Re: Official DVD/Match/Show Discussion Thread
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 match.
"He's not the biggest. He was never the strongest. He was never the fastest. He was overlooked. He went in the sixth round. So with that being said, all of the intangibles that a quarterback is supposed to have, they overlooked it with him because it was burning from inside of him" - Ray Lewis on Tom Brady