Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
Class Championship Wrestling
- Max Levy
New Year Begins
Class Championship Wrestling took forward, but tentative steps into 1986.
The Christmas Star Wars show at Reunion Arena had drawn well below
expectations and the promotion hoped to quickly regain its fading
momentum. Change gripped pro wrestling tightly as the WWF expansion had
now lasted two years and showed no sign of letting up. Alliances formed in
response to this threat began to crumble and the territorial promotions
began to look suspiciously at one another. World Class Championship
Wrestling responded to this changing world by looking towards the past for
help. Many of the area’s top stars dated back to 1983 when World Class
had taken flight as a major promotion. Would these tried and true names
and feuds lead the way back to success? Let’s take a look at January of
premier babyfaces were, as always, Kerry, Kevin, and Lance Von Erich.
Battling their old rivals The Fabulous Freebirds, with Lance filling the
spot occupied in the past by David and Mike, it felt like old times again.
Aiding the Von Erichs and rivaling them at times in popularity was Bruiser
Brody. Brody’s name and fame put him in demand around the world, but he
spent more time in World Class than anyplace else during the early part of
1986. Sunshine enjoyed immense popularity and her endorsement combined
with his wild demeanor made The Missing Link a new favorite. Iceman
Parsons was a solid standby, but perhaps had become a bit stale. Brian
Adias’ push to the upper midcard was over, but he stayed on in a
position lower down the ladder. Chief Mark Youngblood mostly worked the
low midcard and whatever plans World Class had for Mark seemed to
evaporate. Jerry Allen entered the promotion working the bottom of the
card. Familiar faces Dave Peterson and Johnny Mantell had departed.
Meanwhile the fans were really taking an old favorite to heart. Chris
Adams started hearing the fans’ cheers for the first time since way back
in September 1984 due to his break up with Gino Hernandez.
Fabulous Freebirds reigned as lead heels. Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, and
Buddy Roberts topped almost everyone’s most hated lists among World
Class fans. The top singles heel was Ravishing Rick Rude with manager
Percival Pringle III by his side as always. Gino Hernandez, clearly the
bad guy in his split with Chris Adams, deserved all every jeer directed
his way. The fans despised Missy Hyatt and her beau Hollywood John Tatum
to an almost unhealthy degree.
One Man Gang’s heat did not even
approach its levels of the previous year, but he still wrestled high on
the card. The Grappler couldn’t quite seem to rise above midcard levels
despite efforts to associate him with higher-ranking heels. The Great
Kabuki continued to wrestle in World Class Championship Wrestling as a
midcard heel while the promoters searched for a new role for the
mysterious master of the martial arts. Jack Victory was a good utility
heel, mostly wrestling nearer the bottom than the top of the card, but
capable of holding his own when circumstances required him to move up the
Undoubtedly the biggest feud in World Class featured those perennial foes, The Von Erichs and The Freebirds. With Hayes, Gordy, and Roberts clinging to the Six Man Title and their popular foes in hot pursuit, the feud was a natural and if it didn’t quite recapture the magic of 1983 and 1984, it did at least produce some very entertaining and intense matches. Missy Hyatt and Sunshine seemed to have an almost unhealthy hatred for one another and whether in the ring or roaming ringside, they produced nuclear heat. Their respective charges John Tatum and The Missing Link fought with one another as well. Brian Adias pursued his former Texas Title and the man who defeated him, The Grappler. One Man Gang and Bruiser Brody bled their way through more wars even taking their feud to San Antonio with Texas All Star Wrestling. However in that promotion the heel and babyface roles were reversed due to Brody’s association with OMG’s former World Class manager Gary Hart. One glaring hole in the cloth of World Class Championship Wrestling was the lack of a true feud and challenger for American Champion Rick Rude who defended the belt against a variety of foes yet did not really have a major rivalry with any of them in particular. More...