Today in Pro Wrestling History: On January 16, 2000, at the Firstar Center, Chris Benoit defeated Sid Vicious to claim the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. The match featured Arn Anderson as the special referee.
However, the victory was shrouded in controversy. The replay on the following night’s WCW Monday Nitro revealed that Sid’s leg was under the bottom rope during the submission, invalidating the title change. This technicality was used by WCW to void the championship win.
Today In Pro Wrestling History (Jan 16): Chris Benoit Doesn’t Want the Belt
The real drama was unfolding behind the scenes. Benoit, disenchanted with WCW management, was seeking his release from the company. Despite winning the championship, he, along with Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn, and Dean Malenko, would exit WCW to join the WWF immediately after.
The finish served as a narrative device to vacate the title upon Benoit’s departure. Sid Vicious would later regain the title on January 24th.
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