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This Day in Wrestling History (Dec. 17): The Last Starrcade

this day in wrestling history

110 years ago today in Kansas City, Missouri, Frank Gotch defeated Fred Beel to win the American Heavyweight Championship for the third time.

37 years ago today in New York City, Bob Backlund defeated Bobby Duncum in a Texas deathmatch to win the vacant WWF Championship.

The title was vacated ten days earlier after Antonio Inoki refused the championship following a title defense with Backlund was ruled a no contest. Inoki's one week run is not recognized by WWE, and recognizes Bob Backlund's run from 1978 to 1983 a single championship reign.

21 years ago today, WWF presented In Your House 5: Season's Beatings (WWE Network link) from the Hershey Park Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania. 7,289 were in attendance, with 110,000 homes watching on PPV.

  • In a preshow Free For All match, Savio Vega defeated Bob Backlund.
  • Marty Jannetty & Razor Ramon defeated Sycho Sid & The 1-2-3 Kid.
  • Ahmed Johnson defeated Buddy Landel in just 42 seconds. Landel was the substitute opponent for Dean Douglas, who claimed a back injury as the reason for not competing. For Douglas, this was his last WWF appearance, as he was released following the event.
  • Hunter Hearst Helmsley defeated Henry O. Godwinn in an Arkansas Hog Pen match. Hillbilly Jim was the special referee.
  • Owen Hart defeated Diesel by disqualification.
  • The Undertaker defeated King Mabel in a casket match.
  • Bret Hart defeated The British Bulldog to retain the WWF Championship.
  • In a post-show dark match, Goldust defeated Duke Droese.
  • In a post-show dark match, Barry Horowitz, Hakushi & The Smoking Gunns (Bart & Billy Gunn) defeated The Body Donnas (Skip & Zip), Isaac Yankem & Yokozuna.

17 years ago today at an ECW on TNN taping in Nashville, Tennessee (WWE Network link), Masato Tanaka defeated Mike Awesome to win the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.

16 years ago today, WCW presented Starrcade (WWE Network link) from the MCI Center in Washington, DC. 6,596 were in attendance, with just 50,000 homes watching on PPV.

Consider how staggering that number is for a moment: 1999's event had 145,000 buys. 1998's event had 460,000 buys. 1997's event, the high point of WCW's history had 700,000 buys. It's the least bought WCW event since Starrcade 1987, which only had 20,000 buys. Considering that many more homes had PPV access in 2000 than in 1987, the 2000 number is much more disastrous as the show’s buyrate was a reported 0.11, meaning just over one in a thousand homes with PPV access bought the show.

From its Starrcade 1997 buyrate (1.9) to here, WCW had lost 95% of its PPV audience in just three years.

  • 3-Count (Shane Helms & Shannon Moore) defeated Kaz Hayashi & Yang and Jamie Noble & Evan Karagias in a three-team ladder match.
  • Lance Storm defeated Ernest "The Cat" Miller.
  • Terry Funk defeated Crowbar to win the WCW Hardcore Championship.
  • KroniK (Brian Adams & Bryan Clarke) defeated Big Vito & Reno.
  • Mike Awesome defeated Bam Bam Bigelow in a Ambulance Match.
  • General Rection (defeated Shane Douglas by disqualification to retain the WCW United States Championship.
  • The Harris Brothers & Jeff Jarrett defeated The Filthy Animals (Konnan, Billy Kidman, and Rey Mysterio).
  • The Insiders (Kevin Nash & Diamond Dallas Page) defeated Perfect Event (Chuck Palumbo & Shawn Stasiak) to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Goldberg defeated Lex Luger.
  • Scott Steiner defeated Sid Vicious to retain the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

11 years ago today, Ring of Honor presented Final Battle from the Inman Sports Complex in Edison, New Jersey.

  • Jimmy Rave defeated Milano Collection AT.
  • Colt Cabana defeated Azrieal.
  • Nigel McGuinness defeated Claudio Castagnoli by disqualification to retain the ROH Pure Championship.
  • Alex Shelley defeated Steve Corino.
  • Jay Lethal defeated BJ Whitmer, Christopher Daniels, and Samoa Joe in a Four Corner Survival match.
  • Ricky Reyes defeated Davey Andrews.
  • Generation Next (Austin Aries & Roderick Strong) defeated Tony Mamaluke & Sal Rinauro to win the ROH Tag Team Championship.
  • Bryan Danielson defeated Naomichi Marufuji to retain the ROH World Championship.
  • KENTA defeated Low Ki to retain the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship.

10 years ago today, WWE presented Armageddon (WWE Network link) from the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, Virginia. 8,200 were in attendance, with 239,000 homes watching on PPV.

  • In a preshow dark match, Oleg Prudius defeated Scotty 2 Hotty.
  • Kane defeated Montel Vontavious Porter in an Inferno match. This was the last Inferno match contested in WWE until Summerslam in 2013, which featured Kane and Bray Wyatt.
  • Paul London & Brian Kendrick defeated William Regal & Dave Taylor, MNM (Joey Mercury and Johnny Nitro), & The Hardys (Matt and Jeff) in a Fatal Four Way ladder match to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship. The match is remembered for a gruesome nose injury Joey Mercury suffered in the bout when he was hit in the face with a ladder. Mercury required more than 30 stitches and wore a protective mask for some time.
  • The Boogeyman defeated The Miz.
  • Chris Benoit defeated Chavo Guerrero to retain the WWE United States Championship.
  • Gregory Helms defeated Jimmy Wang Yang to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
  • The Undertaker defeated Mr. Kennedy in a Last Ride match.
  • Batista and John Cena defeated King Booker's Court (Finlay and King Booker).

4 years ago today, WWE presented the 2012 Slammy Awards (WWE Network link) on a special edition of RAW from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The show also featured the main roster debut of Big E Langston in the main event.

  • "Tell Me I Did Not Just See That" Moment of the Year: Kofi Kingston does handstand to avoid elimination from the Royal Rumble match
  • Comeback of the Year: Jerry Lawler
  • Kiss of the Year: AJ Lee and John Cena
  • Superstar of the Year: John Cena
  • LOL Moment of the Year: The Rock insults John Cena using the history of Boston
  • Trending Now of the Year: Ryback's #FeedMeMore
  • Newcomer of the Year: Ryback
  • Match of the Year: Undertaker vs. Triple H III (Hell in a Cell) at Wrestlemania XXVIII

It's a happy 41st birthday for Nicholas Dinsmore.

Best known for his time as Eugene in the WWE from 2004 to 2007, Dinsmore is arguably the most successful wrestler in Ohio Valley Wrestling history, winning the OVW Heavyweight Championship ten times and Southern Tag Team Championships eleven times (ten of them as one half of the Lords of the Ring with Rob Conway).

This isn't to say Eugene wasn't successful in the WWE; he was briefly a tag team champion with William Regal in 2004, and was ranked in the top 25 singles wrestlers in the world by Pro Wrestling Illustrated that year.

Dinsmore also had a brief run in Ring of Honor in late 2010 and with TNA's India-based Ring Ka King in 2011, and briefly served as a trainer for WWE's developmental program in 2013 and 2014.

Dinsmore recently has begun running his own shows under the banner of Midwest All Pro. Nick married longtime girlfriend Stephanie Fischer in November 2015.

The best of cSs on this day:

2015: Roman Reigns gets his custom WWE world heavyweight title side plates (With a new WWE world champion comes new side plates)

2014: Tyler Reks: "WWE wrestlers break their bodies to barely pay their bills" (Reks in an interview with WrestlingInc says that lower-tier wrestlers in WWE struggle to pay their bills)

2013: CSS Year-End Awards: Match of the Year nomination thread (Cagesiders pick the best matches of 2013)

2012: Triple H: You haven't seen the last of the Undertaker (Triple H pretty much confirms during his Slammy Award-winning speech for match of the year that Undertaker will be back)

2011: Dave Batista explains the problem with WWE booking The Miz while complaining about the PG Era (Batista—who did his best work in the PG Era—complains about the PG Era to The Daily Star)

2010: Will UFC's long awaited return to Brazil prove to be bittersweet? (UFC to run a show in Brazil in August 2011, their first visit there in 13 years—it was hardly bittersweet; the show won event of the year for 2011 by MMA website Sherdog)

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