Wrasslin Back in the Day: WCCW Parade of Champions 1985

Twelve men, two rings, best of five falls with teams made up of fragile alliances equals mayhem!

WCCW was still somewhat riding the crest from their 1983 hot period at this point. With the Chris Adams/Kevin Von Erich feud now hitting it’s ninth month, this feels like the show where a big blow off should occur so the Von Erichs can move on to other issues.

Ric Flair had been coming in fairly frequently to defend the NWA title at this point yet, so a main event of Kevin Von Erich vs. Flair does not strike me as one that needed a stadium venue. The allure of a World title change no doubt had to play a part in drawing in the fans though after Kerry’s momentous night at this event last year.

The real appeal of the evening may have been the novelty of the Von Erichs teaming up as a trio with all 3 Freebirds for what I believe is the first time ever. They were set to face Ric Flair, Chris Adams, Gino Hernandez, Dr. Death, Kamala and the One Man Gang in a best of five falls dream match. The faces were comprised of six men who weren’t quite sure they could trust the others after their long and violent feud. The heels also had combustible factors since Gary Hart and Chris Adams split up several months earlier, leaving some heavy tension in the air.

Add to that mix several grudge matches and suddenly the card drawing 26,000 to Texas Stadium doesn’t seem too surprising.

Kabuki and Steve Casey vs. Gino Hernandez and Chris Adams

Casey is replacing Hercules, who left WCCW in the weeks leading up to this event. Marc Lowrance refers to Kabuki as being from “the melting pot of sin”. I love it! Lowrance gives us a weather report and speaks of the “sun baked fans” as he waxes poetic.

Adams and Kabuki start off. Both men are masters of the martial arts, with Adams being a judo expert and Kabuki being a master of the deadly Oriental arts. They feel one another out cautiously as both know the other’s striking prowess. Kabuki gets the worst of it at first, but recovers and sends Adams reeling.

Casey comes in and proves to be a better grappler than Adams, forcing him to tag out to Hernandez. Gino soaks in the boos for a moment as Lowarance speaks of the pageantry and action than encompasses an event such as this.

Hernandez and Adams are able to take control of Casey with a bit of dirty play and frequent tags. Kabuki makes the hot tag and unleashes his educated feet upon both heels. More double teaming puts Kabuki in the wrong corner.

Casey gets another hot tag as the match moves along at a furious pace. This leads to all four men brawling. Sunshine gets pulled in and is nearly wiped out before Kabuki charges in to save her. Hernandez is hit in the face with green mist and that earns the faces a DQ loss. The heels toss chairs and act obnoxious to build up further heat for themselves for later battles. Furious and entertaining action.

NWA World Champion Ric Flair vs. Kevin Von Erich

Some of the “smarkier” fans in the arena have since stated that they knew as soon as this match went on so early in the card that Flair wasn’t dropping the title this year. First thing I learned: Texas fans use threats involving the word “Ponderosa” while heckling. That tickled me.

Von Erich and Flair grapple to begin, with Kevin one upping Flair in the early exchanges, and forcing the champ to take a breather. The match apparently has a stip where a DQ would equal a title win for Von Erich. Von Erich’s vigorous workout routine is evident as his muscles come up taut against his skin as Kevin wrangles with Flair.

Von Erich scores with a sleeper, then abuses Flair with fists. The ref takes a bump, which Flair uses as an immediate chance to cheat as his tosses Kevin over the top rope. Von Erich catches himself and launches on Flair for the near fall. A flustered Flair bails out to the floor, nearly falling over as he trips on the cords laying about.

The champ goes on the offensive when things get back in the ring. A suplex and abdominal stretch take some life out of Von Erich. The challenger escapes and reverses the hold. Flair dumps Von Erich to buy himself some time. A rattled Kevin still manages to avoid a knee drop and retakes command.

Flair does his corner flip and winds up in the second ring. Kevin hustles up the ropes and delivers a cross-body for the near fall. Von Erich secures the claw briefly, but Flair manages to backdrop him to escape. Flair escapes a second claw attempt, before he winds up being flung to the floor.

The men brawl on the floor, and back into the ring. Flair is cut off while attempting a top rope move – but is not slammed off for a change. They repeat the spot and this time Flair is tossed off. The claw is briefly applied before the men tease a series of near falls with roll ups and cradles. They even tease the backslide as the finish – the very move Kerry had beaten Flair with a year earlier in this very stadium. Lowrance misses the significance of that spot.

Von Erich locks on the claw once again. Both men spill to the floor where Flair prevents Von Erich from returning to the ring. Both men wind up counted out. Flair attempts to attack Von Erich post-match, so Kevin tosses the ref and traps Flair in the iron claw. Kerry and Mike have to come to the ring to try and convince him to release the hold. Fritz finally comes down and talks his son off. “You’re going to kill him!”

This one was rock solid as Flair is almost always good and Kevin could more than hold up his end.

 

Kerry Von Erich vs. the One Man Gang

If the OMG wins, he gets a match with Fritz Von Erich right after. If Kerry wins, Gary Hart will have his head shaved. Hart is handcuffed, but is very reluctant to be attached to Papa Fritz. Fritz loses patience and yanks Hart to the floor, forcing them to be chained together. Hart cries out to Gang that Fritz is roughing him up, causing the OMG visible mental anguish.

Gang wallops Von Erich with a forearm that drops him, but Von Erich kips up and unloads onto Gang as the fans squeal with delight. Gang begins a counter assault. Fritz seems to challenge Hart to try something. Gang snares Kerry in a bear hug.

Kerry fights out and tries for a claw. Gang avoids this and Hart can’t help but crow about it at ringside.   Kerry tosses strikes that badly rattles Gang. Fritz cocks off back to Hart as Kerry attempts a sleeper. Hart roots for Gang’s escape and screams for him to “grab some air!” OMG locks on a headlock in response. Fritz drags Hart around at ringside, which the camera totally misses, instead focusing on the headlock going on in the ring. That kind of ruined that high spot for the TV audience.

Kerry locks on a claw, but Gang makes it to the ropes. Von Erich attempts to slam the big man, but Hart manages to trip him up. Gang goes for a big splash on the prone Von Erich, but is tripped by Fritz, which is surprisingly enough to garner a 3 count. Kerry’s win shatters ear drums as the fans go wild. Hart goes nuts at ringside over being screwed.

Fritz drags Hart into the ring and a number of jabronis come to the ring to try and help corral the One Man Gang, who is attacking everything that moves. Kevin Von Erich finally makes it down and helps Kerry handcuff the Gang to the ring post. Fritz gives Hart a knee lift and forces him to sit down for his shaving. OMG attempts to disesemble the ring in order to save his manager.

Hart sits there in disbelief as his hair falls to the mat. Gang frees himself by taking off the turnbuckle, but it’s too late. The heels stand mid-ring with a chair in their hand as the fans chant “baldy!’ at Hart.

This was all good fun, with a hot crowd. Hart was outstanding at ringside.

The Fantastics vs. Dennis Condrey and Bobby Eaton

The Fantastics have brought in “Little John” a “nearly 8 foot tall” and “500 pound” farm boy as their corner man to keep Cornette at bay. Jim is wearing a gloriously obnoxious pink outfit. The held-up WCCW American Tag team championship is on the line here. I find it a but odd that WCCW used the “heel manager being subdued by an enforcer” gimmick twice on one show.

The men start off in two different rings. Eaton takes a nasty bump out of the ring and onto the wood covered stadium floor. Bobby absorbs a back drop on the floor to double his sick bump count.

All four men brawl back in one ring. The heels manage to divide and conquer the babyfaces. A chair is brought into the ring, and apparently everything is legal as two refs just impishly ask them to stop their assault.

The Fantastics spend several minutes being emasculated as the heels keep them down, separated and aching. The teams fight back and forth in between the rings. David Manning is bumped. Little John attacks Eaton for going after the ref. Corny uses this distraction to aid Condrey with his tennis racquet. This allows Condrey to knock out Fulton and steal the titles. David Manning then argues with the second ref over the finish as Corny parades with the belts. The refs then decide that Manning actually counted Eaton out at the same time as Fulton was pinned, so the Fantastics are actually the champs. Little John gets whacked with the tennis racquet, but it merely breaks over his back with little effect.

That was an overbooked finish that the camera missed anyway. Little John should have just thwarted Corny for the easy pop, with the Fantastics then getting a clear win out of it.

Kerry Von Erich, Kevin Von Erich, Mike Von Erich, Buddy Roberts, Terry Gordy, and Michael Hayes vs. Chris Adams, Gino Hernandez, Rip Oliver, Kamala, Dr. Death and the One Man Gang (Best of 5 falls)

Oliver is replacing Ric Flair, who was “injured” earlier in the evening during his match with Kevin. This is two rings, with $100,000 on the line for the winners, and a car being awarded to whomever scores the winning fall.

In order to really appreciate this match, you must remember it predates “Survivor Series” and “War Games” in the massive tag team match field.

Kerry and Oliver start in one ring, while the other ring quickly devolves into a brawl. Tags go fast as everyone gets a taste of the action. They may as well have made this “Texas Tornado” rules as this is basically a battle royal anyway, with the tempers flaring. Kerry surprisingly eats a superkick for a pin in the early minutes. The ring announcer botches the call, announcing Ric Flair among the heels, and declaring the heels the winner of the match. Lowrance does damage control on commentary. This is hard to do any sorts of play by play for as it’s a lot of brawling involving all the principals.

The Von Erichs take the fight to the floor, as Adams gets the worst of it. Hayes is doubled up on and pinned by Hernandez to put the heels up by 2 falls to none.

Mike Von Erich goes toe to toe with Kamala in an absurb visual. Kerry scores a pin over Oliver to give the faces a glimmer of hope. Kamala and Gang pile up on Kerry, but the ref won’t count in such a situation.

Mike Von Erich takes out Kamala and Oliver to give him a shining moment. Hayes manages to work a rest hold into the mayhem. The Freebirds triple team Hernandez in order to tie the match up at 2 falls apiece.

Kerry attempts a slam on Kamala, but fails as Kamala falls on him. Kevin rattles Kamala with punches to save his brother. Mike and Kevin take turns abusing Dr. Death a bit later. Things have finally calmed down some as the men may finally be burning out from taking part in their second bout under the hot Texas sun. Kevin leaps from one ring into the other and spears Dr. Death for the final fall.

The Von Erichs celebrate alone. The Freebirds seem to either chase the heels, and/or storm off after the bout over not winning the car. Hart gets on the house mic and orders the OMG to ruin the car with his chain. The Von Erichs end up brawling with Gang in the end zone. Gino Hernandez sneaks into the scene and grabs the chain from ref David Manning. He proceeds to smash the windshield and runs away celebrating. A number of men in cowboy hats help the refs keep the Von Erichs from going after the heels in the locker room. Lowrance is selling this as a dastardly event, but I can’t help but think that the Von Erichs just made $50,000, so the car damage isn’t too big of a deal.

 Matches that did not make it on this DVD include: Johnny Mantel taking Skip Young to a draw, Scott Casey and Brian Adias downing Kelly and Nick Kiniski, Kamala falling to Gordy by DQ and Mike Von Erich avenging Oliver injuring his hand by besting him in one on one action.

 

Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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