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The March 3, 1979 edition of Championship Wrestling (ironically taped on Valentine’s Day) had seen Greg “The Hammer” Valentine break WWWF babyface Jay Strongbow’s leg, putting out the kayfabe Indian with an equally kayfabe injury. In the meantime, Valentine set his sights on WWWF champion Bob Backlund, fighting the champion in two classic encounters at Madison Square Garden where he failed to win the belt. However, Valentine had more matches awaiting him at the Garden, matches against the man he thought he’d put out of action for good.
After being locked in Valentine’s figure-four leglock and doing a stretcher job, Strongbow sold the injury for months. Wrestling fans were eager to see their beloved hero dish out some much-deserved punishment and couldn’t wait for July 2, 1979 to arrive—the night when Strongbow finally got his hands on his nemesis. However, like any good rematch, the bout ended inconclusively when Valentine defeated Strongbow by count-out, leaving the door open for a rematch with an added stipulation—that of the Indian Strap Match.