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"WorldClass Championship Wrestling"(WCCW)was a regional professionalwrestling promotion headquarteredin Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. Originally owned bypromoter Ed McLemore, by 1966 it was run by Southwest Sports, Inc., whosepresident, Jack Adkisson, was better known as wrestler Fritz Von Erich.Beginning as a territoryof the NationalWrestling Alliance (NWA),it went independent in 1986 in a bid to become a major national promotion, butwas unsuccessful in its attempts and eventually went out of business in 1990.Rights to the pre-1988 WCCW tape library currently belong to WWE (the post-1988 rights are owned by International World Class Championship Wrestling).WorldClass Championship Wrestlingwas amember of the NWA and was originally known as BigTime Wrestling until 1982,when Adkisson decided that the name of his federation needed to be changed.Mickey Grant, who headed the production of its telecasts, suggested the name World Class, and from there,the rest was history. WCCW operated its enterprise in Dallas, Texas and held wrestling events at theReunion Arena, and mostly at the famed Sportatorium,located just south of Downtown Dallas, which was also a well-known boxing andwrestling arena as well as the one-time home to the famous Big D Jamboree.World Class ChampionshipWrestling experienced tremendous success from 1981-1985, shattering attendancerecords and achieving global exposure through their syndicated televisionprogram. Bookers KenMantell, David Von Erich, Gary Hart, Bruiser Brody and Kevin Von Erich provided fans with hard hitting actioncentered around the popular Von Erich brothers and a cast devious villians.Storylinesduring this time followed a consistent theme of friendship and betrayal, withmany of the top villians being first presented as friends to the Von ErichFamily, only to betray them months or even years later. Weekly wrestling shows were staged there onTuesday nights until August 1978, then were moved to Sunday nights until theearly '80s, and finally were held on Friday nights until the promotion'sdemise.WCCW'ssyndicated show was usually taped at the Sportatorium beginning in 1981, withtwo hour-long shows being recorded every other Friday. These telecasts were, inthe beginning, seen in only a few markets and were hosted at various times by GeneGoodson, SteveHarms, and Marc Lowrance; when the show was taken over in1982 by ContinentalProductions (asubsidiary of local station KXTX)and went to international syndication, well-known north Texasjournalist/sportscaster Bill Mercer (aformer play-by-play announcer for the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox along with other Texas-based teams)became the ringside announcer at the Sportatorium. For a few months heco-hosted with Jay Saldi, and by 1983, hosted the hour-longprogram alone, with Lowrance filling in for Mercer from time to time.
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