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Thunder Report

Stylin' And Profilin': The Legend Of Ric Flair

By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka


Volume 4, Issue 437 - March 12, 1999

Stylin' And Profilin': The Legend Of Ric Flair

By Ervin Griffin, Jr. and Matt Benaka

Part 35: Rest In Peace....NOT!!!

WCW Halloween Havoc 1994 is an event that I'm sure "Nature Boy" Ric Flair would rather forget. On that night in the Joe Louis Arena, he faced Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Title inside of a steel cage with Mr. T as the referee. There was a cloud of controversy over whether Mr. T would be an unbiased ref. For one thing, everyone knows that 'T' was good friends with Hogan but, about two weeks before the event, Mr. T was seen with Ric Flair in Chicago outside of Michael Jordan's restaurant.

This did create some interest leading into the bout.

The match was truly a sad one as Hogan dominated most of the bout. Flair did have his moments but this was Hogan's night (at least that's the way the bookers had it). Even interference from Sherri Martel couldn't say Flair as Hogan put Flair away, retained the WCW Title and ended the career of Flair....or so he thought.

The following year in January, Ric Flair began to show up at WCW cards all over the country. He even had a ringside seat for WCW SuperBrawl V. At that card, he gave a prelude to future events as he taunted old nemisis Randy "Macho Man" Savage during a tag team bout featuring Savage and Sting VS. Big Bubba and Avalanche (John Tenta). That was just a taste of what Flair was up to as he awaited the main event which was Vader VS. Hogan. Off of the subject, Hogan got his ass kicked in that bout but he was allowed to win by DQ against Vader. The reason for that was because Flair interfered in that bout. Hogan and Flair tangled again in that bout which ended up being a 2 on 1 until Savage and Sting showed up to save Hogan.

Over the next few months, Flair kept after Hogan. Showing up at WCW Uncensored during the Hogan/Vader strap match (which was a complete joke). Hogan not only whipped Flair but dragged him around the ring, touching all four corners. The ref, for some bullsh*t reason, declared Hogan the winner even though he never dragged his actual opponent (Vader) around the ring!!! Sure, a case can be made that Flair shouldn't have interfered but that decision shouldn't have counted, PERIOD!!!

Next: Savage VS. Flair - Round 2

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.


Thunder Report

The program opens with video of Booker T losing to Scott Taylor last week. Thunder is on tape from Winston-Salem.

Raven (w/Chastity) vs. Dave Taylor - Raven seems in much better spirits these days. His opening rant is less of a whine then in the past. He compliments Bam Bam Bigalow on his tatoos. Dave Taylor outwrestles Raven during the early going, showing us the skills he gained as an amateur and later a carnival wrestler in England. In fact. it seems like Raven can't get anything going for quite a while. He finally reverses a backslide into his evenflow DDT and ends the match rather suddenly. Cut to video of the ever-present cage builders then to commercial.

Video replay of the conversation between Flair and Arn on Thunder last week. Cut to commercial.

Horsemen (Benoit/Malenko) vs. Disorderly Jobbers - this is a silly match. Either of the Horsemen could beat these two opponents on his own. Malenko ducks his head to make his opponent look good for about 3 seconds then comes back with a back round kick that almost puts the guy away. He tries for the Cloverleaf but the Disorderly one slips away. Moments later Benoit takes care of him and ends the match. Malenko throws out a challenge to the Tag Champs, to which Benoit adds his shot. Windham and Hennig appear on the ramp which allows Disorderly Conduct to re-enter the ring and try to blindside them. It doesn;t work of course. This gives them an excuse to show us the Horsmen attack on the Tag Champs the night of the PPV once again, followed by the subsequent announcement of the lumberjack stips for the next showdown on Sunday, followed by the run-in the Horsemen did on the Champs last week.

Another replay of Hogan's statement of added stipulations for the World Title match at Uncensored. It is kind of funny. He says "People hate me. Whether their shootin' or workin', you know, whether their at home or at work..." It was like he broke kayfabe for a moment there, then realized that only a certain segment of the audience would understand the terms "shoot" and "work", so he amended himself to make the speech understandable. Then he goes into a kind of what psychiatrists call "tranferrence", talking about giving Flair total power to hold the young guys down, putting himself in main events, etc. He's really talking about himsel but transferring those qualities to Flair. Very spooky...

I wonder if they will use rubber barbed wire for the top of that cage...

The Barbarian (w/Jimmy hart) vs. Hack - this time Hack unwraps the barbed wire from his body before entering the ring. Probably a good idea, it cost him some at the beginning of the last match we saw him in. By the way, I read today that the owner of the limo that was damaged by the Hard Core Trio the other night was pretty upset about it. Hack captures his opponent's arm in an arm bar and wins the first exchange. During the second encounter, Barbarian rips off Hack's shirt and strangles him with it. Hack is tossed to the floor and followed out by his opponent, who runs him into the railing then rolls him back inside. Barbarian climbs to the top and throws a headbutt...and misses. Hack stands his opponent in the corner and slams fists into the forehead, accomplishing nothing. Barbarian shrugs him off. Jimmy Hart throws the kendo stink into the ring but Hack intercepts it, jams the cane into Barbarian's throat then hits a Russian leg sweep and takes the pin. Cut to commercial.

Apparently we are going to see the whole set of nWo Nitro skits again tonight. At least they are interspersing some wrestling this time. This one shows Hogan and Nash watching Flair on TV and making snide comments.

Scott Steiner/Buff Bagwell vs. Booker T/Rey Misterio, Jr. - before the match can get started we go to commercial.

Tony announces a World TV Title re-match between Booker T and Scott Steiner for Sunday as we return. Rey is on the receiving end from Bagwell. He recovers a moment later and turns the tables then tags in Booker. Steiner comes in as well and takes the immediate initiative. Now they are telling us that Stevie Ray and Vince will have a Harlem Street Fight for control of the B-Team. In the ring, Booker is not doing nearly as well as his partner. He is being isolated by the opposition. He slips in a flying forearm and turns the tables then brings Rey back in against Bagwell. Buff goes to the eyes to retake the advantage then tags in Steiner. Steiner presses Misterio several times then drops him on his face. Booker gets involved for a moment which distracts the referee and gets Rey tossed to the floor. Bagwell rams him into the stairs then rolls him back in where Steiner places a foot on his chest but fails to get the pin. Bagwell tags in and fares less well, so he tags Steiner back in almost immediately. Steiner applies a backbreaker then drops an elbow. Booker prevents a pin. Steiner gets a big belly-to-belly then picks Rey up rather then take the pin. Bagwell comes back in and gives Rey a break when he tries a splash and gets upraised feet in the midsection. Booker comes in and cleans house then tags Rey back in. Booker drops to the floor to battle Steiner while Rey faces Bagwell in the ring. Bagwell retakes the advantage but then Booker climbs the corner and hits him with a missle drop kick. Rey hits a big splash and takes the pin. That would have been sooo much more satisfying if Big Papa Chump had been the one to get pinned... Cut to commercial.

The nWo skit continues on the gun range...then over dinner. Did Nash say, "All righty then...?" At least he quoted Paul Simon correctly... Cut to commercial.

Ric Flair vs. Disco Inferno - Flair can't possibly lose this match - I mean, what would it look like, the contender to the World Title losing his last match before the big showdown..? His last match ever on broadcast TV (if you assume he might lose the match on Sunday)? Can you say, " I don't think so..." Flair wears black trunks, something he hasn't done in quite some time. He is in control of the match, though Disco appears to be holding his own, and even succeeds in applying a figure four (on the second attempt) just before we cut to the last commercial.

Flair has escaped and is climbing the corner as we return. In all the years I've been watching Flair, I can't remember him ever succeeding in a move from the top. True to form he is caught and slammed. Disco goes for the figure four again but the Nature Boy just turns it over to escape once more. A whip puts Flair into a sleeper, who escapes with a belly-to-back suplex. Both guys are down for the count. The ref gets to 7 before Flair rises to his feet. Disco reverses him into a backslide but can't get the pin. They trade blows in the corner then Disco whips him into a Flair flip which puts him on the floor. Outside the ring, Flair is rammed into the railing before being rolled back in. Disco gets a two count. He stands Flair in the corner and pounds down on him. Flair answers with a reverse atomic drop then gets a standing verticle suplex with a long hand time. He tosses Disco to the floor then follows him out to deal out some punishment against the apron. He decks his opponent with a punch to the nose then takes him back inside and punches him some more. He applies the figure four and Disco submits immediately. Fade to black...

I'll be back on Sunday for the Uncensored Report. Until then...

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

Earl Oliver
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


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