January 1980, Week 1
The first broadcast of GLWA TV comes to us from Chicago, IL, and is airing on WGN. The main event will be the first semifinal of the tournament to crown the first ever Great Lakes Heavyweight Champion.
Bret Hart defeats Willie Wells with a piledriver. 11:35, 66%
The Fabulous Freebirds (Hayes and Gordy) defeat Thunder and Lightning, Gordy pins Red Thunder after a short-arm lariat. 23:51, 74%
Ric Flair defeats Art Thomas with the Figure-Four Leglock. 24:29, 100%
Bret Hart vs Willie Wells
Bret Hart and “Slick” Willie Wells lock up in the first ever Great Lakes Wrestling Alliance match. Hart, the highly touted young prospect from Canada, is expected to outclass local Chicago wrestler Wells. Hart controls much of the action, reversing most of Well’s offense. Early pin attempts by both men with quick kickouts. Hart is showing superior technical ability, although Wells is putting up a solid effort. ¬¬Hart throws Wells to the outside, and after a bit of back and forth, hits a sidewalk slam on the floor. After locking a Boston Crab for a few seconds, Hart hits a devastating piledriver before rolling back into the ring. Hart continues to go for the Boston Crab, locking in the hold twice, but Wells doesn’t give up. Hart hits another piledriver in the center of the ring to pick up the win via pinfall.
The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy, w/Buddy Roberts) vs Thunder and Lightning (Blue Lightning and Red Thunder)
Michael Hayes and Blue Lightning start out in the ring, Roberts is at ringside. Red Thunder and Blue Lightning wrestler under similar masks, although their style is quite different. Both men tag in their partners early, and after a double suplex on Gordy, he begins to take control. The powerful Thunder suplexes Gordy to the outside, but Bam Bam is up quickly and regains control. Thunder works over Gordy in the Freebirds corner and hits an elbow drop off the top rope. Hayes back in for some double team work, and Lightning gets tossed over the ropes by Hayes after tagging in. Lightning back in, but tossed out again by Hayes. Gordy and Hayes get in some double team moves on the outside, and Hayes hits Lightning in the gut with a chair shot. Gordy left a piece of a table in the ring. Hayes hits a low blow back in the ring, but Thunder is tagged back in before more damage can be done. Hayes hits a scoop slam and a lariat onto a chair. A sidewalk slam gets a 2 count. A backslide attempt by Thunder is kicked out of immediately by Hayes. Thunder is getting winded but keeps fighting. Running shoulder by Thunder. Gordy tagged back in, and the Freebirds hit a double backdrop. Samoan drop by Gordy onto the table piece, but no pinfall attempt. Sleeper locked in by Gordy, but Thunder escapes. Thunder regains his breath but walks into a DDT that gets another 2 count. Running lariat connects, but Thunder kicks out at the last second. Back on the outside, Thunder is countering double team moves. Gordy back in with a kendo stick, but he swings and misses. Thunder whips Gordy to the corner and hits a few palm strikes, but Gordy is up fast and connects with a short arm lariat for the win.
Ric Flair vs Art Thomas
Semifinals of the Great Lakes Heavyweight Championship Tournament
“Sailor” Art Thomas, former WWA World Heavyweight Champion draws Ric Flair in the first round. The veteran Thomas is 56 years old, far past his prime. Flair seems to be just getting into his prime at 31. Thomas chases Flair early and connects with a few elbows. Flair seems to have a counter for much of Thomas’ offense. The strength of Thomas turns the tide, and the big man locks in a few submission attempts that Flair breaks out of. More strikes and submissions keep Flair on the defensive. A clubbing blow gets a 2 count. Flair is tossed outside, and an eye gauge leads to an easy double arm suplex on the floor. A second attempt is countered by Thomas. Back in the ring, Flair is keeping his distance and avoiding strikes, but Thomas is still in control. Multiple backdrops by Thomas, but a low blow by Flair kickstarts his offense. Thomas off the ropes into a kitchen sink. Flair with a running knee drop. A rollup pin is kicked out of by Thomas at 1. Back and forth for a few minutes, and the action is intensifying. More strikes by Thomas and suplexes by Flair. A jumping headbutt by Thomas gets a 2 count. Thomas locks in a bear hug, but Flair escapes and hits a piledriver for a near fall. Another piledriver for another near fall. Flair locks in a sleeper hold, but Thomas escapes. Flair is tossed outside and after getting back in, is suplexed and tossed out again. Thomas with a bear hug on the outside. Flair back in control inside. Another blow, but Thomas is back up. Double arm suplex by flair gets 2. A delayed suplex sets up Thomas in the center of the ring, and he taps out to the Figure-Four Leglock. Flair moves on to the finals of the Great Lakes Heavyweight Championship Tournament.
January 1980, Week 2
The second January broadcast of GLWA TV takes us to Detroit, MI, and is airing on WGN. The main event will be the second semifinal of the tournament to crown the first ever Great Lakes Heavyweight Champion.
Steve Wright defeats SD Jones with a rollup. 11:56, 80%
The Zambuie Express defeat Moretti & Ho, Akeem pins Ho with a running splash. 15:29, 63%
Stan Stasiak defeats Buddy Roberts with a tombstone piledriver. 9:15, 60%
Steve Wright vs SD Jones
The British grappler Wright and “Special Delivery” Jones are both making their first GLWA appearances. Blows are traded back and forth, with the power of Jones contrasting Wright’s technical abilities. Wright locks in a Stretch Muffler early, but Jones is out easily. Jones busts Wright open with a headbutt less than three minutes into the match, but Wright regains control quickly. More headbutts from Jones and submission attempts by Wright highlight the next few minutes. Mexican Stretch by Wright, followed by a suplex and another Stretch Muffler. Wakigatame by the ropes, then Jones is sent outside. Jones reenters and hits a huge jumping headbutt for a near fall. European uppercut by Wright gets 2. A missed clothesline by Jones leads to an armbar for Wright. Jones powers out, and Wright continues to work the arm. Double arm suplex and a rollup by Wright both get 2 counts. Wright reverses a grapple attempt for another near fall. La Magistral for another 2 count. Wright goes up top and hits a diving knee drop, but no pinfall attempt. Jones drags Wright towards a corner and starts clapping to get the crowd behind him. Wright immediately rolls Jones up for a pinfall victory.
The Zambuie Express (Kareem Muhammad and Elijah Akeem) vs Moondog Moretti and Dean Ho
The Zambuie Express (Muhammad and Akeem) run a militaristic gimmick similar to the Black Panther Party, drawing major heat. They face Moondog Moretti and Dean Ho as both teams make their GLWA debuts. Akeem and Moretti start things off. Moretti takes control early, but Akeem hits a slam and chokes Moretti on the mat. Tag to Muhammad and the Zambuie Express work over Moretti. Dean Ho is tagged in, and double team moves against Muhammad fail. Ho connects with strikes and hits a backdrop in his team’s corner. Muhammad escapes the corner and makes the tag to Akeem. Akeem controls the pace until Moretti is brought back in. Double team suplex sends Akeem to the outside. He reenters with a table piece, but is unable to connect with a smash. Akeem pulls out a fork and begins stabbing Moretti in the middle of the ring, busting Moondog open. More strikes to the head by Akeem are followed by a bodyslam and kick to the groin. Moretti powers out of a choke and gets back to work, but a headlock punch by Akeem slows down the pace again. Moretti is tossed outside and both teams brawl on the outside. Moretti takes several blows on the outside. Both members of The Zambuie Express enter the ring with chairs. Akeem goes for several chair sttikes but Moretti & Ho continue to dodge his swings. Ho back in the match. Running splash off the ropes by Akeem nearly ends the match – Moretti broke up the pin at the last moment. The Zambuie Express work effectively as a team, isolating Ho from Moretti. Another running splash by Akeem ends it.
Stan Stasiak vs Buddy Roberts (with Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy)
Semifinals of the Great Lakes Heavyweight Championship Tournament
Stan “The Man” Stasiak takes on Buddy Roberts of the Fabulous Freebirds in the second semifinal matchup in the tournament to crown the first Great Lakes Heavyweight Champion. Hayes and Gordy are ringside. Stasiak uses his size advantage to take control of the match early. Stasiak dominates much of the early going. A toe kick gets a near fall. Stasiak gets another 2 count with an inside cradle. Roberts’ offense isn’t doing much to slow Stasiak thus far. Toe kick gets a 2.9 count. Stasiak hits a tombstone in the center of the ring for the pinfall.
Stasiak moves on to the finals of the Great Lakes Heavyweight Championship Tournament.
January 1980, Week 3
The third January broadcast of GLWA TV comes to us from Indianapolis, IN, and is airing on WGN. The main event will feature the finalists from the Great Lakes Heavyweight Championship Tournament teaming up against The Zambuie Express.
Moose Monroe pins Johnny Rodz after an avalanche press. 20:17, 87%
Bret Harts defeats Dirk Sanders with a Japanese leg roll. 15:26, 69%
The Zambuie Express defeat Ric Flair and Stan Stasiak, Akeem pins Stasiak with a diving splash. 18:31, 72%
Moose Monroe vs Johnny Rodz
Both men are looking to establish themselves in their first GLWA match. Good back and forth exhanges early with both men landing strikes and countering well. Monroe works over Rodz in the corner and hits a backdrop, but Rodz is up and hits one of his own. Both men getting in offense midway through the match with neither taking over. Rodz throws Monroe to the corner, but he runs headfirst into another turnbuckle. Monroe gets knocked down in the corner, and Rodz hits a diving headbutt. Piledriver gets a 2 count. Falling headbutt by Rodz nearly ends the match, but Monroe kicks out just before 3. Monroe powers up and hits a few suplexes, but Rodz cuts off that momentum. Body avalanche by Monroe for 2.9. Both men continue to trade moves. Rodz up top for a flying kneedrop, but no cover. Monroe hits an avalanche press for the win.
Bret Hart vs Dirk Sanders
Hart looks to continue his winning ways against local wrestler “Big” Dirk Sanders. Hart shows himself to be the superior technical wrestler, but Sanders is able to land multiple strikes early on. Hart hits a few shoulder thrusts in the corner followed by suplex to the center of the ring. Running monkey flip in the corner by Hart, then a side slam for a 2 count. Hart with a headbutt and a running neckbreaker. Sanders wins a strike exchange but is unable to capitalize. Hart continues to take punches and is able to land a few of his own back. Hart counters a suplex attempt with a back drop. A pinning predicament almost ends the match, but Sanders is out at the last second. Hart is busted open. Sanders rains blows to the face, but Hart is still handing on. Both me to the outside for an extended brawl, but they reenter at 16. Back in the ring, a piledriver by Hart gets 2. More strikes, and Hart right back up with a dropkick adter Sanders’ shoulder tackle. Running dropkick by Hart. Hart pins Sanders Japanese leg roll and gets a 3 count.
Ric Flair and Stan Stasiak vs The Zambuie Express (Kareem Muhammad and Elijah Akeem)
Flair and Stasiak will meet next week in the finals of the Great Lakes Heavyweight Championship Tournament. The Zambuie Express were victorious last week against Moretti & Ho. Flair and Muhammad start in the ring. Flair is keeping his distance, but is getting beaten down when Muahammad can catch him. Muhammad stabs flair with a fork. Flair continues to take a beating. He tags in Stasiak and exits the ring. Stasiak starts to control the match, but is countered on a suplex attempt and tossed outside. Muhammad has a chair. He tags in Akeem and the two combine for a sandwich lariat. Stasiak and Akeem battle. Akeem with a suplex onto the downed chair. Stasiak is looking like he could us a tag, but he powers up and hits a suplex of his own on to the chair. Akeem gets up quickly and suplexes Stasiak over the corner to the outside. Flair is off the apron, but he stops in his tracks when Akeem locks onto him from the center of the ring. Stasiak is back in and looking for a tag, but Flair is away from the corner. Akeem stabs Stasiak with a fork and busts him open. Flair is tagged in, but he drops outside. Akeem chases him back inside holding a chair and hits a running splash in the corner. A second splash attempt misses as Flair ducks and tags Stasiak. Stasiak sends Akeem to the outside and tags Flair. Flair quickly tags Stasiak back in. Stasiak takes an avalanche press, and he tags Flair in as he gets up. Flair seems to be avoiding The Zambuie Express as he tags Stasiak immediately back in and drops to the floor. The Zambuie Express make a tag and work over Stasiak in their corner. Stasiak is putting up a valiant effort, but he’s on his own. A Samoan drop sends Stasiak outside. On the floor, Muhammad connects with a chair shot. After a sandwich lariat, Akeem his a chair shot as well, followed by another. Stasiak tries to tag Flair, who moves down the apron to avoid being tagged in. Stasiak is in trouble and continues to take a beating. A diving splash by Akeem ends the match. Stasiak and Flair meet in the finals to crown a new champion next week. Stasiak may still be feeling the effects of this match when he and Flair meet in Cleveland.
January 1980, Week 4
The final January broadcast of GLWA TV is running out of Cleveland, OH, and is airing on WGN. The main event will feature the finals from the Great Lakes Heavyweight Championship Tournament.
Steve Wright (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeats Bret Hart with a backslide. 11:23, 65%
The Fabulous Freebirds defeat Moretti, Ho, and Thomas; Roberts pinned Thomas after a DDT. 18:05, 69%
Stan Stasiak pins Ric Flair after a Heart Punch to win the Great Lakes Heavyweight Championship. 19:00, 97%
Bret Hart vs Steve Wright (with Jimmy Hart)
Jimmy Hart is accompanying Steve Wright to the ring today. Wright was impressive in his defeat of SD Jones two weeks ago, and his technical skills seem to be a good match for those of the young Bret Hart, who has already picked up two victories on GLWA TV. Wright controls much of the match early, using counters and throws to slow Hart. Wright locks in a few triangle choke attempts and a seated armbar, then locks in a stretch muffler. Hart is struggling to mount much offense on Wright. Amy time Hart seems to be gaining momentum, he gets cut off. A tombstone piledriver by Wright gets a 2 count. Another tombstone shortly after gets a near fall. Roll up by Wright for 2.9 count. A third tombstone and Hart kicks out again at the last moment. Hart hits a few leg drops, but Wright whips him into the turnbuckle hard right after. Backslide by Wright for a 3 count. Jimmy Hart did not get involved in the match, and his new client Wright was impressive in defeating the upstart Bret Hart.
The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, and Buddy Roberts) vs Moondog Moretti, Dean Ho, and Art Thomas
This 6-man tag match features the Fabulous Freebirds against the tag team of Moretti & Ho, who are joined by Art Thomas. Thomas pushed Ric Flair to the limit in their singles match a few weeks ago. Hayes and Ho start in the ring. Hayes works Ho over to the Freebirds corner, but Ho seems to be in charge for the most part early. Hayes tags in Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy after escaping a standing surfboard. Hayes and Gordy land a sandwich lariat and Gordy goes to work. Ho escapes a single leg crab and tags in his partner Moondog Moretti. Moretti & Ho land elbows on Gordy, but Gordy regains control once Ho exits the ring. Moretti is out after tagging in Thomas. Gordy continues his momentum and double teams Thomas with Buddy Roberts after making a tag. Roberts gets Thomas up on the top rop,e but Thomsas sends him crashing to the mat with a punch. Hayes tags in to take on Thomas. Hayes hits a backdrop and a running clothesline. Thomas tags out to Ho. Hayes is slammed to the mat, but hits a low blow on Ho after getting back up. Hayes tags in Gordy and they hit another sandwich lariat. The single leg crab brings in Moretti and Thomas and five men are brawling in the ring. When the dust settles, Ho tags in Moretti. A pin after a piledriver by Gordy is broken up quickly by Thomas. Moretti bites Gordy, busting him open. A DDT by Gordy gets a 2 count as Thomas is in again to break up the pin. Gordy fights of Thomas and Ho and puts Moretti down with another piledriver, but Ho breaks up the fall. The Freebirds are all in the ring and Moretti is tossed outside. There’s a brief brawl in the ring, and Moretti is back inside only to take a suplex from Bam Bam. Moretti returns the favor with one of his own before tagging in Thomas. Gordy makes a tag as well, and he hits a double powerbomb on Thomas with Hayes. A DDT in the corner leads to a 2 count. Thomas is taking punishment in the Freebirds corner. Hayes tags in Roberts, who hits a running facebuster on Thomas. Roberts taunts Thomas and picks him for a shoulderbreaker. Another shoulderbreaker follows immediately, and a pin attempt is kicked out of at the last second by Thomas. Gordy, Ho, and Moretti enter the ring to brawl. After they clear out, a brutal DDT by Roberts brings everyone except Moretti back in, but the ref counts 3 before Ho can make the save.
Ric Flair vs Stan Stasiak
Finals of the Great Lakes Heavyweight Championship Tournament
Flair wanted none of The Zambuie Express in his tag match alongside Stasiak last week, and Stasiak may be still showing the effects as a result. This match will crown the first ever Great Lakes Heavyweight Champion. Stasiak is the aggressor early while Flair tries to keep his distance. Flair seems content to strike from a distance, but goes on offense after landing a few eye rakes. Stasiak sends Flair to the outside twice, and Flair begins pulling out chairs to neutralize Stasiak’s striking ability. A sleeper is locked in by Flair on the outside, but he’ll need to put Stasiak to sleep inside if he wants to be crowned champion. Both men back in after Flair takes boots to Stasiak’s face on the floor. Flair is tossed over the ropes again. A Stasiak suplex attempt onto the chair is countered by Flair, who rolls back into the ring again. Stasiak in control inside the ring, using a variety of attacks. A bearhug by Stasiak, then a Manhattan drop for a two count. Flair is working the legs when he can. Flair hits a double arm suplex and continues to alternate working the legs and hitting knee drops. Stasiak is sent outside and he returns with a chair. He swings wildly three times, but Flair is able to keep his distance. Flair back to working on the legs, setting up that Figure-Four Leglock he used to tap out Art Thomas in the semifinals. Stasiak sends Flair outside, hits a series of strikes, and whips flair into the guard rails. Flair, on instinct, rolls up Stasiak, but it won’t matter on the outside. Back in the ring, Stasiak hits a tombstone piledriver, the move he used to beat Buddy Roberts and advance to the finals. Flair kicks out at 2. Flair shouts “Woooo!” to the crowd and stomps Stasiak’s knee down to the canvas. The Figure-Four seems like it would end the match and give Flair the title, but he has yet to lock it in. Stasiak takes Flair down with a snapmare and goes for a pin, but Flair is out at 2.9. Chop block by Flair and the Figure-Four is locked in! Stasiak holds on escapes! Both men are back on their feet, and Flair pins Stasiak with an inside cradle. Stasiak kicks out at 2. Heart Punch by Stasiak, but Flair kicks out! Flair lifts Stasiak up for a delayed suplex, but Stasiak is up quickly to land another tombstone piledriver! Flair kicks out! Another chop block by Flair leads to the Figure-Four Leglock! Stasiak refuses to quit! Antoher Heart Punch by Stasiak, but Flair again kicks out at 2. A third Heart Punch finishes Flair off, and Stan Stasiak is our first ever Great Lakes Heavyweight Champion!