4/25/85 - Providence Civic Center - Providence, RI

The British Bulldogs (w/ "Captain" Lou Albano) vs. The Midnight Express (w/ Jim Cornette & Bad News Brown)

We had a packed house on hand for GCW's return to Providence, and it couldn't have kicked off in a bigger way than a huge tag team battle between the British Bulldogs & the Midnight Express. These two teams have been trending in different directions, with the Express losing the tag team titles at Super Cade while the Bulldogs got the biggest win of their young career over Bret Hart & Don Muraco with Cyndi Lauper in their corner. Cornette grabbed the microphone before the bell rang and again made mention of how he was disappointed that the Midnight Express weren't wrestling for the World Tag Team Titles and that he was hard at work to make sure that "Loverboy" Dennis Condrey & "Ravishing" Randy Rose defeated the Rock 'N Roll Express for the titles they should have never lost. The Bulldogs had heard enough of this and jumped the Express, Cornette narrowly escaping "Captain" Lou Albano!

The match itself was fast paced when Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid were in control, and the Express did everything they could to slow the pace down. They were able to do so thanks to the presence of Bad News Brown. Brown didn't physically get involved, but when he made a move toward the ring like he was going to, that was all that was necessary to distract Dynamite Kid. Condrey clipped Dynamite's leg from behind and the complexion changed in a big way. Condrey & Rose flipped a switch and became far more aggressive. The target was Dynamite's left knee, and they were ruthless in the attack. How Dynamite continued to fight back is beyond me, because most normal men would have cried uncle. But not Dynamite. He kept fighting back, and eventually found an opening. He ducked a double clothesline attempt from the Express and came flying back with a double dropkick on both men! Dynamite clutched his left knee in tremendous pain, but it did buy him enough time to crawl over and tag in Davey Boy! Davey Boy was a house of fire, hitting Condrey & Rose with a series of clotheslines. When Davey Boy tossed Condrey out of the ring, Cornette called over to Brown to do something. Brown got up on the apron and this time he definitely would have interfered, if it weren't for THE ROCK 'N ROLL EXPRESS making the save. Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson pulled Brown off the apron and laid him out with a tandem dropkick! In the ring, Davey Boy hit the Running Powerslam on Rose to get the win!

The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) defeated The Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose) when D.B. Smith pinned Rose with the Running Powerslam in 0:11:02.
Rating: ** 1/2

After the bell, the World Tag Team champions joined the Bulldogs and Albano in the ring to keep Cornette and company at bay. Even with the circumstances, this is going to hurt the Midnight Express' case in getting their rematch any time soon.

Non-Title Match
Magnum T.A. (Television champion) vs. Tully Blanchard (w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan & Baby Doll)

Even though the Television Title was not on the line (the TV Title cannot be defended on a non-televised event), this match between champion Magnum T.A. and Tully Blanchard promised to be a good one. Not only would Blanchard get a TV Title shot if he could defeat Magnum, but Magnum wasn't exactly pleased about Blanchard hitting him with the championship belt after their match at Super Cade. Blanchard knew that Magnum wanted to tear his head off, so what he did was use this to his advantage. Blanchard did everything he could to make Magnum mad, hoping to cause the champ to either get himself disqualified or get too out of control that he would make a huge mistake. Magnum did manage to keep himself under control enough to not get DQ'ed, but he did leave himself prone to Blanchard's counter attacks. Tully used every underhanded tactic he could think of, from choking to eye gouges to back rakes - anything he could do to hurt Magnum. He was doing a good job, but it's going to take more than a few chokeholds to keep Magnum down. Magnum got his foot up when Blanchard jumped at him off the second turnbuckle, which changed all the momentum. Tully was on his heels as Magnum fired back with rights and lefts, and then a huge dropkick. Magnum seemed to have the match in the palm of his hand when he went to the second rope himself. Magnum jumped off with a crossbody, but Tully used his momentum to rollover on it so he was making the cover. Blanchard grabbed a hold of the tights, something Danny Davis was unable to see, letting Tully get the win!

Tully Blanchard pinned Magnum T.A. after a rollover in 0:10:23.
Rating: *** 3/4

Blanchard quickly jumped out of the ring before Magnum fully gathered what had happened. It may have happened under nefarious circumstances, but Blanchard will now get a shot at the Television Title on Superstars this Saturday.

Before the next match, Bobby Heenan stayed down at the ring because he had a man in the next match. The Brain started by saying that he had sad news, and that was the GCW departure of Nick Bockwinkel. Heenan said Bockwinkel was tired of looking at ugly, disgusting fans like the ones here in Providence (to a huge amount of boos) and wanted to spend more time with the beautiful people of Beverly Hills. But he said someone was here to take care of the Rick Martel problem, and that was his own personal enforcer, Arn Anderson. Anderson came to the ring and shook the Brain's hand when he entered it. Anderson grabbed the mic and said no one was more dangerous at targeting a body part and injuring it than he was, which meant bad news for Martel's neck. Martel was introduced and wasted no time sprinting to the ring and trading fists with Anderson to get this match under way!

Rick Martel vs. Arn Anderson (w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan)

This match had a torrid start and that intensity carried through all the way to the closing bell. At this point, you know that Martel would want nothing more than for Heenan and his cronies to be out of his life. He had a year of his career taken away from him by Nick Bockwinkel and when he defeated him at Super Cade, he thought he was done with it for good. That is, until Anderson attacked him. If this match is any indication, we could be seeing the start of a new blood feud. it started out intense, and that fire only built as the minutes clicked away. Martel had a little more fire than Anderson it looked like, and he looked set up to lock on the Boston Crab. He couldn't get the move applied though because BOBBY HEENAN jumped up on the apron and yelled at Martel. Martel released the hold and went right into a dropkick, knocking Heenan right to the floor! The crowd exploded in cheers, but unfortunately, Martel stuck around to yell at Heenan on the floor. This let Anderson sneak up behind Martel and roll him up for the 1-2-3.

Arn Anderson pinned Rick Martel after a roll up in 0:07:16.
Rating: ** 3/4

That's two matches in a row now that the Heenan Family has stolen! Anderson rolled out of the ring, collected Heenan, and headed for the locker room in a hurry, leaving Martel seething in the ring.

Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. Bret "Hitman" Hart (w/ Mr. Fuji)

When you watch a Bret Hart match, there are two things you can almost always expect: 1) some fantastic technical wrestling, and 2) a lot of Mr. Fuji interference. We got the first one in spades, but were shocked to get exactly none of the second. The Hitman was taking on Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, perhaps the only person in GCW who can match Hart hold-for-hold. Hart took this as a personal challenge, and he insisted that Fuji stay back and merely shout instruction, not get physically involved. Steamboat seems to bring this out of people, and we got a good technical matchup out of the deal. This isn't the best match we've seen between these two, but it was still good and hard-hitting. Hart even came within an eyelash of stealing a win when he had the Dragon set up for a German suplex. Steamboat hit a back elbow to cause some separation, reversed with a go-behind, and drilled Steamboat with a tiger suplex get the win.

Ricky Steamboat pinned Bret Hart after a tiger suplex in 0:12:55.
Rating: *** 1/4

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

Jim Duggan & Dino Bravo have been at the throat of each other over the past several weeks, and the biggest part of it revolves around Hacksaw's love of the United States and how much he has had the back of Intercontinental champion Tony Atlas, a sworn enemy of Freddie Blassie's Foreign Legion. Duggan's heart is in the right place, but right now the biggest difference between the Canadian Strongman and himself is experience. Duggan is a tough guy and will fight anyone at the drop of a hat, but Bravo has been in GCW for a long time now and knows the tricks of the trade. Bravo used those sneaky tactics to sucker Duggan into the Side Suplex and a victory for Canada's Strongest Man.

Dino Bravo pinned Jim Duggan with the Side Suplex in 0:04:56.
Rating: * 1/2

Bravo was looking to take some liberties with Hacksaw after the match, but TONY ATLAS ran down to make sure that couldn't happen. Word has it that Atlas' partner tonight, Junkyard Dog, was not pleased with Atlas getting involved in this when they have a match together later tonight, but it's a good thing for Duggan that Atlas was there to make the save.

World Tag Team Title Match
The Rock 'N Roll Express (c) vs. Nikolai Volkoff/The Iron Sheik (w/ "Classy" Freddie Blassie)

Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik earned this shot at the World Tag Team Titles by defeating Ted DiBiase & Barry Windham recently on Superstars, and they were a tough matchup for the defending champions, the Rock 'N Roll Express. If you try to match speed with Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson, you will lose - they are the quickest team in wrestling. Volkoff & Sheik are well aware of that though, and at Blassie's constant reminding, they slowed the match down to a snail's pace whenever they could. Morton & Gibson couldn't match power with the Foreign Legion, and they had a lot of issues trying to turn up the pace. They did find their opening late and were stringing together an impressive array of high-flying moves. They were both perched on the turnbuckles and looked set to hit The Iron Sheik with something in the middle of the ring, but they never got the chance as DENNIS CONDREY & RANDY ROSE shoved them off the top for the DQ!

The Rock 'N Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) defeated The Foreign Legion (Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Sheik) when R. Morton defeated Sheik by disqualification in 0:08:04.
Rating: ** 1/4
(The Rock 'N Roll Express retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)
[Randy Rose and Dennis Condrey interfered against Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton.]

Jim Cornette was barking orders to the Midnight Express, yelling for them to take out the men who "stole your titles!" Freddie Blassie was not too pleased with this interference, getting in Cornette's face about it for costing his men the titles. Volkoff & Sheik were a lot more direct about it, getting into a scrap with Condrey & Rose! Now all 6 men were fighting, and they were joined by 2 more when THE BRITISH BULLDOGS joined the fray! At the end of this scuffle, it was the Rock 'N Roll Express & Bulldogs standing tall in the ring while the rulebreakers retreated to the back.

Stan "The Lariat" Hansen vs. "The Magnificent" Don Muraco (w/ Mr. Fuji)

After we came back from the intermission, we had a match that had a lot of history to it, although most of it is not recent. Back in 1981, it was Stan Hansen who ended the Intercontinental Title reign of Don Muraco in a steel cage match. There was no titles on the line and no cages involved, but this honestly was one of the more brutal short matches I have ever witnessed. I'm not sure what was into Hansen tonight, but the Lariat just went insane. Muraco did his best to defend himself, but Hansen was a runaway locomotive. Muraco looked like the lights were on but nobody was home before Hansen hit him with one last vicious kick to the head before mercifully making the pin.

Stan Hansen pinned Don Muraco after a kick to the head in 0:07:48.
Rating: *** 1/4

Hansen wanted to go after Muraco some more, but referee Tommy Young somehow managed to pull him away to go to the locker room (not before Hansen threw a few chairs and tables at ringside around). Muraco had to be helped to the back by Mr. Fuji.

"Mr. USA" Tony Atlas/Junkyard Dog vs. Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka/Jimmy Garvin

The story of this tag team match was how little both of these teams wanted to be teaming together. Jimmy Snuka & Jimmy Garvin were on the same team in the Super Cade main event, but Snuka walked out on Garvin to allow him to be pinned. They've traded barbs since then on Superstars. Intercontinental champion Tony Atlas & Junkyard Dog aren't doing any better. JYD was supposed to get the IC Title shot, but when he was attacked by a yet-to-be-named assailant, Atlas filled in and would go on to win the title. JYD still hasn't found out who the attacker was, but he has Atlas' friend Jim Duggan, and even Mr. USA himself on his list of suspects. Throw the Superfly jumping Atlas & JYD in their match this past weekend on Superstars and you have quite the tense cocktail. You will occasionally see a tag match where one side isn't getting along too well at the time, but it is extremely rare to see a match where both teams are going through that. What we got was a lot of verbal altercations, rough tags, and downright ignoring of tag team partners. JYD got stuck in the ring and even if it was fluid, Snuka & Garvin were working him over. JYD needed to make a tag, and he got the opening to when he ducked a Snuka back elbow and nailed him square with a headbutt. JYD could have made the tag, but instead he tried to shake the cobwebs out and do it himself. It was a mistake though, as JYD had suffered too much punishment. Snuka swallowed his pride and tagged in Garvin. Garvin ran in, spiked JYD with the DDT, and took the 1-2-3.

Jimmy Garvin and Jimmy Snuka defeated Junkyard Dog and Tony Atlas when J. Garvin pinned JYD with the DDT in 0:08:18.
Rating: 1/4*

The celebration of Snuka & Garvin for their win was short, as they instead argued as they went to the back. Atlas got in the ring to help JYD to his feet, but JYD shoved him away. JIM DUGGAN came down to the ring to try to mediate the situation, but all that did was irritate JYD more. In fact, they almost came to blows before Atlas got the situation calmed down.

"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes vs. "The Ugandan Giant" Kamala (w/ Kim Chee)

Dusty Rhodes has a huge match ahead of him on May 11 at the debut of Saturday Night Slam Masters where he will challenge the winner of tonight's main event for the World Title. However, if he looked past his opponent here, "The Ugandan Giant" Kamala, he was going to be in a lot of trouble. Kamala is as dangerous as they come - so dangerous in fact that even his former manager, "Classy" Freddie Blassie, has cut ties with him, officially giving his contract over to the new masked trainer, Kim Chee. Kamala was still a mad man in this match, but there seemed to be a method to his madness, and I think you can attribute that all to Kim Chee. He is very stern with the Ugandan Giant, and that has Kamala wrestling with more focus. The American Dream had his hands full and then some, getting blitzed by Kamala right from the opening bell and not getting a second to breathe. Rhodes has been in some epic battles before though, and he kept fighting back, doing just enough to stay in this and keep the savage at bay. It would take a stroke of luck for Rhodes to escape this. While Kamala was beating Rhodes up on the outside, Kim Chee had a hold of the Dream up against the ring post. Kamala charged in for an avalanche, but Rhodes pulled Kim Chee in the way and the Ugandan Giant smashed his trainer instead! Rhodes rolled back into the ring, and as Kamala did the same, the Dream caught him with the Bionic Elbowdrop which was just barely enough to get the pinfall.

Dusty Rhodes pinned Kamala with the Bionic Elbowdrop in 0:06:39.
Rating: **

Rhodes rolled out of the ring before Kamala and Kim Chee could regain their bearings. Rhodes had a look of relief on his face, being well aware of how fortunate he was to escape in one piece. This is a huge win going into his World Title match. Meanwhile in the ring, Kim Chee slapped Kamala in the back of the head and chastised him for losing the match. A month ago I would think someone was insane for trying that, but Kamala had a look of sorrow and shame on his face. It looks like someone finally has some control over this beast.

World Title Match
Bob Backlund (c) vs. Bruiser Brody

Any time you get Bruiser Brody in a match, you expect a certain amount of unpredictability. Brody is a street fighter through and through, and that makes him a hard opponent to prepare for. If anyone could do it though, it was World champion Bob Backlund. Say what you will about Backlund, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more prepared athlete in all of wrestling. Backlund has had the success he has had because he prides himself on being ready for anything. I don't think even he could have expected the wild nature of the wildman tonight in this World Title main event. Most wrestlers work their entire careers to get a shot at the heavyweight championship of the world. For Brody, this was just another man for him to beat up. Even Backlund was floored by this as after an exchange where Brody almost got himself disqualified, Backlund could be heard yelling to Dick Kroll, "Does he even care that this is for the World Title!?" Backlund did what he could to keep Brody grounded, but hey, good luck with that. Backlund threw everything he had at the Bruiser, using a lot more barroom brawl type tactics than we are used to seeing from Backlund. Even after Backlund gave Brody a bloody nose, Brody just wouldn't stop. It ended up turning into a chase on the outside as Backlund took a powder to get away from Brody, deciding that retreat was his best option. Brody went after him, hussing the entire way. It ended up turning into a cat-and-mouse game with Brody hot on Backlund's heels. Backlund got himself back in the ring and grabbed a hold of Dick Kroll for protection. Kroll tried desperately to get Backlund to let go of him, but he was also blind to the fact that KAMALA had shown up at ringside and bodyslammed Brody on the concrete! Kim Chee was there as well, and he instructed Kamala to hit Brody with the Air Africa on the floor as well. Brody is a tough guy, but even he couldn't recover in time from that to not get counted out.

Bob Backlund defeated Bruiser Brody by countout in 0:15:47.
Rating: ***
(Bob Backlund retained the GCW World Title.)
[Kamala interfered against Bruiser Brody.]

Bob Backlund was in a fight, but he managed to escape Providence still the World champion. What this means is that we now know it is official for Saturday Night Slam Masters - Bob Backlund vs. Dusty Rhodes for the World Title!

Card rating: ** 1/4

Match observations:

Not only did we know about the World Title match after this show, but in a press release, we learned that after what happened tonight, one more match has now been signed for the big show to air on MTV on May 11. Bruiser Brody and Kamala will look to end their bloody feud once and for all as the two behemoths have been signed to meet in a Falls-Count-Anywhere match! President Jack Tunney said he didn't like to do it, but these two have shown in the past several months that the ring simply can't contain them. He was going to allow them to settle their differences once and for all, and they'd have the entire Nassau Coliseum in which to do so!


WORLD TITLE - Bob Backlund (c) vs. Dusty Rhodes
FALLS-COUNT-ANYWHERE - Bruiser Brody vs. Kamala

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