November 16, 1980 - Capital Centre - Landover, MD

B. Brian Blair pinned Ivan Koloff after a small package in 0:06:02.
Rating: ** 1/2

The opening match of the evening was B. Brian Blair taking on Ivan Koloff. Blair is of course Bob Backlund's protege', and he has shown a large improvement each and every time he's stepped in the ring. He came within an eyelash of pinning Intercontinental champion Don Muraco in Providence, something that did not sit well with "Classy" Freddie Blassie. Blassie sent Koloff to take Blair out and teach him a lesson in our opener, but it didn't turn out that way at all. Koloff completed dominated the offense of the match, except for the very end when he missed a kneedrop from the top. Blair didn't wait in hooking in a small package, and in a flash, had picked up the win! Koloff & Blassie couldn't believe what had happened as Blair bolted out of the ring before Koloff could get a hold of him. Blassie has said he took Blair too lightly tonight, but he would not make that mistake again.

Sgt. Slaughter made Roddy Piper submit to the Cobra Clutch in 0:07:20.
Rating: ***

After Roddy Piper & Sgt. Slaughter battled to a double countout in Providence, matchmakers decided to let them go at it one more time with the countout rule waved to see if we could get a decisive winner. These two sure made good use of that no-countout stipulation, spending about as much time fighting on the floor as they did in the ring. Still, the match had to end in the ring, and that's where we ended up in the closing moments. Piper had strung together a series of moves and looked to put Slaughter away, but the marine bought himself a little time with a thumb to the eye. While Tommy Young checked on him, Slaughter pulled something out of his tights. Everyone saw this except for two men: Tommy Young & Roddy Piper. Slaughter blasted the Rowdy One in the jaw with that object, causing Piper to fall to the canvas like a ton of bricks. Slaughter stashed the object back in his trunks before putting on the Cobra Clutch for good measure to steal this win.

The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy) defeated The Can-Am Strongmen (Dino Bravo and Ken Patera) when M. Hayes pinned Patera with the DDT in 0:10:29.
Rating: * 3/4

The young but talented Fabulous Freebirds made an impressive debut last month against the Guerreros, but they had another tough test in Landover against the Can-Am Strongmen. Michael "P.S." Hayes & Terry "Bamm Bamm" Gordy wanted to shake hands before the match, but Dino Bravo & Ken Patera wanted no part of that. The Strongmen need to establish their position in the tag team ranks, and shutting down the young upstart team would be a good step in that direction. The Freebirds were looking to have a good time, especially Michael Hayes, who was strutting and dancing all over the ring. This led to Bravo & Patera beating the snot out of Hayes for a lot of this match. This was the first time that the Freebirds had to deal with some adversity in a match, and they handled it well. Referee Willie Webber was reprimanding Dino Bravo for coming in the ring and double teaming on Hayes. While Webber had his back turned, the muscle of the Freebird team, Terry Gordy, came in and hit Patera with a low blow! Hayes jumped to hit the DDT and the Freebirds picked up another win.

Don Muraco pinned Pedro Morales with the Tombstone in 0:06:25.
Rating: ** 1/4
(Don Muraco retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Pedro Morales.]

Before this match for the Intercontinental Title, ring announcer Howard Finkel announced that the recently retired GORILLA MONSOON was in attendance, sitting in the front row. He stood up and waved to the crowd to a standing ovation. Pedro Morales came over and shook Monsoon's hand, but as the match against champion Don Muraco started, you could tell that Morales was distracted by Monsoon's presence. Morales still blames himself for Monsoon having to retire, and now with Monsoon in the building, he was way off his game. Muraco got a relatively easy victory when he hit the Tombstone and keeps the IC Title.

As Morales regained his bearings and was leaving the ring, Monsoon tried to console him after the loss. Monsoon tried to shake Morales' hand, but Morales slapped it out of the way and went to the back to a round of boos. Morales later apologized and explained that it happened in the heat of the moment and that there are no problems between Monsoon and himself. He even invited Monsoon to our next show on December 11 where he will present the GCW legend with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dick Woehrle returns to call out Ric Flair.

Referee Dick Woehrle was cleared to return to the ring tonight after having his leg broken by "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Woehrle will resume his referee duties in Toronto, but he came out tonight to do two things. First he thanked the GCW fans for their support and secondly, he surprised everyone by calling out Ric Flair! Flair actually came out and had a huge smile on his face, curious as to watch this referee was going to say to him. Woehrle told him that he didn't want to fight, but what he did to him by breaking his leg was completely unacceptable. "You took food out of my family's mouth! If I don't work, I don't get paid, and there was no reason for that!" Woehrle told Flair that he talked to President Hisashi Shinma and the president said that if Flair ever laid an intentional hand on Woehrle again, Flair would be banned from GCW for a minimum of 3 years! Flair was getting more and more enraged as Woehrle spoke, eventually cutting him off by yelling, "SHUT UP!" The Nature Boy said Woehrle had gotten on his last nerve and he was about to break the other leg, "consequences be damned!" Flair went for Woehrle, but never got to him as DUSTY RHODES ran down, hit Flair with a flurry of elbows before sending him flying over the top rope. The issues with Rhodes & Flair are nowhere near finished yet and will meet one-on-one in Toronto.

The Matadors (Tito Santana and Manny Fernandez), Dusty Rhodes and Ivan Putski defeated Paul Jones' Army (Austin Idol, Paul Jones and The Masked Superstar) and Ric Flair when M. Fernandez pinned Superstar after a flying elbowdrop in 0:12:40.
Rating: ** 1/4

But before that 1-on-1 encounter, Rhodes & Flair locked up as part of an 8-man tag team battle. Rhodes teamed with Ian Putski, Tito Santana, & Manny Fernandez to take on Paul Jones, The Masked Superstar, Austin Idol, and the aforementioned Nature Boy. The fan favorite team was quite skeptical of Manny Fernandez at first. Rhodes didn't trust the Ragin' Bull at all, and given their battles in the past, you could hardly blame him. Santana has been working a lot with Fernandez the past couple weeks, even agreeing to form a tag team with him called the Matadors. So at Santana's urging, Rhodes & Putski went along with it. It's a good thing that they did, as Fernandez proved to be instrumental in achieving victory for his team. He is working hard to rebuild his image, and he went a long way in doing that tonight. After some fun, chaotic action, The Masked Superstar was looking to take Fernandez out when he crotched him on the top rope. Santana didn't let his new partner get caught though, as he jumped in the ring and hit Superstar with the Flying Forearm! Fernandez jumped off the top rope with a flying elbowdrop and pinned 1/2 of the World Tag Team champions! The Matadors have immediately made an impact, and they have been granted a non-title match against Paul Jones & The Masked Superstar in Toronto.

Stan Hansen pinned Larry Zbyszko with the Lariat in 0:15:51.
Rating: *** 3/4

Larry Zbyszko learned the hard way tonight why you don't want to piss Stan Hansen off. The Cruncher caused the Lariat to have perhaps the most embarrassing loss of his career, via countout to Johnny Rodz. Hansen was practically foaming at the mouth to get his hands on Zbyszko, and this nearly cost Hansen the match. Zbyszko might be the most cerebral wrestler in all of wrestling today, and he came within an eyelash of pinning Hansen when he ducked the Lariat early and hit the Shoulderbreaker. Hansen was too close to the ropes though and saved himself by hooking the bottom one. From there, Hansen was in a lot of trouble as Zbyszko was relentless on his focused attack on Hansen's arm, trying to eliminate the dangerous Lariat as a weapon. I can't remember a time seeing Hansen in the kind of pain he was here. The Cruncher's submissions were only designed to get Hansen to give up, but he was obviously trying to break Hansen's arm! Hansen is tougher than a $2 steak though, and he fought back with his free arm, catching Zbyszko with two hard punches and a bodyslam to garner himself some time to get his bearings. Zbyszko got things back in his favor with a thumb to the eye and went for a second Shoulderbreaker, but Hansen wriggled out of it and clocked Zbyszko with the Lariat! Hansen caused a lot of damage to his own arm, but the move was enough to keep the Cruncher's shoulders to the mat for the 3 count. Because of this gutsy victory, Hansen has been granted a shot at the World Title on December 11 in Toronto!

Bob Backlund defeated Arnold Skaaland when Arnold Skaaland passed out in the Crossface Chickenwing in 0:04:51.
Rating: ***

From looking at it from a distance, Arnold Skaaland didn't have much of a shot against Bob Backlund. Skaaland was a tough wrestler back in his heyday, but those days are long behind him. Backlund is a former World champion, and if he wins this match, he will have the chance to be a World champion again. Skaaland had a plan as you figure he would. Backlund enjoyed beating on Skaaland for the first couple of minutes until JIMMY SNUKA came out and attacked him! This was of course legal since there were no disqualifications. Snuka was laying in some vicious shots to Backlund, trying to be responsible for Backlund having to retire once and for all. Skaaland held Backlund open for Snuka, who went to the top rope. Snuka ascended the turnbuckles and went at Backlund with an overhead chop, but Backlund got loose and Snuka nailed Skaaland! Snuka was temporarily in shock, which let Backlund hit an atomic drop which propelled the Superfly over the top to the concrete below. Backlund followed with the Crossface Chickenwing on the Golden Boy. Skaaland couldn't verbally submit as Backlund had his hand over his mouth, meaning that Skaaland had to pass out from the pain before this match was over. Backlund has his rematch for the World Title at the year-end show! When Snuka figured out what had happened, he thought about going after Backlund, but Backlund was up and ready for him. Snuka wisely thought better of it and retreated to the back, still having a World Title defense later in the night.

Antonio Inoki and Jumbo Tsuruta defeated The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) when Inoki made Sika submit to the Octopus Hold in 0:08:00.
Rating: ***
[Lou Albano interfered against Antonio Inoki.]
[Lou Albano interfered against Jumbo Tsuruta.]

Jumbo Tsuruta said he had a mystery partner for this match, but Captain Lou Albano wasn't worried as he felt the former 2-time World Tag Team champions would be more than capable of beating whoever was thrown their way. The distraught look on Albano's face said it all when Jumbo came out with ANTONIO INOKI! Inoki is a legend in this sport, even holding the distinction of being the World champion back in 1970. The Samoans were completely out of sorts as they couldn't have predicted Inoki being the partner in a million years. Albano did what he could in terms of interference to derail the momentum of Inoki & Jumbo, but it merely put off the inevitable. Jumbo & Inoki locked on stereo Octopus Holds on Afa & Sika respectively, giving the Japanese duo a big time win. Reports indicate that Inoki's stay in America will be an extended one, so we expect to see some great matches out of this Japanese legend.

Jimmy Snuka pinned Terry Funk after a Northern Lights suplex in 0:11:53.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Jimmy Snuka retained the GCW World Title.)

World champion Jimmy Snuka knew that with Bob Backlund's win earlier, he has a date with destiny on December 30 at our year-end show in Madison Square Garden. He had to be careful not to look past his challenger in this big main event though, as Terry Funk got an opportunity to win his first World championship. Snuka was pretty obviously looking past Funk to his impending rematch with Backlund, and Funk gave him a mighty beating because of it. Funk even opened up a small cut over Snuka's right eyebrow. The cut was dripping blood right into Snuka's eye and at one point, it looked like Dick Kroll was going to have to stop the match, but it stopped bleeding enough where Snuka could continue. It also must be mentioned that Snuka was a bit off of his game as Arnold Skaaland wasn't in his corner thanks to Backlund's actions earlier. If this match was scored on points, Funk would be our brand new World champion. But titles change hand on a pinfall or submission in GCW, and Snuka did just that by reversing a front facelock into a Northern Lights suplex to narrowly get the 3 count. Snuka escaped this one, but he has to find a way to get past Stan Hansen in Toronto.

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

Jimmy Snuka has two huge title defenses coming up in December, and if he can get through these matches, he will be well on his way to being a great champion. The first will be at our next show, December 11, from the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, Canada!

WORLD TITLE - Jimmy Snuka (c) vs. Stan Hansen
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Don Muraco (c) vs. B. Brian Blair
NON-TITLE - Paul Jones/The Masked Superstar (World Tag Team champions) vs. The Matadors
Dusty Rhodes vs. Ric Flair
Ivan Putski vs. Ivan Koloff

Also, Pedro Morales has invited Gorilla Monsoon to Toronto to publicly apologize for tonight's shoving instance. As a show of friendship, Monsoon has accepted this invitation and will be at the Maple Leaf Gardens.

If Snuka can get through Hansen, on December 30 from Madison Square Garden, the Superfly will defend the title against former champion Bob Backlund!

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