Too Much King-Cole; Dumb & Dumber; Once More, With Flair

Mark Madden

The rebranding of TNA as IMPACT is smart. TNA was a Russo/Terry Taylor-type pun that BACKFIRED. Advertisers thought TNA meant T n’ A, breasts and posterior. TNA actually picked a company name that was counterproductive. How stupid can you get?
But erecting IMPACT billboards in Stamford, CT, the home of WWE…that’s pretty stupid, too. You tweak the opposition if you’re No. 2 and closing the gap. IMPACT isn’t closing the gap. The mosquito can’t initiate a confrontation with the elephant. The mosquito just looks silly.
Then gets crushed.
Ric Flair said on my radio show that he expects to be feuding with Sting over the IMPACT world title later this year. Flair is 62, Sting 52, so I’m not sure that constitutes moving forward but, boy, those two have been magic together dating back to 1988 and the first Clash of the Champions.
I’ll never forget that match. The near-falls, the sheer athleticism, Flair’s hair flopping around maniacally while he was trapped in the scorpion deathlock at the bell. J.J. Dillon was in a cage above the ring. Jason Hervey sat ringside. It was Sting’s coming-out party. Flair certainly deserves credit for elevating Sting, but it was inevitable. Sting was a superstar waiting to happen. Flair just uncorked the bottle.
Lest we forget that wrestling could be flat-out STUPID even back in the “good old days,” the judges selected to pick a winner in the event the match went the distance included two wrestling promoters…and a Penthouse Pet, Patty Mullen. She voted for Flair. Wonder what she looks like now?
I’ll pontificate further on my Sting-Flair memories at a later date. But I wouldn’t mind seeing one more Sting-Flair world title match. Forget age. Those two are just GOOD, and their chemistry together would make the match even better…in 2011 as in 1988.
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA (105.9). Check out his web page at Contact Mark by emailing

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