April 24, 1975 - The Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA

The Valiant Brothers (Jimmy Valiant and Johnny Valiant) defeated Jimmy Snuka and Tony Garea when Johnny Valiant made J. Snuka submit to the Sleeperhold in 0:16:20.
Rating: ** 3/4

The Valiant Brothers have developed a big rivalry with Jimmy Snuka & Tony Garea, and the next chapter was written here in our opening match in Philadelphia. These teams are getting to know each other so well that they're having to find new moves to throw at the other to hopefully surprise them enough to get the win. Tonight the Valiants would be victorious, but it was not the cleanest of victories. Snuka seemed to have the match locked up when he hit the Superfly Splash on Johnny Valiant, but as he made the cover, Captain Lou Albano was up on the apron to distract referee Terry Taranova. Jimmy Valiant used this distraction to jump off the top and hit Snuka in the back of the head with a clubbing forearm, knocking him senseless. An out of it Johnny got his wits enough to put Snuka in the Sleeperhold to make it appear that he put Snuka to sleep, and this match was in the books. A tainted victory for the Valiants.

[INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE TOURNAMENT - SEMI-FINALS]:
Billy Robinson pinned Toru Tanaka with the Double-Arm Suplex in 0:13:29.
Rating: ***

Tonight was going to see the crowning of a brand new champion as GCW debuted the Intercontinental Title. With GCW's expansion into foreign markets, as well as the amount of great international talent that has and still does wrestle here, officials felt that the IC Title more accurately reflected what Global Championship Wrestling is all about. For the tournament, GCW officials wanted to showcase the wrestling talent from all across the globe. Our first match was Billy Robinson from England taking on Toru Tanaka from Japan. This is huge for Tanaka as with Mr. Fuji still expected to be out for several months, becoming the first IC champion would be a huge boost to the career of the Professor. Robinson was a United States champion though, and he has been wanting to get a singles title in his possession ever since he lost it. A great match between two mat technicians, but in this kind of match, good luck beating Robinson. He managed to out wrestle the former tag champ and hit the Double-Arm Suplex to move onto the finals. Now he awaits his opponent.

Kintaro Ohki pinned Johnny Rodz with the Back Suplex in 0:13:51.
Rating: *** 1/2

Kintaro Ohki continues to wow North American crowds with his performances in the ring, tonight getting the better of Johnny Rodz. Rodz tried his best though as his unpredictable action here was to wear a t-shirt as he wrestled. Yeah, you're out there, Mr. Rodz. Still not enough to beat a legend though.

[INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE TOURNAMENT - SEMI-FINALS]:
Dory Funk Jr. defeated Nikolai Volkoff when Nikolai Volkoff passed out in the Texas Cloverleaf in 0:17:55.
Rating: ** 1/2
[Lou Albano interfered against Dory Funk Jr..]

Dory Funk Jr. can finally say he got the better of Nikolai Volkoff once and for all. Ever since Funk returned to GCW, Volkoff has been a thorn in his side, but the Texan hadn't found a way to get that clear cut victory over the powerful Russianā€¦ that is, until tonight. Funk was filled with motivation and determination, and knew how big of a deal being the first Intercontinental champion would be. Volkoff didn't make it easy though as he is just a pure powerhouse, plain and simple. Volkoff hurt Funk a lot with his high impact power moves, trying to work his way into the Bearhug. Funk continued to fight though and showed the heart to eventually get the Russian in the Texas Cloverleaf. Volkoff, to his credit, wouldn't tap out, forcing Funk to make him pass out from the pain instead. It was hard fought and Funk is going to be hurting later in the finals, but it was a win. Funk now gets Billy Robinson to crown the first IC champion!

Pedro Morales defeated Blackjack Lanza by disqualification in 0:04:37.
Rating: * 1/2
[Kintaro Ohki interfered against Blackjack Lanza.]
[Bobby Heenan and Billy Graham interfered against Pedro Morales.]

I wish I could say that what happened in this match was a surprise, but alas, I cannot. Pedro Morales had a huge bullseye on his chest, especially with Ivan Koloff not being in the building due to the larnyx injury he suffered last month in Toronto. Morales was wrestling Blackjack Lanza, but the match didn't get much time before LUKE & BILLY GRAHAM broke up the festivities to put a beating on Morales. Sure, Morales won the match by DQ, but he didn't look like much of a winner as he had to be helped to the back by officials.

Bobby Duncum pinned Mr. Wrestling I with the Full Nelson Slam in 0:01:22.
Rating: **

Wow. That's about all you can say in regards to Bobby Duncum's performance tonight against Mr. Wrestling I. Duncum made it very clear that wrestlers aren't paid by the hour as he blitzed Wrestling I before the bell and never let up, polishing him off with the Full Nelson Slam in just over a minute.

Harley Race pinned Dino Bravo after a flying headbutt in 0:10:21.
Rating: **
(Harley Race retained the GCW World Title.)

Youngster Dino Bravo got a huge chance when he found out he would wrestle Harley Race for the World Title here in Philadelphia. Race did an interview before the match saying he is on a quest to be the greatest World champion in history and to do so, he is going to take on and defeat all comers. Bravo was his selected opponent tonight, and Bravo made the most of it. Bravo didn't walk out of Philadelphia with the World Heavyweight Title, but he did walk away with the respect of the fans, and from what it looked like, the respect of Harley Race as well. Bravo brought his A-game, but came up just short.

Interview:
Muhammad Ali and Gorilla Monsoon get into it again.

We had a special treat while they were setting up the cage for our next match. Little seen GCW owner Marvin Niemiller and several officials came out with a special guest, MUHAMMAD ALI. Niemiller apologized on behalf of Global Championship Wrestling for the recent actions of Gorilla Monsoon and ensured him that Monsoon will be reprimanded in appropriate fashion. In addition, Niemiller presented the boxing great with an honorary World Heavyweight Championship belt. This last action apparently rubbed Monsoon the wrong way, who came out to interrupt the festivities. Monsoon grabbed the microphone and told Ali to go back to the world of boxing before he got himself hurt, and that it's ridiculous Niemiller would just hand him a World Title like that. The jawjacking continued until eventually Monsoon & Ali had to be pulled apart once again.

Cage Match:
Jack Brisco defeated Ray Stevens by escaping the cage in 0:14:45.
Rating: ***

One way or another, this cage match was going to settle the issues between Jack Brisco & "The Crippler" Ray Stevens once and for all. Stevens has made it clear that he is looking to break Brisco's leg like he did to Baron Von Raschke, but with no chance for interference from Ox Baker thanks to the 15-foot high steel cage, it was put up or shut up time. Say what you want about Stevens, but he's as ruthless as they come, especially within the confines of a steel cage. Brisco is a world-class athlete, but many questioned whether he had it in him to have a meanstreak when necessary. All of those questions were put to rest in this one. Brisco absorbed a ton of punishment and was a bloody mess, but he recovered to put Stevens in the Figure-Four Leglockā€¦ for four minutes! Once Brisco finally let go, he easily walked out the door to get the dominant victory. In a sure sign of karma, Stevens' leg was broken because of the Figure-Four, and he is going to be gone for quite some time.

Match for the vacant GCW Intercontinental Title:
Dory Funk Jr. pinned Billy Robinson after a gutwrench suplex in 0:12:41.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Dory Funk Jr. won the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

This was to crown the first ever Intercontinental champion, and it's hard to pick out a better match than Dory Funk Jr. vs. Billy Robinson. You wouldn't even know these two at already wrestled two grueling matches by the intensity they brought to the match, knowing only one man could be known forever as the first IC champion. We were seeing the makings of an all-time classic, but then the match took an odd turn that ended it abruptly. Funk made a great counter on Robinson and hit him with a gutwrench suplex and went for the cover when a masked man ran out of the crowd and held Robinson's foot down from the floor! Robinson was unable to kick out and pinned as a result, awarding the match to Dory Funk Jr. and making him the first IC champion! Robinson complained to the referee as well as to Funk, but Funk seemed to have no idea what happened. A lot of controversy, but as it stands now, Dory Funk Jr. is the Intercontinental champion. We hope to get a better idea of what exactly happened at our next show in the Cobo Arena in Detroit!

The Graham Brothers (Billy Graham and Luke Graham) defeated The Texas Outlaws (Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch) when L. Graham pinned Murdoch after hitting him with a foreign object in 0:23:23.
Rating: *** 3/4
(The Graham Brothers won the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)
[Harley Race interfered against Dusty Rhodes.]

The Grahams set themselves up as best as possible to win the World Tag Team Titles from the Texas Outlaws in our main event. Ivan Koloff was still home with a larnyx injury, and Luke & Billy took out Pedro Morales earlier in the night. However, Dusty Rhodes & Dick Murdoch weren't going to go quietly into that good night. The Outlaws have worked themselves into the discussion for the greatest team in GCW history, and a win over Luke & Billy Graham would be another major step in making that a clear cut decision. If you wanted to see a pure wrestling match, go elsewhere, as this one was a pier six brawl. Kudos to referee Dick Kroll for allowing a lot of leeway so these two teams could go at it. However he may have left too much leeway as during the chaos, he missed HARLEY RACE come down and brutally attack Dusty Rhodes on the floor! While Rhodes was trying to fight off Race, Billy threw his brother Luke a pipe, which he used to clock Murdoch right between the eyes! He tossed the evidence to The Grand Wizard and made the cover, giving us new World Tag Team champions. What a disgrace. This is Billy Graham's first tag title reign, while this is Luke's second.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

We are back in Detroit for the first time in over a year for some wrestling action from the Cobo Arena! Here's what we have on tap so far:

WORLD TITLE - Harley Race (c) vs. Dusty Rhodes
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Graham Brothers (c) vs. Ivan Koloff/Pedro Morales

We will also hear from Dory Funk Jr, the new Intercontinental champion, and see if he has any explanation on who the man who helped him win the title tonight was.

Not only that, but we hear rumors there will be a MAJOR announcement regarding the Muhammad Ali/Gorilla Monsoon situation!

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