This Day In Wrestling History – February 5th

Feb 5, 2018 - by Bill Fenbers

Happy birthday to Madison Rayne!

1975Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta defeat Terry Funk & Dory Funk, Jr., to win the NWA International Tag Team Championship.

1986Riki Choshu & Yoshiaki Yatsu defeat Genichiro Tenryu & Jumbo Tsuruta, to win the NWA International Tag Team Championship.

1987 – Exactly one year later, Tenryu & Tsuruta defeat Choshu & Yatsu, to reclaim the NWA International Tag Team Championship.

1987 – The IWGP Tag Team Championship is vacated, after titleholders Kengo Kimura & Tatsumi Fujinami split up as a tag team.

1988 –  On the first edition of The Main Event, Andre the Giant defeats Hulk Hogan, to win the WWF Championship.  Hogan’s streak of 1,474 days as WWF Champion, dating back to January 23, 1984, comes to an end.  The show marked the WWF debut of referee Earl Hebner, who, after being bribed by Ted DiBiase (Andre’s manager), would count the pinall on Hogan, despite Hulk’s shoulders clearly being off the mat.  The program on NBC draws a 15.2 TV rating and 33 million viewers; both are record highs for American televised wrestling.

After the match, Andre the Giant surrenders the title to Ted DiBiase.  But WWF President Jack Tunney rules the WWF Championship as ‘vacated.’  Titles could not be handed over from one wrestler to another, but Andre the Giant’s handing off the title to DiBiase was considered a “surrendering” of the title. As the match decision was final, the title could not be given back to Hulk Hogan.  Andre the Giant’s title win is recognized in WWE’s lineage, and is the shortest title reign in WWF/E history.

1994Robbie Eagle (later known in WCW as ‘The Maestro’) defeats Chris Candido, to win the Smoky Mountain Wrestling Television Championship.

1996 – In the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro (2.9 TV rating) edges out WWF Monday Night RAW (2.7 rating).

1999Negro Casas & El Hijo del Santo defeat Bestia Salvaje & Scorpio Jr., to win the CMLL World Tag Team Championship.  However, the new tag team champions refuse to accept the title, as they had won the match due to a disqualification.  A “decision match” would be held three weeks later, with Salvaje & Scorpio Jr. winning and reclaiming the Tag Team Titles.

2001 – In the Monday Night Wars, WWF RAW IS WAR (5.0 TV rating) easily beats WCW Monday Nitro (2.3 rating).  RAW is held at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome in front of 24,639 fans.  Over on Nitro, Rick Steiner defeats Shane Douglas, to win the WCW United States Championship.

2004 – On SmackDown, Rikishi & Scotty 2 Hotty defeat The Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny), to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.

2004Shinsuke Nakamura, suffering from various injuries, vacates the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

2016 – TNA Wrestling releases Awesome Kong from her contract. Kong had been involved in a real physical altercation, having assaulted Reby Hardy, in the women’s locker room.

2016 – WWE NXT performers Sylvester Lefort, Marcus Louis, and Bull Dempsey are all released from the company.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO:  NXT wrestler Brennan Williams (27 years old); indie wrestler ‘Krimson’ Conrad Kennedy III (41 years old); 5-time AJPW All Asia Tag Team Champion, Takashi Ishikawa (65 years old); 5-time USWA Heavyweight Champion & 6-time USWA Tag Team Champion, Doug Gilbert (49 years old);  current HEAT UP Universal Champion, Kazuhiro Tamura (38 years old);  and 5-time TNA Knockouts Champion, Madison Rayne (32 years old).

Today would’ve been the 78th birthday for WWWF United States, International, & World Tag Team Champion, Luke Graham.

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