May 17, 1969 - Civic Arena - Pittsburgh, PA

Cage Match:
Ernie Ladd defeated Peter Maivia by escaping the cage in 0:14:01.
Rating: *** 1/4

Ernie Ladd's tauntings of Peter Maivia went to a new level tonight as they wrestled in a cage match to kick off the show. Before Maivia was introduced, Ladd grabbed the microphone and told everyone from now on, he wanted to be referred to as "King" Ernie Ladd, seeing how a king is greater than a "high chief." This infuriated Maivia even more and Ladd paid for it inside the cage, being bounced from wall to wall throughout much of this hardknocks contest. However, Ladd's new moniker of "King" helped him out as in a moment of desperation, Ladd pulled out a foreign object from his crown that he used to waffle Maivia with. Ladd was then able to essentially strut out the door to pick up another win over the High Chief.

Johnny Valentine pinned Tony Altimore after a small package in 0:12:49.
Rating: DUD

Johnny Valentine fell short of winning the World Title last month, but he got back in the winner's circle with a win over the thus far winless Tony Altimore. Altimore managed to get in some decent offense this time around, but he got suckered in and pinned with a small package by the crafty Valentine.

Chief Jay Strongbow and Wahoo McDaniel and The Minnesota Wrecking Crew (Gene Anderson and Ole Anderson) battled to a double countout in 0:18:45.
Rating: * 3/4

Just a month removed from losing the World Tag Team Titles, the Minnesota Wrecking Crew were not in a good mood. They had a tough task ahead of them tonight as well as they took on Chief Jay Strongbow & Wahoo McDaniel, who have been teaming up frequently these days. This was a match that started off civil enough but as tempers flared, the action became a lot more aggressive. Eventually, all hell broke loose and both teams got counted out, making this bout a draw.

Thunderbolt Patterson pinned Miguel Perez after a headbutt in 0:05:39.
Rating: * 1/4

Miguel Perez made his return to GCW, but he didn't get the welcome he would have hoped as he had to take on red hot newcomer Thunderbolt Patterson. Perez showed a little ring rust in this match and Patterson took full advantage, picking up another victory.

Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser) defeated Dominic DeNucci and Victor Rivera when Crusher pinned Rivera with the Bolo Punch in 0:17:48.
Rating: ** 1/2
(Crusher & Bruiser won the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)
[Lou Albano interfered against Victor Rivera.]
[Lou Albano interfered against Dominic DeNucci.]

For the second month in a row, we have new tag team champions, and we couldn't be more disgusted with how it happened. Dominic DeNucci & Victor Rivera gave Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher the first title shot due to the mutual respect between the two teams, which even include a handshake to start the match. As the good match waged on, LOU ALBANO came out to ringside to watch. Albano was of course turned down by DeNucci & Rivera to be their new manager, so we thought he was out again to try to change their minds. Late in the match, he jumped up on the apron and had a pair of brass knuckles that he tried to hand to Rivera to hit The Crusher with. Rivera refused, and when The Crusher saw what was happening, he grabbed the knux from Albano and scared him off the apron. The Crusher acted as if he was offended, but instead DESTROYED Rivera with the Bolo Punch while still holding the knux! Albano laughed as The Crusher made the cover and they are now the 4-time World Tag Team champions. To make matters worse, Albano, Crusher, & Bruiser all embraced after the match. The new tag team champs are also the newest talent to be managed by Lou Albano, who now controls the tag titles and the World Title.

Boris Malenko pinned Gene Kiniski after a rolling reverse cradle in 0:09:27.
Rating: ***

Boris Malenko clearly adheres to the old adage of doing whatever it takes to win. He showed that with his huge win over former World champion Gene Kiniski tonight. Malenko was being thrown around the ring like a bouncy ball for much of the match by the vicious Kiniski, but Malenko showed he wasn't too proud to hold the tights when he caught Kiniski in a rolling reverse cradle and stole a victory. The two will meet one more time on June 14th in Philadelphia, and you know Kiniski is going to be an angry man.

The Sheik and Pedro Morales battled to a double disqualification in 0:06:07.
Rating: 1/2*
(The Sheik retained the GCW United States Title.)
[The Princess interfered against Pedro Morales.]
[Nick Bockwinkel interfered against The Sheik.]

The mystery opponent for The Sheik who would get to challenge for the United States Title turned out to be Pedro Morales, who has been with GCW from the very beginning but has never held singles gold. Morales was as fired up as we've ever seen him as he has wanted singles gold around his waist since he left the tag division. Morales used that fire to survive against the brutal Sheik, but unfortunately for him, he would be robbed of his chance to win the title here. Before a clear winner could be decided, NICK BOCKWINKEL, who was supposed to be the original challenger for The Sheik but wasn't cleared to wrestle, came in and attacked BOTH men, resulting in a double disqualification. Bockwinkel made a mistake though as he had TWO men mad at him, and a three way brawl was what we had! Once the smoke settled, we were informed that in Philadelphia on June 14th, Morales and Bockwinkel will wrestle a match. The winner will go on to challenge The Sheik for the US Title at the huge Fenway Park show on June 28th!

The Funk Brothers (Terry Funk and Dory Funk Jr.) defeated The Blond Bombers (Pat Patterson and Ray Stevens) when D. Funk Jr. pinned Patterson after Stevens turned on him in 0:29:56.
Rating: ****

This next match was going to change the shape of the tag division here in GCW, but it did so in a way that we never expected. The Blond Bombers & The Funk Brothers have developed quite the rivalry over the last couple months, and this match was packed with intensity as a result. After over 25 minutes of action, we thought a great match was going to be ruined when THE MINNESOTA WRECKING CREW showed up. We didn't know what they were up to as they have issues with both teams, but they definitely distracted Pat Patterson in the ring. Patterson had just hit the Atomic Drop on Dory Funk Jr. and could have gotten a three count, but referee Dick Bartfield was trying to send the Andersons to the back. We then saw the unexpected as Ray Stevens entered the ring with a steel chair and absolutely destroyed Patterson in the back with it! The crowd was in shock as Stevens had just turned on his tag team partner. Stevens then went to the floor and shook hands with the Minnesota Wrecking Crew! Dory recovered and threw an arm over Patterson to get the 3 count. Stevens has turned on Patterson and joined forces with the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, but why? We hope to get some answers in Philadelphia as the MWC will face the Funks and Ray Stevens will wrestle Pat Patterson.

Luke Graham pinned Gorilla Monsoon with the Thumb to the Throat in 0:15:00.
Rating: **
(Luke Graham retained the GCW World Title.)

For the most part, Luke Graham has been able to push his opponents around ever since he came to GCW back in 1965. However, he defended the World Title in our main event against Gorilla Monsoon, a man who no one is going to push around. Graham had boatloads of trouble with Monsoon based on the challenger's size and strength. Graham did have the advantage in stamina, however, and after waiting for Monsoon to make a mistake, he struck like a cobra. Monsoon missed a giant splash, Graham hit the Thumb to the Throat, and we had a winner.

Bobo Brazil returns to challenge Luke Graham.

Luke Graham wanted to inflict more damage on Monsoon, but he was stopped by a voice from the back. The voice was soon connected to a face and it was BOBO BRAZIL on the mic! Brazil was back, and he stopped Graham & Lou Albano right in their tracks. Brazil said Graham tried to end his career, but he didn't get the job done. Brazil said he is back for his World Title, and as an added bonus was going to take Graham's career! Brazil then let everyone know that the GCW Championship Committee has signed for Fenway Park, Luke Graham vs. Bobo Brazil for the World Title!

Card rating: ** 1/4

Match observations:

Before we get to the huge Fenway Park show, we have a stop in Philadelphia on June 14th with several big matches already signed!

WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - Dick the Bruiser/The Crusher (c) vs. Dominic DeNucci/Victor Rivera
#1 CONTENDERS MATCH FOR UNITED STATES TITLE - Pedro Morales vs. Nick Bockwinkel
The Funk Brothers vs. The Minnesota Wrecking Crew
Pat Patterson vs. Ray Stevens
Gene Kiniski vs. Boris Malenko

Not only that, but we got the first 11 names announced for the Grand Prix of Wrestling tournament July 4th weekend in New York! Many wrestlers will be featured from GCW, but these are the outside and foreign entities involved:

Bruno Sammartino
Bill Watts
Antonio Inoki
Giant Baba
Hiro Matsuda
King Curtis Iaukea
Mil Mascaras
Harley Race
Osamu Kido
Verne Gagne
Danny Hodge

With even just those names announced, we know this is going to be a spectacular event!

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