Match #7 for the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship: WCW International World Heavyweight Champion ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair w/Fifi vs. ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude
Collar and elbow, Rude with position and there’s a reluctant break. Another tie up, side headlock by Rude, Flair drops to a knee. The champ works to top wrist but Rude gets him back. The Nature Boy tries fighting out once again but cannot. They hit the ropes and it’s a shoulder tackle and elbows from Rude. He heads to the top but Flair moves out of the way. Flair with a single leg and he locks in the Figure Four early, but Rude is too close to the ropes. Rude rakes the eyes and clotheslines Flair to the floor. Rude poses for Fifi as Flair sneaks to the top.
He catches Rude with an elbow and follows with rights and chops. He grabs a wristlock, Fifi is up on the ramp. Flair works into a hammerlock, Rude tries getting some chops in but Flair is in control. He chops Rude down to the mat and maneuvers into an armbar. Up to their feet and it’s back to a hammerlock that drives Rude down. Flair lays in some knees as Rude reaches for the ropes. Flair falls back on the hammerlock and stomps away. Rude rakes the eyes to turn the tide, Flair is sent into the turnbuckle and takes some chops. Irish whip, Flair moves and the champ goes back to the arm and measures him with a right.
Flair holds a wristlock, pushes Rude into the corner and hangs the arm over the top rope. Rude gets loose, he lands some rights but cannot lift Flair for the scoop slam. Flair goes back to work, takes him down to the mat and drops in the knee. Back to the arm bar for the champ, Rude is slow to his feet, he drops in some rights and it’s met with chops. Rude gets the upperhand, he sends Flair to the ropes, Flair reverses a hiptoss into a backslide. Flair hits the ropes but his crossbody sends both men over the top. Rude is up first and hits a clothesline. Rude drives Flair into the apron and then pulls him up. Vertical suplex takes the champ into the ring.
Rude covers and Flair kicks out at two. Forearms into the small of the back and a scoop slam by Rude. A forearm to the chest before a cover but Flair kicks out again. Reverse chin lock by the former US Champion and Flair struggles. The Nature Boy tries to get up but Rude sits on him and gives his signature taunt. Right back to the chinlock while sitting on the small of the back by Rude. Flair tries to get up, Rude goes for another sit down by the champ moves. Rude is chopped around the ring and is hit with a shoulder tackle. Flair goes in for more but Rude military presses him across the top rope for a hot shot. Rude with a shot to the midsection and he yells in Flair’s face.
Irish whip and Flair flips over and out to the floor. Rude poses to a sea of boos. Flair gets up to the apron but Rude hangs him over the top rope again. Flair is up but he’s measured with rights. Flair is dazed, but tries fighting from his knees. Rude locks in a bear hug, Nick Patrick directs Flair not to use the hair to break the hold. Rude works him down to the mat and Flair is forced to keep his shoulders up so he doesn’t get pinned. Flair is able to roll Rude over despite the bear hug, he gouges the eyes and lays in some rights. Both men are reeling. To their feet, Flair tries a Lou Thesz Press but Rude uses the momentum to hotshot him on the ropes.
Rude heads for the top rope and catches him with an ax handle. Rude taunts Fifi and goes back to the top, Flair walks into another ax handle. Rude goes for a third, the champ strikes him in the gut and hits a belly to back suplex. Flair staggers to his feet and drops the knee. Flair hooks the arms for a butterfly suplex, Rude kicks out at two. Flair with a big chop in the corner and he measures him for body shots. Irish whip and Flair runs into Rude’s knee. Front facelock and Rude plants a DDT. He tries a pin and Flair kicks out. Rude yells in the ref’s face for not counting fast enough. Knees to the midsection by Rude, he sets up the Rude Awakening but Flair bites him.
The Nature Boy hits a Rude Awakening of his own. Slow cover and Rude gets his foot on the ropes. Chops from Flair and they hit the ropes, Rude tries a sleeper but Flair lifts him up with some knee to knee contact. Flair stretches the hamstring from the 2nd rope and he drags him for the Figure Four. Rude kicks him off, but Flair moves in again and drives his knee into the hamstring. He tries to spin but it’s Rude with the inside cradle for two. Flair dumps Rude out to the floor and gives chase. Rude is hot shotted across the steel rail. Chops on the outside and Flair stops the count. Flair heads for the top rope and dives down to the floor with an ax handle.
He returns to the ring and gives the crowd a strut. Rude is slow to return to the ring and he’s greeted with a chop and a jaw shot. Rude reverses the Irish whip, Flair tumbles over the turnbuckle but rushes to the adjacent top turnbuckle, he goes for an ax handle but Rude cuts him off. Now it’s Rude heading for the top, he lands a big knee and Flair barely kicks out. An angry Rude, Flair is dumped out to the floor. Rude taunts Fifi who is on the entrance ramp. She slaps him across the face and he plants a kiss on her. He lifts her over the top rope into the ring and asks her who she thinks she is. Flair is back in and he sends Rude for a back body drop and an inverted atomic drop.
Flair grabs a leg and he locks in the Figure Four. The referee is distracted by Fifi and Rude goes for a foreign object in his trunks. He hits Flair in the head and the champ is knocked out. Rude makes the cover and picks up the win.
Winner and NEW WCW International World Heavyweight Champion: Rick Rude (Foreign Object)
- EA’s Take: Wow, a PPV where all 3 title matches see changing of hands. Very interesting. Rude held the big gold belt, after all, but a lot of record books don’t count it as a World Title win. Quite a few extended holds in this 30 minute bout, but these two know how to tell a story. Having known Rude would be winning, I half expected Fifi to turn on Flair. Rick Rude should make everyone’s top 5 list for best heels of all time.
Match #8 – WarGames: Sting, ‘The British Bulldog’ Davey Boy Smith, WCW United States Champion ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes & The Shockmaster w/Road Warrior Animal vs. Sid Vicious, Big Van Vader & Harlem Heat (Kole & Kane) w/Harley Race & Col. Robert Parker
The Shockmaster looked like he would be first in, but Dustin Rhodes wants it. He charges in and hits Vader with an elbow off the top rope and those are your starters. The US champ gives some strikes but Vader fights back. They continue to exchange blows, Rhodes favoring his injured ribs. Rhodes beats Vader down in the corner and takes his boot off and beats him across the face. Irish whip and Rhodes runs into a boot before eating a clothesline. Rights in the corner by the big man. Rhodes is reeling and he gets a headbutt.
He fights from his knees and gets up to his feet for some big boots. He knocks the former world champ down but the ribs are effecting him. Sting tries to rally the crowd from the outside as Vader scoop slams Rhodes. Vader to the 2nd rope for a big splash and he beats on the injured ribs. Rhodes fights out of the corner with rights and he plants the big guy with a DDT. He grabs his boot and hits him again. Dustin levels him with rights as the coin flip happens. The heels win the toss. Snapmare by Vader, he tries to come off the 2nd rope but Rhodes gets him with a powerslam. The clock has run out and Kane is the next man in.
Rhodes tackles him and hits him with rights. He puts the boots to the neck but Vader comes over to interrupt the party. Vader holds Rhodes and Kane has the boot. He hits him over the top of the head multiple times. Double team stomps and Kane rolls Rhodes onto the apron, Rhodes appears to be busted open. Vader throws him into the cage, the countdown is on and it looks like it’s going to be Sting. Stinger ducks a shot and clotheslines both men. He takes command and throws Kane into the cage before hitting Vader with a Stinger Splash. Fireman’s carry and Vader goes back first into the cage. Kane is dumped between the rings and Sting stomps on his rival. In ring two, Rhodes is up and he clotheslines Kane. He grabs his boot but Kane hits a low blow.
Rhodes stays on him and beats him with the boot while Sting launches Vader into the cage again and again. Sid Vicious enters war games, he reverses the Irish whip and choke slams Sting before going to work on Rhodes. Sting is triple teams and they pound him with the boot. Kicks to the ribs by Vicious on Sting while Kane takes advantage of Rhodes. Sting is banged on the top of the cage and dropped. Vicious hits a big boot on Rhodes in the corner. The countdown comes and it’s Davey Boy Smith’s turn. Vicious greets him, they hit the ropes, Bulldog ducks one and hits Sid with a clothesline. Vader heads for the top and leaps but Smith hits him with a powerslam.
He lays in the rights on Vader while Sting and Rhodes work over Kane. Sting joins Bulldog and they lift Sid to the roof. Vader grabs Bulldog with a bear hug and then hits him with a head butt. Everyone has a dance partner as there are 30 seconds on the clock. Rhodes sends Sid into the fence while Bulldog does the same to Kane. The last man for Team Vader, Kole, is in. Rhodes is double teamed by he and Vader. Sting is dumped into the opposite ring to deal with both members of Harlem Heat. Bulldog heads to the top but Kole scoop slams him down.
Snapmare by Rhodes on Vicious but he’s cut off by Kole. Rhodes locks in the Figure Four on Vicious as The Shockmaster enters as the final member of the match. He throws both members of Harlem Heat into the cage before going after Vader. Kole eats steel again. The boot is used on Sid by Rhodes in the other ring. Shockmaster grabs Kole in a bear hug, Kane tries to break it up but Bulldog stops him. Kole gives up and Sting’s team gets the W.
Winners: Sting, Davey Boy Smith, Dustin Rhodes & The Shockmaster (Shockmaster/Bearhug)
- EA’s Take: Sort of an abrupt ending, but overall a good WarGames match. Great to see Harlem Heat, but it was really hard calling Booker T and Stevie Ray “Kole and Kane”. Their WCW debut was very controversial and racist as they were portrayed as prisoners who came to the ring in shackles. Fred Ottman is probably best known for his time as Tugboat and Typhoon, but he had one of the most infamous debuts in wrestling history when he came in as The Shockmaster not long before this match, which everyone is probably already familiar with. As for the infamous Sid/Arn Anderson incident, a scuffle at a hotel room in October would see both men stabbing one another with a pair of scissors. Arn would get the worst of it as he was stabbed 20 times and after a number of WCW wrestlers threatened to walk out, Sid was released.
EA’s Take: I’m trying to think of another PPV I’ve seen where the heels sweep the title matches. Maybe they’re trying to set up some of their babyfaces for big wins at Starrcade? Overall, a solid show, I’m happy to see Regal for sure. The combination of the unpredictable title swaps, the presence of the Scorpio/Bagwell tag team I’m high on, the PPV debut of Harlem Heat, the main event being my favorite gimmick match concept and the fact that I had a match (Horsemen vs. Nasty Boys) that I thought was worthy of the Top Three To Watch that doesn’t make the cut, a very enjoyable effort by WCW with this one.
Top Three To Watch
1 – Ric Flair vs. Rick Rude
2 – WarGames
3 – Lord Steven Regal vs. Ricky Steamboat