Location: Sailing on the Spanish Hamada with Buff Bagwell's hat and THE DARK ANDRE's Watermelons.
Re: Your 5 Star Match Lists
Originally Posted by Segunda Caida
May as well add mine, some matches could probably do with a rewatch though:
Flair vs Steamboat Chi Town 1989
Flair vs Steamboat COTC 1989
Flair vs Windham BOTB II
Windham vs Murdoch UWF 11/7/1987
Steamboat/Youngblood vs Kernodle/Slaughter, Final Conflict, Steel Cage 1983
Updating this with the following match:
Ric Flair vs Barry Windham, NWA Worldwide, 20/01/1987
Spoiler for Flair vs Windham:
About time I checked in on Flair:~
Ric Flair vs Barry Windham, Worldwide, 20/01/1987
Can these two have a bad match? Lovely continuation from the BOTB II match in 86 where Windham was portrayed as this young starlet who was in better shape than Flair but who lacked the knowledge and experience of the Champ which cost him at key moments in the match. Here right from the off they work to portray Windham again as a man who is an equal of Flair but continue to play up Flair's craftiness and experience as well as his intestinal fortitude as being his way of surviving and keeping control against this young and hungry star in Windham.
We get the typical babyface shine period to start off with. Windham overpowers and outworks Flair in the basic chain wrestling and lock ups and Flair having to try and intimidate Windham with forceful slaps to the chest when breaking a lock up because he's got no answer for Windham was a nice touch early. Windham explodes however with a great run of offence including a beauty of a dropkick which Flair bumps oh so emphatically for by flopping backwards onto his neck before running into the crowd for a breather. He's been outworked, overpowered and simply out thought in the early going and his chops have had little effect against Windham's punches. Dusty on commentary really adds to the psychology of the mat and is terrific in trying to subtley put over Flair's ability to regain control in an instant whilst Windham dominates so in the back of your mind you're continually waiting for Flair to somehow end Windham's dominance and thus the resulting payoff comes off more satisfactory with better build and greater meaning.
Here the transition spot plays off of the BOTB II match and the running theme so far here: Windham has a little conversation with Tommy Cooper over his officiating before Flair sidesteps him coming off of the ropes and throws him to the outside. Real nice spot to get over Flair's resilience in eating all of this punishment from Windham off and continuing the parallel of experience vs athleticism and power being a running trait in these matches in how one guy will dominate the other. Flair is a total killer on the floor here and his violent streak and fierce chops come off terrificly as a Champion utilising ever bit of offence he can to ground and weaken this primed conditioned athlete and Windham's bumping and selling of the arm here is as brilliant as you could come to expect from him and he does a great little selling of a closed fist punch that has you believing Flair broke his nose. Flair works amazingly well again as 'The Man' including busting out more of his chain wrestling counters to a more beaten down Windham when earlier it was Windham who was outworking Flair as well as his bending of the rules and I dug the spot where Cooper went to warn Barry about using a closed fist which allowed Flair to yank the hair and keep control of an armbar and then immediately after sneaks in a closed fist of his own. Just basic but smart continuation of Flair being a cut above Windham in the intelligence and manouevreing of his spots so Cooper can't spot his cheating. Flair does his usual feet on the ropes schtick during pins and submissions for extra leverage and again does it vis Cooper's blindspot so he's oblivious to Flair's shenanigans and the crowd getting pissed at this lack of sportsmanship on Flair's part is amazing. The handshake at the start of the match established Flair as a man who on some level respected Windham's ability and takes pride in being the NWA Champion..but when the bell rings he's a killer who will do anything to retain that title even if it means besmirching the rules he claims to uphold.
Just want to say the sequence where Windham rocks Flair with a one handed punch that Flair bumps for amazingly as a game changer, leading into Windham rifling umpteen punches in the corner before selling the arm and then giving Flair enough time to knee him in the gut and keep control was another sequence I felt kept the ongoing story of experience and resilience vs young athlete ticking nicely and Dusty warning Barry in advance of what would happen really added to the spot.
Another thing I love in their matches is how they progressively begin to sell the match by bumping a lot more for every little bit of offence, particularly Windham essentially collapsing from a Flair chop when earlier it had litte effect. Windham is just such a natural babyface and Flair is a true heel worker so you always get a true ying and yang effect when they wrestle, Windham taking a bonkers over the top rope bump to the concrete and selling a possible concussion before managing with all his might to reverse an into the ring suplex into a desperation right hand really did come off as everything he had in the locker and both men barely moving post impact really was a nice touch. I'm always a sucker for matches continuing a story arc and seeing 2 prime athletes struggling for breath and barely able to withstand every move really adds to the war they've been in compared to 20 mins earlier when they looked in sterling condition, really adds to the nearfalls when you have the impression neither man has much left in his arsenal.
Great sequence now where Flair manages to hit a desperation backdrop and immediately pounces on the figure four complete with utlising the ropes for leverage. Windham sells the figure four terrificly post release by struggling to get to his feet and Flair's confident and cocky facial expressions as he continues to wear Windham down with leg work before being caught in a surprise roll up is great character work from Flair whilst putting over his arrogance as being something Windham can exploit. Barry attempting a sunset flip that won him tag team gold was also a brilliant near fall and a glorious spot to put over Barry's intelligence and growing potential as someone who was now beginning to be able to hang with Flair mentally as well as physically. Barry though whiffing an attempted elbow drop and the announcers putting over it as another mistake is a great tease to the audience in making you believe he can outsmart Flair before immediately throwing doubt again when he makes yet another mistake. Great storytelling.
DAMN! Flair now makes a rare and crucial mistake in trying to put this kid away and whiffs a kneedrop and sells it like death, got to love him bumping to the floor and then stretching his injured leg straight after. Windham locking in the figure four was a great payoff spot to Flair's attempt where he capitalised on an error and my god does Flair sell the shit out of it, not just with his screams and determination to fight through the pain but hitting a desperation atomic drop immediately afterwards and the screaming in agony because of the pain. The finishing stretch is glorious with both men selling the wear and tear of this struggle magnificently, particularly the way Barry takes an irish whip about as sluggishly as you would expect before exploding with a desperation lariat. Flair going into survival mode and trying to run the clock down by stalling and throwing Barry to the floor really completes the story that Windham is the only one who looks to be able to win this and him essentially weakening Flair with every blow and looking the decisive winner before the time limit expires was a perfect finish in Windham essentially evolving from the BOTB II match and 'beating' Flair without actually winning the title. Flair survives yet again but is still not able to hold a pin/submission over Barry which makes a rematch all the more possible. Terrific selling, pacing and a clear story continued from their BOTB II match a year earlier as well as the perfect face vs heel dynamic. BOTB II is just ever so slightly ahead of this IMO, but not by much.
I come to this thread quite often, but I actually never posted my list, I'll be sure to do it after I watch some more matches I got left, but right now I just wanted to ask one question: am I the only one who sees nothing special about Angle/Benoit at the Rumble?
Watched the Windham/Flair series recently and the Worldwide and BOTB matches are both incredible, just shy of ***** for me. Crocket Cup match was still great but a clear step down from the other 2 matches.
Terrific structurer of a match: Check
Versatile in numerous forms of wrestling: Check
Terrific heel worker and terrific face worker who could work a crowd like no other: Check
Brilliant bumper and seller: Check
Got numerous good matches out of mediocre talent, great matches out of very good workers and all time classics with the sensational workers: Check
Consistently entertaining in 40 minute plus matches, and able to display brilliant selling and also adding unique selling touches that most workers wouldn't think of? Check
Guy with the greatest catalogue of matches ever bar Misawa? Check
Terrific storyteller who perfected the touring heel champ formula in how to make hometown territory stars look like credible NWA champions? Check
Fine. I'll start by saying that I think Flair is the most entertaining wrestler I've ever watched and undoubtedly the best mic worker I've ever seen. That alone for me makes him one of the greats. His comedy in various segments has actually brought tears to my ears.
I find the majority of his so called classic matches plodding and dull however. The HBK/Bret IronMan is a million times better worked and far more engaging than the static Flair/Steamboat clashes. He might bring emotion to his work but his actual selling and bump taking is beyond ridiculous and never fails to take me out the match. Imagine a horror film where the villain is sidetracked for a moment and proceeds to fall down the stairs in the most elaborate manner possible. Is it funny? Definitely but it's also definitely not artistic and only makes the whole charade look fake. I don't need to elaborate any further than that because I think Flair is basically a technically gifted version of Santino Marella. Regardless however both make wrestling look phoney.
If you can imagine Zidane's touch combined with Pirlo's vision and Roy Keane's will to win then you have some idea of the genius of Diego Maradona.
Last edited by Henry Hill : 08-29-2011 at 07:11 AM.
Location: Sailing on the Spanish Hamada with Buff Bagwell's hat and THE DARK ANDRE's Watermelons.
Re: Your 5 Star Match Lists
I can't really see how you can make that claim about Flair.....and not HBK when I've seen you pimp his work a lot in the past. Michaels was essentially the carbon coby of Flair in elaborate and goofy bumping in the 90s as a heel, albeit more athletic and utilising more high risk offence.
I can't fathom how a Flair match can be dull, especially when you say he's one of the most entertaining people for you to watch. He's always doing something in a match to make a basic hold more entertaining, his bumping and selling alone should be enough to make a match more than dull, and well 'dull' is something I could understand someone using to describe Bret given how most of his matches were just holds and ring work with little character or crowd participation. Compare Bret working holds to someone like Arn Anderson: 1 guy is just putting on a nice armbar, the other is doing little things like working the fingers in the armbar, pulling a glorious facial expression that conveys arrogance, taunting his opponent or posing to the crowd and getting a reaction. I'll leave it up to you to deduce who's the guy merely putting on a hold and who's the one trying to make that hold more dramatic and bigger in the context of the match.
Hart/HBK being better worked than Flair/Steamboat frankly is just astonishing to me, but your opinion none the less. Hell the fact both Bret and Shawn were unco-operative in their selling and blowing off the other guy's offence should be enough evidence to demonstrate why its not on Flair/Steamboat's level. Add in the poor pacing of the match and the structuring as well as poor story that wasn't executed at all well because both guys hated the other and had no intention of making the other look good and you have a pretty crap match. Flair vs Steamboat was a perfect face vs heel dynamic, with both men going beyond ring work to demonstrate their characters with Flair being conceited and arrogant and Steamboat bumping and selling like a hard working man determined to prove he was on the level of World Champion Flair. Add in the flawless execution, bumping, selling, pacing and crowd control as well as them utllising their charisma to make 60 minute matches fly by and not drag (something HBK vs Hart never was able to do) and you have a terrific chemistry which produced sensational matches that could appeal to fans who prefer selling, to fans who prefer a working story that was elaborated and developed throughout the match, a clear face vs heel dynamic with a perfect mix of working holds and heel schtick to pop the crowd at key moments.
Flair's bumping for me is what makes his matches so good. You can say they're goofy and nonsensical but when you take into account his whole act was to put over his opponent as a world beater whilst maintaining his credibility as champion him bumping like a madman and doing exaggerated KO bumps always popped the crowd into believing their hometown wrestler was moments away from beating the champion. I'd sooner have someone like Flair try to bump emphatically in these types of matches to get the crowd interested than a guy just doing run of the mill bumping that can't generate the reaction. Hell Michaels and Steamboat and Ricky Morton all made their legacies as all time sensational FIPs and sellers by bumping emphatically and dramatically off of their opponent's offence to get the crowd behind them. Flair was essentially a heel version of them by bumping above and beyond other heels becauase it got the crowd off of their feet when he'd collapse from his opponent's offence and got them into the match. Sure it could look very 'goofy' on occasion but pro wrestling is all about trying to hook a crowd into a match, there are numerous 'lolwat' moments in every match which make wrestling look staged and a show (Savage's double axe handle off the top rope for example). Flair's act may not be the most realistic of all styles but it did what his job had to do by pulling a crowd into a match, got a baybface over as a credible opponent with how much he was bumping and made a match naturally engrossing and entertaining which is what world title matches should be. The fact he was a genius at usually bumping at key moments that added to the working story of the match is another thing to love about him.
Antoniomare007 never seen the Crockett Cup match but plan on changing that later today maybe or at the very latest tomorrow.