It’s been a while since I posted a written review of a show, so here is a look at Clash of the Champions 3, from Albany, GA on 9/7/1988 for the last Jim Crockett Promotions supershow. With such a big show, you’d think they would pull out all the stops, but they didn’t because they had a habit of screwing obvious things up. Maybe that was part of the sale to Ted Turner. This show didn’t have Flair (except as a host), Lex Luger, the Midnight Express, Road Warriors, and the team of Arn Anderson/Tully Blanchard.
The latter of those would make the big news of the week: Despite being tag champs, they quit on the spot 3 days after this show at a house show in Philly and they had to scramble and put the belts on the Midnight Express in an untelevised match. And yet they STILL did a double pin spot, protecting guys who were leaving. Continue reading NWA Clash of the Champions 3: Fall Brawl 09/07/1988
Just over a year ago in my Royal Rumble series, I made clear that the ’92 Rumble is my favorite match ever because it is a This Is Your Life story for Ric Flair. But how exactly can you connect Flair at some point in the Nature Boy’s career to everyone else in the match? I managed to go 28 for 30.
1. British Bulldog: Bulldog was on the set of the Flair For The Gold segment in 1993 that featured the infamous Shockmaster incident.
2. Ted DiBiase: They had been on the same team at the 1991 Survivor Series, but more famous is their 1985 match in Mid-South for Flair’s NWA World Title.
It’s December so like I did last month for Survivor Series, I will do the same for a few Starrcades. For all my wrestling nerd-dom, I have never seen Starrcade 1985, the first ‘Cade from Jim Crockett Promotions after the purchase of the Saturday Night TBS timeslot from the WWF in March of that year. While on closed circuit only, the show was held in two cities: Greensboro and Atlanta, both with longstanding Thanksgiving wrestling traditions.
The main event is the same as the prior year: Dusty Rhodes challenging Ric Flair for the NWA World title. But there seems to be more heat around this one; Flair is a true heel aligned with the Horsemen, having broken Dusty’s leg in a famous beatdown in Atlanta’s Omni. But would something else steal the show? Spoiler: yes. Continue reading Reflections: Starrcade 1985 (The Gathering)
It was probably the wrong time to attempt this with business starting to tank, but WWF tried a non-holiday midweek PPV with This Tuesday in Texas, aired on December 3, 1991 (25 years ago as this is posted!) only 6 days after Survivor Series. While it did 400,000 buys which doesn’t seem bad on its face, the result was disappointing since the show only cost $14.99 so the dollar take wasn’t that good.
However, the reduced price meant it was an easy sell to my parents. The shame is that my original VHS of the show is long lost. This was a somewhat mysterious show over the years because the show was not released on a standalone tape, instead crammed onto Coliseum Video’s WWF Supertape ’92. Then again, all the matches from the PPV (except Hogan-Undertaker) aired on Prime Time Wrestling in late 91/early 92 so whatever. Continue reading WWF This Tuesday in Texas – 12/03/1991
Change was in the air at the 1991 Survivor Series, and not just because the show was moved off Thanksgiving to the night before. Not only was the Ultimate Warrior experiment over, but Warrior himself was banished. And here comes Ric Flair coming in with the NWA title calling himself the “real world champion”. I think it’s best summed up by looking at the 10/21/1991 Superstars taping from Fort Wayne, Indiana because big things were happening: Continue reading Reflections on 1991 Survivor Series – The Gravest Challenge
Up to part 6 and Bad News is once again lurking behind the corner.
[Stu Hart] asked me over and over with a huge smirk on his face, “So Vince is actually out of the closet, is he?”
In December 1987, the WWF aired a Slammys special, a parody of award shows. Among the awards given were the Jesse the Body Award, Manager of the Year, and Best Ring Apparel. Wrestlers also sang songs and so did Vince McMahon who did a song called “Stand Back”. This was not a Stevie Nicks cover but rather a middle finger to all rival wrestling promoters. It was quite campy even for the time so it’s easy to see why Stu might be confused. Continue reading Highlights from Bret Hart’s Book: Part 6
Going to jump the gun on Flair Friday, since Bill Simmons put his Friday podcast out on Thursday and threw me for a loop. By mid-1987, Ric Flair had held the NWA World title for the vast majority of the prior six years so there were no limits to what he might attempt. In this case, he is wooing Precious, the valet and real-life wife of Jimmy Garvin. This time the Nature Boy is forcibly rejected but he refuses to give up hope. I think Slick Ric might be into rough trade.
When Bobby the Brain Heenan held up the NWA World title at the end of a random August 1991 episode of Wrestling Challenge it sent shockwaves across the wrestling world. Ric Flair, icon of their competition, was coming to the WWF. This video is from Prime Time Wrestling during the unfortunate “studio audience” era. I will cop to desperately wanting my father to drive me to Stamford, CT to go to one of these but clearly these are plants and not the motley crew you would see at the TBS Studio tapings. This is Flair’s first interview on WWF TV and there are some interesting things. Continue reading Flair Friday – Ric Flair Debut on WWF TV
A while back, I decided to watch the only Tatsumi Fujinami match available on WWE Network. It is from SuperBrawl I in May 1991. The background: WCW and New Japan had a supershow in March ’91 headlined by Fujinami/Flair for the WCW AND NWA titles. Fujinami won via a rollup, but since Flair was thrown over the top rope against WCW rules, that title did not change hands. The wrestling mags of the time made this seem like the biggest deal in the world, as The Wrestler made it seem like Flair was the last American hope against some sort of Japanese onslaught.