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THIS DAY IN HISTORY: VON ERICHS WIN SIX-MAN TITLE, FLAIR VS. HHH WITH A LOT AT STAKE, 11-YEAR CHAMPION RETIRES AND MORE

By Ryan Martinez on 2009-12-31 08:00:00

December 31st

On this day in history in ....

1891 - William Muldoon, the first American Greco-Roman Heavyweight Champion, retires as champion. Muldoon had been champion since defeating Thiebaud Bauer on January 19, 1880 in New York City, New York.

1956 - MS-1 is born in Salvatierra, Mexico.

1959 - Ilio DiPaolo and Whipper Billy Watson defeat Don Leo Jonathan and Gene Kiniski to win the NWA Canadian Open Tag Team Title in Toronto, Ontario, beginning their second reign.

1963 - The WWWF held a television taping at the Bridgeport Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The results:
- Gorilla Monsoon defeated Klondike Bill by countout.
- Gorilla Monsoon defeated Bob Boyer.
- Klondike Bill defeated Pete Sanchez in a Best-of-Three Falls match, 2-0.
- Al Costello defeated Tim Woods.
- Jerry Graham defeated Carlos Milano.
- Tony Nero defeated Manuel Soto.
- Frank Martinez defeated Umberto Mercado.
- Chris Jelevarou defeated Pedro Rodriguez.

1974 - Ryan Sakoda is born in Tokyo, Japan.

1974 - The Mighty Yankees defeat Danny Little Bear and Rocky Johnson for the NWA Macon Tag Team Title in Macon, Georgia.

1975 - Vance Nevada is born in Brandon, Manitoba.

1975 - Frank Goodish (Bruiser Brody) defeats Rocky Johnson for the NWA Florida Heavyweight Title in Tampa, Florida.

1978 - Ronnie Zukko is born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1978 - Killer Tim Brooks and Roddy Piper defeat Jonathan Boyd and Dutch Savage to win the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title.

1980 - Matt Cross is born in Cleveland, Ohio.

1983 - Rick Patterson and Randy Rich defeat Star Rider and Snake Williams in Cloverdale, British Columbia to win the vacant Vancouver NWA Canadian Tag Team Title.

1984 - Kevin, Kerry and Mike Von Erich win their third World Class Six-Man Tag Team Title, by defeating Chris Adams, Gino Hernandez and Jake Roberts in Fort Worth, Texas.

1989 - New Japan held an event at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Soviet Union. The results were:
- Kuniaki Kobayashi defeated Takayuki Iizuka.
- Jushin Liger defeated Black Tiger.
- Masahiro Chono defeated Chimur Zarasov by submission.
- Wahka Eveloev and IWGP Tag Team Champion Shinya Hashimoto fought to a draw.
- Riki Choshu defeated Victor Zangiev.
- Bam Bam Bigelow defeated Vladimir Berkovich.
- Habieli Victachev defeated Hiroshi Hase by submission.
- Salman Hashimikov defeated Manny Fernandez.

1994 - Brian Christopher wins his 16th USWA Heavyweight Title in Memphis, Tennessee, ending Tommy Rich's third reign.

2001 - The 449th edition of "RAW is WAR", a Best of 2001 special edition, aired on USA. The show got a 2.4 rating, the lowest of the year. Although this rating is typical of a highlight show, it was the lowest for "RAW" since October 27, 1997. The matches featured were:
- Royal Rumble, January 21: Chris Jericho defeated WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit in a Ladder match to win the title.
- WrestleMania X-Seven, April 1: The Undertaker pinned Triple H after the Last Ride.
- King of the Ring, June 24: Kurt Angle pinned Shane McMahon in a Street Fight after an Angle Slam from a sheet of plywood laid across the top turnbuckle.
- RAW is WAR, May 21: Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho defeated WWF Tag Team Champions - WWF Champion Steve Austin and Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon) to win the title, when Jericho pinned Austin after Triple H accidentally hit Austin in the stomach with a sledgehammer. Late in the match, Triple H tore his right quadriceps muscle while breaking Jericho's Walls of Jerichot hat he had on Austin.
- No Mercy, October 21: Torrie Wilson pinned Stacy Keibler in a Lingerie match after a handspring elbow.
- Survivor Series, November 18: Team WWF (WCW Champion The Rock, The Big Show, Chris Jericho, Kane and The Undertaker) defeated Team Alliance (WWF Champion Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Shane McMahon and WWF Hardcore Champion Rob Van Dam) in a Winner Take All Elimination match. As a result the Alliance had to disband.
- Invasion, July 21: Rob Van Dam pinned WWF Hardcore Champion Jeff Hardy after the Five-Star Frog Splash to win the title.
- WrestleMania X-Seven, April 1: Steve Austin pinned WWF Champion The Rock in a No Disqualification match to win the title, after hitting Rock 17 times with a chair that Austin got from Vince McMahon. After the match, in a sight fans never thought they would see, Austin and McMahon shook hands and drank beer.
- WrestleMania X-Seven, April 1: Edge and Christian defeated WWF Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von) and The Hardy Boyz (Jeff and Matt) in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match to win the title.
- No Way Out, February 25: Triple H defeated Steve Austin in a Three Stages of Hell match. Austin pinned Triple H after a Stone Cold Stunner and Triple H pinned Austin in a Street after a headshot with a sledgehammer and the Pedigree. In the final fall, a Steel Cage match. Both men knocked eachother out with weapons, Austin to Triple H with a barbed-wire 2x4 and Triple H to Austin with a sledgehammer, at the same time, and Triple H fell on top of Austin.

2006 - Natsuki Taiyo defeats Fuuka at NEO's "4th Junior All-Star: The Dream and Future" in Tokyo, Japan to win the Jd' Princess of Pro-Wrestling Title.

2007 - The WWE's 762nd edition of "RAW", taped two nights earlier at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina, airs on USA, earning a 2.6 rating. The results were:
- In a dark match, Brian Kendrick defeated Nick Nemeth.
Heat:
- Snitsky defeated Super Crazy.
- DH Smith defeated David Owens.
- Drew McIntyre defeated Charlie Haas.
RAW:
- Ken Kennedy pinned Shawn Michaels after the Mic Check after avoiding Michaels' Sweet Chin Music.
- Umaga pinned Jim Duggan after the Samoan Spike to qualify for the 2008 Royal Rumble match.
- WWE Women's Champion Beth Phoenix defeated Mickie James and Melina in a Triple Threat match to retain the title, by pinning Melina after a cradle suplex.
- Hornswoggle and William Regal (with Vince McMahon) fought to a no-contest after Regal refused to hit Hornswoggle with brass knuckles despite several demands to do so by McMahon.
- WWE Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy fought Santino Marella (with Maria and Carlito) to a no-contest after Randy Orton appeared on the Titantron attacking Matt Hardy, with Jeff running to the back to check on his brother.
- Ric Flair defeated Triple H by disqualification when William Regal interfered and hit Flair with brass knuckles as Triple H had Flair covered after the Pedigree. Flair's career and Triple H's participation in the 2008 Royal Rumble match were on the line.
- In a dark match after the show, WWE Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy and Chris Jericho defeated JBL and WWE Champion Randy Orton, when Hardy pinned Orton after the Swanton.

2007 - "Pro-Wrestling Summit in Korakuen: Countdown Pro-Wrestling", a Kaientai Dojo and Dramatic Dream Team joint event, was held at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan. The results were:
- Spark Aoki, Rui Hiugaji and Yuki Sato defeated Takuma Obe Atsushi Ohashi and Keita Yano.
- General KY and Great Kojika won a seven-team battle royal.
- Minoru Suzuki defeated Daisuke Harada.
- Gran Hamada, Strongest-K Tag Team Champion TAKA Michinoku, The Great Sasuke and Ultimo Dragon defeated Asian Cougar, Mineo Fujira Great Takeru and Yujiro.
- Manabu Hara defeated Munenori Sawa.
- Boso Boy Raito and Yoshihiro Takayama defeated Shuji Ishikawa and Shinjitsu Nohashi.
- Jun Kasai, Jaki Numazawa and Naoki Tanisaki defeated Saburo Inematsu, Yuko Miyamoto and Takashi Sasaki.
- BxB Hulk, Independent World Junior Heavyweight Champion Kota Ibushi and Madoka defeated Don Fujii, Abdullah Kobayashi and DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion Sanshiro Takagi, when Ibushi pinned Takagi, to win Takagi's title. This ended his seventh reign.
- Shuji Kondo, Yoshihito Sasaki and Daisuke Sekimoto defeated DDT KO-D Openweight Champion HARASHIMA, Tetsuhiro Kuroda and Strongest-K Champion Kengo Mashimo.