The SmarK Rant for World Class Championship Wrestling – 01.02.88
Taped from Dallas, TX
Your host is Mark Lowrance
They’ve added a whole ton of World Class lately, and although we left off in early 1983 last time I was doing these, I’ve always been more fascinated by dying promotions, so let’s move into 1988, the final year of the World Class promotion under Fritz Von Erich before he was forced to sell to Jerry Jarrett. To give you an idea of the state of the promotion as we join things in 1988, the big angle was Fritz Von Erich’s heart attack, where his condition improved and worsened based on the gates. However, this is right in my wheelhouse as a fan, featuring all the guys I associate with the promotion, so we’ll see how it works out.
World Six-Man title: Terry Gordy, Buddy Roberts & Iceman Parsons v. Kevin Von Erich, Chris Adams & Steve Simpson
This is the finals of a tournament for the vacant titles, held in a cage at “Wrestling Star Wars ‘87”. To put things in perspective, the big show of the year for the company drew 2500 people to Reunion Arena after years of doing stadium shows. Gordy attacks Kevin to start and applies the ORIENTAL SPIKE, but Adams breaks it up. Kevin gets the claw as we’re apparently 10:00 into the match according to the ring announcer, so this is heavily clipped. Kevin claws Roberts and everyone brawls as the referee desperately tries to maintain order here in this steel cage match. Roberts accidentally hits Iceman with a forearm off the top, and Adams superkicks Buddy and Kevin pins him to win the titles at 3:10 aired. Not much to this one. *1/2
World Class Heavyweight title: Al Perez v. Kerry Von Erich
This is also a cage match, with Fritz handcuffed to Gary Hart, so there’s NO CHANCE Kerry could lose, right? Terry Gordy comes out and protests Kerry getting the title shot over him, since Kerry “can’t even ride a motorcycle”, and this triggers a brawl between the Freebirds and the Von Erichs, and the Birds beat on Fritz in the corner for a bit while Gary Hart and Perez just walk out. And then, OH NO, Fritz Von Erich collapses at ringside and suffers a heart attack as a result of the terrifying attack from the Freebirds. However, Perez returns and Kerry promises to wrestle for the title despite his heart and mind being with his father. So Kerry gets a small package for two, but Perez runs him into the corner and gets a backdrop and kneedrop for two. The ring announcer informs us that we’re at 15:00 into the match. Perez works a chinlock and Kerry fights out and claws him while he tries to climb out of the cage. Kerry slugs him back into the ring, but Gary Hart shakes the ropes and causes Kerry to fall on his nuts. From this Lowrance extrapolates that had Fritz been there, he would have prevented Gary from shaking the ropes. Not sure I’m following that logic, but whatever. Kerry gets a figure-four, but Perez escapes and Kerry misses a charge into the post. The ref is bumped and Kerry goes after Gary Hart, so Perez whips Kerry into him and retains the title at 8:00 via massive screwjob in a cage match. Well, Perez does look just like Vince Russo. Watching Kerry stumble around the ring at quarter-speed on his fake leg and missing all his spots was just sad. *
The Missing Link v. Vince Apollo
Apollo dives onto his shoulders with a sleeper, but Link takes him out of the ring to shake him off, then hits a flying shoulder tackle back in the ring for the pin at 1:40. DUD
The Fantastics v. John Tatum & Jack Victory
Bobby Fulton immediately gets caught in the heel corner and run into the post outside, and the heels work him over on the floor. Back in, Victory gets two. Jack works the arm while we learn that Fritz has been “touch and go” since being admitted to the hospital, and really it could go either way. But I’m sure if everyone buys tickets for the local house show, he’ll be doing much better. Boring heat segment on Fulton and Victory misses the charge, setting up the hot tag to Tommy Rogers and it’s BONZO GONZO. The ref is bumped and Rogers gets thrown over the top rope and Victory suplexes him back in, but Fulton trips him up and Rogers ends up on top. The ref deals with Fulton, however, and Tatum nails Rogers and puts Victory on top for the pin at 7:00. And then another referee comes out and reverses the decision. Meh. **
Next week: More from “Star Wars”, with a battle royal! Oh goodie. Wanna bet a Von Erich wins?