April 29, 1981 - Nassau Coliseum - Uniondale, NY

Terry Gordy pinned Terry Taylor with the Power Bomb in 0:05:00.
Rating: ***

The feud between the Upstarts and the Fabulous Freebirds is heating up, and this singles match between Terry Taylor and Terry "Bamm Bamm" Gordy was the next chapter. Taylor had Rick Martel with him at ringside, and Gordy of course had Michael "P.S." Hayes with him. Gordy dominated Taylor with power, while Taylor showed some pluckiness and quickness to keep the powerhouse guessing. It would be the corner men who led to this match ending. Martel saw Gordy's jacket at Howard Finkel's table, so he decided to put it on to get under the Freebirds' skin. It worked as Hayes attacked Martel and the brawl was on. Gordy was distracted by this and as a result, Taylor caught him with a roll up that nearly got the 3 count. Gordy got back to his feet and cracked Taylor with a big boot to the face before hitting the Power Bomb to narrowly escape with the win. Gordy went to the floor to attack Martel, but the 2-on-1 didn't last long before Taylor was back up in the mix. The next installment of this feud will take place on May 24 at our debut at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ - Rick Martel vs. Michael Hayes.

Ric Flair made Rick McGraw submit to the Figure-Four Leglock in 0:11:06.
Rating: ***

The Nassau Coliseum got to see the debut of a brand new superstar in the form of "Quick Draw" Rick McGraw. McGraw wanted to make an impact, but to do so, he was going to have to get past "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Flair was as cocky as ever, and felt he was going to have no trouble with the rookie, but McGraw showed right away with a crisp dropkick to the jaw that he wasn't going to be a push over. Flair realized he had a fight on his hands and he took a lot of punishment from the powder keg of a wrestler. McGraw started out with little crowd reaction, but by the time this match was over, he had the fans in Uniondale going crazy thinking they were going to see a huge upset. McGraw thought he had this wrapped up when he went to the second rope for a crossbody, but Flair ducked and McGraw crashed and burned. Flair didn't hesitate to put on the Figure-Four Leglock and got the submission victory. A losing effort, but a great showing from McGraw. Flair knew it too, and he held the Figure-Four on for a few moments after the match to send a message. Word has it that McGraw wants another crack at Flair, so I don't know if the message was received.

Don Muraco pinned Tito Santana with the Tombstone in 0:06:15.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Don Muraco retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Tito Santana had an opportunity of a lifetime presented to him tonight - the chance to become the Intercontinental champion. Santana pinned the current champ, Don Muraco, in a tag team match on April 7, earning him this championship match. Santana had the advantage in the tag team environment, but it was a whole different ball of wax in this singles environment. Muraco is a veteran of several ring wars in GCW, and has held the IC Title for 8 months. The title reign would extend tonight as despite Santana putting up a valiant fight, Muraco caught him with the Tombstone to get the 1-2-3.

Sgt. Slaughter made B. Brian Blair submit to the Cobra Clutch in 0:09:38.
Rating: ****

Luke Graham's teachings of toughness for B. Brian Blair are not going unlearned as each time out, Blair is showing more fire and standing up to anyone across the ring from him. Ask Sgt. Slaughter, who got punched in the mouth to kick this match off and several more times in the next 10 minutes. Slaughter's already one tough hombre, so what we got here was a hard-hitting match. Blair had the edge in speed, and he showcased that he can still take it to the air with the best of them. It looked like Blair was going to pull this one off, but LARRY ZBYSZKO sauntered down to ringside and got into it with Luke Graham. The altercation looked like it was going to come to blows, but Blair made sure that wouldn't happen when he came off the ring apron with a crossbody! Blair got back in the ring and yelled down toward Zbyszko, but in doing so, he didn't see Slaughter come behind him and lock him in the Cobra Clutch. Blair fought to get away, but this is where Slaughter's size advantage was too much to overcome, netting him a submission victory. Zbyszko wanted to get in the ring to get a piece of Blair, but a chair-wielding Luke Graham made sure that wouldn't happen. Zbyszko is going to have to wait until May 24 for that opportunity.

Handicap-Match:
The Moondogs (Moondog Rex and Moondog Spot) defeated Afa when Spot pinned Afa with the Running Splash in 0:08:47.
Rating: * 1/2
[Lou Albano interfered against Afa.]

Poor Afa didn't know what he was getting himself into tonight. With Sika injured and out for the next several months, and no manager to help him out, he foolishly agreed to wrestle both members of the Moondogs in a handicap match. Afa came out swinging and did well for himself for a short time, but the numbers game soon became too much for him to overcome. The Moondogs could have gotten the win much earlier than the did, but Lou Albano wanted to make sure that Afa suffered a beating. Moondog Spot eventually pinned Afa after the Running Splash, but that wasn't the end of it for Afa as the Moondogs continued to the beatdown after the bell. It was starting to get out of hand before RICKY STEAMBOAT ran down to the ring and nailed Spot with a dropkick to send him out of the ring! Rex went after Steamboat, but Steamboat caught him with 3 chops before sending him over the top rope with a clothesline. Steamboat helped Afa to his feet, and almost got nailed by the savage when Afa didn't know that Steamboat was there to help. Steamboat (and the crowd) convinced Afa that he was a friend and Afa was so happy that he hugged Steamboat. Steamboat later said he couldn't in good conscience sit back and let this go on and will team with Afa on May 24 to take on the Moondogs.

Stan Hansen pinned Johnny Rodz with the Lariat in 0:08:07.
Rating: *** 1/2

This was not going to be a fun night for Johnny Rodz. Back in October of last year, Rodz picked up the most unpredictable win of his career thanks to an assist from Larry Zbyszko, beating Stan Hansen by countout. Hansen hadn't had a chance to extract any vengeance on Rodz - that is, until tonight. Hansen got his hands on Rodz, and I'll admit it was kind of enjoyable watching Rodz get bounced around the ring like a ball of unpredictability. Rodz begged off and threw himself at the mercy of Hansen, but that only pissed off the Lariat even more. Fortunately for Rodz, Hansen mercifully put this one away with the Lariat just after the 8 minute mark.

Ricky Steamboat pinned Austin Idol with the Flying Crossbody Press in 0:09:14.
Rating: ** 1/4

Ricky Steamboat got a big win by pinning Paul Jones in the Garden. Jones did not take this in stride and demanded that Austin Idol take Steamboat out tonight in Uniondale. Jones is so obsessed with this that he even cost Idol a match earlier this month when he wanted to talk strategy for this match instead. Idol came into this match annoyed, as Jones had clearly been drilling strategy into him ad nauseum. Idol was not wrestling relaxed, and the young Steamboat was exploiting all of the mistakes Idol was making as a result. Jones was freaking out so much that he was bringing way too much attention to himself, so he couldn't even try to interfere. Instead, he sat back and watched in vain as Steamboat caught the Universal Heartthrob with the Flying Crossbody Press to get the 3. After the match, Jones yelled at Idol and said he was going to teach him his place on May 24 in a one-on-one match. Ever since The Masked Superstar got injured, Paul Jones' Army has been falling apart at the seams, and this match between the two healthy members is not going to help matters one bit.

Manny Fernandez pinned Ivan Koloff after a small package in 0:07:14.
Rating: **

Freddie Blassie is more or less holding Terry Funk's contract hostage, and it turned on him in a big way as another one of Blassie's charges, Ivan Koloff, took on Manny Fernandez. Fernandez already had his hands full with the Russian Bear as it was, but Classy Blassie kept interfering and distracting Fernandez, making the odds nearly insurmountable for the Ragin' Bull. Terry Funk had finally seen enough after Blassie had tripped Fernandez, coming down to ringside and admonishing Blassie. Koloff took his eyes off of Fernandez and yelled for Funk to get out of there, which left him open to the Ragin' Bull catching him in a small package to get the flash pin. Koloff couldn't believe it and jumped out to go after Funk, but the two were kept apart (just barely) by Blassie.

Interview:
Terry Funk tells Freddie Blassie that he wants out.

After what had just happened, Terry Funk grabbed the microphone and told Blassie that he wanted out of this deal, saying he couldn't possibly continue his career under these circumstances. Funk said he would do anything to get out of the contract. Blassie said that there was no chance of happening, because he was stuck, the contract was binding, and the Funker had to do everything Blassie said! Blassie informed Funk that the next thing he'd be doing is taking on the man he helped win tonight, Manny Fernandez, at the Meadowlands on May 24.

The Can-Am Strongmen (Dino Bravo and Ken Patera) and Antonio Inoki and Jumbo Tsuruta battled to a draw in 0:30:00.
Rating: *** 3/4
(The Can-Am Strongmen retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

The finals of the tag team title tournament was a classic match that saw the Can-Am Strongmen defeated Antonio Inoki & Jumbo Tsuruta in a fantastic contest. The rematch didn't quite reach that same level of greatness, but it was a damn good match none the less. Dino Bravo & Ken Patera had a bit of a rough start to their partnership, but they have developed into a top flight tag team. Inoki & Jumbo are nothing to take lightly though, and without two previous grueling matches in the night, they were primed to make the Strongmen's title reign a short one. The match went back and forth, and in 30 minutes, we were unable to determine a winner and the match was declared a time limit draw. The challenges wanted 5 more minutes, but the Strongmen left before that could be granted. However, they will get a rematch on May 24 in East Rutherford.

Dick Murdoch pinned Bob Backlund with the Gourdbuster in 0:18:39.
Rating: *** 1/2
[Dusty Rhodes interfered against Bob Backlund.]

Dick Murdoch made a highly unexpected and highly controversial return to GCW at the Garden, attacking Bob Backlund in the World Tag Team Title main event and costing Backlund & Dusty Rhodes a chance at the titles. Now Murdoch and Rhodes have a storied history, having been both tag team champions and heated rivals, but Murdoch's issue with Backlund was unclear. What we did know is that Backlund did not care and was all about getting a piece of Murdoch. The match was made non-title due to it being Murdoch's first match since he returned, and in the end, it turned out to be a good thing for Backlund that it was. Backlund is as solid an in-ring competitor as we have ever seen in GCW, but we have learned in recent years that if you get him angry, he is prone to make uncharacteristic mistakes. Murdoch appears like he is nothing more than a drunken brawler, but closer inspection shows just how crafty he is in the ring. Murdoch survived Backlund's initial attacks and when he caught Backlund with a thumb to the eye, it was on from there. Murdoch put a beating on Backlund only reserved for your worst enemy, which made all of this all the more puzzling. Just why does Murdoch hate Backlund so much? Backlund had to fight back tooth and nail, but during the chaos of his comeback, referee Dick Kroll got caught in the head by an accidental elbow from the World champ. Backlund took his eye off Murdoch to check on Murdoch, allowing Dirty Dick to hit Backlund with a shot below the belt. Murdoch went to the floor and grabbed the ring bell from the timekeeper's table, bad intentions etched across his face. Murdoch got in position to give Backlund a bad night when DUSTY RHODES ran down and snatched the ring bell away from Murdoch as Dirty Dick lifted it over his head. Murdoch scattered from the ring in a hurry when he realized what was going on. Rhodes held Murdoch at bay as Backlund got up, when WHAM! Rhodes smashed Backlund in the face with the ring bell! A huge smile came across Murdoch's face as he rolled back in the ring and embraced Rhodes! It was all a setup from the beginning. Murdoch hit Backlund with the Gourdbuster for good measure as Rhodes revived the referee who made the slow 1….2….3. Our event came to a close with Rhodes & Murdoch leaving as a unit, the fans pelting them with trash and jeers all the way to the back.

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

5/24/81 - THE MEADOWLANDS - East Rutherford, NY

WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Can-Am Strongmen (c) vs. Antonio Inoki/Jumbo Tsuruta
Rick Martel vs. Michael Hayes
Ricky Steamboat/Afa vs. The Moondogs
B. Brian Blair vs. Larry Zbyszko
Paul Jones vs. Austin Idol
Manny Fernandez vs. Terry Funk

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