The Yellow Rose of Texas: Wrestling’s David Von Erich
Wrestling’s David Von Erich and His Extremely Shocking Death
There was no greater tragedy in the Von Erich family than the death of David, the Yellow Rose of Texas. His sudden death began a chain of events that led to the second eldest, Kevin, to be the only remaining brother alive. How this sad turn of events came about is bittersweet, as his death came during one of the highest points of his career.
The third brother of the Adkisson family, David Alan was born in Dallas, Texas, and was named after his mother’s brother. He grew up hunting and fishing with his father and brothers and formed a strong bond that would be apparent on the squared circle and off it. Aside from being involved in the family business of wrestling, he also loved to raise horses and made a fortune for himself in selling show horses. Like his brother and father, he showed great athleticism in high school, participating in both the basketball and football teams. Though he won a scholarship at the North Texas State University for those sports, he dropped out to pursue a wrestling career.
A month after his debut as David Von Erich in 1977, he wrestled the NWA World Heavyweight Champion Harley Race in a memorable match that ended in a draw. With his fiery persona, he became a breakout star and became a favorite among the fans and the promoters. He even made an appearance in an early version of the WWF (World Wrestling Federation) at the Madison Square Garden in that same year. A couple of years later, the Yellow Rose of Texas decided on a solo career and went to Florida, where he also found success, but returned to Texas in 1982.
He was also involved with the feud with the Fabulous Freebirds with his brother Kerry and took part in many matches against them in 1983 and 1984. He also had a standing feud with Ric Flair and won the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship from him in 1983, followed by his winning the NWA United National Championship in 1984, which turned out to be the last title he would ever hold before his death. Incidentally, his last interview was about a match between Ric Flair when his brother Mike Von Erich won a “10 Minute Challenge Match” against Flair, to the delight of David, who was able to name the stipulations in an upcoming match against Flair when he returned to Texas at the end of February after his trip to Japan.
During a tour with the All Japan Pro Wrestling in 1984, David Von Erich suddenly died. Many speculated that it was due to a drug overdose, but the Von Erich family claimed that it was due to a heart attack from acute enteritis, an inflammation of the small intestine from contaminated food or drink. This was also the official cause of death reported by the US Embassy in Japan. Though the more scandalous reason is believed by most, the latter cause is more plausible as David had been complaining about a stomach pain even before his trip to Japan and had been taken to a hospital in Texas, where he was given antibiotics.
His family and all his fans were devastated, and one of the greatest wrestlers who had so much more potential passed from this earth a hero. The Yellow Rose of Texas would forever be immortalized in the halls of the legends and in the hearts of his fans.