 19, 1987 – Bruno Sammartino substituted for Jake Roberts in the main event of a WWF show at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, defeated Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man via countout.

January 24, 1988 – WWF airs its first “Royal Rumble” on the USA Network.

February 5, 1988 – Andre the Giant ends Hulk Hogan’s four year WWF title reign on Saturday Night’s Main Event. He later gave the title to the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, until the title is held up by WWF President Jack Tunney. The show did a 15.2 rating and 33 million viewers.

March 17, 1988 – The Tokyo Dome opens.

March 27, 1988 – The first “Clash of the Champions” air on WTBS, airing head to head with Wrestlemania IV. In the main event, Ric Flair and Sting wrestled to a 45 minute time limit draw … Bruiser Brody pins Jumbo Tsuruta in Tokyo to win the International heavyweight title for the third time. It would be the final major title Brody would ever hold.

July 16, 1988 – Bruiser Brody is stabbed by wrestler/booker Jose Huertez Gonzales (Invader I) in a locker room in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Brody, 42, would die on the operating table in the early morning hours the next morning. Gonzales was indicted in November 1988 on charges of voluntary homicide and was acquitted of those charges in January 1989.

November 1988 – Ted Turner buys out Jim Crockett Jr. for $9 million, and later renames his promotion World Championship Wrestling (WCW).

November 7, 1988 – Titan Sports promotes its first-ever non-wrestling PPV, a boxing match between “Sugar Ray” Leonard and Donny Lalonde.

December 30, 1988 – A WWF house show headlined by Randy Savage vs. Bad News Brown at Madison Square Garden sells out.

April 18, 1989 – International champion Jumbo Tsuruta beats PWF and United National champion Stan Hansen in Tokyo to become All-Japan’s first Triple Crown champion.

April 24, 1989 – The first card at the Tokyo Dome is stagged. The feature match sees Antonio Inoki put over 1972 Olympic Judo gold medalist Shota Chochyashivili.

July 4, 1989 – Davey Boy Smith, Jason the Terrible, and Chris Benoit were injured in a head-on automobile accident in Jasper, Alberta. Smith suffered a cracked vertebrae in his back and needed a hundred stitches in his head after being thrown through the windshield of the car. Jason suffered two fractures in his left leg. Benoit suffered an injured right knee.

November 29, 1989 – The first Tokyo Dome show sells out.

December 7, 1989 – William D. “Haystacks” Calhoun, the 601-pound grappler from Morgan’s Corner, AR, dies at the North Texas Medical Center after a lengthy battle with diabetes. He was 55.

February 10, 1990 – A New Japan show featuring wrestlers from New Japan vs. All Japan draws 63,900 at the Tokyo Dome.

April 1, 1990 – Wrestlemania VI in Toronto’s Skydome draws 61,864 paying fans for a $3,490,857 gate. The PPV draws about 550,000 buys.

April 13, 1990 – All Japan, New Japan and the WWF put on a combined show at the Tokyo Dome. The top match sees Hulk Hogan pin Stan Hansen and Genichiro Tenryu pin Randy Savage.

April 18, 1990 – Gory Guerrero, 69, passes away in El Paso, TX.

August 26, 1991 – Summerslam ’91, at New York’s Madison Square Garden, draws 375,000 PPV buys.

October 31, 1991 – Gene Anderson, brother and Minnesota Wrecking Crew partner of Ole Anderson, dies of a heart attack while attending a law enforcement training class in North Carolina. He was 58.

November 10, 1991 – Dick Afflis, known professionally as Dick the Bruiser, dies while lifting weights at his vacation home near Tampa, FL. He was 62.

December 6, 1991 – Dynamite Kid, long a legend in Japan and best known in the U.S. as part of the British Bulldogs with Davey Boy Smith, announces his retirement from the ring during a ceremony at the Budokan, Japan.

1992 – WWF averaged 4,250 fans to live events, WCW averaged 1,850.

January 20, 1992 – Dino Bravo wrestles his last match before retiring, defeating The Barbarian at The Forum in Montreal.

April 5, 1992 – Wrestlemania VIII does about 300,000 PPV buys. The show was headlined by Hulk Hogan squaring off with Sid Justice.

April 15, 1992 – Antonio Pena gives notice to EMLL and secrectly secures a TV time slot for his new rival AAA promotion.

May 15, 1992 – AAA runs its first television taping in Veracruz.

June 26, 1992 – Former WWF and NWA World champion Buddy Rogers dies in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, days after suffering two strokes.

July 31, 1992 – WWF World champion Randy Savage appears on The Arsenio Hall Show and admits that he experimented with steroids, pointing out that the muscle-enhancing drugs were legal when he did so.

October 27, 1992 – The final “Saturday Night’s Main Event” draws a 6.1 rating. The show featured Savage and the Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted DiBiase and IRS in the main event. The show aired on FOX.

1993 – WWF averaged 3,540 fans to live events, WCW averaged just 960.

1993 – WCW took in $24 million in revenues.

January 11, 1993 – “Raw” debuts on the USA Network.

January 29, 1993 – Andre The Giant, 46, dies of a heart attack.

February 18, 1993 – Kerry Von Erich (Texas Tornado in the WWF) commits suicide at the age of 33.

February 21, 1993 – Ric Flair returns to WCW at Superbrawl III in Asheville, NC, after approximately 18 months of competing in the WWF.

March 11, 1993 – Dino Bravo is murdered gangland-style while sitting in the living room of his Laval, Quebec home. Police subsequently find 17 empty bullet shell casings. He was 44.

April 30, 1993 – TripleMania at the Plaza de Toros in Mexico draws 48,000 fans ($400,000 gate) for a show headlined by Konnan v. Cien Caras.

September 18, 1993 – Paul Heyman becomes booker for ECW (Eastern Championship Wrestling).

November 1993 – Vince McMahon Jr. is charged with steriod possession.

1994 – WWF averaged 2,880 fans to live events, WCW averaged 1,620.

March 16, 1994 – Two-thirds of Cactus Jack’s right ear is severed when he becomes entangled in the ropes during a match in Germany against Big Van Vader.

April 16, 1994 – The Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit) wins the first J Cup tournament in Tokyo, Japan. The event was promoted by New Japan Pro Wrestling.

April 29, 1994 – Charles Austin, a preliminary wrestler left paralyzed after a 1990 WWF tag team match against The Rockers, is awarded $26.7 million in a lawsuit against the federation.

June 11, 1994 – Hogan signs with World Championship Wrestling.

July 22, 1994 – The Ultimate Warrior wrestles his first match in more than two years before 2,000 fans in Las Vegas. He defeats the Honky Tonk Man.

August 27, 1994 – Shane Douglas defeats 2 Cold Scorpio for the NWA World Heavyweight title, but then dumps the belt and proclaims himself the first Extreme Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion.

November 6, 1994 – AAA promotes the When Worlds Collide PPV at the Los Angeles Sports Arena before 12,000 fans.

November 23, 1994 – Art Barr, 28, is found dead at his home in Springfield, Oregon.

1994 – 1995 – WWF losses $4,431,000 million.

1995 – WWF averaged 3,039 fans to live events, WCW averaged 2,207.

February 18, 1995 – “Hot Stuff” Eddie Gilbert, 33, passes away following a heart attack.

March 20, 1995 – Big John Studd, 46, dies from liver cancer.

May 13, 1995 – Big Van Vader beats El Canek in Mexico City to win the UWA heavyweight title. With the win, Vader simultaneously holds major titles in Asia (New Japan’s IWGP title), Europe (CWA title) and North America (UWA title).

August 20, 1995 – Cactus Jack beats Terry Funk to win the IWA King of the Death Match tournament.

September 4, 1995 – “Nitro” debuts on TNT.

October 28, 1995 – A near riot occurs at ECW Arena in Philadelphia when Cactus Jack brings a chair wrapped in a flaming towel that ignites part of Terry Funk’s clothing.

December 13, 1995 – Jushin Liger wins the second J Cup tournament. The event was promoted by the WAR promotion.

1995 – 1996 – WWF earns $3,319,000 in profits.

1996 – WWF averaged 4,881 fans to live events, WCW averaged 3,439.

1996 – Paul Heyman purchases ECW from Tod Gordon.

1996 – The WWF lost a state supreme court appeal of a court’s decision that awarded Jesse “The Body” Ventura $800,000 in past royalties.

May 19, 1996 – After a steel cage match between Shawn Michaels and Diesel (Kevin Nash) at Madison Square Garden, “The Kliq” (Hall, Nash, HBK, and Triple H) embrace, breaking tradition “kayfabe.” Hall and Nash had already signed with WCW.

June 16, 1996 – Scott Hall and Kevin Nash attack Eric Bischoff at the Great American Bash. Nash powerbombs the WCW senior vice president through an interview stage when Bischoff claims he can’t tell them whom he has selected to answer their challenge.

June 23, 1996 – Austin wins the King of the Ring tournament, and starts his Austin 3:16 gimmick.

July 7, 1996 – Hogan turns heel at Bash at the Beach, joining Hall and Nash in the New World Order (NWO).

September 22, 1996 – ECW makes its presence known at a WWF “In Your House” PPV when the Sandman, Tommy Dreamer and Paul E. Dangerously (Heyman) buy ringside tickets. The three are escorted out of the building when Sandman spits beer on Savio Vega during a match.

November 4, 1996 – After nearly four years in the same time slot, WWF Monday Night “RAW” moves to one hour earlier in an effort to boost ratings. That night features the infamous gun confrontation between Brian Pillman and Steve Austin.

November 17, 1996 – Rocky Maivia (The Rock) debuts at the Survivor Series.

1996 – 1997 – WWF reports losses of $6,505,000 million for the fiscal year.

1997 – WWF averaged 5,826 fans to live events, WCW averaged 5,472.

January 20, 1997 – Randy Savage returns to WCW as a free agent. He stages a sit-in on “Nitro.”

January 25, 1997 – The New World Order promotes Souled Out, its first pay-per-view. Even though the nWo was largely successful, the show itself was a critical failure.

September 10, 1997 – Fritz Von Erich (Jack Adkisson), 68, dies in his Denton County (Texas) home, having lost his bout with cancer.

October 5, 1997 – Brian Pillman, 35, dies from a heart attack in a Minnesota hotel room.

November 9, 1997 – McMahon cheats Bret Hart out of the WWF title at the Survivor Series in Montreal.

November 1997 – Rick Rude becomes the only wrestler to appear on “Raw” and “Nitro” on the same night.

November 1997 – www.gerweck.net is born.

1997 – 1998 – WWF earns $8,466,000 million in profits.

1998 – WWF averaged 10,006 fans to live events, WCW averaged 8,029.

1998 – WCW earns $55 million in profits.

April 4, 1998 – Inoki has his retirement match before an announced 70,000 (real number was between 55,000 and 60,000) fans at the Tokyo Dome doing a $7 million gate. Inoki defeated Don Fyre in four minutes.

April 13, 1998 – “Raw” ends “Nitro’s” 83 week winning streak.

June 2, 1998 – The Junkyard Dog, 45, is killed in an automobile accident.

July 20, 1998 – The Monday Night Wars between WWF’s Raw and WCW’s Nitro raged on, with WWF barely getting a win with a 5.0 rating to WCW’s 4.7 rating.

November 1998 – Former wrestler and announcer Jesse “The Body” Ventura is elected Governor of Minnesota.

1998 – 1999 – WWF reports $56,030,000 million in losses.

1999 – WWF averaged 12,017 fans to live events, WCW averaged 5,511.

1999 – WCW loses $16 million.

February 1999 – WWF’s house shows averaged 14,082 fans.

February 23, 1999 – Former WCW Television champion The Renegade, 33, commits suicide.

April 20, 1999 – Rick Rude, 40, dies of a heart attack.

May 20, 1999 – Bad News Brown wrestles his final match, and has both knees replaced.

May 23, 1999 – Owen Hart, 34, dressed as the Blue Blazer, falls to his death during the Over the Edge PPV in Kansas City, MO. The Hart family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the WWF, and settled out of court for $18 million in November 2000.

October 1999 – WCW hires WWF writers Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara. Russo was paid $500,000 per year to jump from WWF to WCW.

October 6, 1999 – Robert “Gorilla Monsoon” Marella, 62, dies of complications from a heart attack.

2000 – WCW loses $62 million.

2000 – WWF earned profits of $68,937,000 for the fiscal year of 1999-2000.

2000 – WWF averaged 11,460 fans to live events, WCW averaged 2,677.

January 23, 2000 – Bobby Duncum Jr, 34, dies of an accidental overdose.

Early 2000 – Jim Hellwig wins the rights to the Ultimate Warrior name in an out of court settlement with WWF.

March 17, 2000 – Los Villano III (Arturo Mendoza) is unmasked before 20,000 fans at Arena Mexico. The story made the front page of Ovaciones, the country’s leading sports newspaper.

April 9, 2000 – Jushin Liger wins the third J Cup tournament. The event was promoted by Michinoku Pro Wrestling.

June 2000 – Mitsuharu Misawa quits All Japan Pro Wrestling and creates Pro Wrestling NOAH.

July 28, 2000 – Legendary wrestling announcer Gordon Solie, 71, passes away from brain cancer.

September 25, 2000 – The WWF moves “Raw” to TNN.

October 22, 2000 – Former WWF champion Yokozuna (Rodney Anoai), 34, dies from a heart attack.

October 26, 2000 – Six days after having his contract terminated by WCW, Bret “The Hitman” Hart announced his retirement from pro wrestling.

2001 – WWF earned profits of $15,937,000 for the fiscal year of 2000-2001. In 2001, WWF averaged 9,200 fans to house shows.

January 11, 2001 – Fusient Media Ventures announces plans to purchase WCW from AOL Time Warner. However, the deal was never completed.

January 13, 2001 – ECW runs its final house show in Pine Bluff, Arkansas before about 1,300 onlookers. At the end, Justin Credible and The Sandman hugged even though they were feuding. At the time, ECW was still promoting a 3/11/01 PPV.

March 23, 2001 – The WWF purchases World Championship Wrestling (WCW) for a mere $2.5 million.

March 26, 2001 – The final “Nitro” airs on TNT.

April 1, 2001 – Wrestlemania XVII in Houston, TX at the Astrodome draws a record 1,040,000 PPV buys, as the event grosses $42.56 million.

April 4, 2001 – HHG Corporation, the owners of Extreme Championship Wrestling, filed for bankruptcy. In their filing, HHG Corp. claimed assets of $1,385,500 and listed debts of $8,881,435, leaving them with about $7.5 million in debt when they ceased operations.

April 22, 2001 – Johnny Valentine passes away.

October 22, 2001 – FMW star Hayabusa is paralyzed in the ring after landing on his head.

October 7, 2001 – Chris Adams, 46, shot to death.

November 9, 2001 – WWF lays off 9% of employees; President and COO Stuart Snyder resigns.

2001 – 2002 – WWF reports $42,233,000 million in profits. In 2002, WWF averages 5,625 fans to live events.

March 17, 2002 – The WWF draws 68,237 at the Skydome in Toronto for Wrestlemania XVIII.

March 25, 2002 – The WWF conducts a brand extention draft on “Raw.”

April 18, 2002 – Ed “Wahoo” McDaniel, veteran wrestler and former pro football player, dies from a stroke in Houston, TX, at the age of 63.

April 28, 2002 – Lou Thesz, 86, passes away following heart surgery.

May 6, 2002 – The WWF officially becomes World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

May 16, 2002 – Shoichi Arai, the former president of Japan’s FMW, hangs himself in Toyko. He was 36.

May 18, 2002 – “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, 39, dies while on vacation in Invermere, British Columbia, Canada of a heart attack.

June 10, 2002 – Steve Austin leaves the Georgia Dome in Atlanta prior to a live “Raw,” resulting in WWE announcing three days later that “Stone Cold” had been removed from the active roster.

June 19, 2002 – Jerry Jarrett’s NWA TNA promotion runs its first weekly PPV in Huntsville, AL. The company was eventually purchased by the Carter Family (Panda Energy) for $250,000. Health South, which was helping fund the project, had lost $1.6 million.

August 10, 2002 – WWE draws 56,734 fans at the Melbourne Colonial Stadium during the promotion’s Global Warning Australian event.

August 25, 2002 – Brock Lesnar, 25, defeats The Rock at Summerslam to capture the WWE title, making him the youngest WWE champion of all time.

August 27, 2002 – Steve Austin and Debra announce that they are getting divorced.

2002 – 2003 – WWE reports $19,455,000 million in losses due to the failure of The World.

2003 – WWE averages 4,537 fans to live events.

January 18, 2003 – The Sheik (real name Edward Farhat) passes away in a Williamstown, MI hospital from heart failure. The Sheik was 78.

February 10, 2003 – “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig is found dead in a Brandon, FL motel room. He was scheduled to wrestle later in the day for Jimmy Hart’s All-Star Wrestling in Tampa. Hennig was 44. The official cause of death was determined as “acute cocaine intoxication.”

April 13, 2003 – Masked superstar the Great Sasuke (Masanori Murakawa) wins election to the Japanese Diet.

May 1, 2003 – Miss Elizabeth, 42, is found dead at the condo of Lex Luger in Cobb County, GA, following a 911 call placed by the former WCW and WWF grappler. The couple had been dating for a couple of years.

May 31, 2003 – WWE promotes its first house show since 1993 in the state of Oregon at the Rose Garden in Portland. The show draws 14,394 paid for a gate of $463,550.

June 2, 2003 – “Classy” Freddie Blassie, 85, passes away due to heart and kidney failure.

June 15, 2003 – WWE promotes its first “Raw” brand exclusive PPV called “Bad Blood” in Houston, TX.

June 17, 2003 – World Wrestling Entertainment acquires the assets of ECW for $1.28 million.

July 12, 2003 – IWA promotes a card that draws a sellout 11,000 paid for a $138,000 gate at the Roberto Clemete Stadium in San Jaun, Puerto Rico. An estimated 6,000 fans had to be turned away. The event featured a Ray Gonazalez vs. Apolo match on top (Invader I served as the special guest referee).

August 8, 2003 – Japanese wrestler Takayuki Okada (Giant Ochiai), 30, dies after suffering a brain injury in a training accident.

October 16, 2003 – Stu Hart, patriarch of Canada’s famous wrestling family and the founder of Stampede Wrestling, dies at age 88.

October 19, 2003 – Road Warrior Hawk, 45, dies in his sleep at his Florida residence. His death was caused by hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

November 6, 2003 – Michael “Crash Holly” Lockwood is found dead at the age of the 32 in the home of Steven Richards in Navarre, FL.

November 29, 2003 – Veteran wrestler Moondog Spot (real name Larry Booker), 51, collapsed and passed away in Memphis, TN during the “Birthday Bash for Jerry Lawler” event.

December 2003 – Former ECW wrestler William “Chilly Willy” Jones receives a purple heart military award for his service in Iraq. He was wounded in action.

December 6, 2003 – Jerry Tuite, 35, who had wrestled as Gigantes for All Japan, is found dead in a hotel room in Narita, Japan.

For more 2003-2004 dates, visit Sister Midnight’s Monthly Updates.

2004 – WWE averages 3,862 fans to live events.

January 24, 2004 – Jack Tunney (real name John Tunney Jr.), 68, dies of a heart attack in Lindsay, Ontario, Canada. Tunney had served as the figure head WWF president during the 1980s.

January 27, 2004 – Don “Hard Boiled” Haggery (Don Stansauk), 78, a former AWA World Tag Team champion and actor passes away in his Malibu, CA home.

January 25, 2004 – The Royal Rumble PPV draws about 530,000 buys, or a 0.98 buy rate.

January 30, 2004 – The Castaways Hotel & Casino, formerly known as the Showboat – which hosted many famous 80’s AWA matches – closed down.

February 7, 2004 – WWE sells out the Saitama Super Arena (20,002 in attendance) in Japan earning approximately 200 million yen (just shy of $2 million).

February 15, 2004 – The No Way Out PPV featuring Eddy Guerrero beating Brock Lesnar for the WWE title becomes the first Smackdown brand PPV to sell out.

February 21, 2004 – Naomichi Marufuji beat Takehiro Murahama in Osaka, Japan to win the Osaka Pro Wrestling sponsored Super J Cup tournament.

March 7, 2004 – Ray Constantine “Hercules Hernandez” Fernandez dies in his sleep at the age of 47.

April 3, 2004 – WWE runs its first ever show in Mexico at Arena Monterrey, drawing 10,850 fans paying $443,207. In the main event, Chris Benoit defeats Triple H to retain the World Heavyweight title.

June 4, 2004 – TNA debuts “Impact” on Fox Sports Net, scoring a 0.22 rating.

June 2004 – WWE announces profits of $48,192,000 for fiscal year 2003-2004.

June 13, 2004 – The fourth Tiger Mask wins the parity-based New Japan Best of the Super Juniors tournament.

August 15, 2004 – Randy Orton beats Chris Benoit to become the youngest WWE champion of all time at Summerslam in Toronto. The PPV draws about 387,000 PPV buys.

September 12, 2004 – Mexican legend Dr. Wagner dies at age 68 from a heart attack.

September 17, 2004 – Long time wrestling promoter Jim Barnett, 80, passes away.

September 22, 2004 – Ray Traylor (Big Bossman) dies at age 42 from a massive heart attack.

September 26, 2004 – Former WWF manager/valet Marianna Komlos, 35, passes away from breast cancer.

November 2, 2004 – Former WWF tag team wrestler B. Brian Blair (of the Killer Bees) wins election for the District 6 slot on the Hillsborough County Commission (Tampa area), running as a Republican.

January 9, 2005 – WWE stages the New Year’s Revolution PPV in San Juan, Puerto Rico at the Agrilot Coliseum de Puerto Rico before a sellout crowd of 15,764, and a $825,000 gate. The PPV draws about 367,000 buys. Three weeks later, the annual Royal Rumble show draws about 570,000 PPV buys.

January 18, 2005 – “Pistol” Pez Whatley (Pezavan Peter Whatley) dies from heart problems at the age of 54 in Chattanooga, TN.

January 24, 2005 – Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry declared it “Jim Ross day.”

February 4 & 5, 2005 – WWE holds “Raw” and “Smackdown” tapings at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. The “Raw” show drew 16,657 fans and the “Smackdown” taping drew 18,757. WWE grossed in excess of $3.5 millions for the shows.

February 20, 2005 – Satoshi Kojima defeats Hiroyoshi Tenzan in Tokyo, Japan in a Triple Crown (All Japan) vs. IWGP (New Japan) match to capture the IWGP title.

April 3, 2005 – Wrestlemania XXI draws 20,193 fans to the Staples Arena in Los Angeles, CA. The show draws a live gate of $2.1 million. The PPV draws about 985,000 buys.

April 28, 2005 – Chris Candido, 33, passes away from a blood clot caused by complications from ankle surgery.

June 10, 2005 – Shane Douglas promotes an ECW style reunion show called Hardcore Homecoming at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, before a 1,200 sell out crowd. The live gate draws $135,000 plus another $34,000 in merchandise.

June 12, 2005 – WWE promotes ECW’s One Night Stand PPV before a sellout crowd of 2,500 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, for a $464,000 live gate plus $50,000 in merchandise. The show draws about 335,000 PPV buys.

June 16, 2005 – Former AWA and WWF announcer Rod Trongard, 72, dies after a battle with liver cancer.

June 18, 2005 – Despite signing with WWE, CM Punk defeats Austin Aries in Morristown, NJ to capture the Ring of Honor title.

June 26, 2005 – The Vengeance PPV featuring a Triple H vs. Batista hell in the cell match draws about 427,000 PPV buys.

July 7, 2005 – WWE fires Jim Cornette, who had been working for years as an Ohio Valley Wrestling commentator and booker, after the legendary manager slapped OVW student Johnny GeoBasco.

July 11, 2005 – Shinya Hashimoto, 40, passes away.

July 18, 2005 – WWE fires long time referee Earl Hebner, and later fired his twin brother Dave for improperly selling WWE merchandise … Pro Wrestling NOAH’s draws 52,000 for a show at the Tokyo Dome featuring Misawa vs. Kawada and Kobashi vs. Sasaki.

July 21, 2005 – TNA announces a television deal with Spike TV.

August 1, 2005 – WWE airs the 636th episode of “Raw.”

August 21, 2005 – WWE stages Summerslam in Washington, D.C. before 15,700 fans drawing a $834,000 gate. In the main event, a bloodied Hulk Hogan defeated Shawn Michaels. The PPV draws about 636,000 pay-per-view buys.

September 27, 2005 – TNA runs its first Impact taping for Spike TV in Orlando, FL. The first episode of Impact on Spike TV scores a 0.78 rating.

October 3, 2005 – Raw moves back to the USA Network with a 3-hour broadcast that draws a 4.4 rating.

October 8, 2005 – Brock Lesnar becomes only the fifth American in the 21 year history of the IWGP championship to claim the title by beating Kazuyuki Fujita and Masa Chono in Tokyo, Japan.

October 22, 2005 – Reggie “The Crusher” Lisowski, 79, passes away.

November 13, 2005 – Eddie Guerrero, 38, is found dead in his Minneapolis, MN hotel room. According to reports, Guerrero was scheduled to win the World Heavyweight title that night.

November 14, 2005 – Simon Inoki announces that New Japan Pro Wrestling had been sold to Yukus, an Osaka based company that markets home videos and video games. The Yukes purchased 51.5% of the company’s stock (27,800 of the 54,000 shares) at a cost of $1.7 million. In April 2006, The Yukes announced that New Japan was 1.4 billion yen in debut (roughly $12.5 million).

November 21, 2005 – Vince McMahon informs the WWE locker room in Sheffield, England of a new company drug testing policy.

December 9, 2005 – WWE tapes a special “Raw” tribute to the troops at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Taping results saw The Big Show d. Carlito, Mick Foley d. JBL, John Cena d. Chris Masters, Ric Flair d. The coach, Gene Snitsky d. Shelton Benjamin, Candice Michelle and Maria d. Trish Stratus and Ashley, Shawn Michaels d. Triple H in a “boot camp” match.

December 18, 2005 – WWE runs its final ’05 PPV called “Armageddon” at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI. During the broadcast, WWE stages a “suicide” angle featuring former WWF referee Tim White.

January 10, 2006 – Two days after Edge defeated Cena at the New Year’s Revolution PPV to win the WWE title, Kurt Angle jumps to Smackdown and wins a battle royal to claim the World Heavyweight title in Philadelphia, PA.

January 24, 2006 – The television world is shocked when WWE’s TV partner for Smackdown, UPN, announces plans to merge with Warner Brother’s WB Network, creating the new CW Network.

January 26, 2006 – Victor “Latin Lover” Resendiz, 38, announces his retirement from pro wrestling to pursue other interests in the entertainment field.

February 5, 2006 – Spike TV announces that TNA Impact will move to Thursday nights @ 9PM ET (later changed to 11PM) starting April 13. The first Thursday night show posts a 1.1 rating.

February 16, 2006 – Mike “Johnny Grunge” Durham, 39, of the Public Enemy fame, dies in the Atlanta, GA area.

March 18, 2006 – NBC’s “Saturday Night’s Main Event” returned to network television with a prime time special from Detroit. In the main, Shane McMahon defeated Shawn Michaels via Vince’s “screw job” ending.

April 2, 2006 РWrestlemania 22 is held at the All-State Arena in Chicago before 17,155 fans, for a $2.5 million gate .. IWA Puerto Rico owner and promoter Victor Qui̱ones, 46, is found dead in his home.

April 20, 2006 – Vince McMahon makes the decision to bring back ECW, five years after the promotion folded, as a third brand.

May 2, 2006 – WWE purchases the Ohio Valley Wrestling video library .. Sammy “Steamboat” Mokuahi Jr., 71, passes away from Alzheimer’s Disease.

May 12, 2006 – Ultimo Guerrero wins CMLL’s Grand Pix Tournament in Mexico City, Mexico.

May 17, 2006 – The newly formed CW Network (a UPN/WB merger) announced “Smackdown” would remain a two hour program on Friday nights.

May 25, 2006 – WWE announces a TV deal with the Sci-Fi Channel to debut ECW on 6/13 @ 10PM ET. The debut show scored a 2.79 cable rating with a 4.0 share.

June 7, 2006 – John “Earthquake” Tenta, 42, passes away following a long battle with cancer.

June 18, 2006 – Minoru defeated Tiger Mask, at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, to win New Japan’s annual Best of the Juniors tournament.

June 23, 2006 – “Crazy” Luke Graham (James Grady Johnson), 66, passes away.

July 16, 2006 – Bob Orton Sr., four days shy of his 77th birthday, passes away from a series of heart attacks.

July 24, 2006 – Stephanie McMahon-Levesque gave birth to a 8 lbs. and 7 oz., baby Aurora Rose Levesque.

August 13, 2006 – A fire breaks out at Universal Studios Soundstage 21, delaying the Hard Justice PPV for 40 minutes.

August 25, 2006 – WWE releases Kurt Angle from his contract. At TNA’s September 24th PPV No Surrender, Angle signing with TNA turned out to be the company’s major announcement. In addition, TNA announced “Impact” was moving to 9PM Eastern weekly on Thursday nights on Spike TV.

October 5, 2006 – AAA owner/promoter Antonio Pena died from a massive heart.

December 4, 2006 – The day after the ECW December to Dismember PPV, WWE sent Paul Heyman home.

December 16, 2006 – Don “The Spoiler” Jardine, 66, passes away following a four-year battle with leukemia.

January 1, 2007 – Kevin Federline pins WWE champion John Cena on “Raw.” The following week, WWE stages the “Rosie O’Donnell vs. Donald Trump” match.

January 19, 2007 – Scott “Bam Bam” Bigelow, 45, was found dead in his Hudson, FL home. Bigelow died of an accidental drug overdose.

January 26, 2007 – Former Ring of Honor President Doug Gentry, 34, passes away due to complications from a bacterial infection in his heart.

February 15, 2007 – Going head to head on a Thursday night, WWE’s Raw posts a 3.04 rating and 4.18 millions viewers while TNA’s Impact posts a 0.59 rating and 726,000 viewers.

February 17, 2007 – Former ECW World champion Mike Awesome is found hanged in this Tampa area home. He was 42 … Takeshi Morishima defeated Homicide in Philadelphia, PA to capture the Ring of Honor heavyweight title.

March 6, 2007 – Bad News Brown, 63, died in his hometown of Calgary at Rockyview Hospital, having been rushed to the hospital after complaining of chest pains.

March 10, 2007 – Football and wrestling great Ernie Ladd, 68, passes away after a four year battle with cancer.

March 13, 2007 – Arnold Skaaland, 82, passes away.

April 1, 2007 – 74,687 fans attend Wrestlemania 23 at Ford Field in Detroit, MI for a $5,380,000. The show closes with John Cena defeating Shawn Michaels, but the Donald Trump-Vince McMahon battle of the billionaires hair vs. hair match draws the most media attention.

April 18, 2007, WWE dissolves its relationship with Jody Hamilton’s Deep South Wrestling as a developmental territory.

April 27, 2007 – Memphis Championship Wrestling runs a show at the Fed Ex Ed Forum headlined by Hulk Hogan vs. Paul “Big Show” Wight. The show draws 2,200 paid.

May 7, 2007 – Sonny Myers, 83, passes away.

June 25, 2007 – Chris Benoit, 40, his wife Nancy, 43, and their 7-year-old son Daniel are found dead in their Fayetteville, GA home. It is believed Benoit killed his wife on June 22nd, his son on June 23rd, and hung himself on June 24th.

July 8, 2007 – Dos Caras Jr. defeated Universo 2000 at Arena Coliseo to capture the CMLL Heavyweight title.

July 18, 2007 – Former ECW star John Kronus, 38, passes away.

August 13, 2007 – Brian Adams, 44, is found dead in his Tampa area home. Adams was best known as Demolition Crush in the WWF.

November 2, 2007 – The Fabulous Moolah, 84, passed away in Columbia, SC.

December 2, 2007 – After a 18-month battle with cancer, Kenta Kobashi made his return to the ring at Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Budokan Hall show.

December 8, 2007 – Nuevo Empressa de Lucha Libre (NELL) debuts before 12,700 fans at El Toreo in Naucalpan.

February 17, 2008 – Shinsuke Nakaruma unified the two versions of the IWGP heavyweight title, beating Kurt Angle at the Sumo Hall in Tokyo before 7,000 fans.

February 26, 2008 – After CW dropped Friday Night Smackdown, WWE announced a new TV deal with MyNetwork TV.

March 16, 2008 – Wrestling manager, Gary Hart (real name Gary Richard Williams), 66, passed away from heart disease.

May 12, 2008 – Penny Banner (born Mary Ann Kostecki), 73, passed away in Mint Hill, NC, after a two-and-a-half year battle with cancer.

June 23 & 25, 2008 – WWE Draft Lottery and Supplemental Draft results:

DRAFTED TO RAW
Rey Mysterio
CM Punk
Batista
Kane Michael Cole
Kofi Kingston
Layla
Matt Striker
Chuck Palumbo
Deuce
Jamie Noble

DRAFTED TO SMACKDOWN
Jeff Hardy
Umaga
Jim Ross
Mr. Kennedy
Triple H
Carlito
Shelton Benjamin
Maria
Brian Kendrick
DH Smith
Big Daddy V
Trevor Murdoch

DRAFTED TO ECW
Matt Hardy
Finlay
Super Crazy
Hornswaggle
Mark Henry

August 30, 2008 – Walter “Killer” Kowalski, 81, passed away.

September 19, 2008 – Villano V defeated Blue Panther by reversing out of a Fujiwara armbar into a cradle to win the mask vs. mask main event on the CMLL 75th anniversary show at Arena Mexico before a sellout crowd of 17,100 fans.

October 25, 2008 – In a move that caught virtually everyone by surprise, Ring of Honor owner Cary Silkin fired booker Gabe Sapolsky after show in Edison, NJ, and replaced him with Adam Pearce.

October 26, 2008 – S.D. Jones (Conrad Efraim) passed away at his home in Antigua at the age of 63, two days after suffering a stroke.

January 9, 2010 – Tony Halme, who wrestled for WWE under the name of Ludwig Borga, passed away at the age of 46. Halme had several issues over the past years and in March of 2006 was admitted to a mental hospital following several bouts with alcohol related problems. He was also suffering from short term memory. Halme wrestled for New Japan between 1990 and 1993 and then went on to wrestle for the then WWF between mid 1993 and beginning of 1994, ending Tatanka’s two year undefeated streak. He left the company in February 1994 after an injury. In 2003 in his homeland of Finland, he entered the political world and the populist party of True Finns took him as an independent candidate. He was elected to the parliament with the 7th highest vote in the Helsinki parliamentary district. Halme was also a boxer holding a record of 13 wins and 6 losses and an MMA record of 0 wins and 1 loss to the UFC’s Randy Couture.

February 1, 2010 – WWE Hall of Famer Jack Brisco passed away at the age of 68. He had been in poor health for some time although his family had asked for his ailments to be kept private. He died due to complications from heart surgery that he underwent two week’s ago.

February 11, 2010 – Earlier today WWE announced the financial results for its fourth quarter ended December 31, 2009. Revenues totaled $117.3 million as compared to $125.4 million in the prior year quarter. Operating income was $17.8 million as compared to $23.3 million in the prior year quarter. Net income was $11.2 million, or $0.15 per share, as compared to $13.6 million, or $0.18 per share, in the prior year quarter. Live events, pay-per-view, venue merchandise, TV rights, magazine, and WWE.COM all registered a slight increase over the prior year quarter while Classics On Demand, home video, licensing, WWEshop.com and WWE Studios had less income than the same period last year.

March 8, 2010 – TNA Impact moves to Monday nights to run head to head with Raw. The live Impact scored a 1.0 cable rating, but Raw easily won the night with a 3.4 rating.

March 20, 2010 – WWE Hall of Famer “Baron” Mikel Scicluna passed away at the age of 80 following a battle with liver cancer. He was a former WWWF United States Tag Team Champion and WWWF World Tag Team Champion and in 1996 was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by another Hall of Famer, Gorilla Monsoon. Born in Malta, Scicluna eventually moved away from the tiny Mediterranean island and was residing in Pittsburgh, PA. In the late sixties and early seventies he was a challenger for the WWWF title going against Bruno Sammartino and Pedro Morales. He retired from in-ring wrestling in 1984.

March 28, 2010 – Wrestlemania 26, held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ … In the opening dark match, Yoshi Tatsu won a 26 men battle royal eliminating Zach Ryder to get the win; Big Show and The Miz defeated John Morrison and R-Truth to retain the Unified Tag Team titles; Randy Orton defeated Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes in a Triple Threat match; Jack Swagger won the Money In The Bank ladder match that also had Kane, Kofi Kingston, Evan Bourne, MVP, Christian, Dolph Ziggler, Shelton Benjamin, Matt Hardy and Drew McIntyre; Triple H defeated Sheamus; Rey Mysterio defeated CM Punk; Bret Hart defeated Vince McMahon in a No Holds Barred with Bruce Hart as the referee and the rest of the Hart family ringside as lumberjacks; Chris Jericho retained the World title by defeating Edge; Michelle McCool, Maryse, Layla, Alicia Fox and Vickie Guerrero defeated Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Eve, Gail Kim and Beth Phoenix in a 10 Diva tag match; John Cena defeated Batista to win the WWE title; The Undertaker defeated Shawn Michaels in the Career vs Streak match … WWE set a new indoor attendance record for the University of Phoenix Stadium, beating out the U2 concert from last year by more than 20,000. The attendance for last night’s WrestleMania was 72,219 with fans from all 50 states and 26 different countries. The show grossed $5.8 million as well, becoming the highest grossing entertainment event ever held at the stadium. “WrestleMania XXVI was a tremendous success, and we thank the public and private sectors of Glendale and Phoenix for rolling out the red carpet to WWE(R) and our fans during WrestleMania Week,” said John P. Saboor, Senior Vice President of Special Events at World Wrestling Entertainment. “WrestleMania is an important rite of passage for WWE fans each year, bringing with them a tremendous economic impact to the community.”

March 30, 2010 – The 28 year old Oklahoma native Jack Swagger successfully cashed in his Money In The Bank at the Smackdown tapings. defeating Chris Jericho and becoming the new World Heavyweight champion. After getting speared by Edge in the opening segment, Swagger ran to the ring, asked for a referee, and gutwrench powerbombed Jericho out of his shoes to become one of the youngest World champions ever. This was the quickest cashing in since Money in the Bank started in 2005 and Swagger became the fifth guy to win the title following his win at WrestleMania. Only Mr Kennedy failed to cash in after he put his briefcase up for grabs against Edge in 2007. Edge eventually went on to win the title that same week from The Undertaker.

April 2, 2010 – Former WCW and WWE Superstar Chris Klucsaritis, better known to fans as Chris Kanyon, passed from an apparent overdose in his apartment in Queens, NY. Kanyon was 40 years old. The Observer is reporting that his death is believed to be a suicide as he had threatened to kill himself several times in the past. Klucsaritis suffered from bipolar disorder and was going through a depression lately as well. Kanyon made his WCW debut as Mortis in 1997 and kept the gimmick through late 1999. In 1999 he then used the name of Chris “Champagne” Kanyon and when WCW was sold to WWE his contract was picked up by WWE. He made his WWE debut on July 6, 2001 as part of The Alliance during the WCW/ECW invasion storyline. In late 2001 he was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling and made appearances every so often on WWE TV. He was released from WWE in early 2004. He admitted a few years later that he was homosexual and during an indy show he claimed WWE released him because of that. During his time in WCW, he won the tag team titles twice – with DDP and Bam Bam Bigelow and in the WWE he won the WCW United States title once and WWE tag team title once with DDP.

April 13, 2010 – In a press release issued earlier today, come Fall 2010 WWE’s Friday Night Smackdown will be moving from network to cable television, leaving MyNetworkTV for SyFy. While terms were not disclosed, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that it is believed that SyFy will be paying $30 million a year for the show, up from the $20 million that MyNetworkTV currently pays WWE for production. The move will not change the night the show airs on as SyFy plans to keep Smackdown in its current Friday night time slot. Smackdown moved to MyNetworkTV in late 2008 after seven years on UPN and then two on the CW Network. With Smackdown on SyFy, WWE will have its two main shows on NBC Universal-owned channels.

May 6, 2010 – WWE announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2010. Revenues totaled $138.7 million as compared to $107.8 million in the prior year quarter. Operating income was $37.3 million as compared to $16.7 million in the prior year quarter. Net income was $24.7 million, or $0.33 per share, as compared to $10.3 million, or $0.14 per share in the prior year quarter. WrestleMania XXVI fell in the quarter which helped spiking up the numbers. Excluding WrestleMania, revenues totaled $109.9 million, adjusted operating income was $22.6 million and adjusted net income was $14.7 million, or $0.20 per share.

May 16, 2010 – TNA Sacrifice pay-per-view results from the Universal Studios in Orlando, FL.: Motor City Machine Guns defeated Beer Money and Team 3D in a number one contender match for the TNA Tag Team titles; Rob Terry defeated Orlando Jordan to retain the Global title; Douglas Williams defeated Kazarian to win the X Division title; Madison Rayne defeated Tara in the Career vs Knockouts title match, forcing Tara to leave; Scott Hall and Kevin Nash defeated Ink Inc to retain the TNA Tag Team titles; Abyss defeated Desmond Wolfe and now gets Chelsea for 30 days; Jeff Hardy defeated Mr Anderson; Sting defeated Jeff Jarrett; Rob Van Dam defeated AJ Styles to retain the TNA World title.

May 23, 2010 – Over the Limit PPV Results from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI.: John Cena defeated Batista to retain the WWE title in an I Quit match; Big Show defeated Jack Swagger with a DQ, thus Swagger kept his World Heavyweight title; Kofi Kingston defeated Drew McIntyre to win the Intercontinental title; Rey Mysterio defeated CM Punk in an S.E.S. Pledge vs Hair match resulting in Punk getting his hair cut; Randy Orton and Edge ended in a double count out; The Hart Dynasty defeated The Miz and Chris Jericho to retain the Unified Tag Team titles; Eve defeated Maryse for the Divas title; R-Truth defeated Ted DiBiase.

June 13, 2010 – TNA Slammiversary Results from Orlando, FL.: Kurt Angle defeated Kazarian; Douglas Williams retained his TNA X Division title by defeating Kendrick; Madison Rayne retained the TNA Knockouts title by defeating Roxxi; Jesse Neal of Ink, Inc., defeated Brother Ray of Team 3D; Matt Morgan defeated Hernandez with a DQ; Abyss defeated Desmond Wolfe in a Monster’s Ball match; Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy defeated Beer Money; Rob Van Dam defeated Sting to retain the TNA World Heavyweight title.

August 5, 2010 – WWE announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2010. Revenues totaled $106.8 million in the second quarter with an income of $10.3 million and net income of $6.3 million, or $0.08 per share. WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon said that the performance fell below management expectations with domestic pay-per-view buys and live event attendance dropping mainly due to changes in talent. McMahon added that some of these factors are just temporary and they’re confident to be back up on
their feet. WrestleMania XXV income was included in the second quarter last year versus first quarter this year for WrestleMania XXVI due to the dates falling in different quarters so almost everything was down compared to the same quarter of last year.

While participating in the conference call, Vince McMahon said that injuries to top stars such as CM Punk, Undertaker, Triple H, the retirement of Shawn Michaels and Batista’s “unexpected hiatus” hurt the company’s second quarter results as those are some of the “stalwarts” that the company relies on. “Basically, we had a lousy quarter, and I think that it was sort of like a perfect storm,” McMahon said, adding that the Icelandic volcano situation earlier this year also hurt them. “All of that of course relates to WWE not giving the public the performance in terms of attraction that they want to see.”

September 11, 2010 – Former WWE and WCW wrestler Mike Shaw – who is better known to wrestling fans Bastion Booger – passed away from a heart attack on September 11 at the age of 53. Shaw wrestled for WCW between 1989 and 1990 under the gimmick of Norman The Lunatic and was managed by Teddy Long. In 1993 he made his WWE debut using the name Friar Ferguson but was changed two months later to
Bastion Booger. He last appeared on WWE television in December 2007 during the RAW 15th Anniversary show in a segment with Triple H.

sources: The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, “Slammin'” by David Hofsteda, “The Buzz on Professional Wrestling” by Scott Keith, the Wrestling Historian, The Wrestling-Online Newsletter, and Karl Stern

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