July 9, 1982 - Civic Center - Springfield, MA

The Golden Boys (Terry Taylor and B. Brian Blair) defeated The Von Erich Brothers (Kerry Von Erich and Kevin Von Erich) when Taylor pinned Kerry Von Erich after a piledriver in 0:06:32.
Rating: ** 1/2

These two teams debuted in Madison Square Garden in June and looked very impressive in doing so. The Von Erichs walked out with the win, but got jumped by the team of B. Brian Blair & Terry Taylor, who call themselves the Golden Boys. We got ourselves a big rematch as two teams are trying to find their footing in GCW. Blair & Taylor are really meshing as a team, which is unfortunate because these once upstanding individuals have gone to a life of cheating to find success. Kevin and younger brother Kerry of course have great teamwork, but they couldn't overcome the cheating of the Golden Boys. Taylor was in the ring with Kerry, and Kerry was firing up on Taylor, but "Terrific Terry" as he's calling himself now brought Kerry into the corner so Blair could put a thumb in his eye from the apron. Kerry was temporary blinded, which allowed Taylor to hit a piledriver and get a quick pin. With this series tied at one, a third tiebreaker match has been signed for August 3 in Philadelphia at The Spectrum.

Bill Eadie defeated Johnny Rodz when Johnny Rodz passed out in the Cobra Clutch in 0:02:41.
Rating: * 1/2

Not much to say here. Johnny Rodz was still sporting a little scar on his forehead from the Texas Bullrope Match at MSG, and was still a lot sore from the match as well. Bill "the Ax" Eadie took advantage of Rodz's weakened state and floored him, getting him in the Cobra Clutch and picking up a nice win.

Stan Hansen pinned Luke Graham with the Lariat in 0:07:41.
Rating: ** 3/4

Stan Hansen has voiced his concerns to the GCW Championship Committee that he hasn't received his mandatory rematch for the Intercontinental Title since he lost it back in Pittsburgh. He found out that he would get that rematch in Philadelphia on August 3 - if he could beat Luke Graham here tonight. A tall order, but Hansen backs down from nobody, even someone with the credentials of Luke Graham. Graham is one match removed from challenging for the World Title, coming close to regaining his past glory but ultimately being defeated. Graham is up there in years, but he will still give anyone a go. Hansen took him a little lightly in the early going, and Graham took control because of it. However, once Hansen realized he needed to take Graham seriously, he picked it up and put Graham away with the Lariat. Hansen will get his title shot when he takes on Larry Zbyszko on August 3!

Dusty Rhodes pinned Tito Santana with the Bionic Elbowdrop in 0:11:53.
Rating: *** 1/4

Though this was not a title opportunity for Tito Santana, it was a huge opportunity as he got a non-title match against the reigning World champ, Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes has been champ for over a year now, and has found a way to get past everyone with his championship in tact (often with a little help from his partners in the Texas Outlaws). Santana had nothing to lose in this match, and he wrestled accordingly. Rhodes found himself under constant fire as Santana was flying all over the ring, and Rhodes was having trouble finding a counter for it. If this match was scored on points, Santana would have been the winner. Unfortunately for Santana, professional wrestling is not scored that way. It took the American Dream just getting in one lucky break when Santana crashed and burned on his Flying Forearm attempt. Rhodes hit the Bionic Elbowdrop after to pick up the win, but the look on his face showed that he knew he had been in a fight. Santana is ever so close to breaking through to the next level.

Larry Zbyszko warns Bruno Sammartino to stay out of his business.

We were joined next by the new Intercontinental champion Larry Zbyszko, and extra security was needed to keep the fans from jumping the ring and getting after him. The Cruncher reveled in this reaction, taunting the fans as he made his way to the ring. Zbyszko grabbed the mic and was nearly drowned out by the boos. Zbyszko first acknowledged Stan Hansen, saying he was not intimidated and said that Hansen thinks he's the greatest Intercontinental champion of all-time, but that's not true. "You're only the best Intercontinental champion… so far." Zbyszko then turned his attentions to Bruno Sammartino, talking about all of the training they did years ago in Pittsburgh when Zbyszko was coming up. He said that he knew even back then that he was destined to be greater than Sammartino, and that drove Bruno insane. "That's why you're back, isn't it, Bruno? You can't stand the fact that I've far exceeded everything you've ever accomplished." Zbyszko finished the interview with a menacing warning for Sammartino to stay out of his business… or else.

Tony Atlas defeated The Iron Sheik by disqualification in 0:08:22.
Rating: * 1/2
[Don Muraco interfered against Tony Atlas.]

The Iron Sheik made a stunning debut in the Garden, attacking "Mr. USA" Tony Atlas and putting him in the deadly Camel Clutch. Sheik is the newest charge of "Classy" Freddie Blassie, and in his first match here in Springfield, he showed that he has a ton of skill to go along with that bad attitude. Sheik did a strength display with his Persian clubs before the match, and I must say, it was impressive. One man not impressed was Atlas, who attacked Sheik as soon as he put the clubs down. From there, we had two powerhouses trying to outdo each other. Great power displays by both, but Atlas had a small advantage in terms of agility. That being said, the match was evenly contested as these two definitely appear to be equally matched opponents. At one point, Atlas & Sheik were locked in a test of strength. The Iron Sheik had the upperhand at first after a kick to the gut, but Atlas showed just how much power he has when he powered back up and had the advantage himself! Atlas didn't get to enjoy the moment for long before he was jumped by DON MURACO, making this a disqualification. More importantly though, this was a bad situation for Atlas as he was the victim of a 2-on-1 assault. There was a rumbling from the crowd though, when a man ran out from the back. Upon closer inspection, the man was ROCKY JOHNSON, and he came in a house of fire! He pulled Muraco off of Atlas and fired away with punches before hitting him with the Johnson Shuffle and sending the Magnificent One flying to the outside. Iron Sheik hit Johnson from behind and tried to send Johnson into the ropes, but Johnson reversed it. When Sheik bounced back, he ran right into a dropkick from Atlas! Sheik rolled out of the ring as Blassie and his men retreated to the back to regroup. It looks like Atlas has an ally against Blassie and his troops!

Ric Flair defeated Dick Murdoch when Dick Murdoch passed out in the Figure-Four Leglock in 0:12:35.
Rating: *** 1/4

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair has had his issues with the Texas Outlaws in the past, so he had no trouble getting up for a match with "Dirty" Dick Murdoch. Flair made the mistake early of trying to fight with Murdoch, and that's a battle few can win. Murdoch has been in more bar fights than most people have been in bars, so he definitely knows how to fight. Once Flair settled down, he made this into a wrestling contest, which is where Flair is unrivaled. Despite taking some lumps in the process, Flair wore down Murdoch with wrestling holds before getting him in the Figure-Four Leglock. Murdoch is a tough-as-nails bastard though, and wouldn't give up, but the pain eventually caused him to pass out and end this match.

Nick Bockwinkel pinned Jumbo Tsuruta after a gutwrench suplex in 0:30:19.
Rating: *** 3/4
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Jumbo Tsuruta.]

After the absolutely fantastic match between Jumbo Tsuruta & Nick Bockwinkel in the Garden, the fans demanded that we see a rematch. As an added incentive, the rematch would be for a World Title shot at The Spectrum on August 3. Bockwinkel had the advantage of having won the last match, but one of Jumbo's biggest strengths is his ability to learn from his matches and implement new strategies to not repeat a loss. The match wasn't quite as good as their MSG encounter, but with how good that match was, it's no knock on this match. For 30 minutes, two of the world's best showed us all exactly what they had. Great moves, submission wrestling, counters, counters to counters, hard strikes - this one had it all. The one thing that Bockwinkel had that Jumbo didn't was Bobby "the Brain" Heenan, and it was Heenan's interference that would be the turning point. Jumbo had everything going his way late, and looked primed to hit the Jumbo Knee and get a chance to become only the second man to be a 3-time World champion. But Heenan jumped up on the apron to get Jumbo's attention. Heenan ate a big right hand for his troubles, but he did buy Bockwinkel enough time to surprise Jumbo with a gutwrench suplex. Bockwinkel made the cover, and with the aid of his feet on the ropes, pinned Tsuruta once again. Bockwinkel will get one more shot to become the World champion!

Terry Funk pinned Bobby Duncum after a short clothesline in 0:13:36.
Rating: *** 1/2

Before the match, Terry Funk grabbed the microphone, and in his own crazy way, said that he was going to make his way through the Texas Outlaws, getting rid of them once and for all. He said the finally blow will be when he beats Dusty Rhodes and becomes the World Heavyweight champion. The first up from the Outlaws was Bobby Duncum. These two had some classic matches over the Intercontinental Title back in the mid-70s, and more recently have had numerous encounters in tag team matches. Halfway through this match, the World champion DUSTY RHODES stood in the aisleway and watched this match, wanting to get a better look at Funk. He never got involved, but maybe he wishes he did. Funk was very impressive, catching Duncum under the jaw with a hard short clothesline to get the win. Funk invited Rhodes to get into the ring and fight him, but Rhodes thought better of it and went with Duncum to the back. Funk has beaten Duncum. Next up will be a match with Dick Murdoch on August 3.

The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) defeated The Can-Am Strongmen (Dino Bravo and Ken Patera) when Jack Brisco defeated Bravo when Bravo passed out in the Figure-Four Leglock in 0:15:27.
Rating: *** 1/2
(The Brisco Brothers retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

The Can-Am Strongmen came into this match with all of the momentum. Not only are Ken Patera & Dino Bravo former World Tag Team champions, but they hold a non-title victory over the champs, the Brisco Brothers. If they could repeat their performance from New York, they'd be walking out as 2-time champions. Sometimes, a team is just a matchup headache for a team, and I think that's exactly what the Strongmen are for the Briscos. Jack & Jerry are technically as sound as they come, but they seem to have a lot of trouble with the power of Patera & Bravo. As a result, the Briscos were wrestling on the defensive for most of this match. But as ring savvy veterans, the Briscos did just enough to stay in the match before Jack Brisco caught Bravo in the Figure-Four Leglock. Bravo fought to get out, and thought he'd get some help from Patera. But when Patera got in the ring, Jerry Brisco took him down with a double-leg takedown and put him in the Figure-Four as well! Referee Danny Davis saw that Bravo was no longer responding and called for the bell. They got the worst of this match for a lot of it, but in the end, Jack & Jerry Brisco are still the champs.

Bob Backlund made Jimmy Snuka submit to the Crossface Chickenwing in 0:16:37.
Rating: *** 3/4

The final match of the evening was another brutal chapter in the story of the Bob Backlund vs. Jimmy Snuka feud. When all is said and done, this is going to go down as the most storied feud in GCW history. Backlund is not the same man he was before. Backlund was known for being one of the most honorable, respected, and rule-abiding wrestlers in the world. But his failed attempts to regain the World Title have brought out an unpleasant change in personality and philosophy in Backlund. Snuka has tried everything he can to not only earn back Backlund's trust for his previous wrongdoings, but also keep Backlund from going off the deep end. He hasn't been able to do either, and it's looking like the friendship between these two is gone forever. The bell rang, and the battle was on once again. As has happened so many times in the past with these two, it became a bloody match. Backlund deliberately busted Snuka open with some hard punches. It had an adverse effect from what Backlund wanted though, because the sight of his own blood caused the Superfly to go nuts. Snuka was in a rage and went after Backlund with bad intentions, busting Backlund open as well. The fight spilled to the outside, and to head referee Dick Kroll's credit, he let these two go at it. That might not have been the best decision for Snuka's health, as Backlund would ram the Superfly's shoulder into the ring post. Snuka from that point on could barely use his left arm, and Backlund smelled blood in the water. Snuka did his best to fight back, but he couldn't save himself from the Crossface Chickenwing. Snuka fought and fought, but his shoulder was in really bad shape and he had no choice but to give up.

Backlund didn't care about the bell though, as he was looking to injure Snuka. Backlund refused to release the Chickenwing, keeping it locked on for an excruciating 5 minutes before officials finally got him to relinquish the hold. Snuka suffered some major damage to his shoulder and will miss at least the Philadelphia show, perhaps more. Something needs to be done about Bob Backlund.

Card rating: *** 1/4

Match observations:

8/3/82 - THE SPECTRUM - Philadelphia, PA

WORLD TITLE - Dusty Rhodes (c) vs. Nick Bockwinkel
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Larry Zbyszko (c) vs. Stan Hansen
Tony Atlas/Rocky Johnson vs. The Iron Sheik/Don Muraco
Terry Funk vs. Dick Murdoch
The Von Erichs vs. The Golden Boys

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