September 25, 1976 - Providence Civic Center - Providence, RI

Jumbo Tsuruta and Dino Bravo defeated Killer Kowalski and Stan Hansen when Tsuruta pinned Hansen after a crucifix in 0:07:13.
Rating: ** 1/2
(Dick Murdoch no-showed.)

Our first match of the evening here in Providence was slated to be for the World Tag Team Titles, but due to a traveling conflict, "Dirty" Dick Murdoch was unable to make it. Thus, Stan Hansen teamed with Killer Kowalski to take on Dino Bravo & Jumbo Tsuruta, the new tag team champions. To say that Kowalski & Hansen didn't get along would be a vast understatement. Between their bickering and the collective tag team skill of the new champs, this outcome was never much in doubt. After the match, Kowalski & Hansen got into a brawl at ringside. While that chaos was going on, Bravo & Jumbo didn't see THE BLACKJACKS run in from the crowd and jump them from behind. Officials were able to intervene, but the damage had been done.

Nikolai Volkoff pinned Gorilla Monsoon after hitting him with the cane in 0:03:28.
Rating: -1/2*
[Lou Albano interfered against Gorilla Monsoon.]

Captain Lou Albano continues to show what levels he will stoop to in order to get his men wins, and these days, he seems to be successful more than he is not. Gorilla Monsoon was the unfortunate recipient of one of the Captain's schemes, a well placed distraction allowing Nikolai Volkoff to smash the Monster From Manchuria with the cane and get the win.

Peter Maivia defeated Don Muraco when Don Muraco passed out in the Stump Puller in 0:11:18.
Rating: *** 1/2

Say what you want about his character, but Don Muraco is turning himself into one of the toughest opponents to face in all of GCW. Muraco has clearly hit the gym and is as strong as they come, and with his bad attitude, he's not a competitor to take lightly. "High Chief" Peter Maivia had the challenge of wrestling Muraco tonight, and Maivia had his hands full with the muscle-bound Hawaiian. It took a lucky break for Maivia to get the win, narrowly avoiding Muraco's Flying Crossbody and putting on the Stump Puller to get his hand raised. Word has it that Muraco will have a new finisher soon as he feels the high-flying is costing him too many matches.

Luke Graham pinned Sgt. Slaughter after hitting him with a foreign object in 0:12:14.
Rating:

Luke Graham is a scary man for the sole reason that he doesn't have to hurt you to beat you, but he chooses to. Sgt. Slaughter fought valiantly, but this match with Graham was never really in much doubt. Graham wanted to send a message to Jimmy Snuka though, and chose to pound Slaughter until he was barely conscious. Then, for no good reason other than maliciousness, Graham put Slaughter away after nailing him with brass knuckles. Snuka has a couple of victories over Luke Graham, but he may have angered one of the most dangerous men in GCW history to the point where he will regret it.

The Blackjacks (Blackjack Lanza and Blackjack Mulligan) defeated Dean Ho and Tony Garea when Mulligan made Garea submit to the Blackjack Claw in 0:06:53.
Rating: ***

The Blackjacks learned the hard way that they're not going to be able to bully Dino Bravo & Jumbo Tsuruta. After Lanza & Mulligan defeated Tony Garea & Dean Ho, they looked to continue the attack, but Bravo & Jumbo intervened and sent them sprawling from the ring, a receipt for the Blackjacks' earlier attack on the champions. These teams will have a chance to get at each other in the ring, because on October 18 in the Boston Garden, these teams go at it for the World Tag Team Titles!

Jimmy Snuka defeated Mr. Wrestling I by disqualification in 0:00:34.
Rating: *
[Luke Graham interfered against Jimmy Snuka.]

From the looks of things, Luke Graham isn't going to want to let this issue with Jimmy Snuka go until he's seriously hurt him. Snuka had a match with Mr. Wrestling I that he didn't even get a chance to get out of the blocks in, because barely 30 seconds in, Luke Graham was attacking the Superfly. Wrestling I wasn't happy about this, but when he saw the anger in Graham, he thought better of saying anything and simply went to the back. Graham left Snuka laid flat out on his back before officials finally convinced him to stop the assault. Something's going to have to be done before someone gets his career ended.

Terry Funk pinned Dory Funk Jr. after a DDT in 0:09:21.
Rating: *** 1/4
(Terry Funk retained the GCW Intercontinental Title.)

Two brothers fighting each other with this kind of intensity is a sad thing to see if you're a mother, but it's great for us as fans as the matches between Terry Funk & Dory Funk Jr. As important as the Intercontinental Title is, the prize seems to be secondary over the sibling rivalry. It's shocking what lengths these two will go to beat the other, as shown by Terry having Don Muraco slide the IC Title into the ring so he could DDT Dory onto it for the 1-2-3. Dory Funk was more or less helpless and out on his feet, at the mercy of Terry Funk & Don Muraco, but to everyone's surprise, BOBBY DUNCUM made his return from injury and was a house of fire, sending Terry & Muraco running for higher ground! Duncum & Dory Funk have been bitter enemies, so seeing the two shake hands after was a surreal but fantastic moment. They're never going to be good friends, but they have common enemies and common goals, and now maybe we'll see some fair fights now!

Ivan Koloff pinned Dusty Rhodes after hitting him with a foreign object in 0:18:53.
Rating: ** 1/2

Dusty Rhodes keeps coming agonizingly close to defeating "The Russian Bear" Ivan Koloff, but something happens at the last moment that snatches victory out of his grasp. The two fought again here in Providence, and Rhodes had an extra fire lit underneath him, feeling that tonight would be the night. Rhodes was exceptionally close to a pinfall on several occasions, but Koloff would barely kick out or some interference from Captain Lou Albano would prevent the count from being completed. Koloff got desperate and got a hold of his chain while Albano had the ref's attention, clocking Rhodes between the eyes with it, busting him wide open and getting the cheap pin. What is Rhodes going to have to do to beat Koloff, or maybe the better question is, can he even beat him at all?

Billy Graham pinned Billy Robinson after a backbreaker in 0:06:19.
Rating: ***
[Bobby Heenan interfered against Billy Robinson.]

If there's anybody you don't want to see your name opposite of on the card these days, it's "Superstar" Billy Graham. Graham took on Billy Robinson, who you'll get few arguments from anyone about being one of the toughest opponents you can face in GCW, and the Superstar dominated him. Nothing Robinson tried slowed Graham down for long, and a series of backbreakers was too much for the Englishman to overcome as he was pinned 1-2-3 in the middle of the ring. Billy Graham put him in the Bearhug after the match for good measure.

Cage Match:
Harley Race defeated Pedro Morales by escaping the cage in 0:43:56.
Rating: **** 1/4
(Harley Race retained the GCW World Title.)

Pedro Morales had one more shot to wrestle the World Heavyweight Title away from undefeated champion "Handsome" Harley Race, and he'd get that chance in a steel cage to close out our show here in Providence. Race has lived dangerously as the champion, being taken to the limit time after time but always seeming to find a way to pull out victory in the end. He was for all intents and purposes beat in the Garden, but an iffy judgment call was made that the cut on Morales' head was too severe to continue, but in the steel cage, there would be no such thing as too much blood. We were going to see a winner, no matter it took. And let me tell you - it took a lot. Both men were a bloody mess by the end of this one, but it looked like Race got the worst of it. Morales was still going strong, not wanting to be detoured yet again. Morales couldn't find enough offense to put Race down long enough though, because for all of Race's faults, he is a certifiable tough guy that can take a beating and keep coming at you. Race again showed how crafty he was too, dodging out of Morales' way and sending the Puerto Rican into the steel bars, knocking him loopy. He then tied Morales up in the ropes, giving him just enough time to crawl out the door and retain his title in a well-deserved title defense. Another near miss, but Harley Race remains the champion.

Card rating: ***

Match observations:

We are getting near the end of the year, which means the action will get better and better with each show! The next event is on October 18 at the Boston Garden, with these matches set to take place:

INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE - Terry Funk (c) (w/ Don Muraco) vs. Dory Funk Jr. (w/ Bobby Duncum)
WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES - Jumbo Tsuruta/Dino Bravo (c) vs. The Blackjacks
Battle Royal for a future World Title shot

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