***Thank you to Tracy for this article***
Feb.1987 Inside Wrestling Magazine
Kevin Von Erich crowned World Class Champion: Texas Wrestling
The Von Erich scrapbook reads like a horror story, some sick
joke inflicted upon a family that never really did anything wrong, just
to test it's faith, just to see if they can keep on getting knocked
down, then getting back on their feet, only to get knocked down again, and give up totally.
In your wildest dreams, you might be able to
envision Fritz Von Erich, father of five, going through the pages,
explaining what has happened to a bewildered guest.
Page One: "Here's my son Jack". He was electrocuted when he was eight and died".
"This is David. He died of inflamed intestines. Acute enteritis the
doctors called it."
Page Three: "Here's Mike. He had toxic shock
syndrome and the doctors gave him 20 minutes to live. He
survived, somehow but he still hasn't come all the way back. I thank God
that we still have him.
Page Four: " My son Kevin. Shoulder injuries
throughout his career. He just can't fight them off".
Page Five: "And
Kerry. Got into a terrible motorcycle accident and almost died, just
last June. Lucky he's still alive. But he may never wrestle again".
else? What could there be? What more could a father endure? It's been
said that there's no greater pain then to watch your children die. But
there's more. Plenty more. Fritz Von Erich has watched his children, and
he's watched Texas wrestling die a slow death. It happened suddenly,
almost without warning. Gino Hernandez died, then Chris Adams was
blinded. then, a slow but steady exodus of wrestlers: The Freebirds,
Chris Adams, Rick Rude. Kerry was injured and put out of action. The
champion, that's right, The World Class champion was Black Bart! Black
Bart, for heaven's sake! Where have all the wrestler's gone? There are
just so many times that even the most devout wrestling fan can watch
Bruiser Brody vs. Abdullah the Butcher. It was beginning to look like
the World Class' decision to secede from the NWA was a big mistake.
After all, Ric Flair against Black Bart may not be your idea of a mat
classic, but at least you get to see Flair! But man the resuscitators!
Get out the oxygen tanks. The patient is moving, yes, he's showing signs
of life, getting up, he's on his feet! Look at this, he's walking again,
almost like new! There's a new champion! No more Black Bart! The Von
Erich’s live! Kevin has saved the day!
Now let's face it. Texas wrestling
might never return to the glory years. We might never see a day when
43,000 people pack Texas Stadium to see the most glorious moment in the
state's wrestling history. Kerry Von Erich's victory over Flair for the
NWA World championship. Yet recent events, like Kevin's victory over
Black Bart for the WCCW title, the arrival of Crusher Yurkof (former
Mid-Southern champion Bam Bam Bigelow), and a working agreement with the
WWF, signal that a resurgence is, indeed, taking place.
Kevin's win took
place at The Cotton Bowl in Dallas Columbus Day and was by far the most
significant event in Texas in a long time. People identify a federation
by its champion. Play word association with even a non-wrestling fan and
you'll probably get the following results:
WWF. Hulk Hogan.
AWA. Who knows? Let's face it. The World Class needs a Von Erich
as champion, although there hadn't been one since the World Class
declared independence from the NWA. In Texas, the Von Erich’s are
revered, just like the Johnson family and the Ewing’s. They like to see
one of their own on top. And although outsiders might say that they're
sick of watching the Von Erich’s, in Texas nothing could be further from
the truth. They still get the biggest response at live matches. Women
still go ga-ga over Lance and drool over Mike, Kevin, and Kerry.
Kerry got into his accident, Texas prayed. There is no pride like Texas
pride. The Lone Star State stands by itself in that department. It's no
secret that when Chris Adams and Rick Rude left the area, one of the
reasons was that although they were champions, the Von Erich’s seemed to
get all of the attention. Kevin won the title in classic Von Erich
fashion. Seemingly unhampered by his chronic shoulder injury, he wore
the champion down with a series of dropkicks and other well-timed
maneuvers. Then, with Black Bart all but beaten, Kevin delivered a
power-slam and it was all over. In reality. Black Bart was no match for
the quicker and smarter Kevin. "Kevin had a significant edge over Black
Bart", said Kerry Von Erich, who was at ringside to urge on his brother.
"A lot of people think that Kevin is too light to wrestle, but that's
really his advantage. I think Bart was really stunned by Kevin's
incredible quickness and accuracy." Kerry is still trying to recover
from his June 4 motorcycle accident and there's been no word on when. or
if, he will return. He was considered to be the Von Erich’s best chance
for the World Class title. But now, even if he does come back, there's
no telling how good a wrestler he'll be. But his place has been
well-taken by Kevin and don't be surprised to see wrestlers coming in
from other areas to take a shot at the champion. Wrestlers love a
challenge, and Kevin can provide that challenge. There are plenty of Von
Erich haters out there. The action is sure to heat up around World Class
over the next few months.
Texas wrestling lives again!