Kevin Von Erich, the "Golden Warrior," turns 55 today. 

I can't tell you the date or the match, though I'm pretty sure it was sometime in the late '70s, still I remember vividly the first time I saw Kevin, 6'3", 235#, on cable TV. The breath stopped in my lungs because there before my eyes was the closest approximation to Michelangelo's David I had ever seen in living flesh. He also vaguely resembled a figure my eyes had lingered on in ads in gay magazines: the pouty and iconic '70s gay sex symbol Peter Berlin. But here was that still image in motion, breathing, muscles flexing, not pouting at all, and in a wrestling ring! I'm not sure if the match was over before I started beating off to the image in my mind so that it still would be fresh ... keep in mind that this was years and years before I had a VCR, must less the capacity for screen captures. (Because I had no other way of recording those impressions, the intensity with which I committed such images to memory made them indelible, still today nearly as vivid in my imagination as snapshots in an album.)

Here are some pictures of him at his peak, at age 25 on May 30, 1982, fighting and beating King Kong Bundy, 6'4", 450#,  in what is purportedly the first time Kev wrestled a match barefoot. The video is available here on misterwaffles channel on YouTube. Note the subtle swivel of his hips as he locks hands with Bundy in a test of strength. Second only to Elvis, Kevin understood the power of pelvic thrust and rotation. (I hope Jake Jenkins is watching and taking notes.)


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