March 1, 1982 - The Meadowlands - East Rutherford, NJ

Jimmy Snuka pinned Johnny Rodz after a flying headbutt in 0:02:36.
Rating: ** 3/4

A lot of wrestling action tonight in the Meadowlands, the first match being "The Unpredictable" Johnny Rodz having the unfortunate distinction of wrestling "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka. Snuka wasn't getting paid by the hour and he finished Rodz off in short order with a flying headbutt. Snuka didn't get any time to celebrate his victory as he was joined in the ring by a "friend."

Interview:
Bob Backlund calls out Dusty Rhodes again, and all hell breaks loose.

Bob Backlund didn't even acknowledge Jimmy Snuka as he grabbed the microphone from Howard Finkel. Backlund said he was completely fed up with Dusty Rhodes and his constant backhanded tactics to retain the World Title, and he wanted to get his hands on the American Dream, no matter what it took. Snuka stopped Backlund, telling the former World champion that he needs to calm down and think straight, that he's become obsessed with the World Title and needs to get his head together. Backlund tried to brush Snuka off, telling him to butt out, but this just made the Superfly go further, bringing up how Backlund abandoned him in their tag team title match in Providence. Backlund said that he isn't looking to hold the World Tag Team Titles, especially with someone like Snuka. Snuka got pissed at this (and rightfully so), asking Backlund just what he meant by that. Backlund backed off and apologized for what he said, saying that it was all Rhodes' fault for getting him this worked up. Cooler heads prevailed and the two shook hands. Snuka went to leave, but Backlund held onto his hand and pulled the Superfly into the Crossface Chickenwing! The fans couldn't believe it as Backlund brought Snuka down to the mat, trying to break his arm! It took a bevy of officials to pull the maniacal Backlund off of Snuka, but the damage had been done. Luckily for Snuka, he avoided injury, but I think the already flimsy friendship of Backlund & Snuka has been broken forever. These two have been signed to tear into each other on April 1 in a steel cage match in Madison Square Garden!

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy) defeated The Upstarts (Rick Martel and Terry Taylor) when M. Hayes pinned Taylor after a gutwrench suplex in 0:11:41.
Rating: ***

After what we just witnessed, it took a bit for the crowd to get back into things as the air had been taken out of their sails. Regardless, we had a great tag rivalry match between the two best young teams in the business, the Upstarts & the Fabulous Freebirds. These two squads have spent the better part of their GCW careers at each others' throats, both teams getting major victories in the war. Tonight's victory would go to the Freebirds, Michael Hayes hitting a beautiful gutwrench suplex and then pinning Terry Taylor with his feet on the ropes. After the match, the Freebirds used the house mic to announce that they want a shot at the World Tag Team Titles, and like them or not, they deserve it.

[BOOT CAMP MATCH]: No-DQ-Match:
Jumbo Tsuruta pinned Sgt. Slaughter with the Jumbo Knee in 0:06:29.
Rating: ***

Jumbo Tsuruta was taking a big risk by challenging Sgt. Slaughter to his specialty match, the Boot Camp Match, but since his partnership with Antonio Inoki, Jumbo has taken it to another level. Slaughter had the edge to start, but Jumbo kicked it up and was relentless on the attack. Jumbo hit the Jumbo Knee en route to picking up the victory. Jumbo motioned after the match that he wants a shot at the World Title.

Nick Bockwinkel pinned Tito Santana with the Piledriver in 0:15:13.
Rating: *** 1/2
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Tito Santana.]

Nick Bockwinkel shocked the wrestling world when he returned to GCW alongside long-time manager Bobby "the Brain" Heenan and called out GCW World champion Dusty Rhodes (a lot of people are doing that these days it seems). Bockwinkel is (was) the AWA World champion, and has a major claim to being the best wrestler in the world and wants to prove it on this stage. Heenan wanted Bockwinkel's first match back to be something special. He didn't want him to beat just anybody - he wanted a high quality opponent. Heenan handpicked Tito Santana, who is blossoming into one of the brightest young stars in the business. Santana wasn't here to be a stepping stone though - he was here to win. Santana challenged Bockwinkel every step of the way. Bockwinkel knew he had his work cut out for him, and he seemed to relish in it. Bockwinkel only gets better with competition, and this match showed exactly that. Santana looked to hit the Flying Forearm, but Bockwinkel sidestepped and slammed Santana's face hard into the canvas. Bockwinkel cockily flipped his blonde hair back before planting Santana with the Piledriver to make his first match back a successful one.

Interview:
Dusty Rhodes responds to Nick Bockwinkel.

As Bockwinkel was having his hand raised by Heenan, World Heavyweight champion DUSTY RHODES entered the ring as the arena buzzed with anticipation. Bockwinkel called Rhodes out in a big way last month, and Rhodes has had a lot of time to stew about it. Rhodes immediately ran down Bockwinkel, talking about how he's a skilled wrestler… in the minor leagues. He told him that GCW is the big time, and that he wasn't impressed at all that Bockwinkel, Heenan, or where they've been for the last several years when they were kicked out of the big leagues. Rhodes ended by saying that if Bockwinkel wants to try him, he's going to have to earn the right.

Larry Zbyszko pinned Bill Eadie with the Crunch Time in 0:07:22.
Rating: ** 3/4

Larry Zbyszko had the better gotten of him in his series with Ricky Steamboat, but he recovered nicely with a solid win over Bill "the Ax" Eadie. It wasn't easy by any means, as Zbyszko took his licks from the much stronger and powerful Eadie, but he found his opening after a missed clothesline and hit the Crunch Time to secure a big win in the Meadowlands.

The Texas Outlaws (Bobby Duncum and Dick Murdoch) defeated The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) when Murdoch pinned Afa with the Gourdbuster in 0:10:49.
Rating: * 3/4
(The Texas Outlaws retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

Bobby Duncum & Dick Murdoch didn't use the most fair of means to win their match against the Wild Samoans last month, but who are we talking about here? Since the Texas Outlaws formed, cheating has been the way of the world for the champions of GCW. The Wild Samoans were granted a title shot anyway, and looked to be primed to take full advantage of this big opportunity. Afa & Sika may be savages, but even savages like gold. The champs tried the same tactic they tried back in Uniondale, but when Duncum tried to toss Afa into the guardrail, Afa reversed it and Duncum crashed against the steel instead! Duncum almost got counted out, but referee Tommy Young deemed the match was going to continue until we saw a clear winner! Duncum & Murdoch had some minor problems with this decision, that they voiced by nearly destroying the entire ringside area. Charming. Afa & Sika built some momentum after this edict, looking like they were going to get a third reign with the World Tag Team Titles. A Murdoch Gourdbuster brought that to a screeching halt though as he hit it out of left field and got the 3 count. It was a tough defense, but a successful one none the less.

Since the show has ended, Duncum & Murdoch have issued an open challenge to any team that wants a shot at their gold at MSG, proclaiming they could beat any team the world throws at them. Who is going to answer the call? We'll find out on April 1!

Ric Flair made B. Brian Blair submit to the Figure-Four Leglock in 0:08:45.
Rating: ** 3/4

B. Brian Blair showed his true colors recently as a pompous, ungrateful jerk, and Luke Graham wants nothing more than to shut him up once and for all. Graham got a small measure of revenge tonight as Blair was taking on "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. This was a competitive wrestling match, and Blair's attempts at cheating weren't working because even though Flair is on the side of good now, he is as masterful a cheater as there is and thwarted Blair's every attempt. Near the end of the match, Blair was getting frustrated and went to the floor to grab his jump rope, obviously wanting to choke the Nature Boy out with it. That's when LUKE GRAHAM sauntered to the ring, waving his finger in Blair's face as if to say, "Not a chance in hell." Blair was livid as he dropped the jump rope and got in Graham's face. Graham responded by tossing Blair into the ring. Blair yelled down at Graham, but was caught with a chop block from Flair! Flair quickly locked on the Figure-Four Leglock and not long after, Blair submitted to the uproarious approval of the Jersey fans!

Don Muraco pinned Luke Graham with the Tombstone in 0:03:11.
Rating: **
[B. Brian Blair interfered against Luke Graham.]

Luke Graham had gotten the better of B. Brian Blair in Blair's match, but Blair returned the favor as Graham took on "The Magnificent" Don Muraco. Graham started out fast as he was still fired up with thwarting Blair in the previous match, but Blair had stuck around ringside and interjected himself in this matchup. Muraco had turned the tide slightly by choking Graham on the middle rope. Referee Danny Davis took Muraco aside to reprimand him for this, thus having his back turned to Blair wrapping the jump rope around his fist and blasting Graham in the head with it! Graham was knocked loopy and easy pickings to Muraco's Tombstone. All of this posturing aside, this feud that has been brewing for over a year will culminate in their first one-on-one encounter on April 1 in Madison Square Garden!

Stan Hansen pinned Ricky Steamboat with the Lariat in 0:16:03.
Rating: *** 3/4
(Stan Hansen retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)
[Bobby Duncum interfered against Ricky Steamboat.]

This was the biggest opportunity of Ricky Steamboat's young career, getting a match for the Intercontinental Title against the man who is the longest reigning and most dominant IC champion in history, Stan "The Lariat" Hansen. On paper, this was not a good matchup for Steamboat. Hansen is bigger, stronger, and more experienced than Steamboat, having been down this road many times before. You can't underestimate a man's heart though, and Steamboat has it in spades. Hansen, for all intents and purposes, kicked the ever-loving crap out of Steamboat throughout this match, but I'll be damned if Steamboat didn't keep fighting back and getting in some offense. Every time Steamboat would fire back, you could see the shock in the face of Hansen. Hansen would cut Steamboat off and would yell something like, "WHY WON'T YOU DIE!?" But Steamboat wouldn't die, continuing to fire back until it seemed inevitable that Steamboat was going to win his first singles title when DICK MURDOCH & BOBBY DUNCUM made sure that wasn't going to happen. Murdoch took the referee's attention while Duncum slid in the ring and planted Steamboat with the Full Nelson Slam. Hansen hit the Lariat for the icing on the cake as he successfully defended the Intercontinental Title. The Texas Outlaws were looking to dish out further punishment to Steamboat, but LARRY ZBYSZKO came down with a chair in hand to chase the 3 rough Texans out of the ring. Steamboat clearly has the full respect of the Cruncher now. Zbyszko will try his hand at beating Hansen on April 1 as he has been granted a shot at the IC Title.

The Can-Am Strongmen (Dino Bravo and Ken Patera) defeated Terry Funk and Tony Atlas when Bravo pinned T. Funk with the Side Suplex in 0:17:29.
Rating: ** 1/2

Our main event was a tag team encounter with a lot of bad feelings as the strange team of Terry Funk & Tony Atlas took on Freddie Blassie's newest charges, the Can-Am Strongmen. No one has been able to trust Terry Funk for well over a year, but Tony Atlas was forced to put his full trust into the Funker if he wanted any chance of getting out of this match in one piece. Maybe Funk just needed a chance, because this makeshift team looked fantastic. It may just have to do with the fact that Funk wants to rip Freddie Blassie's head off, but I digress. Still, even with the amount of teamwork going on with Funk & Atlas, the Can-Am Strongmen are former World Tag Team champions, and under the new management of Blassie, they've even more deadly than before. And if the collective strength of Dino Bravo & Ken Patera wasn't enough to make this a long night for Funk & Atlas, DON MURACO came down to ringside halfway through the match to provide a big distraction. Muraco would play a big role in the finish of this match, as while Atlas & Patera were brawling on the floor, Muraco made his move. Referee Dick Kroll couldn't break up the fight on the floor, and didn't see Muraco enter the ring and hit Funk with a low blow. That will slow anyone down, even someone as crazy as Terry Funk. Bravo followed with the Side Suplex and got the 1-2-3.

Blassie was proud of himself for getting this huge win, but his beaming pride turned to pure terror when Funk got a hold of him after the match and dragged him into the ring. Atlas held Blassie while Funk grabbed his signature branding iron. Funk also grabbed the microphone and demanded that Blassie give him a match against Don Muraco at MSG, and he wanted it to be an I Quit match! Blassie was resistant at first, and Muraco was losing his mind telling Blassie to say no. But as Blassie said no, Funk threatened to nail Blassie with the branding iron. Blassie finally relented and agreed to the match, and we will see it at MSG! It didn't save Blassie from taking his lumps though, as Atlas Gorilla Pressed the Classy one and threw him out onto Muraco, Bravo, & Patera to end the show.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

4/1/82 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN - New York, NY

WORLD TITLE - Dusty Rhodes (c) vs. Jumbo Tsuruta
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Stan Hansen (c) vs. Larry Zbyszko
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - Bobby Duncum/Dick Murdoch (c) vs. A MYSTERY TEAM
#1 CONTENDER CAGE MATCH - Bob Backlund vs. Jimmy Snuka
I QUIT MATCH - Terry Funk vs. Don Muraco
Luke Graham vs. B. Brian Blair

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