February 2, 1978 - Civic Center - Baltimore, MD

Larry Zbyszko pinned Johnny Rodz with the Shoulderbreaker in 0:04:04.
Rating: *** 1/4

This night in Baltimore show would prove to be a historical one, and we kicked off the night with Larry Zbyszko in a winning effort against Johnny Rodz. During the match, officials made sure that Dino Bravo stayed in the back and didn't get involved. Those two are on a collision course, and when the two former partners collide, it's going to be ugly.

Chief Jay Strongbow and Billy White Wolf defeated Tim Woods and Mr. Wrestling II when White Wolf defeated Wrestling II when Wrestling II passed out in the Indian Deathlock in 0:09:17.
Rating: *** 3/4

This was our first time seeing Chief Jay Strongbow & Billy White Wolf teaming back up since Wolf returned at the Garden, taking on Tim Woods & Mr. Wrestling II. Woods & Wrestling II are said to be upset with how 1977 ended for them and want to make 1978 a year where they return to the top of the mountain. If that's the case, they better get on it, because tonight they didn't impress. Strongbow & Wolf get the win.

Pat Patterson pinned Rene Goulet with the Atomic Drop in 0:06:20.
Rating: ** 3/4

Another match, another losing effort for Rene Goulet. Tonight it was Pat Patterson who got the better of him, winning in just over 6 minutes. It was announced after the show that Patterson is being granted the Intercontinental Title match he never received after losing the championship last October. He will meet the winner of tonight's Stan Hansen/Bob Backlund match on March 1 in New York.

Dominic DeNucci and Dino Bravo defeated The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) when Bravo defeated Jerry Brisco by disqualification in 0:07:01.
Rating: ** 1/2
(The Brisco Brothers retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)
[Larry Zbyszko interfered against Dino Bravo.]

Officials did a great job of keeping Dino Bravo at bay during Larry Zbyszko's match earlier, but they dropped the ball in keeping Zbyszko away from the World Tag Team Title match. Bravo & Dominic DeNucci got their rematch against the Brisco Brothers, a match Jack & Jerry were glad to give them since it was an unwanted assist from Zbyszko that helped them win the titles. They wanted to prove they could defeat Bravo & DeNucci on their own. They wouldn't get that tonight because once again, Zbyszko got involved. Bravo had his his Side Suplex on Jerry Brisco and it looked like that could have been it, but we will never know for sure as Zbyszko jumped in the ring and broke it up, causing the disqualification! Zbyszko was pounding on Bravo with lefts and rights, but he was pulled off by DeNucci and tossed over the top rope to the floor! Zbyszko was taken aback by this, and yelled to DeNucci that he had made the biggest mistake of his life.

While this confrontation was going on, Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco were jumped from behind by DORY FUNK JR. & TERRY FUNK, who had come out from the crowd! The hatred between the Briscos & the Funks goes back over ten years, and it looks like it's about to be rekindled. The Briscos & the Funks went at it before officials (they were busy tonight) finally broke it up.

Great Kabuki pinned Dusty Rhodes after spewing blue mist in his face in 0:09:30.
Rating: * 1/2
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Dusty Rhodes.]

"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes was looking to take a piece out of Great Kabuki, who he blames for costing him his opportunity to win the tournament last month. Rhodes had his vision back and he had his sights on kicking Kabuki's ass. Problem was that Rhodes was so focused on Kabuki that he forgot that "Classy" Freddie Blassie was at ringside. Blassie jumped up on the ring apron when it looked like Rhodes had victory in his clutches, taking the attention of referee Willie Webber. This let Kabuki once again spew the blue mist into the Dream's eyes. Kabuki rolled up Rhodes and stole the 1-2-3. After Rhodes regained his bearings following the show, he issued a challenge to Kabuki for a Texas Death match at Madison Square Garden, a match that Blassie has accepted on behalf of his Japanese charge.

The Blackjacks (Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan) defeated Gorilla Monsoon and Peter Maivia when Mulligan defeated Monsoon when Monsoon passed out in the Blackjack Claw in 0:05:40.
Rating: *** 1/2

With Mike Graham on the shelf with an elbow injury, Gorilla Monsoon teamed up with Peter Maivia to take on the Blackjacks. Monsoon & Maivia are good friends, but as a team they just didn't mesh. It also didn't help that Blackjack Lanza clocked Monsoon in the back of the head with his boot while the referee wasn't looking. This let Mulligan put on the Blackjack Claw and "make Monsoon submit." I doubt we'll be seeing Monsoon & Maivia as a team in the future.

Ivan Koloff and Don Muraco battled to a double countout in 0:09:14.
Rating: * 1/2

A match that began innocently enough but ended in quite the brawl between Ivan Koloff & Don Muraco. As this match wore on, tempers flared to the point where when the wrestlers spilled to the floor, they stopped caring about the referee's count and were just looking to tear each other apart! A double countout was the result, but neither man was happy with that. A rematch has been signed for MSG.

Bob Backlund defeated Stan Hansen by countout in 0:13:30.
Rating: ***
(Stan Hansen retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

The tournament match was big last month, but for Stan Hansen, this time was even bigger as against Bob Backlund, his Intercontinental Title was now on the line. Backlund, of course, has yet to be defeated in singles action, and if Hansen couldn't beat him in Baltimore, he was going to lose the IC Title. Unlike last month, Backlund worked a lot faster and looked primed to put Hansen away and grab his first championship gold, but Hansen had other plans. He caught Backlund with a thumb to the eye and instead of trying to finish Backlund off, he bailed to the floor and walked to the back for the countout. Not the most valiant of actions, but it's hard to argue with the result as Hansen is still the Intercontinental champion. He might not be so lucky next month against Pat Patterson.

Bobby Duncum pinned Bruiser Brody with the Full Nelson Slam in 0:11:31.
Rating: ** 3/4

Bobby Duncum was not happy with the way that Bruiser Brody beat him in the tournament last month and so he wanted a chance at retribution in Baltimore. Another strong style brawl between two of the best at it. Brody once again took the turnbuckle pad off one of the corners, trying a repeat performance of last match. Duncum was ready for it this time though. He reversed Brody's irish whip, causing Brody to crash back first into the exposed steel! Brody stumbled out right into the Full Nelson Slam of Duncum, and three seconds later this one was over.

Jumbo Tsuruta pinned Billy Graham after a power bomb in 0:20:20.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Jumbo Tsuruta won the GCW World Title.)
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Jumbo Tsuruta.]

Through some contractual backflips, Bobby "the Brain" Heenan managed to add a stipulation to our main event. Jumbo Tsuruta got to challenge for the World Title, but this would be his last chance at the gold for as long as Billy Graham was champion. Jumbo knew how much was at stake here and he didn't want to let it go to waste. These two are so familiar with each other, spending much of 1977 going at it tooth and nail. Often in these matches, Heenan has been instrumental in causing distractions which helped Graham get a win, but it backfired on the Brain in this one. Early in the match, Heenan tripped Jumbo up from the floor right in front of referee Dick Kroll, clearly trying to get the Superstar disqualified! However, instead of calling for a DQ, Kroll sent Heenan to the locker room! Graham was now out there all alone, and for awhile, he looked lost. But Heenan isn't the World champion, Graham is, and he wrestled like it. Jumbo had control early, but Graham controlled the middle portion of the match. The Superstar made his big mistake at the end though when instead of looking to finish Jumbo off after a powerslam, he chose to gloat. The braggadocious Graham took it a step too far and got up on the second turnbuckle, taunting the fans and spewing venom about how much of a bum Jumbo was. What he didn't notice was that Tsuruta was back on his feet. Tsuruta came up behind Graham and drilled him with a power bomb! Graham got folded like an accordion and 3 seconds later, we had a brand spanking new World champion! Jumbo Tsuruta has climbed the mountain for the second time!

If that wasn't monumental enough, as Tsuruta was celebrating with the World Title, who would come into the ring but none other than HARLEY RACE! No one had any idea that Race was in the building! Race caught Jumbo's eye and the two engaged in a long staredown before Race indicated he was coming for the World Title. This is absolutely gigantic news, and we had learned that in Madison Square Garden, it will be Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Harley Race for the World Title!

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

Absolutely shocking news coming out of Baltimore as Harley Race is back in GCW! Not only that, but he will be wrestling for the World Title on March 1 against new champion Jumbo Tsuruta, the man who took the title from him in the first place! And what other place could hold such a monumental card than Madison Square Garden?

WORLD TITLE 2/3 FALLS - Jumbo Tsuruta (c) vs. Harley Race
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Stan Hansen (c) vs. Pat Patterson
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Brisco Brothers (c) vs. The Funk Brothers
Bob Backlund vs. Billy Graham
TEXAS DEATH MATCH - Dusty Rhodes vs. Great Kabuki
Ivan Koloff vs. Don Muraco
Bobby Duncum vs. Bruiser Brody
Dominic DeNucci vs. Larry Zbyszko

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