Story: In the territory days of pro wrestling, one of the hottest regions for a time was Dallas, home to the colorful World Class Championship Wrestling. Fritz Von Erich was a legendary villain in his prime, but he would have the love and support of the fans when he promoted World Class, as the audience knew they’d be treated to a fantastic show. Von Erich would bring in the best talent from all over the world, but the biggest draws in his stable were near and dear to his heart, as his sons would lace up the boots and follow in his footsteps. The Von Erichs were royalty on the World Class circuit and beyond, winning over the fans and racking up an impressive run that was box office gold, but the story of his family isn’t one that remained bright forever. A series of tragic events would haunt the Von Erichs and in Heroes of World Class, their legacy and the story of World Class are both explored in depth.
Entertainment Value: What Heroes of World Class lacks in polish, it more than makes up for with depth and attention to detail. You can tell the filmmakers have a passion for World Class and professional wrestling in general, a passion that shines through in the interviews and other footage. The personal drive to document the territory and those involved adds a special vibe that a detached filmmaker simply could not provide, regardless of the polish involved. The documentary runs well over two hours and doesn’t try to shoehorn in all the information into a traditional runtime length, which ensures the piece isn’t rushed or incomplete. I could of course watch another three hours of this kind of insightful content, but Heroes of World Class covers a lot of ground, to say the least. Despite the long duration, the piece never runs slow or loses your attention, provided you’re interested in the subject matter, of course. The pace is good and flows well between major topics, spending extra time in places where needed and staying brisk on the ones that can be summarized a little faster. I was super impressed by how much depth was present here, terrific work all around.
As I mentioned before, this isn’t most polished documentary out there, but I am thrilled someone took the time, expense, and effort to make Heroes of World Class. The editing is solid and while it has some technical shortcomings perhaps, the content itself is excellent and the way the piece flows is more than effective. The documentary doesn’t feel disjointed or hard to follow, it tracks from subject to subject well and seems to know just how long to stay focused on each one. I also believe that because the interview subjects could sense the passion involved, these interviews seem more candid and open, more so even than some of the “shoot” interviews I have seen. In other words, this has an authentic quality to it that is hard to come by, even in the documentary realm and the less than polished look can’t diminish that in the least. I think Heroes of World Class is an excellent documentary that anyone interested in professional wrestling or interesting real life stories should appreciate.