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THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CHRISTMAS IN IRAQ, THE FREEBIRD-VON ERICH FEUD BEGINS, ANDRE & DUSTY VS. HANSEN & LADD AND MORE

By Buck Woodward on 2009-12-25 08:00:00

December 25th

On this day in history in ....

1902 - Don McLeod defeats Tom Jenkins in Worcester, Massachusetts to win the American Heavyweight Title for a second time. The match was actually stopped and Jenkins forfeited the title to McLeod due to problems with his leg, later diagnosed as blood poisoning.

1925 - Bronko Sandor Lupsity, better known as Canadian wrestler and longtime World Class Championship Wrestling referee Bronko Lubich, is born in Batonja, Hungary.

1940 - Billy McEuin defeats Billy Raeborn in Eugene, Oregon to become the first Pacific Coast Junior Heavyweight Champion.

1952 - John Cretorian and Kurt Von Poppenheim defeat Harold Sakata and Toi Yamamoto for the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title.

1965 - In Indianapolis, Indiana, Dick the Bruiser defeats Gene Kiniski for the World Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Title, beginning his third reign. Also, Moose Cholak and Wilbur Snyder defeat The Assassins (Guy Mitchell and Joe Tomasso) to win the WWA World Tag Team Title.

1967 - Art Nelson and Pat Patterson defeat Red Bastien and Mario Milano for the International Wrestling Alliance (Australia) Tag Team Title in San Francisco, California, ending Bastien and Milano's third reign.

1968 - Toru Tanaka defeats Jim Hady to win the NWA (Hawaii) North American Heavyweight Title in Honolulu, Hawaii. Also, Nick Bockwinkel defeats Johnny Barend for the NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Title.

1968 - Rey Mendoza defeats Angel Blanco in Mexico City, Mexico to win the NWA World Light Heavyweight Title for the third time.

1968 - Rey Mendoza defeats Angel Blanco for the NWA World Light Heavyweight Title in Mexico City, Mexico, beginning his third reign.

1968 - Alberto and Ramon Torres defeat Butcher and Stan Vachon to win the NWA Georgia Tag Team Title in Savannah, Georgia. This ended the Vachons' second reign and began the Torres' third.

1968 - Karl and Kurt Von Steiger defeat Johnny War Eagle and Billy White Wolf to win the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title, beginning their second reign.

1970 - Jose Lothario & Danny Miller defeat The Infernos to become the new NWA Florida Tag Team Champions in Tampa, Florida. The previous champions, Dusty Rhodes & Dick Murdoch, had been stripped of the belts.

1975 - Carlos Colon & Cowboy Bob Ellis defeat Ali Baba & Bull Gregory in Caguas, Puerto Rico to win the WWC North American Tag Team Title.

1975 - Dutch Savage and Jimmy Snuka win their third NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title, ending the fifth reign of The Royal Kangaroos (Jonathan Boyd and Norman Frederick Charles).

1977 - Bob Sweetan defeats Black Angus Campbell for the NWA Central States Television Title in Kansas City, Kansas, beginning his second reign.

1977 - Gypsy Joe and Leroy Rochester (Junkyard Dog) win a tournament final in Nashville, Tennessee for the vacant NWA Mid-America Tag Team Title.

1978 - Kevin Von Erich defeats Bruiser Brody in Fort Worth, Texas to win the NWA American Heavyweight Title, ending Brody's third reign.

1978 - Austin Idol ends Jerry Lawler's 14th reign as AWA Southern Heavyweight Champion in Memphis, Tennessee.

1978 - Bill Watts' Mid-South Wrestling held a "Superdome Extravaganza" in New Orleans, Louisiana at the Superdome, headlined by a tournament for the United States Tag Team Title. Here are the results of the show:
- Jim Shields defeated Bill Irwin.
- Karl Von Krupp defeated Bob Markus.
- Jerry Stubbs defeated The Assassin #1 to win the Mid-South Louisiana Title.
- Ron Bass defeated Karl Kox to win the Mid-South Brass Knuckles Title.
- Ernie Ladd defeated Ray Candy via forfeit to win the Mid-South North American Title.
United States Tag Team Title Tournament: Round One
- Jack & Jerry Brisco defeated Terry Latham & Ricky Fields.
- Ernie Ladd & Stan Hansen defeated The Angel & Gama Singh.
- Wahoo McDaniel & Jim Shields defeated The Assassins.
- Bobby Jaggers & Jerry Brown defeated Randy Tyler & Mike George.
- Andre The Giant & Dusty Rhodes defeated Rob Bass & Ron Slinker. Andre & Rhodes received a bye into the semifinals.
United States Tag Team Title Tournament: Quarterfinals
- Ernie Ladd & Stan Hansen defeated Jack & Jerry Brisco. Ladd & Hansen received a bye into the finals.
- Bobby Jaggers & Jerry Brown defeated Wahoo McDaniel & Jim Shields.
United States Tag Team Title Tournament: Semifinals
- Andre The Giant & Dusty Rhodes defeated Bobby Jaggers & Jerry Brown.
United States Tag Team Title Tournament: Quarterfinals
- Andre The Giant & Dusty Rhodes defeated Ernie Ladd & Stan Hansen to win the tournament and the U.S. Tag Team Title. Danny Hodge was the special referee.

1979 - Jack and Jerry Brisco defeat Austin Idol and The Masked Superstar to win the NWA Georgia Tag Team Title.

1979 - Bob Armstrong defeats Sterling Golden (Hulk Hogan) for the NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Title in Knoxville, Tennessee.

1979 - Jim Brunzell wins his second NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Title in Charlotte, North Carolina, by defeating Ray Stevens.

1981 - At World Class Championship Wrestling's "Christmas Star Wars" in Dallas, Texas, Jose Lothario defeats Ernie Ladd in Dallas, Texas to win the NWA Texas Brass Knuckles Title for the third time. Also, Tiny Tom defeats Little Tokyo to win the NWA World Midgets' Title, ending Tokyo's second reign.

1982 - Mike Rotundo defeats Bad Leroy Brown in Charlotte, North Carolina to win the NWA Mid-Atlantic Television Title.

1982 - World Class Championship Wrestling holds the first "Christmas Star Wars" event at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas, drawing a crowd of 18,000 fans (and a Texas record gate at the time) for a show that featured one of the most famous heel turns of all time, a turn that sparked arguably the greatest feud in Texas wrestling history, the Von Erichs vs. The Fabulous Freebirds. Here are the results from the show:
- Brian Adias defeated Frank Dusek.
- Jose Lothario & Al Madril defeated Magic Dragon & Checkmate.
- Lone Eagle defeated Little Tokyo.
- World Class American Champion Kevin Von Erich defeated King Kong Bundy via DQ.
- World Class Texas Champion David Von Erich defeated Bill Irwin.
- Ken Mantel won a Battle Royal.
- Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy & David Von Erich (subbing for Buddy Roberts) defeated Tom Steele, Mike & Tommy Sharpe to become the first World Class Six-Man Tag Team Champions. After the match, David gave his share of the title to Roberts, since he was the third member of the Freebirds.
- NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair defeated Kerry Von Erich in a No Disqualification Steel Cage match in which Michael Hayes was the referee. Leading up to the match, World Class had run a storyline where, due to past controversial decisions in Flair title matches, there was a dispute as to who the referee would be. It was decided that Hayes, rather than usual officials David Manning or Bronco Lubich, would be "tough but fair" and able to keep control in the match. During the match, Von Erich and Flair got knocked out, and Hayes dragged Kerry on top of Flair and counted to three. However, Von Erich refused to accept the victory, and gave the match to Flair. Hayes screamed at Von Erich, calling him an "idiot" and as Kerry exited the cage, Terry Gordy slammed the door on Von Erich's head, sparking off the Freebird heel turn and the beginning of the legendary feud with the Von Erichs.

1983 - Rip Oliver defeats Billy Jack (Haynes) to win the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title in Seattle, Washington, beginning his fifth reign and ending Billy Jack's second.

1983 - Magnum T.A. & Mr. Wrestling II defeat Butch Reed & Jim Neidhart to win the Mid-South Wrestling Association Tag Team Title in New Orleans, Louisiana.

1983 - World Class Championship Wrestling held their "Christmas Star Wars" card at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas, drawing over 19,000 fans. Here are the results:
- The Missing Link defeated Johnny Mantell.
- Iceman Parsons & Brian Adias defeated The Super Destroyers to win the World Class American Tag Team Title.
- Kerry Von Erich defeated Kamala via DQ.
- Mike Reed defeated The Mongol.
- David Von Erich defeated NWA World Champion Ric Flair via DQ.
- Jose Lothario defeated Black Gordman.
- Kevin & Mike Von Erich defeated Terry Gordy & Buddy Roberts in a No DQ Loser Leaves Town match when Kevin pinned Gordy.
- Jimmy Garvin defeated Chris Adams to win the World Class American Title.

1984 - The Rock N' Roll Express defeats Ted DiBiase & Hercules Hernandez to win the Mid-South Wrestling Association Tag Team Title in New Orleans, Louisiana.

1984 - World Class Championship Wrestling held their "Christmas Star Wars" event at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas, drawing over 17,000 fans. Here are the results:
- Kelly Kiniski defeated Buck Zumhoffe.
- Rip Oliver defeated Iceman Parsons.
- Jose Lothario defeated El Diablo Grande.
- World Class American Tag Team Champions The Fantastics defeated The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Dennis Condrey).
- Kerry Von Erich defeated NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair via DQ.
- Kevin Von Erich defeated Chris Adams in a Lumberjack match.
- Terry Gordy, Buddy Roberts & Chic Donovan defeated Skandar Akbar, The Missing Link & Mr. X in a Loser Leaves Town elimination match. This was done like a battle royal, and Terry Gordy ended up as the sole survivor (and didn't have to leave town).
- Mike Von Erich & Billy Jack Haynes defeated Gino Hernandez & Jake Roberts.

1985 - World Class Championship Wrestling held their "Christmas Star Wars" event at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas, drawing over 8,000 fans. Here are the results:
- John Mantell defeated Tommy Montana.
- Iceman Parsons & Brian Adias defeated The Great Kabuki & The Grappler.
- Tatsumi Fujinami defeated Jose Lothario.
- Lance Von Erich defeated World Class American Champion Rick Rude via DQ.
- Terry Gordy & Buddy Roberts defeated Mark Youngblood & Dave Peterson.
- The Missing Link defeated Jack Victory.
- Kerry & Kevin Von Erich defeated World Class American Tag Team Champions Chris Adams & Gino Hernandez via DQ.
- Scott Casey & Sunshine defeated John Tatum & Missy Hyatt.
- IWGP Champion Antonio Inoki defeated Steve Williams.
- Bruiser Brody defeated One Man Gang in a chain match.
- Kerry, Kevin & Lance Von Erich defeated The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy & Buddy Roberts).

1986 - AWA holds their "Brawl In St. Paul" event at the St. Paul Civic Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, drawing over 8,000 fans. Here are the results:
- Buck Zumhoffe vs. Buddy Wolfe went to a time limit draw.
- Earthquake Ferris defeated Brian Knobbs.
- Steve O defeated Boris Zuhkov.
- Greg Gagne, Scott Hall & Leon White (Vader) defeated Larry Zbyszko, Mr. Saito & Super Ninja.
- Jimmy Snuka defeated Col. DeBeers via countout.
- AWA World Heavyweight Champion Nick Bockwinkel defeated Curt Hennig via disqualification.
- The Midnight Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Janetty) defeated Buddy Rose & Doug Somers in a steel cage match.

1986 - World Class Championship Wrestling held their "Christmas Star Wars" event at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas, drawing over 7,000 fans. Here are the results:
- Mark Youngblood defeated Tim Brooks.
- Steve Simpson defeated The Grappler.
- Lance Von Erich defeated Master Gee (George Wells).
- Dingo Warrior (Ultimate Warrior) vs. Bob Bradley ended in a double DQ.
- Candie Divine defeated Lock.
- Tony Atlas defeated Matt Borne.
- Scott Casey defeated Black Bart in a Loser Rides A Mule match.
- Kevin & Mike Von Erich defeated World Class Tag Team Champions Brian Adias & Al Madril via DQ.
- Abdullah the Butcher defeated Bruiser Brody in a Loser Leaves Town Steel Cage match.

1986 - The New Breed (Chris Champion and Sean Royal) defeat Vic Steamboat and Kendall Windham in Tampa, Florida to win the vacant NWA Florida Tag Team Title. The title had been inactive for five years prior.

1986 - The Nightmares (Danny Davis and Ken Wayne) defeat Tony Anthony and Jerry Stubbs for the Continental Wrestling Federation Tag Team Title in Birmingham, Alabama.

1987 - World Class Championship Wrestling held their "Christmas Star Wars" event at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas, drawing over 4,000 fans. The show was headlined by three steel cage matches, and one of the more distasteful angles in wrestling history. Here are the results:
- The Missing Link defeated Vince Apollo.
- The Real Thing (Rip Morgan) defeated Jason Sterling.
- Brian Adias vs. Bill Irwin ended in a double countout.
- The Fantastics defeated Jack Victory & John Tatum.
- Kerry Von Erich won a Pole Battle Royal, climbing a pole to grab the $10,000 prize.
- World Class Texas Champion Matt Borne defeated The Iron Sheik.
- Jeff Raitz defeated Tony Falk.
- Eric Embry defeated Shaun Simpson in a Steel Cage match to win the World Class Light Heavyweight Title.
- Kevin Von Erich, Chris Adams & Steve Simpson defeated Terry Gordy, Buddy Roberts & Iceman Parsons in a Steel Cage match to win the vacant World Class Six Man Tag Team Title.
- World Class Champion Al Perez defeated Kerry Von Erich in a steel cage match. Prior to the match, Fritz Von Erich was attacked by a group of heels and faked a heart attack in the ring. Legitimate news media fell for the act, and reported on his "heart attack" as being real. For the next several weeks, Fritz' "condition" would get better or worse depending on how well the shows were drawing, as his sons promised to get revenge for what had happened to their father.

1987 - Lord Humongous (Sid Vicious) defeats Danny Davis for the NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Title in Knoxville, Tennessee.

1987 - Dave Peterson ends the 18th NWA Central States Heavyweight Title reign of Bob Brown in St. Joseph, Missouri.

1988 - Mike Graham defeats The Terminator to win the vacant NWA Florida Heavyweight Title in Tampa, Florida. The title had been vacated when champion Mike Rotunda gave the belt to Rick Steiner. This began Graham's second reign.

1988 - Top Gun wins his second NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Title, ending the fourth reign of The Grappler in Portland, Oregon.

1991 - Wilbur Snyder passes away in Pompano Beach, Florida at age 62.

1991 - Jushin Liger defeats Brian Pillman to win the WCW Light Heavyweight Title in Atlanta, Georgia.

1992 - Mohammad Hussein (Lou Fabbiano) and El Vigilante defeat Ray Gonzalez and Rex King to win the WWC World Tag Team Title in Carolina, Puerto Rico.

1993 - Black Bart and John Hawk (JBL) defeat Steven Dane and Chaz Taylor for the Global Wrestling Federation Tag Team Title in Dallas, Texas. At the same event, Chris Adams wins the GWF North American Heavyweight Title from Iceman King Parsons.

1993 - Chris Adams defeats Iceman King Parsons in Dallas, Texas to win the Global Wrestling Federation North American Heavyweight Title. On the same card, Black Bart & John Hawk (JBL) defeat Steven Dane & Chaz Taylor for the GWF World Tag Team Title.

1999 - Mike Rapada wins the NWA North American Heavyweight Title for the fourth time, defeating Terry Taylor in Nashville, Tennessee. This was also recognized by Music City Wrestling, where the match took place, as they had a recognized North American Heavyweight Title as well, this began Rapada's eighth MCW reign.

1999 - El Cobarde, Sr. defeats El Hijo del Solitario in Toluca, Mexico to win the Mexican National Heavyweight Title, beginnign his second reign.

2003 - Mr. Gannosuke and Tetsuhiro Kuroda defeat Jun Kasai and Tengukeiser for the vacant AJPW All Asia Tag Team Title in Tokyo, Japan.

2003 - Dan Morrow and Bryan Turner defeat The Devil's Deciples (Damien and Dante) for the NWA Mid-America Tag Team Title in Columbia, Tennessee. This began and ended each teams' second reign.

2003 - UPN airs the first ever WWE Smackdown "Christmas In Iraq/Tribute To The Troops", which was taped at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq on December 20th for an audience of soldiers overseas.  The show included Vince McMahon knocking down Santa Claus for not bringing him a gift, only for "Santa" to reveal himself as Steve Austin.  Austin then gave McMahon a stunner.  Here are the matches from the show: 
- The APA defeated Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin.
- Rikishi defeated Rhyno.
- Eddie Guerrero defeated Chris Benoit.
- Torrie Wilson defeated Dawn Marie and Sable in a "Santa's Little Helper" contest.
- John Cena defeated The Big Show with an FU.  After the match, Steven Austin came out and gave stunners to both men.

2004 - John Bogie and Elix Skipper defeat A.J. and Damien Steele to win the Georgia Championship Wrestling Tag Team Title in Columbus, Georgia.

2006 - Lady Apache defeats Hiroka for the CMLL World Women's Title in Mexico City, Mexico, beginning her third reign.

2006 - Fantasma de la Opera, El Hijo del Diablo and El Veneno defeat Dr. Cerebro, Cerebro Negro and Suicida to win the vacant IWRG Intercontinental Trios Title in Naucalpan, Mexico. The title was vacated earlier in the year when Scorpio, Jr., who held the title with El Veneno and Cerebro Negro, jumped to AAA.