In the 1980s, NWA was known for having a product that provided great promos and exciting storylines. Throughout this era, many Hall of Fame stars were developed, and the company itself was very popular.
Then, from 1988 to 1992, there was a major shift in management, and former Pizza Hut manager Jim Herd became the Executive Vice President. This time became the dark days of WCW, as he attempted to completely change the prestige of the product into some kind of side show. He created gimmicks such as the Ding Dongs and the Yellow Dog.
In 1990, Sting was the most popular babyface of the company, winning the World Heavyweight Championship in July at the Great American Bash against Ric Flair. The next month, wrestling fans started to see a series of vignettes attempted to invoke fear in Sting and gain his world title. Every week, this character—known as the Black Scorpion—gave Sting certain clues to who he may possibly be. One of the most important clues was that he claimed he was a former tag team partner of Sting. This created buzz around the company of figuring out the identity of this mystery man.
Throughout his brief tenure, there were many red herrings that portrayed the character of the Black Scorpion—namely, Barry Windham, Al Perez and "Wild" Bill Irwin. However, these were just ploys to further get in Sting's head.
With all his antics, the Black Scorpion managed to coerce Sting into competing against him, putting his World Heavyweight Championship on the line at Starrcade 1990 (shown at around the 29:00 mark on the video above). In exchange, Black Scorpion agreed to unmask if he was not able to capture the title. The feud culminated at this event, with Sting managing to finally reveal who the mastermind behind this gimmick was.
It was discovered to be none other than Ric Flair.
Although he was a somewhat-scary character at the time with his amateurish magic stunts, creepy-sounding music and distorted Ole Anderson-voiced promos, in hindsight, The Black Scorpion was a bad attempt to bring intrigue to the product. Fortunately, this ordeal only lasted around four months, and it is deep down in the annals of NWA/WCW history.
Sound off about your thoughts of The Black Scorpion below.