1/13/85 - Veterans Memorial Coliseum - Phoenix, AZ

The Foreign Legion (Dino Bravo, Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik) defeated Jim Duggan, Junkyard Dog and Sam Houston when Sheik pinned S. Houston after hitting him with the loaded boot in 0:07:56.
Rating: 3/4*

The Veterans Memorial Coliseum was a little more than half full for our debut in Phoenix, not bad considering this was our first time in this region. The fans who were here were all amped up for some action, and it all started out with 6-man tag team action. Newcomers Jim Duggan & Sam Houston teamed with GCW veteran Junkyard Dog to take on Freddie Blassie's Foreign Legion consisting of Dino Bravo, Nikolai Volkoff, & The Iron Sheik. This was a fun match to get the crowd going, featuring lots of comedy and all kinds of USA chants. As the crowd showed their patriotism, it drove the Foreign Legion insane, yelling for the fans to shut up, which in turn only made the chants louder. Duggan, Houston, & JYD were having a good time out there, but that all changed as after a chaotic exchange when all 6 men were in the ring, The Iron Sheik loaded up his boot. Houston had just dropkicked Bravo out of the ring, but when he turned around, he caught that loaded boot in the stomach, and then in the head which knocked him out cold. Sheik made the pin, and the Foreign Legion had stolen a victory. JYD grabbed a chair from ringside and chased Sheik out of the ring before any further damage could be done.

King Kong Bundy pinned Chavo Guerrero with the Big Splash in 0:01:56.
Rating: -1/4*
(Jim Powers no-showed.)

Jim Powers was supposed to be in this match against King Kong Bundy tonight, but he was suffering some minor injuries stemming from his match last night against Don Muraco. We got a last minute replacement, and it was the return of former Intercontinental champion Chavo Guerrero. The fans were excited to see him as he is a big star in the southwest, but this was a tall mountain to climb for Chavo. Chavo came out fast knowing that his best chance to win would be to catch Bundy off guard early. He almost got Bundy off his feet with a series of dropkicks, but the last time Chavo hit the ropes, Bundy ran right through him. Bundy didn't waste much more time before hitting the Big Splash and walking out of Phoenix with the win.

The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) defeated Bret Hart and Don Muraco when Dynamite Kid pinned B. Hart with the Flying Headbutt in 0:12:44.
Rating: *** 3/4

Bret Hart is the newest client of Mr. Fuji, and he was already being put to work in a tag team match with "The Magnificent" Don Muraco against the British Bulldogs. Junkyard Dog was back out for the second time tonight, being in the corner of the Bulldogs to make sure that Mr. Fuji didn't get involved. For the most part, that strategy worked. Any time that Fuji looked like he MIGHT try to interfere, JYD would be there to keep him at bay. It was a good thing that he did, because we got a fantastic tag match out of the deal. For being their first time teaming, Hart & Muraco looked very cohesive as a team. That's not surprising - Fuji is an accomplished tag team wrestler and is passing that knowledge along to his charges. Fuji wanted this match badly, and he finally made his move to get involved by tripping Dynamite Kid as he hit the ropes. JYD saw this and immediately went on the attack, chasing after Fuji. Fuji retreated all the way to thee back with JYD hot on his heels. Bret Hart was yelling up the aisle at JYD to stop it, which let Davey Boy Smith sneak in behind him. When the Hitman turned, he was scooped up and dropped with a running powerslam, which Dynamite followed with the Flying Headbutt to get the 1-2-3.

Tully Blanchard pinned Jacques Rougeau with the Slingshot Suplex in 0:08:03.
Rating: *** 1/2

The Rougeau Brothers have been ultra impressive in their short time in GCW, and both Jacques & Raymond were looking to ply their craft in singles action, starting with Jacques taking on Tully Blanchard. The crowds aren't all familiar with the Rougeaus yet, so they were pretty cold to him early on. Blanchard didn't have that problem though as he is easily one of the most hated men in GCW. His cocky attitude and in-ring antics make him an easy man t detest. Tully was trying to get under Rougeau's skin early on, but all it got him was a punch in the jaw. From there after a regrouping session outside of the ring with Bobby Heenan, Blanchard hunkered down and got serious. Blanchard showed that when he gets himself focused, he is a tough man to beat. He weathered the offense of Jacques before hitting the Slingshot Suplex to get the win. With as talented as Tully is, it's a wonder how good he could be if he would get focused all the time.

[STREETFIGHT]: No-Countout-No-DQ-Match:
Eddie Gilbert pinned Bruiser Brody after a roll up in 0:10:19.
Rating: ****

Bobby Heenan & Eddie Gilbert thought that they were out of the woods with Bruiser Brody when Gilbert collected the $10,000 bounty on him by throwing a fireball. Brody hasn't slowed down a bit, and has been coming after Gilbert like a train coming off the tracks. And because of the recent antics of Gilbert & the Brain, Hot Stuff was forced to fight Brody in a streetfight! This is exactly what Brody's specialty is, so this did not bode well for the newest member of the Heenan Family. Gilbert got on his bicycle and tried to keep his distance from the angry bearded gentleman across the ring from him, but it was only so effective because Brody wouldn't slow down. This match was a display of the kind of offensive fire power that Brody possesses, and the Phoenix crowd loved every moment of it. Gilbert ran to the outside, but that was a mistake as Brody can do considerable damage out on the floor. He busted Gilbert open when he threw him into the ring post, and then almost took him out with a powerful bodyslam on the floor. Gilbert couldn't get anything going and it looked like this was going to be an easy win for Brody. Gilbert was gushing blood like crazy as Brody looked to finish Gilbert off, but Heenan jumped up on the apron in a desperation effort to stop Brody. Brody didn't waste any time with Heenan, hitting him and knocking him down to the floor. But in doing so, he was caught from behind by Gilbert who rolled him up, put his feet on the ropes, and stole the victory. He didn't end up looking like much of a winner though as Brody caught him trying to escape up the aisle and hit another bodyslam on the concrete. He then retrieved a chair and blasted Gilbert in the head with it, knocking him out cold. Word has it that Gilbert suffered a concussion as a result of that chair shot. Gilbert may have had enough of Brody, but I don't think Brody is done with Gilbert by a long shot.

Raymond Rougeau defeated Nick Bockwinkel by disqualification in 0:00:56.
Rating: **

This was a special challenge match that Raymond Rougeau requested. He said what Nick Bockwinkel did to his fellow Quebec native and friend Rick Martel was deplorable, and he was looking to right that wrong in Phoenix. You have to appreciate Rougeau wanting to stick up for his friend, but it didn't exactly work out the way he would have liked. Rougeau came out fast right out of the gate, attacking Bockwinkel as he entered the ring. Bockwinkel was back on his heels trying to get away, but Raymond was all over him like white on rice. Bobby Heenan was still hurting from getting punched by Bruiser Brody in the previous match, but he stuck his neck out again to get on the apron and distract Raymond. Rougeau got a hold of Heenan by the shirt, and as the Brain begged for his life, Bockwinkel came up from behind and hit Rougeau with a low blow, prompting the DQ. Bockwinkel looked offended that anyone would dare disrespect him like this, and he showed his disdain for the elder Rougeau brother by planting him with the Piledriver. Heenan called for a second one, but before Bockwinkel could go through with it, JACQUES ROUGEAU ran down to save his brother, clotheslining Bockwinkel, causing him to fall out of the ring. Bockwinkel is going to get his eventually, but the question is, when?

Larry Zbyszko loses his mind.

"The Cruncher" Larry Zbyszko was out to the ring next, and to say he looked a little off would be a hefty understatement. Zbyszko was almost manic in his words, saying that he should be challenging for the World Title right now, getting his chance to beat Bob Backlund like he knows he can. Zbyszko got in the face of ring announcer Howard Finkel, asking him if he thought that he could beat Backlund. Finkel was tentative to answer, but said that he wasn't sure since Zbyszko had been unable to do it up to this point. That ended up being a mistake as it just made the Cruncher more angry. Zbyszko grabbed Finkel by the jacket and was threatening to knock him out when MAGNUM T.A. ran down and made the save, running Zbyszko to the floor. Magnum grabbed the mic and told Zbyszko if he wanted a fight, why didn't he get in the ring to fight him? Referee Danny Davis got in the ring, and the match was on.

Magnum T.A. pinned Larry Zbyszko with the Belly-to-Belly Suplex in 0:14:50.
Rating: ** 3/4

Magnum T.A. has had Zbyszko's number since he made his debut back in December, which might be the worst thing for his health. Zbyszko has proven himself to be an unstable individual, especially when he can't find a way to defeat an opponent. He hasn't been able to beat Magnum, but he did beat on him tonight. We haven't really seen how well Magnum can do when he's wrestling a defensive match, but we got a large dose of that tonight. Zbyszko wouldn't let up on Magnum at all, taking every opportunity to torture Magnum - chokes, eye gouges, any illegal move you can think of. Magnum was fighting from behind throughout the contest, and he showed great heart in not giving up and peppering Zbyszko with enough offense to keep above water. The Cruncher had a couple of chances to put this match away, but he elected to lift Magnum's shoulders off the mat to continue the assault. That would ultimately be his downfall when he scooped Magnum up for the shoulderbreaker, but Magnum slid down Zbyszko's shoulders and hit the Belly-to-Belly Suplex out of nowhere to get the pin! Magnum rolled to safety before Zbyszko could get a hold of him and celebrated as he went up the aisle to the back. Meanwhile, Zbyszko completely lost control, destroying everything he could get his hands on around ringside. That almost included Howard Finkel, but luckily for the Fink, he was able to slide out of his jacket and get himself to safety. It took a barrage of security and officials to finally subdue Zbyszko and get him to the back.

Ted DiBiase and Barry Windham defeated The North-South Connection (Adrian Adonis and Dick Murdoch) when DiBiase made Adonis submit to the Figure-Four Leglock in 0:09:14.
Rating: ** 3/4

Ted DiBiase & Barry Windham are still untested as a tag team, but this match with the North-South Connection would go a long way to showing us exactly where they're at. Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch have made it known that they want a shot at the World Tag Team Titles, but they are going to need to get some wins under their belt before they will get to face the champs. I think as this match wore on, it was obvious that Adonis & Murdoch had greatly underestimated how far along DiBiase & Windham already are. DiBiase is calling the shots as far as strategy goes, but Windham is a thoroughbred if there ever was one. He has all the skills necessary to be a big star in this sport, and he is learning a lot by being with a veteran like DiBiase. DiBiase would get Adonis in the Figure-Four Leglock. Murdoch almost broke it up, but Windham cut him off with a high dropkick, quite the impressive feat for someone the size of Windham. Adonis saw that his help was out of the picture, and DiBiase had the hold on tight, so Adonis made a smart decision by giving up rather than risk injury. This is a huge win for the new team, while Adonis & Murdoch are going to need to get on the same page if they want to get their title shot.

The Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose) defeated The Rock 'N Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) when Rose pinned R. Morton after a slingshot splash in 0:11:40.
Rating: ** 1/4
(The Midnight Express won the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)
[Bad News Brown interfered against Ricky Morton.]

Speaking of the tag team division, it was time for the most prestigious tag titles in the world to be defended as the next chapter in the Rock 'N Roll Express/Midnight Express feud was written. Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson have skyrocketed to the top of the mountain in short order, but with so many superb teams waiting in the wings, it was going to be tough for them to hold onto the titles. Jim Cornette gave "Loverboy" Dennis Condrey & "Ravishing" Randy Rose a big pep talk before the match, and told his bodyguard Bad News Brown to stay close because he just knew that Morton & Gibson would try to hurt him if they got the chance. Though that is accurate, it's only because he brings it on himself, but I digress. Part way through the match after Bad News Brown hit Gibson with a clothesline on the floor while the Midnight Express had referee Tommy Young's attention, TONY ATLAS took matters into his own hands and ran down, getting right in Brown's face! The crowd was on its feet as we thought we were going to see this clash a little early, but Young jumped down and pushed Atlas back and told him to go to the back. During this, Brown reached over and nailed Morton who was in the ring with the loaded glove, knocking Morton loopy. Rose hit a slingshot splash on Morton to put icing on the cake, and when Cornette wildly jumped up and down to get Young's attention, Young rolled in the ring and made the 3 count. Cornette jumped up and down and grabbed the World Tag Team Titles, clutching them greedily to his chest. Gibson was ready to fight more, but he thought better of it given the odds, and he rolled Morton to safety. Cornette didn't have a lot of time to celebrate the Midnight Express' title win, because TONY ATLAS was back and nailed Brown with a big right hand! He threw him into the ring, demanded that Tommy Young ring the bell, and our next match was on!

Bad News Brown pinned Tony Atlas after hitting him with brass knuckles in 0:08:06.
Rating: * 1/4

There was no feeling out process in this match - Atlas & Brown were already at full throttle even before the bell rang! I don't think there was a single wrestling hold throughout this entire contest. It was just two big dudes hitting each other with bombs, and neither man really getting the upperhand during these exchanges. Atlas would rock Brown with some shots, and then Brown would catch him with a thumb to the eye or a shot to the throat, and then he would come at him with the punches. Atlas & Brown were both getting punch-drunk they were wailing away at each other so much. Atlas caught Brown with a big clothesline, and looked to be calling for the Bearhug. Brown reached into his tights and pulled out a pair of brass knuckles. When Mr. USA came in for the kill, Brown caught Atlas in the jaw with the brass knux, made the cover, and for the second time tonight, Jim Cornette's wrestlers committed highway robbery.

Dusty Rhodes and Ricky Steamboat defeated Jimmy Snuka and Bob Backlund when Steamboat pinned Backlund with the Flying Crossbody Press in 0:14:45.
Rating: *** 1/4

We had already had a tremendous debut in Phoenix, and we still had a historic main event with Dusty Rhodes teaming with Ricky Steamboat to take on World champion Bob Backlund & Intercontinental champion Jimmy Snuka. The Backlund/Snuka team still leaves a lot of unanswered questions, considering the feud that these two have had is considered one of the most heated in wrestling history. Now they are working together, and it has been exceedingly successful so far, capturing the two top singles championships in the world. The American Dream & the Dragon were fired up, and both have their sights on getting those titles back in their possession. Despite their being a lot of personal issues between Rhodes & Backlund and Steamboat & Snuka, there was a lot of great tag team action in this power-packed main event. The fans in Phoenix were rocking and rolling the more momentum that Rhodes & Steamboat gained. Backlund & Snuka did what they could to turn the tides whenever they could, using their extensive skills to single out Steamboat. Steamboat has a ton of great skills, but as the most inexperienced of the four men, he was the one that was singled out. But Steamboat has shown an uncanny to absorb an insane amount of punishment and keep coming back. The Dragon went through hell, but managed to duck a double clothesline and took Backlund & Snuka down with a double clothesline of his own. Steamboat made a diving tag and Rhodes came in a house of fire, hitting Backlund & Snuka with a flurry of elbows. Rhodes smashed their skulls together with a double noggin knocker, causing a lot more damage to Backlund than the Superfly. Rhodes clotheslined Snuka over the top and then tagged in Steamboat. Steamboat climbed to the top and hit the Flying Crossbody Press on Backlund to get the 1-2-3! Ricky Steamboat had just pinned the World champion! The show ended with Rhodes & Steamboat holding their hands up in celebration.

Card rating: ** 1/2

Match observations:

What a debut in Phoenix! We hope to be back very soon. The next big show for GCW will be on February 23 from the Civic Auditorium in Pittsburgh. No matches have been officially signed yet, but as soon as we have that information, we will bring it to you here first!

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