9/23/85 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

STAN HANSEN & SGT. SLAUGHTER MAKE A STUNNING REVELATION

We thought we were going to kick off the evening at a nearly sold out Madison Square Garden with the 8-man tag, but then we unexpectedly got an appearance from STAN HANSEN & SGT. SLAUGHTER. The news they gave was even more shocking. Slaughter got on the microphone and said that if the lousy, lazy excuses for Americans in the crowd tonight were hoping to see a great tag team steel cage match, they were going to be as disappointed as he is in them. Hansen was hooting and hollering, and said that we were going to see a handicap match now, because they took Ricky Steamboat OUT. Slaughter echoed this, saying that Steamboat was in no condition to compete tonight, and that spelled bad news for Dusty Rhodes. He ended by saying that after tonight, officially, the American Dream would be dead.

MATCH #1
The Rougeau Brothers/The Mexican Eagles vs. The Hart Foundation/"The Canadian Strongman" Dino Bravo/"Adorable" Adrian Adonis (w/ Jimmy Hart)

With the crowd still buzzing over how the show opened, we got into the wrestling action with the big 8-man tag team match. We needed to get an answer on who the fourth man on Jimmy Hart's team would be, and needless to say, it was a surprise. It has been months since we had seen this man, and he looked extremely different back then. The fourth man was "Adorable" Adrian Adonis. Fans remember Adonis as a leather-clad, tough as nails member of the Texas Outlaws. But tonight, he came out in a long house dress with a face full of makeup. Everyone was confused, from the fans to the team of the Rougeau Brothers & the Mexican Eagles. Even the Hart Foundation & Dino Bravo were a little put off.

Once the match got going though, Adonis showed that he was still as tough as nails, even if he is more eccentric. Nobody knew what to do with him early, and the Adorable One used that to his full advantage. Once the Rougeaus and Eagles got their bearings though, their teamwork put them right back into contention. The match went back and forth and really got the crowd into it, rooting strongly for the fan favorite contingent. It looked like the fans were going to kick off the show unhappy though when Jacques Rougeau was in the ring with Jim Neidhart. Jacques had the advantage, but he got distracted when Adonis came into the ring and blew him a kiss. While referee Danny Davis tried to usher the Adorable One out of the ring, Jimmy Hart got on the apron looking to throw his megaphone in to the Anvil. Hart didn't see Chavo jump in the ring though to intercept the weapon, clocking Neidhart in the skull with it to a thunderous pop! Chavo got rid of the evidence as Jacques scooped Neidhart up. Raymond came flying in from the top with the Bombe de Rougeau, and this one was in the books!

The Rougeau Brothers (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau) and The Mexican Eagles (Chavo Guerrero and Dos Caras) defeated The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart), Dino Bravo and Adrian Adonis when J. Rougeau pinned Neidhart after the Bombe de Rougeau in 0:12:28.
Rating: ***

Jimmy Hart was furious that his plan backfired. He may have lost this battle, but knowing the Mouth of the South, this one is far from over.

MATCH #2
Junkyard Dog vs. "The Japanese Assassin" Shiro Koshinaka (w/ "Classy" Freddie Blassie)

Junkyard Dog has been chomping at the bit over his Dog Collar Match he has with the Intercontinental champion Tony Atlas at Saturday Night Slam Masters in less than 2 weeks, but he had one major roadblock standing in the way - "Classy" Freddie Blassie's Japanese Assassin, Shiro Koshinaka. If JYD was overlooking Koshinaka, this could end up being a long night for him. Blassie had a plan for Koshinaka to wear JYD out, but JYD had a similar plan toward Koshinaka, and he executed his far better. Koshinaka never got much of a chance to get out of the blocks because JYD was fired up, and had the crowd firmly behind him as well. That combination, plus a hard headbutt from JYD, put Koshinaka away.

Junkyard Dog pinned Shiro Koshinaka after a headbutt in 0:04:13.
Rating: * 3/4

As JYD danced and celebrated his victory, TONY ATLAS came down to the ring to get the jump on JYD. Problem is, the Dog saw him, side-stepping the charging IC champ and sending him right back over the top rope to the floor. If Blassie's goal tonight was to break JYD's momentum going into Slam Masters, it looks like the plan was a colossal failure.

MATCH #3
Corporal Kirchner vs. Steve Lombardi

His debut had been hyped for weeks, but now it was up to Corporal Kirchner to deliver. He already had the fans on his side when he came out to a very patriotic song and was waving Old Glory. One man not on his side was his opponent, Steve Lombardi, who would love nothing more than to ruin the much heralded debut of Kirchner. I'll throw it out there now - if you want to see someone with a lot of finesse and who is smooth in the ring, Corporal Kirchner is not your guy. His offense is ugly, but the brawling smash mouth style is effective. If you don't believe me, ask Lombardi, who ate a massive spinebuster slam and headed back to the showers a loser.

Corporal Kirchner pinned Steve Lombardi after a spinebuster slam in 0:05:21.
Rating: * 1/2

An impressive first outing for Kirchner, who celebrated by waving the American flag once more. He looks primed to succeed in GCW, but he will have a lot of roadblocks to overcome on the way, such as Freddie Blassie and the Foreign Legion.

MATCH #4
Non-Title Match
Andre the Giant vs. Tully Blanchard (Television champion) (w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan/Baby Doll)

Tully Blanchard was all smiles going into this match - that is, until Andre the Giant got in the ring with him. Bobby Heenan might just need to let this one go. After Andre refused his managerial services upon returning to GCW, the Brain has taken it personally and sent his minions after the 8th Wonder of the World. So far, Eddie Gilbert & Arn Anderson have been unsuccessful. The Television champion was next up, and Blanchard made sure to have Howard Finkel announce that this match was in fact NOT for the TV strap. It's a good thing too, because Andre dominated this match, although it ended up being short in duration. Blanchard wasn't making any bones about how scared he was of Andre, doing everything in his power to keep his distance. It didn't take long for Andre to get a hold of him, and after two clubbing blows from the Giant, in came ARN ANDERSON with a chair to the back!

Andre the Giant defeated Tully Blanchard by disqualification in 0:01:40.
Rating: **
[Arn Anderson interfered against Andre the Giant.]

Anderson was proud of himself over what he did, but that smug look went away when he turned around and saw an enraged giant! The Enforcer made a hasty retreat as Bobby Heenan grabbed Blanchard and pulled him out to safety. What exactly does the Brain need to do to even slow down Andre?

MATCH #5
World Tag Team Title Match
The Rock 'N Roll Express (c) vs. The British Bulldogs (w/ "Captain" Lou Albano)

Although there hasn't been any kind of major falling out or a slew of back attacks, the Rock 'N Roll Express and the British Bulldogs have developed quite the rivalry. It hasn't been about blood or revenge, but rather about the World Tag Team Titles and who would be able to call themselves the best tag team in the world. Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith haven't climbed to the top of the mountain yet, but with the atmosphere of Madison Square Garden, it was looking like this was going to be their night. The teams are so evenly matched that it's hard to tell who is really controlling the match, but as time wore on in this one, the momentum seemed firmly in the camp of "Captain" Lou Albano's team. Both teams are agile, but the Bulldogs also pack quite a lot of power and they were using that to really soften Ricky Morton up. Morton was trying to fight back to make the tag, but he couldn't quite get enough separation to do so, leading Robert Gibson to jump in the ring several times to make the save on close pinfalls. The turning point came when Dynamite was looking for a hard lariat, but Morton ducked and Dynamite's arm connected with the jaw of Joey Marella. Dynamite turned right back into a clothesline on Morton, climbed to the top, and hit a flying headbutt. Dynamite made the cover and the referee could have counted to 20 - if he wasn't still unconscious. Marella was slowly stirring as Dynamite screamed at him to make the count, knowing that they could be the World Tag Team champions by now. As Marella started to get up, still groggy, Captain Lou was yelling at him, climbing up on the apron to do so. Marella still didn't quite know where he was, which only served to enrage Albano more. Eventually, Albano lost his cool and struck Marella, illiciting a loud response from the crowd. Marella may have been a bit out of it still, but that shot seemed to wake him up as he called for the bell.

The Rock 'N Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) defeated The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) when R. Morton defeated Dynamite Kid by disqualification in 0:25:21.
Rating: *** 3/4
(The Rock 'N Roll Express retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

The crowd booed mercilessly at the decision, but it's hard to argue that it wasn't the right one. The Bulldogs nearly lost it, backing Marella into a corner and yelling at him relentlessly. Morton & Gibson came over to calm them down, which led to Davey & Dynamite blasting them both with hard right hands. The Rock 'N Roll Express were back to their feet in a hurry, and the skirmish was on! Officials ran down and broke the two teams up, but it looks like this one has definitely boiled over.

MATCH #6
Barry Windham vs. King Kong Bundy (w/ Bobby "The Brain" Heenan)

Barry Windham has shown that he is not afraid of King Kong Bundy, which is either commendable or stupid. Bundy has been damn near unstoppable in the past several months, leaving a path of destruction in his wake. You might call it youthful exuberance, but Windham just doesn't get intimidated. In fact, it's how he earned the respect of World champion Bob Backlund after their series of matches. Bundy looked to intimidate the young Windham, but Windham refused to back down, standing nose-to-nose with the monster. Windham's refusal to show any fear got into Bundy's head, causing Bundy to make a lot of aggressive mistakes. Windham had everything going his way, and it looked like we might be seeing a major upset in the making. Bobby Heenan knew the last thing he could afford was Bundy losing so close to his match with Backlund on Slam Masters. So the Brain took measures into his own hands and tripped Windham off the ropes. This changed the entire complexion of the affair. Windham did everything he could to stay in this, but Bundy is one of the best frontrunners in all of wrestling. Once he is on the offensive, he doesn't let up. Windham had a couple of flurries to get back in it, but ultimately, it was putting off the inevitable as Bundy hit the Big Splash to take the win.

King Kong Bundy pinned Barry Windham with the Big Splash in 0:10:07.
Rating: ** 1/4

This wasn't enough for Heenan, who wanted Bundy to make an example out of Windham, and to send a direct message to his training partner, Bob Backlund. Bundy hit another Big Splash, crashing hard on Windham's ribs. A third one was in the cards, but that's when BACKLUND ran out. Bundy was bouncing off the ropes for the splash and didn't see Backlund come in, hitting the monster in the face with the World Title. Bundy stumbled backward and fell through the ropes to the floor, stunned but not out. Officials ran down to keep Bundy from getting back in the ring. Backlund would help Windham up, who looked a bit shaken up but overall not hurt. And now Backlund had to turn around and defended his World Title against Rick Martel!

MATCH #7
World Title Match
Bob Backlund (c) vs. Rick Martel

Bob Backlund was a bit flustered as this World Title defense started, but he is one of the best prepared wrestlers in the business, so it didn't take him long to get his head back into the game. After all, he was defending against Rick Martel, who has become perhaps the most popular wrestler in all of GCW. Someone with that kind of heart and determination, it's no surprise his popularity has continued to grow. Martel was perhaps a little too cautious in the early stages of this match. That happens a lot in World Title matches - the magnitude of what is at stake can really get into a challenger's head. Martel would get himself settled down too, and once he did, this match was non-stop action. There wasn't any huge crazy moves or anything like that, but the action was hard-hitting and constant. Backlund worked over Martel's arm. Martel focused his attention on the champ's back. Each man was looking to put on their patented submission maneuver, but the problem was, the other man knew that and was ready to defend it. This was leading to tempers starting to flare, and the action spilled to the floor. Backlund showed a bit of that meanstreak he had in the past when he whipped Martel into the guardrail before getting him back in the ring.

Martel was in trouble, but he is the most resilient wrestler in GCW. He kept fighting back, and ended up getting back into it when Backlund missed a dropkick. Martel caught his legs, and sent him flying into the turnbuckles with a slingshot. Martel strung together a few moves before getting Backlund in the Boston Crab! Martel had it in tight, and when Backlund almost got to the ropes, Martel pulled him back into the middle of the ring. Martel looked like this was going to be his crowning moment when BOBBY HEENAN ran down and got on the apron. Dick Kroll went over and demanded Heenan leave. Unfortunately for Martel, he missed Backlund giving up which would have meant a new champion. Heenan grabbed a hold of Kroll's shirt so he couldn't get away as Backlund looked to be out of it. This is when KING KONG BUNDY made his appearance, clubbing Martel in the back of the head. Bundy picked Martel up and drove him into the turnbuckle. Martel collapsed to the mat, only to have Bundy crash on him with the Big Splash! To make matters even more confusing, Bundy put Backlund on top of Martel for the pin! Heenan dropped down to the floor, Kroll turned around and made the count, and Backlund had retained his title.

Bob Backlund defeated Rick Martel after outside interference in 0:17:55.
Rating: **** 1/4
(Bob Backlund retained the GCW World Title.)
[King Kong Bundy interfered against Rick Martel.]

King Kong Bundy & Bobby Heenan ruined what had been a tremendous World Title match! But why? We hope to get some answers on this on Superstars this week.

MATCH #8
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Bad News Brown

It was obvious right from the moment he was introduced that Bad News Brown was in the mood for a fight. Brown has been a strange case in GCW. He doesn't have any real personal issues with anyone at this point, but he is always in such a surly mood and picking fights that it is shocking that he doesn't. His opponent was "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, and Brown jumped him right when Duggan came into the ring. The bell rang and Duggan was already in a bad way. There was nothing pretty about what Bad News was doing. This was a straight up beating, featuring nothing more than right hand after right hand. Fortunately for Duggan, that is right up his alley. Bad News made the mistake of going for the Ghetto Blaster before Hacksaw was sufficiently worn down. Duggan ducked, and now it was his first to throw a couple bombs. Brown was reeling when Duggan surprised him out of nowhere by hitting the Three Point Stance clothesline! Duggan made the cover, and Bad News kicked out, but it was just barely after the 3!

Jim Duggan pinned Bad News Brown with the Three Point Stance in 0:02:08.
Rating: *

The crowd went nuts as Duggan was announced the winner. Brown wanted to continue the fight, but when he charged Duggan, Hacksaw lowered his shoulder and sent the man from Harlem flying to the outside. Brown slammed the ring apron in frustration, promising Duggan this one wasn't over.

THE FABULOUS ONES FEEL LIKE BEING INTRODUCED

While the cage was being set up for our main event, we had what we thought was going to be an uneventful intermission. That ended up not being the case, because with 15 minutes available, why wouldn't THE FABULOUS ONES want to be introduced? That's right - "Sweet" Stan Lane & Steve Keirn, who were not booked for a match tonight, I might add, decided they wanted to do their introduction. The crowd absolutely hated it and booed them mercilessly as they danced around in their vests and their bow ties and their top hats for the better part of 15 minutes. The ring crew even had trouble getting it all set up because they had to keep dodging these idiots. They made a little miscalculation though, and that was they didn't wrap up their entrance before SGT. SLAUGHTER & STAN HANSEN came down for the actual cage match. Once Lane & Keirn realized what they had done, it was too late. They were trapped like rats, except a rat wouldn't get abused like this. Keirn charged at Slaughter only to catch a boot to the face, and then get sent face first into the steel cage. After seeing this, Lane tried to make a break for it, but Hansen caught him, spun him around, and nearly took his head off with the Lariat. The Fabulous Ones were wiped out and dumped unceremoniously out of the cage through the door.

This is when DUSTY RHODES came out by himself, lending some credence to the story earlier about Steamboat being taken out. In fact, Rhodes grabbed the microphone and the first thing he said was that the Dragon had been injured thanks to Slaughter & Hansen. The Dream said it was suicide to go into a steel cage with those two by himself, and thought someone would have to be crazy to join him in this match to help him fight this fight. He needed someone tough, someone who could take a beating and dish one right back. Someone a little off his rocker. He found that man as he introduced "HACKSAW" JIM DUGGAN! Duggan stepped up to the plate and will wrestle side-by-side the American Dream in the cage!

MATCH #9
Steel Cage Match
"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes/"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Stan "The Lariat" Hansen/Sgt. Slaughter

It was a bold move for Jim Duggan to step in for Ricky Steamboat like this, and Slaughter & Hansen were definitely thrown off their game early because of it. You could tell that they were fully expecting to have a handicap match here at worst, or a forfeit victory at best. They obviously underestimated Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes isn't going to ever run from a fight, and he's got friends in plenty of places to help him do battle with the likes of Slaughter & Hansen. Though Duggan is just being implanted into this rivalry, he sure wasn't coming into this fight like he didn't understand the magnitude. Duggan is pretty staunchly pro-USA too, and hearing some of the rhetoric Slaughter has been spewing has certainly gotten under his skin as well. Duggan took it right to Slaughter, jacking his jaw with rights and lefts while Rhodes blistered Hansen's forehead with a flurry of Bionic elbows. Hansen & Slaughter tried to escape, but then they remembered they were locked in the cage!

It took them awhile, but Slaughter & Hansen did get back into this match. Though Rhodes & Duggan were fighting for the same goal, Duggan being a last minute replacement was a big disadvantage because they had little to no time to prepare. The rulebreakers, however, have been plotting their devious strategy for weeks, and they were getting the chance to implement it now. Once they got going, they were dividing and conquering and it didn't take long before the Dream was busting wide open after Slaughter repeatedly sent him into cage. Hacksaw got a similar treatment and had a nice cut opened up over his right eye after Hansen took some tape off his boot, wrapped it around his fist, and punched Duggan repeatedly. After a valiant effort, it looked like this was going to spell the beginning of the end for the fan favorites. But then something happened. Once the Dream and Hacksaw realized they were bleeding, it was as if something snapped in them. The sight of their own blood put them in a rage, and they fired back on Slaughter & Hansen with a passion rarely seen. They even started working in tandem, whipping Slaughter & Hansen into each other. The problem was, in this cage match, it was pinfalls only, and any time Rhodes or Duggan went for a cover, it would get broken up by the man they weren't pinning. Hacksaw got extremely frustrated and looked to take Slaughter out with the Three Point Stance. Slaughter ducked in desperation, and Duggan was coming in with too much momentum and flew right into the cage, essentially knocking himself out of the match. Rhodes saw this and took his attention off Hansen, going over to Slaughter and sending him face first into the cage as well. Problem was, when the Dream turned back around, he was immediately met in the jaw with the Lariat. After this brutal battle, no way he was going to kick out.

Cage Match:
Sgt. Slaughter and Stan Hansen defeated Dusty Rhodes and Jim Duggan when Hansen pinned Dusty Rhodes with the Lariat in 0:24:19.
Rating: *** 1/2

Once again, despite his best efforts, Dusty Rhodes comes up just a little bit short against the unholy alliance. Rhodes' confidence has to be getting a little rattled. Slaughter & Hansen left without incident after their victory, knowing they had survived a war. Once Rhodes & Duggan recuperated, the MSG crowd gave them a standing ovation for their efforts to close out the show.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

10/5/85 - SATURDAY NIGHT SLAM MASTERS - THE MEADOWLANDS - East Rutherford, NJ

WORLD TITLE - Bob Backlund (c) vs. King Kong Bundy
DOG COLLAR NON-TITLE MATCH - Junkyard Dog vs. Tony Atlas (Intercontinental champion)

11/2/85 - SATURDAY NIGHT SLAM MASTERS - HERSHEYPARK ARENA - Hershey, PA

INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Tony Atlas (c) vs. Ted DiBiase

11/7/85 - GRAND 16 - ROSEMONT HORIZON - Chicago, IL

16-Team Tournament - Teams announced so far:

The Rock 'N Roll Express
The British Bulldogs
The Iron Sheik/Nikolai Volkoff
The Fabulous Ones

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