January 13, 1983 - Memorial Auditorium - Lowell, MA

Rick Martel and Tito Santana defeated The Golden Boys (B. Brian Blair and Terry Taylor) when T. Santana pinned Blair with the Flying Forearm in 0:10:18.
Rating: ** 3/4

The first match of 1983 was tag team action, and the bit of a continuance of a feud that roared on for most of 1982. The Golden Boys are an experienced team, and B. Brian Blair & Terry Taylor are looking to get to the next level this year. They took on their old nemesis Rick Martel. Martel teamed up with Tito Santana for the first time, and truthfully, they made a fantastic team. Though less experienced, they seemed to play off each other flawlessly, something the Golden Boys didn't see coming. Martel & Santana picked up the win in their first outing as a team. Martel & Santana have discussed becoming a permanent team, but Blair & Taylor have promised them that they will make that decision for them by taking them out in a rematch on February 6 in Detroit.

Ric Flair made Johnny Rodz submit to the Figure-Four Leglock in 0:03:11.
Rating: * 3/4

After coming back strong from his knee injury to defeat Nick Bockwinkel in a grueling submission match, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair was coming into the new year with boatloads of momentum, momentum that he used to easily defeat Johnny Rodz. Flair picked Rodz apart, worked over the leg, and got on the Figure-Four Leglock for the submission victory. But it was what happened after the match that made the biggest statement.

Bobby Heenan lets Ric Flair know he's not done with him.

Flair had barely had his hand raised when BOBBY HEENAN came out and grabbed Howard Finkel's microphone. The Brain was not happy as he tore into Flair verbally, telling the Nature Boy that thanks to him, Nick Bockwinkel was out with an injury to his knee. Heenan said that he understand that injuries happen in this business, but thanks to Flair, Heenan is in a bad place. "If Bockwinkel is on the shelf, I'm not making any money. And when I'm not making any money, I am not a happy man." Heenan said he was forced to find another client to make sure the money kept rolling in, and his new client's first order of business was to take Flair out. Flair told Heenan to bring it on, but he soon came to regret that when the new client was revealed as KING KONG BUNDY. Flair looked a bit nervous as the undefeated monster lumbered to the ring. Flair tried to cut Bundy off at the pass by attacking him as soon as he got into the ring, but the 450-pound behemoth shoved Flair to the canvas like he was nothing. When Flair got up, Bundy picked him up and planted him with a bodyslam. Bundy hit the ropes and brought his massive frame down onto the ribs of Flair with the Big Splash. Heenan demanded a second splash, which he received before officials came and threatened Heenan with a fine before he finally took his new monster to the back. Flair was in some obvious pain, having to be helped to the back.

The Soul Patrol (Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson) defeated The Can-Am Strongmen (Dino Bravo and Ken Patera) when Atlas defeated Bravo when Bravo passed out in the Bearhug in 0:18:22.
Rating: **
(The Soul Patrol won the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Tony Atlas.]

It has taken months for them to get a fair shake, but Tony Atlas & Rocky Johnson finally got the crack they wanted at the Can-Am Strongmen and the World Tag Team Titles. Freddie Blassie has done everything in his power to ensure that Dino Bravo & Ken Patera kept the titles, whether it be by countout or disqualification. Blassie again tried the DQ route when he attacked Atlas from behind with his cane on the floor, but referee Tommy Young made a great judgment call. Instead of throwing the match out, instead he through Classy Freddie out, sending him to the back! The Strongmen were on their own out there, and they were trying to cut as many corners and keep the titles by any means necessary. Tommy Young wasn't going to let them get off that easily, refusing to let their blatant attempts to get disqualified work. Atlas & Johnson used this extra leeway to build momentum until Atlas got Bravo in his Bearhug. Patera tried to save, but he got cut off by the Johnson Shuffle. Bravo made one last gasp to get out of Atlas' clutches but couldn't, and the building exploded as the Soul Patrol had finally done it! They celebrated with the World Tag Team Titles as they received a standing ovation.

Blassie came back out and was livid, specifically with Patera. Blassie blamed Patera for the loss, claiming he could have done more to save his partner. Blassie kept brow-beating Patera, but went too far when he slapped him across the face. Patera snapped and grabbed Blassie by the shirt, but Bravo attacked him from behind. THE IRON SHEIK joined in on the beating down of Patera before SOUL PATROL re-entered the ring and made the save. After a tense moment, Patera exchanged handshakes with Atlas & Johnson and thanked them for helping him. We're going to see how well they get along in Detroit as a 6-man tag team match has been signed - Soul Patrol & Ken Patera vs. Dino Bravo, The Iron Sheik, & Don Muraco.

Jumbo Tsuruta defeated Don Muraco via pinfall in 0:09:42.
Rating: *** 3/4
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Jumbo Tsuruta.]

Freddie Blassie's patience with Don Muraco has been wearing thin, which might not be in the Magnificent One's best interest given what happened to Ken Patera earlier in the evening. Muraco wanted another crack at Jumbo Tsuruta, a man who defeated him late last year. Muraco wrestled with a chip on his shoulder, and for the most part, it was doing him good. He was sticking with Jumbo move for move, which is impressive considering how phenomenal Jumbo has been in recent months. Even with Muraco wrestling a top-notch match, it looked like Jumbo was going to pull this one out. Blassie jumped up on the apron to intervene, but was cut off by referee Dick Woehrle. While Woehrle tried to get Blassie back on the floor, Classy Freddie tossed his cane into the ring for Muraco to use. But he didn't toss it far enough, and Jumbo got a hold of it instead. It's not normally Tsuruta's game to use a weapon, but it was going to be used on him, so he struck first, catching Muraco in the jaw with the cane. Muraco was out like a light, Jumbo made the cover, and that was that. Blassie once again chastised Muraco for the loss, and said he was giving him one more chance to prove himself, saying he better bring it during the 6-man tag next month, or else.

Two-out-of-three-Falls Match:
Ricky Steamboat beat Larry Zbyszko 2 falls to 1:
x Zbyszko beat Steamboat via pinfall in 0:08:26
x Steamboat beat Zbyszko via the Flying Crossbody Press in 0:18:32
x Steamboat beat Zbyszko via a tiger suplex in 0:22:55
Rating: *** 1/2
(Ricky Steamboat retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Ricky Steamboat set a record with his exceptionally fast Intercontinental Title win in New York, pinning Larry Zbyszko in a mere 40 seconds to win the coveted title for the second time. Zbyszko got his mandatory rematch tonight, and it was made best 2 out of 3 falls, which leads to a totally different strategy needing to be employed. Zbyszko wasn't going to be stopped in only 40 seconds this time around, and Steamboat knew that. Zbyszko came out fast and tried to score that quick pinfall to get even with Steamboat, but Steamboat was prepared for it and made Zbyszko look ridiculous in the early minutes. Steamboat was having a great time working Zbyszko over with deep armdrags and dropkicks, but it turned around in a hurry when Zbyszko pulled out a foreign object from his trunks. The Living Legend clocked Steamboat between the eyes with it, and not only was Steamboat bleeding, but he was down a fall.

Zbyszko didn't rest on his laurels one bit after getting the first fall. He went right back to work, using his fists and any dirty tactic he could think of to open up that wound even more. Steamboat looked absolutely helpless in there as Zbyszko savored busting the IC champion up. Zbyszko was enjoying it so much that he wasn't going for any covers, instead being quite content to have Steamboat's blood on his hands. It led to Steamboat getting a fall when Zbyszko charged him in the corner, but the champion met him with a boot to the face. Steamboat got himself on the second turnbuckle and jumped off with the Flying Crossbody Press and got the 1-2-3 to secure the second fall!

Zbyszko went nuts because he knew he let one slip away, and his attack became a lot more haphazard. He was all over the place, and Steamboat was slowly getting his bearings back with every counter he was able to hit. Zbyszko went for the Crunch Time, but Steamboat flipped out of it and hit a picture perfect tiger suplex that was just enough to get the fall. He lost a lot of blood and it took a lot of guts, but Ricky Steamboat walked out of Lowell still the Intercontinental champion.

Jimmy Snuka and Bill Eadie battled to a double countout in 0:01:17.
Rating: *

This match between "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka & Bill "the Ax" Eadie never had a chance to get off the ground. Snuka is coming off a decisive victory and end to his feud with Bob Backlund at the year-end show, and is looking to keep that momentum moving forward going into 1983. Eadie has more or less been a hired gun for the last few months, but is looking to get established as a viable threat on his own. Getting into a brawl with Snuka is one way to do it. Eadie brought out the intensity right from the opening bell, and Snuka is never one to back down from a fight. The battle spilled to the floor when Snuka flew at Eadie with a crossbody that sent both men toppling over the top rope. Both men would be counted out, but the fight continued all the way up the aisle and to the dressing room before it was finally broken up. A rematch is already in place for Detroit.

Bob Backlund vs. Spike Huber never started.
Rating: N/A

This match between Bob Backlund & Spike Huber never got a chance to start, and that's thanks to the bad mood Backlund was in. Referee Danny Davis never rang the bell, because right when Huber got in the ring, Backlund attacked him with a big boot to the ribs. Huber's hard hat fell off, which Backlund used to knock Huber out. That wasn't enough as Backlund locked Huber in the very dangerous Crossface Chickenwing. Backlund had a crazed look in his eyes as he was clearly trying to rip Huber's arm off. Officials couldn't get Backlund to release the hold as their attempts seemed to make him lock the deadly hold on tighter. Finally someone did come down to break it up - RICKY STEAMBOAT! Steamboat wasn't going to sit back and let something like this happen, and he dropped a karate chop on Backlund's forehead to get him to release the Chickenwing. Backlund got up and charged at Steamboat, who sent the crazy man over the top rope with a backdrop. Backlund was foaming at the mouth to get in the ring, but a slew of security held him back. You have to commend Steamboat for doing the right thing and helping Huber out, but an angry Bob Backlund is not who you want breathing down your neck.

The Texas Outlaws (Bobby Duncum and Dick Murdoch) defeated The Von Erich Brothers (Kerry Von Erich and Kevin Von Erich) when Duncum pinned Kevin Von Erich with the Full Nelson Slam in 0:08:19.
Rating: ** 1/4

This match was originally supposed to take place at the Garden, but Bobby Duncum never showed up because he was suffering from an "injury." Duncum, through the grace of God, was mysteriously better tonight, and we got the match we all expected to see with him teaming with Dick Murdoch to take on the Von Erich Brothers. The validity of Duncum's injury might be called into question, but one thing you cannot question is how tough Murdoch & he are. They aren't former tag team champions on a fluke - they're tough as nails and don't have a lick of respect for anybody. Kevin & Kerry Von Erich are a couple of rowdy Texans themselves, and know how to tangle with the Outlaws. The Outlaws like to treat the Von Erichs like they're merely a couple of pretty boys, but when you're the sons of Fritz Von Erich, you know how to fight. The Von Erichs earned a lot of good will with the fans for their fighting ability tonight, but they did not earn a victory as Duncum caught Kevin in the Full Nelson Slam to secure the win.

Texas Death No-Countout-No-DQ-Match:
The Iron Sheik pinned Terry Funk after hitting him with the cane in 0:12:21.
Rating: * 1/4
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Terry Funk.]

Terry Funk answered an open challenge from The Iron Sheik who said he was superior to any American athlete. Funk didn't take too kindly to that, punching Sheik right in the jaw and not backing down from him in the least. He got himself disqualified, but that wasn't the point for Funk. We got a rematch in our semi-main event, and Sheik was so confident that as an Iranian he could beat any American that he even agreed to wrestle in Funk's specialty, the Texas Death Match. Funk was chomping at the bit to get him some of the former Iranian Olympian, and he got a quick pinfall with a piledriver. But in the Texas Death Match, after a fall is scored, you have 10 seconds to get back to your feet, and Sheik did just that. The Sheik got a pinfall himself not long after when he caught the Funker with a shot from his loaded boot, but Funk showed how tough he is by getting back to his feet by the 8 count. Funk couldn't get back up though once Sheik nailed him in the chin with Freddie Blassie's cane to get the win. Sheik & Blassie took too long to celebrate in the ring though as Funk got up and hit Sheik with a knee to the back, sending him flying to the outside. Blassie tried to get out of the ring, but Funk caught him and cracked him with a left hand to the delight of the fans. Blassie got on the house mic of Howard Finkel's and told Funk he just sealed his fate and that he had a big surprise for him at the Detroit show.

Stan Hansen pinned Dusty Rhodes with the Lariat in 0:13:31.
Rating: *** 3/4
(Stan Hansen retained the GCW World Title.)

Stan Hansen finally won the big one. After years of being tagged with the reputation of not coming through in the clutch, the Lariat won his first World Title in the World's Most Famous Arena. Dusty Rhodes was quick to enact his rematch clause, and it would be a slobberknocker. These two just simply do not like each other, and you could see that with every punch and kick. Rhodes clearly knows what it's like to be on top, but the pressure in this match was really on Hansen. Winning the title was a major step, but if he was to lose in his first title defense, he would have that cloud cast over him for the rest of his career. Hansen isn't normally one to let pressure get to him, but he did look uncharacteristically nervous in the opening minutes. Once he realized that his title was in some serious danger, he kicked it up a notch and brought the heat. Despite what Rhodes did to slow Hansen down, he couldn't avoid the Lariat forever as that move did him in, giving Hansen a successful title defense his first time out.

After Hansen left the ring, the American Dream was fuming in the ring about not being able to recapture the title. It also didn't sit well with BOBBY DUNCUM & DICK MURDOCH, who came into the ring and questioned why Rhodes was still the leader of the Texas Outlaws. Rhodes tried to reassert his authority, but it definitely looked like he was in a bad way, which we had reaffirmed when Duncum & Murdoch attacked him! Rhodes received an unexpected assist though when STAN HANSEN ran back into the ring, grabbed Duncum, and drilled him with a power bomb! Murdoch hit Hansen in the back with a forearm and then went for an Irish whip. Hansen reversed it though, and nearly took Murdoch's head off with the Lariat, prompting Dirty Dick to roll out of the ring. Hansen & Rhodes exchanged a very tense stare before Hansen gave the Dream a nod, then taking his title and walking to the back to end our show.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

2/6/83 - COBO ARENA - Detroit, MI

MAIN EVENT - Stan Hansen/Dusty Rhodes vs. Bobby Duncum/Dick Murdoch
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Ricky Steamboat (c) vs. Bob Backlund
Soul Patrol/Ken Patera vs. The Iron Sheik/Dino Bravo/Don Muraco
Ric Flair vs. King Kong Bundy
Jimmy Snuka vs. Bill Eadie
Terry Funk vs. ???
Rick Martel/Tito Santana vs. The Golden Boys

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