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JANUARY 4TH

THIS DAY IN WRESTLING HISTORY


1923 - Charlie Rentrop defeats Clarence Eklund for the World Light Heavyweight Title in Sheridan, Wyoming, ending Eklund's second reign.
1929 - Gus Sonnenberg defeats Ed "Strangler" Lewis to win the World Heavyweight Title in Boston, Massachusetts, ending Lewis' fifth reign. The National Wrestling Association would later withdraw its recognition of Sonnenberg in favor of Dick Shikat, based on Sonnenberg not facing "real contenders".
1933 - Rene Guajardo was born in Mexico
1945 - Frankie Talaber defeats The Great Mephisto for the Midwest Wrestling Association World Junior Heavyweight Title in Columbus, Ohio. This began Talaber's fourth reign and ended Mephisto's third.
1951 - Jackie Nichols ends Frankie Talaber's seventh MWA World Junior Heavyweight Title in Columbus, Ohio.
1955 - Lee Fields and Herb Welch defeat Mario Galento and Red Roberts in a tournament final to become the first holders of the Gulf Coast version of the NWA Southern Tag Team Title.
1957 - Chief Big Heart defeats Jerry Graham in Atlanta, Georgia, to win the Georgia version of the NWA Southern Heavyweight Title.
1958 - James Manley, better known in the WWF and WCW as Jim Powers, is born in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
1961 - Nick Bockwinkel and Edouard Carpentier defeat Stan Holek and The Preacher for the World Wrestling Association International Television Tag Team Title in Los Angeles, California, ending Holek and Preacher's second reign.
1962 - Chris and John Tolos win the Toronto version of the NWA International Tag Team Title for the second time, defeating Whipper Billy Watson and Yukon Eric.
1966 - Johnny Barend and Ripper Collins defeat Luther Lindsay and Bearcat Wright for the NWA Hawaii Tag Team Title in Honolulu, Hawaii.
1966 - La Parka II was born in Mexico
1970 - Chris Klucsaritis, better known as Mortis and Kanyon in the WCW and WWF, is born in Sunnyside, New York.
1971 - The Infernos defeat José Lothario and Danny Miller to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Title in Orlando, Florida.
1972 - Bobby Shane defeats Bob Roop for the NWA Florida Television Title in Tampa, Florida.
1974 - Dick Dunn defeats Duke Miller for the NWA Alabama Heavyweight Title in Dothan, Alabama, beginning his third reign.
1975 - Jackie Fargo defeats Don Kent to win the NWA Mid-America Heavyweight Title in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
1980 - Rimi Yokota defeats Chino Sato to become the first AJW Junior Champion in Tokyo, Japan.
1981 - Former World Light Heavyweight Champion Clarence Eklund dies at age 93.
1981 - Tomoko Kitamura (Lioness Asuka) defeats Noriko Kawakami for the AJW Junior Title in Tokyo, Japan. Rimi Yokota vacated the title in August 1980.
1983 - Bryce Remsberg, one of the top referees on the independent scene in the Northeast for CHIKARA, ROH and many other promotions, is born.
1986 - Arn Anderson defeats Wahoo McDaniel in a tournament final to win the vacant NWA World Television Title in Greensboro, North Carolina. The title was stripped from Dusty Rhodes on October 19 due to Rhodes having his leg broken by Ric Flair and Ole and Arn Anderson on September 29.
1986 - Condor Saito defeats Kazue Nagahori to win the vacant AJW Junior Title in Tokyo, Japan. Yumi Ogura vacated the title on December 12.
1988 - In Dallas, Texas, The Freebirds (Terry Gordy, King Parsons and Buddy Roberts) defeat Chris Adams, Matt Borne (subbing for Kevin Von Erich) and Steve Simpson to win the World Class Six-Man Tag Team Title.
1989 - Eric Embry defeats Cactus Jack for the World Class Light Heavyweight Title for the fifth time. Embry would be the final champion. The title was vacated in May after he won the World Class Texas Heavyweight Title on April 7, and abandoned in August when World Class became the USWA.
1989 - Madusa Miceli wins the IWA Japan Women's Title from Chigusa Nagayo in Tokyo, Japan.
1990 - Bull Nakano defeats Mitsuko Nishiwaki in a tournament final for the vacant WWWA World Singles Title in Tokyo, Japan. The title was vacated by Lioness Asuka on July 19, 1989 when she retired.
1992 - At New Japan Pro Wrestling's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Starrcade 1992 in Tokyo Dome", Riki Chōshū defeats Tatsumi Fujinami to retain his Greatest 18 Title and win the IWGP World Heavyweight Title. This ended Fujinami's fourth reign and began Chōshū's third.
1993 - At New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Fantastic Story in Tokyo Dome", IWGP World Heavyweight Champion The Great Muta defeats Masahiro Chono to win Chono's NWA World Title. Also, Jushin Liger defeats Ultimo Dragon for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title, beginning Liger's sixth reign.
1994 - At New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Battlefield", The Hell Raisers (Hawk Warrior (Road Warrior Hawk) and Power Warrior (Kensuke Sasaki)) defeat The Jurassic Powers (Hercules Hernandez and Scott Norton) to win the IWGP World Tag Team Title, beginning their second reign.
1995 - Memphis promoter John Regus dies at age 78.
1995 - At New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Battle 7", Antonio Inoki defeats Sting in the finals of the Final Countdown BVD Tournament.
1996 - At New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Wrestling World 1996", Nobuhiko Takada defeats Keiji Muto to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Title, ending Muto's second reign. Also, Jushin Liger defeats Koji Kanemoto for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title. This began Liger's seventh reign and ended Kanemoto's second.
1997 - At New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Wrestling World 1997", Tatsumi Fujinami and Kengo Kimura defeat Masahiro Chono and Hiroyoshi Tenzan to win the IWGP World Tag Team Title. This began Fujinami and Kimura's fourth reign and ended Chono and Tenzan's second. Also, Jushin Liger defeats Ultimo Dragon for the eight J-Crown titles.
1997 - Shotgun Saturday Night debuts and we see the WWF starting to go in a new direction which would become the Attitude Era.
1998 - Riki Chōshū wrestled what was then to be his final five career matches, consecutively, at New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Final Power Hall in Tokyo Dome". The series of matches was called the "Riki Road Final Message 5". Chōshū pinned Kazuyuki Fujita and Yutaka Yoshie after lariats, made Tatsuhito Takaiwa submit to the Sasori-Gatame (Chōshū's own finishing move), and was defeated by Takashi Iizuka by submission with an ankle lock. In his final match, Chōshū pinned Jushin Liger after a lariat.
1999 - The Monday Night War continued, and featured two very infamous moments, both occurring on WCW Monday Nitro. WWF RAW is WAR's show, taped December 28 in Worcester, Massachusetts at the Centrum, won the night with a 5.7 rating. That rating was contributed to by Tony Schiavone's comment that Mankind would win the WWF World Title on RAW and "put a lot of butts in the seats", during Nitro. Nitro was live from WCW's homebase, Atlanta, Georgia at the Georgia Dome, and featured "The Fingerpoke of Doom", when Hollywood Hulk Hogan simply poked WCW World Champion Kevin Nash in the chest as the two faced off, causing him to fall to the mat. Hogan pinned Nash, won his fifth WCW World Title, and the nWo was reformed.  The crowd at the Georgia Dome was stunned at the "main event" as it had been set up as Hogan and Nash having a grudge match.  Nitro came in second with a 5.0 rating.
1999 - Mick Foley wins his first WWF title by pinning The Rock thanks to some help from Stone Cold Steve Austin. It was one of the greatest moments to ever take place on Raw and one of the best crowd pops of all time.
1999 - At New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Wrestling World 1999", Keiji Muto defeats Scott Norton to win his third IWGP World Heavyweight Title. Also, Kendo Kashin and Dr. Wagner, Jr. defeat Shinjiro Otani and Tatsuhito Takaiwa for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title.
2000 - At New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Wrestling World 2000", Kensuke Sasaki pinned Genichiro Tenryu for his second IWGP World Heavyweight Title.
2000 - In Osaka, Japan, Super Delfin defeats Dick Togo to become the first Osaka Pro Wrestling Singles Champion, and Kuishimbo Kamen defeats Ebessan to become the first Osaka Pro World's Best Attraction Champion.
2000 - Manami Toyota wins her third WWWA World Singles Title, ending the third reign of Yumiko Hotta in Tokyo, Japan. At the same event, Rumi Kazama, Carol Midori and Eagle Sawai defeat Keiko Aono, Noriyo Tateno and Harley Saito for the Ladies' Legend Pro Wrestling Six-Woman Tag Team Title.
2001 - José de Jesus Díaz Mendoza, better known as Villano I, dies at age 54.
2001 - New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Wrestling World 2001", featured a six-man tournament for the vacant IWGP World Heavyweight Title, which was vacated on October 9 when then-champion Kensuke Sasaki lost a non-title match to Toshiaki Kawada. Kawada and Masahiro Chono received first-round byes in the tournament. 62,001 fans attended the event. The results:
- In a tournament quarterfinal match, Kensuke Sasaki defeated Satoshi Kojima by submission with a Boston crab.
- In a tournament quarterfinal match, IWGP World Tag Team Champion Hiroyoshi Tenzan pinned Yuji Nagata after a moonsault.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Koji Kanemoto and IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Minoru Tanaka defeated Shinya Makabe and Tatsuhito Takaiwa, when Kanemoto made Makabe submit with an ankle lock.
- Takashi Iizuka defeated Kendo Kashin with a sleeper hold.
- In a tournament semifinal match, Kensuke Sasaki defeated Masahiro Chono by submission with the Strangle Hold γ.
- In a tournament semifinal match, Toshiaki Kawada pinned IWGP World Tag Team Champion Hiroyoshi Tenzan after a powerbomb.
- Keiji Muto and Shinjiro Otani defeated Jushin Liger and Manabu Nakanishi, when Otani made Liger submit with a cobra twist.
- Riki Chōshū and Shinya Hashimoto fought to a no contest.
- Kensuke Sasaki pinned Toshiaki Kawada after a Northern Lights bomb to win the tournament and the vacant IWGP World Heavyweight Title, beginning his third reign.
2002 - Kayo Noumi defeats Kayoko Haruyama for the AJW World Singles Title in Tokyo, Japan, beginning her second reign.
2002 - Brett Bonz defeats John Allen to win the NWA Southwest Television Title in North Richland Hills, Texas.
2003 - At New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Wrestling World 2003", Yoshihiro Takayama defeats Tsuyoshi Kosaka to win the NWF Heavyweight Title, revived after 22 years of inactivity. Also, the Young Generation Cup four-man tournament took place, with Ryushi Yanagisawa defeating Yutaka Yoshie in the finals.
2003 - Mika Nishio defeats Kaori Yoneyama to win the AJW World Singles Title in Tokyo, Japan.
2003 - Kevin Northcutt defeats Rip Steele for the NWA Mississippi Heavyweight Title in Magee, Mississippi.
2003 - Justin Idol defeats Scottie Gash in a tournament final to win the vacant NWA East Three Rivers Title in McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
2003 - Superstar Steve defeats Takao Omori in Neosho, Missouri for the World League Wrestling Heavyweight Title.
2004 - At New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Wrestling World 2004", IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shinsuke Nakamura defeats NWF Heavyweight Champion Yoshihiro Takayama in Tokyo, Japan to unify the titles. The NWF title dates back to 1970 and Pedro Martinez's National Wrestling Federation, which was initially an NWA office, and was mainly defended in the Buffalo, New York, Cleveland, Ohio and Toronto, Ontario areas, until then-champion Johnny Powers took it with him on a tour of Japan. Powers lost the NWF title to Antonio Inoki in 1973, and the title remained a New Japan-promoted title until it was retired in 1981. In 2003, the title was revived by NJPW, but was again retired when Nakamura defeated Takayama. Also at the show, Jushin Liger defeats Takashi Sugiura for the Pro Wrestling NOAH GHC Junior Heavyweight Title.
2004 - Amazing Kong defeats Ayako Hamada to win the WWWA World Singles Title in Tokyo, Japan. At the same show, Saki Maemura and Kaori Yoneyama defeat Hikaru and Haruka Matsuo for the vacant WWWA World Tag Team Title.
2004 - Caprice Coleman defeats Rainman for the NWA Wildside Television Title in Cornelia, Georgia, ending Rainman's second reign.
2005 - At New Japan's annual Tokyo Dome show, "Toukon Festival: Wrestling World 2005", Tiger Mask defeated HEAT (Minoru Tanaka) for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title, beginning Tiger Mask's second reign and ending Tanaka's third. Also, Shinsuke Nakamura defeats Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the IWGP U-30 Title, and Ron Waterman won an eight-man MMA-style (worked) tournament, defeating Yuji Nagata in the final match.
2005 - Brian Beech defeats Deuce to win the Heartland Wrestling Association Television Title in Cincinnati, Ohio.
2006 - Aaron Stevens defeats CM Punk for the OVW Television Title in Louisville, Kentucky.
2007 - WWE signed their first third generation Diva, Nattie Neidhart, who would debut on the main roster as Natalya.  Neidhart is the granddaughter of Stu Hart.
2007 - Two-time NWA World Midgets' Champion Harold "Cowboy" Lang dies at age 56 in Portland, Oregon.
2007 - Kaio wins his third Italian Championship Wrestling Italian Heavyweight Title in Aosta, Italy, defeating Andres Diamond.
2008 - New Japan held their annual Tokyo Dome event. 
2009 - New Japan held their annual Tokyo Dome event.  Lee Relph penned the following....The day came at last where the pupil finally surpassed the teacher, as Hiroshi Tanahashi today defeated Keiji Muto to bring home the IWGP Heavyweight Title. Tanahashi and Nakamura, the latter of whom defended the New Japan ring against Pro Wrestling NOAH, are in the lead going into the New Year, and it was Nakamura who Tanahashi nominated as his first defence opponent. New Japan Pro-Wrestling is a company with a history of massive inter-promotional warfare though, and the return of both its greatest prize as well as the junior title was soured by the outflow of both tag belts into the custody of TNA Wrestling. 2009 promises to be a fascinating year.
2010 - Bret Hart returned to WWE, more than a decade after the infamous 1997 Montreal Screwjob, during an edition of Raw in Ohio.  Hart appeared on Raw and buried the hatchet with Shawn Michaels.  This was followed by an angle with Vince McMahon where McMahon kicked Hart in the groin, starting the build towards their Wrestlemania 26 match, which Hart would win
2010 - TNA holds a live edition of Impact on SpikeTV opposite Raw, featuring the return of Jeff Hardy, who had left WWE several months earlier.
2010 - Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff debut in TNA.
2010 - New Japan Pro Wrestling held their traditional Tokyo Dome Show event.  For American fans, the most noteworthy events were Team 3D losing their IWGP Tag Team championships to Yujiro and Tetsuya Naito and Terry Funk, at 65 years old, returning to a Japanese ring after his knee replacement surgery last year in a Legends bout that also featured old nemesis Abdullah the Butcher.  Former ECW regulars Yoshihiro Tajiri and Masato Tanaka teamed on the undercard as well.
2011 - The Kings of Wrestling, Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli, become the longest reigning ROH Tag Team champions, breaking the Briscoes' record, holding the belts for 275 days.  The team would hold the belts until March 2011 with their record still standing.
2011 - Verne Langdon, who owned the Slammer's Wrestling Gym in California that spawned a number of careers, including WWF, WCW and TNA Creative team member Ed Ferrara, passed away at the age of 69.  Langdon had an extremely colorful career in the entertainment industry as a musician and composer for a number of albums and shows that ran for Universal Studios Hollywood as well as a creator for the Don Post Costume company, which have become a sought after item by collectors in recent years.
Langdon did some wrestling but was more famous for owning the Slammer's Gym, which was well known during its time. A lot of the roots for the current West Coast scene can all be traced back to that school.  I believe Langdon had been living in the Arizona area in recent years.
2011 - New Japan Pro Wrestling held their annual Tokyo Dome event with a number of TNA talents appearing on the show.
2012 - Ray Diamond (White Angel) pases away
2012 - New Japan Pro Wrestling ran their annual Tokyo Dome event today.
2012 - Kevin Nash challenged the Ultimate Warrior to fight him in a shoot Wrestlemania weekend in Miami.