January 1, 1973 - Ten Year Anniversary Show @ MSG - New York, NY

Jimmy Snuka pinned Gorilla Monsoon with the Superfly Splash in 0:15:47.
Rating: ** 1/4
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Gorilla Monsoon.]

For ten years, GCW has been the standard in the world for wrestling action, and the ten year anniversary show was the pinnacle of everything we have done here in the last decade.

The first contest of this historic night was changed earlier in the night. Originally, it was supposed to be Gorilla Monsoon vs. Jimmy Snuka in a cage match, but Bobby Heenan filed a motion to say it was too dangerous for Snuka to wrestle in a cage because of a nagging knee injury. To not risk it, GCW officials made the call to change the match to a regular singles match. Monsoon was not thrilled, but he just wanted his hands on Snuka. Snuka's knee looked perfectly fine during the match (except when Monsoon was pummeling him). The knee injury excuse was used so that during the match, Bobby Heenan could interfere, distracting Monsoon so that Snuka could clip the big man's knee. Snuka hit the Superfly Splash right after and picked up the biggest win of his young career. Because of the actions of Heenan and Snuka, Snuka will now HAVE to wrestle Monsoon in the cage on January 24 in Boston! And if he doesn't wrestle the match, Bobby Heenan will have to take his place!

Ivan Koloff pinned Greg Gagne with the Russian Sickle in 0:02:22.
Rating: **
[Lou Albano interfered against Greg Gagne.]

Lou Albano's new monster, Ivan Koloff, continues to decimate his opponents. Tonight, Greg Gagne was the next to fall prey to the Russian Nightmare. Albano is busy trying to get Koloff more matches to get him up the ladder so he can challenge for a championship, and it looks like it's a matter of when, not if.

Baron Mikel Scicluna and Baron Von Raschke defeated Dominic DeNucci and Tony Garea when Scicluna pinned Garea with the Fistdrop in 0:10:48.
Rating: ** 1/4

It seems to be a good time to be Captain Lou, because not only is Ivan Koloff tearing it up, his tag team of Baron Mikel Scicluna & Baron Von Raschke just keep winning as well. Tonight, the Barons picked up a gigantic victory, successfully thwarting the former World Tag Team champions, Dominic DeNucci & Tony Garea. Albano has been working on it for a long time now, and it has finally happened - the Barons have officially been named the top contenders for the World Tag Team Titles, and will wrestle the champions in Boston.

Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser) defeated The Cripplers (Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens) when Bruiser defeated R. Stevens by disqualification in 0:15:50.
Rating: *** 1/2
(The Cripplers retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)
[Blackjack Lanza interfered against The Crusher.]
[Blackjack Lanza interfered against Dick the Bruiser.]

Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher knew the best way to get revenge on Bobby Heenan and the Cripplers would be to take the World Tag Team Titles for an unprecented 7th time. Bruiser & Crusher were on top of their game, using the brute power offense that has made them one of the most successful tag teams in history. As he has shown in the past so many times though, Bobby Heenan always has a plan, and the identity of this masked man who has been attacking Bruiser & Crusher for months was finally revealed. Bruiser had the Stomach Claw locked on Ray Stevens, and there was just no way Stevens was going to escape. He looked close to giving up when this masked man again attacked, causing the disqualification! This masked man, along with The Cripplers & Bobby Heenan laid waste to Bruiser & Crusher until officials broke it up and helped them to the back. Heenan grabbed the microphone and said it was time to unveil who this man was, removing his mask to reveal BLACKJACK LANZA. The newest member of the Heenan Family is here, and he has vowed to take Dick the Bruiser out.

Billy Graham defeated Jim Brunzell when Jim Brunzell passed out in
a front facelock in 0:04:39.
Rating: ** 3/4
[The Grand Wizard interfered against Jim Brunzell.]

Billy Graham, despite not winning the World Title this year as he wanted, just gets better and better. The Superstar brutalized poor Jim Brunzell in this match, making short work of him before making him pass out in a front facelock. 1972 may not have earned him a championship, but 1973 just very well may.

Jerry Lawler and Johnny Valentine defeated Mr. Fuji and Toru Tanaka when J. Valentine pinned Tanaka after a small package in 0:08:46.
Rating: *** 1/4

Johnny Valentine & Jerry Lawler have forged an unorthodox bond in the past few months, stemming from their series of matches back in 1972. Valentine saved Lawler during his confrontations with Mr. Fuji & Professor Toru Tanaka, hence the reason for this match. Everyone assumed this match would strongly favor Fuji & Tanaka, seeing how they have more experience teaming together and are former World Tag Team champions. There may not be a veteran craftier than Johnny Valentine though, and it looked like he has taught some of his dirty tricks to the young Lawler, as the King broke the rules more often than we'd ever seen. The end would result in a bit of an upset as Valentine caught Tanaka in a small package and with a handful of tights got the win.

Indian Strap Match:
Chief Jay Strongbow defeated Spiros Arion in 0:26:52.
Rating: **** 1/4

Spiros Arion's return to GCW should have been a heralded time. Arion is a former World Tag Team champions, having won the titles with the great Bruno Sammartino. Instead, Arion has joined forces with The Grand Wizard, selling out for the money. If that wasn't bad enough, Arion's destroying of Chief Jay Strongbow's sacred headdress was simply reprehensible. To settle the score, Strongbow wanted Arion in his speciality, an Indian Strap Match. Arion may have had all the confidence in the world coming into this match, but once that bell sounded, he quickly realized that a pissed off Strongbow in his specialty match is not who you want to be in the ring with. The distractions of The Grand Wizard helped Arion keep this match competitive, but Arion certainly got the worst of it, his back being covered in disgusting welts thanks to Strongbow's handy work with the strap. After a vicious battle, Strongbow gained a measure of revenge by choking Arion out, dragging him to the four corners of the ring with the strap around his neck to get the win.

Carlos Colon made Ernie Ladd submit to the Figure-Four Leglock in 0:09:46.
Rating: **** 1/4
[The Grand Wizard interfered against Carlos Colon.]

This was a high profile match for Carlos Colon, the new GCW sensation who has come up from Puerto Rico to make waves in the States. He had a mountain of a challenge though as he took on Ernie Ladd. This would be a tremendous feather in Colon's cap if he could defeat Ladd, but many have tried to best Ladd and failed in the process. Ladd had the edge in the size and power advantage, but Colon showed that he has some savvy in the ring as well. Colon chopped the big tree down en route to locking on his version of the Figure-Four Leglock to make the big man submit.

Billy Robinson pinned Luke Graham with the Double-Arm Suplex in 0:12:55.
Rating: ****
(Billy Robinson retained the GCW United States Title.)

US champion Billy Robinson & Luke Graham have been allies on recent shows, and Robinsonm being the man that he is, offered Graham a shot at the United States Title to show his gratitude. Graham is no stranger to the US Title, holding it twice in the past including the longest reign in GCW history. Graham is not the same dominant wrestler he was in years past thanks to a series of back and neck injuries, but he showed here that he still can go toe-to-toe with anybody in the world. Robinson took more abuse than he has in any match thus far, but the result was the same - the Double-Arm Suplex and a successful title defense. After the match, Robinson & Graham shook hands in a great sign of sportsmanship. After Graham left Robinson in the ring to celebrate his win, BILLY GRAHAM creeped in from the crowd and clobbered Robinson from behind before locking him in the Bearhug! Eddie Graham saw this and let Luke know, who ran back down and chased his youngest brother out of the ring.

Pedro Morales and Mil Mascaras battled to a double countout in 0:18:00.
Rating: ** 1/4

The match between Pedro Morales & Mil Mascaras has been a long time coming, and much of the reasoning for it happened in the locker room, not in the ring. Morales is blaming the woes he feels he has been experiencing on the backstage altercation he had with Mascaras, and this was his way to try to exorcise that demon. This match could hardly be classified as such. This was two men who can't stand each other beating the tar out of one another for nearly 20 minutes. The fans ate up every minute of this battle, all the way through the double countout finish when these two decided that punching each other in the head repeatedly was more important than going for a win. I don't know about you, but this is a match I'd love to see again, but for right now, this feud goes unsettled.

Interview:
Wahoo McDaniel challenges the winner of the main event.

Before our enormous main event, the ring announcer was interrupted by a miffed WAHOO MCDANIEL. Wahoo was upset as he was left off of the card for the 10th anniversary show. Wahoo felt this to be a major injustice as he feels he has been a vital part of GCW's success as both a former US and World Tag Team champion. Wahoo finished by saying he would turn this into a positive and challenged the winner of our next match for a World Title match, saying he would be the new champion regardless of who wins.

Match with Special Referee Lou Thesz:
Bruno Sammartino pinned Antonio Inoki after a powerslam in 0:33:55.
Rating: 1/4
(Bruno Sammartino retained the GCW World Title.)

The night had already been one of epic proportions, and we still had the biggest one of them all. Bruno Sammartino & Antonio Inoki for the World Title. Two men who are friends and have nothing but respect for each other, putting that all aside to combat each other for the richest prize in the game. If that wasn't enough, LOU THESZ, one of the all-time greats in this great sport, was brought in as the special referee, a job only to be entrusted to someone of his caliber. The best thing about this main event is that it was a clean, hard fought affair. No cheating, no shortcuts, no bending of the rules. Just two of the world's best in the middle of the ring, competing to see who was the best. There's not a lot to be said about this match other than it tore the house down and featured some of the best wrestling you could ever hold to see. In the end, it would be the power of Sammartino beating out the technical prowess of Inoki as Bruno drilled him with a powerslam to narrowly get the 1-2-3. Sammartino's title reign is quickly approaching the 3-year mark, already the longest reign ever in GCW. The show came to a close with Inoki bowing to Bruno, showing him the ultimate respect.

Card rating: *** 1/2

Match observations:

Ten years down, and we start the next ten with our first stop being in Boston on January 24! The card so far is as follows:

WORLD TITLE - Bruno Sammartino (c) vs. Wahoo McDaniel
UNITED STATES TITLE - Billy Robinson (c) vs. Billy Graham
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Cripplers (c) vs. Baron Mikel Scilcuna/Baron Von Raschke
CAGE MATCH - Gorilla Monsoon vs. Jimmy Snuka
Dick the Bruiser vs. Blackjack Lanza

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