Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
February - April 1984
- Max Levy
the early part of 1984 as a maintenance period. The roster and feuds
stayed more or less the same and the promotion stayed with the status
quo before building up for a major event in May and a wild summer.
The Worst Thing That Could Happen
If there is a seminal and defining moment in World Class history, it was the shocking death of David Von Erich in early 1984. This was a major jolt to wrestling fans as it came totally out of left field. Things like this were not supposed to happen. Strong athletes in their mid 20s didn't just die suddenly. Unfortunately that is what happened. The death was attributed to Acute Enteritis, which is an extreme inflammation of the intestines. This cause has been disputed by reputable sources through the years due to certain circumstances involving inconsistencies in the story told to the public. Regardless of the cause, David's demise was a tragedy any way you slice it.
people have said that it was downhill for World Class from this point.
That's not correct in my opinion. 1984 and 1985 were fabulous years for
World Class creatively and at the gate. The first half of 1986 was also
very solid. What David's death did was change the dynamic of things,
especially in regards to Mike's career. From this point onwards, it
always felt like something was missing. There was just a gap that could
never really be filled. One other note, we need to look at this death in
far more than wrestling terms. It's important most of all to remember
that David was much more than a wrestler. Whatever the hype, he was a
person and his death left a gap with his family and friends that could
never be replaced and that's much bigger than any wrestling match is.
World Class roster remained largely intact. The babyface side was
anchored as always by Kevin and Kerry Von Erich as well as Chris Adams
and Iceman Parsons. By this time Chris had surpassed Iceman in
popularity and in the pecking order. Mike Von Erich began to play a much
bigger role than anyone anticipated or that Mike was really capable of
at this time. Sunshine remained quite popular as well. Chick Donovan,
who had a nice run in Georgia, began wrestling in World Class as well.
Johnny Mantell had left at the end of December 1983, but returned by
April 1984. Johnny settled into the low midcard, but never was quite the
same threat to those higher up the ladder again.
On the heel side of the fence it was largely status quo. The Fabulous Freebirds earned the fans' wrath as always, although they did gain cheers for opposing Devastation Incorporated which was led by Skandor Akbar and featured The Super Destroyers I and II, The Missing Link, and Kamala The Ugandan Giant along with his handler Friday. More...