This Day In Wrestling History – February 8th
1971 – Pedro Morales becomes the new WWWF Heavyweight Champion, defeating Ivan Koloff. This begins Morales’ 1,027–day reign as WWWF Champion, lasting until December 1, 1973.
1975 – Ric Flair defeats Paul Jones, to win the NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Championship.
1980 – Stan Hansen defeats Antonio Inoki, to win New Japan Pro Wrestling’s version of the National Wrestling Federation (NWF) Heavyweight Championship.
1985 – Chris Adams defeats Kerry Von Erich, to win the WCCW American Heavyweight Championship.
1986 – At a house show in Boston, Randy Savage defeats Tito Santana, to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
1988 – Max Pain defeats Jerry Lawler, to win the Continental Wrestling Association (CWA) Heavyweight Championship.
1992 – Jushin Thunder Liger wins the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship for the 5th time, defeating Norio Honaga. Elsewhere, Tom Prichard wins the USWA Southern Heavyweight Championship for the 4th time, defeating Eric Embry.
1992 – Smoky Mountain Wrestling airs its first episode of SMW TV, airing matches that were taped in October and November 1991.
1992 – Kerry Von Erich is arrested after attempting to falsify two drug prescriptions. He would be released on $6,000 bond and sentenced to probation.
1992 – After airing on NBC from 1985 – 1991, WWF’s Saturday Night’s Main Event airs its first episode on FOX. The first episode on FOX draws an 8.2 TV rating. One title match occurs; Roddy Piper retains the Intercontinental Championship after defeating The Mountie. FOX only airs one more episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event, on November 14, 1992. Afterwards the program would be dormant, until being revived by NBC and WWE in 2006.
1999 – On WCW Monday Nitro, Roddy Piper defeats Bret Hart, to win the United States Championship for the 3rd time. With WWF RAW IS WAR pre-empted on USA Network for the Westminster Dog Show, Nitro receives a 5.7 TV rating. It would be the final time Nitro earns a TV rating of 5 or higher.
2001 – On this evening’s SmackDown, Hardcore Holly pins Raven, to win the WWF Hardcore Championship. With the 24/7 Rule in effect, Raven pins Holly later on, to reclaim the title.
2003 – In Combat Zone Wrestling, The Backseat Boyz (Johnny Kashmere & Trent Acid) defeat The H8 Club (Hatred & Nick Gage) to win the CZW World Tag Team Championship for the 4th time.
2009 – TNA Against All Odds is held at the Impact! Zone in Orlando, in front of 1,100 fans. Beer Money, Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) retain the World Tag Team Championship, defeating Lethal Consequences (Jay Lethal & Consequences Creed). Alex Shelley defeats Eric Young, to retain the X Division Championship. And Sting retains the TNA World Heavyweight Championship after winning a Fatal 4-Way Match (with Brother Ray, Brother Devon, & Kurt Angle).
2010 – On RAW, ShoMiz (Big Show & The Miz) win the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship, in a Three-Way Elimination Match. ShoMiz defeats D-Generation X (Triple H & Shawn Michaels) and The Straight Edge Society (CM Punk & Luke Gallows). RAW was guest-hosted by recently retired NASCAR driver Carl Edwards. During the show, it is announced the “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame during WrestleMania weekend.
2014 – Yuji Nagata wins the GHC Heavyweight Championship, defeating Takeshi Morishima.
2016 – Daniel Bryan announces his retirement from in-ring competition, due to numerous concussions and the damage the concussions were doing to his brain. After he addresses the crowd and Monday Night RAW goes off the air, the entire WWE locker room comes out to the stage to honor and celebrate Bryan’s 15-year wrestling career (aired on WWE Network).
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Indy wrestlers Corey Hollis (27 years old) and Jeff Brooks (31 years old); former AJPW & NJPW wrestler Yuki Ishikawa (50 years old); 2-time WWF Tag Team Champion Jim Neidhart (62 years old); guest host of WWE RAW 7/13/2009 Seth Green (43 years old); NWA 2012 Hall of Fame Inductee Misty Blue Simmes (55 years old); and former WCW, WWF/E & ECW World Champion The Big Show (45 years old).
Today would’ve been the 59th birthday for WWE 2006 Hall of Fame Inductee “Sensational” Sherri Martel, and the 99th birthday for WWF 1994 Hall of Fame Inductee Freddie Blassie. Today would’ve been the 42nd birthday for the only Light Heavyweight Champion in Maryland Championship Wrestling history, Shane Shamrock.