More Luger Flair Goodness

Scott,

Just watched Halloween Havoc 89, on the network. The thing that stood out to the me most was how over Lex was as a heel, and how he could more than handle his end of a match as evidenced by the series of good matches he had throughout 89. I'd argue that this was his peak in the business. Why not have him go over Flair at Starrcade while Sting blows off his feud with Muta. They then could build toward Sting vs Luger and hold off on the Flair turn so that Sting has a credible challenger once he gets the strap as opposed to the Black Scorpion. Seems like this would make both guys in the process. Thoughts?

​I'm sure they would have loved that because they spent the better part of 1990 trying to get Flair to do a job to Luger, but Flair wanted to put Sting over, period.  It seemed like the right call at the time, but in hindsight I actually think that Flair should have just made Luger because Sting was a huge flop and Luger at least was a strong heel, as noted.  ​

If Lex beats Flair in 1990

According to thehistoryofwwe.com, Lex Luger was to defeat Ric Flair at a house show in early 1990 and finally win the world title before Flair had it axed.
If this had occured, how would this of affected the big Sting comeback at GAB 1990? Lex was just turned face again at this point. Would they have turned Luger before July so soon? Or maybe have Sting feud with Flair as planned without the title on the line and build to Luger vs Sting at Starrcade that year? Here is the rundown from Historyofwwe.com NWA @ Chicago, IL – UIC Pavilion – March 23, 1990 (6,500)
A film crew, as well as Lance Russell, Chris Cruise, and Dennis Brent were flown to the city to tape what was scheduled to be NWA World Champion Ric Flair losing the title to NWA US Champion Lex Luger; the title change didn't take place because Flair wasn't given ample notice, which was part of his contract; Flair agreed to the title change but only in return for a contract release, which Jim Herd refused; Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Bill Apter was also on hand
Mike Rotunda pinned Cactus Jack; after the bout, Cactus was taken to the hospital for having been tied in the ring ropes too long during the match
Norman pinned Kevin Sullivan
Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson defeated Jimmy Garvin & Steve Casey (sub. for Michael Hayes)
NWA US Tag Team Champions Brian Pillman & Tom Zenk defeated Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane
NWA Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner defeated NWA TV Champion Arn Anderson & Ole Anderson
The Road Warriors defeated Doom
NWA World Champion Ric Flair pinned NWA US Champion Lex Luger at 20:13 after Ole Anderson interfered and hit Luger with Woman's high heel shoe
​Yeah, there was a bunch of times that year where they had Luger booked to go over and Flair put the kibosh on it.  I'm pretty sure they would have done like they eventually did in 91 — Lex wins the title, immediately turns heel and builds up to a feud with Sting.  That was the direction they had been trying to go for months anyway.  ​

Million Dollar Man Ric Flair

Hey Scott,


So back in the day, from what I understand, basically Ted Dibiase was in line to receive the NWA World Title but went to WWF, ironically, for more money. If we did a whole "What If" Scenario and had Ted stay with the NWA, how do you see that playing out? Would Ted have overtaken Ric as the Man? Was he just going to be a Transitional Champ, with Ric always staying in the top spot?

On a related note, had Ted overtaken Ric, would they have essentially switched roles? Would Ric have taken the gimmick in WWF and essentially just been Ric Flair with McMahon's Money behind him instead of Crockett? Would someone else have taken the gimmick? If so, is there anyone you could imagine, from that era, playing that gimmick as well as Ted did?

Thanks and Happy Belated Father's Day

Let's not go crazy here, Ted Dibiase was no Ric Flair.  He might have been a placeholder guy in between Flair reigns, but it's not like he was going to take friggin' Ric Flair's spot in 1987 around the peak of Ric's drawing power.  

Flair pinning Hogan in 1991 with brass knuckles


What's up with this? In Flair's first run of non-televised matches against Hogan, he would pin Hogan with brass knuckles, be announced as the new WWF champion, only to have the decision be reversed. Here's handheld video of it happening in their second-ever match: https://youtu.be/QJA_BYb_eFI?t=16m40s  Just seems strange that Hogan, who was always protected, would be pinned by the little new guy from down south. Even if it wasn't televised, it was still seen by several live audiences. We've seen all kinds of hokey finishes in house show/dark match main-events, but Hulk Hogan being pinned to lose the title by a complete newcomer only to be awarded the title back on a technicality has to be the strangest right? So was this done to elevate Flair in the eyes of the live-show attendees? To gauge audience response? Did Hulk lose a bet? What gives?

​Well, clearly they were dead serious about pushing Flair as a big deal when he came in.  Yeah, the houses kind of sucked for the rematches and they lost interest quickly, but Flair had those matches going over Hogan and Piper even put him over, so it's clear there were plans.  I checked the WON for that week and despite a hilariously wordy review of the match from Dave, there's nothing about why they chose that finish, so it's probably just what they picked to build for the rematch, with Hogan trusting Flair enough to do a fake job for him.  Dave gave the match ***1/2 in case anyone is wondering.  ​

Flair and The Big Gold Bet distortion question.

Scott,

A few questions regarding the distortion of Flair's Big Gold Belt on WWF TV in 1991.

1. When they first started distorting the belt on TV as part of the angle, he was still carrying the actual BGB in the arenas and during promos, right? They then swapped it for a different belt (I think one of the Tag Team Titles?) at some point later on, correct?

2. Specifically when was the BGB swapped for the Tag-team Title belt (or whatever belt they used)? Do we have any kind of date as to when the BGB was actually last used on WWF TV in 1991 and when the other title was used in its place?

I mean the whole point of the "Tunny orders the belt distorted" thing is that they no longer had access to the BGB because Flair had returned it to WCW after reaching a settlement with them, right?

Thanks in advance for any answers you or the readers might have. 

1.  Right, he was carrying it for a bit and then they actually made their own knockoff belt once they returned the real one to WCW.  It was kind of a cheesy thing that looked like a cross between the AWA inmate beltand the real Big Gold.  Not sure what photos are floating around, but they do exist.  And then I believe they got legal threats over THAT as well because they were kind of representing themselves as having possession of Big Gold when in fact they didn't, and at that point they switched to the tag title and killed the angle completely.

2.  It was pretty quick.  Flair came in around September and the BGB was gone by Survivor Series, right?  

Windham claims Flair cost him WCW title reign in 91?

Hey Scott,  In a shoot interview Barry Windham claims he was scheduled to beat Flair for the title when Flair left over his contract issues. He states he was going to get a "run" with it but when Flair left they went with Luger instead.    I find those comments a bit far fetched because the entire summer build up was for Lex vs Flair in a cage at GAB 91 with Luger finally beating Ric for the title. Plus Windham was teaming with Arn Anderson and still technically a Horsemen at time.   Was there any truth to that all? Also could Barry have carried the belt during this period with any success?

​Barry is correct, believe it or not.  Well, I mean, correct in the sense that he was scheduled to beat Flair for the title at a house show and then drop it to Luger at the earliest possible opportunity, but then Flair left with the title before anything could be set up to change the belt.  Here's the relevant thing from the WON at the time:

Ric Flair was fired by WCW Monday, effective immediately, after both sides failed to reach an agreement on a contract extension which would be from June 1, 1992 through May 31, 1994. The official word was faxed Monday afternoon by Jim Herd to Flair's attorney, Dennis Guthrie, in Charlotte, that Flair's contract is being terminated effective August 1, 1991. Flair was scheduled to drop the WCW title to Barry Windham on 7/1 in Macon, GA in a revised plan decided upon within the past week that had been the subject of many behind-the-scenes problems. WCW officials weren't expecting Flair to show up to Macon (he was originally scheduled to be on vacation until Wednesday's show at the Meadowlands but was given the word last week to be in Macon). The revised plan was for Windham to defend the title against Lex Luger in Baltimore, with Windham's title victory airing on TBS either this coming Saturday night or the day before the Baltimore show. It was announced in Macon, which airs on television on Saturday, basically the truth, that Flair has been stripped of the title due to contractual problems and that the top two contenders, Windham and Luger, would wrestle for the held up title on 7/14 at the PPV show from Baltimore in a cage match. This marks the first time in the 43-year history of the NWA/WCW that the world heavyweight title didn't change hands in the ring.

I guess it can be reported here that the original plan was for Flair to drop the title to Luger in Baltimore. ​

October Classics: Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair – WCW Halloween Havoc ’94

This is the blowoff to Hulk Hogan’s feud with Ric Flair after Hogan’s debut back in the spring/summer of ’94. It has a cage, Mr. T as the referee, a mysterious masked Hogan attacker being unveiled. Overbooked, yes. Entertaining, also yes.


Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair (HH94 Part One) by mrbling



Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair (HH94 Part Two) by mrbling

September Classics: Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson – Fall Brawl ’95

Well, since some of us mentioned it earlier this week when I posted the Pillman-Johnny B. Badd match, Fall Brawl ’95 was also highlighted by a very good match between longtime Horsemen stablemates Ric Flair and Arn Anderson. Of course, this angle all led to Sting looking like an idiot. Brian Pillman makes his heel turn here, then the three join forces with some fourth guy named Benoyte to reform the stable.


Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson 9/17/95 by HookLineSinker4

Flair Taking Home the Big Gold Belt?

Hey guys,

Pretty timely with the rumors that Flair is taking home the World Heavyweight Title for good, here's my interview with Dick Bourne, author of "Big Gold"- the most detailed, researched book I've ever seen come out of wrestling. 
Bourne talks Mid-Atlantic memories, J.J. Dillon, Bob Caudle, and oh yeah, the Naitch…
Thanks!
John Corrigan

Reporter for Al.com/Huntsville
Set All Time Record for Most Hits on The Temple News' Website

Batista, Hogan, Flair, DOD and 1994

Scott,

With the Batista rumored "win the belt" clause in his contract, it got me thinking back to Hogan's WCW jump in 1994. They bring him in, first PPV he takes the belt off Flair. Then in October, he beats Flair in a cage match with Flair's career on the line, all this to build to a Starrcade main with him against Brother Booty Man? 

Did Hogan's creative clause give him the power to book all of his angles? I mean, why not build to the Flair career match at Starrcade?

Oh yeah dude, I'm pretty sure Hogan's contract literally said the words "HOGAN CAN DO WHATEVER THE FUCK HE WANTS" in bold letters.  Really though, the Havoc show was more important to Bischoff than Starrcade, and it worked in this case and popped a big number.  But yes, Hogan had iron-clad and complete control over everything he did, absolutely.  

Flair vs. Muta

>

> Hey Scott,

> Just finally watched Bash 89, and the wild ending seemed to set up perfectly for Flair vs. Muta at Starrcade. You said you would've booked Flair/Luger or Windham, but why not draw out the Flair as face a few extra months. Flair and Sting faced Terry & Muta at Havoc and Then Flair made Terry quit, so it seed Muta was the best and hottest heel act going. Have Sting face heel Luger or Sting/Steamboat vs. Luger/funk at Starrcade. Why didn't that match ever take place aside from the mini-tourney quickie?

>

Because WCW. That's the only answer I can give.

YESYESYES vs We Want Flair

>

> Appreciate that there's a big difference in scale, sequence of events and the players involved but how does the current revolt for Daniel Bryan these days compare to the "We Want Flair" chants in WCW/NWA during the Jim Herd era? Just in terms of the crowd rejecting the product in front of them in favour of a specific person – the outpouring of support and chants during TV and pay per view. Was it as disruptive and overwhelming as the Bryan stuff is today? I didn't see a lot of that era growing up, was a staunch WWF kid.

>

Not so much in the Herd era, no. Everyone knew Flair was coming back eventually. The real damage was in 1998 when Bischoff tried to fire him and the fan base revolted on live TV every week. THAT was a bigger embarrassment.

Flair In Sin City

Scott, any idea why Ric Flair was so desperately keen to return to WCW in January 1993? If I remember rightly,he returned at SuperBrawl that February but due to legal tie-ups didn't actually wrestle until July. Why did he hotshot his WWF exit with little hype then gladly sit out six months? Why not hang around for the Mania 9 payday and some priceless "Nature Boy In Vegas" vignettes? Flair v Savage II,Flair v Hogan,Flair/Luger v Savage/Perfect or even Flair/Razor would have been decent options for that show.

I think he was just really unhappy with his time in the WWF at that point and felt like WCW would be better money and people he knew.  Flair's never really been one for well-thought decisions in the first place.  

“We Want Flair!”

Hey Scott,

Do you think the Daniel Bryan situation plays out similar to a Ric Flair scenario where the fanbase vocally starts chanting for him during any segments with Randy Orton and Big Show? Would it possibly culminate in the proposed Randy Orton/Big Show Survivor Series match just getting bludgeoned with “We want Bryan” chants?
-Vintage Gamer

You might want to ask Zack Ryder how well that worked out for him.   WWE doesn’t care what the fans want unless it overlaps with their own desires.  

Ric Flair and a Tag Belt Question

Good evening,

I hope that all is well.

I have a question for you RE: Ric Flair and the tag belt he used as a stand-in for the Big Gold Belt in 1991. I was always under the impression that it was really just a tag belt they gave him, but I recently discovered some photos (attached for reference) that make it very clear that it was actually a custom belt made for him by Reggie Parks. It is in the style of the tag, but with a black banner/stones over ‘tag team’ and the words ‘wrestling champion’ as opposed to ‘wrestling championS’

My question is, if the WWF went to the trouble and expense to make this belt for Flair (which they were blurring anyway), why use a design fans would instantly recognize as the tag title?

Hope you can shed some light on this one,
Have a great weekend and thank you!

Dang, I always just thought it was the tag belt, too.  

Vince can have a strange attention to detail sometimes, I guess.

Match of the Day: Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair – WWF Oakland, CA 10-25-91

Came across this on you tube while watching Ric Flair promos:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJA_BYb_eFI

Not seen on television, but was advertised locally on Oakland, CA Television. Holy crap was the crowd into it. Still not sure how Vince screwed up this sure fire money maker for Wrestlemania 8.

I had this one on a comp tape years back.  Not sure if it ever made DVD, though.