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World Class Championship Wrestling - July 21, 1984
by Erick Von Erich
Last time we visited the Sportatorium, Buck Zumhofe and Kelly Kiniski went "Broadway", Chic Donovan lounged around in his hospital bed, and the Missing Link smacked his head on a chair. Several times. But with so much going on in World Class Championship Wrestling, let's get down to ringside for...
Scott "Hog" Irwin (w/General Skandar Akbar) vs. Mike Reed
Our host, Bill Mercer, mentions that this is the first time we've seen the former Super Destroyer #1, up close and in action, sans mask. Irwin goes for a single-leg takedown, then works a standing side headlock and some elbowsmashes. Aside from the ring gear, another noticeable difference is that both Irwins like to holler a lot more, without their masks. Irwin whips Reed to the ropes for a big boot, then drops things to the mat with another headlock. In the lull, Mercer gives what the kids call "a shout out" to his friends at San Antonio's WOAI, along with the USFL's Gunslingers. Backdrop, legdrop and a nonchalant cover from Irwin...then more headlockin' as they keep filling time. Irwin finally picks up the pin with his "super suplex" from the corner. I don't usually whine about time, but this felt much long than the official 6:14.
Bill Mercer gives another plug for Gary Holder's Evangelical Assocation, where you can write-in for a copy of "Requiem for a Champion", the David Von Erich tribute book.
Buddy Roberts vs. George Wengroff
Roberts holds up his Dixie bandana to get some very mild heat. Wengroff gets the upper-hand in a collar-to-elbow tie up and Roberts sells it like he's been shot in the forehead. Two nice hip-tosses from Wengroff sends Roberts to the outside, which gives us a chance to do a replay on those same hip-tosses. Wengroff with a wristlock into an arm-wringer and then a fireman's carry takedown. Wengroff uses his legs to work an arm-stretcher for a few minutes. Wengroff chicken-wings Roberts's arm with his leg, then does two rotations of an Oklahoma-roll type of manuever. Roberts gets in some cheap-shots, an elbow to the external occipital protuberance, then a nasty hang-man on the top rope. Flying elbow off the second turnbuckle gets 2 for Roberts, as does a suplex. Wengroff comes back with a backdrop and atomic drop for 2. Roberts rakes him on the ropes and hits a bulldog, but only for 2. Wengroff hooks an abdoimnal stretch, then turns it into a roll-up...and GETS THE PIN at 7:18. It's billed as an upset, but honestly, when was the last time Roberts beat anybody of notice?
"Highlights of the Texas Title Controversy"
We're shown a clip from the end of the tournament finals in San Antonio (presumably the Freeman Colisuem)-- Ric Flair and Kerry Von Erich are slugging it out in the ring, while Gino Hernandez sits in the corner. A quick cut later, and we see referee Bronko Lubich awarding the title to Gino Hernandez! Kerry beats away on Flair and gets a gorilla-press for good measure. Gino sneaks in and smacks Kerry with the belt, because he's a jerk. Mercer mentions that we still
don't know how Gino won the belt...
Poolside Interview with Gino Hernandez
Gino's at his "penthouse pool", with two girls oiling him up in a lounge chair. Gino says there's no controversy-- he's the champ and that's it. He challenges the Von Erichs and also gets a shot at "all the 9-to-5 low-lifes and the humanoids, out there". Gino concludes by saying that he's also gunning for Ric Flair's World Heavyweight Championship.
"Chief" Jules Strongbow vs. Gino Hernandez
After the introductions, Kerry Von Erich gets the house mic and asks Gino to put his name on the dotted line. Gino agrees and sucker-punches Kerry with the belt and mic. Kerry pounds him out of the ring...and now it looks like we've officially got "Kerry vs. Gino" on our list of feuds. Kerry rips off his shirt and lands a discus punch to send Gino reeling, again. Gino chucks a chair into the ring, and it looks like it actually clips Strongbow in the back of the knee! Gino shouts his catchphrase of "I am Your Champion" as security leds Kerry away.
The actual match begins with some chops and a drop-kick from Strongbow. Gino rakes the eyes and tosses him through the ropes. Gino catches him on the top rope, coming in, and works a reverse chinlock to the mat. Strongbow gets a stiff kick to the ear, then a double knee drop for 2. Irish-whip and a reverse knife-edge from Strongbow gets another 2. Strongbow bounces from the ropes, but Gino dodges his charge and sends him into the opposite rope, then rolls him up for the 3 count at 5:39. Nice to see a craft heel get a sneaky pin.
As Gino is being led up the aisle, he stops to argue with a fan...and violently knocks his hat off. The fan; actually a fairly stocky dude; gets up, but security is there. Gino's definitely getting over with me as the top heel in World Class.
Kevin Von Erich & "Gentleman" Chris Adams vs. Terry Gordy & Killer Khan
The brawl is on, before the bell, as the good guys clear the ring. Gordy pounds away on KVE and delivers a swinging neckbreaker. Khan comes in for a backbreaker and a knee-drop for 2. KVE's back with a slam, but Khan fights off the Iron Claw attempt. Backdrop and a second rope flying drop-kick from KVE and he tags off to Adams, who's in with a forward standing flip and a kneedrop for 1. Gordy comes in and knocks Adams's head off with a kick. Adams gets worked over for a few minutes, but gets half of a super-kick and a drop-kick for a quick cover. Gordy hits his trademark one-armed slam, but misses a dive from the turnbuckles and we get the hot tag to KVE. Backdrop from KVE, but Gordy hits his killer clothesline, then signals to Khan for the Oriental Spike. Khan goes for it... but is met with the IRON CLAW! Meanwhile, Adams super-kicks Gordy out of the ring! KVE claws Khan to the mat, but Buddy Roberts runs in with the deadly Freebird Boot, drawing the disqualification at 7:00. Kerry Von Erich returns to the ring to even the score...and we get a TRIPLE DROP-KICK on Khan! TRIPLE DROP KICK for Gordy, too! Well, that was definitely more fun than I expected. Great energy and a good variety of moves.
Why'd You Watch This?:
Wrestling-wise, watch the main event and that's it. I'm a little curious where Michael Hayes was, but I may be reading too much into it. There's also some interesting duality or "double duty" going on in this episode. The first case is obviously with Kerry, as he's fully into the Freebird War, but also started up his own Solo War against Gino. The second case is with Buddy Roberts. Had he been any other heel, he would've been officially marked as a geek, after losing to Wengroff. Yet he instantly comes back in the main event and still has heat as a member of the Freebirds.
As we've noted, the Great Gino Push continues. It'd be nice to know what clearly happened with the Texas title (and the American Championship), but I'm thinking we'll never see full footage. Hey, it's worked for previous title swaps---the tag titles, the various Garvin/Adams and Garvin/David Von Erich swaps...as well as the 6-man titles. In short: EVERY title in World Class. Plus Kerry losing the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. So we can't obssess about not seeing it on TV. That's just how things unfolded in the "kayfabe era".
Boom-da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom
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