ESPN on the Tragic Tale of the Von Erichs

The Von Erich family is often considered to be the Kennedys of the pro wrestling business; a family blessed with good looks, near-limitless potential in their professions, and had their lives cut tragically short by sudden deaths.  Of Fritz Von Erich’s six sons (five of whom were wrestlers), only Kevin remains as suicides, drug overdoses, and childhood accidents claimed his other brothers. While it’s easy to throw around the word “cursed” when talking about trivial things like a baseball team’s World Series drought (**cough-cough** Chicago Cubs **cough-cough**), this scenario seems to be an apt one to use such a term.

ESPN is running a segment as part of their popular and critically acclaimed 30 for 30 series, and while it doesn’t seem to a be a full edition of the series and rather just an interview segment with Kevin Von Erich (here’s a clip), ESPN has traditionally done an excellent job when they make a rare venture into the world of professional wrestling. At the very least, this piece will tell a cautionary tale of just how psychologically and physically draining the world of wrestling can be. For example, their E:60 piece on Scott Hall is very real, gritty and heartbreaking, and their profile on WWE owner Vince McMahon gave a great look at a side of the chairman we fans often don’t see. I feel it in the gut that Kevin wishes that his brothers could be watching the special along with him, but a least we as fans of the business (and a good human beings) can just show him lots of love and respect, and be happy that one of wrestling’s greatest families is still endures and making waves in professional wrestling.

Ross (left) and Marshall Von Erich (right) with their father, Kevin, at their WLW show in Sedan, Kansas, on April 20, 2012. [Ken Hirayama/Pro-Wrestling NOAH]

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