IN THE SUMMER OF 1983, the center of the pro wrestling universe, in terms of time and space, was indisputably Friday night, Dallas, Texas, in a white, corrugated-tin coliseum called the Sportatorium. Grandfathered out of city building codes thanks to the political connections of Fritz Von Erich, the imperious don who ran Texas wrestling, it stood defiantly—exposed wiring, iffy plumbing, no AC—in an increasingly sketchy area near where Industrial Boulevard runs under Interstate 35. At one time it had housed the Big D Jamboree radio broadcasts, and Elvis Presley played there in 1955. But even then the stage was a converted ring. The Sportatorium was a wrestling arena, and the frenzy that greeted the King seemed sleepy compared with the bedlam wrought in the eighties
And now there is only one. To live through the horrific cycle of suicide and tragedy that wiped out the other f ive, Kevin Von Erich has relied on the strange code of the professional wrestling world his family once ruled: What’s real is never certain, and what’s fake is never, ever talked about.
by John Spong
Tags: LONGREADS, VON ERICH, FAMILY, TRAGEDY, PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING, PRO WRESTLING, KEVIN VON ERICH, KERRY VON ERICH, DAVID VON ERICH, MIKE VON ERICH, FRITZ VON ERICH, CHRIS VON ERICH, LAKE DALLAS, SPORTATORIUM, GARY HART, WORLD CLASS CHAMPIONSIP WRESTLING, BILL MERCER, BRUISER BRODY, ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER, THE GREAT KABUKI, KING KONG BUNDY, GORGEOUS JIMMY GARVIN, THE FABULOUS FREEBIRDS, MICHAEL HAYES, TERRY GORDY, BUDDY ROBERTS, RUSH, TOM SAWYER, TED NUGENT&RSQUO;S STRANGLEHOLD, ADKISSON FAMILY, GENTLEMAN CHRIS ADAMS, KAMALA THE UGANDAN GIANT, ANDRE THE GIANT, KAYFABE, DORIS ADKISSON, GORGEOUS GEORGE, CORINTH, BABY FACE, HEEL, WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTAINMENT, VINCE MCMAHON, ROSS ADKISSON, DENTON RYAN HIGH SCHOOL, ALL JAPAN WRESTLING, WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION, WRESTLING TERRITORIES, THE IRON CLAW, DALLAS
More Texas Monthly
Loading, please wait...