To start, we have a title versus mask match. To finish, we have Flair versus Kerry from Japan. Who will join me for this rather important episode?
Bob, thanks for the hot news tip. I’m completely certain this episode is newsworthy.
To begin the show, we head to Fort Worth (taped 5/21) where Rock’n’Soul defends the NWA American tag titles against the Super Destroyers in a title versus mask match. At the conclusion of the match, Zumhofe gets the hot tag, and all four wrestlers are in the ring. Zumhofe attempts an O’Connor roll but eats a big boot from Destroyer #2 knocking him OUT COLD. After Parsons demolishes Destroyer #1 with a butt butt, Destroyer #2 switches with #1, covers the unconscious Zumhofe, and the Super Destroyers steal the titles.
After the match, Parsons removes the mask from Destroyer #1 to reveal...Murray Langston! No, it was Scott “Hog” Irwin. While General Skandor Akbar cloaks Scott with his keffiyeh, Zumhofe and Parsons remove the mask from #2 to reveal...Rey Mysterio, Jr.! No, it was “Wild” Bill Irwin (a.k.a. Chelsea thanks to Marc Lowrance). Rock’n’Soul then double-dropkicks the disgraced new champs out of the ring.
Following a commercial break, Mercer interviews Akbar about the unmasking of the Super Destroyers. Akbar warns Parsons and Zumhofe “they will pay” due to the “sacred identities” of the Destroyers. Next, he sets his sights on Devastation, Inc.’s goal on attaining the vacant Texas title.
We head to the Sportatorium for the rest of the taping.
Match 1: Killer Khan (w/ Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy) versus Pat Rose
While he’s of no relation to former MLB star Pete Rose, Pat Rose became a Southeastern tag team champion with both Randy Rose and Arn Anderson.
Whereas in past episodes, it seemed like Mercer was “right there calling the action,” the audio for this episode truly exposed his voice-over as post-production.
According to Mercer, Kerry lost the NWA World title to “Nature Boy” Ric Flair in Japan. More on this later.
Meanwhile, Khan delivered a backbreaker, mounted the second turnbuckle, and hit a flying knee drop.
Summary: Showcase match for Khan.
Match 2 (non-title): NWA American champion the “Handsome Half-Breed” Gino Hernandez versus Rick Hazzard
For those curious, yes, this was the same Hazzard who would become a referee.
Hernandez delivered an elbow drop and followed with a back elbow.
As Hernandez tossed him out on both the near and far sides of the ring, Hazzard rebounded with a cross corner whip and a flying shoulder block.
He then slammed and dropkicked Hernandez.
When he hit a back elbow, Hazzard got 2.
He then gave Hernandez another cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
After Hernandez delivered a swinging neckbreaker, he mounted the top turnbuckle and landed a flying elbow smash to the back of Hazzard’s neck.
Summary: Showcase match for Hernandez.
Following a commercial break, Mercer interviews Kerry about the title loss. At this point, you may want to scroll down to check out my reflection of their match on 5/24. I’ll wait...
OK, now that you’ve read about it, you must know that WCCW never aired Kerry’s defeat. Since Kerry only had a grueling 18-day reign, allow me to list the matches he endured:
May 7: Kerry beat Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy in Fort Worth, TX.
May 8: Kerry beat "Nature Boy” Ric Flair in Muskogee, OK
May 9: Kerry beat "Nature Boy” Ric Flair in Corpus Christi, TX.
May 10: Kerry beat the Missing Link in a non-title match in Allen, TX.
May 11: Kerry beat "Nature Boy” Ric Flair in a non-title match in Dallas, TX.
May 12: Kerry beat "Nature Boy” Ric Flair in San Antonio, TX.
May 13: Kerry drew Mike Rotundo in Ocala, FL and defeated “Superstar” Billy Graham in Orlando.
May 14: Kerry beat “Superstar” Billy Graham in Fort Myers, FL.
May 15: Kerry beat “Superstar” Billy Graham by DQ in Miami, FL.
May 17: Kerry defeated Black Bart in Melbourne, FL.
May 18: Kerry beat “Superstar” Billy Graham in Lake City, FL.
May 19: Kerry beat “Cowboy” Ron Bass in Tampa, FL.
May 22: Kerry defeated Jumbo Tsuruta in Tokyo, Japan.
Regardless, Kerry won’t make excuses for his loss and wants to defend the six-man titles with his brothers. A close-up of Kerry’s face shows that he got potatoed at one point. Is potatoed a word or a sniglet?
Match 3: Kevin & Mike Von Erich (w/ the “Modern Day Warrior” Kerry Von Erich) versus Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy & Buddy Roberts (w/ Michael Hayes)
After the introductions, Hayes grabbed the microphone and called the Dallas faithful “punks.” That’ll earn him a free beer at the rodeo.
While the Dallas faithful responded with a “go home, Freebirds” chant, Kevin escaped a test-of-strength and dropkicked Roberts.
Mike tagged in, mounted the top turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Roberts.
When he scored with a cross body block, Mike got 2.
Kevin then distracted referee David Manning, so the Freebirds double-teamed Mike. SNEAKY!
As Mike reversed an Irish whip, he delivered a back elbow to Gordy.
He then hit a standing dropkick to Gordy and tagged out.
After Kevin mounted the top turnbuckle, he lowered the boom on Gordy.
He then hooked a leg scissors and earned a 2-count.
While Kerry and Hayes had a stand-off outside the ring, tags were exchanged on both sides.
Roberts then slammed Mike but missed an elbow drop.
When Mike pulled Roberts from the corner, he landed an elbow drop for 2.
Gordy tagged in and clotheslined the bejeezus out of Mike.
As Mike took his lumps against him, Gordy provided me with a knee drop.
Roberts tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Mike.
After he gave Mike a cross corner whip, Roberts came up empty on his follow-through.
In fact, he tied himself to the Tree of Woe.
Hot tag Kevin.
When Kevin attempted a flying headscissors on Roberts, Hayes got up on the apron and nailed him. How dastardly!
Kerry then chased Hayes into the ring, and a six-man brawl erupted.
As a result, Manning called for the bell to throw the match out.
Summary: Solid tag match with Kevin, Gordy, and Roberts handling the yeoman’s portion of the match. Hayes, of course, brought the INTENSE heat upon the Freebirds despite the audio sounding like they performed in a vacuum.
After the match, the battle continues while Hayes removes his boot and WHACKS Kerry with it. He then clobbers Kevin and Mike until Kerry gets a hold of it. Abruptly, Khan storms the ring and PLASTERS the Von Erichs until he inadvertently hammers Gordy. The Von Erichs then chase the rest of the heels from the ring to end the telecast.
TV Rating: NONE
BONUS MATCH for the NWA World title (two out of three falls): Kerry Von Erich (champion) versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair
This match occurred on May 24 in Yokosuka, Japan.
Similar to their match at Texas Stadium, Flair wore his customary sequined blue robe while Kerry wore the blue robe in honor of his brother David.
As the match began, I swore I heard the Japanese equivalent of “go Kerry, go” from the Yokosuka faithful.
Flair leapfrogged Kerry but ate a pair of dropkicks.
When Flair put a knee into Kerry’s midsection, he attempted a suplex, but Kerry blocked it.
Flair then delivered a knee drop and got 2.
After Kerry reversed a cross corner whip, he hooked a sleeper.
Flair escaped via a belly-to-back suplex but suffered a military-press slam.
To add insult to injury, Kerry hit a knee drop and got 2.
Flair rebounded by sending Kerry through the ropes to the floor and guillotining him with the top rope.
At this point, I believe, Kerry was BUSTED OPEN.
As he suplexed Kerry back into the ring, Flair got 2.
He then applied an abdominal stretch while the Yokosuka faithful rallied for Kerry.
When Kerry escaped with a hip toss, he mounted the second turnbuckle and landed a flying elbow smash. As you’d expect, it resulted in a Flair flop.
Kerry then supplied Flair with a discus punch for 2.
After Flair countered a front face lock with an inverted atomic drop, he delivered a piledriver for 2.
Both Flair and Kerry then missed an elbow drop.
While Flair missed a knee drop, Kerry attempted an Iron claw.
Flair blocked it, yet Kerry reversed a cross corner whip.
As a Flair flip ensued, Flair regained his balance on the apron, mounted the adjacent top turnbuckle, but landed in an Iron claw.
Kerry won the first fall.
When Flair ducked a right by Kerry, he succumbed to another Iron claw.
Immediately, Flair escaped and chopped Kerry over the top rope to the floor.
Flair then scored with an elbow smash, but Kerry powerslammed him for 2.
After Flair tossed him outside the ring, Kerry returned via sunset flip and earned a 1-count.
Flair then gave Kerry a cross corner whip followed by a back elbow.
As he provided Kerry with an elbow drop, Flair got 2.
He then countered a side head lock with a knee crusher.
Upon punishing Kerry’s left leg, Flair applied a figure-four leg lock.
Kerry submitted to even the match at one fall apiece.
Wisely, Flair continued to punish Kerry’s left leg, but Kerry blocked a second figure-four leg lock attempt.
Kerry then countered a third attempt with another Iron claw.
Will Kerry retain?
Flair put his foot on the bottom rope.
When Kerry attempted a splash, he ate knees.
He then hooked a backslide and got 2.
After a mid-ring collision put both wrestlers down on the mat, Flair got to his feet first, mounted the top turnbuckle, but Kerry caught and slammed him down to the mat.
Kerry then landed a knee drop for another 2.
Next, Kerry hooked his own abdominal stretch while applying an abdominal Iron claw. Nifty!
Nevertheless, Flair escaped with a hip toss and attempted a suplex.
Kerry blocked it again, hit one of his own, but couldn’t get 3.
As he dropkicked Flair, Kerry earned another 2-count.
Kerry then missed another dropkick but successfully launched a cross body block.
Can Kerry retain the title at this point?
Kerry then delivered another discus punch which sent Flair between the ropes to the floor.
With Flair on the apron, Kerry attempted a flying headscissors, but Flair backdropped him down to the floor.
Was that a disqualification? If so, Kerry would win the fall and retain the title.
However, since it technically occurred outside of the ring, referee Joe Higuchi kept the match going.
Flair then attempted to suplex him back into the ring, but Kerry escaped, hooked an O’Connor roll, and earned a 1-count.
Suddenly, Flair reversed the roll-up.
WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
Summary: Despite Kerry’s feet on the bottom rope, Higuchi counted the pin, and Flair earned his third World title. I truly wish that Kerry had more of a repertoire to hang with Flair because, outside of Texas, Kerry’s brawling style didn’t always work. Having said that, this match was exciting, historical, and worth seeking.
After the match, Kerry briefly disputes the decision but leaves the ring without incident. AJPW officials then enter the ring and bestow Flair with a huge trophy.
Conclusion: Well, you can’t say the promotion remains stagnant at this point whatsoever. In fact, with Kerry’s losing the World title and the Super Destroyers regaining the American titles, this episode remains a truly historical one and should be enjoyed thoroughly. For Rich Hall and Bob Charles, I’m RSG, and this wasn’t Not Necessarily the News. Ah, the glory days.