December 25, 1973 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

The Cripplers (Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens) defeated Mr. Wrestling I and Mr. Wrestling II when R. Stevens pinned Wrestling II with the Bombs Away Kneedrop in 0:16:42.
Rating: *** 1/4
(The Cripplers retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Mr. Wrestling I.]
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Mr. Wrestling II.]

The year end show at MSG is always one of the most monumental nights of the year, and tonight would be no different. Some huge matches, including 3 big titles on the line. Our first match was one of those title matches with The Cripplers defending the World Tag Team Titles against the top contenders, Mr. Wrestling I & Mr. Wrestling II. If you had to go on just technical ability, you'd be hard pressed to find two finer teams than these two. As they have done before, Mr. Wrestling I & II tried to do the double switch, but referee Terry Taranova made a good call when he caught them and didn't allow it to happen. While I & II argued the call, Bockwinkel clipped II's knee, which allowed Ray Stevens to come off the top with the Bombs Away Kneedrop for a successful title defense.

Carlos Colon made Johnny Rodz submit to the Figure-Four Leglock in 0:05:33.
Rating: ** 1/4

Johnny Rodz debuted last month in a losing effort, but he was looking to turn that around in his Madison Square Garden debut. To do so, he was going to need to use his best effort as he took on Carlos Colon. Colon spent his 1973 almost capturing the World Title, so it was going to be a tough row to hoe for Rodz. Rodz got in some early offense, but it didn't take Colon too long to recover and put on the Figure-Four Leglock to get the duke.

Baron Mikel Scicluna pinned Lou Albano with the Fistdrop in 0:06:58.
Rating: * 3/4

Lou Albano was looking to humble and humiliate his former charge Baron Mikel Scicluna, going as far as to challenge him to a match. I'm not sure if Albano had a plan that didn't pan out, or if in his demented mind he thought he actually had a chance, but Scicluna kicked the crap out Albano en route to getting a clean victory. This would be only the first in a line of bad news for Captain Lou on this night.

Mr. Fuji and Toru Tanaka defeated Dominic DeNucci and Tony Garea when Tanaka defeated DeNucci when DeNucci passed out in a nerve hold in 0:14:50.
Rating: ** 3/4

Mr. Fuji & Professor Toru Tanaka fell short of becoming the top contenders for the World Tag Team Titles, but they have promised through an interpreter that in 1974, they will become the World Tag Team champions again. They took the first step in that direction with a win over Dominic DeNucci & Tony Garea to close out 1973 on a positive note.

Luke Graham buys Jerry Lawler's US Title shot.

Billy Graham was scheduled to defend the United States Title against Jerry "The King" Lawler, but before Billy Graham could be introduced, LUKE GRAHAM came out, and he had a bag with him. Luke announced that Lawler and himself had made a deal, and that using the $5,000 he won in last months battle royal, Luke Graham had purchased Lawler's title shot! Graham handed Lawler the bag, the two shook hands, and it looks like we have a different match than we expected!

Luke Graham pinned Billy Graham with the Thumb to the Throat in 0:14:57.
Rating: **
(Luke Graham won the GCW United States Title.)
[The Grand Wizard interfered against Luke Graham.]

Billy Graham was not at all prepared to wrestle against his brother Luke, but that's exactly what he had to do in this unexpected match. The Grand Wizard couldn't believe that this match was even allowed to take place, but it took place, and Luke took full advantage of it. Billy couldn't overcome the surprise of this match, and in the end ate the thumb to the Throat. Luke Graham is now a 3-time United States champion! Billy Graham & The Grand Wizard have vowed to take Luke Graham & GCW to court if this situation is not straightened out, but as of now, Luke is the reigning champion.

Baron Von Raschke made Blackjack Lanza submit to the Claw in 0:14:08.
Rating: *** 1/4

Baron Von Raschke and Blackjack Lanza have been feuding and attacking each other for the past few months, all based on who has the best Claw in wrestling. It would be decided definitively here as the only way this match could end is with the Claw. The match was as brutal as we expected with both men make multiple attempts to put on the Claw throughout the match. Lanza even got the move applied at one point, but after a minute or so in the hold, Raschke managed to break his way out. This proved to frustrate Lanza, who took the turnbuckle pad off the top turnbuckle, looking to inflict some serious damage. It backfired though as it would be Raschke sending Lanza's head into the exposed steel, busting him wide open. Raschke put on the Claw after, and with the amount of blood Lanza was losing, he had to submit. Lanza is no longer undefeated thanks to a Herculian effort by Baron Von Raschke.

Bobby Duncum pinned Johnny Valentine with the Full Nelson Slam in 0:02:07.
Rating: **

Blackjack Lanza may not be undefeated anymore, but another one of Bobby Heenan's charges still is, that being Bobby Duncum. Duncum was to have that challenged though when he took on veteran Johnny Valentine. Valentine exerted a lot of himself in Baltimore in a losing effort to Pedro Morales in a cage match, and that wear and tear showed as Duncum put Valentine away in just over two minutes. Valentine has decided that he will be leaving GCW to recover his body and wrestle a little closer to home. We wish Valentine all the best in the future.

Bobo Brazil is presented with an award, but Bobby Heenan interrupts.

This was supposed to be a very emotional moment in GCW history, as former World champion BOBO BRAZIL was making his first appearance in a wrestling ring since his career was tragically ended due to a severe back injury in March of 1971. Brazil was there with his son, Bobo Brazil Jr., to be presented with a special plaque to thank him for his service and contributions not only to Global Championship Wrestling, but to the entire world of wrestling. The ceremony was quite touching - that is, until BOBBY HEENAN came down to interrupt. Heenan was in rare form here, running Brazil down about being washed up and that no one cared about him anymore. Heenan kept pushing the line more and more until he finally called Brazil a cripple. This set Bobo Brazil Jr. off, who got in Heenan's face and grabbed him by the collar, demanding that he apologize. Unfortunately, this left Brazil Jr. wide open to an attack from behind by THE CRIPPLERS, who put the boots to the young kid. It was a sickening display, especially considering that Brazil Jr. is just a kid and not a wrestler. Bobo Brazil Sr. had to sit in horror and watch his son get beaten to a bloody pulp, and he could do nothing about it. Thankfully, someone had finally seen enough, and that man was shockingly ERNIE LADD. Ladd & Brazil never got along during their careers, but you can tell that there was a respect there. Ladd cleared the ring of The Cripplers and went to check on Brazil Jr. When he did so, Nick Bockwinkel got back in the ring, took Brazil's award plaque, and smashed it over the back of the head of Ladd, leaving him unconscious. This has to go down as one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen in my life.

Texas Death Match:
Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser) defeated The Texas Outlaws (Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch) when Crusher pinned Dusty Rhodes with the Bolo Punch in 0:24:07.
Rating: ** 3/4

The Texas Outlaws attacked the top dogs of the tag team world when they assaulted Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher. Tonight they would get to prove if they were tough enough to eat at the big dog's table as the two teams squared off in a Texas Death match. Talk about a massacre of a match. I don't know how to explain this match other than it was pure carnage and very bloody. Dusty Rhodes & Dick Murdoch showed a lot of gumption, finding ways to get back to their feet after every pinfall, and even got a few falls of their own. In the end though, Bruiser & Crusher showed that they're not ready to give up their spot as the top dogs, winning what was a brutal and intense match.

Ivan Koloff pinned Pedro Morales with the Russian Sickle in 0:21:13.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Ivan Koloff won the GCW World Title.)

All day prior to this match, Captain Lou Albano did his best to make our main event not happen. World champion Pedro Morales was scheduled to defend against #1 contender Ivan Koloff, both men being under the management of Albano. He couldn't get either man to back down, so going into the match, he knew he was going to have to make a choice. Albano made it clear early that his choice, reluctantly, was with the champion Morales. This turned out to be a huge mistake, as all this did was light a fire under the Russian Bear. It was a good match, and Morales took Koloff further than anyone else had before. That's not a surprise - you don't become a World champion for no reason. However, Morales let his pride get in the way as he was trying everything he could to submit Koloff to the Boston Crab. I just can't see anyone ever making Koloff submit, and it didn't happen here. Morales didn't stray from his game plan at all though, and this allowed Koloff to make his comeback, hit the Russian Sickle, and become the brand new World Heavyweight champion. What a way to cap off an amazing first year in GCW for Ivan Koloff.

After the match, Albano tried to buddy up with Koloff, trying to convince him that he knew he could do it all along. Koloff saw through it though and took Albano's head off with the Russian Sickle to a thunderous ovation! It'll be quite some time before we see Captain Lou again.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

The wrestling world was changed forever tonight as we had two brand new champions! What will 1974 bring us? Our first stop will be in Detroit on January 17!

WORLD TITLE REMATCH - Ivan Koloff (c) vs. Pedro Morales
Jerry Lawler vs. Billy Graham
Plus, we will find out the condition of Bobo Brazil Jr. after the cowardly attack by The Cripplers tonight.

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