December 28, 1977 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

A new president of GCW is introduced, and an old face returns.

The year-end show kicked off with a huge announcement, that Global Championship Wrestling has a reigning president! The man who will lead GCW and make important decisions when necessary is HISASHI SHINMA. Shinma came out and said that he hopes to lead GCW to new heights in 1978 and beyond. Shinma's speech got interrupted when "CLASSY" FREDDIE BLASSIE made his return to GCW! Blassie announced that he is retired, but he is back to be the best manager that wrestling has ever seen. Blassie added that it's only a matter of time before he is running GCW, and to show he is serious, he introduced his first client, THE GREAT KABUKI!

Great Kabuki pinned Mike Graham after a power bomb in 0:04:39.
Rating: ** 1/4

If this is what "Classy" Freddie Blassie has in mind for his return to GCW, he may not be too crazy. He unexpectedly returned to the promotion tonight as a manager, and he unveiled his first protege', Great Kabuki from Japan. We know little about him, but we did learn that the mysterious man from the Orient is not a man to mess with, defeating Mike Graham in highly impressive fashion with a power bomb. Blassie looked like a proud father as the first step of his managerial journey was a successful one. 1978 is going to be an interesting year.

Larry Zbyszko defeated Dino Bravo by disqualification in 0:06:01.
Rating: * 3/4

We still don't know why Larry Zbyszko returned to GCW to cost Dominic DeNucci and his former best friend Dino Bravo the World Tag Team Titles, but fact is that he did, and Bravo is pissed off about it! Bravo could hardly hold himself back when he saw his former friend standing across the ring from him, and once the bell rang, it wasn't if he would get disqualified, but when. Zbyszko is a cerebral wrestler, but he didn't get a chance to use those smarts because Bravo pounded on him before getting DQ'ed when he wouldn't release a choke. Zbyszko finally got some distance between himself and Bravo, but the look on Bravo's face showed that this one is far from over.

Gorilla Monsoon made Johnny Rodz submit to a side headlock in 0:04:45.
Rating: **

A new level of embarrassment for Johnny Rodz. He had the unenviable task of wrestling Gorilla Monsoon, and his unpredictable act this time was to wear a fat suit. Not a good idea to mock Monsoon, Johnny. Monsoon saw this fat suit and then saw red, beating Rodz from pillar to post before making Rodz submit to a side headlock. That's right; Monsoon beat Rodz so badly that Rodz had to submit to a headlock! Well, maybe 1978 will be better?

Dusty Rhodes and Ivan Koloff defeated Bruiser Brody and Nikolai Volkoff when Dusty Rhodes pinned Volkoff with the Bionic Elbowdrop in 0:14:23.
Rating: * 3/4
[Lou Albano interfered against Dusty Rhodes.]

Ivan Koloff can now breathe a sigh of relief. Definitively, his issue with Captain Lou Albano is a thing of the past, and he can thank Dusty Rhodes for helping him get to this moment. In the match to settle this once and for all, Koloff & Rhodes defeated Bruiser Brody & Nikolai Volkoff. It was a vicious battle, but in the end, the pure emotion of Koloff & Rhodes was too much for Albano's men to overcome with Rhodes pinning Volkoff with the Bionic Elbowdrop. Emotion also overcome Albano, who jumped in the ring and hit Koloff from behind - a big mistake if there ever was one. The shot didn't even phase Koloff, who turned around and nearly took Albano's head off with the Russian Sickle! Albano had to be stretchered out of the ring. I don't think we are going to see Lou Albano in GCW for a long, long time.

Jumbo Tsuruta pinned Dory Funk Jr. after an inside cradle in 0:13:07.
Rating: **** 1/4

The stress of being unable to win the big one has finally gotten to Dory Funk Jr. He took on Jumbo Tsuruta, a man he is quite familiar with, in a match which the winner could be in line for a World Title shot while the loser would have to climb back up the ladder. You could tell Funk was wrestling desperate. He didn't want to win this match, he HAD to win this match. If there's one thing you don't want to do in a GCW ring, it's wrestle desperate because the wrestlers here are just too good - they will take advantage every time. Funk got ahead of himself and Tsuruta caught him in an inside cradle for a flash pin. Once again, Dory Funk Jr. had to watch as another man had his hand raised. After the match, Jumbo offered Funk a handshake - after all, with the battles they've had, Jumbo has grown to respect Funk. Funk took the handshake, but he did so begrudgingly. When Jumbo turned to leave, Funk nailed Jumbo from behind with a shot to the groin! The fans in New York mercilessly booed Funk as he left Jumbo lying in the ring. What a poor loser. Dory Funk has finally snapped.

Bobby Duncum and Pat Patterson defeated Tim Woods and Mr. Wrestling II when Duncum pinned Wrestling II with the Full Nelson Slam in 0:07:42.
Rating: *** 1/4

Bobby Duncum needed a partner in his corner against Tim Woods & Mr. Wrestling II, and he picked a great one in Pat Patterson. Without having the unfair 2-on-1 advantage, Woods & Wrestling II had no answer for Duncum. Patterson's contributions to the team were more than enough to offset that and allow Duncum to drill Wrestling II with the Full Nelson Slam for the victory. If you ask me, 1978 is going to be a huge year for Bobby Duncum. If I had to put money on it, I'd say he'll be holding championship gold.

The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) defeated The Blackjacks (Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan) when Jack Brisco made Lanza submit to the Figure-Four Leglock in 0:25:22.
Rating: ****
(The Brisco Brothers retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Jack Brisco.]

Many people were surprised to see the Blackjacks get the first World Tag Team Title shot against the Brisco Brothers, but Lanza & Mulligan are former two-time tag champs and have taken the Briscos to the limit much of 1977. Bobby Heenan had the Blackjacks ready for this match because with the World Title already being in the Heenan Family, adding the tag titles would mean even more money. The Blackjacks did everything right but win because Jack & Jerry Brisco are on top of their games right now. They fought very hard to climb the mountain and they weren't going to be thrown from the top this soon. Stereo Figure-Four Leglocks put this one in the books as the Briscos go into 1978 with the gold around their waists.

Peter Maivia pinned Rene Goulet after a small package in 0:08:36.
Rating: *** 3/4

"High Chief" Peter Maivia ended 1977 on a high note with a great December. Not only did he team with Bob Backlund to beat the Blackjacks in Boston, but tonight he got a win in singles competition against Rene Goulet. If Maivia can keep this up, he might have his career back on track after what a lot of experts have called a lackluster 1977.

Don Muraco pinned Chief Jay Strongbow with the Tombstone in 0:10:14.
Rating: * 3/4

This match was interesting in that Don Muraco agreed to be Chief Jay Strongbow's new tag team partner if the Chief could defeat him tonight. Strongbow is a legend in this sport and a great veteran, but Muraco has really come into his own since finally branching out alone. Strongbow has a lot of tricks up his sleeve, but in the end he couldn't avoid the Tombstone and a loss. That wasn't enough for Muraco, who grabbed the mic and declared, "I would NEVER be partners with a loser like you!" Muraco hoisted Strongbow up for another Tombstone before BILLY WHITE WOLF ran out and chased him out of the ring! Strongbow & Wolf teamed in GCW years ago, and it looks like their back! Muraco assured White Wolf that he will pay for sticking his nose in his business.

Stan Hansen and Terry Funk battled to a no contest in 0:10:49.
Rating: ** 3/4
(Stan Hansen retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Though Stan Hansen & Terry Funk are nowhere near considered fan favorites, the fans were looking forward to seeing these two crazy brawlers tear each other apart in this Intercontinental Title match. And for about 5 minutes, that's exactly what the fans saw. Hansen & Funk clobbered the trash out of each other, but shockingly they were stopped by DORY FUNK JR. Dory grabbed the mic and got Hansen & Terry to stop fighting, saying this is exactly what the fans wanted. "I'm tired of doing this for the fans!" Dory said that it's because of the fans that his relationship with his brother so violently deteriorated. Dory said that stops here as he is proposing an alliance - Dory Funk Jr., Terry Funk, and Stan Hansen, three men who he called "original gunslingers." Dory's speech worked as his brother hugged him and Hansen shook his hand. With these three now together, that could mean very bad news for the rest of Global Championship Wrestling.

Billy Graham and Bob Backlund battled to a draw in 0:45:00.
Rating: ****
(Billy Graham retained the GCW World Title.)
[Arnold Skaaland interfered against Billy Graham.]
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Bob Backlund.]

With that, we had a chance to see history as the World Heavyweight Title was on the line. Champion "Superstar" Billy Graham defended the gold against the undefeated Bob Backlund. Backlund brought a world of confidence with him to New York as he knows he can beat Graham having pinned him in this very building back in October. That, and his manager Arnold Skaaland trained him extra hard for this big opportunity. Backlund wasn't the only one ready as Graham trained heavy on the cardio knowing full well that he was going to have to be ready to go for the long haul against Backlund who may be in the best shape in all of wrestling. Backlund's strategy of keeping Graham grounded and not letting the Superstar lock him up in power holds worked like a charm. Backlund controlled the pace, but Graham is so strong that the moves he did get in hit with such impact that it kept this an even encounter. Still, Backlund's ground based offense really took a toll on the champ and it looked like Backlund had victory in his grasp. The only problem was he took too long to make his move and the match ended in a tightly contested time limit draw. Not the way Backlund wanted this to end. He wrestled a perfect match except for one mistake - not going for the kill quicker. If these two meet up again, I wouldn't be shocked to see Backlund come out victorious.

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

What a fantastic way to end 1977! A lot of big happenings tonight in the Garden. New factions, old alliances broken, feuds heating up, and a new president! What is 1978 going to bring? Join us on January 7 at the Nassau Coliseum to find out!

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