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Old 05-26-2012, 03:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by WrestlingforEverII View Post
Very good idea and I always wondered why we never had a classic section till now.
Agreed but I'm seemingly never happy because I still wish more changes could be made. I wish we could exclude the Attitude Era from the Classic Section as well. No offense to others, and I am not singling anyone out or anything, but when I think of classic wrestling, I don't think of shit from the year 2000.
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Ravishing” Rick Rude
30-Minute Iron Man Challenge
WCW Beach Blast 1992


Rick Rude is the United States Champion but this match is a non-title contest which undoubtedly is set to prove who is the better wrestler, but also who is the toughest man - The Iron Man. I’ve always appreciated Iron Man matches because they can make this circus that is professional wrestling look more like a competition through the athleticism and spirited fire we see lit in the performers; especially in Ricky Steamboat matches.

Am I the only one that feels Rude’s “Fat, out of shape … take a look at a real man” promo that he did before every match never gets old? I chuckle a little every time I hear him say it. I mean a lot of those WCW fans actually do look like “sweat hogs” and Rude is really awesome.

This match pits a contrast not only in styles but also in personalities. While Rude verbally destroys the fans on the mic, the ultimate good guy, the man whose family escorts him to the ring - Ricky Steamboat - has always been and will always be an enduring babyface in wrestling lore.

Steamboat brought the fight with extra aggression in the opening moments of the match. It was almost like Steamboat was punishing Rude for even thinking about attacking him from behind while Ricky assisted his family out of the ring. The pace is pretty fast in the opening moments of the match due to the fire The Dragon brings and the ride has taken off!

I think it is excellent how they incorporated injuries for both men to work with in telling their story of ‘who will be the most durable for the duration?’ Rude suffered a rib injury from one of Steamboat’s gut-busters and Ricky completely dominated until Rude got a lucky break with a knee to the Steamboat’s head which leads to an injury to him. These moments are extremely important because the rest of the match, including the foundation for the finish is set here. I’ll explain further on.

The storytelling couldn’t be any better than it is here: Rude is the one who had an early injury and was dominated yet at one quick turn he has the advantage at 2-0.

Rude smartly works on Steamboat’s head and neck with “The Rude Awaking” and an illegal diving knee drop from the top rope to Steamboat’s neck. Again, we have more storytelling with Rude taking a DQ only to injure Steamboat more and further his own advantage with 3-1. The “no flying off the top rope rule” did have valid reasoning behind it no matter how much we don’t like it because what Rude did was malicious!

Both men are in the best of the best category as far as I’m concerned, and their psychology used here to tell a simple yet fantastic story is just right. Rude never forgets to sell the rib injury. Even though he dominated a large portion of the match, he would always go back to holding his left arm towards his ribs. This is something that seems to be lost with the majority of workers today, some who are in the main event.

And as far as getting behind a face that is in peril, Ricky Steamboat is at the very top as one of the best. I’d put him in the top class with Rey Mysterio, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Chris Benoit. When you see Ricky’s hand cramped and shaking with his fingers twitching, there’s no why I can’t sympathize with this man.

Steamboat showed his desire to win as he kicked out of a Piledriver and seconds later performed one of the best Tombstone reversals I’ve ever seen. When Steamboat was climbing, fighting out of the Tombstone position you can clearly see him “gutting it out” to pull off the reversal and hit a homerun and spike Rude’s head into the canvas. That moment for me really had that athletic-sports type feel to it.

Steamboat picked up another win there and then ANOTHER with the grueling backslide pin to make a tie at 3-3, and that is when the fire reignited in “The Dragon”.

I cannot say enough how great the psychology is here in this match. First of all, this burst of running and quickly hitting clotheslines while scrambling for pin-falls comes at a great period in the match to keep the crowd enthralled with the ups & downs of the match.

The pace is steady throughout with 100 percent selling which I say again is phenomenal. What I want to point out is how Rude shut Steamboat down again during Ricky’s electric onslaught. Rude gained the advantage due to Steamboat being overzealous in the beginning of the match but the end of the match is coming up and we saw how long it took for Steamboat to make a comeback the first time he got shut down. So what does Rude do with only three minutes left? He puts Ricky in a sleeper hold – GENIUS.

It’s genius because this isn’t just a mere rest-hold but an essential and fine piece of storytelling that led to a remarkable finish. The sleeper hold will eat up the remaining time but if Steamboat passes out there is no more comebacks. I loved how Rude would kick Steamboat’s arms down so he couldn’t reach the ropes. Man, I miss how intense it used to feel seeing someone locked in the sleeper! Steamboat continued to sell the fight in him denying to passing out, denying losing.

Steamboat finally fought up courageously and used the corner ropes to turn the sleeper-hold into a pin-fall! The snake gets his own poison spit back into his face! With only 30 seconds left in the match it was Rude that found himself scrambling to get a win with a flurry of clotheslines into pin-covers, shoulder blocks into pin-covers, ANYTHING to get a pin-fall! But the time ran out and the match was over with the final score at 4-3 . Steamboat turned a move that would have finished the match for him into a situation that not only finished, but embarrassed the narcissistic Rick Rude which is flawless storytelling for the match and their combating characters.

This is truly a superb technical wrestling match. This is how you build and build the drama of a contest as a compelling race to the finish line. This is the type of match that should be viewed by all wrestling fans. I think anyone can and should appreciate the work performed here. It is the type of match that takes what we call sports-entertainment and makes it feel more like, as Jim Cornette once said, “an entertaining-sport.”
I can't really disagree with this review. I think on last watch I had this at ****3/4. Beach Blast '92 was actually a really good event with;
Rude/Steamboat - ****3/4
Sting/Cactus ****1/4
Pillman/Flamingo ***1/2
Steiner Brothers/Miracle Violence Connection at ****.

I'd probably need to watch everything again just to be sure on these ratings, though.
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Agreed but I'm seemingly never happy because I still wish more changes could be made. I wish we could exclude the Attitude Era from the Classic Section as well. No offense to others, and I am not singling anyone out or anything, but when I think of classic wrestling, I don't think of shit from the year 2000.
The reason why the cut-off date is 2001 is because that marked the end of WCW and ECW so really it's there for the entire history of those companies. Everything after that year from WWF/E can be discussed in the DVD thread. Plus, you are encouraged to start the discussions on wrestling from the 80s or whenever. I've made posts on matches from the 80s and early 90s and will continue but it's also up to you guys to continue discussion on those periods.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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"The Modern Day Warrior"Kerry Von Erich (WCCW World Heavyweight Champion) vs Jerry "The King" Lawler (AWA World Heavyweight Championship): AWA Superclash III: Title Unification Bout December 13, 1988



"There is only one Mona Lisa, one Leaning Tower of Pisa, and there can only be one World Heavyweight Champion"-Kerry Von Erich

A classic contest between two great regional wrestlers: Kerry Von Erich of Texas and Jerry Lawler of Tennessee. Kerry directly representing his father and his father's promotion, as his best wrestler and arguably his greatest champion. Lawler a stalwart of his native Memphis promotion branches out and captures the Minnesota-based AWA promotion's world championship.

Both the AWA and WCCW are struggling regional promotions with eyes on becoming national powerhouses decide to sign a talent sharing agreement and share a world championship.

What would happen would be tragic for both promotions when it comes to business, but the fans were treated to a true classic between two of professional wrestling's most underrated stars.

A fairly short contest but action packed with plenty of blood and a controversial finish. For fans of either guy, or just fans of professional wrestling this match is greatly suggested. If you never seen it, I won't spoil it. The match is featured on the AWA DVD (produced by WWE).

Match rating: **** 1/4
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The sense of admiration for Foley is palpable as he continues to work and bump despite obviously being in rough shape, I love the final five minutes even more than the huge spots.
The 'Under-Taker' chants after the first bump send shivers as the audience thrives on his sadism. Bloodlust at it's finest.


Speaking of Terry Funk, I'd like to add my first serious post in this thread.

Terry Funk vs Jerry 'The King' Lawler - Empty Arena Match - CWA 1981


Old school fans will remember this one well and newer fans who may be unaware would do well to not only watch, but pay close attention to this match. No, I don't mean looking for botches or flaws, I mean watching two masterful pro-wrestlers create a piece of business that encapsulates the imaginations and emotions of the viewers.

What we today consider 'hardcore' wrestling may have been popularized in the late 90s, but long standing wrestling fans could easily point to a myriad of matches dating back to the 70s that were just as violent and when you watch the footage you can easily see that ECW borrowed plenty of ideas from wrestling's past when putting together a product which seemed revolutionary. This match definitely carries that type of distinction, being an empty arena match (was it the first?) with the type of finish that was until that time unheard of. Lawler seemed to have a knack for skirting the line between work and shoot during his heyday.

As a child, I remember thinking what a 'madman' Terry Funk was. His use of profanity was shocking in that period of time and is the first instance I can actually remember words being 'bleeped' on television. He's so over the top and unreasonable, yet you never once doubt Terry's sincerity. And boy does he put 'hero' Lawler over with his heel work, a strange combination of cowardice and all-out aggression, all of this without a single armbar, leglock or body slam. It's a fight...and is presented as such with no pretense. Lawler's character, on the other hand, manages to maintain his heroic demeanor while displaying a level of ruthlessness necessary to tame such a wild beast.

And in the end, the audience feels sympathy for the Funker. Neither character changes their position, both come out looking incredibly strong and credible...and the viewer has been taken on a roller coaster ride of emotion. A great match that highlights a great feud between two legendary wrestlers.

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Last edited by 777 : 05-27-2012 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:32 PM   #16 (permalink)
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MY EYEEE!!!

The Lawler/Funk Empty Arena Match is one of the best executed segments in pro wrestling history as is their feud. When you look at the intentions to why Funk wanted this match you can see how this crazy "Wild Man" was tired of Lawler’s home field advantage with the rabid Memphis faithful and in his paranoia believed even the refs were in Lawler's corner. So they threw all of those particulars out the window and just had a FIGHT. Foley credits this match greatly for inspiring him and how could you blame him after a performance like this from Funk and Lawler.

Terrific review 777!
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Clique I really like your reviews if you have the time could you please do one on the 2/3 falls match between Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko from ECW? I read about it in Eddie's book before he passed away and he wrote that it was his favorite match of all time, and that it was so special atmosphere wise because the hostile ECW crowd was known to give the wrestlers heat and throw things at them if they knew a wrestler was leaving the cult/company and word got out that both of them were leaving for WCW. Besides the fact of them leaving, they got a standing ovation. Was it really "that good". If you're busy I totally understand but yeah, would love your thoughts on that match, hopefully without telling me the result cause i plan on seeing it for the first time.
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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ALL HAIL LAWLER AND FUNK. God, I so wish Lawler had spent some time with Crockett/WCW. Could have done so much more. Amazing to think how incredible his career is without really leaving Memphis until he joined WWF.
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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JERRY "THE KING" LAWLER VS. "THE UNIVERSAL HEARTTHROB" AUSTIN IDOL

APRIL 27,1987---MID-SOUTH COLISEUM---MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

AWA SOUTHERN HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH---HAIR VS. HAIR IN A STEEL CAGE


Throughout his career, Jerry Lawler has had some solid matches, but I think this one was one of the greatest ever. It told a great story, roped the fans into it, in fact to the point there was a near riot. It wasn't a technical classic like a Flair vs. Steamboat, but it definitely brought the roof down in Memphis.

Over the years, Lawler and Austin Idol had been partners, friends, and also bitter enemies. In early 1987, Idol and Lawler went to battle over having a chance to wrestle AWA World champion Nick Bockwinkel, an honor usually reserved for the Southern heavyweight champion, which was Lawler at the time. Lawler was injured in an attack by Idol, Tommy Rich, and Paul E. Dangerously. Lawler actually injured his testicles when the trio pulled him into the ringpost. It gave people the chance to hear "testicle" on TV.

Idol would win the vacant Southern title in a tournament in February, 1987. Lawler returned and vowed revenge. In fact, the week before the big one, Lawler beat Idol on April 20 in Memphis to regain the title. So, it was all set to finish this feud in a huge way.

The following week, on April 27, Lawler put his Southern title on the line against Idol in an anything goes, steel cage match. Both wrestlers also put up their hair. In fact, Idol one-upped the whole thing by putting up $50,000 of his own money. He said that if he was to lose and have his head shaved, he would refund every single paying fan's money in the building.

The cage has the look of today's HIAC. I wouldn't be surprised if Vince got the idea from Lawler for this structure as Memphis used this structure quite a bit. It wasn't the most scientific match, but the intensity of the story put out by both men makes up for it. The fans are well-invested into this battle.




The final moments of the match definitely make this encounter off-the-chain. Idol piledrived referee Jerry Calhoun, which was legal. As Lawler seemed to be on the brink of getting the W, Tommy "Wildfire" Rich crawled out from under the ring and jumped Lawler. Both men proceed to spike-piledrive Lawler and get the win for Idol.



After the match, they tie Lawler to the barber's chair for the shaving of the King's head. Fans actually start getting unruly, and a handful of fans even get close to climbing the cage. The arena was on the verge of a full-scale riot and Memphis police had to call for reinforcements. That's how real they felt this shit was.

Overall, it was a well-told match. You won't see a lot of scientific wrestling, or a near 60 minute battle. But I would give the whole thing 4 out of 5 stars.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
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For Clique...

Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat: The Trilogy

Match 1: Chi Town Rumble: February 20th, 1989

We see Flair entering the ring with his manager Hiro Matsuda, amongst a plethora of women who proceed to kiss and give roses to Flair, while Steamboat previously entered with his wife and son. They are really playing up the whole "Womanizer vs Family Man" story here. The match begins and steamboat gets a very nice shoulder block on Flair, which leads us to believe that Steamboat has the strength and speed advantage over the champion. They begin to chop it out here, and MAN are those chops loud. Flair, of course bails because he has no idea what to do with Steamboats physical advantage. We get some beautiful mat wrestling by both men, until at one point Flair has Steamboat backed into a corner and we hear a smattering of "Steamboat sucks!" chants, which cause Steamboat to get EXTRA intense with some crazy chops and a beautiful headscissors takedown. A double chop gets a near pinfall.

This scares Flair, who bails out of the ring again. I love the psychology here, as once Flair realizes that he can be caught at any moment and lose the title, he decides to go all full blown HEEL mode, throwing Steamboat outside of the ring, raking the eyes, and various other Flair heel tactics. Flair takes the advantage until Steamboat counters back, which of course makes the crowd EXPLODE. More beautiful chops occur until Flair comes off the top rope in a crossbody, but Steamboat turns him over for the near three count. Flair locks the figure four out of nowhere, and holds it for quite sometime, but gets caught using the ropes as leverage. I love how that sequence sums up this match in a nutshell. Flair knows he must cheat to beat Steamboat, but he cannot cheat without getting caught, thereby compromising himself in a particular position.

Some absolutely wonderful chops and suplexes by both men here, as the workrate is off the charts. Both men are selling the wear of this match superbly, and wrestling at an ubelieveably fast pace, one that I don't think I've ever seen before. Top rope cross body gets three but the referee is down. Flair gets a rollup for three as well, but there is no referee to count. Steamboat is spent (being in semi-retirement for so long), and misses a top rope dive. I absolutely love this character driven end sequence, as Flair realizes that Steamboat is tired and loads up for the Figure Four. Steamboat counters this into a cradle for the three count and the victory. Wow, even better than I have remembered, this is probably the greatest paced match of all time. The build up paid off, the storytelling and psychology are amazing, and the workrate is some of the greatest of all time. What a matchup.

*****


Match 2: Clash of the Champions VI: April 2nd, 1989

After watching the Chi-Town Rumble and hearing how Cal said this was the best of the trilogy, I was interested in seeing how this match would pan out. This is a very different match than the Chi-Town Rumble encounter, as that matchup I believe was based more off fast paced emotion and hard hitting moves, whereas this encounter is slightly slower paced, but at 3 times the length, can you really blame them ? This match features maybe the greatest matwork of all time, as the first two falls consist of beautiful headlock takedowns, front facelocks, etc. The diversity of the holds are better in this match also, as Steamboat uses variations of the Boston Crab, standing double armed chicken-wing, and even Flair's own figure four.

The psychology in this match is top notch. before Steamboat locks in the figure four, he makes sure to deliver SIXTEEN elbows to flairs left leg before applying the hold. When Flair begins his work on Steamboats legs in the third fall, Steamboat has some excellent selling that complies with the story that these two men are trying to tell inside of the ring. The logic used in this match, and the throwback to the previous match is great, as at one instance Flair is going to run from turnbuckle to turnbuckle and deliver a cross body like he did in the last match, but Steamboat catches him with a stiff chop instead. That's another thing about this match, the chops are just as solid as the Chi-Town match. The build up in the first two falls to the final fall is tremendous, as I will actually go out and say that the final fall between these two might be the greatest twenty minutes of wrestling ever. MAYBE.

The way that Flair's leg work leads us to the improbable finish is awesome, as Steamboat goes for the chickenwing hold that made Flair tap out earlier, but his legs just won't allow him to do it, leading us to our non-clean finish that sets up the final match in the trilogy. The Psychology and storytelling are off the charts here. While not as flashy and loud as the Chi-Town Rumble encounter, what it gives us in terms of matwork and storytelling is even better. I didn't want this match to end, seriously, and at 56 minutes of pure greatness, you can't really ask for very much more out of a professional wrestling match. Even better than Chi-Town Rumble.

*****

Match 3: Wrestlewar: May 7th, 1989

Here we go, I've heard many individuals (including Triple H) claim that this is the greatest match of all time, lets see how it holds up. The build to this match was greater than any other match in the series, as everyone knew this was the final encounter. They take the womanizer vs family man story to a whole new level, as Flair has about FORTY women accompany him to the ring for his entrance. The first thing I notice about this match is it's pace, they're working at that insane Flair vs Steamboat pace that is unmatched by any two competitors in the industry. The beginning of the match gets the fans more involved than the previous match as well, when Flair and Steamboat duke it out in a chop battle. The chops still aren't as vicious as Chi-Town Rumble, but there are about 10 times more of them.

Now we get to my favorite part of the match; Steamboats arm work. In the previous match, Steamboat made Flair tap out to the standing chicken wing submission, and in this match, Steamboats offense is centered around working on the left arm of Flair to set up the chicken wing once again. I love how they throwback to the previous matches and add certain elements to it. For instance, just like the other two matches, Steamboat teases a dive outside of the ring onto Flair, but the referee stops him everytime. However, in this match when the referee goes to stop Steamboat, Steamboat pushes the referee out of the way and begins to get aggressive. The drama in this match is at a greater high than the other two matches because we know this is the last encounter, so that adds to the match.

Where this match isn't as good as the other two varies. For instance, this match has better psychology and matwork than Chi-Town Rumble, while it isn't paced as good and the crowd isn't as hot. When comparing it to the COTC battle, this match has better drama and better nearfalls, but the matwork and psychology of the Clash battle triumphs over it. At the end of the day though, that 's what makes the series to special; every match is near-perfection and tell the same story in different ways. This is more of a face-face encounter than the previous two, where Flair goes full heel mode. One last thing: Steamboat's selling and Flair's bumping are phenominal, and are some of the best in the entire series. Flair takes back the title in a nod to the Clash match, where Steamboat goes for a slam and his injured knee buckles. Amazing storytelling. Do I think this is the greatest match of all time ? No, as a matter of fact it's my least favorite of the trilogy, but that obviously dosen't make it the worst.

It's a work of art and ONE of the greatest matches of all time.

*****

and as a bonus...

Ric Flair vs Terry Funk: I Quit Match: Clash of the Champions IX

If Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat was an indication of what wrestling as an art form is supposed to be, than Ric Flair vs Terry Funk is an example of what wrestling violence is all about. Flair shows his versatility in this brutal match, that honestly reminds me of an older version of the WM XXVIII end of an era match between The Undertaker and Triple H. Not that the matches have anything in common, but what makes both matches so great are the SUPERB storytelling and intense violence. The story here is simple: Funk is insane, and broke Flair's neck, now Flair needs to do what seems impossible; make Terry Funk say I quit.

For 1989 standards, and even by today's standards, this match is stiff and brutal. The psychology complies with the storytelling PERFECTLY, as Funk beats down on Flairs neck and sets up for a piledriver, but before he pulls the trigger he asks Flair does he want to quit. The way Funk says "Remember your neck Ric ? You don't want me to hurt your neck again do you?" is storytelling and drama so compelling, but it's actually congruent with the storyline. What can I say about some of the spots in this match ? A piledriver on the floor, steel barricade shots, and one of the most brutal suplexes to the outside that I've ever seen puts the icing on the cake for this match.

For a long time in this match we believe that Funk might actually win this, because lets be honest; Did anyone visualize Funk actually saying I quit ? Funk takes some absolute brutal bumps in this match while protecting Flair very well, an all around fantastic job. Flair uses some leg work and after trying for a long time, actually manages to hook the figure four to make Funk quit. Better storytelling and drama than the Steamboat series, and incredibly violent, if the build was a little better it would get the full five stars from me, but nonetheless, this is probably my favorite Ric Flair match. Fantastic.

**** 3/4
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