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WCW '91-'92: Good That Came From Flair's Absence, It's Not As Bad As WWE Claim It Was

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  • WCW '91-'92: Good That Came From Flair's Absence, It's Not As Bad As WWE Claim It Was

    Looking up some old WCW footage on youtube after Flair's defection to the WWF, I really liked some of the stuff they put together.

    One of the things I liked (while also looking up some old Ron Simmons WCW stuff after learning of his HOF induction), was how WCW attempted to move on without Flair by moving away from the "our champion is a rassler" mindset and leaning towards the All-American athlete image with Luger/Simmons. For years, Luger was the challenger, the athletic blond American chasing after the gold. For 3 years, Luger pursued Flair but never managed to win the World title off the Nature Boy.

    Flair ends up leaving in '91 and Luger finally gets the World title. Now the roles switch with the athletically accomplished Luger being the norm. WCW brings in a new underdog, in my opinion the perfect underdog, a black, All-American collegic football star Ron Simmons! After seeing how this feud was put together, I found it to be a smart and natural move and a valiant effort to change the face of the WCW World Title. I thought this was a good way to move away from the Flair era. Although it didn't work, and I couldn't understand why Simmons couldn't win it off Luger instead of waiting a few months to win it (poor execution especially with Luger leaving), I appreciated the way WCW sought for change.

    With Flair's absence came the emergence of the Dangerous Alliance, pushing Rick Rude as a main eventer and the cornerstone of the stable, a disadvantage he had in the WWF.

    I also liked the Sting/Luger vs. Steiner Bros match, the Junior Heavyweight Division and the Jake Roberts/Sting feud.

  • #2
    This was the time that I enjoyed WCW. You had a glimpse of future superstars in Rick Rude, Brian Pillman, and Steve Austin. Austin was the guy you loved to hate. It was easy to do because he played the heel role so well, but you could see how well he could get it done in the ring. The Steiners were beasts and we can't forget about The Pearl of the Orient, The Great Muta. WCW wasn't bad when you stripped away the gimmicky stuff. Then I got to watch all the old codgers that I had watched when I was 7 come in.


    • #3
      ah yes the codgers Dick Murdoch, Dick Slater, Bill Irwin. I too enjoyed the blend of vets and future stars.


      • #4
        I hadn't heard of 2 Cold Scorpio until he turned up in WCW in '92. I also liked the addition of Gordy & Williams, Orndorff and Shane Douglas.


        • #5
          People look at the early 90's and only think of it as a dark time in WCW history without Flair. It certainly was, especially given how the colossal idiot Jim Herd unceremoniously dumped his moneymaker in favor of Luger who, as Flair's opinion of him proved to be correct, was not the man to lead the company into the future. He had "the look," but Luger was just not a charismatic or exciting enough entity to "pop" the WCW crowd the way Herd thought he would.

          In fact, Flair wanted Barry Windham to take the strap off him, but Herd wouldn't hear of it, instead choosing to fire "Naitch" without having him drop the title on his way out. Flair was WCW's top draw and everyone knew it, except for the guy in charge; and he sent him packing without allowing him to give the rub to a man who was still in his athletic prime (Windham) and 10 times the worker that Lex Luger was. That all proves how shortsighted and woefully unqualified Herd was as WCW President. So, yes, WCW went through a lean period for sure.

          What people seem to forget, however, is that the WWE saw a decline in the early 90's as well. Yes, they eventually went the opposite direction of WCW in terms of their World Title picture (the hulking muscular physiques gave way to the smaller, more technical stars--i.e. Hart, Michaels), but suffered a loss in viewership and attendances. They were the better for it in the long run, just as WCW was better for pushing young stars, but they both saw a dip in fandom. It was a decline in pro wrestling as a whole, not just in WCW.

          WCW did admirably with Sting as its face and a very talented supporting cast around him. Once Flair came back in 1993, the company did not have to put themselves solely on his back. This was good for Flair and WCW. Guys like Pillman, Austin, Dustin Rhodes, SImmons, Rude, Vader, Cactus Jack, and a host of others helped fill the card out nicely. That really put WCW into position to challenge the WWE in the mid-1990's.

          If you look at the big picture, the 1990's were not the dark time that many people remember. It was a decade where necessary transition was made that led to the second-biggest boom in wrestling history.
          I'm the man, the myth, the legend..."The Show"!!!!