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February - April 1984 

 - Max Levy

Catching Up


Consider 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.


Many 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. 


The Roster


The 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...

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