Fritz Von Erich vs. Gene Kiniski

One of the longest feuds that Fritz Von Erich had was against Gene Kiniski. It lasted from 1965 through 1969. Even though Fritz and Gene were good friends, they made it look like they were bitter enemies.

The program started in 1965 before Kiniski became NWA champion. They had two "heel vs heel" matches in Dallas with Fritz winning one and Gene winning the other by DQ. The promos were really good on the studio wrestling shows leading up to the matches at the Sportatorium.

After Kiniski won the NWA championship, the feud picked up in intensity. For some reason or another, Fritz was never able to win the title. If Von Erich did win, it was always by DQ. Two of the matches took place at Turnpike Stadium in Arlington, Texas were the local minor league baseball team played. I attended both shows and the attendance was very high.

The match on 8-3-68 was the most memorable. It was a Texas Death Match with Joe Blanchard as the special referee. There was a lot of hype that Fritz was going to finally win the title because that type of match was his specialty and Blanchard was going to keep everything fair. However, Joe turned heel and caused Fritz to lose the match. Fritz then had a long feud with Blanchard. As Fritz was rolling out of the ring after the match, he received a solid kick in the ribs from Dusty Rhodes. This led to a grudge match in Dallas a month later. This was not one of Fritz's better nights.

Fritz beat Gene cleanly in the blowoff match in Dallas on 3-4-69. If Von Erich lost this match, he would have to retire. This was after Kiniski lost the title to Dory Funk Jr.

Gene Kiniski was one of the biggest stars in pro wrestling from 1953-73. He really made his matches believable.

No comments: