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WCW Spring Stampede

Randy Savage Wins the World Title!!

Raven is the New US Champ!

Stylin' And Profilin':
The Legend Of Ric Flair: Part 5

by Ervin Griffin and Matt Benaka


Volume 3, Issue 303 - April 19, 1998
This just in fr Bob Ryder

RIC FLAIR UPDATE
Ric Flair has not been fired by WCW, and has not received any notification from WCW that changes his contractual obligation to the company.

Flair remains contractually obligated to WCW as a result of a letter of agreement he signed late last year, an agreement that ties Flair to WCW through the year 2000.


Stylin' And Profilin': The Legend Of Ric Flair

By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka

Part 5: The Four Horsemen

In 1985, then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion "Nature Boy" Ric Flair was being interviewed on World Championship Wrestling before a match. To give flavor to the subject, this was when TV tapings took place in the studios of TBS. Anyway, then-NWA United States Heavyweight Champion Magnum TA (Terry Allen) came out and challenged Flair to a 10 minute match up. Magnum said that if he (Flair) could beat him in 10 minutes, then he would give him $1,000.00. Flair, being arrogant as usual, accepted the challenge but soon discovered that he was in a war!! During the match, then-NWA National Tag Team Champions Ole & Arn Anderson came out to do "commentary" for this match (they were in a heated rivary with Magnum and Dusty Rhodes for the National straps). As the match ended in a draw, Magnum and Flair kept battling until The Anderson's hit the ring!!! Flair, seeing an opportunity to take out one of his top contenders, combined with the Andersons to use "The Wrecking Ball" (my nickname for their off the top rope armbreaker) on Magnum. Magnum was hurt but managed to survive this attack. On this summer day, however, The Four Horsemen (later to be completed by Tully Blanchard) was born!!!

As the summer went on, Flair and Magnum would have several matches for the NWA Title but Flair would also have another challenge awaiting him in the form of "The Russian Nightmare" Nikita Koloff!! In previous weeks, Ivan Koloff had issued a challenge to Flair for an NWA World Title shot. The Koloff's even went so far as to attack announcer David Crockett when David started to suggest that they should leave the United States if they didn't like it!! Nikita responded with that statement with a savage "Russian Sickle" clothesline on Crockett. The NWA Board Of Directors were prepared to strip Ivan & Nikita Koloff of the NWA World Tag Team Championship & the NWA World Six Man Tag Team Championship (with Krusher Krushev) that they held at that time as well as suspend them. Ric Flair stepped in and demanded that the Koloff's not be suspended!!! Instead, Flair accepted the challenge of Nikita Koloff for July 4, 1985 in Charolette, NC for Jim Crockett Promotions first ever Great American Bash. Another added stipulation to the title match was that David Crockett be named as the special referee!! That was about as popular with the Koloff's as having Shawn Michaels as a special ref at last August at SummerSlam for the Bret Hart/Undertaker match!!!

As for the match itself, Flair was dominated during most of the bout by Koloff but kept fighting back. The end came when Nikita attempted a slam on Flair but was knocked off balance by Flair and Crockett!!! Yes, you read that correctly!! Look at the film of the match and you will see David Crockett pushing Koloff just slightly but that's all Flair needed to get the pin!! The Koloff's then proceeded to open up a can of whup-a** on Flair, Crockett and whoever else dared to get in the ring!!!

This feud would go on for about another four months. Surprisingly absent during this feud was The Andersons. It didn't take long, however, for the Andersons to reappear and begin the legacy of betrayal and brutality that began with Magnum TA. The unfortunate victim this time was Dusty Rhodes.

NEXT: The Ankle Incident

If you have a question, comments, criticism, or just want to talk pro wrestling, e-mail me at griffiev@hotmail.com or griffiev@yahoo.com

Ervin Griffin Jr. is Solie's resident historian and also contributes to the Ringside Insider on a regular basis. Many of his previous articles are available in the Articles section of the website. Check out Ervin's Pro-Wrestling Fan Fiction web site.


WCW/nWo Spring Stampede

Live from Denver - Tenay informs us that Savage will wrestle tonight without his cast. The match will be a no-DQ event.

Saturn (w/Kidman) vs. Goldberg - this could be great if Goldberg can keep up with his opponent... Saturn gets the drop on his opponent early on but Goldberg recovers immediately. Kidman tries to interfere and is tossed over the top to the floor. Momentarily distracted, Goldberg is surprised and spends the next several moments on the receiving end. He recovers once again and press-slams Saturn. Kidman distracts him again giving Saturn the chance to come back once more. Goldberg is tumbled to the outside and actually looks to be losing his composure as Saturn bears in with an unusal aeriel attack. Back in the ring, Saturn is still in control but Goldberg is resisting and gaining ground. Saturn has taken Goldberg to the longest match yet. The monster is back in command but when he goes for the Jackhammer, Saturn blocks it with a low blow while Kidman has the referee distracted. After a good offensive flurry Saturn actually applies the rings but Goldberg is still fighting it. He eventually hoists Saturn onto into the air as he rises to his feet then applies the Jackhammer to get the win.

Ultimo Dragon vs. Chavo Guerrero, Jr. (w/Eddie G) - Chavo seems determined to ground his opponent as the match gets underway. This is sound strategy if he can pull it off. The Dragon escapes and within moments has the match under control. He applies a succession of submission holds eventually settling into a reverse figure four. Chavo reverses the hold but the Dragon gets to the ropes. After the break, Dragon starts to fly around but Chavo effectively ends the assault and slaps on a headlock. He changes to a head scissors but that gives the Dragon a chance to escape again. Now the Dragon rolls his opponent into a surfboard. Failing to gain a submission he releases the hold and the struggle for position. They end up on the turnbuckle where Chavo takes a forehead shot on the steel. Dragon still can't knock him off and they end up struggling on the apron. Chavo loses and ends up on the floor where he is the victim of an Asahi Moonsault. Eddie is right in his nephew's face urging him to get up. Back in the ring the match see-saws but the Dragon is still running the show. Eddie is screaming at ringside but Chavo is losing ground. It ends when the Dragon applies his sleeper. Afterward Uncle Ed upbraids his nephew for playing fair. Chavo says, I'm not cheating to win!"

Lee Marshall is with DDP on the WCW Chat line.

Chris Benoit vs. Booker T - TV Title match - No Time Limit match - the usual TV Title match has a ten minute time limit but that is obviously not sufficient for these two. They start the match with a lot of intensity, bulling each other around the ring. Then they seperate and Booker T runs his opponent out of the ring as they collide on the rebound. Back in the ring, they get into a furious exchange in which Booker misses a kick and gets swept off his feet. He comes right back and Benoit is knocked back out to the floor. In the ring once more Benoit misses a clothesline attempt but Booker doesn't. Booker is using an unusual mat wrestling strategy to take advantage of his superior size. Suddenly Benoit explodes with kicks to the midsection which pounds the Champ into the corner. Booker recovers and takes his opponent to the mat with an armbar. Benoit escapes and they struggle for position resulting in Booker being dropped across the top rope. He falls to the floor. Back inside it's all Benoit as he puts the boots to the Champ once more then executes a snap suplex. He settles into a reverse chinlock then releases the hold to throw a dropkick...but misses. Still he comes back immediately and gets the drop on his opponent again. Another suplex then he manages to get his flying headbutt off the top. He goes for another snap suplex but Booker blocks it and reverses the maneuver. Booker fails in the pin attempt and they are on their feet again. They hit the ropes and Benoit buries a knee to the gut. Moments later Benoit executes a series of three German suplexes. He then puts Booker on the top and executes a belly-to-back superplex. Unfortunately Benoit hits hard and both guys are down for the count. At six Benoit crawls over for a cover but no cigar. They are up again and now the Champ comes back with a sidewalk slam. Another exchange and Booker gets a flying forearm. Moments later Booker goes for an axe-kick but the referee gets in the way and takes the blow. Benoit gets the Crossface but there is no referee to award the fall. Booker gets to the ropes and Benoit releases the hold to try and get the referee up. Booker comes flying over the head of the ref and hits a Harlem Side Kick. He gets the pin.

Another camera angle on the replay reveals that Benoit pulled the referee into the line of fire.

The British Bulldog (w/ Jim Neidhart) vs. Curt Hennig (w/Rick Rude) - one of Denver's finest is on hand to handcuff Neidhart and Rude together. Rude is decidedly reluctant to allow himself to be constrained. The referee finally tells him to submit of let the Bulldog take the match by default. The Bulldog grabs the inmmediate advantage and starts laying in the heavy shots. The match goes out to the floor for a moment then back inside where Hennig tries to come back - but the Bulldog has spotted Hennig's leg brace and goes right to work on the injured limb. It is all Bulldog for several moments. He has Hennig on the mat and is applying the boots to the braced leg. Rude is trying to interfere but Neidhart effectively neutralizes him. Hennig makes a brief comeback but the Bulldog goes right back to the leg. It doesn't look good for the former Mr. Perfect. On the outside Niedhart has the policeman by the throat for some reason and Rude has gotten hold of the key. As Neidhart struggles with the cop, Rude releases himself and cuffs Neidhart to the turnbuckle. The cop turns out to be Vincent! Rude is in the ring moments after Hennig has pulled off the pin - he attacks Davey Boy then goes out for the nightstick of the "policemen" so he can choke him out. They intimidate the referee before they split.

Prince Iaukea vs. Chris Jericho - Cruiserweight Title match - Jericho makes his self-centered (rather goofy) speech out on the ramp. It is a taunt directed at Dean Malenko. Something tells me that Malenko might just make an appearance - but it is just a feeling. Jericho bulls his opponent into the ropes then gets slapped. The Prince is on his game throughout the opening moments of this match. He grabs a headlock and holds on. Jericho escapes but stops to gloat and gets clotheslined to the mat. Iaukea slaps the headlock back on. The announcers are talking about Malenko - that feeling is getting stronger. In the ring, Iaukea is holding the advantage. Jericho is levered over the top and tries to skin-the-cat back in but receives a drop-kick to his upside down sternum. Back inside again the Prince goes back to the headlock. Jericho escapes, he ducks under the Princes leapfrog then drop-toe holds his opponent onto the top rope - throat first. Jericho fails to follow up and gets into an argument with the referee instead. He goes back to work just in time and applies a reverse chinlock. He takes his opponent down then takes way too long climbing the turnbuckle. He launches (finally) and gets a foot in the face. The Prince is on the offensive but as he goes up on Jericho's shoulders he is dropped on his back and Jericho gets the Liontamer - but the Prince grabs the bottom rope. Moments later they struggle for position standing on the top and both guys tumble to the floor. Back in the ring they get into a slugfest. Jericho goes for the crab again but Iuakea reverses it to a roll up. He gets the Northern Lights Suplex but they're too close to the ropes. The next exchange sees the Prince throw a sunset flip but Jericho reverses the field and finally gets his Liontamer and the win. He takes the Prince's loin wrap as a trophy.

Buff Bagwell/Scott Steiner vs. Rick Steiner/Lex Luger - Buff comes down with a very amateurish looking cast on his hand. He wants to cancel the match. Mean Gene and JJ Dillon come to the ring to investigate. The enjoin the nWo guys to not leave the area. Buff says he'll need a doctor's release to wrestle. So, Dillon brings down the doctor brought in to check out the Macho Man to look at the hand. Buff gets excited and grabs Dillon by the collar - thus defeating his own scam. In a twinkling the second team is introduced and Rick Steiner is in the ring and going to town. He is working on Bagwell when Scott blindsides him. The nWo guys start to double-team on Rick. They are tagging in and out pretty smoothly and Rick is on the receiving end. Rick refuses to be pinned so the beating continues. This goes on for several minutes as Lex Luger languishes on the apron. Rick finally hits a suplex and now Luger is in and cleaning house. He starts to rack Bagwell but Scott enters the ring and breaks it up. He finds himself face-to-face with his brother and splits with Rick on his tail. Rick comes back to the ring as Luger puts Bagwell into the Rack. Scotty is long gone as the opposition gets the duke.

La Parka vs. Psychosis - this is an added - unadvertised match - for my money they could have dispensed with it. La Parka does nothing for me (he's almost as boring as HHH...) La Parka uses his size to good advantage in the early going but Psychosis comes right back. He gets two flying head scissors in a row then La Parka abandons the ring only to get suicide-dived on. La Parks gets back into the ring first and retakes the advantage as his opponent re-enters. La Parks goes out the the apron then slingshots his opponent to the floor. A split-legged moonsault does more damage to Psychosis. Back in the ring La Parks retains his advantage. Psychosis is back out on the floor but then regains the initiative with a Frankensteiner as he comes back in. The exchange again and Psychosis ends up on the outside again. La Parka has the advantage again as they restart the match but he's showboating too much. He gets tangled up in the ropes and gives his opponent the chance to hit the Guillotine and the pin.

Kevin Nash/Hollywood Hogan vs. The Giant/Roddy Piper - Bat Match - Nash enters on his own. The bat is suspended from a tall pole in one corner of the ring. Hogan enters next. Bischoff is announced as his second but fails to appear. Hogan hesitates before entering the ring. He and Nash palaver as Hogan stands on the apron. Roddy Piper and the Giant enter together to Piper's bagpipe squeal. A fan tosses an nWo T-shirt at Piper as he walks the aisle - it bounces unnoticed off of his chest. Hogan leaves the ring while the opponents enter but Nash stands his ground. Piper goes right after the bat but Hogan catches him and posts him against the pole (poles him..?) He ties Piper up in the corner then tags in Nash. Nash picks him up and walks him over to Hogan for a punch. Hogan comes in and Piper goes wild - punching Hogan out then attacking Nash. Piper and Hogan end up sprawled on the mat after a headbutt. Hogan gets his belt off and whips Piper with it then strangles him and punches him simultaneously. Hogan starts to climb the pole but the Giant stops him then grabs the belt and wields it. He puts Hogan over his knee and spanks him! This finally brings Nash in to break it up. The nWo guys retreat to the floor. Hogan comes back in but Piper still has the belt and is using it. Hogan uses a low blow to escape the whipping. Nash is tagged in and points Piper toward the Giant - allowing him the tag. Nash looks confident as he faces the behemoth. They lock up and the Giant takes the initiative. Nash is thrown into the corner but then the Giant rushes in and gets a boot to the face. Now it's all Nash. Piper distracts the referee - giving Hogan the chance to lend a hand. The Giant goes down and Nash turns his back. As he turns around and discovers the Giant back on his feet - they rush toward each other and knock each other down with simultaneous boots to the face. Piper and Hogan are tagged in and engage in a slugfest. Hogan bulls Piper back into Nash's corner but Nash fails to help out so Piper fights back out. Hogan is down and Nash comes up behind Piper - and gets a low blow delivered by Piper from a reverse position. Hogan is caught in a sleeper. The Giant gives Piper a boost and Piper gets the bat. Hogan manages to grab the bat but throws it away. The Disciple comes out concealing a bat behind him and hands it to Hogan. Hogan downs the Giant with it and goes after Piper but hits Nash instead!! Piper gets the bat and everybody on the nWo side gets it. He is threatening Hogan with the bat again when the Disciple sneaks up behind him and distracts Piper while throwing the original bat to Hogan. Hogan blasts Piper and gets the pin. Now Nash is back and not happy about what happened. He is convinced to put the PowerBomb on the Giant but as he tries to do it - Hogan hits him with the bat!! The Giant recovers and breaks the bat over his knee as Hogan flees the ring.

That turned out to be a much better match then I expected.

Raven vs. Diamond Dallas Page - US Title match - Raven tries to pull a fast one with Sick Boys help at the beginning but DDP is ready and thwarts the plan. Raven is knocked to the outside. Sick Boy tries to help him up but DDP throws a splash to the outside and downs them both. Somehow Raven recovers first and takes the advantage as they re-enter the ring. They alternately try to get each of their signature moves but each is foiled. Rave leaves the ring followed by the Champ. They go to the prop stage coach and battle to the top of it then fall onto some bails of hay. They start brawling around the western set, breaking fences, using a trash can and smashing the web site computer as Lee Marshall flees for his life. Raven somehow gets a hold of a cake pan and smashes DDP with it. They destroy a VIP box. Raven drops a double axe-handle onto DDP's injured ribs. He then hits him with a cowbell then grabs another trash can and smashes that on his head. It doesn't look good for Page as Raven drags him back too the ring. Sick Boy brings a kitchen sink to the ring for Raven to use!! DDP still has the bull rope around his neck so Raven uses it to choke him. Suddenly DDP comes alive and escapes. He uses the drop-toehold to put Raven face first onto the sink!!. Both guys are out on the mat. Page recovers and goes for a pin but Kidman launches himself for a splash. DDP, utylizes the eyes in the back of his head and scoots aside so Kidman hits Raven instead. Now the combatants trade pin attempts. Hammer tries to interfere but also hits Raven. DDP brains Hammer with the sink then goes for a pin on Raven - no cigar. Now Reese comes in and chokes Page over his head. He slams him down for Raven to cover. Still no luck. Lodi throws in a Stop sign but DDP catches it and uses it on Raven. A stranger gets involved using the Stop sign and the distracted DDP is DDT'd and pinned. The stranger wears a crew T-shirt. He helps the new Champ leave the ring area. I have since been informed that the stranger may have been Horace Boulder (Hogan's brother)

Michael Buffer introduces the main event.

Randy Savage vs. Sting - No DQ World Title match - Savage's arm is taped but he has gotten rid of the cast. I have heard some complaints by people who don't expect much from Savage in the match. Don't count on it. The Macho Man has at least as much heart as Shawn Michaels, who also surprised a few people at WrsetleMania with a bravado performance. In fact he attacks Sting before the Champ can get his duster off. He stands Sting up in the corner and punches him twice despite the obvious pain to his injured arm. The brawl out to the floor where Sting drives the injured limb onto the guardrail. Savage retreats up the aisle, followed by Sting who continues his assault. Now it is their turn to brawl all over the western set. Sting hits him with a bail of hay. Now he is brawling back towards the ring with Savage in tow. He tries a Stinger splash with Savage against the rail but Savage side-steps the blow. Sting is posted then thrown back into the ring. Savage tries for a pin but fails. He tries again and fails again. he goes for a piledriver but gets backdropped instead. Savage catches Sting on the ropes and chokes him on it. Sting recovers and tosses his opponent out to the floor. He follows him out and posts him. He forgoes further punishment to roll back into the ring. Savage is out of it on the floor as Liz trieds to attend to him. He rolls back into the ring and Sting stands on his throat. They end up in the corner where Savage delivers a low-blow. Now Savage is going to town. he downs his opponent and goes to the top but Sting is on his feet and turns the tables. They battle in the center of the ring until Sting is flung toward the corner and sandwiches the referee twice! Sting has Savage at his mercy but Liz is in the ring with a chair. She hits Sting but only succeeds in distracting him. She runs to Savage in the corner - Savage runs out and leaves her to absorb the Stinger Splash!!! Savage places Sting on the chair after knocking him down then goes to the top but Hogan runs out and shoves him off. Savage tries to suplex Sting but Sting wriggles free and turns it into a Death Drop. Kevin Nash comes in and catches Sting in a Powerbomb, then drags Savage onto him. The ref recovers enough to make the count and Savage is the new World Champ. Hogan protests from the entryway but is largely ignored as we fade to a commercial for the next PPV.

This PPV was better than I expected. I was especially surprised at the Bat Match and the main event.

At least that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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