Friday, January 1, 2016

The WCCW Report: Episode 58: Everybody’s Falling Asleep

January 1983: The masked Checkmate (from the Isle of Man!) opens the show this week against “Classic” David von Erich. Somehow, as soon as David comes out, and in refutation of my every belief, the ringside area is swarmed by autograph-seeking fans. Who knew that the single line of twine surrounding the ring wouldn’t make for a good crowd control barrier? There are actually five or six uniformed policemen in the ringside area, but they seem more interested in getting involved with managerial antics on the outside than they do in stopping fans from endangering the safety of the performers. I think it’s entirely possible that no one smartened them up prior to the event.

Announcer Bill Mercer claims that Checkmate is “the man of 1,000,000 holds.” Kind of makes you see Dean Malenko in a new light. Anyway, Mercer assures us that Checkmate knows every conceivable move. In this match, however, he uses three of them. Four if you count hair pulling. To be fair, he also does a super sweet flip onto his feet to counter a back body drop, but Mercer calls it an amazing move by David, so we’re not counting it. David wins with a sleeper. Yawn.

Next, we’re treated to a pretaped interview with the Freebirds, who are questioned by Mercer while eating lunch and wearing custom satin jackets—”Freebirds ‘83-’84 Fantasia Tour”—in their Chevy Astro Van at a local drive-in. The seating arrangement tells you everything you need to know about the group’s pecking order: Michael Hayes is in the driver’s seat, Terry Gordy is riding shotgun, and Buddy Rogers is sitting in back. He has to crouch walk up to the front of the van to be seen. After Mercer bugs them with an insulting line of questioning, they drive off, leaving him holding the bag.

Now for the saddest moment of any WCCW episode: a Brian Adias match! This week he’s being fed to the Great Yatsu, “who has the distinction of having beat the Great Kabuki… beaten him at his own Oriental martial arts!” Not sure if it was a match, a pose-off, or what, but I wish I could’ve seen it. Adias actually hits a couple of moves on Yatsu, and, in keeping with my theory on the so-called assassin (that he’s being billed that way because nobody in Texas speaks enough Japanese to understand that he’s in actuality a happy-go-lucky youngster), he smiles and bows.

Yatsu eventually chops Adias into oblivion and then locks on a sleeper for the victory—Mercer calls it a cobra hold in a desperate bid to differentiate this match’s finish from the last one’s—and gives his fallen opponent a respectful bow. Admirable!

In advance of tonight’s big main event, Kevin von Erich defending the American Heavyweight Title against Gordy, no-shoes Kev gives an interview threatening to put Gordy in an ambulance, but the effect is hampered a bit by his refusal to say that he’ll kick the man’s “ass.” He’s exclusively using the word “fanny.” I would’ve settled for “butt!”

The match is fine (the highlight: Gordy pulling off a really smooth Flair corner flip!), but it’s tough not to be distracted by the incredibly thin material of Kevin’s tights, which leaves absolutely nothing to the imagination. You’re the champion of this entire country, Kevin! Invest in some high-quality threads!

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