April 5, 1979 - Civic Center - Baltimore, MD

Match with Managers Banned From Ringside:
The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) and The Blackjacks (Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan) battled to a no contest in 0:11:23.
Rating: 3/4*
(The Blackjacks retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

Our opening match in Baltimore was a huge title match as the Wild Samoans had their second opportunity to regain the World Tag Team Titles from the Blackjacks. As an extra stipulation to try to keep this match civil, both Captain Lou Albano & "Classy" Freddie Blassie were banned from ringside to prevent a repeat of what happened in Landover. The match was interesting as you could tell how reliant both the Blackjacks & Samoans are on the instruction and advice of their respective managers. The match was hard fought, but both teams made several mistakes and couldn't figure out how to build any real momentum. Despite being told not to, BLASSIE just couldn't stay in the back and came out to give some instruction to the Blackjacks. LOU ALBANO didn't like this one bit at all, and he came out and punched Blassie in the face, and once again, the fight was on! The match stopped in the ring yet again as the teams had to break it up for the second straight show.

President Hisashi Shinma has had enough of this, and he has a solution. On May 1 from MSG, we are going to have a very special show called "Rage in the Cage." The show will featuring several steel cage matches in order to solve some very personal issues. The first cage match signed is The Blackjacks defending the tag titles against the Wild Samoans. And to ensure the managers don't get involved, Lou Albano & Freddie Blassie will be in smaller cages suspended above the ring! This is going to get settled one way or another!

Paul Orndorff pinned Dino Bravo with the Piledriver in 0:01:39.
Rating: *

Luke Graham claims that his wrestling career is over because of Jimmy Snuka, but he showed that he is still as mean and tough as ever before his protege's Paul Orndorff's match against Dino Bravo. When Bravo was introduced, Graham jumped him from behind and put the boots to him, hitting the Thumb to the Throat as a huge final blow. Bravo was in no real condition to compete, but he is a fighter and probably against his better judgment, he still wanted to wrestle against Orndorff. It wasn't much of a match as despite his best efforts, Bravo just couldn't put up much of a fight as Orndorff hit the Piledriver to get the 1-2-3 in quick fashion.

Great Kabuki and Don Muraco defeated Jimmy Golden and Victor Rivera when Muraco pinned Rivera after a powerslam in 0:07:34.
Rating: *

Great Kabuki & Don Muraco are in the doghouse a bit with their manager "Classy" Freddie Blassie after their unsuccessful attempts to win the tag titles, so they were looking for a big win here to get back on track. Their opponents were Jimmy Golden & Victor Rivera, a relatively new team who have yet to be victorious but are improving each time out. Unfortunately for them, they haven't improved THAT much yet as Kabuki & Muraco took the duke here. Kabuki & Muraco want to be the tag team champions, but with the current champions also being handled by Blassie, one has to wonder if this will lead to some tension.

Ken Patera made Jimmy Snuka submit to the Swinging Full Nelson in 0:09:11.
Rating: *** 1/4

Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka is doing his best to focus on his matches, but that is a tough row to hoe when you have Luke Graham breathing down your neck. Snuka couldn't afford to be distracted tonight against the former Olympian Ken Patera, a man who is claiming to be the next World champion. This was a high quality match until predictably, LUKE GRAHAM came down and got into it verbally with Snuka. Snuka invited Graham into the ring for a fight, but Graham insisted he couldn't because of his back and neck injuries. During this commotion, Patera had recovered from being groggy and locked Snuka in the Swinging Full Nelson. Snuka is a tough customer, but even the Superfly is no match for the strength of Patera. Snuka had no choice but to submit, a rare feat indeed. Luke Graham put the bad mouth on Snuka before he was escorted to the back.

Interview:
Dusty Rhodes wants to be the World champion.

Before we returned to the wrestling action, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes came out for an interview to a thunderous ovation. Rhodes was in rare form today and had the crowd in Baltimore eating out of the palm of his hands. Rhodes said it has been a tough couple of years on him, both physically and emotionally, but that he is ready to do what he had been dreaming of his whole life - become the World champion. Rhodes addressed Lou Albano and thanked him for everything that he had done, and especially for being a friend when he needed one the most. But he added that this quest to the World Title was something he would have to do on his own. Rhodes finished by thanking the fans for their support, and promised that he would fulfill his American dream and become the World champion.

Gorilla Monsoon and Pedro Morales defeated Ric Flair and Roddy Piper when Monsoon pinned R. Flair with the Big Splash in 0:15:38.
Rating: ** 1/4

Roddy Piper was wanting to go into it as a singles wrestler now that Harley Race is no longer in GCW, but Ric Flair convinced him that they should stick together as a team and go after the World Tag Team Titles. After seeing this match, I don't think this is a partnership meant to last. They went up against Gorilla Monsoon & Pedro Morales, a team of two veterans that have been on a quest for the tag titles themselves. Despite the relative inexperience of Flair & Piper, they were never intimidated or overwhelmed by their more seasoned opponents. The rulebreakers were successful at keeping Morales in the ring for an extended period of time to work him over, wearing him down but being unable to get the pin. Flair became increasingly frustrated over this and held Morales open, calling Piper into the ring to hit him. However, when Piper went for the clothesline, Morales got away and the Rowdy Scot drilled the Nature Boy! Morales went over and made the tag to Monsoon, who sent Piper flying over the top before hitting Flair with the Big Splash for the 1-2-3.

When the match was over and he had regained his bearings, Flair verbally laid into Piper, blaming him for the loss, for Race leaving, and being a loser in general. It got to the point that Flair slapped Piper across the face, to which Piper instinctively countered with a hard right hand that sent Flair to the canvas! Flair rolled out of the ring in shock, yelling at Piper that he made the biggest mistake of his life.

Interview:
Stan Hansen tells the crowd why he turned on Terry Funk.

Before we got to the Intercontinental Title defense of Stan Hansen against Terry Funk, Hansen got on the house mic and explained why he turned on his former Gunslingers partner. Hansen bellowed that the "no good, lousy Funks" were holding him back. They made the partnership all about them, according to the Lariat, when he was the one who was holding championship gold. "I should have been the leader!" Hansen said that tonight, he would show the world, and especially Terry Funk, how good he really is.

Terry Funk defeated Stan Hansen by disqualification in 0:07:23.
Rating: ** 1/2
(Stan Hansen retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

If Hansen's way of proving his superiority over Funk was to win the match, he failed. If it was to leave Funk needing help getting out of the arena, he succeeded with flying colors. Funk came out like a wildman, which wasn't at all surprising. But for all of Hansen's faults, you would never claim he wasn't tough as nails, and he can certainly take a beating. Hansen took all Funk had to dish out before he got a hold of his bullrope and blasted Funk in the skull with the cowbell. Funk fell like a sack of bricks as Hansen went to work on busting him open. Hansen was successful as Funk's forehead was red with blood before security broke it up. This feud has the potential to be as vicious as any we have ever seen, and it takes it's next violent turn on May 1 at Rage in the Cage!

Jumbo Tsuruta pinned Ivan Koloff with the Jumbo Knee in 0:18:19.
Jumbo Tsuruta tore his right achilles tendon. He will be out for approximately 5 months.
Rating: **** 1/2
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Jumbo Tsuruta.]

A huge semi-main event as two former World champions went at it in a high profile match. Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Ivan Koloff, two of the top wrestlers to ever come to the states from overseas, went at it tooth and nail for nearly 20 minutes. With Freddie Blassie in his corner, Koloff has become as dangerous as ever, as it seems like he's not content in just winning matches anymore - he wants to make his opponents suffer. Jumbo is used to it though, and as a former Olympian himself, he knows how to handle himself against wrestlers like the Russian Bear. Not only that, but Jumbo always has a bullseye on his back as he is one of the top stars here, and a win over him puts you in line for title shots. The match was one of the better one we have seen in awhile, a legitimate four and a half star affair. What makes it even more impressive is that halfway through the match, Jumbo landed strangely coming off the second turnbuckle and seemed to tweak his knee. We found out later that the tweak was more than a tweak - he torn his right ACL. Jumbo showed great courage in gutting it out on his way to hitting the Jumbo Knee and taking the win.

It looks like Jumbo is going to miss four or five months. We wish him luck for a speedy recovery.

Bob Backlund pinned Larry Zbyszko with the Atomic Drop in 0:27:28.
Rating: *** 3/4
(Bob Backlund retained the GCW World Title.)

Larry Zbyszko had the biggest opportunity of his career in our main event as the arrogant young superstar challenged Bob Backlund for the World Title. Backlund has made it clear that when all is said and done, he wants to be known as the most fighting champion in GCW's history, and he's off to a good start as his second title defense was no less difficult than his first. Zbyszko is one of the few wrestlers in the world that can match Backlund hold for hold on the mat, and we were treated to a fantastic WRESTLING contest as a result. What was also surprising is how much Zbyszko refrained from his normal cheating tactics, as if he wanted to send a message to Backlund that he could stick with him every step of the way. By the end of the match, the crowd was on their feet and cheering along with every nearfall and submission hold. In the end, Backlund slid off of Zbyszko's shoulder as he went for the Shoulderbreaker and countered with the Atomic Drop for the 1-2-3. A tough title defense, but the World Title remains with Backlund for the time being.

Backlund had barely been handed the World Title when KEN PATERA smashed him from behind with a headbutt and locked on the Swinging Full Nelson! As we have seen in the past, Backlund couldn't free himself and was left in a heap once Patera was finally persuaded to release the hold. Backlund has finally had enough as at a press conference after the show, he challenged Patera to meet with at Rage in the Cage in a steel cage match!

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

On May 1, we come back to Madison Square Garden with a very special event called Rage in the Cage! The show will feature not one, not two, not three, but FOUR cage matches! In addition, we will have a few other great matches, making this a must-see show!

WORLD TITLE CAGE MATCH - Bob Backlund (c) vs. Ken Patera
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE CAGE MATCH - Stan Hansen (c) vs. Terry Funk
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE CAGE MATCH (Lou Albano & Freddie Blassie suspended above the ring in cages) - The Blackjacks (c) vs. The Wild Samoans
CAGE MATCH - Jimmy Snuka vs. Paul Orndorff
Roddy Piper vs. Ric Flair

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