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[1993-08-28-WCW-Saturday Night] Flair for the Gold: Rick Rude

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Flair tries to talk to Rude about wrestling, but Rude is staring off at Fifi the whole time. He was upset with Fifi for not calling him when he gave his phone number. Flair tries to take up for her, and Rude tells him not to tell him how to conduct his love life. He grabs Fifi and kisses her and she slaps him. Flair tries to calm things down and gets attacked for his troubles. This felt very hollow and contrived, even though Flair and Rude were both good.

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Is it me or the production values are better on this one ? Better shot, with good close-ups of Rude and Fifi. I actually enjoyed it more than any Flair for the Gold segment, at least something happened that lead to a program. Rude was pretty cool in a sexual predator way, and Flair played the laid-back nature boy role well, not getting into Rude's face agressively just yet.

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Was like they brought this segment out one last time just for this angle. Check out Rude's outfit complete with fanny pack. Flair in his intro of Rude says he has all the genetics. Rude is very distracted by Fifi and would rather talk about her than wrestling. Flair takes a Rude Awakening on the floor.

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This was the last Flair for the Gold segment EVER.

Thank God for that. Flair has come off as such a spineless wimp in this setting, constantly asskissing his babyface guests and being browbeaten by the heels. In a stunning reversal, Flair actually wants to talk about wrestling on this show. What do you know--this segment actually seems like it's been thought out by somebody, with both guys getting a chance to talk. And since both guys are good enough to follow direction without coming off as reading a teleprompter, it kinda works. Even some continuity from the last segment. And Rude doesn't seem far off from a real-life sexual predator pro athlete, either. Fifi gives Rude a slap when he forces himself on her, and when Flair tries to wrap things up Rude clobbers him with the NWA belt and drops him with the Rude Awakening. Rude figures out that Fifi will go with him if he gets Flair's title.

 

No one is going to confuse this with Ole and Dusty in the cage, or with Lawler and the Snowman in the WMC studio, as far as Angles of the Decade go. But I'll be damned if this wasn't perfectly effective. Rude finally comes off as a big deal again after a stifling feud over a U.S. title that sat vacant for what felt like 9 years.

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I actually liked the way this set up as Rude was the perfect foil to out style and profile Flair. It is too bad that Rude was on his way down as far as in ring as the buildup just a year and half earlier could have made this a classic feud.

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Besides the Shockmaster debut, this was by far the best Flair for the Gold segment on the yearbooks. Rude is so good at his reprehensible womanizing character, it's too bad that injuries held this feud back.

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First of all, God bless Flair for taking a Rude Awakening on the floor like that. He must have really liked and trusted Rude to allow it to happen, what with his bad neck and back.

 

Rude hasn't been this aggressively sleazy since Cheryl Roberts back in '88, which is a good thing in my book. I like the more multifaceted Rude that WCW has brought out over the last couple of years better than the WWF Rude, who seemed at times to be about chasing women to the exclusion of his wrestling career. As such, I'd rather this issue had started over the NWA World title, not Fifi, even though the attack would have probably been done the same way regardless. It's a disappointment that the belt that used to mean everything to every professional wrestler is now being used as a prop to lure a so-called French maid into bed with the guy who's challenging for it, but such is wrestling in 1993.

 

Where were Arn and/or Pretty Paul here? I guess the old rule that if you jump on one Horseman, particularly the captain, you jump on them all doesn't apply anymore. That may be the most jarring thing about this segment for longtime Flair watchers; Arn and Roma didn't even come out to see if Ric was all right. Fifi knows how to play shock and concern well, but she's not what we needed here. I liked her struggles against Rude, though.

 

I'm sorry that most people don't seem to care for the matches that come out of this. Complaints about the setup aside, I would think that Flair and Rude would work well together, even if neither one of them is what he was a few years ago. I look forward to finding out for myself.

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