This Day In Wrestling History – January 17th
1986 – Ron Bass defeats Black Bart, to win the vacant NWA (Mid-Atlantic) Brass Knuckles Championship. Bass is the last to hold this title until it is deactivated the day after Christmas of ’86.
1987 – This evening’s episode of Superstars marks the WWF debut of Demolition (Ax & Smash).
1991 – Big Van Vader defeats Tatsumi Fujinami, to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
1992 – At a house show in Springfield, Massachusetts, The Mountie defeats Bret Hart, to win the WWF Intercontinental Championship. The Mountie would only hold the title for two days, before losing it to ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper, at the 1992 Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
1994 – At a house show in New York City, The Quebecers (Pierre & Jacques) defeat Marty Jannetty & The 1-2-3 Kid, to reclaim the WWF Tag Team Championship. Jannetty & The 1-2-3 Kid had defeated The Quebecers for the titles seven days earlier.
1997 – In All Japan Pro Wrestling, The Holy Demon Army (Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue) defeat Johnny Ace & Steve Williams, to win the AJPW World Tag Team Championship.
1999 – On Sunday Night Heat, Chyna defeats Vince McMahon, in an Arm Wrestling Match.
1999 – WCW/nW0 Souled Out is held in Charleston, West Virginia in front of 10,833 fans.
– Chris Benoit defeats Mike Enos via submission.
– Norman Smiley defeats Chavo Guerrero, Jr. via submission.
– Fit Finlay defeats Van Hammer.
– Bam Bam Bigelow defeats Wrath.
– Lex Luger defeats Konnan via submission.
– Chris Jericho defeats Perry Saturn via submission, in a ‘Loser Must Wear a Dress’ Match.
– In a Fatal 4-Way Match, Billy Kidman defeats Rey Misterio, Jr., Psychosis, and Juventud Guerrera, to retain the WCW Cruiserweight Championship.
– David Flair & Ric Flair defeat Barry Windham & Curt Hennig.
– Goldberg defeats Scott Hall, in a Stun Gun Ladder Match.
2000 – Four WCW stars quit the promotion on this day – Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit. Benoit had actually just won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship the night before at the Souled Out pay-per-view. This had been arranged by head booker Kevin Sullivan, in an effort to keep Benoit from quitting WCW. This was to no avail, as Benoit had been having disagreements with WCW management, and had protested Sullivan being promoted to head booker, replacing the team of Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara.
It was explained on Monday Nitro that the World Heavyweight Championship had been stripped from Benoit, due to Sid Vicious, Benoit’s opponent, having his foot underneath the ropes while Benoit had him in a submission hold at Souled Out. Benoit’s title win was never recognized in WCW’s title lineage, but IS recognized by WWE. As for another WCW title, the new WCW Commissioner, Kevin Nash, awards the vacant United States Championship back to Jeff Jarrett, who had to vacate the title before Souled Out, due to lingering headaches.
2000 – Over on RAW on the same night, Test defeats The Big Boss Man, to win the WWF Hardcore Championship. RAW (6.0 TV rating) beats Nitro (3.0) in the Monday Night Wars ratings.
2001 – On Thunder, Meng defeats Bam Bam Bigelow, to retain the WCW Hardcore Championship. This is Meng’s final appearance on WCW television. He would leave the company a few days later.
2004 – At Combat Zone Wrestling’s Streetfight 2K4, The Rebel’s Army (Derek Frazier, Greg Matthews, & Rockin’ Rebel) defeat Justin Credible and tag team champions The Backseat Boyz (Johnny Kashmere & Trent Acid), to become the new CZW World Tag Team Champions. This was a six-man tag team match; Kashmere and Acid were the champions going into this match. Matthews & Rockin’ Rebel, from the winning Rebel’s Army, are awarded the titles.
2009 – In Ohio Valley Wrestling, Johnny Punch defeats Outlaw, to win the OVW Television Championship. Also, Vaughn Lilas defeats Aaron ‘Idol’ Stevens, to win the OVW Heavyweight Championship.
2010 – TNA Genesis is held at the Impact! Zone in Orlando, with 1,100 fans in attendance. This is the first event at the Impact! Zone to use a standard four-sided ring (as opposed to the usual six-sided ring).
– Amazing Red defeats Brian Kendrick, to retain the X Division Championship.
– Sean Morley (in his TNA in-ring debut) defeats Daniels.
– In a Two-Out-of-Three Falls Match, Tara defeats ODB 2-0, to win the TNA Knockouts Championship.
– Matt Morgan & Hernandez defeat The British Invasion (Brutus Magnus & Doug Williams), to win the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
– Desmond Wolfe defeats D’Angelo Dinero.
– Beer Money, Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) defeat The Band (Kevin Nash & Syxx-Pac.
– Mr. Anderson defeats Abyss.
– AJ Styles defeats Kurt Angle, to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
2010 – Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki are forced to vacate the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, after Suzuki suffers a knee injury.
2015 – In Ohio Valley Wrestling, TerreMex (Randy Terrez & The Mexicutioner) defeat The Fabulous Free Bodies (The Bodyguy & Big Jon), to win the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: WWE Hall of Famer Kid Rock (48 years old); 2014 Monday Night RAW guest star, Betty White (97 years old); former TNA Gut Check Winner, Samuel ‘Lupus’ Shaw (35 years old); 3-time NWA World Tag Team Champion (with TNA Wrestling), Chase Stevens (40 years old); former WWE wrestler Kevin Thorn (42 years old); former NXT wrestler Sage Beckett (34 years old); and former Dragon Gate ‘Open the Dream Gate,’ ‘Twin Gate,’ ‘Triangle Gate,’ & ‘Owarai Gate’ Champion, Masaaki Mochizuki (49 years old).
Today would’ve been the 77th birthday for Muhammad Ali, who served as a special guest referee, for the main event of WrestleMania I in 1985 (Hulk Hogan & Mr. T vs Roddy Piper & Paul Orndorff). Today would’ve also been the 99th birthday for NWA Hall of Famer, Corsica Joe.