Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Showing posts with label 1984. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1984. Show all posts

Sunday, 18 September 2022

EVENT REVIEW: WCCW Parade of Champions 1984

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 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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Thursday, 8 October 2020

PPV REVIEW: NWA Starrcade 1984 - The Million Dollar Challenge

November 22, 1984
Greensboro Coliseum Complex, Greensboro, North Carolina

Back at Starrcade 1983, Dusty Rhodes had appeared multiple times and, in between cutting a series of bizarre promos, appeared to challenge the winner of the Harley Race vs. Ric Flair title match.

Between then and now, Flair had actually lost and regained the title at least twice, but give credit to the National Wrestling Alliance, they stuck with their long-term booking plans and presented Rhodes vs. Flair as tonight's feature attraction.

Not only was the title on the line, however, but the winner of the match would also win one million dollars, hence the Million Dollar Challenge subtitle of tonight's show.

As for the rest of the card?

Well, let's head down to the Greensboro Colliseum and check it out, shall we?

Welcome to Starrcade, The Premier Event of the Decade

We began tonight's show with a brief look back at the finish to Starrcade 1983's main event with Ric Flair pinning Harley Race to become our new World Heavyweight Champion.

Alas, as our announcers Bob Caudle and Gordon Sollie were quick to remind us, that was then and this is now.

Tonight, three-time World Heavyweight Champion Flair would defend the title against Dusty Rhodes in a match where a million dollars was also on the line.

The two then hyped up tonight's show before sending it down to the ring where the ring announcer clearly got lost and wasn't sure what to do.

The Premier Event of the Century, Starrcade '84

Seriously, he first welcomed all the ladies and gentlemen to Starrcade '84, calling it 'The Premier Wrestling Event of the Decade.'

He then changed his mind and introduced us again, this time to 'The Premier Event of the Wrestling Century.' After that, poor Mr. Ring Announcer flipped through his papers but still couldn't figure out what to say next so ended up asking referee Earl Hebner.

National Wrestling Alliance Junior Heavyweight Championship
NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion Mike Davis vs. Denny Brown

Eventually, the ring announcer figured out what was happening and we got on with our opening contest, a decent junior heavyweight match between champion Mike Davis and challenger Denny Brown.

This was an interesting match as it was clearly just two guys competing to see who the better wrestler was with no animosity and none of the back-stories that are usually attached to almost all modern pro wrestling matches.

At one point, Brown even went crashing out of the ring. Rather than capitalizing on this by heading out to attack him, Davis left the ring, checked on his opponent and held the ropes open for him so that he could get back in the ring.

Unfortunately, being Mr. Nice Guy didn't work out quite so well for the champion.

At the finish, Davis hit a bridging German suplex on Brown but ended up pinning himself when Brown got his arm up at the last second.
Your Winner and NEW Junior Heavyweight Champion: Denny Brown

Afterward, Davis was irate for like two seconds but then congratulated the new champion.

The ever-confused ring announcer declared the wrong man as champion before correcting himself.

Backstage, Tony Schiavone hung out in the dressing room to let us know that he'd be hanging out in the dressing room for the rest of the show and conducting interviews.

Mr Ito vs. Brian Adias

There wasn't much to this match. It was only a few minutes long and very much felt like filler, but even then it was a decent enough match.

After a few minutes of basic, old-school professional wrestling, Adias lifted his larger opponent up for an airplane spin and won the match.
Your Winner: Brian Adias

Seriously, only in the 80s would that move end a match.

National Wrestling Alliance Florida Heavyweight Championship
National Wrestling Alliance Florida Heavyweight Champion Jesse Barr vs. Mike Graham

This was another really good quality match. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t the kind of raging classic you’d see from today’s performers, but neither man held anything back and gave us nothing less than solid wrestling from start to finish.

After an unrelenting performance, champion Jesse Barr used the ropes for leverage to get the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winner and Still Florida Heavyweight Champion: Jesse Barr

Up next, we flashed back to a recent TV taping on which Ricky Steamboat and Dick Slater had been beaten up after competing in a tag match.

Sollie and Caudle told us that Steamboat had put $10,000 of his own money on the line to get revenge.

Tag Team Elimination Match
The Zambuie Express (Kareem Muhammad & Elijah Akeem w/ Paul Jones) vs. Assassin Number 1 & Buzz Tyler

There wasn’t much to this match. It was mostly just punching, clobbering, and more punching, but there was something about the way that the crowd was super into every blow that made it just incredibly fun to watch.

At least it was fun until the finish.

We were told that this was an elimination-style tag team match, but after Assassin #1 pinned one of the Zambuie Express, the match should have continued, right?

Even the announcers seemed to think so, but then it was revealed that their respective partners had been counted out and thus had both been eliminated.

It was a little confusing and would have made more sense if they’d just kept this to a standard one-fall tag, but hey, it’s a small complaint.
Your Winners: Assassin Number One and Buzz Tyler

Backstage, Dusty Rhodes was sad chilling while Tony Schiavone bigged him up.

Rhodes then cut a fast-paced shouty promo in which he promised that Ric Flair would become yesterday’s newspaper.

He probably meant 'yesterday's news,' but with Dusty, who knows?

Anything Goes Match for the National Wrestling Alliance Brass Knuckles Championship
NWA Brass Knuckles Champion Black Bart (w/ James J. Dillon) vs. NWA Tag Team Champion Ragin’ Bull

The Brass Knuckles Championship was essentially a precursor to the modern-day hardcore championships. The announcers told us many times that anything goes, but sadly neither champion Black Bart nor challenger Manny ‘Ragin’ Bull’ Fernandez really took advantage of that stipulation.

For the most part, this was just a straight-up wrestling match with added blood.

It was OK for what it was, but certainly, nothing that anybody should rush out to see.

Eventually, J.J Dillon tossed the champion a length of rope but Bart got rolled up and pinned by the Ragin’ Bull.
Your Winner and NEW NWA Brass Knuckles Champion: Ragin’ Bull

As the show went to intermission in the arena, Ricky Steamboat talked to Tony Schiavone backstage.

When he wasn’t repeating the phrase ‘everybody has been gearing up for this night all year’ over and over again, Steamboat told Schiavone that he had been seriously injured when Tully Blanchard, Black Bart and Ron Bass attacked him and was in a lot of pain. Regardless, he was looking forward to getting his revenge on Blanchard.

God bless Steamboat, he was one of the greatest in-ring performers ever but his promos were never much to write home about.

Offering a retort, TV champion Tully Blanchard and his manager J.J. Dillon reminded us of the stipulations for their match:

The title could change hands on a DQ and if Blanchard tried to run away, he’d lose the title.

The champion didn’t seem too concerned by this. He insisted that Steamboat was going down and that after that he’d go after the world champion no matter who that might be.

Tuxedo Street Fight
Loser Must Leave Town
Paul Jones (w/  Kareen Muhammed) vs. Jimmy Valiant (w/ Assassin Number One)

So, Jimmy Valiant was no longer doing the Charlie Brown gimmick he had back at Starrcade 1983. That’s a bit of a shame. As ridiculous as it was, I kind of enjoyed it.

What I didn’t enjoy this chaotic mess of nonsense.

In the opening moments, Valliant tied Paul Jones to the ropes and very quickly stripped him down to his undies.

Honestly, I thought that’s how a tuxedo match should end, but not this one. Jones broke free and went on the attack but Valliant made a comeback and looked to be in control until JJ Dillon interfered, giving the win to Mr Jones
Your Winner: Paul Jones

The loss meant that Jimmy Valiant now had to ‘leave the area,’ though it was never expressly stated what that meant.

  • Did he have to leave the NWA?
  • Did he have to leave whatever territory he was most closely associated with?
  • Or did he simply have to leave the town they were in like every wrestler on the show would have to anyway?

If so, for how long?

Who knows?

Not me, that’s who.

Ric Flair is Ready

Backstage, Tony Schiavone reminded us that Ric Flair had been champion for a year after defeating Harley Race at the first Starrcade. This wasn't technically true. Flair had dropped and regained the belt a bunch of times over the course of the year, but apparently, none of those occasions counted.

Anyway, The Nature Boy warned The American Dream that he better be half the man he claimed to be when they stepped in the ring tonight.

National Wrestling Alliance Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship
NWA Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion ‘Cowboy’ Ron Bass (w/ James J. Dillon) vs. Dick Slater

It’s starting to feel like Dillon is in practically every segment on this show. Meanwhile, Dick Slater used to be dirty but apparently, he’d had a wash since turning babyface.

This was all part of one of the hottest storylines in the company between Dillon’s stable and a gaggle of babyfaces but sadly the heat generated by that story didn’t translate into a quality match.

Though the fans were into it, there was nothing special about this one.

Bass won when Slater got disqualified for putting his hands on the official.
Your Winner and Still Mid-Atlantic Champion: Ron Bass

Post-match, Slater got revenge by taking out both Bass and Dillon.

We then got a brass rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner as a clearly unsteady cameraman tried to focus on the flag.

Keith Larson & Ole Anderson vs. Ivan & Nikita Koloff

Keith Larson was the brother of Don Kernodle.

Know how I know?

Because the announcers mentioned it about twenty times before he and Ole Anderson had even fully reached the ring.

Seriously, this was like the NWA’s version of Rellik.

Speaking of Kernodle. He showed up in a neck-brace to hang out on the apron and wave the American flag with Ole Anderson and Keith Larson who was his brother don’t you know?

The match finally got underway and turned into a good, solid traditional tag team match.

The faces spent the first part of the contest in control, Anderson and Larson taking turns to work over Ivan Koloff's arm until The Russian Bear turned the tides for his team with a Greco-Roman eye poke.

From there, we got bear hugs aplenty and some enjoyable action before Ivan picked up the win for his team by blasting Larson with a chain behind the referee’s back.
Your Winners: Ivan & Nikita Koloff

Afterwards, Don Kernodle took to the ring and used his crutches to beat the crap out of the Koloffs.

National Wrestling Alliance World Television Championship
NWA World TV Champion Tully Blanchard (w/ James J. Dillon) vs. Ricky Steamboat

Both men had put up $10,000. Winner takes all.

Well, this was excellent.

Proving that consistent selling really is a lost art these days, Ricky Steamboat came into the match with his injuries and sold them well from bell to bell in the kind of way that you just do t see today.

When he did get control of the match, he proved why he was one of the greatest of his generation With some outstanding work. Tully Blanchard was no slouch either and played his role perfectly.

That included being the devious heel champion who blasted his opponent in the head with a discreet International Object to retain his title.
Your Winner and Still TV Champion: Tully Blanchard

National Wrestling Alliance United States Championship
NWA US Champion Wahoo McDaniel vs. Superstar Billy Graham

In direct contrast to the previous match, this wasn’t very good at all.

Superstar Billy Graham looked nothing like you remember Superstar Billy Graham looking like. He looked like how Bruno Sammartino looked in the last few years of his life and was apparently doing a weird karate gimmick.

Wahoo McDaniel was incredibly over, but even his popularity did nothing for the match.

Wahoo won with a tomahawk chop but the whole thing was not fun.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: Wahoo McDaniel

Out in the dressing room, Tony Schiavone interviewed Smokin’ Joe Frazier and two men who would be the judges for our main event.

It was hard to tell if Frazier was drunk, bored, or had taken one too many punches to the head, but his interview comments made him sound dumb.

National Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight Championship
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Nature Boy Ric Flair vs. The American Dream Dusty Rhodes

Special Guest Referee: Smokin’ Joe Frazier
In one of those bizarre, it-could-only-happen-in-the-80s moments, Dusty Rhodes came down wearing a silver and purple robe with purple smoke bellowing out and Prince’s Purple Rain (dubbed on the network) playing.

I mean, I love Prince, but it but just looked odd for Dusty.

Meanwhile, Flair came down in a hot pink robe that made him look like a drag queen.

The match started off well, got better, and was on the verge of turning into an all-time classic...

...Then Joe Fraizer got involved and the whole thing turned to hell.

Dusty got an admittedly nasty-looking cut in his eye that Fraizer kept stopping the match to check out the eye and eventually just stopped the match, awarding it to Flair.
Your Winner and Still NWA Heavyweight Champion: Ric Flair

If that had happened today there'd be very loud "BULLSH*T" chants and possible riots.

Post-Match Interviews

Backstage, Ric Flair told Tony Schiavone that he only cared about two things:

The title and his million-dollar cheque. He had both and was therefore happy.

After cutting to Sollie and Caudle, Schiavone then caught up with a very angry Dusty Rhodes who was unsurprisingly irritated at both Flair and Fraizer.

Finally, after the post-show credits, Fraizer himself cut another sloppy-arse promo in which he defended his terrible decision making.

Starrcade 1983 had been both historically important and critically acclaimed. Starrcade 1984 was neither.

Sure, only the Graham/McDaniel match was flat-out bad, but outside of the Blanchard/Steamboat match and the first two-thirds of the main event, nothing was particularly memorable. Then there was that ending, which was both infuriating and insulting.

Seriously, Starrcade 84 is not a show you necessarily need to spend any time with.

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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.