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Old 05-07-2015, 07:55 PM   #76
LKJ
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

And as much as I hated on that particular Flair-Luger match, I am relieved to identify the following beauty as the next match on the agenda...

Spoiler:
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:12 PM   #77
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Dusty Rhodes (booker of the company at the time, but who had to answer to higher ups at Turner broadcasting) actually wanted Flair to lose the title in a squash match to....Rick Steiner at Starrcade 1988. Dusty wanted Flair completely out of the company or at least be heavily buried, and Rick Steiner was a shooter and that's why he was the choice. But Flair ended up winning the real life power struggle between the two. Flair got creative control, and we are about to see how well that worked out.

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Old 05-07-2015, 11:06 PM   #78
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Chi-town Rumble: NWA Title - Ric Flair (c) (w/ Hiro Matsuda) vs. Ricky Steamboat

Date: February 20, 1989

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31572841

Background: Ricky Steamboat returned to NWA as a surprise tag partner of Eddie Gilbert on the Christmas Eve edition of World Championship Wrestling, and in the tag match he pinned Ric Flair. Steamboat then demanded a title shot and had it granted to him, setting up this match. In the meantime, JJ Dillon, Arn Anderson, and Tully Blanchard had headed north to work for Vince McMahon, so the Four Horsemen stopped being a thing for the time being and morphed into a new stable called the Yamazaki Corporation. They were managed by Hiro Matsuda, hence the change of Flair managers since Starrcade.

The feud here was based on the cultural contrast between the two, with Ricky Steamboat being the wholesome family man and Ric Flair being the partying ladies man. Flair had held the title for 15 months straight at this point.



The Match: Flair and Steamboat lock up, Steamboat with a shoulderblock that he follows to the mat for a pinning attempt in one fluid motion for a quick near-fall. Steamboat with another shoulderblock off the ropes, then a unique move where he dropped down to apply a side headlock instead of running over Flair. They're back up quickly, Steamboat rolling up the champ against the ropes for two. Flair regroups.

Collar-and-elbow tie-up into the corner, referee Tommy Young breaks it up but Flair gets in a cheap shot with a chop. A pissed off Steamboat comes roaring out of the corner with several chops of his own back at Flair. Ricky whips him into the buckle and catches him with a backdrop coming out of the corner. Flair begs for mercy and tries to capitalize with a kick when Steamboat hesitates, but Steamboat catches his leg. Flair chops, Steamboat chops back harder and floors him. Steamboat one-upping Flair at every turn so far.

Side headlock into a hammerlock by Flair, reversed into a drop toehold by the Dragon. Steamboat's whip into the ropes is reversed, Steamboat baseball slides through a waiting Flair's legs and then delivers a quick dropkick and a side headlock that turns into a pinning combo and nearly gets three. Flair rolls Steamboat over three different times out of the headlock into pinning combos, but obviously no finish there as the challenger continues to try to wear him down.



Chopfest back and forth between the two. Flair with a whip into the buckle, reversed by Steamboat, Steamboat lays in a ****ing beast of a chop on the way back and follows up for another near-fall. Usually I don't necessarily love an excess of pinning attempts that everyone realizes won't possibly be the finish, but this whole series of them by Steamboat actually works well IMO; it establishes from the first moment that he's ready to spring a pinfall out of absolutely nowhere at any point. Helps that Jim Ross keeps putting over the near-falls like a boss.

Back into the collar-and-elbow, Steamboat leverages into the side headlock, but Flair powers him into the corner and chops away. Shoulderblock by the champ. Champ keeps moving, but Steamboat leapfrogs him and then chops the **** out of him. Flair takes the chop and just keeps on stumbling through the ropes.



A momentarily rejuvenated world champion goes on offense, but Steamboat quickly reverses it into a flying legscissor and then back into the side headlock; Flair can't manage to gain control in the match. He does fight his way out of the hold here and throws a couple of elbows, but Steamboat never lets Flair's offense get a foothold, continuing to attack back. He throws a chop at Flair that sends Flair flying over the top rope.

A groggy Flair buys some time before returning to the apron. He sort of taunts Steamboat to come over to him, and then capitalizes by dragging him outside and then clobbering him outside. Smashes the challenger's head into the guardrail. Ric returns to the ring, Steamboat tries to follow but Flair attacks him while he's still on the apron. Snapmare by the Nature Boy. Kneedrop. Two-count. Double underhook suplex. Flair lays in the chops and punches, and Steamboat has a pretty vacant look in his eyes.

Steamboat does find an opening to throw a chop back, and actually gets enough momentum to throw Flair into the corner. Flair flips over the turnbuckle, runs up the apron, climbs the top, flying cross-body gets reversed into a Steamboat pinning combo (kind of botched), and Flair barely escapes the pinfall. "MY GOD we're talking about a few inches from having a new world champion crowned!" -Jim Ross



Inverted atomic drop by Flair, and a lightning quick transition into a figure-four. Steamboat fights for survival in the hold as the crowd chants his name. Flair keeps leveraging by grabbing the ropes, and Steamboat spends a long damn time suffering in this hold, getting counted down for two-counts more than once. The hold only finally gets broken when Tommy Young catches Flair leveraging on the ropes.

Steamboat is now hobbled as Flair continues to work him over. The Dragon keeps trying to fight back, getting his own chops in when he can, but he takes another decent hit when, against the ropes, Flair hits a cross-body that sends both of them flipping out. The two have a slugfest on the floor until Ric sends him reeling into the steel post.



Steamboat tries to re-enter, but quickly falls victim to a delayed suplex by the champ. Two-count. Back suplex by Flair for another one. Flair objects to the slow count and has a light shoving match with Tommy Young. He gets back to work and connects on a backbreaker. Several pinning attempts with his feet on the ropes, but Steamboat manages to kick out of them in spite of the extra leverage disadvantage. Flair finally gets up distracted and jaws with the crowd, leading him to get rolled up by Steamboat for another near-fall.

Nature Boy remains in control, working the Dragon over in one corner and then sending him into the other. Dragon, as he heads into the corner, jumps up top and goes for the desperation cross-body, but comes up empty. Steamboat, getting closer and closer to empty, gets picked up by the long-time champion. Side headlock takeover by Flair, reversed into a legscissor by Steamboat, Flair flips through that to reverse into a pinning combo, but Steamboat powers out, bridging upward and actually transitioning into a double underhook suplex. Still only a two-count, as Flair gets his foot on the ropes.

The two men fight for a backslide. Steamboat wins the battle, but it's not enough to score the fall. The two take turns getting the better of each other with right hands and chops. Flair sends the Dragon into the corner, and Dragon bounces back out with a hard clothesline.



Steamboat up to the top, nails a judo chop to the top of Flair's head from there. Back up top, cross-body attempt, Tommy Young gets caught behind Flair and Steamboat ends up taking out both Young and Flair with the move. Steamboat has Flair pinned, but nobody can count it. Flair rolls Steamboat up with a handful of tights, but Tommy Young is pretty solidly bumped out of action, so still no count. Referee Teddy Long checks on Tommy Young from the outside.

Flair dumps Steamboat out over the top, then goes to check on Young himself, but in the meantime Steamboat skins the cat and flips back in. He heads to the top (unbeknownst to Flair) and goes for a flying bodypress that Flair dodges just in time. Flair tries capitalizing by locking on the figure-four, but Steamboat catches him by surprise with a small package, and Teddy Long goes jumping into the ring in substitution and counts to three as the crowd blows the roof off the building. Excellent ending.



The fact that a new referee jumped in is controversial, and Flair and Hiro Matsuda scream at Tommy Young about it as Teddy Long raises Steamboat's arm, but Young responds by doubling down and raising Steamboat's other arm to confirm the result and get another thunderous pop. Finally a new world champion.



Result: Ricky Steamboat via pinfall (23:18)

Meltzer Rating: *****

My Review and Rating: There's really nothing like watching Ricky Steamboat go full-speed against a worker who can keep up with him, and obviously Ric Flair was a rare worker who could do just that. This was a well-booked match, great ending to give more fodder to a continued series of matches between the two, and the action was relentless. I do think that they went on to top this in the next two matches in this trilogy, so part of me sort of wants to leave it a quarter-star short of the full monty, but I'll go ahead and fill that quarter-star in just for the awesomeness of Ricky Steamboat really getting his moment here, not to mention a GOAT-level performance from Jim Ross in narrating the whole thing like only a master of the craft could. *****
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:13 PM   #79
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

This was my favorite match of theirs. I have a feeling it's because it's the easiest to get through at 23 minutes and Flair's entrance (which I don't think is shown in full on Network) is epic. Next shortest one is WW which is like 38ish minutes.

Great write-up.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:18 PM   #80
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Entrance is here @ 1:15. I recommend watching that minute of footage. Godly imo and the fact that they do this for a heel is incredible though it does go with his persona.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:28 PM   #81
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Thanks.

It's only from memory that I remember liking at least the third one more, maybe viewing those coming up will revise that opinion, but they're all fantastic obviously.

I have seen that entrance previously, and was actually looking for it as I watched tonight, then decided that I must be misremembering which Flair match got that entrance. Apparently wasn't misremembering. Definitely a fantastic full entrance.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:32 PM   #82
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Side feature on this, stemming from conversations that happened in another thread recently about who had the best match resumes...I figured I would keep a running tally as I do this of who had 4+-star matches in the opinion of both Meltzer and myself. Half-points for participating in 4+-star tag matches (will probably fraction it down further for great than 2-on-2).

The early tally looks like this, and I will update it periodically during the thread.

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Ric Flair: 3
Ricky Steamboat: 2
Barry Windham: 1
Randy Savage: 1
Sting: 1
Davey Boy Smith: 0.5
Dynamite Kid: 0.5
Greg Valentine: 0.5
Brutus Beefcake: 0.5
Arn Anderson: 0.5
Ole Anderson: 0.5
Ricky Morton: 0.5
Robert Gibson: 0.5
Stan Lane: 0.5
Bobby Eaton: 0.5
Bobby Fulton: 0.5
Tommy Rogers: 0.5
Obviously the 4+-star matches aren't everything, as a consistent string of 3.5-star matches adds to a guy's resume too, but I figure it will be a decent measure of just how often each wrestler attained what I see as true greatness. Obviously what will happen here is that Ric Flair will be the leader from the beginning, and then we'll see if other greats in the future can chase him down.
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Old 05-08-2015, 02:59 AM   #83
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Red face Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

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It's only from memory that I remember liking at least the third one more, maybe viewing those coming up will revise that opinion, but they're all fantastic obviously.
If you notice from my 5* match listing. Out of the 70+ matches on there, the CotC match isn't there . It's been over a year since I've watched so I should watch again but I just found it tedious and dare I say, boring at times.

Not getting to Luger/Flair tonight either. Started watching and just not in the mood for wrestling tonight.
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Old 05-08-2015, 04:12 AM   #84
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Luger vs Flair pretty much disgusted me with its repetitiveness too

No idea how Meltzer gave so many stars for that one, I enjoyed your write up of it a lot more than the match itself!
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:40 AM   #85
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

MSG House Show: The Rockers vs. The Brain Busters (w/ Bobby Heenan)

Date: March 18, 1989

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urVTa22yibg (as you can see from the screenshots below, this match was seemingly filmed by a potato and a lampshade; unfortunately that's the best available copy)

Background: Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard defected from NWA to WWF in late 1988, and were immediately plugged into a program with Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. It was a program that went on for several months, but never made it to PPV, as they split off for different opponents at WrestleMania V. That means it was mostly a house show program. The Rockers had lost to the Brain Busters a month earlier according to Sean Mooney in the pre-match interview here, and this seems to have been the first (televised, at least) rematch after that.



The Match: The Brain Busters were never given any music, even though they were pushed from day one. They were just the workmanlike minions of Bobby Heenan. Tony Schiavone and Lord Alfred Hayes on the call here; I guess that means that Tony defected to WWF in between Starrcade and this match also.

Michaels and Arn kick things off, locking up and jostling for position in the corner. Call that one a stalemate. Michaels scores a minor victory in the next exchange after cinching in a hammerlock, but Arn gets an easy rope break.

Arn gets more aggressive, going kick/punch/eye gouge to get some control, but Michaels blocks a sunset flip and takes the fight back his way, pounding him into the corner and then punching him while standing on the second rope. Reversal by Arn, as he picks up Michaels in the corner and delivers an inverted atomic drop, but Michaels escaped it and fires right back. Tully and Jannetty jump in at this point, and we have chaos. The Rockers end up clearing the ring.

Tully tags in after the Brain Busters regroup. He attempts a corner charge, but comes up empty and hurts his shoulder. Tag to Marty and a double-team on Tully's shoulder into a hammerlock by Jannetty. Tully gets near a tag, but Marty heels it up and knocks Arn off the apron before a tag can occur. Tag back to Michaels, and he continues the left limb work on Blanchard. Blanchard with a nice drop toehold reversal, but Michaels again blocks the tag. Kind of an odd dynamic they're pulling off here, with the heel being the one trying to get his anxious partner in.



More double-teaming as Jannetty gets a tag, but then Jannetty just sort of stands back and lets Tully tag out. After all that? Weird. Anderson enters, as Marty tells him to bring it on. Anderson knocks Jannetty outside, follows him out, but Marty dodges a punch and Anderson wraps his arm around the steel post.



Arn manages to keep some level of control as he re-enters, slapping on an armbar, but Marty flips his way out of it and applies an armbar of his own on Arn. I think he's working the wrong arm if the goal was to further weaken the one that got posted.

Arn fights his way out of the armbar and makes a tag. He and Tully go for a double-clothesline, Marty ducks, they go for a double-backdrop, Marty dodges that as well. Michaels in, and both Rockers deliver hurracanranas and then standing dropkicks to clear the ring again. Not content with that, they split off to opposite sides of the ring and both deliver pescados to the Brain Busters as they are attempting to recover.



Match resets, Michaels now the legal man via squatter's rights, and he hits an atomic drop on Blanchard. That drop sends Blanchard careening into Jannetty in the corner, Jannetty with a punch, Tully careens back toward Michaels and suffers a hip-toss. Michaels jumps up on Tully for a flying headscissors and then takes a sweet spot from the apron by Arn, as Arn hangs Michaels HARD along the top rope. Hell of a sell by Michaels as he reacts to the move like a grenade exploded inside of him.

Shawn is completely laid out as Arn tags in and methodically stomps away on him. Whips Michaels into the Brain Busters' corner, where Tully delivers a knee. Tully back in, sends Shawn into the ropes, delivers a punch to the gut on the way back, and Michaels suffers through it and continues to spill all the way out through the middle rope. Marty tries to go help Shawn, but that just leads to a referee distraction and Brain Buster double-teaming on Shawn on the outside.

Michaels blocks one of Tully's punches outside and slams his head on the apron, but it's not nearly enough to enable Michaels to tag. Michaels reverses a whip into the ropes and attempts a backdrop, but Arn stops short and clobbers him. Catapult by Anderson sends Shawn into the enemy corner, and Tully waffles him. Tully with his own catapult that yanks the Rocker throat-first into the bottom rope.

An opening finally gets created when Tully gets caught climbing the ropes. Hot tag to Marty. Beats on both Busters. Rolling pin on Tully, but Arn breaks it up. Double clothesline attempt by Heenan's guys, Marty ducks and Arn gets pulled out from the outside by Michaels as Marty rolls Tully up for a believable near-fall. Crescent kick by Marty, Shawn back up on the apron and up to the top for something of a rocket launcher. 1, 2…Arn pulls the referee out for the DQ. C'mon; how is that ending ever better than a clean pinfall in a non-title match? Especially when they weren't saving the blowoff for PPV.



I'm guessing the explanation is that they WERE saving the blowoff for PPV, but then that got derailed somehow. That would be pretty much par for the course for The Rockers; I still can't believe that they never got the WWF Tag Titles (in a match that actually made it to air and counted).

Result: Rockers via DQ (13:14)

Meltzer Rating: ****1/4

My Review and Rating: Match was a lot of fun, nice pace throughout and strayed enough from the usual WWF tag match format to be pretty interesting. Unfortunately kind of a stupid ending. Even without the ending, I was probably going to keep it a little below four stars, but nice match regardless. ***1/2
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:49 AM   #86
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

And that match is WWF's one contribution to this thread in 1989. We'll be back to visit them in 16 months.

Safe to say that Meltzer was a bit harder on the WWF's actual wrestling from this era than I would be, but to be fair I'm not sure I could go quite as high as four stars on my other favorite 1989 WWF matches (Savage-Hogan, Warrior-Rude) either.
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:57 AM   #87
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

The Flair-Steamboat Clash match has one of the great endings of all time. At the time just about everybody expected that match to go broadway (60 minutes) and end in a draw after it went 45 or so minutes in because so many NWA title matches had done that throughout the decade. The few people that knew Flair had taken over as booker expected him to get the title back, because most bookers still in or near prime would give themselves the belt if they were anywhere near Flair's level. Neither happened. So out of context it isn't quite as good.

Read a bunch of other reviews of the Luger/Flair match (including one by Lance Storm) and they all rate it approximately as Meltzer does and don't mention the repetitiveness. Not saying it isn't a valid criticism, but it is odd that nobody else seems to notice that (or maybe they don't care?) outside of this forum.

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Old 05-08-2015, 07:59 AM   #88
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

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Luger vs Flair pretty much disgusted me with its repetitiveness too

No idea how Meltzer gave so many stars for that one, I enjoyed your write up of it a lot more than the match itself!
Thanks. I'm still all kinds of confused on how that's supposed to be their great match. I thought it was Lex Luger at his absolute worst, that he was just too young and raw to really fill in that long of a match. Strangely I remember liking their GAB match from earlier that year quite a bit, outside of the horrendous ending that is. It was on that basis that I was very optimistic about what the Starrcade match would be. Ah well.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:04 AM   #89
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Here's Scott Keith on that Flair-Luger match:

Quote:
****1/2 In case you're curious, a clean pin would be ****3/4 and ***** would have been if Luger hadn't no-sold all the chops and had mixed up the offense a little more than powerslam/elbow/press slam the whole match.
So he noticed the same things and STILL saw an excellent, nearly elite match. I don't know. I just know that I really didn't enjoy it.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:12 AM   #90
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Having both Luger and Sting no sell the chops leads to diminishing returns. At the limit, if everybody no sells the move, then the move is just weak, rather than the wrestler not being injured strong.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:39 AM   #91
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

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Safe to say that Meltzer was a bit harder on the WWF's actual wrestling from this era than I would be, but to be fair I'm not sure I could go quite as high as four stars on my other favorite 1989 WWF matches (Savage-Hogan, Warrior-Rude) either.
Meltzer leans towards matches that have a lot of action and he admits this. So, for example, he didn't like Larry Zbyszko as a singles wrestler as much as some others did, saying his matches just had too little action. Warrior matches, Hogan matches, and even to an extent Rude matches tended to have a lot of 'rest holds' during this time unless the matches were really short.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:23 AM   #92
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

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Meltzer leans towards matches that have a lot of action and he admits this. So, for example, he didn't like Larry Zbyszko as a singles wrestler as much as some others did, saying his matches just had too little action. Warrior matches, Hogan matches, and even to an extent Rude matches tended to have a lot of 'rest holds' during this time unless the matches were really short.
I'm pretty amazed, under this philosophy, that he gives four stars to the SummerSlam 1992 match between Warrior and Savage. That match is very different from their WrestleMania match and certainly seems like it has more than its share of slow stuff going on. I enjoyed it and thought it was a good match, but it sure seems like it's way outside of Meltzer's wheelhouse.
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Old 05-08-2015, 10:04 AM   #93
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Who knows. It certainly wasn't because Meltzer liked WWF as a company more then than he did in the late 80s, because around Wrestlemania VII Linda and Vince actually tried to get Meltzer fired from his job working for Frank Deford.
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Old 05-09-2015, 09:52 AM   #94
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Clash of the Champions VI: NWA Title 2 out of 3 Falls - Ricky Steamboat (c) vs. Ric Flair

Date: April 2, 1989

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v32297671

Background: Steamboat scored the upset at Chi-town Rumble to take Flair down and become the new world champion. While this was a personal feud to some extent, there was also a lot of underlying mutual respect in it, and Steamboat vowed first thing after winning the title that he would give Flair a rematch. Six weeks later, here it is.

The Match: The familiar Also Sprach Zarathustra kicks in as Ric Flair appears through the curtain. On the wall behind him, "Rick Flair" is spelled out in laser. Whoops. Ricky Steamboat comes out second, and the laser spells on the wall behind him, "The Drago." Hope they didn't pay a lot for those special effects. Steamboat is accompanied to the ring by his unsurprisingly beautiful wife as well as his young son, who sported a drago costume for the occasion.

Referee is Tommy Young, who seems to have (deservedly) been assigned to every single world title match that happened. Jim Ross is proud to introduce Terry Funk as his broadcast partner for the evening as things get under way.



Fall #1

It's interesting, right as they sort of circle each other and do the feeling-out thing, it strikes me that it feels downright weird that Flair is the challenger in this world title fight. I realize that last reign wasn't his first, but it had gone on so long that I had gotten really used to him being in a constant state of holding the title. Tie-up leads to the corner, Flair takes a cheap shove as they break and Steamboat responds with an insulting slap in the face.

Nice chain wrestling follows, hold vs. counter-hold with several reversals until Flair reaches the ropes. As they both get up, Steamboat executes an even harder insulting slap. Overhand wristlock by Flair, then he forces Steamboat to a knee as he adds (legal) leverage to the hold. Steamboat digs out some raw power to fight his way out of the hold, and Flair takes a walk. I don't mind his early walks, especially in long matches, but usually they make more sense than this one; there isn't a ton of reason for him to be shook or mad or whatever there.



The former champ is back in, and a lock-up eventually leads to a shoulderblock by Flair, but then a hip-toss and a shoulder drag by the new champion sets him up to slap on a side headlock. Flair fights out, but for his efforts he takes a shoulderblock going one way, then the Dragon stops short of Flair's drop-down heading in the other direction and drops down into a headlock. Flair again manages a rope break, but instead of breaking cleanly in the corner he lunges a shoulder at Ricky's midsection, followed by multiple wicked chops. After a few hard blows, Steamboat fights back with some chops of his own. Selling Flair's chops and then fighting back with your own is so much better than no-selling. It tells the story of someone going through a grueling match but showing heart instead of someone pressing the cheat code button.



Hip-toss by the Dragon. Flying headscissors. Dropkick, and then another side headlock takedown. Steamboat plays the long game and stays with wear-down stuff, seeming to take particular interest in Flair's neck. Maybe he's planning to use the Rude Awakening! After taking a decent bit of work, Flair forces another rope break. "Let's see if we finally get a clean rope break here." -Jim Ross. Nope, Flair goes with another cheap shot as he gets up, and the two engage in another brief chop war.

High backdrop by the champion. Dropkick. Flair begs off; Steamboat wisely gives a reaction akin to "WTF kind of an idiot do you think I am?" Then he pusses out and just lets Flair get up; so much for the initial smart reaction. He pays for his idiocy, as the Nature Boy kicks him low and then levels him with a closed fist. Continues the offense with a whip into the ropes, but the Dragon baseball slides through the wickets and then rolls up for a near-fall, followed by a hard clothesline and a jumping side headlock takeover.

Steamboat goes in for another resthold with the front facelock; okay, there probably are too many headlock variations happening here. Jim Ross says, "A lot of fans don't know that's one of the most painful holds in wrestling." Dude is brilliant. I can't think of a smarter way to combat possible fan boredom with that hold, which is almost certainly what that line was meant to do. A pan-out to the crowd indicates that there's a split in the crowd; Steamboat is still the crowd favorite, but Flair always had his supporters.

The champ continues on offense, but Flair finally halts him in his tracks with an atomic drop. This time it's Flair who lacks the killer instinct, as he allows Steamboat's balls to recover and then only approaches when Steamboat is ready to lay him out with a big chop. Shoulderblock straight into the lateral press; I do consistently like that spot from Steamboat. Obviously it doesn't get the pin, but he proceeds to hit several moves for near-falls until Slick Ric rolls out of the ring, worse for wear and just trying to escape the onslaught. (See, now this is a breather that makes sense.)



Lockup leads into a series of Flair chops and knees. Steamboat again fires back and wins the chop war; optimally Flair would win at least one of those too instead of having the face perpetually prevail. Still, these guys were REALLY hauling off on each other with these chops. I can't fail to appreciate that. Delayed suplex by the dragon. Running splash attempt, but Ric gets the knees up and the Dragon takes them flush to the gut. I always think that's one of those bumps that looks exceptionally painful and impossible to really cushion, while also not necessarily impressing as much of the crowd as it should.

The Nature Boy comes a-chopping again. Instead of letting Steamboat chop back, he transitions into a snapmare and then a double stomp. That double stomp move, Ric…it's not actually a good spot. Don't let Kevin Sullivan tell you otherwise. Double underhook suplex gets two. The challenger keeps the champ on the mat, continues to struggle for pinning combos, but they obviously all end up in two at most. Steamboat finally powers out. The two trade kicks and chops. The welts had to be so bad after this match. Steamboat whips Flair into the corner and attempts a dropkick, but Flair stops short and Steamboat falls flat on the mat.

We get a call-back to the Chi-town Rumble ending, as Flair attempts to follow by locking in the figure-four and Steamboat reverses into a small package. On the count of two, Flair shifts over and turns it into his own small package and gets the three-count to take down the first fall.



Flair 1, Steamboat 0

Fall #2

After a commercial break, we kick things off with the champion's back against the wall, down a fall. Terry Funk says that Steamboat was kicking the bottom rope in frustration during the break, but has regained his composure a bit as the two lock up to get going again. Running shoulderblock by Flair. Attempts another and gets press slammed. The Dragon up top for a risky maneuver right away, tomahawk chop off the top gets two. I like the aggression here by Steamboat as it feeds from the commentary, because it looks like the story is that he's pressing and maybe overly concerned with tying the match back up more quickly than he needs to.

Steamboat's side headlock gets reversed into a back suplex by Flair. Flair measures him and drops the knee, showing a contrast by being methodical now, as there's obviously no rush at this point if you're in Flair's position. That said, it appears that he was TOO methodical, as a running kneedrop comes up empty and Steamboat starts going to town with a series of elbow drops on Flair's left leg. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 elbow drops. I love it. And he follows with the figure-four. If ever there was a time to make Flair quit in his own hold, this would be the most sensible one by a lot.



Flair battles, nearly getting counted down a couple of times but ultimately making it to the bottom rope after considerable pain is inflicted. I always especially love it when Flair gets a limb worked on, because I have all the trust in the world that he'll sell it like a boss; it's like handing a part to Daniel Day-Lewis. As Steamboat follows up on a fallen Ric Flair, Flair desperately kicks him away, but Steamboat scurries back and slaps on a Boston crab. You know how I know that they're telling a great story? Because I sincerely winced in sympathetic pain at a ****ing Boston crab, a move that likely exacts zero pain whatsoever as long as your quad muscle isn't torn off when the hold is applied.

Flair works his way under the ropes to get a break, loudly groaning like a mother****er the whole time. Steamboat wants to stay on offense, but Tommy Young forces him off and allows Flair some recovery time. Seems bogus. Still it doesn't allow Flair anything close to a full recovery, and Steamboat goes back to raining blows down on a severely hobbled challenger.

Chops back and forth, Flair converts into a side headlock, Steamboat reverses into a waistlock, Flair lays down for a pin, Steamboat bridges out and they duel over the chance to execute a backslide. Steamboat wins the power struggle, but only gets two. Flair gets tactical and decides to dirty things up, heading outside and dragging Ricky out with him. He hammers him into one barricade and then another. He heads back inside to try to secure a second fall by countout, but they go to a promotional "hey we're in New Orleans" graphic as we await the count, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say this isn't the ending.

The Dragon returns to the apron, but Flair hangs him along the top. Picks him back up and levels him with a closed right fist. Tommy Young backs him down for a moment, but Naitch is relentless and follows once more with a delayed suplex. Yeah…Flair not necessarily selling as well as I hyped that he would. To me, the delayed suplex should be 100% out of your arsenal for the night after your knee gets destroyed earlier in the match.



Abdominal stretch by Ric. Converts it into a pinning combo for multiple two-counts, but obviously no three. Steamboat with a surprise go-behind into a waistlock, runs Flair into the ropes and rolls back for a pinning combo, but Flair kicks him off and he was clearly supposed to spill all the way out onto the floor. He didn't quite get there, and to his credit he reacted by just re-entering the ring instead of throwing himself the rest of the way out.

Steamboat tries to throw a backdrop but ducks too early and eats a kick. Flair going for a few too many unrealistic pinning combos this time; I get it within the story, but even the most casual fans aren't really buying most of these. Flair up top, Steamboat catches him, crotches him, lays in a few hard chops and then climbs up to execute a superplex. Instead of a pinning attempt, the Dragon keeps throwing elbows and fists to continue to beat Flair down.

Double chicken wing submission hold by Steamboat, as he holds Flair up…and Flair submits! Man, I've even seen this match and that still surprised me.



Flair 1, Steamboat 1

Fall #3

Back from another commercial and straight into the middle of the action. Flair flops face-first, but musters the energy to go throw a chop block at Steamboat's knee. 25 minutes left in the time limit. Steamboat throws a hard chop that causes Flair to do another delayed collapse. Flair begs as Steamboat stalks him and taunts him. Flair gets to his feet, but the Dragon lays in some hard blows in one corner, whips him into another, and catches him in a backdrop on the way out.

Flair fights back with a hard chop, Steamboat dishes out another of his own, Flair ups the ante and executes a single-leg atomic drop that ****s Steamboat's leg up, and as Steamboat is doubled over, Flair connects on an awesome kick to the face from his own back. Figure-four by the Nature Boy, but Steamboat almost instantly was into the ropes; Flair didn't get much mileage out of that. Still, he continues the assault with measured kicks on Steamboat's leg.



Steamboat backs away, outright dragging his bad leg as he moves. Now THAT is what I like to see. Maybe Steamboat can do better with his injury than Flair has done with his. Back-and-forth chops. Steamboat gets the better of them. Sends Flair into the corner, Flair does the flip over onto the apron and is going to run to the other corner to go up top, but Steamboat picks him off and floors Flair with a hard chop as Flair was sprinting up the apron. Great spot, really made that look like an excellent bump.

Flair stands up, then drops to his knees to beg, and Steamboat gets suckered by it AGAIN as Flair attacks from his knees and then attempts a pin from the corner with his legs up on the turnbuckles. Two-count. Flair with a chop that turns Steamboat inside out. Whip to the other corner; Steamboat jumps up to the turnbuckle and then jumps off, but gets nothing. Flair back on the offensive, chopping the champ down to size and then going back at Ricky's bad leg.

The Dragon reverses a whip into the corner and follows Flair in, but comes up empty as he attempted a high kick, and hangs his bad leg over the rope. Flair smells blood in the water and keeps taking runs at that left leg of the world champion. Figure-four, this time with Steamboat nowhere near the ropes. Flair keeps slapping Steamboat in the face, which I'm conditioned to believe leads to adrenaline rush --> reversal, but it doesn't happen this time as Flair simply leans back and wrenches on Steamboat's foot to double down on the hold.



The crowd gets behind Steamboat, and he does pound on the mat and work up enough strength to power his way all the way over for a rope break. Flair is ruthless, immediately slips out of the ring and repeatedly bashes Steamboat's bad leg against the apron.

As the Charlotte native re-enters, Steamboat is limping badly and can only keep his feet by hanging onto the top rope, but he finds a chop in his reserves and lays into the challenger to at least subdue him. More than subdue him, it gets him the advantage, at least enough to send Flair into the corner. Flair flips over the top of it to the apron, repeats his "run to the other turnbuckle" spot without getting picked off this time, and connects on a cross-body that registers a solid near-fall.

Steamboat attempts a bodyslam and collapses, Flair falls on top for two. 15 minutes left in the limit. Flair sends Steamboat into the ropes, but Steamboat dives at the Nature Boy with a flying headbutt. Steamboat continues agonizing over his injury, but makes his way up to the top for a flying bodypress. Another near-fall on that.



Steamboat with a running elbow drop that gets nothing but mat. Flair sends the Dragon into the ropes; the Dragon stops short of Flair on the way back and hits a sweet swinging neckbreaker for two. Sunset flip attempt, Flair struggles and struggles to stay up but finally falls. Two. Shoulderblock by Steamboat, but Flair pops up and lays on a sleeper as Steamboat charges him. Steamboat goes to the mat, his eyes glassy, and Tommy Young nearly calls the match off before Steamboat barely gets an arm back up to keep things going.

Dragon finds a way back to his feet, then desperately dives for the corner, carrying Flair into the top turnbuckle face-first to break the hold. A groggy Flair stumbles all the way out of the ring, but gets back into the ring and swipes with another kick at the champ's bad leg. Single leg by Flair, but as he arrogantly "woo"s, Steamboat surprisingly pulls out an enziguiri that gets him another two-count. For my money, that could have been a great near-fall, but neither the wrestlers nor the announcers really put it over that well.



Tomahawk chop off the rope by the Dragon as we get our 10-minute warning, but the Dragon hurts himself on the move and can't get back up. Flair back on offense, crushing the bad leg and realizing that he needs to have some urgency and score a fall sooner rather than later now. Flair is low on gas, but he slowly follows Steamboat and beats on him. Even on one leg, Steamboat keeps finding enough in the tank to chop back at Flair, as Jim Ross marvels at his heart.

The champ chops Flair down and limps slowly toward him as Flair begs off. Steamboat corners him, gets up on the second rope and pounds down at him. Flair reverses by picking the champion up and delivering an inverted atomic drop, but he didn't get all of it and Steamboat pummels him with a hard clothesline. Pinfall attempt is no good due to Flair's leg on the ropes.

Flair whipped into the ropes, stops short of Steamboat and drops the hammer on Steamboat's neck. Six minutes left. Flair goes up top, slow as usual, and Steamboat catches him and tosses him back inside. Another double-arm chicken wing by Steamboat, he collapses underneath it, both men seem to have their shoulders down as Tommy Young counts. Flair gets his foot on the rope, Tommy Young counts to three, nobody knows who just won. Young quickly goes over and raises Steamboat's arm, declaring him the winner despite Flair's foot being on the ropes. It's a good, creative finish.



Steamboat gets interviewed backstage after the match and respectfully tells Flair that he's moving on to the next challenger. Jim Ross tells him that Flair's foot may have been on the ropes. They bring up a video replay that shows this to clearly be the case. Steamboat basically reacts with, "Welp. I'd be mad too." Steamboat was truly atrocious at interviews, but that's the gist of it.

Result: Ricky Steamboat via submission [fall #2] and pinfall [fall #3] (55:49)

Meltzer Rating: *****

My Review and Rating: I still enjoyed it a ton. It's an extremely well-told and well-booked story, and obviously really well-worked. I'll agree that maybe there are a few spots that feel like they drag enough to leave this one short of their Chi-town Rumble classic, but I still regard it as a great bout. ****1/2
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:19 PM   #95
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

WrestleWar '89: NWA Title - Ricky Steamboat (c) vs. Ric Flair

Date: May 7, 1989

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31674733

Background: Steamboat wrestled the NWA Title away from Flair at Chi-town Rumble, and then retained in controversial fashion at Clash of the Champions VI when Flair's leg was clearly on the bottom rope during the pinfall. It was made clear that this was to be Flair's last shot to regain the belt before Steamboat would move on to other contenders. Lou Thesz, Pat O'Connor, and Terry Funk, each former world champions, would sit ringside as judges in case the match went to time limit.

The Match: Flair enters with forty beautiful women lining the aisle for him to go alongside six who directly accompany him. Sure they've all got big 80s hair, but I'm still not complaining. Steamboat, in contrast, comes to the ring with his wife and son. I mean, I'm all for good family men, but was this contrast supposed to really make Steamboat more of the babyface of the two?



Jim Ross and Bob Caudle on the call, Tommy Young officiating as usual. First tie-up results in a rope break. Second results in a Steamboat armdrag. Third leads to a side headlock by Flair into a rope-running sequence, and a hip-toss and a deep armdrag by Steamboat. Clean early on, but they get into the corner and things get testy early as the two trade slaps across the face.

Flair wrestles Steamboat back into the corner, takes a cheap lunge at Steamboat's midsection and then a series of back and forth chops follow that really seem even harder than all of the ones they've laid into each other with in the previous matches. Holy crap. I like the chop sequences in general, but that particular one is GOAT.

Flair charges the champ and gets backdropped for his efforts, then rolls to the floor, his chest now looking significantly more red than his stomach. Steamboat wants to follow, but Tommy Young holds him back and allows Flair to re-enter on his own. In kayfabe, Young's decisions seem really arbitrary and capricious. In any case, we continue. Side headlock by the Nature Boy, but the Dragon straight-up powers out of it and works Flair's arms up overhead into a test of strength that the Dragon then wins, as he gets Flair to his back.

Armbar by Steamboat, coupled with knees and elbow drops to the left arm of the challenger. Flair back up to his feet to attempt some offense, but again just eats a hip-toss and an armdrag for his efforts, and back into the hammerlock he goes. Nice reversal with a drop toehold by Flair, but we see an immediate re-reversal by the Dragon as he goes back behind. This chain wrestling is elite. Flair with an escape, lays in several more hard chops, whips Steamboat into the ropes, but Steamboat executes a baseball slide through Flair's legs, trips Flair, and back into the hammerlock.



Flair works his way to the corner for a rope break, and then once again fails to obey Tommy Young's pleas for a clean break, instead clobbering Steamboat with a forearm shiver to the head as the two separate. And another. And the third floors the Dragon, before Flair picks him back up to continue laying the lumber to him with more heavy chops. I'm not just imagining things; these two were out to get their money's worth out of the finale of this series, and were working stiff as hell.

Flair lifts Steamboat to the top rope, but then gets something in his eye and it buys enough time for Steamboat to regain the offense. Nice spot as Steamboat delivers a nearly Hennig-level dropkick and it sends Flair flipping over the top to the floor. Ross and Caudle agree that so far, Steamboat has to be ahead on points. Flair back in, levels a couple of low kicks, but Steamboat is back to work with a whip into the ropes and an armdrag, followed by an arm-wringer. I was wondering why all the arm stuff, but Jim Ross correctly explains that it has to be a setup for the double chicken wing that worked for Steamboat at Clash VI.



Nature Boy finally gets the better of a rope-running sequence, delivering a hip-toss of his own, but he's too slow to follow with an elbow drop, and the world champion slips out of the way and then resumes the attack himself. The two end up in a corner tie-up, Flair refuses a rope break and sends Steamboat back to chop city as he pounds him from one corner to the other. Ross and Caudle get scorecards from the judges at the 15-minute mark that unanimously agree that Steamboat is ahead on points so far.

Flair works to get some of those points back as he keeps raining right hands in and then dumps Steamboat out through the middle, but Steamboat lands on his feet and jumps back into the ring, walloping Flair in one corner and then whipping him into the other where he gets halfway through a flip and gets caught upside down in the tree of woe. Steamboat levels Flair in the stomach, which does damage but does get him down. He then charges Flair, but Flair side-steps and pretty blatantly throws him out over the top rope. Tommy Young generously calls that unintentional; I guess in a match like this, the standard is more like penalty calls in playoff hockey overtime.



Flair follows Steamboat out, stands Steamboat up near the guardrail, then throws a hard enough chop that Steamboat spills over it into the crowd. Steamboat back up, still in the crowd, Flair chops again. The crowd members look less than delighted at the prospect of a sweaty man being chopped into them. After Flair loses precious time arguing something with Tommy Young, Steamboat is ready when Flair comes back to him, returning the series of chops from the crowd side of the guardrail and then chasing him back into the ring.

Dragon enters with a hard tomahawk chop springboard off the top. Facebuster by Steamboat. Multiple chops and back into the armbar, as Steamboat basically regained all or most of the points lost in that last flurry by Flair. He again takes a big spill though, as he charges Flair and leaps for a flying bodypress, Flair dodges, and Steamboat's bodypress sends him flying out over the top again. Tommy Young gets to a seven-count before Steamboat gets to the apron and breaks the count.

Now significantly more weary after the tumble to the floor, Steamboat is brought back in rudely, as Flair slingshots him in. Measured kneedrop. Flair's chops each send the Dragon to the mat, as the Dragon's eyes appear to be downright vacant. He attempts to chop back a couple of times, but cannot regain the advantage, as Flair is in much better shape right now and executes a back suplex. 40 minutes to go in the time limit.



Another running kneedrop by Flair, right across Steamboat's eyes. Picks the champ up and executes a double-arm suplex that gets a two-count. Feels like there hasn't been near as many pointless pinning attempts in this one. Elbow drop by Flair gets another two-count, and Flair lays the badmouth on Tommy Young for a slow count. Thought that was to create an opening for Steamboat as Steamboat does get up, but Flair is right back at work with a chop, and then he catches Steamboat flush with a great stun gun after catching Steamboat coming off the ropes. Pinning attempt doesn't gather a count because Steamboat already has an arm under the bottom rope.

Flair slips to the floor, then drags Steamboat out under the bottom rope with him. Suplex on the floor! Ross and Caudle get the latest scorecards from the judges; Funk and O'Connor now have Flair ahead, while Thesz has Steamboat ahead. Flair returned to the ring after the floor suplex, and is ready to greet the Dragon as the Dragon comes back in. Surprise roll-up by the Dragon makes for a legit near-fall. Steamboat throws some chops, flings Flair into the ropes, and Flair hits a cross-body on the way back that once again sends both out over the top, and both take a hard floor bump.



Flair up a bit more quickly, and rolls the champ in. He wastes time going up top though, and Steamboat catches him and tosses him hard back into the middle. Hard chops by the Dragon. Back bodydrop. Flair stops Steamboat's adrenaline rush by begging off and causing a moment's hesitation before kicking him in the gut. Goes for a back suplex, but Steamboat flips through and schoolboys Flair into a pinning attempt and a two-count.

Ricky sits the challenger up on the top, then climbs and delivers a superplex. He picks him back up and locks in the double chicken wing, but before he can lift him Flair desperately manages a foot forward to the ropes to break it. Steamboat still on offense, delivers the tomahawk chop off the top.



Goes back up top again, and Flair sort of flails and looks to incidentally take out the top rope, which trips Steamboat all the way to the floor and leaves the champion out there, prone and clutching his left knee. Steamboat can't put any weight on the knee, so obviously Flair kicks it the moment Steamboat gets to the apron, then delayed suplexes him back into the ring. Figure-four. This is another of those moments that leaves me inclined to say that this would be a perfect submission finish, and that it should have been fine for the face to give up here. 30 minutes left as Steamboat suffers for a good while in the hold, but he eventually makes it to the ropes.

Without a moment's hesitation, Flair keeps abusing the left leg. He holds it up, Steamboat tries to chop through it and actually manages a desperation enziguiri. Steamboat goes for a bodyslam, his knee buckles, Flair falls into a rolling pin combo that pins the champ 1-2-3 to kick off his sixth reign. ****ing outstanding. Flair and Steamboat do the mutual respect thing and congratulate each other on a great bout.



Jim Ross comes into the ring and interviews Flair. Flair: "Not in character for Ric Flair, but Ricky Steamboat is the best champion I've ever faced in my life, and I'm proud to be here." Terry Funk jumps into the ring and interrupts to congratulate Flair and tell him that he thinks he's the best ever. Funk then interrupts again to say that he'd like to be the first to challenge Flair. Flair is polite about it, but says that in this company there's a top 10 that the champ is obligated to wrestle, and Funk has been on hiatus from the ring, so he can't accept the challenge at this time.

Funk first takes umbrage, then basically says "LOL I was just kidding anyway," then offers a handshake and blindsides Flair when Flair accepts it. The beatdown is on, culminating in Funk piledriving Flair into the judges' table, which doesn't even seem to be gimmicked since it doesn't give way here. A historically elite post-match segment to follow a historically elite match.



Result: Ric Flair via pinfall, new NWA Champion (31:37)

Meltzer Rating: *****

My Review and Rating: Not only is this an easy five stars, but to me it's easily better than the five-star Chi-town Rumble match, and that's without awarding it any points based on the post-match stuff. As I said in mid-writeup, both men obviously set out to get their money's worth out of the blowoff match, and both left everything they had out there. Few matches will ever be as great as this one. *****
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Old 05-10-2015, 02:27 PM   #96
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

5 of my last 6 and 10 of 24 overall have been Ric Flair matches, so I'm sort of looking forward to looking at other wrestlers' matches for a few.

As I say that, I see that the next two do feature Ricky Steamboat, so I guess I'm not on the verge of adding THAT much variety. I haven't seen these next two though, so good enough.
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:15 PM   #97
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

lol holy **** that piledriver. Funk doesn't even try.
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Old 05-10-2015, 03:58 PM   #98
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

That post match segment shocked me when I watched the first time months ago, amazing
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:19 PM   #99
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Clash of the Champions VII: Ricky Steamboat vs. Terry Funk

Date: June 14, 1989

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v32294691

The Background: This was a Top Ten match, stemming from what Ric Flair said at Wrestlewar after winning the title. At this point in time, Steamboat was the #1 contender and Funk was the #10 contender, so this was Funk's chance to rise up the ranks toward hopefully getting a world title shot.

The Match: Funk gets the "currently in the ring" treatment, which is kind of heartbreaking since it means no Ennio Morricone on this occasion. Steamboat with a full entrance. Tommy Young's streak as main event referee is broken here, as it's Nick Patrick calling the shots.



Steamboat and Funk lock up to a stalemate, and Nick Patrick has to really force himself in to force the break. On the second go-around, we get back-and-forth chops; I guess that Funk wanted to prove that he could hang with Flair and Steamboat. Steamboat lays in his hardest shot as Funk runs off the ropes, and after Funk gets floored by that he gets up and takes two more dropkicks from the Dragon.

Funk takes a breather, but only a very brief one, and he's back in the ring leading the offense. Some right hands (read: closed fists that Nick Patrick doesn't do anything about) later, he flings Steamboat out of the ring and then follows him out. The "follows him out" part proves problematic, as Steamboat is ready to fight back, chopping away and then sending Funk back-first into the guardrail. The two continue the back and forth, and neither can maintain a long advantage.



Neckbreaker by Funk. Kneedrop, and a two-count. Steamboat tries to throw a backdrop, but eats Terry Funk's boot when Funk stops short of him. Again though, no long advantage, as Steamboat takes the fight right back at him, and a whip into the corner sends Funk flipping out over the top to the floor. Kind of sloppily and lethargically, but still. Steamboat up top, threatens a flying move to the floor, and at long last drops the tomahawk chop to the floor from there.



Steamboat lifts Funk up for a bodyslam, then slowly carries him a lap around the ring before dropping him in a slam on the floor. No idea what the point of that lap was. Back in the ring, Steamboat lifts Funk up and then blatantly tosses him out over the top rope, very deliberately, as the referee watches on. Wat. I know the rule against that wasn't dead yet, but nobody even acknowledges what he just did.

When Terry returns, Steamboat tries to continue on offense, but a charge into the corner leads him into a boot in the face. Piledriver by Funk (not on a table this time) gets a two-count. Irish whip attempt by Funk, reversed, re-reversed, and Funk accidentally flings Steamboat into Nick Patrick for the ref bump.



Funk tosses Steamboat out over the turnbuckle to the floor. Follows him out, piledrives him on the floor. ****. At least we know with Funk that he didn't ask others to take bumps for him that he wouldn't take for them. He returns to the inside, Steamboat gets up to the apron as well, Funk delay suplexes him in, revives the referee in, and only gets two. Even as slowly as that near-fall developed, I sort of bought into it, so not bad.

Funk up top, flying splash to the middle of the ring, and he lands on Steamboat's raised knees. Steamboat on the comeback, whips Funk into the ropes and catches him low on the way back. Back into the ropes, same spot again. Gutbuster. The Dragon climbs up top, lets out a war cry, then delivers a tomahawk chop to the middle. Enziguiri by Steamboat knocks Funk out of the ring down near the announce table. Funk takes a microphone from the table, gets up to the apron and waffles Steamboat in the face with it. Nick Patrick, clearly watching the whole thing, signals for the obvious disqualification.



Funk is going to continue a beatdown after the match, but Lex Luger runs down for the save and Funk gets to stepping. Lex grabs a mic, says that he's heard people say he has problems with his ego, but that he really doesn't have a big ego, he just has a lot of pride. He helps Steamboat to his feet and makes like he's going to help him to the back, then obliterates him with a short clothesline. Luger, who Jim Ross later clarifies is the #2 contender, beats the crap out of Steamboat and then, to massive heat, picks up the mic and says, "There lays your #1 contender."

Result: Ricky Steamboat via disqualification (14:00)

Meltzer Rating: ****1/4

My Review and Rating: I don't know. It was decent, but nothing really set it apart, it didn't have a lot of flow and there wasn't much of a story to the match…it seemed to really just exist as a setup to bring Lex Luger out after the match for the heel turn. This wasn't bad, but as a fan of both men I did hope for better. ***
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Old 05-10-2015, 04:28 PM   #100
LKJ
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

That's probably all for this weekend. Great American Bash '89 brings us our next three matches. I'll at least get started on those during the week, I'm sure.
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