Ultimate History of Pro Wrestling - A Time Line of Every Major Event in Pro Wrestling History - 1979

By: Karl Stern (@wiwcool)

1979

01-01-1979: Jack & Jerry Brisco defeat Terry & Dory Funk, Jr. in Atlanta for the NWA Georgia tag team titles. 

01-02-1979: Randy Alls (AKA: Randy Rose of Midnight Express fame) defeats Dick Murdoch for the NWA Central States title in St. Joseph, MO. 

01-06-1979: Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie) defeats Mr. Wrestling II (Johnny Walker) for the NWA Georgia title. Also Thunderbolt Patterson defeats Gene Anderson for the NWA Georgia TV title.

01-07-1979: Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy win the Mid America tag team titles from George Gulas & Bobby Eaton in Chattanooga, TN. 

01-19-1979: Ole Anderson & Ivan Koloff defeat Jack & Jerry Brisco for the NWA Georgia tag team titles in Atlanta. 

01-20-1979: Thor the Viking (Scott Irwin) defeats Terry Funk for the Southern (FL) title in St. Petersburg.

01-27-1979: Ron Starr wins the Cow Palace battle royal by eliminating Harley Race.

01-1979: Bruiser Brody begins his first tour of All Japan.

02-05-1978: New Japan Pro Wrestling chooses Japanese Congressman Susumu Nikaido as commissioner.

02-10-1979: Giant Baba regains the All Japan PWF World title by defeating Abdullah the Butcher.

02-16-1979: Mr. Wrestling II (Johnny Walker) wins the North American title from Ernie Ladd in Atlanta, GA. He is the last North American champion under Leroy McGuirk before Bill Watts buys the promotion. 

02-17-1979: Roddy Piper wins his first NWA Pacific Northwest title from Jonathan Boyd. 

02-27-1979: "High Chief" Peter Maivia defeats NWA World heavyweight champion Harley Race by disqualification in Auckland, New Zealand and is given the belt. Maivia, however, refuses to accept the title and the belt is returned to Race. 

03-02-1979: Ole Anderson defeats Thunderbolt Patterson for the NWA Georgia TV title in Atlanta. 

03-03-1979: Carlos Colon defeats Gorilla Monsoon for the WWC North American title in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

Ron Starr defeats Roddy Piper in a tournament final in San Francisco, CA to win the NWA US (CA) title. 

03-06-1979: Johnny Valiant & Jerry Valiant (Guy Mitchell) win the WWWF World tag team titles from Tony Garea & Larry Zbyszko in Allentown PA. 

04-01-1979: Ric Flair recaptures the NWA U.S. title from Ricky Steamboat in Greensboro, NC.

Roger Kirby & Igor Volkoff win the WWA tag team titles from Wilbur Snyder & Pepper Gomez in Indianapolis. 

04-06-1979: Abdullah the Butcher wins the annual All Japan Champions Carnival tournament over Jumbo Tsuruta. 

04-18-1979: Lizmark defeats Americo Rocca in Acapuica, Mexico for the Mexican National Welterweight title. 

04-28-1979: Baron Von Raschke & Paul Jones win the NWA World tag team titles over Jimmy Snuka & Paul Orndorff.

05-04-1979: Ron Slinker defeats David Shultz for the Gulf Coast title in Dothan, AL.

05-14-1979: Wahoo McDaniel defeated The Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie) for the Georgia title in Augusta, GA. Also on the card Blackjack Mulligan defeated Bob Armstrong for the Georgia TV title.

05-18-1979: Tommy Rich & Wahoo McDaniel defeat Ole Anderson & Ivan Koloff for the NWA Georgia tag team titles.

06-04-1979: Bill Dundee & Jerry Lawler defeat Toru Tanaka & Mr. Fuji for the Southern tag team titles in Memphis, TN. 

06-07-1979: Antonio Inoki wins the New Japan Madison Square Garden League tournament over Stan Hansen. 

06-08-1979: Ole Anderson & Ivan Koloff defeat Tommy Rich & Wahoo McDaniel for the NWA Georgia tag team titles in Atlanta, GA.

06-10-1979: Ricky Steamboat defeats Paul Jones for the NWA TV title in Asheville, NC. 

06-11-1979: The second "Tupelo Concession stand brawl" takes place in Tupelo, MS when Larry Latham & Wayne Farris *The Blonde Bombers' defeat Jerry Lawler & Bill Dundee for the Southern tag team titles. 

06-17-1979: Buddy Rogers referees a NWA US. title match between champion Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes win the match and the title, but the NWA reverses the decision on the grounds that Rogers was not an impartial referee. 

06-19-1979: Pat Patterson defeats Ted DiBiase for the WWF North American title in Allentown, PA. By September, the title is replaced by the WWF Intercontinental title which Patterson wins in a fictional Brazilian tournament.

06-30-1979: Olympic medallist and former AWA wrestler Chris Taylor dies at the age of 29 in Story City, IA.

06-1979: Ted DiBiase arrives in the WWF for the first time, billed as WWF North American champion. 

07-07-1979: Terry Gordy & Michael Hayes lose their first match in Chattanooga, TN to Tojo Yamamoto & Great Togo.

07-08-1979: In the famous “Battle of the Nature Boys”, Ric Flair defeats Buddy Rogers with the figure four leg lock in Greensboro, NC.

07-28-1979: Nelson Royal is awarded the NWA World Junior in Atlanta, GA.

Kevin Sullivan defeats Mike Graham in title when champion Al Madril is unable to defend it due to illness. 

07-30-1979: Masked Superstar defeats Wahoo McDaniel for the NWA Georgia title in Augusta, GA. Also on the show Ray Candy wins the NWA Georgia TV title from Blackjack Lanza.

07-1979: One of the most popular wrestling magazines of all time Pro Wrestling Illustrated debuts with a photo of Mil Mascaras & Dusty Rhodes dominating the cover. 

08-08-1979: Ric Flair & Blackjack Mulligan win the NWA World tag team titles over Baron Von Raschke & Paul Jones in Raleigh, NC, because of this Flair vacates the NWA U.S. title. 

08-15-1979: Dennis Condrey defeats Gypsy Joe for the Southern Brass Knux title in Nashville, TN. 

08-17-1979: “Dr. D” David Schultz defeats Gypsy Joe for the World Brass Knux title in Chattanooga, TN.

08-21-1979: Dusty Rhodes defeats Harley Race in Tampa, FL to win the NWA World heavyweight title. Rhodes thus vacates Florida title. 

08-22-1979: Baron Von Raschke & Paul Jones regain the NWA World tag team titles in Raleigh, NC over Ric Flair & Blackjack Mulligan.

08-26-1979: Harley Race defeats Dusty Rhodes in Orlando, FL to win the NWA World Heavyweight title for the third time.

Tokyo Sports newspaper hosts a wrestling dream card at Budokan in Tokyo, Japan. Featured matches saw Riki Choshu (New Japan) & Animal Hamaguchi (IWE) defeat Great Kojika & Motoshi Okuma (All Japan) via DQ… Kotetsu Yamamoto (New Japan) won a battle royal last eliminating Atsushi Onita (All Japan)… Seiji Sakaguchi defeated Rocky Hata (All Japan)… Rusher Kimura (IWE) retained the IWA World title over Strong Kobayashi (New Japan)… Tatsumi Fujinami & Jumbo Tsuruta & Mil Mascaras defeated Masa Saito & Tiger Toguchi & Akihisa Takachiko (Kabuki)… In the main event Giant Baba teamed with Antonio Inoki for the first time in eight years to defeat Tiger Jeet Singh & Abdullah the Butcher.

09-01-1979: Jimmy Snuka managed by Buddy Rogers wins a tournament over Ricky Steamboat in Charlotte, NC to win the vacant NWA U.S. title. 

09-05-1979: Ted DiBiase defeated Mike George for the Mid South North American title in Shreveport, LA. 

09-08-1979: George Gulas & Bobby Eaton defeat Tojo Yamamoto & David Shultz for the Mid America tag teams titles.

09-14-1979: Jim Brunzell wins the NWA Mid Atlantic title from Ken Patera in Richmond, VA... Ray Candy wins the NWA Georgia TV title from Lord Jonathan Boyd in Atlanta. 

10-02-1979: Pat McGinnis defeats Hector Guerrero for the Memphis CWA World title in Louisville, KY.

Ryuma Go defeats Tatsumi Fujinami for the WWF Junior title in Osaka, Japan.

10-04-1979: Tatsumi Fujinami regains the WWF Junior title from Ryuma Go in Tokyo, Japan.

10-05-1979: Ole Anderson & Ernie Ladd win the Georgia tag team titles from Tommy Rich & The Crusher in Atlanta.

10-07-1979: Dick the Bruiser & Spike Huber win the WWA tag team titles from Roger Kirby & Paul Christy in Indianapolis.

10-08-1979: Superstar Billy Graham defeats Pat McGinnis for the Memphis CWA World title in Memphis.

10-16-1979: Lou Klein dies at the age of 62 at his Florida home.

10-21-1979: Manny Fernandez defeats Terry Funk in Orlando for the Florida title.

10-22-1979: Tito Santana & Ivan Putski team to defeat Jerry & Johnny Valiant at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the WWF World tag team titles.

10-24-1979: Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood win their first NWA World tag team championship over Baron Von Raschke & Paul Jones in Raleigh, NC.

10-26-1979: Tommy Rich defeats Killer Karl Kox for the NWA Georgia title in Atlanta.

10-30-1979: Stan Lane & Bryan St. John win the NWA Florida in Chattanooga, TN. 

10-31-1979: Giant Baba defeats Harley Race to become a two NWA World heavyweight champion in Nagoya, Japan.

11-01-1979: Antonio Inoki defeats Dusty Rhodes by disqualification in Tokyo, Japan to retain the NWF title.

11-08-1979: Seiji Sakaguchi defeats Pat Patterson for the WWF North American championship, the predecessor to today’s WWF Intercontinental title. The WWF had stopped recognizing the title but Sakaguchi continues to defend the title until early 1981.

11-12-1979: Jerry Lawler defeats Superstar Billy Graham for the Memphis CWA World title in Memphis. 

11-16-1979: Buddy Rose wins his first Pacific Northwest title from Stan Stasiak.

11-23-1979: Kevin Von Erich defeats Dick Murdoch in St. Louis for the Missouri title.

11-30-1979: In a match which the WWF in the United States never acknowledged until the late 1990’s, Antonio Inoki defeated Bob Backlund in Tokushima, Japan for the WWF World heavyweight title.

12-07-1979: Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie) regains the Georgia title from Tommy Rich in Atlanta, GA.

12-10-1979: Steve Keirn defeats Chavo Guerrero in Los Angeles to become the first NWA International Junior champion.

12-12-1979: The WWF returns to Madison Square Garden. Bob Backlund faces Bobby Duncum in the main event. Backlund appears without the WWF title belt. No official announcement is made of the situation with Antonio Inoki that occurred in Japan. Inoki is on the same card facing Hussein Arab (the Iron Sheik) with the World Martial Arts title belt. When the show is aired in Japan it is announced that the Backlund verses Duncum match was for the “vacant” WWF title.

12-13-1979: Dory Funk, Jr. & Terry Funk defeat Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta to win the All Japan Real World League tag team tournament.

12-25-1979: Sangre India dies during a match in Mexico City after missing a tope and breaking his back. He was 23 years old.

Jack & Jerry Brisco defeated Austin Idol & Masked Superstar (Bill Eadie) in Atlanta, GA for the Georgia tag team titles.

1979: Steve "Dr. Death" Williams is named All American in wrestling during his first year in college at the University of Oklahoma 

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