March 18, 1975 - Maple Leaf Gardens - Toronto, ON, CA

Toru Tanaka pinned Mr. Wrestling I after a cobra clutch in 0:05:30.
Rating: ** 1/2

With Mr. Fuji out for several months with an arm injury, Professor Toru Tanaka is moving to the singles division, but had a tough challenge his first match out against Mr. Wrestling I. wrestling I has been in a funk since his partner left GCW, and that funk continued in this one as Tanaka caught the masked wrestler in a cobra clutch and put him out long enough to get the pinfall.

The Valiant Brothers (Jimmy Valiant and Johnny Valiant) defeated Billy Robinson and Don Muraco when Jimmy Valiant pinned Robinson after a swinging neckbreaker in 0:17:49.
Rating: ***

The Valiants might not be the wrestlers that Billy Robinson & Don Muraco are, but they more than make up for that perceived lack of technical skill with their top notch teamwork. This was a tough test for the team looking to get back into World Tag Team Title contention, but the fact that Robinson & Muraco haven't teamed together in quite some time hurt the team considerably. The Valiants, through the lot of cheating and some interference from Captain Lou Albano, stole a victory tonight, getting one step closer to another title shot.

The Texas Outlaws (Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch) defeated Jimmy Snuka and Tony Garea when Murdoch pinned Garea with the Gourdbuster in 0:23:52.
Rating: *** 1/4
(The Texas Outlaws retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

This is not the type of match that "Dirty" Dick Murdoch wanted. This was the first of Murdoch's two matches this evening, a World Tag Team Title defense with Dusty Rhodes against Jimmy Snuka & Tony Garea, a young upstart team that have vaulted themselves to a title shot. The Texas Outlaws wanted to end this match quickly, but Snuka & Garea had something to say about that. This was a HUGE opportunity for Snuka & Garea, and they made the most of it. Snuka & Garea took the Outlaws to the brink, wrestling them hard for over 20 minutes before Murdoch finally hit the Gourdbuster on Garea to narrowly escape with the win. Murdoch was exhausted, and he still has a World Title match later in the evening. After the contest, THE VALIANT BROTHERS returned and jumped Snuka & Garea, still sore that in their minds they believed they should have been given the shot instead. This distracted the Outlaws, which allowed HARLEY RACE to blindside Murdoch and throw him hard into the guardrail before escaping to the locker room. Murdoch is not going to be 100%, perhaps bringing his chances of winning the World Title down from slim to none.

Ox Baker pinned Ernie Ladd with the Heart Punch in 0:05:45.
Rating: **

Ernie Ladd has lost a step, but he is as crafty a veteran as you will ever see in the ring. He needed all of those ring smarts and then some to stay toe-to-toe with Ox Baker, Bobby Heenan's menacing big man. Baker is a hoss and proved tonight he can absorb a ridiculous amount of pain. Ladd put a hurting on him that would slow down most, but Baker kept coming en route to hitting the Heart Punch for the 1-2-3.

Bobby Duncum pinned Dino Bravo with the Full Nelson Slam in 0:09:38.
Rating: ** 1/4

Bobby Duncum just keeps on winning. It doesn't matter who you put in the ring with him, he is finding a way to pull off a victory. Tonight's foe was Dino Bravo, a great young prospect, but a man who is still wet behind the ears and hasn't plied his craft in singles action too often. Duncum continued to show why he is slowly becoming one of the best in the world, hitting the Full Nelson Slam to pick up a win in Toronto.

Kintaro Ohki pinned Blackjack Lanza with the Back Suplex in 0:11:24.
Rating: ** 1/4

Blackjack Lanza got himself disqualified in his match against Kintaro Ohki last month, but claimed he was "better prepared" for the South Korean legend this time around. He did wrestle a better match, but Ohki is a tough man, and isn't a legend in the wrestling world by accident. Ohki showed why he is one of the best by beating one of GCW's best by avoiding the Blackjack Claw effectively and hitting his Back Suplex for the pinfall victory. It has not been a good 1975 for Blackjack Lanza thus far.

Nikolai Volkoff and Dory Funk Jr. battled to a double pin in 0:12:01.
Rating: * 1/4
(Dory Funk Jr. retained the GCW United States Title.)
[Lou Albano interfered against Dory Funk Jr..]

Someone who has been having a great 1975 though is Dory Funk Jr., who returned to GCW and on his first night back, became a 2-time United States champion. However, he hasn't gotten to possess the title for much of that period as it was immediately stolen by Nikolai Volkoff, the last man eliminated by Funk in the battle royal that won him the title. Volkoff and manager Captain Lou Albano have been walking around calling the stolen US Title the "USSR Title" which has upset a great many people. The fans in Canada didn't care too much about that specifically, but they certainly don't like Volkoff or Albano regardless. We haven't seen a definitive winner in the previous contests between Funk & Volkoff, and we wouldn't see it in this one either. Volkoff put a huge beatdown on Funk, but Funk fights to the bloody end and never gives up, catching Volkoff with a bridging back suplex to seemingly get the 1-2-3. However, referee Willie Webber announced that both men's shoulders were on the mat, making this match a draw! Funk was once again denied his clear revenge against Volkoff.

Not only that, but GCW officials made a huge announcement after the show. As a result of the controversy with the United States Title in recent months, culminating with this double pin, the US Title has been declared VACANT! However, no match is scheduled to crown a new US champion. Instead, the US Title has been retired. However, next month on April 24 from The Spectrum in Philadelphia, a 4-man tournament has been scheduled to crown the first ever GCW Intercontinental champion! The four men involved in the tournament are:

Dory Funk Jr.
Nikolai Volkoff
Billy Robinson
Toru Tanaka

Next month, we will see the crowning of a brand new champion, the first new title in GCW's history!

Jack Brisco defeated Ray Stevens by countout in 0:11:08.
Rating: ***
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Jack Brisco.]

The rivalry between Jack Brisco & Ray Stevens heated up again in Toronto in a competitive singles match. Stevens' goal has been to break Brisco's leg the same way that he broke Baron Von Raschke, but Brisco has avoided that - thus far. Brisco's leg was the focus of The Crippler's offense, but Jack Brisco is one of the top counter wrestlers in the game. Stevens was frustrated that he couldn't get Brisco down long enough to set up for the Bombs Away Kneedrop, and instead headed for higher ground and took a countout loss. This was just a ploy to distract Brisco though, as OX BAKER was coming out from Brisco's blindside in an attempt to ambush him, but ERNIE LADD ran down and joined Brisco in the ring to keep the Heenan Family at bay. The issue with Brisco & Stevens will be settled once and for all in Philadelphia - in a steel cage match!

Gorilla Monsoon refuses to apologize to Muhammad Ali.

Gorilla Monsoon was ordered to come out and apologize to Muhammad Ali for what happened when we were in Madison Square Garden, but Monsoon did anything but. Monsoon refused to apologize and said his only regret was that he didn't punch Ali right in the face! Monsoon said that wrestlers are the toughest men in the world and is tired of men like Muhammad Ali disrespecting them. Monsoon ended by saying if Ali wanted an apology, he could come and get it.

Harley Race pinned Dick Murdoch with the Piledriver in 0:11:50.
Rating: * 3/4
(Harley Race retained the GCW World Title.)

Dick Murdoch was not in good shape going into this match, but you have to hand it to the challenger for the World Title - he was going to go down swinging. Harley Race knew he had a distinct advantage over Murdoch, but he was almost too prideful about it and it nearly cost him. Race assumed he would have a cake walk, but when Murdoch drilled him with the Gourdbuster in the opening minute, Race knew he was in for a fight. Murdoch took him to the brink, but the damage Murdoch had suffered earlier was just too much as Race hit the Piledriver to (narrowly) escape with the World Heavyweight Title in tow.

The Graham Brothers (Billy Graham and Luke Graham) defeated Ivan Koloff and Pedro Morales when L. Graham pinned I. Koloff with the Thumb to the Throat in 0:17:36.
Rating: ** 3/4
[The Grand Wizard interfered against Ivan Koloff.]

Ivan Koloff had his backup, and it's hard to imagine having any better man to back you up than Pedro Morales! Luke & Billy Graham were not thrilled that Koloff found himself a partner, but there were still a lot of unanswered questions going into our main event. Most notably - were Koloff & Morales even going to be able to get along? You don't have to go back in history too far to know about the blood feud between Koloff & Morales over the World Title, and you know that hard feelings die hard. The mood was tense as we kicked off the match, with Koloff & Morales both being big personalities. But when it came down to it, they have a common goal, and that is stopping the Grahams & Grand Wizard before they can get too powerful. In all of my years covering Global Championship Wrestling, I can honestly say I've never seen a tag team match with this kind of big time atmosphere. The fans didn't sit down for most of the match, and the action never slowed down. This is arguably four of the best in the world tearing each other apart to defend their pride and establish that they are the top of the food chain. The match was neck and neck throughout until one crucial moment. Luke Graham & Koloff were the legal men and had fallen out to the floor to brawl. Luke retreated back into the ring, but Koloff didn't see Superstar Billy coming up from behind to nail him. Billy lifted Koloff up and dropped him throat first on the guardrail not once, but twice! Koloff was clearly in bad shape as Billy rolled him back into the ring. Morales attacked Billy on the floor, but Koloff was prone to the Thumb to the Throat and that was all she wrote.

The Grahams stole a victory, but the bigger story was Koloff. We found out that because of the attack by Billy Graham, Koloff was rushed to the hospital after the show where he was diagnosed with an injured larnyx. He got off lucky as it could have been much worse, but he will miss some time to recover from his injuries. If we know anything about Pedro Morales though, he's not going to tuck his tail and run. I'm interested to see what's going to take place in Philly, especially now that we've also learned that the Grahams will get a World Tag Team Title shot against The Texas Outlaws!

Card rating: ** 1/4

Match observations:

We are guaranteed to see at least one new champion in Philadelphia at The Spectrum on April 24 with our Intercontinental Title tournament! The night will be one for the history books!

WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Texas Outlaws (c) vs. The Graham Brothers
STEEL CAGE MATCH - Jack Brisco vs. Ray Stevens
Jimmy Snuka/Tony Garea vs. The Valiant Brothers

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