Fandom

Pro Wrestling

1981

88,844pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.

This is a list of various things that took place in 1981.

Significant events

Unknown date

  • Amarillo-based NWA Western States Sports, the promotion operated by the Funk family through most of its existence, ceases operations

January

  • San Francisco-based NWA Big Time Wrestling, headed by Roy Shire, ceases operations

April

May

July

  • During a television taping of AWA All-Star Wrestling that would air in August, Hulk Hogan turns face, running in to stop the villainous Crusher Blackwell from beating down Brad Rheingans, after several other wrestlers were unable to stop Blackwell's attack; Hogan's on-screen manager, Johnny Valiant, immediately fires Hogan in retaliation and sends Blackwell after Hogan, but Hogan handily won the feud. Hogan's face status would solidify during the late summer and fall, and by the end of 1981, he was easily the AWA's most popular wrestler and would begin challenging Nick Bockwinkel for the AWA World Heavyweight Championship

September

  • 23 - André the Giant and Stan Hansen battle to a no-contest in Tokyo

October

  • 19 - During a controversial finish of the Bob Backlund-Greg Valentine match at New York City's Madison Square Garden, referee John Stanley mistakenly hands the WWF Heavyweight Championship belt to Valentine and raises his hand in victory, even though Backlund had just pinned Valentine (The finish saw Backlund put Valentine in a fireman's carry to perform an airplane spin, and Stanley got in the way and was knocked down; both men were wearing black trunks and it was later explained that Stanley was confused as to who was who). The decision was thrown out and, for the New York market only, the WWF Heavyweight Championship was vacated, to be filled by a rematch in November between Backlund and Valentine (which Backlund won)

November

December

  • The 1981 year-end issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated inaugurates the "PWI Editor's Award", the magazine's highest honor given to a professional wrestler, personality or promoter for his work in the industry, meant to spotlight legitimate accomplishments by that individual. The first recipient is Bruno Sammartino, who made his first retirement from active wrestling in the fall. While the honor typically went to individuals who had retired, others went to those who passed away during the past 12 months (for instance, Roddy Piper in 2015). The honor would be renamed the "Stanley Weston Award" (in honor of the founder of PWI) in 2002.
  • 13 - Stan Hansen secretly defects from New Japan to All Japan Pro Wrestling, making a surprise appearance as the cornerman for Bruiser Brody and Jimmy Snuka as they defeat Dory Jr. and Terry Funk in the final of the World's Strongest Tag Team League tournament due to Hansen's interference; in the wake of that match, Brody and Hansen form a team that becomes notorious in All Japan for their violent matches
  • 21 - André the Giant is featured in Sports Illustrated, in what would be the longest profile ever written of any featured athlete in that magazine at the time

Births

Unknown

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

  • 27 - Stixx (London, England)

November

December

Deaths

January

August

September

October

November

Debuts

Events

Title changes

January

February

March

  • The NWA Pacific Coast title, last held by Jay Youngblood, is vacated and subsequently abandoned
  • 14 - The Destroyer (not the Dick Beyer version) wins the NWA Pacific Northwest Heavyweight Championship from Jay Youngblood in Portland, Oregon
  • 21 - Jay Youngblood regains the NWA Pacific Northwest title from The Destroyer in Portland
  • 22 - Paul Jones and Masked Superstar regain the NWA World Tag Team title from Ray Stevens and Ivan Koloff in Greensboro

April

  • 9 - Buddy Rose wins the NWA Pacific Northwest title from Jay Youngblood in Portland
  • 11 - Jay Youngblood regains the NWA Pacific Northwest title from Buddy Rose in Portland
  • 17 - The NWF World Heavyweight Championship is held up following a no-contest verdict between champion Antonio Inoki and Stan Hansen in Kagoshima, Japan
  • 21 - Buddy Rose regains the NWA Pacific Northwest title from Jay Youngblood
  • 23 - Antonio Inoki regains the NWF World title by beating Stan Hansen in a rematch in Tokyo, but surrenders the title immediately afterward; the title then becomes inactive until 2003
  • 27 - Tommy Rich wins the NWA World Heavyweight Championship from Harley Race in Augusta, Georgia
  • 29 - Matt Borne wins the NWA Pacific Northwest title from Buddy Rose in Seattle, Washington
  • 30 - Dory Funk Jr. is awarded the NWA International Heavyweight Championship by forfeit in a tournament final in Matsudo, Japan when Bruiser Brody no-shows (he defeats his brother, Terry, in his first title defence immediately afterward); Buddy Rose regains the NWA Pacific Northwest title from Matt Borne in Salem, Oregon

May

June

August

  • 8 - Wahoo McDaniel wins the NWA United States title from Roddy Piper in Greensboro
  • 15 - Steve Regal wins the vacant NWA Pacific Northwest title in a tournament

September

October

  • Buddy Rose wins the NWA Pacific Northwest title from Steve Regal
  • 4 - Sgt. Slaughter wins the NWA United States title in a tournament final over Rick Steamboat in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • 24 - Steve Regal regains the NWA Pacific Northwest title from Buddy Rose in Portland

November

  • 23 - Pedro Morales wins the WWF Intercontinental title from Magnificent Muraco in New York City

December

  • Gene and Ole Anderson are stripped of the NWA World Tag Team title for not defending the belts due to Gene Anderson suffering an injury in October.
  • The NWA Pacific Northwest title is vacated when Steve Regal is injured


Years
1860s
1860
1880s
1880188118821883188418851886188718881889
1890s
1890189118921893189418951896189718981899
1900s
1900190119021903190419051906190719081909
1910s
1910191119121913191419151916191719181919
1920s
1920192119221923192419251926192719281929
1930s
1930193119321933193419351936193719381939
1940s
1940194119421943194419451946194719481949
1950s
1950195119521953195419551956195719581959
1960s
1960196119621963196419651966196719681969
1970s
1970197119721973197419751976197719781979
1980s
1980198119821983198419851986198719881989
1990s
1990199119921993199419951996199719981999
2000s
2000200120022003200420052006200720082009
2010s
2010201120122013201420152016

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki