August 13, 1978 - Washington Avenue Armory - Albany, NY

Pat Patterson pinned Johnny Rodz with the Atomic Drop in 0:05:37.
Rating: **

This is a huge night, highlighted by Bob Backlund getting his shot at Harley Race and the World Title. The wrestling action kicked off with Pat Patterson taking on Johnny Rodz, who "unpredictably" decided to wrestle the match in a blindfold. …Okay. The blindfold didn't last long as Patterson was beating him thoroughly, but even after he ditched the blindfold, he didn't fair much better. Patterson kicks off the evening with a win.

Terry Funk and Afa battled to a double countout in 0:08:12.
Rating: 1/2*

Because of how the World Tag Team Title match ended in Lowell, President Hisashi Shinma ordered for the champions and the #1 contenders to compete in two singles matches in Albany. The first of these matches was Terry Funk vs. Afa, and what a wild affair it was. Of the Funk Brothers, Terry is known more as the wild brawler, which was right up Afa's alley. We're learning a lot about the Wild Samoans every show. They're rough around the edges and will fight with anyone, but it's almost as if they need a handler to keep them in order. Afa may have been able to win this match at one point, but he was having such a good time brawling with Terry Funk that he was content to wrestle to a double countout before the fight was broken up. We'll see how Sika fairs later with Dory Funk Jr.

Jumbo Tsuruta pinned Rene Goulet with the Jumbo Knee in 0:11:09.
Rating: ****

It's scary to think that Jumbo Tsuruta has only been wrestling for five years. FIVE. And he already has two World Title reigns under his belt. There is a very good chance we haven't seen anywhere close to the best Jumbo has to offer. He had an excellent amateur career in Japan and transitioned into the pro ranks seamlessly, and if he stays healthy, there's no reason to believe he won't climb to the top of the mountain again. Jumbo kept on winning tonight with a spirited effort against Rene Goulet, who once again came up short in notching his first GCW win.

The Blackjacks are in the market for a new manager.

Blackjack Lanza & Blackjack Mulligan have struggled since Bobby Heenan inexplicably left town, and they know it. They came out for an interview in Albany and let the world know they are in the market for a new manager, and promised that they will ascend to the top of tag team ranks once again.

Dory Funk Jr. made Sika submit to the Texas Cloverleaf in 0:10:36.
Rating: ****

The first match of the Funks/Samoans series went to a double countout and a helluva brawl. The second match didn't get to that point as Dory Funk Jr. managed to ground Sika and prevent him from using any of his wild brawling tactics. Sika had a couple bouts of offense in the match, but Dory grounded him en route to locking on the Texas Cloverleaf and getting the win. Dory was so confident about how he dismantled Sika that he offered to put the tag titles on the line against the Samoans one more time on September 8 from the world famous Madison Square Garden!

Don Muraco and Great Kabuki defeated The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) when Muraco pinned Jerry Brisco with the Tombstone in 0:02:13.
Rating: ***

What a major upset! Don Muraco & Great Kabuki have been on a roll as a team as Freddie Blassie has lit a fire under them, but no one expected them to beat the Brisco Brothers, especially so decisively! Muraco & Kabuki jumped Jack & Jerry before the bell sounded, and they never let up. So when Muraco lifted Jerry and planted him with the Tombstone, it was so sudden that everyone assumed he would kick out. Well, he didn't. Blassie's men got a gigantic victory over the former tag champions. This has to catapult them up the ladder and a tag title shot can't be too far off

Dino Bravo defeated Roddy Piper by disqualification in 0:09:01.
Rating: * 1/4

Roddy Piper is showing that the "Rowdy" nickname he has isn't accidental. He is a wildcard in that ring. If you don't believe me, just ask Dino Bravo who went up against the Scot in our next match. Say what you want about who Piper is aligned with, but he is a fighter and isn't going to back down from anyone - even if they are as strong as Bravo. Piper was crazy enough to try to match strength with Bravo, and he paid for it time and time again. Eventually Piper became upset to the point where he went to the floor and started tossing anything he could get his hands on into the ring. Unfortunately for him, one of the items he threw was a chair, and it hit referee Mario Savoldi. Savoldi (for some strange reason) didn't take kindly to being struck with a chair and disqualified Piper! Piper was enraged and got in Savoldi's face, going as far as to grab him by the shirt! Luckily for Savoldi, Bravo intervened and sent Piper over the top rope to the floor. These two will meet again in New York.

Dusty Rhodes has the ultimate challenge for Ivan Koloff.

If you thought you've seen "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes pissed off before, you haven't seen anything yet! Rhodes was as passionate as we've ever seen him, commenting on how he was desperately close to fulfilling his dream of being the heavyweight champion of the world, but it was Ivan Koloff that once again caused him great pain. Rhodes said that the issues between the Russian Bear and himself had gone too far, and that if it didn't end soon, who knows what would happen. Rhodes said he only wants one kind of match with Koloff… LOSER LEAVES TOWN. "CLASSY" FREDDIE BLASSIE came out to respond to the challenge, saying that the thought of being rid of Rhodes forever was too tempting and that he accepted. He also told Rhodes to say goodbye to all the fans now, because September 8 would be the last time he ever saw them.

Two-out-of-three-Falls Match:
Pedro Morales beat Stan Hansen 2 falls to 0:
x Morales beat Hansen via countout in 0:10:14
x Morales beat Hansen via the Boston Crab in 0:19:36
Rating: *** 1/2
(Pedro Morales retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Pedro Morales is giving Stan Hansen several chances to regain the Intercontinental Title, and thus far, Hansen has been unsuccessful in doing so. Tonight's title defense was 2/3 falls, which played into Morales' hands. As the veteran, he knows how to control the tempo and he got the Lariat to wrestle his type of match. Morales took the first fall at about the 10 minute mark when Hansen was so frustrated that he accidentally got himself counted out. In a 1-0 hole, Hansen became even more reckless and it cost him the match. He went up top which is uncharacteristic for him and went for a back splash and came up empty, letting Morales lock in the Boston Crab. Hansen's back was throbbing and he had to submit, giving Morales a 2-0 victory and a successful title defense. After the match, Hansen grabbed the mic and said the only reason he lost is because the 2/3 falls rules benefited Morales, and that if it was a different kind of match he could have won. Morales said Hansen could pick the stipulations for September 8, under the condition that if Hansen loses, it will be his last title shot. Hansen agreed and announced that the match will be a Texas Bullrope Match!

Ric Flair pinned Peter Maivia after a backslide in 0:05:01.
Rating: ** 1/4

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair is as arrogant as they come, but really, it's hard to blame him for being so. Not only is he exceptionally talented, but he is aligned with the World champion. Despite how brash this youngster is, he is backing it up in the ring, including tonight with a clever victory over "High Chief" Peter Maivia. Maivia thought he was in control, but Flair ducked a clothesline and caught the High Chief in a backslide. Three seconds later, Flair had scored the victory. Maivia was frustrated and went after Flair, but the Nature Boy ducked to the floor and to the back the victor.

Larry Zbyszko pinned Jimmy Snuka with the Shoulderbreaker in 0:12:04.
Rating: *** 3/4

Ever since our last show when Larry Zbyszko tossed Jimmy Snuka shoulder first into the ringpost, the Superfly has been having trouble with his shoulder. He probably shouldn't have taken this match, but he is a proud fighter and wasn't going to back down from Zbyszko. Snuka's passion gave him the upperhand in the opening minutes, but Zbyszko turned the tables when he dropped Snuka with an armbar takedown. Zbyszko's attack on the shoulder that followed was relentless. As much as Snuka tried to fight back, his left arm was all but useless, which let Zbyszko hit the Shoulderbreaker and get the 3 count. After the match, Zbyszko put Snuka in a cross armbreaker and cranked back on it before referee Willie Webber threatened him with reversing the decision to release the hold. Zbyszko is making a habit of leaving some of the best in the world lying flat on their backs. Snuka has vowed that he will get his revenge on Zbyszko on September 8 at MSG.

Harley Race weasels out of having to defend the World Title.

The atmosphere was electric in the building before the main event for the World Title. But before the match began, World champion Harley Race came out and had President Hisashi Shinma with him. Not only that, but his ribs were heavily taped and he had an obvious grimace of pain etched across his face. Race announced to the crowd that he had been in a car accident earlier this week and he injured his ribs in the crash. He said he was showing how brave he was by going against doctor's orders and wrestling tonight, but because of the circumstances of the injury, President Shinma has made tonight's match non-title (a decision that was NOT popular with the crowd).

Bob Backlund pinned Harley Race with the Atomic Drop in 0:17:18.
Rating: ***

Though the wind may have been taken out of the sails of the crowd in Albany expecting to see the World Title on the line, one man who didn't let it bother him was Bob Backlund, the would-be challenger. Backlund wanted the chance to prove he was better than Harley Race, and if this match is any indication, Backlund is the better man. As the match wore on, it became obvious that Race's ribs weren't actually hurt at all and that this was all a sham to get out of defending the World Title. Race did everything he could to pin Backlund's shoulders to the mat, but Arnold Skaaland had Backlund on top of his game. Backlund had all the momentum at the end of the match, and despite Race trying to run out of the ring, Backlund wouldn't allow it and hit the Atomic Drop to get the 3 count! Backlund pinned the World champion! Backlund should be the World champ right now if it wasn't for Race's cowardly way of getting out of the title match. However, President Shinma has released a press release stating that Harley Race will defend the World Title against Bob Backlund at Madison Square Garden on September 8. The release added that if for any reason Race doesn't show up for the match to defend his championship, he will be stripped of the title immediately! Race has been ducking Backlund for months, but he will have nowhere to hide on September 8!

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

A lot of major happenings tonight, which lead us to a tremendous night of action on September 8 at Madison Square Garden!

WORLD TITLE - Harley Race (c) vs. Bob Backlund
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Funk Brothers (c) vs. The Wild Samoans
LOSER LEAVES TOWN - Dusty Rhodes vs. Ivan Koloff
Jimmy Snuka vs. Larry Zbyszko
Dino Bravo vs. Roddy Pipe
The Brisco Brothers vs. Great Kabuki/Don Muraco

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