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 - John Stark

Television. The Von Erichs. Those two things are what made WCCW into the international industry that it became.

While Vince McMahon gets most of the credit, and rightfully so, for the nationalization of a regional promotion, Fritz Von Erich (Jack Adkinson) was just as instrumental in helping to turn the industry into the national product that we see today. When most people think of WCCW, they think of the nationally syndicated one-hour show that went nationwide. But did you know that there were actually two World Class television shows?

As fans in the Southwest know, every Saturday night originating from the Will Rogers Complex in Fort Worth, Championship Sports (formerly Big Time Wrestling) was a regular part of their wrestling docket. From the early 70’ until the Gaylord Family turned KTVT from an independent station to a CBS affiliate, pro wrestling was a staple for the station. Fans from across the Southwest would tune into get their wrestling fix for the weekend. Much like WTBS did for Georgia Championship Wrestling, KTVT allowed World Class to not only showcase itself locally, but also regionally.

You must remember that in the infancy of cable TV it was these regional "superstations" that made up a large part of the cable system programming (WGN in Chicago, WTBS in Atlanta and the list goes on and on.) Many of you may be wondering what this has to do with the product itself, and the answer is and easy one, M-O-N-E-Y. With the larger regional coverage of his product, Von Erich felt that he had the name recognition to: 1) step up the syndication of the "World Class" show into markets such as Boston and the northeast, and 2) withdraw from the auspices of the NWA a few years later. This was also great for the fans, like myself, who couldn’t afford to make weekly treks into the Metroplex on a weekly basis to see the live show. Much like the Thunders and Nitros of today, Championship Sports was shot live to tape every Monday during Fort Worth house shows. From the opening welcome to the in house audience, (where we were reminded that Fort Worth was where the west begins), to the final bell, it gave the audience at home the feel of being live in the arena.  More...

If you'd like to discuss the World Class region with other fans, please visit the KM Message Board

KM DVD/VHS Store 4
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KM Store 4
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KM Belt Gallery 4

This section contains an extensive title belt gallery... images of heavyweight, tag, U.S. and various regional title belts.  To view it, click here.

Old School Tape Review 4

Reviews of various PPV's, commercial tapes and regional wrestling TV shows are available in this section. To read more, click here.


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