July 1, 1984 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

The Rock 'N Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) defeated Bret Hart and Tully Blanchard when R. Gibson made Blanchard submit to the Gibson Leglock in 0:14:57.
Rating: ****

The opening contest would turn out to be a fantastic match that none of us saw coming. Bret Hart has had no luck so far in his GCW career, despite what talking to him would lead you to believe. He has looked damn impressive though in losing efforts, and so Bobby Heenan decided to give him what essentially be a tryout match to kick off our show. Bret teamed with Heenan's charge, Tully Blanchard, to take on the Rock 'N Roll Express. Tully was a little hesitant to be teaming with Hart at first, but once they got going, they actually meshed as a team quite well. So much so, that Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson even gave them a couple of polite claps after particularly impressive exchanges. Blanchard & Hart took the RnR Express to the absolute limits, but in the end, Blanchard couldn't escape the Gibson Leglock. They didn't win, and Heenan didn't offer a contract to the Hitman on the spot, but he wants to see more of the Hart/Blanchard team next show in Boston. Meanwhile, this would not be the last that we saw of Morton & Gibson tonight.

Don Muraco pinned Jim Powers with the Tombstone in 0:03:28.
Rating: * 1/4

This was a strange situation, and definitely a first in wrestling. After Don Muraco lost his cool and punched a fan, there was a good chance that the Magnificent One was going to end up in jail. Muraco lucked out in that the fan, Jim Powers, was a life-long wrestling fan, and agreed to drop the lawsuit if he could get a match with Muraco in the world's most famous arena. We didn't know what to expect from Powers. He's definitely put together, and during the match, he showed that he has a lot of potential. With some more training, he could end up being an impressive wrestler. He just didn't have enough to overcome the experience of the former Intercontinental champion, falling in 3 and a half minutes to the Tombstone. After the match, Mr. Fuji told Muraco to put Powers out of his misery for causing them so much grief. Muraco was going to go for another Tombstone, but Powers slipped out of it, hit Muraco in the jaw with a forearm, and then sent Muraco to the floor with a clothesline! The crowd was going crazy as this rookie stood tall in the ring. Muraco wanted another match at Powers, something that Powers jumped at. He will get the match on July 27 in Boston, with an added bonus. If Powers wins, he will be granted a contract with GCW!

Kamala pinned Junkyard Dog with the Air Africa in 0:04:18.
Rating: 1/2*

There were 3 very important matches tonight leading us into War Games in Boston at the end of the month. Members of the All-Americans and the Foreign Legion would meet in 3 matches tonight. Whichever team won the 2 out of the 3 would get the advantage in the War Games match. The first of those matches saw the singles debut of the Ugandan Giant Kamala taking on the Junkyard Dog. This wasn't a pretty match by any stretch of the imagination, but a JYD match is always fun. He knows how to command an audience like few others can in the wrestling world. Kamala is a bit of a wild card though. We don't know much about where he came from or where "Classy" Freddie Blassie found him, but after this match, we learned that he is going to be a lot of trouble for a lot of wrestlers, pinning JYD with a splash he calls Air Africa. The Foreign Legion are up 1-0 tonight.

[NEW YORK STREETFIGHT]: No-Countout-No-DQ-Match:
King Kong Bundy pinned Bruiser Brody with the Big Splash in 0:07:27.
Rating: * 3/4
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Bruiser Brody.]

Bobby Heenan had some split focus tonight. He knew that Nick Bockwinkel would be trying to regain the Intercontinental Title later in the evening, but he seemed preoccupied with the $10,000 bounty he has put on the head of Bruiser Brody. There was a damn good chance the bounty could be collected tonight as Brody was signed on for a New York Streetfight against the massive member of the Heenan Family, King Kong Bundy. Much like our last match, we weren't going to get a wrestling classic here, but we did get one hell of a fight. Brody is arguably the best brawler in the business, and Bundy is no slouch himself. The beasts fought all around the ringside area, using anything that wasn't nailed down to attack the other. Bundy choked with Howard Finkel's microphone cable, Brody smashed Bundy with a small fan that the timekeeper had with him - it was a crazy brawl from bell-to-bell. A Heenan distraction allowed Bundy to hit an avalanche on Brody in the corner, and follow with the Big Splash to win the match. With Brody down, the Brain told him it was time to collect the bounty. Bundy went for a second Big Splash, but Brody rolled out of the way just in time. When both men got to their feet, Brody smashed Bundy with a kneelift that sent the 450-pounder toppling through the ropes. Bundy may have won the match, but the bounty remains uncollected.

The U.S. Express (Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo) defeated The Foreign Legion (Dino Bravo and Nikolai Volkoff) when Rotundo defeated Bravo by countout in 0:06:00.
Rating: **

This match was a must-win for the U.S. Express. With Kamala defeating Junkyard Dog earlier, if Rotundo & Windham fell short against the World Tag Team champions, that would mean that the Foreign Legion would get the upper hand in the War Games match. The tag titles weren't on the line, but it didn't mean this match wasn't of the utmost importance. The U.S. Express bounced back nicely after having lost the titles to Bravo & Volkoff, learning from some of their mistakes in that match for this one. Rotundo & Windham get better and better every time out there, and they were definitely firing on all cylinders in the Garden. They were so on fire that Freddie Blassie made an executive decision, walking out with his tag champs in tow to prevent any possible injury going into War Games. This evens the score at 1 match a piece, so the match between Tony Atlas & The Iron Sheik will be for all the marbles!

Ricky Steamboat pinned Nick Bockwinkel with the Flying Crossbody Press in 0:08:47.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Ricky Steamboat retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Ricky Steamboat is now a 3-time Intercontinental champion after defeating Nick Bockwinkel for the vacant title at our last show. The Dragon's previous two reigns have been called cursed by some experts, so Steamboat was hoping that the third time would be the charm. He had to get by a tough task in his first title defense though against the aforementioned Bockwinkel. Bobby Heenan was still fuming about Bruiser Brody getting away earlier, but he put that aside to try to get some championship gold back in the Family. Bockwinkel may be as unpopular as they come, but he is a fantastic pro wrestler. He has been in this game for a long time, and he knows all the tricks of the trade. Steamboat might be younger and faster, but Bockwinkel knows every little way to keep himself in a match, despite his age. Bockwinkel did uncharacteristically get frustrated though when he couldn't figure out how to keep Steamboat down and out. The Dragon will always keep fighting, which helps make him one of the most popular wrestlers in the world. Steamboat stayed in the match long enough to catch Bockwinkel with a boot to the face when Bockwinkel charged into the corner, a big dropkick, and finally the Flying Crossbody Press for the 1-2-3.

Jimmy Snuka challenges Ricky Steamboat to a match.

As Steamboat was handed the IC Title, he was joined in the ring by JIMMY SNUKA. Snuka received a huge pop, and one of the men applauding him was the Dragon. Snuka congratulated Steamboat on a great title defense, and said that he was proud of the Dragon for everything he has accomplished. The Superfly said he was not just here to stroke Steamboat's ego, though, and actually had something to get off his chest. Snuka said he has been in GCW for a long time, and after he retired, he thought that was it. But when he was away, there was one man who still talked to him and tried to keep his spirits up, and that was Ricky Steamboat. Snuka thanked Steamboat for helping him get his confidence back. The Superfly added that he knew it might be asking too much, but he wanted one more favor from the Dragon - a title shot for the Intercontinental Championship. Steamboat responded by saying it would be his honor to wrestle a legend like Jimmy Snuka, and he could have his match on July 27 at the Boston Garden. The two shook hands and left the ring together. What a match this is going to be!

The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) defeated Dick Murdoch and Dennis Condrey when Dynamite Kid made Condrey submit to a Boston crab in 0:13:26.
Rating: *** 1/2
[Jim Cornette interfered against Dynamite Kid.]
(Bobby Eaton no-showed.)

The British Bulldogs were practically salivating for this match against Jim Cornette's Midnight Express. Davey Boy Smith has been cleared to wrestle again and thankfully has suffered no permanent eye damage thanks to Mama Cornette's hairspray. Smith & Dynamite Kid were ready to go, but when the Midnight Express were announced, Bobby Eaton came out on a pair of crutches. The Bulldogs, and the fans, were understandably skeptical. Cornette explained that Beautiful Bobby injured his knee when he ran into a burning building this past week and saved several nuns, so he would be unable to compete. Nobody bought it, especially the Bulldogs, but Eaton wasn't going to wrestle. Cornette did find a replacement to team with the Loverboy, and that man was "Dirty" Dick Murdoch, who was just in a bad mood and wanting to rip anyone apart.

The Bulldogs may not have gotten the match that they wanted, but they still had a big match here. This one came down to two major factors. For starters, as talented as Murdoch & Condrey are individually, they just didn't have the experience teaming together that Davey Boy & Dynamite do. Secondly, there were a couple of guys that had the Bulldogs' back, and they were the Rock 'N Roll Express, who were also recent victims of the chicanery of the Midnight Express. Cornette was looking to use the can of Mama Cornette's hairspray again, but Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson ran down to stop that from happening. Morton hit Cornette with a kick to the midsection while Gibson caught the hairspray. Eaton ran at them swinging a crutch wildly (showing that his ankle was just fine, might I add), but Morton ducked and brought Beautiful Bobby down with a drop toehold. Cornette yelled at Morton, but when he turned back around, Gibson sprayed him in the eyes with the hairspray! MSG exploded as Cornette flopped around on the ground like a fish out of water, clutching at his eyes. Condrey's attention was diverted by this, allowing Dynamite to catch him in a perfect Boston crab, picking up the win by submission. After the match, Eaton & Condrey helped Cornette to the back, the Prince of Polyester yelling that he couldn't see the entire way.

The Iron Sheik made Tony Atlas submit to the Camel Clutch in 0:04:47.
Rating: * 1/2

Whoever won this match, whether it be Tony Atlas or The Iron Sheik, would win the advantage in War Games on July 27. The edge in War Games of getting to have a new man enter the ring first is huge, and can make the difference between a win and a loss (and possibly a serious injury). These two are no strangers to each other, having wrestled several times in the past, so as a result, there was no feeling out process. They just tore into each other from the word go. Sheik once again tried to load up his boot, but when he turned around to use it, Atlas hoisted him up in a torture rack! Atlas didn't have a good hold of it, and Sheik was close enough to the corner that he got a hold of the turnbuckle pad. Atlas tried to pull Sheik back in the ring, causing them both to topple to the floor, and ripping the turnbuckle pad off to expose the cold steel underneath. The two groggy combatants got back to their feet, Atlas charging in at the former Olympian. Sheik moved out of the way, causing Atlas to crack his back against the exposed steel. Sheik then hit Atlas with a big boot to the face, before locking on the Camel Clutch. Even someone as strong as Atlas couldn't withstand all of this punishment, and he had to submit. The Foreign Legion will get the man advantage for War Games!

Bob Backlund pinned Larry Zbyszko after a cross-body block in 0:20:58.
Rating: **** 1/4

Larry Zbyszko just might not be able to beat Bob Backlund, period. He has come up just short in previous meetings, and he has become practically obsessed with getting his hand raised in a match against the former World champion. Every time the Cruncher gets in the ring with Backlund, he gets that much closer to beating Backlund. This was the closest he's gotten yet. Zbyszko wrestled like he has never wrestled before. As the match wore on, the fans were getting more and more on the Cruncher's side, thinking that tonight was going to be the night he finally got his win. Backlund wasn't about to just lay down though, and he brought it back to Zbyszko as hard as Zbyszko brought it to him. Still, Zbyszko had that look on his face that he wasn't going to be stopped. Zbyszko pulled Backlund up to go for a big shoulderbreaker. The Cruncher took a little time to play to the fans, which ended up coming back to haunt him. Backlund shifted his weight and countered into a cross-body block. Three seconds later, and Zbyszko once again had his heart broken. Backlund rolled out of the ring, once again getting a victory, while Zbyszko just sat up in the ring, dumbfounded over what had happened. The fans gave Zbyszko a standing ovation, but Zbyszko just looked out of it, walking to the back with his head down.

Stan Hansen and Dusty Rhodes battled to a no contest in 0:07:14.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Stan Hansen retained the GCW World Title.)
[Dick Murdoch interfered against Dusty Rhodes.]
[Dick Murdoch interfered against Stan Hansen.]

Stan Hansen & Dusty Rhodes may be friends now, but that didn't mean that they weren't both looking forward to this main event. When the World Title is on the line, all friendships can go out the window. Hansen felt they needed to bury the hatchet once and for all, and this match did just that, but not in the way that he had hoped. The match started out innocently enough - it looked like both men were going to try to have a good clean match. Then they both remembered that this isn't the way that they wrestle, and they went back to beating the crap out of each other. The crowd was rabid watching these two destroy each other. Hansen had just hit Rhodes with a bodyslam when he was blindsided out of nowhere by DICK MURDOCH, wielding a steel chair! Rhodes got up to one knee, but that's as high as he could get before Captain Redneck brought the chair down over the skull of the American Dream! Hansen was trying to get back to his feet, so Murdoch grabbed him and dropped him with the Gourdbuster. Murdoch grabbed the microphone and said that because of Hansen & Rhodes, Bobby Duncum's knee is shot and he had to retire. So Murdoch is going to make it so Hansen & Rhodes have to retire. Murdoch continued laying it chair shots until security finally pulled him to the back. Hansen & Murdoch were both dying to get a chance at Murdoch. Apparently, a coin was flipped, and Hansen won. Hansen vs. Murdoch will take place in Boston.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

7/27/84 - BOSTON GARDEN - Boston, MA

WAR GAMES - The All-Americans vs. The Foreign Legion
WORLD TITLE - Stan Hansen (c) vs. Dick Murdoch
Dusty Rhodes vs. Bob Backlund
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Ricky Steamboat (c) vs. Jimmy Snuka
The Rock 'N Roll Express vs. The Midnight Express
Bruiser Brody vs. King Kong Bundy
Larry Zbyszko vs. Nick Bockwinkel
The British Bulldogs vs. Tully Blanchard/Bret Hart

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