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Charles Robinson Recalls Wrestling Gorgeous George, Getting Collapsed Lung From Taking a Randy Savage Elbow Drop

March 26, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Ric Flair Charles Robinson WCW

On the latest Prime Time with Sean Mooney, referee Charles Robinson recalled his brief in-ring career as “Lil Naitch” in WCW that included matches against Gorgeous George and Madusa. Robinson teamed up with Ric Flair for Flair’s feud with Randy Savage in 1999, dubbed Lil Naitch due to his similar appearance to Flair. He was defeated by George at Slamboree 1999 in his wrestling debut and then teamed with Flair against Savage and Madusa a week later on Nitro.

In the Nitro match, Robinson was booked to take the loss via an elbow drop from Savage but wasn’t told how to take the finisher. He ended up with a collapsed lung and several cracked vertebrae and had to be hospitalized. Robinson recalled how the match went down and Savage’s reaction. Highlights and the full podcast are below:

On the preparation for the match: “Leading up to the match that I at Slamboree, we spent maybe a week in Tampa with Randy Savage. And he took Gorgeous George and myself, and we worked out in an unair-conditioned 100 degree warehouse for a week. And we went through everything that he wanted done, this was his baby. And he was very, very patient. And considering neither one of us had any in-ring experience wrestling, I thought the match came out pretty good.”

On taking an elbow drop from Randy Savage: “You know, we had the whole thing synchronized pretty well with Ric doing a flip, me doing a flip, slam, slam, clothesline, clothesline, Flair’s out of the ring. You know, no reason for Ric to take the fall if I’m in the ring. So I’m gonna be the one that’s gonna be taking the elbow from Randy. You know, the problem was, nobody told me how to brace for the elbow so I just laid there and gave my whole body … Nobody, no. Absolutely not. So I just laid there, and didn’t sinch up. Didn’t breath out, probably held my breath. And at 285, when a guy that size lands on you, something has to give.

“And at course at first, I thought my air was knocked out, you know? No big deal. I just rolled out of the ring, tried to catch by breath. Got dressed, went up to my hotel room that was attached to the arena. And about two hours later, I still couldn’t breathe. So I called Jimmy Hart and told him. And he called the EMTs, and they took me to the hospital and says, ‘Son, you have a collapsed lung. And you have a cracked sternum, and some of your vertebrae are a little cracked, so…” [laughs]

On flying home with the collapsed lung: “The next day, the doctors actually released me and let me fly home to Charlotte with the collapsed lung which is nuts. I’m glad they did fro the simple fact [that] I’d rather be in the hospital at home versus halfway across the United States. But I went to the hospital as soon as I got home, and they admitted me. And I was there for two weeks.”

On Savage’s reaction after the match: “He did [keep in touch through the recovery], absolutely. Randy called almost every day. So much so it could be a nuisance, because I’m trying to rest! But he was awesome, man. He called me, and he’d go ‘Oh, yeah, I’m gonna get you some money!” So he got me a nice payday for everything, which was very very nice.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Prime Time with Sean Mooney with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.