This Day In Wrestling History – January 5th
1988 – In a 2-on-1 Handicap Match, John Tatum and Jack Victory defeat Skip Young, to win the WCWA Texas Tag Team Championship. Young’s partner was supposed to be Tony Atlas; Atlas was a no-show for this match.
1990 – Kerry Von Erich defeats Jerry Lawler, to win the USWA Texas Heavyweight Championship.
1996 – ECW House Party 1996 is held at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, in front of 1,150 fans. This event marks the ECW debut of Rob Van Dam and the final appearance for The Public Enemy (they’d return to ECW in January ’99). Van Dam wins his singles match against Axl Rotten. The Public Enemy (Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock) defeat The Gangstas (New Jack and Mustafa Saed) in a Tag Team Street Fight. 2 Cold Scorpio becomes the new ECW World Television Champion after defeating Mikey Whipwreck. The Sandman retains the ECW World Heavyweight Championship after defeating Konnan.
1998 – In the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro (4.3 TV rating) beats WWF RAW IS WAR (3.3 rating). On RAW, Jeff Jarrett defeats Barry Windham, to win the NWA North American Heavyweight Championship. This was the beginning of The NWA Invasion storyline led by Jim Cornette.
Nitro is held live at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, with 26,773 fans in attendance. RAW aired via six-day tape delay.
2008 – On OVW TV, Paul Burchill and Stu Sanders defeat Colt Cabana and Charles Evans, to win the Ohio Valley Wrestling Southern Tag Team Championship.
2011 – New Japan Pro Wrestling announces the creation of a new title, the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. The first titleholder would be MVP, after winning a tournament for the title several months later.
2014 – At Pro Wrestling NOAH’s New Year Navigation 2014, Takeshi Morishima defeats Kenta, to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship.
2015 – On Monday Night RAW, Dolph Ziggler defeats Bad News Barrett, to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship. The victory is short-lived, as Corporate Kane from The Authority comes out and announces the match is a Best Two-Out-Of-Three Falls Match. Barrett wins the second fall after executing Winds of Change, and wins the third fall with The Bullhammer, to win the Intercontinental Championship. It’s Barrett’s 5th time winning the title.
2016 – TNA Impact Wrestling airs it’s first episode on Pop TV. It’s the third different network for TNA’s flagship program in three years; the program was dropped by SPIKE TV at the end of 2014 and only lasted one year on Destination America in 2015. With the move to Pop TV Impact would be available to a larger audience (as of June 2016 Pop TV is available in over 78 million homes, compared to Destination America’s 55 million homes).
Impact’s Pop TV premiere, airing live, featured the TNA debut of Maria Kanellis-Bennett and her real-life husband, “The Miracle” Mike Bennett, along with the reunion of Beer Money, Inc. (Bobby Roode and James Storm). The episode also featured the conclusion of the TNA World Title Series. In the finals, Ethan Carter III would defeat Matt Hardy, to become the new TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
Impact Wrestling’s first episode on Pop TV drew an average of 255,000 viewers; this was a 34-percent decrease from Impact’s premiere on Destination America on January 7, 2015 (359,000 viewers).
2016 – The WWE Network continues its expansion overseas, launching in Germany, Japan, Austria, and Switzerland.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: The 2000 Miss WCW Bikini Contest winner Pamela Paulshock (47 years old); 5-time USWA Heavyweight Champion & 6-time USWA Tag Team Champion Doug Gilbert (48 years old); and current Lucha Underground Trios Champion Willie Mack (30 years old).
SOURCES: Sports TV Ratings, WrestleView, Wrestling Inc., Wikipedia, Gerweck.net Archives