I intend to use these Wrestling History posts to examine some of the best feuds in wrestling history. Sometimes, a feud will be encapsulated in a single post, other times I will spread a feud across several posts. I will try to group posts into chucks that tell a logical story, even across a few feuds. I have a reason for posting this to a RPG blog, there are a lot of things GMs can learn from prowrestling about serial storytelling, character development, building heat for villains, and promotion. I was inspired by John Wick's (yes the designer of Legend of the Five Rings) Wrestling Sunday School podcast.
In 1981 Rick Flair won the NWA World Heavyweight title from Dusty Rhodes. As neither wrestler was a major household name at the time, and due to the politics of the NWA (a future post), this was not a popular title change with the NWA promoters or fans. In June of 1983 the legendary Harley Race defeated Flair for the title, and immediately put a bounty on Flair's head.
In August Bob Orton and Dick Slater attacked Rick Flair and Flair was seriously injured by a piledriver and forced to retire from wrestling. The dastardly Orton and Slater collected the bounty. But then on September 21st during an Orton and Slater match:
Now Flair only had to get the man who put the bounty on his head, Harley Race. They would meet again at Starcade, for the World Heavyweight title.
This time the belt was on Flair after he had defeated perhaps the most well established wrestler at the time, and it had been set up with a proper, if simple, feud. But it worked, by this point Flair really had the crowd on his side and this title run would catapult him to wrestling superstardom. Proper build up and the right villain are key to a good climax. But Flair wasn't the only one who was going to get a well built up rivalry with a great villain for the title, Dusty Rhodes was still waiting for that himself. And he would get it, and this time Flair would be the villain.