Heroes of World Class
The Story of the von Erichs and
The Rise and Fall of World Class Championship Wrestling
Description: I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Dallas-based von Erich promotion known as World Class - although the source of that fascination is unknown, perhaps it was from reading the magazines when I was a kid; WCCW was one of the more memorable territories from the old territorial system. The story of World Class Championship Wrestling was tailor made for a feature documentary and it was only a matter of time before it was told. However, I am glad that it wasn't Vince McMahon. Instead, Brian Harrison set out to tell the full story of World Class and the von Erich family in this remarkable 3-hour film. Harrison sought out several of the remaining members of WCCW's family tree; Gary Hart (manager/booker), Skandar Akbar (manager), David Manning (announcer), Mickey Grant (production), John Mantell (booker), Bill Mercer (announcer), and the only surviving member of the von Erich clan, the legendary Kevin von Erich. If anyone on this planet could tell the story of Dallas wrestling, it would be those legendary personalities.
Director Brian Harrison packed so much history into this DVD, talking about the long series of successes and the unfortunate string of tragedies; including the deaths of each von Erich, Bruiser Brody, Gino Hernandez, Chris Adams and others. It's amazing to think that World Class came so close to becoming an international phenomenon, but was held back by patriarch Fritz von Erich's old school values. He did not want to betray the boundaries set forth by the other members of National Wrestling Alliance.
The documentary, simply put, is incredible. I can't think of another DVD that pulled me into the subject matter more than this one. There was so much to be told, that there was no time to slow down, so the viewer is subjected to a non-stop education. I literally had chills go down my spine when cameras followed Kevin von Erich into the world famous Dallas Sportatorium (scheduled for demolition at the time) for the first time in many years. Kevin takes a walk through the historic venue that brought his family fame, fortune, as well as unbearable misery. It's a truly touching journey through such a wonderful era in pro-wrestling which has basically layed dormant for close to twenty years.
I would recommend this DVD to every single wrestling fan on the planet. The subject would appeal to just about any fan of the squared circle, no matter how discouraged you have become with the direction of wrestling today. In fact if you do feel that way, this would be a refreshing flashback to when times were good. I would even recommend this DVD to non-wrestling fans - the tragic tail of the von Erich dynasty is enough to keep a viewer hooked.
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Rating: 9.5/10 - Must See - Two Thumbs Up - Standing Ovation.
Reviewed by Brad Dykens on August 4, 2006.
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