1963 – An NWA World Heavyweight Championship match in Toronto, Ontario, Canada set off a chain of events that would eventually see the creation of the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF, later WWF then WWE) as a stand-alone organisation away from the NWA. In the match, Lou Thesz defeated Buddy Rogers to win the title. However, the match was a one fall match rather than the traditional 2 out of 3 falls matches in which the NWA title was normally contested. The majority of NWA promoters didn’t accept this change and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back that saw Vince McMahon Sr. branch out on his own. In April, Rogers would be named the first WWWF Champion. He held the belt for less than a month before losing it to Bruno Sammartino in less than 60 seconds.
1981 – Orville Brown passed away at the age of 72 in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
1988 – The NWA Bunkhouse Stampede PPV took place at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The main event saw Dusty Rhodes win a Bunkhouse Stampede match (A multi-man cage match battle royal where you had to throw your opponents out of the cage. The other participants were Lex Luger, The Warlord, Barbarian, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, Ivan Koloff and Road Warrior Animal.
1988 – WWE’s first ever Royal Rumble match took place on a special event on the USA Network. The match featured only 20 men and was won by ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan after he eliminated One Man Gang.
1993 – The ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California played host to the Royal Rumble PPV. The main event was the first Royal Rumble match that gave the winner a guaranteed title match at WrestleMania. Yokozuna won the match, last eliminating ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. Earlier on the card, Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart defended the WWF Championship against Razor Ramon to set up the main event for WrestleMania IX.
1998 – WCW Souled Out took place at Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio. In the main event, Lex Luger defeated Randy Savage. On the same night, Chris Jericho won the WCW Cruiserweight Championship with a win over Rey Mysterio Jr.
1999 – WWE’s ‘Royal Rumble: No Chance In Hell’ PPV went down at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, California. In the Royal Rumble match itself, Vince McMahon was declared the victor. He entered the match in the second spot with his nemesis ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin entering first. Both men spent the majority of the match away from the ring but ended up as the final two. With The Rock’s help, McMahon eliminated Austin and became the first man to win the Rumble after eliminating only one other competitor. Earlier on the card, The Rock won back the WWF Championship from Mankind in a brutal I Quit match.
2000 – On WCW Monday Nitro, Sid Vicious defeated Kevin Nash to win the vacated World Heavyweight Championship. The belt had been vacant since Chris Benoit defeated Vicious to win the title and then left the company earlier in the month.
2004 – Longtime kayfabe WWE president Jack Tunney (Real name, John Tunney Jr.) died of a heart attack aged 68 in Watertown, Ontario, Canada.
2016 – WWE Royal Rumble 2016 took place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The Rumble match itself was one of the most eventful in WWE history. Roman Reigns was forced to defend his WWE Championship in the match, the first time in history this happened. Early in the match, at the number three slot, AJ Styles made his WWE debut. In the end, mystery entrant Triple H entered the match in the final spot and won the WWE Championship. Earlier in the night, Kalisto became the United States Champion with a victory over Alberto Del Rio.
2016 – At ‘Evolve 55’ in Orlando, Florida, Drew Galloway and Johnny Gargano defeated Tommy End and Chris Hero to win the EVOLVE Tag Team Championship
2016 – At ‘PROGRESS Chapter 25: Chat Shit, Get Banged’ Marty Scurll defeated Will Ospreay to win the PROGRESS Championship.
Notable Wrestling Birthdays:
- Jay Briscoe (1984)
- Mike Awesome (1965)
- Vince Russo (1961)
- Gary Hart (1942)