This Day In Wrestling History – January 19th
Trivia: The Royal Rumble has been held four times on January 19th (1991, 1992, 1997, and 2003), and January 24th (1988, 1993, 1999, and 2016). These dates are tied for the most times, on which the Royal Rumble has fallen. If WWE keeps with it’s schedule of the Royal Rumble being on the fourth Sunday of January, it would be held on January 24th for a record fifth time, in 2021.
1980 – Kato Kung Lee defeats Americo Rocca, to win the NWA World Welterweight Championship.
1991 – Jumbo Tsuruta defeats Stan Hansen, to win the AJPW Triple Crown Championship.
1991 – The 4th annual WWF Royal Rumble is held at the old Miami Arena, on a Saturday, in front of 16,000 fans. The event receives over 1.2 million pay-per-view buys, for a 3.1 buyrate.
– Jerry Sags defeats Sam Houston.
– The Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Shawn Michaels) defeat The Orient Express (Kato & Tanaka) (with Mr. Fuji).
– The Big Boss Man defeats The Barbarian (with Bobby Heenan).
– Sgt. Slaughter (with General Adnan) defeats The Ultimate Warrior, to win the WWF Championship.
– The Mountie (with Jimmy Hart) defeats Koko B. Ware (with Frankie).
– Ted DiBiase & Virgil defeat The Rhodes (Dustin & Dusty).
– Hulk Hogan (entrant #24) wins the 30-man Royal Rumble match, for the second consecutive year. Of note, Randy Savage was supposed to be the 18th entrant, but was consider eliminated when the 19th entrant, Animal, entered the ring during the Royal Rumble match before Savage did.
1992 – The 5th annual WWF Royal Rumble is held in Albany, New York in front of 17,000 fans. It was the first time that the WWF Champion would be decided in the 30-man Royal Rumble match. The title was vacant at the time, having been stripped from Hulk Hogan on December 7th, 1991 by WWF President Jack Tunney.
– Chris Walker defeats The Brooklyn Brawler via disqualification.
– The New Foundation (Jim Neidhart & Owen Hart) defeat The Orient Express (Kato & Pat Tanaka) (with Mr. Fuji).
– ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper defeats The Mountie, via submission to win the Intercontinental Championship.
– The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake) defeat The Bushwhackers (Butch & Luke).
– The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) defeat The Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal) via countout. The countout allows The Legion of Doom to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship.
– Ric Flair (entrant #3) wins the 30-man Royal Rumble match, to become the new WWF Champion. Flair also sets a new record for longevity in a Royal Rumble match, lasting one hour and two seconds
1997 – The WWF’s 10th annual Royal Rumble is held at The Alamodome in San Antonio, with 60,477 in attendance. The event receives 280,000 pay-per-view buys. As the WWF was working with the AAA promotion at the time, several AAA wrestlers participated in the 30-man Royal Rumble match and other matches on the card.
– Perro Aguayo, Jr. & Venum defeat Maniaco & Mosco de la Merced.
– In a six-man tag team match, Blue Demon, Jr., Octagon, & Tinieblas Jr. defeat Abismo Negro, Heavy Metal, & Histeria.
Match airing on ‘Free for All:’
– Mascarita Sagrada, Jr. & La Parkita defeat Mini Mankind & Mini Vader.
– Hunter Hearst Helmsley (with Mr. Hughes) defeats Goldust (with Marlena), to retain the Intercontinental Championship.
– Ahmed Johnson defeats Faarooq via disqualification due to interference from the Nation of Domination.
– Vader (with Paul Bearer) defeats The Undertaker.
– In a six-man tag team match, Canek, Hector Garza, & Perro Aguayo, Sr. defeat Heavy Metal, Estrada, & Fuerza Guerrera.
– Stone Cold Steve Austin (entrant #5) wins the 30-man Royal Rumble match to earn a WWF Championship match at WrestleMania XIII.
– In his hometown, Shawn Michaels (with Jose Lothario) defeats Sycho Sid, to win the WWF Championship.
1998 – In the Monday Night Wars, WCW Monday Nitro (4.44 TV rating) beats WWF RAW IS WAR (4.0 rating).
2000 – On Thunder, The Mamlukes (Big Vito & Johnny the Bull) defeat David Flair & Crowbar, to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
2003 – WWE’s 16th annual Royal Rumble is held in Boston in front of 15,338 fans. The event receives 585,000 pay-per-view buys. It was the first Royal Rumble in which the rosters were split for RAW and SmackDown
– Spike Dudley defeats Steven Richards (with Victoria).
– Brock Lesnar defeats Big Show (with Paul Heyman), to win a spot in the 30-man Royal Rumble match.
– The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) defeat Lance Storm & William Regal, to win the World Tag Team Championship.
– Torrie Wilson defeats Dawn Marie Wilson.
– With the World Heavyweight Championship on the line, Scott Steiner defeats Triple H via disqualification, allowing Triple H to retain the title.
– Kurt Angle defeats Chris Benoit via submission, to retain the WWE Championship.
– Brock Lesnar (entrant #29) wins the 30-man Royal Rumble match, to earn a WWE Championship match at WrestleMania XIX.
2007 – Former WWF wrestler and WCW Hardcore & Tag Team Champion, Bam Bam Bigelow, dies of a drug overdose at the age of 45.
2009 – On Monday Night RAW in his hometown of Chicago, CM Punk defeats William Regal in a No Disqualification Match, to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Later in the show, Mr. McMahon demands an apology from Randy Orton in the middle of the ring. Orton had insulted Stephanie McMahon, claiming he was worth more than her, and called her ‘worthless.’ Vince threatens to fire Orton if he refuses to apologize. Orton refuses, and just as Vince is about to say, “You’re fired!,” Orton knocks Vince down to the mat, kicks him in the face, and then punts him in the head.
2013 – On the 700th episode of OVW TV, The Coalition (Crimson & Jason Wayne) defeat The Gutcheckers (Alex Silva & Sam Shaw), to win the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship.
2015 – WWE’s RAW Reunion is held in Dallas in front of 12,000 fans, with an average of 4.1 million viewers on USA Network. Past WCW/WWE superstars that appeared on the show included: Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn), The nWo (Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, & X-Pac), and The APA (Ron Simmons & John “Bradshaw” Layfield, who had been wearing an APA shirt under his suit, while doing commentary).
Sting makes his first ever appearance on Monday Night RAW. He first appears on the giant video screen, then coming out to the stage during the main event of John Cena vs. The Authority (Seth Rollins, Kane, & Big Show), in a 3-on-1 Handicap Match. Cena would win the match, which allows for the rehiring of Ryback, Dolph Ziggler, and Erick Rowan. Had Cena lost, he would have lost his title shot at the Royal Rumble (facing Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship).
2016 – On Impact Wrestling, Matt Hardy defeats Ethan Carter III, in a Career-vs-Title, Last Man Standing Match, to win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
2018 – El Cuatrero defeats Angel del Oro, to win the CMLL World Middleweight Championship. He’s officially held the title for one year now.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO: current PCW Champion & RCW North American Champion, Ron Mathis (34 years old); WWE’s Tyler Breeze (31 years old); WWE Hall of Famer, Pat Patterson (78 years old, pictured at top); current PWF tag team champion Joseph Schwartz (35 years old); Japan indie wrestler Manabu Hara (37 years old); former WCW wrestler Curtis ‘Toad’ White (48 years old); former NWA, TNA & WWE Tag Team Champion, Ron Killings, aka R-Truth (47 years old); current CMLL Distrito Federal Lightweight Champion, Astral (30 years old); and current AJPW wrestler Jake Lee (30 years old).