Fritz Von Erich vs. Cowboy Bob Ellis

One of Texas wrestling's most iconic images: Cowboy Bob Ellis feels the agonizing effects of Fritz Von Erich's patented Iron ClawAnother good feud that Fritz Von Erich had was with Cowboy Bob Ellis. There were different types of matches included in the feud. One match had no ropes around the ring, one match could be won by submission only, and there was a Texas Death Match.

The feud started in Dallas when Ellis was a special referee in a match between Fritz and Lou Thesz for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. During the deciding fall, Fritz had Thesz beat when a person planted in the audience came in the ring and jumped on Fritz. After the guy was booted out of the ring, Ellis came behind Fritz. Thinking it was that guy again, Fritz swung and hit Ellis causing a disqualification. The film on the match was shown on the studio wrestling show in which Fritz and Ellis had an altercation. Beside single matches, this angle led to some tag matches with Fritz teaming with Killer Karl Kox against Ellis and Bull Curry.

The match I saw in person between Fritz and Ellis was on Dec. 27, 1965 in Fort Worth. It was a 2 out of 3 fall match. Fritz attacked Ellis before the bell and applied the claw during the first fall. Ellis bled right away and was pinned. He bled a lot during many of his other matches. I guess the bleeding helped put the claw over.

Both participants were disqualified for the second fall. Ellis won the third fall with the bulldog headlock. Since the match ended in a draw, the feud continued.

The main event and the semi-final matches were two out of three falls. The time limit for the main event was 90 minutes and it was 45 minutes for the semi-final. I never saw a main event go 90 minutes. With only ten wrestlers on the card, they had to have two out of three fall matches to fill out the card. You do not see that done now.

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