41 years ago today, All Japan Pro Wrestling heads to Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan for the first time. In the show's main event, Giant Baba & The Destroyer defeated Dory Funk, Jr. and Jumbo Tsuruta.
19 years ago today at a RAW is WAR taping in Lowell, Massachusetts (WWE Network link), Triple H defeated Shawn Michaels to win the WWF European Championship.
In an event predating the infamous Fingerpoke of Doom a little over a year earlier, Michaels laid down for Helmsley as the members of D-Generation X made a mockery of the match ordered by then-WWF commissioner Sgt. Slaughter.
14 years ago today at an NWA-TNA PPV taping in Nashville, Tennessee, Sonny Siaki defeated Jerry Lynn to win the NWA X Division Championship.
11 years ago today, TNA presented Turning Point from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.
The event is noted for the announcement of the acquisition of mutli-time WCW champion Sting, and the no-show of Jeff Hardy. Hardy, who had missed multiple shows in the past, was suspended and subsequently released from the company. Hardy did not appear on TV for TNA in the final six months of his TNA run.
- In a preshow match, Lance Hoyt & The Naturals (Andy Douglas & Chase Stevens) defeated Buck Quartermain, Jon Bolen, and Joe Doering.
- Sabu defeated Abyss in a "Barbed Wire Massacre" match.
- Austin Aries & Matt Bentley defeated Alex Shelley & Roderick Strong.
- Raven defeated Chris K.
- Team Canada (A1, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, and Petey Williams) defeated 4 Live Kru (BG James, Kip James, Konnan, and Ron Killings).
- Chris Sabin, Dale Torborg, and Sonjay Dutt defeated Diamonds In The Rough (David Young, Elix Skipper, and Simon Diamond) in a tag team "Basebrawl" match.
- Christian Cage defeated Monty Brown to become #1 Contender to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
- Team 3D (Brother Devon & Brother Ray) defeated America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris & James Storm) in a tag team table match.
- Samoa Joe defeated AJ Styles to retain the TNA X-Division Championship.
- Jeff Jarrett defeated Rhino to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Championship.
7 years ago today at Guerra de Titanes (War of the Titans) in Ciudad Madero, Mexico, El Mesias defeated Dr. Wagner, Jr. in a Domo de la Muerte (Thunderdome) cage match to win the AAA Mega Championship.
6 years ago today, WWE presented Tribute to the Troops (WWE Network link) from Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. An estimated 50,000 people were in attendance for the event. To date, this is the last Tribute to the Troops event to be held outdoors.
The event aired on NBC on December 18 in a one-hour format, with the full two-hour show airing December 22 for USA. Only the tag match and the main event aired on NBC.
- Mark Henry won a 15-man battle royal last eliminating Sheamus. Other participants were John Morrison, Ezekiel Jackson, Chavo Guerrero, Daniel Bryan, Chris Masters, Cody Rhodes, Vladimir Kozlov, Santino Marella, David Otunga, Heath Slater, Justin Gabriel,Michael McGillicutty and Husky Harris.
- Kofi Kingston & The Big Show defeated Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger.
- R-Truth defeated Ted DiBiase.
- Natalya, Kelly Kelly, and The Bella Twins (Brie & Nikki) defeated LayCool (Michelle McCool & Layla), Melina, and Alicia Fox.
- Kane fought Major General Will Grimsley in an arm wrestling contest.
- John Cena, Randy Orton, and Rey Mysterio defeated The Miz, Wade Barrett, and Alberto Del Rio.
5 years ago today, TNA presented Final Resolution from the Impact Zone at Universal Orlando.
- Rob Van Dam defeated Christopher Daniels.
- Robbie E defeated Eric Young to retain the TNA Television Championship.
- Crimson and Matt Morgan defeated Devon and D'Angelo Dinero to retain the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
- Austin Aries defeated Kid Kash to retain the TNA X-Division Championship
- Gail Kim defeated Mickie James to retain the TNA Knockouts Championship.
- James Storm defeated Kurt Angle.
- Jeff Hardy defeated Jeff Jarrett in a steel cage match. With the win, the Jarretts were fired from TNA and Hardy became the #1 contender to the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. This bout would be the final TNA PPV for Jarrett until Slammiversary in June 2015. He oversaw TNA subsidiary Ring Ka King in India over the next year and returned to the company in 2013 in a backstage role. Jarrett would resign from the company in late December 2013 after a failed attempt to buy the company, but returned briefly in 2015 to promote his new venture, Global Force Wrestling.
- Bobby Roode and AJ Styles went to a 30-minute time limit draw tied 3-3 in an Ironman match for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship.
5 years ago today, WWE presented Tribute to the Troops (WWE Network link) from the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
After holding the event on army bases for the previous eight shows, the event was filmed in an actual arena for the first time. The show would air two days later on USA, and in a one-hour format for NBC December 17. Only the opener and the main event aired on NBC.
- In a preshow dark match, Santino Marella defeated Jinder Mahal.
- Randy Orton and Wade Barrett fought to a double countout.
- Zack Ryder defeated Jack Swagger.
- Daniel Bryan defeated Cody Rhodes.
- Alicia Fox, Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly, and Maria Menounos defeated Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and The Bella Twins (Brie Bella & Nikki Bella).
- Epico & Primo defeated Air Boom (Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston).
- Sheamus defeated Drew McIntyre.
- CM Punk, John Cena, and The Big Show defeated Alberto Del Rio, Mark Henry, and The Miz.
2 years ago today, NXT presented Takeover 3: R-Evolution (WWE Network link) from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida.
The show is noted for the debut of Kevin Steen, known going forward as Kevin Owens, one of the world's top independent wrestlers prior to signing with WWE.
- Kevin Owens defeated CJ Parker.
- The Lucha Dragons (Kalisto and Sin Cara) defeated The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch) to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship.
- Baron Corbin defeated Tye Dillinger in just 41 seconds.
- Finn Bálor and Hideo Itami defeated The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor).
- Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks to retain the NXT Women's Championship.
- Sami Zayn defeated Adrian Neville to win the NXT Championship.
It's a happy 42nd birthday for Óscar Gutiérrez, but wrestling fans know him best as Rey Mysterio, Jr.
Born in Chula Vista, California (a suburb of San Diego), Gutierrez was trained by his uncle Miguel Ángel López Díaz, aka Rey Mysterio, Sr., and wrestled his early days in Mexico. His professional debut came in 1989 at just age 14. Working as La Lagartija Verde and Colibri, Miguel eventually passed on the Rey Mysterio name (Spanish for King Mystery) to his nephew.
Originally working for Mexico's AAA from 1992 to 1995, Gutierrez would debut stateside for ECW in 1995, but get his first mainstream national exposure for WCW in 1996. He remained with the company until its sale in 2001, winning the WCW Cruiserweight Championship five times, the tag team titles three times with three different partners (Billy Kidman, Konnan, and Juventud Guerrera), and be a part of one of only two teams to win the cruiserweight tag team championship. Controversially, while in WCW, Rey lost his mask, losing it in a tag team match in 1999.
Following WCW's shutdown, Rey returned to Mexico, working just ten matches for CMLL before returning to the United States, most notably for IWA Mid-South and the Heartland Wrestling Association.
In June 2002, Rey signed with WWE. The Jr. part of his name was dropped, and Rey began wrestling with the mask again (but only after getting permission from lucha libre organizations to do so; Mexican tradition frowns upon those that wear a mask again after losing it, but Rey got the green light as he had not lost it in a traditional mask versus mask bout). In keeping with kayfabe, any footage of Rey unmasked in WCW is modified to censor Rey's face (this may no longer be true; a broadcast of WCW Sin on WWE’s Classics on Demand service
Rey would be a part of the vaunted "Smackdown Six" in WWE's early days of the brand extension, and in his 13 years in the promotion, he would also be among its most successful and popular wrestlers. He would win the WWE tag team championship four times with four different partners (Edge, Rob Van Dam, Eddie Guerrero, and Batista), the cruiserweight championship three times, the 2006 Royal Rumble (his 62 minute, 12 second run still stands as the longest in Rumble history), the World Heavyweight Championship twice, and in 2011, the WWE Championship.
Following his release from WWE in February 2015, Mysterio returned to Mexico, competing for AAA. Three weeks after his release, Mysterio was a part of a tag team match where Perro Aguayo, Jr. died following a freak in-ring accident. Though he contemplated retirement, Mysterio returned to the ring two years later to form a dream lucha libre team that included Myzteziz and El Patron Alberto (also ex-WWE employees), defeating another trio of ex-WWErs in Johnny Mundo, Mr. Anderson, and Matt Hardy to win the AAA Lucha Libre World Cup. In August, Mysterio defeated Myzteziz by submission in what was billed as a dream match at Triplemania XXIII. In February 2016, just one year after his return, Mysterio left due to financial issues with the company.
On December 12, 2015, Rey signed on to appear on the second season of Lucha Underground. Mysterio’s first notable apperance came during the promotion’s second Aztec Warfare match. He entered second and was the last man eliminated by the match’s eventual winner, Matanza. On January 10 (airing April 27), Mysterio teamed with Dragon Azteca Jr. and Prince Puma to win a four trios elimination match for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship. At Ultima Lucha Dos, Mysterio defeated Prince Puma. His winning streak continued in the third season premiere with a victory over Pentagon Dark.
Rey is a recipient of many honors from Wrestling Observer Newsletter; most notably the 2002 Match of the Year from his part in the No Mercy WWE Tag Team Championship match, the 1992 Rookie of the Year, the Most Outstanding Wrestler of 1996, and a six-time Best Flying Wresler (he won the award three straight years twice, first from 1995 to 1997, and again from 2002 to 2004). He also has three five-star bouts to his credit and is a member of the publication's Hall of Fame class of 2010. Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked him as the #4 wrestler in the world in 1999, and is among the top 100 singles wrestlers of the PWI years in 2003.
Oscar has been married for 20 years to his wife Angie, and the couple have two children: 19-year old Dominic, and 15-year old Aaliyah. He is a devout Roman Catholic, frequently crossing himself prior to every match, and has many religious-themed tattoos on his body. He also has tattoos dedicated to his family, most notably his children's names on each bicep.
The best of cSs on this day:
2015: There is a petition to remove Donald Trump from the WWE Hall of Fame (Trump’s racist remarks on the campaign trail should get him the Hulk Hogan treatment, removing him from the WWE Hall of Fame, says one petition)
2014: CM Punk does not belong in UFC (CM Punk’s interview on Fox Sports Live suggests he probably hasn’t thought this whole UFC thing through, says the General)
2013: Stone Cold and Y2J discuss Lesnar incident, the birth of 3:16 and more on Jericho's new podcast (Chris Jericho talks with fellow podcaster Stone Cold Steve Austin on the debut episodes of Talk is Jericho)
2012: Mark Henry WWE return still apparently up in the air (After being radio silent on Twitter for months, Mark Henry gives an update on his WWE return status)
2011: The big D: Leave it to Linda Hogan to make me feel bad for Hulk Hogan (One day after Hulk Hogan sues his ex-wife Linda—who got 70% of Hogan’s assets in the divorce back in 2009—claiming defamation, Sergio Hernandez actually feels for the Hulkster. Sort of)
2010: Has Keith Kizer suddenly seen the light regarding MMA judging changes? (Multiple people call out Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer on MMA judging processes following The Ultimate Fighter 12 finale)