Today In Wrestling History- April 16th


1982 – Giant Baba wins the AJPW Champion’s Carnival. This would be the last Carnival until 1991

1991 – This year’s AJPW Champion’s Carnival introduced the modern ‘dual-block’ system. Stan Hansen won group A and Jumbo Tsuruta won group B with Tsuruta winning the final

1994 – Toshiaki Kawada wins the AJPW Champion’s Carnival, defeating Steve Williams in the final after both men tied on 19 points

1999 – Vader wins the AJPW Champion’s Carnival, defeating Kenta Kobashi in the final

2004 – Steve Austin & WWE parted ways, when they are unable to come to terms on a new contract

2006 – Chris Jericho announced that he will be writing a book about his life and career, “A Lion’s Tale.”

2009 – WWE Superstars debuts on WGN America

2009 – TNA began teasing the signing of a former World champion, which was Mickie James

2010 – For the 1st time ever, WWE had to completely change their creative plans to due to weather conditions.  All flights out of the UK were grounded  due to the lingering Icelandic volcanic ash, preventing the company from getting all of their wrestlers back to the US for a scheduled  Raw in East Rutherford, NJ.   In the end, the Smackdown roster ended up working the show, while Raw talents appeared via satellite on the Titantrons


In 1994, the 1st Super J Cup, a multi-promotional junior heavyweight tournament was held at Sumo Hal, in Tokyo, Japan(The Great Sasuke & Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit) were given byes into the 2nd round):

1st Round:
– Gedo defeated Dean Malenko
– Super Delfin defeated Shinjiro Ohtani
– Black Tiger (Eddie Guerrero) defeated Taka Michinoku
– El Samurai defeated Masayoshi Motegi
– Ricky Fuji defeated Negro Casas
– Jushin Liger defeated Hayabusa.  This was the debut of the Hayabusa character
2nd Round:
– Gedo defeated Super Delfin
– Wild Pegasus defeated Black Tiger
– Great Sasuke defeated El Samurai
– Jushin Liger defeated Ricky Fuji
Wild Pegasus defeated Gedo
– Great Sasuke defeated Jushin Liger
Wild Pegasus defeated Great Sasuke to win the Super J Cup

In 2000, the final WCW Spring Stampede was held at the United Center, in Chicago, Illinois. With an attendance of 12,556:

– Team Package (Lex Luger & Ric Flair) (with Miss Elizabeth) defeated The Harris Brothers (Ron & Don Harris), & The Mamalukes (Big Vito & Johnny The Bull) (with Disco Inferno) in a handicap match in the WCW Tag Team Title tournament semi-final match
– Mancow (with Al Roker, Freak, & Turd the Bartender) defeated Jimmy Hart
– Scott Steiner defeated The Wall via DQ in a WCW US Title quarter final match
– Mike Awesome defeated Ernest Miller in a US Title quarter final match
– Shane Douglas & Buff Bagwell defeated Harlem Heat 2000 (Stevie Ray & Big T (Ahmed Johnson) (with J. Biggs & Kash) in a Tag Team Title semi-final match
– Sting defeated Booker in a US Title quarter final match
– Vampiro defeated Billy Kidman (with Torrie Wilson) in a US Title quarter final match
– Terry Funk defeated Norman Smiley to win the vacant WCW Hardcore Title
– Scott Steiner defeated Mike Awesome in a US Title semi-final match
– Sting defeated Vampiro in a US title semi-final match
– Chris Candido (with Tammy Lynn Sytch) defeated The Artist (with Paisley), Juventud Guerrera, Shannon Moore (with Shane Helms), Lash LeRoux & Crowbar (with Daffney) in a Suicide Six-Way Match to win the vacant WCW Cruiserweight Title
– Shane Douglas & Buff Bagwell (with Vince Russo) defeated Ric Flair & Lex Luger (with Miss Elizabeth) in the final of a tournament to win the vacant WCW World Tag Team Titles
– Scott Steiner defeated Sting in the final of a tournament to win the vacant WCW United States Title
– Jeff Jarrett defeated Diamond Dallas Page (with Kimberly Page) in the final of a tournament to win the vacant WCW World Title

Title Changes

1960 – Jerry & Eddie Graham defeated Red & Lou Bastien to win the NWA Northeast United States Tag Team Titles

1983 – Roddy Piper defeated Greg Valentine to win the NWA United States Title

1983 – Junkyard Dog wins a tournament to win the vacant MSW North American Title

1989 – Shinichi Nakano defeated Masanobu Fuchi to win the AJPW Junior Heavyweight Title

2001 – on Raw, Triple H defeated Jeff Hardy to win the WWF Intercontinental Title

2007 – on Raw, Santino Marella defeated Umaga in a No Holds Barred Match to win the WWE Intercontinental Title


Happy birthday to former ECW wrestler Damien Kane (54), former WWE Tag and Cruiserweight Champion Paul London (34), WWE  Hall of Famer George ‘The Animal’ Steele (77), 3-time AJPW Unified Tag Champion Joe Doering (32), 2-time AAA Mixed Tag Team Champion Gran Apache (55), & current WWE personality Vickie Guerrero (46)

In Memoriam

Today, in 2003, the wrestling world lost 6-time NWA World Light Heavyweight Champion Ray Mendoza at the age of 73. Mendoza began his sporting career in boxing, turning pro in 1950. His boxing career came to an end two years later after he was legitimately attacked during a sparring session with two wrestlers, one of whom injured his back with a knee drop. He had a brief stint as a health inspector in Mexico City, but was soon recommended for a career in wrestling by his local gym owner. Following a year of intense training, Mendoza debuted in 1954, initially competing as Chato Diaz. In 1955, he took the ring name ‘Ray Mendoza’, devised from his trainer’s first name and his wife’s maiden name. He soon became one of EMLL’s top heels & used his main event position to better the wrestlers’ pay and working conditions. Despite this status, it took him until 1959 to win his 1st championship, defeating Dory Dixon to win the NWA Light Heavyweight Title. In the 1960′s, he was so popular that certain sources cite that he sold out every arena he competed in across a 3-year period. During this time, he would also make regular appearances in America, winning championships in NWA Hollywood. In 1974, dissatisfied with EMLL’s treatment of his sons, Mendoza joined up with Francisco Flores to form Lucha Libre Internacional (known internationally as the UWA). He became the first UWA Light Heavyweight Champion, but this was an attempt to elevate the careers of those who went on to defeat him, including El Solitario & Gran Hamada. By the end of the decade, Mendoza was all-but-retired, only competing on very sporadic occasions. His final headline match came in 1978, when he unsuccessfully challenged for Tatsumi Fujinami’s WWWF Junior Heavyweight Title. He formally announced his retirement in 1982, & following a retirement tour, hung up his boots early the next year. He became the head trainer at the UWA’s school, as well as occasionally performing refereeing duties and later became the head of the Mexico City Boxing and Wrestling Committee. By the 2000′s, his health was in decline and he eventually passed of kidney failure. CMLL paid tribute to him in 2010 at their Homenaje a Dos Leyendas event. As if Mendoza’s in-ring legacy wasn’t enough, he also fathered the Villano brothers, who would find international success in the 1990′s & 2000′s.