REWIND: Ric Flair & Sting vs Dick Slater & Great Muta
One year later, almost to the day, that Sting unsuccessfully challenged Horseman Barry Windham for the United States Heavyweight Title, he finds himself on the opposite side of the ring with partner Ric Flair.
This time, I'm not watching on a grainy VHS rip. Instead, I'm off to the Peacock app which we have only so we can watch Project Runway. Maybe I'll keep it around for ease of finding watchable versions of things like this, but we'll see how bad the music and other audio replacement is. That stuff grates on me.
Clash of the Champions VIII opened up with a recap of Terry Funk and The Great Muta attacking Ric Flair after Flair successfully defended the World Heavyweight Title against Funk at the Great American Bash. The duo readied a spike piledriver on a steel chair despite Doug Dellinger's best efforts. After dispatching of Dellinger, the onslaught continued until Sting rushed the ring to make the save for his former enemy.
Because this was the full show, I also had the opportunity to catch some of the additional packages and clips leading up to the bout including a wonderful little promo from Terry Funk in a hospital bed telling everybody to keep their TVs dialed into WTBS because he'll be there at the Clash.
There was also an incredible pre-match promo from Sting and Flair in top form with Sting recounting that Flair were face-to-face at the first Clash of the Champions but tonight they'd be standing side by side.
I really wish I had been able to grow up with this era of NWA/WCW. It probably would have colored the way I looked at wrestling a lot differently growing up on a steady diet of WWF until ECW rolled into my periphery. There's just so much history to be had here and at least it's easy enough to access it all now.
Terry Funk was meant to be the partner of Muta here but due to an attack from Ric Flair using the branding iron, Funk is out with injury. Dick Slater was the mystery replacement for Funk and is also wearing a brace on his arm from a similar Flair attack weeks ago.
As the match gets going with Sting and Muta, Jim Ross recalls that we've seen Muta use both red and green mist in one match and that the yellow mist is the most dangerous of them all – and we've never seen the yellow mist used in the United States.
There are some really unique, for the time, camera angles in this production. A lot of them feel ahead of their time provide a much closer and intense view of the action. I just don't think I'll ever get over how much I appreciate the production of these late-80s NWA/WCW shows. This one also featured the great silver streamers at the entrance, another personal favorite of mine.
Sting and Flair held the early advantage here out-wrestling and out-smarting Muta and Slater respectively until things break down into a double-team from J-Tex. Muta knocked Flair to the floor with a jumping spin kick leading to over-the-top dives from Muta, Sting, and Slater causing bedlam on the arena floor.
Teamwork was on display from Sting and Flair who wrestled like a team who had been teaming for a decade. In a perfect little spot, Sting press slammed Muta down to the mat in Sting's own corner. Sting made the tag to Flair as Muta rose to his feet, reeling from the slam. He backed into the ropes right into Flair who grabbed him by the hair, bent him backwards over the top rope and delivered an elbow drop to the top of the head. Just so smooth.
Slater and Muta saw their first consecutive minutes of control due to the handspring back elbow of Muta and a swinging neck breaker from Slater weakening Flair. Minutes later, Muta spring off the ropes to drop what is easily my favorite elbow drop of all time. Nobody has ever quite snapped into an elbow quite like Muta and I don't know that anybody ever will.
A fresh Sting got the hot tag from Flair and Sting was able to connect with the Stinger Splash before locking on the Scorpion Deathlock. With the referee distracted by Flair and Slater fighting on the floor, Gary hart entered the ring and clobbered Sting in the base of the neck with a fist full of quarters. The hold was broken and coins went flying all over the canvas.
Sting escaped the grasp of Slater long enough to tag in Flair who ran wild on Slater and Muta. With Muta on the apron, Sting lifted him by the throat just long enough for Muta to engage his internal misting systems and spray Sting in the eyes with the yellow (and most dangerous!) mist.
Sting rolled to the outside of the ring and amidst the mayhem, Slater removed his cast and clocked Flair over the head as he prepared the figure four leglock on Muta. The referee was sent flying out of the ring as everything descended into chaos – Sting stumbled around on the arena floor while Terry Funk appeared in the ring and put a garbage bag over Flair's head, suffocating him as the crowd absolutely lost its mind.
Muta and Slater continued to double team Sting, smashing Funk's branding iron over his shin as Flair writhed on the floor with blood staining the white garbage bag over his head from the inside out.
On commentary, JR informed us that a disqualification had been called and threw to a commercial. Back from the break, Flair was laying on the arena floor with Sting and Brian Pillman by his side after having, we're told, mouth-to-mouth performed to revive him.
Seek this match out! It's an absolute madhouse the entire time. The match is barely 20 minutes and it's wall to wall action from beginning to end. There's no down time, no rest holds, no filler. These four guys went full tilt from bell to bell with the crowd eating out of their hands the entire time.
Ranking of REWINDs
- Jaguar Yokota vs Lioness Asuka
- Keiji Mutoh vs Shinya Hashimoto
- Nikita Koloff vs Magnum TA
- Kenta Kobashi vs Stan Hansen
- Ric Flair & Sting vs Dick Slater & Great Muta
- Jumbo Tsuruta, Masanobu Fuchi, and Mighty Inoue vs Kenta Kobashi, Mitsuharu Misawa, and Tsuyoshi Kikuchi
- Brock Lesnar vs The Rock
- Sting vs Barry Windham
- Terry Funk vs Bret Hart
- Cactus Jack vs Terry Funk
- 2 Cold Scorpio vs Sabu
- Big Van Vader vs Davey Boy Smith
- Masahiro Chono vs Kazuyuki Fujita