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The Triumph and Tragedy of World Class Championship Wrestling
The Triumph and Tragedy of World Class Championship Wrestling
Actors: Abdullah the Butcher, Ric Flair, Jerry Lawler, Sunshine, Mark Lewin
Genres: Television, Sports
NR     2007     6hr 0min

Collects some of the greatest matches in WCCW history, reliving electrifying moments for a generation of old-school fans and introducing new fans to the adrenaline-filled excitement of World Class Championship Wrestling. C...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Abdullah the Butcher, Ric Flair, Jerry Lawler, Sunshine, Mark Lewin
Genres: Television, Sports
Sub-Genres: Television, Wrestling
Studio: World Wrestling
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/11/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 6hr 0min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

World Class Championship Wrestling - An Epic But Sad Tale
Ervin Griffin | Bluefield, WV | 12/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have now watched this piece at least 6 times since I bought it this past Friday and let me say it is worth the money. While it isn't perfect, I am just glad to see some of this old footage as it brings back memories of me watching World Class on ESPN during the mid to late 80's. Yes, ESPN used to air them and AWA at one time.

Anyway, back to the product, it was great to see Gary Hart, Skandor Akbar and "Wild" Bill Irwin again and to hear their stories. Its also great to see Kevin Von Eric still around to give us his stories about his dad and brothers. Time has been kind to them but not so kind of the former Fabulous Freebirds, especially Buddy Roberts and "Gorgeous" Jimmy Garvin! Michael Hayes still looks pretty good and I like hearing his views on World Class as well. I also liked seeing guys that often are forgotten like the late Missing Link, Kamala, The Great Kabuki (kayfabe "father" of former IWGP and NWA Champion The Great Muta), "Iceman" King Parsons, "The Mercenary of Mayhem" Bruiser Brody, Abdulah The Butcher and Gino Hernandez.

If I have any problems with this release, I would've liked to have heard from "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. True, he didn't wrestle for World Class (it had changed to USWA by the time he started) but he was trained by "Gentleman" Chris Adams so I would've liked to have heard from him about Chris. I mean, we heard from Mick Foley, HHH and Shawn Michaels so why not Austin? Oh well, you can't have everything.

The ending of the promotion wasn't as sad as all the deaths like Gino Hernandez and the Von Eric brothers. David's was particularly sad because it has been said he was next in line to be NWA World Champion in 1984. Mike and Chris' deaths, while sad, weren't totally surprising because (based on what's said on the documentary) there were signs. Kerry's death was almost as shocking as David's in the respect that no one saw that one coming at all! Still, they were tragic no matter how you slice it.

This release from WWE wasn't perfect by any means but it still gets 5 stars from me because any acknowledgement of wrestling outside of WWE is always a good sign.

Overall, this release gives you a good idea of who World Class was and what they contributed to what we call "sports entertainment." I will also be purchasing "Heroes of World Class" very soon as it has also received high praise. Between the two, you'll almost have a definitive look at this Texas promotion which had great wrestling, colorful personalities and fans whose loyalty and passion for these wrestlers rivaled (in my opinion) those fans who cheered the original ECW during the mid to late 90's! Definitely deserves a place on any wrestling fans wall or someone who likes good documentaries.
Complete matches list
Jonathan Turbide | Quebec, Canada | 12/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Triumph and Tragedy of World Class Championship Wrestling is one of the best wrestling DVD ever made. Here's the complete matches list for this classic release:

- Duke Keomuka VS Ricky Starr (Texas Rasslin', ???, black and white)
A great 20 minutes, 2 out of 3 falls match with many submission moves. It's great to have finally a match of Keomuka on DVD.

- Fritz Von Erich VS King Kong Bundy (WCCW, 1982)
Fritz's official retirement match. Great match, it's cool to see a younger King Kong Bundy with hair. The match end on the football field of the Dallas Cowboys.

- Ric Flair VS Kerry Von Erich (WCCW, 1982, NWA World title match)
This is a Steel Cage match with two referee, David Manning and Michael Hayes. This is the infamous match where the Von Erich/Freebirds feud is born. Great 25 minutes match, Flair bleed like never before. By far one of my favorite match ( and i have over 2000 matches on dvd ). Great performance by Kerry.

- Kevin Von Erich/David Von Erich/Iceman Parsons VS Freebirds (WCCW 1983)
Great 6 men tag team match. It's always great to see a match of David on DVD. Most a technical match than a brawl. The match is about 12 minutes long but it's 12 good minutes. Alternate commentary by Kevin Von Erich and Todd Grisham.

- Iceman Parsons VS Buddy Roberts (WCCW 1983, Hair match)
Finally a single match of Buddy Roberts on DVD!!! he is great, one of the most underrated wrestler ever. Good 6 minutes match, with plenty of pinfalls, not many wrestling moves but very good action. The fans are really into it. Iceman was a tremendous fan favorite. Include an apparition by Michael Hayes.

- Fritz, Kevin, Mike Von Erich VS FReebirds (WCCW 1984, 6-men title)
This is a real classic. This 10 minutes match is a brawl from beginning to end. All the wrestlers are in jeans, are prepared for a street fight. This is at the David Von Erich Memorial show, in front of 50 000 fans.Fritz came out of retirement for this match. Great Action, Great fans.

- Sunshine/ Chris Adams VS Jimmy Garvin/Precious (WCCW 1984, mix tag match)
GReat 6 minutes match, with plenty of action. Chris Adams was a great wrestler and Jimmy Garvin a great heel. Again the Fans really like this match, and they goes wild when Sunshine finally gets her hands on Precious. Sunshine was really hot back in those days.

- Kabuki VS Kamala (WCCW, 1984)
I was very happy when i saw that this match was on DVD because The only times these two were on DVD was in Royal Rumble. Good but slow match, with not many wrestling moves. Good face-off between these two beasts. The match is about 10 minutes long. good extra.

- Chris Adams VS Kevin Von Erich (WCCW, 1985)
Good match with a little bit of everything: blood and technical wrestling. Another great match from both Kevin and Adams, and this was a great feud. About 12 minutes long, with Alternate commentary by Kevin and Todd.

- Fantastics VS Midnight Express (WCCW 1985)
Great Tag team tornado Two rings match. 10 minutes of non-stop action, with great wrestling moves and some brawling (Chair shots). Bobby Eaton looks great as always in the ring, and a great performance by Tommy Rogers. Jim Cornette is funny like always, and the two rings give the match a very special look. a Classic in my opinion.

- Bruiser Brody/Missing link VS Rick Rude/One man Gang (WCCW 1986)
Finally a match of Bruiser Brody on DVD, it was about time!!! Great to see him, and it's great to see the Missing link, who sadly have passed away this year. Rude look great, and his manager is a younger Paul Bearer, with blond hair a la Bobby Heenan. Good 8 minutes match, not a classic, but a very good extra.

- Bruiser Brody VS Abdullah the Butcher (WCCW 1986, Steel Cage Match)
I was the happiest man in the world when i saw that this match made it on DVD. Finally a match of Abdullah on DVD, and, even if this match is not a classic, it's a great extra and i thanks WWE for putting it on the disc. not many wrestling moves, just blood and brawling, but that's what you want to see from these two men. Fritz Von Erich is the ref. About 12 minutes long, not a classic but again a great great dvd Extra.

The only thing missing: A match of Gino Hernandez.

Too Much, Too Soon
Mr. Richard D. Coreno | Berea, Ohio USA | 01/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"From 1982-1985, WCCW had the "It" factor; a syndicated-TV show - with state-of-the-art production - which aired main-event-quality matches, major shows which captivated national audiences and a Rock-n-Wrestling connection that did not make the talent into cartoon characters.

Though, for some of the talent, it became a party to the abyss. And, when it all began to fall apart, there were oftentimes very tragic consequences.

This two-disc set does a good job in capturing the growth of WCCW from a regional business into a powerhouse and its slide into irrelevance while it tried to hang on in the late 1980s as the independent WCWA and - from 1988-1990 - during the last gasp in the fatal merger with AWA and CWA.

While the documentary on disc one fails to mention the 1986 oil crisis which depressed the territory and the major talent wars with the upstart, UWF, the candid commentary by the legendary Gary Hart makes for compelling viewing. And no matter how many times the tragedy surrounding the Von Erichs is told, it remains a sad journey of the perils when business - at all costs - takes precedence over family.

The second disc - though Gino Hernandez is not in any of the bouts - features a good overview of the superior matches during the glory years; including the historic steel cage match of Kerry Von Erich versus Ric Flair and a steel cage match featuring two legends who invented hardcore, Bruiser Brody and Abdullah the Butcher.

This is a must purchase for fans who fondly remember WCCW or those who want a better historical understanding of the great heights and dramatic demise of a company which had so much, but for many of the wrestlers, it was too much, too soon.

The Promotion That Changed The Wrestling World
D.P. | California | 05/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'll be honest in that I didn't have the chance to see World Class until I got WWE 24/7 a year ago as it wasn't available to me growing up but this is WWE's 4th attempt at telling the story behind another wrestling promotion. This can either go the way of the "Rise & Fall Of ECW" where they go a great job in telling the buildup & downfall of the company along with the legacy it left behind that's still used in wrestling today or the way of the AWA or WCW on the Monday Night Wars DVD where they quickly gloss over the positive influence of the company before spending a majority of time picking apart the negatives of the company from a heavily biased WWE point of view just to put over it's superiority. Well, I saw this as the ECW route in which WWE did justice to a wrestling company that even I knew changed the way wrestling was presented that still effects us today.

The documentry kicks off by talking about the early days of Texas wrestling with comments from Texas legends such as Dusty Rhodes & Dory Funk Jr. The beginning of Fritz Von Erich, his reputation, and how he moved into becoming a promoter & wrestler is talked about. The documentry moves on in how the Von Erich boys (David, Kerry, Kevin) came into wrestling along, Fritz retiring as a wrestler leading to a big show at a football stadium in Texas, the backlash towards the kids being pushed in the promotion, and just how over the Von Erich's were over in Texas. How the TV show expanded into sydication across america & international countries was talked about including how the boys wanted to travel but Fritz didn't want to break the traditional "territorial" rules. All the new elements the promotion brought to wrestling such as personality profiles & features were glossed upon with a funny story about what happened at a water park. The legacy of the Sportatorium was brought up next before moving onto how the Freebirds came into World Class & what elements they brought to the show in & outside the ring was talked about before moving onto how the big rivarly between them & the Von Erichs got started in the cage match with Kerry & Ric Flair. The story behind Gary Hart leaving that night & Ken Mantel taking over the booking along with the influx of young stars coming into the company such as Wild Bill Irwin, Iceman Parsons, Jimmy Garvin with Sunshine & eventually his wife Precious, Chris Adams, Kamala, The Missing Link, and Brusier Brody is heavily discussed. How the Freebirds feuds with the Von Erich's rivarly brought in bigger crowds along with the importance of each member of the group is discussed before moving onto all the events leading up to David's death in Japan along with the aftermath which lead to WCCW's biggest crowd. The memoral show is discussed with highlights of Fritz coming out of retirement against the Freebirds along with Kerry winning the NWA Champion before revealing why Kerry didn't have a long reign as champion. Gary Hart's return along with his influence in the Chris Adams heel turn & feud with Kevin was brought up including the "stiff" working styles both men had with each other. The story behind Mike Von Erich's toxic shock syndrome was talked about before going into the negative effect that "Lance Von Erich" had on the company (I guess he was the Paul Roma of the group). The story of Gino Hernandez in how over he was as a heel and various storylines he was in was talked about before moving on to his death via cocane & how much it effected Gary Hart up to that time (he's passed away since this DVD was released). World Class withdrawing from the NWA & making their own champions was brought up in a negative light with comments from Gary Hart & Kevin in how that was a bad decision despite having wrestlers like Rick Rude & Chris Adams as champion. The story behind Kerry's motorcycle accident & losing his foot is talked about next before talking about the influence of drugs into the company. The events leading up to the suicide of Mike Von Erich is next and such a sad story told by Gary Hart before moving on to the heart attack angle they did with Fritz Von Erich. The SuperClash III PPV with the unification match between AWA Champion Jerry Lawler & WCCW Champion Kerry Von Erich is talked about next with how various parts of match was booked due to certain events before moving on to how WCCW was turned into the USWA. Kerry moving on to the WWF as the Texas Tornado & winning the Intercontinental Championship was highlighted before Kevin went into why he wanted to leave the business & the suicides of both Chris & Kerry Von Erich with footage from the "Current Affair" television show regarding Kerry's death close out the documentry.

This DVD comes with 12 bonus matches featuring a 2 out of 3 Falls match with Duke Keomuka vs. Ricky Starr, Fritz' retirement match against King Kong Bundy, the steel cage match between NWA Champion Ric Flair & Kerry Von Erich that started the feud with the Freebirds, Fritz coming out of retirement with Mike & Kevin against the Freebirds, Chris Adams & Sunshine vs. Jimmy Garvin & Precious, Great Kabuki vs. Kamala, Fantastics vs. Midnight Express, Bruiser Brody & The Missing Link vs. One Man Gang & Rick Rude, Bruiser Brody vs. Abdullah the Butcher in a steel cage match, and a Hair match between Iceman Parsons vs. Buddy Roberts. Kevin Von Erich does alternative commentary with Todd Grisham on two matches with him vs. Chris Adams and with Kevin & Iceman vs. Freebirds.

The only negatives I have here is that eventhough as I said that I didn't watch WCCW until around a year ago, I know that more could have been said about King Kong Bundy & Destivation Inc. since even I heard about them when I was young but yet they didn't get anything past a quick one liner throughout this documentry & they would have gotten some words from Steve Austin since he's said it time & time again that he grew up watching WCCW & would drive down every Friday night to see the Von Erich/Freebird feud so his memories as a fan would have been great to hear. In the end, this DVD reminded me exactly of Jake Roberts' in that when they bring up fun & memorable angles then it's a fun documentry to watch & get a couple of laughts off the stories being told but when they talk about the dark times, it's one that's either really distrubing or really sad to watch. After watching this, you can see why WWE decided to push this documentry back for months after the Benoit incident last July & Triple H described the sad deaths throughout this promotion best..."A public service announcement saying DON'T DO DRUGS!" This isn't just a documenty I recommend as a wrestling fan but one I would recommend for parents to show their children as well who are wrestling fans when teaching them the dangers of heavy drug use & the effects negative effects of suicide."