With over a year since I last spent time on this project, I’d be hoping to return with a bang. Unfortunately, my video editor decided that it didn’t want to play ball, so there will be no gifs for this first article. However, hopefully this won’t detract from a packed WCCW TV show that would see Chris Adams wrestle Ric Flair in the main event.
On the version of the show that I watched, Michael Hayes would introduce the show, addressing the death of David Von Erich and the nature of tape delays meaning that although it had happened, the show would run without reference to it. As I mentioned before, I do look forward somewhat to seeing how the initial reaction to David’s death in the territory plays out; as much as you can look forward to something that stems from someone’s untimely and tragic passing.
In the first match on the show, The Missing Link would face Mike Reed, a jobber who replaced George Weingroff according to the announcer, or a jobber who replaced Larry Higgins if you believed the commentator. Traffic problems were blamed, though they didn’t seem to affect Weingroff’s Mid-South jobbing around the same time. The Missing Link was a recent addition to Devestation Inc., and a guy that I feel would work in small doses. He was definitely unique, with his headbutt based offense blasting straight through Reed after an attack before the bell. Link would miss a diving headbutt off of the top, but then almost cripple Reed with a piledriver/shoulderbreaker move that I almost felt lucky to miss due to a slight error with my video copy. A jumping headbutt would do for Reed in a pure squash to start us off.
Following the previous week’s events, The Freebirds would be out to brag about defeating the Von Erichs after Kevin would cause a DQ. We’d also get footage of a match between Kevin and Buddy Roberts, which would lead to Hayes attacking Kevin with a boot. Much of this angle seems to be about pushing Mike, as he would get revenge by blasting the members of the Freebirds with a boot of his own. Coupled with the Ric Flair angle from the past week, it is eerily prescient that Mike would be getting pushed around a time where David would unfortunately pass away.
An interesting spectacle would follow the Freebird’s words as Fishman would battle with Perro Aguayo (or Aguallo, as the graphic seemed to suggest). Fishman would take a leaf out of The Missing Link’s book and attack Aguayo before the bell, only to get dropped by two interesting leaping shoulderblocks/headbutts. Fishman would rely on heavy slaps and punches to try and take the fight to Aguayo, though he would end up running into two big boots that just wipe him out. Aguayo would almost lose after missing a top rope senton, a Fishman two count then followed by a top rope splash for a further two count. Aguayo would reel it in for the finish, landing a second rope senton after a Samoan drop for the three count. A fun little match.
The pushing of Mike would continue as he would go one on one against Buddy Roberts. Mike’s fire would be obvious from the get go as we’d have a third match start with someone jumping their opponent before the bell, though this time it would be the face doing the honours. Roberts is such a simple and effective heel, utilising the ropes to keep himself away from Mike and slow the hometown hero down. A Mike headlock and sleeper hold would keep Roberts down, whose first real offense would see him pitch Mike to the outside. However, this would only lead to Roberts missing an awkward looking kneedrop to the concrete floor. This would be followed by a pretty unique flying mare to bring Roberts back into the ring. Just as it seems that Roberts might have the beating of Mike, following a headlock bulldog, a second attempt at the bulldog would be blocked, sending Roberts into the turnbuckle and a Mike roll-up for the three count. A surprisingly clean match between members of the Von Erichs and The Freebirds, which makes a pleasant difference.
The main event would see Chris Adams face off against Ric Flair, following Mike Von Erich’s survival against Flair the week before. Flair has numerous different ‘matches’; this is the one where he focuses on wrestling rather than cheating. Adams would outwrestle the NWA Champion consistently, only to annoy Flair and lead to some pushing and shoving mid-match as Flair began to get visibly frustrated. The crowd were loudly behind Adams, and he would grab a couple of nearfalls off of flash pinfall attempts. The first real offense from Flair would be a back breaker out a sleeper hold, but he would almost instantly get dropped with an enziguiri after catching Adams’ leg. Adams would actually land the superkick, only for Flair to get his foot on the rope to break the count. An attempted crossbody from Adams would get reversed and see Flair sneak the victory against a man who had outwrestled him for the majority of the action. Flair with the toned down heeling is always an interesting watch, and Adams was able to bring the technical chops and fan interaction to make this an enjoyable main event.
All in all, a good show. The next few weeks will be interesting to see with the continued push of Mike and the impending reaction to the death of David. Next show in the series will look at the February 18th edition of NWA World Wide Wrestling. Till then, take care.