November 3, 1984 - Hartford Civic Center - Hartford, CT

Ricky Steamboat pinned Tully Blanchard with the Flying Crossbody Press in 0:09:03.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Ricky Steamboat retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Our return to Hartford kicked off with a huge title match as Ricky Steamboat defended the Intercontinental Title against Tully Blanchard of the Heenan Family. Bobby Heenan's stable is currently without championship gold, something that is not sitting well with the Brain. It's no wonder that his stable has no gold with as much attention as he has put into Bruiser Brody and the $10,000 bounty he put on Brody's head. That being said, Heenan was focused on this match and leading Blanchard to his first championship. Blanchard has improved by leaps and bounds since making his debut in Global Championship Wrestling, and the question isn't IF he will be a champion, but WHEN. That WHEN would not be tonight though, as despite putting forth a great effort, he couldn't avoid the Dragon's martial arts-based offense, nor the Flying Crossbody Press that put this one away. Steamboat still has the gold, but he also has a lot of unfinished business with one "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka.

Stan Hansen says he can't defend the World Title tonight, but Bob Backlund has other ideas.

Before our next contest, World champion Stan Hansen came down to the ring, and he wasn't alone. With him was lead GCW attorney Jack Tunney, who we have seen before. Hansen didn't look ready to compete, dressed in street clothes and having his left arm in a sling, which was disconcerting given his huge scheduled match in our main event, defending the biggest prize in the game against Bob Backlund. Hansen said that he was the toughest man in wrestling and that yes, he had an injured left arm. He continued that there was nothing more he wanted to do than get a hold of the man who put him in this damn sling, but this "yankee suit" said he wasn't medically cleared to compete, so he couldn't beat Backlund's face in tonight. This got Tunney a chorus of boos, and it also brought out Backlund himself. Backlund said if Hansen wants to fake injuries to get out of facing him in the ring, he understood. Backlund added that Hansen knew how easily Backlund could beat him, but if he wanted to be walking around as a "paper champion coward," he could do just that. Hansen lost it at this, clocking Backlund with a right hand that knocked the #1 contender out of the ring. Hansen grabbed the microphone and said that absolutely nobody called him a coward, and injury or not, he was going to beat Backlund's ass. Hansen said he'd sign whatever papers he needed to in order to wrestle tonight. Tunney tried to reason with Hansen, but when Hansen threatened to knock his teeth down his throat if he didn't make it happen, Tunney said he would draw something up. Our World Title match would still take place for tonight's main event, but with an injured arm, it could end up being a huge mistake by Stan Hansen.

Kamala pinned Jim Powers after a powerslam in 0:01:13.
Rating: -3/4*

If you're a fan of newcomer Jim Powers, I'm sorry, because this one was ugly to watch. Powers was a little scared going into this match, and rightfully so, as his draw for tonight was "The Ugandan Giant" Kamala. Kamala is a savage, and he mauled Powers in short order to get the win. Word has it that Freddie Blassie is pressuring the Championship Committee to give Kamala a title shot, and it's hard to argue that he's not worthy. As of press time though, no decision has been made.

The Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose) defeated The U.S. Express (Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo) when Condrey pinned Rotundo after hitting him with the tennis racket in 0:12:20.
Rating: * 3/4

The Midnight Express may not have become the #1 contenders last month, but they still had a big time opportunity to put themselves in a good position for a title shot if they could beat the former champs, Mike Rotundo & Barry Windham - the U.S. Express. Rotundo & Windham came within an eyelash of winning back the gold at MSG, but ultimately fell just short. They would need a win here to start the long climb back up the ladder, but they didn't have an answer for the two X factors of the Midnight Express - Jim Cornette and his bodyguard Bad News Brown. Brown is good at causing a ruckus, and he did that when he tried to get into the ring and interfere. Referee Dick Woehrle did a good job of preventing that from happening, but Brown's attempts to enter the action let Cornette slide his tennis racket in to Dennis Condrey. Loverboy caught Rotundo in the throat with it and got rid of the evidence, which is when Bad News Brown conveniently started to listen to the referee's instructions. Condrey made the cover as Cornette's troops stole a victory. After the show, Rotundo announced that he would be leaving GCW for a time to continue his training elsewhere. Windham wished his partner the best of luck, but now, where does this leave Windham going forward?

Tony Atlas defeated Bad News Brown by disqualification in 0:02:57.
Rating: * 1/4

Bad News Brown was in a bit of a sour mood after almost being thrown out of the arena by the referee in the last match (not that he is ever in a good mood, mind you). It didn't take long in this match with Tony Atlas for Brown's bad attitude to take over. Jim Cornette didn't seem all that upset that Brown was losing it, having grabbed a chair from ringside and cracking Mr. USA in the back with it to get himself disqualified. Atlas wasn't down long, and when Cornette saw the look on Atlas' face, he got Bad News Brown out of the ring (despite Brown's insistence on wanting to fight). These two will go at it once again on November 29 in Boston.

Dusty Rhodes pinned Bret Hart after a piledriver in 0:11:06.
Rating: ** 1/2

This was a big match for Bret Hart. Hart has lost a lot more than he's won since debuting in GCW, and he didn't impress Bobby Heenan enough to offer him managerial services, but the Hitman HAS been impressive. And if he could get past "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, it would do a lot to up his stock in this business. Rhodes doesn't ever take an opponent lightly, which made what Bret did tonight all the more outstanding. Hart was with Dusty move-for-move, and Rhodes really had to work hard to keep up. Rhodes can wrestle a technical style, but when he realized he wasn't as proficient as Hart was in this regard, he shifted gears and turned it into a fight, a style in which Hart is largely untested. The Dream used this to hit a piledriver on the Hitman and walk away with the win. Bret Hart gets closer and closer every match. I think it's only a matter of time before he takes that next step.

The Heenan Family (King Kong Bundy and Nick Bockwinkel) defeated The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) when Bundy pinned Dynamite Kid with the Big Splash in 0:08:26.
Rating: ** 3/4

Nick Bockwinkel was embarrassed that he lost to a tag team wrestler, and a relative rookie to the sport in Davey Boy Smith, in singles competition at MSG. Bobby Heenan teamed him with King Kong Bundy to take on the British Bulldogs, and it looked like Bockwinkel was going to eat another loss. Bockwinkel is not used to somebody being able to keep up with him from a pure technical standpoint, but that's exactly what the former Intercontinental champion was getting from Davey Boy & Dynamite Kid. The Bulldogs are also tremendously quick, which makes them highly dangerous as a team. But one thing that can often counteract speed is massive size and power, and that's what you get in King Kong Bundy. Dynamite was running circles around Bundy once the monster got in the match, but he couldn't get Bundy off his feet. Dynamite went for a crossbody, but Bundy caught him and crushed him into the corner. The Big Splash soon followed, and just like that, this match was over. The Bulldogs are clearly talented, but they are going to need to rebound if they're going to take the next step.

Larry Zbyszko pinned Junkyard Dog after a sunset flip in 0:03:05.
Rating: * 1/2

Junkyard Dog demanded this match against Larry Zbyszko for the way that Zbyszko recently stepped into a match against JYD when Kamala didn't show up for the match. JYD said that he respects the Cruncher but feels that Zbyszko's attitude recently has been sour to say the least. JYD wanted to knock a little sense into Zbyszko, and in the opening couple of minutes, it looked like he would be doing just that. JYD was bouncing Zbyszko around like a basketball, and Zbyszko was on his heels. JYD whipped him into the ropes and went for a backdrop. Zbyszko had the wherewithal to see it though and countered with a sunset flip that surprised JYD just long enough to get the 1-2-3. Zbyszko rolled out of the ring in a hurry before JYD could get his bearings back. A big win for Zbyszko, but I have a good feeling that there's only one man the Cruncher will be happy getting a win over.

Adrian Adonis & Dick Murdoch have their eyes on the World Tag Team Titles.

Our World Tag Team Title match was next, but before the competing teams were announced, we got ADRIAN ADONIS & DICK MURDOCH. Calling themselves the North-South Connection, Adonis & Murdoch said they were watching this match very closely, because they were looking to get a title shot in the near future. They'll need to build themselves up to that level a little bit, but Murdoch is a multiple time tag team champion and Adonis had held tag titles all over the world. They will be in tag team action in Boston against the British Bulldogs.

The Rock 'N Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) defeated The Foreign Legion (Dino Bravo and Nikolai Volkoff) when R. Morton pinned Bravo after the Double Dropkick in 0:00:13.
Rating: * 1/2
(The Rock 'N Roll Express won the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

We have brand new tag team champions, and what a way to see them crowned! After both teams were introduced, "Classy" Freddie Blassie told Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson to get out of the ring (being sure to call them pencil-neck geeks in doing so) so that the national anthems of Canada & Russia could be played to honor Dino Bravo & Nikolai Volkoff. The crowd booed wildly as the Soviet national anthem started, and the Rock 'N Roll Express had heard enough. They both grabbed Volkoff by the back of the head and tossed him over the top rope to the floor. The bell rang at this point as Bravo went for a double clothesline, but RnR ducked. When Bravo turned back around, he was caught in the jaw with the Double Dropkick. Morton made the cover, and in record time, we had new champions! The place exploded into cheers as Blassie couldn't believe what had happened. Blassie is already working on getting a rematch signed, but first, it will be the Midnight Express getting the title shot in Boston.

Bruiser Brody defeated Don Muraco by disqualification in 0:11:14.
Rating: **
[A mystery attacker interfered against Bruiser Brody.]

This was a rematch from MSG, where Don Muraco hit Bruiser Brody with a pair of brass knuckles and in doing so, thinking he had earned the $10,000 bounty. He did not get the money, but what he did get was a boot to the face from Brody and a rematch tonight. No brass knux in this one, but we did have a good brawl on our hands. Halfway through the match, BOBBY HEENAN came out with the briefcase of money handcuffed to his wrist. I'm not sure if he meant this to be a distraction to Brody, but instead it only served to distract the Magnificent Muraco. Muraco got so excited about the prospect of the money that instead of focusing on his business with Brody, he would look out toward Heenan and give a big thumbs up. Brody fought his way back with his punishing style, and looked set to put Muraco away after a boot to the face. Brody was going for Bombs Away, but he didn't see that someone had jumped the guardrail and was in the ring behind Brody! Brody sensed something was wrong so he turned around, and when he did, this mystery attacker threw a fireball in his face! The match was obviously over, but the bigger issue was the health of Bruiser Brody. This mystery attacker should have been arrested, but we learned later that he left the arena in a car with Bobby Heenan. Whoever this man was, he was brought in by the Brain to do his dirty work. Brody suffered burns on his face, but he managed to turn his head at the last moment to thankfully avoid serious damage. However he will not be allowed to wrestle at the Boston show later this month as a safety precaution. Brody said backstage that even if he's not allowed to wrestle, if Heenan is in Boston, Brody will be as well.

Bob Backlund defeated Stan Hansen after outside interference in 0:24:11.
Rating: ****
(Bob Backlund won the GCW World Title.)
[Jimmy Snuka interfered against Stan Hansen.]

Bob Backlund goaded Stan Hansen into taking this match, even though earlier in the night we found out that the doctors had told him not to do so because of his injured left shoulder. The lawyer Jack Tunney put together a hold-harmless contract so that GCW would allow Hansen to take this match. You have to admire the guts of the World champion. Backlund is a dangerous opponent for anyone when you're 100%, let alone when you're for all intents and purposes wrestling with one arm. As the match really got going, it looked like Hansen might figure out a way to get it done. His left arm was more or less useless, but Hansen with one arm is better than most people with two. Still, it was only a matter of time before Backlund caught Hansen, doing so with an armbar takedown. Backlund's killer instinct kicked in, and the clear point of attack was Hansen's left arm. Backlund was as vicious as we've seen him, having a look on his face like he was trying to rip Hansen's arm clean off his body. Hansen will always fight you, fight you until he's dead, but each comeback Hansen had had less and less behind it. Still, after over 20 minutes of action, Hansen had done enough to still be in the match. In fact, Hansen caught everyone by surprise when was almost put in the Crossface Chickenwing, but he drove his weight backward to smash Backlund in the corner. Only problem was, referee Dick Kroll was smashed in the corner as well, temporarily taking him out of the picture. The crowd popped huge when Hansen hit Backlund with the Lariat, but Hansen used up a lot of energy with that move and couldn't capitalize. All 3 people in the ring were down on the mat, leaving this one up in the air. There was suddenly a stir in the crowd and we soon realized what it was - it was JIMMY SNUKA running down to the ring, and he climbing to the top rope. Snuka soared through the air and came crashing down on Hansen with the Superfly Splash, and then put Backlund on top of the Lariat for the cover. Dick Kroll stirred, and though he was groggy and his count was slow, Hansen was not going to be kicking out. Thanks to Snuka, Bob Backlund becomes the second man ever to win the GCW World Title for a third time. But there are still a lot of questions up in the air. Why did the Superfly help Backlund? The feud between those two is a thing of wrestling lore, so to see them now standing together was jarring. We hope to get some sort of explanation for this in Boston, but for now, Bob Backlund reigns as the World champion.

Card rating: ** 1/4

Match observations:

11/29/84 - BOSTON GARDEN - Boston, MA

WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Rock 'N Roll Express (c) vs. The Midnight Express
Tony Atlas vs. Bad News Brown
Barry Windham vs. Nikolai Volkoff
The British Bulldogs vs. The North-South Connection

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