As many of you are aware, WWE Network is pretty packed with all sorts of content. And as you may also know, we here at Place to Be Nation love long term, in depth projects. So, as part of this initiative, JT Rozzero, Chad Campbell, Jason Greenhouse, Scott Criscuolo & Dan McGinn are starting in 1975 and are planning to watch the entire offering of the WWE Network chronologically. They have plotted their course and after watching each program, they will share their thoughts, notes and recommendations with our readers. So, settle in and enjoy this epic ride through wrestling history!
Run Time: 46:27
Wild Bill Irwin vs. The Texan
Iceman King Parsons vs. Buddy Roberts
King Kong Bundy vs. Mike Bond
David Von Erich vs. Gorgeous Jimmy Garvin – Texas Heavyweight Championship
JT: I enjoyed the opener but the big title match main event is our choice here this week. It had the hype of Jimmy Garvin’s long awaited in ring TV debut behind it as well the always loved David Von Erich controlling the proceedings. Garvin was great once he took over, locking in a chinlock and screaming “where’s your daddy now?” at DVE as he wrenched away. The finish was good and Garvin looks like a superstar by taking the Texas title this quickly into his run. It was a big time match that was well worked overall and didn’t really drag at all.
Chad: The main event wins this pretty easily for me. Garvin took most of the match and worked mostly a chinlock, but kept things really interesting by talking junk the entire time. The finish was clever and this was the most we have seen anyone get one over on a Von Erich as Garvin ducks a flying knee, lets David go flying into the outside, breaks David Manning’s count, and delivers a Brainbuster to win the title. Garvin is really proving to be a force to be reckoned with in WCCW. **3/4
Jason: As much as I enjoyed the opener between Bill Irwin and The Texan, the main event takes it for me. A shocking end with the illegal Brainbuster finisher from Jimmy Garvin sealed the deal. David Von Erich oversold the finish, but that doesn’t take away from what was a very decent match.
Dan: The main event stood out the most and had a shocking finish as we crown a NEW Texas Heavyweight Champion. Garvin shined here with his stalling and I enjoyed Sunshine constantly cleaning him up after he took a beating from Von Erich. The gorgeous one also embraced his heel persona by constantly needling the crowd calling them “a bunch of rednecks.” He was smart in taking advantage of an obviously injured David when he broke up the ref’s count so he could drop the champ with his Bomb’s Away finisher. Just a well put together match that fits with the unpredictable nature this program has taken on in recent weeks.
Scott: The Texas Title match was the best on the card, including the controversial ending and the ending interview. The other matches were misbooked, as Bundy should have had the squash and Iceman/Roberts should have been longer.
JT: I will go with Jimmy Garvin here too. His character is tremendous and I loved his shit talking while wearing down Von Erich. It was a big win for him and a good choice to keep his big push chugging along. Plus, his post match interview with Bill Mercer brought a good explanation around the finish. Mercer saying the move “could be fatal” made me laugh.
Chad: Jimmy Jam all the way here. He has been weary about wrestling on tv and only did tonight because he was fighting for a title. I talk about the match up above but the promo afterwards with Bill Mercer was equally impressive. I liked how Garvin turned things around on Mercer by saying that he was more world-traveled and therefore that move was called Bombs Away.
Jason: Jimmy Garvin is the next big thing of World Class and he continued to deliver here. His ring work was quite impressive in his TV debut and his promos have been off the charts. Add Sunshine to the equation and Jimmy Garvin has the complete package right now.
Dan: While I loved me some Jimmy Garvin this week, in an effort to be the fresh voice on this panel with the hot takes (just kidding fellas), I’m going to go with the Ice Man. King Parsons is a made man in this company now that he did what no one else could do in this company so far and that is to shut up Buddy Roberts. Granted it lasted only a few seconds but a four second victory over one of the Freebirds is nothing to sneeze at. Plus he will be forever loved by the Texas faithful just for slapping Michael Hayes in his stupid face prior to the bell. That image of Parsons dancing in the ring flanked by the Von Erichs won’t soon be forgotten in the Lone Star state. If nothing else, the Ice Man is a better ally for Fritz’s boys than Brian Adias ever will be.
Scott: The strongest performance for me is Jimmy Garvin, who makes his “official” TV debut and works a great match and in my opinion pulls off the upset in winning the Texas Title. So the Von Erichs officially have no championships in the promotion, as Kevin already lost the American Title to Terry Gordy.
JT: I was surprised at the opener as a whole and how much I ended up enjoying it. The Texan looked like a creepy goof to start the match but worked a smart match and had some great punches during his offense. Bill Irwin also drilled a nice kick to the face during the bout as well. Also, once we started ticking towards the time limit, I assumed we were getting a draw so it was cool to see The Texan sneak out the win at the buzzer.
Chad: The Texan winning was a big shock to me. Bill Irwin was presented by Mercer as a former Texas champion and he usually gets a heavy push in any promotion in the 80s he was featured in. I am unsure who The Texan was as one source said Blackjack Mulligan but I am weary of that as The Texan was so tall and lanky compared to Mulligan’s build.
Jason: That sneaky Texan squeezing out an upset over Bill Irwin caught me off guard. It was nice to see Wild Bill back in action and I was sure he would make quick work out of The Texan. Boy, was I wrong!
Dan: I’m stunned a guy named Mike Bond could do anything remotely painful to King Kong Bundy. You mean to tell me that the “generic enhancement talent in red trunks” is going to hurt the face of Devastation Incorporated, the most powerful force in Professional Wrestling today? That should have been over in four seconds and we’d be making SD Jones comparisons in this piece. Just baffling.
Scott: I can’t believe that this Mike Bond character was able to get some shots on Bundy. The point of putting monster heels over is to make them invincible and this was the perfect opportunity to get a quick effective squash instead of the dopey short match with Parsons/Roberts. That could have been a great match and this should have been the shorter squash.
JT: I love King Kong Bundy but this was one of the most meandering and pointless appearances he has had. He should have just wrecked Mike Bond but unfortunately the match dragged on a bit longer than it should have. His post match promo was fine but even that was short and didn’t accomplish as much as he usually does. Bundy is the man but this was an off night for him.
Chad: The booking of WCCW is again letting me down big time. The fluke pin on Buddy was a fun segment, but Buddy has looked like a jobber since he arrived and really needs to be rebuilt. The viewer is left wondering why Gordy and Hayes put up with this guy. Mike Bond also had no business being as competitive with Bundy as he was. The heels are clearly the biggest strength of WCCW and you can make your heels to strong, but WCCW really dropped the ball by not making them look insanely credible when they had this deep of a roster.
Jason: How in the hell did King Kong Bundy not destroy Mike Bond in 10 seconds? With the exception of the main event, the rest of the card had some bad booking. Bundy is a force of nature right now and should be killing his opponents in record time each and every week!
Dan: This whole show was a huge disappointment when you put it up against our last offering with the announcement of the “Man” behind Devastation Inc. and the wild six-man war. Bundy’s match was definitely a low point but I share in David Von Erich’s chagrin in the camera guys not making it in time to capture the birth of Norma Jean the horse prior to his interview. Sorry boys, but you were sadly 12 hours too late!
Scott: I was pumped up to see the Buddy Roberts/Iceman Parsons match and it ended up being a stupid quick pin to forward a storyline he’s not part of. Then to try and add sense to it the Von Erichs just happen to show up to make it look logical. Sure it was a great heel tease but Roberts came off looking like a dope when the Freebirds needed to stay strong.
JT: The Texan is super creepy looking and man WCCW loves their masked men; Texan also had really weird mannerisms and movements as he slunk around and worked over Irwin but he also landed some crackling punches and worked a smart match; Michael Hayes looked like he just walked out of the shower when he came out with Buddy Roberts; Was the air conditioning on in the building because both Hayes’ and Roberts’ hair seemed to be blowing around while they talked pre-match; I was shocked that Iceman knocked off Roberts so quickly with how hard the Freebirds are being pushed; David Von Erich mumbles and mushmouths his way through another promo, this time in a horse stable; Once Mike Bond showed up, The Texan’s reign as creepiest looking wrestler of the night quickly ended; Bill Mercer says suplex weird and I did not know brainbusters were illegal in any way
Chad: The Texan’s mask was odd. That match in particular didn’t do much for me as I found The Texan to have way too much offense and he didn’t do many interesting things on top. Hayes freaking out over Buddy losing so quickly was a great moment. Mercer is on location again as we learn that David’s horse has just given birth. One of the lesser on location segments we have seen. Mercer going on and on about the brainbuster being illegal was annoying since it isn’t like this was a well-known standard. A lot of crowd members were flipping off the guys right on camera view this week.
Jason: World Class sure loves their masked guys. The Texan joins the other 4-6 guys we’ve seen before under a hood in this territory. King Parsons continues to grow on me. I don’t agree with him beating Buddy Roberts in record time, but he adds a nice piece to the Von Erich and Freebird feud. Man, Hayes and Gordy were FIRED UP after Buddy Roberts lost. Bill Mercer continues to be a true professional when it comes to journalism. Showing up at a horse stable to get a word with David Von Erich was a nice treat. Speaking of David, he’s my MVP of the Von Erichs so far. This stud cuts a decent promo and has been enjoyable to watch in the ring.
Dan: The Texan? They would have been better off if David Carr wrestled Bill Irwin. Roberts saying “Hey fat face” to Mercer legitimately made me laugh out loud. I wonder whatever became of Sissy and Norma Jean… Kabuki is coming back and I definitely don’t like Yatsu’s chances against the growing Devastation Inc. Garvin’s answer to “Go David Go” was “This piece of beef jerky ain’t going nowhere!” Awesome!
Scott: Hey, why not have yet ANOTHER masked guy in this promotion. That makes about five of them now; First Bill Irwin sighting since before the new year; I bet Bill Mercer got chewed out for acknowledging that Bill Irwin’s real name isn’t Bill; I love how Michael Hayes thinks to be a tough guy you have to always walk around without a shirt on; Kerry Von Erich had to have been on drugs 24/7 because every time he gets in the ring he looks totally clueless; I guess David Manning is a stupid referee, because if the finisher is barred, wouldn’t he know that?
Consensus Best WWE Network Match to Date: Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich (Christmas Star Wars, WCCW 12/28/82)
Consensus Worst WWE Network Match to Date: Ivan Putski vs. Baron Von Rashcke (Madison Square Garden, 6/27/77)
JT: I thought this was a solid episode that featured a pretty big title change and push for Jimmy Garvin. I dug the opener and think the Texan has some potential despite his weird look. The middle matches were nothing but the main event was a big deal and closes the show on a high note. I won’t say this is one of the best we have watched, but it was a serviceable 46 minutes that moved along well enough and kept a few different storyline embers burning. Final Grade: 4/10
Chad: This was a really poor show until the final 1/3 with the main event and the Garvin promo. The face side is really starting to look pretty glaring in World Class as no one can compete with the awesomeness of Garvin, Freebirds and Bundy. Final Grade: 3.5/10
Jason: There was some misbooking in the undercard, but the main event didn’t disappoint. The opener was a lot of fun with Bill Irwin and The Texan working well together. The depth on this roster is at an all time high. We have some old storylines advancing and some new one’s beginning. There’s some money on the table right now just as soon as they tweek some of the bad booking that was showcased here. Final Grade: 4/10
Dan: As much as Garvin and to a certain extent, David Von Erich, tried to lift this out of dumpster fire status, this was one of WCCW’s weaker outings in many weeks. It had some awesome moments like Parson’s flash pin of Roberts and the shocking title change, but otherwise this was a very forgettable performance. Garvin impressed in his TV debut and his character is infinitely more interesting than a bunch of random masked guys but this show as a whole struggled to keep my attention for much of the 47 minutes. Just a bump in the road for a company having a strong start to their 1983. Final Grade: 3.5/10
Scott: This was a disappointing episode for me, as the main event really saved it from being a total stinker. The Bundy/Bond match was too long and should have been a squash, while Parsons/Roberts should have had some time as they were considered two good workers. The Garvin win was a shocker as now the Von Erichs are all beltless. The Freebirds/Von Erichs feud continues but this episode overall was a stinker. Final Grade: 3.5/10