Jack Adkisson Jr, better known by his ring name “Fritz Von Erich,” was a professional wrestler who gained massive popularity in the 1960s and 70s. He was born on August 16, 1930, in Jewett, Texas, USA, and later passed away on September 10, 1997. Fritz was the patriarch of the famous Von Erich wrestling family, which included his sons, Kevin, David, Kerry, and Mike, all of whom became wrestlers themselves.
Early Life and Career
Fritz started his wrestling career in 1953, and by the 1960s, he became a major attraction in the wrestling world. He won several championships, including the American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Championship in 1963. Fritz also had a successful tag team partnership with “The Bruiser” Dick Afflis, and together they won the AWA World Tag Team Championship in 1965.
The Birth of the Von Erich Wrestling Dynasty
Fritz retired from active wrestling in 1982 but continued to be involved in the wrestling industry as a promoter. He founded the World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) promotion in Dallas, Texas, which became a major wrestling territory in the 1980s. Fritz’s sons Kevin, David, Kerry, and Mike all followed in their father’s footsteps and became professional wrestlers themselves, forming the famous Von Erich wrestling dynasty.
Unfortunately, the Von Erich family also experienced several tragedies over the years. David Von Erich passed away in 1984 due to acute enteritis, while Kerry Von Erich committed suicide in 1993. Mike Von Erich also struggled with depression and addiction before passing away in 1987 due to an overdose. These losses took a significant toll on Fritz, who was deeply affected by the deaths of his sons.
Legacy and Impact
Despite the tragedies that befell the Von Erich family, Fritz’s impact on the wrestling industry cannot be overstated. He was a charismatic performer who helped popularize wrestling in Texas and beyond. Fritz’s legacy lives on through his family members, as well as his contributions to the wrestling industry.
Achievements and Honors
Fritz was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2002, and the Von Erich family has been honored in various ways over the years. In 2015, the City of Dallas named a street after the family, and in 2019, Kevin Von Erich was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
In conclusion, Jack Adkisson Jr, aka Fritz Von Erich, was a wrestling legend who made a significant impact on the industry. He helped popularize wrestling in Texas and beyond, and his family’s legacy continues to this day. Despite the tragedies that befell the Von Erich family, they remain an important part of wrestling history, and their contributions will never be forgotten.