WCCW Parade of Champions 1984 Review

WCCW Parade of Champions 1984 Review
May 6th, 1984
Texas Stadium, Irvin, Texas

Held to pay tribute to the then-recently deceased David Von Erich,  WCCW Parade of Champions 1984 drew what was said to be -at the time- the largest ever crowd for a professional wrestling show in the United States.

Sadly, with David -then the company's biggest attraction- gone, WCCW would never quite draw a crowd like this one again, but for now, the jam-packed Texas Stadium was fired up and ready for some good old professional wrestling.

I'm basing this review off this YouTube video, so I believe that there are some parts of the show (including a tribute to David Von Erich) that aren't included. 

Regardless, let's review what's in the video, shall we?

Welcome to Parade of Champions 

Our show tonight began with a shot of Planet Earth from space. Every now and again, a little animated yellow spaceship would fly around the planet and shoot a laser at Texas which would cause a clip of WCCW stars fighting to blast off into space.

Now, it looks a little cheesy, but I imagine this was a pretty cool visual for 1984. 

With that out of the way, announcer Marc Lowrance welcomed us to what he promised would be 'the greatest wrestling card in the world.' 

As you'll see in a moment, that proved not to be true at all. Lowrance was as excited about tonight's card as he was about the television premier of The Fabulous Freebirds' Bad Street USA video, but before we got to that, there was this:

Mixed Tag Team Match
Gentleman Chris Adams & Sunshine vs. Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin & Precious

This was actually the last match on the card, but for some reason we get it first on the home video release shown on YouTube.

WCCW Parade of Champions 1984 - Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin

Prior to the bell, Gino Hernandez stormed the ring, referred to both Precious and Sunshine as 'deranged' and then challenged the winner of the match, whether that be Chris Adams or Jimmy Garvin.

The match got underway and was perfectly fine if not exactly outstanding.

Naturally, both Adams and Garvin did the bulk of the work, engaging in some basic back-and-forth that was only interrupted by the occasional sloppy cat-fight between the women. 

Eventually, things broke down as most tag team matches tend to do, and as the cameras focused on Precious and Sunshine, Adams got the pin over Garvin.
Your Winners: Chris Adams & Sunshine

Post match, Precious returned to the ring and walloped Sunshine over the back of the head with her purse but then she and Garvin were chased off to the back by Sunshine and Adams.

'Hacksaw' Butch Reed vs. Chick Donovan 

WCCW Parade of Champions 1984 - Hacksaw Butch Reed vs. Chick Donovan

This one started with a lot of stalling as Hacksaw Butch Reed strutted around the ring, flexing his muscles and boasting about how big, strong, and wonderful he was. 

That backfired when Chick Donovan caught him by surprise with a quick flurry of offence which, unfortunately for him, didn't last long.

Reed soon regained the advantage and began to throw Donovan around like a rag doll, trash talking him with every move before finally putting him out of his misery with a sloppy shoulder tackle.

A great match that was not, but it was a decent squash-type effort that made Reed look like a star. 
Your Winner: Hacksaw Butch Reed

Up next, this: 

Kimala The Ugandan Giant (w/ Skandor Akbar) vs. The Great Kabuki (w/ Garry Hart)

WCCW Parade of Champions 1984 - The Great Kabuki

Kamala was billed as Kimala in the title graphic during his introduction, but whatever you call him, his match here with The Great Kabuki was..well..it was pretty bad.

Kabuki was super over with the Texas faithful thanks to his colorful mask, nun-chuck prowess and green mist, but all of that wasn't enough to stop him being dominated by The Ugandan Giant in a slow plodder of a match in which almost nothing happened.
For the longest time, Kamala held Kabuki in what Lowrance told us was a nerve hold, though it actually just looked like Kamala was grabbing his opponents tits for five minutes and giving them a gentle play.

The only time anything exciting happened was at the finish when Garry Hart and Skandor Akbar both ran in, causing the double disqualification.
Double DQ

The two sides continued to brawl after the bell until it was eventually broken up. 

Junkyard Dog vs. The Missing Link (w/ Skandor Akbar)

WCCW Parade of Champions 1984 - The Missing Link

This wasn't much of a great match either.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

I get that Junkyard Dog was a hugely popular character, but I've yet to see a match of his that I genuinely enjoyed. 

That includes this one, which was basically a messy series of kick-punch-clobber-headbutt-repeat until The Missing Link fell on top of JYD and pinned him while Akbar held the leg down.

Just when the referee was about to award the match to Link, a second official came into alert him about Akbar's nefarious interference. 

That was enough for the decision to be reversed and the whole thing was officially over.
Your Winner via Disqualification: The Junkyard Dog

If you hadn't seen enough of Skandor Akbar, you'd be getting more of him next.

WCCW American Tag Team Championship
WCCW American Tag Team Champions The Super Destroyers (w/ Skandor Akbar) vs. Buck Zumhofe and Iceman King Parsons

WCCW Parade of Champions 1984 - American Tag Team Championship

After a couple of lackluster performances, we got our first genuinely good match of the night as 'Rock 'n' Roll' Buck Zumhofe and Iceman King Parsons took the fight to reigning champions The Super Destroyers.

Zumhofe and Parsons came to the ring carrying a boombox which was apparently playing We Are Family by Sister Sledge. 

It was an odd choice for a song a little cheesy, but once that was over with, the two challengers put in a spirited performance, going up against a championship team who themselves looked impressive in the ring.

After a very enjoyable back and forth, Parsons took down one of the destroyers with a flying forearm to capture the titles for his team.
Your Winners: Buck Zumhofe & King Parsons

Prior to the next match, we got the debut of a song that would forever become a part of wrestling history, Bad Street USA.

Like much from around this time, the video itself looks kind of corny now, but it was full of the kind of excursiveness that made up most 1980's rock videos, and there's no denying that it worked. 

The Fabulous Freebirds would be in action next.

WCCW Six Man Tag Team Match
WCCW Six Man Champions The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael 'P.S' Hayes, Buddy Rogers, and Terry Gordy) vs. The Von Erichs (Fritz, Kerry, and Mike Von Erich) 

Prior to the match, the referee took to the microphone to announce that even though there were no rules in this match, he was going to enforce the rule that only two men could be in the ring at once and that tags were necessarily.

Unfortunately for the overwhelmed official, he had little success in enforcing this rule.

The Freebirds vs. The Von Erichs was one of -if not the- hottest feuds of the time, and the intensity and passion displayed by all six men truly made you believe that they hated each other.

Fought under traditional Six Man rules (albeit with the caveat that you could take your boot or belt off and whack your opponent with it), any attempt to stick to the rules was only ever in vein as multiple men rushed the ring on several occasions to take each other out.

Though it wasn't a classic from an action standpoint, the believability and the white-hot crowd made this a truly fantastic spectacle to watch.

After an intense battle, Kevin Von Erich planted Buddy Rodgers with a flying crossbody off the top to capture the win.
Your Winners and New WCCW Six Man Champions: The Von Erichs
The fierce brawl continued after the bell with Killer Khan rushing in to attack The Von Erichs. Apparently, Marc Lowrance had no idea who Khan was, so he kept referring to him as a 'huge, deadly oriental,' which I'm sure wouldn't fly today.

Eventually, the smoke cleared, the dust settled, and t was time for our main event of the evening.

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich

WCCW Parade of Champions 1984 - Kerry Von Erich vs. Ric Flair

Just months after beating Harley Race for the title back at Starrcade '83, Flair put the NWA World Heavyweight Championship on the line against Kerry Von Erich in what would become one of the most famous NWA title matches of all time. 

This NWA title match was originally supposed to be David Von Erich's opportunity, but since he wasno longer with us, the second most popular Von Erich, Kerry, stepped in to face Flair in an emotionally-charged match for the ages. 
With every single member of the audience firmly on his side, the future Texas Tornado got the better of Flair several times during the match, and it was only when The Dirtiest Player in the Game struck with a blow below the belt that he was able to put together a modicum of offence.

Unfortunately for Flair, it wasn't enough. 

After a wildly entertaining back-and-forth battle, Von Erich scored the three count over Flair thanks to a simple backslide.
Your Winner and NEW NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Kerry Von Erich

Sadly for Kerry, he wouldn't hold the title for too long and would drop it back to Flair sooner rather than later.

For now though, he was embraced as a hero both in the ring and in the show-closing backstage interview where he dedicated his win to both his brother David and the state of texas.

For all intents and purposes, WCCW Parade of Champions 1984 wasn't the greatest show on earth. The undercard bouts ranged from decent to dreadful, and it was only with the tag team, six man, and world title fights that the show began delivering performances befitting an event of this magnitude.

This isn't necessarily an event I'd recommend checking out for in-ring action, but for historical significance, it's certainly worth a quick glance

More 1984 events:
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