8/23/85 - Joe Louis Arena - Detroit, MI

Chavo Guerrero/Dos Caras vs. The Hart Foundation (w/ Jimmy Hart)

We had a hot tag team match to kick off the show here in a nearly full to capacity in the Joe Louis Arena in the Motor City, Detroit, MI! The Hart Foundation came to the ring first and it looked like Jimmy Hart had them ready to go. Chavo Guerrero was one of the opponents, but he had a mystery partner that wasn't revealed until match time. Chavo got on the microphone and introduced his partner, one of the biggest stars in Mexico today, and brother of former GCW superstar Mil Mascaras, DOS CARAS. The crowd was quiet at the original announcement due to Caras not having a lot of exposure in the United States, but by the end of this match, he had the crowd fully behind him. Caras is one of Mexico's best heavyweights, but he still brings a combination of power and speed that the Hitman and the Anvil had trouble combating. This ended up being one of the best matches of the night as the two teams were so evenly matched. The match could have went either way, but Chavo used a great counter to turn the tide. Bret Hart was on Chavo's shoulders and tried to slide down his back for a sunset flip, but Guerrero showed tremendous strength and pulled him back up and locked him into the Gory Special! Neidhart got in the ring to break it up, but he got cut off by a flying crossbody from Dos Caras! The Hitman tried to hang on, but when Chavo really clamped down on the hold, Hart had no choice but to submit.

Chavo Guerrero and Dos Caras defeated The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) when C. Guerrero made B. Hart submit to the Gory Special in 0:16:55.
Rating: *** 1/2

Jimmy Hart was beside himself, claiming that not knowing it was going to be Dos Caras was a total miscarriage of justice. The Hart Foundation left licking their wounds and vowing revenge.

Steve Lombardi vs. Bad News Brown

Bad News Brown was his regular surly self as he had a match against Steve Lombardi. Lombardi is a tough guy himself, but you wouldn't have thought so when you saw Bad News maul him. A few months ago, Brown was simply a bodyguard. Now I'm starting to think that the wrestlers of GCW are going to need to hire bodyguards to protect against him. Lombardi couldn't string together enough to slow Brown down, and a big powerslam put this one in the books.

Bad News Brown pinned Steve Lombardi after a powerslam in 0:03:52.
Rating: *

Andre the Giant vs. "The Enforcer" Arn Anderson (w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan)

You have to hand it to Arn Anderson. The Enforcer probably knew in the back of his head that he was going to get his ass kicked tonight against Andre the Giant (I mean, he was outweighed by nearly 300 pounds!) but there was no tinge of fear in Anderson's eyes. Anderson was here to fight, for better or worse. Andre was actually having a lot of problems with the Enforcer early on because Anderson kept working on Andre's leg, trying to chop the big redwood down. Every time Anderson would almost get Andre off his feet, Andre would cut him off with a big punch or a headbutt. Bobby Heenan was hoping this strategy would tire Andre out, but that all went out the window when Andre hit a gutwrench suplex. Andre looked poised for the Elbowdrop, but that was broken up when TULLY BLANCHARD came flying off the top rope and hit Andre in the back with a double axhandle!

Andre the Giant defeated Arn Anderson by disqualification in 0:03:20.
Rating: *
[Tully Blanchard interfered against Andre the Giant.]

Anderson got back to his feet and joined Blanchard in trying to take Andre down, but this just served to make Andre mad. He fired back punches on both members of the Family, before slamming the heads of Anderson & Blanchard together with a double noggin-knocker. Andre put an official end to the double team attempt by grabbing Anderson & Blanchard by the back of the head and sending them both flying over the top rope. Andre waved to the fans in the crowd as Heenan collected Family members and headed to the back.

The British Bulldogs (w/ "Captain" Lou Albano) vs. The Electric Dream Machine (w/ Precious)

The British Bulldogs suffered a tough loss to the Fabulous Ones back in Philadelphia, and they needed to get back on track here against the Electric Dream Machine if they wanted be under consideration for another shot at the World Tag Team Titles. I think with all ridiculous the antics of Jimmy "Jam" Garvin & "Mr. Electricity" Steve Regal are (and let it be forever known that their jackets were VERY sparkly tonight), we often forget that they are a great tag team that can go. Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith weren't in much of a mood to deal with the shenanigans of the EDM and started hitting them hard and often. It was interesting because instead of Garvin & Regal backing down, they got angry, and by the end of this match, we had a real donnybrook on our hands. This style suits Captain Lou's boys a little more though, and it would end when Davey Boy hit a running powerslam on Garvin which Dynamite followed up with a flying headbutt.

The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) defeated The Electric Dream Machine (Jimmy Garvin and Steve Regal) when Dynamite Kid pinned J. Garvin after a flying headbutt in 0:12:06.
Rating: *** 1/2

The Electric Dream Machine has nothing to be ashamed about as they brought their A-game, but the Bulldogs were just a little bit better tonight.

Junkyard Dog/"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan/The Rougeau Brothers vs. The Foreign Legion (w/ "Classy" Freddie Blassie)

When the Foreign Legion is all together, they really are quite the intimidating force. And although they have some different personalities, "Classy" Freddie Blassie has them operating on the same page with a common goal. Junkyard Dog, Jim Duggan, & the Rougeau Brothers were their opponents tonight. JYD & Hacksaw have joined forces several times in the past to combat the Foreign Legion, but the Rougeaus are relatively new to the battle. There was no outward animosity of anything of the sort of the team, but the inexperience teaming together of JYD, Duggan, & the Rougeaus was clear. The Foreign Legion made frequent tags and for the most part kept the fan favorites from doing the same. Atlas showed off his power when he locked Raymond Rougeau in a full nelson. Raymond tried to get out, but the more he struggled, the deeper the hold got locked it. Before anyone could get in to make the save, Raymond called it quits, unable to handle the pain any longer.

The Foreign Legion (Nikolai Volkoff, Shiro Koshinaka, The Iron Sheik and Tony Atlas) defeated The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau), Jim Duggan and Junkyard Dog when Atlas made R. Rougeau submit to a full nelson in 0:07:04.
Rating: ** 3/4

They fought valiantly, but the Foreign Legion is a well-oiled machine. Atlas sent a clear message to Jim Duggan, who challenges for the Intercontinental Title tomorrow on Superstars. Hacksaw is going to need to avoid Atlas' power if he is going to win his first championship.

World Tag Team Title Match
The Rock 'N Roll Express (c) vs. The Fabulous Ones

With how long the Fabulous Ones' ring entrances have been so far, an executive decision was made for "Sweet" Stan Lane & Steve Keirn to start their ring entrance halfway through the intermission. That's right - the Fabulous Ones started their ring entrance while fans were buying t-shirts and using the restroom, and even when intermission was over, Lane & Keirn STILL needed just a little bit more time to get into the ring. The Rock 'N Roll Express didn't take nearly that amount of time as they didn't want to wait another second to get their hands on the challengers to their World Tag Team Titles. The Fabulous Ones have caused them nothing but grief since they debuted in GCW, and this was the best chance Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson had to get even. If anything, Morton & Gibson were probably too aggressive, and Lane & Keirn using stall tactics to their fullest helped to exaserbate that. Morton ended up getting caught in the ring, and the Fabulous Ones worked him over. I don't know how Morton does it, but this guy seems to have the stamina to take epic beatings and keep coming back for more. This allows him to find openings, like he did here when Lane missed his Savate Kick and Morton caught him flush in the face with a dropkick! Morton crawled over to his corner as Lane tagged in Keirn. Keirn tried to cut off Morton but he was a second too late, and Gibson got tagged in. Gibson fired off on Keirn, hitting a hiptoss and a dropkick of his own. Lane hit Gibson from behind and the Fabulous Ones whipped him into the ropes, but Gibson was able to duck the double clothesline. When the Fabulous Ones turned around, they saw that Morton was up to as the Express hit them with stereo dropkicks! Lane rolled out of the ring as Gibson put Keirn in the Gibson Leglock. Keirn had nowhere to go and called it quits.

The Rock 'N Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) defeated The Fabulous Ones (Steve Keirn and Stan Lane) when R. Gibson made S. Keirn submit to the Gibson Leglock in 0:09:23.
Rating: **
(The Rock 'N Roll Express retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

A great title defense for the Rock 'N Roll Express, whose impressive title reign keeps rolling along. A setback for the Fabulous Ones, but you have to believe they'll be back up here sooner rather than later.

Ted DiBiase vs. "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert (w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan)

With Ted DiBiase being one of the final two men in the battle royal and wrestling Tully Blanchard for the vacant Television Title in 8 days, Bobby Heenan used his managerial savvy to get a match signed at the last minute for tonight, pitting "Hot Stuff" Eddie Gilbert of the Family against DiBiase. The Brain made it clear from the opening bell that Gilbert's job was to soften DiBiase up so that Blanchard would have a much easier time taking the TV Title. The only problem with this plan is that Heenan forgot to inform DiBiase that he was supposed to take a beating. Gilbert may have been better served just trying to win the match. With as crafty of a veteran as DiBiase is, he saw Hot Stuff trying to hurt him, and he was a step ahead in every exchange. In fact, it was this that would lead to the end. Gilbert had gotten DiBiase to the floor and propped him up against the ring post. Gilbert charged, but DiBiase moved and Gilbert cracked his skull on the steel! DiBiase followed up with a big bodyslam on the floor before rolling back in the ring. Gilbert tried to get to his feet, but he was out of it and couldn't get back in the ring.

Ted DiBiase defeated Eddie Gilbert by countout in 0:07:55.
Rating: *** 1/4

Heenan was left feeling frustrated that his plan didn't pan out the way he wanted. It looks like if Tully Blanchard is going to beat Ted DiBiase, he is going to have to do it the hard way on August 31.

2/3 Falls World Title Match
Bob Backlund (c) vs. Barry Windham

If Barry Windham had his coming out party last month in Philadelphia, tonight he showed he is here to stay. Windham showed a lot of gumption by challenging World champion Bob Backlund to a rematch tonight, and he gave him everything he wanted and more. Backlund accepted the challenge and made it a 2/3 falls match, saying he wanted to embarrass Windham two falls in a row to let Windham know he had a ways to go before he could be on Backlund's level. Backlund is one of the best strategists in all of wrestling, and he proved that for the first fall. He knew the less experienced Windham was going to come out guns blazing, so Backlund did the opposite. He did everything in his power to slow the pace down to a screeching halt. The crowd may not have liked it, but the plan was working exactly as he planned. Windham wanted to pick up the pace, but any time he would try, Backlund would lock him in a hold and bring the match down. Windham would make the big mistake though when he charged Backlund in the corner looking to drive his shoulder into the champ's midsection. Backlund jumped out of the way and Windham cracked his left shoulder on the ring post with a sickening thud. Backlund locked on the Crossface Chickenwing almost immediately. Windham tried to fight, but he knew he was stuck and submitted in a hurry, knowing staying in the hold for too long would guarantee his being unable to go for the second fall.

With Backlund up 1-0 and Windham not having a bum shoulder, it looked like Backlund's declaration of a sweep was going to come true. Backlund turned up the heat at this point, no longer stalling but bringing that aggressive nature he has and really punishing the left shoulder of the challenger. I think the only place Backlund went wrong is that he underestimated Windham's heart. You can teach someone wrestling holds and moves, you can go to the gym and lift weights to get stronger, but you can't teach a man heart, and Windham has it in spades. No matter what crazy way Backlund twisted Windham's arm, he couldn't get that second submission. Backlund went to go for another Chickenwing, but Windham got off of it by ramming Backlund backward into the turnbuckles, rolled him up, and stole the second fall!

The crowd exploded into cheers, and they were now revitalized and firmly supporting Windham. Windham was getting his second wind too, and Backlund was slowly starting to lose control of this match. Don't get me wrong - it's not like Backlund completely fell apart, but Windham was slowly but steadily building momentum. Backlund was starting to take a lot more than he was dishing out, and Windham was getting enough adrenaline that his arm wasn't bothering him as much. With each slam or lariat that Windham hit, the crowd got more on the edge of their seat until eventually thinking they were going to see a new World Title change. Backlund himself was getting nervous as all the momentum he had built up was going away. When Howard Finkel announced that there were only 5 minutes remaining in the time limit, Backlund went into defense mode. Instead of trying to win, Backlund wrestled not to lose, and it almost cost him. We thought Windham had him when he got Backlund up on the top rope in setup for the Superplex. Backlund fought Windham off as best as he could, hooking the ropes and trying to knock Windham down. Windham was going to have none of that though and eventually brought Backlund over with the Superplex, but before he could make the cover, the bell rang. Backlund had run the clock out!

Two-out-of-three-Falls Match:
Barry Windham drew Bob Backlund:
x Backlund beat Windham via the Crossface Chickenwing in 0:13:46
x Windham beat Backlund via a roll up in 0:28:02
x time limit expired (Windham and Backlund) in 0:45:00
Rating: ***
(Bob Backlund retained the GCW World Title.)

The crowd burst into a chorus of boos when they found out that Backlund would retain his title on the draw. The crowd chanted, "FIVE MORE MINUTES" but it was not to be as this match was over. What they did get though, was a great moment. Both Backlund & Windham were exhausted, but when they did make it to their feet, they did so at the same time. It looked for a moment like this fight was going to continue, official match or not. Then Backlund surprised everyone by extending his hand. There was a buzz in the arena as Windham looked around to the crowd for what he should do. After deliberating with himself, Windham took Backlund's hand as the Joe Louis Arena gave them a standing ovation. Windham may not have left Detroit the World champion tonight, but he did leave with Bob Backlund's respect.

"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes/Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat/Rick Martel vs. Sgt. Slaughter/Stan "The Lariat" Hansen/King Kong Bundy (w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan)

We may have seen a show of respect after our last match, but there was no respect to be seen in our main event. There is so much bad blood in this 6-man tag that we knew it was going to spill over into a fight, and it took no time for that. You have to hand it to referee Dick Kroll. He knew that these 6 had a lot of issues to work out, so he let more than a few things slide so that could happen. The match started out with Ricky Steamboat & Stan Hansen, but within three minutes, the tagging in and out rules seemed to be out the window. Steamboat was fighting Hansen in the ring, Dusty Rhodes and Sgt. Slaughter were brawling in the aisle while Rick Martel and King Kong Bundy were battling in the ringside area. It wasn't about who was the legal man - it was about the fight.

The tide would finally turn when Bundy finally got Martel in his grasp and drove his weakened ribs into the ring post. This took Martel out of the match for several minutes as he tried to recuperate on the floor, giving Hansen, Slaughter, & Bundy a 3-on-2 advantage. And did they ever use this advantage to its fullest. The Dragon & The American Dream took their licks, but with a match of this magnitude, there just wasn't a chance that they were going down without a fight. Still, with Martel effectively out of the match for a large chunk of this, Rhodes & Steamboat were getting it handed to them. In the latter stages of the match, Bundy was in the ring with Rhodes and had him in the corner. Bobby Heenan directed Bundy to avalanche the Dream in the corner, but he would miss the move when Martel got back in it and moved Rhodes out of the way! Not only that, but Martel pulled Hansen off the apron and fought with him, which made Steamboat run in the ring and tackle Slaughter through the ropes! There was now a huge fight on the floor while Rhodes was making his comeback on Bundy, firing at him with Bionic elbows at a rapid pace. Bundy was almost off his feet when Heenan jumped up on the apron. Rhodes didn't hesitate going over to the Brain and knocking him down with a Bionic elbow! Heenan was hurt, but the distraction worked as Rhodes turned right into a powerslam from Bundy. The Big Splash was the follow up, and not even the great Dusty Rhodes is getting up from that.

Sgt. Slaughter, Stan Hansen and King Kong Bundy defeated Rick Martel, Ricky Steamboat and Dusty Rhodes when Bundy pinned Dusty Rhodes with the Big Splash in 0:13:07.
Rating: ***

Steamboat & Martel, upon hearing the bell, ran back in the ring to protect Rhodes as Bundy went to the outside to join Hansen & Slaughter. Not the way the fans wanted the show to end, but I don't know if anyone can beat Hansen, Slaughter, or Bundy right now.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

9/23/85 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN - New York, NY

Matches TBA

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