On This Day in Wrestling…November 22nd

On this day in wrestling, one of WWE’s biggest icons, The Undertaker, made his debut with the company at the Survivor Series PPV.

Undertaker Debut

Credit: WWE

1982 – At a WWF House Show at Madison Square Garden, WWF Champion Bob Backland wrestled Superstar Billy Graham to a Double Disqualification draw. Pedro Morales retained the Intercontinental Championship against Buddy Rose, Jimmy Snuka defeated Captain Lou Albano, and Rocky Johnson & Tony Garea defeated Mr Saito & Riki Choshu in the main event (2 Out Of 3 Falls) tag team match.

1984 – NWA’s Starrcade took place in Greensboro in North Carolina.  The main event was called “The Million Dollar Challenge” for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship where Ric Flair successfully defended the title against Dusty Rhodes, and won a kayfabe $1,000,000 prize money.  The special guest referee for the title match was boxer Joe Frazier.

1990 – The fourth annual WWF Survivor Series took place on Thanksgiving Night in Hartford in Connecticut.  This pay-per-view is fondly remembered for the on-screen debut of The Undertaker portrayed for the best part of 30 years by Mark Callaway, who weeks before arriving in the WWF was let go by WCW.  The Undertaker was in actual fact a replacement for Bad News Brown on Ted Dibiase’s Million Dollar Team.

This would be the final Survivor Series event to solely feature traditional tag team elimination matches.  At this edition of the pay-per-view surviving team members would compete in the main event ‘Grand Finale Match of Survival’ which was won by Hulk Hogan, and then WWF Champion, The Ultimate Warrior.  Equally this event was least fondly remembered for the hatching of a giant egg which contained the ‘Gobbledy Gooker’, and a promo by Sgt. Slaughter which cemented his heel status at the time as an Iraqi sympathizer kayfabe insulting US service man and women who were spending Thanksgiving in Iraq during Operation Desert Shield.

1992 – In Tokyo, Japan, Ultimo Dragon defeated El Samurai to capture the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Also on the show, The Steiner Brothers lost the IWGP Tag Team Championship to the team of Scott Norton and Tony Halme. Halme would soon thereafter move to WWE to compete under the name Ludvig Borga.

HOW ABOUT...  On This Day In Wrestling History...November 27th

1998 – WCW World War 3 came from The Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan where Kevin Nash would win the infamous battle-royal by eliminating Lex Luger to receive a WCW World Heavyweight Championship match at Starrcade.  In the main event Diamond Dallas Page defeated Bret Hart to retain the WCW United States Championship.

1999 – On WCW Monday Nitro from Auburn Hills in Michigan, Creative Control (Gerald and Patrick) defeated The Filthy Animals (Billy Kidman and Konnan) to win the WCW World Tag Team Championship. Elsewhere on card, the new WCW Champion Bret Hart retained his title against Jeff Jarrett, Dean Malenko defeated Chris Benoit in a Flag match.  And in the main event The Outsiders defeated Goldberg & Sid Vicious.

1999 – On WWF Raw from Buffalo in New York Mr McMahon was out to seek revenge on DX, The Hollys defeated Al Snow & Mankind. Also Kurt Angle defeated Mark Henry, The Big Show retained the WWF Championship against Kane. Triple H fought The Acolytes in a handicap tag match to a no-contest, whilst Mae Young became slightly intoxicated during an entertaining segment for Stephanie McMahon’s Bridal Shower.

2004 – WWF Raw came once again from Buffalo where Chris Benoit defeated Edge in the main event Steel Cage match, and Trish Stratus retained the WWE Women’s Championship against Lita and Molly Holly in a Triple-Threat match.

2005 – At the Smackdown taping in Sheffield in England, Juventud Guerrea defeated Nunzio for the WWE Cruiserweight Title, and Chris Benoit retained the WWE United States Championship against Booker T.

2008 – At ROH Rising Above in Illinois Nigel McGuinness retained the ROH World Heavyweight Title against Bryan Danielson. Austin Aires defeated Jimmy Jacobs in an I Quit match, and in the main event Samoa Joe defeated Tyler Black.

2009 – WWE Survivor Series took place at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. Both world titles were successfully defended in triple threat matches against members of tag teams. World Heavyweight Champion, The Undertaker defeated both members of Jeri-Show (Chris Jericho & Big Show) and John Cena retained the WWE Championship against D-Generation X (Shawn Michaels & Triple H).

HOW ABOUT...  On This Day In Wrestling...November 29th

2010 – The Miz cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase to defeated Randy Orton for the WWE Championship after Orton had defended against Wade Barrett.

2015 – The vacant WWE Title was decided in a tournament at the Survivor Series from Atlanta, Georgia. Roman Reigns defeated Dean Ambrose to win the WWE Title for the very first time, only to lose the title moments later when Sheamus cashed in his Money In The Bank contract.  Also on the card, The Undertaker and Kane faced and defeated Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper from the Wyatt Family to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the arrival of the Undertaker in the WWE.

2016 – On WWE Smackdown from Ottawa Chad Gale & Jason Jordan won Tag Team Turmoil and received a shot at the Smackdown Tag Title Titles at TLC. Also James Ellsworth defeated WWE Champion AJ Styles in a Ladder match for a Smackdown Live contract.

2018 – RevPro ‘PAC is Back’ took place in Portsmouth where in the main event PAC defeated Mike Bailey.

2020 – Exactly 30 years to the day from his WWE debut, The Undertaker said his ‘Final Farewell’ at WWE Survivor Series from the ThunderDome in Orlando, Florida. Various friends and famous opponents such as Kane, Mick Foley, Triple H, Savio Vega and many others took part in an in ring ceremony featuring an augmented reality projection of the late Paul Bearer. The ceremony was a definitive end point to The Undertaker character in wrestling, allowing Mark Calaway, the man behind the gimmick, to portray his real character to the public.

Notable Wrestling Birthdays:

  • Lash LeRoux (1976)
  • Ed Ferrara (1966)
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