In a nice switch-up, WWE Classics On Demand has jumped into the World Class vaults and dug up "Wrestling Star Wars 1981". With "Classics On Demand" coming to an end soon, this is a nice capper. It's a special episode from Reunion Arena on Christmas Night, 1981... with no graphics, music or special production values. Just one camera to show us all the action. We also have TWO rings, placed side-by-side. Bill Mercer is our play-by-play man and Marc Lowrance is the ring announcer. Obviously, this is about a year before any WCCW episodes I've recapped and, as you'll see, it's vastly different. But with so much going on in World Class Championship Wrestling, let's get down to ringside for...
In the other corner, Gary Hart messes with second ref, David Manning, and succeeds in removing the top turnbuckle pad. Fritz blasts Hart, and Manning scolds him for doing so. Fritz then flings Manning into the second ring, which allows Kabuki time to recover and ram Fritz into th exposed turnbuckle. Both guys try choking and up flat on the apron. With both down, the 10 count begins. Bronko counts to 10, but Bronko and Manning confirm that there MUST be a winner. Thus, the first man to make it back to his feet and in the ring will be the winner. Gary Hart gets involved and pulls Fritz off the apron and to the floor. He dumps a drink into Kabuki's face to revive him. Kabuki slowly staggers into the ring and barely makes it to his feet. Kabuki WINS! He drops to the mat as soon as Bronko raises his hand. It's the "first Texas Death Match Fritz has lost"! Kevin Von Erich runs in to dropkick Hart and chases off the bad guys. Yeah, it was kinda' slow, but the Texas Death stip worked well, considering it let Fritz show how pissed off he was. Having to constantly break the Claw at 10 would've ruined any drama in the match. Decent booking, too, as Kabuki and Hart basically cheated in a match that was supposed to give a clear-cut winner. Kabuki would go on to bigger things in World Class and elsewhere, so going over the "Texas Hero" really helped him on that path. Not to mention that it IS kinda' neat to see a "Texas Death Match" actually take place in TEXAS.
David tags into the second ring and works an arm wringer on Ten Gu. Kevin gets a standing side headlock on Dusek, then kicks and backdrops Irwin when he tries to interfere. Still holding the headlock on Dusek, he grabs Irwin in a flying leg scissors and takes both to the mat. Kerry drop-kicks Ten Gu and hooks a sleeper, broken by the ropes. Dusek hops over to the second ring to save Ten Gu and work on Kerry a bit. Kevin drops a knee on Irwin and gets 2. David gets Dusek in a sleeper, then tags Kerry, who bounces off the first ring and leaps over into the second with a bodypress, scoring 2 on Dusek. High-knee and a flying head scissors from DVE on Ten Gu. More basic brawling as the heels get in very little offense. Since the flying head-scissors seems to the move du jour, Kerry performs one on Irwin. DVE suplexes Dusek for another 2, the hooks the CLAW. Kerry snapmares Irwin, then comes off the middle of the second rope with a kneedrop for 2. Dusek suplexes Kerry, then tries to come off the top rope, but Kevin shakes the ropes. Irwin slams Kevin, but misses his big charging knee-drop finisher. Ten Gu tags in and right into a CLAW from Kevin. Iwrin tries to break it with double axe-handle off the top rope, but accidentally nails Ten Gu. Kevin quickly bounces off the ropes with an elbowdrop and pins Ten Gu for 3. Maybe one or two notches above a Von Erich squash, but it showed how they needed a good 3-man team to compete against. Dusek, Irwin and whoever they recruited as the third man to their "army" simply were not on the level of the Freebirds.
Like 95% of all battle royals, it's a buncha' punching and hugging. Tim Brooks flings DVE into the second ring, then gets himself dumped in by Dusek and Hussein. Madril and Blue Demon enter, as well. DVE hooks a sleeper on Brooks and both go over the top. Almost on cue, everybody else suddenly ends up in the second ring. Big Daddy Bundy flips Irwin into the second ring, so Bundy is the winner of Ring #1.
Hussein and Blue Demon tumble out in a loving embrace. Both the cameras and Bill Mercer miss the elimination of Kevin Von Erich. Dusek gets tossed, courtesy of Kerry. Al Madril does the skin-the-cat to eliminate El Negro Assassain ..and himself. Kerry and Ten Gu tumble out as well. Blood ducks and eliminates Zapata. Irwin runs over to elimiate Blood, then quickly disposes of Jose Lothario. Irwin is now the winner of Ring #2 and gets to face Bundy.
Irwin stalls by going into the first ring, attacking Bundy as he goes between the ropes. Bundy fights back, pulls Irwin into the second ring and whips him for a reverse-elbowsmash. Bundy misses a big elbwo off the ropes, allwoing Irwin to take over. Running bicycle-kick from Irwin as he tries to power Bundy over. Bundy clubs away, but can't get Irwin out. Irwin actually gets Bundy over the ropes and to the apron. Irwin charges off the opposite side for a knee-smash, but Bundy ducks and pulls the down the top rope to eliminate him. Big Daddy Bundy is YOUR $10,000 winner!
Why'd You Tape This?:
VERY different from the World Class 1983-1984 stuff we've been following. It's a fun novelty, but not a show worth re-visting. The only match that seemed to have any drama was Fritz/Kabuki. Other than that, it's just "interesting" to see guys like El Solitario or the future King Kong Bundy.
Looking over at "World Class Memories", I see that there were a few other matches for this version of "Holiday Rasslin' Star Wars":
The booking is significant, though. Nothing is really blown off, as Kabuki gets a huge win, the Von Erich Brothers pinned the "weak link" of Dusek's Army and the rest is just...there. Bundy's win was probably the biggest of his career, to that point. It worked in getting him over and made his eventual heel turn on the Von Erichs all the more impactful.
Like I said, it's just "interesting" to see Bundy when he wasn't that far removed from his "Chris Canyon" days, still had hair, and was a fan favorite. One weird thing I always wondered about his heel cueball look: while it was a great look for him, his hair did not seem to be thinning, here. That's always a sign that someone might walk into an eventual "Hair Match" or shave their head, but Bundy might've missed out on some years of a healthy hairline by turning heel. Hey, as a guy in his late 30's, these things concern me! But I'm sure Bundy didn't care, as he made much more money bald than with hair.