March 3, 1983 - Chicago Stadium - Chicago, IL

Interview:
Freddie Blassie attempts to recruit a new member to his stable.

Our first match of the evening was going to be Don Muraco & Ken Patera taking on Dino Bravo & The Iron Sheik, but "Classy" Freddie Blassie had some business to attend to before the match could start. Blassie announced officially what we all knew - that he would only be representing talent from outside the United States, claiming the inferiority of the American wrestlers compared to the top foreign athletes that he represents. Blassie's stable currently includes Bravo, Sheik, and Killer Khan, but he is looking to expand. He made a formal offer to JIMMY SNUKA to join his ranks, saying he could take the Superfly back to the top and to the World Title. Snuka had prior commitments and was not in Chicago tonight, but the rumblings are that Snuka will have some sort of respond to this on April 5 at Madison Square Garden.

Dino Bravo and The Iron Sheik defeated Don Muraco and Ken Patera when Bravo pinned Patera with the Side Suplex in 0:05:30.
Rating: * 1/2
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Don Muraco.]

The match itself then took place, but it was not as competitive as we would have hoped. Blassie has his foreign fanatics on the same page and primed with a killer instinct, whereas Patera & Muraco didn't trust each other at all. It's hard to blame them, really, but it didn't bode well for their chances against Bravo & Sheik. Complete and utter chaos is how I would describe the tag team cohesion of Patera & Muraco. Muraco eventually walked out on Patera, yelling that he would take care of Blassie and his goons on his own. Patera yelled back for Muraco to not be coward and get back there to help him, but it only led to Bravo hitting Patera from behind and planting him with the Side Suplex for the 3 count. Patera & Muraco both have unfinished business with Blassie, but they are going to take care of their business first as they will meet 1-on-1 at MSG.

King Kong Bundy defeated Johnny Rodz by disqualification in 0:01:44.
Rating: *
[Ric Flair interfered against King Kong Bundy.]

King Kong Bundy is used to asserting his will on his opposition. When you weigh 450-plus pounds, you are afforded that right. One thing he is not used to is someone asserting their will right back. Bundy was having an easy time manhandling "The Unpredictable" Johnny Rodz, whose only unpredictable act tonight was not messing his shorts when he got in the ring with Bundy. Bundy had Rodz down and prepped for the Big Splash, but he didn't see RIC FLAIR, taped ribs and all, get in the ring behind him with a chair. Before Bundy could hit the ropes, Flair absolutely BLASTED Bundy in the back with the chair! It caused the DQ, but the fans were losing it as Flair then gave Bundy a chair shot right between the eyes, causing the big man to stumble backward through the ropes to the floor. As Bundy noticed the blood trickling down his forehead, he lost control trying to get in the ring and get at the Nature Boy, who held him at bay with the chair. Bobby Heenan promised Flair that this is the biggest mistake he ever made, and Bundy isn't going to rest until Flair is in a hospital.

Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana) defeated The Golden Boys (B. Brian Blair and Terry Taylor) when T. Santana pinned Blair with the Flying Forearm in 0:10:41.
Rating: *** 1/2

Rick Martel & Tito Santana were announced by the name of "Strike Force" for this match, so it looks like their teaming is a permanent thing. They were the unfortunate victims of some cheating last month against the Golden Boys, but in the rubber match, they had no such issue. Martel & Santana have obviously been working on their teamwork, and B. Brian Blair & Terry Taylor had no answer for it. They tried to bring the jump rope into the match as a last ditch effort, but Martel caught Taylor with a dropkick as he tried to get into the ring. Subsequently, Santana cracked Blair in the face with the Flying Forearm to get the win. This team looks to have a very bright future.

Larry Zbyszko pinned Kevin Von Erich with the Crunch Time in 0:10:59.
Rating: ***

Larry Zbyszko used his mean streak and opportunity to leave both the Von Erichs laid out last month, but they were better prepared for the Cruncher this time. Zbyszko beat Kerry in Detroit, but he had the elder Kevin to tangle with in Chicago. The barefoot grappler used his speed and agility to stay away from Zbyszko, because once the Living Legend gets a hold of somebody, he can inflict an inhumane amount of punishment to an opponent. Kevin did everything right in this match - that is, except win. His wiping out on a flying crossbody press let Zbyszko hit the Crunch Time to get a win that was much more difficult than he thought. Zbyszko tried to take the same liberties with Kevin that he did with Kerry last month, but it blew up in his face this time. Kerry ran down to help his brother, and Zbyszko caught him with a kneelift coming in. But Kevin was not out of it as he got back to his feet and caught Zbyszko from behind. The Von Erichs hit Zbyszko with a double dropkick that sent the former IC champion flying out of the ring. One has to wonder what Zbyszko's response to this will be.

Mongolian Stretcher Match:
Terry Funk defeated Killer Khan in 0:08:27.
Rating: * 1/4
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Terry Funk.]

Terry Funk is a brave man. Or maybe a stupid man, depending how you look at it - there really is a fine line. Funk doesn't know much about Killer Khan, and definitely had no idea what to look for in a Mongolian Stretcher Match. But if there is one man who is going to go right into the fire, it's Terry Funk. We still don't know a lot about Killer Khan, but this match went a long way in educating everyone. Freddie Blassie has a killer on his hands. Khan was ruthless in his attack on the Funker, dominating him all over the ring. Funk looked like he was smiling at one point and begging Khan to keep hitting him. I told you, this guy is crazy. Funk started feeding off the beating he was taking and dishing it right back to Khan. Khan couldn't believe what was happening and got flustered as Funk kept coming at him like a zombie. The goal of this match was to put your opponent on the stretcher when he was unable to respond, and Funk shocked a lot of people by doing so. Khan is a tough guy, but not too many people are tough enough to take a branding iron to the jaw and get right back up from it. Khan didn't stay incapacitated for long as after the match, he got off the stretcher and tromped to the back in search of Funk. Don't think this one is over by a long shot.

Ricky Steamboat pinned Bob Backlund after a small package in 0:15:39.
Rating: **** 1/4
(Ricky Steamboat retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)
[Spike Huber interfered against Bob Backlund.]

Ricky Steamboat has incurred the wrath of Bob Backlund after saving Spike Huber, and it's become even more troublesome for the Intercontinental champion because Steamboat beat him by countout in Detroit. A rematch was scheduled for the IC Title tonight, and if it was even possible, Backlund was even more focused like a laser on maiming the proud Hawaiian. During this match, there were times when it looked like Steamboat was being outright tortured. Steamboat was getting stretched by Backlund, and it looked like it wasn't a matter of if Backlund was going to become the Intercontinental champion, but when. Backlund was brutalizing Steamboat's arm to the point where referee Danny Davis was very seriously considering calling the match. Steamboat was begging Davis to let him continue and had his attention while Backlund was priming for the Crossface Chickenwing. The last thing Backlund could have expected was a SPIKE HUBER sighting. Huber ran down while Davis was checking on Steamboat and bonked Backlund in the back of the head with his hard hat! Backlund was on dream street and walked right into a small package from Steamboat to get the 3! Steamboat was still in a ton of pain and didn't get to celebrate as Backlund attacked him right away. Huber tried to save, but Backlund tossed him over the top where he landed hard on the floor. Backlund then put Steamboat in the Crossface Chickenwing, and refused to release the hold for over 5 minutes. When Backlund was finally pried off of Steamboat, the damage had seriously been done. It was revealed after the show that Steamboat suffered a seriously dislocated shoulder that may require surgery. We hope to have more on this soon.

Nick Bockwinkel pinned Jumbo Tsuruta with the Piledriver in 0:14:17.
Rating: *** 1/2
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Jumbo Tsuruta.]

Bobby Heenan & Nick Bockwinkel believe that Jumbo Tsuruta embarrassed them last month when he interrupted their "wrestling exhibition" in Detroit. In actuality, Jumbo just did the right thing. Bockwinkel was taking advantage of the rookie, and Jumbo put a stop to it. Despite there being some heightened emotions for this match, in the early goings, this was a hold-for-hold wrestling exchange between two of the best in the world. As the match wore on, tempers flared and this turned into a bit of a brawl. Bobby Heenan helped sway the tide into Bockwinkel's favor with some well-placed distractions and some relatively-effective chokeholds when the referee had his back turned. Jumbo has a lot of fighting spirit though, and he wasn't going to just take this lying down. Heenan got in his business one too many times, and he suffered a chop across the chest from Jumbo for his troubles. He raged up and went after Bockwinkel, picking up the pace and catching Bockwinkel with many high impact moves. Jumbo called for the Jumbo Knee, but before he could get a running start, Heenan had recovered enough to grab his foot from the outside. Jumbo kicked Heenan away, but got caught with a kick to the midsection by Bockwinkel. The Piledriver was quick to follow, and I don't care who you are, you're not getting up from that. Bockwinkel had his hand raised, and showed how instrumental a manager can be for your success. After losing his last two feuds, a win like this can really vault Bockwinkel back up the rankings.

The Texas Outlaws (Bobby Duncum, Dick Murdoch and Dusty Rhodes) defeated The Soul Patrol (Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson) and Stan Hansen when Duncum pinned Hansen after hitting him with a foreign object in 0:28:40.
Rating: ****

We should have known that the good Dusty Rhodes was too good to be true. There was once a point in history when the American Dream was the most beloved wrestler in the business, but that is a long way removed. Rhodes set Stan Hansen up by rejoining the Texas Outlaws last month, and the evil trio broke Hansen's right arm, his most deadly weapon as that's the arm he uses to deliver the Lariat. Hansen has refused to take time off, wanting to get his hands on the Outlaws, and particularly Dusty Rhodes, in the worst way. This 6-man tag team match was signed, and up until match time, we had no idea who Hansen was going to team with. Hansen isn't exactly known for being the most cordial man in the locker room, so friends are hard to come by. He got some help in a big way though as he was joined by the World Tag Team champions, THE SOUL PATROL! Tony Atlas & Rocky Johnson have worked hard to become the first African American tag team champions in history, and that kind of hard work was exactly what Hansen needed.

Hansen was on the apron for a good portion of this match, which is understandable due to his broken arm. He was just biding his time for a good opportunity to get his hands on Rhodes. The Soul Patrol had no problem taking the brunt of the work in this match, but it started to wear on them and the Outlaws looked to be on the way to the win. Hansen had finally seen enough and tagged himself in, coming in a house of fire. Hansen's right arm was more or less useless, but his left arm is more effective than most people's whole bodies. Hansen was a house of fire and he was hitting Duncum & Murdoch with everything he had. The American Dream knew he was next to get assaulted if this kept up, so he grabbed the cowbell that Duncum brings to the ring with him. referee Dick Kroll saw this and cut Rhodes off, threatening him with disqualification. Kroll couldn't get Rhodes out of the ring, so Hansen gave him an assist and cracked Rhodes in the forehead with cast! He knocked Rhodes clear out of the ring, but he didn't see Duncum get a hold of the cowbell. Duncum smacked Hansen in the face with it, causing Hansen to go out like a light. Duncum made the pin, and the Outlaws were the winners. The Outlaws weren't done there though as Duncum & Murdoch stomped away at Hansen's broken arm before Atlas & Johnson reemerged to break it up. Hansen is still going to defend his title in the Garden, but he will not be at 100% in that cage match.

Card rating: *** 1/4

Match observations:

4/5/83 - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN - New York, NY

WORLD TITLE STEEL CAGE MATCH - Stan Hansen (c) vs. Dusty Rhodes
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Soul Patrol (c) vs. Bobby Duncum/Dick Murdoch
Ken Patera vs. Don Muraco

!!! BREAKING NEWS !!!

Due to the injuries sustained by Ricky Steamboat at the hands of Bob Backlund, he is going to be unable to wrestle in his scheduled Intercontinental Title defense against Backlund on April 5. As of March 31, the Intercontinental Title is VACANT! It won't be vacant for long though as it has already been announced that a battle royal will take place in the Garden, with the winner being crowned the new champion. This is an unfortunate turn of events for Steamboat. We wish him a speedy recovery.

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