September 12, 1979 - Boston Garden - Boston, MA

Ric Flair pinned Tito Santana after a side step in 0:10:52.
Rating: ***

The first match of the three match series tonight kicked off our return to the Boston Garden, pitting Tito Santana against "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Whoever picked up the victory here would put a lot of pressure on the opposing team, as this match series is best two-out-of-three. We haven't seen a ton of Santana's work yet, but this here showed what kind of technical wrestler he is, going hold-for-hold with one of the top mat generals in the world. Flair picked apart Santana's leg for much of this match, but Santana showed he is resilient. At one point Santana even showed he has a great figure-four leglock of his own, locking the Nature Boy in his own signature hold! Flair almost had to submit, but he managed to just barely get to the bottom rope. Santana was riding high, but he soon had the tables turned on him. Santana set up for the Flying Forearm, but when he soared at Flair for it, the Nature Boy's injured leg actually helped him out. Flair collapsed from the pain, causing Santana to crash and burn on the mat. Flair took this small opening to cover Santana, putting his feet on the ropes for more leverage, picking up the win via grand larceny. That's a 1-0 lead for the Flair/Bravo/Patera team.

The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) defeated Victor Rivera and Jimmy Golden when Afa made Rivera submit to a front facelock in 0:04:39.
Rating: * 3/4

The Wild Samoans wrestled with a sense of intensity that we haven't seen out of them since they lost the World Tag Team Titles to the Blackjacks, and many feel that this is long overdue. Afa & Sika went back to that savageness that brought them success in the first place, more or less mauling Victor Rivera & Jimmy Golden to get the win. If the Samoans can keep this ruthless nature they've rediscovered, that could mean bad news for the rest of GCW.

Chavo Guerrero pinned Ivan Koloff after a flying sunset flip in 0:06:03.
Rating: * 3/4

Chavo Guerrero has been wowing crowds since he came to GCW, but so far, that has not translated to wins. That changed in a big way tonight as he took on "The Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff. Koloff was in a bad mood because he didn't become the #1 contender, and truthfully, he took Guerrero way too lightly, not a tremendous idea with someone who is as talented as Guerrero. Koloff was toying with Guerrero for a bit, but it didn't pay off for him as he missed a running clothesline in the corner. Guerrero followed up with a dropkick to send Koloff back in the corner. Guerrero tried to send Koloff to the opposite corner, but Koloff reversed it. Koloff charged in but once again missed and crashed into the turnbuckle. Guerrero jumped on the second turnbuckle and flew off with a flying sunset flip, just being able to hold Koloff down for the 1-2-3! Koloff was in complete shock as the crowd exploded - Guerrero had just pinned a former World champion! Freddie Blassie demanded that Koloff go after Guerrero, but Koloff was still thrown off by what had happened. Koloff wants his hands on Guerrero, and the Russian Bear will have that chance on October 8 from MSG!

Ivan Putski pinned Ken Patera with the Polish Hammer in 0:06:40.
Rating: * 3/4

The second of the three match series was next on our docket, and it was a classic power vs. power contest. Ken Patera was generally thought of as the strongest man in GCW, but with Ivan Putski on the scene, he has some stiff competition. Polish Power isn't just a clever name - he backs it up. I'll be honest - this match was ugly from a technical standpoint, but Putski & Patera seemed to revel in trying to bludgeon the other with their bare hands. There was no clear advantage from either man and it all came down who got the best shot in, which was Putski. The Polish Power smashed the former Olympic champion in the chest with the Polish Hammer, just enough to pin Patera's shoulders to the mat for the 3. Patera was quick to his feet, blasting Putski from behind and tossing him to the floor. Patera tried to smash Putski's face into the timekeeper's table, but Putski blocked it and drove Patera's head into the table instead! Patera made a hasty retreat. The score of the series is now tied 1-1, with just Piper vs. Bravo to go.

The Blackjacks (Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan) and Gorilla Monsoon and Pedro Morales battled to a double disqualification in 0:09:48.
Rating: *
(Gorilla Monsoon and Pedro Morales retained the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

The Blackjacks invoked their tag team title rematch, and it was the first official title defense for Gorilla Monsoon & Pedro Morales. The new champs were given a hero's welcome by the Boston Garden crowd, among the many fans worldwide thrilled to see Monsoon fulfill his dream and get one more taste of GCW gold. The Blackjacks wanted to make it a short reign, and they made it clear from the opening bell that they were willing to bend any rule and cut any corner to get those championships back. The only problem was they forgot to factor in that Monsoon and especially Morales have major league tempers and were not at all against mixing it up with nefarious tactics. In the end, referee Willie Webber lost all semblance of order and when all four men were brawling in the ring, threw the match out as a double disqualification. These two teams obviously have a lot of unfinished business, and it will be business time once again on October 8 in the Garden.

Terry Funk defeated Don Muraco by disqualification in 0:00:17.
Rating: *
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Terry Funk.]

Don Muraco has spent the past few months trying to make a statement, and he has made no bigger one than the one he did tonight against Terry Funk. Funk is the #1 contender for the World Title and will get his title shot on October 8, but first he had to deal with "Classy" Freddie Blassie's powerhouse. Funk would get the win in a mere 17 seconds, but he didn't look like the winner when it was all said and done. Funk won the match so quickly because Muraco got himself disqualified with a blatant low blow. To add insult to injury, Muraco went on a vicious assault on the Funker, culminating with the Tombstone. After this, Muraco grabbed the microphone and said this was a message to everyone and that he should be getting the World Title shot. He may not be getting the title shot in New York, but he's put himself on the radar.

Stan Hansen pinned Dusty Rhodes with the Lariat in 0:19:54.
Rating: ****
(Stan Hansen retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Stan Hansen said some of the most offensive things I have ever heard in his interview in Uniondale last month, mostly directed toward the injured Jumbo Tsuruta. Dusty Rhodes came out to defend Jumbo and challenged Hansen to an Intercontinental Title to shut him up once and for all. Hansen has now officially held the Intercontinental Title for over a year, and insisted on being announced as the "All-American champion" before the match. The match itself was an absolutely fantastic affair between one of the most beloved and one of the most reviled wrestlers in the world. This was a bare knuckles kind of fight. Nothing fancy, but highly competitive and more importantly, entertaining. The thing that is most frustrating about Hansen is not just that he's a loud mouth, but that more often than not, he backs it up. Rhodes was still suffering some lingering effects from the vicious assault by Larry Zbyszko a month ago and the Lariat was wise to focus his attack on Rhodes' injured throat and neck. The Dream never backed down, but Hansen's relentless assault was just too much to overcome. Rhodes ate the Lariat and the loss. Hansen wasn't done though, looking to teach Rhodes a lesson for "stickin' his damn nose in muh business!" He was going to do that with another big Lariat, but JUMBO TSURUTA made sure that didn't happen by running to the ring and sending Hansen scurrying. Jumbo has officially been cleared to wrestle and on October 8, he will wrestle Hansen for the IC Title!

Fork Match:
Don Muraco pinned Jimmy Snuka with the Tombstone in 0:11:40.
Rating: ** 1/2
(Abdullah the Butcher no-showed.)

In Don Muraco didn't make his mark earlier, he certainly did here. Jimmy Snuka was all poised to take on Abdullah the Butcher in a violent fork match, but Abdullah never showed up to the building. That didn't sit well with the Superfly, who wanted a fight no matter who it was against. We found out that man would be Muraco, who was paid off by LUKE GRAHAM to take Snuka out. Snuka was game, and it was as violent as we all expected. It takes a sick individual to willingly go into battle and not only stab, but be stabbed, with a fork. And in this match, we had two. Snuka & Muraco carved each other like Thanksgiving turkeys, and it was a bloody affair that was not for the weak of heart. Though the masks of blood were on both men, it looked like it would be Snuka to stand at the top of the mountain. He stood on the top rope with blood streaming down his face, preparing for the Superfly Splash when LUKE GRAHAM was down at ringside, yelling obscenities at the Superfly. This momentary distraction was all it took for Muraco to get back up and jab Snuka in the thigh with the fork. Snuka howled in pain, but the worst was to come as Muraco scooped Snuka off the top into position for the Tombstone. Snuka was dropped on his head, and a weary Muraco made the cover for the 1-2-3. Violence personified. A huge win for Muraco, and Snuka's anger toward Graham is as palpable as ever.

Roddy Piper made Dino Bravo submit to the Sleeper in 0:07:10.
Rating: * 3/4

With the score tied at 1 match a piece, it all came down to Roddy Piper vs. Dino Bravo to determine which team gets to pick the stipulations for the 6-man tag match at our October 8 show. Early in the match, we learned what Bravo's strategy was going to be. Going along with his new found nefarious attitude, Bravo took off the top turnbuckle pad in one of the corners, setting Piper up to smash his head into the exposed steel. Piper knew it was exposed though, and blocked Bravo's first couple of attempts to do so. Later in the match after Bravo had put the boots to Piper, he tried to Irish whip the Rowdy Scot into the turnbuckle. But Piper put on the brakes and reversed it, sending Bravo's back into the turnbuckle instead! Bravo was hurt and hurt bad, stumbling right into Piper's Sleeper! The pain of the hold, combined with the throbbing in Bravo's back was enough for him to give in. Piper's team wins the series, and for the 6-man tag, Piper has selected a streetfight!

Bob Backlund pinned Paul Orndorff after a small package in 0:24:39.
Rating: **** 1/2
(Bob Backlund retained the GCW World Title.)
[Luke Graham interfered against Bob Backlund.]

Paul Orndorff was supposed to get his shot at the World Title last month in the Nassau Coliseum, but due to some travel problems, champion Bob Backlund was unable to make the show. He was here tonight and Orndorff did get his shot, and there's very little else that you can say about this match other than - WOW. Orndorff used this extra prep time to train, and the training paid off in a big way. Considering some of the wrestlers Backlund has went up against in his title reign, this is an impressive statement - no one has put Backlund's title reign in jeopardy more than Orndorff did. By the end of this lengthy match, Orndorff had not won any popularity from the fans, but he had won their respect. Backlund would get the win and retain the title, but it wasn't in dominant fashion. Orndorff's youth worked against him in that he seemed to let the moment get to his head in the closing moments. He had Backlund all set up for the Piledriver, but he hesitated to work the crowd, and it cost him. Backlund reversed it into a small package, cinched the hold in nice and tight, and got Orndorff down for the 3. Backlund escapes Boston with the title, but only by the skin of his teeth. After the match, Backlund offered Orndorff a handshake, knowing he had been in one hell of a fight. Surprisingly, Orndorff accepted it which got a huge ovation from everyone in attendance - except for Luke Graham. Word has it that Graham was furious about Orndorff shaking Backlund's hand, saying it showed weakness. We'll see how this story unfolds, but for now, we will remember this great match.

Card rating: ** 1/2

Match observations:

What a night we have on deck for October 8 from the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden!

WORLD TITLE - Bob Backlund (c) vs. Terry Funk
INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Stan Hansen (c) vs. Jumbo Tsuruta
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - Gorilla Monsoon/Pedro Morales (c) vs. The Blackjacks
STREETFIGHT - Roddy Piper/Tito Santana/Ivan Putski vs. Ric Flair/The Can-Am Strongmen
Jimmy Snuka vs. Paul Orndorff
Chavo Guerrero vs. Ivan Koloff

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