The Lone Wolf In WCW
For most of 1992, Barry Windham fought the good fight with the likes of Sting, Dustin Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat and Nikita Koloff to fight off the Dangerous Alliance, who were trying to take over World Championship Wrestling throughout the year.
Once they got rid of the Dangerous Alliance, Windham began to focus on himself and only himself and if that meant breaking friendships then so be it. Barry Windham was on his way to becoming the Lone Wolf in WCW.
Windham first targeted his former partner and tag team champion Dustin Rhodes by the end of 1992 and into early 1993. Windham would have a brief association with Brian Pillman and Steve Austin to combat Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat and Shane Douglas. Windham and Rhodes would have several death matches on the house show circuit, as well.
For most of the first two months of the year, Windham was unable to defeat Dustin Rhodes in bull rope matches or bunkhouse matches. However, as 1993 went along Barry Windham would have far more success.
By February 1993, Windham was the top contender for the NWA World Championship, which was being held by The Great Muta. They squared off for the title at Superbrawl III. At the event, Windham won the championship following a DDT. Afterward, Ric Flair, who made his return to the company, attempted to hand the championship to Windham, but Barry simply took the title and walked off.
For several weeks announcers would attempt to interview Barry Windham, but each time they would mention Ric Flair and Windham showed no interest in talking about Flair as he would simply walk away from the interview causing everyone to wonder what was on Windham’s mind.
On the May 15th edition of Saturday Night, Windham finally decided to talk about Flair. Flair and Anderson had thought about reforming the Horsemen and there was a recruitment of Windham. However, Windham made it clear that he was not a Horsemen anymore and was instead, the Lone Wolf.
Following the denial of the Horsemen, Windham defended the NWA World Championship against Arn Anderson at Slamboree. Windham successfully defended the championship by whacking Anderson over the head with it. Four weeks later, Windham had a competitive match with the unlikely Too Cold Scorpio, which saw Windham escape with the championship following a DDT.
After seven months of avoiding and not talking about the Nature Boy, Barry Windham finally defended the NWA World Championship against Ric Flair at Beach Blast on July 18th, 1993. It took just about twelve minutes of action for Flair to regain the championship, though he won when Windham didn’t realize his shoulders were on the canvas as he tried to reach the ropes to break the figure four. It was a less than desirable outcome. Windham would be out of action for ten months as he took time off to recover from a knee injury.
The Lone Wolf would return to WCW and challenge Ric Flair for the WCW World Championship at Slamboree in May 1994. Windham was the mystery opponent that Col. Robert Parker had promoted on television for several weeks prior to the event. Flair retained the belt after hitting a top rope cross body in a rare moment of the move actually being executed.
Windham’s run in WCW would come to an end and he would briefly compete in the WWF in 1996 and 1997 before coming back to WCW for the West Texas Rednecks gimmick that was memorable in 1999. However, this is the last substantial singles run for Windham.
I personally thought it was the best Windham had to offer in quite sometime as he played the badass heel extremely well and he had some good matches during his run whether it was on television or pay per view. I do wish that he had a proper blowoff with Dustin Rhodes on pay per view, but by all accounts they had a fun run on the house show circuit. He was a regular highlight with his matches and interviews during the first half of the year. It’s a shame that his run was cut short due to injuries.
What are your memories of Barry Windham? Did you enjoy his work?
Leave your thoughts below.
Thanks for reading.