February 6, 1983 - Cobo Arena - Detroit, MI

Larry Zbyszko pinned Kerry Von Erich with the Crunch Time in 0:07:15.
Rating: ***

Larry Zbyszko failed in his attempt to regain the Intercontinental Title, and he needs to climb back up the ladder if he's going to get another title shot. He took on the young Kerry Von Erich, a man who is normally seen in tag team competition. Zbyszko doesn't have a lick of compassion for anyone, only looking out for himself, and that couldn't have been displayed any more clearly than in how he treated Kerry Von Erich. Zbyszko was doing all the little things - raking the face, choking, driving his forearm into Von Erich's nose on covers - moves designed to cause pain. Kerry had one last spurt of offense late, but when he went for the famous Von Erich Claw, he got caught in Crunch Time and that was all she wrote. Zbyszko is never one to let a chance to inflict pain go unused, so he locked Kerry into a cross armbreaker. As one would expect, KEVIN VON ERICH ran out to help his brother, chasing Zbyszko out of the ring. When Kevin turned back to check on his fallen younger brother, Zbyszko sneaked back into the ring with a chair and blasted Kevin in the back with it! Luckily no serious injury was inflicted, but Kevin is certainly had as hell and challenged Zbyszko to a match on March 3 in Chicago.

Ricky Steamboat defeated Bob Backlund by countout in 0:18:37.
Rating: ** 3/4
(Ricky Steamboat retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Bob Backlund made it clear in a pre-match interview that he was looking to hurt Ricky Steamboat and hurt him bad. The crime of the Intercontinental champion? Doing the right thing and stopping Backlund from senselessly ending Spike Huber's career. Steamboat stands up for what he thinks is right, and that is stopping Backlund from his craziness. Steamboat is never going to back down from anyone, and to be blunt, that got his ass kicked tonight. As the veteran and a 2-time World champion, Backlund controlled much of this match and stretched Steamboat, trying to cause him the maximum amount of pain possible. Steamboat is one of the best conditioned athletes in all of sports though, so he kept digging down deep and fighting back. He created some separation when he caught a charging Backlund with a backdrop and sent him flying to the outside. Steamboat knew he needed something big at this point, so he climbed to the top rope and jumped onto Backlund with the Flying Crossbody Press! What a spectacular move that was. And he caught all of it too, as he was narrowly able to beat the count and get a countout win. Backlund regained his bearings, but the IC champ was nowhere to be found. Backlund instead took it out on the ringside area, throwing everything he could get his hands on and almost going out into the audience. This guy is a nut case, and Steamboat had better be careful when they meet again in Chicago.

The Golden Boys (B. Brian Blair and Terry Taylor) defeated Rick Martel and Tito Santana when Taylor pinned Martel after a flying forearm in 0:03:51.
Rating: ** 3/4

Rick Martel just can't seem to shake himself of the Golden Boys. He thought he had finished his feud with them at the year-end show, but when he was signed to team with Tito Santana against Blair & Taylor in Lowell, it all resparked again. Martel & Santana got the win the first time around, but this match, the Golden Boys did what they do best - cheat. After a carefully orchestrated distraction from B. Brian Blair, Taylor got a hold of the jump rope and wrapped it around his forearm. Martel knocked Blair off the apron to stop the distraction, but when he turned around, it was right into a jump rope-aided flying forearm from Taylor, knocking him out cold. Santana couldn't get in to make the save and the Golden Boys had gotten away with grand larceny. After the match, Martel & Santana got on the mic where Santana uttered the phrase, "Golden Boys, Rick and I are going to strike down on you with force!" They will try to do just that in the rubber match in Chicago.

Jimmy Snuka pinned Bill Eadie with the Superfly Splash in 0:06:39.
Rating: ** 1/4

The match between these two last month ended in a double countout when the fight couldn't be contained in the ring. Bill Eadie had a big opportunity laid in front of him. The former tag team champion has not had the overwhelming success in singles action that he predicted, but a win against a former World champion would put him well on the path. But when you're facing the Superfly, that is a far easier task on paper than it is in practice. Snuka's speed and hard head proved to be too much for the Ax, and the Superfly Splash put this one on ice.

Nick Bockwinkel has a "wrestling exhibition" with a local wrestler.

Bobby "the Brain" Heenan came out, and after a long and boisterous introduction, he brought about the return of Nick Bockwinkel, who took a month off after his grueling submission match with Ric Flair at MSG. Bockwinkel said that the rumors of his demise were premature, and he is back and better than ever, ready to climb the ladder back to the top. To prove that he was 100%, he brought out a local competitor for a wrestling exhibition. The local competitor was completely outmatch, and as the exhibition wore on, Bockwinkel took liberties with him that were completely uncalled for. Finally, JUMBO TSURUTA had seen enough and came out to confront Bockwinkel. Jumbo doesn't speak English well, but we could understand him enough to know that he wanted Bockwinkel to pick on someone his own size. Bockwinkel and Heenan backed down, but when Jumbo turned his back to leave, Bockwinkel tried to surprise him with an attack. Jumbo saw it was coming, and blocked the strike, and connected with one of his own. Jumbo unleashed on Bockwinkel with a flurry of chops, the final one knocking Bockwinkel out of the ring. Heenan was threatening to sue Jumbo as he took Bockwinkel to the back. There may not be a lawsuit on deck, but there is going to be a fantastic match between Bockwinkel & Jumbo in Chicago on March 3!

Terry Funk defeated Killer Khan by disqualification in 0:04:13.
Rating: 1/4*
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Terry Funk.]

Terry Funk was promised a surprise by a vindictive "Classy" Freddie Blassie, and I don't think anyone could have prepared for this surprise. Funk is obviously a man who will fight just for the sake of fighting, but Blassie brought out a beast of a man to take on the Funker. Blassie introduced the man as KILLER KHAN, a Mongolian destroyer if there ever was one. Funk took it to Khan as soon as he got into the ring, but Khan was just shaking off Funk's punches. For several minutes, Khan dismantled Funk before he got himself disqualified when he wouldn't release a chokehold. It has been a long time, if ever, since Funk was dominated like this. Blassie had to be threatened with a huge fine before he called off the dog. Funk may be in deeper than he thought. But when you make Funk angry, you make him crazy, which explains why Funk has agreed to take on Khan again in Chicago, but this time in a MONGOLIAN STRETCHER MATCH!

King Kong Bundy defeated Ric Flair via pinfall in 0:07:21.
Rating: ** 1/2

Bobby Heenan's issue with "Nature Boy" Ric Flair has become personal in a big way. Heenan believes that Flair almost putting Nick Bockwinkel on the shelf for a lengthy amount of time was a personal attack to cause the Brain to lose money. Therefore, Heenan has sent his newest client, King Kong Bundy, to take Flair out. He did a good job of weakening the Nature Boy up in Lowell with a Big Splash on his ribs. Flair suffered a cracked rib, and he was still suffering the ill effects of it coming into this match. Bundy is undefeated and has barely been slowed down so far, and with Flair's injured ribs, he wasn't going to be slowed down now. Flair couldn't muster up any sort of offense as Bundy kept working over his ribs. Flair used a thumb to the eye to temporarily slow down Bundy, but then he made the ill-advised choice of trying to bodyslam the 450-pound monster. Needless to say, it was a tremendous failure and Bundy landed hard on Flair's ribs, getting the pinfall in the process. If that wasn't enough, Heenan demanded that Bundy hit Flair with the Big Splash. Flair was in some serious pain and needed the help of an official to get to the locker room. Heenan assured the Nature Boy that he wasn't done torturing him yet. Flair is going to need to figure out a game plan soon if he is going to survive King Kong Bundy.

The Soul Patrol (Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson) and Ken Patera defeated Dino Bravo, Don Muraco and The Iron Sheik when Atlas made Muraco submit to the Bearhug in 0:12:52.
Rating: * 3/4
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Tony Atlas.]

This match had quite the strange dynamic. It was a 6-man tag match with two teams that couldn't possibly get along. On one side, it was the new World Tag Team champions, Tony Atlas & Rocky Johnson, teaming with Ken Patera. Now Ken Patera had been their sworn enemy during the feud for the tag titles with the Can-Am Strongmen, but Patera was double-crossed by Freddie Blassie and his charges. The Soul Patrol made the save, but there's no way that they were going to be on good terms. It's not like Blassie's team was doing much better. Blassie has been brow-beating Don Muraco for months now, and essentially told him that if he failed tonight, the Magnificent One was in for a world of hurt. Well when you have that vote of confidence from your own manager, how could you possibly fail? Well, easily, it would seem. Even though Soul Patrol & Patera don't like each other, they managed to co-exist enough considering they had a common enemy. Muraco didn't stand a chance as his partners weren't there for him, causing him to get caught in Atlas' Bearhug. Dino Bravo almost got in to break it up, but Blassie ordered him out of the ring. Muraco had to give up, as anyone would when trapped in the Bearhug of Tony Atlas. After the match, Blassie got in the ring with the house mic and told him, in no uncertain terms, that his services were no longer needed. This was capped off by Bravo planting him with the Side Suplex and The Iron Sheik locking him in the Camel Clutch until Patera ran in and chased them off with a chair. Blassie later told reporters from PWI that Muraco had to go because he is an American wrestler, and that American wrestlers are weak. He said that he will not stop until the great foreign wrestlers of the world get the respect in GCW that they deserve.

The Texas Outlaws (Bobby Duncum and Dick Murdoch) defeated Dusty Rhodes and Stan Hansen when Duncum pinned Hansen with the Full Nelson Slam in 0:10:12.
Rating: **** 1/4

Main event time, and when this was all said and done, we almost had a riot on our hands. Everyone thought last month that Bobby Duncum & Dick Murdoch had rebelled against their former Texas Outlaws' leader, Dusty Rhodes, to which World champion Stan Hansen, Rhodes' nemesis, made the save. A tag team match was signed for our main event here in Detroit, but it actually turned into a handicap match. When the match came about, we found out that the American Dream had allegedly been attacked in the back by Duncum & Murdoch. Hansen was going to have to go at it alone, and really, he had no problems with that concept. The problem was, one man, even one as tough as the World champion, cannot possibly stand up to the likes of Duncum & Murdoch. Hansen had finally gotten a little separation with a big boot after having been on the receiving end of a beatdown for most of this match. When all seemed hopeless, DUSTY RHODES ran down with a bandage on his head to a huge ovation. Referee Dick Kroll was trying to get Murdoch out of the ring as Rhodes jumped in the ring, and he had on a pair of brass knuckles. Duncum begged off as Rhodes asked the audience if he should blast him. But then out of nowhere, Rhodes clocked Hansen in the jaw! It was all a setup! Hansen fell like a sack of bricks, and to add insult to injury, Duncum picked him up and dropped him with the Full Nelson Slam for the 1-2-3. The reunited Texas Outlaws all embraced, cementing what we now obviously knew - this was a devious plan from the start. It got worse for Hansen though as Rhodes & Duncum held Hansen down, specifically putting his arm in position while Murdoch climbed to the top rope. Murdoch jumped off the turnbuckle and landed with a kneedrop squarely on Hansen's right arm, breaking it instantly. This is the arm that Hansen uses to do his dreaded Lariat, so that renders his most effective move useless. Doctors and officials recommended to Hansen after the show that he should vacate the World Title so that he could get his arm fixed and heal up, but Hansen was too pissed off to listen to that. Instead he challenged Rhodes to another title match, and not just any match - he wants it to be a steel cage match! Officials agreed to the match, but only if they held it off until April 5 in Madison Square Garden! This didn't make Hansen very happy as he wants to get a hold of the Outlaws in the worst way. Hansen said if he didn't get the match in Chicago, he would go hunt the Outlaws down on his own time. GCW President Hisashi Shinma didn't want anything like that taking place on his watch, so he made a compromise. He told Hansen to find two partners for a 6-man tag team match in Chicago against the Outlaws! No word yet on who Hansen's partners will be, but we know for sure it is going to be a pier-six brawl!

Card rating: ** 1/2

Match observations:

3/3/83 - CHICAGO STADIUM - Chicago, IL

MAIN EVENT - Stan Hansen/???/??? vs. Dusty Rhodes/Bobby Duncum/Dick Murdoch
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Ricky Steamboat (c) vs. Bob Backlund
MONGOLIAN STRETCHER MATCH - Terry Funk vs. Killer Khan
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Nick Bockwinkel
Ken Patera/Don Muraco vs. The Iron Sheik/Dino Bravo
Kevin Von Erich vs. Larry Zbyszko
Rick Martel/Tito Santana vs. The Golden Boys


WORLD TITLE STEEL CAGE MATCH - Stan Hansen (c) vs. Dusty Rhodes

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