June 2, 1980 - Civic Center - Baltimore, MD

Dusty Rhodes defeated Victor Rivera when Victor Rivera passed out in a figure-four leglock in 0:04:42.
Rating: * 3/4

"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes got the fans going in a big way to kick off our June show in Baltimore with a solid victory over the hapless Victor Rivera. Rhodes showed a new wrinkle in his game by getting the win with a figure-four leglock. If Rhodes develops a full-fledged submission game into his repertoire, he could be unstoppable.

Ivan Koloff pinned Hector Guerrero after a kneelift in 0:07:28.
Hector Guerrero suffered a neck injury. He will be out for approximately 1 month.
Rating: * 1/4
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Hector Guerrero.]

The Guerreros are fun to watch because they're always exciting and their Mexican style of wrestling never fails to dazzle crowds. They also have a knack of frustrating opponents because of the unorthodox style. Case in point, Ivan Koloff vs. Hector Guerrero tonight. Hector looked great and a lot of people thought he was going to pull off the huge upset with a Dandina cradle, but Koloff narrowly got his shoulder up. Hector took a brief moment to double check with referee Willie Webber about the count, which was all that Koloff needed to blast Hector with a kneelift. The move knocked Hector clean out and made the pinfall for Koloff a mere formality. Another impressive win for the former World champion. Hector had to be taken to a medical facility after the match as he complained of numbness in his hands. Luckily it was only diagnosed as a stinger, but doctors are keeping him out of action for the July 4th MSG show as a precaution.

Don Muraco defeated Larry Zbyszko by countout in 0:04:21.
Rating: ** 1/2

We don't see rulebreaker vs. rulebreaker matches very often, but this one has been building ever since March 18 in Lowell when Larry Zbyszko accidentally cost Don Muraco his match against Roddy Piper in the semi-finals of the Intercontinental Title tournament, a tourney that Piper would ultimately go on to win. Muraco hasn't forgotten about what happened, thus this match. The crowd was actually pretty vocal in this match, but it wasn't cheering one to victory over the other. It was in hopes that these two beat the tar out of each other. They did that to a certain extent, fighting like bitter enemies in the opening minutes. However, after a couple of minutes, you could see the Cruncher basically say "to hell with this" as after getting hit with a Gorilla slam, he walked out for the countout. Not the bravest of moves, sure, but I guess he felt he didn't have anything to prove to Muraco. Whether Muraco lets this go now remains to be seen.

Tito Santana and Ivan Putski defeated Paul Jones' Army (Paul Jones and The Masked Superstar) when T. Santana pinned Superstar with the Flying Forearm in 0:14:26.
Rating: ** 3/4

Paul Jones & The Masked Superstar have been a dominant team since coming to GCW, only suffering one loss as a team to the undefeated World Tag Team champions. Paul Jones has stated that The Masked Superstar and himself should be granted another title shot, but they had to deal with Tito Santana & Ivan Putski first. Jones & Superstar clearly were looking past Santana & Putski toward what they think is a guaranteed title shot, but this match turned out to be far tougher than they thought. And Jones never believed that the Flying Forearm from Santana would do it, especially after Santana had been getting worked over for much of the match, but that move out of nowhere was enough for Santana to score the flash pin and perhaps a small upset. Jones about blew a gasket after the match and went after Santana, but ran right into the Polish Hammer from Putski. This win has to skyrocket Santana & Putski up the tag team rankings.

Roddy Piper pinned Stan Hansen after a rolling reverse cradle in 0:08:24.
Rating: ** 3/4
(Roddy Piper retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Stan Hansen is the longest reigning Intercontinental champion in GCW history, and since losing the title in February, he has been unable to get a return match for the gold because of his vicious attack on Chavo Guerrero, who beat him for the championship. The Championship Committee feels that after 3 and a half months, as well as Hansen's staying out of trouble since, he was afforded his rematch. Hansen has been on his best behavior, but it doesn't make any less of a brute in the ring. Piper isn't the biggest man in wrestling, but he is definitely the scrappiest. And definitely not intimidated by a fight with the Lariat. Hansen was landing some heavy duty blows and the Rowdy Scot just took them and kept coming back for more. Even Hansen looked impressed that Piper kept getting back. At the end of the match, Piper was practically begging Hansen to hit him again. Hansen rocked Piper's jaw with two huge punches, but Rowdy Roddy wouldn't go down. Hansen hit the ropes and fired with the Lariat, but Piper had suckered him in. Piper ducked, got a go-behind, worked Hansen to the ropes and came back with a rolling reverse cradle. Hansen was so stunned by this that he couldn't kick out, giving Piper the successful title defense. Piper rolled out of the ring before the angry Texan knew what had happened. If Piper can show this kind of toughness and wherewithal, we may be in store for a lengthy reign.

Manny Fernandez pinned Mando Guerrero after a sunset flip in 0:05:44.
Rating: ** 1/4

"Ragin' Bull" Manny Fernandez earned a level of respect from the boys in the back with his performance in the Texas Bullrope match against Dusty Rhodes, but for him, he wasn't satisfied because he came out the loser. He tried to get back on the winning track against Mando Guerrero. These two actually have some history as well as they're both from El Paso, TX. Fernandez and the Guerreros have always had a bit of a rivalry, but that was before Fernandez got this chip on his shoulder. Fernandez obviously watched Rhodes' match earlier in the show because he wanted to get Mando to tap out, but Mando wasn't about to submit to an old rival. Fernandez let this get to him as he used some less than noble tactics to get the win. Fernandez countered a Mando backdrop with a sunset flip, rolling over to his knees and grabbing Mando's tights for the pinfall.

Fernandez clipped Mando's leg after the match as Mando complained to the referee about the tight pull, before locking him into a figure-four leglock. Fernandez wanted to outdo Rhodes, but luckily for Mando's leg, THE AMERICAN DREAM ran down to make the save with a series of Bionic Elbows. Fernandez was furious on the floor, grabbing the mic and saying whatever Rhodes could do, the Ragin' Bull could do better. Fernandez challenged Rhodes to an I Quit match at the 4th of July show at Madison Square Garden, which Rhodes didn't hesitate to accept.

The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) and Gorilla Monsoon and Pedro Morales battled to a no contest in 0:01:43.
Rating: 1/4*
(Gorilla Monsoon and Pedro Morales retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

No one is surprised with how this one ended. Captain Lou Albano showed that a leopard never truly changes his spots as he stabbed Gorilla Monsoon & Pedro Morales in the back during the 8-man tag match last month. Now Albano was looking for the Samoans to end Monsoon's career as well. It wouldn't happen tonight as these two teams couldn't keep their emotions in check long enough to have a real match. The match didn't even make two minutes before all hell broke loose and referee Dick Kroll threw it out. Based on the nearly 5 minute brawl that ensued afterwards, I don't think champions or challengers minded all that much. Both sides have agreed to give this a try one more time at MSG.

Terry Funk pinned Austin Idol after a slap in 0:10:47.
Rating: * 1/2

Terry Funk has challenged Austin Idol to bring out his meanstreak, and thus far, the Universal Heartthrob has done nothing of the sort. Idol again looked like he would rather be anywhere in the world besides in a match with the Funker, which just made Funk angrier. Idol did get some offense when he tried to make this a more scientific match, but as he has been prone to do in the past, Idol chose to show off and pose whenever he had the advantage. This pissed Funk off, and that is just something you don't want to do. Funk snapped and hit Idol with a barrage of punches, following it up with a bone-shaking slap. Normally you wouldn't think a slap would be a move enough to put an opponent away. Well if you think that, you've obviously never been slapped by Terry Funk. It was enough to get the 3 count, and we found out after the show that Funk slapped Idol so hard that Idol suffered a busted eardrum. Idol better toughen up soon or it might be more than his eardrum that gets busted.

Ric Flair pinned Chavo Guerrero after a backslide in 0:07:05.
Rating: *** 1/4

Ric Flair cost Chavo Guerrero his rematch for the Intercontinental Title, feeling he should have gotten the shot against Roddy Piper instead. If we've learned anything about Chavo Guerrero in his time in GCW, it's that you don't want to make him angry if you don't want to have a fight on your hand. Flair was looking for a place to hide for most of this match as Chavo was all over him like a hungry lion on a gazelle. Flair was practically begging for his life as Chavo fired away on him with punches and dropkicks. Flair tried to slow the momentum, but with the mood Chavo was in, good luck with that. Chavo was fired up as he threw a wild clothesline, but Flair ducked it and got a backslide. Flair was fighting for survival so he put his feet up on the ropes for extra leverage. A stolen win if there ever was one. Chavo did get a final measure of revenge after the match when he put the Nature Boy in the Gory Special for a few seconds to let off some steam, but Flair is still your winner. Flair will get the title shot he thinks he deserves when he meets Roddy Pippy for the Intercontinental Title on July 4.

Jumbo Tsuruta pinned Dino Bravo with the Jumbo Knee in 0:10:52.
Rating: ***

This match was interesting as Jumbo Tsuruta and Dino Bravo are former tag team partners, even having a reign as World Tag Team champions. That was a long time ago though and Bravo's attitude has changed considerably since then. Bravo wanted to notch the biggest win of his singles career against his former partner and the former 2-time World champion, but that's a far easier prospect said than done. A couple minutes into the match, Bravo's current partner, KEN PATERA, strolled down to ringside, "just to watch." We learned quickly that was bogus as the Olympian interfered several times during the match. Patera interfered one too many times as late in the match, referee John Stanley caught Patera as he was tripping Jumbo. Stanley could have disqualified Bravo on the spot, but instead he threw Patera out! Patera jumped on the apron as furious as can be, threatening to beat up Stanley. Bravo complained as well, but this gave Jumbo time to recuperate. He shoved Bravo from behind, causing the Canadian Strongman to crash head first into the skull of the American Strongman. Bravo was dazed, but not as much as when Jumbo blasted him with the Jumbo Knee to get the 1-2-3.

A big win for Jumbo, but not one he got to celebrate for long as Patera nailed him from behind and put him in the Swinging Full Nelson! Bravo added some hard punches to Tsuruta's midsection, and we had a dangerous situation on our hands. Jumbo was about to pass out when STAN HANSEN ran down from the back. We didn't know why Hansen was there, but we soon learned when he nearly took Bravo's head off with the Lariat! Patera released the hold and jumped out of the ring. When Jumbo got to his feet and saw Hansen, he got himself in a fight stance, not knowing what had happened. After a staredown, Hansen shot Jumbo a nod and went to the back. We have learned that on July 4, a tag team match has been signed pitting Jumbo & Hansen against the Can-Am Strongmen!

Jimmy Snuka defeated Bob Backlund by disqualification in 0:15:24.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Bob Backlund retained the GCW World Title.)

Seeing Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka come to the ring for this World Title match with "Classy" Freddie Blassie in his corner felt like a surreal dream, but that's exactly what was happening. Bob Backlund has taken his best friend turning on him very hard, but he turned that broken heart into one filled with hatred as he was more aggressive than we've ever seen him before. Backlund is the best mat wrestler in the world today, but you would never have known it from watching this match. He brawled with Snuka like he was the second coming of The Sheik. This is something Snuka is more than able to do as well, and he is fueled by this perception that Backlund was purposely sabotaging his efforts to become a champion. It would be Backlund who took this fight to the next level though, grabbing the ring bell and waffling Snuka with it for the blatant disqualification. The look in Backlund's eyes was scary to say the least, and even more so when he locked Snuka in a crossface chickenwing! This is a very dangerous and painful move, and Backlund refused to let go of the hold for over 3 minutes before officials finally pried him off his former best friend. Backlund has received a hefty fine for his actions, but if you asked him, I doubt he'd care. Backlund said in a press conference afterward that this is far from over, and he had a little surprise for Snuka in store at the July 4th show.

Card rating: ** 1/2

Match observations:

We will be celebrating the nation's birthday in a big way with this huge card on July 4 at Madison Square Garden!

WORLD TITLE - Bob Backlund (c) vs. Jimmy Snuka
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Roddy Piper (c) vs. Ric Flair
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - Gorilla Monsoon/Pedro Morales (c) vs. The Wild Samoans
I QUIT MATCH - Dusty Rhodes vs. Manny Fernandez
ELIMINATION MATCH - Tito Santana/Ivan Putski/Terry Funk vs. Paul Jones' Army
Jumbo Tsuruta/Stan Hansen vs. The Can-Am Strongmen

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