1996 in professional wrestling

1996 in professional wrestling describes the year's events in the world of professional wrestling.

List of years in professional wrestling

Calendar of notable live events

January

Promotion(s) Event Date Venue Location Attendance
NJPW Wrestling World 1996 January 4 Tokyo Dome Tokyo, Japan 54,000
ECW House Party (1996) January 5 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,150
WWF Royal Rumble (1996) January 21 Selland Arena Fresno, California 9,600[1]

February

Promotion(s) Event Date Venue Location Attendance
ECW Big Apple Blizzard Blast February 3 Lost Battalion Hall Queens, New York N/A
N/A First Annual Eddie Gilbert Memorial Show February 3 The Armory Cherry Hill, New Jersey N/A
WCW SuperBrawl VI February 11 Bayfront Arena Petersburg, Florida 7,200
ECW CyberSlam (1996) February 17 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,300
WWF In Your House 6 February 18 Louisville Gardens Louisville, Kentucky 5,500[2]
CMLL La Copa Junior Tournament February 23-March 1 Arena México Mexico City, Mexico N/A[3]
ECW Just Another Night February 23 Briarcliffe Fieldhouse Glenolden, Pennsylvania N/A

March

Promotion(s) Event Date Venue Location Attendance
ECW Big Ass Extreme Bash March 8 Lost Battalion Hall Queens, New York N/A
CMLL Homenaje a Salvador Lutteroth March 22 Arena México Mexico City, Mexico N/A[4]
WCW Uncensored (1996) March 24 Tupelo Coliseum Tupelo, Mississippi 9,000
WWF WrestleMania XII March 31 Arrowhead Pond Anaheim, California 18,853[5]

April

Promotion(s) Event Date Venue Location Attendance
FMW Yamato Nadeshiko III April 4 Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium Osaka, Japan N/A
ECW Massacre On Queens Boulevard April 13 Lost Battalion Hall Queens, New York N/A
CMLL 40. Aniversario de Arena México April 19 Arena México Mexico City, Mexico N/A[6]
ECW Hostile City Showdown (1996) April 20 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,075
WWF In Your House 7: Good Friends, Better Enemies April 28 Omaha Civic Auditorium Omaha, Nebraska 9,563[7]

May

Promotion(s) Event Date Venue Location Attendance
FMW FMW 7th Anniversary Show May 5 Kawasaki Stadium Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan 33,231
AAA Triplemanía IV-A May 11 International Amphitheatre Chicago, Illinois 2,676
ECW A Matter of Respect (1996) May 11 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,075
WCW Slamboree (1996) May 19 Riverside Centroplex Baton Rouge, Louisiana 7,791
WWF In Your House 8: Beware of Dog May 26
May 28
Florence Civic Center
North Charleston Coliseum
Florence, South Carolina
North Charleston, South Carolina
6,000[8]
4,500[9]

June

Promotion(s) Event Date Venue Location Attendance
ECW Fight the Power June 1 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,000
N/A First Annual Ilio DiPaolo Memorial Show June 7 Buffalo Memorial Auditorium Buffalo, New York N/A
CMLL Torneo Gran Alternativa June 7 Arena México Mexico City, Mexico N/A[10]
AAA Triplemanía IV-B June 15 Orizaba Bullring Orizaba, Veracruz 7,000
WCW The Great American Bash (1996) June 16 Baltimore Arena Baltimore, Maryland 9,000
ECW Hardcore Heaven (1996) June 22 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,250[11]
WWF King of the Ring (1996) June 23 MECCA Arena Milwaukee, Wisconsin 8,762[12]
N/A First Annual Rikidozan Memorial Show June 30 Yokohama Arena Yokohama, Japan N/A

July

Promotion(s) Event Date Venue Location Attendance
CMLL International Gran Prix July 5 Arena México Mexico City, Mexico N/A[13]
CWA Euro Catch Festival in Graz (1996) July 6 Eisstadion Liebenau Graz, Austria 4,000
WCW Bash at the Beach (1996) July 7 Ocean Center Daytona Beach, Florida 8,300[14]
ECW Heat Wave (1996) July 13 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,500[11]
WWC WWC 23rd Aniversario July 14 N/A Caguas, Puerto Rico N/A
AAA Triplemanía IV-C July 15 Convention Center Madero, Tamaulipas, Mexico 12,000
WWF In Your House 9: International Incident July 21 General Motors Place Vancouver, British Columbia 14,804

August

Promotion(s) Event Date Venue Location Attendance
FMW Summer Spectacular (1996) August 1 Shiodome Tokyo, Japan 3,580
ECW The Doctor is In August 3 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania N/A
WCW WCW Hog Wild August 10 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Sturgis, South Dakota 5,000[15]
WWF SummerSlam (1996) August 18 Gund Arena Cleveland, Ohio 17,000
ECW Requiem for a Pitbull August 23 Bodyslams Arena Reading, Pennsylvania N/A
ECW Natural Born Killaz August 24 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania N/A
WWF Xperience August 24 Exhibition Stadium Toronto, Ontario 21,211[16]

September

Promotion(s) Event Date Venue Location Attendance
ECW Unlucky Lottery September 13 The Flagstaff Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania N/A
ECW When Worlds Collide (1996) September 14 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania N/A
WCW Fall Brawl (1996) September 15 Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum Winston-Salem, North Carolina 11,300
CMLL CMLL 63rd Anniversary Show September 20
September 27
Arena México Mexico City, Mexico N/A[17][18]
WWF In Your House 10: Mind Games September 22 CoreStates Center Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 15,000[19]

October

Promotion(s) Event Date Venue Location Attendance
ECW Ultimate Jeopardy (1996) October 5 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania N/A
WWF In Your House 11: Buried Alive October 20 Market Square Arena Indianapolis, Indiana 9,649[20]
ECW High Incident October 26 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania N/A
WCW Halloween Havoc (1996) October 27 MGM Grand Garden Arena Paradise, Nevada 10,000

November

Promotion(s) Event Date Venue Location Attendance
CMLL Torneo Gran Alternativa November 15 Arena México Mexico City, Mexico N/A[21]
ECW November to Remember (1996) November 16 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,500
WWF Survivor Series (1996) November 17 Madison Square Garden New York, New York 18,647
WCW World War 3 (1996) November 24 Norfolk Scope Norfolk, Virginia 10,314

December

Promotion(s) Event Date Venue Location Attendance
ECW Holiday Hell (1996) December 7 ECW Arena Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1,150
FMW Year End Spectacular (1996) December 11 Komazawa Gymnasium Tokyo, Japan N/A
WWF In Your House 12: It's Time December 15 West Palm Beach Auditorium West Palm Beach, Florida 5,708[22]
CWA Euro Catch Festival in Bremen (1996) December 21 Marquee at the Bürgerweide Bremen, Germany 2,500
WCW Starrcade (1996) December 29 Nashville Municipal Auditorium Nashville, Tennessee 9,030

Notable incidents

Mass Transit Incident

The "Mass Transit incident" was an infamous event in professional wrestling that occurred at an Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) house show on November 23, 1996 at the Wonderland Ballroom in Revere, Massachusetts.[23][24][25] It involved Eric Kulas (1979 – May 12, 2002), an aspiring professional wrestler using the ring name "Mass Transit", being bladed too deeply by New Jack of The Gangstas during a tag-team match. Two of Kulas' arteries were severed; he bled profusely and passed out, and needed to be escorted out of the arena with medical attention. Further controversy arose when it came to light that Kulas had lied to ECW owner and booker Paul Heyman about his age and professional wrestling training. The incident led to a future ECW pay-per-view being cancelled (until Heyman negotiated otherwise), a lawsuit from Kulas' family, and went down as one of the most notorious moments of lore in professional wrestling history.[23][24][25]

IWRG created

On January 1 – Mexican promoter Adolfo Moreno created the International Wrestling Revolution Group (IWRG) which held its debut show on this date in Arena Naucalpan.[26]

Accomplishments and tournaments

WCW

Accomplishment Winner Date won Notes
Lord Of The Ring Tournament Diamond Dallas Page May 19
World War 3 The Giant November 24
WCW United States Championship Tournament Eddie Guerrero December 29
WCW Women's Championship Tournament Akira Hokuto December 29

WWF

Accomplishment Winner Date won Notes
Royal Rumble Shawn Michaels January 21
WWF Tag Team Championship Tournament The Bodydonnas March 31
Kuwait Cup Ahmed Johnson May 12
King of the Ring Stone Cold Steve Austin June 23
WWF Intercontinental Championship Tournament Marc Mero September 23
Middle East Cup Bret Hart December 2

WWF Hall of Fame

Category Inductee Inducted by
Individual "Baron" Mikel Scicluna Gorilla Monsoon
"Captain" Lou Albano Joe Franklin
Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka Don Muraco
Johnny Rodz Arnold Skaaland
Killer Kowalski Hunter Hearst Helmsley
Pat Patterson Bret Hart
Vincent J. McMahon Shane McMahon
Group The Valiant Brothers Tony Garea

Slammy Awards

Poll Results
Best Buns Sunny[27]
Best Slammin' Jammin' Entrance Shawn Michaels[28][29][30]
"Put A Fork in Him, He's Done" (Best Finisher) Bret HartSharpshooter[28][29][30]
Crime of the Century Vader's assault on WWF President Gorilla Monsoon[28][29][30]
New Sensation of the Squared Circle Ahmed Johnson[28][29][30]
I'm Talking and I Can't Shut Up for Biggest Mouth Jerry Lawler[28][29][30]
Best Threads Shawn Michaels[28][29][30]
Blue Light Special for Worst Dresser Jim Cornette[28][29][30]
WWF's Greatest Hit The Undertaker drags Diesel into the abyss[28][29][30]
Minds Behind the Mayhem for Manager of the Year Sunny[28][29][30]
Lifetime Achievement Award Freddie Blassie[28][29][30]
Most Embarrassing Moment Jerry Lawler kisses his own foot[28][29][30]
Squared Circle Shocker Shawn Michaels collapses (Owen Hart accepts the award for making Shawn collapse)[28][29][30][31]
Master of Mat Mechanics Shawn Michaels[28][29][30]
Best Music Video Bret Hart[28][29][30]
US West Match of the Year Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon in a ladder match from SummerSlam '95[28][29][30]
Which WWF World Heavyweight Champion, past or present, in attendance, is Hall of Fame bound? Bret Hart[28][29][30]
Leader of the New Generation Shawn Michaels[28][29][30]

Awards and honors

Pro Wrestling Illustrated

Category Winner
PWI Wrestler of the Year The Giant
PWI Tag Team of the Year Harlem Heat
(Booker T and Stevie Ray)
PWI Match of the Year Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels (WrestleMania XII)
PWI Feud of the Year Eric Bischoff vs. Vince McMahon
PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year Shawn Michaels
PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year Hollywood Hogan
PWI Comeback of the Year Sycho Sid
PWI Most Improved Wrestler of the Year Ahmed Johnson
PWI Most Inspirational Wrestler of the Year Jake Roberts
PWI Rookie of the Year The Giant
PWI Lifetime Achievement Danny Hodge
PWI Editor's Award Sunny

Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards

Category Winner
Wrestler of the Year Kenta Kobashi
Most Outstanding Rey Misterio Jr.
Feud of the Year New World Order vs. World Championship Wrestling
Tag Team of the Year Mitsuharu Misawa and Jun Akiyama
Most Improved Diamond Dallas Page
Best on Interviews Stone Cold Steve Austin

Title changes

ECW

Incoming champion – The Sandman
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
January 27 Raven Live event
October 5 The Sandman Ultimate Jeopardy
December 7 Raven Holiday Hell
Incoming champion – Mikey Whipwreck
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
January 5 2 Cold Scorpio House Party
May 11 Shane Douglas A Matter of Respect
June 1 Pitbull #2 Fight the Power
June 22 Chris Jericho Hardcore Heaven
July 13 Shane Douglas Heat Wave
Incoming champions – Cactus Jack and Mikey Whipwreck
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
February 3 The Eliminators
(Kronus and Saturn)
Big Apple Blizzard Blast
August 3 The Gangstas
(Mustapha Saed and New Jack)
Doctor Is In
December 20 The Eliminators
(Kronus and Saturn)
Hardcore TV #193

FMW

FMW Double Championship
Incoming champion – The Gladiator
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
January 5 Vacant FMW
February 23 Super Leather FMW
May 27 The Gladiator FMW
FMW Brass Knuckles Tag Team Championship
Incoming champions – Lethal Weapon (Hisakatsu Oya and Horace Boulder)
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
January 5 The Faces of Dead
(Super Leather and Jason the Terrible)
FMW
March 30 The Headhunters (A and B) FMW
FMW Independent World Junior Heavyweight Championship
Incoming champion – Koji Nakagawa
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
May 5 Taka Michinoku 7th Anniversary Show
FMW Women's Championship
Incoming champion – Combat Toyoda
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
May 5 Megumi Kudo 7th Anniversary Show
FMW World Street Fight 6-Man Tag Team Championship
(Title created)
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
May 5 Puerto Rican Army
(Super Leather, Headhunter A and Headhunter B)
7th Anniversary Show
June 28 Masato Tanaka, Koji Nakagawa and Tetsuhiro Kuroda FMW
November 16 Funk Masters of Wrestling
(Hisakatsu Oya, Headhunter A and Headhunter B)
FMW

IWRG

Incoming champions – Los Oficiales (Maniac Cop, Oficial and Virgilante)
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
Uncertain Los Super Payasos (Bruly, Circus and Rody) IWRG Show [32]
December 14 Judo Suwa, Shiima Nobunaga and Sumo Fuji IWRG Show [32]

NJPW

Incoming champion – Keiji Mutoh
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
January 4 Nobuhiko Takada Wrestling World 1996
April 29 Shinya Hashimoto Battle Formation
Incoming champions – Junji Hirata and Shinya Hashimoto
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
June 12 Kazuo Yamazaki and Takashi Iizuka Best of the Super Jr. III
July 16 Cho-Ten
(Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Masahiro Chono)
Summer Struggle 1996
Incoming champion – Koji Kanemoto
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
January 4 Jushin Thunder Liger Wrestling World 1996
April 29 The Great Sasuke Battle Formation
October 11 Ultimo Dragon Live event

WCW

Incoming champion – Ric Flair
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
January 22 Randy Savage Nitro
February 11 Ric Flair SuperBrawl VI
April 22 The Giant Nitro
August 10 Hollywood Hogan Hog Wild
(Title created)
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
March 20 Shinjiro Otani Hyper Battle 1996 Defeated Wild Pegasus in tournament final to determine the new WCW Cruiserweight Champion.
This was a New Japan Pro-Wrestling event.
May 2 Dean Malenko WorldWide
July 8 Rey Misterio, Jr. Nitro
October 27 Dean Malenko Halloween Havoc
December 29 Ultimate Dragon Starrcade
Incoming champion – One Man Gang
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
January 29 Konnan Nitro
July 7 Ric Flair Bash at the Beach
November 25 Vacant Nitro Vacated due to Ric Flair suffering a shoulder injury
December 29 Eddie Guerrero Starrcade Defeated Diamond Dallas Page in a tournament final
(Title created)
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
December 29 Akira Hokuto Starrcade Defeated Madusa in a tournament final to become inaugural champion
Incoming champion – Johnny B. Badd
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
February 17 Lex Luger House show
February 18 Johnny B. Badd House show
March 6 Lex Luger Saturday Night
August 20 Lord Steven Regal Saturday Night
Incoming champions – Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray)
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
January 22 Sting and Lex Luger Nitro
June 24 Harlem Heat
(Booker T and Stevie Ray)
Nitro
July 24 The Steiner Brothers
(Rick and Scott Steiner)
House show
July 27 Harlem Heat
(Booker T and Stevie Ray)
House show
September 23 The Public Enemy
(Johnny Grunge and Rocco Rock)
Nitro
October 1 Harlem Heat
(Booker T and Stevie Ray)
Saturday Night Aired on tape delay on October 5.
October 27 The Outsiders
(Kevin Nash and Scott Hall)
Halloween Havoc

WWF

Incoming champion – Bret Hart
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
March 31 Shawn Michaels WrestleMania XII It was a 60-minute Iron Man match that went into sudden death with the score 0-0.
November 17 Sycho Sid Survivor Series
Incoming champion – Razor Ramon
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
January 21 Goldust Royal Rumble
April 1 Vacant Raw Held up when a title defense against Savio Vega ended in a no contest
April 1 Goldust Raw Defeated Savio Vega in a rematch for the vacant title
June 23 Ahmed Johnson King of the Ring
August 12 Vacant Raw Ahmed Johnson forfeited the title after being attacked by the debuting Faarooq after winning an 11-man battle royal
September 23 Marc Mero Raw Defeated Faarooq in a tournament final
October 21 Hunter Hearst Helmsley Raw
Incoming champions – The Smoking Gunns (Billy and Bart Gunn)
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
February 15 Vacated House show Vacated when Billy Gunn suffered a neck injury
March 31 The Bodydonnas
(Skip and Zip)
WrestleMania XII Defeated The Godwinns in a tournament final
May 19 The Godwinns
(Henry O. and Phineas I. Godwinn)
House show
May 26 The Smoking Gunns
(Billy and Bart Gunn)
In Your House 8: Beware of Dog
September 22 Owen Hart and The British Bulldog In Your House 10: Mind Games
Incoming champion – The Ringmaster
Date Winner Event/Show Note(s)
May 28 Abandoned N/A

Debuts

  • Uncertain debut date

Retirements

Deaths

See also

References

  1. ^ "Royal Rumble 1996 results". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
  2. ^ "Historical Cards: In Your House 6 (February 18, 1996. Louisville, Kentucky)". PWI Presents: 2007 Wrestling Almanach and book of facts. Kappa Publications. p. 150. 2007 Edition.
  3. ^ "Copa Junior Tournament 1996". Pro Wrestling History. February 23 – March 31, 1996. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
  4. ^ "Los Lutteroth / the Lutteroths". Lucha Libre: Masked Superstars of Mexican Wrestling. Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. 2005. pp. 20–27. ISBN 968-6842-48-9.
  5. ^ Powell, Jason. "Iron Man Match highlights WrestleMania 12". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  6. ^ Lucha 2000 Staff (April 2006). "Arena México: 50 anos de Lucha Libre". Lucha 2000 (in Spanish). Especial 28.
  7. ^ "Good Friends, Better Enemies info". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
  8. ^ "Beware of Dog info". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  9. ^ "Beware of Dog 2 info". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  10. ^ "CMLL Gran Alternativa #3". Pro Wrestling History. June 7, 1996. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  11. ^ a b Note that this was an internet pay-per-view event (iPPV)
  12. ^ Martin, Finn (1996-09-15). "Power Slam Magazine, issue 26". International Incident (In Your House 9). SW Publishing. pp. 24–25.
  13. ^ "Gran Prix Tournament 1996". ProWrestlingHistory.com. July 5, 1996. Retrieved August 30, 2009.
  14. ^ "Bash at the Beach 1996". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
  15. ^ "Hog Wild". Pro Wrestling History. August 10, 1996. Retrieved September 2, 2015.
  16. ^ Canoe – Slam! Wrestling – the Big Event 21 years later
  17. ^ "63rd Anniversary Show". ProWrestlingHistory. September 20, 1996. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  18. ^ "1996 Especial!". Box y Lucha Magazine (in Spanish). January 10, 1997. pp. 2–28. issue 2280.
  19. ^ "Historical Cards: In Your House 10 (September 22, 1996. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)". PWI Presents: 2007 Wrestling Almanak and book of facts. Kappa Publications. p. 151. 2007 Edition.
  20. ^ "Historical Cards: In Your House 11 (October 20, 1996. Indianapolis, Indiana)". PWI Presents: 2007 Wrestling Almanak and book of facts. Kappa Publications. p. 151. 2007 Edition.
  21. ^ "CMLL Gran Alternativa #4". Pro Wrestling History. November 15, 1996. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  22. ^ "Historical Cards: In Your House 12 (December 15, 1996. West Palm Beach, Florida)". PWI Presents: 2007 Wrestling Almanak and book of facts. Kappa Publications. p. 151. 2007 Edition.
  23. ^ a b Williams, Scott (2006). Hardcore History. Sports Publishing LLC. pp. 106–111. ISBN 978-1-59670-021-5.
  24. ^ a b Loverro, Thom (2006). The Rise and Fall of ECW. Pocket Books. pp. 175–180. ISBN 978-1-4165-1058-1.
  25. ^ a b Assael, Shaun; Mooneyham, Mike (2002). Sex, Lies, and Headlocks. Crown Publishers. pp. 199–200. ISBN 978-0-609-60690-2.
  26. ^ "Arena Naucalpan". SuperLuchas (in Spanish). June 11, 2012. p. 18. Issue 466.
  27. ^ Bishop, Matt and Matt Mackinder (December 7, 2008). "Bringing back Slammy Awards – a good, bad idea". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
  28. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Slammy Awards History". Wrestling Information Archive. Archived from the original on 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "WWF Slammy Awards (1996)". TWNP News. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "WWF Slammy Awards (1996)". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2008-02-22.
  31. ^ "A history of the Slammy Awards". thesun.co.uk. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  32. ^ a b Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). "MEXICO: Districto Federal Trios Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. p. 401. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  33. ^ Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. p. 244. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
A Matter of Respect (1996)

A Matter of Respect (1996) was the first A Matter of Respect professional wrestling supercard event produced by Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). It took place on May 11, 1996, in the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The event marked the culmination of the feud between Rob Van Dam and Sabu, who faced one another in a bout in which the loser was required to shake the winner's hand and declare their respect for them. Van Dam defeated Sabu and subsequently refused to shake Sabu's hand, establishing his cocky persona.

CMLL 63rd Anniversary Show

The CMLL 63rd Anniversary Show was a professional wrestling major show event produced by Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) in 1996. Different sources identify different shows in September as the actual Anniversary Show, either on September 20 or September 27, or possibly both as CMLL has held multiple shows to commemorate their anniversary in the past. Both shows took place in Arena Méxicoin Mexico City, Mexico. The September 20th show consisted of five matches, with the main event seeing Rayo de Jalisco Jr. defend the CMLL World Heavyweight Championship against challenger Gran Markus Jr. On the undercard El Hijo del Santo and Negro Casas faced off in a singles match, working a storyline that a year later, at the CMLL 64th Anniversary Show saw them wrestle in a Lucha de Apuestas, hair vs. mask match. Also on the show Lola Gonzales defended the TWF Women's Championship against Lioness Asuka as well as three further matches. The September 27th show consisted of at least four matches, with the main event being a Best two-out-of-three fallsLucha de Apuesta hair vs. hair match between rivals Emilio Charles Jr. and Silver King. One or both events commemorated the 63rd anniversary of CMLL, the oldest professional wrestling promotion in the world. The Anniversary show is CMLL's biggest show of the year, their Super Bowl event.

ECW/IWA Japan

In professional wrestling, ECW/IWA Japan was a tour of Japan staged by the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States-based professional wrestling promotion Extreme Championship Wrestling in August 1996 conjunction with the International Wrestling Association of Japan. The tour featured two events: the first in the Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium, Yokohama on August 10 and the second in Korakuen Hall, Tokyo on August 11. Highlights from the tour aired on the August 13, 1996 episode of ECW Hardcore TV.

Eddie Gilbert Memorial Brawl

The Eddie Gilbert Memorial Brawl was an annual professional wrestling event held between 1996 and 1999 as a tribute to wrestler Eddie Gilbert and featured talent from the National Wrestling Alliance, World Wrestling Federation and Extreme Championship Wrestling, as well as local and established independent wrestlers. Each year, the event would feature the Gilbert family receiving a plaque from promoter Dennis Coraluzzo. In 1998, the show came under some criticism when Coraluzzo was alleged to have used the in-ring plaque presentation to publicly attack Paul Heyman, as did the Gilbert family, provoking a verbal altercation between himself and ECW fans in attendance.The show was also attended by older veterans who had worked with Gilbert during his career and appeared both during the show and at a special "tribute dinner" and wrestling convention held during the weekend. Mick Foley made an appearance at the first convention and later expressed his regret in not wrestling the first show. Brian Hildebrand was honored at the banquet two years later.Although the original shows were promoted by Coraluzzo and NWA New Jersey, other promotions have held similar events including IWA Mid-South in 1998 and Southeastern Championship Wrestling in 2002. It has been suggested by some in the industry, such as former wrestlers Bob Blackburn and Buddy Landel, that the shows have been used to financially exploit Gilbert's death. Landel, a regular performer for the NWA shows, initially declined Ian Rotten's offer to appear for IWA Mid South's memorial show for this reason.

Heat Wave (1996)

Heat Wave (1996) was the third Heat Wave professional wrestling event produced by Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). The event took place on July 13, 1996 from the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This was an internet pay-per-view (iPPV) event.

Holiday Hell

Holiday Hell was a professional wrestling event produced by Eastern/Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). It was annually in December from 1993 to 1996 and in 2000.

Homenaje a Salvador Lutteroth (1996)

Homenaje a Salvador Lutteroth (1996) (Spanish for "Homage to Salvador Lutteroth") was a professional wrestling major show event produced by Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL), which took place on March 22, 1996 in Arena México, Mexico City, Mexico. The event was to honor and remember CMLL founder Salvador Lutteroth who died in March 1987. The annual March event would later be renamed Homenaje a Dos Leyendas ("Homage to two legends") as CMLL honored both Lutteroth and another retired or deceased wrestler. The main event was a singles match between Rambo defeated El Brazo under Lucha de Apuestas rules, which meant that both men their hair on the outcome of the match and would have to be shaved bald if they lost the match. The show also featured a Six-man "Lucha Libre rules" tag team match for the CMLL World Trios Championship as champions Los Chacales ("The Jackals"; Bestia Salvaje, Emilio Charles Jr. and Sangre Chicana) defended against the team of Dos Caras, Héctor Garza and La Fiera. On the under card CMLL held the Torneo de Alto Rendimiento ("High Performance Tournament") an eight man torneo cibernetico elimination match as well as at least one additional match.

House Party (1996)

House Party (1996) was the first House Party professional wrestling supercard event produced by Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). The event took place on January 5, 1996 in the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Several matches from the event aired on the January 23, 1996 episode of ECW Hardcore TV.

House Party featured the final appearance of tag team The Public Enemy, who had signed contracts with World Championship Wrestling, until their return in January 1999, as well as the final appearance of Tony Stetson. The event also saw the debut of future ECW mainstay Rob Van Dam, along with the surprise return of Shane Douglas from the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).

Ilio DiPaolo Memorial Show

The Ilio DiPaolo Memorial Show was an annual professional wrestling event held between 1996 and 1999 as a tribute to wrestler Ilio DiPaolo and featured talent from World Championship Wrestling as well as appearances from older wrestling stars of the "television era". Several of these wrestlers came out of retirement to face their former rivals on the first three shows.

The show was organized by Dennis DiPaolo, along with family and friends of the late Ilio DiPaolo, and the proceeds were generally donated to charitable organizations. The second show, held at the Midland Marine Arena in 1997, was attended by over 16,000 people and raised $70,000 each for the Sick Children's Hospital and the Ilio DiPaulo Scholarship Fund. Jim Kelly, a former quarterback for Buffalo Bills, also received a plaque in recognition for his charity work and was one of several guest celebrities to appear on the show. Although many celebrities were paid for their appearances, wrestlers such as Johnny Barend did not accept payment to perform at the event.

Mass Transit incident (professional wrestling)

The "Mass Transit Incident" was an infamous event in professional wrestling that occurred at an Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) house show on November 23, 1996 at the Wonderland Ballroom in Revere, Massachusetts. It involved Erich Kulas (1979 – May 12, 2002), an aspiring professional wrestler using the ring name "Mass Transit", being bladed too deeply by New Jack of The Gangstas during a tag-team match. Two of Kulas' arteries were severed; he bled profusely and passed out, and needed to be escorted out of the arena with medical attention. Further controversy arose when it came to light that Kulas had lied to ECW owner and booker Paul Heyman about his age and professional wrestling training. The incident led to a future ECW pay-per-view being temporarily cancelled and a lawsuit from Kulas' family.

Sky Diving J

Sky Diving J was a professional wrestling event produced by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW). The event took place on June 17, 1996 at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan. The event was notable for revolutionizing junior heavyweight wrestling in NJPW and Japanese wrestling history. The event aired on television on TV Asahi on July 6, 1996. All of the matches contested at the event were junior heavyweight championship matches from different promotions from Japan. This was a very significant event in the revolution of junior heavyweight wrestling as title defences from various promotions at the event would result in the unification of various junior heavyweight championships to create the J-Crown.Eight professional wrestling matches were contested at the event and all of the matches were contested for various junior heavyweight championships from all over Japan. In the main event, The Great Sasuke successfully defended the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against Black Tiger. Six of the titles were retained at the event while two championships changed hands at the event as Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Dick Togo to capture the British Commonwealth Junior Heavyweight Championship while Shinjiro Otani defeated Kazushi Sakuraba for the vacant UWA World Junior Light Heavyweight Championship.

Torneo Gran Alternativa (June 1996)

The Torneo Gran Alternativa (June 1996) (Spanish for "Great Alternative Tournament") was the very first CMLL Torneo Gran Alternativa professional wrestling tournament held by the Mexican professional wrestling promotion Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL; Spanish for "World Wrestling Council"). The tournament was held on June 7, 1996, in Mexico City, Mexico at CMLL's main venue, Arena México. The Gran Alternativa tournament features tag teams composed of a rookie, or novato, and a veteran wrestler for an elimination tournament. The idea is to feature the novato wrestlers higher on the card that they usually work and help elevate one or more up the ranks. The tournament would be the first of two Gran Alternativa tournaments that CMLL would hold in 1996, with a subsequent tournament held November. It was one of only two years where CMLL chose to how the tournament twice within a calendar year. Since It is a professional wrestling tournament, it is not won or lost competitively but instead by the decisions of the bookers of a wrestling promotion that is not publicized prior to the shows to maintain the illusion that professional wrestling is a competitive sport.The veteran group consisted of Dos Caras, Bestia Salvaje, El Felino, El Hijo del Santo, El Brazo, Atlantis and Apolo Dantés while the rookie group included Bronco, Chicago Express, Astro Rey Jr., Olímpico, Olympus, Guerrero de la Muerte, Atlantico and Rey Bucanero. The final saw Bestia Salvaje and Chicago Express defeat Atlantis and Atlantico to win the tournament. The win did not signal anything major for Chicago Express as he remained in the low card matches while in CMLL.

Triplemanía IV-A

Triplemanía IV-A was a major lucha libre, or professional wrestling, show promoted by the Mexican-based AAA and was the first of three Triplemanía IV shows held in 1996. The event took place on May 11, 1996 at the International Amphitheatre in Chicago, Illinois, United States and marked the first time AAA held a Triplemanía outside of Mexico and one of the few times Triplemanía was an international event. The annual Triplemanía show(s) are AAA's biggest show of the year, serving as the culmination of major storylines and feature wrestlers from all over the world competing in what has been described as AAA's version of WrestleMania or their Super Bowl event.The main event featured a Lumberjack match between the team of Konnan and Perro Aguayo fighting Pierroth, Jr. and Cien Caras. The under card featured a guest appearance by Japanese wrestler Último Dragón, who had begun a tour of Mexico weeks before the show, teaming up with Octagón and La Parka to lose to Cibernético, El Picudo and Mosco de la Merced in a traditional best two-out-of-three falls six-man "Lucha Libre rules" tag team match. The show only featured two additional matches, making it the Triplemanía show with the fewest matches.

Triplemanía IV-B

Triplemanía IV-B was a major lucha libre, or professional wrestling, show promoted by the Mexican-based AAA and was the second of three Triplemanía IV shows held in 1996. The event took place on June 15, 1996 at the International Amphitheatre in Orizaba, Veracruz, Mexico. The annual Triplemanía show(s) are AAA's biggest show of the year, serving as the culmination of major storylines and feature wrestlers from all over the world competing in what has been described as AAA's version of WrestleMania or their Super Bowl event.The Main event featured a Lumberjack match between the teams of La Parka, Octagón, and Máscara Sagrada and Killer, Cien Caras, and Heavy Metal. The show also featured an Elimination match with eight different champions, competing for the title of Campeón de Campeones ("Champions of Champions"). The show also featured an Eight-man "Atómicos" tag team match that was a preview for the main event of Triplemanía IV-C as the team known as Los Junior Atómicos (Máscara Sagrada Jr., Tinieblas Jr., Blue Demon Jr., and Halcón Dorado Jr.) fought against Los Payasos ("The Clowns"; Coco Rojo, Coco Verde and Coco Amarillo) and Karis la Momia

Triplemanía IV-C

Triplemanía IV-C was a major lucha libre, or professional wrestling, show promoted by the Mexican-based AAA and was the third and final of three Triplemanía IV shows held in 1996. The event took place on July 15, 1996 at the Madero Convention center in Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The annual Triplemanía show(s) are AAA's biggest show of the year, serving as the culmination of major storylines and feature wrestlers from all over the world competing in what has been described as AAA's version of WrestleMania or their Super Bowl event.The Main event featured a Steel Cage Match Lucha de Apuestas "Mask vs. Mask" match where the last man in the cage was forced to unmask. The teams facing off were Los Junior Atomicos (Máscara Sagrada Jr., Tinieblas Jr., Blue Demon Jr., and Halcón Dorado Jr.) and the team of Karis la Momia and Los Payasos (Coco Rojo, Coco Verde and Coco Amarillo). The show also featured a rematch of sorts from Triplemanía IV-B, featuring the winner Pierroth Jr. and the last man eliminated, Konnan, from the AAA Campeón de Campeones Championship match. Earlier in the show two of AAA's top young wrestlers, Rey Misterio Jr. and Juventud Guerrera wrestled in a match where both men put their brand new cars on the line.

Ultimate Jeopardy (1996)

Ultimate Jeopardy (1996) was the second Ultimate Jeopardy professional wrestling supercard event produced by Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). It took place on October 5, 1996 in the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The main event of Ultimate Jeopardy 1996 was an Ultimate Jeopardy tag team match in which each competitor had placed something on the line were they to be pinned. Stevie Richards (substituting for ECW World Heavyweight Champion Raven who was on a leave of absence) was pinned by The Sandman, with Raven losing the championship as a result. Had Brian Lee been pinned, his head would have been shaved. Had Tommy Dreamer been pinned, his valet Beulah McGillicutty would have been forced to leave ECW. Had The Sandman been pinned, he would have been caned.

WWF Xperience

Xperience was a live professional wrestling event held by the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), which took place on August 24, 1996 from the Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, Ontario. It was considered to be the tenth anniversary of The Big Event which took place ten years earlier in the same venue.

World Wrestling Peace Festival

The World Wrestling Peace Festival was a professional wrestling supercard produced by Japanese professional wrestler Antonio Inoki, which took place on June 1, 1996 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. The event was organized by Inoki to promote world peace with an interpromotional event involving major promotions from around the world. Forty wrestlers from six countries ended up taking part in the event.Inoki's home promotion New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), as well as smaller independent groups, represented Japan, while World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) took part on behalf of the United States. The World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) were the only major promotions in North America not to participate in the show although this was not unexpected given their tense relationships with WCW during the Monday Night Wars. Both of Mexico's top promotions Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA) and Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) participated in the event, which was considered unlikely by many in the industry given their own heated rivalry.The main attraction on the event card was a tag team match with Antonio Inoki and NWA World Heavyweight Champion Dan Severn wrestling Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Oleg Taktarov. Inoki and Severn won the match when Severn pinned Fujiwara with a keylock. One of the featured bouts on the undercard was a title match between WCW World Heavyweight Champion The Giant and Sting, which The Giant won. Other matches included a "NJPW vs. Michinoku Pro" match between Jyushin Thunder Liger and The Great Sasuke, a triangle match between AAA Americas Heavyweight Champion Konnan, Chris Jericho and Bam Bam Bigelow, and a tag team match pitting Perro Aguayo and La Parka against Pierroth Jr. and Cibernetico.

The event had an attendance of 5,964, far less than the 17,000 promoters were expecting, which was attributed to a poor choice of venue and lack of advertising. Though not as financially successful as Inoki's Collision in Korea show the previous year, he was widely praised for his efforts. This was the first-ever wrestling show that Inoki promoted in the United States. The event, which also helped raise money for wrestling and judo programs in Los Angeles-area high schools, was supported by then Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. A few days before the show, Inoki was made honorary chief of police of Little Tokyo. At the show's conclusion, Inoki was also awarded a special "PWI Lifetime Achievement Award" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated senior editor Bill Apter.In addition, it received positive reviews from publications such as Pro Wrestling Illustrated and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. This was supported by the internet wrestling community when it was released on DVD, albeit without matches featuring WCW wrestlers, years later. Arnold Furious of the professional wrestling section of 411mania.com rated the event a 7.0 out of 10. In his review, Kevin Wilson of PuroresuCentral.com called Inoki's Peace Festival "probably the biggest show to ever take place in America" featuring international talent and that "the majority of the matches were good and a few were near excellent".The show is credited, along with AAA's When Worlds Collide show two years earlier, with helping introduce lucha libre to mainstream American wrestling fans. Eric Bischoff, who appeared with representatives from AAA and CMLL to open the show, later brought Rey Misterio Jr. and Chris Jericho into WCW, based on their performance in their respective matches, to compete for its cruiserweight division.Terry Funk was scheduled to face Sabu and Brian Pillman in a three-way match, but pulled out of the show on May 8 after Pillman was sidelined following an automobile accident and Sabu was removed from the show after being booked for Big Japan Pro Wrestling (BJW) on the same date.

Wrestling World 1996

Wrestling World 1996 was a professional wrestling event co-produced by the New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and UWF International (UWFi) promotions. The event took place on January 4 in the Tokyo Dome. Wrestling World 1996 was the fifth January 4 Tokyo Dome Show held by NJPW. The show drew 54,000 spectators and $5,400,000 in ticket sales. The driving storyline behind the show was an "inter-promotional" rivalry between NJPW and UWFi, which saw wrestlers from the promotions face off in a series of three matches. Hiroshi Hase's retirement match against his former tag team partner Kensuke Sasaki was also part of the card. The main event of the show was IWGP Heavyweight Champion Keiji Mutoh losing the championship to UWFi representative Nobuhiko Takada. The undercard featured an additional title change as Jushin Thunder Liger defeated Koji Kanemoto to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. In total the show consisted of 10 matches.

Category Inductee
Individual Abdullah the Butcher
Perro Aguayo
André the Giant
Bert Assirati
Giant Baba
Jim Barnett
Red Berry
The Destroyer
Freddie Blassie
Blue Demon
Nick Bockwinkel
Paul Boesch
Bobo Brazil
Jack Brisco
Bruiser Brody
Mildred Burke
El Canek
Negro Casas
Riki Choshu
Jim Cornette
The Crusher
Ted DiBiase
Dick the Bruiser
Alfonso Dantés
Dynamite Kid
Jackie Fargo
Ric Flair
Tatsumi Fujinami
Dory Funk
Dory Funk, Jr.
Terry Funk
Verne Gagne
Cavernario Galindo
Ed Don George
Gorgeous George
Frank Gotch
Karl Gotch
Billy Graham
Eddie Graham
René Guajardo
Gory Guerrero
Georg Hackenschmidt
Stan Hansen
Bret Hart
Stu Hart
Bobby Heenan
Danny Hodge
Hulk Hogan
Antonio Inoki
Rayo de Jalisco, Sr.
Tom Jenkins
Don Leo Jonathan
Gene Kiniski
Fred Kohler
Killer Kowalski
Ernie Ladd
Dick Lane
Jerry Lawler
Ed Lewis
Jim Londos
Salvador Lutteroth
Akira Maeda
Devil Masami
Mil Máscaras
Dump Matsumoto
Earl McCready
Leroy McGuirk
Vincent J. McMahon
Vincent K. McMahon
Danny McShain
Ray Mendoza
Toots Mondt
Sam Muchnick
Bronko Nagurski
Pat O'Connor
Kintaro Oki
Atsushi Onita
Pat Patterson
Antonio Peña
John Pesek
Roddy Piper
Harley Race
Dusty Rhodes
Rikidōzan
Yvon Robert
Billy Robinson
Antonino Rocca
Buddy Rogers
Lance Russell
Bruno Sammartino
Billy Sandow
El Santo
Jackie Sato
Randy Savage
The Sheik
Hisashi Shinma
Dara Singh
Gordon Solie
El Solitario
Ricky Steamboat
Joe Stecher
Tony Stecher
Ray Steele
Ray Stevens
Nobuhiko Takada
Genichiro Tenryu
Lou Thesz
Satoru Sayama
Jumbo Tsuruta
Frank Tunney
Maurice Vachon
Big Van Vader
Johnny Valentine
Fritz Von Erich
Whipper Billy Watson
Bill Watts
Jaguar Yokota
Stanislaus Zbyszko
Group The Dusek family
The Fabulous Kangaroos (Al Costello, Roy Heffernan, and Don Kent)
The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal)

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