On This Day in Wrestling…November 23rd

On this extremely eventful day in wrestling history, a WCW icon made his hugely anticipated first appearance in a WWE ring.

Sting

Credit: WWE

1981 – At a WWF House Show in Madison Square Garden Bob Backland pinned Greg Valentine to win the vacant WWF Championship.  The title was vacated the previous month after the referee accidentally handed the title to Valentine. Also on the card, Pedro Morales defeated Don Muraco in a Texas Death Match for the Intercontinental Championship.

1989 – The third annual WWF Survivor Series came from the Rosemont Horizon in suburban Chicago. This edition was the first one where the teams had names, and had reduced from five to four members on each team.  There were a number of feuds heading into the pay-per-view which gave each of the of the five matches on the card a strong purpose.  The Ultimate Warrior, the then reigning Intercontinental Champion, was in a major feud with the Heenan Family.  The Ultimate Warriors captained by the namesake of the team also featured Jim Neidhart, Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty who defeated The Heenan Family captained by Andre The Giant, alongside Arn Anderson, Haku and Bobby Heenan himself.  Also WWF Champion Hulk Hogan and his teammates of Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, and Tag Team Champions Demolition (Ax & Smash) defeated the team of Ted Dibiase, Zeus and The Powers of Pain (The Warlord & Barbarian).  Elsewhere The King’s Court captained by Randy Savage defeated the quartet of Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Bret Hart, Hercules and Ronnie Garvin.

1994 – The eighth annual WWF Survivor Series which came from San Antonio in Texas was headlined by two main event matches.  Bret Hart lost the WWF Championship to Bob Backland in a submission match after Owen Hart convinced his mother Helen to throw in the towel to end the match.  Also The Undertaker was able gain revenge on Yokozuna in a Casket Match, where Chuck Norris was the assigned as a Special Enforcer for the match.  Also earlier on the card Diesel eliminated four of the five members on the opposing team captained by the then Intercontinental Razor Ramon.  The conclusion of this match cemented the official split up of the team of Shawn Michaels and Diesel which had been teased on TV since Summerslam.  The Royal Family captained by Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler and (Queasy, Sleazy, and Cheesy), defeated Clowns ‘R’ Us (Doink The Clown, Dink, Wink & Pink).  And The Million Dollar Team defeated Guts & Glory captained by Lex Luger.

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1994 – Art Barr was found dead in his Oregon home at the age of just 28.

1996 – At the ECW Revere Show which was sub-headed as ‘The Mass Transit Incident’ The Sandman retained the ECW World Heavyweight Title against Raven in the main event “Dog Collar” match.  Also Shane Douglas retained the ECW World Television Title against Tommy Dream, Rob Van Dam and Pitbull fought to a no contest.

1997 – At WCW World War 3 from The Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan Scott Hall won the 60-man Battle Royal to earn a shot at the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. Also, Curt Henning defeated Ric Flair to retain the WCW United States Title in a no-disqualification match, and The Steiner Brothers retained the WCW World Tag Team Championships against The Blue Bloods (Lord Steven Regal & Squire David Taylor).

1998 – Goldberg defeated The Giant in the main event of WCW Monday Nitro from Grand Rapids in Michigan.

1999 – At the WWF Smackdown taping from Rochester in New York, Triple H & X-Pac defeated Shane McMahon & Test in the tag team main event, and The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn) defeated The Hardy Boys (Matt & Jeff Hardy) in a Steel Cage tag team match to retain the WWF Tag Team Championship. 

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2004 – John “Bradshaw” Layfield and Orlando Jordan defeated Booker T & Eddie Guerreo in the tag team main event from the WWE Smackdown Taping in Rochester in New York.

2004 – At the TNA Impact Tapings from Orlando in Florida Jeff Jarrett retained the NWA World Heavyweight Title against Monty Brown, and Abyss defeated Matt Mayer & Vance Desmond in a handicap tag team match.  Also Ron killings defeated Bobby Roode, and Scott Hall pinned AJ Styles.

2007 – Linda Hogan announced that she had filed for divorce from her husband, Hulk Hogan.

2008 – John Cena returned to in-ring action at the WWE Survivor Series in Boston to defeat Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship.  Also returning at this event was the Rated R superstar Edge who replaced Jeff Hardy who had been attacked in storyline the night before to win the WWE Championship in a triple-threat match with Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov.  The Undertaker defeated The Big Show in a Casket Match, and in the three traditional Survivor Series matches on the card Team HBK beat Team JBL, Team Orton defeated Team Batista, and the Raw Women’s Team were victorious over the Smackdown Women’s Team.

2009 – Jesse “The Governor” Ventura was the guest host of WWE Raw from Hershey in Pennsylvania where John Cena faced CM Punk for the very first time, and defeated the straight-edged superstar.  Also Sheamus won the main event battle royale and became the number one contender for the WWE Championship. The show was notable for being ‘old school’ themed with WWE bringing out the old Raw set, graphics and intro. For the main event, Vince McMahon returned to the commentary desk, bow tie and all, alongside Jesse Ventura.

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2013 – At the TNA Impact tapings in Orlando Chris Sabin defeated Austin Aires for the TNA X-Division Title, and Magnus defeated Kurt Angle in a Last Man Standing match.

2014 – At the WWE Survivor Series in St. Louis Sting made his first WWE appearance during the main event 5 on 5 tag team elimination match where Team Cena defeated The Authority with Dolph Ziggler being the sole survivor, which meant in storyline that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were no longer influential on the direction of the WWE talent roster.  Also on the card Dean Ambrose was disqualified in a one-on-one match against Bray Wyatt in a feud which began the previous month’s Hell In A Cell pay-per-view.  Goldust and Stardust lost the Tag Team Championships to The Miz and Damien Mizdow in a Fatal-Four Way tag match which also featured The Usos and Los Matadores.

2015 – Roman Reigns defeated Rusev by disqualification in the main event of WWE Raw from Nashville a day after winning and losing the WWE Championship.  Sasha Banks defeated Becky Lynch, Neville pinned Mark Henry, and Paige and Charlotte fought to a draw for the WWE Divas Championship.

2019 – NXT Takeover: WarGames came from the Allstate Arena in Chicago where in the main event Mens War Games match Team Ciampa, featuring a returning Kevin Owens defeated The Undisputed Era.  In the opening contest Team Ripley defeated Team Baszler in the first ever Women’s War Games match.

Notable Wrestling Birthdays:

  • Aliyah (1994)
  • Juventud Guerrera (1974)
  • Don Frye (1965)
  • Gene Kiniski (1928)