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THIS DAY IN HISTORY: RIC FLAIR LEAVES WCW AND TAKES THE BIG GOLD BELT WITH HIM

By Buck Woodward on 2010-07-02 08:00:00

July 2nd

On this day in history in ....

1969 - "Iron" Mike DiBiase, father of Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase and grandfather of current WWE star Ted DiBiase, dies of a heart attack following a match against Man Mountain Mike in Lubbock, Texas.

1987 - The Great American Bash tour stopped in Landover, Maryland with Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff & The Road Warriors defeating The Four Horsemen in the main event.

1991 - In one of the biggest news stories of the decade, NWA/WCW World Champion Ric Flair quits (is fired by) WCW.  Flair was scheduled to face Lex Luger at the Great American Bash PPV eight days later.  According to Flair, he did not get along with WCW Executive Vice President Jim Herd, who had wanted to change Ric Flair's whole character and persona at one point. They were in the midst of a contract negotiation when Herd told Flair he wanted him to drop the title to Luger at the Bash.  Flair wanted to work out a new contract first.  Herd then said he wanted Flair to drop the title to Barry Windham, before the Bash, and not appear on the PPV. Herd then changed his mind again, saying he didn't even want Flair to drop the belt, and that WCW was going to strip him of the title. 

However, the belt (the "big gold belt") was a holdover from the NWA days (this is when WCW was breaking away from the NWA name), and Flair still had a $25,000 deposit down that he had given as security while holding belt. Flair said if Herd wanted the belt, Flair wanted his deposit back.  Herd told Flair he could keep the belt then, and Flair left for the WWF, with the belt still in his possession.  WCW stripped him of "their" title, and made a new belt to give to the winner of a hastily arranged Luger-Windham match at the Bash. The NWA (which was an organization in name only at this point) continued to recognize Flair as champion until he made his WWF debut in September.  The "big gold belt" went with Flair, and was used in the famous Bobby Heenan "ice cream and horse manure" promo where he announced that Ric Flair was coming to the company and compared Flair to Hulk Hogan.

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