Daddy’s Boy Turned Psycho
By early 1999, Ric Flair was entrenched in a feud with Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan and the New World Order over the WCW World Championship that Hogan held. The feud would get far more personal when Ric’s oldest son, David Flair, would team with Ric for a tag match against Curt Hennig and Barry Windham at WCW Souled Out 1999. Remarkably, Daivd and Ric pulled off the victory. However, after the match, David was brutally whipped by Hogan with his weightlifting belt. The incident legitimately upset Ric due to how many times Hogan whipped his son.
David would turn on his father at WCW Superbrawl IX when he used a taser on Ric to allow Hulk Hogan to retain the championship. At this point, David was hanging out with Torrie Wilson, which was a ploy to get David to join the New World Order to begin with. David would remain part of the NWO leading into UnCensored in March where David was attacked by Arn Anderson after coming down to ringside for a cage match between Ric and Hogan. Ric would regain the WCW World Championship and become the President of WCW.
After losing the WCW World Championship at Spring Stampede in April 1999, Ric was focused on being the WCW President. By May 1999, Ric had his son get demolished by Meng on May 3rd, but on May 17th edition of Nitro, Ric was determined to shove David down everyone’s throat until they loved him, just like they love him.
Thus, David would get televised victories over Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker, Barry Horowitz, El Dandy, Erik Watts, and Evan Karagias. It shouldn’t surprise anyone when I say that David didn’t win a single match on his own at this point. Literally, every victory had the help of Ric Flair or Arn Anderson. After reading some reviews from the time period, it was heavily panned. However, when it comes to storyline, it actually makes sense. Ric Flair pushing his son no matter what is the ultimate definition of nepotism. David is awful in the ring, but it is kind of humorous to see Ric Flair promote him and desperately attempt to get his son over.
So, David beating enhancement talent isn’t so bad, right? Yeah, I didn’t think so. That is until we get to the June 28th edition of Nitro. The show took place in Chicago and Ric vowed that David would have a statue next to Michael Jordan. David would be in the main event taking on WCW World Champion Kevin Nash in a lumberjack match. All the lumberjacks for the match were associated with Ric Flair in some form. So, the deck was heavily stacked against Nash. Luckily, Nash was able to fight off everyone and even abducted Gorgeous George. Could you imagine David Flair as the WCW World Champion? Yikes..
While the WCW World Championship was saved, sadly, the WCW United States Championship wasn’t so lucky. Scott Steiner was sidelined with a back injury and thus was stripped of the WCW United States Championship on July 5th. Ric Flair, who is still WCW President, awarded the title to his son, David. The logic being that David had defeated WCW World Champion Kevin Nash the week prior by count-out and thus he was the top contender, which is associated with the WCW United States Champion. The nepotism continues!
Buff Bagwell confronted the group calling out David Flair for not having a body and a title match for later on in the night was booked. Of course, with some help from Ric, Arn and Roddy Piper, David was able to retain the championship over Buff Bagwell managing to get a pin fall victory. David would have his first and only WCW US Championship defense on pay per view at WCW Bash at the Beach 1999. At the event, David won due to Ric Flair hitting Malenko with the championship from behind. The following night, David had a brief match with Sting with the idea that Sting wouldn’t be able to get through David to wrestle Ric later in the night. Sting had little problem getting past David, for the record.
Have no fear, David would return to his winning ways on the July 14th edition of Thunder where he would pin Bobby Eaton thanks to a fast count by Charles Robinson while David had a figure four on Eaton. David’s luck continued on the July 26th edition of Nitro when David got a pin on Chris Benoit thanks to Diamond Dallas Page hitting Benoit with a WCW Tag Team Championship.
All great things must come to an end as David Flair met Chris Benoit again on the August 9th edition of Nitro. The Triad (DDP, Bigelow & Kanyon) tried to get involved but were unsuccessful. That allowed Benoit to hit a top rope diving head butt and pinned Flair to win the WCW United States Championship for the first time. The title change was likely due to Ric Flair being off television due to a disagreement with Eric Bischoff that lasted just over a month. Who knows how long David would have been champion!
Now without the gold, David wouldn’t been seen on television much over the next month or so. By September 27th, David’s girlfriend, Torrie Wilson, was hanging out with the Filthy Animals and David would become suspicious that something was up. Also on the show, David tried to save his father from a beat down from DDP, Lex Luger and WCW World Champion Sting, but was unsuccessful and beaten up for his trouble.
On the October 11th edition of Nitro, David was still trying to talk to Torrie Wilson, but was attacked by Curt Hennig. Later in the night, David cost Hennig a match against Ric Flair. The following week, David would compete in singles action against Billy Kidman. By this point, Kidman had stolen Torrie from David and he wasn’t happy about it. Sadly for David, Kidman won the match with a shooting star press. Earlier in the show, Kimberly had given David her room key stating she was lonely since DDP was out of town. However, Ric would end up in the hotel and not David. Later in the program, Ric was disappointed that his son lost to Kidman and called out the Filthy Animals. Ric was brutally attacked by the Animals and David failed on the save attempt.
At Halloween Havoc, Diamond Dallas Page had a strap match with Ric Flair. Kimberly revealed that Flair had spanked her fourteen times in the hotel room, basically admitting she cheated on DDP in some fashion. The strap match saw DDP win the match after a diamond cutter. David attempted to make the save, but was attacked by DDP. DDP took a crowbar from David and nailed Ric in the groin with it. Page hit a diamond cutter on David two times. At one point, we see David and Charles Robinson (the referee for the match and Flair’s friend) crying. Ric was attacked backstage by the EMTS and tossed into an ambulance.
The following night on the October 25th edition of Nitro, David competed in a singles match against Diamond Dallas Page, which was part of a tournament to crown a new WCW World Champion. Page turned his back after kissing David and was brutally attacked with a crowbar. Kimberly entered the ring to protect her husband and David walked away.
The following week, David came out with a crowbar to save Chris Benoit from a beating by the Filthy Animals. However, moments later when trying to leave the arena, David was hit by a car. Kimberly came out of the car and poked David to see if he was moving, but he wasn’t and she drove off. During the November 8th edition of Nitro, David would stalk Kimberly throughout the show but not get his hands on her.
David Flair would have a match with Kimberly at WCW Mayhem, but it wasn’t a match. Instead, Kanyon and DDP came out to rescue Kimberly which saw David eat a diamond cutter. David got saved by Arn Anderson, but he would hit Arn with a crowbar anyway. Following the show, David began to attack the Maestro and would continually yell “where is she?” in reference to Maestro’s valet Symphony. David also continued his feud with DDP by costing him match against Kanyon on the December 16th edition of Thunder after hitting him with a crowbar.
At Starrcade 1999, David would end his feud with Diamond Dallas Page losing to DDP in a crowbar match. After the match, a mysterious woman made her debut. She’d be known as Daffney and would be David’s girlfriend. By the end of the year, David would form a team with a man named Crowbar, whom they met at a gas station. Crowbar was previously known as Devon Storm on the independent scene. Oddly enough, they may have been the top baby face tag team in the company at this time.
Along with Crowbar, David would win the WCW Tag Team Championships but they’d lose them to the Mamalukes after fifteen days of holding them. They had actually defeated Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner in a tournament final to win the titles. If you think they won them cleanly, you must be a dreamer. Arn Anderson whacked Nash with a crowbar allowing David to get a pin on Nash.
Anyway, the team would soon disband and David wouldn’t be on television for a couple of months. David would reappear at Slamboree attacking his father during a match with Shane Douglas. David aligned himself with Vince Russo and claimed Russo was the father he never had. Thus, on the May 8th edition of Nitro, Ric wanted an apology from David, but that didn’t happen. Instead, David smashed Ric with a replica stature of liberty. This would set the stage up for a match between David and Ric at the Great American Bash.
At the Great American Bash, Ric was able to fight off Russo and the New Blood and defeat his son with the figure four. The next night, Vince Russo and David Flair would beat Ric Flair the following night on Nitro, which would see Ric get his hair shaved.
David wouldn’t be part of any angles until the fall of 2000 when he was set to have an on-air wedding with Ms. Hancock (Stacy Keibler, his real-life girlfriend at the time). However, the wedding didn’t occur due to Hancock being pregnant and revealing that the child wasn’t David’s. This caused David to freak out and was determined to find the father. David would believe that it was Buff Bagwell and attempted to get his DNA. However, the angle was dropped before their was a conclusion and Hancock was managing Shawn Stasiak.
David’s last appearance on WCW television was on February 12th edition of Nitro where Kevin Nash used David as a way to get a list of demands from Ric Flair. Despite getting all the demands, Kevin still hit a Jackknife power bomb on David to end his WCW career.
There is no doubting that David wasn’t ready to be on national television, but he was never presented in a serious light and his wins during his ’99 run were never clean and against hardly successful wrestlers in the company. His run as a psycho was actually entertaining and he played the role rather well. He actually looked comfortable when he previously was clearly nervous and not ready to be on TV. The character development looking back at it is nicely done, I think.
What are your memories of David Flair in WCW? Did you find it outrageous that he was on TV? Or, did you grow to enjoy his work over time?
Leave your thoughts below.
Thanks for reading.