November 30, 1968 - Charlotte Coliseum - Charlotte, NC

The Blond Bombers (Pat Patterson and Ray Stevens) defeated Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser) when Patterson pinned Crusher with the Atomic Drop in 0:23:58.
Rating: **** 3/4

The first leg of the round robin challenge issued by the Minnesota Wrecking Crew saw hated rivals the Blond Bombers and Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher do battle in what could be Match of the Year. When there is so much unadulterated hatred between two teams, you will often get some great matches to go with it. In the end, the Bombers would pick up a great victory and get an important first win as they look to earn a tag title shot.

The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) defeated The Funk Brothers (Terry Funk and Dory Funk Jr.) when Jack Brisco defeated T. Funk by disqualification in 0:06:01.
Rating: ** 1/4
[Gene Kiniski interfered against Jack Brisco.]

The Funk Brothers are extremely upset with Gene Kiniski, and it's hard to blame them. Kiniksi has had issues with Jack & Jerry Brisco for awhile now, and he let his emotions get the better of him in this round robin match. Kiniski ran in and attacked the Briscos, causing the Funks to get disqualified. Kiniski may have gotten a small measure of revenge, but he has dug the Funks a big hole they have to get out of.

Bobo Brazil wants Luke Graham for a fight tonight.

World champion Bobo Brazil came out to the ring next, and he was clearly not there to wrestle - he was dressed to fight. Brazil grabbed the mic and simply said, "Luke Graham! Get out here… NOW!" Luke Graham was more than happy to oblige as he made his way to the ring while the fans pelted him with garbage. As soon as Graham hit the ring, the fight was on! These two superstars just pounded the crap out of each other all over the ring and ringside area. The fight was even until LOU ALBANO distracted Brazil, allowing Graham to smash him head first into the ringpost. Then, in a highly disturbing move, Graham grabbed the ring bell and brought it down on the World's champion's throat! Brazil was seriously hurt, clutching his throat as Graham stood over him laughing. We found out later that Brazil has suffered a severe larnyx injury. Brazil should be out of action for awhile, but he has insisted that he get his hands on Luke Graham at the year-end show on December 28th at MSG. Brazil has went as far as signing a waiver to not hold GCW responsible if he gets hurt. The match has been signed, and it will be for the World Title!

Peter Maivia made Johnny Valentine submit to the Stump Puller in 0:14:12.
Rating: ** 3/4

Peter Maivia has been hot as of late and he continued that trend with a good hard fought victory over Johnny Valentine. Conspicuous by his absence was Lou Albano, who was not in the corner of his charge Valentine after the huge brawl with Bobo Brazil & Luke Graham. Maivia is good friends with brazil, so it's probably a good idea for Albano that he wasn't out here.

Dominic DeNucci and Victor Rivera defeated Baron Mikel Scicluna and Tony Altimore when DeNucci made Scicluna submit to an abdominal stretch in 0:00:41.
Rating: *

It looks like Dominic DeNucci's search for a new tag team partner may be over. DeNucci teamed up with the debuting Victor Rivera, who impressed GCW with his performance in the Cow Palace Battle Royal. DeNucci & Rivera were highly dominant, beating Baron Mikel Scicluna & the also debuting Tony Altimore in just 41 seconds.

The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) defeated Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser) when Jerry Brisco defeated Bruiser by disqualification in 0:14:27.
Rating: ***

The next leg of the round robin kicked off with the Brisco Brothers taking on Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher. Bruiser & Crusher desperately needed this win as they were already in an 0-1 hole and in a foul mood after losing to their biggest rivals. This frustration mounted and they lost their cool, getting themselves disqualified. Bruiser & Crusher were furious and chased referee Dick Bartfield out of the ring. Because of this loss, Bruiser & Crusher cannot win the tournament, but have one more match later on against the Funks. The Briscos, meanwhile, now with 2 wins and zero losses, are in the driver's seat.

The Blond Bombers (Pat Patterson and Ray Stevens) defeated The Funk Brothers (Terry Funk and Dory Funk Jr.) when Patterson pinned D. Funk Jr. with the Atomic Drop in 0:13:02.
Rating: ***

The Funks were in a must win situation as they were down one match already thanks to Gene Kiniski's interference costing them their first match. They wanted to get their first win against the Blond Bombers, who had already won an extremely tough contest. The crowd was split on which team to cheer for, but they were treated to a great match either way. The Bombers used their momentum from their previous win to catapult themselves past the former tag team champions and into a winner-take-all final with the Briscos. All four men shook hands after the match.

Pedro Morales pinned Nick Bockwinkel after a backslide in 0:18:34.
Rating: *** 1/4

Nick Bockwinkel has been on a mission to prove to everyone that he is the best wrestler in the world, and his target as of late has been Pedro Morales. Morales took offense to Bockwinkel's attack on his own tag team partner Killer Kowalski and they were looking to settle the score tonight. To Bockwinkel's credit, he truly did dominate most of this contest. However, one crafty move by Morales allowed him to pick up the win with a backslide. Bockwinkel swears that he had his shoulder up at two, and to get him to stop complaining about it, GCW officials have signed a rematch against Morales for the MSG show, and it will be two out of three falls.

Chief Jay Strongbow pinned Ernie Ladd after a gutwrench suplex in 0:18:38.
Rating: ** 1/4
(Chief Jay Strongbow retained the GCW United States Title.)
[Jack Davis interfered against Chief Jay Strongbow.]

Ernie Ladd was looking to become the first 3-time United States Title against Chief Jay Strongbow, and Ladd was pulling out all the stops. Ladd cut even more corners than he usually does, desperately wanting that US Title. Jack Davis decided to help out by trying to clock Strongbow with his shoe while referee Terry Taranova was distracted, but Strongbow ducked and the Big Cat was nailed with the shoe instead. Strongbow dumped Davis from the ring, hit Ladd with a gutwrench suplex, and retain the gold. Ladd was furious at Davis after the match. Davis tried to apologize but Ladd instead nearly took Davis' head off with the Boot to the Face! It looks like Davis has effectively been fired. If that wasn't enough post-match shenanigans, Strongbow got beaten down by THE SHEIK, who was directed by the Princess to take him down. The Sheik put the exclamation point on the assault by nailing Strongbow across the face with the US Title.

The Funk Brothers (Terry Funk and Dory Funk Jr.) defeated Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser) when D. Funk Jr. pinned Bruiser after a backslide in 0:11:46.
Rating: *** 1/4

Talk about having a bad night. Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher ended the round robin tournament on a sour note by falling to the Funk Brothers. Bruiser & Crusher were so distraught over going 0 for 3 in the tournament that they resorted to clobbering the crap out of each other after this match! There is no real hostility between the two as apparently this is something they do when they're angry.

The Minnesota Wrecking Crew (Gene Anderson and Ole Anderson) defeated The Half-Ton Team (Gorilla Monsoon and Haystacks Calhoun) when G. Anderson pinned Calhoun after a roll away in 0:15:25.
Rating: * 1/2
(The Minnesota Wrecking Crew retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

While the Minnesota Wrecking Crew had organized the round robin tournament, they had a World Tag Team Title defense against Gorilla Monsoon and the returning from injury Haystacks Calhoun. Calhoun was a bit slower as he had come back from a groin injury, and it would cost him in this match. The Andersons kept Calhoun isolated in the ring, though Calhoun was able to defend himself quite well because of his huge size. Calhoun thought he had this won when he hit a big powerslam on Gene and went up to the second rope for a big splash, but Ole distracted him which allowed Gene to roll out of the way. Gene quickly rolled Calhoun up and the MWC were still the champs. The Andersons weren't content with that though as they continued the assault on Calhoun. Monsoon tried to make the save, but he got overwhelmed and tied up in the ropes, being forced to watch as Calhoun had his leg broken by the World Tag Team champions. The Andersons were clearly looking to send a message to GCW and it looks like Calhoun's leg was it.

The Blond Bombers (Pat Patterson and Ray Stevens) defeated The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) when R. Stevens pinned Jack Brisco with the Bombs Away Kneedrop in 0:18:56.
Rating: *** 3/4

We were down to the final match of the round robin, and it was winner-take-all as the Blond Bombers met the Brisco Brothers. Both teams were 2-0, so the win here meant a shot at the tag titles in MSG. It was great to see two great young teams who were wrestling their third match of the evening pull from the reserves and fight as hard as they did. Either team could have conceivably walked out with a victory, but when it was all said and done, Pat Patterson & Ray Stevens reached just a bit deeper to win the match and the tournament. The Bombers received a huge standing ovation for their efforts, and rightfully so. Their match with the Minnesota Wrecking Crew should be a classic.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

1968 has been a great year and is almost at its end, but we have one more huge event from our homebase, Madison Square Garden! The big news is that for the World Title match between champion Bobo Brazil & challenger Luke Graham, the GCW Championship Committee has determined that with how heated the rivalry is, a special referee is going to be assigned for the match. The identity of the referee is being kept secret and won't be revealed until the match itself.

Other matches include:

UNITED STATES TITLE - Chief Jay Strongbow (c) vs. The Sheik
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Minnesota Wrecking Crew (c) vs. The Blond Bombers
2 OF 3 FALLS - Pedro Morales vs. Nick Bockwinkel
Gene Kiniski vs. Jerry Brisco
Dominic DeNucci/Victor Rivera vs. Dick the Bruiser/The Crusher

Round Robin Standings

Tag Team Round Robin (Final Standings)
1. The Blond Bombers (Pat Patterson/Ray Stevens) 15 ( 3: 0: 0)
2. The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco/Jack Brisco) 10 ( 2: 1: 0)
3. The Funk Brothers (Terry Funk/Dory Funk Jr.) 5 ( 1: 2: 0)
4. Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher/Dick the Bruiser) 0 ( 0: 3: 0)

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