Kerry Von Erich vs Colonel DeBeers (lost footage of professional wrestling match; existence unconfirmed; 1988)

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This article has been tagged as NSFL due to its discussion of serious injuries and suicide.


Kerry Von Erich, whose motorcycle accident contributed towards his right foot being amputated.

Status: Existence Unconfirmed

On November 12th, 1988, a professional wrestling match was held between Kerry Von Erich against Colonel DeBeers at the Showboat Hotel in Las Vegas Nevada in an American Wrestling Association (AWA) taped show. In this match, something unprecedented happened: At some point in the match, Colonel Debeers pulled Von Erich's leg and exposed his amputated foot. This moment allegedly would have consequences years later with the suicide of Kerry Von Erich.

The Match

On the night of November 12th, 1988, there was a match between Kerry Von Erich against Colonel DeBeers. At some point in the match, DeBeers, in an attempt to get Kerry Von Erich out to attack him, grabbed the amputated foot with great force, causing Kerry's boot to come off, making a shocking reveal to everyone present. Kerry himself immediately put the boot back on but it is unknown if the match continued or what the outcome was.[1]


Colonel DeBeers. A controversial wrestler from the 1980s.

Following the match, the AWA itself and Kerry denied that the incident occurred. A magazine even reached out Kerry himself to request an interview to ask if he started using drugs because of the pain. This was only made worse by the incident, although this did not prevent him from going to the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1990 and winning the Intercontinental Championship at Summerslam in that year against Curt Henning. It also changed the development of his matches where he was always attacked from the waist up. It is not known very well if Vince McMahon himself knew of his disability, since he was only 2 years in the company and a year later he would repeat the tragic end of his brothers David, Mike, and Chris by committing suicide.


The existence of the match has been called into question. It has been theorized that it was performed on a house show. However, it has been said that it was recorded, but because it was on a show that would air days after the weekly AWA show, this match was decided not to broadcast as it was an embarrassing event and at the request of Kerry himself.

WWE currently owns the AWA video library since it purchased it in the mid-2000s, but it is unknown whether it owns the match tape. In case it is true, it is highly likely that it will never be released because of the impact it had on the life of the affected wrestler. It is also unknown if it was recorded by a fan from the seats and much less if photos have emerged about it.


Interview with Larry Zbyszko, where he talks about the incident.

See Also