October 2, 1983 - The Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA

Dino Bravo and Nikolai Volkoff defeated The Rock 'N Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) when Volkoff defeated R. Gibson when R. Gibson passed out in the Bearhug in 0:09:35.
Rating: ** 3/4
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Robert Gibson.]
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Ricky Morton.]

The Rock 'N Roll Express ruined the party as far as "Classy" Freddie Blassie is concerned, interjecting themselves into his business when he was trying to unveil his next dominant tag team, Dino Bravo & Nikolai Volkoff. Morton & Gibson have racked up the tag team wins so far, but on disqualifications, while Dino Bravo pinned Morton in a singles match recently. This match was a lot like previous matches in that it featured the Express taking it to the air while Bravo & Volkoff used their size and mass to ground the high flyers. Gibson was the victim of an unfortunate move, as he jumped off the second turnbuckle onto Volkoff, but the big Russian caught him and locked him in the Bearhug. Morton got in the ring to save him, but ran right into a forearm smash from Dino Bravo. Gibson held on and tried to pry his way out of the hold, but to no avail. The Rock 'N Roll Express suffer their first tag team loss, but they showed great heart until the closing bell. They have a bright future ahead of them.

Freddie Blassie wants an apology from Larry Zbyszko.

Freddie Blassie was very pleased with the performance of his tag team, and he put them over on the microphone before he addressed his main point, and that was Larry Zbyszko. Blassie asked Zbyszko to come down to the ring, and the Cruncher did just that. Blassie told Zbyszko that he liked him and thought he was a tough competitor, but he made a big mistake last month in the Garden. Blassie said that when he asked him to step in for Dino Bravo, it was implied that Blassie would be the boss and concurrently, Zbyszko would take orders from him. He explained to Zbyszko, quite condescendingly I might add, that because Zbyszko failed to listen, that's why he was abandoned in the 6-man tag team match. Zbyszko was just soaking this all in, but got a big smile on his face when Blassie had the nerve to ask him for an apology. Zbyszko responded by saying, "Apology? I'll do you one better." That's when he reared back and punched Blassie right in the jaw! Bravo & Volkoff went after him, but Zbyszko bailed out of the ring before anyone could get a hold of him as the crowd was going absolutely nuts. Blassie was beside himself after this and immediately issued a challenge to Zbyszko, who will take on Dino Bravo in singles action on October 30 in Boston.

Bob Backlund pinned Spike Huber after a crucifix in 0:01:37.
Rating: *

Not much to this match here, other than a quick win for the former World champion. Spike Huber has been on the wrong side of quite a few beatings from Backlund, and it was like Huber's body had sense memory of those instances. He looked out of it before the bell even rang, so it didn't take long for Backlund to get to the winner's circle.

Dusty Rhodes defeated Johnny Rodz by referee stoppage in 0:03:27.
Rating: ***

Speaking of angry former World champions, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes was in action tonight, one show removed from dropping the World Title to Ric Flair, taking on Johnny Rodz. This was not a good day to be Johnny Rodz, though I'm not exactly sure when it is a good day to be Johnny Rodz. Rhodes was just flat out mean, mauling Rodz the second he stepped in the ring. Rodz didn't get in any offense as Rhodes smacked him around like he was nothing. Dusty was out to maim, hitting Rodz with not one, not two, but THREE belly-to-back superplexes before referee Dick Woehrle decided he had seen enough and stopped the match. Rodz was in bad shape as the veteran was stretchered out of the arena.

Dusty Rhodes wants the World Title back.

Rhodes grabbed the microphone and threatened to backhand Howard Finkel, which cemented what kind of mood he was in. Rhodes says he has been going back and forth with the office since September 16 about getting HIS title handed back to him, but all President Hisashi Shinma had been able to tell him is that the "referee's decision is final." He also said that he heard Ric Flair had been saying he had no knowledge of who this masked man was that cost him the title. Rhodes said that was complete nonsense, because Flair, like everybody else, knows that he can't beat him straight up in a match. As Rhodes' diatribe was reaching its zenith, STAN HANSEN came out and he did not look happy. Hansen told Rhodes that he has a lot bigger problem than the World Title, but he has to deal with a pissed off Hansen who is completely healed from a broken hand. Rhodes backed out of the ring before it got violent, but Hansen belted out a final warning - that he wouldn't rest until he did to Rhodes what Rhodes did to him.

Tully Blanchard defeated Ricky Steamboat by countout in 0:07:40.
Rating: ** 1/2

Ricky Steamboat has never been hotter than he is right now. He is almost literally on fire, which might explain why he was introduced as "The Dragon" before this match. The nickname fits him, and he looked to be in great shape as he was signed to wrestle Tully Blanchard. Blanchard is still licking his wounds after he got manhandled by Stan Hansen in the Big Apple, so he wanted to rebound in a big way against the red hot Dragon. The match had some flashes of brilliance early on, but this wasn't the best display out of either of them. Still, it was a decent match that had a bad ending if you're a Steamboat fan. One of the downfalls of having the physical ability to some high risk often is that the risk often outweighs the reward. Blanchard was stalling on the floor to get some distance from Steamboat and to frustrate the Dragon. Well it worked as after the third time Blanchard bailed to the floor, Steamboat tried to dive out after him. Blanchard barely avoided the contact, and Steamboat crashed and burned on the concrete floor. Blanchard realized how fortunate he was and rolled himself back into the ring, leaving Steamboat on the floor to be counted out. An unfortunate turn of events from Steamboat, but sometimes those high risk moves just don't pay off. Blanchard celebrated in the ring like he just won the World Title, which has rubbed Steamboat the wrong way, leading to a rematch being signed for Boston.

Don Muraco pinned Mike Rotundo with the Tombstone in 0:12:08.
Rating: ** 1/4

Don Muraco has had a couple of close calls in matches recently, taking Ric Flair & Ricky Steamboat to the limit in losing efforts. He would finally get himself back on the winning side of things in this match with Mike Rotundo. Rotundo is talented, but he is still relatively new to the sport of wrestling and is learning each and every time out there. But he is bound to make some mistakes, and he made the mistake of trying to play into Muraco's power game instead of trying to keep him on the mat where he would have an advantage. The Magnificent One hit his version of the piledriver to get a much needed win. Muraco grabbed the microphone post-match and let everyone know this is his first step on the way to the top. That remains to be seen, but a good win here none the less.

The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey) defeated The Soul Patrol (Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson) when Eaton pinned Atlas after a figure-four leglock in 0:04:32.
Rating: *

There have been rumblings in the locker room that not all is well between Tony Atlas & Rocky Johnson. When asked about it by a writer from PWI magazine, Atlas did admit that they've butted heads a little bit, but that's what teams do sometimes. Nobody knows how to make you mad like your friends, but Atlas assured the writer that everything was fine with the Soul Patrol. The Soul Patrol do know for sure that in order to climb back up the ladder and earn another shot to regain the World Tag Team Titles, they are going to need to start from the beginning. They signed on for a match with a brand new team that we knew very little about, The Midnight Express. We knew this team was a bit different when their polyester-clad manager, Jim Cornette, introduced them himself (to the annoyance of Howard Finkel) as "Loverboy" Dennis Condrey & "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton. Nobody was sure what to make of them, but we learned quickly that they are VERY talented. They pulled out a couple of innovative double team moves that I have never seen before, and Cornette proved to be a wonderful distraction at ringside. They also showed that they will stoop to any low to win as when Eaton got Atlas in a figure-four leglock, Cornette reached in and grabbed Mr. USA's arms from the outside and held them down. Referee Danny Davis didn't see this and counted Atlas' shoulders to the mat, giving the Midnight Express a debut victory. After the match, Rocky Johnson lectured Atlas about the loss, and Atlas clearly didn't want to hear it as the two went to the locker room with a lot of tension between them. Meanwhile in the ring, Cornette's enthusiastic celebrating are an obvious sign that the Midnight Express' time in GCW is going to be an annoying one.

Jimmy Snuka and The Iron Sheik battled to a double countout in 0:02:29.
Rating: 1/2*
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Jimmy Snuka.]

Freddie Blassie just won't leave Jimmy Snuka alone. Blassie doesn't handle rejection well, and that is what the Superfly did when he turned down his offer for managerial services. Blassie was also not in a fine mood after being punched in the jaw by Larry Zbyszko earlier in the night, so he had The Iron Sheik take it out on Snuka. The match spilled out to the floor and an ugly double countout was the result. Snuka later said that he was tired of Blassie trying to ruin his life and wanted to be done with it once and for all. Snuka wanted one more match with The Iron Sheik in Boston. If Sheik won, Snuka would join Blassie's ranks and let him manage him. But if Snuka won, Blassie would leave him alone. Blassie agreed to the terms, and the match is set for the Boston Garden.

King Kong Bundy pinned Junkyard Dog with the Big Splash in 0:05:48.
Rating: -*
[Bobby Heenan and Nick Bockwinkel interfered against Junkyard Dog.]

King Kong Bundy was responsible for costing Junkyard Dog the Intercontinental Title when Bobby Heenan ordered his monster to interfere on behalf of keeping the title around the waist of Nick Bockwinkel. JYD held his own after the attack and actually was the one standing tall at the end, but he had a tough row to hoe here as he took on Bundy in a singles match. JYD worked on getting Bundy out of his comfort zone, doing some tactics to try to embarrass the 450-pounder. It was funny at first, but once Bundy got a hold of him, it became a lot less humorous for JYD, I can tell you that. Bundy pounded on JYD with clubbing blows, even mocking his dancing at one point which was quite a sight to see. JYD regained the advantage when he moved out of the way of a Bundy avalanche in the corner, putting Bundy on his back with a big jumping headbutt. Heenan jumped up on the apron and complained to referee Tommy Young about an illegal hair pull, which was nonsense considering Bundy is bald. That being said, the distraction was well in place for NICK BOCKWINKEL to reach in, grab JYD by the head, and whiplash the back of his neck on the top rope. JYD crashed back into the ring hard, and Bundy squashed him with the Big Splash to get the cheap win. Heenan demanded that Bundy do another splash, but never got that chance because ANDRE THE GIANT came to the ring and chased them off. Andre & JYD stood tall in the ring while Heenan and his men retreated to the locker room.

Strike Force (Rick Martel and Tito Santana) defeated The Texas Outlaws (Bobby Duncum and Dick Murdoch) when T. Santana defeated Duncum by countout in 0:05:23.
Rating: ** 1/4
(The Texas Outlaws retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

Strike Force have come painfully close to winning the World Tag Team Titles from The Texas Outlaws, but every time they get close, Bobby Duncum & Dick Murdoch do something dastardly to make sure they keep the gold. Often, that dastardly act will involve a strategic use of the cowbell that they bring down to ringside with them for every match. That looked to be the plan of attacks for the champs again, but Strike Force showed that they had learned from the past encounters. Duncum was looking once again to use the cowbell and retrieved it from the outside, but before he could get back in the ring to use it on Tito Santana, Rick Martel cut him off on the floor and sent him flying into the ring post. Strike Force got the win because of this, but it was due to a countout and thus the titles could not change hands. A huge brawl broke out which required a plethora of referees, officials, and security officers to break up, leaving both teams wanting more. This feud has gotten out of hand, and GCW officials are going to do something about it. One final World Tag Team Title match will take place in Boston. Since the two teams want to fight, the disqualification rule has been waived. In addition, to ensure this is the last time we get a huge brawl like this, the man who loses the fall will be forced to LEAVE GCW! The stakes have never been higher, but one way or another, this feud is coming to a head in Boston.

Andre the Giant defeated Nick Bockwinkel by countout in 0:08:57.
Rating: ** 1/2
(Nick Bockwinkel retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

The wrestling main event was a chance for Andre the Giant to hold his first piece of gold in GCW as he challenged Nick Bockwinkel for the Intercontinental Title. These two had a bit of a confrontation earlier in the evening after the JYD/Bundy match, and it became painfully obvious early on that Bockwinkel wanted no part of wrestling the Giant. Bockwinkel stalled as often as he could to keep from being pummeled by Andre, which is really about your best bet against the Eighth Wonder of the World. Bockwinkel's tune changed when referee Dick Kroll had Howard Finkel announced that if Bockwinkel didn't get in the ring and wrestle Andre, he would strip him of the title and award it to Andre! The crowd exploded in cheers while Bobby Heenan nearly fell out of his shoes he was so mad. Bockwinkel did get in the ring and got bounced around by Andre for a couple of minutes before he decided he had had enough, walking out after getting headbutted over the top rope by Andre. Many people thought that meant Andre was the new champion based on the previous announcement, but since Bockwinkel did lock up and try to wrestle Andre, he still keeps the title. Heenan went to the back and brought back out KING KONG BUNDY, and thought they'd have a huge advantage over Andre, but JUNKYARD DOG sprinted to the ring to even the odds, keeping Heenan and his men at bay. A massive tag team match has been signed between these four for Boston.

Ric Flair makes his first address as World champion.

The show was going to conclude with a monumental occasion as it was the first public appearance of "Nature Boy" Ric Flair as the World Heavyweight champion. Flair received a standing from the crowd, and Flair looked taken aback by the reaction. Flair got on the microphone and said it was a long hard journey, but it was all worth it because now he is THE heavyweight champion of the world! Flair said that he had put in the work, paid his dues, and now he finally has the chance to run with the ball. Others might claim to be the "true" Nature Boy, but only one Nature Boy is holding the most important championship in the world, and that's Ric Flair. Flair turned his attention to the controversial nature in which he won the title, and said that it should not diminish what he has accomplished. Flair assured everyone that he had nothing to do with it, and instead of Dusty Rhodes accusing Flair of something underhanded, maybe he should look and think of all the people he has wronged in the past. But Flair is a fair man, and has promised Rhodes that he will get his World Title rematch on October 30 in our main event in Boston. If the rematch is even half as good as the first match was, we are in for another classic in Beantown!

Card rating: * 1/2

Match observations:

10/30/83 - BOSTON GARDEN - Boston, MA

WORLD TITLE REMATCH - Ric Flair (c) vs. Dusty Rhodes
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - LOSER OF THE FALL LEAVES GCW - Bobby Duncum/Dick Murdoch (c) vs. Strike Force
Andre the Giant/Junkyard Dog vs. Nick Bockwinkel/King Kong Bundy
Larry Zbyszko vs. Dino Bravo
Ricky Steamboat vs. Tully Blanchard

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