February 20, 1980 - Convention Hall - Atlantic City, NJ

[INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE TOURNAMENT - FIRST ROUND]:
Roddy Piper made Austin Idol submit to the Sleeper in 0:08:56.
Rating: *** 1/4

With Chavo Guerrero's injury thanks to former champion Stan Hansen's ruthless attack on him, he never got to enjoy a proper reign before it was determined he would miss enough time to require the title being vacated. An 8-man tournament has been set up, and of the 8 men, 7 of them have never held the IC Title, and 5 of them have never held any gold period. Two of those men, Roddy Piper & Austin Idol, met in our opening match of the tourney. These two have been in a heated feud ever since Paul Jones' Army debuted in GCW, but now the feud meant so much more with a championship in the mix. We are learning every show how talented Austin Idol is, and also how full of himself he can be. Every time Idol would get on the offensive, he would take time to pose, flex, and flirt with all of the women in attendance. He probably should have went for the Las Vegas Leglock when he had the chance, but his blowing a kiss to a woman in the front row allowed Piper to get back to his feet and put Idol in the Sleeper! Idol tried to counter by kicking off the turnbuckles and driving Piper to the mat, but the Rowdy one held onto the hold, wrapping his legs around Idol to prevent escape! Idol was essentially trapped and chose to call it quits instead of passing out in the dangerous move. Piper moves onto the semi-finals on March 18 in Lowell, MA.

[INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE TOURNAMENT - FIRST ROUND]:
Don Muraco pinned Terry Funk with the Tombstone in 0:10:53.
Rating: ***
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Terry Funk.]

The next match in the Intercontinental Title Tournament was Terry Funk taking on Don Muraco, another blood feud taking place in this tourney. The tide in this feud has shifted back and forth from match to match, and the tide would shift back the way of Muraco. These two are beginning to know each other so well that each man is trying to pull out something new to change the balance of power. Muraco did that when he pulled out a foreign object from his trunks and clocked Funk with them. Instead of hiding them back in his own trunks, he put them in the Funker's trunks. Muraco hit the Tombstone for good measure and moves onto the semi-finals. Afterwards, Funk demanded referee John Stanley search Muraco's trunks for the weapon, which clearly came up empty. Funk then noticed the weapon was in his own tights, and when he pulled it out, he became enraged, chasing Muraco & Freddie Blassie out of the ring and to the back.

Paul Jones' Army (Paul Jones and The Masked Superstar) defeated Tito Santana and Ivan Putski when Superstar made I. Putski submit to the Cobra Clutch in 0:08:44.
Rating: ** 1/2

Given the two teams involved, this match could be considered an unofficial #1 contenders match. Paul Jones & The Masked Superstar are thus far undefeated in tag team competition, and Tito Santana & Ivan Putski have really captured the fans' imaginations with their great combination of speed and power. As has been the story with the previous instances we've seen the Army in action, The Masked Superstar has proven to be the difference. He has proven to be too big and too strong for most of GCW to handle. That was the case in this one, as even the power of Putski was unable to overtake the power of the Superstar. Superstar managed to block Putski's Polish Hammer and lock on the Cobra Clutch. Santana couldn't make the save thanks to a combination of the punishment he had received during the match and Paul Jones catching him with a kneelift as Putski submitted. With this big win, Jones has officially put in the request to be granted a World Tag Team Title shot, but as of press time, it has not been announced.

Ivan Koloff pinned Mando Guerrero with the Russian Sickle in 0:06:52.
Rating: ***

Ivan Koloff continues his recent hot streak with a win over Mando Guerrero. You could tell Mando was somewhat distracted as this has been a highly stressful month because of the injury to his brother Chavo, and not being 100% focused on the Russian Bear is a recipe for disaster. One Russian Sickle and this one was all over.

Hector Guerrero defeated Ric Flair by disqualification in 0:05:49.
Rating: ** 1/2

Our third IC Title tournament match was up next, and it featured Hector Guerrero taking on "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Since Chavo was the previous champion, GCW President Hisashi Shinma allowed one of the two uninjured entry into the tournament. Hector won the coin flip and thus was in this match. Flair tried to get into Hector's head before the match, telling Hector he was already looking ahead to the semi-finals, which he was sure would be a far more difficult match. This backfired on the Nature Boy big time, as Hector came out a house of fire. Truthfully, this match was almost completely dominated by Hector who was already in a bad mood to begin with. Flair's plan all along was to cheat, and much like Muraco did earlier, Flair pulled a foreign object out of his trunks and clocked Hector with it. Flair made the pin and got the 1-2-3, but he made a silly mistake that you shouldn't do if you're a cheater. When referee Dick Woehrle (who was on the job for his first night, it should be added) raised Flair's hand in victory, the foreign object went flying! Flair tried to convince Woehrle it wasn't his, but Woehrle wasn't having it and reversed the decision! Hector Guerrero had won and was moving on to the semi-finals! Flair nearly gave himself a heart attack with the fit he threw, but no temper tantrum was going to change Woehrle's mind. What a shocking turn of events!

Stan Hansen defeated Jumbo Tsuruta by disqualification in 0:03:44.
Rating: ** 1/2
[Mando Guerrero and Hector Guerrero interfered against Stan Hansen.]

I bet when Stan Hansen attacked and injured Chavo Guerrero in Philadelphia, he never expected such a spirited response from Hector & Mando Guerrero. Hansen took on his arch nemesis, Jumbo Tsuruta, but Jumbo hardly got a chance to get a piece of the Lariat for his xenophobic rants of the last few months before Hector & Mando made their presence in Atlantic City known. Jumbo wasn't happy when the Guerreros ran in to attack Hansen and thus getting him disqualified, but he understood as Hansen has driven him to this type of anger for months. Hector & Mando ran out not too long into the match and put a 2-on-1 beatdown on Hansen before the Lariat got himself to safety. Hansen was not happy and he showed it by running into the crowd and throwing chairs around, almost causing a riot in the process. President Hisashi Shinma has made a decision after what happened here and has declared that Jumbo Tsuruta & Stan Hansen will meet in Lowell, MA on March 18, and to keep the Guerreros (or anyone else for that matter) at bay, it will be in a steel cage!

The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) defeated The Can-Am Strongmen (Dino Bravo and Ken Patera) when Sika pinned Patera after hitting him with a foreign object in 0:11:57.
Rating: *

Foreign objects were the theme of the night, as this tag team match was decided with the use of a foreign object. The Wild Samoans have been a fan favorite team for awhile now, but tonight, you could clearly see in their wrestling that Afa & Sika were more willing to bend the rules. As the match wore on, you could even hear a smattering of boos directed toward Captain Lou Albano and his men. But when you're going against the Can-Am Strongmen, using their own tactics against them is not a bad idea, and it's hard to argue with results. Albano used the classic distract-the-ref-so-your-charge-can-use-a-weapon routine, and it worked to perfectly as Sika pinned Patera after Afa smashed the Olympian with Albano's cane. Not an honest victory, but a win is a win.

[INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE TOURNAMENT - FIRST ROUND]:
Larry Zbyszko pinned Dusty Rhodes with the Shoulderbreaker in 0:05:15.
Rating: *** 1/4
[Manny Fernandez interfered against Dusty Rhodes.]

We thought Dusty Rhodes had done away with Larry Zbyszko for good, but as luck would have it, they were put up against each other in our final first round match. Though the match was another great showing in the intensity of Rhodes & Zbyszko, it would be an outside force that would alter the outcome of this match. The match had spilled to the floor after the Dream caught Zbyszko with a huge running shoulderblock. Rhodes hit the Cruncher with a couple of elbows on the floor and tossed Zbyszko back into the ring. Before Rhodes could return to the ring himself, somebody ran out from the back and rammed him shoulder first into the ring post! Upon a closer look, we saw that the man in question was MANNY FERNANDEZ. Zbyszko, like the scavenger he is, picked the bones of Rhodes by promptly hitting the Shoulderbreaker to get the 1-2-3, moving one step closer to his first singles championship. Nobody knew that Fernandez was even in the building, and from everything we've been able to find out, everyone assumed that Rhodes & Fernandez were friends. Why then did Fernandez cost the Dream this match? We've hoping to find out in Lowell, MA.

Gorilla Monsoon and Pedro Morales defeated The Blackjacks (Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan) when Monsoon defeated Mulligan via pinfall in 0:10:26.
Rating: * 1/2
(Gorilla Monsoon and Pedro Morales retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Pedro Morales.]

"Classy" Freddie Blassie is a great negotiator, and he proved it in getting the Blackjacks one final shot at dethroning Gorilla Monsoon & Pedro Morales, regaining the tag team titles, and retiring the Manchurian Monster once and for all. Ever since Monsoon declared his impending retirement when he loses the tag titles, the intensity of these title defenses has been off the charts. Also what the challengers are willing to do to wrestle those straps away from Monsoon & Morales. Late in the match after Morales had finally made the tag to Monsoon after taking quite a beating, Monsoon had Blackjack Mulligan cornered after an avalanche. As he went to punch away at Mulligan, referee Tommy Young tried to break it up and got caught with an errant elbow. Young was down, and Mulligan used this chance to catch Monsoon with a thumb to the eye. Blassie slide into the ring with his cane in hand and commanded Mulligan to hold Monsoon open. Blassie swung the cane as hard as he could, but Monsoon got free and Classy Freddie hit Mulligan instead! Monsoon got the crowd on its feet as he grabbed Blassie and tossed him over the top rope before pinning the unconscious Mulligan to keep the titles and his career!

Blassie was LIVID at Mulligan after the match, even though clearly it was his fault his men lost. Either way, there was no reasoning with Blassie as he publicly FIRED Blackjack Mulligan! Mulligan has never endeared himself to the fans of GCW, but he surely didn't deserve this.

Bob Backlund pinned Jimmy Snuka after a small package in 0:20:04.
Rating: *** 3/4
(Bob Backlund retained the GCW World Title.)

Jimmy Snuka wanted just one more shot at the World Title, and because he is a competitor and it was such a great match last time, champion Bob Backlund was more than willing to give his friend Snuka one more crack at the gold. Snuka came out in this match with a far different strategy than last time. Backlund is a master of making his opponents wrestle his style of match. If Backlund can get you to wrestle on the mat, it's only a matter of time before he catches you and the contest is over. Snuka took it to the air even more than he normally does, doing everything in his power to keep Backlund from being able to get a hold of him. Backlund did get a hold of Snuka here and there, but for the most part, Snuka's tactics were working to perfection. Snuka even connected with the Superfly Splash, but he didn't go for the cover right away. It was as if the magnitude of the moment got to him. He sensed that he was about to become the World champion and the emotion of the situation was simply too much for him to handle. When he did finally go over to try for the cover, Backlund caught him by surprise with a small package and got the 3 count out of nowhere! Snuka couldn't believe it as Backlund was announced the winner and still the champion! After the match was over, it looked like Snuka was going to lose it. He was poised to attack Backlund after the champ got back to his feet, but after a very tense staredown, cooler heads prevailed and the two shared a handshake. Still, it is obvious to anyone looking that these close-but-no-cigar situations are really wearing on the Superfly.

Card rating: ** 1/2

Match observations:

We have a gigantic show set for March 18 in Lowell, MA, with a huge main event lined up. Bob Backlund knows his friend Jimmy Snuka is looking to win a championship to cement his legacy. So what Backlund did was go to Gorilla Monsoon & Pedro Morales and ask for a World Tag Team Title shot for the Superfly and himself. Monsoon & Morales are fighting champions and even though this is the biggest challenge to Monsoon's career yet, they are up to the challenge.

WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH - Gorilla Monsoon/Pedro Morales (c) vs. Bob Backlund/Jimmy Snuka
CAGE MATCH - Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Chavo Guerrero
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE TOURNAMENT - SEMI-FINALS - Hector Guerrero vs. Larry Zbyszko
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE TOURNAMENT - SEMI-FINALS - Roddy Piper vs. Don Muraco
Plus, Manny Fernandez makes his debut!

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