July 5, 1977 - Maple Leaf Gardens - Toronto, ON, CA

Stan Hansen pinned Dean Ho with the Lariat in 0:08:22.
Rating: *** 1/2

Even though Stan Hansen came up short against Bobby Duncum, it's made him as surly as ever. Just ask Dean Ho, who is the latest victim of Hansen's devastating Lariat. Ho had to be carted out of the ring on a stretcher, and his GCW career looks to be over for the time being.

Terry Funk issues an open challenge.

Intercontinental champion Terry Funk is on cloud nine after retaining his title last month by defeating Jimmy Snuka in a cage, and he let that ego get the best of him here by issuing an open challenge for the IC Title against any man who hadn't had a shot at the gold yet. Funk was none too happy when the man who answered was the returning PAT PATTERSON! Patterson was geared up and wanted his return to bring him his first singles title!

Pat Patterson defeated Terry Funk by countout in 0:08:06.
Rating: **
(Terry Funk retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

To say that Terry Funk was unprepared for Pat Patterson would be the understatement of the century. No matter what Funk tried, Patterson was one step ahead of him. Funk could see the writing on the wall and felt his title slipping away, so instead of eating that loss, he walked out on his own terms, taking his title and heading to the back for the countout. How he can be proud of himself as a champion is beyond me.

The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) defeated Hiro Matsuda and Johnny Rodz when Jack Brisco pinned Rodz after a sunset flip in 0:06:09.
Rating: *** 3/4

The Brisco Brothers have had fantastic careers in the wrestling world, but one thing they haven't done is win the GCW World Tag Team Titles, something they have committed themselves to doing in 1977. They turned back the challenge of Tim Woods & Mr. Wrestling II, and stayed hot tonight with a win over Hiro Matsuda & Johnny Rodz.

Bobby Duncum pinned Rene Goulet with the Full Nelson Slam in 0:09:56.
Rating: *** 1/4

Rene Goulet seems to think he is being disrespected in his short stint in GCW, saying the fans aren't treating him like the superstar that he is. Well, Rene, for that to happen, it would help if you won some matches. Goulet has been a tough foe for everyone, but has yet to get his hand raised. It wouldn't happen here as he had the unfortunate luck of wrestling Bobby Duncum, perhaps the toughest man in GCW. Goulet, like so many others, fell victim to Duncum and his Full Nelson Slam.

Gorilla Monsoon and Mike Graham defeated The Russians (Ivan Koloff and Nikolai Volkoff) when Monsoon defeated I. Koloff when I. Koloff passed out in the Airplane Spin in 0:07:32.
Rating: ** 1/2

You would think by now I would stop being surprised by the things Captain Lou Albano does, but he did it again tonight. His team of the Russians took on Gorilla Monsoon & Mike Graham, and Albano had made no secrets that he blamed "The Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff for the team's recent struggles. During the match, Koloff looked like he was in control and en route to getting his team back on track when Albano whispered something into Volkoff's ear. Volkoff nodded, entered the ring, and nailed Koloff in the back with a clothesline! Koloff was stunned as Monsoon picked him up and gave him the Airplane Spin. Koloff was out of it from Volkoff's attack and unable to escape, resulting in referee Willie Webber calling for the bell. It looks like the tumultuous relationship of Koloff & Albano is finally over. But if you remember, when the partnership started, Albano more or less blackmailed Koloff by telling him he knew a secret about him. Is Albano now going to divulge that secret?

Bob Backlund pinned Mr. Wrestling II with the Atomic Drop in 0:12:59.
Rating: *** 1/2

The ascent of Bob Backlund continued in Toronto, as the young man with the great amateur background continues to show he has the chops to make it in the pro game. He had a tough mountain to climb tonight against Mr. Wrestling II. There aren't a lot of men that can match Backlund on the mat, but Wrestling II is up there. II went hold for hold with Backlund, but Backlund stepped up his game and showed why many are considering him a World champion in the making, catching the Atomic Drop to stay unbeaten.

Jumbo Tsuruta pinned Tim Woods with the Jumbo Knee in 0:09:51.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Jumbo Tsuruta retained the GCW World Title.)

Mr. Wrestling II's partner had an even bigger opportunity tonight as Tim Woods was granted a shot at Jumbo Tsuruta and the World Title. Woods came in with uber confidence, but Jumbo is a very pissed off World champ these days. Woods got blitzed by an extra aggressive attack from the champ, leading to the Jumbo Knee and a successful title defense.

Jumbo Tsuruta explains why he attacked Dory Funk Jr. & Billy Graham.

After the match, a translator joined Tsuruta in the ring so he could explain his involvement in the Dory Funk Jr./Billy Graham last month. Jumbo explained it very simply - he feels the interference of Funk & Graham in his title matches has made a mockery of his title reign, and he wants to be taken seriously. Jumbo said if someone disrespects him, he's going to get even. Jumbo says he is looking forward to wrestling and defeating both Dory Funk Jr. & Billy Graham to cement himself as a great champion.

Don Muraco pinned Peter Maivia after a powerslam in 0:00:33.
Rating: *

Many feel that to this point in his career, Don Muraco has underachieved. He has tons of talent, but to this point, he hasn't been able to translate that into success. He has been perceived as a lackey primarily, but he took a huge stride in stepping out of that role here by dominating Peter Maivia - a top level star - in only 33 seconds! If this is any indicator, we may be in line to see a new, more ruthless Don Muraco.

Dominic DeNucci and Dino Bravo defeated The Blackjacks (Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan) when Bravo pinned Mulligan with the Side Suplex in 0:26:15.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Dominic DeNucci and Dino Bravo won the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

History has been made tonight as we saw the crowning of brand new World Tag Team champions! The Blackjacks have been great champions, but if they have one fault, it's that they often underestimate their opponents. We saw another classic case of that here as Dino Bravo & Dominic DeNucci challenged for the gold. Bobby Heenan has to shoulder much of the blame as he should have known that Bravo & DeNucci are amongst the top tag team wrestlers in GCW history, having each had reigns with the straps with different partners in the past. After the opening minutes of the contest, it became clear to Lanza & Mulligan that they were going to have their hands full. The Blackjacks got their act together and dominated much of the middle section of this match, showing the tag team cohesion that led to them becoming 2-time champions in the first place. But if there's any clear advantage that Bravo & DeNucci had over them, it came in the heart department, which they have in spades. A refusal to give in let them find their opening, and a huge Side Suplex from Bravo on Mulligan put this one in the books! With this win, Dino Bravo is now a 3-time tag champion with 3 different partners, while DeNucci is an astounding 4-time champion with 4 different partners. Congratulations to the new champs!

Dusty Rhodes and Bruiser Brody battled to a double countout in 0:04:00.
Rating: ** 3/4

Bruiser Brody practically begged for this match with "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes as he blames Rhodes for The Grand Wizard no longer being in GCW. Rhodes is not one to back down from a fight against anyone, so he was more than happy to throw down. And that's exactly what this match was - a throw-down. It was clear from the opening bell that there wouldn't be any wrestling holds. This was a fight from the word go, and the fact that this ended with a double countout as both men brawled on the floor is not shocking. The fight went all the way out to the parking lot before the police came and broke it up. It's obvious how deep-seated Brody's hatred for Rhodes is. He's challenged the American Dream to a streetfight for July 29 in Atlantic City, a match Rhodes didn't hesitate to accept.

Texas Death Match:
Billy Graham made Dory Funk Jr. submit to a front facelock in 0:34:21.
Rating: *****

Dory Funk Jr. & Billy Graham continued their blood feud in our main event, this time wrestling in one of the more dangerous matches in wrestling, the Texas Death Match. We knew that World champion Jumbo Tsuruta had left the building before this match, so there would be no interference - just two men trying to prove who was the better man. There were many falls in this match as the intensity level warranted it, but neither man was willing to stay down for the 10 count. Each time a fall occured, it seemed almost a sure thing that the match would be over, but Funk & Graham would crawl their way to their feet just in the nick of time. After a particularly close fall by Graham following a powerslam, he seemed to snap and locked Funk in a front facelock, tightening his grip using the biggest biceps in the world that he possesses. Funk tried to get out, but the more he struggled, the tighter Graham's grip got before Funk had to tap out. Funk couldn't get back to his feet after that one due to how brutal the match had been to that point, and in a grueling contest, "Superstar" Billy Graham was declared the winner.

Card rating: *** 1/4

Match observations:

It has been a year and a half since we've been to Atlantic City, so what better way to do so than with a huge card on July 29!

INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Terry Funk (c) vs. Pat Patterson
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - Dino Bravo/Dominic DeNucci (c) vs. The Blackjacks
STREETFIGHT - Dusty Rhodes vs. Bruiser Brody
Jumbo Tsuruta (World champion)/Bob Backlund vs. Tim Woods/Mr. Wrestling II
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Billy Graham

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