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.