Von Erich wrestlers – a gothic family tale

To brighten this time of family festive cheer a new movie hits the screens on December 22nd called the Curse of the Iron Claw, starring Zac Efron, about the tragic von Erich family, controlled by a hard-driving world champion wrestler father Fritz who outlived five of his six children, three of them dead by suicide. In its heyday wrestling, despite being a pretend sport, was a superstar arena awash with fantasy and riddled with staggering drug problems – steroids, cocaine, and painkillers – all kept out of sight.

 Father Fritz was in reality a Texan who adopted a “Nazi” German persona for his public career, pushed his teenage offspring into tough workout schedules, punished them with a leather strap, and blatantly picked favourites. He marketed them as something that – in some cases – they couldn’t live up to and stooped to cashing-in on their deaths.  

   The film makers were so wary of the darkness of the story they omitted the story of one son altogether.

  And the litany is tragic. One son died at 6 being electrocuted after touching a bare wire and drowning in a puddle. Kerry lost a foot in a car accident but continued to wrestle with a prosthetic boot, eventually shot himself when facing prison on drug charges. David, who lost a daughter from SIDs, may have overdosed or died from enteritis. Mike overdosed after not recovering from toxic shock from a surgery. Chris, an asthmatic, shot himself at 21.’  Kevin is the only one still alive.

 Fritz, born 16 August 1929 in Texas, had a flamboyant Leo Sun trine Saturn in Sagittarius with Saturn in a hard-edged, can-be-cruel square to Mars – with his Sun conjunct his Mars/Pluto midpoint = relentless, ruthless, brutal. He also had a manipulative Pluto Venus conjunction in Cancer probably opposition a Capricorn Moon square Uranus – both controlling and rejecting in the family, constantly double-messaging his children. Plus he had his constantly-plotting-and-planning Taurus North Node conjunct Chiron, maybe in an Earth Grand Trine to his Moon and Mercury.

  The Chiron North Node conjunction may be a key part of his damaging and damaged family life – his development demanded facing his own wounds which clearly never happened. That along with his Moon tied into Pluto and Uranus, Mars square Saturn and Sun conjunct Mars/Pluto.

The children:

Kevin 1957 – a Sun conjunct South Node square Pluto, Sun trine Jupiter – the controlling father, though with Jupiter he’d look for positives about him and his ever-optimistic Sagittarius Moon may also have helped keep him afloat.

David 1958 – Sun square Mars opposition Jupiter – the opportunistic father, aggressive and covering it with a veneer of enthusiasm.

Kerry 1960 – Sun opposition Uranus and a Mars Saturn Venus conjunction trine Pluto – the disconnected and cruel father.

Mike 1964 – Sun Mars opposition Uranus Pluto – a scary father, both control-freaky and rejecting.

Chris  1969 – Sun Uranus square Mars; with Saturn trine Venus trine Mars and Saturn inconjunct Sun – explosive, disciplinarian, self-esteem denting father.

  Apologies for the gloom but family dynamics fascinate me. Interesting that Kevin, the one survivor, does not have strong Uranus aspects to his Sun so would not feel quite so distanced from his father and his look-on-the-bright-side Jupiter and Sag Moon would definitely help.

  What a time to release a feel-bad movie.  

14 thoughts on “Von Erich wrestlers – a gothic family tale

  1. Jake – a head for The Biz and a bod for Sin.

    A compare tween he and sis could prove interesting. He seems rather turbulent and she seems most capable.

    Talented talents.

    • Yay. I got support. Thank you, *A* Fan! All you write is interesting, and then when you add the dynamics with the parents, it perhaps gets even more interesting.

  2. “I was wondering in the system you use which house is the mother and which the father: 4th or 10th?”

    In the Vedic astrology system (which uses only whole houses),

    self=1st house
    partner=7th house
    children=5th house
    mother=4th house (as being the anchor of the home, I suppose)
    father=10th house (being the one away most of the time, I guess)
    younger siblings=3rd house
    elder siblings=11th house

    It has a simple mathematical approach to relationships that are more involved. For instance, children of the younger siblings (one’s nieces/nephews by younger siblings) would be 7th house (3+5 counted inclusively; counting the fifth house from the the third house), spouses of elder siblings (one’s brothers/sisters-in-law through elder siblings would be 5th house (opposite house of 11th house, etc).

    • Hey, Unmystic Mom!

      Yes, that is how Vedic astrology sees it, and that same astrology had influence on some western astrologers, such as Karen Hamaker-Zondag, who pay a lot of attention to house rulers. This is such an important part of interpreting the chart and is often overlooked.

      Also, some astrologers reverse the 4th and 10th house when it comes to mother and father. That is why I asked.

  3. Since I don’t know anything about wrestle-tainment, other than the general knowledge headlines that the comic book storylines are made up but the performers’ rugged abuse of their bodies is real, this is all new and shocking to me.

    I’m also a Chris born in 1969, youngest in a family of four brothers and no sisters, with a similar age distribution to the von E’s, and also growing up in partly helpful and also often abusive circumstances. I have Sun square Mars in different signs than Chris V.E., and for me it’s Saturn inconjunct Mars.
    Although my attempt as an adult to speak out led to total black sheep excommunication, this other family’s tragedies show that things could have been far, far worse than what was traumatizing to me. I would find it interesting to learn about this family’s dynamics, but I think seeing it all dramatized, if it all close to accurate, might be emotionally shattering rather than cathartic. If there is a companion book, that might be a better format so I can maintain more distance to the material.

    I have to wonder what inspired the filmmakers and their funders to think that this is the story the world needs to see right now.

    • What comes across is the total power that a parent can have over the children treating them as possessions to be used as he sees fit, I wonder whether the mother was present, or colluded with the abuse or simply was equally abused.

    • Good looking actors in skimpy costumes opens wallets. But how anyone would expect an audience to sit through this is mystifying.

      I’d say seeking out interviews from the cast could be an engaging way to get deeper without tons of trauma.

  4. I found the chart fascinating and have been interested in professional wrestling since I was a young boy. But these days, I tend to read about professional wrestling more than watch it.

    There are countless stories in the “sport” of professional wrestling like the “Von Erich curse”, some just as tragic.

  5. What a time to release a feel-bad movie.

    A schocker indeed. I didn’t know it was that dark.

    Family dynamics in a chart interest me as well, and I was wondering in the system you use which house is the mother and which the father: 4th or 10th? Who is who?

    Speaking of fighting as a sport, first look at Road House with Jake Gyllenhaal made the rounds these days. It will be released on 21 March 2024. The IMDb describes it this way>

    An ex-UFC middleweight fighter ends up working at a rowdy bar in the Florida Keys where things are not as they seem.

    I hope we will remember Jake for a write-up maybe at that time. You wrote about him and Taylor Swift when that was in the Zeitgeist.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: