34 years ago today, El Hijo del Santo, the son of legendary luchadore El Santo, makes his professional wrestling debut. His debut actually came eight months earlier under the name El Korak, but Santo would not allow his son to take on his name and mask until he finished college.
El Hijo del Santo, real name Jorge Guzman Rodriguez, would wrestle under the mask for more than 30 years, until spinal damage forced him away from the ring in late 2014. He would win championships in five different organizations in Mexico, and was recognized in 2008 by the World Boxing Council as their wrestling champion for significant contributions to the sport.
19 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The FBI (Little Guido & Tracy Smothers) defeated The Gangstinators (John Kronus & New Jack) to win the ECW World Tag Team Championship.
18 years ago today, WWF presented Judgment Day: In Your House (WWE Network link) from the Rosemont Horizon in Chicago, Illinois. 18,153 were in attendance, with 327,000 homes watching on PPV.
In matches airing on Sunday Night Heat:
- Steve Blackman defeated Bradshaw.
- The Oddities (Giant Silva, Kurrgan, and Golga) defeated Los Boricuas (Jose Estrada, Miguel Perez, Jr., and Jesus Castillo).
- The Godfather defeated Faarooq.
- Scorpio defeated Jeff Jarrett.
- Al Snow defeated Marc Mero.
- L.O.D. 2000 (Hawk, Animal and Droz) defeated Disciples of Apocalypse (8-Ball, Skull and Paul Ellering).
- Christian defeated Taka Michinoku to win the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship. This was Christian's debut match.
- Goldust defeated Val Venis.
- X-Pac defeated D'Lo Brown to win the WWF European Championship.
- The Headbangers (Mosh and Thrasher) defeated The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) by disqualification for the WWF Tag Team Championships.
- Ken Shamrock defeated Mankind to retain the WWF Intercontinental Championship.
- Mark Henry defeated The Rock.
- The Undertaker fought Kane to a no contest for the vacant WWF Championship. Stone Cold Steve Austin was the special referee. Per a pre-match stipulation, since the match did not have a conclusive winner, Austin was fired. Needless to say, the stipulation didn't stick, and Austin appeared on RAW is WAR the next night.
17 years ago today on RAW is WAR from Columbus, Ohio (WWE Network link), The Hollys (Crash & Hardcore) defeated the Rock ‘n Sock Connection to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. It was the second tag title change in less than a week, and the seventh in as many weeks.
17 years ago today on Nitro from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (WWE Network link), The Filthy Animals (Konnan & Rey Mysterio, Jr.) defeated Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
The Animals would be forced to vacate the titles the less than a week later when Mysterio suffered a leg injury late in the bout
Of note, this show was the first for WCW under new head writers Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara, who had signed with the company after abruptly leaving the WWF two weeks prior. Though the show did a 3.3 rating, their best in a month, it was still trounced by WWF’s RAW is WAR, which did a 5.4 (which was down from 6.1 the week prior).
12 years ago today on RAW from Chicago, Illinois (WWE Network link), Edge defeated Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels in a triple threat match.
The match served as a tuneup for Taboo Tuesday the next night, as one of the three men would face Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. Shawn Michaels, who suffered a torn meniscus in the triple threat match, would win the vote.
11 years ago today at a Smackdown taping from Reno, Nevada, Booker T defeated Chris Benoit to win the WWE United States Championship.
7 years ago today, TNA presented Bound for Glory from the Bren Events Center in Irvine, California.
- The Amazing Red defeated Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Daniels, Homicide and Suicide in an Ultimate X match to retain the TNA X-Division Championship.
- Sarita & Taylor Wilde defeated The Beautiful People (Madison Rayne & Velvet Sky to retain the TNA Knockout Tag Team Championships.
- Eric Young defeated Kevin Nash and Hernandez in a three-way match to win the TNA Legends Championship.
- The British Invasion (Brutus Magnus & Doug Williams) and Team 3D (Brother Devon & Brother Ray) defeated Booker T & Scott Steiner and Beer Money Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) in a Full Metal Mayhem Double Ladder Four Way match for the TNA and IWGP Tag Team Championships. The British Invasion won the TNA tag titles, while Team 3D won the IWGP tag titles.
- ODB defeated Awesome Kong and Tara in a three-way match to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship.
- Bobby Lashley defeated Samoa Joe in a submission match.
- Abyss defeated Mick Foley in a Monster's Ball match. Dr. Stevie was the special referee.
- Kurt Angle defeated Matt Morgan.
- AJ Styles defeated Sting to retain the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
6 years ago today, WWE launches their "Stand Up for WWE" campaign.
While on the surface it was a way for fans to respond to critical backlash from mainstream media against the company, many saw it as a thinly veiled attempt to get fans to support Linda McMahon's senatorial bid in Connecticut. Linda still would get crushed in the polls, as she lost in the general election to Richard Blumenthal the next month.
4 years ago today, TNA announces via press release that Bruce Prichard has been hired as TNA's senior vice president of programming and talent relations. He would hold the position for less than a year before being released during their summer of budget cuts in 2013.
2 years ago today at SHIMMER Volume 68 from Berwyn, Illinois, Nicole Matthews defeated Athena, Cheerleader Melissa, and Madison Eagles in a fatal-four way elimination match to win the SHIMMER Championship. The win for Matthews ends a 560-day run for the then only multiple-time SHIMMER Champion ever.
Well, the only one ever until nearly a year later. On October 10, 2015, Eagles defeated Matthews to join Cheerleader Melissa as the only multi-time SHIMMER Champions ever. Mercedes Martinez holds the title now, defeating Eagles at SHIMMER Volume 85 in June.
It's a happy 33rd birthday for John Smith, though he wrestles by a different name: Simon Gotch.
Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, Smith competed on the independent circuit for more than a decade, most notably as early 20th century grappler Ryan Drago. Drago is most noted for defeating a bear via technical decapitation.
He was signed to a WWE developmental deal in June 2013 as Simon Gotch, an ode to Frank and Karl Gotch, two outstanding wrestlers in their day. A year later, Gotch made his debut as one-half of the Vaudevillains with Aiden English, a pair of old-timey vaudevillians. At NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, with the help of Leva "Blue Pants" Bates, defeated Wesley Blake and Buddy Murphy to win the NXT Championship. Their reign would be a brief one, ending just two months later at the hands of The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder).
It’s a happy 57th birthday to John Nord.
Trained by Eddie Sharkey, Nord had stops in Mid-South Wrestling, the American Wrestling Association, World Class Championship Wrestling, and Pacific Northwest Wrestling before landing in the WWF in 1991.
Initially called The Viking, Nord became The Berzerker, a savage wrestler who would preferably win matches by throwing their opponent over the top rope for a countout while shouting “HUSS! HUSS! HUSS!” (this was done as a tribute to Bruiser Brody).
Nord’s highest profile victory in the WWF was when he won a 40-man battle royal on Prime Time Wrestling in July 1992. Later that year, Nord challenged Bret Hart for the WWF Championship, but was quickly submitted by the champion.
In December 1992, Nord was the lookout man when Kevin Wacholz (aka Nailz) got into a dispute with Vince McMahon over his payout at Summerslam. The dispute turned violent and after the dust had settled, Wacholz was fired. Nord was gone not long after.
After a three-year stint in All Japan Pro Wrestling, part of which he teamed with Stan Hansen, Nord joined WCW in 1997 under his real name. He wrestled primarily on WCW Saturday Night, running up a long winning streak until he was defeated by Bill Goldberg on Nitro in July 1998.
After retiring from wrestling in 2002, Nord went to work at his brother’s auto dealership, Nord East Motors, in Hilltop, Minnesota.