Growing up, there was this place called Blockbuster in-which you could rent movies and games for a certain period of time for a certain price. The great thing about Blockbuster was their wrestling section at each store had a different selection. Some stores had a good majority of WWE, others had a mixture but the Blockbuster by my aunt’s house was WCW heaven. It had almost every WCW PPV from 1989-1993, so going to my aunt’s house, I always had hope for a Blockbuster trip. One time, I picked Halloween Havoc 1990, a card I will defend till I die. Yes, the ending to Sting/Sid was god awful and it must have been worrying that the fans cheered for Sid over Sting and went nuts when Sid won.
The event had some great matches: A great opener between Midnight Express against Ricky Morton and Tommy Rich, The Steiner Brothers against The Nasty Boys and Scott Steiner’s coming out party, a great Stan Hansen/Lex Luger brawl (Apart of Luger’s run of great PPV matches) and Doom against Flair and Anderson is great even though the finish is bad. What intrigued me the most was this weird guy taunting Sting by the name of the Black Scorpion, and what happened to him? I asked my brother and he told me that the Black Scorpion was Ric Flair. I actually downloaded his theme since I liked it so much. It had this weird vibe, almost like something from a horror movie, it probably was actually.
[adinserter block=”1″]As I continued to dive down the rabbit hole known as the internet wrestling community, I began to find out more about The Black Scorpion. I read about the angle on various websites such as WrestleCrap and just how bad the angle was overall. The magic tricks that would be laughed out of even the most low-budget casino shows. How the company was trying to get fans to believe that it was actually The Ultimate Warrior in the role and how he wanted to KILL Sting. Of course, what was going on behind the scenes was even funnier than the unintentionally funny segments: They had no idea who was going to be The Scorpion. With the WWE Network launching, I decided to look back at the two PPV’s (Havoc 90 and Starrcade 90) that were a part of the angle. Here is a fourteen point recap of what happened:
-Sting blows knee out
-Jim Herd wants Flair to drop the belt to Lex Luger, Flair refuses.
-Flair is fired; Ole Anderson takes over as booker. Power struggle between Herd and Flair begins.
-Sting wins the title belt.
-Ole Anderson creates The Black Scorpion with the intent on him being the man behind it all.
-Ole Anderson breaks his arm.
-All hell breaks loose.
-Various guys play The Scorpion on TV and on live events
-Ric Flair drinks
-Ric Flair drinks some more and then drinks some more after being asked to be The Black Scorpion.
-Feud blown off at Starrcade in a cage with Dick the Bruiser who looks like Tugboat’s step-dad as ref
-Black Scorpion enters in space ship as multiple Scorpion’s enter.
-Sting beats Scorpion, various Scorpion’s attack him and Bruiser, get their asses kicked.
-It’s revealed as Flair, a lot of people in the audience don’t care or are pissed.
Now, if they had The Scorpion as a guy working in the shadows trying to ruin Sting while cutting intense promos that could have worked. I presume Jim Herd had paid for a magician to perform at his kid’s birthday party and drunkenly gave him his promise to put him on TV. The angle could only be saved by a killer reveal of the character and Flair was not the answer. So, who should have been the Black Scorpion? That’s why I am here with an answer as I put my fantasy booker hat on. Drumroll please……
Lex Luger with Paul E. Dangerously as the mastermind behind it all.
Here is what I’m going to lay out, Luger no shows the bull rope match and a guy like Brian Pillman takes his place. Pillman does well but Hansen counters Air Pillman with the lariat and wins the bullrope match. Everybody wonders where Luger is as Paul E. vaguely mentions transportation issues. Flair bleeds buckets in the street fight against Doom and the main event begins. Yes, we still get all the cheesy junk, but it’s the match that matters. Jim Herd is there to present the belt to the winner since I remember him doing that a few times. In reality, the big problem that Flair as the Scorpion was that him and Sting had so many matches, so the match felt familiar. If you watch it, Flair tries to wrestle a completely different match, but it really doesn’t work. When you slot Luger in the role, he rarely faced Sting outside a match or two. A plus and I can’t believe I’m saying this is that their matches weren’t that great, so people won’t be able to detect anything. Another plus is that Luger’s offense was sort of vanilla in that he had three well known moves: Torture rack, piledriver, and power slam. His clothesline has a notable wind-up, but I’m getting way too analytical here.
Diving into the match, the Scorpion seems to be one step ahead of Sting in the same way Punk was one step ahead of Undertaker at WrestleMania 29. Sting goes for the running bulldog when the Scorpion is doubled over, but moves out of the way at the last moment. The Scorpion works over the neck of Sting, and you can even have Dangerously throw out a name like Terry Funk being the man under the mask. Heck, even have him insinuate that it’s Scott Steiner since he did the Steiner Screwdriver. Ross and Dangerously were probably the best announce team in WCW, so they could make it work. As the match progresses, Sting makes his comeback near the end and it seems like he has this in the bag. Sting locks the Scorpion Deathlock in, but the Scorpion gets out. Sting goes for the Stinger Splash, but The Scorpion moves out of the way. Sting doesn’t hit the turn buckle; he flew too high and hit the cage. The Scorpion turns him around and hits a rather familiar looking Piledriver. Jim Ross picks up on it and even he doesn’t want to admit who he thinks is the man under the mask. The Scorpion covers Sting and The Bruiser counts three.
Chaos erupts in the arena. Jim Herd is even more confused than usual as Gary Michael Capeta doesn’t know to make the announcement. Finally, Cappeta announces that The Black Scorpion is indeed the new World Heavyweight Champion. The sound of a headset being taken off as Jim Ross wonders why Dangerously is leaving the desk. Dangerously’s answer is simple: “Excuse me; I have to congratulate my client.” I could just envision Ross wonder just what in the hell he is talking about as Dangerously approaches Herd and snatches the belt away. Bruiser tries to block him from entering the cage but the Scorpion pushes him aside as Dangerously enters the cage. The Scorpion stomps on a prone Sting as Bruiser attempts to stop him and Dangerously hits him with his cell phone that he had concealed. Dangerously acquires a microphone as he announces the man behind the mask, Lex Luger. Luger has the belt and right as Sting begins to get back to his feet, WHAM belt to the face. Starrcade ends with Dangerously raising Luger’s hand while the crowd is presumably angry and Ross is disgusted.
So, what is the motivation of both men? We find that out on the next episode of World Championship Wrestling (Or WCW Saturday Night for you young’uns). In order to hype it up, WCW Executives have barred any mention of what happened or any footage to be shown until the next episode of World Championship Wrestling. It’s a move to get fans to buy the Tuesday replay, plus it builds interest in what happened at the PPV that caused such controversy. Ross should be the guy conducting the interview and Dangerously comes out at first. He would explain what led to him hatching the scheme to dethrone Sting.
Dangerously: Paul E’s motivation for doing this is simple. Jim Herd and those in charge of WCW have done everything to hold Heyman down. He went from being the top manager of the company to being demoted to announcer. He managed The Original Midnight Express until WCW tossed them away; he managed the Samoan Swat Team until WCW had them deported. He started to take Mean Mark places, but WCW left him for dead. They demoted him to announcer, stripped his managerial license and hoped he would say something stupid to fire him without pay. That’s when he decided to do something that would bring this company to its knees. All he needed was the right man to do it, a man like him who was frustrated in his position.
That’s when Luger makes his entrance, belt and all and proceeds to cut the promo of his career. Luger could a good heel promo; he just couldn’t cut a face promo to save his life.
Luger: When Sting first got injured, the fans turned to Luger to stand up to Flair. He didn’t have to; he was offered a spot in the Four Horsemen if he gave up his title shot. When he did face Flair, he had the belt won but he protected Sting from a Horsemen attack, scarifying the belt for his friendship. He motivated Sting throughout his rehab his knee. After all that, he stepped aside to let Sting get his match with Flair, and he wanted one thing from Sting. He wanted a title shot, but Sting and the people in WCW didn’t want that. They claimed that it would be a compromise of the fans. Luger saw that and found a man in the same position of being held down in Dangerously. Most of all, Sting can’t get a rematch against Luger since he signed to face The Black Scorpion, not Lex Luger. It’s back down to the bottom of the Official WCW Championship rankings for Sting.
In reality, the Black Scorpion angle would be the final nail in Sting’s reign as World Champion. His reign was already struggling going into the angle as attendance didn’t take off for the rematches with Flair or the tags against The Horsemen with Luger as his partner. While Sting was over the fans as champion, Sting being over never translated into big business for WCW like many expected. Sting was made to look like a complete fool, a common theme in the booking of his WCW tenure that he couldn’t figure out that it was The Horsemen behind it all. Sting’s reign would come to an end on a snowy January day at the Meadowlands in-front of 5,000 people as Flair was once again champion. The crowd ridiculed Sting throughout the entire match (A theme throughout the show) causing Sting to start acting like a heel during the match. It should be noted that this wasn’t even the main event of the show, a three minute fifty four second Doom/Windham and Anderson cage match main evented. I presume it took more than three minutes fifty four seconds to put the cage together.
[adinserter block=”2″]Overall, the change in the reveal of the Black Scorpion would have helped Sting overall. The belt is off him and the fans can get behind the concept of the chase, Sting going after Luger. Dangerously would presumably bring in some hired guns like Vader or even Stan Hansen to prevent Sting from getting back at Luger. You could even set-up Dangerously beginning to build the Dangerous Alliance by trying to poach Windham and Sid from the Horsemen. The Horsemen splitting up was a much talked about angle that could have revived business in the dying days of the NWA before the Turner buyout. This is Robert Goeman playing Robert Goeman, have a good night.
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