- The first masked wrestler, appropriately named "The
Masked Wrestler," debuts in Paris.
- Frank Gotch is born in Homboldt, Iowa.
26, 1885 - Australia's first professional wrestling
bout, William Miller vs. Clarence Whistler, is staged
at Melbourne's Theatre Royal. Whistler won, but died
afterward. The cause of death was internal bleeding
caused by eating a champagne glass after the match.
1896 - George Hackenschmidt, 18, makes his wrestling
2, 1899 - Gotch, trained by Martin Burns, makes his
wrestling debut by defeating Marshall Green.
- San Francisco hosts wrestling's first tag team matches.
22, 1903 - Tom Jenkins defeats Frank Gotch in Cleveland
in the first meeting of the dominant American wrestlers
of the era.
5, 1905 - Hackenschmidt defeats Tom Jenkins for the
Catch-as-Catch-Can championship. The title is later
re-named the NWA World Heavyweight title.
3, 1908 - Hackenschmidt and Gotch do battle at Chicago's
Dexter Park. The match ended when a frustrated Hackenschmidt
leaves the ring, leaving Gotch with the World title.
- The Hackenschmidt/Gotch rematch draws 33,000 fans
to Comiskey Park, drawing a $87,000 gate.
1, 1913 - Gotch announces his retirement from wrestling
in Kansas City, Missouri.
- A battle between Ed "Stranger" Lewis and
Joe Stecher ends in a five-hour draw.
18, 1916 - Gotch returns to wrestling and fractures
his leg in an exhibition match against Bob Managoff,
Sr. in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Gotch would never wrestle
- Gotch passes away.
13, 1920 - "Stranger" Lewis becomes World
champion by beating Stetcher.
- Jess McMahon, grandfather of Vince McMahon Jr.,
promotes his first boxing card in the "old"
Madison Square Garden in New York City.
25, 1932 - Paul Boesch makes his professional wrestling
debut against Benny Ginsburg in Staten Island, New
20, 1934 - A match between Jim Londos and "Stranger"
Lewis at Wrigley Field is refereed by former Boxing
champion Jack Dempsey.
- Jim Crockett Sr. forms Jim Crockett Promotions.
In the same year, Vince McMahon Sr. promotes his first
14, 1938 - Everett Marshall is awarded the National
Wrestling Association's version of the World Title.
19, 1946 - Andre The Giant is born in Grenoble, France.
- A New York match between Buddy Rogers and Billy
Darnell is such a wild brawl, a ringside fan dies
of a heart attack. Both wrestlers are disqualified
from New York competition for two years.
Blassie suffers a head injury that places him on the
verge of retirement when he is bounced out of the
ring by Rudy Dusek.
- The National Wrestling Alliance is first formed
in Waterloo, Iowa. The first NWA President was P.L.
30, 1948 - Pro wrestling debuts on the Dumont Network.
22, 1949 - Gorgeous George headlines the first Madison
Square Garden wrestling card in 12 years, against
Ernie Dusek. Gorgeous George won the match in front
of 4,197 fans.
4, 1949 - Lillian Ellison (later known as Fabulous
Moolah) defeated Cecilia Blevins in Kansas City, Missouri.
25, 1949 - Lou Thesz is awarded his first of six NWA
World titles after Orville Brown's career is ending
by a car accident.
- Japan's first post-war professional wrestling card
is held ... Verne Gagne moves up to the heavyweight
- The Sheik makes his professional wrestling debut.
- Captain Lou Albano makes his professional wrestling
debut by defeating Bob Lazaro in Montreal, Quebec,
1, 1957 - Wrestler Danny Hodge appears on the cover
of Sports Illustrated magazine.
- Bruno Sammartino makes his professional wrestling
1960 - The American Wrestling Association (AWA) is
- Gorgeous George loses his hair, after dropping his
match with the Destroyer in L.A.
1963 - The World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF)
recognizes its first champion, Buddy Rogers
- Andre Rene Rousimoff (later known as Andre the Giant)
debuts at the Butcher.
17, 1964 - Sammartino defeats Buddy Rogers for the
WWWF title. He retains the title until January 1971
when Ivan Koloff relieves him of the gold.
1972 - New Japan Pro Wrestling is formed.
1972 - Shohei "Giant" Baba forms All Japan
- Jim Crockett Jr. takes over Crockett promotions.
9, 1975 - WWWF champion Sammartino defends the title
against PWF Giant Baba in Japan. The match ends in
a no decision.
4, 1975 - Ric Flair is involved in a plane crash in
Wilmington, North Carolina. "The Nature Boy"
breaks his back in three different places.
8, 1975 - Nick Bockwinkel ends Verne Gagne's seven
year plus AWA title reign.
1979 - Vince McMahon Sr. renames the WWWF the World
Wrestling Federation (WWF).
18, 1980 - Verne Gagne wins his tenth AWA title by
defeating Nick Bockwinkel in Chicago, IL. Bockwinkel
had been champion since 1975.
2, 1980 - Hulk Hogan wrestles Andre the Giant to a
time limit draw before 26,000 fans on a Bill Watts'
show at the Superdome in New Orleans, LA.
9, 1980 - Bruno Sammartino defeats his protégé
Larry Zbyszko in a steel cage match at Shea Stadium
in New York. The semi-main event saw Andre the Giant
beat Hulk Hogan.
17, 1981 - Flair captures his first World title from
1982 - Vince McMahon Jr. purchases the WWF from his
24, 1983 - The first Starrcade is staged in Greensboro,
- McMahon purchases Georgia Championship Wrestling
for $1,000,000 and closes the promotion.
24, 1984 - Hulk Hogan pins The Iron Sheik at Madison
Square Garden for the WWF title. Hogan begins a four
year title reign.
21, 1985 - ABC airs an installment of "20/20"
during which Dr. D David Shultz hits reporter John
Stossel in the ears; Stossel later sued and received
a $280,000 settlement from the WWF.
31, 1985 - Vince McMahon Jr. stages the first WrestleMania
on closed circuit television.
10, 1985 - NBC airs the first episode of "Saturday
Night's Main Event." The show features Hogan
defeating "Cowboy" Bob Orton, Jr. to retain
the WWF title.
1986 - The Four Horsemen are formed, a quartet consisting
of Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson and Ole
Anderson, with management by James J. Dillon.
- Jim Crockett purchases Mid South Sports (UWF) from
Bill Watts for $4 million.
29, 1987 - Wrestlemania III is hosted by the Pontiac
Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. A crowd of over 78,000
fans witnesses Hogan successfully defending the WWF
title against Andre the Giant in the main event.
26, 1987 - "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and The
Iron Sheik are arrested by New Jersey state police.
Duggan is charged with possession of marijuana and
drinking alcohol while driving; Sheik is charged with
possession of cocaine and marijuana. Duggan receives
a conditional discharge; Sheik receives a year probation.
24, 1988 - WWF airs its first "Royal Rumble"
on the USA Network.
5, 1988 - Andre the Giant ends Hulk Hogan's four year
WWF title reign. He later gives the title to the "Million
Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, until the title is held
up by WWF President Jack Tunney.
27, 1988 - The first "Clash of the Champions"
air on WTBS, airing head to head with Wrestlemania
IV. In the main event, Ric Flair and Sting wrestled
to a 45 minute time limit draw.
1988 - Ted Turner buys out Jim Crockett Jr. for $9
million, and later renames his promotion World Championship
1993 - "Raw" debuts on the USA Network.
1993 - Vince McMahon is charged with steroid possession.
11, 1994 - Hogan signs with World Championship Wrestling.
22, 1994 - The Ultimate Warrior wrestles his first
match in more than two years before 2,000 fans in
Las Vegas. He defeats the Honky Tonk Man.
27, 1994 - Shane Douglas defeats 2 Cold Scorpio for
the NWA World Heavyweight Title, but then dumps the
belt and proclaims himself the first Extreme Championship
Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion.
13, 1995 - Big Van Vader beats El Canek in Mexico
City to win the UWA heavyweight title. With the win,
Vader simultaneously holds major titles in Asia (New
Japan's IWGP title), Europe (CWA title) and North
America (UWA title).
4, 1995 - "Nitro" debuts on TNT.
- Paul Heyman purchases ECW from Tod Gordon.
- The WWF lost a state supreme court appeal of a court's
decision that awarded Jesse "The Body" Ventura
$800,000 in past royalties.
19, 1996 - After a steel cage match between Shawn
Michaels and Diesel (Kevin Nash) at Madison Square
Garden, "The Kliq" (Hall, Nash, HBK, and
Triple H) embrace, breaking tradition "kayfabe."
Hall and Nash had already signed with WCW.
23, 1996 - Austin wins the King of the Ring tournament,
and starts his Austin 3:16 gimmick.
7, 1996 - Hogan turns heel at Bash at the Beach, joining
Hall and Nash in the New World Order (NWO).
17, 1996 - Rocky Maivia (The Rock) debuts at the Survivor
9, 1997 - McMahon cheats Bret Hart out of the WWF
title at the Survivor Series in Montreal.
1997 - Rick Rude becomes the only wrestler to appear
on "Raw" and "Nitro" on the same
- WCW earns $55 million in profits.
13, 1998 - "Raw" ends "Nitro's"
83 week winning streak.
1998 - Former wrestler and announcer Jesse "The
Body" Ventura is elected Governor of Minnesota.
23, 1999 - Owen Hart, 34, dressed as the Blue Blazer,
falls to his death during the Over the Edge PPV in
Kansas City, Missouri. The Hart family filed a wrongful
death lawsuit against the WWF, and settled out of
court for $18 million in November 2000.
1999 - WCW hires WWF writers Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara.
- WCW loses $62 million.
25, 2000 - The WWF moves "Raw" to TNN.
23, 2001 - The WWF purchases World Championship Wrestling
(WCW) for a mere $4.3 million.
26, 2001 - The final "Nitro" airs on TNT.
4, 2001 - HHG Corporation, the owners of Extreme Championship
Wrestling, filed for bankruptcy. In their filing,
HHG Corp. claimed assets of $1,385,500 and listed
debts of $8,881,435, leaving them with about $7.5
million in debt when they ceased operations.
the media has said about wrestling over the years
Wrestling Alliance title history
Championship Wrestling (Australia) history