“Our current Gregorian Calendar is such an amateur show that every four years we have to cram in an extra day just to make the whole thing work. We call it February 29th. Personally, I don’t believe it. Deep down I know it’s really March 1st.” -George Carlin

Well….it’s a leap year. You know what that means! On the surface, having an extra day once every four years to ensure that everything works out with our calendar system and how we keep track of time seems….kind of absurd, doesn’t it? Yet, it’s an issue we’ve been dealing with for literally thousands of years, with the modern Leap Day as we know it presently having roots that go all the way back to Ancient Rome. It’s ultimately a day that comes and goes on the calendar like any other, but the whole concept of having a Leap Day is really fascinating.

As someone who’s been a wrestling fan for two decades (and as a general lover of history), the arrival of Leap Day 2024 got me thinking….what is the history of pro wrestling on February 29? As always, Cagematch.net proved to be an incredible source in situations like this. Based on their records, there have been well over 320 pro wrestling events that have taken place on February 29, dating all the way back to 1904. One thing that becomes clear as you look through these various events is that (and this makes total sense, especially as you get to the modern era of wrestling) the number of shows on a given Leap Day will depend greatly on what day of the week February 29 falls on. For example, in both 1996 and 2012, Leap Day fell on a Thursday and a Wednesday (respectively), so there weren’t as many wrestling shows. Compare that to, say….2020, when February 29 was on a Saturday, and you’ll see that the number of wrestling shows just skyrockets (more on that later).

Television Tapings on Leap Day (February 29)

There have been A LOT of television tapings that have taken place on February 29, from the days of the territories all the way to the present day. As far as recent history goes (and by “recent history”, I’m referring from the mid-1990s onward) there are a few examples of prominent promotions holding television tapings on February 29.

In 2000, both WWF and WCW had television tapings on Leap Day, with WWF taping episodes of SmackDown (headlined by The Rock & Rikishi vs. Triple H & The Big Show) and Sunday Night Heat in Trenton, New Jersey, while WCW taped episodes of Thunder (headlined by Jeff Jarrett & The Harris Brothers vs. Billy Kidman, Booker T, and Sid Vicious in a Six-Man Tag that only lasted three minutes) and Worldwide in Fargo, North Dakota.

WWE RAW February 29, 2016

As far as I can tell, the only time WWE ever did a live episode of television on Leap Day was in 2016 when they did Monday Night RAW in Nashville, Tennessee.

This was during the build to WrestleMania 32, so you had Triple H as the WWE Champion building up a title matches with Dean Ambrose (for the original Roadblock event a few weeks later) and Roman Reigns, while The Undertaker appeared as part of the build towards the recently announced Hell In A Cell Match between himself and Shane McMahon, who had just come off his return to the promotion (the Cagematch rating for this show is a 1.88, so it must’ve been dreadful).

TNA iMPACT! February 29, 2012

TNA also taped an Impact episode on February 29, 2012, though the show wouldn’t air until a few weeks later.

At least going off of Cagematch, there wasn’t much happening from an in-ring standpoint (with matches like Garrett Bischoff vs. Kurt Angle and James Storm vs. Gunner), though there were angles that were building to matches on the Victory Road PPV in March, which included matches such as Bobby Roode vs. Sting and Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy.

Outside of television tapings, plenty of other events have taken place on Leap Day.

WCW SuperBrawl II

In 1992, WCW held its second SuperBrawl PPV in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on February 29, and that card featured a very famous match between Flyin’ Brian Pillman and Jushin Thunder Liger for the WCW Light Heavyweight Title.

CHIKARA King of Trios 2008 – Night 1

In 2008, CHIKARA (won’t be the last time I’m talking about them in this piece) ran the first night of their 2nd annual King Of Trios Tournament on February 29 in the ECW Arena, with first and second-round matches that features teams such as The Colony (the original version of the group), BLKOUT, The Order Of The Neo Solar Temple (UltraMantis Black’s group), and many others.

In addition to numerous independent promotions across the United States, various international promotions, including the likes of New Japan, NOAH, DDT, CMLL, and AAA, just to name a few. From what I was able to see, none of these were super notable events. There was a New Japan show on February 29, 2004 in Nagoya that featured an IWGP Heavyweight Title bout between Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Minoru Suzuki, but again, aside from that, nothing that I would consider to be super significant.




What events happened on February 29, 2020? 

What about the most recent Leap Day back in 2020? Well, with February 29, 2020 falling on a Saturday, that meant it was a prime window for a lot of wrestling shows to take place. Over a hundred wrestling shows worldwide took place on that day alone, and I’d like to take a quick look at some of the more noteworthy events that took place on that day four years ago.

EVOLVE 145

Kicking off the first of three notable wrestling events from the most recent February 29 was EVOLVE 145, taking place at La Boom in Queens, New York (remember that venue?). We didn’t know it at the time, but this wound up being the second-to-last show EVOLVE ever ran. There would be one more show the next night on March 1, and then the company would close its doors for good following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While EVOLVE had been in a relationship with WWE for a number of years at this point, the last year-and-a-half (roughly) of EVOLVE’s existence was where you really saw the company become fully integrated into the WWE ecosystem, especially when it came to the talent that they featured. On this card alone were names like Brendan Vink (the current Duke Hudson), Jessi Kamea, Jake Atlas (who had just been signed by WWE at the time), Joe Gacy, Avery Taylor (Jacy Jayne), Harlem Bravado (Andre Chase), Denzel Dejournette, and Josh Briggs. Many of those names are regularly featured characters on NXT television right now.

What was the main event of this card?

Mansoor vs. Curt Stallion.

Nope….I am not making that one up.

EVOLVE would have a show the next day on March 1, 2020 in Melrose, Massachusetts (featuring a main event that was won, fittingly, by the very first EVOLVE Champion AR Fox), and were planning to run WrestleMania Weekend in the Tampa area, but of course, the pandemic shut everything down, and EVOLVE closed shortly thereafter.

CHIKARA Stem The Hemorrhaging Of Polka

What are the odds that not one, but TWO well-known independent promotions would have their final shows (in front of fans, at least) on the same weekend? Well, as it ultimately would turn out, CHIKARA hosted its final show in front of fans on February 29, 2020.

At this point, we were just under six years into this second version of CHIKARA (the one that returned following the infamous shutdown angle in 2013), and it was very much a shell of its former glory. A company that most people had stopped paying attention to outside of (maybe) whenever they decided to run WrestleMania Weekend. Taking place from the Wrestle Factory in Philadelphia, this show still had some of the recognizable CHIKARA names, such as Icarus, Ophidian, and (of course) Mike Quackenbush, and one name that we would all come to know better in the years since (Willow Nightingale). However, beyond that, the card was filled with names that I don’t think anyone would recognize. During this period, CHIKARA was dealing with its latest heel stable, known as The Crucible. As I recall (and based off of some quick research), the group was led by Ophidian and was some sort of Fight Club type deal, complete with “Crucible Rules” matches, which were featured on this card.

Of course, everything was put on hold due to the pandemic, and they did put on some shows in front of no fans at the Wrestle Factory during the early part of the pandemic before the company closed down. What’s ironic about all of this is that part of the storyline with The Crucible was that Ophidian felt Mike Quackenbush was “the biggest threat to CHIKARA’s future,” and, as it would turn out, real-life events proved that prophecy to be correct. Quackenbush closed the promotion down following multiple accusations made against him during Speaking Out.

ROH Gateway To Honor 2020

Another notable show from February 29, 2020, was Ring Of Honor’s Gateway To Honor, taking place (as the name would indicate) just outside of St. Louis, Missouri.

This show was the second card from a doubleshot weekend (the first show was the day before in Nashville, Tennessee), and it took place during Marty Scurll’s tenure as ROH head booker (a tenure that was cut short when Scurll was let go by ROH during the aftermath of Speaking Out). It was also during a time when ROH was streaming their non-PPV live events on HonorClub. This card included some of the new names that had been brought in during this period, including Session Moth Martina and Slex, The Business (can’t forget the comma). You had a couple of wild singles matchups including Alex Shelley vs. Dan Maff (yes, he had a comeback run with ROH during this period) and Dragon Lee vs. Dak Draper for the ROH World TV Title. The top two matches saw Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham defeat Bandido and Rey Horus in a Proving Ground Match, while RUSH won the ROH World Title back from PCO in a Three-Way Match that also included Mark Haskins. That result was meant to set up a RUSH vs. Mark Haskins World Title bout for the 18th Anniversary PPV, but due to the COVID pandemic, that show would end up being canceled. If you’re curious what I thought of this particular show, I actually reviewed it for the site!

ROH Gateway To Honor 2020 (February 29) Results & Review




AEW Revolution 2020

It’s only fitting that I close this article out with (arguably) the greatest wrestling show to ever take place on February 29. The first-ever AEW Revolution PPV took place on February 29, 2020, from the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois, and it featured an incredible card that was highlighted by Kenny Omega and “Hangman” Adam Page vs. The Young Bucks for the AEW World Tag Team Titles (which many consider to be one of the greatest tag team matches of all-time), Jon Moxley winning the AEW World Title from Chris Jericho, the debut of the infamous Cody Rhodes neck tattoo, and Orange Cassidy’s coming out party in a memorable bout against PAC.

While this would sadly be the final AEW PPV outside of Jacksonville for the next year-and-a-half due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it proved to be the best PPV show of the early AEW era. AEW Revolution 2020 would go on to claim several awards at the end of the year, including Best Major Show in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards, and Match Of The Year (Kenny Omega and Adam Page vs. The Young Bucks) in both the aforementioned Observer Awards as well as the Voices Of Wrestling Match Of The Year Poll.

What about February 29, 2024? 

To close things out, I felt it’d only be appropriate to mention some of the wrestling events that are happening today, February 29, 2024. MLW has their big Intimidation Games card in New York City, featuring some eclectic matches, including Satoshi Kojima vs. Minoru Suzuki for the MLW World Title and Rocky Romero vs. Mistico for the MLW World Middleweight Title. AIW and New Texas Pro Wrestling are also scheduled to have shows tonight. Finally, as it is a Thursday, we’ll get our usual TNA Impact episode on AXS TV.

Happy Leap Day, everyone!