March 17, 1984 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) defeated The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey) when D.B. Smith pinned Eaton with the Running Powerslam in 0:12:52.
Rating: * 1/2

A tag title shot was up for grabs in a 4-team tournament tonight, and the first match of the tournament kicked off our show. The British Bulldogs & The Midnight Express are no strangers to each other as they have been going back and forth since the end of last year. Jim Cornette was as irritating as ever, drawing a lot of attention from both the fans and the Bulldogs with his antics. His distractions plus the inherent skill of "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton & "Loverboy" Dennis Condrey are a lot to handle, but Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith showed great focus in pulling out this victory thanks to the Running Powerslam by Smith. Cornette was not happy with his team's loss, so he went to hit Davey Boy with his tennis racket after the match. Dynamite Kid grabbed the tennis racket before Cornette could use it, and he planned to use it on Cornette, much to the delight of the New York fans. He took too long though as Condrey clipped Dynamite's knee from behind before the Midnight Express escaped. Dynamite Kid looked to be in bad shape as Davey Boy helped him to the back. Dynamite's status for the finals was definitely in jeopardy.

Ricky Steamboat thanks Jimmy Snuka.

Before his match, Ricky Steamboat took a moment to grab the microphone and thank the recently retired Jimmy Snuka. Steamboat told the crowd that the Superfly was a personal inspiration for him, and without Jimmy Snuka, there would be no Ricky Steamboat. Steamboat led the fans in a round of applause - that is, until BRET HART interrupted. Hart snatched the microphone from the Dragon and told him to quit his crying. "No one cares about Jimmy Snuka and no one cares about you!" This was enough to raise the ire of Steamboat, who hit a big chop to get this match underway.

Ricky Steamboat pinned Bret Hart with the Flying Crossbody Press in 0:13:46.
Rating: **** 1/4

Ricky Steamboat is one of the nicest guys that you will ever meet - until you piss him off. Bret Hart learned that the hard way tonight in his first Madison Square Garden match. This actually seemed to be what Bret had planned, and it was looking like it might not be a terrible strategy. Hart is clearly blessed with a lot of technical skill, and he riled Steamboat up to take advantage of the Dragon's mistakes. Bret also used a variety of submissions on Steamboat, trying to make the Dragon suffer and showing that the Hitman comes equipped with a sadistic streak. A missed elbowdrop from the second turnbuckle turned the tide though, letting Steamboat put together some offense en route to hitting the Flying Crossbody Press in an extremely hard fought match. Hart hasn't gotten himself to the winner's circle yet, but he has shown that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Dino Bravo and Nikolai Volkoff defeated The Rock 'N Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) when Bravo pinned R. Gibson with the Side Suplex in 0:07:55.
Rating: *** 1/2

Whichever team won this second semi-final match between the Rock 'N Roll Express and Dino Bravo & Nikolai Volkoff was going to have a huge advantage because as this match started, Dynamite Kid was being treated in the back by doctors. This match was similar to the other matches these two teams have had with each other, Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson trying to utilize their speed and quickness while Bravo & Volkoff asserted their power. RnR are exciting to watch, and they are the biggest risk takers in tag team wrestling. Sometimes those risks pay off, and sometimes they crash and burn. Tonight was one of those crash and burn situations. Morton missed a plancha to the outside early in the match and he was unable to be of much assistance to Gibson past that point. Gibson fought hard, but once Bravo hit him with the Side Suplex, Morton couldn't get in to make the save in time. Bravo & Volkoff move on to face the British Bulldogs later on tonight.

Bruiser Brody defeated Ole Anderson by disqualification in 0:04:04.
Rating: *
[King Kong Bundy interfered against Bruiser Brody.]

Bruiser Brody shocked the world with his unexpected return to Global Championship Wrestling, besting King Kong Bundy in an impressive fashion. Bobby Heenan saw this as a big problem as a major part of the Heenan Family's success is how assertive Bundy is. If Bundy looks weak, the whole stable looks weak. Ole Anderson stepped up to the plate to try to be the one to take Brody down. Well, good luck. Brody was an ornery as ever, and with his unorthodox brawling style, Ole had a lot of trouble adjusting to it. Ole likes to focus on a body part and work it over, but with Brody hitting him from all angles, Anderson found great difficulty in doing that. He didn't find great difficulty in hitting a low blow though and getting himself disqualified. Even after taking a shot to the nards, it appeared to just make Brody angry, who went back to work on Ole. That is until KING KONG BUNDY clubbed Brody from behind, hit him with a bodyslam, and dropping on Brody's ribs with the Big Splash. Bundy added a a second splash for good measure, definitely focusing on weakening Brody's ribs. Heenan yelled at the downed Brody that that would teach him to mess with the Family, and dismissed him like it was over. But the way Brody got up and stomped to the back, I don't think Brody believes this is over at all.

Rick Martel defeated Nick Bockwinkel by disqualification in 0:02:57.
Rating: ***
(Nick Bockwinkel retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Nick Bockwinkel did in Springfield what he has done so many times since becoming the Intercontinental champion, and that's steal a victory. Rick Martel got the title rematch that he deserved, but he got a bit more of the same from the IC champion. Bobby Heenan has expertly guided Bockwinkel to keeping this title reign going for nearly a year, and he figured out another creative way to do so tonight. Martel's plan was to beat Bockwinkel as quickly as possible, eliminating the chances for Bockwinkel to do something sneaky to retain the gold. Martel blitzed Bockwinkel from the opening bell, and within a couple of minutes, he had Bockwinkel in the Boston Crab! The crowd was rabid with anticipation of finally seeing a new champ crowned, but Bockwinkel crawled and got a hold of referee Dick Woehrle, shoving him to the mat. Woehrle called for the bell, and MSG exploded for the new champion! Martel was announced as the winner, but everyone was shocked when it was announced that it was a result of a disqualification! Thus, Bockwinkel is still the champion. Martel was understandably pissed off, but the Championship Committee appeased him by granting him one more title match on April 21 in Philadelphia, and finally, if Bockwinkel gets counted out or disqualified, Martel will become the new Intercontinental champion!

The Iron Sheik pinned Junkyard Dog after a kick to the head in 0:05:51.
Rating: 1/2*
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Junkyard Dog.]

JYD had a lot riding on this match. JYD has went back and forth with The Iron Sheik for months, and in an effort to end the issue, a deal was struck. If JYD won, he would get 5 minutes in the ring with "Classy" Freddie Blassie, which would presumably shut Blassie up once and for all. But if the Sheik won, JYD would have to do the unthinkable - publicly state that Iran is the greatest country in the world. Nobody in the Garden wanted to see that happen and they were vehemently in support of Junkyard Dog. It looked like this was going to be a story with a happy ending as JYD used the support of the fans to fuel him to hit the Thump Powerslam. When he went for the cover though, there was no count - the reason being that Blassie was on the apron yelling at Tommy Young! JYD got up and grabbed Blassie by the shirt, but before he could hit him, Sheik caught JYD with a low blow that Young didn't see. To make matters worse, Sheik then loaded up his boot and kicked JYD in the side of the head, knocking the Dog unconscious to get the pin. JYD was supposed to follow up on his end of the deal, but officials were unable to wake JYD up. He was knocked out cold with a possible concussion. It doesn't look like JYD will miss any time, but on April 21 in Philly, as a man of his word, JYD will publicly state that Iran is the best country in the world. Disgusting.

Tony Atlas pinned Don Muraco after a powerslam in 0:08:26.
Rating: **
[Mr. Fuji interfered against Tony Atlas.]

Don Muraco's quest for a new manager took a little while, but he seems happy with his choice of Mr. Fuji. Hell, so far, Fuji has gotten Muraco a DQ pose-off victory over Tony Atlas, so, that's something. But leading Muraco to a victory over Atlas in a singles wrestling match was going to be a whole other can of worms. Atlas has reached some tag team success in GCW, but he wants to make his mark on the singles division, and tonight was a good step in that direction. After a competitive 8 minutes of neck-and-neck action, Mr. USA walked away with his hand raised after a powerslam drove the air out of Muraco's lungs.

After the match, the Magnificent One was not happy about his loss, complaining to anyone who would listen. As Muraco was throwing his temper tantrum, he would get into a shouting match with a particular fan. The fan was having fun taunting him, as his his right as a ticket holder to a GCW show. Muraco apparently thought otherwise, and then in an unspeakable act, Muraco punched the fan in the face! The fan staggered back as Muraco continued to yell at him. Security ran down and took Muraco to the back, the Magnificent One screaming the entire time. The fan had a busted lip and was taken to be checked on by the arena doctors. We found out later that Don Muraco had been arrested for his actions, and rightfully so. We hope to have more on this breaking story at our next show.

[TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT - FINALS]: Number-One-Contenders-Match:
Dino Bravo and Nikolai Volkoff defeated The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) when Volkoff made D.B. Smith submit to the Bearhug in 0:08:11.
Rating: ** 3/4

Unfortunately for the British Bulldogs, making it to the finals of the #1 contenders tag team tournament was not the huge opportunity they had hoped it would be. Thanks to the low-class act of the Midnight Express after the semi-finals, Dynamite Kid's knee was in bad shape going into this match. He showed a ton of heart by still coming down for the match, but to say he was a liability in the match against Dino Bravo & Nikolai Volkoff would be an understatement to say the least. Dynamite couldn't even enter the match his knee was so bad, leaving Davey Boy Smith to do all of the fighting on his own. Davey Boy is a highly skilled wrestler and is going to be a huge star, but no one man is going to fair well against Bravo & Volkoff. Davey Boy fought hard for 8 minutes, Dynamite lending whatever support he could, but once Volkoff got Davey in the Bearhug, that was all she wrote. Bravo & Volkoff will receive a shot at the tag titles on April 21 in Philly, while the British Bulldogs will take on the Midnight Express in a grudge match!

Bob Backlund pinned Larry Zbyszko after a Northern Lights suplex in 0:11:01.
Rating: *** 3/4

Both Larry Zbyszko & Bob Backlund have a lot to prove. Many people feel that Zbyszko's status as the man with a ton of potential is over - it's time for him to take that next step and become a bona fide main eventer. Backlund, on the other hand, is starting to get asked more and more if he's still got it. There is no questioning Backlund's place in history as a 2-time World champion, but it has been awhile since he has been in sniffing distance of the GCW Title. There have been some rumblings that Backlund could lose his spot on the roster if he doesn't turn things around. So far, Backlund has had a good 1984, having won a previous battle with the Cruncher. To think this whole feud started when tempers flared in a battle royal. With each interaction between these two, the exchanges get more and more heated. This match tonight was no exception, as the intensity these two wrestle with is off the charts. Zbyszko is a better brawler than Backlund, while Backlund is more proficient in technical wrestling. Backlund was able to control the tempo slightly better than Zbyszko was, which allowed him to counter a DDT attempt into a Northern Lights suplex to get the 3 count. Zbyszko couldn't believe he had let himself get caught, but it was just a good wrestling move by Backlund. Backlund has been fairly stoic recently, but as he left the ring, he did say to the Cruncher, "You can't beat me." With the way these matches have been going, that may be right.

The U.S. Express give their first public statement as the World Tag Team champions.

Out next came our brand-spanking-new World Tag Team champions, Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham, the U.S. Express to a nice reaction from the crowd. This was Windham's first visit to Madison Square Garden, and the rookie looked happy as a horse to be here. Windham said that Rotundo & he shocked the world when in their debut as a team, and in his GCW debut period, they defeated Bobby Duncum & Dick Murdoch to win the greatest prize in the world of tag team wrestling, the GCW World Tag Team Titles. Rotundo added that GCW has the greatest tag teams in the world and that it won't be easy to hold onto the gold, but they will do everything in their power to keep the titles for the fans in the good ol' U.S. of A. This brought out FREDDIE BLASSIE, who was flanked by the new #1 contenders, DINO BRAVO & NIKOLAI VOLKOFF. Blassie told Rotundo & Windham that they''re nothing but pencil-necked geeks and a simple flash in the pan. He told them not to get too comfortable with the titles because after April 21, they'd be around the waists of Bravo & Volkoff. The situation, as these often do, escalated into a fight. Bravo & Volkoff had the edge, but Rotundo & Windham ducked clothesline attempts and then sent the foreign team out with double dropkicks. It's good to see the young team are not going to be intimidated.

Stan Hansen pinned Dusty Rhodes with the Lariat in 0:10:36.
Rating: ****
(Stan Hansen retained the GCW World Title.)

World champion Stan Hansen & Dusty Rhodes have found themselves as unlikely partners in recent months as they've had common enemies in the Heenan Family. But don't take that as a sign that they like each other - these two are still bitter enemies, and our main event match proved that. They may have managed to coexist in the past couple months, but once the bell rang, all semblance of teamwork was out the window. This was the match that the sold out MSG crowd paid to see, and they definitely got their money's worth. An emotionally charged contest that showed just how important the GCW World Title is. This title is the measuring stick - if you don't want to be the GCW World champion, you should fine another line of work. The two weren't interested in a lot of wrestling moves, per se. They were much more comfortable throwing bombs and brawling all over the ringside area. Referee Dick Kroll knew how important the match was and just let the two fight, which I think was the right decision. Rhodes had gotten on the offensive when he sent Hansen head first into the ring post and threw him back into the ring. Before the Dream got back in himself, BOBBY DUNCUM & DICK MURDOCH came down to the ring, Murdoch wielding a chair. They told Rhodes they were out to help, but the Dream was furious, telling them to go to the back and not to "mess this up." Rhodes & Duncum particularly had an extended argument, but Duncum & Murdoch finally agreed to head toward the back. Rhodes got back in the ring, and unfortunately for him, the next thing he saw when he turned around was Hansen hitting him with the Lariat and getting the 1-2-3! Hansen is still the World champion!

Duncum & Murdoch instantly hit the ring and double teamed Hansen, hitting him with a double suplex. They kept pounding away at the champ until Rhodes got back to his feet. Murdoch handed Rhodes the chair as Duncum & he held Hansen up. Duncum yelled for Rhodes to hit Hansen with the chair. Rhodes looked at the chair, and then at the nearing unconscious Hansen, and then out to the crowd. The fans were going crazy telling Rhodes not to do it, and the American Dream looked torn. Duncum kept yelling at Rhodes to use the chair already. Rhodes thought about it, and then he did use the chair - bringing it down hard over the head of Murdoch! The crowd popped huge for this, and even more when Hansen got loose and nearly took Duncum's head off with the Lariat! Hansen threw Duncum out while Rhodes did the same with Murdoch. The two then turned and stared at each other. The fans were on their feet at this point, and we didn't know what was going to happen. After a tense minute, Rhodes extended his hand out to Hansen, and after some delay, Hansen accepted! MSG went crazy as it looks like the hatchet has finally been buried.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

4/21/84 - THE SPECTRUM - Philadelphia, PA

MAIN EVENT - Stan Hansen/Dusty Rhodes/Bruiser Brody vs. Tully Blanchard/Ole Anderson/King Kong Bundy
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE (Title can change hands on countout or DQ) - Nick Bockwinkel (c) vs. Rick Martel
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The U.S. Express (c) vs. Dino Bravo/Nikolai Volkoff
The British Bulldogs vs. The Midnight Express
Plus… Junkyard Dog must declare Iran the best country in the world!

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