Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
The First Annual David Von Erich Memorial
- Max Levy
May 6, 1984 World Class Championship Wrestling held its biggest card
ever. The day was both a celebration of pro wrestling excitement and the
life of the late David Von Erich. A reported crowd of 43,517 fans filled
Texas Stadium that day. This was one of the largest crowds in pro
wrestling history at the time and was definitely the largest crowd in
World Class history. The top stars of the promotion and stars from
outside the promotion combined for a memorable show that we’ll now
look at in depth.
Johnny Mantell vs. Kelly Kiniski, time limit draw
This bout raised the curtain on the proceedings. Mantell was back in
World Class after an absence, but was unable to regain his past
momentum. Kiniski had wrestling talent, but lacked the flash to get over
as a major star. Nevertheless, they knew how get it done in the ring and
battled for 15 minutes until the bell rang without a winner.
Butch Reed defeated Chic Donovan
This was an all too rare World Class appearance for Hacksaw Butch
Reed. With his wrestling talent, heelish big mouth, and muscular
physique, Reed had much to offer the promotion. It is too bad he never
stayed for a sustained length of time. Chic Donovan also was a muscle
man. He is best known as a preliminary wrestler in Georgia Championship
Wrestling during the early 1980s. Chic had a nice run in World Class
during 1984, although injuries sidelined him for an extended period
later in the year. Chic had the fans’ support, but Reed was too much
for him on this day.
Junkyard Dog defeated The Missing Link by disqualification
he was not a regular in World Class, JYD’s reputation and status as a
major star was such that he was always warmly received on his rare
appearances. With The Missing Link a regular in World Class, this bout
was as much about showing Link’s prowess against a major out of town
star. There wasn’t a lot a lot of scientific wrestling here, just
plain brawling. Link got the win, but was disqualified afterwards for
refusing to let up on JYD. The Missing Link would become a comedy figure
later in his career, but at this time was booked as a dangerous and
Kamala vs. Kabuki, double disqualification
This was The Great Kabuki’s first appearance in World Class in more than a year. As always, his manager, Gary Hart, accompanied Kabuki to the ring. Kamala had his usual entourage of Skandor Akbar and Friday at his side. Neither man was a clear babyface as this was a rare bout featuring heels only. However the fans got behind Kabuki. Perhaps it is the old adage “absence makes the heart grow fonder” at work. Additionally Kabuki’s manager Gary Hart had never been one to make anti-American statements in the manner General Akbar. The two wild men of the ring traded heavy blows and predictably were both disqualified. The idea was to set up more matches between the two. However a sudden defection changed booking plans, as we’ll discuss in further detail next month.More...