Run, Blade Runner, Run: The Story Of Sting
by Ervin Griffin Jr.
Part 5: A Flairfull Alliance
After the big Great American Bash brawl, Sting and Ric Flair began a duel feud with The Great Muta and Terry Funk. This war resulted in Sting losing the NWA TV title to Muta, Flair nearly getting suffocated, and Funk getting his arm and legs nearly broke!!! The duel feud came to an end at Halloween Havoc '89 when the four met in a gigantic steel cage with electricity around the edges!!! The match could only end when either Gary Hart (who was for Funk/Muta) or Ole Anderson (who was for Flair/Sting) threw in the towel.
The most brutal part of the match came when Flair locked in the figure-four leglock on Funk with Sting continually splashing him from the top rope!!! Muta was taken out of the match thanks to a crotch shot across the top turnbuckle and a right hand from guest ref Bruno Samartino!!! Ole Anderson (showing the deviousness that made him famous) decked Gary Hart and caused him to drop his towel, thus ending the match.
The Sting/Flair partnership wasn't over though, as Flair was ganged up on by Muta, The Dragon Master and Lex Luger after his "I-Quit" match with Funk. Sting tried to come help but was laid out by a steel chair from Lex Luger. This wasn't surprising since Sting and Luger had a confrontation earlier in that card. This led to another series of matches between Sting and Luger (who was then NWA United States Champion).
They later met at Starrcade '89 in the round robin IronMan Tournament. A tournament which also featured Ric Flair and The Great Muta. Sting lost his first round match to Luger but rebounded to defeat Muta in his second match and Flair to win the tourney!!! This win, however, was the beginning of the end for the Flair/Sting friendship as Flair now saw a potential threat to his sixth NWA title reign (he had regained the belt from Rick Steamboat on May 7, 1989). Flair, feeling threatend, was now about to take drastic measures.
Next: Betrayal and Revenge
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.
Part 3: By Garland Chan
By Garland Chan
Well, I have to say the responses have been very nice. There are a lot of good comments and ideas out there. Just for closure, I guess the finishing move for the Midnight Express was the Vegimatic. But I've received other names too, so I could be wrong.
Because of the positive feedback, I want to give you the opportunity to vote for the next article (see the end of the article). As a further extension of the two disclaimers I made two issues ago (only TODAY'S stuff with TODAY'S wrestlers and only the WWF and WCW will be considered), I want to say that that does not mean ECW, USWA and any such smaller promotions have inferior talent. I simply can't take the few wrestlers and moves I've seen from promotions other than the big two, use them in the lists AND be fair to the other wrestlers there as well. Right? Ok, I've said my piece. Since there are a lot of other moves out there other than the usual finishers, I want to look at moves that for one reason or another (e.g. illegal) are not used to get the pin or submission (usually). On with the show. The best non-finishing moves (singles):
1. Figure Four around the pole.
If there is anyone that can pull a rabbit out of the hat better than Bret Hart, I don't know him. Bret keeps his arsenal sharp by inventing move after move. This illegal, but highly painful submission hold is tops on the list.
2. Flying Elbow.
This one is a tie for who does it best. "Nobody executes the elbow from the top better than Shawn," says Jim Ross. And I would agree. This move is even better than Randy Savage's right now. But as far as the other flying elbow, Mankind can fly off the apron and onto his hapless opponent like only Cactus Ja�uh�Mankind can.
3. Straight right.
Sounds pretty ordinary, right? Not when Goldust does it. When his opponent makes the deadly mistake of setting up too early for the backbody drop, Goldust slides under his opponent and gives him a pop. I get jitters every time I see it.
4. Pumphandle into a backbreaker.
Because this move was always a prelude to a slam, Diamond Dallas Page always surprises me with the backbreaker. BANG!
When the opponent of Rick Steiner leapfrogs just a hair too early, he responds with a sudden and violent powerslam.
Honorable mention: Bret Hart's Side Russian Leg Sweep, Goldust's Bulldog, Syxx's "Ride em' Cowboy", Randy Savage's Double Axhandle from the top to the floor, and Jeff Jarrett's Neckbreaker.
I probably forgot some here, but I feel pretty good about what I have. Do let me know of others you think are good.
VOTE!!! Please select the next issue's subject: Best Mic (interview) or Best Commentator?
Agree? Disagree? Suggestions for future articles? Go ahead make my day.
Until next time, this is Garland riding shotgun...
First Hand Nitro Report
Here's a first person account of the most recent Nitro program by Solie's Reader David Smith. Thanks Dave!
I was at Nitro in Birmingham this past Monday and here is a first person report straight from the action. I won't bore you with results but I will give you things the camera didn't pick up and so on.
I got to the Civic Center at about 5:45 with my dad and it was already beginning to fill up. I have never seen so many marks in my life. There were long lines at the merchandise stands and there was a run on DDP shirts, NWO shirts, Horsemen shirts, and the new signiture shirts. Walking to my seat, I passed by several oriental people and one had a EC f'n W shirt on. That is funny because I saw a WC f'n W sign as well. I think those were the same Japanese people that were at Hardcore Heaven. I got to my seat and saw we were on the side that the cameras were on so we wouldn't be on TV, bummer.
To entertain the crowd before the dark match, they were playing theme music for about an hour. The crowd went crazy when DDP's music and the NWO's music played. During Alex Wright's music this one guy got up and started dancing like Wright, it was hillarious! During the wait, I made a couple of signs. One had "Scoops" on it, one had "We Want AA" on it, and one had "ECW" on it. They didn't take the ECW sign up because, first I wasn't on camera and second it was on notebook paper and barely anyone could see it. At this time, J.J. Dillon came out to examine and check everything. I went to get his autograph and I was saying he was in the first wargames but he didn't hear me. He seemed like he wanted to get out as soon as the fans came. I got him to sign the "We want AA" sign but he didn't notice what I had written. You can't even make out it was Dillon who signed it because he was in such a rush. One mark tried to tell him what Sting wanted but he ignored him.
At about 6:30 or so the ring announcer came on saying there was one rule for the night, not to throw trash in the ring. The crowd booed him loudly and that gave me the impression we would be in for a litter storm later. He then introduced Wildcat Willy. He had a new outfit on and I yelled, "He looks like the Renegade." I did so because his outfit looked exactly like what the Renegade used to wear. Willy threw some shirts in the stands and left. In the ring the announcer was reading some signs and making comments about them. There was a Deborah McMichaels fan club in the crowd that he noticed along with a sign saying "Marry me Dean". He announced the main event and the crowd went crazy when he said DDP and Luger were going be in it. Then came time for the dark match, Yugi Nagata vs. Dave Taylor. I was yelling, "We wanted Mexicans" all through the match. It actually drew laughs from people around me.
Taylor came out first and drew enormous heat with his attitude. I was actually afraid the crowd would try to do something to him. Nagata got a good pop to my suprise, mostly because it was we all hated Taylor. The match wasn't good except for a nice kick combo by Nagata. Nagata won it with a modified figure four and that was the dark match. The announcer came back and said Larry, Tony, and Mike were in the booth. A nice Larry chant started up. He also told us that we would be seeing an interview at the beginning. Raven then popped up and I tried to start an ECW chant but those damn Nitro girls stole the attention away from me. I was sitting in front of five 20 year old marks who went crazy every time they came out.
The show then started and the pyros sounded like gun shots. The Heat got a good pop from the Southern crowd to my suprise. The biggest pop of their match was when Vincent got the Sidekick. During Mortis and the Barbarian, the crowd gave Meng a great pop when he put Wrath in the death grip. What you didn't see is Meng holding the ropes open for the Barbarian when they left. Then the NWO music began to play and the crowd went nuts. I explained to my dad who Bischoff was and I don't know if he understood. Nothing really happened during the interview so I won't waste my time on it. I went to get something to eat during the Flair interview but I had to leave the line to see if Arn came out. He didn't and I was pissed. Back in the line, I was even more pissed that Richards came out and I wasn't in the crowd. I started to hold up my ECW in the concession line but no one seemed to care. Some dudes didn't know who Richards was and I asked them if they ever saw ECW. They said no and I told them that is where he and Raven came from. One guy in the line was doing a great Steve Austin impression while another pointed out that one of the people in line was an ex-Chicago Bull. Who I don't know.
I got back to my seat and Eddie and Jeff came to the ring. During the break they were playing to the crowd and goofing off. When the Horsemen music played the crowd went through the roof. Someone yelled out Horsemen and out came Benoit and Mongo. Those two got the biggest pops for wrestlers of the night. Someone else got a bigger pop but he didn't wrestle. During the match, the crowd went nuts everytime the Horsemen did something. The Jarret sucks chant was very clear and hillarious. I was yelling, "We Want AA" and "Want Want Dean" but the crowd was so loud no one hear me. The crowd also went through the roof when Mongo spiked Jarret with the belt. I didn't sit down the entire match because the electricity it drew was extraordinary.
During the Hall and Nash interview, someone threw something at Nash. So in turn, Nash pointed to them at his groin like Syxx did to Flair. He was not happy at all. During Flair/Syxx, Syxx got a better pop then expected. The Bronco Buster got cheers which sickened me. When Flair groined him, the crowd went through the roof. When J.J. came out everyone thought it was time for Sting but it wasn't so the crowd pretty much was dead at that point. Then La Parka's music played and I was one of the only ones giving him a standing ovation. I did the same thing for the Dragon who also came out with almost no pop. The Dragon did get cheers for his plancha and the kick combo as well as dropkicking Ono.
During Giant and Hennig, the crowd turned into mark central for the Giant. I tried to boo him but no one heard me. The crowd was not amused with Hennig winning by countout. Then the moment of the night came. I saw a bunch of people holding up a sign saying, "J.J. it's simple: Sting vs. Hogan" I then saw it made T.V. The crowd went crazy when J.J. and Gene came out and everyone started looking up. When Sting came out, the crowd got even louder. You all know about how the fan gave him the sign. What you don't know is that J.J. read the sign and then left like he never even saw it. Sting started to leave but he came back, climbed the turnbuckle, and howled to the crowd like the good old days. That drew the biggest pop of the night and alot of shock.
Then came the main event in which everyone marked for DDP. I was laughing my head off at the Outsiders antics during the match. They can really entertain when they want to. Then the litter started to fly and Luger was trying to tell the crowd to stop, no one payed attention. Contrary to popular belief, drunk rednecks do have good aim. One cup hit Scott Hall right in the head and I lauged my head off when it happened. I think another hit Nash and he was pissed again. After the brawl died down, Flair shook hands with Luger and that was about it.
Going home traffic was horrible. I looked out the window and saw a limo drive by and I could only wonder who was in it. We drove up and saw people leaving from a parking lot under the Civic Center and I think I saw Doug Dillinger leave in his car. We pulled past another limo and then headed home. All through the parking lots, everyone was doing their own rendition of the Sting yell or Flair whooo.
WCW knows how to put on a good show and they did on Monday night. They do a good job on working the crowd during breaks and before the show. I have been in contact with the operator of the Civic Center and he is taking my advice of asking WCW to bring a PPV to Birmingham. I suggested the August one because Road Wild won't happen again. I can only cross my fingers but after the litter show in the end I doubt it will happen (but I will keep you all informed.)
WCW Clash of the Champions
Live from Nashville, TN
First we get a review of JJ Dillon's statement from Monday giving Sting an ultimatum to tell him what it is he (Sting) wants...
Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra>) vs. Steve McMichaels - when you think about all the things that the Horsemen have gone through in the past year, and how much Mongo has been looked down upon as a member of this elite group, it strikes me that here we have the most vibrant angle currently involving the Horsemen. I have to say that McMichael has come a long, long way in that year. In this match Jarrett goes out of his way to demonstrate his wrestling superiority and to humiliate the Horsemen while he is at it. He dominates the opening moments but Mongo soon asserts himself and then Jarrett takes a walk. He is still out on the floor when we cut to commercial.
Mongo gets smashed headfirst into the steel ring steps as we return. Jarrett rears back and does it again. Back in the ring he continues his assault. Even Debra gets physically involved by grabbing her husband by the hair and holding him place so Jarrett can hit him again. A sleeper almost puts the big guy down but he powers out of it and, after a whip, grabs a sleeper of his own. Debra pops up on the apron and distracts the ref while Eddie Guerrero runs in with the Title belt. He climbs the corner and launches himself only to hit the wrong guy! Mongo ejects Eddie from the ring, gets the referee's attention and pins Jarrett to win his first Major Title. Afterward Debra tries to sweet-talk him but he shoves her away.
Mean Gene with Alex Wright - he talks some trash about the Ultimo Dragon - yatta, yatta....cut to commercial.
Mean Gene with a couple of TBS stars (Dinner and a Movie? So which one is "Dinner"..?) in a kitchen set. Silly stuff...
Stevie Richards vs. Raven - the long awaited debut of Raven in WCW (yawn...) - I'm sorry, but Scott Anthony just does not ring my chimes. He has shown some degree of talent in the past but I have never gotten his appeal. In fact I have been more impressed with the skills of Stevie Richards in ECW. Before the match Raven demands that it be made a "No DQ" contest. Richards agrees. Consequently the match goes right out to the floor and Raven dominates the fight from the get-go. In fact this can hardly be called a wrestling match at all. It does bare a striking resemblance to some of the ECW matches I've seen with a steel chair playing a major part. Richards takes it for several minutes and finally turns the tables by reversing a whip into a chair-covered corner. Now things are more of a see-saw affair but it all ends abruptly when Raven gets a big DDT and the pin. Cut to commercial.
Mike Tenay shows us a Video feature on the Ultimo Dragon.
Alex Wright vs. Ultimo Dragon - World TV Title match - they have decided to start calling this guy by his original name - I applaud that, since I have never called him anything else. Wright demonstrates his wrestling skill early on but he is way to cocky. I expect that will trip him up. When the Dragon takes the upper hand, Wright uses a thumb to the eye to turn it around. Moments later the Dragon does his headstand in the corner move - it surprises me when his opponents let him get away with that. A little later Wright gets a devestating powerbomb but then fails to follow up. Alex is still struggling with his demons as we cut to commercial.
Wright has a sleeper on as we return. The Dragon escapes but then is downed by a clothesline. Alex jumps off the top turnbuckle and stomps his opponent - then stops to dance. Two more exchanges and he goes back to the sleeper. Dragon escapes once more then gets a sleeper of his own. Alex escapes by turning away from the pressure and tries a suplex but the Dragon uses his momentum to land on his feet. The fight goes out to the floor after the Dragon gets a suplex. The Dragon tries a suicide dive but Alex sidesteps and drives him to the floor. The scuffle out there and then take it back inside. After several see-saw exchanges Wright executes an (aptly named) German suplex and gets the pin. Alex Wright is the new TV Champ.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Chris Jericho - Cruiserweight Title match - this would be a very fast paced match except that Guerrero keeps trying to slow things down. The initiative shifts back and forth several times during this match. Jericho puts on a giant swing at one point which discombobulates both competitors. It shows to Jericho's detriment a moment later when Chris misses a inside-to-out move altogether. They brawl on the outside then move back inside where they exchange pin attempts until Jericho gets a roll-up and the pin. Afterward Eddie attacks and lays Jericho out. Placing the title belt on Jericho's mid-section he then goes up and executes a Frog Splash before we cut to commercial.
Villanos IV & V/Psychosis/Silver King vs. Super Calo/Juventud Guerrera/Lizmark Jr. - Luche Libra rules - there is just no way to do justice to this kind of match in a written article. Of course at one point, as usual, all six end up in a pile-up out on the floor. Psychosis has the assistance of his manager which helps him get the win over Super Calo.
Back to the kitchen set where we find that the Dinner & a Movie guys are secret nWo fellow travelers. Randy Savage makes an appearance and a big, black nWo Birthday cake is unveiled. Savage leaves and the nerds are left taunting DDP who arrives on the scene, wrecks the set, destroys the cake and puts a Diamond Cutter on one of the guys. More silly stuff...
nWo music plays as we return - Syxx and Konan come down for their match against Ric Flair and Curt Hennig - Konan and Hennig start the match in a flurry of holds and counter holds. I keep hearing that Hennig has slowed up but I don't see any evidence of it here. Syxx and Flair both come in and now we see some slow movement. The battle is see-saw with Syxx dominating the action. After some more furious action we get all four wrestlers in the ring. It looks like Flair might be taken out of it when Syxx gets thrown across the ring and clips Flair's knee. But Hennig is the legal man and moments later he gets a Perfect Plex (Tony calls it a "Fisherman's Suplex") on Konan and gets the duke. Afterward he still refuses to clear up the mystery of whether or not he is a Horseman.
Michael Buffer introduces the next event.
Scott Hall/Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page/Lex Luger - Kevin nash announces at the beginning that Savage will be defending the Tag Title tonight so this is a Title match - the nWo come down to the ring in force - it doesn't look good for the challangers. The area around the ring is littered with black and white balloons that have been falling since the introductions began. Luger and Hall lock up first. After a monumental struggle Luger shoves Hall to the mat. Hall comes back and levers him to the outside where Nash levels him with a forearm. Nash is ordered from the ring area and complies. DDP comes in a cleans house but then gets doubleteamed and downed. Savage and Hall go to work on his delicate ribs. Hall and Savage are working well as a team. DDP is sinking fast but continues to hold on as they beat him down. Page finally turns the tables with a short clothesline and barely manages to get a tag to Luger. Lex cleans house and racks Hall but Savage makes the save. During the next several exchanges everybody gets involved and soon all four men are reeling. Luger is still on his feet when DDP backs into him and mistakenly puts the Diamond Cutter on him. Hall gets the cover (barely) and the nWo wins again. Cut to commercial.
The nWo guys are coming back to the ring with Eric Bischoff as we return. It is past the ending time for this program but we haven't heard yet from Sting. Eric tries to get the crowd to wish the nWo Happy Birthday. He compliments Hall and Nash and then says he has some business to conduct. He renews his demand for an nWo program and wants bigger limos and better Lear Jets for Hoogan. A strange sound shuts him up - Sting appears on the catwalk above the arena with a live vulture on his arm! A child's voice talks about a battle between good and evil and introduces Sting as "the dark warrior". Then the lights go out. We are in darkness for several moments while the strange buzzing noise continues. When the lights come back up the vulture is perched on the top rope and the nWo guys seem awestruck. Fade to black...
Not a bad ending to a program that I would have considered a pretty good PPV.
Anyway, that's the way I see it...
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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