This is a list of various things that took place in 1996.
- 5 - Heartland Wrestling Association holds it's earliest card in Fort Wright, Kentucky.
- 21 - Canadian indy promotion Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling holds its first card in Campbell River, British Columbia
- 19 - The MSG Incident, aka the "Curtain Call" -- an incident where face and heel wrestlers Shawn Michaels, Hunter Hearst Hemsley, Diesel and Razor Ramon embraced in the ring at the end of the Michaels-Diesel steel cage match, due to Kevin Nash (Diesel) and Scott Hall (Razor Ramon) having announced they were leaving for WCW -- takes place at the end of an arena show at Madison Square Garden. The Incident will have a major impact on the careers of Triple H -- his push will be stalled for several months, as he took the blame for the events -- and Steve Austin (who had just changed gimmicks to his "Stone Cold" persona); and have a huge impact on kayfabe as well, changing the long-traditional illusion that inside-the-ring rivals also hated each other outside the ring.
- 23 - After winning the "King of the Ring" tournament final by brutally beating and defeating Jake Roberts (at the pay-per-view event of the same name), winner "Stone Cold" Steve Austin mocks Roberts and his born-again Christian gimmick during the coronation segment by stating the following: "You sit there and you thump your Bible, and you say your prayers, and it didn't get you anywhere! Talk about your psalms, talk about John 3:16... Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!" The "Austin 3:16" phrase immediately catches, as does Austin's gimmick as a foul-talking, beer-drinking, disrespectful-to-everybody heel who fights to his last breath (he had dropped his scientific "Ringmaster" gimmick shortly beforehand), and both will spark Austin's rise to superstardom.
- 7 - After 15 years of playing an all-American superhero face, Hulk Hogan turns heel and helps form The New World Order (with WCW newcomers Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) at the end of the main event at Bash at the Beach, a "Hostile Takeover" match pitting The Outsiders (Hall and Nash) and a "mystery partner" vs. the face team of Randy Savage, Sting and Lex Luger. Following the match, Hogan explains to interviewer "Mean" Gene Okerlund that after all these years as being wrestling's ultimate good guy, he was sick and tired of being underappreciated by the fans and WCW and they can now stick it. Seen as shocking at the time, Hogan's heel turn would later be acclaimed as setting the standard for face-heel turns and would contribute greatly to WCW's success for the next 2½ years.
- May 3 - Ray Stevens (Died of heart failure)
- June 14 - Dick Murdoch (Died of heart failure)
- September 10 - Sapphire (Died from a heart attack)
- January 23 – WCW Clash Of The Champions #32 (Televised event)
- May 11 – A Matter Of Respect (Televised event)
- August 15 – WCW Clash Of The Champions #33 (Televised event)
- January 21 – WWF Royal Rumble
- 11 - Demi Bennett