Prowrestling.net reports:Richard Reid Fliehr, who wrestled as Reid Flair, is dead at age 24, according to Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com. He was the youngest son of pro wrestling legend Ric Flair. The cause of death has not been revealed.
Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the vast majority of the people reading these pieces were fans of World Championship Wrestling in the 90’s.
Fans of WCW have had to endure an enormous number of tragedies over the years. While I don’t think anything can top the shock of losing Benoit and Guerrero, death isn’t a match that anyone’s in a rush to win – and today’s loss is simply terrible. Reid Flair grew up with us. He couldn’t have been much more than 10 when he jumped Eric Bischoff in 1998, and beat him into tomorrow. Even then, the acting skills and professionalism he displayed were light years ahead of half the roster.
As much as I try and forget a lot of the period that led to the demise of WCW; I can’t forget Reid teaming with his dad against David Flair and Vince Russo. He was 12 years old, and despite being put in one of the most disrespectful angles of all time where both he and his dad were forced to get their heads shaved – Reid sold it like a champ.
He’d next appear at the 2002 Royal Rumble; now nearly 14 years old, and appearing to already be taller than his dad. He was simply seated in the front row, along with his sisters, cheering on Ric against Vince. In looking at him, you knew which son had inherited the professional wrestling genes (sorry David) – and if he committed himself, it wouldn’t be long before we’d see him tearing up WWE rings.
Sadly, we never got the chance. While he had been working the indies, and was reportedly a solid and at times inspired worker; he also appeared to be living up to the Nature Boy legacy, with far too many parties and a couple of highly publicized run-ins with the law.
Regardless of the reason Reid passed; I cannot imagine the pain his parents and siblings are in today. It is with my sincere hope that Ric and the rest find the inner strength to make peace. 25 years old is simply far too soon; and with quite literally his whole life in front of him, we never got to meet the man Reid was going to become. I’m just bummed. Rest in peace Reid.
Reid Flair getting set to take on Eric Bischoff in 1998. Reid passed away on March 29, 2013 shortly after his 25th birthday.
TONY SCHIAVONE and DUSTY RHODES welcome us to Saturday Night. Dusty’s all up in chokeslams over the chokeslams the Giant delivered. CHOOOOOKKESLAM.
We turn over to ARN ANDERSON who is cradling his head, KEVIN SULLIVAN, and JIMMY HART. Sullivan says his head still isn’t right from the chokeslam he took on Monday. He says he saw Anderson laughing about it; until he wound up chokeslammed too. Arn says he’s focused on Nitro, where they’ll fight Hogan and Brother Booty in a tag-team match. Did Teddy Long make it? That sounds terrible.
THE ARMSTRONG BROTHERS vs. ARN ANDERSON and KEVIN SULLIVAN
Arn enters alone because Kevin Sullivan’s a terrible wrestler not interested in helping Anderson tonight, so we’re left with Arn vs. Scott Armstrong. Armstrong hits a number of high flying punches, but gets DDTed and pinned at 1:10. One bonus star for leaving Sullivan in the back. *
WCW Propaganda: Kevin Sullivan slams Cactus Jack on the exposed concrete over and over and over. If their point was to show us how manly Mick Foley was, message received!
“HACKSAW” JIM DUGGAN vs. DAVE TAYLOR (with Jeeves)
I will not be satisfied unless Taylor finally busts out the European Uppercut he was reportedly using in OVW before getting called up. We’ve all heard the rumors about it; but it’s time. It’s better here than at Starrcade, can you imagine if he tried it in the main event, missed, and knocked himself loopy? Also, yes, I just booked Dave Taylor vs. Hulk Hogan at Starrcade. Brit, Scot, they’re all the same. Duggan wins with a 3 point stance at 1:48. But then ... TAYLOR HITS HIM WITH A EUROPEAN UPPERCUT! Duggan responds with a taped fist!! I need a rematch, this has clearly been unsettled! DUD
Meanwhile, we unbelievably see lipstick on a pig! Wait, no, that’s MADUSA doing her makeup and talking trash about the Colonel.
COLONEL ROBERT PARKER and “DIRTY” DICK SLATER demand their time to respond with a creepy mustachioed interviewer; they’re given LEE MARSHALL. Parker reminds us that he airplane spun Madusa into another planet and pinned her. The man tells truths. On behalf of the male gender, he promises to put her away.
THE BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY BOOTY MAN (with Kimberly) vs. MAXX MUSCLE
Holy crap – Maxx!! I thought DDP had lost him to Johnny B Badd at some point, so good to see that ... aww crap, he jobs to a high knee at 0:53. Due to the speed of this match, it is my second favorite Booty Man match ever, right behind every match that does not feature the Booty Man. Thank goodness HD had not been invented in 1996. DUD
DEVON STORM vs. EDDIE GUERRERO
I do like Devon Storm, and actually, he’s a pretty inspirational tale. Here’s a guy who busted his ass for years, working the jobber shows, looking for that opportunity. He was finally given a gimmick in Crowbar that he made work in spades, and was jobbed out to every single wrestler alive from that point forward and wound up without a job a year later when the company folded. Storm takes down Guerrero with a shoulderblock, and follows with a springboard back elbow. Guerrero comes back with a rana, but Storm snaps off a pair of armdrags so Eddie bails. This isn’t your typical wrestler though, as Storm NAILS a baseball slide hard, and follows with a slingshot senton to the floor! Eddie is put on the top rope for the kill, but Guerrero fights free and hits a tornado DDT. Frog Splash ends this WAY too soon at 2:20. Seriously? *1/2
THE STATE PATROL vs. HARLEM HEAT (for control of the streets)
I’m not even going to pretend I didn’t just die when during Harlem Heat’s entrance, the camera cut to a lone black guy whooping it up. The Booty Man was given wide angled shots of dozens of fans just going berserk (albeit, never while in the same frame as the Booty Man himself) – but Harlem Heat? The Black Guy! Booker is left as your Rodney King in peril; but he fights loose and with the help from Stevie, hits a double team powerbomb/elbowdrop on the Lieutenant at 2:29. 1/2*
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants to find out what the latest is on the world tag-team title shot Harlem Heat is owed. Stevie Ray drops the bomb; it’s on like a steamin’ pot of neckbones Monday.
SHARK vs. LEX LUGER (for the WCW World Television Title)
Unbelievably, this show isn’t even half over yet. Luger’s all business tonight, giving genuine looking hand slaps to the fans; so we’re full on babyface tonight. Shark attacks before the bell as Luger’s entering the ring, resulting in his jaw slamming into the buckle. Luger comes back with a series of punches to rock the big man shark. Shark goes to the headbutts and calls for the Shark Attack. Luger instead goes for a slam, but Shark is much too fat and falls on top for 2. Shark powerslams Luger, and flexes his flabby arms. Luger cradles him for the win out of nowhere at 2:49. The better man won, as Luger is a man, and not a shark. DUD
Luger meets up with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND. Gene suggests that Luger hit Flair on purpose at Uncensored. Luger refuses to give a concrete answer. Flair has apparently demanded a match with Luger on Nitro. Concerning Harlem Heat, Luger says there’s a lot going on right now, and his best friend in the world Sting wants what’s best for Luger just like he wants what’s best for Sting, and he’s better off taking the World Title shot against Flair.
PAT TANAKA vs. KONAN (for the WCW United States Title)
Here’s the crux of the problem of putting the United States title on Konnan; WCW wanted to win over the Latino crowd, but because Konnan was an unknown commodity (to the American audience), WCW didn’t want to go balls to the wall, and refused to put him over anyone sorta credible not named Eddie Guerrero. So instead of Konnan winning over the fans with his ability taking on a series of hard fought challenges, he floundered and defended against jobbers on all the C and D-shows, ensuring no one got over and the US title at its lowest credibility level in its history. And yes, it was the exact same build that Goldberg got, except Goldberg had the intensity of a pack of crazed starving weasels, whereas Konnan was closer to peat moss (not to be confused with another 1996 staple; Kate Moss). Konnan wins with some sort of thing that Tony declares a revolutionary move and I call really stupid looking at 1:54. DUD
FIT FINLAY vs. “EARL” ROBERT EATON (with Jeeves and Steve Regal)
Finlay rushes the aisle before the doors even open, and punts Regal like a football back behind the Star Trek doors. Eaton is then dragged to the ring where he is beaten like that ginger son your wife had from a previous marriage. A high knee sets up the tombstone at 2:33. Eaton blew the finish by blocking with his hands, not to mention his head was about 3 feet off the mat. *
BIG BUBBER ROGERS vs. THE GIANT
Bubba attacks with a bunch of punches to the jaw, that has Dusty beside himself about “how strong Bubber looks!!!” Giant just gives him a toothy grin, and dropkicks him across the arena. Bubba’s then hauled back in, slammed, and down comes the strap!!! Bubba tries to throw an elbow, but that ain’t happening. Frying pan chops send Bubba outside, and Giant follows. Bubba sidesteps a charge, and Giant goes shoulder first into the ring post! Bubba feels his opportunity and heads up, but Giant catches him with ease and slams him. Chokeslam that looks to kill Bubba ends it at 3:26. *
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants a word from HULK HOGAN and THE BOOTY MAN about their match with Anderson and Sullivan on Monday. Well, that Hogan’s just dad gummed thrilled to be teaming with his little brother (oh not this again) – and thinks maybe they should go after the tag-team titles together. Hogan then mentions he’s seen a lot in his 20 years, but the ladies are lining up for Booty Man like he’s never seen. KIMBERLY bounces on to the scene and tells Booty how excited she is to see him wrestle. Hogan tells him to keep his mind off the Booty and on the ring. These two can’t go away fast enough.
THE FACES OF FEAR vs. THE AMERICAN MALES
For some reason, this plays during the entrance for the Males. Why god?
The Fear attack before the bell, and after the bell, and probably during catering before and after the show because that’s how they roll. Meng flattens Bagwell with a powerbomb much to the delight of this particular recapper. Barbarian hits an even harder one on Riggs, and sticks out his tongue because he means business! Riggs takes a backdrop suplex from Meng, saved only by his (life) partner Bagwell. The Fear turn to clubberin’, but Barbarian clubbers Meng by mistake. His selling results in him rolling to the floor and beating up Riggs outside the ring instead. In the ring, Barbarian goes for the headbutt, but Bagwell rolls out of the way. Riggs now heads up, crossbodies Barbarian while Bagwell trips him up, and Riggs gets the win at 3:42. *1/2
STING vs. HUGH MORRUS
We’re on to match #11 of the night, and this is starting to feel like a marathon. Sting slams Morrus with no trouble; showing up Luger for having a hard time with the Shark? Morrus comes back with a bunch of headbutts that drops Sting to a knee. Morrus tries a leapfrog, but Sting sniffs it out and dropkicks him in the face. Elbowdrop misses, and Morrus takes advantage with a backbreaker, setting up No Laughing Matter. It misses the mark, and Sting heads up to hit a crossbody that gets the win at 3:04. *1/2
LEE MARSHALL updates us on the tag-team situation. He calls in Sting to clarify, because his update in a nutshell is “I’m confused!” THE GIANT rushes in to tell Sting if he needs a tag-team partner on Monday because Luger’s busy, he’s in. Sting immediately agrees, because he knows he can trust him with his life.
WCW Propaganda: DDP beating Johnny B Badd from pillar to post. This footage has to be years old because I don’t remember Page ever getting offense in against Johnny at any time during their previous 1700 matches.
“DIRTY” DICK SLATER (with Colonel Robert Parker) vs. RIC FLAIR (with Elizabeth) (for the WCW World Heavyweight Title)
How is this show still going? Are there any more wrestlers in the back? I feel like we’re a couple tag-team matches away from getting a return of the Ding Dongs, which I would not oppose. Slater goes for the Russian legsweep, drops an elbow, but Flair gets his foot on the ropes. RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE COLONEL. A great manager would have made damn sure that foot was knocked right back into the middle of the ring before the referee took notice; this should have been a tell-tale sign to Slater to move on. Slater locks Flair in the figure four, but Flair makes the ropes and Slater is forced to break. Flair dumps Slater to the outside, where the Colonel is waiting to mop down his brow. Back in, Slater hits a backslide for 2. He goes to finish with a powerbomb, but Flair backdrops his way out. Liz says something to the Colonel, which causes the Colonel to make haste towards the back. Now who’s going to mop Slater’s brow? WOMAN is waiting for him, and plays the seduction card. Of course, Slater goes looking for him, allowing Flair to schoolboy him for the win at 6:01. **
“MEAN” GENE OKERLUND wants a word with the champ. Flair asks Liz who’s got the better body; himself or Luger? Ric wins. Ditto better looking, more fans, and being the world champion. Flair reminds Luger for all the gifts god gave him, he wasn’t given the ability to wrestle Ric Flair. And then he starts his seduction routine on Liz; we end the show seconds before he goes downtown. Rumor has it No Hair, No Flair – Liz is old school baby!
We’ll leave that lasting image with you between now and Nitro.
Originally posted by cfgb LEE MARSHALL updates us on the tag-team situation. He calls in Sting to clarify, because his update in a nutshell is “I’m confused!” THE GIANT rushes in to tell Sting if he needs a tag-team partner on Monday because Luger’s busy, he’s in. Sting immediately agrees, because he knows he can trust him with his life.
Is The Giant even a face at this point? Damnit, Sting.
When you get that good, that young, and have the HART name to carry around, it's a lot to deal with. He's got a big head and he's learning the hard way that he needs to get his ego in check if he wants to get to the next level.