March 12, 1973 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

Mr. Fuji and Toru Tanaka defeated Chief Jay Strongbow and Don Muraco when Fuji pinned Muraco with the Thrust Kick in 0:09:36.
Rating: ***

Our opening contest here in the Garden pit Mr. Fuji & Professor Toru Tanaka against a brand new tag team. Chief Jay Strongbow wants to get back into the tag team division, and he has taken a rookie, Don Muraco, under his wing. Muraco has a plethora of natural talent, but he is going to need some time and experience to really foster it into a winning wrestler. Muraco had some flashes of brilliance, and Strongbow will bring him around nicely, but it's a process. Fuji & Tanaka take the win in our opener.

Dominic DeNucci made Baron Mikel Scicluna submit to an armbar submission in 0:02:35.
Rating: ** 3/4

Dominic DeNucci hasn't had the greatest track record in singles action, but he is a former 3-time World Tag Team champion and one of the most respected wrestlers in all of GCW. Baron Mikel Scicluna was reminded of that in this match, as DeNucci wasted little time going after his left arm before getting a quick armbar submission victory.

Baron Von Raschke defeated Jimmy Snuka by disqualification in 0:13:32.
Rating: * 1/2

Baron Von Raschke is still fuming at Bobby Heenan, but his aggression is pointed at one of Heenan's lackeys, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, who prevented Raschke from getting his hands on Heenan in the first place. Raschke bounced Snuka around the ring for much of the match, but to Snuka's credit, he did exactly what his manager asked him to do. Raschke eventually had Snuka in the Claw, but before Snuka submitted, Heenan jumped in the ring and hit Raschke in the back for the disqualification. Problem is, the chair didn't phase Raschke at all. Raschke turned his attention to Heenan, who ran away in a hurry. As a result, a match has been signed for the April 15 show in Toronto pitting Raschke against Snuka one more time, but this time, if Raschke wins, at the next show, he gets another match with Bobby Heenan - in a STEEL CAGE!

Two-out-of-three-Falls Match:
The Cripplers (Nick Bockwinkel and Ray Stevens) beat The High Flyers (Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne) 2 falls to 1:
x Bockwinkel beat Brunzell via a small package in 0:17:48
x double countout (G. Gagne and Bockwinkel) in 0:25:41
Rating: **
(The Cripplers retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

We had three title matches scheduled tonight, all contested with 2 out of 3 falls rules. The first was for the World Tag Team Titles with the High Flyers getting the biggest opportunity of their careers challenging The Cripplers for the gold. With all that Bobby Heenan has been going through and the relative inexperience of Gagne & Brunzell resulted in Ray Stevens & Nick Bockwinkel looking completely underprepared for this title defense. The Flyers looked crisp and focused while The Cripplers looked lethargic to say the least. Despite winning on the points, professional wrestling bouts aren't decided on a points system, and that hurt the Flyers. The first fall would go to the champions when Bockwinkel caught Brunzell in a small package, hooked the tights, and got the 1-2-3. From that point, the champions played defense as Gagne & Brunzell turned up the heat. Bockwinkel made a cowardly, but in hindsight, intelligent move by taking the fight with Gagne to the floor resulting in both men getting counted out. That results in a fall for each team, and thus, The Cripplers retain the titles. Not the most noble way to go about things, but they hold onto the titles for another show. The High Flyers went a long way in proving their worth though, and surely will be here again.

Pedro Morales made Johnny Valentine submit to the Boston Crab in 0:08:39.
Rating: * 3/4

Johnny Valentine, for one reason or another, has taken quite a liking to Jerry Lawler, and as a result has vowed to get revenge against his old nemesis, Pedro Morales, for putting Lawler on the shelf. Valentine did what he could, but something just seemed a little off about him tonight. He didn't have the same brutal offense that he normally does, and Morales got the better of him with the Boston Crab. Valentine submitted to prevent injury, but that didn't stop Morales from keeping the hold on for several moments before officials pulled him away. Morales' actions somehow manage to get more and more disgusting.

Ivan Koloff pinned Gorilla Monsoon with the Russian Sickle in 0:04:53.
Rating: * 1/4
[Lou Albano interfered against Gorilla Monsoon.]

The Russian Bear strikes again! I'm starting to doubt if anyone has the ability to though this speeding locomotive down. The man to try tonight was Gorilla Monsoon, unquestionably one of the toughest men in all of wrestling. And Koloff plowed through him like he was nothing. Monsoon is used to asserting his will in a match, but Koloff would have none of it, nearly taking Monsoon's cranium off with the Russian Sickle to remain undefeated. Can anyone slow this beast down?

Dick the Bruiser pinned The Crusher after hitting him with a chain in 0:14:16.
Rating: **

The fans were sad to see it, but it looked like we were seeing the end of the greatest tag team in wrestling as Dick the Bruiser took on The Crusher. These two have had their differences thanks to meddling from Bobby Heenan, and it was an intense fight between two men who know each other better than anyone. The fans might not have wanted to see these two fight, but they sure enjoyed it. Bruiser & Crusher pounded on each other like mortal enemies, bloodying each other up using nothing but their firsts. In the end, Bruiser took it to the next level, grabbing his chain and waffling Crusher with it to get the pinfall.

Bobby Heenan tries to recruit Dick the Bruiser into the Heenan Family.

As The Crusher was out on the mat, BOBBY HEENAN came down and grabbed the microphone. He instantly calmed Dick the Bruiser down and told him he was impressed by his fire and his willingness to do anything to win, even against his own best friend. Heenan followed by saying the Heenan Family could use a man like that in their ranks. Bruiser carefully considered the offer as Heenan had no idea that Crusher was getting up behind him. Bruiser paused before flat out telling Heenan, "NO!" which is when Crusher spun Heenan around and decked him with a right hand, sending the manager sprawling from the ring. Bruiser grabbed the mic and said that he and Crusher may have their fights, but they're like brothers. The only people who are allowed to beat each other up is them. Heenan did not look pleased to see the Bruiser/Crusher team reunited.

Blackjack Lanza made Tony Garea submit to the Blackjack Claw in 0:03:20.
Rating: *** 1/2

Bobby Heenan came out with an ice pack on his face for our next match, with his new henchman Blackjack Lanza taking on Tony Garea. Heenan's mind wasn't into the match, but Lanza didn't really need it as he didn't have much trouble with Garea before putting him away with the Blackjack Claw.

Two-out-of-three-Falls Match:
Billy Graham beat Billy Robinson 2 falls to 1:
x Robinson beat B. Graham via the Double-Arm Suplex in 0:13:45
x B. Graham beat Robinson via a powerslam in 0:23:06
x B. Graham beat Robinson via the Bearhug in 0:41:04
Rating: *** 3/4
(Billy Graham retained the GCW United States Title.)
[The Grand Wizard interfered against Billy Robinson.]

Billy Graham hasn't shown anyone that he can beat Billy Robinson straight up, despite having won the United States Title from him back in January. Superstar Graham was going to have to find a way to beat Robinson legit, because this rematch was to be fought under 2 out of 3 falls rules. If the match is a straight up wrestling match, there is no question in anyone's mind that Billy Robinson is the better competitor in that sense. Robinson showed that by wearing Graham down the entire first fall with classic wrestling holds before hitting the Double-Arm Suplex to get the lead. Robinson continued that strategy into fall 2, but The Grand Wizard showed how important he is to his charges by distracting Robinson. This let the powerful Graham hit a big powerslam to even the match at 1 fall each. Graham was lucky his manager helped him with that second fall, as The Grand Wizard was sent to the back when he was caught interfering in the third fall. The last fall by itself went 18 minutes and was a great back and forth struggle. Robinson had things going solidly his way, but he hurt his back when Graham slammed him on the floor. Robinson continued, but his back caught up to him in the end when the brute strength of the Superstar's Bearhug put this one in the books.

Carlos Colon pinned Ernie Ladd after a headbutt in 0:06:17.
Rating: *** 3/4

Ernie Ladd has been strutting around for weeks now bragging about how he took on the "alleged most dangerous man in wrestling" Luke Graham, saying that we will never see him again. Ladd upped the ante for this show, coming out where a shirt that read, "I RETIRED LUKE GRAHAM." Not only that, but Ladd had his thumb taped up just as Luke Graham does for his matches. The one thing Ladd forgot to do was take Carlos Colon, his opponent tonight, seriously. Ladd would get the upperhand, and choose to mock Graham more instead. This allowed Colon to surprise him with a headbutt right between the eyes and get a flash pin. Ladd would get the last laugh though, blasting Colon with the Boot to the Face and leaving him laid out. A rematch has been signed for Toronto.

Two-out-of-three-Falls Match:
Bruno Sammartino beat Wahoo McDaniel 2 falls to 0:
x B. Sammartino beat Wahoo via the Sammartino Backbreaker in 0:24:47
x B. Sammartino beat Wahoo via a powerslam in 0:28:28
Rating: ** 1/2
(Bruno Sammartino retained the GCW World Title.)

Our main event would prove once and for all who the better man was between World champion Bruno Sammartino and #1 contender Wahoo McDaniel as the title was defended with best 2 out of 3 falls rules. Sammartino has been the champion for nearly 3 years now, and with every title defense he has, the pressure on his shoulders due to this record title reign becomes more and more as everybody is gunning to be the man that derails him. Bruno kept his cool during this match, something he didn't do back in Philadelphia. If Sammartino has a flaw, it may just be his temper. He kept it in check though in this grueling contest that he would ultimately win in 2 straight falls. Sammartino did extensive damage to Wahoo's back, getting the first fall with the Sammartino Backbreaker. McDaniel showed how tough he was by staying in the hold for over 2 minutes before submitting, but the damage had been done, leaving him prone to a powerslam for the second fall minutes later. If the pressure is affecting Sammartino at all, he's not letting it show. Who will step up next to challenge for the World Title?

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

We are heading to the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on April 15, and so far, the following matches have been signed:

WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Cripplers (c) vs. Dick the Bruiser/The Crusher
Carlos Colon vs. Ernie Ladd
Jerry Lawler vs. Pedro Morales
If Raschke wins, he gets a cage match with Bobby Heenan in Montreal - Baron Von Raschke vs. Jimmy Snuka

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