Every day on the calendar holds historical significance in the world of professional wrestling. Although some events might seem mundane and futile, they are nevertheless the building blocks in which future stories and stars are built. January 13th is no exception to this rule, because while some might not remember the events that took place on this date explicitly they are still a part of history.
On January 13th, 1993 WCW held the 22nd Clash of Champions event in Milwaukee Wisconsin at The Mecca in front of 4,000 fans. The card might not be too memorable but the stars that worked the event are surely more recognizable.
Mick Foley defeated Johnny B Badd in the opening contest of the main card while in his Cactus Jack persona by pinfall in just under three minutes. Another match on the card saw Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas defeating Brian Pillman and Steve Austin by disqualification to retain their tag team championships.
The main event featured Cactus Jack, Dustin Rhodes, and Sting defeating Barry Windham, Big Van Vader, and Paul Orndorff in a 6-man steel cage match. Another highlight on the card featured Vinnie Vegas defeating Tony Atlas in an arm wrestling competition.
On this date in 2014, Monday Night Raw aired live from Providence Rhode Island inside a packed Dunkin’ Donuts Center in front of 9,000 fans. Fans that night were not only lucky enough to see Daniel Bryan as a member of the Wyatt Family but they also saw that union implode.
The night opened with the Wyatt Family represented by Bray and Daniel taking on the Usos in a short match that ended in disqualification after just over five and a half minutes. The night would end with the same two teams inside a steel cage with Daniel breaking free from his jumpsuit and kneeing Bray in the face, thus separating himself from the group.
On this date in 2014 there were a few tag teams still together which are no longer operational. The teams of AJ Lee and Tamina, Cody Rhodes and Goldust, and Rybaxel were still going strong (or as strong as they could). Some of those have left WWE to pursue other opportunities, aren’t getting booked anymore, or left WWE because their husband did. Speaking of CM Punk, he participated in a 6-man tag match that night when he partnered with The New Age Outlaws in a losing effort against The Shield.
Now we take a trip to a destination less visited, but an arena that we know well. On this date in 2007 the ECW Arena in Philadelphia Pennsylvania hosted “CZW New Year…New Opportunities” show. The card was filled with names that most may not know, but the main event saw Chris Hero losing a CZW Championship match to Justice Pain.
Hero is currently getting another run with WWE as Kassius Ohno after he was rumored to have been cut from WWE in 2013 due to his lack of participation in their conditioning program.
Hero lost in a twenty-two-minute match ten years ago in CZW to a guy that most might not have ever heard of. Six years later he was released from WWE because he wasn’t in the best physical shape. But through hard work and dedication, he is still at it and making the most of his chance to grab the brass ring.
Today is a day for the dreamers and those who persevere to reach their goals, even though it is Friday the 13th. Mick Foley didn’t stop with the Cactus Jack gimmick, instead he went on to become three of the most iconic characters in wrestling history. CM Punk didn’t like his position in WWE and exited the company later that month to follow other passions. Although you might not agree with his choices, he is still following his dream.
Vinnie Vegas didn’t take his spot and settle either, he made the leap to Stanford where he became Shawn Michael’s best friend and bodyguard. When he finally returned to WCW it was as a founding member of the NWO. Brian Pillman and Steve Austin had similar dreams, and they saw those to great success as well (although Pillman’s run was cut tragically short).
Chris Hero never gave up because he could very well have remained an indie darling his entire career and never made it back to WWE. But he kept pursuing his dream, and although he is 37-years-old he shows no signs of slowing down.
So, happy January 13th everybody. Let’s make the most of it while we can!