September 19, 1980 - Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

The Can-Am Strongmen (Dino Bravo and Ken Patera) and Larry Zbyszko defeated The Guerreros (Chavo Guerrero, Hector Guerrero and Mando Guerrero) when Bravo pinned M. Guerrero with the Side Suplex in 0:09:59.
Rating: ***

Six-man tag action to kick off a big show from the Garden pitting the Guerrero clan against the Can-Am Strongmen & Larry Zbyszko. It was odd seeing Dino Bravo & Zbyszko on the same team given their history, but they put it aside for the most part in this match. They had to because the Guerreros were on point tonight, because there was no question the teamwork with the 3 brothers was going to be spot on. A tightly contested match for the most part, and what ended it was one mistake by Mando Guerrero. He went for a flying cross body press, but Bravo was too strong, caught him, and drove him into the mat with the Side Suplex for the 1-2-3. After the match, Bravo offered his hand to Zbyszko, but Zbyszko just laughed and walked away.

Jumbo Tsuruta pinned Johnny Rodz with the Jumbo Knee in 0:05:32.
Rating: **

Jumbo Tsuruta got his work visa issues taken care of and was back in a GCW ring to take on "The Unpredictable" Johnny Rodz, whose unpredictable act was to dress up like a samurai warrior. He hoped to channel the spirit of the great Japanese warriors to overtake the Japanese Tsuruta. Good in theory, I guess, but horrible in practice, as no amount of samurai-ness would save him from the Jumbo Knee and a defeat. Ah, Johnny Rodz. How we missed you.

Tito Santana pinned Austin Idol with the Flying Forearm in 0:07:21.
Rating: **

Austin Idol's new bad attitude has stuck with him, but he still had his hands full with Tito Santana. Santana has primarily been a tag team wrestler so far in his time in GCW, forming a successful team with Ivan Putski. But with the Polish Power getting a tag title shot with Dusty Rhodes later tonight, Santana went at it alone against the Universal Heartthrob. The match was even for the most part, but Idol seemed to have it when he went for the Las Vegas Leglock. Santana kicked Idol off though, sending him head first into the turnbuckle. Idol was stunned long enough for Santana to hit the Flying Forearm and get a minor upset! Idol shook the cobwebs out and attacked Santana while he was celebrating, locking him in the Las Vegas Leglock! If it hadn't been for the swift response by GCW officials, Idol would have broken Santana's leg, which is exactly what he has vowed to do when they meet in a rematch on October 12 in Providence.

Ric Flair pinned Terry Funk after a small package in 0:11:51.
Rating: ** 1/4

I was personally excited about the prospect of this next contest that pitted Terry Funk against "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. Flair has turned into one of the finest wrestlers in the world, and with the more experience he gets, the closer he gets to taking that next big step. Funk is always amongst the toughest men in wrestling, and is a threat to any championship in the world. Not only is Flair becoming one of the best mat generals in wrestling, but he is also becoming one of the most cunning cheaters. It may not be the most honorable of approaches, but it is translating into victories. Flair faceraked, choked, and eye gouged his way to a victory tonight, topping it off with a small package and a handful of rights to boot.

Don Muraco and Ivan Koloff defeated Pedro Morales and Roddy Piper when Muraco pinned Piper with the Tombstone in 0:09:00.
Rating: ***
[Freddie Blassie interfered against Roddy Piper.]

Roddy Piper & Pedro Morales are tremendous competitors, but as a team, they were at a huge disadvantage. Morales has a lot on his mind with Gorilla Monsoon's recent retirement, and not only that, but Intercontinental champion Don Muraco & Ivan Koloff are both under the management of "Classy" Freddie Blassie, which did their team a lot of favors. It also didn't help that Morales looked like he would rather be anywhere else besides in a wrestling ring, leaving Piper to fend for himself for much of the match. The Rowdy Scot is tough as a two dollar steak, but even he can't last long against Muraco & Koloff. For the third show in a row, Muraco drilled Piper with the Tombstone and walked away with his hand raised. After Piper had come to, he questioned Morales about his lack of help. Morales didn't even seem to hear him and walked to the back alone. Something is seriously up with Pedro Morales.

Dusty Rhodes and Ivan Putski defeated The Wild Samoans (Afa and Sika) when Dusty Rhodes pinned Sika with the Bionic Elbowdrop in 0:11:11.
Rating: **
(Dusty Rhodes and Ivan Putski won the GCW World Tag Team Titles.)

Captain Lou Albano was sporting a t-shirt that read, "I Retired Gorilla Monsoon" as it looks like he's going to ride that wave for awhile. He needed to make sure that the focus of his World Tag Team champions, Afa & Sika, were on the makeshift team of Dusty Rhodes & Ivan Putski. A lot of people thought that Rhodes & Putski weren't going to have a serious chance against the reigning champs, but two men that were uninformed of this were Rhodes & Putski. Rhodes & Putski were all fired up, and New York City was fired up along with them. Albano realized a couple of minutes in that he needed to buckle down and get the Wild Samoans going, but he may have been a couple of minutes too late. Putski had got caught in the ring and the Samoans were working him over, but he refused to stay down. Afa & Sika were illegally double teaming left and right, and it came back to bite them on the backside, so to speak. They had Putski and looked to smash him with a double headbutt, which surely would have ended the match. Polish Power slipped out of the way though, and the Samoans' heads collided instead! Putski dove and tagged in Rhodes, who smashed the Samoans' heads together for good measure which sent Afa flying out of the ring. The American Dream then hit Sika with the Bionic Elbowdrop and ladies and gentleman, we have new World Tag Team champions! The crowd exploded as the referee handed an ecstatic Rhodes & Putski the World Tag Team Titles.

Albano was about to lose his mind yelling at Afa & Sika, but when he saw PAUL JONES, THE MASKED SUPERSTAR, & AUSTIN IDOL get in the ring and jump the new champs, he took the argument elsewhere to let them do their dirty work. Rhodes & Putski were completely blindsided and didn't stand a chance. TITO SANTANA slid into the ring to attempt to save his friends, but he was overtaken in short order. It took a hoard of officials and security personnel to put an end to this. Rhodes & Putski didn't hesitate to request their first title defense be against Paul Jones & The Masked Superstar. It's going to take place on October 12 in Providence.

B. Brian Blair pinned Manny Fernandez after a flying cross body press in 0:06:33.
Rating: ** 1/4

Manny Fernandez wanted this rematch after he felt he was embarrassed by B. Brian Blair in Boston (try saying that 10 times fast). The Ragin' Bull was pressing this entire match, desperate to get a win that his GCW career truly needs at this point. He was far too aggressive and making a lot of stupid mistakes, including the final one that led to Blair hitting a flying cross body press and picking up another win. Fernandez looked devastated in the ring after the loss. He grabbed the microphone from the ring announcer and simply said, "Something has got to change." What does he mean by that?

Cage Match:
Stan Hansen defeated Sgt. Slaughter by escaping the cage in 0:10:17.
Rating: ***

The feud between Stan Hansen & Sgt. Slaughter has reached the point of no return. GCW President Hisashi Shinma decreed that the only way to get this taken care of was going to be inside the 15-foot high steel cage. This match was completely up in the air, because not only are Hansen & Slaughter evenly matched in size and strength, but over the last two shows they have each won the other's specialty match. This cage match was escapes only, but unlike in other cage matches we've seen, the strategy of both men wasn't to find a way out: it was to continue to pummel the other man senseless. Like we've said in the past two matches, there are few people in the wrestling world who are tough enough to go toe-to-toe with the Lariat, but Slaughter busting Hansen's face open within the first two minutes was an illustration that he can. Slaughter bashed on Hansen's head, trying to make that cut even deeper until Hansen just snapped. Hansen had his adrenaline pumping as he fired back on the ex-Marine. Slaughter tried to get some distance between Hansen and himself, but in the confines of the cage, there was no place to hide. Hansen pounded away at Slaughter until he was nearly unconscious, and then hit the Lariat for good measure before walking out the door. A bloody end to a bloody feud.

Jimmy Snuka pinned Bob Backlund with the Superfly Splash in 0:25:24.
Rating: *** 1/2
(Jimmy Snuka retained the GCW World Title.)
[Arnold Skaaland interfered against Bob Backlund.]

The atmosphere was as tense as I could ever remember as we prepared for the biggest rematch in GCW history. Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka made his first World Title defense against the man he stole the title from, Bob Backlund. Despite the pure hatred Backlund has for Snuka, the subdued intensity he exhibited before the match began was unsettling to say the least. Snuka didn't bat an eyelash though, as he fully feels justified in what he and Arnold Skaaland did in order to secure him the World Title. All of that subdued energy went out the window when the bell rang, and the fight was on! A far more aggressive fighting style from Backlund tonight. Generally he has reached great success in GCW by out wrestling his opponents on the canvas. Tonight, he wanted to knock Snuka's teeth down his throat, and at certain points, I was sure that he did. You can't blame Backlund for wanting to take this approach, but in doing so, he played right into Snuka's hand. Snuka is at his best when he's brawling, and as a result, he got the better of Backlund for much of this match. That being said, Backlund was running on instinct for this match, and like a zombie, he kept getting up and coming back for more. He strung together a series of moves that looked to be the beginning of the end for Snuka, but some bad luck altered his fate in a hurry. He hit Snuka with an atomic drop, but the force of the move propelled Snuka forward, right into referee Dick Kroll. Kroll was wiped out, and then all hell broke loose. Arnold Skaaland jumped into the ring to interfere, but Backlund saw him and got him by the collar. The crowd was going absolutely nuts wanting Backlund to knock Skaaland out, but he never got the chance when Snuka nailed him from behind right in the ribs with a wrench he had found under the ring! Backlund was in immense pain, but not as much as when Snuka crashed down on his ribs with the Superfly Splash. A groggy Kroll crawled over and made the 1-2-3 as Snuka steals yet another one from Backlund.

Card rating: ** 3/4

Match observations:

We're inching ever closer to the year-end show in Madison Square Garden with just a few stops to make along the way! The first of which will be in Providence, RI on October 12!

WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - Dusty Rhodes/Ivan Putski (c) vs. Paul Jones/The Masked Superstar
Tito Santana vs. Austin Idol
Pedro Morales vs. Ivan Koloff

More matches will be signed between now and then, but the other big news is that Arnold Skaaland has a message he wants to deliver personally to Bob Backlund's face! Will Backlund accept Skaaland's invite to meet him in the ring for this confrontation? Find out in Providence!

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License