This Day In Wrestling History – January 21st
1983 – Terry Gordy defeats Kevin Von Erich, to win the WCCW American Heavyweight Championship.
1985 – The U.S. Express (Barry Windham & Mike Rotunda) defeat The North-South Connection (Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch), to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.
1985 – After a long battle with alcoholism, NWA star Eddie Graham dies at the age of 55, after committing suicide.
1990 – The third annual Royal Rumble is held in Orlando, in front of 18,000 fans. This was the final WWF event commentated by Tony Schiavone; he moved on to commentating for WCW until its 2001 closure.
– Paul Roma defeats The Brooklyn Brawler.
Royal Rumble PPV:
– The Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) defeat The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques & Raymond).
– Brutus Beefcake vs. The Genius ends in a double disqualification.
– In a Submission Match, Ronnie Garvin defeats Greg Valentine (with Jimmy Hart).
– ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan defeats The Big Boss Man (with Slick) via disqualification.
– Hulk Hogan wins the 30-man Royal Rumble Match. The match is known for the brief battle between Hogan (the WWF Champion) and The Ultimate Warrior (Intercontinental Champion); although it only lasted a minute or so, it was enough to provide the setup needed, for their Title vs Title Match at WrestleMania VI.
1992 – WCW Clash of the Champions XVIII is held in Topeka, Kansas in front of 5,500 fans.
– The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) defeat Mr. Hughes & Big Van Vader.
– Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Brian Pillman defeat Taylor Made Man & Tracy Smothers.
– Johnny B. Badd defeats Ricky Morton.
– PN News defeats Diamond Dallas Page.
– Cactus Jack defeats Van Hammer, in a Falls Count Anywhere Match.
– The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) defeat Brad Armstrong & Big Josh.
– Vinnie Vegas defeats Thomas Rich.
– In a Six-Man Tag Team Match, Dustin Rhodes, Ron Simmons, & Barry Windham defeat The Dangerous Alliance (Arn Anderson, Larry Zbyszko, & Bobby Eaton).
– Sting & Ricky Steamboat defeat Steve Austin & Rick Rude.
1996 – The ninth annual Royal Rumble is held in Fresno, CA in front of 9,600 fans. It was the first WWF pay-per-view appearance for Steve Austin, performing as ‘The Ringmaster.’
– Duke Droese defeats Hunter Hearst Helmsley, via disqualification, to win the #30 entry for the Royal Rumble Match. Helmsley had to take the #1 entry.
– Ahmed Johnson defeats Jeff Jarrett via disqualification.
– The Smoking Gunns (Bart & Billy) defeat The Bodydonnas (Skip & Zip), to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
– Goldust (with Marlena) defeats Razor Ramon, to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
– Shawn Michaels wins the 30-man Royal Rumble Match, to earn a WWF Championship Match at WrestleMania XII.
– The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) defeats WWF Champion Bret Hart, via disqualification. Hart retains the title.
1997 – WCW Clash of the Champions XXXIV is held in Milwaukee, in front of 6,800 fans. This was the second-to-last ‘Clash’ event produced by WCW.
– Dean Malenko defeats Ultimo Dragon, to win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
– Scotty Riggs defeats Mike Enos.
– In a Six-Man Tag Team Match, Chris Jericho, Super Calo, & Chavo Guerrero, Jr. defeat Konnan, La Parka, & Mr. JL. Jericho replaced Juventud Guerrera, who no-showed the event. La Parka replaced Psychosis, who was injured.
– Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) defeat The Renegade & Joe Gomez.
– Masahiro Chono defeats Alex Wright.
– Eddie Guerrero defeats Scott Norton.
– Chris Benoit (with Woman) defeats The Taskmaster (with Jimmy Hart), in a Falls Count Anywhere Match.
– The Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) defeat The Amazing French-Canadians (Jacques Rougeau & Carl Oulette).
– Lex Luger defeats Scott Hall.
2001 – WCW’s Hardcore Championship is abandoned/deactivated, after titleholder Meng leaves the company to return to the WWF, as ‘Haku.’ Haku had previously performed in the WWF from 1986-1992.
2001 – The 14th annual Royal Rumble is held in New Orleans, in front of 17,137 fans.
Sunday Night Heat:
– Lo Down (D’Lo Brown & Chaz) defeat Kaientai (Funaki & Taka Michinoku).
Royal Rumble PPV:
– The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) defeat Edge & Christian, to win the WWF Tag Team Championship.
– In a Ladder Match, Chris Jericho defeats Chris Benoit, to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
– Ivory (with Steven Richards) defeats Chyna, to retain the WWF Women’s Championship.
– Kurt Angle (with Trish Stratus) defeats Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon Helmsley), to retain the WWF Championship.
– Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 30-man Royal Rumble Match, to earn a WWF Championship Match at WrestleMania X-Seven. It’s Austin’s third time winning the Royal Rumble Match. Other notable participants in the match were comedian Drew Carey (who eliminated himself after Kane entered the ring), and Haku, who made his WWF return after performing in WCW as ‘Meng.’
2007 – Ricky Marvin & Kotaro Suzuki defeat The Briscoe Brothers (Jay & Mark), to win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.
2008 – Monday Night RAW airs in high definition for the first time.
2011 – Former NEXUS members Wade Barrett, Heath Slater, and Justin Gabriel form The Corre, on Friday Night SmackDown. They would be joined by Ezekiel Jackson.
2013 – WWE announces that Bob Backlund will be inducted into its Hall of Fame during WrestleMania Weekend. Backlund held the WWF World Heavyweight Championship from February 20, 1978 until December 26, 1983 – a span of 2,135 consecutive days.
2017 – Masa Kitamiya & Kenoh defeat Go Shiozaki & Maybach Taniguchi, to win the GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Two-time WWE Divas Champion Maryse (35 years old); former ROH World Tag Team Champion Alex Koslov (34 years old); former GHC Tag Team & Heavyweight Champion Go Shiozaki (36 years old); former WCW Nitro Girl Vanessa Sanchez, aka ‘Tygress’ (47 years old); and WWE Hall of Famer Ivan Putski (77 years old).
Today would’ve been the 56th birthday for former WCW referee Mark ‘Shooter’ Curtis, the 93rd birthday for WWE Hall of Famer Arnold Skaaland, and the 80th birthday for referee & promoter Sandy Barr.