March 2, 1977 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

Bob Backlund pinned Hiro Matsuda with the Atomic Drop in 0:07:46.
Rating: *** 1/4

Bob Backlund made his Madison Square Garden debut, and he didn't look intimidated by the bright lights at all. He had a big test in Hiro Matsuda, and he passed the test with flying colors. Arnold Skaaland has Backlund on a training regiment designed for him to become a champion, and so far, it looks to be working perfectly. Backlund took Matsuda's best shot, weathered the storm, hit the Atomic Drop, and made his MSG debut a successful one.

Billy Graham pinned Tony Garea after a powerslam in 0:02:55.
Rating: * 3/4
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Tony Garea.]

If we've learned anything about "Superstar" Billy Graham over the years, it's that it is best to avoid him when he is in a bad mood. He was in a HORRIBLE mood tonight, and Tony Garea did not avoid him. Graham is fuming over not being the #1 contender for the World Title, and he took it out on Garea. Superstar jumped Garea before the bell and never let up, not even letting Garea get a punch in before pinning him with a powerslam. Graham may have missed his opportunity, but Bobby Heenan has him fired up to raise hell for the superstars of GCW.

The Blackjacks (Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan) defeated Dino Bravo and Peter Maivia when Mulligan defeated Bravo when Bravo passed out in the Blackjack Claw in 0:13:32.
Rating: *** 3/4

Dino Bravo took a little time off these last couple weeks, and finally appears to be at 100%. Bravo has made it his goal to once again win the World Tag Team Titles, but he needs a new tag team partner as Jumbo Tsuruta has moved on to the singles division. Bravo teamed up with Peter Maivia to see how they would work together in this non-title match against the Blackjacks. Bravo & Maivia did okay for themselves, but that extra something was missing to become a fluid tag team. The Blackjacks get the victory. Bravo & Maivia shook hands after the match, and have agreed that their team just wasn't meant to be. Back to the drawing board for Dino Bravo.

Bruiser Brody pinned Mike Graham with the Bombs Away in 0:08:44.
Rating: ***

After what happened to his uncle Luke Graham in the cage match last month, Mike Graham wanted to get a piece of Bruiser Brody in the worst way, asking for this match. Though you have to admire the loyalty to his family, but this was not a safe situation for Mike Graham. Aside from an early flurry to kick off the match, Brody systematically tore Graham apart. Brody could have put Graham away at any point, but he chose to "teach him a lesson" as the Grand Wizard put it. Brody kept beating on Graham until he mercifully finished it off with the Bombs Away.

After the bell, Brody hit one more Bombs Away. He went out and grabbed the ring bell to use as a weapon, but a worse for wear LUKE GRAHAM ran out and chased Brody and the Wizard off. The beating was bad, but it looks like Mike Graham is going to be okay. Lords knows it could have been a lot worse if it weren't for Luke Graham. We are hearing some early rumblings that the uncle and nephew are planning some sort of revenge against Brody & The Grand Wizard.

Dory Funk Jr. and Tim Woods battled to a draw in 0:20:00.
Rating: ****

Dory Funk Jr. is the #1 contender for the World Title, and he awaits the winner for tonight's Harley Race/Jumbo Tsuruta main event to see who he will challenge in Baltimore. He had a match with Tim Woods to get through first, and in uncharacteristic fashion, it looked like Dory may have been overlooking Woods somewhat. Woods may have the worst attitude in GCW, but he is a serious obstacle in the ring. Woods took Funk to the limit - the time limit, as after 20 minutes, neither man could put the other way which resulted in a draw. It remains to be seen whether this non-victory will rattle Funk going into his title match, or if this will serve to rejuvenate Mr. Wrestling.

Sgt. Slaughter and Terry Funk defeated Don Muraco and Jimmy Snuka when T. Funk made J. Snuka submit to the Spinning Toe Hold in 0:15:06.
Rating: **** 1/4

It was a setup the whole time! We thought that Don Muraco had perhaps seen the light and was done with being Terry Funk's lackey as he teamed with Jimmy Snuka to take on Funk & Sgt. Slaughter, and it looked like everything was on the up and up. In hindsight, we should have noticed that Funk & Muraco never locked up in the ring, but hindsight is 20/20. Late in this match, it looked bleak for Funk as Slaughter was chased to the back by GORILLA MONSOON, who was looking for retribution for the railroad spike attack in Boston. Funk was trapped alone in the ring with Funk while new referee Tommy Young was occupied with the Monsoon/Slaughter situation. This distraction let Muraco enter the ring and take Snuka's leg out with a chop block! The Superfly's knee may have been blown out, and he received no help from Funk who locked him in the Spinning Toe Hold. The pain was excruciating and Snuka had no choice but to submit.

After the event, Terry Funk offered Snuka his IC Title shot at our next show, knowing full well that Snuka's knee is in really bad shape. But in a shocker, Snuka turned him down, and said he wants a match with Don Muraco in Baltimore instead! The match has been signed and will take place on March 30.

Not only that, but on March 30, we have learned that the long-standing issues with Gorilla Monsoon & Sgt. Slaughter will come to an end. Monsoon wants to be rid of Slaughter and has challenged him to a Loser-Leaves-Town match! Slaughter agreed, but under one condition - he gets to pick the stipulation for the match. Monsoon agreed, and we now know it will be a Boot Camp Match!

Bobby Duncum pinned Stan Hansen after hitting him with a foreign object in 0:06:54.
Rating: ***

Bobby Duncum goaded Stan Hansen into making a mistake tonight. Hansen is going around claiming that everyone in GCW is afraid of him and his Lariat due to him breaking the necks of Pedro Morales & Billy Robinson, and Duncum used this bravado to his advantage. Duncum showed that he wasn't afraid of the Lariat, which made the young Hansen try time after time to hit the aforementioned move. Duncum would use some nefarious tactics as well, grabbing his cowbell from ringside. When Hansen ran in for the Lariat, Duncum clocked him with the cowbell. He got rid of the evidence and made the pinfall. Hansen was outsmarted, plain and simple.

The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) defeated The Russians (Ivan Koloff and Nikolai Volkoff) when Jack Brisco made Volkoff submit to the Figure-Four Leglock in 0:16:39.
Rating: ** 3/4
[Lou Albano interfered against Jerry Brisco.]
[Lou Albano interfered against Jack Brisco.]

Third match was the charm, and this time whichever team won - whether it be the Brisco Brothers or the Russians - would get a shot at the World Tag Team Titles. It was a highly competitive match that could have went either way had a break went differently. However, the determination of Jack & Jerry Brisco was not to be detoured as they picked up the win, and more importantly, the next shot at the Blackjacks and the World Tag Team Titles.

Jumbo Tsuruta pinned Harley Race after a German suplex in 0:22:34.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Jumbo Tsuruta won the GCW World Title.)

March 2, 1977. Mark down the date, because history has been made. In what may be considered the biggest upset in GCW history, the dominant reign of Harley Race as World champion is officially over. The man to dethrone Race? Jumbo Tsuruta. Jumbo is a highly skilled wrestler, a fact that no one will deny. But most figured he didn't have a legitimate chance at taking the title due to his relative inexperience. After all, he has only been around since early 1976, and in that time he primarily wrestled as a tag team with Dino Bravo. Race took Jumbo too lightly and it cost him his title. Race convinced himself that the countout loss in Boston was a fluke and that he had nothing to worry about, but Jumbo showed he is anything but a flash in the pan. Jumbo wrestled the perfect match, and caught Race with a German suplex. There was a lot of controversy here,as replays showed that it looked like Race MAY have gotten his shoulder up just in time, but referee Dick Kroll did not see it and counted Handsome Harley's shoulders to the mat. With a 1-2-3, Jumbo Tsuruta was crowned the 15th World champion in Global Championship Wrestling history.

Race was livid after the match, yelling to anyone who would listen that he got his shoulder up. He tried to explain his case to Dick Kroll, and when Kroll didn't give him the answer he wanted, he nailed him with a right hand and dropped him with the Piledriver! That was completely uncalled for and not how a man of Race's stature should act. As a result, Harley Race has been FIRED from GCW! What a terrible night for Race, who apparently is no longer with the company. But what's important now is that we move forward, so congratulations to Jumbo Tsuruta, the new World champion!

Card rating: *** 1/4

Match observations:

GCW has been turned on its head as we have a new World champion! But he won't get to rest on his laurels as his first title defense will be from the Civic Center in Baltimore, MD on March 30!

WORLD TITLE - Jumbo Tsuruta (c) vs. Dory Funk Jr.
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Blackjacks (c) vs. The Brisco Brothers
Jimmy Snuka vs. Don Muraco
BOOT CAMP MATCH - Gorilla Monsoon vs. Sgt. Slaughter

Not only that, but Luke & Mike Graham will make an announcement!

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