WCW Wednesday: Part X – Sting versus Flair!

With Sting becoming immortalized in the WWE Hall of Fame come April 2nd, I thought I would highlight a match that seemingly gets overlooked within the dynamic of the Sting-Flair rivalry.

On January, 11, 1991, WCW traveled to the Northeast, specifically East Rutherford, NJ, and held a card that would contain an NWA World title match between World champion Sting and former champion Ric Flair.

What brought us to this match?

Well, I won’t bore you with the EXTREMELY LONG history between the two; however, at Clash of the Champions X on 2/6/1990, Sting was booted from the Four Horsemen. On that same fateful night, Sting blew out his knee and was on the shelf for five months as an active wrestler. Nevertheless, he continued to make personal appearances in spite of his injury.

On July 7, 1990, Sting defeated Flair to win his first NWA World title at the Great American Bash.

During Sting’s reign, he became preoccupied (booked) with a mysterious individual–the Black Scorpion. Needless to say, but WCW (specifically booker Ole Anderson) was unable to secure a big name to portray the Black Scorpion, and the onus fell upon Ric Flair.

At Starrcade ’90, Sting and Flair the Black Scorpion wrestled in a steel cage match. Ultimately, the Black Scorpion lost, and Flair was revealed at the end. But at what expense?

Rumor has it that in exchange for the loss at Starrcade, Flair would defeat Sting and regain the NWA World title for a seventh time. Let’s see how the match went:

For the NWA World title: Sting (champion) versus “Nature Boy” Ric Flair

  • We’re joined in progress as this was shown on Power Hour.
  • Sting countered a sleeper by using momentum to send Flair face-first into the top turnbuckle.
  • That resulted in a Flair flop.
  • Backslide by Sting only got 2.
  • Ten-punch count-along by Sting was followed by a cross-corner whip.
  • That resulted in a Flair flip, but the challenger landed on the apron only to get clotheslined down to the floor.
  • Flair tried to make Sting eat the steel railing, but Sting blocked it then made Flair eat it. It must have tasted like the Mulberry Street feast at Dolce Novita.
  • As Sting rammed Flair face-first into a ringside table, it was evident that Flair was BUSTED OPEN!
  • Once again, Sting made Flair taste the steel railing. Scusi, cameriere? Please give the blond wrestler in the pink tights the black linguini. Grazie.
  • Still on the floor, Sting gave Flair a clothesline then tossed him back in.
  • To mock his opponent, Sting told Flair that “(we’re) going to school.”
  • He then no-sold some chops from Flair.
  • Gorilla press slam by Sting as Flair begged off.
  • Stinger splash missed so then Flair mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • Unfortunately for him, he came down the hard way.
  • Flying clothesline by Sting almost got 3.
  • Sting then mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a flying body press.
  • Regrettably, he knocked down not only Flair but also the referee.
  • Inside cradle by Sting, but the referee was OUT COLD.
  • A double shoulder block knocked both wrestlers down, but Flair landed on top of Sting.
  • In lieu of seeing Sting’s foot on the rope, the referee counted the pin.

Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Despite only seeing the last five minutes of this twenty-minute match, these guys put their heart and soul into it.

Where did it lead: Climatically, it led to Flair’s dismissal from WCW due to his differences with WCW Executive Vice-President Jim Herd. On the other hand, Sting would have a successful year teaming with Lex Luger against the Steiners at the inaugural SuperBrawl, feuding with Nikita Koloff during the summer, defeating “Stunning” Steve Austin for the US title, and becoming the first wrestler to ever win Battlebowl.

What are your memories/thoughts of this time period and Sting?

Also, please be sure to check out all of my reflections at rockstargary.com.