September 16, 1971 - Cobo Arena - Detroit, MI

Dominic DeNucci and Johnny Weaver defeated The Minnesota Wrecking Crew (Gene Anderson and Ole Anderson) when DeNucci defeated G. Anderson by countout in 0:08:10.
Rating: ** 3/4
(Tony Garea no-showed.)

The Minnesota Wrecking Crew was reunited for our opening match, taking on the man they assaulted last month, Dominic DeNucci. DeNucci was reportedly going to team with Tony Garea, but Garea had some travel issues that prevented him from making it to Detroit. DeNucci needed a partner and fast, and Johnny Weaver volunteered. Weaver is a new competitor to GCW and is scheduled to make his debut in a singles match, but he is wrestling double duty tonight. This turned out to be an advantage for DeNucci & Weaver who had some time to game plan while the Andersons were expecting Garea. This led to DeNucci & Weaver being a step ahead to get the countout victory.

Chief Jay Strongbow defeated Ernie Ladd by disqualification in 0:08:53.
Rating: * 3/4
[The Grand Wizard interfered against Chief Jay Strongbow.]

A great singles match was next between two GCW veterans. The Grand Wizard has gotten Ernie Ladd completely focused and has nearly led him to the World Title this year. Strongbow has been wrestling primarily in tag team matches with Billy White Wolf, but is a former United States champion. Strongbow & Ladd had a good old-fashioned fight. Ladd got a little carried away and wouldn't let Strongbow out of the corner when he was punching him, and thus was disqualified for not listening to the referee's instructions. Ladd & The Grand Wizard didn't seem much to care, apparently thinking that this helps to establish the dominance of him and his charges. That remains to be seen, but Strongbow was certainly worse for wear after this one.

Baron Mikel Scicluna and Baron Von Raschke defeated The Graham Brothers (Eddie Graham and Luke Graham) when Baron made E. Graham submit to the Claw in 0:13:04.
Rating: ** 1/4
[Lou Albano interfered against Eddie Graham.]

The Graham Brothers say they have had just about enough of Lou Albano, and they had their chance to shut him up once and for all here. Problem is, Albano brought the team of Baron Mikel Scicluna and the thus far unstoppable Baron Von Raschke. Eddie & Luke were highly motivated, still thinking about younger brother Billy who Raschke put on the shelf with his deadly Claw finisher. Though the heart was there, the Grahams were outmatched. Luke Graham's nck and back problems are well documented, and Albano had his charges take full advantage of that by focusing their attack on it. Luke had to spend much of the match on the outside because of it, leaving Eddie prone to Raschke's Claw and a defeat. If these two Barons continue to team up, that could spell a lot of trouble for the tag teams in GCW.

Interview:
Wahoo McDaniel explains why he attacked Karl Gotch.

Wahoo McDaniel inexplicitly assaulted Karl Gotch after the United States champion had been in a war with Baron Mikel Scicluna, breaking a wooden crate right over Gotch's head. Wahoo came out to explain his actions here, saying that he did so because he was tired of that "Nazi" from Germany holding onto the UNITED STATES Title. Wahoo said he made the attack because it's about time that an American bring the gold back to the country where it belongs. Karl Gotch was not going to sit idly by and listen to this, running to the ring and taking Wahoo to the canvas. The two brawled around the ring until Wahoo caught Gotch with a hard shot to the head, knocking Gotch loopy. Wahoo went a step further by grabbing a chair from ringside and nailing Gotch with it, knocking him out cold. We have learned that Gotch suffered a major concussion, but he is determined to get even with McDaniel, challenging him to a match at Madison Square Garden on October 16.

Johnny Valentine pinned Johnny Weaver after a kneedrop in 0:10:32.
Rating: * 1/2

Kudos to newcomer Johnny Weaver for having the tenacity to wrestle two matches tonight, earlier filling in to be Dominic DeNucci's partner in a winning effort over The Minnesota Wrecking Crew. Weaver wrestled well in his singles match against Johnny Valentine, but you could tell that Weaver wasn't at 100% for the previous match. Valentine is one of the best in the world and he picked up the victory with a kneedrop. Still, a great showing for Weaver in his debut.

Pedro Morales made Arnold Skaaland submit to the Boston Crab in 0:08:18.
Rating: *

Pedro Morales has gotten Bruno Sammartino madder than he has ever been already, but what Morales did tonight may have pushed Bruno over the edge. The sometimes wrestler and Bruno's manager Arnold Skaaland insisted to Sammartino that he would take care of Morales and challenged him to a match. Skaaland gave Morales more of a fight than anyone expected, even Morales himself, but in the end, Morales' Boston Crab put the match in the books. What happened after the match though was just plain sickening.

Interview:
Pedro Morales continues to assault Arnold Skaaland, but Bruno Sammartino tries to intervene.

Skaaland was clearly beaten, but Morales was looking to send a message to the World champion, continuing to assault Skaaland and busting him open. Morales wasn't done yet as he grabbed the ring bell from the timekeeper's table, stood over Skaaland and raised the bell over his head. At this point, BRUNO SAMMARTINO came out and pleaded with Morales to stop. Bruno even grabbed the house mic and told Morales that if he stopped, he would give Morales a World Title shot. Morales thought about it and when it looked like he would let Skaaland go, he shook his head no and smashed the bell into Skaaland's head! Bruno jumped in the ring but Morales escaped to the back. We're all at a loss because Bruno was offering Morales exactly what he wanted but he turned it down. Skaaland was taken to a local medical facility and given 12 stitches in his head.

Number-One-Contenders-Cage Match:
The Half-Ton Team (Gorilla Monsoon and Haystacks Calhoun) defeated Crusher & Bruiser (The Crusher and Dick the Bruiser) when Monsoon pinned Bruiser after a splash in 0:18:46.
Rating: *

The feud between The Half-Ton Team and Dick the Bruiser & The Crusher came to a head as it would find its conclusion in the ultimate feud decider - the steel cage match. Four of the toughest men in all of wrestling were locked inside a cage and the only way this was going to end was with a pinfall. This match was bowling shoe ugly, but still entertaining as these four went at it. Bruiser & Crusher tried to extend this match to tire out the much larger Monsoon & Calhoun, but it wouldn't work as the Half-Ton Team hit tandem splashes to end this feud and become the #1 contenders for the World Tag Team Titles.

Stan Stasiak pinned Billy White Wolf with the Heart Punch in 0:06:15.
Rating: 3/4*

Stan Stasiak came within an eyelash of winning the World Title this year, and showed how dominant he can be in this match against Billy White Wolf. Stan the Man put Wolf away with his devastating Heart Punch.

Bruno Sammartino pinned The Sheik after a piledriver in 0:34:29.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Bruno Sammartino retained the GCW World Title.)

Bruno Sammartino was wrestling with a heavy heart as Arnold Skaaland was sent to the hospital earlier by Pedro Morales, but he had a big time challenger ahead of him in the former of The Sheik. The Sheik was a star with GCW for years and received the title shot as we were in his territory in Detroit. These two know each other very well, and wrestled accordingly. Bruno knew he was in a war as The Sheik will stop at nothing to hurt his opposition. Sammartino was in a battle, but a picture-perfect piledriver was enough to put Sheik's shoulders down on the canvas for 3 and give Bruno another successful title defense.

Card rating: * 3/4

Match observations:

The shows in Madison Square Garden are always huge, and the next one on October 16 will be no different with these matches announced so far:

WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Cripplers (c) vs. The Half-Ton Team
UNITED STATES TITLE - Karl Gotch (c) vs. Wahoo McDaniel
Dominic DeNucci vs. Pedro Morales
Gene Anderson vs. Johnny Weaver
Chief Jay Strongbow/Billy White Wolf vs. Ernie Ladd/Stan Stasiak

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