Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - 1954

By: Karl Stern (@wiwcool)


02-06-1954: Toshio Yamaguchi and Kiyomikawa promote a two day wrestling show in Osaka, Japan called “Japan verses U.S.” under the name All Japan Pro-Wrestling Alliance.

02-19-1954: The old Sumo Hall (Kuramae Kokugikan) sees three days worth of wrestling shows and the first day is broadcast on NHK and NTV television. It features Rikidozan & Masahiko Kimura battling Ben & Mike Sharpe.

08-04-1954: The famed French Angel (Maurice Tillet) dies in Chicago, IL at the age of 51 from heart disease.

08-20-1954: June Byers battles NWA World Women’s champion Mildred Burke in a shoot match in Atlanta, GA. The match is best two out of three falls and a total shoot. Byers takes the first fall and Burke is injured. Still, Burke continues to fend off Byers and the match is eventually stopped by the Georgia State Athletic Commission with Byers winning one fall to none. June Byers claims the title until her retirement in 1964, while Burke travels to California and bills herself as WWWA World Women’s champion. She holds the belt, presumably, until her retirement. Then in 1970, Marie Vagnone claims the title (she may have won a tournament) and travels to Japan where she loses it to Akio Kyo and the belt remains there and is one of the most respected women’s titles in history - the All Japan Women’s WWWA World title.

08-21-1954: Billy Wolfe, the promoter of women’s wrestling at the time, gets the Georgia State Athletic Commission to reverse it’s ruling on the previous nights shoot match between Mildred Burke and June Byers and names Byers at the new Women’s World champion.

11-1954: Mildred Burke, the WWWA World Women’s champion, tours on a show in Japan promoted by Sankei Shinbun newspaper along with six other American women and four Japanese and succeed in selling out Kuramae Kokugikan Hall for three shows. Several women’s wrestling groups are soon formed including All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling Association, the predecessor to All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling.

11-22-1954: Jesse McMahon, the Grandfather of Vince K. McMahon and a legendary promoter in his own right, dies at the age of 72.

12-28-1954: Lanny Poffo is born. Lanny is the son of wrestler Angelo Poffo.



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