If Kerry Von Erich were here today he would say, “I loved Wrestling at Texas Stadium”(Check out the twist/swerve)

Posted by Andy Durham on December 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm under Professional | 3 Comments to Read

Wrestling and Texas Stadium

All the hoopla surrounding the Dallas Cowboys’ final game at Texas Stadium Saturday night got me to thinking about pro wrestling’s significant place in the stadium’s storied history.

Most people will think of Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach, Tony Dorsett, Troy Aikman and other former Cowboys greats when reflecting on the stadium – and rightfully so. But on the afternoon of May 6, 1984, Texas Stadium was at the center of the wrestling universe.

One of the biggest events of the wrestling territories era – World Class Championship Wrestling’s David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions – was held there that day. In the main event, Kerry Von Erich defeated Ric Flair to win the NWA world heavyweight title before a crowd of more than 30,000 (some sources list the attendance as more than 40,000).

WCCW made the Parade of Champions an annual event at Texas Stadium through 1988, although none of the shows were as memorable or well-attended as the first one.

In 1984, WCCW was among a number of wrestling territories that were thriving, and one of the few that had a national presence, thanks to its syndicated television show. WCCW owner and former wrestler Fritz Von Erich built the promotion around three of his sons (Kevin, David and Kerry), who were treated like rock stars in Dallas, especially Kerry.

David Von Erich, considered the best wrestler of the three, reportedly was being groomed to win the NWA world championship, which at that time was regarded as the most prestigious title in the business. The wrestling word was stunned, however, when Von Erich, 25, died while on a tour of Japan in February 1984. The official cause of death was a heart attack that stemmed from ruptured intestines.

Three months later, the big tribute show was held at Texas Stadium.

There really couldn’t have been any other finish than Kerry Von Erich winning the title in honor of his older brother, thus providing a happy ending to an emotional day that had many in the crowd in tears.

As has been well-documented, there wouldn’t be any more happy endings for the Von Erich family.

(All of the Von Erich brothers, with the exception of Kevin, are dead; David, Kerry, Mike, Chris, and most died from suicide. Again, Kevin is the only remaining Von Erich family member.)

*****from the Baltimore Sun*****

+++++An interesting footnote to this story from The Punisher+++++:
I remember the official cause of David’s death as being “gastro-enteritis”. Several of the boys, however, told me that this was a swerve and it really was a coke overdose. Ted DiBiase told Casey and me that the worst match he ever had was with Kerry. He said Kerry was so high that he could barely stand up and Ted practically had to hold him up all through the match. Merry Christmas to you all! Tom a.k.a. The Punisher a.k.a. Buggles


  • Austin Idol,jr jr said,

    This is Austin Idol, jr jr. I want to ask a question, why did not one of the von-e boys ever wish to challenge my momas baby daddy daddy. I know that he easily nailed Rick Flair, Abdullah tha butcha, Wahooooooo, and Ricky Steamjoke. Let me say this, in 2009 i will come back to wrestle in honor of Austin Idol. I will beat anyone down with my figure-four, and bodyslam. Where is my buddy Johnny Weaver? Does any of this make sense? You bet it does baby.

  • Andy said,

    Austin Idol was one of my favorites in the early ’80’s and he reminded somewhat of Superstar Billy Graham when Billy(Wayne Coleman) still had hair(prior to the shaved head) and no facial hair(Fu Man Chu)….

    Here’s the backdrop on Austin Idol:
    Austin Idol (born Dennis McCord on October 26, 1949 in Tampa, Florida) is a retired professional wrestler. He was known as the “Universal Heartthrob” Austin Idol.

    Career
    Austin Idol graduated from Robinson High School in Tampa, Florida.

    He started wrestling in 1972 and wrestled in the southeast promotions holding many titles in the United States Wrestling Association (Memphis), Georgia, Birmingham, Texas All Star & Mid Atlantic territories. He is best know for a long running feud with the popular Jerry Lawler. Along with Tommy Rich, Idol defeated Lawler in a Cage Match causing Lawler to lose his hair.

    Prior to this, Idol was involved in a famed 1981 angle, dressed up as a Mexican wrestler in a mask. He presented the “Top Rated Wrestler in Mexico” award to Lawler on TV, then sucker-punched Lawler in the process. Afterwards, Idol delivered a memorable interview vowing to clean up Memphis and getting rid of Lawler.

    McCord was the passenger on a small airplane, along with Gary Hart, and flown by Buddy Colt, which crashed in 1974 into Tampa Bay, Florida, killing fellow wrestler and good friend Bobby Shane. After a period of inactivity healing from 2 broken ankles, he emerged with bleach-blonde hair and the new moniker of “Universal Hearthrob” Austin Idol in 1978.

    His flamboyant personality and muscular physique led him to a successful career in the era preceding the World Wrestling Federation’s emergence in the mid 1980s. Austin Idol challenged for the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Heavyweight Championship several times versus Harley Race (1980) and Ric Flair (1981-84).

    He has a son, Josh McCord. Austin Idol now resides in Pensacola, FL with his wife and his son. He works as a real estate agent.

  • chris harwell said,

    scuse me but idol had fued with kerry in the early 80s and idol sucked didnt do much for attendence