Featured Post

Thank You, Axl Rotten (And R.I.P.)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Issues With Both DVD's On World Class Championship Wrestling

Courtesy of Wacko Bob:

I just saw both DVDs World Class Championship Wrestling. And I have to say they both are great DVDs. But! I have to say that they both could have been better at the same time too. Now, to explain why I have issue with these DVD is not to say that I not like them. Because I did like them both! But, there is things that just do not add up rite too. And the deal with only putting over a few guys and only a few years of what was the best of times for wrestling in Texas was also not rite in my eyes and in the eyes of others as well.

Too get it going from here! They bring up southwest sports in late 1981-early 82. I do believe all of that since the days of watching Legends of Wold Class Championship Wrestling on syndication and later ESPN. This was pre syndication years on TV and only shortly before they would syndicate too. But it was the start to WCCW and later WCWA. With both Fritz Von Erich and his sons wrestling it was all good. And With Fritz retiring after his match with King Kong Bundy, Wold Class was really on the rise. The Freebirds would come in and names like Bugsy McGraw, Wild Bill Irwin and The Great Kabuki all coming in along with Gary Hart who was also the booker at that time you saw nothing but good things to come with World Class. So I do believe all that on both DVDs. However even though they were not world wide at that point should Fitz Von Erich have won over a younger wrestler that was gonna be a superstar? Now even though we all know the story of Bret Hart and the surviver series of 1997. We all also know that Bret Hart was leaving WWE after that match. And that was shown all over the world and regardless of it being Bret Hart's home town Bret Hart needed to lose. I feel the same way here with Fritz retiring that he needed to get the next generation over. Because his kids were the big stars and they would have taken care of Bundy. But this was also only feud in Texas and maybe a few other states too, and was not world wide. But this was also the starting point to World Class Championship Wrestling and its hight that it would start to see. Everything still worked out and World Class was up and running.

The thing that would ultimately put the company over was when the Freebirds would turn on the Von Erich's while Micheal Hayes was guest referee for Kerry's match with NWA Wold Champion Ric Flair. That to me was one of the best angles ever written in World Class other then the Chris Adams turn to heel later on in 1984. So I do agree there with what they say on both DVDs there as well. Plus lets factor in the fact that you also had Devastation Inc. coming in with Kamala, Chris Adams, Jimmy Garvin with Sunshine and The Iceman King Parsons. Wold Class started to go sky high from then on. And along with The Freebirds, Kabuki, King Kong Bundy, Wild Bill Irwin, and Kerry, Kevin, and David Von Erich all on the roster, nothing in World Class could be deemed to be wrong. But there were issues!

In 1983 Gary Hart left because of a money dispute and Ken Mantel came in as the new booker. Now story lines ended because Gary Hart was also on camera as well. It all worked out in the end but there something people should know. Gary Hart had a great re pure with talent and could have gotten them to follow him. But Gary Hart did convince talent including The Freebirds to stay with Fritz in Texas. Now when Ken Mantell who was the person in question with talent became a favorite to most of the top talent there. And Wold Class went on from there.

An issue people mite not know about that happened. There was also stories about David leaving Texas to wrestle in Florida for some time because him and his father were at ends because of issues that neither could agree on. I honestly believe this to be true. And David did come home to Texas in the end too. I do believe that it was to make a mends with Fritz and also because David was someone who was at the top of his game in wrestling and Fritz would trust his son to stay around if he was on top.

Now they would tell you on both DVDs how hot The Freebirds and Von Erich's were as the best on there own and in there program against one another. Now thats true! And yes I do agree with that! I however think they go too far with that too! Because I think Jimmy Garvin and Chris Adams were just as great in there program and to some extent just as popular as both The Freebirds and Von Erich's were. And I think Chis Adam and Gino Hernandez together as heels did just as well against the Von Erich's as The Freebirds did. They really don't get that respect to that level like they did. And I really don't know why! Because as much as they deny it on both DVDs they did still make a lot of money in 1985 as they did in 1982, 83, and 84 after the death of David Von Erich and Kerry's big world title victory on May the 6th in 1984. So I really have my issues there where that goes. Theres also the issue of Kerry's title NWA World title win too and how it was not respected like he would have wanted it to be. A lot of hype was surrounded David being the next World Champion, and even though Kerry would get most of the title shots against Ric Flair and always be called the Uncrowned World Champion it would be easy to understand since kerry was almost at the same level that David was at even though David had it over Kerry with Mic skills. But Kerry had the look over David! I think to many people(mainly promoters) saw Kerry's win only because it was to honor David and did not mean anything to a lot of people within the buisness.

In 1985 World Class was hotter then ever. But with Gary Hart agreeing to come back and work both in front of the camera behind the scenes with Ken Mantell you had to know something was going on. As a researched it Ken Mantel was out for himself in the eyes of Fritz Von Erich and now Gary Hart. He had his personal agenda with talent he favored and with money too. He has been put on record by the Von Erich's and others within World Class and with Bill Watts the UWF as well that he was ripping them off with money. So Gary was there more to counter act anything that mite happen with Ken Mantell and what he wanted to do as a personal thing for himself. But the talent roster was still just as good as it was if previous year even after the loss of David Von Erich at the beginning of 1984. And they do talk about that on at least one of the DVDs! And even after David, death, and stars like King Kong Bundy Jimmy Garvin, and The Freebirds Kamala and Devastation Inc. gone. they made up for it with the hottest new stars as well. With wrestlers like Gino Hernandez, One Man Gang, Killer Tim Brooks, The Midnight Express, The Fantastics, and later on with a Blond Bombshell name Missy Hyatt who was a Deva before there was any Deva's in wrestling. And she was ahead of her time if you saw her and the attitude she portrayed when you saw her on TV. Missy Hyatt and Sunshine would in my eyes perfected the catfight in wrestling way before with time as well. And I honestly thought did it better then Sunshine with Precious because of the way Missy Hyatt by Herself was really ahead of her time as a Deva 10-15 years too soon. But The Hero's of World Class Championship Wrestling DVD did not even recognize her and WWE's DVD The Triumph And Tragedy of World Class Championship Wrestling never mentioned her and only showed her on in reference to the women that they utilized for only a few seconds. I also feel the could have been better with Baby Doll as well since she herself was ahead of her time and was there for the best times of world class. And lets face it she was Chyna before Chyna was cool, and I then she deserved to be recognized too even though she was there for a short time. The talent does get recognized though in 1985. and even though the David Von Erich Memorial Parade Of Champions did not draw as much in Texas Stadium as last year, there Cotton Bowl Extravaganza show would draw over thirty thousand people and be the success story of that year.

One issue I got is on both DVDs and that had to do with the change of story on both David Von Erich and Gino Hernandez's death. as both DVDs would tell a different story more so with Gino Hernandez and David Von Erich. The do Mention the drug problems Gino had but they make you believe he was murdered on one DVD, and that he mixed cocaine with water on the other. And on the extras in the Hero's DVD they got Wade Keller with one of his shows with one of his columnist Bruce Mitchell insists that David Von Erich was an over dose of drugs. They believe Dave Meltzer got the story rite that a wrester on the seen was flushing drugs down the toilet. Well last I remember was that the 2 guys there were Bruiser Brody and Wild Bill Irwin. Now Irwin was on the WWE DVD on World Class. And he does stress that it was not drug related. And if he was the one who was there and Bruiser Brody was too, and Bruiser Brody is no longer with us. So the Smark Marks need to get over themselves and for once try to tell the truth with things in wrestling. There was an autopsy report that they also wanna claim does not exist. Well unless Dave Meltzer, Wade Keller, and Bruce Mitchell prove other wise they need to shot up because they were not there and they were not the ones to receive the information on cause of death with David Von Erich. And I thought that it was in bad taste to have that on the second DVD of Hero's of World Class Championship Wrestling.

Now I will admit that 1986 was more the start of the downfall of World Class. Because now Gino Hernandez had passed away and like David Von Erich was a huge loss for them. And they also left the sanctioning of the NWA to now become the World Class Wrestling Association. Rick Rude who was the American Champion would now be seen as there World Champion. And even though Rick Rude was good and becoming a star there he still was not Ric Flair or even close to the level that Ric Flair was. It was also bad to not have a big tournament to decide a World Champion there so it would show more meaning. They would also make the Texas title there secondary title mainly because Fritz was loyal to Texas only. And he needed a TV title or keep the American title instead because he really needed to follow his TV if he wanted to be known as more then a regional promotion. Fritz did not care and thought Texas was big enough for him, his kids and his promotion. This would hurt World Class but not as bad as what would come next. Booker Ken Mantell would leave the promotion to join Bill Watts and the UWF. He would also take a majority of the talent that made World Class too. Iceman King Parsons, Chris Adams, The Freebirds, Jack Victory, Missy Hyatt, John Tatum, One Man Gang, The Missing Link, The Fantastics and Sunshine would all go with Ken Mantell. And even though guys like Bruiser Brody, Brian Adias Matt Born and Buzz Sawyer would stay around it was not enough with the talent they would need to get to draw the money they were use to drawing. Not many people in wrestling would talk about this issue being something that did hurt World Class. And to me this is point to where it was the real beginning of the end for World Class. Kerry Von Erich getting into a motorcycle accident and losing part of his foot and not returning to the ring for over a year would honestly be the final nail in the coffin that same year. Since Kerry Von Erich was the one everything was built around. And even though Kevin and mike were still around it was not enough to make up for losses they would see. They would start some new talent that was there before all this would happen too. And even though Steve Simpson was one of those guys that was pushed before all the talent left his name was not out there enough to help things at the state World Class would be in 1987. Plus Steve Simpson would be into a tag team with brother Shaun Simpson. Bruce Mitchell would slam the Simpson brothers and that can be heard on the second DVD of extras on Hero's dvd. And there reason seem to be because they had long hair more then anything else. Now I will admit Shaun Simpson was not good at all and had nothing to compare to his brother Steve. Even though they were a decent tag team Steve to me was held down because of it. Because Steve Simpson was good and had a body and was getting popular. But I will admit he was not enough to help things out. Another thing that Bruce Mitchell would say is how he and fans would want to see a Bruiser Brody just kick there ass. Now heres a news flash for Bruce Mitchell and Wade Keller. Steve Simpson did not look like a girl was as a good singles wrestler. He also was not the only one with long hair and ling hair like that was the style of that time too. And one more fact is Steve Simpson worked with Bruiser Brody in matches and Brody was also the booker at that time too. So the two smarks are wrong there too. Mike Von Erich would also commit suicide leaving yet another void to fill void.

Now there something people need to understand here. If Fritz insisted Texas was big enough for him and his kids and he would not go outside of Texas. Then why were they only mainly in Dallas and Fort Worth only when Bill Watts was all over Texas and would even go into Fort Worth and Dallas too on top of that. Plus they would out draw World Class too. And Bill Watts was known for states other then Texas as far as Mid South went before becoming the UWF.

In the end of 1987 into 1988 World class would have there backs against the wall. Ken Mantell would return as the booker and also minority owner. Kerry Von Erich would return to the ring and Iceman King Parsons, Chris Adams The Freebirds minus Micheal Hayes(and Hayes would show up later not as a freebird) would all return. But it was all to little to late by that time. Gary Hart would leave again for good this time and Al Perez would go with him and go to the NWA too. Plus the Von Erich's were not showing up for events and not caring by this time too. Busier Brody who worked in World Class was also stabbed to death. And Brody was the last of any one World Class had left that could draw too. And with Kerry Von Erich left holding the bag as the WCWA Champion and Kerry was becoming a rotten goods too. And with a failed attempted with the AWA of a joint show to unify the AWA and World Class titles The Von Erich's and World Class was unable to pay out money that Ken Mantell keeping in his pocket. And World Class was over when Jerry Jarrett bought the promotion in 1989.

Was too much made for Fritz's kid only? Should Fritz have spread wealth more with others then he did? Or did World Class just live out its time? Its really too close to call! But World Class did leave a mark in the history of wrestling that will never be forgotten and always talked about.