This Day In Wrestling History – January 7th
1966 – Gene Kiniski defeats Lou Thesz, to win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Thesz’s title reign ends at 1,079 days.
1971 – Pedro Morales defeats Freddie Blassie, to win the vacant WWWF United States Heavyweight Championship.
1979 – The Spoiler wins a battle royal, to become the inaugural WCCW Television Champion.
1985 – Billy Jack Haynes defeats Gino Hernandez, to win the WCCW Television Championship. Hernandez subbed for incumbent titleholder Chris Adams, who was absent for the event.
1995 – In Smoky Mountain Wrestling, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Robert Gibson & Ricky Morton) defeat The Gangstas (New Jack & Mustafa Saed), to win the SMW Tag Team Championship for the 10th time.
1999 – Jun Akiyama & Kenta Kobashi defeat The Holy Demon Army (Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue), to win the AJPW World Tag Team Championship.
2001 – ECW Guilty As Charged is held at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom in front of 2,500 fans. This is the final pay-per-view produced by Extreme Championship Wrestling, before filing for bankruptcy a few months later. In a 3-Way Tables, Ladders, Chairs, & Canes Match, The Sandman defeats Steve Corino and Justin Credible, to win the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. After the match, The Sandman is attacked by Rhino, who challenges Sandman for his newly won title. Sandman accepts, but Rhino beats him in one minute, to become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
2002 – In a Hardcore Tag Team Match on RAW, Spike Dudley & Tazz defeat The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & Devon) to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. Also, Triple H makes his return to the WWF after missing almost eight months with a torn quad.
2004 – On TNA’s weekly pay-per-view, Chris Sabin defeats Michael Shane, Low Ki, and Christopher Daniels, to win the TNA X Division Championship.
2006 – In Ohio Valley Wrestling, Aaron Stevens defeats CM Punk and Brent Albright, in a Three-Way Match, to win the OVW Television Championship.
2007 – The third and final WWE-produced New Year’s Revolution pay-per-view is held in Kansas City, in front of 10,000 fans. Jeff Hardy retains the Intercontinental Championship, after defeating Johnny Nitro in a Steel Cage Match. Cryme Tyme (Shad Gaspard & JTG) win a Tag Team Turmoil Match, to become #1 contenders for the World Tag Team Championship. In the main event, John Cena defeats Umaga, to retain the WWE Championship.
2007 – At Day 1 of Pro Wrestling NOAH’s First Navigation ’07, The Briscoe Brothers (Jay & Mark) defeat Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Sugiura, to win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.
2015 – Impact Wrestling makes it’s debut on Destination America, after spending over nine years on Spike TV. This evening’s episode airs live from New York City’s Manhattan Center, with two titles changing hands. Austin Aries defeats Low Ki, to win the TNA X Division Championship for the 6th time. In the main event, Lashley defeats Bobby Roode, to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship for the 2nd time.
2015 – In Lucha Underground, Prince Puma becomes the inaugural Lucha Underground Champion after winning a 20-Man Elimination “Aztec Warfare” Match. Puma last eliminates Johnny Mundo to win the match and the championship.
2016 – WWE SmackDown begins airing on USA Network, after airing on Syfy since October 2010. This evening’s episode is the WWE debut for lead commentator Mauro Ranallo.
2017 – Hajime Ohara defeats Taiji Ishimori, to win the vacant GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: Impact Wrestling’s Alisha Edwards (32 years old, pictured at top); WWE Cruiserweight ‘Gentleman’ Jack Gallagher (29 years old); and former ECW wrestler C.W. Anderson (48 years old).
Today would’ve been the 70th birthday for former WWE Cruiserweight Champion & 15-time NWA Americas Heavyweight Champion, Chavo Guerrero, Sr.