Jan. 25, 1964 – Dominic DeNucci upends Ray Stevens at the Cow Palace in San Francisco to win the “NWA” U.S. heavyweight championship. After a stellar career, DeNucci is known today as the trainer of such superstars as Mick Foley and Shane Douglas.
Ray Stevens, one of the great stars on everybody’s list, is feature in Mid-Atlantic Tape 1, defending the NWA World tag team championship with Superfly Jimmy Snuka against Number One Paul Jones and the Masked Superstar.
Jan. 25, 1972 - Fritz Von Erich and Dean Ho outlast Johnny Valentine and Thunderbolt Patterson to win the American tag team championship in Dallas. Valentine had his career ended in the 1975 plane crash that also injured Ric Flair. Patterson and Ho are both retired as well. Fritz, the controversial patriarch of the famous Von Erich wrestling family, passed away last year following a bout with cancer, thus ending one of the saddest and most tragic chapters in wrestling history.
Johnny Valentine battles Number One Paul Jones in Mid-Atlantic Tape 1.
Jan. 25, 1978 - Jack and Jerry Brisco beat Ivan Koloff and Masa Saito in Miami to garner the Florida tag team belts. Jack Brisco and Koloff are both retired from wrestling these days, concentrating on outside business interests. Gerald Brisco is a prominent part of the WWE front office. Jack Brisco spends his days giggling about Ole Anderson’s assertions, spending time with his family on his Florida lake front home, and checking in on his highly successful auto body shop business. Jack Brisco has a book soon to be released.
Jan. 25, 1978 - NWA World champion Harley Race wrestles to a double count out with WWF World champ Superstar Billy Graham in the main event of Eddie Graham’s “Super Bowl of Wrestling” from the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida.
You can see Harley Race capture the NWA World title he defended in NWA World Heavyweight Championship I.
Jan. 25, 1984 - Angelo Mosca Jr. scores a huge upset, pinning former WWF champion Ivan Koloff in Shelby, N.C. to take the Mid-Atlantic heavyweight championship. However, despite having a some potential, the son of "Big Nasty" retires from wrestling less than two years later.
You can see this exciting title change in Mid-Atlantic Tape 2.
Jan. 25, 1980 – Alberto Madril pins Rex King in Salem, Oregon to take the Pacific Northwest television crown.
Al Madril is featured throughout the Texas Collection.
Jan. 26, 1963 - Herb Freeman downs Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon in Portland, Ore. to capture the Pacific Northwest heavyweight belt. Vachon is perhaps best known today as the wrestler whose artificial leg was used as a foreign object during a WWF PPV match between Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash a few years back in Omaha.
Jan. 26, 1984 - Tully Blanchard beats "Avalanche" Buzz Tyler in Kansas City to win the Central States championship. Blanchard, the second-generation wrestler best known as one of the original Four Horsemen, splits his time between preaching the gospel and slingshot suplexing opponents on the independent circuit.
Tully Blanchard is featured throughout the Texas Collection.
Jan. 26, 1981 - Ted DiBiase and Stan Frazier take the Georgia tag title, defeating The Fabulous Freebirds in Augusta, GA.
Ted DiBiase, and Freebirds Buddy Roberts and Michael Hayes are all featured in Mid-South Tape 1.
Jan. 26, 1987 - The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) upend The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & the Dynamite Kid) to win the WWE tag team straps in Tampa, Fla.
Jan. 26, 1988 - Mike Rotunda bests Nikita Koloff in Raleigh, NC to win the NWA television championship for the second time of his career. Rotunda receives outside help when his "Varsity Club" coach Kevin Sullivan attacks Koloff with his infamous Golden Spike. This goes undetected by NWA referee Earl Hebner. Rotunda had previously held the title six years earlier, beating Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.
Mike Rotonda was also successful in Florida. In Florida Tape 2, he challenges Ron Bass for the Southern heavyweight championship.
Jan. 26, 1989 - Two-thirds of the Laurindas wrestling family, John (Johnny Ace) and Marc (The Terminator), beat The Nasty Boys to win the Florida tag team championship. The other member of that famous group of wrestling brothers is older sibling Joe (Road Warrior Animal).
The Nasty Boys are featured throughout the South Atlantic Collection.
Jan. 27, 1967 - Paul Jones and Pepper Martin beat Tough Tony Borne and Moondog Lonnie Mayne to take the Pacific Northwest tag belts in Portland, Ore. Martin, who was one of the masked Bolos at various points in his career, retired in 1978. Mayne died that same year. Borne is best known to modern fans as the father of Maniac Matt Borne. Jones, whose Website is hosted by WrestlingClassics.com, finished his much-celebrated career as a partner and later opponent for a young Ken Shamrock, working for matchmaker Frank Dusek.
You can visit Paul Jones’ official Web site.
Ken Shamrock are featured throughout the South Atlantic Collection.
Jan. 27, 1973 – The Sheik bests archrival Bobo Brazil in Detroit, Michigan to regain the “NWA” U.S. heavyweight championship for the fourth time of his career.
An entire television show was built around promoting this match, Detroit Tape 2
Jan. 27, 1981 – Rowdy Roddy Piper uses a foreign object to knock out Nature Boy Ric Flair (unbeknownst to ref Stu Schwartz) in Raleigh’s Dorton Arena. In doing so, he captures the JCP version of the “NWA” U.S. title for the first of two times. He had previously held the San Francisco version of the “NWA” U.S. title and would go on to hold the WCW U.S. title nearly two decades later. As a result of his win over Flair, Piper is forced to vacate the NWA TV title, which he had held since beating Paul Jones in the finals of a tournament on Nov. 1, 1980 in Richmond, Va.
Ric Flair is featured prominently in Mid-Atlantic Tape 3.
Jan. 27, 1987 – The Midnight Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) best Playboy Buddy Rose & Pretty Boy Doug Somers in St. Paul, Minnesota to win the AWA World tag team championship.
You can Shawn Michaels early in his career in Before They Were Stars.
Jan. 27, 1996 - Raven pins The Sandman in Philadelphia, Penn. to capture the ECW World heavyweight championship.
Jan. 28, 1937 - Considered by many to be the greatest woman wrestler ever, Mildred Burke captures the Women’s World title, winning a tournament in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
See Mildred Burke and other all time female greats in Classic Women’s Matches.
Jan. 28, 1961 - Bobo Brazil pins Dick the Bruiser to win the Detroit version of the "NWA" United States title. Brazil, one of the true pioneers in wrestling history, died at the age of 74.
Both Bobo Brazil and Dick the Bruiser are featured in their primes in Stars of Cauliflower Alley Club.
Jan. 28, 1992 - Stan "The Lariat" Hansen captures the All Japan Triple Crown for the third time in his career, downing Jumbo Tsuruta in Chiba, Japan.
Another American who was considered a legend in Japan was Jack Brisco. See him have some of his greatest matches in Jack Brisco in Japan.
Jan. 28, 1995 - Jerry “The King” Lawler downs The Dirty White Boy (Tony Anthony) in Knoxville, Tennessee to capture the Smoky Mountain heavyweight belt.
Jerry “The King” Lawler has a classic encounter with Nick Bockwinkel for the AWA World heavyweight championship in Memphis Main Events.
Jan. 29, 1968 - The old Madison Square Garden shuts its door’s for wrestling, making way for a brand new facility with the same name. In the main event, “The Living Legend” Bruno Sammartino downs Professor Toru Tanaka.
In a battle of four legends, Bruno Sammartino teams with Dick the Bruiser against Baron Von Raschke and Big Cat Ernie Ladd in Indianapolis Tape 3.
Jan. 29, 1981 - Killer Karl Kox and Junkyard Dog down "The Big Cat" Ernie Ladd and Bad, Bad Leroy Brown in Biloxi, Miss. to take the Mid-South tag team belts. Kox, who is now retired, can be seen in Oliver Stone's JFK playing a cop who guards Jack Ruby. Ladd, a former NFL great, is very active in the community and has been inducted into both the WWF and WCW Halls of Fame. Brown died in 1988 and JYD, who was truly one of the biggest draws in wrestling during the 80s, died following a tragic automobile accident.
Junkyard Dog faces Ted DiBiase in more great Mid-South action.
Jan. 28, 1996 - Konnan gets both "rowdy, rowdy" and “bowdy, bowdy” in Canton, Ohio, upsetting the One Man Gang for the WCW U.S. title. Konnan accomplishes a rare feat, holding major titles in both Mexico and the United States.
One Man Gang has a bloody war with Dusty Rhodes in Florida Tape 2.
Jan. 30, 1965 - Harley Race and Larry Hennig topple Bruiser and Crusher to win the AWA World tag team title in St. Paul, Minn. Race would go on to become an eight-time NWA World champ. Hennig is best known today as Curt Hennig’s dad. Bruiser, whose last major appearance was as a special ref at Starrcade '90, died in 1991.
Jan. 30, 1993 - Dr. Death Steve Williams and Terry "Bam Bam" Gordy best Mitsuharu Misawa and Toshiaki Kawada to capture the World tag team championship as recognized by All Japan Pro Wrestling. Gordy and Williams had also taken both the NWA and WCW World tag titles less than six months earlier, establishing themselves as the top tag team in the world at that time.
Dr. Death Steve Williams teams with Ted DiBiase in Mid-South Tape 1.
You can see a 16-year-old Terry Gordy battle Big Cat Ernie Ladd in Before They Were Stars.
Jan. 31, 1958 - Karloff Lagarde topples Huracan Ramirez in Mexico City to take the "NWA" middleweight title as recognized by the EMLL promotion.
Jan. 31, 1964 - The Missouri Mauler (Larry Hamilton) beats the Mongolian Stomper (Archie Gouldie) in St. Louis for the "NWA" U.S. heavyweight championship as recognized by Sam Muchnick's St. Louis Wrestling Club. Hamilton, the brother of The Assassin (Jody Hamilton) and uncle of WWE referee Nick Patrick, later worked in law enforcement and passed away a couple of years ago. Gouldie runs a non-wrestling business in Knoxville, Tenn. and keeps himself in amazing shape, even stepping back into the ring from time-to-time.
Jan. 31, 1987 - Former Olympic judo champion "Bad News" Allen Coage upends Kevin Sullivan for the "NWA" Southern belt as recognized by Eddie Graham's Championship Wrestling from Florida. Brown is perhaps best known as the WWF's "Bad News Brown," while Sullivan was one of the creative forces behind the scenes at WCW.
Kevin Sullivan terrorizes Florida and nearly hangs Blackjack Mulligan in Florida Tape 1.
Jan. 31, 1994 - The Moondogs (Spot & Rex) capture the USWA tag team title in Memphis, knocking off the Rock & Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson).
The Moondogs and the Rock ‘N’ is featured in Tennessee Tape 5.
O'Sullivan has been following professional wrestling for
nearly 27 years and saw many of today's 'legends' like
Ric Flair and Randy Savage compete in small high school
gyms and recreation centers when they were just starting
out. His first foray into serious wrestling journalism
pre-dated publications like The Wrestling Observer Newsletter
and he has done play-by-play wrestling announcing on
the radio. After a brief stint as an independent promoter,
Sullivan has settled into a role as a well-paid wrestling
historian, who openly laughs in the face of anyone who
hasn't heard of Spaceman Frank Hickey. Richard
Sullivan is also the creator of Lost