Run, Blade Runner, Run: The Story Of Sting
by Ervin Griffin Jr.
Part 3: Spikes and Mist
After making his big splash with his matches with Flair, Sting would continue to feud with Flair and the Horsemen. Often challenging Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson with various partners for the NWA World Tag Team Championship or challenging Barry Windham for the NWA United States title. While he did come close, he never defeated any of those men for their belts.
Then came October of 1988 in Richmond, VA. Sting was asked by NWA officials to take the place of "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes in a six-man tag team match against The Varsity Club (Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Rick Steiner). His partners were The Road Warriors (I covered this topic briefly in theIronMan: The Legend Of The Road Warriors series. The series is still in the back issue section.). Hawk and Animal, however, were not too pleased with this transaction and practically refused to tag in Sting. Finally, Hawk accidently tagged in The Stinger and he cleaned house!!! As he was getting ready to put away Mike Rotunda with the Scorpion Deathlock, Hawk pulled him away!!! Sting, bewildered by Hawk's actions, started an arguement with the Road Warrior. As they argued, Animal nailed him with a running double-axehandle in the back of the neck. They then threw him into the ropes and hit him with a double-clothesline in the neck again!!! Next, Animal military-pressed Sting and as he lifted him up, Hawk went to the top rope and drove a forearm into the back of Sting's neck as Animal was slamming him down!!! Last (and worst of all), they put him in the dreaded "Doomsday Device" (also known as "The Human Sacrifice" by me)!!!!
The Stinger was left in a crumpled heap!!! Lex Luger came to help Sting but got nailed with a forearm to the back of the head and then clotheslined by Animal!!! Luger and Sting would then challenge the Warriors to a match that was taped and then broadcasted on NWA Main Event (predecessor to WCW Main Event). I must say that Luger got his a** whipped but Sting held his own in this match.
The Stinger also teamed with Dusty Rhodes at Starrcade '88: True Gritt in Nolfork, VA to face the Warriors. The Warriors, by this time, had won the NWA straps from the Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton/Stan Lane) and were ready for the challenge. Rhodes looked lackluster in this match but Sting looked tremendous!!! In fact, he would've pinned Animal if not for timely interferance from Paul Ellering (then manager of the Warriors).
After this match, the Warrior/Sting feud would die down and Sting would go into March of 1989 to capture his first major title. The match was against Mike Rotunda of the Varsity Club and it was for the NWA World TV title. In addition to the title, Rotunda had made the offer of paying $10,000 if the Stinger won in 10 minutes!!! Sting, knowing that Kevin Sullivan and Steve "Dr. Death" Williams could get involved (Williams had replaced Rick Steiner), brought then US Champ Lex Luger and then NWA Champ Rick Steamboat with him. The match ended with the Stinger using a basic roll-up to win the title!!!
From March thru July, he defended this title with pride. Then came July 23, 1989. The day of The Great American Bash: Glory Days. The place was Baltimore, MD. The opponent was The Great Muta. Next: Muta
If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Irvin Griffin Jr. is a regular contributor to Solie's as well as the Ringside Insider and other publications.
In this issue we welcome back our Washington correspondent, Garland Chan. Garland has recently graduated from the University of Washington.
By Garland Chan
I recently had a pleasant dinner conversation with the man himself, Earl Oliver. During our discussion I asked him various things such as who he thought was the best wrestler in the WWF and the WCW. To no real surprise, I found that his answers matched mine pretty well. So I would like to discuss the best in wrestling. Whether it is the best wrestler, best match, or anything, I think I found a subject matter that can continue for some time. Please bear in mind two disclaimers. 1) I have been a wrestling fan only since 1987, so I won't even attempt to list the best of the past. I will only list the best of today or in certain cases, the current year (for a year-end edition, let's say). 2) The only two organizations I watch are the WWF and the WCW. I don't have access to USWA, ECW, or any other independents out there. So any "best" is, of course, skewed because of it.
Forgive me. I also don't expect everyone to agree with me. That's why I'll put a link out there for you to let out your frustrations. Ok, enough is enough. Here we go, the best 5 finishing moves (for a singles match) in wrestling along with the best people who execute it.
1. Diamond Cutter
BANG! That's about how long it takes to execute this move. And obviously Diamond Dallas Page is the best man to execute it. Of course Steve Austin copies this move pretty well, but that's exactly what it is: a copy. Often compared with the DDT, DDP can execute this move from anywhere, from any angle. In fact, I think he has more set-ups to this move than anybody who ever executed the DDT. Let's see. From the top rope, counter to a suplex, off a fireman's carry, running off the ropes, and others. I'm sure Page will invent some more. What a move. BANG!
Originally the Scorpion Death Lock invented by Sting, I believe Bret Hart has refined this move to a science. You see, Sting only applied this move one way from a standing position. But Bret has a couple of variations (step over with right leg, hook with left arm) and a couple of other ways to set it up (watch SummerSlam 1991 vs. Perfect). Also, Sting also slacked off a bit at times with this move while Bret has always taken pride in executing it to its most excruciating position.
3. Crippler Crossface
Chris Beniot has found the perfect move to match his persona . This simple move can be applied to anyone and no one is immune to its effects (Ask the Barbarian). He has already won some important matches with this submission hold, and no doubt he'll win many more as well
4. Texas Cloverleaf
By now, as you can probably tell, I'm addicted to submission holds. Dean Malenko, the man of a thousand holds, shows that he only needs one to put em' away.
5. Flying Elbow Smash from the top rope (Tie)
Unfortunately (or maybe not), Shawn Micheals doesn't use this as his finishing hold or he'd be the one to win. Randy Savage still brings the crowd to its feet whenever he goes to the top rope, raises his arms to the sky and comes crashing down with his pinpoint elbow.
5. Figure Four (Tie)
Can't exactly leave out the hold that won the Nature Boy so many world titles. Ok, Ric Flair may be turning to a sagging wrestler, but he's still the man who executes this hold the best. From set-up to execution, he makes this move a winner match after match.
Alright, I may as well list out some of the honorable mentions: The RackM (a.k.a. the backbreaker submission by Lex Luger). Frankensteiner (by Ultimo Dragon). Powerbomb (by Sid). Am I missing anything???
Agree? Disagree? Suggestions for future articles?
Go ahead make my day!
Until next time, this is Garland riding shotgun...
It was an interesting Monday night this week in more ways then one.
Of course the top story had to be Lex Luger's win to take the WCW Heavyweight Title from Hollywood Hogan on Nitro. It will be remembered (because I am going to keep reminding you :-) that the outcome of that match was predicted in these pages before the event. Really it was a no brainer - being the very best way to up the buyrate on the coming PPV this Saturday from Sturgis.
I will go out on another limb now and predict that Hogan will regain the Title on Saturday - again I think its a no brainer. Having him win back the belt at this particular event (it was last year's Hog Wild PPV from Sturgis where he won the Title from the Giant you will remember) provides perfect symetry. Besides he has to be the Champion in September so Sting can come back and win the belt.
I see Hogan getting tossed out of the nWo at that point and trying to come back to his face personna. Have you noticed that he looked practically clean shaven the other night and that his beard is coming in blonde this time? A sure sign of s pending face turn if you ask me...
In other news there was the apparent injury that Steve Austin suffered Sunday night during the Intercontinental Title match. Going back and watching that tape made it very evident that the injury was for real. The look of concern on Owen's face right after the Piledriver and the fact that he didn't even attempt a pin made that pretty obvious. I'm sure the storyline called for him to do a lateral press and for Austin to then roll his shoulder, causing the announcers to exclaim in wonderment over the fact that he was able to kick out, yatta...yatta... Austin's courage in going through with the scheduled ending of the match has to be applauded although a close look reveals that it was pretty unbelievable considering Austins condition at that moment.
As for Shawn Michaels heel turn...well, you can read my editorial about that over on the Bad Boys site (see the link below).
That's it for tonight, I will be back on Saturday evening with my in depth report on the Road Wild PPV. Untill then...
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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