August 1, 1974 - Maple Leaf Gardens - Toronto, ON, CA

Jimmy Snuka pinned Baron Mikel Scicluna after a small package in 0:01:54.
Rating: * 1/4

Our return to the Great White North started out with a quick match as Jimmy Snuka got the better of The Grand Wizard's Baron Mikel Scicluna. Snuka is known for his aerial attack, but he didn't need it here as a small package caught the Maltese blue blood by surprise and pinned his shoulders to the mat. After the match, we learned that The Grand Wizard is cutting ties with Scicluna, having sold his contraxt to Captain Lou Albano, who is looking to amass a new stable of wrestlers. This change of management could be what Scicluna needs to get back on track.

Nikolai Volkoff pinned Dominic DeNucci after a lariat in 0:07:40.
Rating: * 1/2
[Ivan Koloff interfered against Nikolai Volkoff.]

Speaking of Albano, his Russian monster Nikolai Volkoff was in action against veteran tag team specialist Dominic DeNucci. DeNucci tried to wrestle Volkoff, but there was simply too much size and power there to contend with, not to mention a meanstreak. Volkoff gets his first official win in a GCW ring.

Gorilla Monsoon and Dino Bravo defeated The Cripplers (Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens) when Bravo pinned Bockwinkel with the Side Suplex in 0:11:23.
Rating: ** 1/4

The Cripplers have been in a foul mood since losing the World Tag Team Titles, and what happened tonight isn't going to make them any happier. They had a tag team match scheduled against Gorilla Monsoon and a partner to be named, but since Ray Stevens & Nick Bockwinkel are as arrogant as they come, they didn't seem all that concerned. When Monsoon came out with a newcomer, Canada's own DINO BRAVO, they seemed even less concerned. It's hard to blame them, considering this is the first time Monsoon & Bravo ever teamed, and the Cripplers are amongst the best. Well, there's a reason why they wrestle the matches. Monsoon & Bravo used the element of surprise to bumrush the Cripplers, and in the end, the beefy Bravo hit the Side Suplex on Bockwinkel to get the upset win. Maybe Bockwinkel should have filmed another commercial. Heenan was livid, and has already arranged for a rematch for August 26 in Madison Square Garden.

Interview:
Harley Race bites off more than he can chew.

United States champion Harley Race had the night off as he was supposed to defend again against Don Muraco, but Muraco is out with an injury. Race could have stayed home in Kansas City, but he chose to come to Toronto to put himself over. Race stoically talked about how he is the finest wrestler in the world, and that there was nobody in Global Championship Wrestling that could hold a candle to him. Race went as far as to say that Muraco wasn't actually injured, but rather afraid of being humiliated by Race again. As Race continued to run Muraco down, BILLY ROBINSON finally had enough and came out to confront Race. Robinson is Muraco's mentor and didn't appreciate Race disrespecting him. Robinson was ready to fight, but Race backed down and went to the back without incident.

Baron Von Raschke defeated Johnny Rodz when Johnny Rodz passed out in the Claw in 0:03:11.
Rating: ** 3/4

Johnny Rodz's unpredictable move tonight was to put on a mask so that Baron Von Raschke "can't see my facial expressions." Hrm… yeah. I don't think the Claw Master cares a lick about anyone's facial expressions - he just cares about hurting people and winning matches. He did both of those in short order in Toronto, locking on the Claw to get a dominant victory.

Carlos Colon and Blackjack Lanza battled to a double countout in 0:09:00.
Rating: *** 1/4

Sometimes when we have a match that doesn't have any history, some history starts. Carlos Colon & Blackjack Lanza have no beef with each other, but as this match waged on, a beef was clearly developing. Tempers started flaring, and before you knew it, the two were on the floor trying to beat the stuffing out of each other! Both men were counted out and a slew of officials were needed to break them up, but not before Lanza caught Colon with a cheap shot that busted his nose up pretty good. This one is just getting started.

Mr. Fuji and Toru Tanaka defeated Mr. Wrestling I and Mr. Wrestling II when Tanaka defeated I when I passed out in the Japanese Sleeper in 0:14:36.
Rating: ** 3/4

Many were surprised that Mr. Wrestling I & II lost the World Tag Team Titles in Chicago, and they were even more surprised with what went down in this match against Mr. Fuji & Toru Tanaka. In the end of this competitive match, Tanaka caught I in the Japanese Sleeper, a dangerous submission hold. I struggled to get close enough to tag in his partner, but when he got to the corner, II dropped to the floor so I couldn't make the tag! The fans booed II mercilessly as II watched on as I passed out in the hold, putting this match away. II evidentally is blaming I for the title loss, and to make matters worse for Mr. Wrestling I, II has quit GCW, so I won't even have a chance for revenge! Where Mr. Wrestling I goes from here is anyone's guess, but one of the brightest teams in the world is no more.

Pedro Morales pinned Tony Garea after a roundhouse right in 0:05:50.
Rating: ***

Pedro Morales wrestled some fantastic matches against Billy Robinson, but came up on the short end of the stick. Morales came back with all guns blazing and literally knocking Tony Garea out with a huge roundhouse right. Morales is poised to make a run at getting another shot at the World Title.

Bobby Duncum pinned Ernie Ladd with the Full Nelson Slam in 0:06:11.
Rating: ** 3/4

Bobby Duncum was sporting a huge scar on his head from Baron Von Raschke carving him up with his own spur, but he was here and ready for action against Ernie Ladd. Though Duncum lost the Chicago Streetfight to Raschke last month, you can't forget that it was Duncum who was the first man to pin World champion Ivan Koloff's shoulders to the mat in a tag team match back in June. Duncum again showed why he may be the best wrestler in the Heenan Family and a future champion by besting GCW veteran Ernie Ladd. Duncum's chance to become a champion will be soon, as he has been granted the next shot at the World Title on August 26 at Madison Square Garden.

Ivan Koloff pinned Billy Graham with the Russian Sickle in 0:26:48.
Rating: ***
(Ivan Koloff retained the GCW World Title.)
[The Grand Wizard interfered against Ivan Koloff.]

Ivan Koloff continues to take tough test after tough test, and he had one of his toughest as he defended the World Title against "Superstar" Billy Graham. Graham is riding high after finally pinning his brother's shoulder's to the mat, and with that confidence, he is definitely a serious threat to Koloff and the World Title. The story of this match was Graham working over Koloff's back. Graham is probably the strongest man in all of wrestling, and the clubbing blows to the Russian Bear illustrated this. Graham even hit the powerslam on Koloff, a move that has been putting opponents away as of late, but Koloff showed that fighting spirit by kicking out. Koloff showed exactly why he is champion, however, when he got trapped in Graham's vicious Bearhug for well over a minute, but found a way to escape and get to the ropes. After this, Graham lost some momentum, as he was shocked Koloff could escape his signature hold. Koloff put a few moves together, hit the Russian Sickle, and got one of his toughest title defenses to date.

The Texas Outlaws (Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch) defeated Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser) when Murdoch pinned Bruiser after hitting him with the title belt in 0:23:59.
Rating: ** 3/4
(The Texas Outlaws retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

Our main event had the potential to be a historic event as Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher, the former 7-time World Tag Team champions and universally considered the greatest tag team in GCW history, were putting their careers on the line against The Texas Outlaws, the new tag team champs. Bruiser & Crusher needed to prove not only to the fans and wrestlers of GCW, but to themselves, that they can still go. This was a classic Bruiser/Crusher match featuring some of the best brawling you will see anywhere, even at their advancing age. If Bruiser & Crusher are the top brawlers of the last 10 years, Dusty Rhodes & Dick Murdoch may be the top brawlers of the next 10. No one has ever stood toe-to-toe with Bruiser & Crusher like the Outlaws did tonight. The fans in Toronto were firmly behind Bruiser & Crusher, wanting to see a historic 8th title reign and the best tag team in the world continue their careers. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. As they have done to others countless times in the past, Bruiser & Crusher were the victims of a foreign object. Referee Dick Kroll took a hard shot and was out of commission, so Bruiser took this opening to grab one of the World Tag Team Titles. He was primed to paintbrush Murdoch with it, but he didn't notice Rhodes had grabbed the other title belt and walloped Bruiser in the back of the skull with it, causing him to drop like a sack of potatoes. A groggy Kroll crawled over to make the count while Rhodes knocked Crusher off the apron, putting an end not only to this match, but to the stellar career of two of the all-time greats. Post match, Bruiser & Crusher received a standing ovation in appreciation for their efforts over the years. It'll be strange to see GCW without Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher, but it was an honor to have seen them in the first place.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

After this emotional night, we now head to Madison Square Garden in 3 weeks time on August 26th!

WORLD TITLE - Ivan Koloff (c) vs. Bobby Duncum
UNITED STATES TITLE - Harley Race (c) vs. Billy Robinson
Gorilla Monsoon/Dino Bravo vs. The Cripplers
Carlos Colon vs. Blackjack Lanza

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