May 7, 1980 - Hartford Civic Center - Hartford, CT

Tito Santana pinned Victor Rivera with the Flying Forearm in 0:03:43.
Rating: * 1/2

Our big debut in Hartford kicked off with Tito Santana in singles action against Victor Rivera. Santana showed that he's not only a skilled tag team wrestler but can get in done in singles action as well, hitting the Flying Forearm to get the 1-2-3 on Rivera.

The Can-Am Strongmen (Dino Bravo and Ken Patera) defeated The Guerreros (Hector Guerrero and Mando Guerrero) when Bravo pinned M. Guerrero with the Side Suplex in 0:07:02.
Rating: ** 1/4

The Can-Am Strongmen got back on track with a win in the Garden, but Hector & Mando Guerrero wanted a rematch to prove their worth against the muscular duo. Hector & Mando dazzled the fans in Hartford with their high-flying style, but again their luck ran out when Mando crashed and burned on a flying crossbody attempt to Patera. The former Olympian tagged in Dino Bravo who hit the Side Suplex to pick up another huge win. If they can keep this up, they may be in line for another tag team title shot sooner rather than later.

Texas Bullrope Match:
Dusty Rhodes defeated Manny Fernandez in 0:17:43.
Rating: ** 1/2

Nothing could be settled last show between Dusty Rhodes & Manny Fernandez, but we all hoped that would change when they wrestled in a Texas Bullrope match - which happens to be Rhodes' specialty. Fernandez showed that as a native of El Paso, he knows what to do with a bullrope and wasn't intimidated by the American Dream's reputation at all. To be honest, I think this took Rhodes by surprise because he is used to his opponents being tentative in this type of match against him, but not the Ragin' Bull. Fernandez has a Texas-sized chip on his shoulder and he feels it was put there by Rhodes, so every time he used the bullrope as a weapon on Rhodes, that was fueling him. That being said, Dusty Rhodes isn't called the master of the Texas bullrope match for nothing as he eked out a win here. It was not a dominant win by any means though, and I can't believe this is the last we'll see of these two.

Paul Jones' Army (Austin Idol, Paul Jones and The Masked Superstar) and Larry Zbyszko defeated The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika), Gorilla Monsoon and Pedro Morales when Superstar made Monsoon submit to the Cobra Clutch in 0:08:54.
Rating: ** 1/4

The Wild Samoans surprised everyone by coming to the aid of Gorilla Monsoon & Pedro Morales when they were getting beat down by Paul Jones' Army, shocking in that the antics of Afa & Sika have been less than upstanding in recent months. Regardless, Monsoon & Morales needed the help as Jones recruited "The Cruncher" Larry Zbyszko to be their fourth. Despite what you might think, the tag champs and the Samoans worked well as a team against the Army. That is until we found out what Lou Albano's real motives were. It was late in the match and Monsoon had suffered a huge beating. He created some separation on The Masked Superstar when he got his foot up on an avalanche attempt. Before he could make the tag, Austin Idol ran in to cut him off. This brought Morales into the ring to take Idol out of the ring. The referee tried to get Idol & Morales to break up the fight, allowing the Samoans to get into the ring. We thought at first that Afa & Sika were there to keep Jones & Zbyszko at bay, but when the Samoans nailed Monsoon with a huge double headbutt! This had been a scam all along. Monsoon was out on his feet so when the Superstar locked him in the Cobra Clutch, that was all she wrote. Afa & Sika continued to stomp away at Monsoon before Morales saw what was going on chased them away with a chair. It looks like Albano's savages will be the next to attempt to dethrone Monsoon's career on June 2 in Baltimore.

Ric Flair isn't happy that Chavo Guerrero is getting a IC Title shot instead of him.

Before Chavo Guerrero's title match against Roddy Piper, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair gave an interview. Flair was livid that Chavo Guerrero was granted the first title shot against new Intercontinental champion Piper, even though Flair is far more qualified "after carrying that loser for months." Flair ranted that Chavo is an even bigger loser than Piper and it was absolutely ridiculous he was getting this title shot. Chavo came out and before he could say anything, Flair tried to punch him. Chavo blocked the punch and fired back with one of his own. Flair was rattled, but not nearly as much as he was by Chavo's dropkick. To make matters worse for Flair, referee Dick Woehrle kicked him out of rematch! Flair nearly had a heart attack he was so angry, but eventually he made his way to the back so the match could start.

Roddy Piper pinned Chavo Guerrero after a piledriver in 0:12:38.
Rating: ** 1/2
(Roddy Piper retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)
[Ric Flair interfered against Chavo Guerrero.]

With Ric Flair gone, we thought we were going to have a good clean first title defense for Roddy Piper. Piper insisted that Chavo get the first title shot as he didn't actually lose the title, rather being stripped when he suffered an injury. Piper almost regretted his decision because Chavo was fired up to become a 2-time champion. Piper tried to ground Chavo with his brawling and did a great job of it. Chavo got the tide back on his side when he sent Piper crashing throat first onto the top rope when he ducked as Piper tried a rolling reverse cradle. Referee Woehrle checked on Piper's condition to make sure he didn't have to stop the match. In doing so, this let RIC FLAIR sneak back into the ring, and he had the ring bell! Flair smashed Chavo in the back of the head with the bell, knocking him out cold. Flair ran to the back laughing at what he did. Piper recovered first and having no idea what had just happened, hit Chavo with a piledriver to get the 1-2-3. When Piper later found out what happened, he was furious and demanded a match with Flair. Chavo told him he'd have to get in line, because he wants the match with Flair first. It will take place on June 2 in Baltimore.

Stan Hansen pinned Jumbo Tsuruta with the Lariat in 0:16:14.
Rating: **** 3/4

We were treated to one more chapter in the Jumbo Tsuruta/Stan Hansen saga, and it was their best match yet. Hansen has toned down his xenophobia in recent months, but he hasn't toned down his meanstreak. Hansen may be trying to play nice with his attitude, but Jumbo wasn't buying it and still wanted a big piece of Hansen. The match was a great display of the hard-hitting Japanese style that both of these men are well versed in. There were too many fantastic power moves and reversals in this match to mention. By the end of this one, the crowd were on their feet, cheering wildly for every move. Jumbo looked to have the win when he ducked the Lariat and hit Hansen with the Jumbo Knee, but a stroke of bad luck saw Hansen fly out of the ring so that Jumbo couldn't capitalize for the cover. Jumbo went out adfter Hansen to throw him back in, but the Lariat had recovered enough to send Jumbo head first into the ring post. A small trickle of blood oozed from Jumbo's forehead and it looked like he was glossed over as Hansen put him back in the ring. Hansen hit the far ropes and blasted Tsuruta with the Lariat to get the 1-2-3 in the best match of 1980 so far. After the match, once he regained his bearings, Jumbo offered Hansen a handshake as a sign of respect. Hansen thought about it as he stared Jumbo down, but went to the back without the handshake. Despite that, it's clear that a mutual respect has been developed here, despite their mutual dislike.

With this victory, Hansen has been granted a rematch for the Intercontinental Title against Roddy Piper in Baltimore.

Jimmy Snuka and Bob Backlund defeated Don Muraco and Ivan Koloff when J. Snuka defeated I. Koloff by disqualification in 0:13:58.
Rating: ** 1/4
[Jimmy Snuka turned on Bob Backlund.]

We were all happy to see Bob Backlund & Jimmy Snuka reunited in our main event. The two have had some problems in recent weeks stemming from Snuka's inability to take the World Title from Backlund, but it looked like that was all behind them now as they took on Ivan Koloff & Don Muraco. Freddie Blassie seemed extra beside himself tonight as last month in the Garden, he thought he had secured the services of the Superfly in his stable, but Backlund talked his best friend out of it, resulting in this match. It was an intense main event, and it was good to hear the fans cheering for Snuka again. The story of the match was Backlund getting trapped in the ring for most of it. Koloff & Muraco had a great gameplan, and they executed it to perfection. They cut the ring off, made frequent tags, and used great tandem offense whenever they could. Still, Backlund wouldn't stay down and kept escaping defeat. He found an opening late when he ducked a double clothesline attempt from Koloff & Muraco and came back with one of his own. Backlund couldn't make the tag as Koloff & Muraco got up first and double teamed Backlund. Snuka had seen enough and grabbed a chair from ringside and slid in the ring. Snuka chased Blassie's men out of the ring with the chair as the crowd was going nuts. But Snuka shocked the world when he turned and blasted Backlund over the head with the chair! The steel met Backlund's head with a sickening thud as referee Dick Kroll threw this one out. Blassie got in the ring laughing as Koloff & Muraco embraced Snuka! It had been a setup all along! Blood gushed out of Backlund's head as Blassie and his men beat on him. Luckily for Backlund, a slew of wrestlers including Dusty Rhodes, Gorilla Monsoon, Pedro Morales, Ivan Putski, & Tito Santana ran out to chase the rulebreakers off. Backlund had to get 6 stitches in his head to close the wound, but he seemed more hurt emotionally that his best friend would do that to him. He's turned that sadness to anger and has demanded a match with Snuka in Baltimore!

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

After the shocking turn of events tonight, we are going to see one of the more emotionally packed cards in quite some time at the Civic Center in Baltimore on June 2!

WORLD TITLE - Bob Backlund (c) vs. Jimmy Snuka
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Roddy Piper (c) vs. Stan Hansen
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - Gorilla Monsoon/Pedro Morales (c) vs. The Wild Samoans
Chavo Guerrero vs. Ric Flair
Terry Funk vs. Austin Idol
Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Dino Bravo
Don Muraco vs. Larry Zbyszko
Tito Santana/Ivan Putski vs. Paul Jones/The Masked Superstar

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