I can still vividly remember the very first, single moment I discovered professional wrestling.
I was spending the weekend at my Granny’s house sometime in 1982. Granny lived in Lake Dallas, Texas. She managed the trailer park there; Lake Haven Estates. One of the many perks of spending the night with Granny was that I could swim in the trailer park’s community pool and stay up late to watch television. That particular Saturday night I was flipping through the channels when something caught my eye on Channel 11, so I stopped to watch.
There was a huge, masked man standing in the middle of what appeared to be a boxing ring, screaming, spitting mad about something called “The Von Erich Family”. The masked man had nothing good to say about any of these Von Erichs, especially the father, Fritz. He reminded the crowd in attendance how they all know Fritz was a German Nazi sympathizer and a disgusting and despicable man. That this same man everyone now loves and adores is raising his sons to become just like him; a Nazi.
I only saw about thirty seconds of this tirade before two muscled young men sprinted into the arena from nowhere toward the ring! The crowd in attendance watching this event all jumped up to look and went ape-shit crazy, shrieking and hollering as if famous rock stars had just appeared.
“OH MY GOD!!! I think that’s…YES! Kevin and David Von Erich!” the commentator’s voice screamed from nowhere. “Thank GOODNESS! Maybe they’ll put a stop to this atrocity!”
Before the masked man in the ring had time to assess what the cause of the commotion was, the Von Erich duo rocketed into the ring from behind and tore the goliath’s mask from his head, revealing a shocked face and a bald noggin.
“OH MY GOD!!!” shouted the commentator. “Just as we all suspected! It is indeed a still-very-bald King Kong Bundy!!!”
I wasn’t sure at first what had occurred that led to King Kong Bundy’s bald nature, but was soon filled in thanks to the ongoing commentary. Seemed that the cause of Bundy’s hair loss was due to something involving a “hair match” loss to Fritz Von Erich; the father of Kevin and David. This recent loss of his hair caused King Kong a great deal of shame, so the man apparently came into the ring unannounced, pretending to be someone else with his mask on, and badmouthing the Von Erichs. The Von Erich boys had rushed in to avenge their family’s name. This King Kong Bundy was a very bad man.
Then as quickly as they had arrived, the Von Erich boys vanished from the ring and ran to the back of the arena and out of site, stolen mask in hand. The King Kong Bundy man exited the ring in shame, slowly lumbering off after those who had exposed his baldness until he disappeared out of view as well. Then suddenly, commercial.
I had no idea what I had just witnessed. Was this some sort of sport? Who were these Von Erich people?! I really had no clue.
What I did know was that I was entranced and hooked, and wanted to know more.