June 14, 1978 - Roberto Clemente Stadium - San Juan, PR

Kengo Kimura pinned Roddy Piper with the Inazuma Leg Lariat in 0:11:40.
Rating: * 1/2

The crowd in the Roberto Clemente Stadium was huge and excited to see the stars of GCW locking up with some of the homegrown Puerto Rican stars as GCW made its debut in San Juan! The opening match saw "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, who has been making waves as one of Harley Race's henchmen in the States, taking on the Japanese competitor, Kengo Kimura. As we have established before, Piper is going to be a star in this business, but he had trouble dealing with the Japanese style of Kimura. Piper held his own, but he caught the Inazuma Leg Lariat in the jaw and ate a loss in Puerto Rico.

Jimmy Snuka pinned Manny Fernandez with the Superfly Splash in 0:07:05.
Rating: ***

The second match saw Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka taking on "Ragin' Bull" Manny Fernandez. Fernandez is a fiery competitor and fits in well with the Puerto Rican style, but Snuka has come back to GCW a man on a mission. He lost a large chunk of his career thanks to a mysterious masked man slamming a steel cage door in his face, and he's come back to GCW to find out who did that to him. Word has it that Snuka isn't limiting his search to just roster members of GCW as he's aware that it could be anyone in the world. The Superfly was in his element tonight and the fans in Puerto Rico loved him, especially as he came crashing down on Fernandez with the Superfly Splash to get the win.

Invader #1 pinned Don Muraco with the Heart Punch in 0:08:13.
Rating: *** 1/2
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Invader #1.]

Don Muraco is proving each and every night what an improved and tough guy he is, but he was up against it against Invader #1. Invader #1 is a very popular star in Puerto Rico and Muraco couldn't get focused enough to not be distracted by the taunts of the fans. Muraco would get the advantage and then take time to jaw with the fans. Freddie Blassie didn't help much as he was probably more distracted by the fans than Muraco was. Invader #1 hit the Heart Punch and got a spirited win in front of his home country fans.

The Wild Samoans defeated The Gunslingers (Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk) when Sika pinned D. Funk Jr. with the Samoan Drop in 0:17:04.
Rating: *** 3/4

The Funk Brothers absolutely refused to defend their GCW World Tag Team Titles in Puerto Rico, and it's a lucky thing for them that they didn't. They were taking on the Puerto Rican tag team champions, the Wild Samoans, and this was a wild match to say the least. In fact, as you will find out, we had a lot of wild brawls tonight. The Samoans are unlike any team we currently have under GCW contract, and the Funks aren't used to teams coming at them so aggressively. Dory Jr. & Terry thought they had figured out the savages and had them both down for stereo Spinning Toe Holds, but Afa & Sika kicked the Funks off which caused them to collide in the middle of the ring! The Samoans hit stereo Samoan Drops and picked up the victory. Because of the win here in Puerto Rico, the Wild Samoans have been granted a shot at the titles when we return to the States on July 22 in Lowell, MA!

Bob Backlund defeated Ox Baker by disqualification in 0:03:54.
Rating: * 3/4

Bob Backlund was taking a big risk in competing on this show, as a loss here would not only end his undefeated streak, but could adversely affect his chances at earning the World Title shot he's fought so hard for. Backlund would get the win in under 4 minutes, but it wasn't exactly in the fashion he was hoping, as former GCW wrestler Ox Baker got himself disqualified by hitting Backlund with a chair at ringside. Baker is a rough and tumble kind of guy, and it looked like Backlund was in a boatload of trouble as Baker had evil intentions in his eyes. Backlund went into survival mode, and he showed that when he's pushed, he has the ability to get down and dirty. Backlund sent Baker scurrying to the back, a surprised and humbled man. Backlund keeps his undefeated streak alive.

Pedro Morales made Stan Hansen submit to the Boston Crab in 0:11:20.
Rating: ** 3/4
(Pedro Morales won the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

We knew that this night was going to be historic, but we didn't know it was going to be THIS historic! Stan Hansen put his Intercontinental Title on the line against Pedro Morales, which was a huge mistake. For starters, Morales is a native Puerto Rican, so the crowd was in a frenzy in support of their hometown hero. Secondly, Morales has been wanting to get his hands on Hansen for a year since the Lariat (deliberately???) broke Morales' neck with his deadly finisher, putting Morales on the shelf for months. Hansen has shown no remorse for injuring several wrestlers, and this was Pedro's chance to teach the brash youngster a lesson. This was Morales' first time getting his hands on Hansen, and he didn't let it go to waste. This was a good old fashioned brawl, and you could tell from the opening bell that there was absolutely nothing Hansen was going to do that was going to keep Morales down. Hansen suffered from being one-dimensional, trying only to hit the Lariat and wanting to injure Morales again. Morales used this one-sided approach to take it to Hansen, eventually putting him in the Boston Crab. Hansen screamed out in pain as he tried in vain to escape before submitting. Pedro Morales had won the Intercontinental Title! With this title victory, Morales is the first man in GCW history to hold the Triple Crown - the World Title, IC Title, and World Tag Team Titles. How is that for revenge?

Jumbo Tsuruta pinned Abdullah the Butcher with the Jumbo Knee in 0:04:44.
Rating: ** 1/2

Before we got to the big main event for the World Title, we had the former 2-time World champion Jumbo Tsuruta in action against the Madman From Sudan, Abdullah the Butcher. Long time GCW fans will remember the Butcher for both his violent team and violent feud with The Sheik, and I didn't think it was possible, but he may be even more vicious now. The match itself did not last long, ending in just under 5 minutes when Jumbo hit his Knee to get the official pinfall. The story of the match, however, was the ringside brawl between the two combatants that raged on for nearly 10 minutes before it could be broken up. These two hit each other with everything that wasn't nailed down before Abdullah went to gouge the fork into Tsuruta's head. Jumbo saved his forehead by grabbing the ring bell and blasting the Butcher in the face with it before security broke this up.

Harley Race and Carlos Colon battled to a draw in 0:60:00.
Rating: ***
(Harley Race retained the GCW World Title.)

It was now time for the big one, and the stars seemed to be lining up to witness the crowning of a new World champion. Harley Race has only been defeated by one wrestler in his GCW career (that being Jumbo Tsuruta), but this match had him distinctly at a disadvantage as he put the gold up for grabs against Carlos Colon. Colon is the most popular wrestler in all of Puerto Rico, and he was the man who helped set up this whole event with GCW promoter Marvin Niemiller. Needless to say, the bloodthirsty crowd was champing at the bit to see their national hero bring the World Title to the island.

Once the opening bell rang, we knew this was going to be a different kind of match. Race had a lot of success early controlling the tempo and not letting Colon access his fiery temper that makes him so hard to keep down. As the match wore on past the 30 minute mark though, Colon turned it into more of a brawl which better suited him in this environment. As you'd expect from a main event in Puerto Rico, the crimson masks were out in full force and as blood was shed, the intensity of the fight only increased. The momentum swung back and forth, back and forth before Race missed a diving headbutt from the top that seemingly has this match in Colon's grasp. Colon had Race in the Figure-Four Leglock, and it looked like Race was destined to tap out when the bell rang. The place exploded as the fans believed that they had just witnessed the crowning of a new champion, but it was not meant to be as the time limit had expired, and thus this match was declared a draw!

Upon hearing this, the crowd got antsy and the tension built until it felt like a full scale riot was going to break out. Colon attacked Race and much like Abdullah the Butcher before him, he pulled out a fork and raked it across Race's head! Race got some distance and with the help of police officers escaped to safety as Colon was announced the new World champion! This pleased the crowd, but note that Colon is NOT the World champion. A chaotic ending to a spectacular night of wrestling.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

With this successful debut in Puerto Rico under our belts, we head back to the mainland on July 22 for a big show in Lowell, MA!

WORLD TITLE - Harley Race (c) vs. Dusty Rhodes
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Pedro Morales (c) vs. Stan Hansen
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Funk Brothers (c) vs. The Wild Samoans
Bob Backlund/Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Ric Flair/Roddy Piper
Chief Jay Strongbow/Billy White Wolf vs. Don Muraco/Great Kabuki

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