No foolin' around tonight - Tony's in a tux, Jesse Ventura is in a suit. Earlier today, Vader arrived in a modest sedan with Harley Race. Vader talks about partying. Later he got into the ring to stretch a rope or whatever and shadowbox some and run the ropes. Ric Flair, however, is not yet in the building. Okerlund has been sent to his home, so let's go there.
Flair says goodbye to his wife and children, including young David and even younger Reid and some girl, who cares about girls. They don't wrestle. Halfway into Flair hugging his two younger children, Okerlund interrupts to say he will see Ric outside, and that he should say goodbye to his family. You know, because he wasn't already doing that. Ric and Beth embrace. Will he return to her a man with a job? Will he return to her at all? Will this monster Vader end his career or his life?
"Ah, they're worried, Gene." "Of course they are. Whose family wouldn't be? You're worried."
"I knew what I was doing when I signed the contract, Gene."
Okerlund has all the sensitivity and subtlety of Larry Merchant. But hey, now that's over, so let's tag team wrestle. ERRYBODY HERE COME 2 COLD SCORPIO
2 Cold Scorpio & Marcus Alexander Bagwell (w/Teddy Long) vs Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma (w/The Assassin)
Teddy receives the Manager of the Year award before the heels are introduced. Long sure deserved it, as Scorpio and Bagwell did win the belts for about 20 minutes. There's something about Bagwell and Roma that makes me think they should have teamed together in 1998 on Saturday Night. Unfortunately Roma was gone (well that's not terribly unfortunate) and Bagwell was semi-important in the nWo. That part really is unfortunate. Scorpio and Orndorff get in -- it's cheap and all, but "Paula, Paula" makes Orndorff one of the most over heels in every town WCW hits in late '93. Not a bad match - Bagwell and Scorp are actually a pretty damn good team and both Roma and Orndorff know what they're doing out there. The Pauls eventually can't really keep up with Scorpio once he gets rolling, and it's just sort of a weak run at the end. 2 Cold hits the Assassin, who loads up his mask and lands a head butt in return. So that's that. Orndorff pins Scorpio.
Let's go back to Ric Flair's limousine as Gene Okerlund continues to harass him and Flair quietly speaks about, y'know, stuff.
Awesome Kong (w/King Kong) vs The Shockmaster
Both Kong jump on Shockmaster to start and the ref doesn't ring the bell so this is all OK. Shockmaster gets squished in the corner and splashed in the center of the ring, and Tony doesn't know (nor care) which Kong is which. King Kong is the one who actually stays in the ring wrestling. Oh what the fuck ever. I'm not one for rambling about how fat wrestlers are so disgusting and crappy because my head isn't a foot and half tall and I can grow all of a beard, but the Kongs are so fat and gross. Anyway Shockmaster slams King Kong in about 2 minutes and that's it. What a waste of time. You have to admire that WCW stuck with Shockmaster, though -- they should have let him do War Games and just go away. But they kept it rolling. I mean obviously Dusty had something to do with that, but he's not a bad big fat guy and everyone says he's nice, so fuck it, if he took TV time from Erik Watts or Davey Boy Smith, then great.
Speaking of the Bulldog, he's out and The Boss is in against Rick Rude tonight. Oh yeah, The Boss is here now. He showed up on Saturday Night and whipped some ass.
Flair's limo is pulling in at the arena.
They mention the 15-minute time limit about 40 seconds in so you know exactly where this shit is going. I tire of television title matches where I know the time limit draw is coming. I also am having trouble identifying with Mr. Steamboat at this point in 1993. His emotions have started getting the better of him far too often. As his physical gifts slip away, the bitterness of the 40-year-old Dragon is starting to shine through in his general behavior. And that's not the fat baby-toting Ricky Steamboat I know. Ten minutes in and this is just the exhibition these fucking matches always are. Too much of the crowd is all too aware of what they're seeing, too. Sir William does his best to keep the crowd involved outside by telling people who aren't making mych noise to shut up. Nobody likes being told to shut up. Two minutes left in the match and they just keep going like it's four minutes in. Which is fine for Regal but Steamboat is throwing fucking armdrags and considering perhaps an armbar. Steamboat has become a damnfool. I tire of you, Ricky. Steamboat farts around outside with Sir William. Now he'll take his sweet time waiting for a flying crossbody. He misses, and doesn't get the German suplex near early enough to get the win. Foolish, foolish Ricky Steamboat.
Tex Slazenger & Shanghai Pierce vs Cactus Jack & Maxx Payne
I paid almost no attention to this other than Tony saying that Tex is a lot like Cactus Jack and then I remembered that Mideon did the Mankind impression. Jack and Payne win and Jack puts potential foes on notice.
Kyle Petty is rooting for Ric Flair.
This is another one I'm not exactly dying to see again - I'm tiring of Dustin Rhodes in singles matches. Dude needs another good tag partner. This is fine and competent and all, but the Charlotte crowd just isn't that wild about either guy and honestly as good as Austin was here, it's not like he was getting wildly over or anything. He was still kinda dull. Like, he was cocky. Big deal. He was a good wrestler. Big deal. Col. Parker is actually a terrific manager in some ways but I don't think anyone ever took him all that seriously.
The first fall comes when Dustin throws Austin into Parker on the apron, and Austin falls over the top rope so it's a DQ. Thrilling. Parker is carried out. Then during the second fall the lights go out and everyone ignores it until Ventura bothers to make note of the fact that THE FUCKING LIGHTS HAVE GONE OUT which is kind of a big deal, so there's a spotlight on the ring. This is romantic, and poor Steve Austin is gushing blood with few capable of seeing it. Ah, there's the lights, but right after that Austin cradles Rhodes, pulls the tights, and takes this one 2-0 in about 15 minutes. The lights going out made it more fun.
The Boss is no longer in his WWF outfit, but rather a black policeman's outfit. Response is tepid at best. The siren at the start of his music is the same as the one they used years later for Scott Steiner.
Boss Man always had awesome rage, and he shows it by backing Rude down into a corner by screaming in his face after the bell rings. Rude wants little to do with him. Boss Man is spitting and screaming and hocking loogies at Ravishing Rick. Rude eats the enormous backdrop and a big foot to his grill. Boss with his kickass right hands in the corner. POW! Boss hangs him feet-first from the ropes outside. Two rights to the midsection. Boss takes out a camera. Rude keeps trying to sit up, which is stupid, just fall down idiot, and eats more rights.
Rude gets a moment, but then comes off the top rope into another right hand. Boss' offense is built around the right hand, and then he crotches himself over the second rope trying to do that thingamajig he does. Then Rude rolls him up and wins? Oh. Uh. Oh.
Missy's ditched the lame hair extensions and gone back to being extremely hot. Unfortunately this match is pretty terrible. I don't mind the Nasty Boys really, until they're way too old and useless to do anything worthwhile, but they could have a good fight in their day. This should be a good fight. Sting and Hawk could hold that together. Instead they do a lot of working Hawk over with holds and this fucker goes 30 minutes.
Sting tries to roll out of the way of a Knobbs...butt attack from the second rope but Knobbs lands on him anyway. This is after an eternity of Hawk getting worked over, by the way. This shit isn't worth describing. Not enough Missy Hyatt close-ups. Ah there's one. Too brief.
So now it's Sting's turn to lay around and get the business. This match is just incredibly dull -- up there with the worst I've ever seen from any of these dudes. Sting hits Knobbs with the Stinger Splash, then Missy gets involved, and she fails and Knobbs runs into her. Sting rolls Knobbs up for two, which does get the crowd up. Hawk wants the Doomsday Device, but Sting doesn't know what's what. Hawk and Knobbs are legal. Sting gets Knobbs up -- Doomsday Device! Missy flaunts her juggery upon the apron as Sags sits on his ass. Missy runs in and interferes and ... it's a DQ. After 30 minutes of this shit, an incredibly weak DQ. I hear Sags was hurt and couldn't interfere properly to set up the real finish, whatever it was. He's definitely not walking out graet and looks like he wants to vomit, so I guess if Missy saved the day, then good for her.
WCW World Heavyweight Title: Vader (c, w/Harley Race) vs Ric Flair
"You can tell the seriousness of this one," says Ventura. "There ain't no Fifi." Fuckin' right, Jesse. Fuckin' right. I've always wondered what it's like to be a "Ric Flair in Charlotte" somewhere. That must be a hell of a damn thing. Vader with a methodical start, then Flair laying into Vader with some chops, Vader no-sells, Flair drops out and goes to the floor, Vader taunts Charlotte.
Out on the floor and SHIT GETS REAL as Flair tires of Vader's pataters and starts LAYING INTO THAT MOTHERFUCKER. He punched him in his shit! Vader takes over again after that. Flair is bumping around like it's fuckin' 1985 in there. Vader with short rights to the eye in the corner, Flair rips him with chops, Vader drills him with a wide right hand. Powerslam! Flair starts rolling a bit after getting bloodied up in his mouth, but then Vader just stops selling and clotheslines him down again. Man Vader is a fuck in this match and I am loving it.
OFF GOES THE MASK! Flair posts the knee and steals Jesse Ventura's chair. Chair over the knee as Harley stupidly has the referee distracted. Right hand! Chop! Right hand! Chop! FUCK THIS MATCH IS SO GREAT! Flair pounds his nose in with short right hands!
Chair over the top of Vader's head now. Flair FLATTENS him with a right hand and the crowd goes wild! Goddamn it this match is so awesome. Schiavone and Ventura are sucked in. "I've seen Flair go 60 minutes. But only 20 minutes with Vader is like 60 minutes with most guys."
Flair gets on the left knee. He styles. He profiles. He's got his fists balled up and he's ready to lay into him again. Vader reeling and has lost any and all momentum, but he pulls out a desperation bit of power and avoids the figure four for now. Vader needs a big move, so he goes for the Vader bomb - he doesn't get it! Flair back to the figure four - this time he gets it! Charlotte on their feet! Race on the apron! Vader desperately reaching for the ropes, and he makes it. Race isn't interfering, he's just that worried. He's doing all he can.
Flair runs into a boot and Vader gets the chance to turn the tide. He smothers Flair and lays in with shots to the face on the ground. Vader still thinks he needs to end this thing before the old man gets another wind. So he goes all the way up - moonsault misses!! Flair covers, and Race goes up, and drops a headbutt on Vader by accident. Referee throws Race out of the ring. Flair with a forearm shot. Chop! Chop! Chop! Vader DRILLS him at center ring, but Flair bounces up, rolls Vader up and GETS THE THREE COUNT! HE'S DONE IT! HE'S DONE IT! 11 TIMES!
If you don't like that match, shut up talkin' to me.
Backstage after the match, old rival Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat congratulates Ric Flair and shakes his hand. Flair's with his family. Mean Gene interrupts again. "I've been a very, very fortunate man. Bottom line." "Can I tell you something, Ric Flair? We have been very, very fortunate to have someone like you grace us with your presence, my friend. We love ya."
Look at David creeping:
So here we head to 1994. And you-know-who looms.