This article series is me, a couch, a remote, possibly an adult beverage and some random Wrasslin’ I decide to watch. I won’t bore you with play by play, instead I’ll offer random observations and memories – and an occasional dose of arm chair re-booking.
We open with a rather poor version of “God Bless America “. The Texas fans neglected to stand for most of it. Then a twelve year old girl sings “Heaven needed a Champion” – it’s actually a touching song and you have to be impressed by a teen girl pulling off performing live in front of 40,000 people.
This should certainly put the crowd in the emotional state to explode for Kerry’s triumph later tonight. Of course Fritz has the announcers immediately plug to go buy the cassette of the song for 5 dollars…
Junkyard Dog vs. The Missing Link
JYD without ring music loses something in his jukin’ and jivin’. Dog is still in prime shape here and with his muscles and promo skills it’s not hard to see why Vince picked him up in short order. Link is also all roided up too despite being of advanced age. The Dog uses a chair twice in the ring, in front of the ref and we don’t get a DQ… Link suffers a few weak looking head butts while both men are on all fours and a female senior citizen in the front row doubles over in laughter. General Akbar distracts the JYD and Link scores a tainted pin with Akbar holding JYD’s foot. Dog didn’t play that ending well as he didn’t even try and kick out – thus negating Akbar’s foot holding. Match was much shorter than expected – although it is 90+ out at Texas Stadium so endurance is a factor. A second ref comes out to reverse the finish to a DQ win for the JYD.
Iceman Parsons and “Rock and Roll” Buck Zumhofe vs. The Super Destroyers
Iceman and Buck’s music is “We are Family” – given Buck’s gimmick I found that a little too amusing. The Destroyers are Bill and Scott Irwin under hoods I believe. Iceman dances before escaping an armbar – I’d question that logic but it’s no more absurd than the “Hulk up” where Hogan would eat punches till he could stand up. Iceman does JYD’s all fours headbutt and then jukes and jives – so at least we are consistent with our stereotyping or perhaps Iceman just stole JYD’s gimmick. We get a heel miscommunication leading to the babyfaces winning.
We then get the “World premiere” of the awesome “Badstreet USA” music video.
Awesome in that campy 80’s way of course. Jimmy Garvin’s perm is truly what “Badsteet” is all about…oh my!
Fritz, Kevin and Mike Von Erich vs. The Fabulous Freebirds
Papa Fritz can still pull off badass in his slightly chubby older body – when you got “it” you got it. We are informed that the WCCW six man tag team titles are the most sought after title in the World behind the NWA World title…ok…It’s a shame that Mike suffered the toxic shock syndrome issue since had he remained a basically competent and protected wrestler he probably wouldn’t have suffered the mental trama that led to him committing suicide. Oh course Kerry would have still been doped up and still would have lost over a year of his career (and a foot) to a motorcycle accident and forced further pressure onto Mike and the promotion. Fritz is put over hard every time he comes in the ring and he single handedly dominates the Freebirds. The Von Erichs win after a wild brawl and then “A giant Oriental” attacks them (Killer Khan). Even Kerry Von Erich risks injury and runs in to fend off this new monster.
Chic Donovan vs, Butch Reed…Chic looks absolutely ridiculous with his Ric Flair-esque golden locks. Chic is supposed to be a heartthrob type gimmick I believe but he looks OLD! A quick search tells me he’s 37 here and didn’t break in to the business till he was 30. Chic stayed in the Southern territories which explains why I don’t recall seeing him outside of being a WCW jobber in the early 90’s. Match is just filler and Reed wins in unremarkable fashion. Best part of the match is now that it’s over I can go back to never caring about Chic Donovan again.
Kabuki vs. Kamala
We have a cannibal versus a man who was “raised like an animal in the mountains of Singapore”. Kabuki is short, has a gut and no muscle tone but his gimmick and aura is impressive enough that he was able to work on top off and on for years. Both men are heels and I’d like to know if there was a backstory to this match or they just booked it to be a spectacle? Restholds galore and since the fans don’t have a babyface to cheer to rally him back to his feet it’s rather dull. Gary Hart and Akbar start to argue to give the fans something to watch as Kamala uses a double armpit clamp (“nerve clamp”) to keep the pace as slow as possible. All the rather quick matches tonight and THIS ONE they drag out. The managers run in and fight to put an end to this debacle. The crowd treats this as a babyface turn for Kabuki and Hart. The announcer is just glad it’s over so he can stop having to come up with filler commentary. Complete CRAP.
Some local singer comes to sing some gospel version of Dixieland. In mid song she says audibly says “the mic is not working”. I am amused. We are then subjected to “Hallelujah” to further rile up the fans to go buy pictures of Fritz’s dead kid so the rest of the boys can afford better drugs. Oh well Fritz had to protect his connections with the Bible network. The pain continues as Glenn Goza sings “David and the Poet”.
Kerry Von Erich vs. Ric Flair
Kerry can’t hide his glee as he plays to the huge crowd. The Von Erich boys quest for the NWA title that started in the late 70’s when David pinned then champ Harley Race in a non-title match culminates here as Kerry wins the title that even eluded his father. Kerry received his first shot at Flair in January of 1982 and surprisingly this was only their 7th or 8th encounter in a one on one basis. Flair works his usual spots and even the crowd is hip to the game as they pop loudly when Flair climbs to the top rope because they all know Kerry will slam him off. Kerry wins the title with a backslide of all things. All the babyfaces pour in the ring and the celebration goes on for several minutes until Kerry walks off arm and arm with his mother. Kerry cuts a coherent promo in the locker room and of course Fritz has to be right by him. His brothers surround him and they all enjoy the moment.
Of course the wrestling world was changing and Jim Crockett and Vince McMahon would start buying up talent and monopolizing the World titles. Kerry would be champion for 3 weeks before losing the belt back to Flair – Kerry would then receive a handful of rematches before JCP cut WCCW off from getting dates with Flair. From available records, it appears that Kerry’s last World title matches with Ric took place in Florida Championship Wrestling which seems mighty ironic on some level to me.
Jimmy Garvin and Precious vs. Sunshine and Chris Adams
Gino Hernandez comes out to complain about not being on the card and challenges the winner. Any reason Gino wasn’t just put on the card? How did this get put on last over the NWA title match? Crowd remains hot despite just blowing up during the Kerry victory celebration. The women work a smart style, just doing cat fight spots since valets doing chain wrestling would be a bit unrealistic. The faces win a brisk fun match and the ladies brawl on the Texas Stadium floor after until the heels run away.
Final Thoughts: This would have to be considered the peak of the World Class promotion as their momentum had been building for years. It all came to a head in front of a huge crowd and culminated with the biggest hero in the land capturing the most prestigious title in wrestling. Had Kerry been straight he could have easily had a fruitful run with the title and drawn crowds across much of the country – alas the Von Erich’s would prove to be cursed and the promotion would sink a little with each tragedy that would befall it until Fritz gave up a mere four years after this mega event that saw his family and promotion on top of the mountain.