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Bill Mercer as the first host of both show (that I can remember), fresh of a stint being the original play by play voice of the Texas Rangers, added a very nice sense of realism to all that he saw. Marc Lowrance, the former ring announcer and sometime fill-in followed Mercer into the hostís chair. Lowrance is the one that I will forever link with the promotion. It was Lowrance that played the quintessential straight man to all the many workers who came through the door. Whether it was the Von Erichs, Kamala the Ugandan Giant, Buck "Rock and Roll" Zumhoff, or the diabolical Gary Hart, Lowrance called the action and did the interviews with all the enthusiasm of a fan watching his favorite wrestler. It was also Lowrance that handled the tough duties, like coming on in a live shot to tell us that David VonErich had died in his hotel room in Japan just 24 hours previously. It was also Lowrance that will forever be linked to the most famous event in Texas wrestling, the "Parade of Champions" David Von Erich memorial show that saw the "Modern Day Warrior" Kerry Von Erich pin World Champion Ric Flair with a backslide in front of a jam packed Texas Stadium.

While Championship Sports was more the regional show, the bell cow of the promotion was the syndicated show. Originating most weeks from the venerable old warehouse the Sportatorium, which we were reminded was located at the corner of Industrial and Cadiz in beautiful downtown Dallas, TX. World Class Championship Wrestling was sent out nationwide by the group. This was not the most popular of moves to the hierarchy of the NWA, but Von Erich was undaunted. His network of affiliates, that later included ESPN, allowed him both national and international standing, in a time before the WWF and WCW. It was possible to connect with the fans in an as of yet unheard of manner. Again Lowrance, as the host, called the action like it was the most important match of year. For all you trivia buffs, World Class Championship Wrestling, was also the place where the nation got its first look at the then very young and green Mick Foley.

I hope youíve enjoyed this retrospective on WCCW TV as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you, so in the immortal words of Marc Lowrance, "So long everybody."

NEXT MONTH:

We'll look at the quintessential baby faces and first family of Texas wrestling - The Von Erichs.

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