July 22, 1978 - Memorial Auditorium - Lowell, MA

Pat Patterson defeated Rene Goulet when Rene Goulet passed out in a Boston crab in 0:03:01.
Rating: ** 1/4

We hadn't been in Lowell, MA in two and a half years, and we came back with a huge event in the middle of summer! The opening contest saw Rene Goulet's losing streak continue against Pat Patterson. Patterson worked on Goulet's back before putting him out with a Boston crab.

The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) defeated The Blackjacks (Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan) when Jack Brisco made Lanza submit to the Figure-Four Leglock in 0:08:32.
Rating: ****

We followed up with tag team action between two of the best teams in GCW with the Brisco Brothers taking on the Blackjacks. These two teams have had a great rivalry in the past, but that was when the Blackjacks still had Bobby "the Brain" Heenan calling the shots as their manager. Heenan left months ago without as much as a goodbye, and since then, Lanza & Mulligan have been in limbo. They're wrestling good matches, but lack the killer instinct they had with Heenan that made them two-time World Tag Team champions. That trend continued tonight as the Briscos took the match.

Dino Bravo pinned Johnny Rodz with the Side Suplex in 0:02:52.
Rating: ** 1/4

Dino Bravo continued his winning ways by picking up an easy victory against Johnny Rodz. Rodz "unpredictably" came out and tried to talk French to the Canadian Bravo, but needless to say his French was way off. Maybe he was trying to talk Bravo out of the match, which would have saved him from taking the Side Suplex and yet another loss.

The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) defeated The Gunslingers (Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk) when Sika defeated D. Funk Jr. by disqualification in 0:12:17.
Rating: ** 3/4
(The Gunslingers retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

After our trip to Puerto Rico in June, some new wrestlers have joined GCW. Afa & Sika, collectively known as the Wild Samoans, impressed GCW officials with their victory over the reigning World Tag Team champions, the Funk Brothers, in San Juan. The Samoans have been brought to GCW full time and in their very first official match, were given a shot at the titles! Afa & Sika aren't called wild for nothing - they are a couple of wildmen in that squared circle. Dory Jr. & Terry know how to go toe-to-toe with the best of them, but the more they took the fight to the Samoans, the more the Samoans dished it right back! This frustrated the Funks to the point that they each grabbed a World Tag Team Title and blasted the Samoans with them, a clear disqualification. Even this act of treachery seemed to only anger the Samoans, who chased the champions to the back.

Great Kabuki and Don Muraco defeated Chief Jay Strongbow and Billy White Wolf when Muraco pinned Strongbow with the Tombstone in 0:07:04.
Rating: * 1/2
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Billy White Wolf.]

Speaking of our tag team division, it continues to prove that it is the best division of its kind in the world. Our next match featured the third match between the teams of Chief Jay Strongbow & Billy White Wolf and Don Muraco & Great Kabuki, a rivalry that has gained steam since the end of 1977. Thus far in the tag team matches, Freddie Blassie's charges have gotten the better of the proud Native Americans, but you know that's not going to stop Strongbow & Wolf. As has been the case in the past, Blassie interfered several times on his charges' behalf, helping Muraco & Kabuki earn another tainted victory. Strongbow & Wolf had finally had enough, and after the match they took a piece out of the hide of Muraco & Kabuki, sending them fleeing to the back like scalded dogs. They may have lost the match, but they were able to walk out of Lowell with their heads held high.

Pedro Morales pinned Stan Hansen after a sunset flip in 0:12:58.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Pedro Morales retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Pedro Morales got a measure of revenge against Stan Hansen by taking the Intercontinental Title from him down in his home country of Puerto Rico, but the fiery Morales still had a lot of pent up anger toward the burly Texan. Hansen took a year of his career away by injuring his neck with the Lariat, and Morales still wants to take it out on him. Hansen came after Morales at full blast and for awhile, it looked like Morales' reign as IC champ was going to be short-lived. Hansen was frustrated that he couldn't keep Morales down, repeatedly trying to put his feet on the ropes and pull the tights to get the title back. So it was sweet poetic justice when Morales caught Hansen in a sunset flip and he put his feet on the ropes for the 3 count. Not the cleanest of victories, but given Hansen's tactics, it was what he deserved. These two will go at it again on August 13 in Albany, but it will be contested under 2 out of 3 falls rules.

Larry Zbyszko gloats about injuring Bobby Duncum.

Before our next contest, we got an in-ring interview with Larry Zbyszko, and to say he was being overbearing would be a vast understatement. Zbyszko went into a lengthy (yet eloquent) spiel about how proud he was about severely injuring Bobby Duncum's shoulder to knock him out of GCW for the foreseeable future. He rambled on and on about this horrible act before JIMMY SNUKA came out. Snuka rambled on as well, but that's more because he's not an eloquent man. But his message was clear - what Zbyszko did was wrong, but not as wrong as gloating about it. Zbyszko backed off as Snuka got in his face, but when Snuka turned to leave, Zbyszko jumped him and sent him crashing shoulder first between the turnbuckles into the ring post before heading to the back with an arrogant smile etched upon his face. What a creep this Zbyszko is. Hopefully Snuka gives him what he has coming.

Ivan Koloff pinned Gorilla Monsoon with the Russian Sickle in 0:04:51.
Rating: **

The last time we saw Ivan Koloff, he was on the losing end of a brutal cage match with Dusty Rhodes at Madison Square Garden. He came out wanting to prove a point tonight, and Freddie Blassie had him fired up and ready to go. Gorilla Monsoon has seen it all though and is intimidated by no man. Monsoon took it to Koloff early, but when it was all said and done, the Russian Sickle put him to the mat for the 1-2-3.

Bob Backlund and Jumbo Tsuruta defeated Ric Flair and Roddy Piper when Tsuruta pinned Piper with the Jumbo Knee in 0:25:03.
Rating: *** 3/4

Bob Backlund has finally gotten his wish. Based on his in-ring performances, as well as his manager Arnold Skaaland petitioning for the match tirelessly with President Hisashi Shinma, Backlund will get his World Title opportunity on August 13 in Albany, NY. Backlund and his partner Jumbo Tsuruta wanted to take it to Race's henchman, Ric Flair & Roddy Piper, wanting them to take a message to the World champion. Thsi was a tremendous display of tag team wrestling. Backlund & Tsuruta mesh well as a team and have developed a friendship that has helped them in their tag team matches. On the other side, while Flair & Piper may be young and relatively inexperienced, there is no doubt they have a plethora of talent. This was the match of the night and extremely competitive, but really, with his impending World Title shot, there was going to be no stopping Backlund. Backlund took Flair out of the picture so Tsuruta could hit the Jumbo Knee on Piper to get the duke.

Harley Race pinned Dusty Rhodes after a roundhouse right in 0:11:26.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Harley Race retained the GCW World Title.)
[Ivan Koloff interfered against Dusty Rhodes.]

Dusty Rhodes has been with GCW for years, and though he has had a World Title match in the past, he was not ready for that kind of opportunity. This time around, there was a different atmosphere surrounding this match. There was something special in the air - not only were people thinking the American Dream could beat the champion, they were practically expecting it. Most importantly, Rhodes was expecting it. Race is crafty though, and he has done this time and time again. An opponent will dominate the early stages of the match and get a false sense of security before Race exploits a tiny mistake and walks away with the win. Rhodes was relentless though, and despite some impressive flurries from Handsome Harley, Rhodes was well on his way to victory. That is, until IVAN KOLOFF walked down to ringside. Rhodes saw Koloff instantly and it took him out of the match as he took the time to yell at the Russian Bear to get the hell out of there. Koloff didn't listen and got on the apron, eating a Bionic Elbow from Rhodes for his troubles. What the Dream didn't see was that Koloff had thrown a roll of quarters into the ring that Race scooped up. When Rhodes went back to Race, he turned right into a quarter-aided roundhouse right from the champ. Rhodes fell like a ton of bricks and Race made the cover for the 1-2-3 and a successful title defense.

After this travesty of justice, President Shinma has granted Dusty Rhodes some interview time in Albany where he will address this situation.

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

Well we finally know when it's going to happen. August 13, Albany, New York. Harley Race vs. Bob Backlund for the World Heavyweight Title. If that wasn't enough, we have several other great matches that are going to make this one heck of a show!

WORLD TITLE - Harley Race (c) Bob Backlund
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE 2/3 FALLS - Pedro Morales (c) vs. Stan Hansen
Terry Funk vs. Afa
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Sika
Jimmy Snuka vs. Larry Zbyszko

Plus, we will hear from Dusty Rhodes concerning his ongoing issues with Ivan Koloff!

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