May 7, 1978 - The Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA

Dino Bravo defeated Johnny Rodz by countout in 0:03:32.
Rating: * 1/4

Philadelphia has been the home to some of the greatest action in GCW's history, and we had no reason to believe that tonight's show would be any different. It kicked off with Dino Bravo getting the better of Johnny Rodz, beating him by a countout. The singles career of Dino Bravo? So far, so good.

The Blackjacks (Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan) defeated Gorilla Monsoon and Mike Graham when Lanza pinned Graham after an inside cradle in 0:05:45.
Rating: **

It looked like Gorilla Monsoon & Mike Graham were on their way to getting a World Tag Team Title shot in the near future, but that hit a major bump in the road as it has been announced that Graham will be leaving GCW for awhile. Monsoon wishes him well, and although he is a little disappointed, he understands that sometimes a young wrestler has to branch out and make his own way. They had one last hurrah against the Blackjacks, and although theywere spirited, it didn't work out the way they wanted to. Graham was pinned by Lanza after he was caught in an inside cradle. Graham was frustrated after the match, but he received a nice ovation and a handshake from Monsoon as a sort of good luck. Now the question remains - what is Gorilla Monsoon's next move?

Peter Maivia pinned Rene Goulet after a powerslam in 0:05:05.
Rating: *** 1/2

What more can be said about Rene Goulet? His GCW career simply hasn't taken off the way he had hoped, and that wasn't about to change tonight. He ate a powerslam and a loss from "High Chief" Peter Maivia tonight. Maivia looked great in this match as he looks to get himself in title contention.

Ric Flair defeated Jumbo Tsuruta by disqualification in 0:14:16.
Rating: *** 1/4

Jumbo Tsuruta completely lost his cool in this match against "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. We haven't seen much of Flair yet, but we do know one thing - he is cocky. To come out and call himself the Nature Boy takes a lot of guts, as that was the nickname of the first GCW World champion, Buddy Rogers. Flair is no Rogers yet, but this first singles match showed how naturally talented he is in the ring. However, Jumbo is not a happy man these days, feeling that he should still be the World champion right now. Unfortunately for Flair, Jumbo blames him for being instrumental in his title loss and was here to extract some revenge. Flair has learned a lot from Race already, including how to weather a storm and frustrate an opponent. Flair flustered Jumbo to the point that Tsuruta shoved referee John Stanley out of the way to continue beating down the Nature Boy. No matter what the circumstances, touching an official is inexcusable and Jumbo was disqualified and rightfully so. Flair got himself out of the ring before any more damage could be done, and his first singles win under his belt, against the former two-time World champion no less! There's not a chance in hell Tsuruta is done with this, not by a long shot.

Don Muraco and Great Kabuki defeated Chief Jay Strongbow and Billy White Wolf when Kabuki pinned Strongbow after spewing blue mist in his eyes in 0:07:41.
Rating: ** 1/4
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Billy White Wolf.]

"Classy" Freddie Blassie has stormed onto the scene in a big way, and he has made himself a lot of enemies already. On that list are Chief Jay Strongbow & Billy White Wolf, who already had issues with Don Muraco to begin with. Blassie has Muraco filled with confidence now, which doesn't bode well for the rest of GCW. That, coupled with how crazy Great Kabuki is makes this a dangerous tag team combination. Kabuki's blue mist proved instrumental again as he spewed it right in Strongbow's eyes, temporarily blinding him to get the 1-2-3. The proud Native Americans were fuming after the match, and are hoping to get their hands on Blassie's boys on June 2 at Madison Square Garden.

That wasn't all though because as Strongbow was being helped out of the ring, DUSTY RHODES was out in the crowd and he had a microphone with him! He said that he didn't care what he had to do, he wanted to get his hands on Ivan Koloff. Blassie grabbed a microphone as well and said if Rhodes wanted to get beat up so badly, he would get his wish on June 2 - in a steel cage match! Rhodes didn't hesitate to accept, and we will see this take place at our next huge event!

Bob Backlund defeated Roddy Piper via pinfall in 0:09:35.
Rating: ** 1/2

Harley Race is doing all that he can to avoid Bob Backlund, and that includes making Backlund run through his lackeys before he'll even consider putting the title on the line. Backlund is a competitor through and through, and has gladly taken on that challenge, starting with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. Much like Ric Flair earlier, this was our first taste of Piper as a singles competitor. Piper is a bit of a wild card in the ring, and his unorthodox style makes him very difficult to prepare for. Backlund is very adept at adapting to any style, and he managed to keep Piper on the mat for much of this mat. Still, when you're a loose cannon like Piper seems to be, it only takes a couple wild shots to turn the tide of the match. Piper seemed to be in control when he caught Backlund with a wild back elbow and a dropkick. He climbed to the top turnbuckle and jumped off for a splash, but Backlund rolled out of the way and quickly cradled Piper for the 1-2-3. That's one win, and now Backlund will take on Flair at MSG.

Larry Zbyszko pinned Bobby Duncum after a small package in 0:08:34.
Rating: *** 1/4

Larry Zbyszko is young, brash, and arrogant, and so far it is working out for him. We thought he was going to get a little lesson in respect tonight though as he took on one of the toughest men in GCW history, Bobby Duncum. Duncum doesn't put up with anyone's garbage, and when Zbyszko tried showing him up at the beginning of this match, he simply slapped the taste out of his mouth and went to work. Duncum was in complete control of this match from the opening bell, but Zbyszko showed what kind of person he is in the late part of this match. Duncum looked poised to finish Zbyszko off with the Full Nelson Slam, but Zbyszko hit Duncum with an undetected back kick to the groin, completely missed by referee Mario Savoldi. Zbyszko capitalized with a small package and hooked a handful of tights for extra leverage, picking up what has to be considered an upset win. Duncum is not a happy camper and has vowed to take it out of Zbyszko's hide on June 2 in their rematch.

The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) and Pat Patterson defeated The Gunslingers (Dory Funk Jr., Stan Hansen and Terry Funk) when Jerry Brisco defeated Hansen when Hansen passed out in the Figure-Four Leglock in 0:15:13.
Rating: *** 3/4

Our semi-main event was a six-man tag rematch from March pitting the Brisco Brothers & Pat Patterson against the Gunslingers. Though the Gunslingers have thus far gotten the better of Jack, Jerry, & Pat, by no means is this one over. It was an evenly fought match, but this night was Jerry Brisco's time to shine. He looked to be out of it as Stan Hansen went for the Lariat, but Brisco ducked and took Hansen down with a single-leg. He quickly put on the Figure-Four Leglock as the crowd went crazy! The Funks tried to break it up, but they were cut off by Patterson and Jack Brisco. Hansen struggled to escape but could not, passing out in the painful hold as the fan in Philly blew the roof off the Spectrum! Because of this, Jerry Brisco has been granted a shot at the Intercontinental Title, while Jack Brisco & Pat Patterson will wrestle for the tag titles against the Funk Brothers!

Harley Race pinned Pedro Morales with the Piledriver in 0:43:36.
Rating: ****
(Harley Race retained the GCW World Title.)

Pedro Morales made an unexpected return to GCW in Detroit to aid Bob Backlund & Jumbo Tsuruta in defeating Harley Race, Ric Flair, & Roddy Piper. Because of Morales' history in GCW (one of the all-time greats, no question), he was granted a shot at the World Title. These two men are no strangers to each other, having engaged in a bloody feud back in 1976 that culminated in Morales being unsuccessful in taking the World Title from Race in a steel cage match. There was no cage this time around, but that didn't mean that we weren't going to see an intense battle. For almost 45 minutes, these ring generals gave us a wrestling clinic. Surprisingly, this was an entirely clean match because despite what you may think about Race as a person, once he gets in the ring he can really go. Morales has held the World Title before and at this stage of his career would love to be the champion again, but unfortunately for him, it would not be taking place in Philadelphia. Morales escaped Race's attempts at the Piledriver three separate times, but for Race, the fourth time was the charm as he hit his finisher and retained the title.

Card rating: *** 1/4

Match observations:

As we get closer to summer, you know the action is going to get red hot, especially when we head back to Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 2!

INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Stan Hansen (c) vs. Jerry Brisco
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Funk Brothers (c) vs. Jack Brisco/Pat Patterson
CAGE MATCH - Dusty Rhodes vs. Ivan Koloff
Bobby Duncum vs. Larry Zbyszko
Bob Backlund vs. Ric Flair
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Roddy Piper
Chief Jay Strongbow/Billy White Wolf vs. Great Kabuki/Don Muraco

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