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post #271 of 678 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 04:43 PM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread




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post #272 of 678 (permalink) Old 06-16-2013, 03:28 PM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

Flair vs Steamboat 1989 trilogy


So I finally got round to watching these matches after all the praise they have gotten over the years as some of the best matches ever in pro wrestling and are deemed legendary. I'm going to be giving my thoughts and analysis of each match. They might not end up too long or formal as I'm pretty much just writing this off the cuff.

Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat Chi Rumble 2/20/1989


Right off the bat with this match I immediately understood why this trilogy has gotten so much praise, this match was an absolute near clinic from a wrestling perspective. The story of this match was wonderful from the perspective of the match's layout and structure. With Flair coming in and thinking he could beat Steamboat with his usual routine but Steamboat throwing him off with unpredictable offense. This led to Flair becoming more and more offensive and eventually getting more desperate and aggressive. Steamboat was fantastic in the babyface role throwing Flair off his game providing many twists and turns in the match but Flair was even more brilliant in his transition throwing Steamboat the outside and into guard rail and in his control segment dominating him and Steamboat trying to come back into the match. Flair's desperation was shown even more in some of his offense in the second half of the match, particularly his desperation dives. The one off the top rope near the end of the match and the one where he and Steamboat fly over the top come into mind. The finish itself was brilliantly done with the ref bump. Both men get their opponents in pinning predicaments where they both could have won and then Steamboat comes off the top rope missing the cross body, a move that worked before. Eventually Flair goes for the second attempt of his figure four but instead of locking it in Steamboat surprises Flair by rolling him up in the inside cradle for the win. One of the most famous finishes in wrestling history. This was an amazing match and I would not argue with anyone who gave this a 5 star rating, however for me personally it fell just under that.

****1/2


Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat Two Out of Three Falls - Clash of The Champions 4/2/1989


This was another excellent excellent match from Steamboat and Flair whose in ring chemistry is truly evident by this point. The advantage of this match being 2 out of 3 falls was the way that this allowed Flair and Steamboat to change their strategies as the match went on which really added another element when it came to story telling. I loved Steamboat trying to psyche out Flair in the early minutes of the match by continually slapping him, going for a completely different approach to their first title match knowing that Flair would look out for Steamboat changing up his offense as he went a long. The final few minutes towards the first fall were simply wonderful with Steamboats comeback but in particular the finishing fall which played off wonderfully the finish of Chi Town. Steamboat again reversing the figure four into an inside cradle but Flair this time seeing it coming and reversing the pin to his advantage for the first fall.

Some of the best moments of this match were when both men were trying to pin each other to the mat which had some gripping moments. The one that will always stick out in my mind is the backslide which again was a play off to Chi Town. Flair once again knew it was coming and was trying to fight out of it. His struggle to get out of the hold was outstanding seeing the grimace on his face before finally Steamboat got Flair down for the near fall. Great work on the back and shoulders of Flair by Steamboat which set up beautifully for the surprise submission of the chicken wing on to Flair for the second fall. One of the highlights of the match and a twist I did not see coming with Flair submitting.

Flair instead of using the figure four for desperation was this time calculated in going after the legs after the opening was created for him, working on the legs constantly when the opening presented itself and going for the figure four several times. The third fall really was the blow off fall with both men trading back and forth even more so than the previous two, going after each others respective body parts that were targetted during the match. The finish itself was brilliantly executed, so much so that I didn't even know who won the match until it was announced. I thought Flair got it when they announced Steamboat so the execution of the third fall to set up Flair's gripe with it leading up to the final match was delivered to absolute perfection.

This match's best moments and sequences were better than Chi Town but overall I enjoyed this match less and it was weakest of the three for me and I did have some problems with it. The main problem with it for me personally was some of the control segments for me were not as interesting and pertinent to the match as they could have been and there were a few moments where the match stalled for periods of time. That is understandable for a near hour long match but this led the match for me to meander and drag at times and having to wait for something to spark my interest and for the match to pick up again. I also thought there were some missed opportunities such as when Flair injured his leg and Steamboat went after it. I felt as though Steamboat could worked on Flair's leg a lot longer than he did and teased the figure four a lot more instead of slapping it on straight away which would have created a huge moment. The prospect of a more believable tease to Flair tapping out to his own move would have been phenomenal. Instead it led to the not so fluid transition to Flair controlling the action before Steamboat working on the back.

Despite these issues, this was awesome.

****1/4


Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat Wrestle War 5/7/1989

The blow off to this legendary trio is one of the best blow off matches to a feud I've ever seen. Maybe even the best. This was absolutely outstanding and I loved nearly every second of it. I think there was in total about 30 seconds of it that I switched off and that was one of Flair's control segments. The rest of it was 30+ mins of pure amazing wrestling. I absolutely love the whole psychology of this match with having the outside judges on the floor to give score counts on who was winning throughout 15 minute periods of the match. Now on its own in a professional wrestling environment, I would usually think this is a pretty cheesy and stupid idea considering the whole basis of winning is not on points but on beating your opponent outright. But this worked so well for a couple of reasons: firstly by having the judges on the outside, you knew there was going to be an outright winner in this blow off match one way or the other which meant the intrigue of who is going to finally come out on top in a feud that is built on pure competition is extended ten fold. Secondly, this added element had such a dramatic effect story telling wise on the feud and especially on the match itself. It meant that both men went into this match knowing they had no time to waste which meant right from the get go both men were trying to win going at it in a real fast pace for most of the match. Both men having their strategies and changing their strategies throughout which were executed with intent. It meant very little stalling and posturing and with the competitive nature of this feud and match, that is what put this match completely over the top for me.

The wrestling in this match much like in Chi Town was almost flawless. The first thing that I absolutely loved about this match was Steamboats switch on offense from trying to pin Flair through the side headlock takeover to using the arm drag to work on the shoulder of Flair. This played off the second fall of the last match at Clash of the Champions which Steamboat submitted Flair for the first time. Such smart working playing off that match and Steamboat's working over the shoulder was excellent. As was Flair's selling throughout the match. The pace of this match meant that the physical nature of this match was not only intense but for the duration of the match was much more prominent. Even during Flair's control segments there was very little posturing, working on the back of Steamboat with the suplexes and backbreakers and using the knee drops to the head of Steamboat on more than one occasion. Flair's desperation was also played off here brilliantly relating to their first match which made even more sense because Flair hadn't beaten Steamboat in this version of their feud yet in 1989. Throwing Steamboat over the top rope to save himself for example, and again cross bodying Steamboat over the top rope and trying to come off the top.

Another absolutely brilliant thing about this match was Steamboat's comeback after Flair's control segment which led to Steamboat getting injured on his leg. After a typically fast paced comeback from Steamboat, he goes to the top rope and again out of desperation Flair lunges himself on to the rope causing Steamboat to fall awkwardly injuring his leg on the outside. Fantastic consistent story telling in regards to Flair's desperation when on the back foot and which leads perfectly into the finishing stretch. Steamboat has his one strategy working on the shoulder which worked at the 2nd fall at Clash of the Champions and sticks with it. Flair (which shadows his story throughout the match) has several, he tries to outwrestle Steamboat, and then tries to outstrike him. Both don't work but eventually his persistence pays off, he creates the opening and works on the leg and even the figure four doesn't put Steamboat away. Finally Steamboat's leg buckles as he tries to slam Flair who rolls him over to win the title back.

This was a phenomenal match. technically, psychologically and in terms of story telling. With how the feud went and everything else that set in place, this was definitely my favourite of the trilogy and a definite classic.

*****


Aftermath: I couldn't rate all three 5 stars like so many before me have but this was without a doubt truly worth watching and an amazing trilogy. Flair and Steamboat truly have some of the best in ring chemistry in pro wrestling history and I'm glad I finally got round to watching them at what was deemed their peak.

*** I'm probably going to watch some more past matches now and might post some more reviews ***



MUSTANG

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post #273 of 678 (permalink) Old 06-19-2013, 06:02 PM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

I (still) haven't watched WrestleWar recently but I definately do agree with Clash. While I adore the match, I just don't see the 'it' for it being best. I don't respond well to matches where earlier periods become obsolete. Leg work just went and from memory, the submission victory in the 1st fall played no bearing on the match. Had it at ****1/2. Chi-Town as ****3/4.

Tried to kick myself into watching more recently. Been tricky since distracted with some films & series. I'll throw in a GAB 89 WarGames & Funk/Flair review at a later date. Watched Sting/Muta and Luger/Steamboat earlier, *** & ***1/2. Thought I'd love Luger/Steamboat, and while 3 1/2 is still great, IDK, another view could work the charm.
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post #274 of 678 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 01:49 PM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

I need to watch Flair/Funk myself. Match looks like it could be fantastic.

I went on a Hell in a Cell match watching spree that day too....well spree, it was 3 matches. I'm gonna watch the Armageddon 6 man one next. Anyway ratings and feedback, won't be in review form.

Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker (Bad Blood 1997): I'll say this now, best Taker/HBK match ever and already in my opinion one of the greatest matches I've ever seen. This was jaw dropping from start to finish. The psychology, the bruality and story telling was off the charts. Saw one of the greatest debuts in wrestling history and was one of the most fluid lead ins to a storyline change I've ever seen. I loved every single second of this and I can't believe I held off for so long to watch it.

*****

Undertaker vs Mankind (KOTR 1998): Unlike Bad Blood, this wasn't a first viewing but I hadn't seen it in a long while. This match will always be legendary for the two iconic spots involving Foley falling. Undertaker was an absolute pro being able to spoon feed Mick through the rest of the match and give the fans what they paid to see. Whilst those two spots sort of make the match, the rest of it considering Foley's condition was also great stuff. Unbelievably brutal from a visual perspective (whereas the Bad Blood match was more psychological). ****

Triple H vs Cactus Jack (Backlash 2000): I watched this as a kid, Backlash 2000 was one of the first WWE PPV's I ever watched. Rewatching it made me appreciate how amazing this match was. One of HHH's best matches ever and should have been truly the match Foley should have retired on. What a way to go out it would have been. Second best Hell in the Cell I've ever watched. ****1/2



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post #275 of 678 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 05:39 PM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

Flair vs Steamboat 2/3 Falls match is easily the best of the series for me. I have a hard time finding a better match in North America than that one right there. WrestleWar was always my least favorite of the trilogy. Doesn't matter too much in the long run as I have all in that "Five Star" peak.

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post #276 of 678 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 08:50 PM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

SAITO SUPLEX! SAITO.....OTHER...STUFF. SAITO!

Mr. Saito v. Johnny Rodz (Philly Spectrum, historyofwwe says 5/22/82)
This was pretty awesome whenever Saito was on offense and OK whenever Rodz was on offense. Saito starts by ruthlessly throwing strikes at Rodz and all of them look amazing. He has a totally gorgeous uppercut palm thingy. Not an *uppercut* uppercut. One of those uppercut slaps that Kane uses, except Kane’s don’t look one tenth as good as this. Saito also made the chop from the top (middle? IDR) rope look legit, too. Most guys like him will get to the turnbuckle and when they fall, the chop looks weakass, like it would have been more effective had the just stayed on the ground. Saito’s was badass and impactful. There was also an awesome neck grip thing (I kinda suck with move names) Saito used where Rodz was twitching and squeezing his shoulders together and I totally bought it. Rodz kind of stuck to a headlock on offense, which was cool and weird when he’d grab the hair (as a babyface), but it wasn’t terribly interesting. He kind of has mediocre offense and I was desperate to see Saito back on the slaughtering. Speaking of which there was a great transition where Saito let Rodz run into both of his knees. I thought it was fun when Saito would shake his head to sell it, or wobble on a weak shot from Rodz, and he made that shit look good, but I wanted this to be an absolute Saito mauling. Still, what better way to start Saito Watching than watching a match that he carried?

Mr. Saito/Mr. Sato v. Tiger Conway Jr./Steve Brody (dunno when)
So Sato is the Great Kabuki? This was a fun few minutes with the Japanese mostly dominating. This is about watching Saito and stuff, but based on this I think I gotta watch some Tiger Conway Jr one day. He had this badass rolling headlock thingy and was selling shots awesomely left and right. I get the idea if he was called to play Ricky Morton in a lengthy tag match he’d do a great job of it.

Mr. Saito/King Tonga/Boris Zhukov v. Buck Zumhofe/Tom Zenk/Sunny Rogers (AWA, 1985)
FUCK MY PRICK. Saito and Meng on the same team? This is why I love random youtube watching. Oh, and, yaaaay…………...it’s Tom Zenk. He was pretty goddamn bad here. Right off of the bat he nearly missed selling a headlock take-down, and when he gets tagged by Sunny Rogers (never heard of that guy, btw), he flimsily throws punches and awkwardly runs into shit. All things considered, though, this was a coooool five minutes of Saito and Tonga carrying the load, with great chops and mat headlocks and karate stuff. I think my favourite things about this were: (A) - The way this was totally fucking dominated by the heels. They work over Sunny Rogers to the point where it pretty much becomes FIP, and then he tags Zenk in and Zenk comes in with his clumsy shittiness, and after like three seconds the heels are like ‘nah fuck your hot tag’, and wail on him. It’s like TV writers built something good happening to the in-over-his-head sitcom protagonist only for things to go horribly wrong in a comedic way. Zenk scurries out like ‘Jesus SHIT I’m sorry I even tagged in’. Aaaaand (B) – The sound the mat made. Seriously, made an amazing “thump”, and it sounded so much rougher and more gnarly than other mats. Clearly Saito and Tonga are the greatest tag team of all time, btw.

Mr. Saito v. Keith Eric (NWA-AWA Pro Wrestling USA 10/20/84)
This Keith Eric dude sold Saito’s stuff OK, but a little awkwardly. On a Saito suplex he looks like he either has no idea what move he’s selling, or he tries to turn it into a crossbody and Saito has non of that. On offense he……didn’t…actually get a single move in. No, this was all Saito bomb throwing and stomps for 80 seconds. Poor, poor Keith Eric.

Mr. Saito v. Sgt. Slaughter (AWA, 1985)
YES!!!!!! Slaughter is higher in the pecking order than Keith Eric, so he gets the privileges of avoiding Saito’s chops. Searge is SO high in the pecking order that Saito needs Al-Kaissie to grab Slaughter’s boot just to get some chops in. Man I love Slaughter’s selling. He’s a really tall, fairly thick guy and he wobbles around as well as anybody. He takes a HELL of an over-the-turnbuckle Irish whip bump here, which doesn’t surprise me any more since he’s the best ever at doing that. Saito returns the favour later and sends himself onto the turnbuckle (in that sort of position where someone would get kicked in the midsection while laying flat on the ropes). This had too much Al-Kaissie getting involved, I think. The action between the two guys was really great, but there was too much focus on the Sheik for this to really hit its potential. What we have is AWWWWWWESOME, though. Slaughter selling gratly for Saito’s great offense for even two minutes would be fun to watch. Slaughter eventually coming back and firing this incredible back-body-drop where it looks like it’s taking 99% of his strength to pull it off blew my MIND. The handstand-ish knee drop looked beautiful, too. For the record Searge also does the ‘Hulk Up’ as well as anybody. Saito is just as willing to bump as Slaughter is (even if he isn’t as good at it) and man I wish these two got fifteen minutes.

Mr. Saito/Larry Zbyszko v. The Fabulous Ones (AWA 7/15/84)
Full match isn’t here, as the video starts with Zbyszko getting a front face-lock. Shame too, because based on the first bit of Keirn offense I’m betting his FIP was eve better than what we got. What we got ruled, though. Larry goes to tag Saito in and Keirn hammers away repeatedly, to the point where you think Zbyszko may actually lose him. Zbyszko’s an awesome seller, btw. Heels work over Keirn really entertainingly; best part my have been Saito stoping the hulk up with the neck grip, or just Larry’s desperation to keep one guy in, in general. I looove Saito’s offense so much. By all means it should kind of suck; he has those ‘lift arms up, bring arms down and stomp foot on impact’ judo chops and he neck grip which ca be pretty ass boring in the wrong hands, but he’s so good at it. His chops actually look damaging and never once have I wanted to kill myself during one of his neck grips. The hot tag int his was OK, but not great. The double shoulder bump where Keirn and Zbysko ‘collide’ was a little unconvincing, and while I usually like Shitty Stan Lane Karate, this Shitty Stan Lane Karate felt sorta out of place for whatever reason. Still this pretty much ruled and I want the full match.

Masa Saito v. Chuck Williams (WCW Prime, January 1996)
I am not affected about video quality. ‘Oh this isn’t HD’ ‘Oh the VQ isn’t good’ ‘Oh is there a better quality blah blah BLAH’. Whatever. If I can watch a match I will watch the match regardless of quality. What I am fussy about, however, is a goddamn video jumping and stuttering so I can’t even see the fucking moves being executed. The video was clear enough (by my low-as-dirt standards), but every time the action was getting even remotely quick, there’d be a skip and suddenly I’d go from Saito throwing his arm, to ‘Rockin’ Rebel’ (bibliography – Google) just being on he floor without seeing the contact. If I put the pieces together this was a fun match, but those jumps and shit are infuriating sometimes.

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post #277 of 678 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 01:43 AM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

Ricky Steamboat vs. Rick Rude - Iron Man Challenge - ****1/2
WCW Beach Blast 6/20/92


This was one of the first WCW matches that I have ever watched. This match has aged very well as one of the best iron man matches ever. This is the best Rick Rude match ever and One of the best Ricky Steamboat's matches ever. I like the start of this match with Steamboat relentlessly attacking Rude. The momentum shift with Rude gaining the advantage in the match 3-1 was excellently done by Rude pinning Steamboat after kneeing Steamboat in the jaw, pinning steamboat after an rude Awakening, intentionally getting himself by delivering an top rope knee to Steamboat's head and pinning Steamboat with an inside cradle. Steambaot's selling was great during that portion. Steamboat's comeback was timed well when he reversed Rude's tombstone with an tombstone of his own to get the score 3-2. Steambaot's countering Rude into a backslide tied the match 3-3. Steamboat's desperation was told well as he tried to pin rude with any pinfall combination he could execute. He eventually was able to get the match 4-3 after countering Rude's relentless sleeper hold into a pinning position. That sleeper spot showed great desperation on Rude's part as he tried to get ahead in score. The finishing stretch was wonderful as Rude desperately tried every pinning combination he could use on Steamboat to not lose only for Steamboat to counter Rude's moves to run out the clock. Just a wonderful match with excellent timing and great selling from both men. Way better match than Shawn Michaels vs, Bret Hart from Wrestlemania XII.

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post #278 of 678 (permalink) Old 06-30-2013, 11:03 AM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

weren't the dudleys tweeners at one point during the tlc renaissance?
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post #279 of 678 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 12:49 AM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread



RVD and Stan Hansen vs Kobashi and Kawada. I was in the mood to check out some early RVD and luckily enough, someone had uploaded this match like a month ago. I've always wanted to check out RVD in Japan and I've seen a few matches but I think this may be his earliest. Wrestling in semi-bare feet and all. His martial arts are on full display early on and you can tell he's holding back and the kicks still look good. Also, an early version of the Rolling Thunder. He lands with a frog-splash.

Kawada absolutely destroys him too. It's not crazy bad, but I winched a few times when he lands some kicks in on Rob. Hansen is a beast as always but him and Kobashi are kind of overshadowed by Kawada and RVD. Kawada and RVD should have had a series of matches.

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post #280 of 678 (permalink) Old 07-22-2013, 08:32 PM
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Re: Classic Wrestling General Discussion & Review Thread

Thoughts on Shawm Michaels vs. Diesel No Holds Barred from In Your House 7? It's a damn fun match with a great pace but urgh, Shawn's no-selling sucks big time. Bret sold the table bump for ages while Shawn knips up after a few minutes and does his stupid celebration at the end including a wierd nod to Hogan. The Vachon fake leg thing was just silly but it was a bit old school I thought in pretending to break the 4th wall.
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