Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
flyonthewall2983

World Class Championship Wrestling on the Network

Recommended Posts

I'm starting to get into this, after having watched the Heroes of World Class doc and WWE's own program on them (which is actually very good). I'm cherry-picking at the moment, started out with the match from early '84 between Ric Flair and Chris Adams, which is quite good. 

A few questions; how far back does WWE's footage go? It starts in '82 but I got the impression from the Heroes doc that they were on television much further back from that. And given that they just recently put up a "Star Wars" show from 1982 in the Hidden Gems section, is there stuff they have from World Class that possibly wasn't broadcast (at least in it's entirety) on television?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The recent Star Wars show they put up is from February 1981. The Network starts with episode 2 of the World Class show, but the show taped in Ft. Worth dated back many, many years. Not a lot pre-1981 out there afaik, and I have no clue how much WWE has of it

I've heard there is a decent little pod chronicling WCCW from the first Network ep, on the PWO feed even, if you're so inclined...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, flyonthewall2983 said:

I'm starting to get into this, after having watched the Heroes of World Class doc and WWE's own program on them (which is actually very good). I'm cherry-picking at the moment, started out with the match from early '84 between Ric Flair and Chris Adams, which is quite good. 

A few questions; how far back does WWE's footage go? It starts in '82 but I got the impression from the Heroes doc that they were on television much further back from that. And given that they just recently put up a "Star Wars" show from 1982 in the Hidden Gems section, is there stuff they have from World Class that possibly wasn't broadcast (at least in it's entirety) on television?

WWE has shown Ricki Starr vs Duke Keomuka from 1957 in the past. That was from "Texas Wrestling" and it took place in the Sportatorium. I don't know how far back they would have full weekly shows, but that tells me there could be a ton of footage they're sitting on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of the WCCW stuff wasn't preserved well, basically sat in  a warehouse in Texas heat, which is who so much of the stuff on the network has the "presented as best we can" disclaimer beforehand. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, this is probably the best this (or any of their other vintage stuff) footage has ever looked. From what little I've seen so far I notice some old-fashioned VHS distortion, but nothing too rattling for me. 

Weird seeing King Kong Bundy with hair. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Al said:

WWE has shown Ricki Starr vs Duke Keomuka from 1957 in the past. That was from "Texas Wrestling" and it took place in the Sportatorium. I don't know how far back they would have full weekly shows, but that tells me there could be a ton of footage they're sitting on.

That Ricky Starr vs Duke Keomuka match was also on the WCCW DVD they released a few years ago. If we're talking about the same match (2 out of 3 Falls).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the one. Couldn't remember if it was on the dvd set for certain.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They were for sure available in the Boston area at their 80s peak, that always gets mentioned. Not sure about New York. They had a show on ESPN, but that was just a classics show, no? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, flyonthewall2983 said:

How far did their distribution reach nationally? I've heard it said they beat New York's ratings in that area for a little bit, which at least meant it was being carried there. 

They had some distribution in the north east because cornette talks about them going do shows in the Boston area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/1/2018 at 9:24 AM, flyonthewall2983 said:

Did they have much reach in the midwest? I heard somewhere they were shown in Chicago.

Yes, the weekly Sportatorium show started  airing here in Chicago around September 83. It was such a drastic change from growing up on the AWA that I was immediately hooked on it. Still my favorite territory to revisit. 

The oddest part to me was they never had single card here. They really missed the boat on that. Kerry didn’t even come here until the AWA Superclash 85 show. Him and LOD were probably the biggest pops of the night. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would imagine they never ran there because Chicago was AWA territory, the old school promoter's mentality of not invading another one's turf. They ran in the Northeast since Vince obviously wasn't playing by the rules. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Later on they advertised for a show in Minneapolis with local promos. I want to say 86, maybe later. But before the Vinny invasions, no. 

Actually WCCW even sent up a kabuki vs Chris Adams match that went on an AWA house show in St Paul later on. I can't remember the year exactly but post-84 for sure. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, flyonthewall2983 said:

Who's the guy doing color with Bill Mercer on some of the 1982 shows? 

That would be Jay Saldi, who at the time was probably the worst announcer ever. But once he's gone and it's just Mercer, you realize that Mercer was even worse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill Mercer was a sports announcer before/during his wrestling announcing career, so if anything she should have been better at it than Marc Lowrance. I always had the impression he was kind of bemused by all the wackiness of rasslin' and didn't spend a lot of time doing prep work. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe Jay Saldi stayed employed for as long as he did. His constant references to other promotions, putting over talent that didn't work for World Class, and just random rambling absolutely didn't seem like something that Fritz would put up with.

I have been slowly making my way through the World Class on the Network, and I can't wait for him to be gone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you drink every time Mercer says something unintentionally homoerotic, you can get pretty drunk watching World Class. 

 

“He’s going to explode all over his face!”

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Blehschmidt said:

I can't believe Jay Saldi stayed employed for as long as he did. His constant references to other promotions, putting over talent that didn't work for World Class, and just random rambling absolutely didn't seem like something that Fritz would put up with.

I have been slowly making my way through the World Class on the Network, and I can't wait for him to be gone.

Jay Saldi played for the Cowboys from '76 until '82. Explains a lot as to why he got the job and why he left. 

Funny you should mention his references to outside people, during one match I saw he was talking about Hulk Hogan and Rocky III, I think because Bill mentioned something about Dizzy Hogan (Brutus). Did Ed Leslie ever work Dallas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, on our podcast where Kelly, Pete, and I are going over every episode Saldi was a constant source of amusement and jokes. But his last two shots he suddenly becomes ok and then he's gone. I like to think it was cause he pointed out that David Manning feuding with wrestlers was stupid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, flyonthewall2983 said:

Jay Saldi played for the Cowboys from '76 until '82. Explains a lot as to why he got the job and why he left. 

Funny you should mention his references to outside people, during one match I saw he was talking about Hulk Hogan and Rocky III, I think because Bill mentioned something about Dizzy Hogan (Brutus). Did Ed Leslie ever work Dallas?

Dizzy never made it to Dallas in 82 and neither did Fishman or Mark Lewin in case you were curious 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×