World Class Championship Wrestling - May 19, 1984
by Erick Von Erich
Continuing on with the second part of "David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions" from Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas. Marc Lowrance welcomes us to "the greatest wrestling card the world has ever seen". Don't laugh, but you could make (or at least argue) that point in May 1984. I'm sure there was some cool stuff in Japan, but stateside, most fans only had Starrcade '83, WWF's "Showdown at Shea" and the AWA's "Super Sunday" to pick from. Regardless, it's still the biggest card in World Class's history, to this point. Maybe even ever. Lowrance also says that we'll have some "music stars" on the show, so I'm curious if those have been left in, or cut out by WWE Network. But with so much going on in World Class Championship Wrestling, let's get down to ringside for...
Chic Donovan vs. "Hacksaw" Butch Reed
The ring announcer actually adds the nickname "The California Surfer" to Donovan's intro. Reed's incredibly vocal and bragging, until Donovan hits him with a drop-kick, drop toe-hold and a reverse chinlock. Donovan tries a few more rest-holds, but Reed keeps powering out. We even get the Penultimate Overhead Wristlock Challenge, but Reed gains the advantage with a hair pull. Donovan then gets out to ringside, amidst some camermen and "at the feet of Miss Texas, Dana Rogers". What...and you thought the WWF was the first to have "celebrities" at ringside? Donovan fights his way back in, but throws a crappy elbowsmash and puts his head down for a backdrop. Reed then ends it with a BIG over-head press-slam drop and a flying shoulder-block to get the 3. Reed came off like a monster and the fans seemed in awe at his press-slam.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship:
We get full entrances for both guys. Flair doesn't have music, but Kerry's is dubbed-over by a generic tune. If I'm not mistaken, it was actually Tanya Tucker's "Texas When I Die", which had been played on the DVE Memorial Episode and had sorta' become the "remember David" tune. Kerry carries a yellow rose and his ring jacket says "In Memory of David", in case we weren't aware of what was going on. Special stipulations for this match are no time limit, and the title can change hands on a disqualification. This might make it may seem like the deck is stacked against Flair, but he had a reputation for successfully defending his title in these types of situations.
Ric Flair (c) vs. Kerry Von Erich
Intense staredown, before the bell. They measure each other, until Kerry stops to soak in the mass "Go, Kerry, Go" chant. They go to the mat with waistlocks, and Kerry counters...or else it's Flair flipping over at the perfect time. Criss-cross (JUMP! JUMP!) off the ropes and Kerry hits two drop-kicks, leading to the traditional "beg off" spot in the corner. Kerry wins the Penultimate Overhead Wristlock Challenge--- to one of the biggest pops you'll ever hear for such a move! Flair chops him into the corner and, yeah, it seems surreal to NOT hear the crowd chanting "Woo". Kerry fights back and lifts Flair for a textbook overhead press-slam. Flair bails and takes a break at ringside. Back inside, Kerry sells some chops and gets tossed, only to jump right back in with a sunset flip attempt for 2! Kerry hooks a sleeper, but Flair counters with a suplex. Kneedrop and a somewhat awkward verical suplex scores 2 for Flair. Kerry with a surprise drop-kick, then turns the tables on Flair by reversing an abdominal stretch. Kerry with his own kneedrops, Flair with a shoulder-block, then the Iron Claw is hooked in by Kerry! Flair breaks it with a knee to the groin, the sets up for his top rope antics... but of course that trick never works and Kerry slams him to the mat. Big Irish whip and we get the Flair Flip. Marc Lowrance with an absolutely intense line: "good grief, Charlie Brown"! Flair with a low-blow, some chops and tries the Figure Four, but Kerry kicks him away, twice. Flair hits a shoudler-block off the ropes and bounces back for more offense. Both guys try a hip-toss, but Kerry finally counters with a backslide for the 3! "The dream has come true" as we have a NEW NWA World Heavyweight. The (partial) roof of Texas Stadium is blown off as the place goes nuts. Mike and Kevin immediately hug Kerry in the ring, and they're soon joined by the entire World Class babyface locker (plus Chris Von Erich). Flair's upset but looks Kerry in the eye and tells him: "You tell your brothers and you tell your old man: Ric Flair will be back". Kerry tells him "you got it, baby". Such a simple and straightforward way to keep Flair's heat.
Cool moment, as Kerry wraps up his NEW World Heavyweight Champions in the Texas flag, adorned with the yellow rose. Kerry then heads off into the crowd to see his mom and dad. The match's cresendo was basically "The Backslide Heard 'Round the World"-- probably the most significant application of that hold, ever. Modern opinion is that Flair did a tremendous carry job, but Kerry actually seemed to hold his own. All the "high spots", like the press-slam and drop-kicks, were done by Kerry. Little brother put on his best performance in memory of his deceased big brother. Regardless, this is not only an historic moment in World Class history, it's historic in pro wrestling history. The little ol' promotion from Texas scores the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in a truly emotional celebration.
"Gentleman" Chris Adams & Sunshine vs. "Gorgeous" Jimmy Garvin & Precious
Adams is still trolling Garvin by coming out in his ring jacket and bow-tie. But wait, what's this?! Before the introductions, things are interrupted by Gino Hernandez, making his return to World Class. Hernandez grabs the mic and gives a big "so what?" to the Von Erichs winning the titles. "You can't have the Greatest Wrestling Card in the World and not have the Handsome Half-breed, Gino Hernandez"! He then runs down both Adams and Garvin, while making a challenge for the American Heavyweight Championship-- "in two weeks in San Juan, Puerto Rico". Being a good heel, Hernandez then tells everybody and anybody to shut up as he makes his leave. Well, that's a way to make a debut. Just like that, you've got another guy added to the top of the card.
Right before the official start, Sunshine and Adams do a double-team on Garvin's ring-jacket by ripping it apart, then stomping on it. Adams and Garvin start and you can tell they're not going for a long match, as they do some excellent, fast-paced, criss-cross action. Adams gets a nice powerslam, then hits his super-kick on Garvin. Now, if you were going for strategy, you cover Garvin and the match is over. But that's not what this match is about. Adams tags in Sunshine, who flips Precious into the ring and sends her into the corner with a double-leg catapult! Sunshine whales away on Precious some more, until she finally escapes and the men return. Garvin gets a suplex and piledriver. Adams tags out to Sunshine, but Garvin trips her up, preventing her from reaching Precious. All heck breaks loose and everyone's in the ring. Sunshine tackles and claws at Precious...and the cameras miss Adams pinning Garvin. Well, it really didn't matter, since the American title wasn't on the line and the main purpose of this match was to see the wimmen go at it. Sunshine is probably the most over face not-named-Von-Erich in World Class.
Afterwards, Precious sneaks in and brains Sunshine with her purse. Garvin and Precious then exit through the crowd... until an enraged Sunshine comes to, and hauls buns after Precious, tackling her and trying to rip away whatever she can grab. Referees, the cowboy-hatted security and even the wrestlers try to separate them. In something else the cameras missed, we see that Adams apparently bladed, somewhere/somehow and is sporting a crimson mask.
Final sement has Marc Lowrance in the ring as Texas Stadium empties. He sums up the card and re-iterates that Kerry is now the WORLD champ. Next week will have one final match from this event: Kamala vs. the Great Kabuki. So long, everybody!
Why'd You Watch This?:
Like we said, this is a significant episode in pro wrestling. Period. The Apter mags loved Kerry/Flair so much that (I believe) it was awarded their "match of the year" for 1984. Just a great moment, all around. Looking at the show as a whole, it had everything you'd want. Sure, all the babyfaces went over in the big matches, but it's still a great celebration of World Class and non-stop entertainment. You even have two big debuts: in the forms of Killer Kahn and Gino Hernandez. The only thing missing is the live performance of "Heaven Needed a Champion". The Texas Stadium setting, and crowd, adds to the fun. Lowrance stated that the attendance was around 50,000 and that's probably true. The stadium itself was about 70% full and then factor in all the seats on the field. The old syaing is that Texas Stadium had a hole in its roof, so God could look down. In this case, you can say that David Von Erich was also looking down through that hole. Needless to say, this is essential wrestling viewing, with the Texas flag flying at an apex.
Boom-da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom
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