On This Day In Wrestling…19th January

“With a tear…In my eye” On January 19th in wrestling history, Ric Flair won the greatest Royal Rumble match of all time.

Ric Flair Royal Rumble Win

Credit: WWE

1991 – In Miami, Florida the Royal Rumble PPV took place and played host to the first WWF Championship title change on PPV outside of WrestleMania. The change saw Sgt. Slaughter win the belt from The Ultimate Warrior after an assist from ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. For the second year in a row, Hulk Hogan won the Royal Rumble match itself.

1992 – The WWF Royal Rumble PPV took place at the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York. The main event saw Ric Flair win the vacant WWF Championship in what most fans consider the greatest Royal Rumble match of all time. This was the first time the title belt had been offered as a prize in the titular match. Flair, who only found out that he was going to win the match moments after he arrived at the arena, was booked to showcase his endurance by setting the new record length in the match. He entered at number three and lasted over 59 minutes until the end of the match.  The star power showcased in this Rumble was unparalleled. The likes of Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, The Undertaker, Jake Roberts, Ted DiBiase, Sid Justice, Roddy Piper, Sgt. Slaughter, The British Bulldog, ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan, Shawn Michaels, ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka, The Big Boss Man and many more took part. The match itself is also renowned for arguably the greatest commentary performance in history from Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan. Further history was set on the card when ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper snared the Intercontinental Championship from The Mountie to bag his first and only WWF/WWE singles title.

1997 – Shawn Michaels defeated Sid in front of a 60,000+ strong hometown crowd to win the WWF Championship at the tenth Royal Rumble PPV which was held at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Also on the card, Steve Cold Austin won the Royal Rumble match in sneaky fashion. After being eliminated by Bret Hart, Austin sneaked back into the ring after being thrown over the top rope and eliminated Vader and The Undertaker together and then Bret Hart. During the post match confusion, Hart snapped at the referees and then grabbed Vince McMahon at the announcer’s table, it was around this time it would start being mentioned on TV that McMahon was the actual owner of the WWF. Also on the card Hunter Hearst Helmsley retained the Intercontinental Championship against Goldust, and Ahmed Johnson won his match against Faarooq by disqualification. Finally, Vader defeated The Undertaker.

HOW ABOUT...  On This Day In Wrestling History...1st March

2003 – The first Royal Rumble to be held under the ‘WWE’ brand name came from Boston, Massachusetts. Brock Lesnar defeated The Big Show in the opening match to win a spot in the Rumble match, which he would go on to win by eliminating The Undertaker. This was also the first time that Shawn Michaels competed in the actual Rumble since his win in 1996. Also on the night, Triple H would retain the World Heavyweight Championship against Scott Steiner in a dreadful match and Kurt Angle would retain the WWE Championship against Chris Benoit in a spectacular contest. The Dudley Boys lost the World Tag Team Championships to William Regal and Lance Storm.

2007 – Bam Bam Bigelow passed away aged 45 in Hudson, Florida.  He competed in a number of wrestling promotions throughout his career such as NJPW, WCW, ECW and the WWF.  Bigelow has been praised by many in the industry as being the “best working big man in the business”. WWE credited Bigelow in 2013 as “the most natural agile and physically remarkable big man of the past twenty five years”.  He was most notable for his time with the WWF where he participated in a number of headline pay-per-view matches such as the very first Survivor Series in 1987, his outstanding match with Bret Hart in the final of the King of The Ring in 1993, and the high-profile main event of Wrestlemania XI in 1995 where he competed against the NFL’s New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor.  Outside of the WWF, Bigelow would headline WCW’s Beach Brawl in 1991, and the first two editions of ECW’s premier annual event November to Remember.

HOW ABOUT...  On This Day In Wrestling History...March 2nd

2009 – C.M. Punk pinned William Regal in a No Disqualification match to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship on WWE Raw in Chicago.

2010 – At the TNA Impact taping in Orlando Doug Williams defeated The Amazing Red for the TNA X-Division Title.

2011 – Sir Oliver Humperdink passed away from cancer at the age of 62.

2019 – On Day 2 of the World of Sport Tour Bea Priestley defeated Viper for the World Of Sport Women’s Title in Newport. She has lost the belt to Viper one night previously.

2020 – Cara Noir defeated Ilja Dragunov, Kyle Fletcher and Paul Robinson in a Four Way Elimination match to win the PROGRESS Title at PROGRESS Chapter 101: Dalmatians at the Electric Ballroom in London.

Notable Wrestling Birthdays:

  • R-Truth (1972)
  • Pat Patterson (1941)
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