Yeah, solid match. I'd probably go ***. DDP's heart made that flow nicely. Proving himself against the vet in Hennig. I LOVED how they always put such an emphasis on how dangerous the Diamond Cutter was. Added so much more to when he'd connect with the move. Those pops for it are outstanding. lol @ the camera pulling back on the blood.
I don't think the Starrcade match was better than that. I'll have to watch right now to compare. Can't find it on youtube or dailymotion. Ahhh. Their US championship match from WCW Saturday Night 11/29/97 will have to suffice.
Yep. That's pretty much the tops for a match done under that little of time. Been quite a bit of fun matches, but none I've seen reach the level of Owen vs Kid.
WCW Starrcade 1997 - WCW United States Championship
Curt Hennig vs Diamond Dallas Page ~ *
Blame the low rating on Hennig's unmotivated, boring weardown segment that ate up a lot of the match. Their match on the Saturday Night I posted ^ blew this away. That was only 5 minutes too. This was in the 10 minute area. Match didn't benefit from the DDP comeback sequences. You can notice the DDP/Hennig series were based all on those. Zero occured in here. This is the kind of match that proves that Hennig really didn't put in much effort during his WCW career. Page hits the DIAMOND CUTTER out of nowhere and wins. Blah match. GREAT & meaningful end. DDP got put over big time by the commentary team. He earned this Championship after the year he had in 1997.
Ok so I'm a massive flair mark, but for some reason I have never seen Flair/Windham 2/14/1986. I've always told myself I was going to watch it, but I never have. Well that just changed.
Let's get into this match
Spoiler for Flair vs. Windham:
The beginning starts with Windham showing his talent and energy immediately knocking flair off his rhythm and flair realizes immediately that this kid is no joke and rolls out of the ring. Then we get into chain wrestling, flair sees this as the way to wear down Windham and to put the young kid in his place by outwrestling him. The veteran outwrestling the young yet incredibly talented windham. The flaw in the plan is that for every move flair has in this opening sequence windham has a counter. And windham during this sequence is working over flair's arm.
We then have a moment where flair hits the middle and top ropes with his neck, and appropriately sells it beautifully. Commentators making a point about the steel cable in the ropes wrapping around the head/neck area can be very dangerous. Then it's all for not with flair playing possum and hitting windham with a chop. Flair is just a brilliant heel. Nearfall on flair and flair's getting visibly frustrated, he pushes the ref because he's realizing that Windham is no joke, that this match will not be easy.
Flair tries to gain the advantage through chops but Windham keeps punching back and is dominating flair. Boston Crab by Windham and flair sells his back like death has come over him, this leads to a vertical suplex by Windham on flair to a nearfall. Flair's selling of his back is absolutely incredible.
Flair gains an advantage through a knee to the gut and dumps windham outside of the ring and Windham's busted open. Flair then begins his workover of Windham targeting the head. Flair goes for a knee drop on windham's head and misses, and windham goes for the figure four...(LOVE THIS). Flair makes it to the ropes after a good bit of time in the figure four, Windham continues to work on the leg. Windham continues his assault on flair, but misses a dropkick and flair selling the leg beautifully goes after windham's head/neck area with a leg scissors. Flair hits windham with a piledriver, continuing the head/neck area assault. The strategy is flair trying to wear down the younger, stronger, more talented windham.
Windham reverses a 2nd piledriver and gains the advantage. After a nearfall Windham then turns his attention to flair's head, just raining down punches onto his head. Windham is just trying to destroy flair, head to the ring post, more puches onto flair's head. Windham makes flair bleed as flair made Windham bleed (storytelling perfection) Windham has momentum on flair, but then with a classic veteran move with a sleeper hold stopping Windham.
Flair sees the advantage and works over windham's leg and locks in the figure four. Classic flair using the ropes for leverage with the figure four. Windham reverses the figure four, and flair goes to the top rope and gets slammed off the top rope by Windham. Windham (youthful exuberance) uses his knee to attack flair by trying to hurt flair even more by using a knee drop, he hits one then misses the next. Windham is absolutely incredible with his selling of his knees.
Flair and Windham go back and forth then a ref bump. Windham tossed to the outside and then hits a missle dropkick on flair, Windham has the three count on flair but the ref can't count it. Windham had him, but flair kicks out when the ref finally counts.
Windham then gets a sleeper hold on flair and then gets multiple nearfalls on flair. Windham is so close to winning, so so close, hitting flair with everything he's got. Both go outside the ring and are just fighting eachother and aren't paying attention to the ref and counts them both out. The match is a draw. A draw for two even wrestlers.
The wily veteran and champion flair vs the young yet incredibly talented Windham. What A Match.
***** Fantastic match, with fantastic storytelling
The Flair vs Windham series knew no wrong. I'll credit KingCal for having a brain in claiming the Flair vs Windham series should be on par with the Flair vs Steamboat series. All of the matches worked by Flair & Windham were just about as perfect every time too. They might not all have happened in the short span that Flair vs Steamboat did, but other than that the parallels that separate them are irrelevant. Brilliant that they were two completely different styles of series at the heart of it.
Flair continues to show why he's the BEST. Windham proves how much of a natural talent he truly was during the late 80's. Man is far, far too underrated among many wrestling fans. He deserves to be in the same breath as Flair, Arn, Tully, Sting, Funk, etc. I'll always love me some Barry Windham.