On This Day in Wrestling…18th February

On February 18th in wrestling history, it was announced that the legendary Ric Flair would become the first ever active wrestler inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame.

Ric Flair Hall Of Fame

Credit: WWE

1985 – Leilani Kai defeated Wendi Richter for the WWF Women’s Title in Madison Square Garden at the WWF’s The War To Settle The Score house show.  Richter would get a rematch for the title a month later at the very first WrestleMania where she was accompanied to the ring by 80s pop icon and New York native, Cyndi Lauper.

1989 – Mildred Burke, one of the most fabled women’s wrestlers of all time, passed away after a stroke. She was 73 years old.

1991 – During an interview segment at the TV tapings for WWF Superstars of Wrestling in Orlando, then-WWF Champion Sgt. Slaughter was asked as part of the creative to build his WrestleMania VII feud with Hulk Hogan to burn the American flag.  Slaughter who was portraying an Iraqi sympathiser at the time refused the creative, and suggested to burn a Hulk Hogan t-shirt on the segment instead.

1993 – Kerry Von Erich passed away aged 33. He was part of the legendary Von Erich family, and worked for his father’s promotion World Class Championship Wrestling. He held over forty championships in various promotions and feuded in single and tag-team competition against the likes of Ric Flair, King Kondy Bundy, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and The Fabulous Freebirds.  Von Erich joined the WWF in the Summer of 1990, and defeated Mr. Perfect for the Intercontinental Championship at SummerSlam that same year.  His only WrestleMania appearance was against Dino Bravo at WrestleMania VII in Los Angeles in 1991.  The Von Erichs were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Michael Hayes on the night before the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania held in Houston, Texas.

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1995 – Eddie Gilbert died after a heart attack at his home in Puerto Rico aged 33.

1996 – Bret Hart retained the WWF Championship against Diesel in the main event Steel Cage match of ‘In Your House 6’ from Louisville, Kentucky. This was the first ever pay-per-view which the WWF had produced in the month of February, and it was at this event that Kevin Nash handed in his ninety day notice to leave for WCW. Elsewhere on the card Shawn Michaels defeated Owen Hart to hold on to his WrestleMania title opportunity, the newly turned babyface Yokozuna picked up a disqualification victory over the British Bulldog after a run-in from Vader. Razor Ramon defeated the 1-2-3 Kid in a “Crybaby Match”, and Hunter Hearst Helmsley pinned Duke ‘The Dumpster’ Droese.

1996 – One night after losing the WCW Television Championship to Lex Luger, Johnny B. Badd regained the title in Norfolk, Virginia.

2001 – Scott Steiner retained the WCW World Heavyweight Title against Kevin Nash in the main event of ‘WCW Superbrawl Revenge’ in Nashville, Tennesse in a “2 out of 3 Falls Count Anywhere Retirement Match”.   This would be the penultimate WCW pay-per-view event.

2002 – In Chicago on WWF Raw ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin issued a challenge to the NWO, The Rock challenged ‘Hollywood’ Hulk Hogan to a match at WrestleMania XVIII, and Triple H defeated Kurt Angle in the main event to regain his WrestleMania Undisputed Title match opportunity against Chris Jericho.

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2003 – Brock Lesnar defeated Charlie Haas, Shelton Benjamin and Kurt Angle in a Gauntlet match at the WWE Smackdown taping in Indianapolis, Indiana. Earlier on the card, the WWE Cruiserweight Championship changed hands when Chavo Guerrero won a Cruiserweight Open including defending champion Gregory Helms.

2007 – John Cena and Shawn Michaels defeated Batista and The Undertaker in the main event of WWE ‘No Way Out’ in Los Angeles, California.

2008 – WWE announced that the legendary Ric Flair would be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame the night before WrestleMania XXIV that April. He was the first active wrestler to be announced as an inductee.

2011 – On the 600th episode of SmackDown, Dolph Ziggler was awarded the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship after it had been stripped from Edge the previous week. However, he was forced to wrestle Edge for the title and he lost the match back to the former champion that night.

2013 – On an episode of Raw, WWE Champion The Rock unveiled the new championship belt that would replace the ‘spinner’ belt design.

2015 – Nelson Frazier, best known for his work in the WWF as Mabel, Viscera and Big Daddy V passed away aged 43.

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2017 – Ivan Koloff better known as “The Russian Bear” passed away aged 74.  He became a one-time WWWF World Heavyweight Champion by defeating Bruno Sammartino for the title in Madison Square Garden in early 1971.

2018 – Kay Lee Ray defeated Millie McKenzie for the Defiant Women’s Title at Defiant Chain Reaction in Manchester, England.

Notable Wrestling Birthdays:

  • Hannah and Holly Blossom (1988)
  • T.J Mack (1986)
  • Hideki Suzuki (1980)
  • Raymond Rougeau (1955)
  • Freddie Blassie (1918)

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