What if…Kerry Von Erich decided to take Michael Hayes’ help against Ric Flair?

0 Submitted by on Thu, 27 December 2012, 15:55
 
Text By Simon Rawls

What if…Kerry Von Erich decided to take Michael Hayes’ help against Ric Flair?

Our story begins on Christmas Night 1982- Kerry Von Erich is in a cage match with Ric Flair for the NWA World Title. Michael Hayes is the special guest referee. Michael Hayes has just knocked down Ric Flair with a hard right hand. He has pushed the other assigned referee, David Manning out the way and has gone over to a dazed Kerry and is prodding him to pin Ric Flair.

 

December 25, 1982: Star Wars of Wrestling

 

Kerry stumbles over to Flair’s fallen body and lies on top of him. Hayes makes the count- 1 2 3! The loyal Dallas crowd gives a mixed reaction as referee David Manning, who is now fuming, throws his hands in the air and leaves the cage shaking his head in disgust. Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts enter the ring to congratulate and celebrate with Michael and Kerry as Hayes awards Kerry the World Championship belt. Fritz Von Erich comes storming down to the ring with a frown on his face and a fierce, unhappy look in his eye. “Kerry” Fritz screams when he gets in the ring, “you CANNOT win a title like that. I demand you return that belt to Ric Flair right now! “Dad” Kerry shrugs and replies, “I won this title, it’s mine now and there is no way I am giving it back.” Michael Hayes tries to insert his two cents. “Now Fritz …” the Freebird begins only to have Fritz cut him off telling him “Stay out of this you long-haired maggot infested drunkard hippie!” and then slaps the taste out of “P.S.’s” mouth. The other two ‘Birds then surround Fritz only to have Kerry stand in their way. Then to the shock of the entire Reunion Arena, he does a discus punch on his dad! “Oh my Lord! Kerry has just punched out his own father!” announcer Bill Mercer says in shock. He and the ‘Birds then start stomping Fritz until they see his two older brothers storming the ring, causing a hasty retreat. Kevin and David both immediately go to check on their father. David, who is now a bright red, picks up the microphone and yells “Freebirds, our friendship is over and I’m coming to get all three of you! And Kerry … you’re dead!”

 

January-June 1983

 

The next week right after Buddy Roberts wrestles a clean time-limit draw with a clearly unhappy Brian Adias, a long time friend of Kerry’s, the other Freebirds come down to the ring, telling Adias to “scat”, which being outnumbered 4-1, he does, giving Kerry a disgusted look as he leaves. Michael Hayes gets on the microphone and says to the loud boos of the crowd “Let me introduce to all you people the new World Champion … and the newest Fabulous Freebird, ‘Captain Cowboy [1] ’ Kerry Von Erich”, with Gordy and Roberts applauding. Hayes then hands Kerry the microphone. “Dallas, what’s wrong? You’ve been cheering and applauding me for years. Then I win the world’s title- and at age 22 I am the youngest world’s champion in history! Why have you turned on me? My dad, who never could win the NWA World title tried to rain on my parade and ruin my time in the sun. Well, I wasn’t gonna let that happen! And David, you just try coming after me, and we’ll see who’s dead! Because they’re two of you’ll, but I got three big brothers now watching my back!”

 

At this point an unknown man walks down to the ring and enters. He is an older fully bald gentleman in a suit. “Let me introduce myself.” this stranger says. “I’m the president of the National Wrestling Alliance, Bob Geigel [2] . I would now like to play a little video for everyone.” The footage starts with Harley Race: “You know Fritz Von Erich and I have never been friends. In fact, I hate his guts. But I’ve always respected him. And I can say Ric Flair has always been a fighting champion. And seeing Kerry Von Erich, a snot nose punk, win a title that I sweated blood and guts to win a record tying six times like that, makes me sick! If I get the chance, I’ll gladly tan Kerry Von Erich’s hide on my way to number seven.” The clip then goes to Bill Watts who runs Mid-South Pro Wrestling. He says “I’ve known Fritz Von Erich for many years. He is a true friend. And I know he raised his sons right. But sometimes you can’t help it when a bad seed becomes a bad apple. I never thought Kerry would resort to using a crooked official to win, let alone associate with trash like Michael Hayes and the Freebirds. I am here right now to say, Fritz I’m here for you and will assist you in anyway possible.” The next clip is of Jim Crockett Jr. “As you know the NWA title is recognized the world over. And we at Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling were proud to have Ric Flair, one of our competitors hold the title. Now certainly, we have nothing but respect for World Class and would welcome a legitimate World Class NWA champion with open arms. But Kerry Von Erich is not my eyes a legitimate world’s champion. He should be stripped of the title and it should be returned to the ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair.”

 

The montage ends and Bob Geigel then says that the result of the Flair-Von Erich match at Star Wars is under review and a final decision on the legitimacy of the title change will be handed down in the next week. The crowd erupts and the Freebirds are furious.

 

Later the whole rest of the Von Erichs come down (including Doris, Mike and Chris) to express their dismay with Kerry and virulent hatred of the Freebirds. Fritz almost to the point of tears, swears revenge and promises he will “beat some sense” into his son. Doris is crying saying she can’t believe “one of my boys that I raised, would do this to his parents, his family!” David swears he will not rest until his brother has paid for what he has done, challenging him to a match assuming he’s allowed to keep the title, hoping the NWA doesn’t allow a “sham champion” to wear it’s strap. Kevin then chimes in “Kerry, you broke mom and dad’s heart. I don’t know how you could do it . . . ‘Captain Cowboy’ (said in an extremely sneering voice). But let me tell you right now, NWA champion or no NWA champion, you’re going to pay for your sins and you’re going to pay heavily.” The Von Erichs then leave the ring, very somberly.

The next week the program starts with the announcement of a battle royal for the night’s main event. After the opening match between “Wild” Bill Irwin and Ken Mantell, Bob Geigel comes out to read his decision. The wrestling world is on pins and needles. Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s latest cover is “Texas Traitor! How could Kerry do it?!” Inside Wrestling’s cover, following suit, reads “Kerry to David: ‘The ‘Birds are My Brother’s Now!’” He starts by calling Michael Hayes and Kerry Von Erich down to the ring. Their music plays and they come looking arrogant as ever, yet still very concerned. “First off, I want to say that the NWA finds the events of Christmas Night to be the most distasteful display of sportsmanship and reckless disregard for the high standards that the National Wrestling Alliance holds. First, I will address “Freebird” Michael Hayes. Mr. Hayes, you were assigned as a referee for the Ric Flair-Kerry Von Erich match. Your duty was to be neutral and call the match down the middle. You failed at this endeavor. Furthermore, you interfered on behalf of a participant. For this heinous action, you are hereby barred from ever refereeing a match in any NWA territory, ever again!” Hayes gets livid, starts yelling and saying “This is bull man, bull!” “Furthermore, you are being fined $3,000.” Hayes goes even more berserk and gets in Geigel’s face. The crowd is deafening. “I warn you Mr. Hayes, I am the NWA President. Put one hand on me and you will be GONE from the NWA.” Hayes gets madder, the crowd gets louder, but Hayes reluctantly backs off. [3] “As for you Mr. Von Erich, it was a close vote. It in fact, went 4-3. However, it was concluded that since Michael Hayes was a designated official that night and though you were an opportunist, no apparent pre-match collaboration was involved, you are officially the recognized NWA World Champion!” Hayes and Kerry start jumping up and down, high-fiving to the crowds chagrin. “However, beings World’s Champion has its obligations. And one of those is giving the former champion his obligatory rematch. I am now here to tell you that this will happen next week in Charlotte, North Carolina! Good day Gentlemen!” Bob Geigel leaves as Kerry and Hayes fume over title terms being dictated to them. “Tell you what: I’m really pissed right now!” Michael Hayes vents. “While I can’t hit this bald jerk, I am gonna take it out on everyone who’s not one of my brothers in tonight’s battle royal!”

 

Main event time comes and the various participants are called for the battle royal. All four Freebirds come in at the same time. Finally Kevin and David Von Erich are called in, and the match begins. The Von Erichs fight their way through the competitors to make it to their estranged brother and his new comrades. Kerry, seeing the look in his older brothers’ eyes, eliminates himself. David follows suit and chases Kerry to the back area. Kevin, along with his good friend Brian Adias, takes on the remaining ‘Birds. Eventually both sides are forced to fight other wrestlers as well who aren’t so concerned with this feud. King Kong Bundy who already eliminated three other wrestlers wants to add his old nemesis Kevin and Adias to his list. He tried to use his sheer bulk to push them both over, but the two wound up eliminating him with a double back-drop. The Freebirds have plenty of adversaries as well, eliminating Al Madril, who succeeds in taking Buddy “Jack” with him. Finally only Hayes, Gordy, Kevin and Adias are left. They start circling one another and go at it. Gordy pairs off against Adias and Kevin against “P.S.” Hayes. Gordy is able to overpower the smaller Adias and eliminate him. He then goes over to help his “brother” out, only to have Kevin slug him then ram their heads together. He quickly throws Hayes over the top rope, and then goes for “Bam-Bam”. But Gordy, having a hard noggin, has recovered and knocks Kevin over the top rope for a Freebird victory. [4]

 

To say the wrestling world is abuzz would be an understatement. Everyone is awaiting the Flair-Von Erich rematch. Finally the day arrives. Ric Flair is called to the ring for his first interview since the match. He comes to the ring. “You know, I was world’s champion for over for over 1 year. I traveled all over the world, fought the toughest contenders and always came out ahead. Any yeah, I fought dirty. I am the dirtiest player in the game. But you know what? Ric Flair has always won or lost to his opponents. He never had the help of the referee. Kerry, you’re nothing but a fraud champion, traveling with a bunch of low-lifes, including that cheap rip-off of me, Michael Hayes! But let me tell you something now brother- tonight, in Charlotte, by God North Carolina, the Nature Boy becomes, a two-time, yes two-time World’s champion. And that’s all I gotta say about that. Whoo!”

 

After the preliminary matches, Kerry comes out to Lynrd Skynrd’s “Freebird” dressed in a Confederate flag robe, with Michael Hayes. The North Carolina crowd is booing them like crazy. Kerry is looked at as an outsider and a usurper. Then outcomes the “Nature Boy” to an eruption. He gets to the ring. The referee orders Hayes to return to the dressing room, which after arguing about it in typical Freebird fashion, he does. The bell rings and the champion and former champion go at it. Though both are sound wrestlers, it resembles more of a street fight with punches and chops being exchanged. At one point Kerry is pounding Flair while he is on the ropes . . . and an eye-rake by the “Nature Boy” turns the advantage to Flair. He wails on Von Erich again and again. Body slams him and hits the patented Flair knee-drop. He picks him up and throws him from one ring post to the other. Kerry charges out only to be hit with a clothesline. Flair picks him up again and bangs Kerry’s head against a ring post ten times. Kerry falls down and Flair signals for the figure-four. The crowd’s noise is deafening as they wait to see the rightful champion take back his crown from the reviled Freebird. Flair is setting Kerry up for the figure-four when Michael Hayes runs down to ring-side. He gets on the apron only to be slugged by Flair. Then Buddy Roberts shows up on the other side, and Flair meets him with a kick and throws him down. While Flair was grappling with Roberts, Terry Gordy comes down and throws Kerry a chain, the referee being pre-occupied with the other ‘Birds misses it. Flair walks over to finish off Kerry only to get slugged. Kerry then covers Flair for 1 2 3! The crowd is an uproar. The other Freebirds enter the ring, congratulate Kerry, then they proceed to beat Flair down. He is pounded mercilessly until Mid-Atlantic wrestling officials finally pull them off Flair. The Freebirds leave the ring triumphantly.

 

The next week, they appear back at the Sportatorium in Dallas. Bill Mercer recaps to the Texas crowd what happened in Charlotte, the match actually being played in its entirety.

 

After a couple of opening matches, Skynrd plays and out comes the four Freebirds to be interviewed by Marc Lowrance. He starts the interview by asking Kerry, “Now Kerry, how can you live with yourself by winning like this? This is a disgrace to the Von Erich na- . . .” Kerry pulls the microphone away and says “If I hear one more person say I’m a disgrace to the ‘Von Erich name’, I’m gonna puke. Let me tell you right now Marc Lowrance, ‘Captain Cowboy’ got where he is by his own hard work and training and with great friends like Mike, Terry and Buddy. Not because of my dad or brothers!” The crowd upon hearing this boos extremely loud. Marc Lowrance asks “How can you say that? Your dad raised you to be a champion. He taught you everything you know. You would have nothing if it weren’t for him.” Michael Hayes then chimes in “Look, no one denies Fritz WAS a great wrestler. And Kevin and David certainly have talent. But come on. Fritz never won the NWA World Title. And Kerry here is the youngest of the three. Actions speak louder than words.” “On to last week in Charlotte” Lowrance continues, “Terry Gordy, how can you justify your actions last week, interfering in Ric Flair’s rematch?” “Let me tell you daddy”, Terry says, “me and my brothers work together. Always have, always will. And on Christmas day, Santa gave the Fabulous Freebirds the best two gifts we could ever have; a new little brother and the World Title! And ain’t nothin’ or nobody gonna ever change that! And we’ll do whatever it takes to keep this ‘ten pounds of gold’ in the Freebird camp.” “Well, be that as it is”, Marc Lowrance says, I must now tell you something. The Freebird camp may hold the World Title, but it still must follow the decisions of World Class. And tonight, you have been booked in a tag-team match against Kevin and David Von Erich!” The crowd goes crazy as the ‘Birds verbally show their dismay. “Oh my!” says announcer Bill Mercer. “This is huge news. The only question is ‘Which two Freebirds will wrestle tonight?”

 

The main event approaches. Throughout the broadcast Bill Mercer ponders the question of whether or not tonight we would see a Von Erich vs. Von Erich showdown. Finally “Freebird” plays on the loud-speaker and the predictable boos start. Out come . . . Freebirds Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy! The intra-family match will not be taking place tonight. Then the Von Erichs music hits and outcome Kevin and David Von Erich to deafening cheers of the Dallas crowd.

 

After an intense session of verbal jousting Bam-Bam and David start out, “. . . not surprising considering the temper on both of these gentlemen.” announcer Bill Mercer points out. They lock up and it turns to a headlock with David having the advantage. Gordy pushes David against the ropes and they run shoulders into each other. David falls. He gets up and they start throwing punches, Gordy gaining a decisive advantage. “David does not want to go that route with Terry Gordy” says Bill Mercer. David answers with a kick, and then a body slam. He picks Gordy up, puts him in an arm-bar and a tag and in comes Kevin over the top rope chopping Gordy’s arm. He then takes the arm bar. “You can see the look of pain on Gordy’s face.” Bill Mercer says. He slugs Kevin who moves so he doesn’t feel the full impact. Terry gets closer to his corner only to be jerked away. Another punch and he gets closer and is then jerked away. Finally a third and this time Buddy Roberts is tagged in. Kevin soon bests Roberts, then tags David in, causing the ‘Birds to go to the floor to regroup. Gordy tries to enter only to be admonished by referee David Manning on not tagging. Roberts then goes in only to shortly tag Gordy moments later. Gordy rakes David‘s eyes and the tide turns. The Freebirds dominate for a few minutes, when Gordy misses a dropkick. He then charges David only to have his head slammed into the turnbuckle. Both men struggle to their corners. Gordy tags first, then David tags his older brother, who clears house! After a minute, Terry Gordy tries to interfere, only to be met by a David Von Erich dropkick taking him out the ring. Kevin then signals for the claw and puts it on Buddy Roberts! Moments later Roberts submits, and the crowd goes crazy.

 

“Here come the other Freebirds!”  Bill Mercer screams into the microphone. Kerry and Michael Hayes storm the ring and as Gordy and Roberts recover, it gradually goes from 2 to 3 then 4 on 2. It looks the Freebirds will fly high again. “Oh my God!” Mercer exclaims. “That is not … that is! That’s the ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair!” And sure enough Ric Flairs storms the ring to assist Kevin and David Von Erich, and in mere moments the trio clears the Freebirds out the ring. The show ends as the three of them guard the ring with clenched fists and gritted teeth, not really acknowledging one and other and stays that way until the theme music and credits play. [5]

 

By this time the whole wrestling world is talking about Ric Flair’s appearance on World Class. From Florida to Missouri to Mid-South- even in Japan, people are abuzz about what is going to happen next. Finally next weeks program rolls around. The show starts with an immediate recap of events. “No one knows what’s going on”, Bill Mercer says. “It is a well-known that Ric Flair is not a regular World Class competitor and he is definitely NOT a friend of the Von Erichs. Remember not long ago he hired the Great Kabuki to take Kerry out [6] , which regardless of current feelings must have caused the Von Erich family much grief. But we will try to get to the bottom of this situation later on tonight.”

 

Later on Michael Hayes comes out for a match with Johnny Mantell. Hayes, with a wild look in his eye previously unseen, tears into his opponent, beating him like a dog. He scores a quick pinfall after a DDT. His other three brothers enter the ring and they take a few parting shots on Mantell before throwing him out. Hayes grabs the microphone. “So ‘The Nature Boooy’ Ric Flair wants to come down to World Class and stick that big nose of his in the Freebird’s business. Well, Jack you just opened yourself up a can of worms that you ain’t gonna be able to close!” Buddy Roberts then takes the mic. “You see Flair, the Freebirds don’t take kindly to anyone getting in our way. Let alone some Yankee prima donna like you. Well ‘Slick Ric’ your gonna find out what it’s like to take a walk on the darker side of Badstreet!” Kerry then grabs the microphone and unlike his ‘brothers’ he’s actually grinning. “Well, well”, said Kerry actually laughing a little, “My ‘family’ has betrayed me again. First they try to take away MY special moment. Then they side with a man who tried to take me out. I mean Ric Flair hired the Great Kabuki to put me on the shelf for good and (making a gesture showing his chiseled physique) if I hadn’t been this, it would’ve worked. Well no worries, because ‘Captain Cowboy’ and the Freebirds are used to adversity. And were going to show all of you just why were the cream of the crop and the rest of you are second rate.” Noticing a sudden jubilation in the crowd the Freebirds look down the entrance way and to their chagrin outcomes Ric Flair.  He literally has to fight off female fans reaching for him as he reaches and enters the ring. “Let me tell you something.’ Flair begins. “You come out here in Dallas by God Texas and dare say that the ‘Nature Boy’ is second rate? Let me tell you I’ve walked the aisle in every state, in Canada, Japan, the Caribbean … I’ve set new standard for what a world champion is. And if you think I am going to let some snot nose kid say he’s better than me with his three inbred friends, then sonny, you got another thing coming. Because that’s my belt you got and I’m taking it back.” “Flair,” Kerry responds, “you got your rematch! If you want another shot, you’ll have to get back in line and earn it!” “Gladly” Ric says. “And guess what, I’m not here just to talk. Because World Class has given me a match against the only one of you four who hasn’t run his big mouth tonight. ‘Bam-Bam’ brother, you better stretch and warm-up because at the main event tonight, you’re going head on with ‘The Nature Boy’. Whoooo!” The ‘Birds get angry, but Gordy takes the microphone and responds “Hey, I got this. Ric keep talking now, because later on tonight your ass is mine!”

 

Main event time comes and both men make their way down to the ring. It turns into a classic match with Flair relying on his typical finesse and skill along with typical Flair rule breaking whenever he can get a chance, with Gordy using his power and street fighting along with his solid ring credentials. The match goes on for a while until Flair gets a decisive upper hand. He then puts Gordy in the figure-four leg-lock causing the biggest ‘Bird immense pain, but Terry will not submit. All of a sudden the other Freebirds come down to the ring only to shortly after be joined by Kevin and David Von Erich. They go at it and the meantime Gordy was able to reach the ropes. Referee Bronko Lubich [7] is busy with the outside altercation and is not able to break the hold. Gordy then reaches into his tights and pulls out something. He then throws powder in Ric Flair’s eyes causing Flair to breaks the hold. Gordy, having to use the ropes to get up grabs a stunned Flair, hits him with his piledriver. Lubich comes back into position and makes the three count. The Birds then regroup and scatter while Flair is left lying in the ring to shortly be assisted by David and Kevin.

 

A week later week Bill Mercer opens World Class Championship Wrestling by saying that based on Terry Gordy’s defeat of Ric Flair the previous week, he would be getting a shot at Kevin Von Erich’s American Heavyweight Title tonight.

 

David successfully defends his Texas Heavyweight Title against the big, tough Mongol [8] in rather quick fashion.

 

Kerry defends his World Title for the first time on a televised World Class event against the veteran ring tactician, Al Madril [9] . The match is solid and fought scientifically on both ends. Madril makes a great effort, but in the end, Kerry gets a submission win with the iron claw.

 

The American Title match is a brutal encounter with both resorting more to street-fighting and dirty tactics than actual wrestling. Kevin after several minutes of intense fighting starts to gain the upper hand nailing Gordy with three dropkicks in a row, then following that with a hip-toss. He then signals, to the crowd’s delight, for the iron claw. At this Buddy Roberts hits the ring apron and starts screaming, only to drop to the floor when Kevin approaches him. Roberts then runs around the ring, slowing down at the first turnbuckle. “I think I saw Buddy drop something” Bill Mercer comments. Buddy gets up on the other side of the ring and this time does not drop down so easily, causing David Manning to have to stand between him and Kevin Von Erich. Terry Gordy meanwhile crawls to the turnbuckle where Roberts slowed down and picks up whatever he dropped. Kevin approaches him and Gordy takes a swing, only for Kevin to dodge it and slug Gordy. The Freebird goes flying into the ropes to be met with a kick to the stomach. Kevin then goes for the claw, but Gordy stops it at the last second holding Von Erich’s hand seemingly for his life. Gordy manages to slug Kevin with his loaded hand, causing Kevin to bend down. “Bam-Bam” then puts Kevin in a small package for the win.

 

One week later: Skynrd [10] starts playing and down come the ‘Birds looking more arrogant than ever before. Hayes, Von Erich and Roberts are all dancing and strutting while Gordy walks calm and coolly. Most noticeable is that Michael Hayes has another belt besides his American Tag Team Title belt. Buddy Roberts is carrying the Six-Man Trophy. “Well the crowd knows that last week Terry Gordy beat Kevin Von Erich for the American Heavyweight Title last week. But what is that other belt Michael Hayes has?” Bill Mercer asks. The music stops and “P.S.” starts talking. “Well last week my big brother ‘Bam-Bam’, after earning his shot at Kevin Von Erich by beating Ric Flair clean in the ring, did what he said he was gonna do- he became the American Heavyweight Champion. But many of you Texans may not know that earlier this week I beat Harley Race for the Missouri Title in St. Louis.” A clip is then shown of Michael Hayes wrestling Harley Race. The match was fairly by the book, with some intense street fighting mixed in, but eventually, following a steel chair to the back of Harley Race’s head by Kerry, Hayes emerged victorious. [11] “Now don’t you see, we’re not just taking over Texas, we’re taking over the whole damn world! In fact, the only brother without a belt is Buddy ‘Jack’”, says Hayes, then looking over at Roberts. “And I think the Texas Heavyweight title would look just perfect around Buddy’s waist, don’t you agree?” said Mike to Buddy, who nods. Hayes continues, “So how bout it David, or are you chicken?” At this point, David comes out looking not happy. He boldly steps in the ring with the ‘Birds by himself. “A brave but maybe not wise move.” Bill Mercer comments. “I tell you what” David starts, “You want a shot at my belt, Freebird?” he says directly to Buddy Roberts. Roberts responds, “You know I do, punk!” “Well I tell you what, you three” he says pointing to Roberts, Hayes and Gordy, put the Six-Man Titles that I helped you win on the line tonight [12] , and next week, Buddy can have his shot!” The crowd roars. The Freebirds then huddle and speak amongst themselves for a moment. Hayes then pops his head out and says “Deal!” At that David leaves the ring.

 

Main event time comes. Though David never announced his partners, everyone assumed who they would be- and were not disappointed on either choice. First David and Kevin enter the ring. Then out come the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Then Skynrd starts up and out come the Freebirds. The match starts as a peer six brawl. Finally, referee David Manning is able to restore some semblance of order. Kevin and Hayes start off, with Kevin gaining a decisive advantage. Hayes is worked over a bit until he can tag Roberts. Roberts then comes in only to be put down by a Ric Flair chop/snap mare combo. After a bit, Buddy finally tags in Terry Gordy. Gordy is able to turn the tide for his ‘brothers’ for a while, beating Kevin. Gordy takes a shot on the apron at David causing him to run in and allowing the ‘Birds to get a quick beatdown in. Eventually Kevin is able to tag in David after a missed Terry Gordy top rope elbow-drop and David enters like a bat out of hell. Chaos breaks lose as all men are in the ring, David and Roberts the legal men. Kerry comes down to ringside and picks up a chair. David Manning is distracted and Kerry attempts to hit David … only to have Brian Adias pull the chair from him and nail Kerry with the chair! Buddy Roberts, is gawking at Adias and David hits him with a flying cross body press from the top rope. David Manning counts 1 2 3. The Sportatorium erupts! Adias [13]comes in the ring with the chair and helps his comrades clear the ring. The Six-Man Trophy is presented to the new champions as they celebrate while the Freebirds leave in defeat.

 

The next week show has Bill Mercer interview with Brian Adias before a match with the unpredictable and vicious “Killer” Tim Brooks. To the roar of the crowd, Adias comes out for his interview. “Now Brian,’”, Bill Mercer says “what was the reason you decided to interfere in last weeks Six-Man Championship match?” “Bill Mercer, as you and many of these fans know, I go a long way back with the Von Erichs. A LONG way. Kerry and I have been friends since high school and I know David and Kevin real well, too. At least I thought I knew Kerry. And there was no way I was just going to stand in the back with my hands in my pockets while that trash from Atlanta and that traitor robbed my friends of the Six-Man Titles. “But Brian” Bill Mercer asks, “aren’t you worried about retaliation from the Freebirds?” “I am not under any delusion that the Freebirds aren’t tough guys that one has to watch out for. And believe me I will. But I wasn’t raised to back down, either. And speaking of tough guys, ‘Killer’ Brooks [14] is gunning for me, so I have to get ready.” Adias then leaves to prepare for his upcoming match.

 

Adias and Brooks have a great match, with Adias relying on power and technical skill, Brooks more on roughhousing tactics. At about the ten minute mark, Adias is able to capitalize on a missed Brooks turnbuckle charge, and pin him with a top-rope flying body press. Right after he wins, the Freebirds, minus Buddy Roberts, storm the ring, but Adias is too quick for them and makes a hasty exit before any damage can be inflicted on him. He grins victoriously at the three ‘Birds from the apron who stare daggers at him in the ring. They eventually leave the ring, but as they do Hayes drops to the ground near one of the turnbuckles, ostensibly to tie his shoes, while his two “brothers” block him from view of the cameras.

 

Later on Buddy Roberts comes down the aisle for his Texas Title match. David Von Erich’s music hits and the crowd predictably went crazy. The good guys have been on a much needed roll with last week’s six-man victory and Brian Adias’ earlier escape. The match starts with Roberts hitting David while he is taking off his robe. He is able to get some cheap shots in until David is able to nail a hard dropkick reversing the tide. From that point, David is the dominant athlete with Buddy “Jack” getting in the occasional move or cheap shot. As the match goes on David is able to throw Roberts into the turnbuckle and charge him. He then proceeds to nail him with a barrage of punches causing David Manning to separate and admonish him. Roberts exits the ring, falling to the apron. While on the floor he puts his hand underneath the ring and pulls something out, causing the crowd to stir but this action is noticed by neither David Manning nor David Von Erich. He then climbs on the apron. David attempts to suplex him in, only to be slugged by Buddy and whatever he has in his hands. Roberts falls on top of David, getting the pin and to the abhorrence of the crowd becomes the Texas Heavyweight Champion.

 

The next week the World Class program starts out with its first segment being the ‘Birds coming down the ring all proudly wearing the straps. Michael Hayes as usual, starts out. “Well I told you we were gonna do it, and by God we went and done it! Buddy ‘Jack’.” Roberts, taking the cue says “David Von Erich, face it! Last week you lost to a better man and a better athlete (The crowd starts booing to an increasingly deafening tone). The Fabulous Freebirds said we would control all the titles, and we kept our word. ‘Captain Cowboy’.” Kerry takes the microphone and states, “Buddy, you are completely right. Even though these stupid Texans (the crowd’s disapproval grows even louder, which as loud as it was a few seconds before had seemed impossible) don’t seem to get it, they better get used to the idea that the four of us are THE dominant force in the world of professional wrestling. Not some second-raters, like my older brothers.” Marc Lowrance then chimes in “So Kerry, you think David is a second-rate wrestler?” “I do.” Kerry responds. “Well Kerry” Lowrance says, “I think I have some good news for your brother, Buddy. Due to the fact the World Class promoters don’t seem to think Buddy Roberts won the Texas Title on hard work and athletic ability alone, David Von Erich is getting a rematch for the title tonight!”  The crowd roars as the Freebirds show their general disgust by yelling and rambling on about how unfair things are. Buddy “Jack” finally takes the microphone and says “You want me Von Erich, you got me! Be prepared to get your ass beat!!” At this, Freebirds leave the ring.

 

Later that night Brian Adias has a match against “Wild” Bill Irwin [15] . It is a good match with Adias resorting to more technical wrestling with Irwin resorting to roughhouse moves. After six minutes Adias nails Irwin with the Russian leg-sweep to put Irwin down and out. But before he can get the pin the Freebirds storm the ring and give him a rough beatdown. He tries to fight back, but it is in vain as the situation was 4 on 1. Kevin and David Von Erich run down to save him, but the damage has already been done. “I think Brian may need to go to the hospital” Bill Mercer says despondently. “Payback, that’s payback!” Michael Hayes yells from the entrance ramp.

 

The main event approaches with Buddy coming to the ring proudly and arrogantly with his newly won Texas Title. David’s music then hits and the crowd roars. There isn’t even any time for introductions as the two go right at it. It is a classic pier six brawl. The match goes on for a few minutes when Roberts attempts a clothesline after an Irish whip. David ducks it, and puts on the iron claw. Buddy starts reeling. Soon enough the other three ‘Birds come running down the aisle. They are attacked from behind by Kevin Von Erich but soon gain a 3 on 1 advantage. All of a sudden, covered in bandages… out comes Brian Adias! All hell is breaking loose outside as the odds are much closer to even. Eventually, Kerry Von Erich breaks away from the fight to hit the ring for the save … but is too late as Buddy Roberts submits before he can get into the ring. He runs under the ropes and charges his brother … and David meets him with the iron claw! Kerry tries to escape to no avail. Eventually the outside fighting enters the ring. David breaks the claw, helps Kevin and Adias clear the ring of the Freebirds and then has his hand raised triumphantly while the crowd cheers as he is awarded his Texas Title all the time while he is keeping an eye on the Freebirds. “Kerry, that’s a taste of what’s to come!” David yells at the estranged “Captain” as the show comes to a close.

 

This feud, now indisputably the hottest in wrestling, keeps on going. On March 4 in Dallas, David Von Erich has a Texas Title defense against “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin, a tough technically sound wrestler, but at the same time a prima donna who has long curly dark brown hair and a hot blonde valet named Sunshine while Terry Gordy has a rematch against Kevin Von Erich with his American Heavyweight Title on the line.

 

David and Garvin wrestle a hard-hitting match. Garvin uses dirty tactics whenever the opportunity arises, but David always seems to bounce back and keep control. When Von Erich looks like he is going to finish Garvin off, Sunshine jumps on the ring apron and distract the referee. Michael Hayes runs down to ringside and climbs on the other side of the apron, catching David’s attention. While running towards Hayes, who jumps off the apron, Garvin pulls something from his tights and nails David with it when he turns around, covering him for the pin and title.

 

In the headliner, Gordy and Kevin do not even wait for the bell to ring to start brawling. It is an out and out slug fest. Every dirty tactic in the book is used. Kevin, on threat of a double-DQ by David Manning, tones it down and starts using more traditional wrestling holds. Gordy follows suit and eventually it looks like he will nail Kevin with his piledriver. But Kevin counters it with a back body drop and jumps on top of Gordy, quickly putting the iron claw on him. This brings the other ‘Birds to ringside, but David and Brian Adias are there to stop the run-in and Kevin gets the pin, regaining the American Title.

 

A couple of weeks later after another series of incredibly intense matches, the Freebirds come to the ring in Dallas. Bill Mercer has already announced that in the main event tonight, the Freebirds would be defending their American Tag Team Titles against Kevin and David Von Erich. “Well Von Erichs, you got yourself a title match tonight. But, a couple of days ago, your buddy Adias ran into a little trouble, so I wouldn’t count on his help tonight.” Michael Hayes says with a leering grin. “In fact, I wouldn’t count on seeing him around for a LONG time.” [16] Kerry then takes the mic and says “Brian, I always liked you, but you should have known better than to get in my business. Now you were an old friend, so we took it easy on you, but anyone else with any wild ideas should realize that next time the Freebirds might not be so nice.” Buddy Roberts then chimes in “And with Ric Flair always hiding from us in the Carolinas, Kevin, David… it looks like you’re all alone.” They then leave the ring. On the next segment, Bill Mercer confirms that Brian Adias has in fact been badly injured and will be out for some time.

 

The main event approaches and Gordy and Hayes come down to the ring. Then come the Von Erich brothers. When they get down to ringside, Kevin picks up the microphone and boldly states “Freebirds, tonight’s ass-kicking will be dedicated to Brian Adias!” The Von Erichs then enter the ring and the four go at it. Calling it a wrestling match would be a stretch. In no time all four men are covered in crimson masks. David Manning realizing that all order is lost calls for the double-DQ. At this, Roberts and Kerry storm the ring and a four on two follows. With David busy with Gordy, Roberts and Hayes hold down Kevin for Kerry to nail with a chair … only to have it taken from him by the “Iceman” King Parsons, a tough, charismatic, all-around solid wrestler who is a known friend of the Von Erichs. Parsons then wallops Kerry with the chair, and then quickly goes to work on the other ‘Birds. He, David and Kevin are left in the ring to the crowd’s loud cheers.

 

The next week “Iceman” is interviewed by Bill Mercer. His theme song “We are Family” plays to a thunderous applause. “‘Iceman’ as glad as we were all to see you help out David and Kevin last week” Bill Mercer says, “aren’t you afraid of payback from the Freebirds?” “Well, I tell you Bill Mercer, since I was a little boy, I was always taught that when you had a problem with someone, you took care of it, but you did it to one on one not four on two. I was also taught to stick by my friends. And I tell you Kevin and David have been my friends since I got to World Class, and their daddy, Mr. Fritz has been so good to me. So when I saw that turncoat brother of theirs and that rooty poot Buddy Roberts, come to the ring, I knew I had to do something. And well, I did!” The crowd roars. “But ‘Iceman’ Bill Mercer went on, what about Brian Adias?”  “Iceman” paused for a moment then said “Brother, what they did to Brian was wrong. But I’ve been fighting punks like the Freebirds since I was a little boy. And one thing I know is you can’t let bullies like that rule over you. If you do, you’ll never have any self-respect.” “Well ‘Iceman’, later on tonight you and Kevin will be meeting Buddy Roberts and Michael Hayes. Any words for your opponents?” “Freebirds, brothas, you had better watch out, because The ‘Iceman’ and Kevin are going to whip you like yo mommas should’ve done a long time ago.” At that “Iceman” Parsons leaves to prepare for his match.

 

When match time arrives, both teams come down. The Freebirds, already elated that Terry Gordy beat the Great Kabuki for the World Class Brass Knuckles Title[17] in a brutal match earlier on, are looking to end the night with two bloodbaths. Michael Hayes, using classic Freebird psychology pointed at “Iceman”, telling him “you’re next” in reference to Brian Adias. “Iceman” retaliates by clenching his fists, telling Hayes to “Come on”. The match itself goes clean considering the circumstances. Parsons and Kevin work extraordinarily well for two men who have hardly ever wrestled together before. After a Freebird mishap, Michael Hayes is left sprawled out on the floor with Roberts stunned as he has accidentally slugged his partner instead of “Iceman” Parsons. “Iceman”, seeing his opportunity, nails Buddy with his patented butt-bump and scores the pinfall.

 

The feud continues. Throughout Texas David and Kevin along with “Iceman” and Ric Flair, wrestle rough often bloody matches with the Freebirds. Outside interference, foreign objects and post-match beatdowns are commonplace. Along the way, David recaptures his Texas Title from Jimmy Garvin and “Iceman” King Parsons wins the World Class Television Title [18] from Tola Yatsu. Finally, it is announced that on the April 22 show, a special eight man elimination match will take place between the Freebirds and the team of Kevin and David Von Erich, Ric Flair and the “Iceman” King Parsons. If the Freebirds win, they get to shave the head of the last survivor. But if their opponents win, the man scoring the winning fall will receive a World Title shot at Kerry Von Erich at the upcoming Star Wars [19] show on June 17.

 

The week before the eight man match, the Freebirds come out for an interview very cockily. As usual Michael Hayes starts off. “Well, this is getting interesting. If those four punks they are putting against us can somehow score a victory against us, then one of them gets ‘Captain Cowboy’ at Star Wars. Let me tell you, ain’t gonna happen!” You’re jumpin’ on all 4 ‘Birds at once. And birds of a feather flock together. Terry Gordy chimes in, “David, Kevin, Flair, ‘Iceman’, do you really think you have a chance against us? I could probably beat the four of you myself. But with my three brothers on my side, beating us is an impossible task. Take a lot at what my brother is holding.” He then points toward Buddy Roberts. “This” Roberts says, “is patented Freebird hair cream [20] . And it’s going to turn one of you-at least one of you- into a bald-headed geek! If I were you, I wouldn’t even show up!” Finally Kerry chimes in “Kevin, David, now what would mom think if you were bald? Back out while you can. Or Flair, I know how much you would love to lose your hair. Don’t think you would like it too much either ‘Iceman’.” The Freebirds then return to the locker room to get ready for an upcoming tag match against David and “Iceman”.

 

The main event is a great tag match with Roberts and Hayes representing the Freebirds. In about ten minutes, the heroes are able to knock Hayes out the ring with a double-dropkick and Kevin is able to get a 3 count on Roberts with a head-scissors takedown.

Before their hands can be raised though, Gordy and Kerry storm the ring and nail both David and “Iceman” with chairs. Hayes climbs back in the ring holding the container of Freebird hair cream! He is about to douse David with it as the other ‘Birds hold him up when Kevin comes charging to the ring with a chair. He is able to connect hard with Buddy Robert’s right shoulder as Buddy “Jack” and the rest of his cohorts scatter.

 

The night of the big tag match finally arrives. The heroes are interviewed pre-match. “Now David” Marc Lowrance says, last week, the Freebirds, including your own brother, tried to remove your hair with that cream they have. And you could lose it tonight. What do you say to that?” “Marc” David replies, “I can’t believe Kerry has become what he has become. It sickens me and it breaks my heart. BUT, my goal tonight-all our goals- is to beat the Freebirds to a bloody pulp, have one of us get a shot at Star Wars-doesn’t matter who- and get that belt from Kerry’s waist.” “Kevin you saved your brother in the nick of time last week.” Marc Lowrance says. “I know. Thank God. I didn’t let them take David’s hair last week and I don’t intend on it this week. Freebirds, watch out.” “‘Iceman’.” Lowrance says addressing Parson who then chimes in, “Freebirds, you think you tough? Well tonight we (makes a hand gesture pointing to his partners) are gonna show you just how tough you are.” “And last but not least Ric Flair.” Marc Lowrance says to the “Nature Boy”. “So you think Ric Flair is hiding from you? Yeah I heard that. Well guess what? I’ve never hidden from anyone and I’m not about to start now. You know Ric Flair is a busy man. And if you think four losers like you can get MY hair, brother, think again. Woo!”

 

The bell rings for the main event. Hayes, Gordy and Kerry come down the ring … with Jimmy Garvin. When they get to the ring, Michael Hayes takes the microphone. “Shut up!” he yells to the loud boos. “Last week Kevin Von Erich took a cheap shot at Buddy ‘Jack’ with a chair! Don’t worry he’ll be back. But the doctor says he should take a week off. So in his place, I found us a real man for a replacement, ‘Gorgeous’ Jimmy Garvin.” Garvin takes the microphone and says “Don’t worry Mike, I won’t let you down.” Kevin, David, Flair and “Iceman” hit the ring and the crowd roars. Referees David Manning and Bronko Lubich clear the ring of all but two men (Gordy and David Von Erich) and the match starts. It tears the house down. It is hard-hitting, intense and at times even scientific. Kerry avoids his brothers at all costs, only tagging in when another wrestler is in and tagging out when one of them tags in. The replacement, Jimmy Garvin, is the first to go after having an attempted suplex turn into a small package by Ric Flair. The Freebirds are not happy at this. Terry Gordy evens the odds in about five minutes, pinning “Iceman” with a piledriver. Things get intense between Gordy and Kevin on the outside and both wind up getting counted out. Michael Hayes comes in against Ric Flair. They grapple for a while and eventually hurt each other when both attempt dropkicks. Flair goes to his corner while Hayes to his. Flair manages to tag in Kevin while Kerry hesitates with Hayes, allowing David to roll him up and get the pin. The crowd really comes alive at this point knowing Kerry finally has to face one of his brothers. After a long hesitation, he finally comes in and the two lock up. Kerry uses his strength to push David away. They lock up again and the same thing happens. Then again, but this time David uses his legs to take Kerry down. He then starts wailing away on his brother and nails him with a dropkick, He fumbles into the wrong corner directly into a right hand by Ric Flair. David then bodyslams him and tags in “The Nature Boy”. Flair goes to work on Kerry particular using moves to soften up his legs. Eventually he goes for his patented figure-four leg-lock, which Kerry stops by kicking him as he puts it on. Flair flies into his own corner and David quickly tags him. David climbs to the top rope, hits Kerry with a flying body press and gets the pinfall victory. The crowd goes crazy! Kevin and ‘Iceman’ come back to the ring to celebrate while Kerry quickly exits. David, Kevin and Parsons call Ric Flair over to celebrate. Flair walks over and slowly shakes David’s hand, but it is evident he is not happy about having been tagged out so quickly.

 

The next World Class program starts off to thunderous applause as David and Kevin Von Erich make their way to the ring. “First off, before I say anything else David, congratulations for winning a World Title shot at Star Wars.” Bill Mercer says quite joyfully. “Thank you, Mr. Mercer.” David replies. “And I want to tell all my fans out here and watching at home, I plan on bringing respect back to the Von Erich name. And I plan on teaching ‘Captain Cowboy’ a lesson he’ll never forget.” Kevin then chimes in “David, you’re going to bring home the gold, I know it.” All of a sudden an interruption occurs as Michael Hayes and Kerry Von Erich approach ringside. “So” Michael Hayes starts, “you got your shot David. And not surprisingly you did it by backstabbing your partner in the back.” “What are you talking about maggot?” Kevin responds angrily. Kerry chimes in “Oh, so are we the only who saw Ric Flair staring daggers at Dave last night? I don’t think so. If you hadn’t made that sneak tag, that fluke pin never would’ve happened.” David replies, “Kerry, you know I beat you fair and square last week. And Ric is a competitive guy, so of course he wanted the World Title shot. But he shook my hand like a man after the match. And if you still think my win was a fluke, we don’t have to wait till Star Wars, we can go at it tonight!” The crowd goes crazy at this prospect. “Oh we can have a title match tonight David. No question about it.” Kerry says. “But not for my World Title. But I would love a crack at the Freebirds Six-Man Title that you’ll stole two months back!” Kevin retorts, “Kerry you know Ric Flair is not here tonight.” “Well try to get him on his Nature phone and see if he’ll allow you two to pick a substitute.” Michael Hayes smarmily counters.” “Gladly!” David says. “One thing Kerry: If we can’t get a hold of Ric, I’ll defend my Texas Title against you tonight!” “Deal!” Kerry replies.

 

After the next match, Bill Mercer lets the fans know David and Kevin did get in touch with Ric Flair who has agreed to let the “Iceman” King Parsons substitute for him.

 

The main event comes and Kerry comes to the ring with Hayes and Gordy. They wrestle an intense match, but with classic Freebird teamwork and underhand tactics, the ‘Birds are able to maintain an advantage. Terry Gordy after nailing “Iceman” with a hard clothesline after Buddy Roberts comes out and makes a distraction is able to get the pin and bring the World Six-Man Championship back to the Freebird camp.

 

The next week’s show has David set to defend his Texas Title in a rematch against “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin. It is also announced that at Star Wars, “Iceman” King Parsons will meet Buddy Roberts in a “hair vs. hair” match. David’s match against Garvin is well fought, with David seeming to have the upper edge. Periodic attempts by Sunshine to interfere are thwarted by the vicious looks she receives from David. While attempting to put the claw hold on him, Jimmy Garvin throws David into Bronko Lubich knocking him down. He then starts slugging a stunned David. Garvin attempts a brain-buster, but David blocks it, and rolls Garvin up in a small package. With no referee, the hold is broken and all of a sudden Sunshine is on the apron, David walks toward her, but does not notice Michael Hayes run to ringside and throw something to Garvin. Sunshine drops back to the floor and David goes after Garvin, who attempts to slug him. David blocks and retaliates. He sets Garvin up for an atomic drop, and when he has Garvin up, he is slugged by him with the foreign object Michael Hayes threw him. Garvin covers David and becomes the new Texas Champion.

 

The next week all four Freebirds come to the ring, and to the ire of the crowd, Kerry is carrying the Georgia state flag. Chants of “traitor” resonate throughout the Sportatorium. Michael Hayes picks up the microphone and says “I got a realtreat for all of our Freebird fans tonight. After much debate, we’ve decided that having to fight Kevin, David and all their crony friends is just too much for us. I mean we got busy schedules.” “We’re real busy people.” Terry Gordy chimes in, with Buddy “Jack” nodding his head. “Kerry here is traveling the world over defending his NWA World Title and EVERYONE EVERYWHERE wants to see the Freebirds. After a long talk, we realized we needed to expand. So I now introduce to you the fifth Freebird, along with the lovely Sunshine, the reigning Texas Champion, Jimmy Garvin!” Jimmy Garvin comes down to the ring, now decked out in a Confederate flag robe, with Sunshine at his side. He gets hugs from all four of his new “brothers”. “Jimmy ‘Jam’ [21] .” Hayes says to Garvin as he hands him the microphone. “You know Dallas,” Garvin starts “the Freebirds are the elite group in wrestling today. So it makes sense they would bring in Jimmy Garvin. I mean I’m tough, good-looking and I love to fight and party! And ain’t that what the Freebirds are all about?” “Jimmy” Kerry says, “As a new ‘Bird myself, I welcome you. I know you’ll do us right.” “No question.” Buddy Roberts chimed in.

 

As Star Wars approaches, more matches are added to the card. Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy are set to defend their American Tag Team Title against Kevin Von Erich and a partner to be named. Jimmy Garvin is set to defend his newly won Texas crown against Chavo Guerrero.

 

In a title defense in Fort Worth, “Iceman” loses his TV Title to Mongol after Buddy Roberts interferes adding yet more fuel to the fire.

 

It is just two weeks before Star Wars and a huge ten man elimination match is set. The entire Fabulous Freebird contingency will be meeting their opponents at Star Wars; Kevin and David Von Erich, the “Iceman” King Parsons, Chavo Guerrero and Kevin’s mystery partner to be revealed tonight. The Freebirds come to the ring taunting the loyal Texas crowd with the Georgia flag who begin chanting “Go Home Freebird” [22] . Then their opponents make their way out of the dressing room. They wait at the entrance gate even after they are introduced. Kevin then takes the microphone. “So Hayes, I know you think ‘Bam-Bam’ there can take care of business.” Hayes nods, saying “Damn right he can.” “Yeah” Kevin continued. “He’s quite a bruiser. Thing is, I went and found me quite a bruiser as well. Meet my partner at Star Wars, BRUISER BRODY!” The Freebirds jaws all dropped as the massive Brody comes storming out of the dressing room. The fan-favorites now approach the ring. Referees Manning and Lubich step in front of them to insure a clean start. Kevin starts out with the newest ‘Bird. They go at it then each tags out. The fight goes on and eventually Garvin, tagged backed in, takes advantage of a missed Chavo Guerrero dropkick to hit a clothesline and get a quick pin. Bruiser Brody comes charging, pounding Garvin until he manages to tag in Terry Gordy. Bruiser and “Bam-Bam” go at it unmercifully refusing to fight clean. Eventually David Manning has enough and issues a double-DQ. They fight all the way to the back. The match continues. Eventually “Iceman” gets a pinfall on Buddy Roberts after the butt-bump. Michael Hayes runs in, getting the jump on Parsons, hitting a DDT for a quick pin. David Von Erich comes in and he and Hayes go at it. A miscalculated clothesline leads to David’s running high knee strike and a pin. Jimmy Garvin attempts to ambush David, but the shrewd Von Erich is waiting for him and instantly puts him in the iron claw. Garvin submits, leaving Kerry alone with his two older brothers. He looks at them from the apron, shakes his head, drops to the floor and walks back to the dressing room, taking a countout loss. Loud booing and “chicken” and “coward” chants are heard throughout the Sportatorium.[23]

 

The week before Star Wars it is announced that based on extensive Freebird outside interference, all other Freebirds and Sunshine are barred from the main event at Star Wars and if any show up Kerry will be stripped of his World Title. Also, due to Kerry purposefully getting counted out the week before, it is stipulated that if he purposefully gets himself counted out or disqualified during the main event, David Von Erich will become the new NWA World Champion.

 

June 17, 1983: Wrestling Star Wars

 

Finally the big day is here. Six months since the last Star Wars and over 20,000 fans in Reunion Arena are waiting to see David Von Erich take out Kerry and bring the gold home.

 

Jimmy Garvin starts out strong with a solid match against Chavo Guerrero. His Mexican challenger comes close to a pinfall several times with his array of dropkicks, high-flying moves and superb technical wrestling. But Jimmy “Jam” is able to hold back his challenge and eventually hits the brainbuster to win the match.

 

Buddy Roberts is able to beat “Iceman” by holding his tights in roll-up, but while the referee is trying to sort out what happened, blows between the two are exchanged and “Iceman” uses the Freebird hair cream on Buddy. [24]

 

Bruiser and Kevin vs. Hayes and Gordy is a top-notch fight with Gordy and Brody showing why they are two of the toughest men in wrestling ­ or anywhere else. They keep it just clean enough to avoid a disqualification and after Kevin and Brody reverse a Freebird attempt to ram them together, Kevin nails Michael Hayes with a dropkick and is able to hold him down for the 1-2-3 and capture the American Tag Team Titles. Finally the match everyone is waiting for. Kerry comes down pompously waving the Georgia flag. Then David, proudly carrying the Lone Star flag of Texas. After this, the introductions are made. “Introducing first the challenger, standing 6’7, weighing 250 lbs., proudly residing in Denton County, Texas (crowd roars), representing the legendary Von Erich family, he is ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’, David Von Erich (makes a claw motion)! And at 6’3, weighing 260 lbs., formerly of Denton County, Texas, now proudly residing in Bad Street, Atlanta, Georgia (crowds boos and ‘traitor’ chants reach an all-time high), the reigning National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, representing the Fabulous Freebirds, ‘Captain Cowboy’ Kerry Von Erich (also defiantly makes a claw motion).” The bell finally rings and the two go at it. For over 30 minutes they deliver a match that sometimes scientific, sometimes an out and out street fight, is by any accounts an all time classic. Both try several times to put the other in the iron claw, each managing to avoid it one way or another. Finally David having stunned Kerry with a barrage of punches and kicks, throws his younger brother into the ropes and attempts his high knee strike. Kerry drops to his belly at the last second sending David stumbling in the other direction. “Captain Cowboy” keeping his composure, quickly jumps up, and slugs David with a discus punch right when he turns around. He then immediately pins his brother, and to the crowds chagrin, gets the 1-2-3.

 

June-July 1983

 

The next show, the Freebirds come down the ring proud as can be. Yes they lost the American Tag Team Titles and “Iceman” did remove Buddy Robert’s hair, but Jimmy Garvin kept his Texas Title and more importantly, “Captain Cowboy” kept the World Title. “Iceman”, Buddy Roberts starts, now wearing wrestling headgear and a wig [25] , “just to let you know, your days are numbered. When I get my hands on you again, you’re a dead duck!” “David,” Kerry now talking says, “Everyone said I couldn’t do it. They said David was the best brother. Well … guess what? I did it! And I’ll do it to anyone else who steps in my way. Terry Gordy then chimes in “Brody”, you and that punk Kevin Von Erich took me and my brother’s American Tag Team Title last night. Well, tonight, I got you alone (crowd cheers)! Were gonna see just how tough you REALLY are. Finally Michael Hayes adds “And last night Jimmy sent your buddy back across the Rio Grande [26] where he belongs (Garvin laughs). So Kevin if you think you can do better, come on!”

 

Later on, David Von Erich comes down the ring for an interview. “David” Bill Mercer says, “I know this must be tough for you, not bringing the title home at Star Wars.” “Bill” David replied, “You don’t how tough it’s been. But, like my dad told me, regardless of his behavior these last few months, Kerry is a great wrestler. Hell, he was always dad’s favorite, and dad trained him extra special. I assure you though I will not just lie down. I will train and work my way back up the ladder and get another shot. Bet on it (crowd elates)! I do have other business to discuss tonight, though. July 4.Independence Day Star Wars at the Fort Worth Tarrant County Convention Center. I will be fighting twice that night. First I plan on beating that punk fruit Jimmy Garvin for MY Texas Title- if of course Kevin for some reason doesn’t win the title tonight. And after that, me, Kevin and the “Iceman” are going to take back our Six-Man Title. “That match is best of 3 falls” Bill Mercer added. “I know” David replied. And other than the NWA World Title, the Six-Man Trophy is the most prestigious title in wrestling. And July 4, it’s comin’ home to Texas (crowd cheers)!

 

Gordy and Bruiser Brody come down for their match and not surprisingly have a drag out, knock down slug fest. After eight minutes. Gordy gets carried away and takes the timekeepers bell and proceeds to nail Bruiser repeatedly with it. This causes a disqualification and the two slug it out once again all the way back to the dressing room.

 

Kevin and Garvin both come out for their match. It only lasts a couple of minutes until the ‘Birds all run in. David, Bruiser and “Iceman” all follow. Michael Hayes winds up getting a nasty chair shot in on “Iceman” Parsons and the show ends with him being taken to the back on a stretcher.

 

The next World Class Championship Wrestling show features more matches in the ongoing feud.

 

It is announced that “Iceman” and Michael Hayes will meet in a non-sanctioned “lights out” match after the regular card has ended at Star Wars due to the intense nature of their previous altercation.

 

Notwithstanding Michael Hayes comments the week before, Chavo Guerrero wrestles a great match, beating Rip Rogers.

 

After both sides are told any run-ins before Star Wars will lead to fines and suspensions, David Von Erich beats Terry Gordy in another great match using his unique combination of toughness, skill and finesse.

 

“Iceman” and Bruiser Brody beat Buddy Roberts and the Mongol, as Buddy focused so much on revenge on “Iceman” he couldn’t properly focus on the match. Afterwards, the Ugandan Giant Kamala runs down to the ring attacking everyone, not discriminating between heel and babyface. When he gets to Bruiser Brody it quickly dawns on him that this escapade will NOT be a walk in the park. The two giants go at it full force, and security has to separate them. Later Bruiser is interviewed. “You know a lot of people have been asking why Bruiser Brody came down to World Class. Well, I’ll tell you why. Kevin Von Erich is a good friend of mine. And the way his brother turned on him and attacked their papa, made me sick! And the fact he sided with those no good beatniks makes things that much worse. But I don’t take crap from anyone. And if that cannibal, Kamala wants to come after me, well he’s in for a rude awakening because I’ve been known to take a bite out of a few people myself! And I’m challenging him right now to a match at Star Wars.” Later Kamala’s manager, General Skandor Akbar, with the Ugandan giant present, responds. “I tell you this country is filled with a bunch of arrogant meat for brains. I mean do you think in the Middle East children turn on their parents? No, they’re taught respect. Unlike these degenerate American kids whose heads are filled with rock ‘n’ roll and minds are numbed by video games (crowd boos). You shut up or I’ll raise the price of oil so high you’ll be paying $4 a gallon at the pump (crowd boos louder). As to Bruiser Brody: You think that you’re tough enough to handle the Ugandan Giant? Well, it’s a personal hobby of mine to put big-mouthed Americans in their places. So consider your challenge answered.”

 

Kerry wins a well fought non-title match against “Gentleman” Chris Adams with the iron claw, closing the show with another Star Wars eminent.

 

July 4, 1983: Independence Day Star Wars

 

The show opens in Fort Worth and the 12,000 packed into the Convention Center know they are in for a wild night. And a wild night they get.

 

David Von Erich, to the crowd’s delight is able to regain the Texas Title in fairly quick fashion, after faking distraction by Sunshine and catching a thought to be ambushing Jimmy Garvin off-guard by dodging a clothesline and then executing his dream machine sleeper hold.

 

Kamala and Bruiser Brody go after each other with extreme ferocity, lasting about four minutes until David Manning has to call for the Double-DQ.

 

The Freebirds, escorted by a barrage of Confederate reenactors with Michael Bolton’s “Georgia on My Mind” playing loudly, come down proudly waving the Georgia flag, to the boos of the crowd, who are waving the Texas flag and chanting “Go home Freebird” en masse. Then Kevin, David and “Iceman” are introduced and the crowd goes crazy. When they get to the ring, Kevin takes the microphone. “I want to make this clear. This is not a battle between Georgia and Texas. I have ancestors who fought and died for the South in the Civil War. This is a war between decency and filth. And frankly I feel sorry for the people of Georgia having to have that no good turncoat little brother of mine as a citizen!”[27] This etches in stone that he and Kerry will be the starting men for their respective teams, with Hayes, Gordy, David and “Iceman” waiting anxiously to get a piece of action. The brothers start out slugging and only stop on threat of a quick disqualification. The first fall goes a while, with eventually Buddy getting a little revenge on “Iceman” catching him with his swinging neck-breaker and getting the first fall. “Iceman” then takes quite a beating from the Freebirds for over ten minutes, the ‘Birds utilizing their well crafted triple-teaming skills. Terry Gordy thinking he has Parsons beat, sets him up for the piledriver, but cannot not get “Iceman” up. He then throws him across the ring for a clothesline, but “Iceman” ducks and nails him with the butt-bump. Both go for the tag, Gordy tags Michael Hayes in first, but “Iceman” makes it to David, who came in with a vengeance. He takes it to “P.S.”, who cannot not raise an offense. Finally he tags in “Captain Cowboy” and the two brothers go at it. David eventually goes for his high knee strike. Kerry ducks, quickly gets up and goes for the discus punch, but David is ready for it and ducks, then catches his brother in the iron claw and gets a submission to even the count. The fan-favorites proceed to take it to “Captain Cowboy” and get several near falls. Kerry, after the ‘Birds distract David Manning, manage to get in a low blow on David and tag in Michael Hayes. David tags in “Iceman” and the two go at it. Pretty soon all six men are in the ring. Michael Hayes pulls something out of his trunks and tries to slug “Iceman” with it, but he ducks, nails Hayes with a drop kick and then follows up with the butt-bump and gets the pin for the title, causing the crowd to explode.

 

The other four contestants are cleared away, the lights briefly go out and quickly come back on and the “lights out” match starts. It much more resembles a street-fight than a wrestling match. Hayes uses every dirty trick he knows and “Iceman” follows suit. The Freebird is able to get the win when after David Manning grabs a chair from an approaching “Iceman”, Parsons is distracted enough for Michael to connect a quick kick to the groin and follow up with a DDT and a pin.

 

July-September 1983

 

Things progressed quite naturally, the Freebirds vowing to win back their Six-Man gold, Buddy Roberts going after “Iceman” King Parsons for revenge whenever he can.

 

On an episode of World Class Championship Wrestling with Hayes and Gordy in a tag team match and Kerry Von Erich, Buddy Roberts and Jimmy Garvin wrestling Kevin and David Von Erich and the “Iceman” in an attempt to bring the Six-Man Title back to the Freebird camp, a new factor enters into the equation.

 

Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy are wrestling Johnny Mantell and “Super Sock” Jose Lothario when all of a sudden fan watching at home hear Bill Mercer exclaim “Oh my God. Is that? Is that? That is Harley Race [28] .” Sure enough the former World Champion storms the ring and starts attacking both Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy with no fear whatsoever. Lothario and Mantell offer a little assistance, but mostly the enraged Race succeeds in running the two Fabulous Freebirds off on his own to the cheer of the crowd. He then takes the microphone. “First of all, before I say anything, Race started” “I want to show everyone here something, role the clip.” A clip from Wrestling at the Chase [29]shows Harley Race recapturing the Missouri Heavyweight Title from Michael Hayes with the piledriver, only to be beaten down shortly there after by Kerry Von Erich and Hayes. After the clip plays, Race continues. “So Kerry Von Erich, Michael Hayes, you think you and your Freebird pals are tougher than old Harley Race? Well let me tell you something. I’ve traveled the world, I’ve fought the best, I’ve beat ‘em all. No one has won the World’s Title more than me. And next week, right here in Dallas, I’m going to make it seven times! That’s right! The NWA has granted me a World’s Title shot (crowd explodes)!

 

The six-man match comes later on with the crowd still buzzing and the Freebirds showing obvious jitters. After a bit, Hayes and Kerry come down to ringside and what starts as rabble-rousing shortly turns into full-fledged interference causing a disqualification. Immediately Harley Race storms down to ringside, picks up a steel chair and helps the three fan-favorites clear the ring of the ‘Birds. The show ends with this unbelievable quatrain standing together guarding the ring.

 

For the next week, all anyone in Dallas, St. Louis, anywhere in Texas or Missouri, or anyone who watches either World Class or Wrestling at the Chase can talk about is the upcoming World’s title match between Harley Race and Kerry Von Erich. Finally the big night arrives with the Sportatorium jam-packed and sold out. The Fabulous Freebirds are interviewed before the match. “So Kerry,” Marc Lowrance says to him, “a lot of people are saying tonight is Harley Race’s night. He has won the World’s Championship more times than anyone but Lou Thesz, who he is currently tied with.” “Marc Lowrance” Kerry replies, “let me tell your smart-aleck self something right now: Harley Race was great. WAS great. He is now out of shape and over the hill.” Marc Lowrance replies “Well he didn’t seem too out of shape and over the hill a couple of weeks ago when he beat Michael Hayes for the Missouri Heavyweight Title. Or last week when he ran both Mike and Terry out of the ring all by himself.” “All by himself?” Hayes replies angrily. “He had Jose Lothario and Johnny Mantell helping him. And we just got out of there anyway afraid he had snuck attack Jimmy, Buddy or Kerry in the back. Believe me we could have laid that old bag of bones out in ten seconds or less if we had wanted too.” Terry Gordy chimes in “Harley Race, you’re making a big mistake stickin’ your nose in Freebird business where it don’t belong. And old man, you’re going to get hurt.” At this, Skynrd hits, and the Freebirds leave the ring.

 

The main event finally arrives. Both Race and Kerry seem totally focused. They go at it full strength having a rough but still classic wrestling match up. It seems like both men have several chances to win it all, but can never quite put the other one away. Race finally gets the advantage, laying into Kerry with repeated fists and headbutts. The champ is reeling and Race sets him up for his patented piledriver. This causes a Freebird run-in and the immediate disqualification of Kerry. There is a five on one team-up until Kevin and David Von Erich along with the “Iceman” King Parsons and Bruiser Brody intervene on Harley Race’s behalf.

 

The NWA Board of Directors quickly mandates a rematch in two weeks time, this time with the condition that if Kerry Von Erich gets disqualified, the title will change hands. The week before has Kevin Von Erich defending the American Heavyweight Title against Jimmy “Jam” Garvin and Harley Race wrestling a “warm-up” match against “Bam-Bam for the Brass Knuckles Title.”

 

Kevin and Garvin go at it, with both men never giving an inch. Kevin attempts to take Garvin down with his head-scissors, but Garvin stops him by grabbing the ropes, putting Kevin in a reverse cradle and using the ropes to score a fluke but nonetheless real pinfall victory. The ‘Birds go into the main-event up one title.

 

The Brass Knuckles match is a gruesome sight, with both Gordy and Race using every trick from their respective playbooks-both which are quite large- to gain the V. They use chairs, the ring bell, the ring post and anything else they can get near. Knowing the importance of momentum, it seems more like a fight for one’s life than a mere wrestling match or title fight. As tough and grisly as the six-time former World Champion is, the younger, larger Freebird is finally able to pound him repeatedly with loaded punches, then collapses on a fallen Race for a very hard fought pinfall victory. Neither man is a pretty picture, but now Race-whose World Title match is only seven days away- is in extremely questionable condition.

 

The big night finally arrives. No one knows if Harley Race will be able to perform after last week’s altercation. He has not wrestled one house show nor was he on Wrestling at the Chase.

 

The card progresses until finally the big moment arrives. “Captain Cowboy” is introduced first, not even knowing if he will be wrestling tonight. Then Harley Race is introduced and after several moments, the former champion walks briskly from the back area to the ring. He looks worn but definitely ready to go at it. And the two of them do go at it indeed. Kerry not giving his older opponent one moment’s rest and Harley not giving one inch. Kerry manages to land a discus punch and knocks Race down, busting him wide open in the process. He goes for the pin, but only manages a two count. Race fights back with the Dallas crowd cheering him on, hoping to see history before their eyes. Alas, Kerry manages to apply the iron claw to the already bloodied Race, who fights it as long as he can, then eventually passes out, giving Kerry the victory. “I think Terry Gordy took too much out of him last week”, Bill Mercer says. “Nonetheless Harley deserves a standing ovation for his performance tonight.” And a standing ovation he receives after going back to the dressing room when the show has already ended, insisting on walking there without any help whatsoever.

 

 It seemed that the hatred and bloodshed is escalating between opposing factions in World Class with each passing week.

 

Bruiser Brody and Kamala’s matches continue to set new standards for sheer brutality. The standard fare is a Double-DQ after whoever is referee realizes he cannot control these two monsters.

 

The Freebirds war with Kevin and David Von Erich and their allies is also quite the assorted affair. Things really get out of hand during a Title vs. Title match between Jimmy Garvin and David Von Erich. The two champions are going head to head. Finally, David took the advantage and put the iron claw on Garvin. Michael Hayes storms the ring causing the disqualification. David starting pounding him when he is nailed from behind by Jimmy “Jam”. “Hold him down!” Hayes tells Garvin. Garvin complies, and Hayes takes his belt off and whips the hell out of a struggling David repeatedly till finally Bruiser Brody storms the ring and clears house.

 

In Fort Worth on “Saturday Night Wrestling” Buddy Roberts challenges “Gentlemen” Chris Adams for Adams’s Television Title and Hayes and Garvin have a chance to bring the American Tag straps back to the ‘Birds. Adams has Roberts number, always seeming to be a couple steps ahead of his Freebird challenger. He eventually nails the superkick and gets a pin. This brings in “Bam-Bam” who slugs Adams from behind and proceeds to join Buddy Roberts in beating the Englishman down.

 

The championship tag team match is a rather violent affair with constant interference from the illegal man. Eventually it evolves into a full scale brawl and David Manning disqualifies both teams. The three other ‘Birds storm the ring. Soon after, David Von Erich joins in, targeting Hayes. He throws the Freebird leader outside the ring then proceeds to whip him all the way back to the dressing room with his belt, exacting a little revenge. Chris Adams joins in the fray and gives Terry Gordy a superkick that just about takes his head off.

 

With Labor Day Star Wars fast approaching, the card is beginning to be formed. “Iceman” and Buddy Roberts will meet in a rematch. Terry Gordy will defend the Brass Knuckles Title against Chris Adams. Michael Hayes will meet David Von Erich in a country whipping match. It is also announced that this week their will be an American Tag Team Title defense, with Brody and Kevin defending against Kerry and Jimmy Garvin. If Brody or Kevin get a pin or submission they get a title match against that respective champion. If the Fabulous Freebirds win, they get the tag titles as well as a night off at Star Wars.

 

The two teams go at it predictably full force. Brody ever the wildman, has to be careful to avoid a disqualification. Both teams rely on double-teaming, the Freebirds more than Kevin/Brody, but no one wants a DQ tonight. All of a sudden, to the chagrin of both teams, Kamala comes down to ringside and he and Bruiser Brody go at it. Not sure what to do, Bronko Lubich just lets the match continue, now a 2 on 1 situation. The ‘Birds gang up on Kevin with Jimmy “Jam”, holding him for “Captain Cowboy’s” discus punch. But Kevin breaks free, causing Kerry to accidentally nail Garvin. Kevin follows up with an iron claw on Kerry, which the World’s Champion cannot break. He submits and Kevin, to the roar of the crowd, wins a World Title match at Star Wars.

 

A lumberjack match between Bruiser Brody and Kamala is announced for Star Wars. Jimmy Garvin is told he must defend the American Title against Jose Lothario.

 

The Freebirds are interviewed just prior to Star Wars. “David,” Michael Hayes starts, if you think that little whippin’ I gave you a few weeks back was bad, just wait. That’s going to seem like a walk in the park to what happens at Star Wars. I’m gonna tan your hide like your no good pa shoulda done a long time ago!” Terry Gordy next says “Chris Adams, do you REALLY think a tea and crumpet eating Englishman has a chance in hell to beat ME in a brass knuckles match? No rules? You must be crazy! I’m going to send your limey ass back across the Atlantic!” “‘Iceman’”, Buddy Roberts says, “the day of reckoning is near. I will have my revenge on you for your actions. No one disrespects a Freebird like that and lives to tell about it.” “And ‘Super Sock’ Jose Lothario,” Jimmy Garvin says while playing with his hair, “do you really think your old ugly Mexican self can win MY American Title? Go back across the border where you belong. This belt is staying right here!” “Kevin” Kerry boldly states, “you are the oldest brother. But I’m going to show you the same thing I showed David- that Kerry Von Erich is the best Von Erich! Bet on it! That tag match was nothing but a fluke.” The interview ends.

 

Later Kevin, David, Bruiser Brody and Chris Adams are interviewed. Bruiser starts: Kamala, you and your camel-breath manager have been a thorn in Bruiser Brody’s side for too long now. Well, come next week, you ain’t gonna have nowhere to run. And I’m going to show you why I am the toughest man in wrestling. Chris Adams next says “So, Terry Gordy, you think I’m just some punk Englishman whom you can push around? Well, guess what? This ‘limey’ is a lot tougher than you think. I know judo and karate and I also love a good street fight. Come Star Wars, YOUR ass is MINE!” David Von Erich next says “So Michael ‘Prissy Sissy’ Hayes, you want to take a belt to ME? You’re going to live to eat your words Freebird, because I don’t take that kind of shit from anyone! You better sit down now because after Monday night, you won’t be sitting for a long time!” “Kerry” Kevin says sternly, “you need to be put in your place! How you got past David I’ll NEVER know. But, mark my words, you’re not getting past me.” The fan-favorites then leave the ring.

 

The rest of the show is rather tame by World Class standards, all parties waiting for the big night to pull out all their stops.

 

September 5, 1983: Labor Day Star Wars

 

The Tarrant County Convention Center in Fort Worth is once again sold out and jam-packed as the fans anxiously wait to end the summer with a wrestling card as hot as a Texas Fourth of July.

 

Jimmy Garvin gives the Freebirds a good start by beating Jose Lothario in a well-contested match. Other than Sunshine making pathetic attempts to distract the seasoned Lothario, it is a clean match.

 

“Iceman” is able to beat Buddy Roberts in fairly quick fashion, Roberts seeming still too hell-bent on revenge to give adequate concentration.

 

Kamala vs. Brody is predictably chaotic. It lasts a bit longer than usual because the lumberjacks keep them in the ring. But neither man has an inch of give. Kamala eventually starts out and out assaulting lumberjacks, forcing a disqualification even in this environment.

 

David Von Erich and Michael Hayes go at each other with a vengeance in their leather strap match, both men whipping the other one senseless. David is able to hit Hayes with his high knee strike and take the victory with a pinfall.

 

Terry Gordy and Chris Adams have quite the brutal match. The bigger Gordy thinking he will be able to manhandle the smaller Adams. But Adams being a judo expert and tough as nails will not be had. In the end, a well placed superkick to “Bam-Bam’s” jaw is enough to earn him the pin and the Brass Knuckles Title to go along with his TV strap.

 

Finally the main event. Brother vs. Brother- again. From the opening bell, Kevin and Kerry go at it full force. Each tries to use the claw several times, but the other always blocks it, kicks away or makes it to the ropes. After over 35 minutes both though extremely tired, are still going all out. Michael Hayes makes his way to ringside, promptly followed by David Von Erich, but neither man interferes. After a double clothesline, both competitors slowly get up and approached each other … and all of a sudden each has his brother in the iron claw! The crowd’s eruption is like nothing ever heard before. Which Von Erich has the better claw? The question is going to be answered right here and now. Michael jumps on the ring apron shouting some nonsense causing David to circle the ring to prevent a DQ. Kerry, seeing an opportunity, throws an unsuspecting Kevin right into Hayes. Their heads collide and Hayes falls to the ground, quickly became the recipient of a sound pounding by a livid David. In the ring, Kerry reapplies the claw, takes his older brother to the ground and after several vain attempts to escape, gets the 1-2-3.

 

September-November 1983

 

The next televised World Class Championship Wrestling show starts with an interview from a predictably pompous “Captain Cowboy” who comes to the ring conspicuously alone. “Let’s see here,” Kerry gloats, “they thought David could take the World’s Title from me- wrong! They brought in Harley Race who has held the title more times than anyone- just ask him, he’ll tell you. Couldn’t get the job done. Then they thought if David couldn’t do it, why not get my oldest brother. Result- ‘Captain Cowboy’ wins again! I’ve defended this title all over America- hell I’ve defended it all over the world! I mean what’s next, are they going to bring my dad out of retirement? Or how about this: Why not bring back Ric Flair?” And no sooner had he said this than “Sprach Zarathustra” starts to play. The pop this causes could wake the dead. Kerry’s jaw drops to the ring. The “Nature Boy” Ric Flair decked out in a black robe, coolly makes his way to the squared circle. “So ‘Captain Cowboy’, you want another piece of Ric Flair?” the former champion asks. “Well, I’m back and I’m ready to go.” “Ric” Kerry quickly counters “you’re old hat. Old news. Yesterday’s news. You don’t deserve a shot at MY ten pounds of gold anymore than any of these idiotic Texans here tonight (crowd boos loudly).” “Kerry, I figured you would say something stupid like that. And quite frankly the ‘Nature Boy’ doesn’t give a pile of dung about what you think. And I know I could petition Bob Geigel and get a shot. But I don’t feel like wasting time. I want you NOW. That’s why I have a little offer for you.” The crowd gives a low cheer, obviously anticipating some big announcement. “Well let’s hear it Ric. Whatcha got?” Kerry responds. “Next week, ‘Captain Cowboy’, next week. I’ll take on any one of your ‘brothers’. I don’t care which. If I win, I get you in the ring for the gold the week after that. They win, I never get another shot at the World’s Title as long as your champion.” Flair says as the crowd oohs and aahs. Kerry thinks for a second and responds “You got a deal, Flair (crowd cheers). You wanna know which ‘Bird you’ll be facing?” Makes no difference to me, Von Erich. None at all.” Flair says. “Well, I’m going to tell you anyway, Ric. Because I want you to sweat the next seven days out. You’ll be facing Mr. ‘Bam-Bam’ himself, Terry Gordy.” Kerry gloatingly informs Ric Flair. “Looking forward to it.” Flair responds and leaves the ring.

 

Later on that night the Freebirds have a Six-Man Title rematch against Kevin, David and “Iceman”. They opt to use Hayes, Roberts and Garvin to challenge for the titles. It is noticed that along with Sunshine, another attractive blond woman is escorting the Fabulous Freebirds, and like Sunshine, is primarily focusing on Jimmy “Jam”. “Who is that other blonde?” Bill Mercer asks. The match was typically intense with the crowd, already excited, extremely into the action. Buddy Roberts gains a little revenge on “Iceman” who after missing a dropkick is the recipient of Roberts’s neckbreaker. The other ‘Birds are able to keep the Von Erichs at bay long enough for the three count.

 

Afterwards instead of celebrating, Michael Hayes takes the microphone. “I know you’ll are all wondering about this beautiful woman next to the lovely Sunshine we got with us. Well, you’ll find all about her in good time, but that time ain’t right now. We got business to take care of. Terry and Kerry get your asses down here. We need a family meeting, pronto! The other two ‘Birds oblige. “Now Kerry,” Hayes continues, “first off, congratulations on beating Kevin last night.” “Thank you, Michael” Kerry replies. “Yeah, well I tell you though, I did NOT appreciate you using me as a target for your brother’s head. “Mike” Kerry starts. “Uh-uh” Hayes interrupts, “Lemme finish, brother, lemme finish.” Kerry nods. “The Fabulous Freebirds do not sacrifice one another ever. Not the way it works. And then just a little while ago you volunteer Terry for a match against Ric Flair.” Gordy intervenes and says “Michael, I’m not afraid of Flair…” “Terry I know perfectly well you’re not afraid of Ric Flair or anyone else. That’s not the point. Kerry here should not be volunteering his brothers for fights without our permission. Now Terry, will you fight Ric Flair for Kerry next week?” “Of course.” Gordy replies. “There you go.” said Hayes. “Now that was easy wasn’t it?” “Sure Michael.” says Kerry somewhat cynically as he rolls his eyes. “Oh one more thing ‘Captain Cowboy’, it may not matter if Terry wins or not, because I went to the NWA Board of Directors … (Kerry’s face turns white) and pulled some strings and next week, you’re defending that ten pounds of gold against me (the crowd erupts)!” “What!?” Kerry replies. “How dare you? I’m the World’s Champion and the captain of the Freebirds!” “Brother” says Hayes coolly but affirmatively, “you may call yourself ‘captain’ but I am and always will be the leader of this group.” “We’ll see about that next week, PRISSY SISSY (crowd roars)!” Hayes now turns red. “Listen to me punk! You know perfectly well the P.S. stands for ‘Purely Sexy’ and next week I’ll show you how much of a sissy I am when I beat your ass and become World’s Heavyweight Champion!” The show ends with Gordy, Roberts and Garvin holding their two “brothers” apart with the crowd going crazy.

 

The fans at the Sportatorium are foaming at the mouth. People are waiting for hours to buy tickets and then for hours to get in as soon as the arena’s doors open. Not only are they going to see Ric Flair’s return against Terry Gordy, a match with drastic implications in and of itself, but the NWA World’s Championship, in an epic Freebird v. Freebird showdown [30] , will be defended in the main event.

 

The card starts with an American Tag-Team Title defense- Bruiser Brody and Kevin Von Erich against Mongol and Boris Zurkhov [31] . Their manager, General Akbar starts off with his typical rant: “I’m sick and tired of everyone talking about the Freebirds and the Von Erichs. You pathetic Americans think you’re what counts. Let me tell, Devastation Inc. is what counts! And tonight we’re going to start collecting titles.” In spite of General Akbar’s big words, Kevin and Brody make pretty short work of Zurkhov and Mongol.

 

The next segment is an interview with Jimmy Garvin, his valet, Sunshine, and the new blond, who is revealed to be Sunshine’s valet, Precious. Garvin and Sunshine in a hot tub are being interviewed by Bill Mercer, while Sunshine gives Precious a long list of chores to do. [32] Garvin won’t talk about Michael and Kerry’s fight, saying it was a “big misunderstanding” and will be sorted out soon.

 

Ric Flair is interviewed moments before his big match. “Let me tell everyone right now. Gordy, you’re tough. I know that. But you’re not this” Flair says pointing to himself. “You’re not Ric Flair. I’m the kiss-stealin’, limousine ridin’, leer jet flyin’, wheeling dealin’ son a gun, and there’s only one of me. And tonight, I’m getting one step closer to being two times World Champion. Come and get it big boy. Whoooo!” Flair says as only he can.

 

Flair and Gordy get to the ring and get it on. Flair is as determined as he has ever been seen. “Bam-Bam” seems a bit distracted, obviously having other things on his mind. It is still a tough fight, but Flair capitalizing on a missed Terry Gordy second rope elbow-drop, bodyslams Gordy then puts his legs on the ropes and grabs a handful of tights to get a win proving though while now cheered, he is still “the dirtiest player in the game”.

 

The main event comes, both men entering to the tune of “Freebird”. Hayes offers Von Erich a handshake and after several moments of hesitation, Kerry takes it. They try to keep it clean but eventually tempers flare and fists fly. David Manning is able to restore order. Kerry is able to put the iron claw on Hayes but he is able to grab the ropes. Kerry won’t break the hold until he is almost disqualified. This causes Hayes to go berserk and the match turns into total chaos with both men throwing fists, attacking the other while on the ropes and using eye gouges and choke-holds. Unable to restore order, David Manning calls for the bell and declares the match a Double-DQ. The other ‘Birds storm the ring putting all their effort in keeping Kerry and Hayes apart, but they keep breaking away and continue fighting as the show ends.

 

The day of the big World Title rematch is here. The fans in the sold-out Sportatorium are filled with anticipation to see this epic encounter.

 

The only somewhat major preliminary match is David Von Erich and Chris Adams meeting Mr. Ebony [33] and Mongol, in another attempt by Skandor Akbar to assert his supremacy in World Class. His team is once again outclassed, but this time he sends in Kamala before they can be pinned. Bruiser Brody quickly comes down to ringside to counter the Ugandan monster and the three heroes successfully drive away Devastation and control the ring.

 

Kerry Von Erich is interviewed shortly before his title match. “You know right know my head is swimming” the champion begins. “I thought being a Freebird was the best thing that ever happened to me- now I’m not so sure. I mean, I win and keep winning and this is how I am repaid? Well, regardless, Ric Flair, tonight I am going to show you why I am World’s Champion and ‘Nat’ be prepared to lose to ‘Captain Cowboy’ yet again.”

 

Both men make their way down to ringside, Kerry not having any theme music playing. He actually gets a few cheers while still clearly not a crowd favorite. They are introduced and the match begins. Both men opt to fight clean and use their scientific skills. Many fans were no doubt speculating that Kerry may be breaking away from the Freebirds. The match is very evenly fought. At a point where Kerry has taken control, Michael Hayes makes his way down to ringside. A minute later Kerry attempts to throw Flair from one turnbuckle to the other only to have Flair reverse it and follow up with a clothesline. Flair then proceeded to punch Kerry causing David Manning to issue a five count. Flair broke away at four and while he was being reprimanded by Manning, Hayes jumps on the apron waiting for David Manning to turn around and slugs Kerry with a right hand, causing a disqualification. Ric Flair goes livid. He calls Hayes into the ring. The two start arguing and Hayes throws a punch at Flair only to have it blocked. The former World Champion goes to work on “P.S.”, punching, chopping and kicking the Freebird leader. He sets Hayes up for his figure-four leg-lock. When he is turning around to cinch it in, he is clotheslined from behind by “Captain Cowboy”. The other three ‘Birds then charge the ring. Buddy Roberts immediately puts Flair in a swinging neck-breaker. Jimmy Garvin picks up a chair and repeatedly nails him in the back of his neck. Hayes is lifted up by Kerry, and the two “brothers” embrace to the utter disgust of the crowd. Terry Gordy then sets an already badly hurt “Nature Boy” up for a pilediver and Michael Hayes climbs the top rope to “spike” it. “They’re trying to break Ric Flair’s neck!” Bill Mercer screams in horror. The piledriver is delivered onto the chair Garvin was using and then moments later, Kevin and David Von Erich, Bruiser Brody, “Iceman” King Parsons and Chris Adams run full speed to the ring. The Freebirds retreat. Once they reach the safety of the back area entrance door, they all start laughing and gloating as arrogantly as humanly possible. The heroes are far too concerned about the lifeless Ric Flair to go for revenge at this moment. Flair is carried off in a stretcher and put directly in an ambulance by EMTs.

 

Next week’s World Class wrestling show starts with a recap of the horrific events of the previous week’s show. Bill Mercer says they have not been able to find out any news on Ric Flair’s condition. He does say the Freebirds will be interviewed later on and that we would be hearing from someone we haven’t heard from in quite a while, not saying who.

 

The ‘Birds make their way down for the interview walking and strutting as cockily as ever. Sunshine has to nudge Precious away from Jimmy Garvin who is taking all of Jimmy “Jam’s” attention while they walked down to ringside. Precious reluctantly backs off. The Freebirds get to the ring and Kerry starts off. “Do you really think that we were going to let a little disagreement get between us? Come on! The Fabulous Freebirds are family! I mean I would do anything for Michael. I guess Ric Flair found that out the hard way!” Kerry says with a sick laugh. “Ric Flair, you thought you could put your hands on me? Well you found out the hard way what happens to you when you mess with a Freebird. You jump on one ‘Bird, you jump on all five of us.” Michael Hayes says. Jimmy Garvin now adds “And lets see, Chris Adams, you’ve been talking a lot of smack lately. Saying you want a shot at my American Heavyweight Title. Well, first off, you’re not a worthy contender. And two, you better watch out, or you’ll wind up in a gurney next to Ric Flair!”  

 

Later on, as promised, Bill Mercer presents a second interview, turning out to be Fritz Von Erich. The patriarch of the Von Erich family, with an extremely disgruntled look on his face begins. “Since the incident of last Christmas, I have stayed away from this situation letting my older sons and their allies deal with Kerry and the Freebirds. I realize my time is past. But, the actions of last week went too far for me to remain quiet. That any son of mine would behave in such a reprehensible way tears my heart out. I say this right here and now. Ric Flair, wherever you may be, listen close: You have me and my family’s total support. We will do whatever we can to get you back on your feet and get you another NWA World Title shot. God speed, ‘Nature Boy’.”

 

The next week’s program starts with Bill Mercer saying no new news is available on the condition of the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. It is announced that Kevin Von Erich and “Gentleman” Chris Adams will be meeting Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy and that David Von Erich would be taking on Jimmy Garvin for the American Championship in the main event.

 

When the ‘Birds get to the ring for their tag match, Buddy Roberts takes the microphone and addresses his opponents. “Hey Kevin, Chris. Haven’t seen your buddy Bruiser Brody in a couple of days have you?” Kevin and Adams’ faces turn red. “You may want to check the local hospital. Ask about any big ugly John Does that have recently been brought in.”  More than they can take, the fan favorites launch a vicious attack on their Freebird counterparts. Bronko Lubich has no choice but to disqualify Adams and Kevin as they will not settle into a regular match while the Freebirds make a mock effort to do so. [34]

 

David Von Erich is determined to recapture the American Heavyweight Title from the loathed Freebirds. Jimmy Garvin comes down to ringside with Precious on his arm. When he is halfway to the ring, Sunshine comes running up, grabbing Precious and getting her to release Garvin. “What happened?” she asks Precious quite angrily. “Nothing, nothing” Jimmy Garvin responds. “You were in the bathroom and it was match time, that’s all. Precious was just filling in for you, baby, right Precious?” Precious nods. Sunshine unconvincingly nods back and takes her man’s arm to walk him the rest of the way to the ring. David Von Erich comes down to the ring and the two are soon going at it. It is a wild affair, like their past matches but now even more so. David not the best tempered person to begin with, is more emotionally charged than ever. David catches the advantage and puts Garvin in the dream machine. Sunshine jumps on the ring apron to distract the referee only to have Precious join her seconds later. The two ladies get in an argument leaving “Jam” to David’s sleeper. It looks like Garvin was about to go out for the count, when the other ‘Birds stormed the ring causing the disqualification. David meets them head on not giving an inch. Kerry grabs a chair and is planning on hitting David, but the posse has already arrived in the form of his older brother along with Chris Adams and the “Iceman”. The show ends with the two factions going at it full-steam.

 

Bill Mercer excitedly announces at the beginning of the next week’s show that Ric Flair is out of the hospital and will be heard from within the hour.

 

A few segments later, the program goes to Charlotte, NC at the home of the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair. “First off” the former champion begins “I want to thank everyone who has written or called to find out about me over the last three weeks. My Mid-Atlantic and World Class fans have both been wonderful. Next, I will tell you that I was not, thank God, seriously injured. My neck is going to heal 100% and I will be able to wrestle again. I repeat, I will be ABLE to. However, I have to say this. The Freebirds did a number on me. While I was being pounded by them … I was scared. Real scared. I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to hug my wife or hold my children again. Thankfully, that is not the case. I used to think being World Heavyweight Champion was the most important thing in the world to me. Now I’m not so sure. Not at all. As many of you know, I had a bad back injury in a plane crash in 1975. This injury was comparable to that one. I can’t go through that a third time. I wish to now officially announce my retirement from professional wrestling. Now, you’ll still see me from time to time, but it’ll either be backstage, as a guest announcer or as a fan like yourself. How do you say ‘thank you’ for ten years of loyalty and dedication? You don’t. Just remember that my fans, whether in Charlotte, Dallas, Tokyo or Timbuktu that Ric Flair is a fan of yours and will never forget the loyalty you have shown me. Goodbye.”

 

During the next week’s show, Bill Mercer says due to the continuous bickering between Sunshine and Precious and Jimmy Garvin’s reluctance to get rid of either woman, he went to Jimmy Garvin’s house earlier to try to get some answers. “What I found out” Mercer says, “well, it answered some questions alright.” A clip is shown of Mercer going to Jimmy Garvin’s house. Precious answers the door wearing a man’s shirt and shorts and angrily calls for Jimmy. The Freebird, caught off guard is in no mood to talk and after a few sharp words slams the door on Bill Mercer. [35]

 

After an opening match between Black Gordman [36] and Mike Reed [37] , the Freebirds have an interview session. Jimmy Garvin is now with Precious exclusively, walking to the ring with her hanging on his arm. “First off” Jimmy Garvin starts, “we’re not going to talk about my personal life. It’s none of you stupid Texan’s business.” he says to the boos of the crowd. I will say this, Ric Flair, you did the smart thing last week. I didn’t think you had the brains.” “Flair,” Terry Gordy chimes in “Ain’t nothin’ wrong with runnin’ from the Freebirds. Nothin’! You’ll get to live a long life and hold your wife and children, he says ending the sending in a clearly mocking imitative voice. “Ric,” Buddy Roberts adds “don’t feel too bad. You aren’t the first man the Freebirds took out and you won’t be the last. Hell, you’re not the last already” he says as the whole gaggle of birds laughs it up. Just take care of that neck and back. Well even send you and the Mrs. tickets to some upcoming rasslin shows featuring the Fabulous Freebirds.” Michael Hayes then takes the mic. “On to other much more important things. You people are in for a treat tonight. Jimmy’s wrestling … non-title, you gotta earn your shots in World Class and this is some new kid. It’ll be a short match, but hey, you’ll ain’t got no attention span anyway.” he says as the shows its displeasure with loud jeers. Terry will be beating up Kevin Von Erich but before that I’ll be beating up Jose Lothario. Kerry and Buddy, well, they’ve been working hard so they’re taking tonight off. Don’t get to relaxed though- they’ll be watching our backs.”

 

Michael Hayes fights a good match with Jose Lothario. He is able to score a win after Lothario drops down for a back-flip and Hayes counters with a DDT.

 

Jimmy Garvin wrestles a masked wrestler called the Masked Avenger. The Avenger shows shocking skill, catching Garvin by surprise. He winds up finishing Garvin with a superkick and reveals himself to the crowd’s delight, to be none other than “Gentleman” Chris Adams. “Still think I’m not a worthy contender Garvin?” Adams asks the fallen Freebird.

 

Gordy and Kevin go at it rough and tumble like always. Buddy Roberts comes to ringside and throws Gordy a chain which Gordy nails Kevin with and gets the pin. But as David Manning raises his hand, he feels the chain and reverses the decision. Terry and Kevin start going at it again, with Buddy Roberts joining in. Chris Adams shows up, evening the odds. The Freebirds all join in and before other help can arrive, they leave the two heroes beaten down and bruised.

 

In Fort Worth, General Akbar makes a challenge to the Freebirds, saying they have been ducking him. A Six-Man Title match is accepted, with Michael, Buddy and Terry going against Mongol, Kamala and Boris Zurkhov. The ‘Birds uses their skill and experience as a team to get the win.

 

Jimmy Garvin, wanting revenge for his loss, and Chris Adams, wanting revenge for the beating he took, agree to a match for Adams’ TV Title. The two go at it with both technical skills and streetfighting. Precious shows that like Sunshine, she can be a factor, distracting Bronko Lubich while Garvin hits Adams with a foreign object from his trunks, giving Jimmy “Jam” his second championship. “That Precious is a true Jezebel” Marc Lowrance utters as Precious and her man celebrate his victory.

 

 The next week it is announced that Skandor Akbar’s masked Super Destroyers tag team have won the American Tag-Team Titles in Indianapolis from “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Bulldog Brower [38] who had just won the vacant titles in a tournament in Detroit. It is then announced that they would be defending their newly won titles against the Fabulous Freebirds later on.

 

Freebirds Jimmy Garvin and Terry Gordy come out for an interview. “Yeah yeah.” Jimmy Garvin starts. So Skandor Akbar wants some of the Fabulous Freebirds? Well, we gave that towelhead a lesson in Fort Worth and now it’s our turn for a title shot. Pretty soon, the Freebirds are going to have all the gold” “Jimmy,” Terry Gordy responds, “you’re totally right. No one can stop the Fabulous Freebirds. Akbar prepare your masked ladies for a whippin’.”

 

Later on Sunshine comes to ringside for an interview, the crowd cheering the formerly hated valet.” “Sunshine,” Marc Lowrance starts “I know these last couple of weeks have been hard for you.” “Marc, you have no idea”. Sunshine replies. “And I really want to thank my family … and all the fans- who I have not always been so nice to- for their support. It really meant a lot to me. But I have to say (voice growing angry) to Jimmy that you broke my heart and I will never forgive you. And that when I get my hands on that little bitch for stealing my man, I am going to tear eyes her out!” Sunshine states while making a clawing gesture. All of sudden Michael Hayes runs to the ring to general confusion. “Sunshine,” Hayes starts, “listen I know this is tough. But you have to realize, what happened between Jimmy and Precious just happened.” “Just happened?” Sunshine angrily responds. “Look,” Michael continues, “we’ve all talked it over with Jimmy and Precious and we don’t want to lose you. You’re smart, you’re pretty and if you don’t mind me saying, you’re Freebird crafty. We need you Sunshine.” “But Jimmy’s with Precious now …” Sunshine starts. “I know” Hayes says cutting her off. “But look, it won’t be a problem. You’ll can remain friends … and you can be all our valets. Look we love having beautiful women around and any night of the week they’ll be four men for you to choose from.” “Michael,” Sunshine responds “I am not the Freebirds’ whore!” She then slaps Hayes and runs out the ring, the crowd cheering as Michael Hayes stands still in insulted shock. [39]

 

Later Jimmy “Jam” with Precious and “Bam-Bam” have their American Tag Team Championship match against Akbar’s Super D’s. “You two love birds are soon going to find out the difference between Devastation and Fritz’s little brats” the General goads the “Birds. The match starts. Both teams swap the upper hand several times. With the Freebirds in control, all of a sudden a roar is heard from the crowd and everyone stands up in unison. The “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, carrying a metal baseball bat, storms the ring. He swings the bat wildly then aims dead on for Terry Gordy’s skull, missing it by inches. The ‘Birds and the Super Destroyers and Akbar hightail it. “Akbar has just lost his towel and doesn’t even care!” Bill Mercer exclaims. Flair, now giving chase to Garvin and Gordy is looking for blood. Finally with the Freebirds back in the locker room, the “Nature Boy” approaches Bill Mercer to explain himself. “Ric, welcome back.” Bill Mercer says, still in shock. “Bill Mercer,” Ric Flair responds “the Fabulous Freebirds thought they could come out and drive my name into the ground? Make fun of putting me out? And they say that they’re all ‘brothers’? Well punks, meet my ‘brother’!” Flair says as he flashes the bat. “And Hayes, Gordy, Roberts, Garvin and most of all you Kerry Von Erich- watch out! Because the “Nature Boy” is back and he is coming for HIS ten pounds of gold! And one way or the other, I’m becoming a two-times World’s Champion! Freebirds, it’s only just begun! It’s only just begun! Whoooo!” [40]

 

By now the entire wrestling world is calling for a rematch between Kerry Von Erich and Ric Flair. On their Fort Worth show, Marc Lowrance says an official announcement will take place. Finally the Friday night Dallas World Class Championship Wrestling show starts. The Freebirds all come to the ring, all looking quite happy with themselves.

 

Michael Hayes takes the microphone and starts “First off all you people get one thing through your tiny little brains. As we’ve said before, Ric Flair is old hat. Washed up. Yesterday’s news. He ain’t getting no title shot!” The crowd boos in disdain. “That’s right.” Kerry Von Erich adds. “I decide who I defend this title against and when. If anyone wants to say otherwise, well come on down and try.” “Oh I think I’d like to give it a try.” says a familiar voice. The crowd roars as NWA President Bob Geigel accompanied by Fritz Von Erich make their way down to ringside. They climb in the ring and address the ‘Birds. “Not you.” Michael Hayes says in disgust. “Oh yes, Mr. Hayes, it’s me” Geigel responds. “And as you know I am the NWA president. And I am hear to tell you that on November 24, Thanksgiving night, at Wrestling Star Wars, ‘Captain Cowboy; Kerry Von Erich will be defending the National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship against the ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair” Mr. Geigel says to the crowd’s roar. The Freebirds blow up. “Furthermore,” Mr. Geigel continues, “it will be inside a steel cage (Freebirds get even angrier) AND there will be a special guest referee; former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Gene Kiniski!” “I have some more good news” Fritz Von Erich says. “First off, Jimmy Garvin, you’re already looking like you’re having trouble keeping gold (referring to his recent TV Title loss to Johnny Mantell [41] ). The crowd laughs and Garvin replies “Real funny old man, real funny.” Well Jimmy,” Fritz continues, “At Wrestling Star Wars, you will be defending your American Heavyweight Title against “Gentleman” Chris Adams!” The crowd again goes crazy and Garvin throws a verifiable tantrum. “And one other announcement,” Fritz continues, “this one to General Skandor Akbar. You say my ‘brats aren’t that tough?’ Well guess what? At Star Wars, you’re going to be meeting one of them.” he says as the crowd cheers. In fact, I’d like to bring him out right now. Everyone, please welcome my son, who will be making his wrestling debut on Thanksgiving Night at Wrestling Star Wars, MIKE VON ERICH [42] !” The crowd nearly takes the roof off the Sportatorium as Mike Von Erich makes his way down to ringside. Finally, the young Von Erich takes the microphone. “Dad, Mr. Geigel, fans,others (he says looking derogatorily at the Freebirds) in a few weeks at Star Wars I’ll be meeting General Skandor Akbar. He may be retired, but he’s dirty and yes he is tough. But I plan on making my family and all my fans proud. Thank you!” Fritz and Mike along with Bob Geigel then leave the ring with five disgruntled Freebirds left to collect themselves and regroup.

 

The atmosphere leading up to Star Wars is electric. General Akbar is licking his chops at a chance to show up Fritz Von Erich by beating his young son in his first ever match. He further thickens the plot by sending Kamala after David Von Erich after a match which leads to a signing of a match between them for the Texas Title. Showing he will go after anyone to get to the top, he has a new protégé, the Missing Link, a crazed wildman who wears green paint and grabs his poofed up hair that he uses for momentum for his headbutt, go after Buddy “Jack” which leads to a match being scheduled between the two of them. Kevin Von Erich is pitted against Michael Hayes.

 

A series of vignettes starts playing on World Class programming showing Ric Flair’s training. Fritz Von Erich, true to his word on helping Ric Flair out, the former champion is seen at the Von Erich ranch, swimming laps, running with the brothers. Clips are also shown at the gym featuring intense weight-lifting routines, in ring mat sessions, including grappling with Fritz, David and Kevin. Even Harley Race shows up to give the “Nature Boy” some pointers. “You’re going to beat that punk for both of us, Ric.” the former champion says. Wearing sparring gear, he is shown taking kicks from “Gentleman” Chris Adams. He is later filmed while moving heavy blocks of ice with the “Iceman”. Returning the favor, Flair is shown giving Mike Von Erich some handy advice for his big upcoming debut against the “General”.

 

November 24, 1983: Thanksgiving Star Wars

 

The big day is finally here. Almost 20,000 fans are jammed into Reunion Arena to see this star-studded card.

 

An earlier interview is shown of Ric Flair. “First off, I want to thank all my fans for the infinite support they have given. I know that without them this comeback would never have been possible. Next, I want to thank Fritz, Kevin, David and Mike- who I know is going to beat Akbar later on tonight. Not forgetting “Iceman” or “Gentleman” Chris Adams either. And I will say right now, I am in perfect shape and perfect health. If I don’t beat Kerry Von Erich tonight, it will be my own shortcoming entirely. Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen. And I also have an apology to David Von Erich. I go sore when he got the pin back in June for the World Title match. We all wanted that match and I should never have begrudged you for it. Well, David brother, I acted like a baby and left while you, Kevin and the others stayed and fought like men. For that, I apologize.”

 

Kevin Von Erich and Michael Hayes both pull out all the stops. Kevin is able to get the win after a drop-kick leg-scissor combo.

 

The Missing Link proves too much for Buddy Roberts who has never seen such an unorthodox style let alone from such a brutal personality as the Link.

 

David shows no fear at all against Kamala, not backing down an inch. The Ugandan Giant’s onslaught is vicious, but David uses his natural toughness and skill to stay ahead. Eventually David clamps the iron claw on Kamala, causing him to wail like a wounded elephant. The rest of Devastation Inc. then charges the ring, which causes David to promptly exit safely with a DQ victory and his Texas Title intact.

 

Jimmy Garvin and Chris Adams go head on, continually shifting the advantage. Late in the match, Precious jumps on the apron to distract Chris Adams, but Sunshine runs down to ringside and pulls her off, then proceeds to pummel her. This causes Jimmy “Jam” to lose focus, get hit by an Adams superkick and lose his American Heavyweight Title to the Englishman.

 

Mike Von Erich’s big moment arrives. Skandor Akbar comes to the ring first. Then Mike, with his father and brothers makes his appearance. It is a slow match with Akbar relying more on mat technique and cheap shots, Mike using a more aerial based attack. In the end, Mike catches the “General” off guard with a sunset flip and gets the win in his first match to the cheers of the crowd.

 

Finally the big moment has come. The cage is promptly set up. Gene Kiniski comes down to the ring, then the two contestants. Introductions are made and they go at it. It is a title match that will truly go down for the ages. Both men use scientific holds and neither are above taking cheap shots. Thanks to the cage, both men’s faces become crimson masks within the first twenty minutes. Close to the half-hour mark Kerry puts Flair in the iron claw, but “Nat” uses a low blow to get out. Gene Kiniski, who has called the match down the middle, reprimands him, but as it is No-DQ that is about as much as he can do. About five minutes later, Flair gets the advantage and attempts the figure-four, but Kerry grabs his hair and starts punching him before he can put it on. They go at it some more. Kerry gets the advantage on Flair and attempts a discus punch, but Flair ducks, turns it into a backslide … and gets the 1-2-3! The crowd goes nuts.  Kerry can’t believe he has lost. Fritz, Kevin, David and Mike all storm the ring along with “Iceman”, Chris Adams and Harley Race. Ric Flair gets a long standing ovation as Gene Kiniski proudly raises the now two-time World Champion’s hand. When the crowd finally calms down a little, a teary eyed Flair makes a speech: “I want to thank you, thank you all. That was the greatest match of my life and this is the greatest moment of my life. I plan on wearing this belt with pride and will be your champion every time I am in this ring. I owe so much to everyone in this ring. Every last one of you helped prepare me. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you all, again. I’ll never forget it.”

 

 

November-December 1983

 

At the next show in Dallas, the crowd is still showing jubilation from Star Wars. The Sportatorium is jam-packed. Lynrd Skynrd’s “Freebird” hits and down to the ring comes some not happy Fabulous Freebirds. “You fans laugh it up now,” a venomous Michael Hayes spouts from the mouth, “because come next week, ‘Captain Cowboy’s’ bringing the World Title back where it belongs- to the Fabulous Freebirds!” “Ric Flair,” Kerry begins, “I don’t know how you did it, but you did. Enjoy the next week as World’s Champion because it is going to be your last. My only wish is that I could get a hold of you tonight.” “Well that may be possible” said a smiling “Nature Boy” from the entrance way. “Kerry, Kerry Kerry. Don’t be so mad. I mean, did you really think you were going to keep your hands on MY title forever? Come on!” “Ric,” Kerry responds, “are you saying you’ll put MY World Title on the line tonight.” “Naw, not tonight, Kerry. All in good time little Freebird, all in good time. But I will team with your older brothers against you and any two of your ‘brothers’ if you put that Six-Man Trophy on the line, TONIGHT!” “Boys?” Kerry says to the other Freebirds. They all nod in unison. “Well Ric, be careful what you wish for- cause you just got it.”

 

Later that night the Freebirds come down the ring. It is to be Kerry with Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy defending their gold. The crowd goes crazy when Flair, David and Kevin are announced, the women in the crowd literally throwing themselves onto the threesome. They get it started right away. Flair’s team still riding Star Wars’ momentum, comes off to an early advantage. The Freebirds don’t seem to be on their A game. But, being great athletes and cagey wrestlers, they are always in the game and are eventually able to sway things to their favor. At one point, Kevin goes for a dropkick on Hayes who moves out the way and hits David Manning instead, knocking him to the ground. This turns the match into a three on three free for all. Buddy Roberts and Jimmy Garvin storm the ring. Mike Von Erich runs down and quickly neutralizes Roberts. Jimmy Garvin appears to have free reign and is about to smash David with a steel chair when out from the crowd jumps a fan wearing a long hooded coat! He grabs the chair from Garvin just in time and nails him with it. He then clocks an approaching Terry Gordy knocking him out cold. He takes off the hooded coat and it’s … Brian Adias! He exits the ring, David Manning recovers to see Kevin pinning Gordy, counts to three and new World Six-Man Tag-Team Champions are crowned!

 

Adias wastes no time getting back into the thick of things. On the Fort Worth Championship Wrestling show, he gives an emotional speech: “Since last March I’ve been recovering from the beating I took on the streets at the hands of the Freebirds. It pained me not to be able to go help out my good friends, the Von Erichs. And it pained me not to be able to wrestle. You great fans, I missed you so much. Well tonight, I’m going to make some more waves and beat Akbar’s Super Destroyer [43] for the Television Title.”

 

Later in the show Adias keeps his word and wins the World Class Television Championship.

 

The next week in Dallas, the Sportatorium is once again at full capacity. Fans are just waiting to see the rematch. Can “Captain Cowboy” reclaim the gold for the Freebirds or was his reign a fluke from unfair help? The fans knew they would soon be finding out.

 

Main event time comes and Flair and Kerry waste NO time going at it. Both fight like men possessed. I’ve never seen that look in Kerry’s eyes before.” Bill Mercer observes. “And Ric Flair looks like a wild animal in his eyes as well.” he continues. Flair eventually gains a decisive advantage. After being thrown across the ring into the turnbuckle, Flair hops the turnbuckle, runs to the left, dodges a clothesline, climbs to the top rope and nails a full body press on Kerry. He gets a close two count. He then picks him up, slams him down, drops a knee, then applies the figure-four leg-lock. Kerry struggles to break it, but all seems hopeless. Flair, not hesitant to use the ropes for leverage, squeezes it on. Michael Hayes runs into the ring, attacks Flair and causes a disqualification. Flair and he go at it. Eventually Kerry musters enough strength and clips a turned Flair in the knees. Hayes pulls out a pair of brass knuckles and pounds at Flair, busting him wide open. He continues this vicious assault until help in the form of Kevin and David Von Erich and Brian Adias arrive. The Freebirds hightail it to the back, gloating even though technically in defeat.

 

On the beginning of the next Championship Wrestling show, it is announced that Ric Flair would be defending the NWA World Title against “Freebird” Michael Hayes at Christmas Star Wars. In Dallas a couple of days later, both men are interviewed concerning the upcoming match-up.

 

Michael Hayes, in a solo interview says the following: “So Ric Flair. The GREAT Ric Flair. Two-time NWA Worlds Champion. Ric you think you’re better than Michael Hayes?” he says as he swipes his hair back. “Well let me tell you something ‘Nature Boy’, I may be ‘Purely Sexy’ but I’m also deadly tough. And if you think I messed you up good last week, just wait until Star Wars. It’ll be the greatest Christmas present for me ever- bringing the belt back to the Freebirds. And Ric, I am the real deal and don’t you ever forget it.”

 

Ric Flair later in the show responds. “So Michael ‘P.S.’ Hayes, you think you can get the best of Ric Flair? Well brother, let me tell you right now, you can do your little moonwalk and you can wave that filthy hair of yours, but you’ll never be on the level of Ric Flair. I’m first class. I’m the ‘limousine ridin’, jet-flyin’, wheelin dealin’, kiss-stealin’, son of a gun.’ And there’s only one. Yeah, you and those brass knucks messed my face up a little,” he says pointing to his bruised face, “but I’ll heal. And Hayes I still owe you for last Christmas. No,” he says chuckling, “I haven’t forgotten. So ready or not, Christmas night, you’re all mine. Woo!”

 

Later on the show David Von Erich wrestles Kamala in a rematch from Thanksgiving Star Wars, David getting a roll-up pin after a distracted Kamala accidentally hit an interfering Skandor Akbar. Afterwards, Devastation comes down and tried to gang up on David, but reinforcements quickly arrive and even the score. Kevin Von Erich squares against Kamala head on and succeeds in dropkicking the Ugandan giant out the ring. This prompts a match to be signed between the two at Star Wars.

 

It is announced on Championship Wrestling that Jimmy Garvin will be getting an American Title rematch at Star Wars. Also, Buddy Roberts, Terry Gordy and Kerry Von Erich would be meeting David and Mike Von Erich and the “Iceman” King Parsons in a match where the person who loses the fall has to leave Texas.

 

In a scary premonition, Roberts and Gordy beat David and “Iceman” in the main event of that night when Gordy sucker punches Parsons when the referee has his back turned, allowing Buddy “Jack” to hit his spinning neckbreaker and get the pin.

 

With only two days before Star Wars, practically every World Class fan in existence is glued to their sets for Friday night’s show.

 

Skandor Akbar preaches about his eminent domination of World Class.

 

The Freebirds say how they planned on recapturing all the gold and looked forward to “driving someone out of Texas.”

 

Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy beat Johnny Mantell and Jose Lothario quite convincingly, further boasting the ‘Birds ego.

 

Ric Flair is absent defending the World Title in North Carolina, causing him to be called a yellow-belly by Michael Hayes.

 

Kevin Von Erich beats The Mongol by submission with the iron claw, sending a clear message to Kamala and the rest of Devastation Inc.

 

The night closes with a recap of past events, followed by a six-man tag match between Brian Adias, “Iceman” Parsons and Chris Adams vs. Hayes, Garvin and Kerry which lasts only minutes before it erupts into a full-fledged brawl and becomes a Double-DQ.

 

December 25, 1983: Christmas Star Wars

 

Reunion Arena is once again ready for a huge Christmas show. Whether or not Christmas will be stolen again as it was last year remains to be seen.

 

Kevin Von Erich and Kamala go at it in a tough match, both men trading the advantage. Kevin eventually gets Kamala in the iron claw, but the Ugandan Warrior is able to make it to the ropes. A couple of minutes later General Akbar tries to throw powder in Kevin’s face but Kevin dropkicks him, sending the powder into Akbar’s own face instead. Kamala charged at the oldest Von Erich. Ever the skilled tactician, Kevin drops down, grabs Kamala’s legs and rolls him up for the pin.

 

Jimmy Garvin and Chris Adams have another knockdown dragout fight. Precious eventually jumps on the ring apron causing Sunshine to run over and grab her by the hair. Garvin runs over and grabs his former valet, causing Adams to charge Garvin. Garvin, baiting Adams, turns around and sucker punches him, then puts his feet on the ropes while an unnoticing Bronko Lubich makes the three count.

 

The ‘Birds come down to the ring for their big six-man match, knowing that the stakes are high. Same with David, Mike and “Iceman”. The six go at it full force. The Freebirds, when possible, try to focus on Mike, being the smallest and most inexperienced of their opposition. To their chagrin, there is a lot of fight in the small dog. A hard right hand to Buddy “Jack” sends him to the mat, flustered. But the ‘Birds regroup and continue the fight. Eventually all order breaks down and all six participants are fighting at once- in and out of the ring. Terry Gordy holds “Iceman” Parsons while Buddy Roberts pulls brass knuckles from his tights. Roberts charges the “Iceman”, but he moves at the last second and a flustered Buddy “Jack” nails “Bam-Bam” by mistake. Mike Von Erich dropkicks Roberts out the ring while David keeps Kerry at bay. “Iceman” nails Gordy with the butt-bump and gets the win. The Fabulous Freebirds have just lost their heaviest hitter.

 

The main event arrives, with Hayes getting resoundly booed while the “Nature Boy” is equally cheered. Hayes gives a great effort, not doing any of his usual dancing. He knows just what is at stake. Flair is on top of his game as always. In the end, Flair flips over an attempted atomic drop, hits a backdrop suplex which he holds onto after executing making sure a visible shoulder is up, getting the pin on Hayes. Hayes throws a tantrum after the match, claiming his shoulder was up at 2 on the other side. David Manning, no friend of Hayes, explains to the disgruntled Freebird that the referee goes by what he sees and that his decision is final.

 

December 1983-January 1984

 

The next show opens with an irate Michael Hayes storming the ring. “This is a conspiracy between David Manning, Ric Flair, World Class and the entire National Wrestling Alliance!” Hayes wails. “I’ve been cheated!” “You in the back, play that footage. Now!” Footage rolls of the final moments of the Star Wars main event. After the backdrop, it clearly shows both men raising their shoulders at two, albeit Flair did it in referee David Manning’s view. [44] “See there? I demand a rematch tonight!” “Michael, Michael, Michael” A taunting Ric Flair says coming down the aisle. “Now why should I give you a rematch? There are SO many other worthy contenders?” “Because Flair” Hayes counters, “you KNOW you never really beat me.” Now in the ring, Flair replies “Maybe not, but I didn’t lose either. And the rules say in a draw the champion keeps the title.” “Flair…” Hayes starts.  “But wait Michael. Just a second.” the “Nature Boy” interrupts.  Maybe we can reach a deal. I’ll give you a rematch tonight under two conditions.” “Anything. Name them.” says the Freebird. “First, any of your brothers show up to ringside, you and they are both gone. Got it?” “Deal” says Hayes. “Second, I beat you tonight, you’re outta here. Outta Texas for a year. Go join ‘Bam-Bam’ in exile!” Flair says, causing the crowd to cheer. Hayes thinks for a second and says “I’ll do it under one condition … no David Manning tonight. Don’t trust him and can’t take that chance on something like this.” Flair is quiet for a second and replies “Michael my Freebird buddy, you got yourself a deal.”

 

When main event time comes, Michael Hayes comes down to the ring like a man possessed. He knows it is do or die time. Ric Flair comes down to ringside in all his pomp and circumstance. But when Bronko Lubich calls for the bell, it is all business. Both men fight great, Hayes giving the effort of a lifetime. He even at one point puts Ric Flair in his own figure-four, and the champion takes several minutes to reverse which Hayes quickly breaks out of. Hayes later attempts a flying knee drop, but the champion moves out of the way. Hayes holding his knees, presents a ripe target for the opportunistic Flair. The “Nature Boy” targets Hayes knees unmercifully kicking and stomping at them, putting his legs between the ropes and jumping on them. Finally he puts “P.S” in the middle of the ring and to the crowd’s delight, locks on the figure-four leg-lock. The Freebird holds out as long as he can, but in the end with nowhere to go and no fellow ‘Birds coming to his rescue, he submits, lowering the number of Freebirds in Texas down to three.

 

With Hayes and Gordy gone, the Freebirds seem to have lost a lot of their spunk. General Akbar and his Devastation Incorporated use this opportunity to assert themselves as the primary heel stable in wrestling, more frequently challenging the Von Erichs and their allies. This actually backfires on them at one point, the Super Destroyers, after issuing a challenge to Brian Adias and the “Iceman” for the American Tag-Team Title, winds up losing the belts after “Iceman butt-bumps an interfering Akbar off the ring apron into a guardrail while Brian Adias finishes Super Destroyer #1 off with his side Russian leg-sweep.

 

But then one week, at the beginning of World Class’ program, a smiling Buddy “Jack” comes out carrying the World Six-Man Tag Team trophy. “Well, you thought the Fabulous Freebirds were finished, didn’t you? Well, guess again. Cause just this week in Georgia, me, Terry and Michael recaptured our World Six-Man Titles. You see, the clause only bans my brothers from wrestling in Texas. And now, well, I guess you’ll never see this precious trophy here again. Say Goodbye!” Kevin Von Erich storms down to ringside. “Just a minute, Roberts: You can’t not defend that title. We want our rematch! “Well what do you want me to do Kevin? Michael and Terry can’t wrestle in Texas anymore.” “Tell you what,” Kevin says “you give us a shot at the title at Star Wars in a couple of weeks and we’ll allow Hayes and Gordy back for one night.” “One night only?” Roberts responds, clearly not happy. “And … Kevin adds, if you’ll win, their ban is lifted!” Roberts thinks on it for a second and replies “Kevin, you have a deal.”

 

After the commercial it is announced that the main event of that night will be the remaining Freebirds- Roberts, Garvin and Kerry vs. Kevin, David and Mike Von Erich. The ‘Birds, now showing zeal that has been missing in the past couple of weeks, start off strong. Kerry makes the mistake of taking little brother Mike too lightly and winds up getting taken down then dropkicked right out the ring for his troubles to the crowd’s absolute delight. Buddy “Roberts” tried to sneak up on Mike, but the youngest Von Erich wrestler sees him coming, puts him in the iron claw and forces the veteran Freebird to submit.

 

In Fort Worth on Championship Sports, Kerry calls his brother Mike out, saying he wants a match against him at Star Wars. “So Mike you think you’re big stuff because you got a lucky win over Buddy? Well, you couldn’t last ten minutes with me. I beat David, I beat Kevin and I’m going to beat you. And then I’m going back after Ric Flair for MY World Title!” Later on, Marc Lowrance says he has spoken to Mike via phone and the youngest Von Erich wrestler will be giving his answer later in the week in Dallas.

 

Kerry comes to the ring a few days later in Dallas. He is then promptly met by Mike. “Well ‘little bro’, I’m waiting. Do you have the guts? “Oh Kerry, I have the guts alright. The question is, ‘Do you have the balls?’” Mike says to a now roaring crowd. Kerry’s face drops. “Oh there’s someone else who wants to talk to you too, Kerry.” Out comes the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, causing Kerry’s face to drop even further. “You know Kerry,” Ric Flair says once he hits the ring, “this kid brother of yours has a lot of spunk. A LOT of spunk. “What’s it to you Flair?” Kerry angrily retorts. “What’s it to me? I’ll tell, ya Kerry.” You see, you say this kid can’t last ten minutes with you. Well … I disagree. I say he can. Now at Star Wars, the same night me and your real brothers take back OUR World Six-Man Tag Titles, I would love to see you wrestle Mike here. If he can last ten minutes or beat you, you gotta pack your bags and join Hayes and ‘Bam-Bam’, “And if I win?” Kerry asks. “Brother, if you win, you get a shot at my title anytime, anyplace, under any conditions you want.” “Flair, Mike, it’s on for Star Wars. Flair, hold that belt real close to you while you can, and Mike … well hold your teddy bear close at night, because you now have good reason to be afraid- REAL AFRAID!”

 

Star Wars is fast approaching. Skandor Akbar exercises the Super Destroyers’ rematch clause for Star Wars for the American Tag Team Titles. After continual matches between Chris Adams and Jimmy Garvin always ending with some kind of interference from either Sunshine and/or Precious, a rematch is signed between them with both women barred from ringside. With that, the stage is set for a supercard to remember.

 

January 30, 1984: Star Wars of Wrestling

 

Tonight’s lineup of matches is deemed the most pivotal ever. The Freebirds could be back at full strength and have a major World Title shot in the works. Or they could be down to Buddy “Jack” and Jimmy “Jam”. And of course there were all points in between.

 

The Freebirds have a group interview with Bill Mercer. “Heh-heh. We’re back” Michael Hayes brags. If only for one night- but don’t bet on that. Tonight the Fabulous Freebirds start down the road to redemption. Tell ‘em ‘Bam-Bam’.” “I have missed beating up all the local punks here in World Class this last month. There is no way, I am going to miss an opportunity to come back early. Not a chance.” Gordy articulates. “Chris Adams,” Jimmy Garvin chimes in, “you think because Precious won’t be in my corner tonight that gives you an advantage? Well listen up English Jack, that means Sunshine won’t be watching your back, either. And without her, I KNOW you can’t beat me without her cheating for you.” Kerry says “Mike, I wish you the best of luck against me … you are GOING to need it, brother!”

 

Chris Adams and Jimmy Garvin had a superb match, finally free of the constant outside interference from Precious and Sunshine. Adams is able to counter a brain-buster attempt by Garvin with a small package and turn it into a three count to regain the American Heavyweight Championship.

 

Kevin and David Von Erich and Ric Flair have an interview with Bill Mercer backstage. “Bill” Kevin points out, tonight were going to do two important things: First, we’re going to reclaim OUR World Six-Man Tag-Team Titles. Second, we’re going to send Gordy and Hayes packing for good ­soon to be joined by a certain unnamed turncoat. “Kevin?” Bill Mercer addresses the oldest Von Erich. “That’s right. I’m sick of the Freebirds. It’s time for us to put them away. Chris Adams already proved earlier he is superior to Jimmy Garvin when Precious isn’t around to wipe his butt. Now we’re going to run the others out of Texas for good tonight. “Ric Flair?” Bill Mercer says now addressing the World’s Champion. “Bill Mercer …” Flair begins but never finishes because all five Freebirds attack the three heroes from behind. They perpetrate a truly vicious beatdown, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Kevin, David and Flair. They are fought off as David grabs a chair and starts swinging wildly, coming inches from hitting Bill Mercer. But, Kevin has already been busted open from several punches from a chain-wrapped fist of Terry Gordy. He needs Flair and David to carry him away.

 

The card progresses. This time Akbar’s interference is dead-on, landing powder in Brian Adias’ face, which Super Destroyer #2 capitalizes on by pinning the blinded hero.

 

Eventually brother vs. brother, aka the Kerry Von Erich vs. Mike Von Erich match arrives. Mike though clearly disgruntled from the earlier attack, shows shades of his brother David’s and his dad’s temper taking Kerry on with no fear. He uses his aerial artillery and scientific skills as well as not hesitating to throw a closed fist. Mike keeps it close until a little after the 9:00 minute mark, but Kerry superior athletic ability, size and experience is too much for young Mike. Kerry is able to cinch in the iron claw and after struggling for several seconds, Mike has no choice but to submit in order to avoid serious injury. Kerry keeps it on a moment longer, ignoring David Manning’s calls to break it, then throws Mike down to the mat. He gets in his little brother’s face and yells “Wisen up Mike, wisen up!”

 

Six-man main events time has arrived. Hayes, Gordy and Roberts make their way to the ring, Hayes again doing his trademark dancing. David Von Erich and Ric Flair make their way to ringside … with an already tired “Iceman” King Parsons subbing for the injured Kevin. The match erupts into a street fight before the opening bell. Eventually order is restored with David and Gordy going at it. Neither of these heavy-hitters back off an inch. It is a long match with almost all contestants getting busted open. In the end, Michael Hayes is able to hit a bruised and exhausted “Iceman” with a DDT and get the pin, thus reinstating himself and Terry Gordy and keeping the World Six-Man Championship in Freebird hands. “Captain Cowboy” and Jimmy “Jam” both come down to celebrate with their other brothers in what has turned out to be a great night indeed for the Fabulous Freebirds.

 

January-February 1984

 

Four days later at the Sportatorium the Freebirds start the show by coming to the ring in celebration. “Thank you Dallas so much!” Michael Hayes begins carrying a new championship belt. “Oh and in case you’re wondering, this belt here is the NWA United National Title. I won it in my ‘exile’ in Athens, Georgia. The Freebirds are, like everywhere else, huge in Japan, and I’ll be going on tour there soon to defend this title. Don’t worry, I won’t stay gone for too long. It is SO good to be back!” “I’ve missed you all. So good to be back, indeed.” Terry Gordy says, equally sarcastically. “The Freebirds are rapidly reestablishing their dominance in the world of professional wrestling.” Buddy Roberts adds. “NO ONE will stand in our way as Kevin Von Erich found out the hard way from Bam-Bam!” Roberts laughs at his own ‘joke’ as the crowd boos. “And Chris Adams,” Jimmy Garvin says while playing with his hair, “you just keep my belt nice and warm because you got lucky at Star Wars, punk. I’ll be back soon for it.” “Mike,” Kerry finishes, “last night you showed me something. No you’re not on my level, not yet. But you have great potential. Take my advice, quit following Kevin and David around like a puppy and for God sakes don’t listen to Ric Flair. Join us! We will gladly take you in.” he says to nods all around. “The choice is yours little brother-greatness … or folly. And Ric Flair, don’t worry ‘Nat’, your time’s comin’, your time is comin.’”

 

Later on Kevin Von Erich is interviewed from home. “Well Freebirds, you did it. You took me out and you got yourself reinstated. And Kerry’s going to get Ric Flair soon. Congratulations. You may have hurt me, but I’ll be back soon. David’ll be covering me for a couple of days, and then watch out, because Freebirds, I’m comin’ to clip your wings.

 

Michael Hayes never gets on tour in Japan because David Von Erich beats him that night for the United National Title. The “Yellow Rose of Texas” catches the Freebird leader off-guard with his running high knee strike and gets the quick pin, preventing any interference from Hayes’ ‘brothers’. It is fitting David would win the United National Title because he is about to go tour Japan himself where he is hugely popular. And he with one of the Rising Sun’s most prestigious titles will undoubtedly sell many tickets.

 

Later on subbing for Kevin, David beats Terry Gordy by disqualification after getting the biggest ‘Bird in the claw, prompting a typical Freebird run-in.

 

On Championship Sports a few days later, Mike Von Erich is given a chance to respond to his older brother’s offer. “Marc, I think Kerry has lost his mind. I will never under any circumstances ever join the Fabulous Freebirds. Kerry broke my parents’ hearts and is a traitor. Now I may not be on his level yet. But I am getting there fast. And when I do get there, he and his ‘brothers’ had better watch out.”

 

Later that night, Mike proves himself as an up and comer, helping David clear the ring of Devastation Inc. after they ran in during his older brother’s match with the Missing Link in the main event when David locks the controversial Link in the iron claw.

 

 

February 10, 1984

 

The wrestling world is dealt one of its all-time worse tragedies as David Von Erich is found dead in his hotel room in Tokyo, Japan, apparently as a result of acute enteritis, an extreme inflammation of the intestines. His whole family, all of World Class and the whole wrestling world and beyond are extremely shocked and go into mourning for this fallen warrior. Wrestlers from all over express their grief and many break character (including all The Freebirds which of course include Kerry Von Erich) to say in front of the camera how much they admired David. [45]

 

February-May 1984

 

As tragic as David’s death was, everyone knows the show must go on. An upcoming memorial show has been planned for David entitled “The David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions” to be held at Texas Stadium.  The main event is announced as a rematch for the World Title between Ric Flair and Kerry Von Erich. The World Six-Man Tag Team Titles are also going to be defended in a “Bad Street” Brawl between Hayes, Gordy and Roberts against Kevin and Michael Von Erich and a partner to be named later.

 

On February 24, Bill Mercer starts World Class Championship Wrestling off by saying a Mid-South Wrestling event in Shreveport, Louisiana had a most heinous act occur. A clip roles starting right after a Kerry Von Erich World Title match against Terry Taylor. Kerry won a clean, well fought match and to Taylor’s puzzlement, shook his hand before and after the match. Afterwards, Kerry calls the other four ‘Birds to the ring saying he needs to have a group meeting. They come down the ring and Kerry explains: “Brothers, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. After all that’s happened, I don’t have it in me to fight my family anymore. I want us when we go back to Texas on Friday to have a meeting with them and bury the hatchet.” Michael Hayes quickly responds “Now Kerry, wait a minute. I know you’re upset. Hell, you have every right to be, but brother we areThe Fabulous Freebirds. Were not exactly the kind of guys who just kiss and make up.” “Mike … please. This is hard enough. I mean it has to end. It’s GOING to end. My mind is made up.” “Just who do you think you are?” Terry Gordy chimes in. We took you in and made you a member of OUR family. You don’t just turn around and dictate what were going or not going to do!” “Well then, guys … I’m out. I’m no longer a Freebird!” “Just a damn minute!” Buddy Roberts angrily growls, “Do you think you can just walk out on us? I’ll tell you something Kerry Von Erich, you better think agai …” “Wait Buddy, wait.” Michael Hayes interrupts. “Now Kerry has been through a lot lately. You know what. He probably needs some time to think things over, right brother?” Kerry nods. “Tell you what, take as much time as you need and we’ll be waiting for you when you get back.” Kerry smiles a little. “Now Captain Cowboy”, Hayes continues, “Give ole P.S. a hug. I know you are man of your word and you’ll be back soon.” The two ‘Birds embrace, only to have Hayes knee Kerry in the groin. The other Freebirds join in, and a brutal 4 on 1 beatdown takes place. It is only stops when Terry Taylor and Mid-South president, “Cowboy” Bill Watts, storm the ring and after some intense fighting, drive the Freebirds away, who then leave their former brother bloodied and battered in the ring to the shock of the Shreveport crowd. [46]

 

Later on the Freebirds come out for an interview. Marc Lowrance asks them to explain themselves. “You know something Marc Lowrance?” Jimmy Garvin starts off, “Kerry Von Erich did not know a good thing when he had it. He was an ingrate. I mean look, I was invited to be a Freebird and I’m thankful. He wasn’t.” Marc Lowrance turns to Michael Hayes. “Michael, surely you can’t be proud of what you have done.” “Listen”, Hayes retorts, “If you think I’m going to cry one drop for Kerry, you got another thing coming. I know he was upset, but you don’t tell me what to do or who to beat up. And another thing: He has a match in May coming up against Ric Flair. And Kerry, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but without us, you have no shot against Ric Flair. You never did, brother. You should get on your hands and knees and thank God Terry Taylor and Bill Watts were there to save your ass in Shreveport. If I were you I’d just pack up and retire. You’re finished.” The interview ends and the ‘Birds leave the ring.

 

Later on Fritz, Kevin and Mike Von Erich come out for an interview. “Fritz immediately takes the microphone and starts: “First, I want to thank everybody for the outpour of support we’ve gotten these last few days. I’m not sure how we would have coped without it. But, there is business at hand. In May, there was a six-man tag match for the title scheduled. My sons, Kevin, Mike … and David were going to meet the Freebirds for the trophy in a no holds barred “Bad Street” match. After David’s death, ‘Iceman’, Brian Adias and Chris Adams all offered to take David’s spot. As thankful as I am, I cannot accept any of their offers. I am now here to announce that I will be coming out of retirement for that match only to team with my sons.” Fritz says, causing the crowd to roar. “Afterwards, WHEN we win, they can give my share of the title to whomever they choose. But, this has gotten so personal I need to tan so Freebird hide myself.” All of a sudden Kerry makes his way to the ring, still obviously sore from his beating earlier in the week. Fritz turns his head in disgust and his brothers shake their heads. “Dad, Kevin, Mike, please listen. I’m sorry! I’m so sorry. I disgraced myself. I betrayed the Von Erich name. But I want back in. I want in the six-man match. Fritz responds furiously. “Kerry Von Erich, after what you did to all of us, assaulting me, making your mother cry buckets night after night, running with that trash, trying to turn your little brother against us, how do you expect us to forgive you? I knew one day those ‘brothers’ of yours would turn on you. Well forget it boy, I’m not giving you my spot.” “Dad” Kerry responds, “I don’t want your spot.” Fritz looks confused. “As much as I hate to admit it, Michael Hayes was right: I never beat Ric Flair. Not really. Kevin I want you to have my World Title rematch and I want your spot.” At this the crowd cheers emphatically, begging Kevin to agree. Kevin and Fritz look at one another. Fritz says “Kevin, it’s your decision, son.” Kevin is silent for a moment then speaks. “Kerry, words can’t describe how disgusted I am at you. But, you are my brother. I’ll switch spots with you, but heed my words. If this is another Freebird ruse like you boys pulled on Ric Flair back in September and you betray dad and Mike, you are dead. You won’t make it out of Texas Stadium alive. I personally guarantee it.” Kerry nods, and then quickly leaves the ring. His family eventually follows suit.

 

As the weeks go on leading up to the David Von Erich Parade of Champions, the feud between The Von Erichs and their allies against the Freebirds continues, with rough, bloody matches and beatdowns on both ends being the norm.

 

Kerry no longer wrestles on any televised shows only at house shows. He comes to the ring simply as Kerry Von Erich, using neither his “Modern Day Warrior” nor his “Captain Cowboy” moniker. He is often ganged up on by the ‘Birds and either takes a beating at their hands or manages to grab a chair or escape, his luck splitting down the middle.

 

Jimmy Garvin and Chris Adams exchange the American Title on three occasions in April- all involving outside distraction and interference from both Precious and Sunshine-which has Jimmy “Jam” going into the event as champion. But as the upcoming match between them is an intergender tag team match pitting Garvin and Precious against Adams and Sunshine (must fight opponent of own gender) and as the title is not on the line, it is not a primary focus.

 

The week before the show, “Nature Boy” Ric Flair is interviewed on World Class television about his thoughts on his upcoming match. He is received by the Sportatorium crowd with warm cheers and applause. Bill Mercer asks Flair, “Champ, how have you been?” “Well you know Bill Mercer” Flair replies, “being NWA World’s champion is a full time job. Takes you all over the world. And I will say I have indeed very much missed Dallas by God Texas!” Flair says, causing the crowd to go crazy. “Some of the most beautiful women in the world are here. But you know who else is here? My good friends the Von Erichs. I tell you I’ve really missed Kevin, Mike, Mrs. Doris, Big Fritz … and of course I’m always going to miss David. But, friends or no friends, this belt, my ten pounds of gold, means more to Ric Flair than anything else in the world. And Kevin, don’t get me wrong I’m glad you got the match, not that no good louse you call a younger brother, but be that as it may, I’m coming after you full throttle. Good luck, and may the better man win. Now Bill Mercer if you’ll excuse me, I got a limo filled with champagne and beautiful women and I’m itching to go downtown. Wooo!” At this, Flair leaves the ring.

 

May 6, 1984: David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions

 

Finally the big day is here. Over 50,000 fans have gathered at Texas Stadium to see this once in a lifetime supercard. Everyone is wondering “Has the prodigal son really come home or is it just another Freebird ruse?” The undercard starts leading up to the bigger matches.

 

Finally the first match involving a Freebird, the mixed tag match with Jimmy “Jam” Garvin and his valet Precious against “Gentleman” Chris Adams and Sunshine takes place. “I’m going to do to you what my brothers are gonna do to your pals next match, Adams.” Garvin taunts the Englishman. Adams merely responds with a cool look. The match starts with Garvin and Adams going at it, with superb technical skills. They exchange blows and Adams soon gets the upper hand. They go at it for a few minutes when Adams nails Garvin with a superkick, causing Jimmy ‘Jam’ to fly into his corner on his rear-end. He instinctively tags Precious, causing her much shock as she does not want to face Sunshine. But, she must and Sunshine wastes no time getting revenge on the hussy who stole her man, kicking and clawing at her adversary. Precious tags out to a still very stunned Jimmy Garvin. Chris Adams wastes no time entering the ring and suplexing Garvin in. He drops a knee and goes for the pin, getting a close two count. He picks Garvin back up only to get his eyes raked. Garvin hits him with an elbow and “goes to town” on the “Gentleman”. He then throws him into his corner and Precious starts clawing at him. Sunshine runs in, past referee Bronko Lubich and attacks Precious. Garvin then pulls Sunshine off her, holds her while calling his valet into the ring. Precious enters and starts slapping Sunshine. Finally the referee forces Garvin to release the hold and then … Chris Adams nails Garvin with a superkick, covers him and gets the victory! Adams and Sunshine start celebrating, only to have it cut short by Precious nailing Sunshine with her loaded purse, followed by her and Jimmy’s eminent retreat. Dazed but not out, Sunshine chases them up the ramp followed by Adams, and wallops Precious a few times for good measure.

 

The Freebirds new tune “Badstreet USA” hits and Hayes, Gordy and Roberts hit the ring with their Six-Man trophy dressed to fight. The crowd now goes insane when Fritz and Mike Von Erich hit the ring. They opt to stay on the floor. Then the crowds starts roaring when Kerry Von Erich, introduced as “The Modern Day Warrior” for the first time since Christmas of 1982, walks down the ring alone. Kerry then climbs into the ring by himself causing his dad and brother to jump on the apron. Michael Hayes and Buddy Roberts leave the ring indicating the match will start with Kerry and Gordy. The two former “brothers” eye each other up and then go at it. Predictably, neither man pulls a punch. Both come out fighting hard. Eventually, Gordy drags Kerry into the Freebird corner causing a three on one, but Kerry quickly fights his way out. Buddy Roberts is tagged in and comes full-speed at Kerry, only to be met with a drop-toe hold. The other ‘Birds charge the ring to be met by the other two Von Erichs. Six people are in the ring at once and for the first time in a long time, Kerry is standing side by side with his family. Referees David Manning and Bronko Lubich clear the ring with only the two legal men. Kerry then tags in his dad, who is now officially wrestling his first match in almost two years. He quickly bests Roberts, pounding Buddy “Jack” into the mat. Roberts makes the tag to Hayes who is quick to enter the ring, but ever the consummate tactician does not charge Fritz but rather slows the pace down. Finally the two lock up and go at it. Hayes takes a cheap shot to the groin and drops Fritz. Kerry and Mike Von Erich both storm the ring, causing them to be held off by the referees. The Freebirds take advantage of this and use it for a three on one gang up. Terry Gordy is tagged in and continues to beat Fritz. “Shoulda stayed retired old man” Gordy taunts Fritz, only to be met with the iron claw. Fritz then tags Mike in, whom teaming with brother and father for the first time in his career is a man possessed. Coming in to take out the biggest ‘Bird, Gordy can’t believe this young kid is hitting him this hard. Mike nails him with three straight dropkicks, finally taking “Bam-Bam” down. This causes his “brothers” to enter the ring and now we have a three on three. All hell has broken loose when Mike climbs the top rope nails a flying body press on Michael Hayes and gets the three count. The crowd at Irving can’t believe it. Moments later the Von Erichs hands are raised. All of a sudden a very large Asian man storms the ring and attacks Fritz. “Oh my God, a huge Oriental has just entered the ring and started attacking Fritz Von Erich. That has to be the largest Oriental I have ever seen in life!” [47] Marc Lowrance exclaims. Kerry comes in with a chair and chases this large unknown out of the ring who leaves with the Freebirds. Rather than regrouping with his father and brother, Kerry opts to leave the ring alone once again.      

 

The main event finally arrives. Kevin comes down the aisle wearing his beautiful blue David Von Erich Memorial robe. “Sprach Zarathustra” plays and out comes “The Nature Boy”. Introductions are made, the bell rings, the two shake hands and the match begins. It starts off clean and technical, both men fighting rough but by the rules. The match progresses and Kevin has Flair in a front-face lock. He then attempts a body slam. David Manning is distracted by unruly crowd activity and Ric Flair hits a low blow! “That’s the Flair of old!” Marc Lowrance explains while the crowd loudly boos the World’s Champion. Flair then goes on an all out assault using every dirty tactic (fists, eye rakes, hair pulling) that he “the dirtiest player in the game” knows. Flair is determined to keep his title whatever the cost. He hits an atomic drop, follows up with a clothesline to the back of the head and sets Kevin up for his patented figure-four leg-lock. The “Nature Boy” can’t help but give a very pompous “woo” to the already angry Texas crowd. He turns to set the figure-four in, but Kevin lifts himself up and puts Flair in the iron claw! The crowd cheers loudly as Ric Flair struggles for the ropes … to no avail. Kevin is now on his feet with Flair struggling for survival. The champion starts bleeding profusely. Finally he can take no more and submits. The crowd at Texas Stadium is going so crazy it seems as though an earthquake has hit. The other Von Erichs- Fritz, Mike, Chris and Doris storm the ring to hug and congratulate Kevin. A minute later Kerry slowly enters the ring. His whole family stares at him for a long time. Then his mother runs over and hugs him and the rest follow suit. Ric Flair then walks over to the Von Erichs. He approaches Kevin who is very cautious. Flair extends his hand and Kevin accepts. He then shakes all the other Von Erichs hands but Kerry’s, and merely gives him a curt nod when their eyes meet, which Kerry returns.

 

There will be many other feuds and many other matches. Ric Flair will indeed recapture his “ten pounds of gold” and the Freebirds are by no means finished with the Von Erichs or vice-versa. But for now, it is all cheers and smiles as the Von Erichs know that the prodigal son has truly come home.

 

 

The End

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] I came up with this Freebird nickname for Kerry before finding out an interesting fact: He wrestled as the masked Cosmic Cowboy #2 (Kevin was #1) in a feud against Chris Adams and Gino Hernandez.http://www.ioffer.com/i/WORLD-CLASS-CHAMPIONSHIP-WRESTLING-7-DVD-SET–103209123

[2] Bob Geigel was indeed NWA President at this time.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Wrestling_Alliance#Presidents

[3] Geigel was in fact involved in an angle where after warning Magnum TA about his behavior with Nikita Koloff, Magnum clotheslined him and was stripped of the US title. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWe9LNKOTKA&feature=related

[5] Same as opening theme, very catchy opening-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBs7BJaLATA closing  (in about 20 seconds)- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN4PsTpxM24&feature=related . Was for their flagship show, World Class Championship Wrestling, filmed Friday nights in Dallas at the Sportatorium.

[6] Real Angle leading up to Christmas Star Wars.

[7] You’ll notice throughout this story I use David Manning and Bronko Lubich as the only two referees except for special guest referees. This is because generally they were the two referees I ever saw on World Class at this time period.

[8] Mongol was a solid mid-carder wrestler. You may remember him as Hillbilly Jim’s Cousin Luke. http://www.obsessedwithwrestling.com/profiles/g/gene-petit.php

[10] Until the Freebirds started using Michael Hayes’ single “Badstreet USA” they came to the ring to Lynrd Skynrd’s “Freebird”.

[11] In real life Kerry Von Erich did win the Missouri Title from Harley Race within 2 days of Terry Gordy beating Kevin Von Erich for the American title, January 21, 1983 and January 23, 1983 respectively. http://www.worldclasswrestling.info/results/1983res.htm#JAN,http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/mo/mo-h.html

[12] David did win the title with Hayes and Gordy, then turned over the reins to Buddy Roberts the match before the Flair-Kerry cage match.http://www.worldclasswrestling.info/results/1982res.htm#DEC

[13] Brian Adias was a real life high school friend of Kerry Von Erich. He was a solid in ring competitor as well. Later on in his career he turned heel and feuded with the Von Erichs. http://www.worldclasswrestling.info/adiasbio.htmhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuJpCsboImU

[14] Tough heel wrestler http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/t/tim-brooks.html

[15] Another heel with a tough cowboy gimmick. He wrestled as “The Goon” in the WWF.

[16] Adias for whatever reason left World Class at this time. He did wrestle in Portland during this time so you may actually remember him.

[17] A real but rarely defended title. Later became the Texas Hardcore Title. http://www.wrestling-titles.com/us/tx/tx-bk.html

[18] A title exclusively defended on the Fort Worth Show (WCCW’s secondary show), Saturday Night Wrestling, which later became “Championship Sports”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v4EbvY2h_Q

[19] All Star Wars shows referenced happened on said dates.

[20] Real Gimmick.

[21] His Freebird nickname in WCW. As all the ‘Birds had quirky nicknames, I find it appropriate he would start using this one now.

[22] A real chant based on the Freebirds use of the Georgia flag.

[23] On this date the only match where all 4 Freebirds (including Garvin though not yet a Freebird) wrestled at same time as partners. Thus it will be the only time all 5 Freebirds wrestle together as partners in this story.http://www.bobbarnett.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=105&products_id=729&osCsid=neoriycoblqxzji

[24] This really happened.

[25] Copied by Kurt Angle years later.

[26] Racial slurs were VERY common in Texas and Southern Wrestling in the 1980s even by babyfaces.

[27] Based on a real Kevin Von Erich speech.

[28] Race did periodically wrestle in World Class.

[29] Missouri’s wrestling show.

[31] Later and better known as Boris Zhukov in AWA and WWF.

[32] Real Angle.

[34] Brody was legitimately injured at this time.

[35] Real Angle.

[36] Famed Mexican Wrestler.

[37] Lower Mid-Card Wrestler.

[38] Based on the location of these matches and the fact to my knowledge neither Piper nor Brower ever wrestled in World Class, these matches were probably apocryphal.

[39] In 1986 in Bill Watts’ UWF, Sunshine does become the valet for the Freebirds.

[40] Flair’s neck injury, “retirement” and comeback all happened in a somewhat similar fashion in Mid-Atlantic Wrestling.

[41] Mid-card Wrestler, same with brother Ken who was also a wrestling promoter.

[42] You may hear that Mike was rushed into wrestling after David’s death. This is a lie. Mike debuted at Thanksgiving Star Wars when David was alive and well.

[43] This was Scott Irwin. He was Super Destroyer #1, brother Bill Irwin, mentioned earlier was #2.

[44] This is actually how Ric Flair lost the World Title to Harley Race.

[45] Many wrestlers did indeed break character after David’s death (The Freebirds, Harley Race and Ric Flair amongst them) to show their grief and respect. Like many Von Erich facts, the date of David’s death is still debated. His tombstone says Feb 9, because he died on Feb 9 CST. But in Japan it was Feb 10, so I will use the date where David was. http://www.worldclasswrestling.info/faq/vonerichs.htm I will assume he did die of acute enteritis and not touch the drug overdose claims though will say that the acute enteritis was the apparent cause for those who have doubts.

[46] Compare to Michael Hayes 1988 speech when he says he no longer wants to feud with the Von Erichs due to all the tragedy. I actually wrote mine before seeing it. And “Iceman” was calling himself “Blackbird” King Parsons at this time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU16g7r3jEs .

[47] This was Killer Khan and this is how Marc Lowrance reacted (Oriental was a more excepted word for Asian people in 1984). Interestingly, Killer Khan would eventually side with Skandor Akbar and Devastation Inc. over the Freebirds, changing them to babyfaces/tweeners.

Written by

Creator, editor and semi-sorta-retired original author of Rewriting The Book, husband, father of three, gamer, lover of 90's MTV animation.

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