This Day In Wrestling History – January 18th
It’s a day late, but here you go.
1971 – In New York City, Ivan Koloff defeats Bruno Sammartino, to become the new WWWF Heavyweight Champion. This ends Sammartino’s 2,803-day reign as champion, dating back to May 17, 1963.
1975 – Dardo Aguilar defeats Tauro, to win the Mexican National Lightweight Championship.
1981 – Tony Salazar defeats Sangre Chicana, to win the NWA World Middleweight Championship.
1982 – Adrian Adonis defeats WWF Champion Bob Backlund in a non-title match. Adonis is declared the winner after the referee stops the match, due to Backlund excessively bleeding.
1982 – Jerry Lawler defeats Dutch Mantel, to win the Memphis Wrestling / AWA Southern Heavyweight Championship for the 25th time.
1986 – Scott Hall & Curt Hennig defeat Steve Regal & Jimmy Garvin, to win the AWA World Tag Team Championship. This is labeled as a “Phantom Match,” to cover for Steve Regal (not to be confused with William Regal) leaving the AWA while still a tag team champion.
1988 – Kengo Kimura & Tatsumi Fujinami defeat Kazuo Yamazaki & Yoshiaki Fujiwara, to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.
1994 – La Sirenita defeats Maria del Angel, to win the vacant Mexican National Women’s Championship.
1996 – Ultraman 2000 defeats Psicosis, to win the Mexican National Welterweight Championship.
1998 – WWF’s eleventh annual Royal Rumble is held in San Jose, in front of 18,542 fans.
– Vader defeats The Artist Formerly Known as Goldust.
– In a six-man tag team match, Max Mini, Mosaic, & Nova defeat Battalion, Tarantula, & El Torito. Sunny served as special guest referee.
– The Rock defeats Ken Shamrock via disqualification, to retain the Intercontinental Championship.
– The Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal) defeat WWF Tag Team Champions, The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn), via disqualification. The Outlaws retain the titles due to the DQ.
– Stone Cold Steve Austin (the 24th entry) wins the 30-man Royal Rumble Match, last eliminating The Rock. Austin earns a WWF Championship match at WrestleMania XIV.
– In a Casket Match, Shawn Michaels (with Chyna & Triple H) defeats The Undertaker, to retain the WWF Championship. During the match, Michaels herniated two discs in his back, and crushed a third. His injuries would force him to retire after WresleMania XIV.
1999 – In the Monday Night Wars, WWF RAW IS WAR (5.6 TV rating) beats WCW Monday Nitro (4.4 rating).
2004 – In All Japan Pro Wrestling, tag team Kojikaz (Kaz Hayashi & Satoshi Kojima) defeat Arashi & Keiji Mutoh, to win the AJPW World Tag Team Championship.
2005 – At Combat Zone Wrestling’s Live Again event, Ruckus defeats Trent Acid, to win the CZW World Junior Heavyweight Championship. Also, Nate Hatred defeats Nick Mondo and John Zandig in a ‘Fans Bring the Weapons’ Match, to win the vacant CZW Death Match Championship.
2007 – WWE announces the release of eleven superstars, a majority of them from the ECW roster: C.W. Anderson, Doug & Danny Basham, Gangrel, The Gymini (Mike & Todd Shane), Jazz, Rodney Mack, Tony Mamaluke, Sylvester Terkay, and Al Snow. Snow was released as a wrestler, but was retained by WWE to work as a trainer for Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), which was a WWE developmental territory at the time.
2008 – Ring of Honor’s Undeniable airs on pay-per-view, albeit on a three-month tape delay. In the main event, Nigel McGuinness defeats Takeshi Morishima, to become the new ROH World Champion. Ring of Honor recognizes McGuinness’ reign as beginning on October 6, 2007, the night of the pay-per-view taping.
2009 – Los Ángeles Rebeldes (Hector Garza, El Hijo del Fantasma, & La Mascara) defeat Los Guerreros (Atlantis, Negro Casas, & Ultimo Guerrero), to win the CMLL World Trios Championship.
2010 – Actors Jon Heder and Don Johnson guest-host Monday Night RAW in Knoxville, TN.
2017 – The CMLL World Mini-Estrella Championship is vacated by Astral, after he opts to move up to the regular division and could no longer be considered a Mini-Estrella.
HAPPY (BELATED) BIRTHDAY TO: indie wrestler (and Cincinnati native like myself), Samantha Heights (30 years old); former New York Wrestling Connection (NYCW) Fusion & Heavyweight Champion, Adam ‘The Big O’ Ohriner (33 years old); current All Pro Wrestling Tag Team Champion, Adam Thornstowe (36 years old); AAA Hall of Famer Perro Aguayo (73 years old); 6-time WWE World Champion Batista (50 years old); and WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase (65 years old).
This Day In Wrestling History for January 19th will be posted later tonight.