February 14, 1973 - The Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA

Gorilla Monsoon pinned Spiros Arion after a splash in 0:02:12.
Rating: *
[The Grand Wizard interfered against Gorilla Monsoon.]

Not a good time to be Spiros Arion, who looks like he is still suffering ill effects from the Indian Strap Match a few weeks ago. And when your opponent is Gorilla Monsoon, the last thing you want is to be less than 100%. Monsoon finished Arion off in short order to pick up the win to start our show in Philadelphia.

Baron Von Raschke defeated Bobby Heenan by disqualification in 0:01:17.
Rating: 1/2*
[Jimmy Snuka interfered against Baron Von Raschke.]

Bobby Heenan looked as if he was going to soil himself as he was forced to step into the ring with Baron Von Raschke, a man he caused to lose a match for the World Tag Team Titles in Boston. Heenan ran away as fast as he could once the bell rang, but Raschke got a hold of him. He was about to put on the Claw, but before he could, JIMMY SNUKA hit the ring to break it up, ending this match in a DQ. Snuka beat on Raschke and got him down to one knee, but Raschke surprised him when he emerged and applied the Claw on the Superfly before officials came down to break it up.

Pedro Morales defeated Jerry Lawler when Jerry Lawler passed out in a figure-four leglock in 0:06:06.
Rating: ****

Jerry "The King" Lawler asked his mentor, Johnny Valentine, to let him have one more shot at Pedro Morales, the man who tried to injure him at our last event. Lawler also made Valentine promise not to get involved in the match, saying he needed to make this happen himself. Lawler came out a house of fire, completely blitzing Morales and almost scoring a quick pin early with a fistdrop, but Morales rolled to the floor to slow things down. Morales stalled, frustrating Lawler, which gave Morales the opening to get on the offensive. Morales sadistically took Lawler apart, before locking him in a figure-four leglock, a blatant sign of disrespect to Johnny Valentine. To Lawler's credit, he wouldn't submit, but the pain became too much for him and the referee awarded this contest to Morales. Morales wouldn't let go of the of the hold after the match, trying to break young Lawler's leg. Eventually, JOHNNY VALENTINE was out and all over Morales, sending him sprawling out of the ring. Valentine went after Morales, but Pedro jumped into the crowd and fled the scene. Valentine went back into the ring to check on Lawler and helped him to the back.

10-Man Battle Royal:
Ernie Ladd won a 10-man Battle Royal:
x Ernie Ladd threw out Fuji after a low blow in 0:00:51
x G. Gagne threw out Tanaka in 0:08:07
x Ernie Ladd threw out Garea after a vertical suplex in 0:10:01
x Ernie Ladd threw out G. Gagne in 0:10:04
x Ernie Ladd threw out DeNucci after a bearhug in 0:10:26
x Ernie Ladd threw out Brunzell after a kick-off in 0:10:48
x C. Colon threw out J. Valentine in 0:12:04
x C. Colon threw out J. Snuka in 0:13:18
x Ernie Ladd threw out C. Colon in 0:15:14
Rating: *** 1/4

The fans in Philly received a treat as we had a 10-man battle royal. This match belonged to Ernie Ladd from the opening bell. Ladd came out with his thumb taped and was blatantly mocking Luke Graham, a man he is taking credit for running out of the business. Luke Graham is the last man you want to be taunting, but Ladd may be big and bad enough to back it up. When it was all said and done, Ladd eliminated 6 of the 9 men in the match, lastly being Carlos Colon, who had a great showing himself. Colon eliminated 2 men, including Jimmy Snuka who was running in fear from an appearance by BARON VON RASCHKE. In the end though, Ladd dumped Colon and had his hand raised in victory.

The Cripplers (Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens) defeated Baron Mikel Scicluna and Lou Albano when R. Stevens pinned Albano with the Bombs Away Kneedrop in 0:10:37.
Rating: ***
(The Cripplers retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

The Cripplers were at a bit of a disadvantage as they had to defend the World Tag Team Titles, but they only knew who one of their opponents would be - Baron Mikel Scicluna. Scicluna's manager Captain Lou Albano got to choose who Scicluna would team with, and Albano surprised everyone - Scicluna included - by naming HIMSELF as the tag team partner. Bobby Heenan was extremely distracted on the outside, knowing that Baron Von Raschke was still somewhere in the building and presumably looking for him. He found him as near the end of the match, Raschke was out and chasing Heenan around ringside! Heenan prepared for this though as JIMMY SNUKA caught Raschke off-guard with a wooden chair, knocking raschke loopy and opening a cut on the big German's head. During the chaos, Albano got distracted and pinned by Stevens with the Bombs Away Kneedrop. I have a good feeling this is far from over.

Billy Robinson defeated Billy Graham by countout in 0:08:16.
Rating: ** 1/4
(Billy Graham retained the GCW United States Title.)

"Superstar" Billy Graham shocked the world back in Boston by ending not only Billy Robinson's undefeated streak, but taking the United States Title from him in the process. Robinson got his rematch here and looked even more focused to not let lightning strike twice. The Grand Wizard had a different idea though, not wanting to see his only champion and the money that comes along with managing a champion go away so quickly, and had Graham bail for the countout loss when he got into too much trouble. Robinson wins the match, but the US Title remains with the Superstar. The GCW Championship Committee has decided that Robinson deserves one more shot at recapturing the US Title, and he will get that opportunity on March 12 at Madison Square Garden in a 2 out of 3 falls match!

Blackjack Lanza defeated Dick the Bruiser when Dick the Bruiser passed out in the Blackjack Claw in 0:01:54.
Rating: ***

Blackjack Lanza is proving himself to be a great hire by Bobby Heenan as the muscle of the Heenan Family. Lanza has been instrumental in helping The Cripplers both attain and retain the World Tag Team Titles, being the perpetual thorn in the side of both Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher. Lanza was supposed to wrestle Bruiser last month, but Bruiser was nowhere to be found. Lanza instead defeated The Crusher, but this month he did get Bruiser. Lanza had a plan though, knowing how upset Bruiser was with him. Lanza assaulted Bruiser before the match, using Bruiser's very own chain against him to bloody him up severely. Bruiser still insisted that the match take place, which was ill-advised. It didn't take Lanza long before he put on the Blackjack Claw, causing Bruiser to pass out. Lanza refused to release the hold until THE CRUSHER ran out and chased him off. Crusher helped Bruiser to his feet before turning and blasting Bruiser with the Bolo Punch out of nowhere! We weren't exactly sure why The Crusher attacked his own partner, but the rumor going around backstage is that Crusher is mad at Bruiser for not being there for the match in Boston. In a first here in GCW, Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher will wrestle each other at Madison Square Garden on March 12!

Indian Strap Match:
Ivan Koloff defeated Chief Jay Strongbow in 0:08:40.
Rating: **

Ivan Koloff has been a nightmare, and he is starting to make the veterans of GCW take notice. Koloff even had the gumption to challenge Chief Jay Strongbow tonight to Strongbow's own specialty match, the Indian Strap Match. Many felt that the Russian Bear may have bitten off more than he could chew, because you just don't beat Strongbow in an Indian Strap Match. Well I think someone forgot to tell Koloff that, because that's exactly what he did. Not only did he beat Strongbow, but he beat him soundly. If you didn't believe that Lou Albano's Russian Bear was for real before, this ought to cement it for you. Could Koloff be the next opponent for Bruno Sammartino?

Wahoo McDaniel defeated Bruno Sammartino by disqualification in 0:35:09.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Bruno Sammartino retained the GCW World Title.)

Bruno Sammartino better not be thinking ahead to any possible clashes with Ivan Koloff, because he had a return match in our main event, defending against Wahoo McDaniel. The two wrestled to a double countout in Boston, and both men wanted another shot to find out who the better man was. This match turned into a pier six brawl from the opening bell, and referee Dick Kroll had a whale of a time keeping these two under control. To Kroll's credit though, he gave both men a lot of leeway knowing that not only the competitors, but the fans wanted to see a decisive finish. That became impossible by the end of the match. Wahoo had busted Bruno open, causing him to wear the crimson mask. Sammartino was in a lot of trouble, but when he noticed the blood pouring down his face, he lost his temper and obliterated Wahoo. Sammartino stopped listening to the referee's instructions and Kroll had to disqualify him to try to restore some order to the situation. It took a slew of officials to pull Bruno away from McDaniel. These two will meet one more time at the Garden next month to settle this once and for all, as a part of a special 2 out of 3 falls themed event.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

March 12, Madison Square Garden, a huge event planned with three title matches being contested all with 2 out of 3 falls rules.

WORLD TITLE 2/3 FALLS - Bruno Sammartino (c) vs. Wahoo McDaniel
UNITED STATES TITLE 2/3 FALLS - Billy Graham (c) vs. Billy Robinson
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES 2/3 FALLS - The Cripplers (c) vs. The High Flyers
Dick the Bruiser vs. The Crusher
Carlos Colon vs. Ernie Ladd
Baron Von Raschke vs. Jimmy Snuka
Johnny Valentine vs. Pedro Morales

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