December 24, 1978 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

Dino Bravo defeated Jimmy Golden by countout in 0:08:33.
Rating: 3/4*

Merry Christmas, GCW fans! Our gift to you is another fantastic night of the best wrestling action in the world! A new superstar got an early Christmas gift as Jimmy Golden made his debut by taking on Dino Bravo. Golden has been wrestling for almost 9 years and proved to be a tough opponent for Bravo, but the strength of Bravo proved to be more than Golden wanted to deal with as he walked out for the countout.

The Gunslingers (Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk) defeated Chief Jay Strongbow and Billy White Wolf when T. Funk defeated White Wolf when White Wolf passed out in the Spinning Toe Hold in 0:11:20.
Rating: *** 1/2

Since losing the World Tag Team Titles in September, the Funks haven't exactly been getting along. That doesn't surprise a lot of people as Dory Jr. & Terry have one of the strangest brother dynamics I have ever seen (remember them using barbed wire on each other back in 1970?). It appeared to just be a slight tiff though (losing will do that to anyone) as they got back on the winning path with a tough victory over Chief Jay Strongbow & Billy White Wolf. The Gunslingers have not reached the success they had hoped when they founded, but they still have the Intercontinental Title in their camp. Plus, with the Funks back on the same page, I wouldn't put it past them to be challenging for the tag titles again in the future.

Johnny Rodz pinned Blackjack Mulligan after a small package in 0:05:03.
Rating: **

This may go down as one of the biggest upsets in GCW history! With the monumental losing streak that the Blackjacks have been on and their thus far unsuccessful search for a new manager, they know that a win, ANY win, would be extremely important. Their big plan tonight was to have Blackjack Mulligan take on Johnny Rodz. Now Rodz is always game in the ring, but to say that he hasn't experienced much success would be an understatement. In fact, in the 5 years that Rodz has been in GCW, he has exactly one win - and that was by disqualification. Mulligan was confident that he would pick up the win and get the Blackjacks back on the path to success. It wouldn't turn out quite that way though. Mulligan dominated the match as was to be expected, but he got too cocky when he hit a powerslam but pulled Rodz' shoulders off the mat when he could have had the 3 count. Mulligan was super cocky as he lifted Rodz back to his feet and signaled for the Blackjack Claw, but Rodz caught him in a small package out of nowhere and got a flash 3 count! The crowd couldn't believe it, but nobody was more stunned than the Blackjacks were. Johnny Rodz had just got his first pinfall victory in 5 years, and it was on Mulligan! How is THAT for an unpredictable act? Rodz didn't get much time to celebrate before Lanza blasted him with a clothesline to the back of the head. The Blackjacks took liberties with Rodz as they viciously beat him to the point that he had to be taken to a local medical facility. As a result of this attack, the Blackjacks have been suspended indefinitely by President Hisashi Shinma.

Pat Patterson pinned Ric Flair with the Atomic Drop in 0:16:08.
Rating: ***

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair has stolen multiple victories over Pat Patterson, and Patterson has decided he is sick of it. If Flair wanted to play dirty, Patterson was going to show that he could be even dirtier. With the no disqualification rules, these two certainly didn't pull any punches. Unlike many no DQ matches of the past, this one didn't rely on weapons but more on highly aggressive wrestling. Holds weren't broken in the corner, a lot of closed-fist punches, choking, things of that ilk. It was very strong style, and the fans ate it up. About halfway through the match, you could tell that Flair was maybe thinking that he bit off more than he could chew, because Patterson was all over him like white on rice. This forced Flair to kick up his game a lot, showing a toughness we hadn't seen from him yet by taking what Patterson was giving him and dishing it right back. In the end though, Patterson showed his merit by getting the win with his Atomic Drop in a bloody match.

Larry Zbyszko pinned Jerry Brisco with the Shoulderbreaker in 0:07:46.
Rating: *** 3/4

Larry Zbyszko keeps getting better and better, and unfortunately as he gets better in the ring, he gets even cockier and cockier. Zbyszko isn't just good - he KNOWS he's good. Zbyszko had a match against Jerry Brisco tonight, and this was a very even matchup. Brisco is a great mat technician and he used that to wear down Zbyszko, but Zbyszko showed he can do it on the mat as well. It wasn't easy, but Zbyszko got the Shoulderbreaker and that was that. Zbyszko ends 1978 with a win.

Jimmy Snuka defeated Stan Hansen by disqualification in 0:12:56.
Rating: ** 1/2
(Stan Hansen retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)
[Paul Orndorff interfered against Jimmy Snuka.]

Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka has worked hard to get back to the point he was before a brutal attack sent him away for a few months. He earned himself this title shot with a win over his rival Larry Zbyszko, getting his biggest opportunity to win championship gold against Intercontinental champion Stan Hansen. Hansen had no desire to leave 1978 without championship gold, using his high-powered power offense to keep Snuka out of the skies. But there was something in the air tonight, a feeling that we were finally going to see Snuka climb the mountain and put gold around his waist. He had his chance when Hansen missed a kneedrop and the Superfly went up top in preparation for the Superfly Splash. He never got the chance though as a masked man ran out of the crowd and shoved Snuka off the top rope! Snuka had been screwed out of the title again! This masked man picked an exhausted Snuka up and dropped him with a piledriver. The man then took off his mask to reveal PAUL ORNDORFF. Was Orndorff the man who originally attacked Snuka? But he's never been in GCW before - what issue could he possibly have with the Superfly?

Bob Backlund pinned Ken Patera after a fisherman suplex in 0:13:39.
Rating: ** 3/4

Ken Patera has made a huge impact since making his debut, going right after one of the top dogs in GCW, Bob Backlund. Patera injured Backlund's neck with his Swinging Full Nelson, but Backlund came back with a vengeance to attack Patera in Atlantic City. During this match, we saw something from Backlund that we hadn't seen consistently up to this point - a meanstreak. Backlund wasn't just trying to win a match, but he was also trying to hurt Patera as well. Patera is exceptionally strong though, having competed in the Olympics and the World's Strongest Man competition, so he used that elite strength to hit big moves on Backlund. Backlund refused to stay down though, constantly finding a way to fire back on Patera. Patera thought he had the match won as he went for the Swinging Full Nelson, but he couldn't get his hands locked as Backlund fought out of it and pushed him back into the turnbuckle. Backlund followed with a fisherman suplex and got the 1-2-3 in a close match. Patera pummeled Backlund after the match, again putting him in the Swinging Full Nelson before officials broke it up. This one isn't over by a long shot.

Gorilla Monsoon vows to win gold in 1979.

Sixteen year veteran Gorilla Monsoon came out for an interview to a nice ovation from the New York faithful. Monsoon thanked the crowd for their support. He said that he has been with GCW since day one and it has been the best 16 years of his life, but he knows that his time is coming short. He said that he is slowing down, but he has not slowed down completely. He knows he has one more good run left in him, and he has promised that by the end of 1979, he will once again be holding gold in Global Championship Wrestling.

Two-out-of-three-Falls Match:
Jumbo Tsuruta beat Pedro Morales 2 falls to 1:
x Tsuruta beat Morales via a powerslam in 0:06:28
x Morales beat Tsuruta via a crucifix in 0:15:09
x Tsuruta beat Morales via a German suplex in 0:28:40
Rating: *** 3/4

Jumbo Tsuruta & Pedro Morales couldn't get their friendly rivalry settled last month in Atlantic City when the match ended in a double pin, so the two went at it one more time in a 2 out of 3 falls match. Two former World champions involved in this one, and you would have to believe that whoever won would be in line for another shot at the World Title. There wasn't a lot of feeling each other out like we've seen in the past as these two are very familiar with each other by now. The match went full throttle from the word go, which didn't make it a surprise that Jumbo picked up a fall relatively quickly, hitting a powerslam in the 7th minute to get a 3 count. Jumbo continued to put the pressure on after that in an attempt to get this match finished in quick fashion, but Morales had enough ring savvy to fight back and pick up the second fall, ducking a Jumbo lariat and catching him in a crucifix. From this point, all bets were off and no one had a clue who would walk away with the win. All we knew is that the match got more and more heated with both Jumbo & Morales knowing how important this victory would be. Morales thought he had it when he got Jumbo in the Boston Crab, but Tsuruta narrowly escaped by reaching the ropes. Morales had thought he won and argued with referee Dick Kroll, which ended up being a huge mistake as this gave Jumbo time to recover. Jumbo mounted a comeback which led to a big German suplex for the third fall and a huge win as the crowd went crazy.

After the match, Morales was extremely upset, presumably with himself for losing his focus and thus the match. It looked like Jumbo & he might come to blows, but Morales showed a lot of class by offering Jumbo a handshake and raising his hand in victory. A classy act by a classy guy, and a great match between two of the best in the world.

The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) and The Midnight Rider defeated Great Kabuki, Don Muraco and Ivan Koloff when Rider defeated Kabuki by disqualification in 0:13:17.
Rating: **

Freddie Blassie was beside himself during this 6-man tag semi-main event pitting his Great Kabuki, Don Muraco, & Ivan Koloff against Lou Albano's trio of the World Tag Team champions The Wild Samoans & The Midnight Rider. Blassie has filed an official protest against Captain Lou Albano and The Midnight Rider, making the accusation that the Rider is Dusty Rhodes, who lost a Loser-Leaves-Town match to Ivan Koloff a few months ago. So far, no decision has been made. However, this match was still going to take place, and what a match it was. Blassie didn't want a victory for his team tonight - he wanted to injure The Midnight Rider. He was later quoted as saying, "If those pencil neck geeks in the office won't get rid of The Midnight Rider, I'll do it myself!" His way of doing that was instructing Kabuki to spew green mist into the Rider's eyes while Muraco & Koloff had the Samoans tied up on the outside. This was in clear view of referee Tommy Young who threw the match out on a DQ, but Rider was in a considerable amount of pain. Blassie promised that if he doesn't admit he is Rhodes and leave GCW gracefully, The Midnight Rider can expect a lot more of this.

Harley Race pinned Billy Graham with the Piledriver in 0:16:40.
Rating: ***
(Harley Race retained the GCW World Title.)

The final match of 1978 was a big one with Harley Race defending the World Title against the former champion "Superstar" Billy Graham. Race was hoping that Graham would be injured coming into the match after his cowardly attack on the Superstar after the arm wrestling match in Atlantic City, but he wasn't that fortunate as Graham was not only at 100%, but he was pissed off to boot. Race knew he was the better technician of the two, something even Graham would admit. So Race's strategy was to keep his distance and pick his spots, because if Graham got a hold of him, this one could have been over in a hurry. In the opening minutes, this plan was working to perfection. Race was hitting and running, getting Graham locked in holds, working over the Superstar's left arm to try to take away his best weapon, the Bearhug. Graham fought back with his right arm, but his flurries of offense were fleeting. Still, Graham's is so powerful that even if he wasn't on the offensive for long stretches of time, he did a lot of damage. Race couldn't keep Graham down for a 3 count and it was getting into his head as he was getting nervous that he might not be able to beat Graham. He made an ill advised trip to the top rope, but he came up empty when he went for his patented diving headbutt. Graham mounted a comeback and had Race reeling, setting him up to lock on the Bearhug when RODDY PIPER ran down to ringside. Graham knocked Piper off the apron to the floor while Race had referee Dick Kroll tied up. Graham went to the ropes to finish Piper off, but Piper threw a fireball into his face! Graham stumbled back into the ring clutching his face as the crowd sat in shock. Race hit Graham with the Piledriver to finish it off for good and retain the World Title. 1978 ended on a sour note as the medical staff tended to Billy Graham while Race and Piper celebrated on their way to the locker room.

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

With 1978 in the books, we'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! GCW will be back on January 15 to start the new year, the last year of the 70s! Albany, NY will host our first event, and what a lineup we have in store!

MAIN EVENT - BATTLE ROYAL (Winner receives World Title shot on 2/12/79 in Boston)
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Wild Samoans (c) vs. Don Muraco/Great Kabuki
Billy Graham vs. Roddy Piper

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