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Jessica McClure pins Kevin Von Erich: And the World Cheers!

Pro Wrestling Illustrated
November 1988

Jessica McClure pins Kevin Von Erich: And the World Cheers!

Two year old Jessica McClure knows what it’s like to need a helping hand. After a three day ordeal at the bottom of an abandoned well, Jessica - and the hundreds of volunteers who came to her aid - won the hearts of the nation. Now Jessica and Kevin Von Erich are using their fame to help another in need.

It’s not very often in the career of a professional wrestler that a loss can actually turn out to be a big win.
But that’s exactly what happened when Kevin Von Erich “wrestled” Jessica McClure on June 11 at the Cedar Valley College gymnasium in Lancaster, Texas. A fundraising crowd of about 500 witness firsthand what may be the only way to knock Von Erich off his feet for a pin.
Jessica is the two year old whose 58 house ordeal at the bottom of a 22 foot deep abandoned well last fall in Midland, Texas, attracted international attention. She was announced as “America’s Sweetheart,” but Von Erich, veteran that he is, would not be fooled. As Jessica approached boldly, Kevin defended himself from any number of holds, moves, or aerial attacks. Suddenly, Jessica unleashed her most potent weapon: a kiss on the cheek. Von Erich reeled, staggered, and collapsed for the easy pin, much to the pleasure of the fans.
It may be the only time that fans have had such a favorable reaction to a Von Erich loss.
The charity match was organized by Lynn Knight, a member of a fundraising task force for five year old Brennan Bolin, a Lancaster, Texas, youngster awaiting a heart-lung transplant. Jessica had met Brennan during her brief stay in the hospital following her rescue from the well. Using her newfound fame, Jessica, a long with her mother, has dedicated herself to raising the money Brennan needs for his operation.
Since her rescue , Jessica has kept herself busy with a number of public events. She has been on talk shows, thrown out the first pitch for a Texas Rangers game, and will soon have her story summarized in an ABC-TV production next year. Foremost among her concerns, however, has been fundraising for her friend Brennan. Throughout Texas there have been bake sales, balloon releases, and other charity drives all involving young Jessica.
Although the money raised during the evening of wrestling still leaves the Bolin fund $63,000 short of its $125,000 goal, Knight (whose interest in the case was piqued by the fact that her husband is a transplant recipient) is confident that the publicity from the event - and the subsequewn4t heightening of national awareness - can only help the young boy. The Bolin fund as already received $3,000 from donations mailed in from around the country.
Perhaps the most tragic aspect of the story, however, is that it’s not only a lack of money that is holding back the operation. A suitable heart-lung donor still needs to be found, a problem not even money can solve.
Looking back on the match, Kevin has only praise for his opponent. “I should have seen the kiss coming,” he said, laughing. “But seriously, Jessica is so sweet that I have no doubts that she could single-handedly raise the money for Brennan’s transplant.” Then, pausing to reflect, Kevin added, “If she’ll give me a rematch, I’d jump at the chance!”