This Day In Wrestling History – December 23rd

Dec 23, 2016 - by Bill Fenbers

Happy birthday to former TNA Global Champ Rob “The Freak” Terry.

1975 – Rocky Johnson defeats King Curtis Iaukea, to win the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship.

1985 – Mark Youngblood defeats Jack Victory, to win the WCCW Television Championship.

1996 – In the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro (3.1 TV rating) beats WWF Monday Night Raw (1.5 rating).

1999 – WWF SmackDown scores double the TV rating of WCW Thunder (4.4 to 2.2).  It was this evening’s episode of Thunder that Goldberg gashed his arm while smashing the windows of a limo.  The damage suffered to his arm along with the huge loss of blood causes Goldberg to be out of action for five months.  The video below is the whole episode of the 12/23/99 Thunder.  Goldberg smashing the windows doesn’t occur until there is about a minute and half left.

2000 – Pro Wrestling NOAH Grand Voyage is held in Tokyo in front of 12,000 fans.  Kodo Fuyuki and Tetsuhiro Kuroda win the FMW/WEW Tag Team Championship, after defeating Tamon Honda and Naomichi Marufuji.

2002 – WWE RAW airs it’s 500th episode.

2004 – WWE SmackDown Christmas in Iraq results:  Booker T defeats Rene Dupree.  The Undertaker defeats Heidenreich via count out (video highlights below).  Hardcore Holly defeats Kenzo Suzuki.  And the team of Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio defeat the team of Kurt Angle and Luther Reigns.

2006 – The Ohio Valley Wrestling Heavyweight Championship changes hands twice on this evening’s OVW TVChet the Jett would defeat Jacob Duncan to become the new champion.  Chet’s title reign is short-lived;  Paul Burchill comes out and defeats Chet win the title.  Also, Cody Runnels and Shawn Spears win the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship, defeating Deuce ‘n’ Domino.

2006 – Tatsuhito Takaiwa defeats Takashi Sugiura, to win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship.

2006 – Ring of Honor Final Battle 2006 is held in Manhattan.  The event is the final ROH event for Claudio Castagnoli;  he would be leaving for the WWE.  In the main event, Homicide defeats Bryan Danielson, to become the new ROH World Champion;  this ends Danielson’s title reign at 462 days.  Had Homicide lost this match, he would have to leave Ring of Honor, per match stipulation.

2010 – On this evening’s Impact!, Angelina Love and Winter win the vacant TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship, after defeating Tara and Madison Rayne in a tournament final.  Winter replaced Velvet Sky, who had been attacked by Sarita prior to the match.

2011 – Ring of Honor Final Battle 2011 is held at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, with 1,500 fans in attendance.  Jay Lethal wins a Three-Way Dance, over Michael Bennett and El Generico, to retain the ROH World Television ChampionshipKevin Steen wins a No Disqualification Match over Steve Corino;  with the win Steen is allowed to rejoin the ROH rosterThe Young Bucks win a Tag Team Gauntlet Match and earn a future ROH Tag Team Championship matchThe Briscoe Brothers become new Tag Team Champions after defeating Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin).  In the main event, Davey Richards defeats Eddie Edwards, to retain the ROH World Championship.

2013 – On WWE’s RAW CHRISTMAS, Fandango defeats Dolph Ziggler in a Christmas Gift on a Pole Match, and earns the right to face Big E Langston for the Intercontinental Championship the following Monday.

2015 – Pro Wrestling NOAH Destiny 2015 is held in Tokyo in 3,210 fans.  Taji Ishimori becomes the new GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion after defeating Taichi.  In the main event, Naomichi Marufuji becomes the new GHC Heavyweight Champion after defeating Minoru Suzuki.

2015 – At All Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Dream event, The Big Guns (Bodyguard and Zeus) defeat Jun Akiyama and Takao Omori, to win the vacant AJPW World Tag Team Championship.

2015 – A 16-man tag team match is the main event at WWE’s Tribute to the Troops.  The team of Roman Reigns, Kane, Ryback, The Dudley Boyz, The Usos, and Dean Ambrose defeat the team of Luke Harper, Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Erick Rowan, Alberto Del Rio, King Barrett, Rusev, and Sheamus.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Former WWE Cruiserweight Champion & ROH World Champion Jamie Noble (40 years old);  3-time AWA World Women’s Champion Nanae Takahashi (38 years old);  5-time Tag Team Champion in AJPW Manabu Soya (32 years old);  4-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion & 6-time IWGP Tag Team Champion Keiji Mutoh (54 years old);  and former TNA Global Champion Rob Terry (36 years old).

SOURCES: The Internet Wrestling Database, Gerweck.net Archives, wrestlingdata.com

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