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Charles (Loss)

[1993-05-01-WCW-Saturday Night] Flair for the Gold: Vader & Harley Race

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A Flair For The Gold! I really hated this show and thought Flair was embarrassing doing it, but whatever. We meet Fifi the Maid for the first time and Flair interviews Vader and Harley Race. WCW production also isn't sophisticated to pull something off like this very well. I do like that Vader asks Flair who The Man is, because that's quite the loaded question.

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Sometime last year I watched a bunch of Flair for the Gold segments on you tube and I liked some of them but it just came off as something WCW couldn't quite pull off. Flair and Arn just didn't seem comfortable and the production crew was something out of a Canadian public access show. The Blondes one is great though. The one with Dusty and the Assassin is beyond terrible

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Yeah, with all the money WCW blew buying wrestlers and shitty writers from WWF, you'd think they would've poached a producer/director or two. I mean this was presumably filmed on CNN property and it looks worse than stuff filmed for public access.

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What I find most interesting about this one -- besides how fantastically gorgeous Fifi is -- is how they are basically setting up a feud with Vader and Flair.

 

That sort of pushes Davey Boy to the side, doesn't it? He's having a ppv title match with Vader, and Vader is now concerned with Flair. It's an insult that diminishes the British Chihuahua as worthy competition.

 

But of course, they did this all over the place on this episode of Worldwide. They're constantly talking about how the Blondes are going to be in the cage at Slamboree. And yet there are several tag title matches in between -- including one of this very episode.

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The production is hilariously bad. Bad directing, people talking over each others in a messy (as opposed to organic) way. Oh man, I never knew Fifi actually spoke French ! Awesome ! Anyway, Vader is really good here though, he makes the whole segment valuable. I'm waiting for him to smack Flair like he would a journalist from Koweit...

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Obviously Flair is great on the mic but his own talk show doesn't feel right. I think everyone is out of their comfort zone during this. Vader in his wrestling gear sitting down on a couch didn't feel right. Very cheesy all around.

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I spent most of the '90 and '91 Yearbooks bitching about how the Louisville Slugger and Danger Zone didn't have proper sets, so I guess I can't complain too much about how this set feels like it's money down the toilet. Flair is energetic here but I simply don't think an interviewer role suits him. That legendary WCW production comes through again--Flair introduces Vader like he's a surprise guest even though TBS Guy spilled the beans during his intro. Vader talks of his School of Pain, and attendees like Sting, Ron Simmons, Joe Thurman, Cactus Jack, and Nikita Koloff, and has words for the "British Chihuahua." Flair's constant exhortations to "relax, relax" are getting on my nerves--this feels less like Flair than anything he did in the WWF, honestly.

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Would it have been so hard for WWF to keep Flair in a suit when he wasn't in the ring? This feels so much more like Flair than just about anything out of the ring during his WWF run, even if its set in your high school theater. I loved Vader smelling a drink while sitting on a couch with his mask and grunting. Race probably got a big kick out of this segment. Some great comedy here. Talk about breaking Simmons' & Stings' ribs, running off Nikita & Cactus and breaking Joe Thurmond's back. That last part is a bit uncomfortable. Flair asks why he wears the mask and Vader grabs him by his jacket teasing an eventual feud. I enjoyed this a lot.

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I gotta say, it sounds like I may be the Flair for the Gold defender as I liked the vast majority of them as a kid. We will see if that opinion holds true. I thought this was a good segment with some slight digs and animosity mounting between Vader and Flair.

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I seem to recall reading somewhere (maybe on this board, even) that Flair wasn't allowed to wrestle when he first came back to WCW because of a non-compete clause in his WWF contract, but WCW had to do something with him, so this is what they came up with. If that's true, their hearts were in the right place. If it's not and this segment was just a way to keep him off to the side somewhere, what a lowdown dirty shame.

 

It had its merits: Vader again proved that he's a great talker without Harley, and he pulled off his comedy material with Fifi very well, especially the bits with the food. (By the way, let me congratulate Flair on his taste in fifth wives; if she's still half as beautiful as she was here, he ought to be very happy for a very long time.) I liked Vader rattling off all the men he's hurt in his School of Pain, and his answer to Flair's question about why he wears the mask was a classic. Harley seemed greatly amused by it all somehow, almost as if he was another guest who had nothing to do with Vader at all.

 

As for our not-so-humble host, I'm not sure how to take his performance. If he was legally unable to get in the ring, his demeanor was understandable; they couldn't even tease an in-ring return for him until the non-compete ran out, no matter how a guest might act. On the other hand, if this was just Flair trying to be above it all for whatever reason, it stank. Why have Vader as a guest if you're not going to start building a Flair-Vader feud? It's the same thing with Barry the following week. These are the two people whom WCW fans want to see Flair wrestle most, so wait on them as guests until the feuds are ready to be activated. Have Arn as a first guest, or someone young who needs a rub from a legend like Buff Bagwell. Don't have Flair acting like a wuss on his own segment; it only reinforces the notion that he's past it, and if you at WCW believe that he's past it, why did you resign him? If all he's going to do is rot, let him do it on Vince's payroll, not yours.

 

The best Flair line of the segment was the quote was the line about cookin' and smokin'. I've heard it quite a few times, and I think the archrival that Flair was referring to was Dusty, but that line was also said by someone else who could have been considered an archenemy of Flair's in the recent past: Roddy Piper. Whichever one Flair was thinking of, using the line was a nice touch.

 

I'm looking forward to more of these so I can tell if they improved or not, although I have my doubts. Still, Fifi's nice enough to look at, and even if you don't agree with Flair's attitude, he's still a great talker, so these shouldn't be too painful, unlike WCW's last interview segment (​The Bull Drop Inn).

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