World Class Tragedy: The Von Erich Story

Adrian StaehleSenior Analyst IJune 19, 2009

Fritz, David, Michael, Chris, Kerry, and Kevin are all pictured above. One of the greatest wrestling family's in wrestling history is one of the worst tragedy in professional wrestling. Three committed suicide, one acute enteritis of the upper intestine, and one son the eldest Jack was electrocuted as a child. Fritz died a natural death. Some might say it could have been a cruse but it was nothing close to that.

The Von Erich's are one of the greatest family's in wrestling history and they showed it in the ring. When you think of the Von Erich you might think of tragedy but I think of the rivalry with the Freebirds, I think of the Championship's they one, I think of one of the greatest wrestling family's ever.

Fritz Von Erich was one of the greatest heel's in the wrestling business and had one of the best old school finisher "The Iron Claw", Fritz was most likely a better wrestler than he was a promoter in people's eyes. He was trained by Stu Hart. He is a father of the Von Erich family and a grandfather of six. Fritz was an aggressive wrestler as he was a promoter and he leaves a legacy that will not be forgotten. Fritz Von Erich died of lung cancer which spread to his brain in 1997.

Jack Adkisson Jr. Fritz Von Erich's first son died after accidentally being electrocuted and drowning in a puddle at the age of 7 in Niagara Falls in Ontario Canada. He was the first of five to tragically die in the Von Erich family.

David Von Erich, what can you say about the crowning jewel of the Von Erich family, David was the best wrestler out of the brothers and many say could have been better than his father. David was not the best looking but was the best athlete. David was scheduled to beat Ric Flair and win the NWA World Heavyweight Championship before tragedy struck. David Von Erich died of acute enteritis of the upper intestine, he was 26.

Mike Von Erich was the third son to die so tragically and it was a painful thing to see even when he had a miracle and made it when no one thought he wouldn't. Mike took David place in the Von Erich/Freebird rivalry but he wasn't David and that haunted him. He was the son that wanted to work behind the scenes but his father forced him into the ring. Mike was overseas when he broke his shoulder and then going to have surgery he went into toxic shock syndrome and was in bad condition. He never returned to full health and when Fritz accordingly forced him back into the ring way to early he became depressed and he committed suicide in 1987 by intentional overdose of a tranquilizer. He was 23.

Chris Von Erich was the youngest, shortest, and least athletic of the Von Erich family. He had a great love for wrestling, he couldn't compete but tried to but was so sad and upset that he couldn't he felt that he disappointed the Von Erich name. He committed suicide in 1991 by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 22.

Kerry Von Erich was the saddest out of all of them to me. I knew who Kerry could have been if he would have stayed straight and even with the prosthesis he wrestled like no other could. He had the looks of Kevin and the ability of the late David. He was the most successful as he beat Ric Flair at the David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions. Kerry came into the WWE and won the Intercontinental Championship beating the late Curt Hening. Kerry was on his way but drugs got in the way as he would be violating his probation he would get heavy jail time and ended up taking his own life in the back of his father ranch in 1993. He was 33.

Kevin Von Erich is the only surviving Von Erich left from the six brothers. He is still alive today and recently inducted his family into the 2009 WWE Hall of Fame in Houston, Texas and how fitting it was to put the family were it belonged in there hometown. Kevin has a son Ross that is attending Texas University and has wrestled a couple of times and is the heir and legacy to the Von Erich name.

Kerry has a daughter Lacey who lives happily with one son. Lacey and Ross go by Adkisson.

The Von Erich family have combined for 144 professional wrestling championships through the years.

The WCCW was a company that had passionate fans and they were all passionate for the Von Erich's just like the Von Erich's were to the fans.

I know no matter what this is one of the greatest wrestling family's because of what they did accomplish.

My question to the B/R Wrestling community is...What legacy did the Von Erich's leave behind in your eyes? Who had the most potential and the least? Is this one of the greatest family's in wrestling history and did they have the best rivalry with the Freebirds?


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