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1997 – On WCW Monday Nitro Sting, in his ‘Crow’ gimmick, rappelled from the rafters of the arena. He appeared to confront ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage and test his loyalty to the WCW cause by offering Savage a free shot at his back with a baseball bat. Savage declined the shot and they left the ring together.
1998 – Bobo Brazil, one of the key figures in breaking down barriers for African-American wrestlers, passed away in St. Joseph, Michigan from complications following a succession of strokes. He was 74 years old. In October 1962, Brazil became the first African-American NWA Heavyweight Champion when he beat ‘Nature Boy’ Buddy Rogers.
1998 – On an episode of Raw Is War, Owen Hart became the WWF European Champion when he defeated Goldust. What was unusual about the title change was that the champion was in fact Triple H, who was feigning an injury to get himself out of the match. WWF Commissioner Sgt. Slaughter allowed Goldust, dressed as Triple H, to take his place in the match.
2002 – The Phillips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia played host to the Royal Rumble PPV. The Rumble match itself was won by Triple H, eliminating Kurt Angle for the victory. The match also saw possibly the most talked about Rumble elimination in history when Tough Enough rookie Maven shockingly eliminated The Undertaker.
The event also saw the first WWE in-ring action since 1993 for two iconic stars. Firstly, Ric Flair wrestled Vince McMahon in his first WWE match since losing a ‘Loser Leaves Town’ match on Monday Night Raw in 1993. The man who defeated him in that match, Mr. Perfect also made his first in-ring appearance in WWE since the same year when he entered the Rumble match. Perfect made it to the final three and was eliminated by Triple H.
2003 – On Raw from Providence, Rhode Island, William Regal and Lance Storm unseated The Dudley Boyz to win the WWE World Tag Team Championships.
2014 – Future WWE Hall Of Famer and newly minted Hollywood star Batista made his return to WWE for the first time since 2010. He declared his entry for the Royal Rumble, a match he would later go on to win. On the same show, CM Punk wrestled Billy Gunn in what would transpire to be Punk’s last match in WWE. He walked out of the company after the Royal Rumble six days later.
2018 – At Rev Pro’s ‘High Stakes’ event from York Hall in London, UK, Zack Sabre Jr. and Minoru Suzuki defeated Tyler Bate and Trent Seven for the promotion’s Tag Team Championships.
2020 – On Monday Night Raw in Wichita, Kansas, Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy won the Raw Tag Team Championship from Erik and Ivar, The Viking Raiders.
2021 – On NXT, Timothy Thatcher defeated Tommaso Ciampa in only the second-ever Fight Pit match.
Notable Wrestling Birthdays: