July 4, 1980 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

Tito Santana, Ivan Putski and Terry Funk defeated Paul Jones' Army (Austin Idol, Paul Jones and The Masked Superstar) when I. Putski pinned A. Idol with the Polish Hammer in 0:09:23.
Rating: **

Our opening match in a huge Independence Day celebration was originally scheduled to be an elimination match, but earlier this week, Paul Jones threw a fit in the corporate offices of Global Championship Wrestling, and President Hisashi Shinma agreed to make it a one-fall six man tag team match (mostly just to shut Paul Jones up). Tito Santana, Ivan Putski, & Terry Funk had no problem with the change in plans. A lot of action in this match, but the difference came with how gun shy Austin Idol was against Terry Funk. Funk is completely in Idol's head, and it has adversely affected how the Universal Heartthrob has wrestled. Idol was never even in the ring with Funk, but Funk's presence on the apron, taunting Idol from outside the ring was a big distraction. It made Idol oblivious to the Polish Hammer from Putski, and this match was in the books. Paul Jones was said to be beside himself with anger at Austin Idol for losing the match, and as punishment, he booked him in a match against Terry Funk for Detroit on July 30. He added that if Idol doesn't show some backbone, he would be kicked out of the Army!

Ivan Koloff pinned Mando Guerrero after hitting him with a foreign object in 0:06:52.
Rating: *** 1/4
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Mando Guerrero.]

Ivan Koloff was a vicious competitor in the 1970s, using that vicious streak to become a World champion. He's carried it into the 80s in a big way. Don't believe me? Just ask Mando Guerrero. Mando's high-flying had limited success in the opening moments of the contest, but a big suplex from the Russian Bear turned the tide. Koloff probably could have won the match by conventional means, but he was here to cause some pain. He did so by using his steel chain to plaster Mando in the face while Freddie Blassie ran interference on the ref. A brutal victory for the Russian Bear. It wouldn't be the only action we saw from him tonight, however, as you will see coming up.

I-Quit Match:
Dusty Rhodes made Manny Fernandez submit to a figure-four leglock in 0:21:10.
Rating: ** 1/2

Manny Fernandez said he wanted this I Quit match with Dusty Rhodes, and he got exactly what he asked for. Most would do their best to avoid getting in a match with Dusty where the rules are out the window, but the Ragin' Bull welcomed it as he wants to beat the Dream at his own game. Fernandez brought a ferocity to the match that we hadn't seen out of him before, which I think threw Rhodes off his game somewhat. This is right up the Dream's alley though, and he worked on the Ragin' Bull's knee throughout much of this match. Fernandez kept fighting though, and even busted Rhodes wide open, looking to make him quit through sheer brutality instead of a submission move. He would crash and burn going for the Flying Burrito, and the Dream capitalized with the figure-four on the Bull's already injured knee. Fernandez tried desperately to get out, but he was trapped, having to give up to give Rhodes the win in this war.

Roddy Piper pinned Ric Flair after a roll up in 0:12:27.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Roddy Piper retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair has not taken the fact that Roddy Piper won a title before he did, as he generally considers himself to be the "better wrestler" of the two. He could make a strong case for that if he could wrestle away the Intercontinental Title from the Rowdy Scot in the Garden. Flair was willing to cut every corner imaginable to win the title, but I don't think he was anticipating Piper doing the same thing to keep the title. Piper would retain when he rolled Flair up and with a pull of the tights, got the win. Flair couldn't believe that referee Dick Woehrle missed Piper pulling the tights. The Nature Boy has already had all kinds of problems with Woehrle, but this was the last straw in Flair's mind. Flair viciously attacked Woehrle and put him in the Figure-Four Leglock. Other officials came down to break it up but Flair was relentless, causing a small break in Woehrle's leg! We know that Flair was fined heavily for this, but he may be lucky if he has a job after Hisashi Shinma goes over this incident.

Larry Zbyszko pinned B. Brian Blair with the Shoulderbreaker in 0:07:07.
Rating: ** 1/2

We had a debut in our next match with B. Brian Blair stepping foot in a GCW ring for the first time. For most men, it would be overwhelming to make your debut at Madison Square Garden. But Blair is a protege' of World champion Bob Backlund. Backlund has taken Blair under his wing and has been training with him, and Blair was finally ready to make his debut against Larry Zbyszko. The Cruncher didn't care who Blair trained with - he just wanted to hurt somebody. Blair took Zbyszko off his game early with some great high-flying moves that dazzled the fans in New York. Zbyszko wasn't dazzled though, and after a close call on a flying crossbody from Blair, Zbyszko got the advantage and never looked back before hitting the Shoulderbreaker to win. He was unsuccessful in his first outing, but Blair looks to have a strong future in a GCW ring.

Don Muraco pinned Chavo Guerrero with the Tombstone in 0:07:44.
Rating: * 1/2

Don Muraco continues his ascent up the rankings with a big victory over the former Intercontinental champion Chavo Guerrero. Chavo seems to be off a step since he was injured back in the early part of this year, but he still gave Muraco all he could handle. But when it was all said and done, Muraco's strength was a bit too much as he drilled Chavo with the Tombstone for the 1-2-3. Freddie Blassie has Muraco primed to make a big run at a championship very soon.

Gorilla Monsoon and Pedro Morales defeated The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) when Monsoon pinned Sika with the Big Splash in 0:07:39.
Rating: 3/4*
(Gorilla Monsoon and Pedro Morales retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

The change in attitude with the Wild Samoans and Lou Albano might not be popular, but it's hard to argue that it has been effective. And when you think about it, it's something we should have expected all along considering the Captain's track record of being a not-so-nice individual. Albano wants to be the one to claim he ended Gorilla Monsoon's storied career, and he took one more step in that direction tonight as Afa & Sika challenged for the gold of Monsoon & Morales. Albano wanted his savages to work on Morales' arm, and they did so with a ruthless intent based on hurting the man and not winning the tag titles. Afa & Sika were like wild dogs at the urging of Albano, attacking Morales' arm nonstop, including slamming it up against the ring post on more than one occasion. In the end, Morales would get to make the tag but his arm was in horrible condition. Monsoon went and made the cover after hitting the Big Splash, but the bigger story is that Morales' arm appeared to be hurting in a bad way. The Samoans are going to get one more title shot on August 9 at a huge show at Wrigley Field in Chicago, but we'll get word on Morales' condition at the July 30 show in Detroit.

Jumbo Tsuruta and Stan Hansen defeated The Can-Am Strongmen (Dino Bravo and Ken Patera) when Hansen defeated Patera by disqualification in 0:30:01.
Rating: **** 1/4
[Sgt. Slaughter interfered against Stan Hansen.]

At the beginning of this year, if you had told me that Jumbo Tsuruta and Stan Hansen would be wrestling on the same team, I would have called you crazy. And yet, that is exactly what we saw here as they took on the Can-Am Strongmen. Through everything they went through, Jumbo & Hansen have developed a mutual respect for each other. But there's a big difference between respect and functioning as a solid team. There were some early flashes of brilliance as Jumbo & Hansen hit a couple of good tandem moves, but much of this match was controlled by Dino Bravo & Ken Patera. Despite not having the team chemistry of the Strongmen, Jumbo & Hansen are world class wrestlers and have a lot of fighting spirit. They stayed in the match long enough to keep the result of this in doubt. Hansen fought back and caught Patera with the Lariat, but we'll never know if it would have been enough because before Hansen could make the cover, someone jumped into the ring and nailed him with a kick to the head! A DQ, sure, but what was more important was the reveal of who the attacker was - SGT. SLAUGHTER! Slaughter got in a couple of good kicks to Hansen's head before Jumbo chased him off. We have not seen Slaughter in years, and I have absolutely no idea why Slaughter would target the Lariat. We're hoping to find out when we're in Detroit.

Bob Backlund made Ivan Koloff submit to the Crossface Chickenwing in 0:09:30.
Rating: ** 3/4
(Jimmy Snuka no-showed.)

"Classy" Freddie Blassie tried to pull a fast one on World champion Bob Backlund. Backlund was in a mood and wanting to tear his former best friend Jimmy Snuka limb from limb, and Blassie knew that. So when Blassie came out with IVAN KOLOFF instead of Snuka, we knew something was up. Blassie told the crowd that Snuka couldn't compete tonight because he was still injured after Backlund's "cowardly assault" on him in Baltimore, so if Backlund was man enough, he would have him wrestle the Russian Bear instead. Backlund was so enraged that he went after Blassie, which let Koloff jump him from behind. Koloff pounded on Backlund, and we started to see what this match really was about. Koloff was there as an assassin, just looking to soften Backlund up presumably for when Snuka is back from injury. This match was mostly Koloff on the offensive as Backlund had trouble recovered from the Pearl Harbor job from the Russian Bear. Backlund found his opening when Koloff crashed chest first into the corner when Backlund avoided a charge in. Backlund was quick to lock on the Crossface Chickenwing, the dangerous hold he unveiled in June. Koloff struggled to get out, but Backlund had the hold locked on tight. Koloff couldn't get out of it and had to submit.

After Backlund finally let go of the hold several seconds later (almost getting the decision reversed in the process), we learned the crux of Blassie's plan. Backlund wasn't on his feet for more than a couple seconds before JIMMY SNUKA was in the ring and blasted him from behind with a chair! Backlund was out cold and if you ask me, the Superfly didn't look all that injured. The show came to a close with doctors coming out to help Backlund while Blassie and his cronies laughed all the way to the locker room.

Card rating: ** 1/2

Match observations:

In a post-show press conference, World champion Bob Backlund revealed the surprise he had talked about back in June. He said that on July 30 in Detroit, he is going to have someone to watch his back so attacks like this don't happen anymore. On July 30, we will see the return of Backlund's manager, ARNOLD SKAALAND! It will be nice to see the Golden Boy back in the corner of the World champion.

Here are the matches we have scheduled so far for this Cobo Arena show:

NON-TITLE - Bob Backlund vs. Ivan Koloff
B. Brian Blair vs. Jimmy Snuka
Terry Funk vs. Austin Idol
#1 CONTENDERS MATCH - Tito Santana/Ivan Putski vs. Paul Jones/The Masked Superstar

If that wasn't enough, we have just learned we will hear from SGT. SLAUGHTER about why he attacked Stan Hansen!

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