May 3, 1977 - Washington Avenue Armory - Albany, NY

Dusty Rhodes pinned Rene Goulet with the Bionic Elbowdrop in 0:09:29.
Rating: ** 1/2

We were extremely excited to make our debut in Albany, NY, and our first match saw "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes making his singles match return against Rene Goulet, making his singles match debut. Goulet wanted this match as he was upset with Rhodes for eliminating him from the battle royal last month, preventing him from making "the greatest debut in GCW history." Rhodes was more than happy to oblige as he wanted to get his return to the ring going on a good note. Goulet is a veteran of the ring, though not of GCW, so many were surprised with how well he represented himself in this contest. However, the match would not be his as the American Dream hit the Bionic Elbowdrop for the 1-2-3.

Peter Maivia and Hiro Matsuda battled to a double countout in 0:03:49.
Rating: ** 1/2

**This match between Peter Maivia & Hiro Matsuda never really got a chance to get off the ground as the fight boiled over to the floor early and they never got back into the ring, choosing to pummel each other and get counted out. A rematch may be in the works between these two. **

The Russians (Ivan Koloff and Nikolai Volkoff) and Lou Albano defeated Dominic DeNucci and Dino Bravo when Volkoff pinned Bravo after the Iron Curtain in 0:13:16.
Rating: * 1/4

Though he hasn't been in the ring for quite some time, Captain Lou Albano was seemingly underestimated by Dino Bravo & Dominic DeNucci in their desire to get their hands on him. Albano used to be a full-time wrestler, and though he's turned his focus to managing, he still showed he could be dangerous in the ring, especially when he's paired up with Ivan Koloff & Nikolai Volkoff. Albano's presence proved to be enough to allow the Russians to hit the Iron Curtain for the 3.

Dory Funk Jr. pinned Johnny Rodz after a backslide in 0:06:51.
Rating: *** 1/2

Not much of a match in this one as Dory Funk Jr. didn't have a lot of difficulty getting the better of Johnny Rodz and getting the win. The major thing of note for this was that the unpredictable act of Rodz? He came to the ring on a horse. Yes, on a freaking horse. It took him longer to get the horse under control than it took for Dory to put him away. Only in GCW.

Terry Funk pinned Jimmy Snuka after a sunset flip in 0:17:03.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Terry Funk retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Jimmy Snuka finally got his shot at the Intercontinental Title after dispatching of Don Muraco, but he was a little worse for wear. Snuka's taken a lot of punishment in recent shows, and Terry Funk exploited those injuries. Snuka fought hard for this chance though, and he kept fighting back no matter what Funk threw at him. Funk got desperate and when he caught the Superfly in a sunset flip and put his feet up on the ropes for extra leverage to get the cheap 3 count. Funk bailed out of the ring in a hurry before Snuka could get a hold of him. Funk escaped tonight, but he might not be so fortunate on June 2 at Madison Square Garden when they meet in a steel cage match!

Tim Woods and Mr. Wrestling II defeated The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) when T. Woods defeated Jerry Brisco by disqualification in 0:08:56.
Rating: ** 1/2

The Brisco Brothers showed Tim Woods & Mr. Wrestling II that two can play at their game. The Briscos have been on the receiving end of some beatdowns from the former World Tag Team champions, and tonight they decided to dish it right back. Jack & Jerry have had enough, and showed that by getting themselves disqualified so they could pummel the cowardly heels. Woods & Wrestling II escaped the ring as quickly as they could, but the fiery intensity of the Briscos is back. I wouldn't want to be Woods & II right now.

Bob Backlund pinned Don Muraco with the Atomic Drop in 0:14:45.
Rating: ** 3/4

Bob Backlund has been an impressive addition to the GCW roster, and Arnold Skaaland has him getting better every match. Backlund's opponent here was Don Muraco, a guy who could really use a big win at this stage in his career. Backlund had some trouble early with Muraco's notable power, the first time we had really seen Backlund take a lot of punishment. Backlund proved he could take a lot of abuse and stay in the match, coming back to hit the Atomic Drop to get the win. After the match, Backlund showed great sportsmanship by offering Muraco a handshake. Muraco was frustrated, but he did accept Backlund's hand to a nice round of applause. When Backlund turned around though, Muraco nailed him with a low blow before leaving the ring in disgust. What slime.

Gorilla Monsoon and Mike Graham defeated The Blackjacks (Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan) when Graham pinned Lanza after an elbowdrop from the second turnbuckle in 0:07:13.
Rating: ** 3/4
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Mike Graham.]

The Blackjacks are the cream of the crop in the tag team division, and Bobby Heenan has let that get into their head. Lanza & Mulligan took on Gorilla Monsoon & Mike Graham in a non-title match here in Albany, and to say they were overlooking them would be a vast understatement. The Blackjacks were completely out of sync and it allowed Monsoon & Graham to score a huge upset. Heenan is just lucky the titles weren't on the line! But they will be on June 2 at MSG! If Monsoon & Graham can repeat this performance, they will be perhaps the most unlikely tag team champions in history!

Stan Hansen pinned Bobby Duncum with the Lariat in 0:11:46.
Rating: *** 3/4

Stan Hansen has been telling anyone that will listen that Bobby Duncum is scared of him, citing Duncum's use of a cowbell to defeat him as the main proof. Duncum wanted to shut the loudmouthed Hansen up tonight, but it looks like he's going to have to wait for another night. During this hard fought match, the action spilled to the floor. In the ultimate act of hypocrisy, Hansen grabbed Duncum's bullrope and clocked him in the face with it! Duncum was out on his feet as Hansen put him back in the ring. Hansen followed with his brutal Lariat and took the pinfall victory. GCW officials have decided that since these two insist on using the bullrope against each other, they might as well make it legal. So on June 2 at MSG, it will be a Texas Bullrope Match!

Antonio Inoki and Luke Graham defeated Bruiser Brody and The Grand Wizard when L. Graham pinned Brody with the Thumb to the Throat in 0:11:05.
Rating: ** 1/2

The Grand Wizard's mouth got the better of him as he was way too anxious to accept this tag match with Bruiser Brody against Luke Graham and his partner, whoever that might be. You could see the regret etched on the Wizard's face when Graham's partner was revealed as ANTONIO INOKI. Graham & Inoki have had some of the most intense battles we've ever seen in GCW, but during those battles, they've developed a level of respect for each other. Brody didn't seem impressed, but he was in a bad spot as he had to wrestle this match by himself. The Grand Wizard never even got in the ring. Brody did what he could, but against two former World champions, he could only do so much. Graham drilled him with the Thumb to the Throat to get the pin. What this means is that Luke Graham will now get a match with The Grand Wizard one-on-one at MSG!

Billy Graham defeated Jumbo Tsuruta by disqualification in 0:09:18.
Rating: ***
(Jumbo Tsuruta retained the GCW World Title.)
[Dory Funk Jr. interfered against Billy Graham.]

Main event time, and it was for the World Heavyweight Title! "Superstar" Billy Graham earned the shot at Jumbo Tsuruta thanks to winning a 20-man battle royal in Uniondale, and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan had him prepared to bring the first World championship into the Heenan Family. With the success that he's had, it's easy to forget just how inexperienced Jumbo is. He wrestled well, but Heenan is a master tactician and had the powerful Graham well prepared. The Superstar looked to have this match firmly in his grasp when he got Jumbo in the Bearhug, but it was broken up when DORY FUNK JR. ran in for the save! Jumbo lost the match, but because of the disqualification, he remains the World champion. Graham & Heenan were steaming mad and vowed revenge against Funk.

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

June 2 will mark the halfway point of the year 1977, and the action in GCW is heating up with the weather!

WORLD TITLE - Jumbo Tsuruta (c) vs. Rene Goulet
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Blackjacks (c) vs. Gorilla Monsoon/Mike Graham
TEXAS BULLROPE MATCH - Bobby Duncum vs. Stan Hansen/
ELIMINATION MATCH - The Brisco Brothers/Bob Backlund vs. Tim Woods/Mr. Wrestling II/Don Muraco
Dory Funk Jr. vs. Billy Graham
Antonio Inoki vs. Bruiser Brody
Luke Graham vs. The Grand Wizard
Dino Bravo/Dominic DeNucci vs. The Russians
Peter Maivia vs. Hiro Matsuda
Dusty Rhodes vs. Johnny Rodz

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