Today In Wrestling History – February 16th
1985 – Bruno Sammartino ended his retirement, which had lasted for over 3 years, at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, teaming with his son David to defeat Paul Orndorff & Bobby Heenan
1999 –The Public Enemy made their WWF television debut, defeating Edge & Gangrel via DQ, then becoming the victims of a Brood “bloodbath”
In 1997, WWF their “Final Four” Pay-per-view in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the UTC Arena. This show took on new meaning three days earlier, when Shawn Michaels vacated the WWF World Heavyweight Title due to a knee injury and “losing his smile”. As a result, the main event became a “Final Four” match to determine a new WWF World Heavyweight Champion:
– The Godwinns (Henry & Phineas) defeated The Headbangers
– Marc Mero (with Sable) defeated Leif Cassidy (Al Snow)
– The Nation of Domination (Farooq, Crush, & Savio Vega) defeated Bart Gunn, Flash Funk, & Goldust
– Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon defeated Owen Hart & The British Bulldog via DQ, as a result Hart & Bulldog retained the WWF Tag Team Titles
– Bret Hart defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin, Vader (with Paul Bearer), & The Undertaker in a Fatal 4 Way match, to win the vacant WWF World Heavyweight Title
In 2004, WWE aired Monday Night Raw live from right here in Bakersfield, Ca. (I was sitting front row at this show):
-We open with World Champion Triple H coming to the ring to address the Benoit/HBK situation. How HBK had signed the WM 20 contract, instead of Chris Benoit. Eventually things broke down, & Benoit got the upper hand until Evolution ran down to make the save, & Benoit bailed. Chris Benoit vs. Shawn Michaels is a out main event later in the night.
– Rob Van Dam & Booker T defeated WWE World Tag Team Champions Ric Flair & Batista (with Randy Orton) to win the WWE Tag Team Titles. Orton would try to interfere, & Mick Foley would run down to stop him. One hell of a tag match. 1st ever title change in Bakersfield.
– Kane defeated Chris Jericho via referee stoppage after Jericho injured his knee. Post match Kane cut a promo about how Undertaker is dead, & gone, & the lights go out, & it starts raining on Kane in a purple light. This was really cool in person.
– Randy Orton cuts a promo belittling Mick Foley, & Foley comes out & they brawl, Eventually Flair & Batista come out to make it 3 on 1, & they leave Foley laid out. Foley is stretchered out. Foley is definitely getting the pops of the night so far
– Trish Stratus & Victoria (with Stevie Richards) defeated WWE Women’s Champion Molly Holly & Jazz (with Teddy Long). Test runs down & attacks Stevie Richards, & shoves down Victoria, Trish jumps on Test’s back, & is thrown to the mat. Christian runs down to make the save.
– Shawn Michaels defeated Chris Benoit in the main event, with Sweet Chin Music. This was 1 hell of a good match. Post match, Sheriff Austin comes out on his 4 wheeler, & announces his decision. The Main Event of WM XX will be a triple threat for the WWE World Heavyweight title, between Triple H, Shawn Michaels, & Chris Benoit
In 2010 – WWE’s version of Extreme Championship Wrestling comes to an end with a broadcast on SyFy from Kansas City, Missouri that sees Ezekiel Jackson defeated Christian to become the final ECW Champion before the title is retired
1971 – Jack & Jerry Brisco defeated to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Title in Tampa, Florida
2002 – The Bruiser defeated Orlando Jordan to win the Maryland Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Title in Harrington, Delaware
2002 – Tadao Yasuda defeated Yuji Nagata to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Title in a tournament final. The belt had been vacated in December 2001 when champion Kazuyuki Fujita was injured
Happy Birthday to former WWF star Vampire Warrior/Gangrel (45), & former PWG star Chris Kadillak (29)