WCCW- April 23, 1983
by erick von erich
For whatever reason, WWE 24/7 has skipped ahead three weeks and is bringing us the April 23 edition of World Class. In another neat lil' coincidence, this month's episode leads off with Chris Adams beating Rick Rude for the World Class Championship on July 4, 1986. As you'll see, Adams is indeed the theme this week, as Michael Hayes and Kevin Von Erich discuss his career in the WWE 24/7 studio. They point out a rather STIFF super-kick that Adams will deliver in an upcoming match.
The original show kicks off in its usual manner, as Bill Mercer runs down the card. He specifically mentions that the main event will feature "the oldest Freebird, Terry Gordy". Gordy was all of maybe 24 at the time. Just goes to show ya' that Buddy Roberts was always overlooked. But Mercer is soon joined at his desk by the newly arrived Englishman, Chris Adams. Adams is happy to be here and says that "Texas is a beautiful country". He then throws out a challenge to another freshly-arrived wrestler: the Mongol. But with so much going on in World Class Championship Wrestling, let's get down to ringside for...
Match 1: Chris Adams vs. Tom Renesto, Jr.
Renesto is announced as hailing "from the Metroplex". So...he lives in a gigantic movie theater?! Obviously, this is Adams' debut in World Class and possibly North America. He looks fairly put together, sort of like an alternate version of Dynamite Kid. After the initial lock-ups, Adams applies a nice armdrag and works the arm. Rnesto reverses an arm-wringer, but Adams rolls to the mat to escape and continues targetting the arm. Criss-cross rope action (which'll make ya' JUMP-JUMP) as Adams catches him with a backdrop, then goes right back to the arm. Once more to the ropes for Adams to deliver a shoulderblock. Renesto finally takes over by kicking Adams in the kidney, then choking away. A chinlock happens. As the holds rest, Mercer talks about a recent bout where Kevin Von Erich pinned Ric Flair. He alos plays up Adams' background in England, then says: "he doesn't look English, but when he speaks, there is no doubt where he's from". Um, okay...I'll bet Mercer's one of those guys who phones ahead to order Chinese take-out, then when he gets to the restaurant, he's startled and says to cashier: "whoa...you didn't sound Chinese on the phone!". Niiiice. Back to the match, as Adams gets a 2 count from a flying body-press. He follows up with an enseguiri kick which gets a nice pop from the Sportatroium faithful. Adams whips Renesto to the ropes and floors him with that STIFF super-kick. Another big pop from the crowd as they applaud Adams' 3 count victory.
Match 2: King Kong Bundy (w/Skandar Akbar and the Mongol) vs. Sal Oliveras
This is officially Bundy's LAST match in World Class. He had recently lost a "loser leaves Texas" match to Tola Yatsu and is simply fulfilling his contract. It would appear that the Mongol is Ackbar's replacement for Bundy, both in role and appearance. Complete squash for Bundy as he whips Oliveras for a clothesline, then slams him on the ropes. Oliveras is quite sloppy and is terrible at selling-- falling down early and making it look too obvious. Bundy flips him with a backdrop, slams him with one arm, then flattens him with a big splash. Bundy pulls him up and delivers some more punishment. Kneedrop, slam and a big elbowdrop. Bundy pulls him up again... so the ref stops the match. Presumably it's a disqualification loss for Bundy. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Chavo Guerrero runs in to clear the ring. Bundy hops out, but Chavo flies over the top rope and connects with a flying body-press!
A Very Special Ringside Interview with Chavo Guererro
Conducted by the young Monica Hunter. Chavo is in World Class to make a name for himself, as he throws out challenges to both the Freebirds and Devastation, Inc.
A Very Special Ringside Interview with Skandar Akbar and the Mongol
Basic interview as Akbar pumps up his new man, citing his "elite warrior hairstyle". Akbar then signals to the side door....as Kimala has finally arrived in World Class! So let's go right into...
Match 3: Kimala vs. Bill Rathke (w/Arman Hussein)
Yeah, it's spelled "Kimala". Unusual in the way he's led to the ring through the sidedoor-- directly from the parking lot. He's also led by his handler, the masked "Frank"... who later in the match becomes known as "Friday". For younger fans: Friday was the exact same character as Kim Chee; mask, safari helmet, khakis and everything. Also noteworthy to mention that Rathke is with Hussein on trial basis. If Rathke can beat Devastation's new monster, Hussein will bring him into his stable. That's actually a cool way to build up a jobber for a squash. Match begins and, as expected, it's a complete squash. Kimala pounds away, chops, chokes, slaps his belly and jumps up in the air. He whips Rathke in for a shot to the throat, then follows it up with two splashes for the easy three count.
A Very Special Studio Interview with Kevin Von Erich
Pre-recorded from the wood-paneling of the World Class "interview set". Kevin has regained the American Title and refers to it as "the second most prestigious belt" in the world. The first, of course, being the NWA World Title, although Kevin recently pinned Ric Flair. However, that decision was nullified by the NWA when it was revealed that Kevin had tossed Flair over the top rope. Kevin then talks about his upcoming match against Terry Gordy, saying how it's the matchup of "the oldest brothers" in each clan. While Kevin was the oldest Von Erich, we have to point out, once again, that Buddy Roberts had several years on everyone else. Did they think fans would simply NOT realize that Roberts was in his late 30's and clearly showing it?
Match 4:World Class American Heavyweight Championship:
Kevin Von Erich (c) vs. Terry Gordy
Ring announcer Marc Lowrance introduces Kevin as "holding the Texas belt". Is anybody paying attention on this episode?!! Gordy begins with a single-leg takedown and hooks a stepover toehold. They go to the mat as Kevin tries to latch on with a chinlock. Kevin kicks out, monkeyflips Gordy and tries working the leg. Gordy responds with his own monkeyflip, but Kevin lands on his feet and goes right back to the leg. Gordy takes over with a slam on the ropes and a swinging neckbreaker for a quick 1 count. Thump and suplex gets another 2. Gordy whips him to the turnbuckle and clamps on the bearhug. Kevin fights out and tries the CLAW. Gordy tries a slam, but Kevin grabs the ropes. Michael Hays suddenly runs to ringside and this is where things get sloppy. Kevin applies the CLAW again, but Gordy makes a rope-break. Kevin hoists Gordy up for a slam, and it's obvious that Hayes misses his "outside interference" spot. So Kevin manages a sloppy small package for 1. They wander over to Hayes' side AGAIN...Kevin tries the slam AGAIN... and this time Hayes performs his spot by reaching in and grabbing Kevin's leg. The slam attempt falters and Gordy lands on top. But Kevin manages to reverse things with a small package and pins Gordy for the 3 count. An okay match when Gordy and Kevin were trading holds, but it turned into a mess once Hayes showed up.
A Very Special Interview with the Freebirds
The Birds invade Mercer's area as Hayes complains that the trunks were illegally held in the previous match. The Freebirds claim that now they're simply out to hurt everyone. Gordy brings in a chair and begins pounding on it. Mercer signs-off and pumps up next week's card, which will feature David Von Erich and "Iceman" King Parsons taking on Hayes and Roberts.
Why'd You Tape This??
Aside from the historic debuts of Kimala and Chris Adams, this show is 100% forgettable. The squash matches were just that, then the main event is a disappointment. It's too bad that Bundy's leaving World Class, as he's just a great heel. It would've been interesting to see how he would've fit in with the rest of the debutting roster. He was a main event heel and the #1 guy in Devastation, so it's somewhat surprising that he's leaving so soon after forming that corporation. If I'm not mistaken, he'll move on to Memphis, Georgia and eventually the WWF by mid-1985.
The Hussein vs. Devastation, Inc issue is coming to an end soon, as well. Hussein and Yatsu quietly exit the area in a few weeks. With all the newcomers arriving and the red hot Von Erichs/Freebirds issue, they're not missed. Shows how exciting World Class was at this time; had they lost Bundy and Hussein about a year earlier, it would've been a huge wound for the company.
Boom-da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom