3/17/85 - Met Center - Minneapolis, MN

The Met Center was at about 75% capacity as GCW made its first journey into Minneapolis for a huge event! There would be 9 huge matches including three championships on the line, with the big one being Bob Backlund defending the World Title against Stan Hansen!

Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. Jimmy Garvin

Jimmy Garvin has stormed onto the scene in GCW, immediately implanting himself right in the middle of the biggest feud in the sport. This match would be his chance to prove that he belongs in the upper echelon like he claims as he took on Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. It looked like this wasn't going to be much of a match as Steamboat came out on fire, attacking Garvin before the bell with a dropkick. The Dragon unloaded on Garvin and looked to put the match away early, almost doing so with a crossbody that would have done it had Garvin not gotten his foot on the bottom rope. Garvin was back on his heels when he stumbled back into the corner. Steamboat charged in, but Garvin side-stepped and sent the Dragon shoulder first into the ring post and then took him down with a flying armbar. This was the same arm that Steamboat has had a ton of issues with thanks to Bob Backlund. Garvin worked over the Dragon's arm for the next several minutes, putting him through excruciating pain in the process. Steamboat is a proud man though and despite the torture Garvin was putting him through, kept finding a way to fight back. Garvin lost his cool more and more as the match wore on, but he thought he had this one in the bag after hitting a big vertical suplex. Garvin brought Steamboat to his feet in position for the DDT, but the Dragon busted loose, kicked Garvin in the gut, floated over with a sunset flip and shocked everyone by getting the pin!

Ricky Steamboat pinned Jimmy Garvin after a sunset flip in 0:10:24.
Rating: *** 3/4

The crowd was happy, but that didn't last long as an angry Garvin got up and kicked Steamboat in the head before drilling him with the DDT. Garvin may not have been leaving Minneapolis with the winner's share of the purse, but he definitely left a mark on Steamboat.

Dynamite Kid (w/ "Captain" Lou Albano & Davey Boy Smith) vs. Bret "Hitman" Hart (w/ Mr. Fuji & "The Magnificent" Don Muraco)

It was good to see "Captain" Lou Albano at ringside for this match (albeit with a bandage on his head) after the cowardly attack by Mr. Fuji & his men this week in Los Angeles when he was being presented an award by Cyndi Lauper for his contributions to MS research. He was here in the corner of Dynamite Kid who was taking on Bret "Hitman" Hart. These two will be on opposing sides in a tag team contest at Super Cade in two weeks, and their partners were in their respective corners. With all of the extra people around ringside, this had the potential to disintegrate in a hurry, but luckily everyone kept to themselves on the floor. Otherwise, we would have been robbed out of this spectacular match. The pace that these two cut was off the charts, and it never slowed down from the opening bell. I couldn't even try to call the action of this match. There were so many counters, submissions, aerial maneuvers, and it was all impossible to keep up with. This is a style that is relatively new to the United States, and quite frankly, it may be the future. The fans didn't know what to make of it at first, but by the end, they were on their feet cheering. The finish of this classic encounter would come when Dynamite Kid whipped Hart into the corner. Dynamite charged in and mounted the turnbuckles, possibly looking for a monkey flip. Mr. Fuji quickly got the attention of referee Joey Marella, so that Marella couldn't see DON MURACO jump up, grab Dynamite by the head, and drop his throat on the top rope! Davey Boy Smith came over and nailed Muraco, but the damage had been done. Dynamite was whiplashed back into the ring where the Hitman hit him with a German suplex to get the 1-2-3.

Bret Hart pinned Dynamite Kid after a German suplex in 0:16:06.
Rating: **** 3/4

Fuji got his troops out of there in a hurry as Davey Boy rolled in the ring to chase Hart off. Dynamite Kid shook the cobwebs off, but he was clearly disappointed to leave Minnesota with a loss. Lou Albano used his veteran managing savvy to calm the British Bulldogs down and reminded them that they will have their chance at redemption at Super Cade.

Ted DiBiase/Barry Windham vs. Nikolai Volkoff/The Iron Sheik (w/ Freddie Blassie)

This was an interesting match that came together recently on an episode of Superstars. "Classy" Freddie Blassie has gotten into some verbal battles with Gorilla Monsoon on Superstars, and it almost escalated into a bad situation for Monsoon. If it wasn't for Ted DiBiase & Barry Windham coming to Monsoon's aid, it could have been a horrible situation. A tag team match was signed for tonight, and this was a major test for DiBiase & Windham. Windham has a tag title reign under his belt, but he was an unproven rookie when he did it and honestly, a lot of that could be thrown up to luck. DiBiase came to GCW at the behest of Windham's father to help him along and develop him into a superstar, and his teachings and guidance have been clear to see. But a match against Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik was a tall mountain to climb. Blassie had a great strategy in place and that was to isolate the less experienced Windham. Volkoff & Sheik took turns beating the tar out of Windham, frustrating the young man and not allowing him to get anything going. This also was frustrating DiBiase on the apron as he wanted desperately to get in the ring and help his partner. Volkoff & Sheik used this to their advantage, often taunting DiBiase into getting into the ring. In doing so, the referee was distracted and thus the Foreign Legion could double team Windham. It looked bleak for Windham, but he finally got himself back into it when he ducked a double clothesline attempt by the Legion and fired back with a flying double clothesline of his own. Windham had just enough left in the tank to get himself over to make the hot tag to DiBiase, he came in and cleaned house. He was going nuts on both Volkoff & Sheik, but the numbers got to him eventually when Sheik hit DiBiase from behind. Sheik loaded up his boot as Volkoff held DiBiase in position, but the Iranian never got the chance to use that illegal weapon as Windham tackled him, causing both men to fly out of the ring. During the chaos, DiBiase got out of Volkoff's grasp and locked him in a cobra clutch. Volkoff struggled to get free but couldn't submitting and giving the win to the fan favorites.

Ted DiBiase and Barry Windham defeated The Foreign Legion (Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik) when DiBiase made Volkoff submit to a cobra clutch in 0:11:09.
Rating: ***

Windham joined DiBiase back in the ring as the crowd cheered them on. Blassie went to the back with his men, vowing that this wasn't over.


Before this next match, Jim Cornette came out with the World Tag Team champions, the Midnight Express, and his bodyguard Bad News Brown, and Cornette did not look to be in a foul mood. Cornette talked about how he has had to deal with nothing but red tape from the GCW Championship Committee since he and the best tag team in the world arrived on the scene in GCW, and tonight was no different. He said that Mama Cornette is worried about him because of all the stress that President Jack Tunney is putting on him. He stated that not only was it unfair that he was bullied into giving the Rock 'N Roll Express a title shot at Super Cade, but his team was also being forced to defend the tag team titles against a duo that didn't even deserve the shot in Chavo Guerrero & Sam Houston. Cornette kept going on and on before out of frustration he finally let out his attempt at a primal scream, which was met by laughs from the fans in attendance.

The Midnight Express (c) (w/ Jim Cornette & Bad News Brown) vs. Chavo Guerrero/Sam Houston

Whether Cornette thought it was fair or not, Chavo Guerrero & Sam Houston were getting the title shot tonight against the Midnight Express. One could argue that Cornette had a point that Chavo & Houston didn't deserve a title shot, but either way, the challengers came to play and held their own. "Ravishing" Randy Rose & "Loverboy" Dennis Condrey took on the demeanor of their manager to start this match and as such, were not focused at all. Chavo & Houston were looking like they had the chance to pull off the upset, but that was when Bad News Brown got involved. Houston had jumped to the floor to throw a stalling Rose back in the ring, but before he could get back in, Brown took him down with a hard right hand. From that point on, the Midnight Express got back to doing what they do best to put this one away and retain the World Tag Team Titles.

The Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose) defeated Chavo Guerrero and Sam Houston when Condrey pinned S. Houston with the Flap Jack in 0:06:38.
Rating: 1/4*
(The Midnight Express retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

Cornette wiped his brow and breathed a sigh of relief that his charges were still holding the gold. We'll see how well they fare though against Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson at Super Cade in two weeks.

"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. "The Canadian Strongman" Dino Bravo (w/ Freddie Blassie)

There wasn't an issue going into this match between "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan & "The Canadian Strongman" Dino Bravo, but it's safe to say there is now. Duggan had a new toy with him for this match, a 2x4 that he brought to the ring with him. "Classy" Freddie Blassie had huge issues with this, wanting referee Danny Davis to do something about it. Davis told Blassie that as long as Duggan doesn't try to use it as a weapon, he could have the 2x4 with him. Duggan is still pretty new to GCW, and this was going to be a tough test for him against the greatest tag team wrestler in history and Canada's Strongest Man. Bravo himself is still getting his sea legs, so to speak, in the singles division and is trying to compile some victories. This match was about as unlike the Dynamite Kid/Bret Hart contest we had earlier, but it was still entertaining if you like big, strong men punching the tar out of each other. You weren't going to get any wristlocks here, but you did get two strong men hitting each other with bombs all over the place. Both men looked punch drunk after just a few minutes of this, and that's when Bravo decided he had enough. He caught Duggan with a thumb to the eye, hit the Side Suplex, and had just enough to keep Duggan down for the 3.

Dino Bravo pinned Jim Duggan with the Side Suplex in 0:05:18.
Rating: * 1/2

Blassie wanted to teach Hacksaw a lesson after the match, grabbing a hold of the 2x4 and handing it to Bravo. Bravo measured Duggan, but before he could do anything, TONY ATLAS ran down to a huge ovation. Bravo took a wild swing with the 2x4 at Mr. USA, but Atlas ducked and nailed Bravo in the jaw with a right hand, liberating the 2x4 from Bravo's hand in the process. Duggan picked up the lumber and took a swing at Bravo, also missing while Bravo & Blassie jumped out of the ring. Duggan & Atlas played to the crowd and challenged Bravo & Blassie to return, who did no such thing, opting to retreat to the locker room instead. Duggan shook Atlas' hand before leaving the ring, while Atlas stayed behind and grabbed the microphone.


Atlas changed gears now, talking about how the next match was supposed to be his good friend Junkyard Dog getting his chance to become the Intercontinental champion in a match against Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka. Atlas put JYD over as one of the toughest guys in the world, but when you're attacked from behind the day before on Superstars, even tough guys can't always battle back. Atlas told the fans how much JYD was looking forward to his title shot, but he was not going to be able to compete (getting a round of boos from the crowd as he said that). Atlas did say though that he talked to President Jack Tunney last night, and we would be seeing an IC Title match tonight - Jimmy Snuka vs… TONY ATLAS! The crowd cheered for that as he tossed the microphone back to Howard Finkel, who introduced the champ.

Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka (c) vs. "Mr. USA" Tony Atlas

Snuka was not happy as he got into the ring, yelling at referee Dick Kroll that he should have the night off since he was prepared to wrestle JYD, not Atlas. Kroll said there was nothing he could do and that the match was going to start now. Snuka kept complaining, but that was a mistake as Atlas spun him around and leveled him with a right hand, getting this match going. Atlas had all the momentum in the early minutes and he tried to put thee Superfly away, knowing that if Snuka got going, this could be a long night for him. Atlas couldn't put Snuka away before Snuka caught him with a knifehand thrust to the throat. Snuka was in a bad mood for having to defend the title in the first place, and he went to work on Atlas, aggressively taking it to him. Snuka put Atlas in a lengthy nerve hold, trying to wear the powerful Mr. USA down. Atlas fought out of the hold but when he was just about to break it, Snuka let go and hit a savate kick. Snuka said it was time to finish the match, climbing to the top rope for the Superfly Splash. Atlas got back to his feet before that though. Snuka saw this and jumped anyway, looking to hit a flying crossbody. Atlas' insane strength allowed him to catch Snuka though and lock him in the Bearhug! Snuka screamed and clawed to get out of the clutches, but the more he struggled, the tighter Atlas' grip seemed to get. Snuka made one last ditch effort to escape, but Atlas was not going to let go. Snuka called it quits, and ladies and gentlemen, we have a brand new Intercontinental champion!

Tony Atlas made Jimmy Snuka submit to the Bearhug in 0:07:32.
Rating: * 1/2
(Tony Atlas won the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Snuka quickly rolled out of the ring clutching his back as Atlas was presented with the Intercontinental Title. Atlas was joined in the ring by Jim Duggan who hugged Mr. USA and raised his hand in victory. Congratulations to the new Intercontinental champion!

"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes vs. Adrian Adonis

After a 15-minute intermission, the fans got right back into the action with the most popular wrestler in GCW, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. He was taking on an old enemy in Adrian Adonis, who would love nothing more than to get a win over Rhodes. Adonis came out quickly on Rhodes, trying to put him away early. Rhodes is just too good for that though, catching Adonis at every turn with a Bionic elbow. Those elbows are a dangerous weapon, and if you can't avoid them, you're not going to be successful against the former World champion. Adonis did what he could, but he couldn't get away from the Bionic Elbowdrop, giving Rhodes the win.

Dusty Rhodes pinned Adrian Adonis with the Bionic Elbowdrop in 0:04:02.
Rating: ** 1/2

Rhodes looked great tonight in a winning effort. With both Ricky Steamboat and he emerging victorious tonight, could that be a sign of things to come for Stan Hansen in our main event?

Rick Martel/Bruiser Brody/Davey Boy Smith/The Rougeau Brothers vs. The Heenan Family (w/ Bobby Heenan & Baby Doll)

The ovation that Rick Martel got tonight when he was introduced is a moment I won't soon forget. He got a standing ovation and quite frankly, Martel looked very emotional as he got into the ring with his team. It should be noted there was a small change made to this match. Magnum T.A. didn't make it to the arena in time thanks to issues with his plane, so he was replaced by Davey Boy Smith. These multi-tag matches have a tendency to get a little wild, and that's not surprisingly when you have 10 men out there who don't like each other very much. The Heenan Family had the edge on paper as Bobby the Brain has molded all 5 men into a cohesive unit. The opposing forces worked together exceptionally well though, not necessarily because they all get along (I don't think Bruiser Brody actually likes anybody) but these men have had a lot of problems with members of the Heenan Family. The complexion of the match took a major turn at around the 5-minute mark when KAMALA made an appearance at ringside. Freddie Blassie was with him too, begging him to go to the back and not get into it with Brody. As you know, via a decree from President Tunney, if Brody & Kamala make contact with each other before Super Cade, their match will be cancelled and the last thing Blassie wants is to lose a payday. Brody was ready to fight as he jumped to the floor as officials and security descended on the ringside area to keep this one from exploding. Brody didn't care though, as he was desperately trying to get his hands on the Ugandan Giant and disappeared to the back in the process, leaving his team a man down for the rest of the contest.

Martel and his team had to regroup, and for the next several minutes, they were more or less dominated. Martel eventually got himself in the ring, and for a bit, he looked fantastic, hitting Arn Anderson in the mush with a dropkick. Eddie Gilbert ran in and he got the same treatment. King Kong Bundy ran in and with the help of Davey Boy Smith, Martel & he dropkicked the monster out of the ring. Martel had the building going crazy as he called Bockwinkel to get in the ring and get him some. Martel was all fired up as he was practically begging Bockwinkel to get in the ring. What he failed to notice though was Tully Blanchard was the legal man. Blanchard came from behind and drove a knee into Martel's back, sending him into the turnbuckle by Bockwinkel. Blanchard grabbed Joey Marella's attention so he wouldn't see Bockwinkel nail Martel in the back of the neck with a headbutt. Martel immediately clutched his neck and stumbled right into a small package from Blanchard to get the 3 count.

The Heenan Family (Arn Anderson, Eddie Gilbert, King Kong Bundy, Nick Bockwinkel and Tully Blanchard) defeated The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau), Bruiser Brody, Davey Boy Smith and Rick Martel when Blanchard pinned Martel after a small package in 0:18:45.
Rating: ***
(Magnum T.A. no-showed.)

The Rougeaus & Davey Boy Smith rushed into the ring to protect Martel from any further punishment as the Heenan Family left with a set of smiles etched on their faces (none bigger than Nick Bockwinkel's). Martel looked a little shaken up, but otherwise okay. But after seeing how vulnerable his neck looked, one has to wonder if Martel made a mistake by coming back to the ring.

Bob Backlund (c) vs. Stan "The Lariat" Hansen

The look in Stan Hansen's eyes said it all. This match was about much more than just the World Title. Not only did Bob Backlund more or less commit high larceny in winning his third World Title, but he also injured Hansen and put him out of action for four month in the process. The Lariat not only wanted to win back the title, but he wanted to hurt Backlund in the process. Hansen was like a wild boar as soon as the bell rang, and it looked like this match was going to be over in record time with how relentless Hansen was being. It didn't take long before JIMMY SNUKA & JIMMY GARVIN rushed down to help their partner. Garvin jumped up on the apron, but Hansen clocked him with right hand that send him flying to the floor! Snuka tried to get up on the apron too, but he was pulled down by DUSTY RHODES who had rushed to Hansen's aid! While Rhodes brawled with Snuka, RICKY STEAMBOAT joined the fray as well by nailing Garvin with a clothesline, and now we had all six members of the main event for Super Cade brawling like wild men! Officials finally maintained some order and sent everyone but Backlund & Hansen to the back, but what a chaotic scene that was.

Even if it was chaos, the brawl helped Backlund to get his bearings. He clipped Hansen's legs from behind, and then went to work on the Lariat's previously injured left shoulder. Backlund has never been called a flashy wrestler, but this is exactly when he is at his best. I would stake my reputation on the fact that when it comes to working over a body part, there is no one better than the World champion. Hansen is a rough and rugged brawler, but his left arm was being rendered useless by Backlund's assault, and that took away a lot of Hansen's effectiveness. Still, it's Stan Hansen we're talking about here, and he will keep fighting back until his last breath. Hansen reached down deep and pulled off enough big moves to keep himself in this match. It wasn't until Backlund busted Hansen open on the ring post that it really turned around. When Hansen caught sight of his own blood, he snapped and flipped out on Backlund. Backlund was even trying to run away, not even pretending that he wanted to see this match to the end. Hansen tossed Backlund back in the ring and pounded away at the champ in the corner. Referee Tommy Young tried to restore some order, but with the blood flowing down his face, Hansen had become an uncaged animal. Young tried one more time to pull Hansen off of Backlund, and all he got for his trouble was a huge Lariat! Young was out like a light, but Hansen didn't care as he went back to pounding on Backlund. Snuka & Garvin ran back down and pulled Backlund out to safety. Rhodes & Steamboat ran down too to try to calm Hansen down, and Steamboat almost ate the Lariat for his troubles. Luckily, Hansen stopped himself before he did so, but you could tell there was some tension in the ring. Hansen is going to need to learn to control himself if this team is going to have a shot at Super Cade.

Bob Backlund defeated Stan Hansen by disqualification in 0:27:39.
Rating: ****
(Bob Backlund retained the GCW World Title.)

Card rating: ** 1/2

Match observations:


MAIN EVENT - Dusty Rhodes/Stan Hansen/Ricky Steamboat vs. Bob Backlund/Jimmy Snuka/Jimmy Garvin
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Midnight Express (c) vs. The Rock 'N Roll Express
The British Bulldogs (w/ Cyndi Lauper) vs. Don Muraco/Bret Hart
Bruiser Brody vs. Kamala
Rick Martel vs. Nick Bockwinkel

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