Sunday, February 18, 2018

My favorite Kerry Von Erich moments

Kerry Von Erich after winning the NWA Title
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

February 18, 2018, marks the 25 year anniversary of the death of Kerry Von Erich. Regular readers here know Kerry is one of my all-time favorites and growing up I ranked him higher than Hulk Hogan himself. Instead of focusing on his death though, I wanted to use this day to remember a few of my favorite Kerry Von Erich matches.

1. Without a doubt his winning the NWA World Heavyweight Championship is not only my favorite Kerry Von Erich match but one of my all-time favorite matches. It features two of favorite wrestlers. Kerry fulfilled his promise to honor the life of his brother David that day. In front of a then-record crowd, Kerry battled the "Nature Boy" for just over 11 minutes before catching Flair with a backslide and winning the gold. 

I was 11 years old then and through the roof with excitement. Kerry's reign only lasted 18 days and I was deeply disappointed by the loss, but I viewed it as a huge accomplishment for Von Erich. He went on to appear on the covers of many wrestling magazines in the weeks that followed holding that ten pounds of gold. I collected those mags and hung posters featuring the "Modern Day Warrior" on the wall of my bedroom and even my locker at school. Less than a year later, I was fortunate enough to see a rematch between the two in St. Louis. Flair got himself disqualified. 

Texas Tornado vs. Mr. Perfect
Courtesy: WWE
2. Kerry stormed into the WWF in the summer of 1990 as the Texas Tornado. It was my senior year in high school and when he was placed in the Intercontinental Championship match against Mr. Perfect at that year's SummerSlam, I was stoked. After five minutes of action, Kerry pinned Perfect and was crowned the IC champ. 

Again, his title reign didn't last nearly as long as I had hoped it would. But he got the rub of hanging with The Ultimate Warrior on several occasions. I think had Kerry been in a different place in his personal life back then, his WWF tenure and championship run could have had more meaning than it did ultimately. 

Kerry Von Erich vs. Kamala
3. As I mentioned earlier, Kerry was to me what Hulk Hogan was to millions of fans. Before the Hulkster bodyslammed Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy or  One Man Gang for that matter, Kerry was performing these feats of strength. I remember vividly Von Erich battling Kamala on slamming him. I believe the announcer, Bill Mercer, said it was the first time the Ugandan Giant had been body slammed. I have no idea if that's true, but to me, it was a feat of superhuman strength. As the years passed, Kerry slammed other big men, including Gang. 

There are plenty of other fond memories I have of Kerry Von Erich. His feuds with the Freebirds, Chris Adams and Gino Hernandez are also among some of my favorites. There are too many instances in those battles to pick favorites. And I still think he should have won the battle with Jerry Lawler in the AWA Championship matches. What are some of your favorite moments of the "Modern Day Warrior"?  

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