By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka
Part 30: Texas And Hollywood
In February 1993, "Nature Boy" Ric Flair left the World Wrestling Federation after a successful stint there. He then returned to WCW at SuperBrawl III in Durham, NC. On that night, he served as a guest commentator with Tony Schivone and Jesse "The Body" Ventura for an NWA Title match with then-champion The Great Muta and Barry Windham. This bout ended when Windham executed his Texas-style DDT on Muta. Windham got a clean pinfall and won the NWA title. Flair, out of respect (or so he claimed), came in to strap the belt on Barry. Barry, think it was the ref, allowed him to do so. When Barry saw the ref in front of him, though, he spun around and had a staredown with Flair. Flair just cracked a devilish grin and left. It was as if he was saying "I'm baaaaack!"
Later, Flair came up with a talk segment called "A Flair For The Gold." On this segment, he would have wrestlers on and have conversations with them. On one particular segment, he had a face to face conversation with then WCW World Champion Vader. On that segment, Vader stated that someday Flair would have to play his "pain-game". This would turn out to be too true as you will see later in this series. On another segment, Flair invited then WCW World Tag Team Champions The Hollywood Blonds on the show. They were "Stunning" (later "Stone Cold") Steve Austin and the late "Flying" (later "Loose Cannon") Brian Pillman. Pillman and Austin insulted Flair and Arn Anderson, dismissing them as old and washed-up. This brought out the competive juices in Flair and so he signed to meet the Blonds at a Clash Of The Champions special in June of that year with Arn Anderson as his partner.
When that match came, Flair and Arn was ready for The Blonds in a two out of three falls match up for the straps. Flair and Arn came ready as they took the first fall relatively easy. The Blonds (particularly Austin) fought back and nearly took the second fall but the Horsemen came back and Flair was about to put Austin away with his figure-four leglock when Barry Windham came in and caused a DQ, allowing the Blonds to retain their titles. After the match, Flair attacked Windham and their feud was renewed full tilt!!! A match between the two was signed for Beach Blast '93 in Biloux, MS. One match that happened before that card was a six man tag on WCW Saturday Night when Flair, Arn Anderson and new Horsemen Paul Roma took on the Blonds and Barry Windham. This a great six man tag that saw Flair get Windham in the figure four. Windham, rather than submit, threw the ref out of the ring!!! This caused a DQ but the psychological blow was struck leading into their contest at Beach Blast. As for the match itself, Windham dominated most of the contest but Flair finally managed to sneak in that "FF" and got the win when Windham's shoulders was counted down as he was trying to reach the ropes. Flair had regained the NWA title for the ninth time (officially he held it eight times) and it was his 11th world title overall. Flair looked forward for rematches with Windham but Windham dropped out of sight after that bout. But Flair wouldn't be bored as he had a "Ravishing" challenge ahead of him.
NEXT: Rick Rude
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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
The program opens with a memorial to wrestler-turned-referee Brady Boone. Boone, who was the younger brother of Billy Jack Haynes, has been a WCW referee for only a few months. Thunder is live from Charlotte, North Carolina (Horsemen Country!) The announcers open up with discussion of Ric Flair's collapse on Monday. Tony says that Beth and their two sons will appear on the program tonight. No mention of the fact that Flair really didn't have a heart attack. Cut to video of Scott Steiner attempting to recruit Lex Luger to the "dark side".
Konnan vs. Kenny Kaos - Kaos comes out with one of the Tag Team Title belts - apparently he has been reinstated since Judy Bagwell couldn't compete. As the match gets underway, Scott Steiner and Buff Bagwell invade the broadcast position. In the ring, Konnan is taking Kaos apart. Steiner says that Scott Hall (scheduled to be Lex Luger's opponent later tonight) is not to be trusted so he and Buff are going to be on hand to "watch his back." Kaos is still on the receiving end and succombs to a Tequilla Sunrise. Rage appears on the apron as the match ends. He berates his partner over his status as Tag Champ - he seems to think that Kaos should not have tagged up with Rick Steiner while he (Rage) was on the shelf. Cut to the back where a stretch limo disgorges Beth Flair, Reid and David. Beth is a very attractive lady whom I don't remember ever seeing before.
We review the incident with Flair as we return.
Mike Enos vs. Fit Finley - Finley dominates his younger opponent from the get-go in this one. After trashing him in the ring, Finley tosses him to the floor and continues the assault. Back in the ring, he knocks Enos out to the floor again. This time Enos is more carefull as he returns and manages to turn the tables with power moves. He takes the initiative for several exchanges then Finley comes back and the match goes into see-saw mode. Enos takes control again with a super-fall-away-powerslam off the second rope but then pulls Finley up. Moments later Finley rolls Enos up and gets the pin. Cut to Eric Bischoff telling an interviewer how awful he feels about Flair's situation then to commercial.
Scott Hall comes down to the ring in his civvies. He wants to talk about Lex Luger. He says he respects Luger then switches the subject to himself. He describes himself as having no "friends, no ring music, no family..." He says that all he wants is "...the world and everything in it..." and mentions that he has nothing to lose.
The announcers talk about the "Three-Way Dance" match for the Cruiserweight Title at Starrcade then cut to some video to illustrate the situation between the three participants, Rey Misterio, Jr., Juventud Guerrera and Kidman.
Rey Misterio, Jr. vs. Prince Iuakea - as Iuakea approaches the ring he is waylaid by Eddie Guerrero and his thugs who tell him he won't be allowed to wrestle tonight. Iuakea decides not to fight the trend. Guerrero sends Juventud in the Princes place. Juvey uses his weight advantage to take the early initiative, but Rey comes back strong and head scissors him out of the ring. Juvey returns and retakes the advantage almost immediately. The match goes into see-saw mode with each competitor having his ups and downs. Juvey comes out on top after a flurry and tosses his opponent over the top rope as Eddie Guerrero approaches the ring with a scowl on his face and we go to commercial.
Juvey has Rey in a reverse chinlock and both are laying on the mat as we return. Rey struggles to his feet and gets a tilt-a-whirl back breaker but Juvey comes right back. Rey misses a rush to the corner and is on the receiving end for a moment, then he gets a drop-kick in and both are down. Juvey recovers first and climbs slowly to the top corner, but Rey gets there and upsets his balance. The referee goes to Juvey who distracts him so that Eddie can get in a frog splash on Rey then he gets the pin. Prince Iuakea runs out and tells the referee what happens. The ref reverses the decision and the Prince and Rey bust some chops until the odds get too great.
In the locker room area, Scott Steiner and Bagwell are looking for Luger. They find him and start to recruit him again. Luger says he takes care of himself. Konnan shows up and the thugs leave. Konnan questions Lex then leaves himself. There is s noise outside the door and Luger runs out to find Scott Hall leaning over an unconscious Konnan. They have words then we cut to commercial.
Video review of the Toys for Tots function attended by Diamond Dallas Page and Kimberly recently.
Shima Nobunaga vs. Disco Inferno - Disco is still pretending to be a member of the Wolf Pack. He takes the early advantage with an aggressive attack and holds onto it through most of the match. Nobunaga gets a little offense towards the end of the match but Disco comes back and creams him for the pin. Cut to replay of the arrival of Ric Flair's family. Cut to commercial,
Jerry Flynn vs. Norman Smiley - interesting...I just read that Flynn was out with an injury. In any case, he gets to be the face in this match by virtue of the fact that he's facing the increasingly unpopular Smiley. The Britisher lets his own hubris get in the way of his common sense by stopping to dance at odd moments. Flynn is too formidible to treat that way as Smiley learns. He gets serious and applies a cross-face chickenwing submission hold to get the win.
More of the interview with Bischoff - he is making nice. Cut to commercial.
Chris Jericho (w/Ralphus) vs. Saturn - Jericho remembered to comb his hair tonight. This is bound to be a good match. Jericho is as cocky as usual while Saturn just does his usual thing as well. Jericho's arrogance almost does him in as he stops to pose while Saturn pops up and blindsides him. The match is perpetually in see-saw mode with Saturn coming on strong while Jericho uses finess to thwart. As it looks like Saturn will get the win, Ernest Miller runs into the ring and attacks. Saturn repells him and goes back to work on Jericho only to succomb to a second attack by Miller. He is knocked cold by a kick to the head. Jericho slaps on the Liontamer but it is academic at this point. Cut to more of Bischoff's self examination then to commercial.
Tony is in the ring as we return. He talks about Flair then invites his family out to take their ringside seats. They fail to appear at first then the boys come out followed by their mother. Tony hugs Beth and then they are escorted to their seats. Cut to commercial.
Scott Hall vs. Lex Luger - it is easy to suspect that Luger will turn heel tonight. He has done it sooooo many times in the past. I remember his betrayal of Sting not so many years ago for instance. The match starts out with Hall wrestling while Luger exudes raw power with just a hint of finess. Buff and Biff show up and can't seem to stay off the apron. Hall is most effective when he pulls Luger into a surfboard. He has the leverage to hold even Luger for quite a while. Hall eventually tires and Luger reverses, so Hall delivers one of those low blows that are becoming so unfortunately common these days. Both guys go down. Hall recovers but can't get the pin. Now they're up and punching each other and Luger in signalling for the Torture Rack but Buff and Biff are punking Hall until Konnan runs in and tells Luger it was the nWo that attacked him earlier tonight. Scott is too slow and gets caught by Luger before he can get through the ropes. He is dragged back into the ring and beaten upon - the nWo thugs swarm but they are no match for the dynamic trio of Hall Luger and Konnan - the ring clears and the two factions eye each other warily like they are waiting for the camera to turn away. Cut to commercial.
Tony invites Flair's children into the ring. David is a strapping boy of 18 or so. Bishoff strolls down to the ring and interrupts to give a speech - he talks to the children like their father is dead or something. David's look is withering as he politely listens - Bischoff focuses on the older boy, talks about Davids ambition to become a wrestler, and then suddenly attacks the kid!!! Barry Windham runs down and takes over while Brian Adams holds the struggling Reid aloft. Bischoff straddles David and paint brushes him. Beth Flair struggles with security to get to the ring and is intercepted by Bischoff who is shoved away initially. He grabs at her and kisses her (eeeyeu..!) She's not a big girl, but he has a hard time controlling her. Fade to black...
This turn of events could get interesting. I just wish Bischoff would lay off the sexual harrassment. It almost echoes an angle that Flair did once before when he harrassed Precious (the valet of Jimmy Garvin). This complicates things for Flair, I still have to wonder if he might not show up eventually and call Bischoff a liar - the family members never got to say a word so we have no idea what they might have said if they had had the chance.
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
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