WCCW legend Lance Von Erich has clearly lived a very enthralling life which has included pro wrestling, surviving a train bombing, a plan hijacking and riding a bicycle from Zimbabwe to Congo. Although Von Erich has enjoyed success outside of pro wrestling, winning bodybuilding competitions and running high-profile health clubs in South Africa, he still credits wrestling for most of his adventures.
In 1993, Von Erich traveled across India to participate in the Indo-Asian Wrestling event, wrestling in cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, and Jalandhar. It was a time when India was dealing with a lot of unrest as Hindus and Muslims clashed across the country. On Dec. 6, 1992, a rally led by Hindu nationalist groups led to the demolition of a popular mosque [Babri Masjid]. The retaliation from opposing counterparts was severe.
During his recent appearance on The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Von Erich revealed that he happened to be on a train the day the mosque was demolished.
“We were traveling on a train on the day the mosque was demolished,” he recalled. “There were a few bombings across India and we happened to be on one of the trains that got blown up. Luckily, we were in first class and they bombed the mail coach of the train. When we looked out, we could see all the letters flying out. Nobody from our section got hurt, but it was an interesting day.”
Von Erich went onto divulge details of a “fatwa” that was issued against him and the other wrestlers traveling across India.
“During the two weeks we were in India, we had all these bodyguards with us. They advised us to not stick our heads out of the bus, and we found out later on that we had a fatwa issued against us. They wanted to kill the wrestlers. We didn’t find out about that until much later.”
When asked by Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman to explain why the terrorists targeted the wrestlers, Von Erich said, “They just looked at us as foreigners. We were going up north to Punjab [Jalandhar] and there was a lot of unrest there. It amazed us because we wondered, ‘why would you target us?’ Or anybody for that matter.”
Vincent Berry, the author of Lance by Chance: Wrestling As A Von Erich, was quick to clarify why the terrorists were targeting the wrestlers.
“It was not a relation of the mosque incident but since they [the wrestlers] were high profile, they were targeted in that aspect,” said Berry.
Berry went onto share details on where Von Erich’s new book is available for purchase.
“Right now, you can get the book at LanceByChance.com. We’re also in the process of making the book available for readers overseas. What I love about the book is it tells the story of how he [Lance] was discovered, how he got into bodybuilding, and his time [wrestling] in Detroit and Dallas.
Berry continued, “A lot of people thought his wrestling career was over after he left Dallas [WCCW] but he had the longest part of his career overseas, and you’ll find stories like the Indian train bombing. There are stories that involve guns and auto parts, stories that involve the 800 mile bike ride [between Zimbabwe and Congo]. It’s very interesting to hear these stories. People will be surprised to read them.”
Lance By Chance: Wrestling As A Von Erich is now available for purchase at LanceByChance.com. You can find the full audio and video from Lance’s interview below: