Wrestling Feuds: History Of Ric Flair Vs Sting

At TNA No Surrender on September 11th 2011, we were going to have the latest match in one of the more storied feuds in the entire history of wrestling. Sting squaring up against Ric Flair. The last time these two men fought was on March 26th 2001 on the final WCW Monday Nitro, with Sting getting the victory, in the last image that true WCW fans would see, of the two men who were WCW for years fighting.

Storied Beginnings!

Yet their feud started much earlier. The night Sting became a star was against Ric Flair. On the March 27th 1988, at

the first Clash of the Champions, which aired on free television right head to head, right against WWF Wrestlemania IV. In fact, many felt that the Clash of the Champions show was viewed to be the superior show, against the long and drawn out four hour Wrestlemania IV. Sting and Ric Flair battled for the NWA Championship in a forty five minute draw. Sting didn’t win the match but a star was born on that night of the Clash of the Champions.

Sting the Horsemen

The Four Horsemen were one of the most dangerous stables in wrestling. The first version of the Horsemen were with Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson, and Tully Blanchard. Then Lex Luger replaced Ole Anderson and then Barry Windham replaced Lex Luger in the Four Horsemen. Then the Horseman disbanded for a year in 1988 when Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson went to the World Wrestling Federation. They reunited when Arn Anderson returned, with former member Ole Anderson, Ric Flair, and Sting, to feud with Gary Hart’s J-Tex Corporation of the Great Muta, Terry Funk, Buzz Sawyer, and the Dragon Master. The Horsemen were the good guys but not for long. Sting beat Ric Flair in the Iron Man Challenge Tournament at Starrcade 1989, setting up Sting as the number one contender for Ric Flair’s NWA Championship. This lead to the remaining Horsemen turning on Sting, setting up Sting against Flair for the title.

Magic Tricks, Imposter Stings, and Black Scorpions.

Sting was injured legit in the Horsemen attack, which lead to Sting’s long time friend and fellow former Horsemen, Lex Luger to feud with Ric Flair for the first few months of 1990. Sting returned at the Great American Bash 1990, to beat Ric Flair for the NWA Championship. This lead to a mysterious character, named the Black Scorpion. The Black Scorpion was played by a number of wrestlers, but there was some hints that it was a man from Sting’s place, making some fans think it was the Ultimate Warrior, which would be impossible as he was part of the World Wrestling Federation at the time. The two men were the Angel of Death and Al Perez who were under the Black Scorpion mask, but Ole Anderson did the voice overs.

Yet that was not the only oddity that plagued Sting’s reign. During a match with “Psycho” Sid Vicious and Sting at Halloween Havoc 1990, an imposter Sting entered the ring and was pinned by Sid. It was Barry Windham in face paint, who Sid pinned. Sting returned with a rope tied around him and returned to beat Windham. The Black Scorpion mind games continued, leading to Sting beating the Black Scorpion in the blowoff match at Starrcade 1990 and the Black Scorpion was unmasked to reveal Ric Flair.

Flair would regain the NWA Championship two weeks later but the Black Scorpion had tanked Sting’s first world title reign and proving that dressing up like Heath Ledger while doing Jim Carey is not the lowest point in Sting’s career.

Mid 1990s battles

Ric Flair had a few more return matches with Sting throughout 1991 before Ric Flair went to the WWF for a couple of years from 1991-1993, before he returned to WCW. He had a match with Sting in the summer of 1993, an amazing battle for the NWA Championship. The next match was in the June 1994 Clash of the Champions, which was a title unification match between Ric Flair and Sting for the WCW World Title versus the WCW International Title. The WCW International Title is this match is the current World Heavyweight Title on Smackdown but it became the WCW Championship after this match. Ric Flair unified the title, leading to his match with Hulk Hogan at Bash at the Beach 1994. They had one final match in 1994, on a WCW Saturday Night in July 1994, where the fans got to choose the match, which predated WWE Taboo Tuesday/Cyber Sunday/Fan’s Choice Night. Sting and Ric Flair was the first interactive match of its type that paved the way for that system used for WWE

and Ric Flair won yet again.

Swerve Me and I’ll Leave You For Dead

Longtime friends Arn Anderson and Ric Flair appeared to be having problems in the summer and early fall of 1995. Arn Anderson was joined by Brian Pillman and they had Ric Flair on the ropes, with Pillman helping Anderson beat Ric Flair at Fall Brawl 1995. Ric Flair was a man alone and he tried to recruit help. Randy “Macho Man” Savage turned him down, obviously not feeling too kind towards Ric Flair, after Flair pummeled Savage’s father, Angelo Poffo, with a cane and put him in the figure four leglock just months previously in 1995. So Ric Flair turned to Sting.

Learning from what happened in 1989, Sting was not too sure about whether teaming up with Ric Flair but Sting was convinced. He uttered one warning:

“You swerve me Flair and I’ll leave you for dead.”

This set up a tag team match at Halloween Havoc 1995, where Ric Flair and Sting met Brian Pillman and Arn Anderson but Flair turned on Sting, after faking a backstage beatdown and swerved him, reforming the Four Horsemen with Brian Pillman and Arn Anderson, with Chris Benoit joining up as the fourth member several weeks later. Sting’s warning rang clear and eight days after WCW Halloween Havoc, Sting had Ric Flair one on one in the ring on WCW Monday Nitro with Sting putting Ric Flair in the Scorpion Deathlock, for several minutes during the show and many after, until Sting’s long time friend, Lex Luger, managed to convince Sting to break the hold. This lead to a return match a few weeks later at World War 3 with the same finish and two men would fight as well in the sixty man three ring battle royal known as World War 3.

Starrcade 1995 would feature Ric Flair defeating Lex Luger and Sting in a Triangle Match at Starrcade 1995 to get a shot at WCW Champion Randy Savage, who he would beat to be the 12 time WCW Champion. Ric Flair put the title on the line against Sting on the January 15th 1996 WCW Monday Nitro, that would lead to Sting losing to Ric Flair due to hijinx with Jimmy Hart, Lex Luger, playing tug of war with a megaphone and said megaphone connecting with Sting’s face.

On WCW Saturday Night on March 2rd 1996, Sting and Ric Flair had their final one on one match for almost three years, that went off the air before a decisive finish. The next week, on WCW {Pro} Wrestling on Saturday Morning, the last few moments were shown, Ric Flair defeated Sting via disqualification thanks to Lex Luger, winning the match but not the WCW Championship. Sting was not happy, as he had reversed the Figure Four Leglock and was about ready to make a comeback to win the championship. This was the second straight title match that Lex Luger inadvertently cost Sting, leading to some tensions.

They did compete in a series of tag team matches and six man tag teams matches, before Sting and Lex Luger joined forces with the Horsemen to feud with the NWO leading to War Games 1996. Yet an Imposter Sting caused seeds of mistrust

The Later Days of WCW

Ric Flair and Sting would not cross paths until 1999, where Sting beat Ric Flair on the April 12th 1999 edition of WCW Monday Nitro. They would have a match with the Presidency of WCW, with Sting beating Ric Flair on the July 19th 1999 WCW Monday Nitro. They had a few more battles in 2000 both singles and tag, including a memorable match where Sting and Vampiro took on Ric Flair and Lex Luger in a Falls Count Anywhere Match taking place on the beach at Spring Break, with Sting beating Lex Luger in a piledriver right in the ocean.

Sting and Ric Flair competed in an emotional match on the final WCW Nitro, their final one on one match, until TNA No Surrender on September 11th 2011. If Sting wins, he gets his match with Hulk Hogan at Bound for Glory. If Ric Flair wins then Sting has to retire.
 

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