Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Funk's Corner - David Von Erich

Funk's Corner - David Von Erich

The Amarillo Sports Arena was packed to the rafters. The fire fire department shut down the box office and would not allow any more people into the building. It was the only time I have seen a show start fifteen minutes early because there was no more room for additional wrestling fans.

The Main Event was Dory Funk Sr. vs. Fritz Von Erich in a Texas Death Match. During the show there were two tall and lanky red headed kids 4 and 5 years old running around the sports arena good mannered, but very noticeable. They were the Von Erich Brothers, David and Kevin.

The Texas Death Match led to the Spinning Toe Hold versus the Iron Face Claw where only the two holds were legal followed by the first and only German Blood Match where the winner was the one who first filled his towel with his opponent's blood. Fritz Von Erich vs Dory Funk Sr. was always an epic event in Amarillo.

I broke into the wrestling business after finishing a football career at West Texas State University and it was only natural that I face the biggest and baddest heel ever to come to the Amarillo Territory, Fritz Von Erich. The same two kids, David and Kevin were there that night also, but they had grown up and were tall for their ages of around 7 and 8 years old.

After winning the NWA World Championship from Gene Kiniski in February of 1969 one of my biggest thrills in wrestling came in 1972 when I faced Fritz Von Erich defending the NWA World Championship in Texas Stadium before 26,000 people. David and Kevin were there as teenagers. They were playing football, basketball and participation in track and field at North Dallas High School.

In 1977 just after the debut of David and Kevin into professional wrestling and with Fritz's UHF Wrestling Show coming into the Amarillo Territory on limited cable it was a natural to bring the Von Erich Brothers into the territory to face Myself and my Brother Terry. (Funk Brothers vs the Von Erich Brothers - The Von Erich's were the bad guys, but the teenage girls screamed when they took of their jackets in the ring.)

In 1980 I went to Championship Wrestling from Florida to take the book for the owner, Eddie Graham. David Von Erich was in the territory. He was in preparation to leave the Florida Territory and return home to Dallas and work for his famous father, Fritz Von Erich.

I called Fritz on the phone and explained how much potential David had and what a natural athlete He was. I asked Fritz to leave David with me in the Florida Territory, Explaining to Fritz that it would be beneficial to us to have such a talent to work with and it would also be beneficial to David to have the opportunity to work on top in a territory and be successful where his father had little influence.

Fritz agreed and in the Florida Territory we were off and running with David first as a top heel and later as a top baby face. Good Guy and Bad Guy aside the important thing was David Von Erich was a great worker and developed a huge following of fans.

Now on !BANG! TV at go to "Blast From the Past to see David Von Erich and Dory Funk Jr. commentated by the Dean of Professional Wrestling Announcers, Gordon Sole
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