August 31, 1982 - Civic Center - Baltimore, MD

Luke Graham pinned Johnny Rodz with the Thumb to the Throat in 0:01:43.
Rating: **

As our show kicked off in Baltimore, our first trip back here in a year and a half, Luke Graham showed that in professional wrestling, you don't get paid by the hour. It didn't even take him two minutes before he hit Johnny Rodz with the Thumb to the Throat and picked up the win. Always nice to see one of the all-time greats in action.

The Golden Boys (Terry Taylor and B. Brian Blair) and Bill Eadie defeated The Von Erich Brothers (Kerry Von Erich and Kevin Von Erich) and Rick Martel when Eadie made Martel submit to the Cobra Clutch in 0:07:44.
Rating: ** 1/2

Rick Martel returned from injury in Philly and helped Kevin & Kerry Von Erich defeat B. Brian Blair and Martel's former partner, Terry Taylor. Taylor has done nothing but lay the bad mouth on Martel while the latter was on the shelf, and Martel has come back to get a piece of Taylor. We had a 6-man tag team match, but we didn't know ahead of time who was going to team with the Golden Boys. They had kept their cards close to their chest, so it was a big surprise when they brought out BILL "THE AX" EADIE! Eadie has been on the side of good recently, but the pre-match interview showed that's not the case anymore. Blair said that just like them, Eadie was tired of being shown no respect from the fans of GCW. They have hired Eadie to be their personal muscle to help them get the respect that they deserve.

Eadie's hiring by the Golden Boys proved dividends already, as he was absolutely dominant in this match. The Von Erichs & Martel tried to keep Eadie out of the ring, but that was easier said than done. Once Eadie got himself established, there was little the fan favorites could do before the Ax got a hold of Martel, locked in the Cobra Clutch, and that was the end of that chapter. Martel is hoping to have a little better luck on September 18 at Madison Square Garden when he will face Terry Taylor in a 1-on-1 match.

Tito Santana pinned Bob Backlund after a rolling reverse cradle in 0:07:03.
Rating: ** 1/2

When you asked around the locker room about the upcoming Tito Santana vs. Bob Backlund match, you got essentially a different version of the same message from everyone - that Santana was gutsy for standing up to Backlund and accepting this match on Jimmy Snuka's behalf, but that he had a lot of pain coming his way from the former World champion. And early on, that's exactly what we got. Backlund was a step above Santana, having extra motivation after he felt Santana embarrassed him in Philadelphia. The match was getting out of hand as Backlund could have put it away at any time, but chose to continue punishing Santana instead. It was when Backlund went to the floor to grab a chair that it really picked up. Backlund got the chair, but before he could bring it into the ring, someone reached over from the crowd and took it from him. Security was coming over to throw the man out, until upon closer inspection we saw that it was JIMMY SNUKA! The crowd went nuts as Backlund realized it was the Superfly, having a look of fear we've never seen out of the former collegiate wrestler. Backlund got himself back into the ring and yelled down at Snuka, who was being held back by officials from getting into the ring. Backlund kept yelling at Snuka, but this prevented him from stopping Santana from hitting him with a rolling reverse cradle. Backlund was so taken by surprise that he couldn't kick out in time. Tito Santana had pulled off the huge upset! Santana rolled out of the ring before Backlund could get him and celebrated with Snuka, who was having a good laugh at Backlund's expense. He may not be laughing at MSG, as Snuka & Santana will team up to take on Backlund and a partner TBA.

Larry Zbyszko challenges Bruno Sammartino for MSG.

Larry Zbyszko did not have a lot to say tonight, but what he did say was powerful. Zbyszko said he was tired of Bruno Sammartino limping around like an old, mangy dog. "It's time that I put that old dog DOWN." Zbyszko laid out a challenge to Sammartino for a 1-on-1 match at Madison Square Garden. Sammartino was not in Baltimore, but when he heard of the challenge, he immediately accepted it. We will have Bruno Sammartino's first GCW match in nearly a decade on September 18!

Don Muraco and The Iron Sheik and The Soul Patrol (Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson) battled to a double countout in 0:11:28.
Rating: *

Don Muraco & The Iron Sheik stole a victory from the Soul Patrol at our last show, with the help of the controversial boot of the Sheik. Tony Atlas & Rocky Johnson learned their mistake in The Spectrum, being extra wary of that pointy boot. Muraco & Sheik were trying to use that boot again, but they became too one-dimensional in their attempts as the Soul Patrol were able to thwart each and every one of them. This served to piss Freddie Blassie's charges off, tempers flared, and the fight spilled to the floor. All four men were rapidly being counted out, but they didn't seem much to mind as the fight was more important. No clear winner in Baltimore, and this one is a long way from over.

The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) defeated The Can-Am Strongmen (Dino Bravo and Ken Patera) when Jack Brisco defeated Bravo by disqualification in 0:04:03.
Rating: ** 1/4
(The Can-Am Strongmen retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Jack Brisco.]

The Can-Am Strongmen stunned the world by winning the World Tag Team Titles back at our last show, defeating the Brisco Brothers to do so. Also of note was that this title reign is Dino Bravo's 5th, putting him behind only Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher for most reigns of all time. Bravo was in danger of this being his shortest reign ever though, as the former champions cashed in on their rematch clause tonight. Freddie Blassie had a meeting with the Strongmen earlier in the day and told them that they needed to keep the World Tag Team Titles at all costs tonight, because the titles mean more money for him. Bravo & Patera took that to heart, as they ended up losing the match, but they kept the titles by getting themselves disqualified. Bravo & Patera both kept choking, biting, gouging the eyes, and refusing to listen to referee Tommy Young's instructions. Young had no choice but to DQ them. Blassie then called out DON MURACO & THE IRON SHEIK to help with the attack on the Briscos. Blassie was looking to take out one of the top threats to the tag titles here, and he very well may have been successful had it not been for TONY ATLAS & ROCKY JOHNSON running down to make the save! The fan favorites cleared the ring of Blassie's men as Blassie flipped his lid. We've learned that an 8-man tag team match has been signed for MSG - The Briscos & Soul Patrol vs. Don Muraco, The Iron Sheik, & The Can-Am Strongmen!

Texas Death Match:
Ric Flair and Bobby Duncum battled to a no-contest in 0:13:00.
Rating: ** 3/4

It is very rare that we see something like what happened in this match between Ric Flair & Bobby Duncum. The contest was to be contested under Texas Death rules, which meant that after each pinfall or submission, the man defeated would have a ten count to reach his feet or the match would be over. We had a couple of falls relatively early in the match, but both Flair & Duncum got to their feet. From there, the match escalated quickly and spilled into the crowd, where it became a very dangerous situation. Referee Tommy Young tried in vain to get Flair & Duncum back toward the ring, but the fight was too out of control. When fans started throwing beer bottles at Duncum, Young made the judgment call to throw the match out, making this match a no-contest. Security came in and settled the situation down before any injuries could take place, but it was still a scary situation. GCW President Hisashi Shinma has declared that if Flair & Duncum want to beat each other up, they'll have that chance on September 18. But to guarantee the safety of the fans in attendance, the match will be a STEEL CAGE MATCH!

Terry Funk pinned Stan Hansen after a short clothesline in 0:11:23.
Rating: *** 1/2
[Dusty Rhodes interfered against Terry Funk.]

Terry Funk would get a World Title shot if he could win this match. He had already defeated Bobby Duncum & Dick Murdoch, and if he could beat Stan Hansen, he would get a title shot on September 18 in the world's most famous arena. Hansen wasn't about to be anyone's stepping stone though. In fact, Hansen is a man who many are shocked has never won the World Title. Hansen has been with this company for nearly 7 years, and though he's always been near the top of the card, he has never quite been able to get over the hump to win the big one. And now, faced with possibly being Funk's last step into getting his title shot, something snapped in Hansen. He was more aggressive, more ruthless, more intense, and just plain nastier than he has ever been. For anyone else, that would have posed a major problem. But for Terry Funk, he sickly welcomed it. Funk seems to wrestle better when he is getting the holy hell kicked out of him. It's like he is fueled by getting punched in the jaw. Funk & Hansen were nailing each other with bombs, and it was shocking that both men even remained on their feet.

Even though Hansen was doing just fine for himself, DUSTY RHODES came down to ringside to help, obviously scared of the concept of having to defend his World Title against Funk. He should have been in the back preparing for Nick Bockwinkel, but he insisted on getting involved here, despite Hansen asking him to head to the back. Rhodes got a couple of cheap shots in on Funk, but he ended up making a huge mistake. Hansen was throwing Funk into the ropes, and the Dream was wanting to trip Funk up. He did so blindly, but in doing so, he didn't see that Funk had reversed the whip, so Rhodes tripped Hansen instead! Hansen was irate, but Rhodes didn't notice because he was too busy playing to the fans about how smart he was. Funk spun Hansen around and jacked his jaw with a short lariat, enough to stun him and get the 3! Rhodes turned around smiling thinking he had screwed Funk, but when he saw the Funker getting his hand raised, the realization set in. If Rhodes can retain in the main event (and that is a big if), he will have to defend against Funk in Madison Square Garden! When Hansen got back to his feet, he was understandably pissed off, but Rhodes was nowhere to be found to vent his frustrations.

Jumbo Tsuruta pinned Dick Murdoch with the Jumbo Knee in 0:10:33.
Rating: *** 1/2

We got another motivated performance out of Jumbo Tsuruta tonight, as he took on "Dirty" Dick Murdoch. Murdoch was hoping that he could bend the rules enough to have the upperhand, but Jumbo was too focused and too crisp for any of that to make much of a difference. Murdoch couldn't get any extended offense in despite his best efforts, and he ate a face full of the Jumbo Knee en route to a Tsuruta victory. Murdoch had a glossy look in his eyes after the match, like he had just been hit by a truck. Another highly impressive win for the former World champion.

Dusty Rhodes pinned Nick Bockwinkel with the Bionic Elbowdrop in 0:36:12.
Rating: *****
(Dusty Rhodes retained the GCW World Title.)
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Dusty Rhodes.]

Nick Bockwinkel returned to Global Championship Wrestling amid a wave of controversy, and he had one goal in mind - to win the GCW World Title. He has had two opportunities so far, and both times, he and reigning champion Dusty Rhodes have wrestled to 45-minute time limit draws. The matches have been spectacular, but the GCW Championship Committee doesn't want their to be any doubt up in the air. They want a clear winner, and more importantly, the fans want a clear winner, so this third and final match was signed with no time limit. One way or another, we were going to get a winner.

If the previous two matches were good, this one was great. These two are so familiar with each other now (how could you not be after wrestling each other for an hour and a half?) that it was going to take either one major new move or one major mistake for this one to end. Bobby Heenan showed why he is called "The Brain" because he had Bockwinkel prepared in a big way. In the previous matches, Bockwinkel had tried to wrestle Rhodes on the mat, feeling he could out class him there. This time, however, Bockwinkel came out swinging, hitting Rhodes with haymakers and brawling with him, a throwback to his days in the Cripplers. Rhodes didn't know what to do with it at first, and it looked like Bockwinkel was going to win this one early. The only thing the Dream could think to do was start locking Bockwinkel in holds. It's like we were in bizarro world for awhile because Bockwinkel was wrestling like Rhodes and Rhodes was wrestling like Bockwinkel. As both men absorbed more and more punishment, the holds started to go by the wayside and it became a series of big moves, each one not quite being enough to get the 3 count. Bockwinkel hit a big side suplex for 2. Rhodes got a power bomb for 2. Bockwinkel hit the Piledriver but Rhodes somehow kicked out. Rhodes hit a superplex but Bockwinkel got his shoulder up in the nick of time. It was back and forth until the very end. The American Dream became desperate, and after the aforementioned superplex, he removed the turnbuckle pad off one of the top turnbuckles. A couple of minutes later, it came into play when Bockwinkel charged the corner, but Rhodes sidestepped and smashed Bockwinkel's head into the exposed steel. Bockwinkel was knocked out, and the Bionic Elbowdrop sealed the deal. An exhausted Rhodes collapsed on top of Bockwinkel, got the 1-2-3, and retained his title in an epic battle. One of the best matches we have seen in a long time, and it proved why GCW is the top wrestling organization in the world.

And now to think, Rhodes has Terry Funk to look forward to in the Garden!

Card rating: *** 1/4

Match observations:

9/18/82 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN - New York, NY

WORLD TITLE - Dusty Rhodes (c) vs. Terry Funk
NON-TITLE GRUDGE MATCH - Larry Zbyszko vs. Bruno Sammartino
STEEL CAGE MATCH - Ric Flair vs. Bobby Duncum
Jimmy Snuka/Tito Santana vs. Bob Backlund/???
The Soul Patrol/The Brisco Brothers vs. Don Muraco/The Iron Sheik/The Can-Am Strongmen
Rick Martel vs. Terry Taylor

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