WCCW Television – May 8, 1982: I Want To Be Boogaloo Shaft

WCCW Television
Date: May 8, 1982
Location: Sportatorium, Dallas, Texas
Commentator: Marc Lowrance

A TON of these have been added to the Network and in my never ending quest to review as much wrestling as I can, it’s worth a try. I’ve done a handful of these before and have a decent working knowledge of the promotion so this won’t be the most confusing thing in the world. While I’m not sure on the specifics, I’ll go on a limb and say it’s something about the Von Erichs. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Lowrance welcomes us to the show and runs down the card. Simple idea and nothing you see too often anymore.

Frank Dusek is ready to take Wild Bill Irwin’s soul and the Texas Title.

Frank Dusek vs. The Spoiler

The much bigger (and much more masked) Spoiler shoves Dusek into the corner but doesn’t give a clean break. Dude could you let us know when you’re going to do that? We hit a Boston crab on Dusek but a rollup sends them both into the ropes for the break. Dusek’s headlock works as well as a headlock is going to work so Dusek, who seems to be more of a tweener, pokes Spoiler in the eye for a breather.

A hard whip into the corner drops Dusek again though and it’s time for some heavy forearms to the chest. Not that it matters as Dusek grabs a rollup with his feet on the ropes for three, only to have it called off because Spoiler’s feet were in the ropes too. The distracted Dusek gets rolled up for the pin a few seconds later.

Rating: D. I think this was either heel vs. heel or heel vs. tweener but it only kind of worked. Spoiler was a fine big masked man and Dusek seemed to be more of a midcarder, though the match wasn’t much to see. The ending definitely made Dusek out to be a heel, but the match was kind of a mess, which makes me think that this isn’t a show for people just jumping on.

Boogaloo Shaft/Ken Mantel vs. King Kong Bundy/Bugsy McGraw

There are two referees here for some reason. Bundy (with hair and billed from Alaska) and McGraw’s Tag Team Titles aren’t on the line. Unfortunately we get a mention of something Bundy did earlier in the evening, making me think that this is either out of order or not the complete show, which is always annoying. McGraw and Boogaloo (best name ever) start things off before it’s off to Bundy to hit Shaft in the head.

The much smaller Mantel comes in so Bundy invites him to hammer away. A wristlock doesn’t get Mantel anywhere as the announcer keeps going on about how we’ll get to see Fritz Von Erich’s first ever filmed match next week. Mantel slips between the legs and brings Shaft back in for a headbutt (see, he’s black and therefore has a hard head) to stagger Bundy. The heel manager distracts one of the referees to Bundy and McGraw can crush Shaft with standing splashes (in front of the other referee) for the pin.

Rating: D+. I want to be reincarnated as a guy named Boogaloo Shaft (which is definitely a name Watts came up with after seeing the marquee at a movie theater somewhere). This was just over a squash, though again the ending didn’t make a ton of sense. If there are two referees, what’s the point in distracting one of them? It didn’t feel like one of them was crooked but that’s the only way that ending makes sense.

Gary Hart (top heel manager) says he’s bringing in someone called the Dragon, who is a great martial artist and very similar to Great Kabuki. The Dragon has an amazing sleeper and everyone will know of true torture. All that matters to Hart is getting rid of Fritz and only Asians are cold blooded enough to do it. The Dragon would be Kazuharu Sonoda, who was never a major star.

Al Madrill vs. Armand Hussein

Again they talk about something Bundy did, but this time they say we’ll be seeing him later. Geez this show really is all over the place. Hang on a second though as Hussein has to do his ritual, whatever that is. It is but a ruse though as Hussein jumps Al and sends him into the buckle a few times to take over. We hit the required choking as the fans are trying as hard as they can to get behind Madrill.

Armand pulls at the face until the referee actually drags him away from the ropes. That’s enough to start the comeback with Madrill firing off some punches to the head. They fight outside with Hussein choking with the rope before avoiding a charge back inside. Hussein misses a running flip splash though and its a jackknife rollup to give Madrill the pin.

Rating: D+. Not a terrible brawl here as Hussein was looking like a decent heel, only to have him screw up and lose at the end in a big of a surprise. Madrill seemed to be rather popular with the fans and he’s a name I’ve heard of before, albeit not very much. Then again when you’re a face in this promotion and not a Von Erich, it’s not going to matter for the most part.

Richard Blood/Mike Bond vs. Bill Irwin

Irwin is Texas Heavyweight Champion and he has to pin both opponents within ten minutes. Also that’s not Ricky Steamboat, though the name did make my head spin for a second. Blood works on a headlock to start and it’s off to Bond for one of his own. Irwin shrugs them both off without too much effort with a gutwrench suplex getting two on Blood. Bond runs him over with a shoulder as the jobbers are getting in way more offense than you would expect. As I say that, Irwin ends Bond with a clothesline for the first fall. A powerslam plants Blood and a running knee drop puts him away.

Rating: D. This was a little more entertaining than you would expect with Irwin selling way more than I would have guessed. That being said, you’re only going to get so much out of a guy destroying a pair of jobbers in a little over three minutes. If nothing else though, the Blood name gave me a chuckle.

Kevin Von Erich vs. Great Kabuki

Kabuki has been attacking Kerry and David is here for revenge. The fans want Fritz, who is in Kevin’s corner. The brawl is on in a hurry as they fight to the apron with the referee barely able to break it up. Back in and Kevin grabs a wristlock, which is how you deal with someone trying to injure your brother. Kabuki superkicks the heck out of him and we hit a chest claw. Kevin fights up but gets kicked in the head for his efforts, triggering an argument between Gary Hart and the referee.

Now it’s off to a double chest claw, which is totally hardcore. Kevin fights up again but can’t get the Iron Claw. Instead it’s off to a stomach claw, because these people don’t have the most varied offenses. A splash hits Kabuki’s raised boot and he starts ripping at the eyebrows. That’s certainly a new one.

Back up and Kevin starts his comeback with a dropkick to send them both outside. Fritz and Gary get into a fight as Kabuki works over Kevin inside. Fritz is choking Gary by his tie and holding him in his chair but here’s Bundy to stomp Fritz down. Kevin goes out to brawl with Bundy and it’s a double DQ.

Rating: D+. This was designed to set up Bundy vs. Fritz for Fritz’s retirement match where Fritz was just nice enough to give himself the title one more time. As for the match itself, the brawling and action were good but the claws were only going to take them so far. Then again, the fans were going to erupt over ANYTHING the Von Erichs did, especially against Hart and his men. It’s a simple formula but it certainly worked for a long time.

The Von Erichs want to keep fighting. I’m assuming this is the Bundy thing referenced earlier, which means this was taped out of order. That’s quite odd but it’s nice to know that you got everything they were talking about and that nothing is missing from the show.

Lowrance wraps things up to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. The first thing that becomes very clear around here is that you have to be a long time fan. They’re not going to walk you through these stories or explain what’s really going on. What they will do though is give you some of the best production you could ever imagine. Compare this to 1982 WWF and you won’t believe it’s from the same time. This looks like a low level show from 1990 or so, which is such a completely different time in wrestling.

The wrestling was what you would expect from 1982: mainly kicking and punching with a big move thrown in at the end, but again this was all about the backstory and long term stories. You don’t see a single recap of what’s been happening and, aside from the occasional reference by Lowrance, you really won’t know why these people are fighting or who they are for the most part. It really does make you appreciate the WWE style of today where a single package will tell you everything you need to know in a few minutes.

I’d check more of this stuff out later on, but it’s really a show built around the idea of watching the long term stuff, which takes its sweet time. The key things here though are the crowds being white hot and a fast pace of action. It’s easy to see why this promotion has the reputation it does and it’s WAY ahead of its time. Check it out if you want to see why this was the hottest promotion in the world for a very long time, though that wouldn’t take off until the end of this year.

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