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WCCW Digest: 9/82 - 12/82

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:35 am    Post subject: WCCW Digest: 9/82 - 12/82 Reply with quote

The third volume of WCCW Digest takes us away from the bright lights of Texas Stadium and Reunion Arena to the dingy digs of the Sportatorium in a seedy section on the outskirts of Dallas.

David Von Erich vs Bill Irwin - 9/28/1982

David Von Erich pinned Irwin with a roll up when the match was restarted after Bronco Lubich notified the referee that Irwin had crotched David over the top rope. David, who returned a few months earlier after interning as Dory Funk Junior's heel protege in Florida, used a variety of decent but unspectacular holds to kill time before working to the finish.

Great Kabuki vs Al Madril (clip)

Kabuki used an interesting leg scissors knee drop to try to injure Madril, the same move he had used to injure Kerry Von Erich's knee to collect a bounty allegedly put up by NWA heavyweight champion Ric Flair.

Kerry Von Erich interview at the doctor's office

Kerry promised revenge, saying "From Ric Flair's aspect of it, I think it was worth more than ten grand. To me it wasn't worth nothin', because I'm gonna be back 100% in six weeks."

Michael Hayes vs Bill Irwin - 10/12/1982

Michael Hayes defeated Bill Irwin by DQ when Irwin back body dropped Hayes over the top rope after blocking a piledriver. Hayes debuted earlier on the same television taping against jobber Roberto Renesto. The storyline was that the Freebirds had been invited to Dallas by David Von Erich, so they came in as babyfaces. Hayes had the Sportatorium crowd eating out of his hand as he strutted and ground his pelvis in the air for ninety seconds to Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'N Roll." The increased excitement in the building was obvious. Hayes had more charisma and presence than the rest of the World Class roster put together.

Hayes/Gordy vs Irwin/Destroyer I - 10/19/1982

Terry Gordy enjoyed a successful debut, pinning Destroyer I after a sick "ganso" style head first powerbomb. The match was nothing special with an unknown jobber donning a mask to play Destroyer I, but it was already clear that the Freebirds were taking tag team work in Dallas to another level.

Fritz Von Erich interview

Fritz Von Erich, wearing a jacket only Redd Foxx could love, confronted Gary Hart with a xerox copy of a check signed by "Rick" Flair for $12,500 for "Services and Expenses" which Fritz claimed was proof that Flair put up a bounty that was collected when Kabuki injured Kerry's knee. Hart asked Fritz how he got a copy of the check and Fritz replied that he paid King Kong Bundy $5,000 for the copy.

Ric Flair vs David Von Erich - 10/11/1982

Popular history tells us that David Von Erich was sent to Florida in the early eighties to learn from Dory Funk Junior and to prove that he could work as a heel in preparation for an NWA world title reign. It's a bit hard to accept that version of events when announcer Mark Lowrance was droning on about how Kerry was the "uncrowned champ" during David's NWA title match with Flair in October, 1982.

Lowrance served as the ring announcer in Dallas, but this match took place at the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth. While Lowrance was usually even more incompetant (and far less ironic) than Mercer, it was worth suffering his insipid commentary to hear the rabid fans that packed the Coliseum and the Tarrant County Convention Center for the big World Class shows in Fort Worth.

David dominated for almost the first fifteen minutes by outwrestling Flair on the mat. As in the earlier match, David used a variety of different holds to work over various body parts.

Flair turned the tide with some shortcuts and then pulled David's hair and tights to maintain the advantage for a few minutes. David eventually broke free and got the better of the brawling phase of the match, but Flair countered with the sleeper hold.

David escaped the sleeper, but made a reckless charge into the corner and drove his knee into the corner. Flair responded by fumbling around into a indian deathlock.

Kerry Von Erich arrived at ringside on crutches to provide encouragement and advice, though it begged the question of why Kerry had waited for the climactic moment rather than being there all along. Maybe Peter Jackson booked this?

David rallied, but Flair tossed him to the floor, rammed him into the post, and rammed him into the turnbuckle sleeves. Kerry jumped up onto the apron, prompting Lowrance to utter the prophetic comment "I hope he
aids David and does not hinder him."

Flair eventually attacked Kerry on the apron and went to work on his injured leg. David recovered and attacked Flair with Kerry's crutch for the disqualification. Flair and the two Von Erichs brawled several more times leading to David getting his hand raised by Bugsy McGraw.

This match showed that David could hang during the body of a long match, even maintaining control on offense with a variety of holds, but David seemed less dynamic than "uncrowned champion" Kerry. That said, David and Flair got "airport heat" from the rabid fans in Fort Worth.

Viewers may be surprised by David's thin frame, though if he had survived his twenties he probably would have filled out at a natural pace and could have become a very dominant big man with power and decent wrestling ability.

David Manning and Bronco Lubich interview

David Manning revealed that Michael Hayes had been chosen by World Class fans to be the special guest referee for the upcoming NWA title match between Ric Flair and Kerry Von Erich. Bronco Lubich pointed out that he was the only referee in the world to officiate two world title changes.

Fritz Von Erich and Ric Flair confrontation

Ric Flair and Fritz Von Erich, wearing jackets they stole from Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight respectively, confronted each other over a satellite link. Flair denied placing the bounty on Kerry. This is a great segment for fans of "Hyper Ric" as Flair responded to Fritz' grumpiness with an over-the-top tirade that would make Al Pacino blush.

Ric Flair vs Kerry Von Erich - 12/25/82 (NWA title, steel cage)

Kerry started strong with several elbow drops and legscissors holds on Flair's left leg as special referee Michael Hayes and ordinary referee David Manning looked on. Flair tried to counter with a wristlock, but Kerry somersaulted out of it and caught Flair in the face with a dropkick. Flair did a great job of rolling around the cage as if he was trying to find a way out.

Kerry tried to pull Flair out of the ropes, but Hayes pulled Kerry off and made him wait for Flair to come out of the corner. Flair's cadre of chops lost to Kerry's flurry of fists and Flair flopped head first in the center of the ring. Kerry tried to follow up, but Flair took charge with a knee to the midsection. Flair had Kerry in the ropes, but Hayes pulled Flair off. Kerry took charge and had Flair in the corner, but Hayes pulled Kerry off again to make it clear that he was unbiased.

Flair attempted a vertical suplex, but Kerry floated over and caught Flair in the sleeper hold which he had used to knock Flair out in the infamous Alfred Neely match in August. This had the impact of a hot near fall as the crowd went nuts until Flair managed to turn into Kerry and counter the sleeper hold with a backdrop suplex at the five minute mark.

Kerry climbed the ropes in the middle of the cage and tried for a diving knee drop on Flair that appeared to miss, but Flair sold it anyway. Kerry followed up with a pair of conventional knee drops and some mounted punches before attempting an iron claw in a sequence that sort of fell apart as the two referees didn't know what to do.

Flair got a near fall with an elbow drop, Kerry caught Flair in an abdominal stretch, and Kerry rammed Flair into the cage twice as the match shifted back and forth. Flair juiced after being rammed into the cage and Kerry followed up by scraping Flair's face along the cage twice as the match looked like it might take shape again.

Hayes dragged Kerry off Flair again, but Kerry followed up with another cage ram and tried for the iron claw. Flair countered by kicking Kerry's bad knee. Flair wrapped Kerry's leg around the second rope, but Hayes pulled Flair off by the hair. Manning chastized Hayes, signalling that Hayes should let Flair and Kerry decide the fight.

Flair continued to target the knee, twice spinning into a toe hold in an attempt to apply the figure four only to be kicked off by Kerry. Kerry rallied and decked Flair with a series of punches, but Kerry hurt his knee again when Flair rolled to avoid Kerry's knee drop. Flair finally secured the figure four and got a pair of near falls before Kerry turned it over to reverse the pressure at the fifteen minute mark.

Flair escaped the reversed figure four, but Kerry followed up with payback spots to Flair's leg as Bill Mercer pointed out saying "An eye for an eye and a knee for a knee." Flair tried to escape the cage, but Kerry halted his progress by yanked down his trunks. Flair toppled over the top rope and took a nice bump between the cage and the ropes. Kerry tried to follow up with Flair under the bottom rope, but Hayes threw Kerry backward across the ring.

Kerry rammed Flair into the cage and scraped Flair's face along the cage again until Hayes pulled Kerry off. Flair countered with a knee and tried for an elbow off the top rope, but Kerry caught Flair with the iron claw. Kerry pushed Flair down to the canvas as David Manning and Michael Hayes went down to check Flair's shoulders. Flair briefly got his foot into the ropes. Hayes saw it and called for a break, but Manning, who had been screened, started arguing with Hayes as Kerry got a visual pin.

Kerry had Flair down and out, but Hayes insisted on breaking the hold and grabbed Kerry by the hair to pull him off as the fans began to boo lustily. Hayes explained himself to Kerry, but Flair kneed Kerry from behind and Kerry collided with Hayes who was shoved back against the ropes. Flair choked Kerry in the corner and shoved Hayes to the mat when Hayes tried to pull him off.

Hayes lost his temper and laid out Flair with a roundhouse punch, shoved David Manning aside, and then ordered Kerry to cover Flair for the pin. Kerry fell against the ropes, so Hayes grabbed him and tried to shove him on top of Flair, but Kerry resisted. Terry Gordy opened the cage door and motioned to Hayes to leave. Hayes shoved Manning again, then shoved Kerry and headed for the door.

Kerry tried to stop Hayes from leaving, but Flair kneed Kerry in the back again and Kerry knocked Hayes through the door to the floor. Kerry slumped forward over the middle rope and Terry Gordy slammed the cage door on Kerry's head. Gordy then threw Hayes back into the ring as Flair covered Kerry. Hayes made a three count even though Kerry kicked out after the second count. Hayes got into a shoving match with David Manning and then exited the cage and left with Terry Gordy.

Flair pummeled Kerry as David Manning signalled for the match to continue. Kerry tried to crawl away, but Flair caught him and continued to punch him in the head. Flair got a series of near falls, but Kerry was able to kick out. Kerry rallied with a series of punches and laid Flair out with a discus punch, but passed out before he could attempt a pin, forcing David Manning to call for the bell and award the match to the prone champion.

Though the match itself wasn't a classic, the angle at the end that turned the Freebirds heel would propel World Class to new heights in 1983 as the evil Freebirds became the perfect foil for the beloved Von Erich boys.


"I tell ya, I'd like to see David really get serious about the weight like his brother Kerry is, put on that kind of muscle mass. There'd be nothing in his way to becoming the NWA champion without a doubt."
- Jay Saldi

"That is a basic illegal, I would say immoral type hold, type of move, that he made on the top rope."
- Bill Mercer

"A picture-perfect suplex put on by Terry Gordy. I haven't seen a suplex look that well since Hulk Hogan put one on Rocky Balboa."
- Jay Saldi

"In a match like this you won't see a bunch of short term moves. It's patience, gradual weakening of your opponent, constant mental strategy. Your talents both mentally and physically are strained to the limit."
- Mark Lowrance*

"You must be able to endure long stretches of constant pressure. You will not see short term, spur-of-the-moment action."
- Mark Lowrance*

"This match has been a slow test of strength and endurance."
- Mark Lowrance*

* - All from the slow paced match between David Von Erich and Ric Flair
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing about David V.E that people sometimes neglect about him is that he was the one who usually made the match special for his side in the Freebird/Von Erich 6 mans. They had a lot of fun matches throughout the years, but the ones that stand out to me usually had David play FIP. Kevin wasn't very good at it, Kerry wasn't bad at it but he lacked the nuances that David brought to it. David would sell, have some hope spots, show pain, and eventually make the slow building hot tag that the crowd would go batty for. Kerry never was able to grasp the slow crawl or the to your corner or the facials and body language of FIP. It always seemed he would do a speed crawl to the corner which got the 1 second delay big pop.
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