May 24, 1981 - The Meadowlands - East Rutherford, NJ

Rick McGraw defeated Johnny Rodz via pinfall in 0:01:11.
Rating: * 1/4

"Quick Draw" Rick McGraw had a good debut last month, putting up a solid performance in a losing effort to Ric Flair. McGraw looked to get himself into the winner's circle in our debut match at the Meadowlands against Johnny Rodz. McGraw showed that Quick Draw isn't just a nickname, but tonight, it was a way he wrestled as he caught Rodz with a dropkick right out of the gate. Rodz never got a chance to recover as McGraw threw him off kilter right away, hitting a big shoulderblock and surprising Rodz with a pinfall in just over a minute. If McGraw can come out like a rocket in all of his matches, he could see a successful career in GCW.

Afa and Ricky Steamboat defeated The Moondogs (Moondog Rex and Moondog Spot) when Steamboat pinned M. Rex with the Flying Crossbody Press in 0:03:20.
Rating: * 3/4

Ricky Steamboat showed just what kind of guy he is when he came to a confused Afa's rescue in Uniondale when Afa was being double teamed by the Moondogs. Steamboat has volunteered to be Afa's partner in his battle against Lou Albano until Sika has recovered from injury. Lou Albano, being the nice guy that he is, gave Steamboat the option of walking away before the match started so that the Moondogs could give Afa what's coming to him, and adding that there would be no consequences to Steamboat at all. Steamboat answered by dropkicking Moondog Rex out of the ring and bringing Moondog Spot down with a flying headscissors to start the match. Steamboat & Afa surprisingly made a good team, as it looks like Steamboat has been working with him in the past few weeks to develop some trust. Albano didn't know how to prepare for the makeshift team either, I guess fully expecting that Steamboat was going to accept his deal and leave. What resulted was Steamboat hitting the Flying Crossbody Press on Rex while Afa cut off Spot with a kneelift. Albano was beside himself with anger, and said that Steamboat was now a dead man as well. A rematch between these two teams has been signed for June 9 in Atlantic City.

Don Muraco declares himself the greatest Intercontinental champion ever, but Stan Hansen has something to say about that.

The next match was scheduled to be Stan Hansen vs. Ivan Koloff, but before the match could get underway, Koloff's stablemate and Intercontinental champion Don Muraco had a few things to say. He said that he didn't have a match tonight because every wrestler in the world was afraid of how great he had become, going further to say that he is the greatest Intercontinental champion that GCW has ever had. That didn't sit well with Hansen, who came out and reminded everyone that he is the longest reigning Intercontinental champion in GCW history. And he let Muraco know that if the Magnificent One is going to make claims like this, he better be ready to back it up. Hansen challenged Muraco to put the title on the line in Atlantic City. Muraco said he would - but only if Hansen can beat Koloff right now.

Stan Hansen pinned Ivan Koloff with the Lariat in 0:10:34.
Rating: *** 1/4
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Stan Hansen.]

Don Muraco put a lot of pressure of Ivan Koloff to win this match as if he did, Muraco wouldn't have to defend the Intercontinental Title against Stan Hansen. Muraco stayed at ringside to give Koloff "moral support," which we all know translate to "interfere every chance he can." Hansen is as tough as nails, but even he is going to have a lot of trouble standing up to the combined brute of Koloff and Muraco (not to mention the sneaky "Classy" Freddie Blassie, who is always a nuisance). Muraco would interfere one too many times though, and referee Tommy Young caught him. Young was all set to throw Muraco out, but he would never get the chance as Hansen caught Koloff with the Lariat during this distraction. Three seconds later, and Hansen had earned himself a shot at the Intercontinental Title in Atlantic City!

Sgt. Slaughter defeated Tito Santana when Tito Santana passed out in the Cobra Clutch in 0:03:04.
Rating: ***

With Manny Fernandez booked in a match against Terry Funk, his partner Tito Santana went at it in singles action against Sgt. Slaughter. When this one was over, maybe he wishes he hadn't done so. Slaughter was in a different gear than we had seen him, going at Santana aggressively from the opening bell and not even letting poor Tito get in an offensive move. Tito will live to fight another day, but the Cobra Clutch put this one in the books as a win for Sarge.

Paul Jones made Austin Idol submit to the Indian Deathlock in 0:11:55.
Rating: * 1/2
[Sgt. Slaughter interfered against Austin Idol.]

We were wondering why Sgt. Slaughter was as aggressive as he was, and we would find out in our next match: Paul Jones has recruited him to be in his Army. Jones had a match tonight with Austin Idol, who as far as we knew, was still a member of the Army too. Jones merely suggested that this match was a way for them to "iron out their differences," but it turned out it was a way to expel Idol from the group. The match started out as a friendly affair, but Jones would go on to cut some corners with eye pokes and chokeholds. Idol was getting mad because he was under the impression this was a friendly affair. Jones assured him that everything was on the up and up, but during the next exchange, Jones complained to referee Dick Woehrle that there was a hair pull by the Universal Heartthrob, though clearly there wasn't. Jones had Woehrle's attention which made it possible for Slaughter to enter the ring and blast Idol from behind with his riding crop! Idol fell hard, and Jones suddenly gave up his argument (surprise, surprise). Jones put Idol in the Indian Deathlock, and Idol was in no position to defend himself. He had no choice but to submit. That wasn't the end of his ordeal though as Slaughter got in the ring and beat Idol down with the riding crop while Jones still had the Indian Deathlock applied. Officials were finally able to break it up, but Idol was clearly in bad shape. Jones spit on the fallen Idol and then shook hands with Slaughter, officially making Slaughter a new soldier in his Army.

Rick Martel pinned Michael Hayes after a small package in 0:14:52.
Rating: ** 3/4

The second in the series of singles matches between the Upstarts & the Fabulous Freebirds took place next. Last month saw Terry Gordy pin Terry Taylor, and now Rick Martel & Michael Hayes were battling. This was a different type of match than we saw in Uniondale. Gordy is clearly the powerhouse of the Freebirds, and 1-on-1, Taylor had difficulty matching up with that. Hayes is more finesse though, and we saw that Martel could keep up with him in that regard. Each man had his tag team partner at ringside, and the tension was off the charts. As the match wore on, you just knew each man's second was going to get involved somehow. It happened in the closing minute. Neither Taylor nor Gordy had gotten involved, but that change when Martel looked poised to put Hayes away. Gordy jumped up on the apron right as Martel caught Hayes in a small package. Martel had him down for at least a 6 count, but referee John Stanley was busy telling Gordy to get back on the arena floor. Taylor got on the apron as well to complain about Gordy being on the apron, so Stanley went over to him to give him the same instruction. While Stanley was tied up with Taylor, Gordy got in the ring and rolled Martel & Hayes over, so that Martel's shoulders were now on the mat! Gordy yelled at Stanley to make the count, but instead, Stanley yelled for Gordy to get out of the ring. While this was happening, Taylor got in the ring and re-reversed the small package so that Hayes' shoulders were once again down, and then hit Gordy with a crossbody that sent both men spilling to the floor. Stanley turned around, saw the pinfall, and counted Hayes' shoulders to the mat for the 3. This battle is now tied at one match a piece! It's all going to be settled in Atlantic City in a tag match, and we have learned that the match will be to crown the #1 contenders to the World Tag Team Titles!

Terry Funk made Manny Fernandez submit to the Spinning Toe Hold in 0:06:54.
Manny Fernandez injured his left knee. He will be out for approximately 2 months.
Rating: ** 3/4
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Manny Fernandez.]

As a sort of punishment to Terry Funk, "Classy" Freddie Blassie forced him into a match with Manny Fernandez with the simple instructions of, "Take him out." Funk was reluctant at first, refusing to even lock up with Fernandez. Blassie was getting irritated, but not nearly as much as the Ragin' Bull was. Fernandez figured if there was going to be a match, there needed to be a match, and he ignited it by slapping Funk across the face! That turned out to be a big mistake as Funk lost his cool and unloaded on Fernandez with hard punches. That was only the beginning as Funk tore into Fernandez like a jackal, even to the point where Blassie looked a little nervous. Funk turned his focus onto Fernandez's left knee, brutally ripping at it, dropping knees and elbows on it before putting on the Spinning Toe Hold. Fernandez didn't hesitate to submit as his knee was in bad shape, but Funk refused to release the hold after the bell. It took John Stanley almost reversing the decision for him to finally let go, but the damage had definitely been done. Blassie had a look of combined shock and fear as he looked into Funk's crazed face. Blassie went to the back nervously as Funk yelled at him, "THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT, ISN'T IT!?" Funk may have lost his mind.

Larry Zbyszko defeated B. Brian Blair by disqualification in 0:10:35.
Rating: ** 1/4
[Luke Graham interfered against Larry Zbyszko.]

Larry Zbyszko & Luke Graham have a storied history, being on the opposite side of a great feud over the tag team titles in 1976, a feud that put Zbyszko on the map. Now Luke Graham is more or less retired from in-ring competition, becoming a manager for B. Brian Blair. Zbyszko had a match with Graham's charge tonight, and it became obvious from the opening bell that the Cruncher's intentions were to send a message to Graham. Blair was competitive for the first half of the match, using all of the teachings Graham has bestowed on him. Zbyszko cut off Blair's momentum with his spinebuster (that he has named the Crunch Time). From this point, Zbyszko smelled blood in the water and punished Blair, beating him mercilessly. Zbyszko would go for a cover and then lift Blair's shoulders up before the 3 count, staring a hole through Graham every time. The third time Zbyszko did it, Graham had seen enough and he ran in the ring, hitting the Cruncher with a punch to cause the DQ. Zbyszko got out of the ring in quick fashion, but a huge smile crawled onto his face. I'm not sure what Zbyszko's end game is here, but he needs to be careful not to wake up a sleeping giant.

The Can-Am Strongmen (Dino Bravo and Ken Patera) and Antonio Inoki and Jumbo Tsuruta battled to a draw in 0:30:00.
Rating: **** 1/4
(The Can-Am Strongmen retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

A 30-minute match for the World Tag Team Titles wasn't enough last month, and we found out tonight that it would be enough here either. The Can-Am Strongmen have really upped their game, and they've needed to in their battles against Antonio Inoki & Jumbo Tsuruta. This is the third time these two teams have met, and every match has been a clinic. This one was no different. And once again after 30 minutes, no winner was declared as the time limit expired. The GCW Championship Committee is determined to get a decisive winner out of these two teams, and they hope to do so with the match that has been signed for June 9 in Atlantic City. The tag titles on the line again, but this time, it will be 2 out of 3 falls! We are hoping that this will FINALLY give us a clear winner.

The Texas Outlaws have a lot of explaining to do.

For the closing of the show, we had the much anticipated first interview of the reunited Texas Outlaws. Dusty Rhodes, one of the most popular wrestlers in GCW history, came out showered with boos and jeers from the fans in East Rutherford. Rhodes started by saying he didn't have to explain himself, as all of the fans should know why he did what he did, but he was going to explain it to them anyway because the people of New Jersey were too stupid to understand. Rhodes said that for the last 6 years, he has been the resident good guy in GCW. He said that he has been there to help everyone out when they had a problem, and he was glad to do it. But he recently had a revelation when Dick Murdoch came back into his life. Rhodes mentioned the brutal feud that Dirty Dick and he had, but he also reminded everyone about how the Texas Outlaws were the most dominant team of the 70s. He talked about how he's barely had title opportunities since then because instead of getting to focus on himself, he was expected to help everyone else out. He said the last straw was when Bob Backlund wanted his help against the Can-Am Strongmen. "You won't give me a World Title shot, but you want me to help keep you from getting a whoopin'!?" He followed by saying that Backlund didn't even ask the Dream to help him - he just assumed. That's when he got back in contact with Murdoch, and Murdoch convinced him that it was time to look out for #1. Rhodes said it was all about being selfish, and the Texas Outlaws were going to take what rightfully belonged to them. At this point, BOB BACKLUND ran down to the ring and attacked Rhodes, but it wasn't long before Murdoch was on him. Backlund did an impressive job of fighting both Outlaws, but the numbers game became too much and he was overwhelmed. The beating escalated to Murdoch holding Backlund down and Rhodes bringing a chair crashing down on Backlund's ribs repeatedly before they left him lying in a heap.

Backlund was taken to the hospital after the show was over and x-rays showed that he had 3 cracked ribs. Despite doctors telling him that he absolutely shouldn't, Backlund demanded that he defend the World Title against Dusty Rhodes on June 9.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

6/9/81 - CONVENTION HALL - Atlantic City, NJ

WORLD TITLE - Bob Backlund (c) vs. Dusty Rhodes
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Don Muraco (c) vs. Stan Hansen
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES 2/3 FALLS - The Can-Am Strongmen (c) vs. Antonio Inoki/Jumbo Tsuruta
#1 CONTENDERS - The Upstarts vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
Tito Santana vs. Terry Funk
Rick McGraw vs. Ric Flair
Ricky Steamboat/Afa vs. The Moondogs

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