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This Day in Wrestling History (Dec. 22): nWo Monday Nitro

17 years ago today, WCW experimented with an episode of nWo Monday Nitro (WWE Network link) from Macon, Georgia.

The New World Order portion of the program takes up about a significant portion of what was, if you can believe it, the final Nitro before Starrcade. The experiment was to see if the nWo could sustain its own program and let WCW had its own show (in this case, the soon-to-be-debuting Thunder, as the nWo would take over Nitro).  The experiment was largely a failure: it took nearly a half hour to transform the set, and ratings dropped 25% during that time, yet Nitro narrowly won the night over a RAW that featured Shawn Michaels laying down for Triple H to win the European Championship.

15 years ago today at a RAW is WAR taping in Chattanooga, Tenneessee, Raven defeated Steve Blackman to win the WWF Hardcore Championship.

7 years ago today, NBC cancels the rebooted American Gladiators hosted by Hulk Hogan. Former WWE and TNA wrestler Matt Morgan, Tough Enough contestant Justice Smith, and MMA fighter-turned-actress Gina Carano were among the Gladiators on the show.

7 years ago today at a Smackdown taping in Toronto, Canada, Maryse defeated Michelle McCool to win the WWE Divas Championship. Maria was the special referee. Maryse would the championship for 216 days, a record that stood until 2014 when AJ Lee surpassed the mark at 295 days. That mark wouldn't last either; Nikki Bella breaks THAT mark in September 2015 with a 301-day run.

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1 year ago today, WWE presented It's a RAW Christmas! (WWE Network link) from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • John Cena defeated Seth Rollins.
  • Fandango defeated Jack Swagger.
  • R-Truth defeated Adam Rose in just 54 seconds.
  • Roman Reigns defeated The Big Show by countout. This was Reigns' first televised match after missing three months following a sports hernia injury.
  • Natalya defeated Brie Bella.
  • Los Matadores (Diego & Fernando) & El Torito defeated Gold & Stardust.
  • Dolph Ziggler defeated Luke Harper to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
  • Naomi, Alicia Fox, and Emma defeated Cameron, Paige, and Summer Rae in a Santa's Little Helpers match.
  • The Miz defeated Jey Uso.
  • Bray Wyatt defeated Dean Ambrose in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight.
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