WCWA 4th Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions (5.3.87) review
May 3, 1987
We’re in Irving, Texas at Texas Stadium. Previous WCCW shows at this stadium had healthy attendances. Who can forget the first Parade of Champions, which had 32,000 in here for Flair vs. Kerry von Erich. Or the second one, which drew a crowd of 26,000 for Flair vs. Kevin von Erich. Or the third one, which drew 24,000 for Kerry, Lance von Erich & Steve Simpson vs. Freebirds? Ok, that might have been the show that burned the crowd because today’s attendance is a somewhat lower…5,900.
We can’t even blame Lance von Erich, as the family had given up on Lance at this point and let him leave the territory. Career suitably ruined, he would become a footnote. Fritz disowned his character on TV, which again showed the family had been lying. This didn’t go over well. Most devastating is the death of Mike von Erich, who had looked increasingly miserable in the wrestling business and killed himself in April 1987. This is a territory that’s sick of mourning. They’ve had nothing but mourning here for four years and now it’s all over. Kerry von Erich is still recovering from a horrific motorcycle crash that left him with one foot. He won’t wrestle again for WCWA until October.
The Last Von Erich; Kevin, is the WCWA champion and defends against Nord the Barbarian. The rest of the card has a somewhat sad look to it. What happened to the von Erich family is devastating. It’s made doubly so by their promo videos, which are full of dead people.
The crowd is very spread out. Comms mentions this is a tribute to David von Erich and holy shit, Mike is barely in the ground, and he’s not even mentioned.
Black Bart & Jack Victory vs. Matt Borne & Scott Casey
Percy Pringle is managing the heels, like some flamboyant Funk brother with his branding iron. He’s certainly more interesting than anyone in the ring.
Borne gets a powerslam on Bart for the win. There was nothing much happening here at all. A waste of ten minutes.
Tim Brooks vs. Steve Doll
Steve Doll is better known as Steven Dunn in the “Well Dunn” tag team. Killer Brooks had a decent career working NWA prior to this but he’s pretty much done. Steve Doll is like if you get Shawn Michaels off Wish. Fritz has been shopping at “Budget Babyfaces”. The worst part of this is that it sounds like a studio show. You can hear individuals shouting encouragement because nobody else gives a fuck. The territory is dead. Doll is a surprisingly shitty wrestler. He blows three moves in a row, including a powerslam where he just drops Brooks, and then casually takes the win with a small package. Oh boy. This company is in trouble.
The Grappler vs. Cousin Junior
Junior was so bad, even Vince McMahon gave up on him in double quick time. Grappler is Len Denton. This is about as good as you’d expect. Cousin Junior is arguably better than the rest of the New York Hillbillies, which is a very low bar. Junior takes it with a splash off the ropes. You know what, this was passable. Fair play lads. I was expecting a complete shitshow.
Abdullah the Butcher & Eli the Eliminator vs. Red River Jack & Spike Huber
Red River Jack is Bruiser Brody under a mask. If Abby’s team wins, Red River Jack has to unmask. If the babyfaces win, Brody gets five minutes alone with Gary Hart. He can kiss and cuddle him all he likes. I mean, he gets to beat him up!
Huber is rocking a builder/union man gimmick, with tearaway jeans! The match is already getting dangerously sexy. Eli is rocking a biker gimmick and hails from Gary, Indiana. Huber continues to win my heart by taking a ridiculous back bump after being run into the scaffold that’s at ringside. Hey, he probably whipped that scaffold up with his union buddies. I doubt Fritz hired union men though, he probably just paid off a bunch of cheap immigrant labour. It’s the Texas way. Abby falls onto the commentary table halfway through, robbing me of Bill Mercer’s gentle tones momentarily. Huber takes out Eli for the pin and Gary Hart is in for some hugs! This was actually pretty good.
Red River Jack vs. Gary Hart
Brody is bleeding all over the inside of his white mask, which is an interesting way to get colour. Gary gets beaten up for a bit but runs off and that’s the five minutes over. Brody got screwed! Come back, Gary, he just wants a hug!
Al Madril vs. Mil Mascaras
Mascaras is already 44 years old at this point. Madril loudly sells. “Oh, my arm, my arm, my arm, my arm”. *whispers* I think his leg hurts. Madril is such a goofy bastard, it’s impossible to take him seriously. The match is just Mil Mascaras running through the various Mexican submission holds he knows. Mascaras pins him with a high crossbody. This was ten minutes of Mil Mascaras doing shit to amuse himself while Al Madril treated it like a comedy.
Bill Mercer finally mentions Mike von Erich, briefly in passing, leading up to the title match.
World Class World Championship
Kevin von Erich (c) vs. Nord the Barbarian
Kevin is wearing Mike’s ring jacket and carrying a yellow rose to represent his other brother David. I would show you a picture but Nord keeps walking in the way. HUSS! HUSS! HUSS! Apparently, they were hoping to get Antonio Inoki for this match. INOKI? There’s no fucking way Inoki jobs to Kevin von Erich. And I like Kevin. Nord is a guy that looks ok on offence, because he just hits people, but looks terrible when he’s selling, because he can’t act. HUSS! He can huss though. What is a huss? What isn’t a huss? There’s a spot in this where they fall outside and I’m pretty sure Nord isn’t expecting it like it happens because he goes straight down into the apron. That’s the hardest part of the huss! It looks sick enough to finish, which is good because they get counted out.
They brawl out into the ringside seats that are off camera and holy shit, this is tragic. There’s like 10 people this side of the ring. They should have brawled in the other direction. At least they’ve got lebensraum. Compare this outcome to Hogan vs. Andre at WrestleMania III. They couldn’t put their top guy over John Nord?
Eric Embry & Rock N’ Roll RPMs vs. Steve Simpson & Fantastics
The scaffold match is the dumbest fucking match in wrestling. There’s a reason they just stopped doing them. It’s because they’re shit, and everyone hates them. They all literally hug the scaffold, and nothing happens. I don’t blame them motherfuckers AT ALL. You accidentally fall off this fucking thing and your career is over. You could obliterate a shoulder, break your neck, wipe out both knees. So, understandably, people are scared to do anything. However, this is even worse than the NWA ones because they don’t hang around underneath it doing stuff. They just cling on. Embry takes the big bump into the ring and it looks like he hurt his knees. Everyone else gets down as quick as they can. Man, these matches were fucking stupid. An easy DUD. Probably less.
Bruiser Brody vs. Jeep Swenson
Oh, you know what’ll sort this show out? Jeep Swenson, said absolutely no one, ever. Hey, he played Bane* once though. Swenson has such big biceps he can’t actually throw punches, which makes him look hilarious. He looks so uncoordinated. Brody mercifully beats him with a chair shot in about five minutes.
*in Batman & Robin. Don’t watch it, it’s shit.
The show concludes here but they had another match, the actual main event, which was a mud pit match won by Candi Devine. What a fine, fitting tribute to your two dead sons, having six nubile, foxy young women wallow around in mud for your financial gain.
David’s dead. Mike’s dead. Gino’s dead. Chris Adams and the Freebirds left town. Kerry lost his foot. It’s over Fritz.