Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - 1978

By: Karl Stern (@wiwcool)

1978

01-03-1978: Randy Savage (Randy Poffo) wins the Mid-America title from Don Kent in Birmingham, AL champion. 

01-20-1978: Jose Estrada defeats Tony Garea in Uniondale, NY to become the first WWF Junior heavyweight champion. This title eventually ends up with the New Japan Promotion until dropped around 1985.

01-23-1978: Tatsumi Fujinami defeats Jose Estrada for the WWF Junior title in New York.

01-25-1978: NWA World champion Harley Race squares off against WWWF World heavyweight champion Superstar Billy Graham at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. The match, which was marred by rain, went to a sixty minute time limit draw.

02-06-1978: Stan Hansen defeats Mr. Wrestling II for the NWA Georgia title.

02-07-1978: Killer Karl Kox wins the NWA Florida title from Dusty Rhodes in Tampa.

02-10-1978: Ole Anderson defeats Bob Armstrong for the NWA Georgia TV title.

02-12-1978: Ted DiBiase defeats Dick Slater in St. Louis for the NWA Missouri title.

02-20-1978: Bob Backlund pins Superstar Graham in Madison Macon, GA. Square Garden in New York to win the WWWF World title. Graham's feet were under the ropes.

02-27-1978: Don Leo Jonathan & John Quinn defeat Black Avenger & Dan Wayt for the Canadian tag team championship.

03-04-1978: Wilbur Snyder & Dominic DeNucci win the WWA tag team titles from Jimmy & Johnny Valiant in Indianapolis.

03-08-1978: Rocky Johnson wins the NWA Florida title from Killer Karl Kox in Miami. 

03-12-1978: Former world heavyweight champion John Pesek dies at the age of 84. 

03-13-1978: Bob Roop wins the NWA Florida title from Rocky Johnson in West Palm Beach. 

03-14-1978: Dominic DeNucci & Dino Bravo win the WWWF World tag team titles from Prof. Toru Tanaka & Mr. Fuji in Philadelphia, PA 

03-19-1978: Tim "Mr. Wrestling" Woods wins the NWA U.S. title from Blackjack Mulligan in Greensboro, NC. 

03-26-1978: Jack Brisco defeats Bob Roop to win the NWA Florida title in Orlando. 

04-01-1978: Don Muraco defeats Dean Ho for the NWA US TV title. (CA) title in San Francisco. 

04-02-1978: Wahoo McDaniel defeats Greg Valentine for the NWA Georgia title.

04-07-1978: Giant Baba wins the annual All Japan Champions Carnival tournament over Abdullah the Butcher. 

04-23-1978: Paul Jones & Ricky Steamboat win a tournament in Greensboro, NC for the NWA World tag team titles.

05-05-1978: Bruno Sammartino defeats Gorilla Monsoon for the WWC North American title in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

05-10-1978: Lanny Poffo becomes the first ICW champion for his father Angelo Poffo's Kentucky based promotion.

05-12-1978: Thunderbolt Patterson wins the NWA Georgia TV title from Gene Anderson in Augusta, GA.

06-01-1978: Giant Baba loses the All Japan PWF World title for the first time since winning it in 1973 when Tor Kamata defeats him in Akita, Japan.

06-07-1978: Baron Von Raschke & Greg Valentine defeat Paul Jones & Ricky Steamboat for the NWA World tag team titles in Raleigh, NC.

06-09-1978: Angelo Mosca wins a tournament to fill the vacant NWA Mid Atlantic title in Greensboro, NC. 

06-12-1978: Billy Robinson defeats Tor Kamata for the All Japan PWF World title.

06-18-1978: Dusty Rhodes defeats Dick Slater for the NWA Southern (FL) title in Miami.

06-19-1978: Dusty Rhodes defeats The Spoiler for the NWA Florida title in West Palm Beach.

06-23-1978: Mongolian Stomper defeated Ron Slinker in a tournament for the Southeastern heavyweight title.

06-27-1978: Robert Lee Vaughn of Bowling Green, KY files criminal charges against Tojo Yamamoto for hitting him in the head with his wooden shoe at a wrestling show at Beech Bend Park. The case is settled in 1980 when Tojo Yamamoto is found not guilty.

08-15-1978: Ernie Ladd defeats Paul Orndorff for the Mid South North American title. 

08-18-1978: Mil Mascaras defeats The Destroyer (Dick Beyer) for the All Japan PWF U.S. title in Kagohsima, Japan. 

08-27-1978: El Canek defeats Lou Thesz in Mexico City, Mexico to win the UWA World heavyweight title.

08-1978: Japanese Karate champion and student of Karl Gotch, Akira Maeda makes his wrestling debut for New Japan.

09-11-1978: The Destroyer (Dick Beyer) regains the All Japan PWF U.S. title from Mil Mascaras in Morioka.

09-22-1978: The AWA World tag team champions “The Highfliers” Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell are stripped of the tag team titles when Brunzell is injured in a softball game. The titles are awarded to Pat Patterson & Ray Stevens.

10-06-1978: Though he didn't pin him, Harley Race retains the NWA World title over Andre the Giant after body slamming him.

10-07-1978: Buck Robley defeats Doug Gilbert (AKA: The Professional) for the NWA Central States title in Des Moines, IA.

10-13-1978: Tommy Rich & Rick Martel win the NWA Georgia tag team titles from Ole Anderson & Ivan Koloff in Atlanta, GA.

10-16-1978: Mr. Wrestling II (Johnny Walker) wins his ninth NWA Georgia title from Angelo Mosca. 

10-18-1978: Abdullah the Butcher defeats Billy Robinson in Japan for the All Japan PWF World championship in Utsunomiya, Japan 

10-27-1978: Ole Anderson & Stan Hansen defeat Tommy Rich & Mr. Wrestling II (replacing Rick Martel) for the NWA Georgia tag team titles in Atlanta, GA. 

10-30-1978: Ric Flair & Big John Studd defeated Paul Jones & Ricky Steamboat in Greenville, SC far the NWA Mid Atlantic tag team championship. 

11-05-1978: Paul Jones & Ricky Steamboat regain the NWA Mid Atlantic tag team titles from Ric Flair & Big John Studd in Greensboro, NC. 

11-11-1978: Dutch Mantel defeats Mexican Angel for the Mid America title in Nashville, TN only to turn around and lose it on the same show to Randy Savage. 

11-12-1978: Dick Slater defeats Wahoo McDanial for the NWA Southern (FL) title.

11-15-1978: Promoter Willie Gilzenberg dies at the age of 77.

11-18-1978: Eric the Red (Eric Hansen) has a flat tire near Miami, FL. While changing the tire he is struck and killed by another vehicle. He was 34 years old. 

11-21-1978: Tony Garea & Larry Zbyszko win the WWWF World tag team titles from The Yukon Lumberjacks in Allentown, PA. 

11-23-1978: Terry & Dory Funk, Jr. win a tournament in Atlanta, GA for the NWA Georgia tag team titles defeating Jack & Jerry Brisco in the finals. 

11-25-1978: Dusty Rhodes wins a St. Petersburg FL tournament final over Bob Roop to win the vacant NWA Florida title. 

12-01-1978: George Gulas & Bobby Eaton & Arvil Hutto win the Nick Gulas World 6-Man tag team titles in a Huntsville, AL tournament.

Big Daddy Ritter (AKA: Junkyard Dog) defeats Alo Leilani in Calgary for the Stampede North American title for the Stu Hart promotion.

12-02-1978: Wilbur Snyder & Pepper Gomez win the WWA tag team titles from Jimmy & Johnny Valiant in Indianapolis. 

12-12-1978: Mr. Uganda (AKA: Ciclon Negro) managed by Sonny King wins the NWA Florida title from Dusty Rhodes in Tampa. 

12-19-1978: JosLeDuc wins the NWA Florida title over Mr. Uganda (AKA: Ciclon Negro) in Tampa. 

12-25-1978: Bill Watts' Mid South wrestling holds a show called "Superdome Extravaganza" in the New Orleans, LA Superdome. The show sees Jerry Stubbs defeat The Assassin I for the Louisiana title… Ron Bass defeat Killer Karl Kox for the Brass Knux title Ernie Ladd defeat Ray Candy via forfeit for the North American title… and a main event of Andre the Giant & Dusty Rhodes defeating Ernie Ladd & Stan Hansen for the vacant U.S. tag team titles

In Memphis, TN Austin Idol defeats Jerry Lawler for the Southern title.

Kevin Von Erich wins his first NWA American title in Ft. Worth, TX from Bruiser Brody.

Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta win the annual Real World tag tournament in Sapporo, Japan winning on points after battling finalists Dory, Jr. & Terry Funk to a draw. 

12-30-1978: Terry Funk defeats Dick Slater for the NWA Southern (FL) title in St. Petersburg FL. 

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