This Day In Wrestling History – February 23rd
1971 – Toru Tanaka defeats Fritz Von Erich, to reclaim the NWA American Heavyweight Championship. Tanaka had lost the title to Von Erich one day earlier.
1983 – Ashura Hara & Mighty Inoue defeat The Great Kojika & Motoshi Okuma, to win the vacant AJPW All Asia Tag Team Championship.
1997 – WCW SuperBrawl VII is held in San Francisco in front of 13,324 fans. Syxx defeats Dean Malenko, to become the new Cruiserweight Champion. Lex Luger & The Giant win the World Tag Team Championship, defeating The Outsiders (Kevin Nash & Scott Hall). In the main event, Hollywood Hogan defeats Roddy Piper, to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.
1999 – In the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro (4.6 TV rating) beats WWF RAW IS WAR (3.2 rating). On RAW, The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher) defeat The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Robert Gibson & Ricky Morton), to win the NWA World Tag Team Championship.
1999 – Former WCW Television Champion Rick “The Renegade” Williams dies at the age of 33. Having sunk into a deep depression after WCW released him in December 1998, Williams dies of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
2003 – Shinya Hashimoto defeats The Great Muta, to win the AJPW Triple Crown Championship.
2003 – WWE No Way Out is held in Montreal in front of 15,100 fans. Matt Hardy defeats Billy Kidman, to become the new Cruiserweight Champion. Triple H retains the World Heavyweight Championship after defeating Scott Steiner. Stone Cold Steve Austin defeats Eric Bischoff in a singles match; after delivering a Stunner to Bischoff, Austin breaks the pinfall, delivers two more Stunners, and then pins Bischoff to win the match. The Rock defeats Hulk Hogan, in a rematch from WrestleMania X8. The Rock is assisted by Vince McMahon distracting Hogan long enough for the referee to give Rock a steel chair. Hogan gets hit with the chair, and then gets Rock-Bottomed, to give The Rock the victory.
2004 – On this evening’s RAW, Victoria wins a Fatal 4-Way Elimination Mach (with Lita, Jazz, & Molly Holly), to become the new WWE Women’s Champion.
2007 – TNA releases Norman Smiley and A-1 from their contracts.
2008 – Three titles change hands on this evening’s OVW TV. Katie Lea defeats Roucka, to win the Women’s Championship. Jamin Olivencia defeats James Curtis, to win the Television Championship. And Nick Dinsmore defeats Jay Bradley, to win the OVW Heavyweight Championship.
2008 – Taryn Terrell makes her WWE debut in its Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) developmental territory. Her first match is a tag team match; Terrell & Victoria Crawford would lose to Nattie Niedhart & Maryse.
2009 – WWE releases second generation star Manu, the son of Afa. Manu had a brief main roster run as a member of Legacy.
2010 – WWE: NXT debuts on Syfy, replacing ECW’s weekly show. The first episode draws a 1.35 TV rating.
2014 – At a house show in Morgantown, WV, The Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) defeat The BroMans (Robbie E & Jesse Godderz), to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
2014 – WWE Elimination Chamber is held in Minneapolis in front 14,101 fans. In the main event (and the only Chamber Match of the evening), Randy Orton defeats Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Cesaro, Christian, and Sheamus, to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
2015 – WWE announces on Monday Night RAW, that The Bushwhackers would be inducted into the 2015 Class of the WWE Hall of Fame, during WrestleMania Weekend.
2016 – In the main event on Impact Wrestling: Lockdown on Pop TV, Matt Hardy defeats Ethan Carter III, to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship (6 Sides of Steel Match). Hardy is assisted by Rockstar Spud, who had aligned himself with EC3; Spud would turn heel by coming out and slamming the cage door into EC3’s, face as he was about to exit the cage to potentially become the new World Champion.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Kyle Roberts, who lost to Bo Dallas in a squash match on the 9/5/16 WWE RAW (Roberts is 29 years old today); former Empire Wrestling Federation (EWF) Tag Team Champion D.K. Murphy (32 years old); indy wrestler Mike Sydal (33 years old); CMLL wrestler Super Commando (36 years old); former WWF wrestler Bobby Who (49 years old); former NFL defensive end & WrestleMania II special guest referee Ed “Too Tall” Jones (66 years old); and 3-time GHC Tag Team Champion Muhammad Yone (41 years old).
SOURCES: The Internet Wrestling Database, gerweck.net, wrestlingdata.com