This Day In Wrestling History – January 2nd

Jan 2, 2019 - by Bill Fenbers

Rest in Peace, ‘Mean Gene.’

1894 ‘The Golden Greek’ Jim Londos is born in Koutsopodi, Argos, Greece.  Londos was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame posthumously, in 2018.

1959Fred Blassie defeats Ray Gunkel, to win the NWA Georgia Southern Heavyweight Championship.

1979Dick Slater defeats Jos LeDuc, to win the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship.

1980Ox Baker defeats Bruiser Brody, to win the NWA American Heavyweight Championship.

1981Mike Graham & Barry Windham defeat The Cowboy Connection (Bobby Jaggers & R.T. Tyler), to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship.

1982Jimmy Valiant defeats Ivan Koloff, to win the NWA Television Championship.

1983 Jacques Rougeau defeats Sabu the Wildman (Coco Samoa), to win the NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Championship.

1985Terry Taylor defeats Buddy Landel, to win the Mid-South Wrestling Television Championship.

1990Arn Anderson defeats The Great Muta, to win the NWA World Television Championship.

1990Danny Davis defeats Joey Maggs, to win the USWA Junior Heavyweight Championship.

1997Brian Christopher defeats Wolfie D, to win the USWA Heavyweight Championship for the 23rd time.

2004The Great Kosuke & Shiryu defeat Mr Gannosuke & Tetsuhiro Kuroda, to win the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Championship.

2008 – The Associated Press reports that Michael Benoit, father of the late Chris Benoit, had reached a verbal agreement over the estate of his son. Michael Benoit stated that the estate would pretty much” be evenly split between his son’s two children from a previous marriage ( a 15-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl), and the family of Chris Benoit’s slain wife, Nancy.

2011Minoru defeats Kaz Hayashi, to win the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Championship.

2013 – In a Title vs. Title match, Shuji Kondo defeats Hiroshi Yamato, to retain the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship AND win the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Championship.

2014 – On Impact Wrestling, Chris Sabin defeats Austin Aries, to win the TNA X Division Championship.

2015Mascara Dorada defeats Negro Casas, to win the CMLL World Welterweight Championship.

2016Suwama defeats Jun Akiyama, to win the AJPW Unified Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship.

2019 – WWE Hall of Famer ‘Mean Gene’ Okerlund passes away at the age of 76.  Okerlund was a ring announcer in the old AWA from 1970-1984, before moving on to the WWF as their top interviewer.  After his WWF contract expired in 1993, Okerlund moved on to be an interviewer and reporter for WCW, and stayed until shortly before WCW’s demise in 2001.  Okerlund returned to the WWF at WrestleMania X-Seven as a participant in the ‘Gimmick Battle Royal.’  From 2001-2018 Okerlund hosted several WWF/E shows, including ‘Madison Square Garden Classics,’ ‘WWE Confidential,’ and narrated WWE Network’s ‘WWE Story Time.’  He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 by Hulk Hogan.  Okerlund would induct ring announcer Howard Finkel into the Hall of Fame in 2009.  Okerlund’s final appearance on WWE TV occurred on January 22, 2018 during the Monday Night RAW 25th Anniversary Show, when he interviewed AJ Styles.

There are no confirmed birthdays today.

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