January 1, 1966 - Boston Garden - Boston, MA

Lou Thesz gives his retirement speech.

Our huge New Years show kicked off with former World champion LOU THESZ out to give his retirement speech. Thesz thanked the fans of GCW for their support and said he has no regrets over his career. "I am honored that I was able to compete in this great sport and be a World champion." At this point, the current World champion BILL WATTS came out to interrupt. The Cowboy said that Thesz is old news and that he should do everyone a favor and put himself out to pasture before the Cowboy does it for him. You could tell Thesz wanted nothing more than to clock Watts upside the head, but being a man of his word, he said he would retire when he lost the World Title, so he left the ring with grace and dignity. Watts turned his attention to Bruno Sammartino, his opponent for the World Title in our main event. Watts rubbed in the fact that he did something Bruno couldn't do, and that's beat Lou Thesz. Watts said that he would go on to hold the World Title for much longer than Thesz did.

Chief Jay Strongbow made Ernie Ladd submit to the Indian Deathlock in 0:05:09.
Rating: ***
[Jack Davis interfered against Chief Jay Strongbow.]

Our opening contest saw Chief Jay Strongbow take on Ernie Ladd, with Jack Davis. Since losing the United States Title, Ladd has lost his way in the ring a bit, and that continued tonight as he fell victim to the Indian Deathlock. Strongbow & Ladd - two competitors going in different directions.

The Blond Bombers (Pat Patterson and Ray Stevens) defeated The Golden Grahams (Dr. Jerry Graham and Eddie Graham) when Patterson pinned Dr. J. Graham with the Atomic Drop in 0:11:57.
Rating: *** 1/4

A rare rulebreaker vs. rulebreaker match here as Dr. Jerry & Eddie Graham took on the Blond Bombers. Neither of these teams are well liked, but they're both quite impressive. The Grahams took the Bombers a little lightly as they are a newer team, and it came back to bite them as the Bombers made what has to be considered a bit of an upset.

Miguel Perez pinned Antonino Rocca with the Piledriver in 0:26:06.
Rating: *** 1/2

Until this match actually started, I still couldn't believe that former tag team partners who held the World Tag Team titles for well over a year were going to do battle, in an Argentina Death Match no less! It was even more disheartening to see Miguel Perez accompanied to the ring by the scourge that is Abdullah Farouk. This match was a brutal affair as these two know each other so well, making this one all the more personal. Both men were bleeding profusely by the end of this one. Rocca's cut seemed to be a bit more serious, and as the match progressed, he appeared to become woozy. This allowed Perez to hit his new finisher, a vicious Piledriver, to get the victory. Perez wasn't done as he hit two more Piledrivers on Rocca at the urging of Farouk before ARGENTINA APOLLO ran down to chase Perez away. Perez and Apollo have no love lost for each other and will meet one-on-one on January 29th at Madison Square Garden.

Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser) defeated Gene Kiniski and The Sheik when Crusher defeated Kiniski by disqualification in 0:14:03.
Rating: * 1/4
(Gene Kiniski and The Sheik retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

Gene Kiniski & The Sheik have escaped with the World Tag Team Titles thanks to Abdullah Farouk. The Crusher & Dick the Bruiser would have become the new World Tag Team champions if it weren't for Farouk jumping in the ring and hitting The Crusher in the back with a chair. The shot did no damage whatsoever as Farouk is scrawny and weak, but it did serve to get his team disqualified but retain the World Tag Team Titles. With Farouk making his in-ring debut later tonight, he took a big risk in angering The Crusher & The Bruiser. We have learned that Crusher & Bruiser will get a return match for the tag titles soon, but next in line is the winner of our #1 contenders match later in the evening.

Danny Hodge pinned Johnny Valentine with the Oklahoma Roll in 0:12:18.
Rating: ** 1/2

Danny Hodge is one of the best pure wrestlers in the entire world, and he showed why in this match against Johnny Valentine. Valentine tried to brawl with Hodge as he realized that he wouldn't be able to outwrestle him, but he was outwrestled none the less. Hodge gets the win when he got Valentine trapped in the Oklahoma Roll.

Haystacks Calhoun and Pedro Morales defeated Gorilla Monsoon and Killer Kowalski when Calhoun pinned Kowalski after a powerslam in 0:20:31.
Rating: * 1/2

Pedro Morales was allowed to pick a replacement partner for this #1 contenders match since Dominic DeNucci is out with an injury. He chose one heckuva replacement as he came to the ring with the 600-pound HAYSTACKS CALHOUN. Gorilla Monsoon & Killer Kowalski were not prepared for this new development as Calhoun is an entirely different monster. This was shown as Calhoun would get the pin on Kowalski with a powerslam. Calhoun & Morales were introduced to their opponents at our next show right away as GENE KINISKI & THE SHEIK jumped in and attack them, but were quickly sent out of the ring. This should be an interesting title match.

Luke Graham pinned Edouard Carpentier with the Thumb to the Throat in 0:08:08.
Rating: ***
(Luke Graham won the GCW United States Title.)

The reign of Edouard Carpentier has come to an end at the hands of Luke Graham! Since Graham debuted in GCW, he has yet to lose or really even be that challenged. Carpentier has been a great champion, but even he seemed to be lost for a way to slow the Crazy one down. Heck, not even the chants of "Crazy" directed at Graham could slow him down as he became the new US champion. I don't see how anyone's going to be able to slow this guy down.

Bobo Brazil and James Dudley defeated Baron Mikel Scicluna and Abdullah Farouk when Dudley defeated Farouk via pinfall in 0:14:26.
Rating: -*

Well this sure wasn't the prettiest of matches, but James Dudley got a small bit of revenge on Abdullah Farouk for all the terrible things he has said about him over the past few months. It looked bad for Dudley as Farouk did a number on him during this tag match, but when Bobo Brazil took Baron Mikel Scicluna out of the picture, Dudley got fired up and took it to Farouk, pinning him after a kick to the chest. Farouk was livid after the match and has since challenged Dudley to a one-on-one contest for the MSG show… but in a steel cage! Brazil instructed Dudley not to, but Dudley wants to shut Farouk up once and for all and has accepted!

Bruno Sammartino made Bill Watts submit to the Sammartino Backbreaker in 0:18:05.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Bruno Sammartino won the GCW World Title.)

Talk about the ultimate means of revenge! The issues between Bruno Sammartino & Bill Watts are well documented, and with Watts now taunting Bruno over how he could beat Lou Thesz when Bruno couldn't, this was Bruno's ultimate way of shutting the Cowboy up. Watts was confident that he had a plan in place that would allow him to retain the World title when JOHNNY VALENTINE came down to the ring with intentions to interfere. But what Watts didn't see coming was that Bruno had backup in the form of the debuting DORY FUNK JR. who cut Valentine off and brawled with him to the back. During the commotion, Sammartino locked on his patented Backbreaker and Watts tapped out, making Bruno a 2-time GCW World champion!

Card rating: **

Match observations:

What a way to kick off 1966, and there's plenty more to come, starting with our next show on January 29th at Madison Square Garden!

WORLD TITLE REMATCH - Bruno Sammartino (c) vs. Bill Watts
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - Gene Kiniski/The Sheik (c) vs. Pedro Morales/Haystacks Calhoun
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Johnny Valentine
Argentina Apollo vs. Miguel Perez
CAGE MATCH - James Dudley vs. Abdullah Farouk

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