Controversies

This page contains all of the backstage and insider information in GCW history. Notable and controversial events will be discussed on this page.

1 The Mil Mascaras Incident

This took place during Day 2 of the inaugural Grand Prix of Wrestling tournament on July 5th, 1969. The reigning United States champion Pedro Morales met Mexican star Mil Mascaras in the second round of the tournament. The original planned result was for Mascaras to go over and advance to the quarterfinals on Day 3. However during the match there was a miscommunication during the match when Morales hit Mascaras with a back suplex. Mascaras appeared to get his shoulder up but referee Jack Davis inadvertently made the 3 count, thus awarding the match to Morales. Mascaras was livid backstage and was yelling out accusations that he was set up. Mascaras particularly blamed Davis and went after him backstage. Morales intervened to try to settle Mascaras down and received a sucker punch to the jaw for his efforts. Mascaras immediately left the building and flew back to Mexico. Morales suffered a broken jaw in the incident and missed 4 months of action, having to vacate the United States Title in the process. Legal action was considered against Mascaras, but Morales declined to press charges.

2 The Sammartino Exodus

When Bruno Sammartino returned in early 1970, it sent shockwaves running through GCW. Sammartino had originally left GCW on bad terms and was offered both a ton of money and creative control to return. With as much money as Sammartino was now making, many wrestlers were either cut from their contracts or left on their own as they felt they couldn't succeed in the current environment. The first to leave were the Brisco Brothers in February of '70, followed by The Sheik in April. The next victims were Tim Woods, Boris Malenko, and Miguel Perez who left in the summer of '70. The biggest name to leave though was Gene Kiniski, who left after wrestling Sammartino for the World Title in the main event at Madison Square Garden on August 8th. Sammartino had demanded with his creative control that he not only defeat Kiniski, but beat him in short order. Kiniski flat out refused to go along with this idea and wrestled Sammartino in a nasty and hard fought match. Kiniski lost as he was supposed to, but gave Sammartino a lot of noticeable stiff shots during the contest. Sammartino and Kiniski exchanged words backstage which became very heated with Kiniski having to be physically restrained and escorted from the building. Kiniski immediately cut ties and said he would have nothing to do with GCW as long as Sammartino and Marvin Niemiller were running the ship.

In addition, other budget cuts were forced to be made to accommodate Sammartino's high price tag. GCW's partnership with NWA-San Francisco to promote the Cow Palace Battle Royal was severed. The confidence in Niemiller's management was severely shaken after these set of events, and it would shape GCW for years to come.

3 The Funk Barbed Wire Incident

On December 26, 1970, GCW almost lost its contract with Madison Square Garden, it's primary arena, after a match between Dory Funk Jr. & Terry Funk turned out to be more violent than expected. Dory Jr. & Terry were wrestling in a Texas Death Match to settle a long-standing blood feud. Some elevated violence was expected as was some blood. However, the Funks used barbed wire on each other during the match, turning the match into an absolute bloodbath. The Funks did not receive permission from GCW management to use the barbed wire, and the brass at MSG were furious, threatening to sever the contract Marvin Niemiller had with them. Niemiller was able to smooth it over, but in doing so, was forced to fire Dory Funk Jr. & Terry Funk on the spot. The Funks had to be physically restrained from attacking Niemiller, extremely upset that he didn't stand up for them and sided with MSG. If that wasn't bad enough for the Funks, MSG has officially banned them from the arena for at least 5 years, and will revisit the ban when that 5 years is up.

4 Bobo Brazil's Career-Ending Injury

On March 13, 1971 in a match against Peter Maivia, Bobo Brazil suffered a broken back after landing awkwardly on a backdrop from Maivia. The break was so severe that fragments of his vertebrae pierced his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the waist down and ending his career. This was the first incident of a serious injury in a GCW ring that ended a career. Maivia took the incident very hard as Brazil and himself are legitimately good friends behind-the-scenes. No blame is placed on Maivia whatsoever, but the injury would haunt Maivia for the rest of his career. Maivia would take some time off following the incident, no-showing a scheduled match against Bruno Sammartino on April 26, 1971. After wrestling Sammartino on May 6, 1971, Maivia left GCW.

5 Johnny Valentine Suffers a Heart Attack

After his match with Pedro Morales on March 12, 1973, Johnny Valentine complained of not feeling well. On March 15, Valentine suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. The heart attack was said to be a result of stress, lifestyle, and Valentine's hard-hitting wrestling style that he has been competing in for years. Valentine was told to retire, but instead he plans on recovering for a few months and trying a comeback.

6 Bruno Sammartino Gets Double-Crossed

On May 2, 1973, in one of the most shocking moments in wrestling history, Bruno Sammartino was legitimately double-crossed out of the World Title by GCW promoter Marvin Niemiller. Rumor has it that Sammartino was unhappy with his cut of the money for recent shows, especially the March 12 show at Madison Square Garden, the 11th consecutive sellout of the Garden since Sammartino returned in 1970. Sammartino is being quoted as saying he was willing to walk if Niemiller wasn't willing to fork out more cash to keep him, a threat Niemiller took seriously as that is a similar scenario to what took place when Sammartino left GCW back in 1966. Neither man was willing to budge, and an agreement was made to part ways. However, Sammartino was still the reigning World champion. Sammartino did business back in 1966 when he dropped the title to Gene Kiniski before leaving, but Kiniski beat him up pretty badly in that match. Sammartino was willing to work two more shows - the May 2 show in Montreal and May 31 show in Sammartino's hometown of Pittsburgh (for a hefty pay out, of course). The initial plan was for Sammartino to defeat Pedro Morales in Montreal, and then vacate the title in Pittsburgh. Niemiller feared that since Pittsburgh was Sammartino's hometown, Bruno would back out of the deal, so Niemiller went behind his back and with the help of head referee Dick Kroll, decided to get the title off of Sammartino in Montreal with a fast count. It is still unclear if Pedro Morales had any prior knowledge of the plan, but he was noticeably upset after the show. Niemiller & Kroll both immediately left the arena before Sammartino could find them.

The fallout from this incident has been huge. For starters, Sammartino filed a lawsuit against Global Championship Wrestling, Marvin Niemiller, & Dick Kroll. Many of the wrestlers took Sammartino's side, upset with Niemiller's lack of professionalism. Niemiller said that anyone who no longer wanted to be a part of the company was free to leave immediately. Arnold Skaaland, Chief Jay Strongbow, & Wahoo McDaniel took him up on that offer right away and were granted full releases. Other performers, such as Dick the Bruiser, The Crusher, Gorilla Monsoon, & Bobby Heenan, all close to Sammartino, were convinced to stay. Verne Gagne of the AWA also canceled his working agreement with GCW, resulting in the departure from GCW of Greg Gagne & Jim Brunzell. Not only was there a talent fallout, but GCW was told they could no longer promote shows in Montreal. In addition, the Charlotte Coliseum has stated that they do not want GCW to promote in their building either.

The biggest blow probably came though when the board of directors and Giant Baba at Honshu Pro Wrestling in Japan severed their working agreement with GCW immediately. This severely hinders GCW in that they are no longer co-promoting the Grand Prix of Wrestling tournament, the rights of which now exclusively belong to HPW. Not only that, but it is a huge roadblock in GCW's global expansion and access to foreign talent, which always drew well for Niemiller in the States.

7 The Riot in Pittsburgh

In a very chaotic scene on May 31, 1973, a full-scale riot broke out at the Civic Auditorium in Pittsburgh, PA. The scene happened right before the main event which was scheduled to be Pedro Morales defending the World Title against Jerry Lawler. The tension was there immediately seeing how Pittsburgh is the hometown of Bruno Sammartino, and the fans were there in droves to support their cheated hero. Morales didn't help matters by taunting the fans. He took it too far and was hit in the head by a bottle thrown from the crowd, opening up a cut on his forehead that later required 4 stitches. Morales tried to get after the fan who threw the bottle, and the scene went downhill from there. The police had to be called to break up the horrible situation that would result in 8 arrests. Luckily, all of the injuries reported were minor.

GCW was informed that they are no longer allowed to promote in Pittsburgh, while Morales himself was given a life time ban from wrestling in the city, whether it be with Global Championship Wrestling or not. Marvin Niemiller did try to make amends by volunteering to pay for all of the medical bills of those who were injured in the incident.

8 Muhammad Ali

In 1975, a deal was struck with Muhammad Ali for him to make some appearances and ultimately wrestle a match in a GCW ring. The promotion was suggested by Ali's representatives, feeling it would help build more interest in the flashy boxer. The man chosen to wrestle Ali was Gorilla Monsoon, due to his longevity and his loyalty to Marvin Niemiller and the company. Ali was not well accepted in the GCW locker room, as many of the wrestlers felt that Ali had no respect whatsoever for the sport of professional wrestling. Monsoon himself was not happy, but he did his job and everything went off without a hitch. Rumors later surfaced that Monsoon was offered a large sum of money to shoot on Ali, but obviously nothing came of that.

9 Harley Race Leaves GCW

Harley Race had been reigning World champion for over two years when his contract expired after the February 6, 1977 show from the Boston Garden. Race, who felt he had been carrying the company on his shoulders since he came to GCW, felt he should be making more money than he was, especially considering how much Marvin Niemiller restricts the ability of his wrestlers to work for other promotions (a fact that makes him highly unpopular amongst a lot of the wrestling world). Race decided to play hardball and insisted that he get a huge raise or he would walk out of GCW with the World Title in tow. After the fallout from the Bruno Sammartino Montreal incident, Niemiller did some damage control and worked out a deal with Race. Race would come back on March 2, 1977 at Madison Square Garden to drop the belt to Jumbo Tsuruta. Race agreed, but it took a substantial amount of money to do so, as well as assurance that Race would be protected on his way out. Many wrestlers in GCW felt that Niemiller should have held his ground, but that was not the case. This messy situation led to even more morale problems in the locker room.

10 Harley Race Returns to GCW

Harley Race shocked the world by returning to GCW on February 2, 1978 in Baltimore, almost a year to the day since he held the company up for more money. The way Race left back in 1977 raised a lot of eyebrows and upset a lot of the wrestlers in the company who felt he disrespected them all by only agreeing to drop the World Title to Jumbo Tsuruta for a large sum of money and being promised to be protected on the way out. So when Race came back and was immediately thrust into the top spot in the company again, it alienated most of the locker room. Billy Graham almost quit the company on the spot, but instead was given a few months off (paid, no less - a move that hurt morale in the rest of the locker room even more). Many attribute his willingness to let a man who had essentially walked all over him in Harley Race to be what ultimately led to Marvin Niemiller having to sell Global Championship Wrestling.

11 Bruiser Brody Shoots on Bobby Duncum

Bruiser Brody is known for being difficult to deal with, and he showed that during March of 1978. On March 1, Brody no-showed a scheduled match at Madison Square Garden against Bobby Duncum. Brody was said to be upset with the discussed finish of Duncum winning clean with the Full Nelson Slam, so rather than do business, he simply didn't show up at all. When Marvin Niemiller threatened a lawsuit against Brody for breach of contract if he didn't show up for the March 31 show in Chicago, Brody agreed to do the job. Though he did lose the match to Duncum as scheduled, during the match he began to shoot on Duncum, hitting him with wild stiff punches. Duncum threw punches of his own to defend himself, and the match turned into sloppy chaos before the finish. Brody took the pin, but completely no sold Duncum's finish by getting up immediately after the bell and walking to the back. Niemiller was so furious over this lack of professionalism by Brody that he fired him on the spot.

No one knows for sure why Brody became so difficult to work with, but many speculate that he had many personal issues with Bobby Duncum behind the scenes.

12 Harley Race Leaves GCW… Again

Many were surprised that Harley Race was brought back to GCW, let alone given the World Title upon his return given the way that he had left originally. Those naysayers were proven right on February 12, 1979. After the year end show in December of 1978, Race gave his notice to GCW owner Marvin Niemiller, telling him he was heading to Japan where he could make more money. The problem was, Race was the World champion and wouldn't agree to drop it to anyone that Niemiller suggested. A deal was finally reached for Race to drop the title to Bob Backlund on February 12. Some time in between that deal being brokered and match time, Race decided he didn't like this plan and he showed it during the match, stiffing Backlund with punches and being overall difficult to work with. The highly anticipated match was an ugly affair thanks to Race, but Backlund was applauded later for his professionalism by not retaliating. Race lost the match as scheduled and Backlund was declared the new champion.

After the show, Marvin Niemiller was livid over what he felt was Race's unprofessional behavior. The two had a meeting on February 14 to officially end the contract. During the meeting, things became heated and a fight broke out. The fight was greatly attributed to Niemiller as he goaded Race into it and got punched in the jaw for his troubles. Niemiller went on a rampage and told everyone under contract that if they did not want to work for him, they could "get the f*ck out of here!" Many wrestlers took him up on this, including: Billy Graham, Jack Brisco, Jerry Brisco, Dory Funk Jr., Chief Jay Strongbow, Billy White Wolf, and Pat Patterson. This was a major blow to GCW and in the following months, business suffered as a result of the mass exodus. This incident was said to be the final straw for Niemiller, who wanted out of the wrestling business for quite some time, in his decision to sell the company to his son Mark in late 1979.

13 Abdullah the Butcher no-shows

Abdullah the Butcher was brought it for a 3-match deal in mid-1979. The three matches were to take place on August 6, August 29, and September 12. Abdullah wrestled the first two, but the week leading up to the final match, a Fork match with Jimmy Snuka in Boston, Abdullah said he would not show up to wrestle the match unless Marvin Niemiller doubled the amount he was going to pay him, claiming he could make considerably more money if he took a booking in Japan. Niemiller budged a little bit, offering to pay some more money, but it wasn't enough for Abdullah who didn't show up to Boston as he promised he would. Though Abdullah was largely lambasted for his unprofessional behavior, many blamed Niemiller for creating an atmosphere of weakness that makes many wrestlers think they can walk all over him. Marvin Niemiller's already questionable passion for the business was choked out a little more after this incident.

14 Pedro Morales gets fired

Mil Mascaras was brought back for a match on February 16, 1981 against Pedro Morales, the main event for the debut at the Civic Center in Springfield, MA. The real-life bad blood between Morales & Mascaras runs deep, but these two had worked together in 1973 without incident, so it was thought we'd have a similar result in this match. However, that would not be the case. The match was, to be polite, one of the worst main events in GCW history. It was clear from the opening bell that Morales & Mascaras couldn't work together and as a result, the crowd completely hated the match, and let them know about it. After the show, Morales & Mascaras got into an argument in the locker room about who was to blame for the terrible match. The argument escalating into physicality, and during the skirmish, GCW promoter Mark Niemiller got caught with a errant punch from Morales. Once security threw both Morales & Mascaras out of the building, he said that Morales was fired and that he would never work with Mascaras again.

15 Baron Von Raschke's return doesn't last long

Baron Von Raschke, who was a long time GCW star back in the 70s, made his return to GCW rings on October 3, 1981, helping Sgt. Slaughter defeat Bill Eadie and joining Paul Jones' Army in the process. Raschke was positioned to be a major player in this feud, but apparently for Raschke, this was not what he expected. When Raschke was approached about making his return after having a stint in the NWF, Raschke was under the impression that he would be coming back as a main event star, as he was when he left GCW originally. With Raschke's advanced age, and the fact that there was already a monster logjam in the main event scene as is, that was simply not the case. When Raschke found out about his positioning, he became very upset and confronted GCW owner Mark Niemiller about it. Niemiller tried to smooth things over, but Raschke accused Niemiller of not sticking to their original agreement. Raschke would ultimately quit GCW not long after the October 31, 1981 Boston Garden show, choosing to return to the AWA.

16 Nick Bockwinkel defects from AWA

On February 2, 1982, Nick Bockwinkel shocked the world by returning to GCW and calling out World champion Dusty Rhodes. This in itself isn't shocking, but it was shocking in that he was the reigning AWA World champion. AWA was one of the remaining three big companies left in the United States (along with GCW and NWF), and though there were no official working agreements in place, it was an unwritten rule that the top talent of each promotion was off limits. GCW promoter Mark Niemiller broke that rule when he lured Bockwinkel and his manager Bobby Heenan back to New York. The deal was said to have been hatched back on December 10, 1981 at the huge Los Angeles Supershow. Bockwinkel was defending the AWA World Title against Hulk Hogan, while Niemiller was there because the GCW World Title match was the main event of the show. The financial agreements were set, and the secret deal was signed. Niemiller, Bockwinkel, and Heenan all agreed to keep the jump on the hush so that it was a complete surprise when Bockwinkel & Heenan showed up in Uniondale. Bockwinkel and Heenan later revealed that they regretted making the move to GCW as they did, but felt that AWA was a dying brand and Niemiller's vision for wrestling was the future.

17 Terry Taylor quits

As the end of 1982 approached, Terry Taylor was becoming disillusioned with his position on the card. He thought that both he and his partner in the Golden Boys, B. Brian Blair, were deserving of a bigger push than they had been getting, and he tried to pull a couple of power plays on promoter Mark Niemiller. The first of which was after the year-end show on December 27, 1982. When Taylor found out he was losing cleanly to Rick Martel, he threatened to walk out of the building before the situation was smoothed over. The relationship between Taylor & Niemiller continued to be tumultuous until May 1, 1983, when Taylor refused to show up to the building again for a scheduled tag team match against the Von Erichs. After speaking with Blair, Taylor finally agreed to come in and work the event. After the show, he was told he was being fined $1,000 dollars and with a suspension pending. Taylor decided he wanted no part of that and quit on the spot.

18 Terry Funk parts ways with GCW

As part of the large talent exodus of 1983, the first major name to leave was GCW mainstay Terry Funk. Funk is known for being an eccentric businessman and a bit hard to work with, but since he had come back to GCW, he had more or less behaved and seemed to have a good relationship with promoter Mark Niemiller. That is, until Funk demanded the World Title. Funk felt that his impact in GCW as well as the time he had put into the company warranted him his shot at the top. Niemiller informed Funk that it was not in the cards right now as the leading choice in the booking committee for World champion was Ric Flair, who they felt due to having less miles on his body was the better long-term choice. Funk took offense to this, and put in his notice on the spot. The fact that he agreed to finish out his dates was considered a bit of a shock by experts, but rumors were spreading that Funk had secretly brokered a deal with NWF already and that he tried to use this against Niemiller to get a World Title reign.

19 Ric Flair almost leaves as the World champion

On September 16, 1983, Ric Flair won his first World Title. Many felt it was long overdue, including the Nature Boy himself. His contract was up in October of that year, and due to feeling like he had been misused for years prior to this, he let his pride get the better of him and tried a power play on promoter Mark Niemiller. Flair told Niemiller that he wanted a substantial raise, mentioning that he had been contacted by both the AWA and NWF with hefty offers. Niemiller didn't balk, saying that no one man is bigger than GCW as a whole, and refused Flair's requests. The Nature Boy threatened to take the GCW World Title with him to another promotion. Niemiller called his bluff, saying that he would just keep the $25,000 deposit that all champions are required to post when they win the title. Flair backed down, and agreed to drop the title to Stan Hansen on the 1983 year-end show before officially departing the company.

20 Bobby Duncum's retirement

On a show on June 5, 1984, Bobby Duncum challenged Stan Hansen for the World Title. During the match at about 3 and a half minutes in, Duncum went for a clothesline. When he planted his foot, his knee buckled and he collapsed to the mat in excruciating pain. When Duncum was able to get medical attention, his right knee was completely destroyed. Duncum was facing at least 6 months of rehab to even have a shot to get back in the ring. After a 17 year career, Duncum decided it was time to retire. He had been suffering from other ailments stemming from a back injury in December 1983, so he decided it was in his best interest to call it quits.

21 Junkyard Dog's no-show changes history?

Junkyard Dog, who will go down as one of the most popular wrestlers of all-time, by all reports was scheduled to win his first championship in GCW on March 17, 1985 in Minneapolis, MN. There was a lot of pressure going into the first Super Cade show, and Mark Niemiller's booking was changing considerably around this time to try to put on the best show possible. The feeling was that with Intercontinental champion Jimmy Snuka already being in the 6-man tag team main event, having an Intercontinental Title match elsewhere on the card would draw more interest. If you ask Tony Atlas, he would tell you that the plan all along was for JYD to be the man to beat Snuka in Minneapolis to set up a title match against Bad News Brown at Super Cade. JYD no-showed the tv tapings on March 5, many feel as a power play to get a better spot in the company. Niemiller wanted no part of that and fined JYD $5,000 and at the last minute, decided to put the Intercontinental Title on Tony Atlas. For years after the incident, the Dog insisted he was never scheduled to win the title anyway, but many feel that was just a way to cover up his embarrassment over the incident. This would also ultimately lead to Atlas becoming a highly unpopular figure backstage, as his ego became almost unbearable for a time, telling everyone he was on his way to winning the World Title and being "the man" in no time. There's still to this day no consensus on whether JYD was supposed to win the title that day in Minneapolis or not, but there is no doubt that it changed history.

22 The success of Super Cade

On March 31, 1985, GCW promoter Mark Niemiller went all in on a concept called Super Cade, a supershow with big time celebrity involvement and for the first time, broadcast on closed circuit television in theaters all across the country. Lacking the crossover stars that NWF had, Niemiller instead put his focus on getting celebrities locked up into the show to get media attention. The plan worked as Liberace, Billy Martin, the Rockettes, Muhammad Ali, and Cyndi Lauper all played a part on the show, getting GCW the mainstream coverage they were looking for. Looking back, had the event not been successful, GCW may have folded not long after this. Instead, the show was a big hit, and it helped Niemiller land a contract with MTV to broadcast special free tv supercards in a series called "Saturday Night Slam Masters."

23 Do not rib Stan Hansen

Many people were wondering about the strange match in Providence, RI on April 25, 1985 between Stan Hansen and Don Muraco. There had been no previous bad blood reported between these two, but you wouldn't know that from the match that took place. Hansen was in a surly mood, and began to shoot on Muraco. Now Muraco is a tough guy, but he had trouble defending himself against Hansen who is one of the toughest men this business has ever seen. Hansen was questioned about the incident in a shoot interview years later, and said the entire thing stemmed from a rib. Hansen was notoriously for taking naps backstage at shows, even occasionally up until right before his match on the card. On this night in Providence while he was napping, someone filled his bag with shaving cream. As far as ribs go, this was fairly harmless, but Hansen showed on this night that he doesn't have much of a sense of humor. Hansen assumed it was Muraco who messed with his stuff, and took it out on him in the ring. Hansen revealed that he didn't find out until months later that it wasn't Muraco, but in actuality it was the British Bulldogs, notorious ribbers, who did it. Hansen added that if it wasn't for the lack of main event talent that GCW had at the time and Mark Niemiller knowing how many offers Hansen had to wrestle in Japan, he would have been fired on the spot. Muraco held no ill will toward Hansen, being more embarrassed than anything.

24 Steve Lombardi makes a bad first impression

Though Steve Lombardi would go on to have a lengthy career, both as a wrestler and an important backstage figure, his career got off to a rough start. During a TV taping on May 7, 1985, many feared that Lombardi had no-showed. That was bad news, as not only was Lombardi scheduled to wrestle a match, he was to be involved in a big angle as the masked Kim Chee. Lombardi did show up, but not until the show had almost completed the recording of the first show. Lombardi was publicly berated by Mark Niemiller, who said that he should fire Lombardi on the spot. It took some calming down by Tony Garea and Jack Lanza for Lombardi to keep his job. He was, however, fined his pay from the night.

25 Magnum T.A. loses his job

Magnum T.A., the first Television champion, was expected to be a major player in GCW. He was embroiled in a hot feud with Tully Blanchard that was designed to elevate both men toward main event status. That all changed when Magnum no-showed the Saturday Night Main Event show on May 10 (airing May 11). Magnum had issues with no-shows in the past, but none as big as GCW's first major television special. Magnum T.A. couldn't be gotten a hold of until he showed up for the May 18 house show in Boston, where he was immediately fired by Mark Niemiller. Magnum didn't handle the news too well, but he left without incident. We're not 100% sure to this day what caused the no-shows, but the rumor has always been that they were drug-related. Magnum was stripped of the Television Title officially on June 7. The delay was a result of three weeks of GCW Superstars having already been taped on May 7, which included a TV Title defense for Magnum to air on June 1.

26 Jimmy Snuka shows up in no condition to perform

May 18, 1985 marked the end of the long GCW career of Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka. He was scheduled to face Jimmy Garvin at the Boston Garden, but Snuka didn't show up to the arena until around bell time. It was obvious to anyone backstage that Snuka was under the influence of some very serious stuff. His speech was slurred, he could barely stand, and he was becoming belligerent. There was some serious qualms about putting Snuka out there, but the match took place as scheduled. Snuka was originally scheduled to win the contest, but after the match started, Snuka was all over the place. The match, to be kind, was terrible. Garvin did what he could, but there was no saving this one. Snuka was supposed to win with the Superfly Splash, but he slipped off the top rope when he tried for it. Garvin improvised, hit the DDT, and ended the match. When Snuka got backstage, he was promptly fired and escorted out of the building by security. A sad ending to what had been an illustrious career for Snuka.

27 Bruiser Brody is released

Bruiser Brody's GCW run came to a close on July 27, 1985 after a backstage argument with GCW management. Brody has always had a well-deserved reputation for being difficult to work with, but Mark Niemiller and he had generally always found a way to do business. That changed when Niemiller asked Brody to put over Bad News Brown in Philadelphia. Niemiller wanted Brody to help build Brown up as a tough guy, but Brody dragged his heels to say the least. It took a lot of negotiations before Brody finally agreed to lose to Brown that night, agreeing to a finish where Brown would hit him with brass knuckles to get the duke. Brody was still a nightmare backstage after the match, almost getting into a physical altercation with Brown, another notorious tough guy in this sport, over how the match went down. It ultimately came down to Brody requesting his release. Niemiller was not happy with the money he'd be losing that Brody drew, but the relief was apparent that the Brody headache now belonged to Japan and Puerto Rico.

28 Ricky Steamboat leaves GCW

Add Ricky Steamboat to the list of GCW "what ifs." Steamboat had been a staple of GCW for years, becoming one of the most popular wrestlers in all of the world. However, Steamboat was becoming worn out by the pressures of wrestling in New York. Add in that he also had a young child at home that he didn't get to see as often as he had wanted, and the Dragon opted not to re-sign his contract when it expired in late August of 1985. Mark Niemiller had hoped to strike a deal with Steamboat for him to finish out his last scheduled match which was a steel cage tag team match with Dusty Rhodes taking on Sgt. Slaughter and Stan Hansen at Madison Square Garden on September 23, 1985, but Steamboat said his decision was final and he wanted to go home. This rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, from Niemiller to all of the men involved in the match. Dusty Rhodes was particularly outspoken about it, calling Steamboat soft and saying a lot of them had young kids at home they never got to see but they still came to work. This led to heat between Rhodes and Steamboat that lasted for years. On the flip side, Steamboat's spot in the main event was filled by largely unproven Jim Duggan. Many felt it was a breakout performance for Hacksaw that elevated his stock with the company.

29 The British Bulldogs and The Rougeau Brothers incident

After a very intense contract negotiation, the British Bulldogs ultimately decided not to re-sign with GCW after their contracts expired in November of 1985. Dynamite Kid was very outspoken about his position in the company, feeling that the company should be getting behind him (and as a result, Davey Boy Smith as well). Even after the decision was made for the Bulldogs to win the inaugural Grand 16 tournament, Dynamite still wanted a whole lot more and left anyway. Mark Niemiller was able to get the Bulldogs to agree to one last match to end their feud with the Rock 'N Roll Express, a cage match that took place on November 16. Dynamite, even with their departure imminent, still insisted that the Bulldogs go out on top, a move that everyone thought was ridiculous. A deal was finally struck and the match went down as planned, the Rock 'N Roll Express being victorious. Backstage after the match, Dynamite Kid was still throwing a fit and got into a heated argument with Niemiller for all to see. It escalated to the point where many thought Dynamite Kid was going to attack Niemiller, including the Rougeau Brothers who were in the area. Jacques and Raymond went over to calm Dynamite down. Dynamite took a swing at Raymond and caught him with a glancing blow. Dynamite wasn't so fortunate as Jacques planted him square in the jaw, reportedly knocking out two of Dynamite's teeth. Security escorted the Bulldogs out. Dynamite Kid was definitely considered the aggressor in the situation, and no punishment was levied on the Rougeaus. Davey Boy Smith was largely forgiven for the incident, being a victim of his cousin's belligerence.

30 Dusty Rhodes leaves GCW

In March of 1986, what many had thought was previously unthinkable happened - Dusty Rhodes left Global Championship Wrestling. Often considered to be the cornerstone of the company, Rhodes' contract expired and he decided not to renew it. Many thought the reasoning was because Rhodes' role at Super Cade II was not going to be as large as he feels it should have been, originally slated to wrestle Adrian Adonis. It was later revealed in an interview by Rhodes that the main reason he decided not to re-sign was based on two new arrivals coming to GCW - the return of Ricky Steamboat and the arrival of Hulk Hogan. Hogan's signing was polarizing for many wrestlers with the company because he was pushed fast as the number one guy in the company. But Steamboat particularly rubbed Rhodes the wrong way based off of the heat they had from a few months prior.

31 Rick Martel's unexpected departure

Rick Martel shocked the world when on June 17, 1986 in Tacoma, WA, despite having Ricky Steamboat down and ready to be put in the Boston Crab during their I Quit match, he grabbed the microphone, calmly said, "I quit," and walked to the back. Everyone in attendance was confused, and they had a right to be, as that wasn't the plan. It turns out what the fans in the Tacoma Dome witnessed was Rick Martel actually quitting the company. Martel had apparently been unhappy for a few months over the creative direction of GCW. The main point of contention was that Martel was promised the World Title and was originally slated to win the championship at Super Cade II, but after NWF folded and Mark Niemiller signed Hulk Hogan to a contract, those plans obviously changed. Niemiller decided Hogan would be the new face of GCW, much to the chagrin of Martel, who felt he had carried the promotion on his back during the lean times. Niemiller had several meetings with Martel during the month of June in hopes of negotiating a new contract extension, and there was a handshake deal in place as late as June 15. Martel apparently changed his mind though, and in his anger, decided to let Niemiller know in a public fashion. Niemiller was allegedly piping mad backstage, but Martel simply grabbed his bags and left the arena, ending his tenure with GCW.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License