March 11, 1976 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

Gorilla Monsoon and Sgt. Slaughter defeated The Valiant Brothers (Jimmy Valiant and Johnny Valiant) when Slaughter made Jimmy Valiant submit to the Cobra Clutch in 0:07:23.
Rating: ** 1/4
[Lou Albano interfered against Gorilla Monsoon.]

The Gorilla Monsoon/Sgt. Slaughter partnership is a work in progress, but so far, so good. They had a tough test in the Valiant Brothers, but Slaughter showed that he is learning quickly by getting Jimmy Valiant in the Cobra Clutch for the win. The rumor going around the locker room is that Captain Lou Albano is becoming disenchanted with the Valiants and his focus is on Ivan Koloff & Nikolai Volkoff.

Dusty Rhodes pinned Hiro Matsuda after a swinging neckbreaker in 0:10:01.
Rating: ****
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Dusty Rhodes.]

With his violent feud with Dick Murdoch behind him, Dusty Rhodes can look to the future, and to say his future is bright would be a vast understatement. Rhodes doesn't have a "wrestler's body," but what he lacks in physique he more than makes up for in heart, presence, and charisma. When he gets his motor going, it's hard to slow it down, as Hiro Matsuda can now attest to as he fell to the big man here in the Garden. GCW, look out.

Billy Robinson and Bobby Duncum defeated Don Muraco and Dory Funk Jr. when Robinson pinned D. Funk Jr. with the Double-Arm Suplex in 0:12:55.
Rating: ***

Dory Funk Jr. has been in a rage since losing the Intercontinental Title to Bobby Duncum, and has grown increasingly frustrated that it's been two and a half months and he hasn't gotten the title back. He wouldn't get the chance tonight, but this tag match with Don Muraco against Duncum & Billy Robinson would go a long way in getting him another title shot. He's going to have to wait in line though, as Robinson would exorcise a demon of his own with a solid clean pinfall on Funk, drilling him with the Double-Arm Suplex for the duke. After the match, Robinson said he wanted to prove he could still be a champion in GCW, and challenged Duncum to a match for April 3 in the Boston Garden for the IC Title. Duncum didn't hesitate to accept, and we will see what should prove to be a mat wrestling classic!

Blackjack Mulligan defeated Pedro Morales via pinfall in 0:08:01.
Rating: *** 1/4
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Pedro Morales.]

The Heenan Family has a bad habit of making enemies mout of people they probably shouldn't. The man they pissed off here in New York was Pedro Morales, who's fiery temper is legendary. Morales had a singles match against Blackjack Mulligan, and Bobby Heenan wanted this win badly. Heenan is a master of diverting the referee's attention, and he did just that to allow BLACKJACK LANZA to whack Morales in the back with a chair, putting him down and allowing Mulligan to score the upset victory. Morales was hurt, but it didn't stop the Blackjacks from getting the hell out of there when Morales came back to his feet and had a look of pure hatred etched on his face. Mulligan may have gotten the win, but this may not be a war the Heenan Family needed to start.

Killer Kowalski defeated Jimmy Snuka by disqualification in 0:04:39.
Rating: ** 1/2
[Ernie Ladd interfered against Killer Kowalski.]

Jimmy Snuka is looking to prove himself against any and all comers, and a win over Killer Kowalski, a current member of the Heenan Family which Snuka was in earlier in his career, would have been a huge feather in his cap. He wouldn't get that tonight, because someone else had a pressing issue with Kowalski, and that was the man who attacked him and caused the disqualification, ERNIE LADD. The Big Cat had his head still bandaged from Kowalski taking Ladd's ear off with a flying kneedrop, and Ladd didn't take kindly to Kowalski mocking the unfortunate injury. Ladd is out for blood, and the GCW officials recognize that this situation needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Therefore, a CAGE MATCH has been signed between these men for Boston!

Mr. Wrestling I pinned Jack Brisco after a sunset flip in 0:11:16.
Rating: ****

We're not sure what happened to Mr. Wrestling I while he was out with an injury, but his attitude has changed for the worst. We may not like the attitude changed, but after tonight, it's hard to say it's not effective. He took on Jack Brisco, who felt disrespected by Wrestling I in Atlantic City when I walked away from Brisco's offer of a sportsmanlike handshake. We thought maybe I simply had a bad night, but we learned that wasn't the case when after a sunset flip, he put his feet on the ropes for extra leverage and stole a win from Brisco! Brisco wanted an explanation after the match, but I said he got his feet tangled and it was a complete accident. Something is definitely rotten in the state of Denmark.

The Dirtbags (Dick Murdoch and Stan Hansen) defeated Dean Ho and Tony Garea when Hansen pinned Garea with the Lariat in 0:10:45.
Rating: **** 1/4

The tag team division has changed its shape over the past few months with several young but hungry teams looking to establish themselves in this new landscape. Two of the newest teams, Dean Ho & Tony Garea and The Dirtbags, hooked up here, and they really got a chance to showcase what they could do, both teams winning some new fans (or new enemies, as it were). In a match like this, it's hard to determine who might win because the match is so evenly competed. The Dirtbags would get the all-important win though, as Stan Hansen nearly took Garea's head off with the Lariat. Even though one team had to win and one team had to lose, I think both team's stock have went up.

Cage Match:
Larry Zbyszko and Dino Bravo defeated The Graham Brothers (Billy Graham and Luke Graham) when Zbyszko pinned L. Graham with the Shoulderbreaker in 0:25:17.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Larry Zbyszko and Dino Bravo retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

This was man up time for the young World Tag Team champions. Larry Zbyszko & Dino Bravo have two tag team victories over the Graham Brothers, but the general feeling in the wrestling world is that the victories were of the fluke variety. Zbyszko & Bravo were dominated in singles matches last month, so not many people were giving them much of a chance in the third tag match, this one contested inside a 15-foot high steel cage! Zbyszko & Bravo were jacked up for the match, but as the match wore on, they were getting beaten to a pulp. Luke & Billy Graham were taking great joy in pounding the young champs into the mat, using the cage as a weapon to bloody up Bravo pretty badly. I thought that the match was going to be called by the referee because of the loss of blood, but to Willie Webber's credit, he let the match continue. The champs are sure glad he did, as they held on and fought back. Zbyszko moved out of the way of a charging Luke Graham, knocking Crazy Luke's head into the steel bars, long enough to hoist him up in the Shoulderbreaker. Billy Graham was cut off when Bravo tackled him to the mat, and the champs proved once and for all that they deserve to be carrying the gold.

Peter Maivia defeated Nikolai Volkoff by disqualification in 0:03:56.
Rating: *

"High Chief" Peter Maivia wanted a rematch against Nikolai Volkoff after Ivan Koloff's interference cost him the matchup last month, even if the interference was against Koloff's wishes. Maivia was thus extra fired up for the match, and Volkoff didn't want to deal with it, getting himself disqualified with a low blow just under the 4 minute mark. Volkoff put the beatdown on Maivia, and eventually Koloff had seen enough and he pulled Volkoff off of Maivia and threw him out of the ring! Captain Lou Albano had to restrain Volkoff from getting back in the ring to fight Koloff. Maivia wasn't that thankful for Koloff's late save, and attacked the Russian Bear! Officials had to pull Maivia and Koloff apart. Koloff was furious that Maivia attacked him, and said if that's how it's going to be, he wanted the High Chief in the ring! He'll get his wish on April 3 in Boston.

Harley Race defeated Lou Thesz via pinfall in 0:31:25.
Rating: ****
(Harley Race retained the GCW World Title.)

Our main event had the chance to be an improbable but fantastic story. Lou Thesz, a former GCW World champion who held the title for nearly 3 years back in the early 1960s, a little on in years but not in heart, back to take on the young, brash, arrogant World champion, "Handsome" Harley Race. Race came into the match way too confident, figuring he would have no problem putting away an "old man" and retaining his title. Thesz is not just an old man - he is Lou Thesz, an incredible competitor and one of the greatest of all-time. You could see the frustration in Race's eyes as the match wore on and Thesz was still in it at the 15, 20, 25 minute mark. The crowd was buzzing thinking we might see a new World champion, especially when Thesz drilled Race with a German suplex. The place exploded when referee Dick Kroll counted the 1-2-3, but were shocked when Race's hand was raised instead! It turns out Race got his shoulder up just before the 3 count, while Thesz's shoulders were still on the mat. Race is still the World champion, and perhaps the luckiest man in the world right now.

Card rating: *** 1/4

Match observations:

April 3 in Boston, MA will be the site of our next big show, with these matches set to deliver:

INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Bobby Duncum (c) vs. Billy Robinson
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - Larry Zbyszko/Dino Bravo (c) vs. The Valiant Brothers
CAGE MATCH - Ernie Ladd vs. Killer Kowalski
Peter Maivia vs. Ivan Koloff
Pedro Morales vs. Blackjack Lanza
Jack Brisco vs. Mr. Wrestling I

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