Tag Archives: Fritz Von Erich

Born-Again Bashing

Penthouse – October, 1988
By Irving Muchnick

MAY 11, 1987. Less than a month after his brother Mike killed himself because he felt he couldn’t live up to the family name, Kevin Von Erich was working the main event in Fort Worth when something rare happened: a moment of spontaneous, unmediated terror. As the television cameras rolled, teenage girls squealed, and spectators shouted for blood, Kevin and his opponent crisscrossed off the ropes. No doubt they were setting up the usual wild finish – perhaps a variation on the patented Von Erich Iron Claw, or a violent collision followed by an out-of-control brawl outside the ring, or maybe a miscarriage of justice with the ref taking an accidental bump and failing to see the heel clobber the baby face with a foreign object. Continue reading

A Statement From Jack Vansky…

The Victoria Advocate – September 12, 1954

About Bobby Sox Idol Ricki Starr

Ricki Starr 9-10-54

RICKI STARR

Vansky Says;

“I think that Victoria is lucky to have a wrestler of my capabilities on the card this Wednesday.  I am one of the top men in my profession in the country and I don’t believe that children, the likes of Ricki Starr, should even be on the same card with me.  I will take care of Mr. Starr in the main event match Wednesday.” Continue reading

Ricki Starr Crashes And Loses Bout

The Victoria Advocate – September 23, 1954

Ricki Starr missed a flying head hold and crashed through the ropes onto the cement floor where he remained dazed long enough for Referee Julius Johnson to count him out and give big Jack Adkisson the victory in the main event at the Sportatorium last night. Continue reading

Ricki Starr Beats Vansky; Fan Clashes With Adkisson

The Victoria Advocate – September 16, 1954

Popular Ricki Starr used a Chinese crab hold to pin Jack Vansky in the third fall of the main event at the Sportatorium last night.

Vansky didn’t think the third fall was necessary, for he proclaimed himself winner of the match after taking the second of this best-of-three contest.  Vansky stepped out of the ring after pinning Starr with a backbreaker, but Referee Marvin Jones finally convinced him a third fall was needed since Starr had won the first one with an airplane spin and a body press. Continue reading

‘Faded Glory: The Von Erich Story’

Dallas Observer – March 16, 2000
By Robert Wilonsky

“It’s astonishing no one has yet turned the Von Erichs’ tragic tale into a big-screen biopic; after all, theirs is a story shot through with enough drama and trauma to level any audience. Or maybe it’s possible that no one will believe their tale, as fact or fiction. For a brief, shining moment, Fritz Von Erich and his boys (Kevin, Kerry, Michael, and David) ruled the wrestling world with an Iron Claw, only to succumb to drug abuse, suicide, and a thousand pounds of pain. Rusty Baker’s documentary does an admirable job of presenting the short-hand tale of the Von Erichs, using home movies and footage from matches (even Kevin’s very first in 1976); and it’s gripping to hear Fritz, now dead, speak from beyond the grave about the two things he loved most in this world — his sons, and beating the hell out of anyone who dared step into the squared circle with the meanest wrestler in Texas . . . Kevin is the last of Fritz’s four sons (Jackie died when he was a child, electrocuted in a trailer park) — the sole survivor of an ill-fated clan. Sometimes, this family’s story is too sad even to contemplate.”

Dick Hutton Captures Lou Thesz’ Mat Crown

Globe & Mail – November 15, 1957
By Steve York

Dick Hutton became a good guy again to 9,099 wrestling fans at Maple Leaf Gardens last night.

All the Oklahoma strong boy did was win over Lou Thesz to become National Wrestling Alliance world’s heavyweight champion.

Hutton forced the veteran to concede when he applied his fearsome abdominal stretch at 35:15 of the one fall, no time limit match. Continue reading

No Holds Barred

D Magazine – March, 1981
By Mike Shropshire

You wake up a couple of hours before dawn, feeling drained and strung out from the savage dream which seemed as if it wouldn’t end. Continue reading

Von Erichs’ Patriarch Dead At 68

The Associated Press – September 10, 1997
By Chris Newton

DALLAS — Jack Adkisson, patriarch of the famed Texas wrestling family the Von Erichs, died at his Denton County home Wednesday about two months after he was diagnosed with cancer. He was 68.  Adkisson, who went by the name Fritz Von Erich during a 35-year wrestling career, was diagnosed in July with lung cancer that had spread to his brain and adrenal glands.  A statement from the family said he died of a brain tumor at his home in LakeDallas, about 20 miles north of Dallas.  Adkisson and his five sons were long associated with wrestling triumph in Texas. Five sons — Kevin, David, Kerry, Mike and Chris — also wrestled under the Von Erich name.  Jack Adkisson for years produced a syndicated wrestling show, World Class Championship Wrestling, that was seen in 66 U.S. television markets, Japan, Argentina and the Middle East.  But in recent years, there has mostly been pain. Five of Jack Adkisson’s sons preceded him in death. One died as a child in the 1950s, three committed suicide since 1987 and the fifth died of an apparent drug overdose in 1984.  The only surviving son is the oldest, Kevin, 40.  “We would like to express thanks to the fans and the community for their prayers, love and support,” Kevin Adkisson said in the statement. “Dad loved them very much.”  David, probably the best wrestler of the sons, died at the age of 25 in 1984 from an apparent overdose while on a wrestling tour of Japan. Suicide claimed the lives of Mike, 23, in 1987; Chris, 21, in 1991; and Kerry, 33, in 1993. Another son, Jack Jr., died at the age of 7 in 1959 from electrical shock.  “It hurt him desperately,” said Tom Pulley, a longtime friend of the Von Erichs. “It’s hard for any of us to imagine losing one son, much less five sons. It changed his life and it definitely took the wind out of his sails.”  Until Fritz Von Erich retired in 1980, he was one of the stars of professional wrestling. The former Southern Methodist and Dallas Texans lineman stood 6-foot-4 and weighed 260 pounds. He turned to wrestling in the 1950s after being injured.  The Von Erichs once wrestled in front of 40,000 people at Texas Stadium and regularly filled the arenas where they competed.  In their heyday, the Von Erichs were the good guys of the wrestling world, vanquishing trash-talking, loudmouthed wrestlers in black garb. Ironically, the continuing family tragedies brought them — and their sport — even more fame.  Pulley said Fritz Von Erich had a vision for what wrestling could be on television.  “What he did back in the 80s really started wrestling on television,” Pulley said. “There’s no question that the brains behind what you see today was Fritz Von Erich … It took wrestling from being a small regional sport to being international in scope, and I give him the credit for that.”  Jack Adkisson is survived by his son Kevin, daughter-in-law Pam, their four children and two other grandchildren. He and his wife, Doris, divorced several years ago.  Family members said they would receive friends of Jack Adkisson at a memorial service on Saturday at FirstBaptistChurch in Dallas. No funeral or graveside services were planned.

Brazil, Layton Win Arena Tag Team Bout

Toledo Blade – December 10, 1959

Bobo Brazil and Lord Layton won the final two falls in their tag team match to defeat Fritz and Waldo Von Erich in the headliner on the professional wrestling card last night before about 1,800 fans in the Sports Arena.

In other bouts, Mike Valentino defeated Lee Henning in 14 minutes, Don Lewin and Roughhouse Haggerty battled to a 20 minutes draw and Ilio DiPalo bested Chief Cheweke in 16 minutes.