World Class Championship Wrestling - January 14, 1984
by Erick Von Erich
Michael Hayes and Kevin Von Erich welcome us to another edition of "History of World Class Championship Wrestling" on WWE Classics On Demand. The duo talks a little bit about David Von Erich's push for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. They both speculate that David might've seen the championship as a way of validating himself with his father, Fritz Von Erich, after a falling-out a year earlier. Kevin also talks about the Missing Link-- basically saying he didn't like the guy; but it's tough to tell if Kevin's kayfabing things or being truthful. His pre-show comments usually jump in-and-out of kayfabe, so it's anybody's guess. But with so much going on in World Class Championship Wrestling, let's get down to ringside for...
Highlights: NWA World Heavyweight Championship:
Bill Mercer introduces this as a "highlights" package, but it's actually just joined-in-progress from the recent Reunion Arena Star Wars. Flair works an armbar for about 4 or 5 minutes, while David threatens the Claw. Flair works it old-school, as he takes DVE to the mat and gets a 2 count. DVE reverses an Irish whip out of the corner and hooks in a sleeper. Flair breaks it with a belly-to-back suplex, then gets flipped over when he attempts a piledriver. Flair blocks a Claw attempt, then does his usual Air Flair-Get Tossed off the Top routine. DVE lands his high knee for 2, then bounces off the ropes with a high cross-body press and a backslide, each for 2. Flair blatantly tosses DVE over the top rope in hopes of getting disqualified. Referee David Manning doesn't oblige and allows the match to continue. DVE returns to the ring and gets a small package for 2 and a suplex. He finally clamps on the CLAW... but it's an incredibly lame version. Instead of tensing his arm or making it look like he's applying pressure, DVE just kinda' stands around with his palm on Flair's forehead. Flair blades to sell it, then reaches out to grab the ringside microphone and brains DVE with it. Manning hesitates, then realized he has no choice but to disqualify. Brothers Kevin and Kerry run in to attend to the gorggy David. It was nice that Manning called bullshit on Flair's first intentional DQ antics. Instead of continuing to be pro-DVE, he realized he had to call the match by the rules and eventually had to DQ Flair. A fairly boring match, as it was essentially Flair working an armbar, then David lazily trying to slap on the Claw. They had been building to it throughout the match, but when David finally applied it, there was absolutely no intensity on his part. Flair sold it as best he could, but it did not look convincing.
Ric Flair (c) vs. David Von Erich
Bill Mercer Studio Interview with Buddy Roberts
Roberts is with the 6-man tag team trophy, as it's announced that the Freebirds regained it from the Von Erichs during a match in Georgia. Two Freebirds have been banned from Texas, so they rassled in Georgia...where the Claw is banned. Michael Hayes calls in on the phone (speaker phone from the lobby) and challenges the Von Erichs to a re-match in any of the other 48 states. He also mentions how Mercer pissed him off, during two previous interviews "at my home". They recap the Star Wars Santa Claus incident. Hayes then hangs up, asking Mercer to not bother him at home, again. Yes, this was a phantom title switch, but the whole illusion that the Freebirds had been wrestling the Von Erichs in Georgia worked great for the regional days.
Match 1: Johnny Mantell vs. Buddy Roberts
Back to the Sportatorium, now. The old ringside lady who had heckled heels in the early 1983 episodes is BACK, pointing a menacing finger at Roberts. Lame match,a s Mantell does nothing but apply an armbar while Roberts fights back with elementary offense. High spot has them hit the ropes and Roberts tries a sunset flip. Mantell blocks it and drops down for 2, then Roberts reverses it for another 2. Roberts hits a backbreaker for 1, then Mantell delivers a flying clothesline for 2. Mantell tries a small package, but the bell rings for a "10 minute time limit draw". Awful match, as Mantell did nothing of note and Roberts supplied very little heat once the bell rang. Even Bill Mercer spent most of the match putting over all the other angles in World Class.
Match 2: "Gentleman" Chris Adams vs Black Gordman
Before the introductions, "Gorgeous" Jimmy Garvin hits the ring to inform the crowd that the American Heavyweight Championship has been held up, due to questionable tactics on Garvin's part. Garvin complains that it's a conspiracy, just like it was with him and the Texas title. Garvin challenges Adams to the rematch immediately, then cheapshots and suplexes him. The bell rings and Gordman stomps away on Adams. Adams is whipped to the ropes, then quickly rolls-up Gordman for a 3 count for a match time of about 20 seconds. After the pinfall, both heels doubel-team Adams and toss him out of the ring. Not a match by any standards, but the story with Adams/Garvin did its part and saved us from watching a longer match. Why have a full match with Adams/Gordman when you knew Adams was going over? Nice and compact, as this segment did everything it had to in about 3 minutes.
Match 3: Kerry Von Erich vs The Missing Link (w/General Skandar Akbar)
Link is now an official member of Devastation, Inc and Mercer keeps calling him a "Strange Apparition". He's a ghost? In a slight twist, Kerry is already in the ring as Link enters. This plays into the story, as Link blindsides Kerry with a head-butt before the bell rings. More head-butts, including one from the second rope, send Kerry outside. Kevin runs in (in an All Japan Pro Wrestling Jacket) to second his little brother. After a few mintues, Kerry clears the cobwebs and wants to start the match. Valiant effort, but not something we should be thanful for, as this match sucks. Link head-butts, Kerry throws a few punches and lands a drop-kick. More head-butts from Link, as that's how things progress. Kerry tries a sleeper, but Link BITES then head-butts him out of the ring again. Akbar and Kevin suddenly go at it, as their skirmish leads into the ring. All 4 guys square off and brawl as a double disqualification is announced. Well, I guess it served its purpose of showing the newly-arrived Link as a top-level threat.
Bill Mercer closes the show at ringside and plugs next week's main event: The Super Destroyers vs. "Iceman" King Parsons and his latest partner-- Andre the Giant!
Why'd You Tape This?:
The only segment really worth watching is the Freebirds interview. The Garvin/Adams segment is okay, but as Garvin points out, it's a re-hash of the continual title hold-ups with the Texas title. Less than 6 months and they're already recycling an angle? I'm not sure if a complete version of the DVE/Flair match ever aired, but like I said, it's not a good match. Overall, a somewhat awful episode. I am, however, excited for the next episode. I remembering seeing it advertised on an ESPN "Legends of World Class Championship Wrestling" show, circa 1988 and wanted to see it badly. Never did, so the next episode is one almost 25 years in the making for me!
Boom-da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom
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