December 27, 1975 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

Peter Maivia pinned Mr. Fuji after a backslide in 0:05:47.
Rating: ***

"High Chief" Peter Maivia was in action in our first match on our last show of 1975, taking on Mr. Fuji. Maivia beat Fuji's partner Toru Tanaka in Lowell 4 weeks ago, and Fuji was hoping to fair better than Tanaka did. That wouldn't be in the cards as Maivia showed great wrestling skill with a backslide, drove his feet, and got the 1-2-3.

Jimmy Snuka pinned Johnny Rodz after a flying headbutt in 0:00:32.
Rating: *

Jimmy "Snuka" Snuka made his official return to singles action tonight, and what an emphatic statement he made by pinning Johnny Rodz in only 32 seconds! Snuka has set the bar high for himself, and I for one am not going to bet against him.

Ivan Koloff and Nikolai Volkoff defeated Dean Ho and Tony Garea when I. Koloff pinned Ho with the Russian Sickle in 0:10:48.
Rating: **

We didn't know what to expect with our next match. Ivan Koloff is (begrudgingly) back under the management of Captain Lou Albano, and Albano put Koloff in a tag team against the man he has been battling for the last several months, Nikolai Volkoff. No one was sure how that team could coexist. In addition, they had a team filled with variables to go against as they took on Tony Garea & his brand new partner, the debuting Dean Ho. Ho & Garea fired on all cylinders and they appear to be a team that will have to be taken seriously in the future. Koloff & Volkoff, however, weren't on the same page at all. If it wasn't for the competitive pride of Koloff, they would have lost this match. The Russian Bear surely doesn't want to help Albano make any money, but he is going to try to win at all costs no matter what. Koloff did just that, hitting Ho with the Russian Sickle and getting the 3 count. Despite winning, Albano reprimanded Koloff after the match, telling him to let Volkoff finish the match off next time. This relationship cannot possibly end well.

Don Muraco pinned Billy Robinson with the Flying Crossbody in 0:14:30.
Rating: *** 1/2

This match has to be the biggest win in Don Muraco's career. Muraco took on his former mentor, Billy Robinson, and managed to get the pinfall victory after the Flying Crossbody. Sure, he had a big handful of tights to do it, but in the record books, it will be forever emblazened as a win for the young Muraco. Robinson was less than happy about this turn of events, leaving the ring quite disappointed in himself.

Ernie Ladd, Gorilla Monsoon and Muhammad Ali defeated The Heenan Family (Blackjack Lanza, Blackjack Mulligan and Killer Kowalski) when Ernie Ladd defeated Kowalski by disqualification in 0:16:12.
Rating: * 1/2
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Ernie Ladd.]

We were all surprised to see that boxing great MUHAMMAD ALI saved his former enemy Gorilla Monsoon and agreed to team with him and Ernie Ladd to take on the Heenan Family, but what a partner he turned out to be! Monsoon & Ali have developed a friendship over the course of their battles, and that didn't bode well for the Heenan Family. The match was back and forth throughout, but Killer Kowalski got frustrated and ended up getting DQ'ed when he wouldn't release a chokehold on Ladd. A pier six brawl ensued between the 6 men that resulted in Monsoon, Ladd, & Ali cleaning house. The chaos officially ended when Monsoon got a hold of Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, who was then knocked clean out by a hard punch from Muhammad Ali, a moment that will surely live on for years to come.

Larry Zbyszko and Dino Bravo defeated The Graham Brothers (Billy Graham and Luke Graham) when Bravo pinned L. Graham with the Side Suplex in 0:19:05.
Rating: **
(Larry Zbyszko and Dino Bravo won the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

In one of the biggest upsets in GCW history, we have brand new World Tag Team champions! The Graham Brothers have looked nearly unstoppable in the tag team division in 1975, and on paper, this should have been just another title defense. They had the size advantage, the strength advantage, and the experience advantage over young Larry Zbyszko & Dino Bravo. But one place where they didn't have the advantage was in the heart department. Zbyszko & Bravo took a hell of a beating - one they won't soon recover from. Luke & Billy Graham had this match firmly in their favor and made the mistake of toying with their overmatched foes, neglecting to put them away and rather choosing to dish out more punishment. Mistake. It all backfired when Superstar Billy was holding Zbyszko and Crazy Luke went for the Thumb to the Throat, but Zbyszko wiggled away and Luke hit his own brother! Zbyszko made the hot tag, and Bravo hit the stunned Luke with the Side Suplex, getting the quick 3 count and just like that, we had new tag team champions! The fans in MSG almost blew the roof off the arena as the new champions were presented with the titles. No one looked as shocked as Zbyszko & Bravo who could hardly believed what they pulled off. Congrats to the new champions!

Bobby Duncum pinned Dory Funk Jr. with the Full Nelson Slam in 0:10:54.
Rating: *** 3/4
(Bobby Duncum won the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Title changes must have been in the air, because in our second straight match we had a brand new champion! The calculated risk that Bobby Duncum took a year ago to break ties with Bobby Heenan has paid off as he won his first title, capturing the Intercontinental Title from Dory Funk Jr. Funk brought Don Muraco down to ringside with him, hoping his presence would be a distraction. Muraco tripped Duncum up at one point, but instead of being disqualified, Muraco was ejected from ringside! This was not what Funk expected, and Duncum carried this momentum into hitting the Full Nelson Slam and walking out of New York City the brand new IC champion.

Dusty Rhodes and Pedro Morales defeated The Dirtbags (Dick Murdoch and Stan Hansen) when Morales defeated Hansen when Hansen passed out in the Boston Crab in 0:21:05.
Rating: *** 1/4

"Dirty" Dick Murdoch has a new partner in crime, and he is just as nasty as he is. Stan Hansen is big, he is mean, and he loves to fight. Together they're referring to themselves as The Dirtbags, and there couldn't be a more fitting name. Two men who know for sure how big of dirtbags they really are would be Dusty Rhodes & Pedro Morales. Rhodes & Morales have had their own battles, but they've fought through them and developed a friendship out of the whole ordeal, and they wanted to shut Murdoch & Hansen up on the year end show. Easier said than done, and a fierce brawl raged on between these two teams. Based on sheer brutality, this match could have went either way, but tonight belonged to Rhodes & Morales as Morales got Hansen to pass out in the Boston Crab and taker the win. Though Rhodes & Morales stood tall tonight, there is too much bad blood involved for this one to be over.

Match with Special Referee Lou Thesz:
Harley Race pinned Jack Brisco with the Piledriver in 0:21:34.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Harley Race retained the GCW World Title.)

Finally, the match we all had been waiting for. Harley Race vs. Jack Brisco for the World Title, with special guest referee, wrestling legend and former World champion Lou Thesz. Race fluked his way into a win in Lowell, but he wouldn't have that luxury with Thesz as the ref. If Race was going to retain the title, he was going to do so on his own merits. The frustrating thing about Race is though he will cut corners often, he doesn't have to - he does so simply because he can. Brisco planned to take advantage of the strict enforcing of the rules because he believes that he can out wrestle anyone on the planet. I would normally not bet against Brisco, but Race stepped up his game and showed why he is the undefeated World champion. Race fought off Brisco's attempts at the Figure-Four Leglock, frustrating Brisco into making a mistake that let him hit the Piledriver to retain the title.

After the match, Race looked to send a message to Brisco, picking him up and setting up for a second Piledriver, but Thesz intervened and pulled Race away, bringing him to the mat with a waistlock takedown. Race was furious, but when Thesz readied himself to fight, Race backed away. Thesz made the mistake of turning his back on Race though, who blindsided Thesz as he checked on the fallen Brisco! Race stomped a mudhole in Thesz, busting him wide open before hitting him with not one, not two, but THREE Piledrivers before officials could stop the cowardly ambush. Thesz was taken away on a stretcher, which is not the way we would have wanted to end our biggest show of the year.

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

1976 will begin in Chicago, Illinois at the Chicago Stadium on January 29, with these matches signed and ready to deliver:

INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Bobby Duncum (c) vs. Dory Funk Jr.
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - Larry Zbyszko/Dino Bravo (c) vs. The Graham Brothers
Dusty Rhodes vs. Dick Murdoch
Pedro Morales vs. Stan Hansen

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