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This Day in Wrestling History (Dec. 23): Happy Birthday Great Muta!

this day in wrestling history

17 years ago today at an ECW on TNN taping in White Plains, New York, Mike Awesome defeated Masato Tanaka win the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.

16 years ago today, ECW held their final event ever at the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The event, Holiday Hell, came just two weeks before ECW's shutdown.

  • Chilly Willy and The Blue Boy fought to a no contest.
  • Danny Doring and Amish Roadkill defeated Da Baldies (Tony DeVito & Spanish Angel) to retain the ECW World Tag Team Championship.
  • Balls Mahoney defeated Bilvis Wesley.
  • Jerry Lynn defeated Spike Dudley.
  • CW Anderson defeated Super Crazy.
  • EZ Money defeated Nova via TKO. The referee stopped the match when Nova was bleeding from the ear.
  • EZ Money, Chris Hamrick, and Julio Dinero defeated Tommy Dreamer, Joey Matthews, and Christian York.
  • The Unholy Alliance (Mikey Whipwreck & Yoshihiro Tajiri) defeated The FBI (Little Guido & Tony Mamaluke) 2-1 in a best of three falls match.
  • Steve Corino defeated The Sandman and Justin Credible in a three-way dance match to retain the ECW World Heavyweight Championship. Near the end of the match, fans threw chairs into the ring. Post-match, Sandman laid Corino out and left with the ECW Championship belt.

10 years ago today, Ring of Honor presented Final Battle from the Manhattan Center in New York City.

  • Jimmy Rave defeated Christopher Daniels, Davey Richards, and El Generico in a Four Corner Survival match.
  • Adam Pearce defeated Ricky Reyes.
  • Jimmy Jacobs & Brent Albright defeated Colt Cabana & BJ Whitmer.
  • The Briscoe Brothers (Jay & Mark Briscoe) defeated the Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli).
  • Jimmy Rave defeated Nigel McGuinness.
  • CIMA, Shingo & Matt Sydal defeated Austin Aries, Roderick Strong & Delirious.
  • Homicide defeated Bryan Danielson to win the ROH World Championship. The win ended Danielson's record run of successful title defenses at 38 over 15 months. The number of title defenses would be tied by Nigel McGuiness, who had 38 defenses over an 18-month period.

7 years ago today, THQ and WWE announce they have signed a new eight-year agreement to develop and publish WWE video games effective January 1.

This comes just a day after a long-standing lawsuit between THQ, WWE, and Jakks Pacific was settled out of court. From Reuters:

THQ and its joint venture partner, Jakks Pacific Inc, settled litigation with World Wrestling Entertainment Inc over licenses for wrestling-themed video games and toys, the companies said on Tuesday.

The settlement calls for THQ and Jakks to dissolve their joint venture at year's end, and for THQ to enter into a new, 8-year licensing agreement directly with WWE starting January 1, 2010, the companies said in a press release.

Under the settlement, THQ will pay WWE $13.2 million, and pay Jakks Pacific $20 million over the next four years in addition to royalties due for the period ending December 31.

The three companies had sued each other over enforcement of the contract, which began in 1999 and was set to expire on December 31.

The settlement calls for the companies to withdraw all claims and end all litigation without any party admitting to wrongdoing, the companies said.

Analysts estimated that THQ and Jakks each made about $20 million a year from the WWE deal.

Almost two years to the day the agreement was signed, THQ files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and nearly all their assets, including their WWE video game publishing license, would be sold. In January 2013, Take Two Interactive, makers of the NBA 2K series, would acquire the publishing rights.

6 years ago today, Brandon Silvestry, aka Kaval, was released from WWE just six months after making his television debut for the company.

Silvestry, best known as inaugural Ring of Honor champion Low Ki, won the second season of NXT in August, but won just one singles match on television following his NXT win.

The reason for his release: according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter, creative had nothing for him, so Silvestry asked for his release, and it was granted.

5 years ago today, Ring of Honor presented Final Battle from the Manhattan Center in New York City.

  • Michael Elgin defeated TJ Perkins.
  • Tommaso Ciampa defeated Jimmy Rave.
  • Jay Lethal defeated El Generico and Mike Bennett to retain the ROH World Television Championship.
  • Kevin Steen defeated Steve Corino in a no disqualification match. Jimmy Jacobs was the special referee. With the win, Steen was reinstated as a member of the roster. Had he lost, he would have been banned from ROH for life.
  • The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) defeated Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander, Future Shock (Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly), The All-Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus), and The Bravado Brothers (Harlem & Lancelot) in a ROH World Tag Team Title #1 Contendership Tag Team Gauntlet match.
  • Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander defeated The Bravado Brothers.
  • Future Shock defeated Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander.
  • The Young Bucks defeated Future Shock.
  • The Young Bucks defeated The All-Night Express.
  • Roderick Strong defeated Chris Hero.
  • The Briscoes (Jay & Mark) defeated Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
  • Davey Richards defeated Eddie Edwards to retain the ROH World Championship.

It's a happy 54th birthday to Keiji Mutoh. Known sometimes under his real name, he's best known as legendary puroresu wrestler The Great Muta.

The former Master Sergeant in the Japanese military is one of three men to hold the NWA, All Japan, and IWGP Heavyweight Championships (the other two are Shinya Hashimoto and Satoshi Kojima). Mutoh is also a five-time AJPW tag team champion and a six-time IWGP tag team champion, the winner of WCW's Battlebowl in 1992, and the G1 Climax in 1995.

He's often credited as being one of the first Japanese wrestlers to achieve a significant fanbase in the United States, and birthed the "Muta scale" following a match against Hiroshi Hase, considered by many to be the bloodiest in wrestling history.

Mutoh was the president and owner of All Japan Pro Wrestling from 2002 to 2013; in June 2013, Mutoh led a second mutiny on All Japan Pro Wrestling (the first was led by Mitsuhara Misawa in 2000) and founded Wrestle-1.

Mutoh is one of the most honored wrestlers in history, winning Tokyo Sports Magazine's Wrestler of the Year award four times, their match of the year twice, and part of tag team of the year twice. Two of his bouts have been rated five stars from Wrestling Observer Newsletter, and won four awards from the publication in 2001 (Wrestler of the Year, Most Improved, Match of the Year, and Best Wrestling Manuever), and is a member of their Hall of Fame class of 1999. Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked him one of the 25 greatest singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003, and was ranked #3 in the 2002 PWI 500.

Mutoh has been married since 1992 to Hisae Ashida; the couple have two children.

The best of cSs on this day:

2015: Jack Swagger finally beats Rusev at Tribute to the Troops (After 31 unsuccessful attempts, Jack Swagger finally beats Rusev at Tribute to the Troops)

2014: WWE's Eva Marie on the cover of Muscle & Fitness Hers magazine (Ahead of a new season of Total Divas, Eva Marie graces the cover of Muscle & Fitness Hers)

2013: Batista's WWE return date set for Jan. 20, 2014, on Monday Night Raw (With Batista’s return as good as spoiled, WWE announces Batista to return on the RAW before the 2014 Royal Rumble)

2012: Jim Ross: It makes 'zero sense' for Undertaker's WrestleMania Streak to ever die (Jim Ross in his blog says The Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak should live on forever)

2011: X-Pac cancels appearance at Royal Rumble party in St. Louis (Sean Waltman cancelling his appearance at a bar in St. Louis leads to speculation he may be a surprise Royal Rumble entrant—didn’t quite turn out that way; he was arrested on two counts of drug possession a few days prior in Tampa)

2010: WWE names top 10 submission specialists (WWE releases a countdown video on submission specialists)

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