July 18, 1964 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

Ernie Ladd doesn't learn his lesson and issues another open challenge.

US champion Ernie Ladd kicked off the show by once again offering an open challenge to anyone to come out and face him for the title. Last time the Big Cat was met by Haystacks Calhoun. This time he got former United States champion DANNY HODGE! Hodge has been out for the last several months with a torn ACL, and he was back and wanted to make a statement right away.

Danny Hodge pinned Ernie Ladd with the Oklahoma Roll in 0:13:46.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Danny Hodge won the GCW United States Title.)

Danny Hodge is back and he has made a huge splash by becoming the United States champion for the second time! Ladd clearly didn't consider that Hodge would return and accept the challenge, and couldn't keep up with Hodge's amateur wrestling. Hodge locked on the Oklahoma Roll and got the 3 count, becoming the first man in GCW history to hold the US Title twice.

Don Leo Jonathan and Edouard Carpentier defeated Skull Murphy and Brute Bernard when Carpentier pinned Bernard with the Somersault Senton in 0:10:25.
Rating: * 3/4

Don Leo Jonathan & Edouard Carpentier have decided to form a permanent tag team as they have impressed so far. They continue to impress as they didn't have much trouble getting past Skull Murphy & Brute Bernard.

Haystacks Calhoun pinned Mark Lewin with the Big Splash in 0:14:47.
Rating: ** 1/2

Mark Lewin cost Haystacks Calhoun the United States Title last month, so Calhoun was out for revenge. He got it all right as the 600-pounder crushed the Maniac with the Big Splash.

Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser) defeated The Golden Grahams (Eddie Graham and Dr. Jerry Graham) when Bruiser pinned E. Graham after a powerslam in 0:15:07.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Crusher & Bruiser retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

The Golden Grahams were able to beat Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher a month before the fan favorites won the the World Tag Team Titles, earning them the first title shot against the new champions. If they could repeat that, they would become the new tag team champions. Bruiser & Crusher learned from the last match and were this time able to get the duke this time around, making their first title defense a successful one.

Bobo Brazil pinned Ray Stevens with the Coco Butt in 0:07:07.
Rating: *** 1/4

Ray Stevens was the next man to try to earn the bounty put on Bobo Brazil's head. Instead the Blond Bomber got dropped on his head. A lot. Stevens tried what he could but the overwhelming size and power of Brazil allowed him to hit the Coco Butt and get the win. GENE KINISKI ran down to attack Brazil, but PEDRO MORALES, his opponent later tonight, ran in for the save. Kiniski vowed to break Morales in half.

Johnny Valentine and Bruno Sammartino battled to a draw in 0:20:00.
Rating: ***

Johnny Valentine impressed a lot of people tonight as he survived a match with Bruno Sammartino. Even if he didn't get the win, he managed to take Bruno all the way to a time limit draw, which is much better than a lot of men fair.

Pedro Morales pinned Gene Kiniski after a small package in 0:12:39.
Rating: ** 1/4
[Abdullah Farouk interfered against Pedro Morales.]

Gene Kiniski wanted to teach Pedro Morales a lesson for getting involved on his business earlier, but it backfired on him big time. Kiniski could have pinned Morales on several occasions, but Abdullah Farouk continually advised Kiniski to lift the Puerto Rican's shoulder up. It finally caught up to him when he went for the Backbreaker, but Morales reversed into a small package and got a flash 1-2-3! Kiniski couldn't believe it as he went after Morales, but Pedro was out of there in a hurry.

Cage Match:
Gorilla Monsoon and Killer Kowalski defeated Antonino Rocca and Miguel Perez when Monsoon made Perez submit to the Airplane Spin in 0:40:14.
Rating: ***

The feud between these two teams reached an entirely new level with this cage match. Usually cage matches are designed to settle a feud once and for all, but if anything, I think this match further ignited it. Much like how their encounter ended last month, all four men ended up bleeding all over the place, using the cage as a weapon to its fullest potential. For over 40 minutes these teams battled before the mammoth Monsoon caught Perez in the Airplane Spin. Kowalski cut Rocca off as Perez tried to fight out of it, but he had simply lost too much blood during the contest and couldn't take it, having to submit.

Lou Thesz pinned Bill Watts after a crucifix in 0:28:55.
Rating: **** 3/4
(Lou Thesz retained the GCW World Title.)

What a fantastic main event we had for the World Title. Bill Watts was dead set on doing what Bruno Sammartino hasn't been able to do, and that's take the World Title from Lou Thesz. Watts knew how big of a chance this was for him and he didn't waste it. Watts did everything right in this match except for get the win. He had Thesz so close to defeat on multiple occasions, but Thesz is as wily as they come. He showed this by reversing a lariat attempt by Watts into a crucifix to get the pinfall. The Cowboy was convinced that he would be the one to retire Lou Thesz, but the World champion has lived to fight another day. Now Watts is going to have to face the music to Bruno Sammartino, and soon.

Card rating: *** 1/4

Match observations:

We are back in Philadelphia on August 15th for our next night of GCW action! On this huge card, you will see:

World Title - Lou Thesz (c) vs. Johnny Valentine
World Tag Team Titles - Dick the Bruiser/The Crusher (c) vs. The Madmen
Bruno Sammartino vs. Bill Watts
Danny Hodge/Haystacks Calhoun vs. Ernie Ladd/Mark Lewin
Bobo Brazil/Pedro Morales vs. Gene Kiniski/Ray Stevens

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