6/17/86 - Tacoma Dome - Tacoma, WA

Intercontinental Title Match
Ted DiBiase (c) vs. Barry Windham

This was the shot that Barry Windham wanted, so now it was put up or shut up time. Windham has had a major league chip on his shoulder and Ted DiBiase was willing to put his Intercontinental Title on the line against his friend in order to hopefully save their friendship. This started out as a great mat wrestling match, but when neither man could get a clear advantage, tempers really started to flare. The match turned into a brawl after DiBiase slapped Windham across the face after an exchange, looking to knock some sense into him. The mat wrestling was gone and now we had a pier sixer on our hands. Kudos to Dick Kroll for giving them the leeway to attempt to settle these issues. DiBiase looked to have a win when he locked on the Cobra Clutch, but Windham was quick to counter it with a jawbreaker and then a powerslam. After a grueling contest, Windham placed DiBiase on the top rope and set him up for the Superplex. DiBiase had a counter of his own and turned it into a cross-body block. Windham hit his head hard and DiBiase just managed to hold his shoulders down for the 3, retaining the championship in the process.

Ted DiBiase pinned Barry Windham after a cross-body block in 0:14:11.
Rating: **** 1/4
(Ted DiBiase retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

This was a great match, and I don't think anyone would say that Windham didn't step up to the plate. DiBiase offered Windham a handshake after the match. The fans cheered Windham on to do the right thing, but after a lot of hesitation, Windham left the ring frustrated to a chorus of boos. DiBiase shrugged his shoulders with a look of disappointment on his face.

The Rougeau Brothers vs. The Power Company (w/ Jimmy Hart)

Jimmy Hart had The Power Company way more focused this time around against The Rougeaus. They got themselves upset in short order recently on Superstars because they were too busy posing. They got right to business tonight, and if anything this showed that when Dino Bravo & Hercules have their heads in the game, they are hard to beat. This match was more or less dominated by The Power Company who picked up the duke.

The Power Company (Dino Bravo and Hercules) defeated The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau) when Bravo pinned J. Rougeau with the Side Suplex in 0:04:35.
Rating: **

"The Birdman" Koko B. Ware vs. Honky Tonk Man

After Honky Tonk Man maliciously assaulted Junkyard Dog by breaking his guitar over his head, there was no more ambiguity about what type of a person he is. In a word, he's a scumbag. Koko B. Ware, someone who is legitimately JYD's friend, did not much appreciate HTM's actions and challenged him over it, thus leading to this match. This match taught us a lot about Honky Tonk Man, namely that he is a very crafty individual. Koko seemingly had him on the ropes the entire contest, but HTM was merely suckering the Birdman in. HTM was hurt and stumbling near the ropes when Koko flew at him with a crossbody. HTM ducked and pulled the top rope down, causing Koko to crash to the floor. After that, this one was essentially over. Koko got a little offense in after that, but that tumble hurt him big time. Honky Tonk would hit the Shake Rattle'n'Roll and earn the victory.

Honky Tonk Man pinned Koko B. Ware with the Shake Rattle'n'Roll in 0:06:48.
Rating: ** 1/2

#1 Contender's Match for the Television Title
Bob Backlund vs. "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan

Bob Backlund & Jim Duggan have both individually had close calls with Television champion Tully Blanchard, coming within an eyelash each of taking the championship. They also both felt they were due the next rematch. Jack Tunney suggested this one-on-one match between the two, and we got a rare fan favorite vs. fan favorite contest. Backlund had the experience edge and knew if he could keep this a strict wrestling match, he was more than likely going to win. Backlund did his best, but Hacksaw is an unorthodox opponent to say the least. He kept finding a way to get out of Backlund's holds and use his fists to even the odds. Backlund kept on his attack though and looked like he had things under control when he got Duggan in the Crossface Chickenwing. However, he couldn't fully lock it in as he couldn't get Hacksaw to the canvas. Duggan would get loose when he backed Backlund hard into the corner to break the hold, and then caught the former World champ with a high back bodydrop out of the corner. Duggan would capitalize with the Three Point Stance and get a huge win!

Jim Duggan pinned Bob Backlund with the Three Point Stance in 0:09:02.
Rating: ** 1/4

Unlike we saw in our opening match, Backlund actually was a good sport and shook Duggan's hand, wishing him luck in his upcoming TV Title shot. We have since found out that Duggan's title rematch will take place on the July 5 episode of GCW Superstars.

Dos Caras/Hector Guerrero vs. Tully Blanchard (Television champion)/"The Enforcer" Arn Anderson (w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan)

Hector Guerrero hadn't been seen in years before he made his recent return in Pittsburgh to assist the tag team partner of his injured brother. Hector was teaming tonight with Dos Caras to take on the two men who were involved in the match that Chavo Guerrero was hurt in, Arn Anderson & Television champion Tully Blanchard. Hector & Caras definitely came in with a lot of energy, but their teamwork was seriously lacking. Hector looked more focused on getting even with the men he perceived to have injured his family as opposed to getting along with his partner. It would lead to a miscue as Hector tagged himself when it looked like Caras had Blanchard under control. Caras questioned Hector about it, but Hector essentially yelled at Caras to get out of the ring. This miscommunication led to Hector turning around right into a big swinging neckbreaker from the TV champ, which was enough to secure the victory. Cooler heads would prevail after the match, but Hector & Caras are going to need to work on their tag team continuity if they're going to be as successful as the Mexican Eagles were.

The Heenan Family (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard) defeated Dos Caras and Hector Guerrero when Blanchard pinned H. Guerrero after a swinging neckbreaker in 0:02:09.
Rating: *

I Quit Match
Rick Martel vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat (w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan)

We thought after what we saw between these two last month that we had seen it all, but this was incredible. Now it may not have been quite the same match as last month, but the intensity was off the charts. I wish I could explain the look in Martel's eyes. It was… distant. He was so blinded by anger and rage that it was like he was on a different planet. Steamboat looked like he wanted to be anywhere else but in this I Quit match early on, but he did manage to weather the storm of Martel's attack in the opening minutes. Steamboat knew he was going to take a beating in this match, but he used Martel's aggression against him. The Dragon has also learned to be ruthless under the tutelage of Bobby Heenan, and he showed that in this one. However, no matter what Steamboat could come up with, when referee Tommy Young would ask Martel if he gave up, he would say nothing. Martel kept fighting back, and as you would expect in a blood feud, this match was chaotic.

The match was back and forth, but the momentum really swung when Steamboat went for the Flying Crossbody from the top rope to the floor, but crashed and burned when Martel moved. Martel strung together his offense, hitting Steamboat with a massive piledriver in the ring. Steamboat at this point was bruised, battered, had a cut over his eye, and looked to be in dire straights. Martel was all set to lock on the Boston Crab, which I can't imagine the Dragon wouldn't have gave it up in. However, Martel stopped, calmly grabbed the microphone from Tommy Young, and stoicly said, "I quit."

I Quit Match:
Ricky Steamboat defeated Rick Martel in 0:18:48.
Rating: *** 1/4

Everyone looked equal parts shocked and confused at what had just happened. Martel quickly got out of the ring, and went straight to the back. Even Bobby Heenan looked like he couldn't believe what he just saw. Either way, Ricky Steamboat was victorious.

The Barbarian vs. Big John Studd

After what had just happened in the previous match, Bobby Heenan was not at ringside with Big John Studd as he took on The Barbarian. After what happened in this match, Studd definitely could have used the guidance of the Brain. The Barbarian is undefeated, and he stayed that way after this match. That wasn't a big deal in its own right, but it was HOW The Barbarian won that was. The Barbarian completely dominated this match from bell to bell, which is a tremendous feat considering Big John Studd is a mountain of a man. Studd couldn't find a way to slow down The Barbarian and ate a savate kick to end this match.

The Barbarian pinned Big John Studd after a savate kick in 0:05:41.
Rating: 1/2*

The Road Warriors (w/ Paul Ellering) vs. Sgt. Slaughter/Stan "The Lariat" Hansen

We knew that this tag match was going to be a battle, but we didn't expect it to get violent in the way that it did. Referee Danny Davis had his work cut out for him as this was turning into a brawl right from the word go. It's hard to even describe what this match was. When these two teams hook up, it just becomes chaos. To Davis' credit, he let a lot go in this contest as the match could have easily been called a DQ at any point. When the match had "settled" slightly, Animal had the upperhand on Sgt. Slaughter on the floor. After throwing him into the railing, Animal tossed Slaughter back into the ring. While Davis checked on Slaughter and tried to keep Stan Hansen from getting at Hawk, two men jumped out of the crowd and started wailing on Animal! These men were big and nasty, and the taller of the two nailed Animal between the eyes with a steel chain! Animal was knocked loopy and got counted out.

Sgt. Slaughter and Stan Hansen defeated The Road Warriors (Hawk and Animal) when Slaughter defeated Animal by countout in 0:07:05.
Rating: * 1/4
[The Russians interfered against Animal.]

When the dust had settled, we realized that the two men were former World champion IVAN KOLOFF and his nephew, NIKITA KOLOFF! No one even knew the Russians were here, let alone why they assaulted the Road Warriors. If I know Paul Ellering's troops though, they are not going to take this lying down.

The Rock 'N Roll Express (World Tag Team champions)/Andre the Giant vs. The Hart Foundation/"Adorable" Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart)

This was a bonus match not originally announced, and featured the tag team champions teaming with the Eighth Wonder of the World against member's of Jimmy Hart's First Family. The Hart Foundation in particular were fired up for this match, as they have come within an eyelash several times of winning the World Tag Team Titles, but they just haven't quite been able to get over the hump and defeat the Rock 'N Roll Express. Jimmy Hart clearly told his team to do everything they could to keep Andre the Giant out of the ring, and they did that as Andre never officially tagged in. He would play a huge part in the finish though. Adrian Adonis had Robert Gibson down in the ring, and instead of trying to go for the win, he decided it would be a good idea to taunt Andre. Adonis was waving at and taunting Andre, inching closer as he did so. When Adonis got up to Andre, he closed his eyes and blew Andre a kiss. Big mistake. Andre didn't give Adonis a kiss, but his fist did. Adonis took a huge bump backward. Gibson quickly hit a gutwrench suplex and got the flash pin.

The Rock 'N Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) and Andre the Giant defeated The First Family (Adrian Adonis, Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) when R. Gibson pinned Adonis after a gutwrench suplex in 0:10:05.
Rating: ***

World Title Strap Match
King Kong Bundy (c) (w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan) vs. "The Immortal" Hulk Hogan

The odds would finally be fair for Hulk Hogan. Before our main event could even be started, the shark cage was lowered and referee Tommy Young instructed Bobby Heenan to get in, as per the stipulations. Heenan was flat out refusing to, until Young whispered something to ring announcer Howard Finkel. Finkel announced that if Heenan didn't get in the shark cage, King Kong Bundy would be stripped of the World Title! Heenan protested mightily, but did get in the cage. As it was raised, you would think the Brain was about to pass out from fear. One man who wasn't afraid though was Hulk Hogan, who was finally going to get his fair shot at the World Title.

Even with Heenan directly out of the picture, it's not like this was going to be easy for the Hulkster. He still had perhaps the most dominant force in the history of GCW standing across the ring from him in the form of King Kong Bundy. And not only that, but he would be attached to him with a 12 foot leather strap. Hogan had intentions to rock Bundy with his brute strength at the beginning, even making use of the leather strap right away. He made a big time error though when he tried for a bodyslam way too early and collapsed under the weight of the colossal World champ. Bundy then went to work, doing anything he could think of to cause damage to the Hulkster's back and ribs. Heenan was thrilled but was careful not to celebrate too much as it would cause the cage to shake and he would shout in terror.

Hogan is nothing if resilient though, and when Bundy found nothing but turnbuckle on an avalanche attempt, the Hulkster knew this was his chance. Hogan put together some great offense, making great use out of the strap. Bundy was on the ropes and there was nothing the Brain could do about it. Gravity could though, as Hogan again tried a bodyslam and failed. We thought it was curtains for Hogan when Bundy hit the Big Splash that has put so many others away. But not only did Hogan kick out, but he immediately got back to his feet! Bundy couldn't believe it as Hogan stared him down. Bundy hit a right hand, but Hogan shook it off. Another, same result. The third one caused Hogan to start convulsing - he was officially Hulking up. Nothing Bundy could do would slow Hogan down, who would eventually hit that bodyslam he had been trying, hit the Big Leg Drop, and made the cover for the 1-2-3.

Strap Match:
Hulk Hogan pinned King Kong Bundy with the Big Leg Drop in 0:14:20.
Rating: 3/4*
(Hulk Hogan won the GCW World Title.)

Ladies and gentlemen, the era of Hulkamania has officially arrived! The arena exploded (not literally - that would be a huge story) as Hogan was declared the World champion. Bobby Heenan was almost in tears as he realized that he no longer was managing the World champion. It got even worse for him as the cage started lowering and Bundy was out! As the cage landed in the ring, Heenan, who had fought so hard to not go into the cage to begin with, was now holding the door shut so Hogan couldn't get a hold of him! Problem for him was, the Hulkster is much stronger than the Brain, and he had no issues ripping the door open. Heenan begged for his life, but Hogan rocked him with two big right hands. An atomic drop propelled Heenan over the top rope to the floor. The show ended with Hulk Hogan celebrating his title win by posing for the raucous Tacoma crowd.

Card rating: * 3/4


7/14/86 - KING OF THE RING - Sullivan Stadium - Foxboro, MA

Tournament Participants:

Bob Backlund
Honky Tonk Man
Koko B. Ware
Adrian Adonis

More to be announced!

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