January 11, 1982 - Providence Civic Center - Providence, RI

The Texas Outlaws want answers from Terry Funk.

Our first show of 1982 kicked off with the Texas Outlaws coming to the ring, sporting all of the gold that GCW has to offer. World champion Dusty Rhodes was still sporting a small bandage on his forehead after the hell he went through in War Games. Despite all of the gold they were carrying, the Outlaws were not in a good mood because they lost War Games in a vicious battle, and they were out here to confront the man they blame for the loss. Rhodes demanded that TERRY FUNK come out so the Outlaws could beat his ass. Most men would be wise enough to not take the bait, but Funk is crazy enough to go to the ring. "Classy" Freddie Blassie was hot on Funk's heels, pleading with Funk to reconsider, but Funk entered the ring anyway. Bobby Duncum got right in Funk's face and asked him what the hell he was doing in War Games. Duncum noted that Funk easily could have saved him but chose not to. Funk didn't respond to Duncum, instead just giving the same smile he did when Duncum was trapped in Bob Backlund's Crossface Chickenwing. This raised the ire of the Outlaws even more, to the point where it seemed a gang-style beating of the Funker was imminent. Blassie intervened though, begging the Outlaws to reconsider and said that he would take care of it. Rhodes finally relented and called his men off, but he told Blassie that he better take care of it, or they will.

Tito Santana pinned Stan Hansen after a sunset flip in 0:05:29.
Rating: ****

Intercontinental champion Stan Hansen stayed in the ring as he had a non-title match against the now on his own Tito Santana. Santana beat his former partner Manny Fernandez in a loser-leaves-town match at Winter Warfare, and he looks poised to take the next step as a singles competitor. This was a golden opportunity against the 3-time IC champion. It's a nice opportunity, but you're in for a long night when you're going up against the Lariat. Hansen dominated the early portions of this match, using his brute force tactics to punish Santana. Hansen wasn't going for covers though, as he was reveling in hurting his opponent (possibly letting out some frustration over War Games). Hansen learned the hard way he should have put Santana away when he had the chance. Santana looked to be out on his feet leaning in the corner. Hansen charged in, but Santana got his feet up and caught Hansen flush in the jaw. Santana followed up with a sunset flip and got the flash 3 count as the arena exploded into cheers! Hansen's face looked like he just saw a ghost as he made the realization that he just got beat. Due to the win, Tito Santana has earned himself a title shot against Stan Hansen on February 2 in Uniondale!

Luke Graham pinned Johnny Rodz with the Thumb to the Throat in 0:02:50.
Rating: * 1/4

Luke Graham had his first match since officially returning full time, and he looked great as he took on and defeated Johnny Rodz. Graham hit all of his big moves and had little trouble hitting the Thumb to the Throat to get the win.

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy) defeated The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) when T. Gordy pinned Afa with the Power Bomb in 0:09:42.
Rating: ** 1/4

The first tag team match of 1982 featured two teams very familiar with each other in the Wild Samoans and the Fabulous Freebirds. Before the match, Michael "P.S." Hayes & Terry "Bamm Bamm" Gordy gave a short promo, basically stating that 1982 was their year and it wouldn't be long before they were the World Tag Team champions. It would be a long road, but a win over the former 2-time tag champs would be a great start. Afa & Sika would love to get back into title contention themselves, and they brought the pain right to the brash youngsters. When you think of the Freebirds and what they've done over the last year, you normally think of their arrogance, the long hair, the dancing. You sometimes gloss over how athletic they are, and also how much of a beating they can take and still come back strong, as was the case in this match. Hayes was the recipient of most of this beating, getting bounced around the ring like a singing and dancing long-haired bouncy ball. Neither Afa & Sika could find a move to keep Hayes down for the 3. For all of the Samoans' savage skills, one thing they're not strong at is coming up with plans B or C. Hayes found an opening with an eye poke, tagging into Gordy who just went OFF. Afa & Sika couldn't slow down Bamm Bamm, who drilled Afa with the Power Bomb to get a hard fought win.

Sgt. Slaughter made Terry Taylor submit to the Cobra Clutch in 0:06:11.
Rating: ** 1/2

Conspicuous by his absence was Paul Jones, who would normally be at ringside with Sgt. Slaughter. But since the pounding he took from Bill Eadie at Winter Warfare, we haven't seen our heard from Jones. That didn't make much of a difference tonight though, as Slaughter was simply too much for his opponent, Terry Taylor. Taylor got in a couple of dropkicks and such, but ultimately, he couldn't deal with Slaughter's power while stuck in the Cobra Clutch.

Larry Zbyszko pinned Ricky Steamboat with the Crunch Time in 0:14:50.
Rating: *** 1/2

Ricky Steamboat & Larry Zbyszko put on a tremendous match at Winter Warfare that if it hadn't have been for the War Games match would have stolen the show. Zbyszko even showed a rare glimpse of respect when he shook Steamboat's match after suffering the loss to the youngster in the middle of the ring. The match was such a hit in New York that a rematch was signed for Providence. You could tell that both men had learned something about the other from their first encounter, because moves that worked last time were countered this time around. Zbyszko is normally akin to bending whatever rules he can to get a win, but with Steamboat, it's like he's trying to test himself and the skills that he possesses. Zbyszko showcased his technical ability, going hold-for-hold with the wrestling savvy of Steamboat. The 1981 Newcomer of the Year looked to have his second win in a row over the Cruncher when he connected with the Flying Crossbody Press, but Zbyszko rolled through for a 2.9. Steamboat got back to his feet in a hurry, but walked right into the Crunch Time from Zbyszko which got the 3 count. This evens the tally at one victory a piece. Much like Zbyszko, Steamboat offered the Cruncher a handshake after the match. Zbyszko just smiled at him and left the ring. Steamboat gave him a smirk as Larry Z walked away.

We've learned that a third match has been signed between these two, but this time, it will be 2/3 falls!

The Texas Outlaws (Bobby Duncum and Dick Murdoch) defeated Bob Backlund and Jimmy Snuka when Duncum pinned J. Snuka after a backdrop driver in 0:13:11.
Rating: *** 1/4
(The Texas Outlaws retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

Bobby Duncum was the man who gave up to Bob Backlund's Crossface Chickenwing in the War Games match, and he was not happy about it. He insisted that Dick Murdoch and himself defend the World Tag Team Titles against Backlund and a partner of his choosing, who ended up being Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka. Backlund & Snuka's friendship was completely shattered over the World Title back in 1980, and Ric Flair has worked hard to mend that broken bridge. Backlund & Snuka have managed to co-exist in the battles against the Texas Outlaws, as the Superfly has worked hard to earn back Backlund's trust. The goodwill that has been built may have been shattered again tonight. Near the end of this match with the challengers rolling, World champion DUSTY RHODES ran down and taunted Backlund, who was standing on the apron. Rhodes yelled something about how Backlund can't beat him and will never beat him, and it set Backlund off. Backlund jumped to the floor and chased Rhodes to the back, but leaving Snuka alone in the ring in the process. Snuka needed to make a tag, but when he got to the corner, he saw that Backlund was nowhere to be found. As Snuka looked confused, Duncum grabbed him from behind and dropped him on his head with a backdrop driver, enough to get the 1-2-3. This is not going to go far to help an already strained friendship.

Who's the strongest man in GCW?

Four men have been at each others throats over recent months over who was the strongest man in Global Championship Wrestling. It would be hard to pick one of these men on paper, as Tony Atlas, Don Muraco, Ken Patera, & Dino Bravo are without a doubt powerful athletes. This competition proved it. There was a bench press set up by the entrance way, and that was the first test. Each man took their turn bench pressing 350 pounds, and this was won by Tony Atlas, leaving the other competitors stewing. The next competition was to see who could bend a solid steel bar. Bravo, Patera, & Muraco all made a valiant attempt, but were unable to do so. Last to try was Atlas, and after a great struggle, he was actually starting to bend the bar when he was jumped by the other 3! "Classy" Freddie Blassie had a big smile on his face as he shook hands with Patera & Bravo, revealing this whole thing had been a setup from the get-go! The Can-Am Strongmen are now under contract with Freddie Blassie. This whole thing makes me sick.

B. Brian Blair pinned Rick Martel with the Flying Dropkick in 0:07:34.
Rating: **

We have seen a shift in attitude from B. Brian Blair recently, and it looks like the transition was completely made tonight. Blair has gotten two cheap victories over Terry Taylor on recent shows, but claimed that his first having his feet on the ropes and then pulling his tights was a complete accident. Blair came out with a jump rope, doing a little fitness display before the match (someone was inspired by the strength contest, I guess) with Rick Martel. Blair offered Martel a chance to match him in jump rope skill, but as Martel took the rope, Blair jumped him to start the match. Not the most noble of tactics, but we were willing to give him a pass on it in the spirit of competition. The match became heated as it wore on with a lot being behind each shot. Toward the end of the match, Blair was trying to untie the turnbuckle pad from one of the corners, but new referee Danny Davis caught him. After admonishing him, Davis turned to fix the turnbuckle, allowing Blair to rear back and kick Martel HARD in the pills! Blair went up top and hit the Flying Dropkick on the prone Martel to get the win. Blair wasn't done though as he showed his true colors after the match, grabbing the jump rope and wrapping it around Martel's neck, choking the life out of him! Martel was turning purple before LUKE GRAHAM came down to the ring. Blair let go of Martel and left the ring without further incident. We know exactly what Blair is about now, but let's see how he fares now that everybody knows it.

Jumbo Tsuruta pinned Antonio Inoki with the Jumbo Knee in 0:15:54.
Rating: ****

Before this next match, it was announced that tonight would be Antonio Inoki's final night in GCW before he headed back to Japan. Word is that Inoki is wanting to focus on his promotion in Japan, and that is becoming more difficult with his travel back and forth to the States to wrestle for GCW. Inoki wanted one final match though, and he wanted it against his protege', Jumbo Tsuruta. These two wrestled in Inoki's return to GCW, a match that saw Inoki be victorious. This time, the result would be different. Inoki has been showering Jumbo with wisdom through this year during their partnership, and Jumbo has only gotten better. He showed that when he was able to fight out of the Octopus Hold en route to connecting with the Jumbo Knee for the win. The two men shook hands after the bout and Inoki was given one final standing ovation in a GCW ring. Inoki asked Jumbo after the show to join him back in Japan, but Jumbo said he has some unfinished business here in GCW.

Dusty Rhodes made Ric Flair submit to a figure-four leglock in 0:26:19.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Dusty Rhodes retained the GCW World Title.)

"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes has managed to keep a stranglehold on the World Heavyweight Title since he won it back in June, not always winning under the most noble of circumstances but finding a way to win none the less. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair was hoping to make Rhodes' luck run out in our main event. Flair almost won the championship back in Hartford before the whole match fell apart due to outside interference, but the Nature Boy was looking to not waste this second opportunity. Flair has worked hard and has developed into one of the finest mat technicians in the world, and he showcased that against the champ. Rhodes is deceptive though. You look at him, and beneath is bulky frame and flashy personality, there's a guy who can really go in the ring. He can keep up on the mat, and when he gets over matched, he has enough power to equalize it. He's also crafty as they come, as he showed late in this match. Rhodes was down as Flair went to the top. Flair leaped off for a kneedrop, but Rhodes was playing possum and rolled out of the way. Flair landed extremely hard on his knee, and Rhodes smelled blood in the water, attacking the knee with an animalistic ruthlessness. Flair kept trying to fight back, but Rhodes was relentless and did a number on Flair's injured knee. Referee Dick Kroll nearly stopped the match on more than one occasion, but Flair wouldn't let him. Maybe he should have, because Rhodes locked Flair into his very own hold, the figure-four leglock, as the ultimate spit in the face. Flair kicked, clawed, and scratched to get out of the hold, even almost getting the move turned over, but in the end, too much damage had been done to his knee. Flair had to submit or face permanent injury. This is a huge win for Rhodes as he did it without the help of the Texas Outlaws, and a tough loss for the Nature Boy. Flair has vowed that he will bounce back and be the man to take the World Title from the American Dream.

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

2/2/82 - NASSAU COLISEUM - Uniondale, NY

WORLD TITLE - Dusty Rhodes (c) vs. Bob Backlund
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Stan Hansen (c) vs. Tito Santana
2/3 FALLS - Ricky Steamboat vs. Larry Zbyszko
Luke Graham/The Upstarts vs. B. Brian Blair/The Fabulous Freebirds

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