32 years ago today in Tokyo, Japan, Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Riki Choshu by countout to win the WWF International Heavyweight Championship. Or did he? Actually, Fujinami turned down the belt. A rematch was scheduled for eight days later in Calgary, but Choshu could not get into Canada, thus Fujinami was awarded the title via forfeit.
26 years ago today, the Adkisson family's World Class Wrestling Association (originally World Class Championship Wrestling) merged with the Memphis-based Continental Wrestling Association to form the United States Wrestling Association. Jerry Jarrett, the new principal owner of the merged companies, was not allowed by the Adkissons to use the World Class name following the event. The final match before the official merge saw Eric Embry defeat P.Y. Chu-Hi in a steel cage match.
In an interesting side note, on the same show, Cactus Jack and Scott Braddock defeated Jeff Jarrett and Matt Borne to win the WCCW World Tag Team Championship on the same show.
20 years ago today at SMW's Superbowl of Wrestling from Knoxville, Tennessee, The Heavenly Bodies (Jimmy Del Ray and Tom Pritchard) defeated The Thugs (Tony Anthony and Tracy Smothers) to win the SMW Tag Team Championship. They would be the last champions in the promotion's history before the promotion shut down in December.
20 years ago today, WCW presented Collision in Korea. The event, originally taped over two days in April, was co-promoted by New Japan Pro Wrestling. It was the first North American wrestling PPV to take place in North Korea. With a reported combined attendance of 340,000 people, it's the largest attended pro wrestling event ever. Results below are matches that were broadcast on the PPV.
- Wild Pegasus defeated 2 Cold Scorpio.
- Yuji Nagata defeated Tokimitsu Ishizawa via submission.
- Masahiro Chono and Hiro Saito defeated El Samurai and Tadao Yasuda.
- Bull Nakano and Akira Hokuto defeated Manami Toyota and Mariko Yoshida.
- Shinya Hashimoto fought Scott Norton to a 20-minute time limit draw for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
- Road Warrior Hawk defeated Tadao Yasuda.
- The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott) defeated Hiroshi Hase and Kensuke Sasaki.
- Antonio Inoki defeated Ric Flair.
18 years ago today on the 100th episode of WCW Monday Nitro from Auburn Hills, Michigan, Lex Luger defeated Hollywood Hogan via submission to win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. The win ended Hogan's run as WCW champion just six days short of a full calendar year. His moment of glory wouldn't last long, as just five days later at Road Wild in Sturgis, South Dakota, Hogan would defeat Luger and regain the world title.
13 years ago today at a Smackdown taping (WWE Network link) in Richmond, Virginia, Brock Lesnar scored perhaps the most stunning defeat in Smackdown history when he defeated Hulk Hogan via referee stoppage. It would be Hogan's final appearance in WWE until the following January.
7 years ago today on RAW from Knoxville, Tennessee, Batista and John Cena defeated Legacy (Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase Jr.) to win the WWE World Tag Team Championship. The duo would lose the championships back to Legacy just one week later.
4 years ago today, Jonathan Figueroa, best known to wrestling fans as Amazing Red, announced his departure from TNA via Twitter. Figueroa had been with TNA off and on for the past nine years, save for a two-year retirement in 2006 and 2007.
Today is the 38th birthday of Frank Gerdelman, best known as Frankie Kazarian. He had a cup of coffee in the WWE, but his best successes came in TNA, where he is a five-time X Division champion and twice tag team champion. He also won the PWG world title twice, once in 2003, and again in 2004. After nearly a decade in TNA, he debuted last summer for Ring of Honor at Best in the World. He is currently one-half of the ROH world tag team champions with longtime partner Christopher Daniels as The Addiction.
Today's the 54th birthday of Dean Simon, best known to wrestling fans as Dean Malenko. Today, Malenko works as a road agent for WWE, but he's won just about everywhere he's been as a wrestler. He's a two-time ECW World Television Champion, four-time WCW Cruiserweight Champion, United States Champion, and tag team champion, and twice light heavyweight champion in the WWF. The "Man of 1000 Holds" was the #1 ranked wrestler in the world according to Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 1997, and won Best Technical Wrestler from Wrestling Observer Newsletter in 1996 and 1997.
Today is the 49th birthday of Kensuke Sasaki. Along with Yoshihiro Takayama, he is one of just two men to hold every major puroresu heavyweight championship (New Japan's IWGP Heavyweight Championship, which he held five times, the All Japan Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, and Pro Wrestling NOAH's GHC Heavyweight Championship). Sasaki briefly held the WCW United States Championship in late 1995. Sasaki and his wife, fellow wrestler Akira Hokuto, ran their own independent company, Kensuke Office (later known as Diamond Ring) from 2005 until his retirement in 2014. The company served as a developmental territory for Pro Wrestling NOAH. The promotion folded following Sasaki's retirement.