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[1993-06-05-WCW-Saturday Night] Flair for the Old

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This was probably funnier back in the days when there weren't better parodies to compare it to. I do like that Austin is just out as Austin playing it straight.

 

Austin to Arn: "The last time I saw a body like that, it had an apple in its mouth roasting over an open flame."

 

Arn punches him and is getting the better of Austin until Pillman smacks Arn with his cane. Flair comes out to even the sides and just like that, the show goes off the air.

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I liked Austin's voice over at the beginning. It's tough to do an effective parody of Ric which he was such a caricature of himself on those Flair for the Gold segments anyways.

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This isn't quite DX-as-the-Nation levels of funny, but it was still pretty biting for the time--without being overlong and legitimately meanspirited like the NWO Horsemen parody. Flair's age wasn't exactly a huge secret but it had never been openly dealt with on television until now. Super-hot brawl to end the show. Wrestling fans do suck--as bad as WCW has gotten, this was a set-up worthy of a better rating than the Clash got.

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Pillman wasn't really doing Flair here; he was just acting old and decrepit.

 

I'd have actually liked it better if he'd done a straight Flair imitation, only a bit slower than Ric would act himself. This was about as ham-handed as it gets, and while seeing Pillman as an old coot was somewhat amusing, I actually thought Austin was much better, especially when he threw the bottle of "pills" in the general direction of Brian's mouth. Arn came out just in the nick of time before the segment would have run too long, and I thought the brawl was very good.

 

I don't know. Making age jokes is one thing, but a parody like this is probably taking things too far. I've heard about the NWO version of the Horsemen and how Flair ended up suing the company over it, but this wasn't a hell of a lot better. Maybe Pillman was better off doing a generic old man after all.

 

The amazing thing about all this is that Flair's gotten more respect from the WWF (as in still being featured in archival footage on TV and in video games) since he left than he has from WCW. It's to the point where I'm wondering if it might not have been better for him to stay with Vince, even if he'd never so much as sniffed a championship of any kind again.

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