On This Day In Wrestling History… January 5th

On 5th January in wrestling history we saw Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger wrestle his last match at the first ever two-night Wrestle Kingdom.

Jushin Liger

Credit: NJPW

1996 – ECW House Party was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and featured the ECW debut of Rob Van Dam who would beat Axl Rotten on the show. Elsewhere on the card 2 Cold Scorpio won the World Television Championship after pinning Mikey Whipwreck and The Sandman defeated Konnan by retain the World Heavyweight Championship.

2002 – In the main event at IWA-MS Resolution in Charlestown, Indiana, C.M. Punk retains the IWA:MS Heavyweight Title against Ace Steel after both wrestlers pinned each other at the same time.

2011 – New Japan Pro-Wrestling officially announce that they have introduced the IWGP Intercontinental Championship but it wouldn’t be awarded to anyone until May 15th, when MVP beat Toru Yano in a tournament final.

2015 – RAW is in Corpus Christi, Texas and Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler defends against Bad News Barrett. After Ziggler gets the pin he’s attacked by Barrett and then Corporate Kane announces the match is now best 2 out of 3 falls. Barrett easily gets the next pin and after a bit of back and forth, gets the 3rd and deciding pin to become a five-time Intercontinental Champion.

2016 – AJ Styles made his last appearance for NJPW at ‘New Year’s Dash. It was an eventful farewell as he teamed with Bullet Club teammate Kenny Omega to defeat YOSHI-HASHI and Shinsuke Nakamura. After the match, Omega and the rest of the Bullet Club turned on their leader, Styles, and kicked him out of the stable. Omega declared himself the new kingpin of the group.

On This Day In Wrestling History...8th June

2017 – In the main event of NJPW New Year’s Dash at Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, the NEVER Openweight Six Man Championship changed hands when Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi and Manabu Nakanishi defeated BUSHI, EVIL and SANADA.

2018 – NJPW New Year’s Dash took place at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. The night saw one title change with Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa defeating Beretta, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano to win the NEVER Openweight Six Man Championship.

2020 – For the first time, NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom event was stretched to include a second night. In the main event, Tetsuya Naito defeated Kazuchika Okada to win both the IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championships. Titles that had been unified by Okada only 24 hours earlier. Three other titles changed hands on the night:

  • BUSHI, EVIL and Shingo Takagi defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe and Toru Yano to win the NEVER Openweight Six Man Championship.
  • SHO and YOH won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship from El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori.
  • Hirooki Goto pinned KENTA to win the NEVER Openweight Championship.

2020 – The most historic note from Wrestle Kingdom was the retirement of international icon Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger. After making his debut in 1984, Liger went on to wrestle across the globe as one of the standout junior heavyweights of all time. His final match saw he and partner Naoki Sano take the loss against Ryu Lee and Hiromu Takahashi.

On This Day In Wrestling History...12th June

2020 – OTT Stickin’ Out is held in Belfast, Northern Ireland and in the main event Adam Maxted defeats champion Mark Haskins to win the OTT Gender Neutral Title.

Notable Wrestling Birthdays:

  • Willie Mack (1987)
  • Yutaka Yoshie (1974)
  • Doug Gilbert (1969)
  • Barry ‘Bull’ Buchanan (1968)
  • Jeep Swenson (1957)

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