This month, in keeping with their "Heat Wave" theme, WWE Classics on Demand jumps ahead
a bit to air two World Class episodes featuring the 2nd Annual David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions!
Taking place in the Dallas Cowboys' Texas Stadium, this was pretty much the last
"big" event for World Class. Of course, this falls under the "Heat Wave" gimmick,
because it's in an open-air venue in Texas in mid-May. Texas heat is pretty much
the worst frickin' thing in the entire world. Several attendees in the audience
can be seen waving fans (the paper variety, NOT the human variety-- although some fans
ARE waving their kids in the air). Kinda' funny, but ringside seats were probably sold at a premium,
but they were directly in the sun. Whereas the cheap seats were in the shade, due to Texas Stadium's
peep-hole roof design. But with so much going on in World Class Championship Wrestling, let's
get down to ringside for...
Opening Ceremonies with Marc Lowrance
In the middle of the special 2-ring set-up, Lowrance (filling in for Bill Mercer) welcomes everyone to the event, then introduces ring announcer Ralph Pulley, here to
sing "Stand up, You're an American". Lowrance invites everyone to sing along... but
nobody does. Egads...this tune is equivalent to a third grade music class "concert", right down
to the piano accompaniment. Maybe it's a Texas thing, but I have never heard this song, before, in my life.
I suppose I could make a Bobby Heenan joke that, since it's Texas, it might've been more appropriate to
re-work it to "Stand up, You're an (Illegal) American".
Next, Lowrance introduces us to "The Official Chaplain of World Class Championship Wrestling", Gary Holder, here to
sing "Heaven Needed a Champion" to remember the departed David Von Erich. The lyrics and sentiment
are kinda' nice, but the muzak composure of the whole thing makes it seem kinda' hokey. I almost expect
Bill Murray to wander out in lounge lizard mode to sing about "those crazy Starrrr Warrrrs".
Next, Doris Von Erich, whose uterus pumped out all 37 Von Erich boys, is introduced. She gets a good ovation, along
with a hug from Fritz. Kevin, Kerry, Mike and (a young) Chris come out to present her with a bouquet of flowers
and some smooches.
Finally, Lowrance mentions a few other luminaries present at the event. Including World Class's video and
tape chick, Shari DelMazo. Plus NWA President Sam Mushnick and "several dignitaries from the
music and entertainment industry, who we'll introduce later". Overall 10-12 minutes were spent on these opening
segments, but it was acually rather classy and fun.
Match 1: Kerry Von Erich (w/Fritz Von Erich) vs. One Man Gang (w/Gary Hart)
Set up from a recent "Iron Claw Challenge" when Hart interferred on
the Gang's behalf. As a result, stipulations abound! First off, to prevent interference,
Fritz is handcuffed to Hart, at ringside. If the Gang wins, he'll get five minutes in the
ring with Fritz. If Kerry wins, Hart will be shaved bald! Which would be a favor to him,
because Hart's "full" head of balding hair doesn't look too healthy. Just as an FYI for younger fans: OMG has
"Moon" on the side of his trousers, which was his name for a bit (but I think only
Hart was allowed to call him that). Gang also has a rather bushy mohawk, but doesn't
have tattoos on the side of his head just yet (Superstar Graham would be disappointed).
As the bell ring, Fritz violently pulls Hart outside to a big pop. Gang clubs away, knocks Kerry down
and turns around to bellow. Kerry hops up, drop-kicks him in the dome and pummels him into the corner.
OMG goes to the eyes and most of the match becomes punchy/kicky. A bearhug happens. Kerry tries to
break the hold with a claw, but Gang fights it off. Gang eventually breaks the hold while fighting the claw,
allowing Kerry to respond with 3 discus punches and another drop-kick to send the Gang tangled into the ropes.
Kerry hooks a sleeper, but Gang drops him onto the turnbuckle to break. Gang tries his own sleeper,
which gets the "Go Kerry, Go" chant from the fans. Kerry powers up, but Gang quickly
decapitates him with a solid clothesline. He tries again, but Kerry ducks and fights back.
Kerry goes for a slam, but Hart manages to reach in and trip him up. As a result, OMG reverses it
into a small package and almost gets the pin. The Gang slams Kerry, then hits the ropes for a splash
attempt. But Fritz grabs the leg to trip him up. That's enough for Kerry to cover and make
the 3 count.
Afterwards, shenanigans flourish as a whole slew of wrestlers (among them, Brian Adias,
Johnny Mantell and --I think-- Sweet Brown Sugar) arrive to restrain the Gang. Kevin Von Erich
runs in to help his brother handcuff OMG to the corner, while Fritz shears off Hart's few locks. Gang eventually
escapes by unscrewing the top turnbuckle, but it's all for naught.
Match 2: 12-Man Tag Team Challenge Match-- 3/5 Falls Kerry Von Erich, Kevin Von Erich, Mike Von Erich, Buddy Roberts, Terry Gordy & Michael Hayes vs.
"Crippler" Rip Oliver, Kimala, One Man Gang, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, Gino Hernandez & Chris Adams (w/Skandar Akbar, Gary Hart & Jim Cornette)
Two rings, side-by-side, with basically two guys stationed at every corner (think of it as a big rectangle).
The winning team gets $100,000 (tough to split up, six ways) and the guy who makes the winning pin
will also receive a brand new car. And yup,
the Freebirds and the Von Erichs are willing teammates, since this was the period
when the 'Birds were good guys opposing Devastation, Inc.
While the Von Erichs had issues with the "Dynamic Duo" of Gino Hernandez and Chris Adams.
Other notes: Jim Cornette is out there to back Rip Oliver, Akbar for Kimala (and possibly
Dr. Death) and Hart for the Gang. Ric Flair was originally scheduled to be a participant but,
for whatever reason, he pulled out.
Match starts and it's non-stop action. Mostly criss-cross (jump-jump) action with frequent tags.
Sort of like a Battle Royal without all the stupid hugging. Adams goes at it with
Roberts while Kerry slugs it out with Oliver. Hayes tags in and jabs away at both members of the Dynamic Duo. In a sequence
sure to wet the pants of puro fans, Dr. Death and Terry Gordy have a tussle. It's quickly ended, as Kevin comes in to
drop-kick the Doc. Doc then has to sell for Mike Von Erich, while Gino catches Kerry in a sleeper. Kerry
escapes and manages to roll-up Gino for a pinning combination. It's broken up when
Chris Adams runs in and super-kicks Kerry in the mush. Gino rolls him over and makes the first pin, as
his team goes up 1-0.
Kerry is right back up to apply the CLAW to Gino! OMG and Kimala double-team Gordy, until Kimala misses a splash.
Kerry discus punches Admas outside of the ring and follows him out for some clubberin'. Adams escapes back into
the ring, just in time to help Gino deliver a double-team clothesline on Michael Hayes. Gino picks up
the pin again for a 2-0 score.
Third fall begins as Kerry tears into Kimala. Gordy back-drops Gino, while Oliver hits Kerry with a knee-lift.
He irish-whips Kerry to the ropes, but Kerry returns with a flying body-press and pins
Oliver to make it 2-1. Immediately following the pinfall, One Man Gang and Kimala pancake Kerry
with a double-splash dog-pile. Now, since Kimala splashes OMG while he's on top of
Kerry---wouldn't that hurt both guys, instead of just Kerry? Logic in Wrestling! Anyways,
Kerry is injured and there's doubt if he can continue. Gino gets the house mic and
suggests Kerry "go back to the locker room with the other sissies!".
But that's all the time we have for this week! But don't fret, next week's episode
will feature the conclusion of this special 12-man match. If I remember correctly, it
has a rather cool ending. We'll also get an American Tag Team Championship match
between the Fantastics and the Midnight Express!
Why'd You Tape This??
Just a blast to see a big supercard event on a weekly show. Even if it is split out
over two episodes. Fortunately, WWE Classics is airing part two! While I like marking out to this show, I can see how someone might not dig it. Kerry gets a big push, but only has three moves: punch, claw and drop-kick. It's also
kinda' stupid how it's okay for Fritz to cheat, but not for Gary Hart.
Yet when it's all said and done,
I'll still end up with a pretty sweet DVD-R copy of the 1985 Parade of Champions.
Boom-da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom, da-da-da-boom
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