What If? Wrestling Alternative Timeline: David Von Erich

Discussion in 'Pro Wrestling Discussion' started by TennBJJ, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. TennBJJ

    TennBJJ Brown Belt

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    Yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of David Von Erich's untimely death in Japan at the age of 25.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Von_Erich

    [​IMG]

    David was a member of the beloved Von Erich wrestling family in Texas. Starring alongside his father Fritz and brothers Kerry and Kevin, et. al he was a star on the rise, and stories abound of his imminent crowning as NWA champion: both Harley Race and Ric Flair have said he was a no doubt champion at some point.

    What if David never died? What if he comes home, and helps Fritz continue the buildup of WCCW and fully participates in the Freebird feud? Does he get an NWA title run? Would it be a one off hotshot like Wildfire Rich, or more? Was he a big enough star to go national, or would he be relegated to a cowboy gimmick in the WWF later on when the allure of New York called him north?

    More importantly, was he the leader the family really needed to keep them from all falling down into the depths of depression and suicide? Could DVE have saved Texas wrasslin', more specifically WCCW from its awful fate, or would Vince still have swallowed them up whole eventually?

    What say you?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  2. Frank23

    Frank23 New York Belt Platinum Member

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    The what if scenarios could get into some eerie stuff.
     
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  3. TennBJJ

    TennBJJ Brown Belt

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    It'd be fun to do a series in these in the PWD, - Magnum TA, Sheik breaks Hogans leg, etc.
     
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  4. GSPSAKU

    GSPSAKU Brown Belt

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    He was a regional star and while he had a chance at the WWF in the 80s, had he lived long enough I just don't see him being a big star. If he continued his fued with Flair, I could feasibly see him with much more success as an NWA star than a WWF star but Flair was on his ascension and nothing was stopping Flair. He would've had a year long fued with Flair and then likely trickled down to mid-card level. Of course this is all speculation but this is the most realistic scenario in an "anything can happen" world.

    Now he died very young and, no different than any industry, when a young up and coming "star" dies young, he becomes greater than he ever was and, likely, greater than he ever could have been. If he didn't die in '84, he would've died in 85 or 86 or 87 etc etc etc. The Von Erichs were a crazy family, you think David would have survived all the drugs, abuse, and idiocy that was in the blood of that family? He would've continued down the path of drugs, depression, and eventually suicide. Of the 6 brothers, only 1 lived to past 33 so living a long life was definitely not in his favor.

    As for saving WCCW, there was no way to save it for a few reasons:
    1. WCCW's boom was in large part due to the genius of booker, Ken Mantell. He booked almost everything for WCCW from 1981 through about May (if I recall) of 1986. WCCW was peaked in '83-'86 and as soon as Mantell left, WCCW went down almost immediately. Even when Mantell came back to try to keep it afloat, it was too late.
    2. Tied to #1, with Watts, Crockett, and McMahon expanding at an alarming rate, there was no way WCCW could have kept up. Of course Watt's took Mantell in May of 1986 and there went WCCW. Even with DVE alive and wrestling, Watt's still would've taken Mantell and WCCW would've have likely had the same fate.
    3. Tied to #2, the expansion of national wrestling and tv happened and it was inevitable; WCCW would have lost its stars to the WWF/NWA and with that happening, how could WCCW survive? Heck, that's basically what happened when Watts took the Fabulous Freebirds, Kamala, Chris Adams and the One Man Gang.

    So in short, the answers to all your questions are:
    No, no, no, no, and no to each and every one of your questions except maybe a quick NWA title run that doesn't mean a thing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  5. TennBJJ

    TennBJJ Brown Belt

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    Well stated on all points. I admit I fall victim of the "he died too young and is remembered greater than he should be" scenario.

    On the NWA title run, I think one of the biggest detriments to a run for him would have been that heel runs were much longer than face, and I couldn't see DVE running heel.

    On the Ken Mantell thing - I have heard most sing his praises, but one of my all time faves Gary Hart says he handed WCCW and its storylines on a silver platter to Ken. Basically "a monkey could have booked that angle" referring to the Freebirds/VE Boys that Hart started. Truth or sour grapes from Gary?
     
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  6. GSPSAKU

    GSPSAKU Brown Belt

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    And these what if's scenarios could be very exciting. A few of the more interesting what if scenarios would be:

    - What if Bret Hart stayed with the WWF and renegotiated for lesser pay and Montreal never happened?
    - What is Magnum TA didn't get in his Porsce and literally kill his career in '86?
    - What if Vince Jr wasn't able to buy and take over the WWWF from his father?
    - What if Flair never got in that airplane accident and continued to wrestle as near 300lb Flair or if he died?
    - What if Shieky baby breaks Hogan's leg
    - What if Angle never left the WWE?
    - What if Brian Pillman didn't die?
    - What if Sting had signed with the WWF in 2001 or 2002?
    - What if Sting had been the 3rd member of the NWO?
    - What if WCW never hired Vince Russo in 1999?
    - What if Austin was never fired from WCW?
    - What if Vince ended up serving time in '94?
     
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  7. Big Burly

    Big Burly Purple Belt

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    David played heel in Florida, and he was quite good at it.

    GSPSAKU's answer is as close to correct as possible, especially in regards to WCCW. They had a lot of excitement with the Von Erich boys and their feuds with the Freebirds and with Gino Hernandez and Chris Adams. They all had good singles feuds as well, even with hot national heels like Killer Khan after he "broke" Andre's leg. WCCW had lightning in a bottle briefly, with Mantell as the booker, but the bottle broke and they sunk fast.

    David could definitely have had a decent run or three as World Champion. He would have made a great foil for Flair. As an in-ring talent, he was much like Barry Windham.

    Hanging your hat on the Von Erichs was surely rough on them, with only Kevin surviving. They all had drug problems, and probably weren't all that smart. David was the best of them in the ring and on the mic.
     
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  8. TennBJJ

    TennBJJ Brown Belt

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    Wonder if thats on the network? Would love to see some of that good old stuff. I never knew he did heel in Florida, thanks for the info.

    Here's a taste with a good "explanation"


    Championship Wrestling from Florida - Spring 1982. David Von Erich vs Dory Funk, Jr. David Von Erich, after being kicked out of Texas by his daddy Fritz, shows up on former NWA World Champ Dory Funk Jr’s doorstep begging him to take him in. Under Junior’s guidance, Von Erich wins the Southern Title. So how does the ungrateful punk show his gratitude? He stabs the great champion in the back and tries to sneak back to Texas. However, Junior catches up with him before he gets away and smacks the punk around to teach him a lesson. It’s also evident that daddy Fritz made a sizable deposit into referee Tommy Young’s bank account to make sure his little boy doesn’t get hurt. The plan backfires when Terry Funk gets wind of it and issues a strong reprimand to Tommy Young.
     
  9. Batjester

    Batjester Thanos is right.

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    I don't think David had the charisma/character to get over really big on a national level.


    Magnum would have been a mega star.
     
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  10. Big Burly

    Big Burly Purple Belt

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    David had more in-ring ability than Magnum TA, and he was as charismatic on the mic, if not more. Magnum was a fine worker who conveyed a lot of in-ring emotion. Personally I wasn't his biggest fan. I liked him, but the way he moved his feet was not natural and was weird-looking. HHH does the same thing. Something so small, but it did bother me.

    David was a fine talent that could have been developed into a major world title player with more runs in different territories.

    Kevin was good in the ring and was charismatic in the ring, BUT he was dead weight on the mic.

    Kerry had the look, and he was a bit better on the horn than Kevin. In-ring he wasn't as well-rounded as David or Kevin. There are LOTS of wrestlers that had the look and had in-ring charisma, but were limited on the mic. Most of them had managers to talk for them.

    David was very good in the ring. He could do heel or face. He was good enough on the microphone, and would have improved. He could work a wrestling match or a brawl convincingly.

    Check him out on YouTube if you can't find anything on the WWE Network.
     
  11. Batjester

    Batjester Thanos is right.

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    Saw David plenty of times in the 80's thanks to my dad's addiction to TV and buying one of the old school satellite dishes. Not sure I agree about him being a better wrestler than Magnum, but it's close enough to be splitting hairs imo.

    The biggest thing Magnum had over David was looks. Shallow I know, but looking like a carbon copy of Tom Selleck in the 80's was a licence to print money.


    Kevin was bland as toast.

    Kerry had potential, but being a major coke head he was never going to be given the reigns.

    Mike never should have been a wrestler, and Chris being forced to wrestle was child abuse.
     
  12. TankAbbott

    TankAbbott Blue Belt

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    Chris badly wanted to wrestle. Fritz was out of the picture behind the scenes for at least a year or so before Chris showed up.

    WCCW may have lasted a bit longer with David around, but parts of the downfall (lack of worthy heels, NWA title being Crockett exclusive, oil market issues, expansion talent raids) would not be prevented.

    David would have been working through the Monday night wars if injuries hadn't done him in. With his size and last name, his future may have best played out in All-Japan after WCCW sank in 1986/7.
     
  13. Prime Shane Douglas

    Prime Shane Douglas The Franchise Platinum Member

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    Two more could be what if Brody or Owen hadn't of died.
    What if Bischoff had successfully purchased WCW
    What if Time Warner AOL had of not bought out Turner's assets
     
  14. warriorscommando

    warriorscommando I will always protect you

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    Magnum seems to be the bigger loss, bit like Reigns now getting fucked.
     
  15. Batjester

    Batjester Thanos is right.

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    Brody was too much of a loose cannon to ever be "the" guy. In the grand scheme of things I think his death really doesn't mean much. Would have had some great shoot interviews though.


    Owen's death really changed things more for others than himself. I don't think he was ever going to be super over, but him dying really changes Brett's path.
     
  16. GSPSAKU

    GSPSAKU Brown Belt

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    Agree wholeheartedly. Brody was his own worst enemy and neither of the big two would invest in him since he was very good at doing whatever he wanted, burning bridges, and not honoring his word or his contract. If he hadn't gotten murdered, he still would not be a huge name in the US but would continue to draw in Japan and likely help book in PR where he was going to be part owner.
     
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  17. Prime Shane Douglas

    Prime Shane Douglas The Franchise Platinum Member

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    I had mentioned before that had Brody ever signed with WWE he would have been the Viking/Beserker character.

    Still interesting to think what could have been.

    Owen would have carried on as a IC/Tag wrestler for another few years and eventually retired. I could have seen him heavily involved with NXT though.
     
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