‘A Mark’s Eye View‘ is a weekly look at some of the things that made me a huge fan of professional wrestling.
Say what you want about Ric Flair, but the Nature Boy knows how to cut a hell of a promo. Nowhere was this more clear than the mid to late 1980s when Flair ran roughshod over Ted Turner’s Superstation airwaves. Whether it was talking about full sweaters, training underwear, or listing off the 57 cities he would be wrestling in the next month, Flair could make even his biggest detractor sit up and listen. Years before he would give fans the “she was mine before she was yours” angle, the leader of the Four Horsemen promised fans a whole lot more.
Flair would regain the NWA World Title from Dusty Rhodes in August 1986, and his fourth reign would see him as more of a true heel. Road Warrior Hawk, Mike Rotundo, and a pre-Horsemen Lex Luger all challenged for the belt. Eventually, the Flair/Ron Garvin feud from 1985 and early 1986 was revisited. But this time there was a twist: Ron’s brother (his real life stepson because pro wrestling cannot help but be confusing) Jimmy became involved.
Before he became a member of the watered down Freebirds, “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin was a heel in the mold of Gorgeous George. As he came to the ring, his valet Precious would spray perfume. Garvin had memorable feuds with David Von Erich and Chris Adams in World Class before heading to the AWA and scoring one of the biggest upsets in wrestling history when he and “Mr. Electricity” Steve Regal (no, not that Steve Regal) defeated the then-unstoppable Road Warriors for the AWA World Tag Titles.
Jimmy was floundering around the NWA mid card until suddenly becoming a face after Jim Cornette threw a fireball in Ron’s face. (Ron Garvin and Jim Cornette and the his Midnight Express seemed to constantly be at odds) Enter Ric Flair.
Gorgeous Jimmy was in hot pursuit of Flair’s NWA strap in 1987. Meanwhile, Flair was in hot pursuit of Precious. Every fan remembers when Flair beat Garvin to win a date with Precious only to be knocked out by Ron Garvin in drag. Rightfully so, this was one of the greatest moments of 1987 and lead to the renewed Flair/Ron Garvin feud. Flair also cut an interview with a mannequin that he said he practiced with every night that people found incredibly tasteless. HHH would up the ante decades later during the Katie Vick angle, but in the late ’80s, this was pretty crazy stuff.
Ironically, the most spectacular part of the whole Precious incident is overlooked. In the build up to his match with “Gorgeous” Jimmy, Flair made lots of promises. Naturally, he promised he was going to win the match and a date with Precious. Of course, he stated that after one night on Space Mountain, Precious would not want to go back to her man. But best of all, Flair promised he and Precious were going to make a porno!
Mid-’80s Flair on WTBS is the stuff of legend. Aside from the “with a tear in my eye…” Royal Rumble promo, the most famous Flair interviews are from the Superstation. In his typical fashion, Flair described how he was going to dress Precious in a pink negligee. and he was going to be on silk sheets wearing his favorite underwear. He was also going to rent some cameras from Ted Turner and film everything. He and Precious were going to have a night to remember and everyone would see it.
Much like the Elizabeth photos in which she would only be wearing the staples where the pages turn, Flair never delivered on his lewd promise. Still, it was one of the oddest promos from a career filled with doozies. As for Jimmy Garvin, he would never get this close to any World Title again, but he would find success with Michael Hayes as the (Stop Calling Them) Freebirds. Precious was involved with another strange feud with Kevin Sullivan that went nowhere. Meanwhile, Ric Flair just kept winning World Titles. He has yet to appear in any pornography.
Next Week: Some of the best jobbers of all time!