This day in Pro Wrestling history - 23rd January: Giant Baba's birthday
The day the Rock botched the Royal Rumble match's finish.
When a pro-wrestler is named as one of the 100 greatest personalities in the history of a country, it speaks volumes of his achievement in the business. That is just what Giant Baba managed during his professional career in Japan.
Today would have been the legend’s 78th birthday and even though he passed away nearly two decades ago, his name still commands respect in the pro-wrestling world. Today’s ‘This day...’ focusses on the legendary career of Giant Baba.
Also on this day 17 years ago, WWE held a Royal Rumble which ended in a botched finish and an Olympic gold medallist was taken for an ‘Extreme’ ride.
#1 The Rock botches the Rumble finish – 23rd January 2000
The 2000 edition of the Royal Rumble was one of the most poorly built up. All signs pointed to a Rock vs. Big Show climax and that is exactly what happened. The duo was the last two left in the ring and the finish was supposed to be Rock eliminating the 500-pounder.
However, the finish was botched and it was the Rock’s feet that actually touched the floor first just before Show’s. WWE covered up the mistake by removing the footage from clear camera angles and announced The Rock as the winner even though the crowd had clearly seen the botch.
The situation was then written into a storyline with the Big Show presenting a picture proving that the Rock had, in fact, touched the floor first. The proposed WWE Championship match between the Champion Triple H and The Rock eventually turned into a messy Fatal Fourway match also featuring the Big Show and Mankind.