WCCW- January 1, 1983
by erick von erich
Back with another edition of World Class Championship Wrestling. This show aired on January 1, 1983, but includes events of the December 25, 1982 "Wrestling Star Wars"-- World Class's supercard from Reunion Arena in downtown Dallas. This episode looks to be the front end of the card, as the back end will air next week and feature the BIG Kerry Von Erich vs. Ric Flair NWA World Heavyweight Championship match. Along with the usual supercard kinda' stuff, this show will also feature the finals of the WCCW 6-Man Tag Team Championship Tournament, with the Freedbirds going up against the Sharpe Brothers and Tom Steele. But with so much going on in World Class, let's get backstage with Bill Mercer for...
A Very Special Interview with Kevin and David Von Erich
Both of the Von Erichs already have singles titles and Kerry is gunning for the NWA title, but David mentions that, in the future, they'd like a shot at the winner of the 6-Man Championship Tournament. Kevin says that the 3 Von Erichs could beat any 3-man team in the world. Oooo... foreshadowing!
Match 1: World Class 6-Man Tag Team Championship Tournament Final:
Michael Hayes & Terry Gordy vs. Ben Sharpe, Mike Sharpe and Tom Steele
What's this? Only TWO Freebirds?! Hayes gets on the house mic, wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, then mentions that their third "brother", Buddy Roberts had travel problems up in Denver and can't make it. Probably kayfabe, but completely believable, since this was the time of Denver's big "Blizzard of '82" (I had to get that in, being a local and all). The Freebirds have never backed down from anyone and they're not going to start now. But wait, what's this? David Von Erich comes down the aisle and says he'll fill in for Roberts! David grabs the mic and says he'll help the Freebirds since he knows "you'd help me". The fans go nuts and the 'Birds agree.
Gordy starts off with Mike Sharpe (including bellows) with three lock-ups. Sharpe doesn't have his signature forearm brace yet, and is also somewhat less hairy. Hayes is tagged is for a charging knee and an elbowdrop. Front facelock on Sharpe, then Von Erich is tagged in to deliver a drop-kick, drops a knee and get a quick 2 ct. Ben Sharpe is brought in, hits a hiptoss on Von Erich, but misses a kneedrop. Gordy returns for a backdrop and one-armed powerslam. Another knee and a vertical suplex scores 2 for Gordy. The 'Birds double-up and whip Sharpe to the ropes for a double back-elbow smash. Hayes leaps off the second turnbuckle with a fistdrop, but only gets 2. Sharpe goes to the EYES and the bad guys take over momentarily. Steele misses a backdrop attempt and Von Erich tgs in for another dropkick and a piledriver (it's doomsday for the skull). Hayes comes back with a flying elbown on Mike Sharpe. Sharpe bails while Hayes does a little boogie-woogie dancing in the ring. Sharpe gets a cheapshot and they work over Hayes for about 5 minutes. While Ben Sharpe applies a headlock, David Von Erich grabs the time keeper's hammer and begins pounding the ring post, leading the crowd in the "Go, Michael, Go" chant. Mike Sharpe returns and a bearhug happens. Steele gets a flying fistdrop, whips Hayes to the corner, then eats turnbuckle on the follow-up charge. Hayes ducks under Steele's legs and makes the hot tag to Gordy! Gordy also misses a charge into the corner as both guys are on the mat. Mike Sharpe is tagged in to hit Gordy with a slam. SHarpe misses an elbowdrop, allowing Gordy to tag in Von Erich. All 6 guys brawl in the ring, until Von Erich nails Mike Sharpe with a charging knee. Von Erich makes the cover and we have the first-ever WCCW 6-Man Champions!
After a commercial break, Mercer has the Freebirds and Von Erich at ringside. Von Erich congratulates the 'Birds, then relinquishes his claim to the 6-man titles, saying it belongs to Buddy Roberts. Gordy is in a celebratory mood, but Hayes looks a little confused as they walk away.
A Very Special Interview with Referee David Manning
In a pre-recorded spot, Mercer is backstage with Manning (looking resplendent in his brown plush-leather jacket), who explain the rules of the upcoming 18 Man Battle Royal Pole Match. 18 guys will start and can be eliminated by pinfalls, submissions or being thrown over the top rope. When three guys are left, the match will be paused and a $10,000 check will be placed on top of the pole. At that point, whoever gets the check wins.
$10,000 "18 Man" Battle Royal Pole Match
Participants: Captain Frank Dusek, Mike Sharpe, Ben Sharpe, Tom Steele, Ken Mantel, Al Madril, Bugsy McGraw, Jose Lothario, David Von Erich, Checkmate, Brian Adias, King Kong Bundy, The Spoiler, Magic Dragon, "Wild" Bill Irwin.
Sure, they announced it as "18 men", but I only count 15. I'll just close my eyes and pretend I see El Gran Marcus, Armand Hussein and Humberto Ernesto in there. Really, those 3 missing men wouldn't have made a difference. This is a pretty lame battle royal with LOTS of hugging. Most of the guys who have matches later on in the card go out quickly. Thus, David Von Erich and Tom Steele are quickly tossed. Four guys gang up and try to pin Bundy to no avail. Bundy is mobbed and tossed out, shortly after. Out of nowhere, the Spoilet pins Ben Sharpe. Lothario and Checkmate start hugging and tumble out together. Dusek and Spoiler are soon ejected. Bugsy McGraw ducks and Bill Irwin goes flying. Mike Sharpe then closes in and dumps McGraw. Magic Dragon slams Brain Adias, but Adias rolls through and pins Dragon. Al Madril dumps Tom Steele and we're suddenly down to four guys: Madril, Adias, Mike Sharpe and Ken Mantel. Madril and Adias start to team-up. Madril squares off with Mantel, but when Mantel ducks and Madril flips over the ropes, Adias rushes over to toss him out. Some partnership.
Final 3/Pole in Play: Brian Adias, Ken Mantel & Mike Sharpe
3-Way Dance! 3-Way Dance! Wow, considering he's wrestling two matches, Sharpe's going pretty deep in this one. But what else would you expect from "Canada's Greatest Athlete"?! Mantel is thrown over the top by Sharpe, but Mantel holds onto the ropes and takes a little breather on the apron. Thinking Mantel's gone, Sharpe works over Adias. Sharpe grabs him by the hair and charges to toss him out on the opposite side of the ring. Mantel sees the opening, springs to his feet, climbs the pole, kicks off Sharpe and grabs the check. That was weird...but Mantel was a booker for World Class, so there's some self-fulfillment present. Afterwards, Mercer interviews Mantel at ringside. Mantel is exhausted, but says this check will helps with his finances.
Bill Mercer wraps up the card and promises us that next week we'll see the BIG Kerry Von Erich-Ric Flair title match! Until then, so long everybody. No DRUMS this week, as we get the cheesy "Theme From Wrestling Star Wars", which sounds like a crip-off of "Theme form Star Wars". Someone at Skywalker Ranch needed to hear about this!
Why'd You Tape This??
The battle royal is garbage, but the only reason to see this episode is the 6-man match. The match itself is rather vanilla, but it's the official first part of the Von Erich-Freebird War. Since David helped the Freebirds win a title, you'd think the Freebird would owe them one? Wouldn't ya'? Tune in next week (actually next month) for more!
Boom-da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom