WCCW- January 8, 1983
by erick von erich
Golly, after last week's main event had Ken Mantell winning a battle royal, what could possibly top that? Howzabout an NWA World Heavyweight Championship match?! Okay then! Bill Mercer quickly runs down the show, which will feature exactly one match, yet it's a doozy. But with so much going on in World Class Championship Wrestling, let's get down to ringside for..
What Hath Gone Before
Recap of the previous time Kerry Von Erich challenged Ric Flair for the NWA title. Highlights from their 2/3 falls match. In the first fall, referee Alfred Neely was bumped, so referee David Manning ran in to continue the match. Manning started a ten counted and Flair was unable to answer. Manning then awarded the fall to Kerry. But Neely recovered and proceeded to disqualify Kerry and award the fall to Flair. In the second fall, Kerry pinned Flair, cleanly, after applying the CLAW. At this point, Kerry would have been champ, had Manning's decision stood. In the third fall, both guys were disqualified for failing to listen to the ref and brawling. At the conclusion of the match, the entire World Class babyface locker room hit the ring to protest Neely's decision. The gist was that Neely was corrupt or incompetent and had singalled the DQ's to save Flair's title. In the following months, it was played up as "World Class vs. Flair", with both the fans and the entire promotion behind Kerry.
Promos from Ric Flair and Kerry Von Erich Both give your basic "promo of confidence", although Kerry's lack of microphone tact shows. Flair drops in his famous "diamonds are forever and so is Ric Flair" line.
Introductions are shown for both wrestlers, with the cameras following them from the hallway, through the crowd and to the ring. Along the way, Mercer recaps the "bounty" that Flair alledgedly placed on Kerry after their first encounter. A bounty that the Great Kabuki claimed by injuring Kerry's right knee, which led to arthoscopic surgery. After months of rehab, Kerry made it back and finally landed another shot at Flair.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship:
Steel Cage, No time-limit, no DQ
"Nature Boy" Ric Flair vs. "Modern Day Warrior" Kerry Von Erich
Special referee: Michael Hayes
Oh yeah, do NOT skip over that fourth line. Hayes was voted in by the fans as the special second referee. He grabs the house mike and mentions that, because this match is so important, he's brought along his "brother", Terry Gordy to be the gatekeeper of the cage. Would that make Hayes "the keymaster"?. Bell rings, as Kerry sweeps Flair's leg and works on it. Flair counters with an armbar, but Kerry escapes and nails him with a dropkick. Kerry pounds him into the corner and, to the surprise of one fan from the Oklahoma pan handle, Flair staggers and FLOPS onto the canvas. Flair comes back with a kneelift, series of chops and a kneedrop. He works Kerry into a corner, but Hayes shoves Flair away from the ropes. Kerry fights back, forces Flair into the opposite corner and again Hayes interjects-- this time by forcing Kerry away. Fair enough, so far. But why is Hayes enforcing the rope and corner breaks if it's NO DISQUALIFICATION?! Either storyline or Logic in Wrestling!
Flair tries a verticla suplex, which Kerry counters into a sleeperhold. Flair breaks it with a belly-to-back suplex. Kerry comes off the top rope with a kneedrop and tries for the CLAW. Flair fights it off and shoves Kerry to the ropes. Kerry comes off the ropes, spins around five times on Flair, and hooks an abdominal stretch. CHeese grate time, as Kerry rakes Flair into the cage. Flair bumps around the cgea wall for a bit, then targets Kerry's bad knee. Hayes steps in and protests again. Kerry kicks off the spinning toe hold, but after another trip to the cage wall, Flair manages to hook the figure four leglock, scoring a near pinfall. After a minute or so, Kerry reverses it, then goes after Flair's knee. Flair tires escaping over the wall, but Kerry pulls him down. Flair is caught up in the ropes and Hayes steps in to prevent Kerry from attacking, even shoving him. Flair comes off the top turnbuckle, right into another CLAW hold. Meanwhile, Hayes begins arguing with regular ref David Manning over the rope break. Hayes walks over and begins talking to Gordy. Hmmm...
Hayes returns and breaks Kerry's claw hold! Flair's foot had barely grazed the bottom rope, which was enough reason for Hayes to break the hold. Kerry and Hayes argue, as Flair charges and shoves them into the corner. Hayes pulls Flair off of Kerry and decks him. Flair is out and Hayes orders Kerry to pin him. Kerry doesn't want a cheap victory like that, and refuses to cover Flair. Hayes is fed up and calls for Gordy to open the door. Kerry argue with him as he's leaving. Flair charges again and crashes into them. Kerry hits the turnbuckle, but Hayes is sent flying out through the cage door. Gordy, believing Kerry tosses Hayes, suddenly reaches up and SLAMS the door into Kerry's head! Flair covers Kerry and only gets two. Hayes jumps back in an counts THREE, wants to award the match to Flair, then leaves. As the Freebirds head back to the lockerroom, Manning waves off the decision, saying there was no fall and that the match will continue.
Flair continues pouding away on Kerry, getting a 2 count. Kerry makes a weak-legged comeback, even nailing the discus punch. Kerry, still suffering from the blows to the noggin, staggers around and tumbles to the mat. Manning rules that Kerry is out and unable to continue. Flair is awarded the match as ring announcer Marc Lowrance asks for a doctor. Kevin and David Von Erich soon arrive to help. David grabs the house mike and shouts MEAN WORDS to Hayes and Gordy, sarcastically saying that he "knows what you got my family for Christmas!" David and Kevin carry Kerry out while the fans chant "Kerry's number one!"
After a final coommercial break, Bill Mercer recaps what just happened, explaining Hayes' actions. After the entire promotion had been pining for another Kerry title shot, Hayes jumped in and ruined everything. While the Texas fans may have felt that a Von Erich was due the NWA title that night (all 3 had had encounters with Flair and Harley Race, before), realistically there was no way Kerry was walking out as the champ. But politics aside, World Class not only delivered an exciting title chase, they capped it off by instantly creating a new, red-hot, hometown angle. It is a little ironic that, after a ref had screwed over Kerry the first time (Neely), the new fan-approved ref also screwed over Kerry the second time.
Why'd You Tape This??
After the official show ends, Michael Hayes and Kevin Von Erich are in the WWE 24/7 studio, teasing a little kayfabe heat. So we're finally to the good meat n' potatoes of 80's World Class. On top of the Freebird stuff, World Class starts shuffling the roster a bit as some old mainstays are phased out (Bundy, Hussein, McGraw) and some new performers arrive (Iceman King Parsons, Chris Adams, Jimmy Garvin). Should be lots o' fun from now on.
Boom-da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom