Wrestling History

December 17th – On This Day In Wrestling History

TJR Wrestling

Our full On This Day In Wrestling History section can be found here.

1906 – Frank Gotch won the American Heavyweight Championship for the third time by defeating Fred Keel in Kansas City, Missouri.

1979 – In one of the lesser known ‘phantom’ title changes in wrestling history, Bob Backlund defeated Bobby Duncum in a Texas Death Match in New York City to win the vacant WWF Championship. The title had been vacated 10 days earlier when Antonio Inoki battled to a draw with Backlund in Japan and refused to carry on as champion as a result. WWE does not recognise this title change, instead recognising Backlund as champion from 1978 to 1983.

1995 – WWE ‘In Your House 5: Season’s Beatings’ took place at the Hershey Park Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania. In the main event, Bret Hart defended the WWF Championship against The British Bulldog and The Undertaker beat Mabel in a casket match.

1999 – Mike Awesome defeated Masato Tanaka to become the new ECW World Heavyweight Championship at an ‘ECW on TNN’ taping in Nashville, Tennessee.

2000 – The final Starrcade PPV under the WCW umbrella took place at the MCI Center in Washington, DC. The PPV was bought by approximately 50,000 homes. This represented around 7% of the total buyrate for Starrcade just three years earlier in 1997.

The main event saw Scott Steiner retain the WCW Heavyweight Championship against Sid Vicious. In addition, The Insiders (Kevin Nash and Diamond Dallas Page) defeated The Perfect Event (Chuck Palumbo and Shawn Stasiak) to win the WCW Tag Team Championship. The other title change saw Terry Funk win the Hardcore Title from Crowbar.

2005 – Ring Of Honor held ‘Final Battle’ at the Inman Sports Complex in Edison, New Jersey. The co-main event saw KENTA defeat Low-Ki to retain the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship and Bryan Danielson successfully defend the ROH World Championship against Naomichi Marufuji. The ROH Tag Team Championship changed hands when Generation Next (Roderick Strong and Austin Aries) defeated Sal Rinauro and Tony Mamaluke.

2006 – WWE ‘Armageddon’ took place at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia. Whilst the main event saw John Cena and Batista defeat Finlay and King Booker, the truly memorable moments happened on the undercard. In the opening match, Kane defeated MVP in the second ever Inferno match.

In one of the most graphic accidental scenes in WWE history, Joey Mercury had his face and nose smashed with a ladder when a spot went wrong in a fatal-four way ladder match for the WWE Tag Team Championship. In the match, Paul London and Brian Kendrick retained the titles against Mercury and his MNM partner Johnny Nitro, The Hardy Boyz and the team of William Regal and Dave Taylor.

2012 – WWE Raw saw that year’s Slammy Awards presentation. John Cena was named Superstar Of The Year with Ryback winning the Newcomer Of The Year award. This was also the event at which Big E made his main roster WWE debut.

2017 – WWE Clash Of Champions took place at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston, Mass. The main event saw AJ Styles successfully defend the WWE Championship against Jinder Mahal. In the night’s only title change, Dolph Ziggler won the Intercontinental Championship in a triple-threat match against Bobby Roode and the defending champion, Baron Corbin.

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