August 4, 1983 - The Meadowlands - East Rutherford, NJ

Ric Flair made B. Brian Blair submit to the Figure-Four Leglock in 0:05:24.
Rating: **

The Meadowlands was sold out for what promised to be a huge night of wrestling, starting out with the #1 contender for the World Title, the King of the Ring, Ric Flair taking on B. Brian Blair. Blair was sure to make sure that everyone heard about how great he was, but this match was the Nature Boy's from the opening bell. Flair outclassed Flair on the mat, put him in the Figure-Four Leglock, and picked up the victory. Flair got the microphone from Howard Finkel and told the fans in the Meadowlands that the next time they saw him, he would be the World Heavyweight champion.

Nick Bockwinkel pinned Mike Rotundo with the Piledriver in 0:08:19.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Nick Bockwinkel retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)
[Tully Blanchard and Bobby Heenan interfered against Mike Rotundo.]

Mike Rotundo is still a rookie, but he has earned the chance of a lifetime. In his first year, he had the chance to become the Intercontinental champion. Rotundo pinned the reigning champion Nick Bockwinkel in the opening round of the King of the Ring tournament, something that has not been lost on the champion in the least. This is the type of match that in the past, the normally smug Bockwinkel might have taken lightly, but he knows firsthand exactly what Rotundo can do if you give him a window of opportunity. Rotundo didn't seem bothered by the magnitude of the situation as he took on the pressure and translated it into his wrestling. Bockwinkel is about as savvy a veteran as we've ever seen in a ring though, and he used distractions from manager Bobby Heenan to keep him in control. Rotundo's great counter wrestling ability helped him get the edge back, and it looked like he was on his way to hitting the Flying Clothesline when TULLY BLANCHARD appeared out of the crowd and tripped Rotundo up. Rotundo turned to jaw with Blanchard, which was all Bockwinkel needed to hit his challenger from behind and then drill him with the Piledriver for the successful title defense. Blanchard went to the back as happy as a clam, alternating between laughter and yelling, "That should have been my title shot!" This feud between Rotundo & Blanchard continues on August 25 in Hartford with a 2 out of 3 falls match.

Killer Khan pinned Spike Huber after a knee to the back in 0:01:49.
Rating: DUD

Spike Huber could have taken the night off after being attacked in a cowardly fashion backstage by Bob Backlund, but he chose to come out and fight. Maybe he shouldn't have been so brave, because he got himself a beating from Killer Khan. Khan hasn't been overly effective like Freddie Blassie had planned, but his dominance of the hard-working man from Indianapolis showed that he is capable of being a very dangerous man. Strong win for the man from Mongolia.

The Rock 'N Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) defeated Dino Bravo and Nikolai Volkoff when R. Morton defeated Bravo by disqualification in 0:12:02.
Rating: ** 1/2
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Robert Gibson.]
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Ricky Morton.]

Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson debuted with a lot of energy at our last show, the Rock 'N Roll Express immediately getting under the skin of "Classy" Freddie Blassie. The last show was supposed to be the coming out party for his newest dominant team, Dino Bravo & Nikolai Volkoff, but the Express, in his estimation, ruined the party. This rematch was signed, and with more time to prepare, Bravo & Volkoff looked a lot better. Bravo is considered to be one of the greatest tag team wrestlers of all-time, and he knows how to work with just about anyone. Volkoff and he looked like they had been teaming for years. They were matched in teaming by RnR though, as the speed and high-flying of Morton & Gibson is something we haven't seen in the GCW tag team division before. The match broke down as the intensity of the teams got more heated, and it ended when Volkoff clocked Morton with the ring bell for the disqualification. Gibson ran in to help his fallen teammate, but he ate the ring bell as well. Blassie grabbed the microphone and said, "Let that be a lesson to you, you pencil neck geeks!" I have a feeling this one isn't over yet.

Number-One-Contenders-Match with Managers Banned From Ringside:
Jimmy Snuka pinned The Iron Sheik after a flying headbutt in 0:05:34.
Rating: *

A World Title shot was on the line as the feud between Jimmy Snuka & Freddie Blassie continued. Snuka has had his hands full with The Iron Sheik in recent shows, but never has it been more important than with a shot at Dusty Rhodes up for grabs. It helped him focus knowing that Blassie would be banned from ringside, so he could just contend with the muscular Iranian. Snuka knows what it's like to have the biggest prize in the game, and just how meaningful these shots are, so he didn't let it pass him by. Sheik was dominating early on, but the tide turned when Sheik loaded up his boot like we have seen so many times in the past. He went to kick Snuka's head off, but the Superfly dodged the blow and took Sheik down with a legsweep. Snuka climbed to the top rope, when FREDDIE BLASSIE ran down and jumped on the apron, stipulations be damned. Snuka saw him coming though and kicked Blassie right down to the floor! Snuka jumped off with a flying headbutt that connected, and with the pinfall, Jimmy Snuka has earned a World Title shot in Hartford!

Larry Zbyszko pinned Johnny Rodz with the Crunch Time in 0:06:48.
Rating: *** 1/4

Larry Zbyszko is a man at a crossroads right now. His career feels like it could go one of two ways - he's either going to ascend and cement his permanent place in the main event, or he is going to fizzle out and fade into obscurity. The good Zbyszko showed up tonight, as he had his way with Johnny Rodz, taking his time to systematically tear him apart before putting him away with the Crunch Time. Only time will tell which direction Zbyszko goes.

The Texas Outlaws (Bobby Duncum and Dick Murdoch) defeated The Soul Patrol (Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson) when Duncum pinned Atlas with the Full Nelson Slam in 0:16:13.
Rating: *** 1/4
(The Texas Outlaws won the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

Many people think that the Texas Outlaws made a mistake by attacking Tony Atlas before their tag title shot last month. Not only did it cost them the title shot, but you knew that when he came back that Mr. USA was going to be furious. The latter proved to be true, but it would turn out that the attack on Atlas, and the subsequent attack on Rocky Johnson during the match last month would be instrumental in this match for the tag titles. The Soul Patrol were fired up in the early minutes of the match, not showing any kind of ill effects from their injuries. But as the match wore on, Duncum & Murdoch turned on their ruthless sides, and you could tell that Mr. USA and the Soulman were hurt. They fought back as hard as they could and never gave up, but when Duncum caught Atlas in the Full Nelson Slam, it was all academic from there. The Texas Outlaws begin their second reign as World Tag Team champions.

Rick Martel defeated Tully Blanchard by countout in 0:04:03.
Rating: ***

Well, Tully Blanchard learned the hard way that you reap what you sew. Blanchard was beaming with pride after costing Mike Rotundo the Intercontinental Title earlier in the night, and he came back to him in a harsh fashion in his match against Rick Martel. Rotundo didn't waste much time in making an appearance at ringside. The sight of Rotundo immediately threw Blanchard off his game. Blanchard was begging referee Tommy Young to throw Rotundo out, but Young contended that Rotundo hadn't done anything and thus he couldn't throw him out. Blanchard became so enraged that he went out to the floor and got in Rotundo's face. Rotundo didn't do anything, just staring at Blanchard, which pissed Blanchard off anymore. It wasn't until the bell rang that Blanchard realized he had gotten himself counted out! Rotundo went to the back without further incident, but this time, it was him doing the laughing.

Don Muraco and King Kong Bundy defeated Andre the Giant and Ken Patera when Bundy pinned Patera with the Big Splash in 0:10:21.
Rating: * 1/2

King Kong Bundy has been more or less jealous since Andre the Giant made his GCW debut. Bundy was used to being the biggest dog in the yard, but there is no wrestler in the world as big as Andre. The battles have been hard-hitting brawls, and now they were put into a tag team match to try to settle their differences. Bundy chose Don Muraco to be his partner while Andre recruited the services of Ken Patera to be in his corner. Muraco & Patera mostly went after each other as they have been engaged in a feud of their own this year, leaving Andre & Bundy to club away at each other like the beasts that they are. Bundy found a strategy that worked against Andre, hitting him with a big bodyblock that caused Andre to get tied up in between the top and middle ropes. Bundy used this stroke of good luck to hit Patera with the Big Splash and get the win for his team. When Andre got free, Bundy & Bobby Heenan took off in a hurry.

Dusty Rhodes pinned Tito Santana with the Bionic Elbowdrop in 0:08:53.
Rating: *** 1/4

Dusty Rhodes had been taken to the limit by Rick Martel in Pittsburgh. Here in New Jersey, Rhodes took Martel's Strike Force partner Tito Santana much more seriously. Rhodes didn't let Santana come out a house of fire, attacking the Mexican superstar before the bell. Santana fought valiantly, but this pre-match attack proved to be too much for him to overcome. Santana couldn't get the separation he needed before falling victim to the Bionic Elbowdrop. When Rhodes bears down and wrestles the type of match he is capable of like he did tonight, it reminds us all just how good he is. Very much looking forward to Rhodes/Snuka in Hartford.

First Blood Match:
Ricky Steamboat and Bob Backlund battled to a no contest in 0:21:05.
Rating: *** 1/4

The main event was a match that would prove to be intense in the most intense feud in wrestling today, a first blood match between Ricky Steamboat & Bob Backlund. First blood matches are not new to pro-wrestling, but to my knowledge, this is the first time this match has taken place in Global Championship Wrestling. When you think of Steamboat & Backlund, you think of highly skilled technical wrestlers. If this was the first match you had ever seen from either of them, not only would I welcome you back from the cave you've been living in, but you would also have never guessed that these two are highly regarded mat generals. We knew what type of match this was going to be as Steamboat dove out onto Backlund before Backlund even got into the ring. From there, both men ripped each other apart, doing whatever they could to bust the other man open. They were using weapons like they were wristlocks, but they couldn't make the other man bleed. It became a very dangerous situation when Steamboat missed a Flying Crossbody Press and crashed into Dick Kroll, completely wiping him out. Steamboat tried to do the right thing and checked on Kroll, but this let Backlund get a chair and waffle Steamboat between the eyes, causing Steamboat to wear the crimson mask. Backlund celebrated like he had won the match, but with Kroll knocked out cold, he couldn't call it. Backlund couldn't seem to let this go, throwing a fit and complaining to anyone who would listen. One person he should have been paying attention to was Steamboat, who made his way to his feet, grabbed the same chair, and blasted Backlund with it, busting HIM open! Steamboat passed back out as this was the last bit of energy he had left. When Kroll finally came to, he saw both Steamboat & Backlund laying unconscious in the ring, blood flowing from their faces, and had to declare the match a no contest. The crowd booed the decision, but given the circumstances, there was no other call that Kroll could have made. Even with how violent this match was, nothing was really settled. Another violent-themed match has been signed for Hartford, as the winner will be the first man who gets his opponent to say, "I quit!"

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

8/25/83 - HARTFORD CIVIC CENTER - Hartford, CT

WORLD TITLE - Dusty Rhodes (c) vs. Jimmy Snuka
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - Bobby Duncum/Dick Murdoch (c) vs. The Soul Patrol
I QUIT MATCH - Ricky Steamboat vs. Bob Backlund
2/3 FALLS MATCH - Mike Rotundo vs. Tully Blanchard
Ricky Morton vs. Dino Bravo

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