December 29, 1971 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

Tony Garea pinned Johnny Valentine with the High Cross Body in 0:10:15.
Rating: ***

The wrestlers of GCW always bring their A-games for their matches at the year-end show from Madison Square Garden, and tonight was no different. Tony Garea was wrestling in his first year-end show, and he picked up perhaps his biggest win to date when he got the better of Johnny Valentine with the High Cross Body. A win like this can really help Garea shoot up the ladder.

Dominic DeNucci and Johnny Weaver defeated The Cripplers (Ray Stevens and Nick Bockwinkel) when DeNucci pinned Bockwinkel with the Airplane Spin in 0:09:07.
Rating: ***

The upsets continued with our second match, as Dominic DeNucci & Johnny Weaver got past The Cripplers. Ray Stevens & Nick Bockwinkel were the World Tag Team champions for almost all of 1971, but since they've lost the titles, they've lost their edge a bit. Stevens & Bockwinkel were completely off their game and DeNucci & Weaver took full advantage. DeNucci dumped Bockwinkel with the Airplane Spin to get this tremendous victory for this emerging team. After the match, Stevens & Bockwinkel got on the microphone and said that they were tired of all of this and that things were going to change very soon.

Bill Watts pinned Eddie Graham with the Oklahoma Stampede in 0:08:55.
Rating: *** 1/4

Bill Watts' tag team partner had issues in his match earlier, but the former World champion managed to avoid the same fate. The Cowboy had a tough task wrestling Eddie Graham, a man who came within an eyelash of becoming the United States champion over the last couple months. Graham couldn't avoid the Oklahoma Stampede, however, and that was all she wrote.

Chain Match:
Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser) defeated The Half-Ton Team (Gorilla Monsoon and Haystacks Calhoun) when Crusher pinned Monsoon with the Bolo Punch in 0:21:58.
Rating: *
(Crusher & Bruiser won the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher have been obsessed with regaining the World Tag Team Titles, and they had perhaps their last opportunity to do so as they took on the current champions, The Half-Ton Team, in a Chain Match. In a chain match, the use of the Bruiser's signature steel chain is completely legal, and boy did these four behemoths use it to their full advantage. The match was a blood bath, plain and simple. No one involved in the match escaped wearing the crimson mask. Even Lou Albano bled a little when he got mixed up in a confrontation on the floor. The complexion of the match turned in a hurry when Bruiser & Crusher isolated Haystacks Calhoun and busted him up so badly that the trainers had to take him to the back. Gorilla Monsoon insisted on trying to finish the match, but with it now being 2-on-1, the odds eventually overcame him. The Crusher wrapped the chain around his fist and nailed Monsoon with the Bolo Punch to get the 1-2-3, and make Bruiser & Crusher the World Tag Team champions for the 6th time. Haystacks Calhoun's injuries are going to force him to leave GCW for the foreseeable future. We wish him the best in his recovery.

Luke Graham defeated Stan Stasiak by countout in 0:01:56.
Rating: 3/4*

After his own brother cost him the chance to become the #1 contender for the World Title, Luke Graham was not messing around as he took on Stan "The Man" Stasiak. Graham never let Stasiak get out of the blocks, flooring him immediately with an intensity we haven't seen out of him in months. Stasiak tried to run to the floor for some distance, but Graham followed him and plastered him with the Thumb to the Throat. Graham went back in the ring, but Stasiak couldn't recover, giving Graham the countout victory.

Billy Graham confronts his brother Luke.

Luke Graham's anger would be ignited even more as after the match, Billy Graham came out, and he had LOU ALBANO with him! Billy said he did what he did because Luke let him get hurt. "We're supposed to be family, and you let me get hurt! So you know what, Luke? Lou Albano is my family now!" Luke was fuming as Billy & Albano headed to the back laughing at Luke. Billy may not be laughing long as other brother Eddie has challenged him to a match on January 12 in Montreal to knock some sense back into him.

Baron Mikel Scicluna and Baron Von Raschke defeated Chief Jay Strongbow and Billy White Wolf when Scicluna pinned Strongbow with the Fistdrop in 0:16:02.
Rating: * 1/2
[Lou Albano interfered against Billy White Wolf.]

After the brawl that ensued last show, a rematch took place tonight between chief Jay Strongbow & Billy White Wolf and the team of the Barons, both Mikel Scicluna & Von Raschke. Another hard-hitting contest between two teams looking to climb up the tag team ladder. Jack Davis was again the referee for this one, and he seemed to be enforcing the rules much more strictly on Strongbow & Wolf, still possibly holding a grudge over the inadvertent elbow he caught last month. The fan favorites were a bit handcuffed because of this, contributing to a win for Scicluna & Raschke.

Wahoo McDaniel defeated Karl Gotch after a roll up in 0:15:09.
Rating: ** 1/2
(Wahoo McDaniel retained the GCW United States Title.)

Wahoo McDaniel thought he was done with Karl Gotch after the head injury he gave him, but he had to defend the United States Title again him at the biggest show of the year. Not only is Gotch a tough opponent under normal circumstances, but he takes it to a whole new level when he's angry. For 15 minutes, Gotch beat the ever-living tar out of Wahoo, but unfortunately, it only take 3 seconds to get a win. Wahoo found his one opportunity, rolled Gotch up, and with his feet on the ropes for extra leverage, stole another win away from Gotch. Wahoo McDaniel is making it clear what kind of US champion he intends on being. Karl Gotch has announced that he will be leaving GCW for the time being to wrestle in Japan.

Bruno Sammartino and Pedro Morales battled to a draw in 1:00:00.
Rating: **** 1/4
(Bruno Sammartino retained the GCW World Title.)

The match we were all waiting for finally took place, and it had been a year in the making as Pedro Morales got the World Title shot he had been practically begging for against champion Bruno Sammartino. There was so much emotion in this match that I was actually quite surprised these two didn't just tear each other to shreds right from the opening bell. I guess both men took the time to realize how big this match really was and they wrestled a smart match. What we ended up getting was a wrestling classic between two of the best in the world. An absolute clinic on mat wrestling, counters, and submissions. Neither man could put the other away, even though on several occasions they were each within an eyelash of doing so. Even when the match turned into a brawl and the haymakers really started flying, Sammartino & Morales both refused to stay down. What we got was two gladiators doing battle for one full hour before the time limit expired, making this bout a draw. Both men received a standing ovation for their efforts. After the grueling match, Bruno tried to show he was a great sport by offering a handshake of respect to Morales, but Morales simply looked at it and walked to the back to a chorus of boos. Sammartino is still the World champion, but these two will have to fight again in the future to determine who is the better man.

Card rating: ** 1/2

Match observations:

What a great way to end 1971, but GCW doesn't plan on slowing down one bit for 1972! Our first show will be January 12 from Montreal, with these matches scheduled so far:

Eddie Graham vs. Billy Graham
Dominic DeNucci/Johnny Weaver vs. The Cripplers

Also, we will see the debut of two new competitors who look to make their mark in Global Championship Wrestling.

In addition, it has been announced that in February, GCW is going to return to the Land of the Rising Sun for two big shows! The shows will take place on February 5 and 8 and will feature both stars from GCW and Japan locking horns. The last time we were in Japan, Antonio Inoki defeated Luke Graham to become the World champion. What surprises will we see this time?

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