WWE Triumph And Tragedy Of WCCW
Written by: Tom Hopkins
The Main Characters
–When you think of World Class Championship Wrestling you can only think of one family; the Von Erichs. Led by patriarch Fritz and his sons, Mike, David, Kerry and Kevin, they dominated the Texas wrestling territory for much of the 80’s.
WCCW ran deep in the heart of Texas from its inception in to its end in the late 80’s.
The Film (1:50:49)
We start with the early history of Texas wrestling in Dallas way back in the 30’s when the Sportatorium was built. Fritz came along and changed things for the Dallas territory. He was an all-around athlete and was an Olympic caliber discus thrower but couldn’t go to Helsinki for that year’s Olympics because his school wouldn’t pay for it due to his marriage. Fritz turned to wrestling, but hadn’t turned into a Von Erich yet. He had children up in Niagara Falls, including Jacky, who was electrocuted. That changed him and he went back to Dallas changing his last name to Von Erich. He developed a finishing move called the Claw.
Fritz became a co-promoter and he broke away from the Houston territory, then ran the territory when the other promoter passed away. A lot of former wrestlers talk about Fritz, the promoter. Kevin talks about Fritz, the father and how he was a great father. His father never pushed them into wrestling, but they wanted to follow in their father’s footsteps and all of them went into wrestling. Mike, Kerry and Kevin were the main wrestlers, though David would come later. As his sons came up, Fritz’ wrestling career would come to an end, retiring in a match against Bundy in the Texas Stadium. Fritz focused on the promoting aspect and who were the ones pushed? His sons. Some people didn’t like that but those kids filled seats. Speaking of seats to be filled, WCCW held their big shows at the Sportatorium, a place that has since been torn down.
Michael Hayes went down to Texas, a place where he said no one went, and was offered a job there after two shows. Hayes called up Terry Gordy and told him they needed to get down there immediately. Badstreet was born and Flair gives Hayes credit for introducing rock n’roll entrance music. The Freebird/Von Erich feud began with the Flair/Von Erich match where Hayes was the special guest referee. Shortly after that match, Gary Hart quit due to not getting enough from the gate.
We transition from this to the young talent in WCCW, including Iceman Parsons, Jimmy Garvin & his valets, Sunshine & Precious which started the girl-fighting. Chris Adams was the British superstar who came over there, Kamala, The Missing Link, Kabuki, Bruiser Brody, and finally Michael Hayes, who brought Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts (who needs a voicebox to speak now). Hayes thinks VERY highly of himself.
Things get bad for the WCCW and the Von Erich family when Dave starts acting odd and getting sick. Dave goes to Japan to work, and didn’t come back, dying over there when he ruptured his stomach and choked on his own vomit. Everyone says David would’ve been the next champ and would’ve run the promotion one day. His tribute show drew the most for a wrestling show to that time. Kerry wrestled Ric Flair that night for the title and won. Some didn’t think the title reign was done the right way, and he would drop the title just 18 days later. Lawler thinks Kerry wasn’t a good businessman, and his reliability was questioned and that cost him a long-term title reign.
Gary Hart would return and manage Chris Adams and turned him heel. Thing just got worse when Mike Von Erich suffered from toxic shock syndrome after being in surgery for a bum elbow he hurt while wrestling in Tel Aviv. Mike pulled through and he recovered and in the meantime Fritz brought in a guy named Lance who was named a Von Erich. The fans didn’t buy it at all and he was off TV quickly and never mentioned again. Meanwhile, Gino Hernandez was the big nasty heel and teamed with Chris Adams. They ended up working an angle where Adams was blinded by Gino. Unfortunately, Gino took up drugs and died in September of 1986.
We move from that to more Freebirds madness and then broke away from the NWA and formed their own World title. Their first title holder was Rick Rude. Kerry was being groomed for the title until a motorcycle accident curtailed that. He had a huge operation on his ankle, and had his foot amputated. Dark times were getting darker, as drugs started seeping into the locker room. Mike came back to the ring but that was a huge mistake. In his mind he couldn’t live up to the ideals of his family and ended his life.
Shortly afterwards, Fritz did a ‘heart attack’ angle thanks to the new Freebirds (the same team with Iceman Parsons instead of Hayes). Kevin said it was never staged as a heart attack but just an injury angle. Gary Hart said the angle failed without Hayes since without him, there really are no Freebirds. The WCCW faced more problems when Fritz sold part of the company to Ken Mantell, and again, Gary Hart left. Following that, the AWA, WCCW, and CWA combined their talents to the SuperClash Pay-Per-View as a last ditch effort to battle McMahon and the main event was Jerry Lawler defending his title against Von Erich’s WCCW title with Lawler winning. Lawler also mentions here that Kerry was under the influence of something, and also mentioned that Kerry cut himself prior to the match so they had to work that into the match. The plan was for Kerry to get the title back.
The WCCW was sold to Jerry Jarrett and Kevin was dead-set against it. WCCW became the USWA and the WCCW was officially dead. Kerry Von Erich would end up in the WWE as the Texas Tornado. He won the IC title from Curt Hennig and was off to a fast start. Meanwhile, Kevin got out of the business. He just couldn’t do it anymore and it wasn’t fun for him. Chris, the other brother, wanted to be a wrestler but never could. He even broke his arms trying to wrestle. When he realized his dream would never be realized, he took his own life, too. Kevin even saw him before he killed himself and he mentioned something about a note and Kevin went back and found it then went to get his brother, who had already shot himself in the head.
Things would only get worse, as Kerry would kill himself, too. That’s unbelievable, 5 out of the 6 children died way too early, with 4 of them killing themselves. Kerry was busted with drugs and headed for jail when he killed himself. He didn’t want to be shamed and just ended it. There’s a segment where Kevin and HHH say it wasn’t a curse, and HHH says it is really a PSA to not do drugs.
That was just a heart-wrenching DVD. It’s crazy to see how the Von Erichs all died off one by one. In reality, the triumph and tragedy of the WCCW is completely intertwined with the Von Erichs. The family was bigger than life in Texas and their promotion was flying high when they were hit by tragedy after tragedy, to the point where the family was just decimated. Kevin was the only brother remaining out of 6 brothers and that’s just unbelievable. This is a tough DVD to watch. It documents the family very well, and when you talk about WCCW you really have to talk about the Von Erichs. It’s the slow death of a family and a promotion. It’s an excellent DVD, but one that is just hard to watch due to the great tragedy involved, especially to the Von Erichs.
1) Team with Gentleman Chris Adams – January 1983 (3:08)
This is one of Adams’ debut interviews with the WCCW. He mentions that he knows the Guerrero’s and has heard of the Von Erich’s, the Freebirds and the Mongol. The high quality of the WCCW interviews is evident thanks to the plane that flies overhead.
2) “Iceman” King Parsons – March 1983 (1:32)
This is an Iceman training session. He trains with huge bricks of ice. It’s like a music video with highlights of him wrestling, too.
3) Freebirds Promo on the Von Erichs – April 1983 (3:59)
The DVD says April 83 but the actual extra says February 84. I don’t know much about the WCCW (well, anything) so I don’t know when this took place. It seems that this was after the Free Birds beat the Von Erichs at Star Wars for the 6-Man titles.
4) Gino Hernandez at the Airport – April 1983 (2:44)
This is another one, it says April 83 in the liner notes and DVD extras page, but April 1984 when the extra plays. Gino shows up to the airport with his Mercedes.
5) David Von Erich Valet For The Day – July 1983 (6:36)
There was a stipulation between David and Garvin where the loser would be valet for the day to the winner. Well, David won, and this is what happened during that one day. They end up fighting in the barn. This was really long.
6) Sunshine’s Assistant – September 1983 (3:07)
Sunshine, Jimmy Garvin’s valet, gets a valet, too. That valet, Precious, was actually Garvin’s wife. Funny enough, when Sunshine feuded with Precious and Precious sided with Jimmy, their chemistry wasn’t as good as the original team-up. So a husband/wife combo had less chemistry than a wrestler and his valet.
7) Freebirds at Home – April 1984 (4:56)
The Freebirds are at home and they talk about Badstreet and their feud with the Von Erichs.
8) BadStreet USA Music Video – May 1984 (4:26)
This is the usual cheesy 80’s hair metal video. The song’s pretty bad, too.
9) Chris Adams & Gino Hernandez Car Service – April 1985 (2:54)
This hypes the second David Von Erich Memorial Show with a match to award the winner $100,000 and a new Mercedes.
10) Kerry’s Korner – Kerry’s Photography Hobby – September 1987 (2:02)
Kerry talks about taking photos as his hobby.
11) Extra Interviews
These are interviews that would’ve been in the film, as people in the program talk about the things mentioned in the extras.
—A) Kabuki (0:48)
—B) Sunshine in Israel (0:42)
This is a story of Sunshine fighting with two Israeli girls.
—C) Fritz Does Bill Irwin a Favor (1:43)
—D) Kevin Watching His Dad Wrestle (1:12)
—E) Fritz vs. The Funks (2:13)
—F) Airplane Crash (6:20)
Gary talks about flying through Sarasota when a huge thunderstorm came running in. The plane crashed into the water and Gary survived along with Austin Idol, who lost his feet. Gary swam both of them to shore. Buddy Colt survived and Gary had to swim him in as well. Bobby was the fourth person on the plane but Gary couldn’t find him. Gary went to a house and kicked a door in to make sure the police would come to help them. That’s a crazy story.
—G) “I Hate You Mr. Brazil” (1:33)
This is a funny story of Kevin showing Bobo Brazil how to do a horse kick and Brazil doing it to his father to win a match.
—H) Pain Inflicted (2:23)
—I) Wrestling in Japan (5:26)
Kevin goes over to Japan with a bad concussion that could’ve gotten him killed. It was Fritz who asked him to go over there and Kevin actually couldn’t believe his dad asked him to go. He was kicked from behind by a kick boxer and it knocked him out, so Kevin broke his knee. Kevin then said that just like Pearl Harbor he was attacked from behind and like Hiroshima and the atom bomb he won.
—J) Survivor (1:27)
Kevin doesn’t know how he survived the whole thing. Kevin credits his wife, Pam, who was by his side the whole time.
1) Ricky Starr vs. Duke Keomuka (27:39)
This is from a long time ago (approximately 1951-2, based on the title lineage and when Duke dropped the title) and is in black and white. It’s from the Sportatorium and is two out of three falls match. This is a really old-school “catch-as-catch-can” style match. Starr is the face here while Duke is the Japanese heel. It’s a whole bunch of wristlocks and headlocks designed to wear the opponent down and get pinfall combinations. For instance, the fans cheer to the highspot arm-drag, and the knees to the arm of Duke. Duke comes back and drives his shoulder into the gut of Ricky in the corner. Duke gets a Japanese sleeper hold on Ricky and Ricky’s done at 11:55, giving Duke the first fall. The announcers call it a 9:55, though that’s clearly off. They fight for control in the second fall, with Starr working the leg of Duke. Duke breaks and Starr gets five dropkicks in a row to secure the second fall at 18:18. The third fall starts with Duke working the arm of Starr. Duke misses a tackle into the turnbuckle, then flips Duke over in a double snap-mare to finish this at 24:42. This was quite a decent match despite being over 50 years old. It’s completely different from what you’d see on TV today in terms of pacing but was technically sound. ***.
2) King Kong Bundy(c) vs. Fritz Von Erich for the American Heavyweight Title (10:59)
King Kong Bundy has hair! This was Fritz’ retirement match and is a falls count anywhere match. This was held at the Texas Stadium. Bundy charges Fritz to start and pounds on him in the corner. Fritz fights back and locks on the Claw but Bundy breaks and drops a knee to his head for two. Fritz fights back with a Claw to the cut and kicks Bundy off of him. They brawl for a bit, not doing more than punching and kicking, and Bundy is dumped to the outside. Fritz follows and rams Bundy into the ringpost. The referee tells them to go back into the ring despite the fact that this is a falls count anywhere match. They stay outside where Fritz locks on the Claw. Bundy breaks and goes for a chair but Fritz grabs it and smacks it into the head of Bundy and covers for the pinfall at 7:58. Fritz wins the title as his family comes out to celebrate with him. This was a pretty bad and boring match. It’s a senior citizen vs. a fat guy, what did you expect? *.
3) Ric Flair(c) vs. Kerry Von Erich for the NWA Title (34:21)
This is a steel Cage match from the Star Wars of Wrestling event held on Christmas, 1982. Michael Hayes is the special guest referee, along with the regular referee. Kerry starts early, attacking the leg of Flair. Flair reverses and works the arm of Kerry. Kerry flips out of it and dropkicks Flair. Flair wants to bail but there’s no escape from the cage. Flair begs off and gets pounded down, flopping to the floor. Flair comes back with a knee drop on Kerry and Kerry responds shortly afterwards with a sleeper hold. Flair back suplexes out of it. Kerry goes to the center of the top ropes and drops an elbow on Flair. Flair comes back, argues with the refs, and corners Kerry. An elbow drop gets two. Kerry drives Flair’s head into the steel and Flair’s busted open. Kerry tries for the Claw but Flair kicks out of it and goes to work on the knee. Flair tries for the figure four and Kerry punches out of that and sends Flair into the cage. Kerry shows how stupid he is by trying a knee drop on the knee Flair was working. He misses the knee drop and Flair is in charge.
He chops away in the corner and puts on the figure four. Kerry reverses the figure-four and Flair needs to break the hold. Kerry goes to work on the knee now. Flair tries to escape so Kerry pulls him in by the tights, giving the crowd the ass-shot. Flair goes upstairs and jumps off, right into the Claw of Kerry. Hayes makes Kerry break the hold because Flair’s foot grazed the ropes and physically pulls him off while Flair is knocked out. Flair revives and knees Kerry into Hayes. Gordy, who had followed Hayes to ringside, opens the door. Hayes pulls Flair off of Von Erich and Flair shoves him down. Hayes comes back and punches Flair down and tells Kerry to put the pin on Flair. Hayes leaves the ring when Kerry won’t do it so Kerry goes to talk to him. Flair knees Kerry from behind and Kerry hits into Hayes, sending him to the outside. So Gordy just slams the cage door into Von Erich. Flair covers and Hayes counts to three, but the referee says that doesn’t count. So Flair beats down on Kerry some more and gets a bunch of two-counts. Kerry fights back and hits a discus punch on Flair before falling down. The ref calls for the bell since Kerry is pretty much concussed and Flair is given the victory at 24:00. That was a fun match that was killed with a bad finish. I love Flair though, and this is clearly the match of the DVD. ***1/2. This kick-started the Freebirds/Von Erich feud.
4) Iceman King Parsons/Kevin & David Von Erich vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (15:29)
This took place sometime in May of 1983. The Von Erichs and Iceman clear the ring before the match even starts. David and Hayes start, with Hayes getting slugged around. He tags in Gordy who squares off with Kevin. They punch each other and Kevin ends up in the Freebirds corner. Rogers comes in and works the arm of Kevin. Kevin tags into Iceman, who is in the ring for like a second, before David comes in. David is beat up by the heels only to come right back with the claw. He’s dumped to the outside and brought back in where he plays the face in peril. A tag is made but the ref doesn’t see it, a spot I always like seeing. David makes the hot tag to Iceman and soon a wild brawl ensues with all six guys in the ring. The Von Erichs double-team Hayes allowing Gordy and Rogers to double-team Iceman and knock him out at 13:52 for the pinfall victory. This was a monumental mess. Iceman was in there for less than a minute and blew a spot, there was no flow to the match and it was wildly disjointed from my viewpoint. *.
Todd Grisham and Kevin Von Erich recorded an commentary for this match, and Todd tells us the date of the match. Why couldn’t they put that information on the DVD? Kevin says he never saw this match on TV before. Von Erich mentions that Willie Nelson would only play in the Sportatorium and Elvis Presley would come backstage during shows in the 50’s and 60’s. Kevin mentions how the fans would scream all the time for the matches, which Grisham likens to a Britney Spears concert and Kevin is just like, what? Kevin jokes about the match being picked ending up with a loss on his side.
5) Iceman King Parsons vs. Buddy Roberts (9:53)
This is a hair vs. hair match from the 1983 Star Wars of Wrestling card. The DVD listings place this at Christmas, but it actually took place on June 17th. Buddy, in his manly pink tights, attacks Iceman from behind. He bodyslams him and elbow drops him for one. He tries another bodyslam but Iceman falls on top of him for one. Iceman chops down Roberts for two, then bodyslams him for two. The match boils down to punching and kicking, and an abdominal stretch to rest a bit. It’s really tough to work four minutes straight! Roberts hip-tosses out of it but misses a trio of elbow drops. Iceman rolls-up Roberts, but Iceman reverses that and uses the trunks to get the decision at 5:11. Iceman complains so Roberts gets a neckbreaker to knock Iceman down. He grabs the shaving cream but the referee grabs it away from him. Iceman with a butt-butt knocks Roberts down and out and wipes the shaving cream on him. Hayes runs in only to get knocked back. Well, I guess Roberts lost? This was a mess. What was the decision? Why stray from the rules? Roberts pinned Iceman but Iceman used the cream (which I guess dissolves hair because the announcer said he had lost it) anyway? Weird. There was nothing past punches or kicks. 1/2*.
6) Fritz, Mike & David Von Erich vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (12:59)
==Taken from WWE Legacy – April 2009 Review==
This is a WCCW match from May 6th, 1984, and it took place at the Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions. The Freebirds come out first to Badstreet. They have a big brawl before the bell even rings and the Birds a dumped by the Von Erichs. There are no rules, except for the rule that only one man from each team is allowed in the ring at a time. One of the Von Erich’s has his fingers busted open, they say it is Kevin even though he’s not listed as being in the match on the website. He starts with Roberts, only to have Hayes come in and interfere. Mike comes in and works the leg of Roberts. Hayes is tagged in and he stomps away with his leather boots. Fritz comes in and pounds away on Hayes and he’s triple teamed in the corner and Hayes is whipped with a belt across his ass. Hayes bails and we resume with Gordy and Kevin. Fritz interferes which just allows the Birds to take over. Hayes comes in with a clothesline and smacks his boot into Kevin’s head. There’s a botched back drop that leads to Kevin tagging in Fritz and the Birds cower to this senior citizen. Fritz puts the Claw on Hayes, then on Roberts with his other hand. He doesn’t have a third hand so Gordy is able to break the hold. Pier-six erupts and the ref, who said he’d only enforce one rule, doesn’t even enforce that. This whole big brawl ends with Kevin hitting a bodypress from the top rope on Gordy for the pinfall at 6:46. They are presented the world 6-man tag championship, which is just a trophy. The Free Birds attack from behind as some “Big Oriental” comes in and that brings out Kerry Von Erich, who clears the ring. This was entertaining, though I couldn’t suspend disbelief long enough to have the Birds cower to Fritz. **.
7) Gentleman Chris Adams & Sunshine vs. Jimmy Garvin & Precious (6:56)
This is also from Parade of Champions from May of 84. Gino Hernandez is at ringside and he wants to challenge the winner. The rules state that the girls fight the girls and the guys fight the guys. Garvin and Adams start with Garvin getting body-slammed. Garvin misses a clothesline and is sunset flipped for one. Adams tries to make the tag but Garvin prevents him from doing that. He doesn’t want Precious tagged in. Garvin grabs a side headlock that is quickly broken. A double clothesline knocks both guys down. It’s not even two minutes into the match. Adams with a superkick allows him to tag in Sunshine. Precious doesn’t want to come in so Sunshine brings her in the hard way. Precious is catapulted into the corner and she’s clawed at. She escapes and tags in Garvin. Garvin is suplexed in for two. The ref was really lazy with that pin. He gets on his knees and taps the mat. This referee looks ancient. Probably the worst referee I’ve ever seen. Adams is dropped headfirst into the corner, drawing blood. Garvin tries a piledriver but Adams backflips out of it. Sunshine is tagged in and she charges Precious. Garvin trips her up and they start to double-team Sunshine. Adams makes his way back in and sunset flips Garvin, which we don’t even see, for the pin at 4:33. Yeah, they weren’t even legal. Then, after losing, Precious comes in and smacks Sunshine with a loaded purse. Adams just stands there and yells, “hey, c’mon!” Way to stick up for her there, champ. They chase Garvin and Precious to the back. This was an entertaining 4 minutes, though the finish was completely botched by the camera-man and was way too short to be worth-while. *1/2.
8) Great Kabuki vs. Kamala (9:31)
This is the third match from the 1984 Parade of Champions event. The lazy referee from the match before is calling this match, too. Speaking of lazy, that really describes this match. We have rest-hold after rest-hold. Kabuki superkicks Kamala down about 7 minutes. Eventually, the managers get involved and this is a DQ at 8:05. This was terrible and was a waste of space on this DVD. DUD.
9) Fantastics vs. Midnight Express (13:37)
This is the from the second Parade of Champions event, held on May 5th, 1985. This is a two-ring no disqualification match for the held-up titles. The Midnights are managed by Jim Cornette and their members are Bobby Eaton and Dennis Condrey . The Fantastics are managed by Little John, who is a giant, and the Fantastics are Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers. Fulton and Eaton are in one ring while Condrey and Rogers are in the other. There’s a pinfall attempt as the camera pans away from the action. There’s no wide angle view to see both rings at the same time, so some of the things we see are questionable. Eaton is sling shot to the outside then backdropped on the wood covering. Rogers attacks Condrey in the corner and all four guys end up in the same ring. Condrey is covered and Eaton has to make the save. The Fantastics hit a double drop kick and Rogers adds another three. He heads upstairs and culminates with a missile dropkick. He covers but Condrey makes the ropes. Short arm clothesline for Condrey gets two. Eaton brings in a chair and uses it on the Fantastics. Rogers is sent from one ring to another and takes a good bump. Rogers is double elbowed down and Eaton heads upstairs, only to get knocked over by Fulton. Rogers comes back with a powerslam on Eaton for two. Condrey is depantsed as Rogers accidentally runs into the ref, leading to one ref getting bumped. Little John interferes to stop the ref from being down, allowing Cornette to interfere with the racquet Fulton is pinned in one ring by Condrey while Rogers pins Eaton in the other ring (though second after Fulton was pinned) at 8:31. The refs confer and award the titles to the Fantastics. I don’t know how they are basing that judgment, since it was clear that the Midnights pinned the Fantastics first. I think they botched the finish. It was a somewhat average match. **.
10) Gentleman Chris Adams vs. Kevin Von Erich (12:21)
This is from July 21st, 1985. They have a nice wrist-lock reversal sequence that leads to a Von Erich dropkick. Von Erich rolls up Adams and drives him into the turnbuckle. Adams is cut open already and Kevin goes for the Claw. Adams bails. Adams comes in and dumps Kevin. Adams follows and drives him into the ringpost, then the ring steps. They continue brawling outside and Adams is slammed onto the table. Adams comes back with sleeper which Kevin battles out of and headscissors Adams into a sunset flip for two. Adams gets a backdrop and drops a headbutt for two. Adams goes to the reverse chinlock and Kevin breaks by going to the ropes. He misses a body press and Adams ties him up in the ropes. Adams tries to choke him with a restraining rope from ringside but Kevin turns the tide and uses the rope on Adams. The ref tries to break but Kevin doesn’t and he’s disqualified at 9:48. It was a cheap ending to an enjoyable TV match. **.
Kevin also does commentary for this, with Todd Grisham. Kevin’s fun to listen to. He’s funny when he complains about the two matches he’s done commentary for saw him losing.
11) One Man Gang & Rick Rude vs. Bruiser Brody & Missing Link (11:32)
Brody & Link have Sunshine in their corner while Rude and Gang have Percy Pringle (aka Paul Bearer) in their corner. Brody and Rude start, and Brody gets a big boot for two. Rude bails and comes back wanting a test of strength. Rude does the kick to the gut, since he’s a heel and all, and works the shoulder of Brody. Brody arm drags out of it and shoulderblocks Rude down. Another attempt finds him running into Rude’s boot. Missing Link it tagged in and he headbutts Rude down. Rude corners him and One Man Gang comes in with some chops. He tries a third double-team attempt and only manages to hit Rude. Gang continues pounding on Link. Link tags in Brody who goes after OMG. Brody is knocked down and covered but Link breaks up that pin. Brody comes back with a dropkick and a pair of big boots to One Man Gang. Rude gets bumped to the floor trying to help Gang. Rude comes back with some terrible forearms and misses a dropkick. Gang interferes now and Brody is drawn in. Link goes up the second rope and Pringle interferes, hitting Link with his cane. Pringle is chased to the ring where he’s caught by Rude. Link is dumped and Brody is double-teamed. The ref calls for the bell at 7:04. It’s a DQ because of Percy’s interference. The faces regain their heat by beating up on the three heels. What’s with all the crappy finishes on this collection so far? Entertaining, but no finish and some very poor wrestling being done. Some of the punches, kicks and headbutts missed by a mile. *.
12) Bruiser Brody vs. Abdullah The Butcher (12:38)
This is a Steel Cage Match from the Third Annual Cotton Bowl Extravaganza from October 12th, 1985. Fritz Von Erich is the guest referee and Gary Hart is in Fritz’ corner. Abdullah splashes Brody in the corner and starts with the obese offense. They punch and kick a lot, and grind each other’s head into the cage. Abdullah starts bleeding because his head is so scarred up he’d get busted open if you look at it the wrong way. Abdullah starts using a foreign object on Brody and Fritz forcibly takes it away. Abdullah charges at Fritz so he knocks out Abdullah, allowing Brody to get the pin at 8:02. This was a boring cage match. ¼*. Gary Hart gets in the ring to argue. Fritz fights off Gary and Abdullah.
The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and is presented in Fullscreen. WCCW’s footage is pretty good, considering it is non-WWE stuff from the mid 80’s.
C) Packaging / Liner Notes
This is a double-disc collection so it’s in one DVD case. You get a four-page liner notes, with the extras and the chapter listings. It’s really all you need. There’s also a slip giving us a look at other WWE DVD’s that were currently out at the time.
D) Easter Eggs
1) Piece of Art (0:56)
To access this, go to extras and highlight “David Von Erich Valet” and hit right twice times. The interviewer from this extra says the segment has great value.
2) WCCW Logo(0:26)
The silhouetted shot of WCCW was actually of Kevin putting the claw on Japanese wrestler Fujinami. To get this, go to Chapters, highlight Innovative Television and hit Right twice.
3) Barefoot Wrestler (0:37)
To access this go to Chapters and highlight “The Boys.” Hit right three times and listen to a story of Kevin starting to work barefoot while living in Hawaii.
4) WCCW Origins (1:21)
Kevin talks about how the name of WCCW came to be. They were watching the Olympics and talked about World Class athletes and that inspired the WCCW name. To get this go to Chapters and highlight Young Superstars. Hit right three times and you’re there.
5) Fritz Story (0:37)
Buddy Roberts talks about seeing Fritz for the first time on TV while in Vancouver. To get this go to Chapters, highlight Fritz Von Erich and hit right twice.
The regular WWE promos start this off; WWE 24/7, Shawn Michaels – Heartbreak & Triumph, John Cena – My Life, and of course the Don’t Try This at Home spot. I’d known pretty much nothing about the history of the WCCW, save for the Von Erichs, so all of these matches were ones I had never seen before. It was interesting to see these matches. I should note that this review almost coincides with WWE.Com featuring WCCW for the month of May. I was contemplating throwing in a few of those matches here, but I want to keep the integrity of the DVD the way it is. I guess my problem with this is the same issue I had with the AWA DVD. The main program was just amazing and definitely recommended. Disc One was amazing but once you get to the matches on Disc Two you get a whole bunch of sub-**-star matches that really drag the collection down. I don’t feel it gives you a real look at the WCCW as a whole. Gino Hernandez, a big part of the main program is absent from here. There’s only one Kerry Von Erich match. They should’ve put the title switch on here in addition to the great match already on here. I don’t know much about the WCCW and really, after buying this DVD and watching the matches, I wouldn’t go out of my way to track any of the stuff down. I don’t feel the matches really represented the WCCW was all about. The main program was amazing for the look at the Von Erichs and the promotion, but the second disc just brings this rating right down to the same as the AWA review. Catch the main program but avoid the rest.
9.0-9.5 Near Perfect, Highly Recommended
8.0-8.5 Really good disc, Recommended
7.0-7.5 Good DVD, Mildly recommended
6.0-6.5 Above Average DVD. Mildest of mild recommendations
5.0-5.5 Decent all around disc, but catch it on TV
4.0-4.5 Great Movie but horrible DVD
3.0-3.5 Horrible movie but great DVD
2.0-2.5 There’s at least some merit to this DVD, but not much.
1.0-1.5 Horrible DVD, don’t even bother
0.0-0.5 Worst DVD ever