December 31, 1966 - Cage Warfare @ MSG - New York, NY

Gorilla Monsoon pinned Dr. Jerry Graham after a Gorilla Press in 0:05:35.
Rating: * 3/4

Our opening bout saw Gorilla Monsoon pick up a win over Dr. Jerry Graham in singles action. Monsoon used his size to overwhelm the Good Doctor before putting him away with a Gorilla Press.

The Pretty Boys (Pat Patterson and Larry Hennig) defeated Spiros Arion and Haystacks Calhoun when L. Hennig pinned Arion with the Axe in 0:07:19.
Rating: * 1/2

The Pretty Boys continue to get under everyone's skin as they take a victory over Haystacks Calhoun & Spiros Arion. Calhoun offers a big advantage to any team he's on if he can get in the ring, but if his partner is separated from him, he becomes easy pickings. The flamboyantly annoying Pat Patterson & Larry Hennig did just that as they singled out Spiros Arion to get the win.

Lou Albano offer an open challenge.

Lou Albano came out to do an interview next, and let his mouth get him into trouble. Albano said that he was so confident that his men, Bill Watts & Johnny Valentine, were going to leave 1966 as the World Tag Team champions, that he wanted a piece of the action too. He said he wanted a match with any "schlub in the back" to come out and face him. That "schlub" ended up being DOMINIC DENUCCI, who has a bone to pick with the Captain for nailing him in the ribs with a cane last month to cost he & Morales the tag titles a month ago. Albano tried to back out, but DeNucci was all over him before he had a chance.

Dominic DeNucci made Lou Albano submit to a double reverse chinlock in 0:07:07.
Rating: *

Albano should learn to keep his mouth shut in the future. He was completely blitzed by Dominic DeNucci and suffered a decisive loss.

The Firecrackers (Antonino Rocca, Argentina Apollo and Miguel Perez) defeated Baron Mikel Scicluna, Hiro Matsuda and The Sheik when Rocca defeated Sheik by disqualification in 0:23:10.
Rating: ** 3/4
[Abdullah Farouk interfered against Antonino Rocca.]

It was strange seeing Antonino Rocca, Miguel Perez, & Argentina Apollo all on the same page, but there was no tension as the team that now calls themselves the Firecrackers took on Abdullah Farouk's team of Baron Mikel Scicluna, The Sheik, and new hired gun Hiro Matsuda. Throughout this heated affair, referee Terry Taranova did all he could to maintain order, but that's nearly impossible when you have 6 men in there who dislike each other so much. The result would be a DQ when Farouk sent all his men in the ring to pummel Rocca, but the Firecrackers turned the tide and cleared the ring. I don't see this one ending anytime soon.

Danny Hodge defeated Killer Kowalski by countout in 0:10:33.
Rating: ** 3/4

Danny Hodge knew that he wasn't going to match power with Killer Kowalski, but he could neutralize that size advantage by taking out Kowalski's legs. Hodge took his lumps, but he kept frustrating Kowalski with amateur wrestling takedowns and leglocks. Eventually, Kowalski walked away for the countout rather than stay frustrated. However, as Hodge celebrated his countout victory, Kowalski snuck back in the ring and clubbed Hodge from behind and dropped several knees down on Hodge's throat. Hodge was lucky to escape serious injury, but Kowalski's intentions were clear.

Ernie Ladd pinned Chief Jay Strongbow with the Boot to the Face in 0:11:45.
Rating: ***
[Jack Davis interfered against Chief Jay Strongbow.]

Ernie Ladd needed a big win to close out the year, and he got just that by beating the always impressive Chief Jay Strongbow. Ladd needed several distractions and a lot of interference from Jack Davis to do so, but either way, he is walking out of 1966 on a winning note.

Cage Match:
Luke Graham pinned Dory Funk Jr. with the Thumb to the Throat in 0:11:40.
Rating: ****
(Luke Graham retained the GCW United States Title.)

Dory Funk Jr. is no longer undefeated, and what a shame it had to happen the way it did. Funk put in tons of effort to earn this shot at Luke Graham and the United States Title just for it to be stolen away from him like this. These two used the cage as a weapon and brawled back and forth, but it looked like Funk had this one wrapped up as he hit a huge piledriver on Graham. Funk was exhausted himself and thus started for the door to escape the cage, but as he did, EDDIE & DR. JERRY GRAHAM were there and slammed the door back in his face! Funk was knocked loopy, and a groggy Luke Graham planted him with the Thumb to the Throat and made the pinfall. Luke Graham is still undefeated and keeps the US Title in the process. You have to believe there is going to be hell to pay for this though.

Cage Match:
Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser) defeated Bill Watts and Johnny Valentine when Crusher pinned J. Valentine with the Bolo Punch in 0:22:05.
Rating: ** 1/2
(Crusher & Bruiser won the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher did exactly what they set out to do, and that's regain the World Tag Team Titles for a third time, titles they didn't believe they should have lost in the first place. Bill Watts & Johnny Valentine seemed a bit lost at time, which is understandable. Surely they set their game plan with the thought that manager Lou Albano would be at ringside to help out. Either way, they've been here before and they brought their A-game, but the brutality of Bruiser & Crusher would not be denied as they ended 1966 back on top of the tag team mountain.

Cage Match:
Gene Kiniski pinned Bobo Brazil with the Backbreaker in 0:21:09.
Rating: * 1/4
(Gene Kiniski retained the GCW World Title.)

It was time for our main event, the third insane cage match pitting World champion Gene Kiniski against Bobo Brazil with the gold on the line. This was exactly what Bobo Brazil wanted - a chance to punish Kiniski while keeping the rest of Farouk's cronies (and Farouk himself) at bay. This match was bowling shoe ugly, but it was filled with such raw emotion that it was hard to not be captivated. Especially when early on, Brazil pulled out a rope and tied the door shut, so there was absolutely no way Farouk or his men could get in. The battle raged on for over 20 minutes before Kiniski was able to catch Brazil off guard with the Backbreaker and narrowly escape with the World Title in tact. Brazil is not to be detoured though and has guaranteed that by the end of 1967, he will take the World Title from Gene Kiniski and take care of Farouk once and for all.

Card rating: ** 1/2

Match observations:

What a great way to end 1966! And 1967 looks to be even bigger as we have more huge shows planned, starting on January 28th from the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto!

Bobo Brazil vs. Hiro Matsuda
Danny Hodge vs. Killer Kowalski
Dick the Bruiser/The Crusher/Pedro Morales/Dominic DeNucci vs. Bill Watts/Johnny Valentine/The Pretty Boys

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