The History of the Four Horsemen

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The Illustrated History of the Four Horsemen

Part 20: The Threat of Doom and a Japanese Victory - With Sting firmly in control of the World Heavyweight Title, the Horsemen decided to continue to pursue the World Tag Team Titles and therefore often came into contention with the current champs, Ron Simmons and Butch Reed - aka Doom. In these scenes, Ric Flair took on Ron Simmons in a one-on-one match which saw Simmons dominate the early going (see the image above). Flair managed to get in some licks as well, but nothing was settled. In the end Simmons again took control and then Arn Anderson had to run in and interfere to save Flair from defeat. Butch Reed then arrived to save his partner from a beating.

Although Flair and Anderson as a team never did beat Doom (or anyone else, for that matter) for the Tag Titles, they did have some success and at one point managed to win a match that stipulated that Dooms' manager Teddy Long would be forced to be Ric Flair's personal driver! Flair lived it up in the back, taunting Long as the manager's frustration mounted. But even this little incident didn't go well for the Horsemen however as Long began to drive off in the wrong direction raising the Nature Boy's ire. The plot became clear as the car stopped and Flair was dragged kicking and screaming from the backseat by a band of thugs! The Tag Champs showed up and posed with the car. Long and his team then commandeered the camera to deliver a rant against the Horsemen.

Meanwhile, Arn Anderson remained the NWA World TV Champ throughout this period. In this scene Terry Taylor unsuccessfully challenged him for the title.

The Black Scorpion angle continued, with Flair now assuming the role of the mysterious masked man, but there was no stopping Sting and eventually, after Flair was unmasked during a cage match, the Scorpion faded from the scene.

It wasn't until January of 1991 when Flair finally won back the World Title from Sting at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. At this point, with the NWA no longer operating as an organization, the title exclusively was referred to as the WCW World Heavyweight title. Flair was declared to be the first WCW World Champ.

Two months later, on March 21st at the Egg Dome in Tokyo, Flair came to the ring to face Tatsumi "The Dragon" Fujinami in a match for the WCW World Title. Notice the referee for this match - yes that is ECW manager Bill Alfonso, then a respected referee in the NWA. Although he dominated the early going, Flair started to slip as the match continued, and before long he was a bloody mess and begging off. The situation was made more complicated when the referee of record was knocked out of the ring! At a critical moment, Flair was thrown over the top rope, which should have been an automatic DQ, except that Alfonso was out cold on the floor. A second referee, Tiger Otani, ran in and administered the three count when a woozy Flair was rolled up and pinned. Fujinami was declared the champion, but his celebration was shortlived as, in the backstage area, Flair grabbed the title belt and refused to give it back. Fujinami had little to say to Jim Ross, since he spoke no English.

A week later the WCW Championship Committee ruled that Flair had won the match via disqualification when he was tossed over the top and besides, Otani was not the referee of record. This controversey caused the splitting of the WCW and NWA titles when Fujinami was recognized as the NWA Champ while Flair retained the WCW title. Flair would reunify the two titles in May during a match in St. Petersburg, Florida - but then was stripped of both titles in September when he jumped to the WWF.

Go to Part 21!

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This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.

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