5/4/85 - GCW Superstars

5/4/85 - GCW Superstars (TAPED: 4/16/85)
LOCATION: Mid-Hudson Civic Center - Poughkeepsie, NY

Gorilla Monsoon and Mark Niemiller were stationed at the announce desk at ringside, meaning it was time for another episode of GCW Superstars! We are only one week away from Saturday Night Slam Masters, and Monsoon commented on how there was a lot of tension in the air going into today's program. Niemiller agreed, and felt a big part of it had to do with the fact that both the World champion and #1 contender would be in action, just one week before their epic clash at Slam Masters! Monsoon agreed, mentioning that Bob Backlund will take on Raymond Rougeau and in our main event, Dusty Rhodes meets Dino Bravo!

Before we got to the wrestling portion of our program, Monsoon said right before they went on the air, he was handed a note regarding Slam Masters. He briefly recapped the issues that have taken place recently with the World Tag Team champions, the Rock 'N Roll Express, the Midnight Express, the British Bulldogs, and Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik. President Jack Tunney is someone who has noticed too, and after what happened in Providence a couple of weeks ago, he has signed an 8-man tag team match - the Rock 'N Roll Express and the Bulldogs on one side, the Midnight Express, Nikolai Volkoff, & The Iron Sheik on the other! Not only that, but there is a special stipulation. Whoever scores the winning fall in the match, his team will receive a World Tag Team Title shot at the 5/18 Boston Garden show! Niemiller asked about if Ricky Morton or Robert Gibson scored the fall, considering they are the champs. Monsoon said Tunney had thought of that, and if either member of the RnR Express gets the duke, they will get to choose their own opponents to defend against! Niemiller was flabbergasted, saying there was no way that the champs and the Bulldogs would be able to work together with such a stipulation. Monsoon countered by saying the same issue applied to the other side of this equation. Monsoon said we would be hearing from both sides during Gene Okerlund's Live Event Report.

MATCH #1
Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. Terry Gibbs

The wrestling kicked off with one of the most popular wrestlers in the sport, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, taking on Terry Gibbs. Steamboat did an insert promo, discussing how much like Stan Hansen had said last week, he too wanted to be wrestling for the World Title at Slam Masters. However, unlike Hansen, he said that he would simply keep working harder to earn that title shot, and wished his good friend Dusty Rhodes luck in the match. Niemiller got a kick out of this, making it seem like Steamboat was talking out of the side of his mouth and that you knew he was extremely jealous of the American Dream. Monsoon told Niemiller to stop trying to cause trouble. Speaking of trouble, Gibbs gave the Dragon very little of it, falling victim to the Flying Crossbody Press to give Steamer the win.

Ricky Steamboat pinned Terry Gibbs with the Flying Crossbody Press in 0:02:39.
Rating: **

TULLY BLANCHARD CLAIMS HE WAS NEVER BEATEN BY MAGNUM T.A.

We cut backstage, where Lord Alfred Hayes was standing by with Tully Blanchard, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, and Baby Doll. Heenan didn't even give Hayes a chance to utter a word, saying that this past week has been one of the longest weeks of his life. Heenan's claims were that Magnum T.A. was a common thief, holding possession of something that rightfully belonged to Tully Blanchard - the GCW Television Title. Heenan was passionate about how obvious it was that Blanchard was going to win the title last week before Magnum deliberately and intentionally stalled so that the time limit expired (ignoring the fact that the time limit actually expired after Magnum had hit his finisher on Tully and went for the pin). Blanchard chimed in now, hammering home the fact that Magnum didn't beat him and only kept the title on a technicality. Blanchard announced that he has secured himself another shot at Magnum - this time, at Saturday Night Slam Masters. Blanchard warned Magnum that if he tried to take the cowardly way out again, he would regret it.

MATCH #2
Non-Title Match
Bob Backlund (World champion) vs. Raymond Rougeau

Both men involved in the World Title match at Slam Masters had to wrestle today on Superstars, and Bob Backlund chose to go first. As this match with Raymond Rougeau got going, it was clear that today was going to be all about oneupsmanship. I think Backlund is well aware that if the match with Dusty Rhodes becomes a slugfest, he is at a marked disadvantage. If he can turn it into a mat game, he would far and away be walking out of the Nassau Coliseum still the champion. Many might have felt that Rougeau was nothing more than a sacrificial lamb for the World champion, but if he was, someone forgot to inform Raymond Rougeau. He knew that you don't get a chance in the ring with the World champion every day, so if he could somehow pull off the upset, it would catapult him up the standings. It didn't quite work out that way, but Raymond did put on one great showing. Raymond has great speed, and he used it to stay away from Backlund's grapples. Raymond even almost pulled off a huge upset when a spinning leg lariat connected, but Backlund barely kicked out. Raymond went to finish it off by going to the second turnbuckle, bringing the crowd to their feet thinking they were about to see a huge upset. Raymond hit a flying crossbody press, but Backlund rolled through with the move, locked Raymond in a tight cradle, and got the 3 count.

Bob Backlund pinned Raymond Rougeau after a rollover in 0:07:50.
Rating: *** 1/2

Gorilla Monsoon stopped Backlund at ringside and asked him what he had to say about his performance tonight, pointing out that he almost got pinned by a tag wrestler! Backlund corrected Monsoon and said that Raymond Rougeau is a great competitor, and that he didn't almost get beaten. No, instead he had proved that he could pin anyone, no matter the odds, with superior wrestling technique in a blink of an eye. He finished by saying that Dusty Rhodes couldn't outdo him on the mat, and that is why Backlund would still be World champion after next Saturday.

JIMMY GARVIN THROWS OUT A CHALLENGE

After returning from break, Lord Alfred Hayes was standing by with Jimmy Garvin. Hayes wasn't sure why Garvin had asked for the time. For starters, Garvin said he had to make a huge announcement. He went on a long rambling speech, working Hayes up into a frenzy of anticipation, just to tell the world that he wanted to be referred to as: Jimmy "Jam" Garvin. Hayes almost ended the interview right then and there, but Jimmy Jam had one more piece of business. Garvin said that since he came to GCW, he has done nothing but deliver. One man that hasn't held up his end of the bargain was one of the men who brought him here - Jimmy Snuka. Garvin was tired of Snuka putting the bad mouth on him wherever they went and wanted to handle it in the ring. He issued the challenge for the Boston Garden, May 18th.

MATCH #3
"Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert (w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan) vs. Keith Larsen

Eddie Gilbert was in action next, and we haven't seen much of Hot Stuff recently - a point Bobby Heenan made sure to bring up to Gorilla Monsoon during the match. While Gilbert was having little trouble with Keith Larsen in the ring, Heenan was in Monsoon's ear, basically like a gnat, telling him that he should have more respect for the talents of Eddie Gilbert. Gilbert would go on to hit the Hot Shot, and the momentum of the move actually sent Larsen flying over the top and spilling to the floor. Larsen wasn't getting up.

Eddie Gilbert defeated Keith Larsen by countout in 0:02:49.
Rating: *

Heenan finally left Monsoon alone, but not before saying that if people wouldn't respect the Heenan Family, they would make them. Niemiller joked that Monsoon isn't too popular with the managers of GCW. Monsoon said he got along with Captain Lou all right, before we cut to commercial.

MATCH #4
Ted DiBiase/Barry Windham vs. Ted Grizzly/Alex Knight

Back from break, our next match was already set to begin, with Ted DiBiase & Barry Windham meeting Ted Grizzly & Alex Knight. The former cut an insert promo, pretty standard fare, saying that even though they came up short recently in a bid to become the #1 contenders, they weren't dead by a long shot, and they were coming for all the best tag teams in GCW. That remains to be seen, but they sure did look impressive today, making short work of their opposition.

Ted DiBiase and Barry Windham defeated Ted Grizzly and Alex Knight when Windham defeated Knight when Knight passed out in a sleeperhold in 0:04:39.
Rating: ** 3/4

LIVE EVENT REPORT WITH GENE OKERLUND

Knock, knock. Who's there? It's the Live Event Report with "Mean" Gene Okerlund! Okerlund had a lot to cover, starting with next Saturday night's huge tv special on MTV, Slam Masters. The card was stacked, according to Okerlund, and would only look more so after the Live Event Report today. He mentioned the World Title match between Bob Backlund & Dusty Rhodes, and that Rhodes would have his pre-Slam Masters match coming up on Superstars against Dino Bravo. He then went on to discuss the falls-count-anywhere war between Bruiser Brody and Kamala, the 8-man tag team match announced at the top of the broadcast, and the match pitting Junkyard Dog & Jim Duggan against each other. He then threw it to an interview taped just a little while ago from Magnum T.A. Magnum said he had heard Tully Blanchard's challenge, and quite frankly, he didn't owe Blanchard a thing! But he did add that he owed himself and the fans something, and that was to shut Tully's mouth. Magnum accepted Blanchard's challenge and said he would put the TV Title on the line at Slam Masters. Back to Okerlund, who hyped that encounter could be the match of the year.

Okerlund brought up the Boston Garden show next, mentioning that tickets were still available but they were going fast, so to call the box office now. He recapped the 2-of-3 falls match we'll see between Rick Martel & Arn Anderson, and confirmed that Jimmy Snuka has accepted Jimmy Garvin's (sorry, Jimmy "Jam" Garvin's) challenge and the match will go on on May 18. The other huge match he could confirm was one of monster proportions! Okerlund said that in talking with President Jack Tunney, though Tunney didn't agree with his way of going about it, he felt that Stan Hansen had a point and that he deserved a shot at the World Title. That title shot will take place on May 18 in Boston, regardless of who the champion is coming out of Slam Masters! That's right, that means we will have not one but TWO huge World Title matches in the span of one week! Okerlund said you just couldn't miss either of these shows and that you should do whatever it takes to see them both.

MATCH #5
King Kong Bundy (w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan) vs. Carl Fury

Monsoon and Niemiller wanted to use part of this next match to hype the two big shows coming up, but they never really got the chance as King Kong Bundy wasn't interested in stretching this one out. Carl Fury looked downright scared to death, and it's hard to blame him with the tear that Bundy has been on lately. Bundy needed only 43 seconds to put Fury's shoulder's to the mat. Bobby Heenan spared Monsoon any grief this time around.

King Kong Bundy pinned Carl Fury with the Big Splash in 0:00:43.
Rating: -*

MATCH #6
"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes vs. "The Canadian Strongman" Dino Bravo (w/ "Classy" Freddie Blassie)

It was time for our main event, and this would be Dusty Rhodes' pre-Slam Masters match, taking on the rugged Canadian, Dino Bravo. Backlund didn't exactly have an easy time against Raymond Rougeau, but Rhodes had arguably even a tougher test against Bravo. Bravo is the greatest tag team wrestler of all time, and he is working on making a path for himself in the singles ranks. A win over a star with the pedigree of the American Dream would do just that. Even "Classy" Freddie Blassie was far more focused, hardly taking any to yell at the fans (or Monsoon, for that matter) and put it all into barking advice to the Canadian Strongman. For awhile, it was working. Rhodes started out fast as he usually does, getting the crowd solidly behind him. Bravo weathered that early storm and turned the tide with a back elbow on a charging Rhodes, and then a thunderous bodyslam. Bravo tried to work over Rhodes, namely his ribs, trying to get Rhodes to submit to a bearhug. The American Dream may not win every match he competes in, but he is not going to give up. Rhodes showed the great heart that he is, fighting back with all his might. Bravo tried to slow the comeback down, but to no avail, catching the Bionic Elbowdrop to give him the win.

Dusty Rhodes pinned Dino Bravo with the Bionic Elbowdrop in 0:12:24.
Rating: * 1/4

Right before we went off the end, Niemiller ran up and got a word with Rhodes. Rhodes said that Backlund may have shown he can lock on all the holds in the world, but Rhodes proved he would never give up, and that's why he would be the World champion after Slam Masters!

Match observations:

Saturday Night Slam Masters is next Saturday night, but we also have an episode of Superstars next week too! All of the final preparations will be in place for Slam Masters, and we will also have a preview tag match: Dynamite Kid & Ricky Morton vs. Randy Rose & Nikolai Volkoff!

5/11/85 - SATURDAY NIGHT SLAM MASTERS - NASSAU COLISEUM - Uniondale, NY

WORLD TITLE - Bob Backlund (c) vs. Dusty Rhodes
TELEVISION TITLE - Magnum T.A. (c) vs. Tully Blanchard
FALLS-COUNT-ANYWHERE - Bruiser Brody vs. Kamala
The Rock 'N Roll Express/The British Bulldogs vs. The Midnight Express/Nikolai Volkoff/The Iron Sheik
Junkyard Dog vs. Jim Duggan

5/18/85 - BOSTON GARDEN - Boston, MA

WORLD TITLE - Bob Backlund or Dusty Rhodes (c) vs. Stan Hansen
2-OUT-OF-3 FALLS - Rick Martel vs. Arn Anderson
Jimmy Snuka vs. Jimmy Garvin

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