Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
World Class January - February 1985
- Max Levy
early part of 1985 was a transition period for World Class Championship
Wrestling. Some old stars departed as the remaining Freebirds, Iceman
Parsons, and Devastation Incorporated. Meanwhile some newly arrived and
recently arrived stars blended with the remaining established wrestlers to
start building new feuds and action in the promotion. Let's take a look at
the babyface roster, Kevin, Kerry, and Mike Von Erich were the top stars
as always. The Fantastics really stepped to the forefront on the tag team
scene after getting an elite level rival in that division. Sunshine
remained a very popular personality. Billy Jack Haynes was being pushed as
her managerial charge and as the top non-Von Erich. When he flew the coop,
Hercules Hernandez arrived as a babyface managed by Sunshine and was an
instant hit with the fans. Hercules had most recently been a heel in
Mid-South. His babyface act seemed to be a variation of Bruiser Brody.
Among others Jose Lothario was still being pushed, despite being well past
his best. Jose gained this push on the basis of still drawing in the
Latino fan base. Johnny
Mantell provided depth and Brian Adias would soon return.
the team of Gino Hernandez and Chris Adams anchored the heel roster. Adams
was in the midst of one of the great heel runs of the era. Words can
barely describe the hatred fans held for him. Gino also had a very small
fan club. They were not The Dynamic Duo yet, but the seeds had been
planted. Gary Hart seconded Chris. Hart also guided the massive One Man
Gang. Jim Cornette managed Dennis Condrey and Bobby Eaton, The Midnight
Express. Cornette also steered "The Crippler" Rip Oliver. Jake
Roberts was still on the scene although his push was diminishing. Kelly
Kiniski remained a staple of the low midcard.
World Class pulled in fans by booking five solid feuds. Needless to say, the Kevin Von Erich vs. Chris Adams feud remained the centerpiece with their all action brawls enthralling the fans. Increasingly the feud extended to tag bouts including Gino Hernandez and Kerry Von Erich on the respective teams. It was a good way to keep the feud fresh and not let singles bouts between Kevin and Chris seem stale. Gary Hart continued to second Chris, although that relationship would soon end.
The tag team division found new life on the strength of the rivalry between The Fantastics and The Midnight Express. As any fan can tell you, these teams produced magic when paired off in the ring. Fans just despised Cornette and of course his team. Meanwhile Bobby Fulton and Tommy Rogers were just natural babyfaces. They had an infectious enthusiasm that really made the fans take them to heart. With good and evil so defined and such talent on both sides of the ring, the feud got over instantly.
Sunshine continued to wage war against Gino Hernandez, using Billy Jack Haynes and later Hercules Hernandez as her main charges. Haynes also wrestled his old foe from Portland, Rip Oliver. World Class positioned itself very well here. Instead of making Billy Jack the main focus with Sunshine as an afterthought at ringside, she was presented as a vital piece of the puzzle. It made Billy Jack's subsequent departure easier to absorb and explain within the storyline.
Meanwhile Kerry Von Erich found a new foe in the One Man Gang. This was a good pairing. Making Kerry a believable underdog was a difficult task at times due to his big name and impressive physique. In OMG the promotion had a very over monster heel whose mere size made him intimidating. Combine this with the notorious Gary Hart at ringside and World Class had someone who could pose a believable threat to Kerry. Fuel was added to the fire when OMG helped cost Kerry the American Title.
Another issue concerned Mike Von Erich and Jake Roberts. Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine awarded Mike its Rookie of the Year honor for 1984. Mike of course then violated the cardinal rule of pro wrestling stating "thou shall not bring valuable awards on TV unless thou wants the heels to smash them." More...