- 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
1896 - George Hackenschmidt, 18, makes his wrestling debut.
2, 1899 - Gotch, trained by Martin Burns, makes his wrestling debut by defeating
- 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
- 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
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 again.
- 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 York.
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 wrestling card.
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. "Pinkie" George.
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 division.
- The Sheik makes his professional wrestling debut.
- Captain Lou Albano makes his professional wrestling debut by defeating Bob Lazaro
in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
1, 1957 - Wrestler Danny Hodge appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine.
- Bruno Sammartino makes his professional wrestling debut.
1960 - The American Wrestling Association (AWA) is formed.
- Gorgeous George loses his hair, after dropping his match with the Destroyer
1963 - The World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) recognizes its first champion,
- 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 Pro Wrestling.
- 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 Dusty Rhodes.
1982 - Vince McMahon Jr. purchases the WWF from his father.
24, 1983 - The first Starrcade is staged in Greensboro, North Carolina.
- McMahon purchases Georgia Championship Wrestling for $1,000,000 and closes the
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.
1987 - 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 Wrestling (WCW).
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
23, 1996 - Austin wins the King of the Ring tournament, and starts his Austin
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 Series.
9, 1997 - McMahon cheats Bret Hart out of the WWF title at the Survivor Series
1997 - Rick Rude becomes the only wrestler to appear on "Raw" and "Nitro"
on the same night.
- 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
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
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
the media has said about wrestling over the years
Wrestling Alliance title history
Championship Wrestling (Australia) history