September 18, 1982 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

Cage Match:
Ric Flair defeated Bobby Duncum by escaping the cage in 0:11:21.
Rating: *** 1/4

When the fans were filing into Madison Square Garden, the steel cage was already set as the cage match kicked off our huge show. Ric Flair & Bobby Duncum had to be placed inside the confines of a 15-foot high steel cage after their Texas Death match last month spilled into the crowd and had to be thrown out for the safety of the fans. The cage was going to keep them in the ring until one man had beaten the other to the point where he could escape. The Nature Boy really showed me something in this match. We knew he can wrestle, and we knew that he can take a pounding and come back for more. We learned, once and for all, that he can also be as ruthless as they come. We expected Duncum to be the one to bring the aggression, but it turned out to be Flair. Flair made the first use of the cage, slamming Duncum's face into it. He would also make the best use of the cage, and ultimately, it led to his victory. Flair & Duncum had both climbed up the wall of the cage and were punching away at each other on top, a very precarious position. Flair got the better of it by smashing Duncum's head into the steel mesh, causing Duncum to fall back into the ring. The Nature Boy climbed over the top, headed down to the floor, and had his hand raised in triumph.

Nick Bockwinkel pinned Spike Huber after a crucifix in 0:02:14.
Rating: **

Nick Bockwinkel showed that he was in a foul mood after being unable to capture the World Title in Baltimore, and he took it out on the debuting Spike Huber. Huber is a fiery young competitor, and he came out wearing a hard hat, as apparently Huber has some construction experience and is bringing that work ethic with him to the ring. Huber was all fired up at first and took it right to Bockwinkel, but he got a little overzealous an the veteran used that to his advantage, countering a clothesline into a crucifix to get the surprise 3 count. Bockwinkel wasn't done as he nailed Huber with the Piledriver for good measure.

Bobby Heenan took the microphone after the match and said it's a travesty that Bockwinkel isn't the World champion right now, and that spells bad news for the rest of GCW.

Jumbo Tsuruta pinned Johnny Rodz with the Jumbo Knee in 0:01:40.
Rating: ** 1/2

Well, thanks for coming, Johnny Rodz. Jumbo Tsuruta is on another planet right now, and Rodz was the latest victim of the Jumbo Knee. I feel bad for anybody who has to see Tsuruta across the ring from him.

Terry Taylor pinned Rick Martel after a scorpion deathlock in 0:03:07.
Rating: ***

This was the first 1-on-1 match between former partners Rick Martel and Terry Taylor, and it didn't turn out exactly how we thought. It hasn't been that long since The Upstarts were considered the future of tag team wrestling, and now to see them like this is hard to see. Still, if this 3 minutes of action is any indication, it looks like these two might be good friends, but better enemies. Martel controlled most of the offense, but Taylor turned the tide when he avoided a Martel charge in the corner, and then immediately clipped Martel's knee. Taylor dragged Martel out to the middle of the ring and locked on a scorpion deathlock. Martel managed to get himself to the ropes to break the hold, but a lot of damage had been done. Taylor immediately went for the cover, and surprisingly got the 3 count. We realized it wasn't nearly as surprisingly as we thought when we saw Taylor take his feet off the bottom rope. The first battle goes to Taylor, but the next battle will be waged on October 21 in Boston as Martel has challenged The Golden Boys to a tag team match. Martel's partner? JUMBO TSURUTA.

Dick Murdoch pinned Luke Graham with the Gourdbuster in 0:06:56.
Rating: * 3/4

It was hard to watch Luke Graham tonight. There is no question that Luke Graham is one of the greatest wrestlers in GCW history. His credentials and accolades speak for themselves. But as he gets up there in age, it's obvious that his back and neck injuries of the past are catching up with him. Case in point, Graham's opposition tonight, "Dirty" Dick Murdoch, focused his attack on Graham's back before putting him away with the Gourdbuster. It took Graham a few minutes to get back up after the match, his back clearly in bad shape. I hate to say it, but it may be in Luke Graham's best interests to hang it up before he suffers a permanent injury.

B. Brian Blair and Bill Eadie defeated The Von Erich Brothers (Kerry Von Erich and Kevin Von Erich) when Eadie defeated Kerry Von Erich when Kerry Von Erich passed out in the Cobra Clutch in 0:06:04.
Rating: ** 3/4

With Terry Taylor in singles competition earlier in the show, B. Brian Blair teamed with the Golden Boys' new hired gun, Bill "the Ax" Eadie to take on the Von Erichs, Kevin & Kerry. The Von Erichs' plan was to keep Blair in the ring as much as possible. Not that Blair isn't a great competitor, but both Kevin & Kerry were going to have trouble combating the size and strength of Eadie. The plan worked out in the opening minutes, but Blair put a thumb in the eye of Kerry Von Erich and got Eadie in the match. Eadie came in and the mood in the arena completely changed. Nothing Kerry tried seemed to work, and though he got in a little offense, there just wasn't enough behind the moves to slow down the Ax. The end came when Kerry hit two dropkicks on Eadie, but the Ax swatted away the third one, locked on the Cobra Clutch, and put the young Von Erich to sleep. Eadie is quickly becoming a very dangerous man. Meanwhile, the Von Erichs need to figure something out if they want to have the same success they had down in Dallas.

Bruno Sammartino made Larry Zbyszko submit to the Sammartino Backbreaker in 0:14:23.
Rating: *** 1/2

The electricity in the Garden was off the charts for this next match. Larry Zbyszko has been a constant thorn in the side of Bruno Sammartino since Bruno's return to the fold back in May, and now, Bruno finally had the opportunity to shut the Intercontinental champion's mouth. That, and this was Bruno's first match in GCW in nearly a decade, so many were wondering what he was going to bring to the table or if he had lost a step. When Sammartino slapped the taste out of Zbyszko's mouth and hit the Cruncher with a vertical suplex, we got our answer. Bruno still had it, and he was putting a whooping on the IC champ. One thing he did seem to be missing a bit was ring stamina. Clearly Bruno was still in great physical shape, but being in shape and being in RING shape are two entirely different things. Zbyszko started covering up to let Bruno punch himself out, and once Zbyszko got his opening, he attacked. Bruno's meddle was really being tested as Zbyszko methodically and viciously picked Bruno apart, trying to make him suffer. Zbyszko was really laying the shots in, and it was looking like Bruno made a huge mistake by accepting this match. Zbyszko got overconfident though when he mounted the turnbuckle to hit Bruno with some punches. After 5, he took the time to show off to the crowd, which turned out to be his downfall. Bruno slipped under, got a hold of Zbyszko, and brought him into the Sammartino Backbreaker. Zbyszko struggled to get loose as the crowd went nuts, and the pop when Zbyszko gave up was off the charts. Bruno Sammartino won his return match, and in what is certainly bad news for Zbyszko, Bruno will get a shot at the Intercontinental Title in Boston!

The Brisco Brothers (Jerry Brisco and Jack Brisco) and The Soul Patrol (Tony Atlas and Rocky Johnson) defeated The Can-Am Strongmen (Dino Bravo and Ken Patera), Don Muraco and The Iron Sheik when R. Johnson pinned Bravo with the Johnson Shuffle in 0:12:49.
Rating: ** 1/2

Huge 8-man contest here with all of Freddie Blassie's camp taking on two tag teams that he has caused a lot of grief, the Brisco Brothers and the Soul Patrol. You would think on paper that Blassie's troops would be better prepared to work together, having the same management and traveling together. Word has it that the Briscos & Soul Patrol spent a lot of time the past couple weeks training together, and even traveled to the Garden together. All of this worked paid off, because the fan favorite team worked together flawlessly. There is no way that Blassie could have seen this coming, and his men were completely taken aback by it. The teamwork of the Strongmen, Sheik, & Muraco fell apart, allowing Rocky Johnson to score with the Johnson Shuffle on Dino Bravo and get the win for his team. To make matters worse for Blassie, the Soul Patrol have been granted a World Tag Team Title shot on October 21 in Boston! It could be going from bad to worse for Freddie Blassie.

Bob Backlund and King Kong Bundy defeated Tito Santana and Jimmy Snuka when Backlund made J. Snuka submit to the Crossface Chickenwing in 0:08:57.
Rating: *** 1/4

Tito Santana got the biggest win of his career in Baltimore when he pinned Bob Backlund (with an assist from Jimmy Snuka). Backlund wanted a tag match against the "no-good cheaters" as he called them, but he refused to reveal who his partner would be. We were all scratching our heads trying to figure out who would possibly team with Backlund, as the former World champion's recent attitude hasn't made him the most popular guy in GCW. It turns out that we were correct on that level, as no one in GCW would team with him. Instead he brought in an outside competitor, and this man was a monster. Backlund introduced him as King Kong Bundy, and at nearly 450 pounds, the name was certainly appropriate. Snuka & Santana had little answer for Bundy, as this monster of a man looked unstoppable. Nothing Snuka or Santana tried seemed to phase the mammoth man for very long. Backlund more or less hid behind Bundy throughout the entire match (not a bad strategy, really) before Bundy squashed Snuka in the corner with the Avalanche. Bundy could have pinned the Superfly, but Backlund was nearly salivating to get in the ring. Bundy tagged Backlund in, who put the nearly unconscious Snuka in the Crossface Chickenwing to get the quick submission. Snuka was quick to say after the show that he wanted another match with Backlund, but Backlund said the Superfly would have to go through Bundy first. Snuka will try to climb that mountain in Boston.

Dusty Rhodes pinned Terry Funk after hitting him with the ring bell in 0:26:33.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Dusty Rhodes retained the GCW World Title.)
[Stan Hansen interfered against Terry Funk.]

Terry Funk clawed his way through Bobby Duncum, Dick Murdoch, and Stan Hansen to earn himself a World Title shot against "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. This whole situation started when Funk was on the team of the Texas Outlaws at War Games 9 months ago, and did nothing to help Bobby Duncum when he was trapped in the Crossface Chickenwing of Bob Backlund. Since then, Rhodes told the members of the Outlaws to take care of the Funker, but the crazy Amarillo native has proven to be more difficult to get rid of than ants at a picnic. Funk has done it all in GCW, and is one of the most successful stars in the company's history, but he has yet to hold the biggest prize in the game. This was his best shot, as the unorthodox competitor has never been on a hotter streak than he is now. Rhodes knew this and tried to slow the pace down to a halt. The Dream is great at controlling the tempo of his matches, but with Funk, his style is so out there that controlling the pace is nearly impossible. Rhodes' got sucked into a fight with Funk, and what a damn hard-hitting fight it was. Say what you want about some o0f Rhodes' tactics, when he needs to fight, he can bring it. That being said, as the match wore on, Rhodes was coming out on the losing end of the stick, which is when STAN HANSEN made his presence known. Hansen stomped to the ringside area and grabbed the ring bell from the timekeeper's table before jumping up on the apron. Referee Dick Kroll did the right thing and confronted Hansen, telling him to get on the floor, but in doing so, he didn't see Hansen toss the bell into Rhodes. Rhodes took the bell, and clocked Funk between the eyes, knocking him out cold. When Hansen saw Rhodes had gotten rid of the evidence, he jumped to the floor so that Kroll could count the 1-2-3. Dusty Rhodes has stolen another one.

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

10/21/82 - BOSTON GARDEN - Boston, MA

INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Larry Zbyszko (c) vs. Bruno Sammartino
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - The Can-Am Strongmen (c) vs. The Soul Patrol
Jimmy Snuka vs. King Kong Bundy
Rick Martel/Jumbo Tsuruta vs. The Golden Boys

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