And I’m Like (Goin Old School with World Class Championship Wrestling October 15th 1982)

I will do a summary of the year in next weeks entry. For this week we need to catch up in the world of Dallas, Texas and the goings on of WCCW.  I use the WWE Network to watch these matches. I go to “all years” and start with the oldest and am working my way through.  WCCW originally was known as Big Time Wrestling and owned by Fritz Von Erich, around the 1970’s he also bought The Dallas Sportatorium, which would work out well as an arena for the wrestling. They were the first to go national on television and were contending with Saturday Night Live in ratings. They were the first to use rock music for entrances. Pioneers in many aspects of wrestling.  A 20 year feud was started in 1966 with Gary Hart and Fritz Von Erich. Once Fritz retired Gary continued using his stable of villains as a thorn in the side of the Von Erich family. Fritz was the main attraction for many years in WCCW like Verne Gagne was in the AWA. If you own a company, the only person you can trust is yourself or family. That’s why the Von Erichs were always integral to WCCW. Around ’82 is when the focus of the promotion switched from Fritz to his sons.  I was a little disappointed that it started WCCW on episode 43, why not start at 1 if you own all of them? The more I read about the history of WCCW the more I understand. The Von Erich/ Fabulous Freebirs rivalry was what put the company on the map and was the hottest angle going in any promotion at the time. That feud starts in December of 1982. The Network has us starting in October of 1982, it is a weekly broadcast so that means we have about 6 shows until the WCCW gets turned on its head. We’ll continue doing what we always do when we go old school, learn about the people in the matches and what they were up to right before the match on the card. Kevin Von Erich is the Heavyweight Champion of the promotion. They are affiliated with the NWA which means Ric Flair is the recognized World Champion. Without further ado.       Bill Mercer and Jay Saldi welcome us to the program, Jay is a Dallas Cowboy.  David Von Erich vs. Capt. Frank Dusek David Von Erich- He won a scholarship to North Texas for football and basketball, but dropped out in 1977. By August, he went up against Harley Race and wrestling to a 30 minute draw with the champion. He wrestled in Missouri and by 1979 was popular enough to beat Race in a non-title match. He wrestled once for WWF in that same year. In 1981 and 1982 he wrestled in Florida as a heel with J.J. Dillon as his manager. Florida is where he met Jimmy Garvin and by July 1982 they were both on WCCW television. He and his brothers were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2009.  Frank Dusek- Frank had an interview here. He also has a good bio written about him on Wrestling Classics. His wiki page shows that he isn’t related to the Dusek family of shoot wrestlers, his Dad “joined” the family and the name stuck. Frank was also a commentator and booker for WCCW at the time.  Before the match starts David is asked by Mercer about the bounty. I’m not quite sure what it’s about but David says the Von Erichs know about the bounty and they will reveal it later.  The announcer Mark Loretz sounds like Will Ferrell’s Harry Caray. Jay remarks on Dusek saying he looks like Mae West getting out of a bubble bath.    The match starts and my first impression is how fast paced it is in comparison to WWF at the time. The crowd sounds more intimate, you can pick out voices. There are more camera cuts, and angles. You can also hear the wrestlers more than in today’s WWE. We are told Frank just came back from Japan where Hulkamania was running wild with Hulk Hogan becoming more famous because Thunderlips. There is chatter of many bounties at the moment, Gary Hart tried claiming one in Atlanta against Roddy Piper. We see aggression from David and not much offense from Frank.     The match ends when Dusek punches Von Erich relentlessly in the corner, David yells at the ref to get Frank off of him. Frank takes a swing at the ref.     the ref ducks and punches Dusek, who turns around into a small package by David for the win.  And I’m Like… Alright, if I was alive in 1982 I would be a WCCW fan. I grew up a WWF fan so this NWA/Anything else stuff is so interesting. Looking forward to more stuff from David!  Checkmate and Magic Dragon with Arman Hussein vs. Al Madril and Jose Lothario Checkmate- What’s fun for me about this blog is when you look up a wrestler and they don’t have a Wikipedia page. I get to research. Checkmate is from Wales, known as Tony Charles. He was known to be a great technical wrestler by those who knew him. He stared in 1959 and got a break in 1968 with IWE. He made it to North America in 1972, by 1973 he was wrestling for Eddie Graham in Florida. He gained critical acclaim for his technical style by having matches with Leo Thornton. It seems to resemble modern day McGuinness/Danielson. To follow the Daniel Bryan Danielson comparisons, it’s said that Charles, do to his size, was regulated to mid-card status. He became Checkmate A member of Devastation Inc. He would retire shortly thereafter and passed away from Alzheimer’s in February of 2015.  The Magic Dragon- Born Kazuharu Sonoda in 1956, Dragon was trained at the AJPW Dojo and debuted in 1975 as a wrestler. By 1979 he was moving westward and landed at the WWC in Puerto Rico. After winning and losing the tag titles there with Mitsu Ishikawa. The duo then traveled to NWA: Houston and won tag titles there. That territory closed down and the team broke up leaving Dragon to head to Georgia for a cup of coffee, before settling in WCCW in 1981. He teamed with and sometimes was The Great Kabuki when the real Kabuki was double booked in Georgia. At the Fritz Von Erich retirement show Gary Harts team beat some Von Erich brothers for the All-Asian Tag Titles. They then lost to the brothers at Wrestling Star Wars. Kabuki then starting a singles run leaving Dragon to team with Checkmate. He would leave in the mid-80’s to train a young Kenta Kobashi. While becoming a trainer Dragon would get married and die on his way to his honeymoon Arman Hussein- He was the manager, interesting too because there isn’t much on him. “
The articulate, dignified, well-educated Arman Hussein was an immediate hit with fans. A star of the 1960s and 1970s, Hussein’s confident persona and cool demeanor led him to success in several territories,” wrote Julian L.D. Shabazz in Black Stars of Professional Wrestling.

His real name is not known because he changed it to Arman Hussein to better reflect his Muslim religion. No one can pin point his place of birth or his age. No family showed up to his funeral either. His name pops up in 1959 in Minneapolis as maybe his place of debuting. He was like Kirk Lazarus, to the point of never breaking character in front of ANYONE. In 1966 he had a baby face stint in WWWF, he tried suing a Los Angeles promotion for not using him properly. He traveled all over in the 60’s and 70’s and really was a journeyman. 

according to Scott Casey. “When you stop to think about it, we were all a little crazy to do some of the things we did,” Casey told Scott Teal in a Whatever Happened To … ? interview. “Arman Hussein and I wrestled on TV. He had a long fingernail on his right hand. When we locked up, his fingernail went into my cheek, all the way to the bone. We were only thirty seconds into the match. I picked up a chair and beat him to death with it. I was so mad. I had my girlfriend take me to the hospital. That was on my 33rd birthday. 

He broke his hip in a bad car wreck which ended his in ring career, he told everyone Roddy Piper did it to him in the ring. He became a manager with Gary Hart and they co-managed under the name H & H Limited. 

Jose Lothario- Not much is found about him though he is still alive. The name might ring a bell if you remember who trained HBK for Wrestlemania Iron Man match. He was known to win in the NWA and was a champion for WCCW when it was Big Time. 

Al Madril- Is known for getting HBK into Elvis’ music. He began wrestling in the 1970’s making his rounds on the southern and western parts of the country. Winning numerous tag titles along the way, he teamed with Jose Lothario on many occasions. He has been rumored to deny ever being in wrestling

As the match starts the announcer Bill Mercer says Fritz has proof Kerry was purposefully injured by Gary Hart and the Greak Kabuki. Checkmate starts it off with some catch-as-catch-can type stuff, which makes sense because he says wrestling is human chess. Lothario and Madril “the New Mexicans” try and out wrestle Checkmate but that shit ain’t happening.       The crowd starts paying attention to Bugsy McGraw who is selling merch to them.       This commentary team is miles ahead of Vince McMahon on WWF. They get the character over, The back story on each competitor, the story of the match, and hype for what’s to come.  Dragon hits back hand chops which are called martial arts and Asian type wrestling. Madril is in a hammerlock and runs around in circles until he dives and shoots Dragon out of the ring. Dragon gets back into the ring and they meet each other with flying shoulder blocks.     Jose and Checkmate both tag in, Lothario goes for a back body drop but Checkmate flips out of it. Hussein gets involved so the heels get the advantage. Jay says “Armen can speak six languages, it helps seeking international talent, Gary Hart should be proud of Armen, interrupting at the right moments.” That covered so much with so little said. It adds credibility as to why Hart would have such an eclectic group of guys, and puts over Hussein as a valuable asset to have. Dragon comes in and does this sequence.               So what happens is  Dragon hits Al in the corner, he runs up the corner and does a backflip off of the top rope into a back handspring, seamlessly into a Superkick then he runs to the top rope and misses a front flip senton! HOLY SHIT!! That sequence looks great in any era but this guy musta blown minds in the early 80’s.  Checkmate gets tagged in, wrestling happens, good guys go for Checkmates mask. The match breaks down and ends in a time limit draw.     And I’m Like… Holy wow, that was fun! I don’t have much else to say. Bill Mercer brings us a video from World Champion Ric Flair, who Bill says put the bounty on the Von Erichs.        This could be the reason we start at episode 43!  Ric Flair Interview- 
  • Says Kerry will be out 5-6 weeks, if your not tough enough for this sport than get out. 
  • Each Von Erich has an individual bounty of $10,000. 
  • Flair says he is wealthy, $10,000 ain’t a thing to him. If he wanted it done it would be done. 
  • “Kerry as great as you think you are, your not in the same class as Ric Flair. Thirty-one years old, filthy rich, custom made, and the greatest wrestler ever. Get a contract and give me some incentive and I’ll be there Hallelujah!”- Ric Flair
   And I’m Like… I am really into laid back not as intense Ric. He is speaking matter of factly, and doing it with style. Excited to see how this unfolds.     The Samoan vs. Grand Marquis II Grand Marquis II- Know how I said I like when Wikipedia doesn’t have much so I can research? Well the bit my ass cause I could not find anything on this dude.  I couldn’t even find Grand Marquis 1 stuff. All I found is other blogs reviewing this show and not knowing about him either.  The Samoan- He was born in 1963 and wrestled his first match in 1977 at 14. By the time he was 20 His father, Afa, head of the Anoa’i family had him wrestling for multiple territories to get seasoned. That’s what brought him here. He is better known as one half of the Headahrinkers or Samoan Swat Team. Marquis is in a white mask and managed by Arman Hussein too! We are told Micheal Hayes will be wrestling tonight, and his 21 year old “brother” Terry Gordy will be showing up soon. This is slow and plodding like a WWF match. Big change of pace from the rest of the card. The crowd is chanting for the Samoan “Go, Sam, Go” lol. The announcers say most Samoans go through college football before entering pro wrestling. They also comment that tickets to WCCW is $3 per person. Grand Marquis wins with a running senton.     And I’m Like… I could have done without that but I did with it so there is that.  Micheal P.S. Hayes vs. Roberto Ernesto Michael P. S. Hayes- Born in 1959 and debuting in 1977, it seems Hayes was always meant to wrestle. He started at 18 getting trained by Afa Anoa’i. In 1979 he formed the Fabulous Freebirds with a freshly turned 18 Terry Gordy. Hayes showed early on he was all about entertainment when he would moonwalk to the ring like Michael Jackson. Between ’80 and ’82 they won tag titles in GCW, the split you, feuded, got back together. Now we see their arrival in Texas.  Roberto Ernesto- Just like The Grand Marquis, he is lost to history.  Bill Mercer says during the start of the match ” Michael Hayes is he cool? Is he way out? Whatever it is the kids like him” “He had problems with Jimmy Snuka in Georgia, he brought in Andre The Giant for help” “Even though he has long blonde hair, don’t be confused he is still tough.”     Hayes plays to the crowd like crazy. He is entertainment over technical wrestling, I believe it will help get him over as a heel in the oncoming war with the Von Erichs. Hayes shit is not as tight as the other guys on WCCW but the crowd is IN. TO. HIM. Hayes wins with a piledriver, ” you wanna know about the piledriver? ask Andy Kaufman” as Jay also puts it “the Freebird frolics as Ernesto hurts”      Hayes cuts a post match promo.     “Freebird Fantasian is rocking the country. Brother terry will be right with me, I’m 220 lbs of twisted steel and sex-o-peal, my brother is 6’5 of walkin talkin rompin stompin graveyard destruction. We was born on the wrong side of the tracks so they say, it’s okay. We was kids and got in trouble, now we get paid for doing the same thing! We was born on planet rock in a place called party town, the name of the street was Bad Street, the further you went down the block the badder it got, ya’ll intelligents know what house Terry and I lived in, we lived in the last house” Before the show ends Hayes opponent next week has a bad promo Wild Bill Irwin     “Hayes your gonna be caged. You go cry on your big brothers shoulder.”  And I’m Like… That was quite an episode. A lot of research on my part. I really enjoyed it though and am looking forward to the coming weeks.  Have a good one  -Jake. 

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