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WWE trying to buy World Class library


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From PWInsider:

 

World Wrestling Entertainment is close to finalizing a deal for the World Class Championship Wrestling video library, currently owned by the last surviving member of the Von Erich family, Kevin Von Erich. WWE is currently auditing the library to inspect the condition of the footage before they make their final offer.

 

Von Erich has claimed at convention appearances in the past that his library contained the entire WCCW run as well as footage going back several decades of Texas wrestling events that his father, the late Fritz Von Erich was involved with. Kevin had been to WWE headquarters in Stamford, CT several months back for discussion with Jim Ross about WWE possibly purchasing the footage.

 

Kevin had released a "Best of the Von Erichs" DVD late last year and there had been plans for additional releases, although nothing has been produced. As noted several days ago on PWInsider.com, a new documentary, "Heroes of World Class - The Story of the Von Erichs and the Rise and Fall of World Class Championship Wrestling" looks at the success and destruction of the company. Directed by Brian Harrison, among those interviewed are Kevin Von Erich, WCCW announcer Bill Mercer, Gary Hart, WCCW ring announcer Marc Lowrance, Skandar Akbar, and WCCW television director Mickey Grant. The trailer of the film features a lot of footage from WCCW's heyday.

 

World Class Championship Wrestling, run out of Dallas, Texas, was a huge hit internationally in the early to mid-1980s with rabid viewership as far as Israel, with The Von Erichs, The Fabulous Freebirds, Chris Adams, Gino Hernandez, Rick Rude, Al Perez, Dingo (Ultimate) Warrior, and Iceman King Parsons, among the many stars who headlined and cut their teeth in the promotion during its run.

This! Rocks! You know they're acquiring so much footage that I don't know that they'll ever be able to properly use it all to its full potential. I mean, they're putting together - what - 5-6 DVD sets a year? They should be doing more like 20-25 and releasing complete seasons of RAW, WCW Saturday Night, etc. on the cheap too. Oversaturate the hell out of the wrestling market.

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I don't understand how they own Georgia footage and not Mid-South.

 

I mean Vince got footage since Georgia-->JCP--->WCW--->WWE, so how come it doesn't work the same way since Mid-South--->UWF--->JCP--->WCW---->WWE?

 

 

I'm not sure how I feel about WWE owning pretty much all of wrestling history from the mid 70s on up. I'm happy that it means the possibility for increased distribution, but (as someone who owns the one DVD Kevin did put out) there's something odd about watching 80s wrestling in a slick WWE produced package.

 

World Class was one of the first wrestling companies I followed. I used to *run* home from school to make sure I didn't miss it when it came on at 4pm. I don't know if I like one person, especially someone like Vince, owning all my early wrestling memories. It seems like he buys this stuff as a "fuck you" to all the promoters who tried to beat him.

 

 

It also worries me with the "less wrestling, more talk" mindset sweeping WWE. What if Vince gets hit by a bus and Stephanie decides to just lock up all the footage they own in a vault somewhere because she doesn't think people want to watch all that wrestling stuff? It's just odd they would purchase more wrestling footage when they want less and less wrestling in their own programming.

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In other WWE news, Mike Johnson is also reporting that WWE is close to purchasing the St. Louis Wrestling library owned by Larry Matysik, containing about 40 hours of footage from the latter part of the territory.

 

Anyone know what time frame this footage would span?

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Guest teke184

Sam Mushnick pulled out as the St. Louis promoter either during the mid-70s or late-70s, at which time Matysik took over.

 

Thus, the best guess is that this is footage from probably 1977 or so until Wrestling At The Chase ended in about 1984, during the WWF expansion.

 

 

Granted, though, 40 hours seems WAY low for a territory with the history that St. Louis has.

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Guest teke184

Owning World Class means more classic footage for the Steve Austin, Mick Foley, and Greatest Stars Of The 80s DVDs.

 

 

WWE guys either under contract right now or on friendly terms with Vince who went through World Class include Austin (started in World Class in 1989), Foley (1 year stopover in World Class around 1988), the Freebirds (HUGE feud with the Von Erichs over several years), Jake "The Snake" Roberts (short run there, IIRC), Rick Rude (sizable run but, like everywhere else, he left holding a belt), etc.

 

 

The St. Louis footage is most likely going to be for Flair, Dusty, and/or Harley Race stuff, as they were three of the biggest names in the NWA at that time.

 

Race has potential for a DVD and Dusty's already discussed a DVD with Vince as part of their recent discussions.

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Guest The Big Dog

I saw the Best of the Von Erichs DVd that Kevin released, Kevin's play by play comentary left a lot to be desired, maybe too many chair shots.

 

I personaly would love to see the old Freebird/ VonErich wars again! not to mention Gino Hernandez,

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Guest teke184

I saw the Best of the Von Erichs DVd that Kevin released, Kevin's play by play comentary left a lot to be desired, maybe too many chair shots.

 

I personaly would love to see the old Freebird/ VonErich wars again! not to mention Gino Hernandez,

In Kevin's case, it wasn't chair shots...

 

To quote Jim Cornette, "Those kids wouldn't have been brain surgeons even before all the drugs."

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I was watching the Wrestling Gold set with Cornette and Meltz on commentary, and during a match with David and Kerry, Dave makes a comment about how Mike Von Erich should never have been a wrestler. This kind of shocked me, as I always thought Mike was decent until his health problems and his share of the Von Erich curse took their toll.

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