The SmarK 24/7 Rant for World Class Championship Wrestling – January 8 1983

The SmarK 24/7 Rant for World Class Championship Wrestling – January 8 1983

– And now, history.

– Interestingly, the production people actually have an apology at the beginning because of the deteriorated state of the tape. Man, they must not be tape traders if they think THIS is poor quality. Now, a smuggled video camera taping a match from the 10th row and then copied 17 times, that’s poor quality.

– We begin with highlights of the last time Kerry challenged Flair for the title, as Flair wins the first fall by DQ before Kerry evens it up with the claw. Sadly, both guys are DQ’d in the final fall, so it’s a draw and nothing is settled. Kerry then had his leg broken by Flair, preventing a rematch for months. Flair put a bounty on his head when he recovered, and Fritz fought through lawyers and red tape from the NWA to get a rematch, which ended up a cage match. And just to make sure things were kept fair, fans were allowed to vote who the second referee would be, and they legitimately picked Von Erich ally Michael Hayes.

NWA World title, cage match: Ric Flair v. Kerry Von Erich

Hayes appoints Terry Gordy as the special gatekeeper, just to make sure that no one can get out, you see. Kerry goes right for Flair’s leg and drops elbows on the knee. Flair tries going for the arm, but Kerry dropkicks out of a wristlock and Flair runs to the corner. Kerry goes after him and gets chopped, but comes back and slugs Flair into a Flair Flop. Flair goes low and starts chopping in the corner again, but Kerry is on the ropes and Hayes takes charge and pulls Flair back. Kerry pounds Flair in the corner and Hayes pulls them apart again, showing his objectivity. Kerry reverses a suplex attempt into a sleeper, but Flair suplexes out. Kerry takes him down and slugs away in frustration, but Flair fights off a claw attempt. He drops Kerry on the top rope to take over and chokes him out in the corner, which has Michael Hayes getting all upset again. Flair drops an elbow for two, but Kerry fights up and hooks him in the abdominal stretch. Flair quickly escapes, but misses an elbow and Kerry takes advantage by ramming him into the cage a few times. Flair of course starts bleeding, but Hayes again pulls them apart before too much damage can be done. Kerry goes for the claw again, but Flair kicks him low to stop it and now starts on the knee. He pounds it in the corner until Hayes pulls him off, and keeps taking Kerry down, but he keeps kicking out of the figure-four. Working the leg would become a much bigger adventure with Kerry in later years, of course. Kerry sends Flair into the cage and slugs him down, but misses a kneedrop and re-injures the knee. Flair is on it like a shark, and it’s figure-four time, on the correct leg! Kerry reverses the hold and now goes to work on Flair’s knee, because he’s all about the revenge. Flair tries to climb out, but Kerry yanks him down and keeps pounding him into the cage. Flair gets a chop and goes up, but Kerry was still too fresh and gets the Iron Claw. Flair’s foot in on the ropes, barely, so Hayes calls for the break and finally pulls Kerry off by force, which doesn’t prove very popular. Kerry goes over to argue the point and Flair takes the moment to knee Kerry in the back and send him into the corner by the door. Hayes, meanwhile, argues with Flair and gets so pissed off at him that he knocks Flair cold with a punch…but Kerry refuses the pin, because that would be wrong. Hayes decides to exit the match at this point, and when Kerry tries to follow him, Terry Gordy slams the door on his head. Flair only gets two from the real referee, but Hayes counts three anyway and awards the match to Flair. At this point the Freebirds storm out and the match continues, as Flair beats on Kerry until he’s out, but only gets two. Into the cage for one. Kerry fights back but he’s still losing it, and the discus punch puts Flair out, but the referee stops the match at 24:08 and awards it to Flair because Kerry is gone. I don’t think anyone ever remembers this as an all-time classic or anything, because it’s basically just Flair being Flair and working the leg while bleeding and stuff, but it’s quite good. ***3/4

– And from there it was all Freebirds v. Von Erichs.

Oddly enough, this was not the super-hot, violent turn you’d expect for something that would turn a territory around. And in fact most people remember the finish as Kerry eats door, Flair pins him, when in fact the match went on for another 5 minutes after the Freebirds turned on Kerry. Kinda weird how your memories differ from the actual product sometimes. At any rate, the angle did exactly what it was supposed to and suddenly every show was a sellout, as things get REALLY good from here on.

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