April 5, 1983 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

Tully Blanchard and Mike Rotundo battled to a draw in 0:15:00.
Rating: * 1/2

Madison Square Garden shows are always a big deal, so you know the pressure had to be off the charts for our first match competitors. Mike Rotundo & Tully Blanchard were both making their debuts, and they were doing it under the bright lights of New York City. That's a daunting task for anyone, but Rotundo & Blanchard were up to the challenge. I won't lie and say it was a fantastic match - both men were a bit nervous (and understandably so). But by the end, they were wrestling a fast-paced match and the fans were starting to buy into it. There would be no winner as the time limit would expire, but all in all, a decent showing from the two newcomers. They both shook hands after a hard fought contest.

Don Muraco pinned Ken Patera with the Tombstone in 0:06:40.
Don Muraco suffered a neck injury. He will be out for approximately 2 months.
Rating: ** 1/4

Don Muraco & Ken Patera are two men that have been booted from Freddie Blassie's stable in 1983, but that common bond was not enough for them to get along in a tag match against The Iron Sheik & Dino Bravo. They decided to settle their differences in a singles match tonight that can only be described as a brawl. Muraco & Patera aren't exactly the most technically sound competitors, but they are strong as strong can be, and both men are sure to have some bruises on them with the bombs they were throwing. Patera would get the Swinging Full Nelson on at one point, tweaking Muraco's neck in the process. Muraco got to the ropes and would come back with the Tombstone for the win, but his neck was in some bad shape. He would still wrestle in the battle royal later, but he was in a lot of discomfort.

The Soul Patrol (Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson) defeated The Texas Outlaws (Bobby Duncum and Dick Murdoch) when R. Johnson pinned Duncum after a powerslam in 0:11:54.
Rating: ** 1/4
(The Soul Patrol retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

The Soul Patrol stepped up to the plate and teamed with World champion Stan Hansen to take on the Texas Outlaws. The Outlaws would end up picking up the win in that match, and thus Bobby Duncum & Dick Murdoch received a title shot in the Garden. The Outlaws have been red hot since 1983 started, and they almost capitalized on that against Atlas & Johnson. But The soul Patrol worked for too long and too hard to become the champs, and despite being taken to the limit, a powerslam out of nowhere from Johnson on Duncum was enough to secure the 3 count. Atlas & Johnson escaped with the gold tonight, but the Outlaws are still nipping at their heels. Due to the close nature of this match, a rematch has been signed for Uniondale on May 1.

23-Man Battle Royal for the vacant GCW Intercontinental Title:
Nick Bockwinkel won a 23-man Battle Royal:
x Zbyszko threw out Kevin Von Erich in 0:01:30
x Zbyszko threw out Kerry Von Erich after a roundhouse right in 0:01:36
x Blanchard threw out Rotundo in 0:03:11
x Bundy threw out R. Flair after a headbutt in 0:05:31
x T. Santana & Martel threw out Taylor after a double dropkick in 0:07:05
x T. Santana & Martel threw out Blair after a double dropkick in 0:07:11
x Backlund threw out Rodz in 0:07:38
x Huber threw out Backlund in 0:08:19
x Patera threw out Muraco in 0:10:24
x Sheik threw out T. Funk in 0:12:12
x Blanchard threw out Martel after a dropkick in 0:13:26
x J. Snuka threw out Killer Khan in 0:15:15
x Tsuruta threw out Bravo in 0:16:31
x Bundy threw out Huber in 0:17:03
x Sheik threw out Patera after a back suplex in 0:19:00
x Bockwinkel threw out Tsuruta in 0:19:19
x Bundy threw out T. Santana in 0:20:54
x J. Snuka threw out Sheik in 0:22:24
x J. Snuka threw out Bundy in 0:22:27
x Bockwinkel threw out Zbyszko in 0:22:51
x J. Snuka threw out Blanchard in 0:24:33
x Bockwinkel threw out J. Snuka in 0:27:18
Rating: ***
(Nick Bockwinkel won the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Twenty-three men threw their hats into the ring for the chance to be the new Intercontinental champion. There were 3 former IC champions in the match, as well 3 former World champions, so the ring was packed with talent vying for this prestigious title. With so many men in the ring, these matches are highly dangerous, and in the opening moments, it is very easy to get yourself caught unaware. Larry Zbyszko used this to his advantage when he made the first elimination of the match, dumping Kevin Von Erich over the top from behind. Kevin's brother Kerry tried to avenge his brother's elimination, but Zbyszko saw it coming, ducked Kerry's wild haymaker, and caught Kerry square in the jaw with a roundhouse right to send him out of the match too. The Von Erichs have had heaps of difficulty dealing with Zbyszko, and the Cruncher taunting them from inside the ring as they headed to the back didn't help matters. Zbyszko himself was almost dumped out by Terry Funk, but Zbyszko held on and stayed in the match.

We saw the two newcomers wrestle earlier tonight, and Mike Rotundo & Tully Blanchard even shook hands after their match. It looked like they were going to form a bit of an alliance for this battle royal with another handshake, but as soon as Rotundo turned his back, we got an idea of Blanchard's true colors as he grabbed Rotundo by the head and threw him over the top. Rotundo looked shocked, but Blanchard just pointed to his head with a smug smile. The smugness was wiped off when Jimmy Snuka nailed him with a savate kick. Snuka didn't have long to breathe though, because Freddie Blassie kept trying to talk to him about his offer of managerial services. These distractions kept getting the Superfly hit from his blindside and didn't bode well for his chances to win. On the other side of the ring, King Kong Bundy was having his way with Ric Flair, smashing his ribs into the corner repeatedly. Nick Bockwinkel even sneaked in a few shots, and much to the delight of Bobby Heenan, Bundy dumped Flair out of the match. The Nature Boy will get another crack at Bundy on May 1, but he will not be doing so as the Intercontinental champion.

Having a tag team partner in a battle royal is a huge advantage, because you have someone in the chaos who (hopefully) isn't going to stab you in the back. There were still two full-time teams in this one, and they happened to be two teams that have been at each other's throats recently, Strike Force and The Golden Boys. Blair & Taylor have been on the losing side of this one recently, but they were looking to fix that in this battle royal en route to one of them being the IC champ. They tried to isolate Tito Santana from Rick Martel, but this plan didn't go so well when Strike Force managed to hit Taylor with a double dropkick that sent "Terrific" Terry flying out of the ring to the floor. Blair went at Strike Force with a double dropkick, but Martel & Santana ducked before making Blair eat a face full of double dropkick as well, soaring to the outside to join his partner.

To this point, Bob Backlund had been asserting his will in the match. He is such a mat general, he knows how to keep his center of gravity low and prevent eliminations. Johnny Rodz was unfortunate enough to try to get Backlund out, but Backlund simply lowered his hips and sent the Unpredictable Johnny flying to the outside instead. Backlund then focused his attention on Spike Huber, the man who cost him the IC Title last month before Backlund injured Ricky Steamboat's shoulder to cause the title to be vacated in the first place. Backlund was just torturing Huber with forearms against the ropes, and even gave Tully Blanchard a hard shot for getting too close. This is when RICKY STEAMBOAT himself came down to ringside with a sling on his arm and yelled at Backlund. Backlund immediately lost it, reaching over the top rope to try to get his hands on Steamboat. This left him vulnerable, and Huber dumped Backlund over the top, getting a huge elimination! MSG exploded into cheers as Steamboat went to the back pointing and laughing at a livid Backlund.

Don Muraco may have gotten the better of Ken Patera earlier in the night in singles action, but the Olympian would return the favor by eliminating Muraco from the battle royal. As we mentioned earlier, Muraco's neck seemed to be tweaked in the singles match, and we later found out he is going to need to take a little time off to heal it. After Muraco was eliminated, Patera went to go after the charges of his former manager. Dino Bravo, The Iron Sheik, & Killer Khan had all been relatively quiet to this point, but that was good strategy. They weren't out looking for trouble, and as the numbers were dwindling, it increased their chances of winning. They were amidst a 3-on-1 mugging of Terry Funk, when Patera came over to get a piece of Bravo. Patera helped out considerably and Funk was trying to fight out of the corner, but Sheik loaded up his boot and caught Funk with the gut in it before unceremoniously depositing the Funker on the floor.

The ring was really starting to thin, and the strategy was changing considerably. There was a pink elephant in the room, and that was King Kong Bundy. As the largest man in the ring, no one had made a serious attempt to get together and eliminate him. Bundy wasn't making any eliminations though as he was content in throwing his weight around - pun intended - and showing his dominance. Ask Strike Force, as Bundy was single-handedly throwing them around the ring like they were common trash. After Bundy had smashed Martel in the corner with an avalanche, Blanchard picked the bones like a buzzard and hit Martel with a dropkick to send him to the floor.

With less men in the ring, Jimmy Snuka was finally able to give Freddie Blassie his answer on his offer. Snuka garnered a chorus of boos when he shook Blassie's hand as it looked like he had sold out to the classy one. He grouped together with Bravo, Sheik, & Khan, and it looked like this fearsome foursome was about to run rough shot through the ring. But Snuka surprised everyone when he held back, grabbed Killer Khan by his tights and large braid, and threw him to the outside! Snuka hadn't sold his soul at all, and the fans rewarded him with some familiar cheers again. It did, however, get Snuka a beating as Bravo & Sheik went to work on him.

Another man who had been quietly putting on a great show was former 2-time World champion, Jumbo Tsuruta. He is a competitor in every sense of the word, and there were a lot of red chests in the ring thanks to his hard chops. He would also do Snuka a huge favor when he got Bravo out of the match, meaning that Blassie only had one man remaining. On the other side of the ring, Bundy caught Huber trying a crossbody, and calmly and casually dropped him over the top, leaving us with just nine men in the match vying for the gold. The Iron Sheik helped weed the field down a little more and help Blassie's chances of getting a singles champion, catching Patera with a back suplex and throwing him out of the match.

The match shifted gears again here, as Bobby Heenan showed why he is the Brain. He had more or less let Bockwinkel & Bundy do their own thing up to this point, but now he coordinated their efforts to cause some real damage. They began singling wrestlers out, starting with Jumbo Tsuruta. Jumbo was a favorite coming in, but when you have two men like Bockwinkel & Bundy all over you, there's only so much you can do before you succumb to the numbers. Bockwinkel would get the elimination after Bundy had squashed Jumbo in the corner. The next chosen victim was Tito Santana, who fought hard, but was in a bad way and thrown out by Bundy.

These numbers were not good for Jimmy Snuka. He was one of the final six, which is a great accomplishment, but the other five men were what you would call rulebreakers. The thing that saved him is that Larry Zbyszko doesn't like anybody, so he was taking it to Tully Blanchard in the corner. Still, the rest of the rulebreakers were taking turns measuring punches on the Superfly's head. They were just toying with Snuka when they seemingly could have eliminated him at any time. They probably should have acted sooner than they did, because RIC FLAIR came back out, looking to get himself a piece of King Kong Bundy. The momentary distraction was enough for Snuka to turn the tide and send The Iron Sheik out of the ring and out of the match! Bundy charged at Snuka right after that, but Snuka ducked, and Flair had pulled down the top rope. Bundy's momentum sent him tumbling over the ropes, and in a huge turn of events, the biggest man in the match was out! Officials came out and kept Flair & Bundy separated while they were ushered to the back.

We were down to the final four: Snuka, Bockwinkel, Zbyszko, and surprisingly, the newcomer Tully Blanchard. What a story it would be if Blanchard won in his first night with the company! He got one step closer to that goal, when Bockwinkel pulled Zbyszko off of him. Zbyszko had been putting the hurt on Blanchard for several minutes now and this reprieve was well needed for him. Zbyszko was taken by surprise by Bockwinkel's assault, and this let Bockwinkel get one step closer to the title and get us down to 3. This bought Blanchard a little bit of time, and he seemed re-energized with how quick he came at Snuka. He was doing pretty well for himself, but he made a rookie mistake in over-exerting himself. Snuka waited for Blanchard to leave an opening, and smashed him with a hard island headbutt. Blanchard was on dream street, and easy pickings for the Superfly. Even though Blanchard didn't win, this performance definitely puts him on the map as a serious threat.

We were down to just two, and either Jimmy Snuka or Nick Bockwinkel would be walking out of here as Intercontinental champion. Bockwinkel took the early edge when he thumbed Snuka in the eye before going to work on the former World champion. Bockwinkel was setting Snuka up for the Piledriver, figuring that if he hit that big move, it would be elementary from that point. But when Bockwinkel put Snuka in the standing headscissors, Snuka came alive with a backdrop counter. Snuka got in a couple of two-handed chops, and a huge headbutt. At this point, Snuka probably should have went for the elimination, but hindsight is 20/20. Snuka instead went up to the top rope and called for the Superfly Splash. Bobby Heenan jumped up on the apron and grabbed a hold of Snuka's foot, not letting him leap. Snuka tried to kick him away, but the distraction worked as Bockwinkel got up and knocked Snuka to the floor, putting an end to this match and earning himself his first singles championship. What a helluva battle royal!

Cage Match:
Dusty Rhodes defeated Stan Hansen by escaping the cage in 0:15:44.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Dusty Rhodes won the GCW World Title.)

In all fairness to World champion Stan Hansen, he had no business being in this match. His right arm was broken two shows ago, and after the last show in Chicago, his arm was attacked again, not giving it a chance to heal whatsoever. He was given the option to vacate the championship to Dusty Rhodes and fight him for the title another day, but Hansen would have no part of that. He mustered up the strength to defend the title, and in a steel cage no less, but this would turn out to be an ill-advised move. Hansen fought as hard as he could, and for over 15 minutes, went toe-to-toe with the American Dream. He gave Rhodes such a fight, that even Rhodes couldn't believe how hard this was - he was clearly anticipating a walk through the park. The turn of the tide came when Hansen was getting beat down, but he managed to catch Rhodes with the Lariat - using his broken arm. Rhodes was hurt, but not completely wiped out like he would be under normal circumstances. Meanwhile, Hansen was writhing in pain on the canvas. He did himself over to the door and looked like he might pull this off yet, but as he exited, BOBBY DUNCUM & DICK MURDOCH were there to cut him off. Murdoch distracted Hansen while Duncum slammed the cage door on Hansen's broken arm. Hansen bellowed in pain while Rhodes dragged himself to the door. Murdoch & Duncum pulled him out, and Dusty Rhodes was declared the winner. For the second time, the American Dream has ascended to the top of the mountain and won the GCW World Heavyweight Title. The show ended with the Texas Outlaws being pelted with trash while the medical staff checked on the Lariat.

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

5/1/83 - NASSAU COLISEUM - Uniondale, NY

WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Soul Patrol (c) vs. Bobby Duncum/Dick Murdoch
Ric Flair vs. King Kong Bundy
Spike Huber vs. Bob Backlund
Jimmy Snuka/Terry Funk/Ken Patera vs. Dino Bravo/The Iron Sheik/Killer Khan
Mike Rotundo vs. Tully Blanchard

Plus, we will hear from the new World champion, Dusty Rhodes!

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