WCCW (January 9, 1982)

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Let’s go back to January 1982 for another episode of World Class Championship Wrestling presented to us in its most complete form available on the WWE Network. Again we’ve got sleazy 70s disco funk music instead of the awesome WCCW theme song that would show up at some point prior to the former oldest WCCW episode that used to be on the network.

Our announcer for the evening is once again Gene Goodson and this time he’s joined on expert commentary by Fritz Von Erich in a denim suit. Ten seconds in and Fritz is already a million times better on the mic that Jose Lothario was last week.

Gene gives us a rundown of the card and we head to the ring for grappling action!

Match 1: Captain Frank Dusek (w/ Wild Bill Irwin) vs. Raul Castro

Raul Castro is another wrestler from Cuba. He’s got a mask and attempts to do some lucha shit but Dusek’s not having it and just roughs him up.

At one point in the match Castro goes for a dropkick that kind of whiffs but Dusek still takes a bump. Gene says it’s a glancing blow but Fritz is like, “Fuck no, he totally missed that was just a reaction from Dusek!” What the fuck Fritz?

Dusek later puts his hand down the front of Castro’s tights for some reason while on commentary Fritz calls Castro “boy.” I’m honestly not sure if this is racist or not. It probably is. Anyway after some more sloppy 80s wrestling action, Dusek hits a DDT(!) to pick up the win.

Winner: Captain Frank Dusek

Dusek’s DDT is pretty sweet and I think predates it being called a DDT since they just refer to it some kind of slam. Did Frank Dusek invent the DDT or are Gene Goodson and Fritz Von Erich just bad announcers? It can be two things? [*½]

Meanwhile With Gene Goodson…

Jose Lothario and Big Daddy Bundy show up. Lothario puts over how strong Bundy is and says that one day he might be stronger than Andre the Giant. Bundy then cuts a face promo and talks about how the Von Erichs brought him in and are helping to show him the ropes. He says he’s grateful to them but didn’t like how they sometime tried to change his style in the ring.

He goes on to talk about wanting to work hard and make money in Texas and then wishes his “All (his) hombres Feliz Navidad.”

Match 2: Wild Bill Irwin (w/ Captain Frank Dusek) vs. Jesse Relampago Leon

Wild Bill Irwin is the man who would later become WWF’s The Goon. Here I guess he’s a cowboy. He’s got a cowboy hat and a bullwhip and a James Hetfield circa 1989 mustache. Captain Frank Dusek apparently has a stable of wrestlers that includes Wild Bill.

Fritz and Gene talk about how Wild Bill is really named Chauncey and how he hates it when the crowd chants Chauncey at him.

Irwin runs roughshod on Leon for most of the match. Leon gets in some lucha armdrags and shit before ultimately getting pinned after Wild Bill Irwin hits a flying elbow.

Winner: Wild Bill Irwin

This was a surprisingly fun little match. Leon’s been pretty impressive in ring for just being a job guy. Two episodes in and he’s probably my third favorite dude after Great Kabuki and Kevin Von Erich. Wild Bill Irwin wasn’t too shabby either, hitting some decently looking moves before picking up the win. [**]

Meanwhile With Gene Goodson…

Gary Hart and The Great Kabuki are here for an interview. Holy fuck does Kabuki look badass here. He’s wearing a wooden oni mask and a hood and drooling green shit through the mask. It looks awesome as fuck.

Gary Hart talks about how Kabuki knows all the martial arts styles: karate, kung fu, and even “ninja style,” which Hart claims “all the fans of the Orient” would know what that meant. This is an awesome promo.

Match 3: The Great Kabuki (w/ Gary Hart) vs. Kerry Von Erich

According to Fritz Kabuki has never gotten punished for the green mist because he’s always done it before or after his matches and thus is not subject to NWA rules. The bell rings and the match gets underway.

Kabuki dominates early on with kicks and strikes and karate shit. He eventually Kerry in an armpit/nipple submission hold, but Kerry manages to endure. Eventually Kerry fires up. He gets Kabuki in a bear hug that causes Kabuki to expel green mist into the air.

Towards the end Kerry gets Kabuki up but Hart trips him up and Kabuki falls on top of him for a pin but the ref starts asking Hart what happened rather than count the pin fall. This pisses off Fritz Von Erich who leaves the announce location to go get involved.

Fritz punches Gary Hart and then gets into it with Kabuki. It’s a slobberknocker! Eventually Hart and Kabuki leave. Fritz is livid and screams at the referees.

Winner: Double Disqualification

This was a pretty good match, especially for something that was on TV during the territories era. I guess my only complaint is that this was not the main event of the show. This was the hottest angle going on and featured two of the biggest stars in the company and after this match we got a squash match and a tag team match between a bunch of journeymen and “good hands” that went to a time limit draw. I’m sure there’s a logical reason that this match happened in the middle of the card, but I’ve become accustomed to having the biggest match of the night come on last on the card so this was just weird to me. [***]

Match 4: Kevin Von Erich vs. Carlos Zapata

Zapata’s doing Fidel Castro cosplay this go round with the hat and military jacket and Cuban cigar. Kevin wrecks his shit for a couple minutes and gets him in a standing body scissors that cause Zapata to tap. Gene says it was short, sweet, and hard to beat.

Winner: Kevin Von Erich

A pretty standard issue squash match. The standing body scissors is a weird ass move. I don’t understand why Zapata didn’t just punch Kevin or fall on him or something to break the hold. I guess that’s why we don’t see anyone really using it today. [*½]

Match 5: Jose Lothario & Tom Shaft vs. Tim Brooks & Arman Hussein

Brooks and Hussein are the United States Tag Team Champions here but the titles are not on the line tonight. Again, as is apparently the norm for tag team matches in WCCW, there are two referees officiating.

I have no idea why Tom “Boogaloo” Shaft and Jose Lothario are teaming up here.  I guess because earlier in the night Fritz and Gene made it seem like matches were booked completely at random (they mentioned Castro being completely outmatched by Dusek and said something like it being luck of the draw).

Lots of slow clubbering, bad worked punches, and loud stomping from these four guys. Lothario is slightly better than the other three and gets a decent hot tag at one point, but otherwise this is a pretty mediocre match.

The highlight of the match for me came towards the end when Tom “Boogaloo” Shaft gets Brooks by the beard and does an assisted beard tug with Lothario.

By the end of the match the double refs have lost control and all four men are in the ring clubbering, or in the case of Tom “Boogaloo” Shaft doing a weird dance. The time limit expires and the match comes to a close.

Winner: Time Limit Draw

This sure was a television wrestling match from 1982. Lots of kind of flabby guys with body hair in ill-fitting wrestling attire. None of these guys were really any good though Tim Brooks looks like a sleazy motherfucker. If Dirty Dutch Mantell didn’t exist Tim Brooks would be the grimiest fucker in the territories.

I have no idea why it was the main event. I guess we’re still in the era of “standby matches” here so maybe that’s what’s going on though last week they promised a Jose Lothario match so it seemed planned. I have no idea. [*]

Meanwhile With Gene Goodson…

Gene has an ancient tome of some sort under his arm and is standing in front of the ring as the arena empties. He implores us to go see live wrestling when it comes to our town and the bids us farewell as the credits roll.

Final Thoughts

Gary Hart and the Great Kabuki are once again the stars of this episode and outside of the Gary Hart “You fans of the Orient know all about ninja style” promo and the Great Kabuki’s match the rest of this show was pretty dire. Lots of journeymen wrestlers fighting other journeymen for no discernible reason.

Over on commentary Fritz Von Erich seemed kind of like a douchebag, constantly calling out Goodson’s blunders, even when doing so made the in ring action look a lot worse that it was.

This is not a good wrestling show.

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