Flair-Steamboat ’89 questions

Hey Scott,

2 quick questions on the Flair/Steamboat rivalry:

1) Hiro Matsuda? Where did that come from? Did he have a history in the NWA that I missed? What was the thinking in pairing him up with Ric Flair of all people?

2) Why Steamboat leave so quickly after the feud ended? Did he feel misused or something?


​1. Because Flair was the the JAPANESE HIRED GUN. That’s seriously how Clash VI was promoted, because George Scott is apparently an idiot. Anyway, Matsuda was kind of the low-rent replacement for JJ Dillon, but the storylines weren’t really supposed to get mashed together like they were. The Horsemen were screwed up by Tully & Arn departing and then Dillon, and Matsuda was supposed to have a stable of Japanese mercenaries battling Dusty Rhodes that would eventually pay off with Muta, and things were such a mess at the beginning of 89 that they just said "fuck it" and stuck them all together. ​The basic idea of what Matsuda was supposed to be doing is pretty much what ended up being the whole "J-Tex" thing with Muta and Buzz Sawyer and such at the end of the year.

2. I don’t think anyone was expecting Steamboat to come in for a long-term deal. And really, after the Luger feud in the summer there was nothing more to do with him that didn’t involve doing a bunch of jobs, so he was probably happy to just retire again and run his gym.