On This Day In Wrestling…18th January

On 18th January 1971, Bruno Sammartino lost the WWWF Championship after a record reign that will never be beaten in length.

Ivan Koloff & Bruno Sammartino

Credit: Pro Wrestling Illustrated

1971 – The longest WWF (Then WWWF) Championship reign came to an end at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Ivan Koloff defeated Bruno Sammartino to end the champion’s historic 2,803 day reign with the title. It is incredibly unlikely this record will ever come close to being beaten. Koloff was not a long term champion. He was merely a conduit to put the belt on the next babyface champion and Pedro Morales took the title three weeks after Koloff’s victory here.

1993 – The second live edition of WWF Monday Night Raw took place at The Manhattan Center in New York City. Ric Flair attacked Mr Perfect during his match up with Terry Taylor, and later on the show Perfect would interrupt Flair’s match with El Matador Tito Santana. This set up a “Loser Leaves WWF” match between the two on the following week’s edition that was actually taped the same day and would air the day after the Royal Rumble in Sacramento.  Mr Perfect would defeat Flair which was a storyline reason for Flair leaving the company to head back to WCW. Flair would not be back until November 2001.

1998 – Stone Cold Steve Austin won the Royal Rumble in San Jose, California with Mike Tyson in attendance, securing the number one contender spot for the WWF Title at WrestleMania 14.  Also on the card Shawn Michaels retained the WWF Title in a Casket Match against The Undertaker. During the match, Michaels took a back body drop to the outside of the ring clipping his back on the edge of the casket, which caused him to herniate two discs and crushed one completely in his back. Eventually, this injury would force Michaels out of the ring for over four years. Ken Shamrock scored a pinfall over The Rock to win the Intercontinental Championship. The decision was reversed after The Rock appealed to the referee that a foreign object was used on him by Shamrock which was planted on him by The Rock. Shamrock snapped and attacked the referee for reversing the decision.

On This Day in Wrestling History...24th July

2000 – Big Vito & Johnny The Bull defeated Crowbar and David Flair for the WCW World Tag Titles at a WCW Thunder taping in Evansville, Indiana.

2003 – Legendary wrestler, The Sheik (Edward George Farhat) died of a heart attack aged 76. Farhat was the uncle of Sabu and was widely credited as a pioneer of the hardcore wrestling style.

2005 – ‘Pistol’ Pez Whatley died of heart failure at the age of 54.

2014 – Oliver John and Timothy Thatcher defeated Joey Ryan and Rocky Romero for the Golden State Tag Team Trophy at the WCA Race For The Ring Finals in Gardena, California.

2019 – Viper defeated Bea Priestley and Kay Lee Ray in a Three-Way match for the World Of Sport Women’s Title on the first day of the World Of Sport Live Tour in Southampton, UK.

2020 – Jordynne Grace defeated Taya Valkyrie for the Impact Wrestling Knockouts Title in Mexico City.

Notable Wrestling Birthdays:

  • The Big O (1986)
  • Karl Anderson (1980)
  • Batista (1969)
  • Ted DiBiase (1954)
  • Toots Mondt (1894)

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