Time for some more World Class! The WWE Network is missing a few episodes so we’re skipping ahead to February on 1982. We still got the sleazy 70s opening theme music before we head to a nearly empty Sportatorium where Gene Goodson is standing by with Arman Hussein who will be providing the “expert commentary” tonight.
As is the norm Gene gives us a rundown of the card and actually takes the time to explain why the biggest match on the card was always in the middle on these shows. I was right in my assumption that the other squash matches were just “standby matches” to give these shows a greater sense of realism. They’re still supposed to be fairly contested sporting events how could they possibly know that the main event would end before the show had to go off the air?
Anyway with that all taken care of we head down to the ring for some wrestling action!
Match 1: Wild Bill Irwin (w/ Captain Frank Dusek) vs. Richard Blood
This Richard Blood is not Steamboat, just some random dude. Hussein isn’t great on commentary but at least takes the effort to explain past storylines for people like Gene Goodson who hadn’t been watching World Class since the dawn of time. Apparently Blood was a member of Frank Dusek’s Army but lost a match and got kicked out so he wants revenge. Thanks Hussein.
Blood punches Dusek in the face before the match begins but this allows Irwin to get the jump on him. Irwin controls the bulk of the match with stomps and knees and stuff but eventually Blood makes a comeback and gets a near fall with a small package.
Dusek distracts Blood from the floor. Blood tries to get his hands on Dusek which allows Irwin to capitalizes on the distraction and pick up the win with some flying elbow/splash deal off the middle rope.
Winner: Wild Bill Irwin
A pretty one sided opening bout between two decent enough workers. They didn’t really botch anything and the match had a pretty logical flow to it. Nothing really exciting or must see here but it was a fine way to fill a few minutes on the undercard. [*½]
Meanwhile With Gene Goodson…
Gene interviews Kevin and Kerry. They are clearly high as fuck. They talk about cliff diving and sky diving and writing poems. Kerry is wearing sunglasses inside and is chill as fuck. He claims that he and Kevin are going to write a poem while skydiving the next time they jump out of an airplane about how they feel descending from the heavens.
Match 2: Carlos Zapata vs. Jose Lothario
They start things off with a collar and elbow tie up. Lothario gets the better of Zapata and gets him in a side headlock. Zapata manages to get free and he and Lothario run the ropes at each other which leads to another lock up. Lothario goes to the arm and starts working it over.
Zapata gets fired up and goes for a headlock but Lothario fights free and chucks him and Zapata goes out to the floor to regroup. He comes back in and goes on the attack, dropping Lothario across the top rope throat first before getting him in a front facelock.
Zapata does some heel shit, going after Lothario’s eyes and then raking him across the back Hulk Hogan style. Lothario however gets fired up and nails Zapata with a left that knocks him out cold. Zapata takes a ridiculous bump and Lothario covers to pick up the win.
Goodson then throws to commercials by declaring, “We gotta go make some money for the boss!”
Winner: Jose Lothario
Thank god for Arman Hussein. Early on in the match he talked about how Lothario was trained as a boxer in addition to being a professional wrestler so the fact that he randomly one with a punch to the face ended up kind of making sense. I know this is the 80s and there aren’t a ton of “finishers” as we know them today and dudes just win matches will all kind of bullshit, but putting over the fact that Lothario’s good at punching people made the ending a lot more believable for me. [*½]
Match 3: Al Madril vs. Bugsy McGraw
This is for the NWA American Heavyweight Championship. McGraw’s the champ. He’s got a hobo beard and is wearing a t-shirt declaring him to be a “Paperback Hero,” and a tophat.
The match gets underway with Madril and McGraw locking up in a collar and elbow tie up which Gene Goodson refers to repeatedly as “the referee’s hold.” Maybe I’m just being ignorant, but I’ve watched a lot of wrestling and have never before heard it called this.
Madril works over McGraw’s arm and gets him in a figure four armbar. McGraw manages to escape but Madril takes him down with armdrags. McGraw fights back and goes for elbow drops but Madril manages to get him back in an armbar.
McGraw goes for a corner charge, but misses and Madril get him in a side headlock. McGraw fights free and gets Madril in a leg lock. Madril attempts to fight free by push kicking McGraw a bajillion times in the face before McGraw finally breaks the hold.
The crowd is thoroughly behind Madril screaming, “Go Al! Go!”
They do some back and forth mat work before Madril lays into McGraw with some fists. McGraw takes a powder on the outside and before heading back in and turning the tide with a knee lift. He follows up with clubbering and then nails Madril with an ATOMIC DROP that leads to a near fall.
McGraw elbows Madril in the head and sends him out to the concrete floor. Madril tries to climb back in but McGraw bounces him off the ropes. Madril makes another attempt to get back in but McGraw slams him into the ring apron. Another attempt to get back in is foiled by McGraw posting Madril into the “concrete pole,” as Gene Goodson refers to it. Eventually McGraw heads out and clubbers Madril out on the floor.
Madril finally makes his way into the ring and he comes off the ropes and nails McGraw with a knee lift. Madril comes off the ropes with a splash, but McGraw gets out of the way.
Madril makes a comeback and runs wild with shoulder tackles that earn him a near fall. He and McGraw then go toe to toe trading punches until Madril nails him with an ATOMIC DROP that sends McGraw to the mat. Madril stays on him and locks in the figure four leglock.
Gene is screaming that no one has ever broken free from Madril’s figure four. McGraw doesn’t break free, but he does manage to get to the ropes. The ref starts counting but Madril doesn’t break the hold so the ref calls for the bell and awards the match to McGraw.
Winner: Bugsy McGraw
The part where McGraw wouldn’t let Madril back in the ring kind of dragged but this was otherwise a pretty decent match. I’ve always liked Madril in the WCCW stuff I’ve seen before and here he got a pretty decent match out of McGraw. The finish was fine since it will lead to a rematch with a stipulation that makes sense in the near future. [**½]
Meanwhile in the Ring…
After the match Al Madril gets on the house mic and says some stuff. It was kind of hard to hear everything that he said but I could make out him saying that it was his fault that he lost, not McGraw’s or the referee’s. He then challenged McGraw to a No DQ rematch for the title.
Match 4: Larry Higgins vs. Kerry Von Erich (w/ Kevin Von Erich)
Higgins attacks before the bell. Kerry’s still got his letterman’s jacket on, but he hits a dropkick and then gets Higgins with the trademarked Iron Claw™ and then body slams him to pick up the win.
Winner: Kerry Von Erich
A total squash match. Kerry literally did not even have to take off his jacket to beat this geek. [NR]
Match 5: Big Daddy Bundy vs. El Negro Assassin & Tony Torrez
El Negro Assassin starts off. Bundy dominates him to Torrez comes in as well. The geeks try to shoulder block Bundy but it doesn’t go well for them nor do their double team efforts.
Gene Goodson with some masterful commentary declaring, “He got him right where it hurts,” when Torrez goes to the eyes of Bundy.
Bundy whips Assassin and Torrez into one another for a double noggin knocker and then hits Torrez with a big splash. “He squished him!” shouts Gene Goodson as Bundy goes for the cover. ONE! TWO! THREE! Bundy picks up the win.
Winner: Big Daddy Bundy
A literal squash match. The announcers talk about Bundy recently getting beaten either at a live event or on one of the episodes missing from the Network, so I’m assuming this was to build Bundy back up after that loss. It served its purpose so I guess it was fine, but Bundy probably shouldn’t have taken a bump in this match. [*]
Meanwhile With Gene Goodson…
Gene thanks Hussein for providing expert commentary and talks up the big Kabuki vs. Spoiler match that they’d been hyping all night for next week before biding us farewell.
Another one match show from WCCW. That match ended up being pretty decent especially when compared to the sort of matches other promotions were airing on television at this time so it’s not really a terrible episode but there aren’t really any hidden gems on this episode either, unless of course you consider a pair of young men from Texas stoned out of their mind talking about writing poems while jumping out of airplanes to be something worth your time. If you do, then by all means check out this episode of WCCW.