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Old 05-24-2015, 06:33 PM   #126
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

After a week of not doing any of these (was busy with moving), that was a wretched match to come back to. At least Flair vs. Funk I Quit is next on the agenda.
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Old 05-24-2015, 06:56 PM   #127
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Yeah, I gave a similar rating/awful review to that Thunderdome match a few months ago (not sure if it was here or elsewhere). Was excited to watch because of the rating but it turned out to be rubbish.
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Old 05-24-2015, 07:17 PM   #128
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Angry Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Fastfowarding to War Games 1992. I know you mentioned that you don't like them. I enjoy them for the most part. I find them to be very basic despite the rules of it that would make it seem more intricate but every move is punch or attempt to throw into the cage (hyperbolic for nits). Meltzer gave this match 5*. I'm not going to bother to precisely rate it. It's good but I wouldn't call it great. So like ***1/2 or so. I'd definitely not give it more than 4 stars.
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:04 PM   #129
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Clash of the Champions IX: NWA Title I Quit Match - Ric Flair (c) vs. Terry Funk (w/ Gary Hart)

Date: November 15, 1989

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v32289067

Background: This rivalry began over six months earlier, when Funk ambushed Flair after his classic match against Ricky Steamboat at WrestleWar. Flair got the better of Funk in their first singles match of the feud at Great American Bash, but Funk got his heat back by (along with Great Muta and Dick Slater) destroying Flair and Sting at the last Clash. Then there was a bad tag match at Halloween Havoc, but let's not talk about that. This would be the blowoff match of the feud.

The Match: According to the commentary this was a retirement match between these two. In the 80s. That's adorable. Jim Ross and Gordon Solie on the call, Tommy Young calling the shots.



Collar-and-elbow tie-up kicks things off, Flair releases near the ropes and then chops Funk over the top. Funk back in, takes a few more knife-edges, flung from one corner to the next, and eventually to the outside. Flair gets in some shots outside, but ultimately heads back in and awaits Funk, and we reset in the middle.

Shoulderblock by the champ, and then a chokehold that quickly gets picked off when Funk gouges his eyes. The two legends have a go on the apron, Funk finally getting the better of him. Hard chop by Funk followed by a headbutt. The two trade rights, chops, and headbutts; Funk gets more of the advantage and dumps the champ outside.



The match remains in full brawl mode, almost all striking. Funk gets the mic and taunts Flair as he hammers away, yelling at him to say that he quits. Flair manages to neutralize him by reversing into an inverted atomic drop. The champ charges Funk, but quickly finds himself eating a swinging neckbreaker. Funk with some insulting slaps on the Nature Boy that piss Naitch off; he gets up and delivers his hardest chops yet this match. Absolutely lights Funk up, sends Funk to the outside, stalks him around the ring, and lights him up some more.

Flair smashes Funk into the steel barricade. He gets distracted by Gary Hart and the two scuffle a bit, but ultimately Hart doesn't do anything and the two combatants return to the middle. Shoe is on the other foot now, as Flair slaps Funk and yells at him to quit. Gary Hart distracts the champ again though, and Funk wallops the champ from behind as a result.

Another swinging neckbreaker by Funk. More pleas from Funk for Flair to quit. "Do you remember your neck, Flair?" He sets up for a piledriver and waits for Tommy Young to get an answer. Flair obviously says no. He struggles to try to escape the piledriver setup, but fails as Funk folds him up like an accordion in a piledriver. Tommy Young asks Flair again, but Flair wants to keep going.

Funk with a legdrop. Grabs Flair's head and rubs it face-first against the mat, then dumps Flair outside. Things you won't see today: piledriver on the floor.



Solie: "We may be seeing the end of a dynasty here." Flair still won't quit. Back into the ring, Funk continues to methodically hammer away on the champ before returning things back outside. Bodyslam on a ringside table. Sets the table up against the side of the ring.

Funk tries to follow up, presumably to put Flair through the table, but when he goes back to capitalize he eats several chops from the champion, who smashes Funk into the table that Funk set up. Flair continues with the adrenaline rush, ramming Funk into the barricade, flinging him across the table, getting a blow in on Gary Hart and then continuing the assault on the challenger. Flair sets him up along the barricade and hauls off with another hard knife-edge.



Back inside, Flair with a measured kneedrop. Inverted atomic drop. Flair teases the figure-four, but sets Funk's leg on the bottom rope and jumps down on it. The limb work begins in earnest, with Flair working Funk's left leg. In the middle of this, he hammers several more hard chops in on the Texan, who manages to stay upright as Jim Ross marvels at his toughness. Funk finally goes down. He rolls out and attempts an escape down the ramp, but Flair chases him down, beats on him, then executes a one-legged atomic drop on Funk's bad leg.

Nature Boy back inside. He suplexes Funk from outside to the middle. Attempts the figure-four, but Funk gets a desperation punch in to break it up. Flair leaves the ring, Funk tries to suplex him back in, Flair reverses and suplexes Funk onto the apron before ramming Funk's bad leg into the apron. The two trade hard chops, but Funk gets the worst of it and goes down.



Flair finally gets the figure-four on. Tommy Young brings the mic close to Funk. Funk, in total agony, cries "Never, never," as he flails and pulls Tommy Young down. Funk continues to fight valiantly, sells his pain well over the microphone, and finally says, "Yes, I quit."

Funk makes good on a pre-match promise to go over and shake Flair's hand, which he said he would do if Flair could make him quit. Gary Hart attacks Funk, Flair beats up Hart for doing so, we get a run-in from Great Muta and another unidentified person who double-team Flair. Sting in for the save of Flair. Lex Luger runs in and attacks Sting. We're in full free-for-all mode, all to set up a tournament for Starrcade.

Result: Ric Flair via submission (18:33)

Meltzer Rating: *****

My Review and Rating: This is a really damn well-done brawl, elite storytelling by both guys…but I will say, where I saw their two 1989 singles matches as really close before, I do think that the GAB classic beats this one with relative ease. Still, really good stuff here. ****
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:06 PM   #130
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

And again I wasn't really meaning for this to just functionally be a Flair tribute thread - the whole point was to get a wide array of different workers in great matches - but his run of being in every damn match is dwindling toward an end at this point.
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:52 PM   #131
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

i tried going to bed an hour ago but i am enjoying this thread

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Old 06-03-2015, 11:57 PM   #132
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread



Thanks for the kind words. Thought about doing a match tonight but time got away from me. Will probably be until the weekend before I get to Flair/Sting from Starrcade '89.
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Old 06-04-2015, 03:29 AM   #133
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Man that I quit match was awesome

I remember being shocked by some of the chops and the piledriver on the floor

I was legit surprised when Funk said I quit to the figure four

I didnt think anyone but jobbers submitted to this move

Funk really put Flair OVER BIGTIME in that match
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:11 PM   #134
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Starrcade '89: Iron Man Tournament - Ric Flair vs. Sting

Date: December 13, 1989

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31367855

Background: This was the culmination of a four-man iron man tournament featuring Ric Flair, Sting, Lex Luger, and the Great Muta. This was a round robin tournament based on points being scored: wins by pin or submission were worth 20 points, wins by countout were worth 15, wins by DQ were worth 10, and in a time limit draw each man would score 5 points.

Going into this match, the leaderboard featured Lex Luger at 35, Flair at 25, Sting at 20. A pin or submission victory by either wrestler would win the tournament; other results would open the door to a Luger win.

The Match: 15-minute time limit for this one, so they'll have to play it fast. Jim Ross and Terry Funk on the call; Nick Patrick is the third man. This only being a month removed from the Flair-Funk I Quit match, Flair was still rocking the world title.



Side headlock by Sting. Flair sends him into the ropes and receives a shoulderblock and then a hiptoss for his efforts. Breather for Flair, but in keeping with the time constraints he gets back in pretty quickly. The champ with a side headlock into a hammerlock, Sting reverses, drops Flair with a drop toe hold, Flair gets back to his feet on an attempted escape and manages to lift Sting up to the top rope and then back off taunting his younger opponent in a "could have had you" way. Seems like more of a spot for a 60-minute match.

Test of strength between the two men. Won by Sting as he powers Flair to the mat, but an immediate rope break allows Flair to get loose and get back up. Collar-and-elbow tie-up into a side headlock by the Nature Boy, into the ropes for a shoulderblock, runs through Sting's leapfrog, Sting press slams him. Flair, feigning offense, shoves Sting and then gets back a much harder shove that knocks him to the mat. A frustrated world champion takes another walk.



Back in, attempted hiptoss by Flair gets blocked, reversed into a backslide by Sting that gets two. Announcers at this time always tried to put over the backslide as some thrilling near-fall, but that **** never actually seemed to win anything ever. You've gotta pull the trigger on a pinfall or two in those spots if you want us to believe. Hard chops by Flair. The announcers note that friendship had to be out the window in a match like this; guess that serves as a good reminder that these two were actually allies at this point given Sting's help of Flair in the Funk feud.

Flair forces Sting into a corner, Sting reverses positioning, tosses him out, connects on a couple of dropkicks. And some clotheslines. Really weak-looking pin attempt gets sold as a near-fall for Stinger. Flair should have kicked out on 1 on that ****. Sting wastes time before charging Flair, and Flair does the bullfighter routine and sidesteps Sting to cause him to tumble outside through the middle.

The man from North Carolina follows him out and whips him into the barricade. Nick Patrick forces him back inside, but Flair doesn't lose the advantage over it, as he hangs Sting over the top rope on Sting's first re-entry attempt and then turns his second attempt into a harsh landing with a delayed suplex. Two-count. Measured running kneedrop by the champ, who continues methodically working Stinger over. Chops, then a couple of pinning attempts (one cradle, one small package) for two-counts. Another delayed suplex by Flair.



Sting sent into the corner, and goes down on the back bump. Flair showing no real urgency at this point, just kind of slowly picking his opponent apart. Same spot in the other corner. Double underhook suplex by the champ for two. Sends Sting into the corner once more, and this time Sting no-sells and comes violently charging out with a clothesline.

Flair for a walk, seemed to actually be trying to trap Sting as he ambushes a following Sting, but Sting is in hulk-up mode as the five-minute warning sounds. Flair realizes he isn't getting an advantage here and heads back in. Sting tries to sunset flip his way back into the ropes, but Flair holds his ground and clocks Sting in the face as Sting tries to bring him down. Flair suplex attempt gets reversed into a suplex by Stinger.

More chops by the champ, more no-sells by Sting. Sting pounds on Ric in the corner, then hip-tosses him out of it and clotheslines him. Another incredibly soft-looking pin attempt by Sting for two; was something wrong with him that caused him to not be able to pin normally? WTF. Stinger Splash in the corner. Follows with a Scorpion Deathlock, but it's too close to the ropes and doesn't last.



After the rope break, Flair finally seems to feel some urgency, hits a one-legged atomic drop and then quickly locks in the figure-four. Another quick rope break. Flair gets back up limping. Sting has been no-selling everything Flair does, and Flair is going to sell the fact that he was in the Scorpion Deathlock for less than a second? My money is on Flair being an unselfish lover. Flair with some low kicks, continuing to try to hobble Sting and set him up for a submission.

Hard chop by the champ floors the Stinger. Kneedrop, side headlock, pinning attempt that Sting bridges out of. OMG backslide by Sting! Oh it didn't work, just two. Seriously, welcome to every backslide ever. 60 seconds left. One-legged atomic drop by Flair. Flair way too slowly drops down on Sting's injured leg and then just strolls around in a leisurely fashion as the 30-second warning sounds. WTF. Slowly goes for the figure-four, Sting reverses into a small package, 1-2-3. Sting wins the Iron Man Tournament.



Flair goes to confront Sting after the bell, and as he does, Ole and Arn Anderson hit the ring. Instead of coming to blows, Flair shakes Sting's hand, then Arn grabs Sting's arm, gives the Four Horsemen signal, and raises Sting's arm. I did some research now and found out that Sting had already joined the Horsemen by this point. How am I only finding that out through post-match research? The announcers sort of put over that these guys were friends, but they never mentioned any Horsemen dynamics at all.

Result: Sting via pinfall (14:40)

Meltzer Rating: ****

My Review and Rating: I dunno. I have to get on Ric Flair for his storytelling and psychology in this case, because in a match with a 15-minute time limit that both men needed to actually actively try to win, he made his character look dumb as hell with all kinds of stalling even as time ran down. That actually detracts from the match for me in a big way; between that and the fact that he just kind of shrugged and congratulated Sting after the match, it basically felt like Flair in kayfabe didn't care about winning the match, and if he doesn't care about it then why should I care about it as a viewer?

In terms of ringwork, the match was decent. Nothing particularly special, but crisp, clean work. I just couldn't get into the story though. Another criticism of the story is that the announcers were trying to put over the notion that these were two friends having to put friendship aside and fight each other in this match, but the two wrestlers didn't put that aspect of the story at all either. I dunno. **3/4
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:16 PM   #135
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Weird kayfabe thoughts: Why doesn't Luger just come out and waffle Sting to give him the DQ win but Luger wins the tournament?

Actual kayfabe missed booking opportunity that might have added some random fun: Luger tries to do this but gets shut down by the Andersons.
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:18 PM   #136
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

And that was our final match from the 1980s.

1989 Match of the Year: Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat from WrestleWar '89

No hesitation on this one, and I say that while giving a serious tip of the cap to Flair-Steamboat from Chi-town Rumble and Flair-Funk from GAB, both five-star classics in my book as well. Those could have easily been the winner in another year, but not in 1989. Truly amazing year from Flair.
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:20 PM   #137
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWetzel View Post
Weird kayfabe thoughts: Why doesn't Luger just come out and waffle Sting to give him the DQ win but Luger wins the tournament?

Actual kayfabe missed booking opportunity that might have added some random fun: Luger tries to do this but gets shut down by the Andersons.
That would have been a great idea. The Andersons weren't ringside for this match and only ran in afterward, but they could have done a run-in to clobber Luger and brawl to the back with him.
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Old 06-04-2015, 10:26 PM   #138
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Next match writeup will come sometime this weekend, and will finally feature a match from this Hall of Famer:

Spoiler:
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Old 06-05-2015, 02:30 PM   #139
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

finally!
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:13 AM   #140
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

NWA World Championship Wrestling: Ric Flair (w/ Woman) vs. Brian Pillman

Date: February 17, 1990

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuLKjY5xkZU

Background: Here was the challenge, earlier in the same episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9cwZWgxcZw
I can't quite figure what happened here, but Flair was clearly working heel two months after Starrcade (and was now aligned with Woman). Pillman references the Clash of the Champions in this background clip, but without actually tuning into that show I'm not sure what happened. Sting was kicked out of the Horsemen that night, but it was earlier in the show and the Horsemen still fought what had to be a heel stable managed by Gary Hart afterward, so…I don't know. Moorobot?

The Match: Jim Ross and Jim Cornette on the call, Nick Patrick the referee. Ross speaks of his shock that Flair would align with Woman. "Flair is a changed man." As an aside, people talk about how the Benoit tragedy changed watching old Benoit stuff for them, but I actually might find it more disturbing when I see one of the actual murder victims in what could have only been a happier time.



Flair is still the world champion here, but the belt is not on the line in this one. Lock-up into a side headlock, Pillman throws a shoulderblock, a hip-toss, a dropkick, and the boneheaded people at TBS show a close crowd shot as Flair gets knocked over the top rope by ???. Flyin' Brian follows him out, throws a chop, and throws the world champion back in. As Cornette defends Flair, Ross says, "You make up more garbage than anyone I know." Guessing that Cornette has joined Flair on the heel side of the divide now too.

Chops back and forth between the two. One finally puts Flair on his ass as Pillman stalks him. He allows Flair back up as he glares through him. Flair attempts some chops, Pillman lays in several of his own and again comes out ahead. Whip into the corner, back bodydrop by Pillman, and Flair goes for a walk. Pillman again follows, very determined, but Flair delivers an eye gouge and then picks up and drops Flyin' Brian along the guardrail. Slams him into the opposite guardrail, and then after some jostling he returns Brian to the ring.



Pillman recovers quickly, throws a hard chop and then fights Flair into the corner and pounds away. This gets reversed into an inverted atomic drop. Measured running kneedrop by the Nature Boy. And another one. The crowd chants for Pillman as Flair continues slowly working Pillman over in the corner. Double-arm suplex by the champ gets a two-count. Delayed suplex. Again, two. Repeated pinning attempts in the same spot of course fail.



Pillman reverses a whip into the rope and attempts a sleeper, but Flair reverses into a back suplex. Flair goes for the figure-four, Pillman with a surprise small package, Nick Patrick out of position, eventually gets in position but only counts to one. Guessing the kickout on one was an audible by Flair after Patrick took so damn long, and if so then it was certainly a correct one within the story of the match.

One-legged atomic drop by the champ. Some more offense cranks on the now-injured leg of Pillman, and now Flair locks in the figure-four. Applies the leverage by grabbing onto the top rope a couple of different times before Pillman manages to roll through to reverse the hold.



Flair releases, briefly regroups, tries to re-enter the ring and Pillman suplexes him back in. Chops back and forth. Pillman reverses a whip into the corner, hits a backdrop, throws a dropkick, but seems to have a good run of offense going until Flair desperately kicks at Flyin' Brian's mid-section.

Flair sends Pillman into the ropes, Pillman ducks a clothesline, comes back with a sunset flip. They're close to the ropes, so I expected Flair to grab a rope, but instead Woman reaches in and slaps at Pillman…and misses. Oops. Then she slaps again and it breaks up the pin. That was awkward.



Pillman now up, and mad, and screaming at Woman, Flair hits a running knee to the back of the distracted Pillman. He seemingly dumps him out to the other side of the ring and then goes to break up the conference between Nick Patrick and Woman, but in the meantime Pillman had held onto the ropes when he got sent through them. Stands up on the apron, jumps for the springboard dropkick, 1-2-…no, not quite. Pillman quickly back up, scampers to the top, flying cross-body, Flair grabs the tights and reverses through, scores the pinfall.



Frankly, even as early as 1990, the "roll through the cross-body" reversal pin had become a really lame finish. I'm certain that more wrestlers were winning matches by rolling through a cross-body than winning by just executing a cross-body for a pin, so the move was essentially buried because that finish got used way too much.

Result: Ric Flair via pinfall (11:42)

Meltzer Rating: ****1/2

My Review and Rating: 4.5 stars? Sheesh. I liked the match decently well, they kept up a really nice pace and my only real objection is to what I regard as a fairly lame ending, but to me a 4.5-star match is special, and this was good but certainly not special. ***1/4
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:18 AM   #141
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

2/18/90: Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs. The Rock 'n Roll Express

This match was not on PPV and I can't find video of it on YouTube or DailyMotion, so I can't get a look at this one after reasonable effort.

My next reviews will be from a couple of matches at WrestleWar '90.
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:07 PM   #142
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

WrestleWar '90: Rock 'n Roll Express vs. Midnight Express

Date: February 25, 1990

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31675157

Background: This was a long-time rivalry dating back to who knows when. Based on the pre-match promo I don't think there was really much of a specific story as to why this match was happening.

The Match: Cornette and the Midnights cut a pre-match promo pledging victory; Stan Lane declares it to be "the day that music died." I'm constantly distracted by how ****ing old the Rock 'n Roll Express looked even in the 80s. They were 32 and 34 years old, and they looked like they were 55+. Jim Ross and Terry Funk on the call here; Nick Patrick the official.



Robert Gibson and Stan Lane open things up. Gibson with an armdrag out of the first lock-up, Lane with a hiptoss out of the second one. First rope sequence leads to a shoulderblock by Gibson. Second features a leapfrog by Lane and a nice spot where Gibson stops short of a lying Lane and executes a crisp fistdrop on him. Lane rolls out for a conference with Cornette.

Back up to the apron, he tries to get in Nick Patrick's face and Patrick shoves him down. Cornette gets upset and up on the apron, same thing happens, actually prompting Cornette to get into the ring and for Nick Patrick to loosen his own shirt and act like he's going to go one-on-one with Cornette. I mean, not a bad sequence I guess, but it seems awfully early in a match for something like that.

Back to the real match, it's going to be Lane vs. Morton now. Arm-wringer by Sweet Stan, reversed into the same by Morton. Nice spot as Morton lifts Lane for an atomic drop that sends Lane into Eaton, who had jumped into the ring to try to run interference. Eaton sent tumbling out, Lane leaves the ring, heads around ringside and actually shoves Eaton down. Cornette frantically makes the peace between his guys; Lane calms down and returns to the middle.



Couple of stiff rights from Stan, followed by a bodyslam. Tags out to Eaton, who immediately eats a couple of armdrags. Eaton regroups and then offers a test of strength. He initially gets the advantage, but Morton works his way back up, actually climbs up to Eaton's shoulders and jumps off at Lane as Gibson scales the corner and drops a flying axhandle on Lane. A swift, stiff kick from Morton sends Lane sprawling outside.

The two teams reset. Morton sent into the ropes, Cornette trips him from outside, Morton chases, Cornette tries scrambling into the ring for safety, but gets stopped there…I thought they were setting up a spot for Cornette to "lose" his tennis racket to one of his own guys while the referee was distracted, but it didn't lead anywhere. Morton rams the Midnights' heads together as Gibson wallops Cornette off the apron.



Eaton with a right hand, whips Gibson into the ropes (who had just made a blind tag), reversal on the whip, Morton comes in for the double backdrop and then for double clotheslines on both Lane and Eaton. The Rock 'n Roll Express double-team stuff is pretty fun. Eaton back in, drives a knee into Gibson, Gibson rolls through Eaton's legs as Eaton tags out, and is ready to pounce on Lane the second he comes in. Again a tag by Gibson, double whip, double back elbow. Morton now legal.

Lane sends Morton outside, tries to post him, Morton blocks and then posts Lane himself. Lane tags back out. Eaton and Morton trade some stiff rights, then Morton goes flying at Eaton near the ropes with a cross-body that sends them both out. Lane slips down to the floor and slams Morton on the hard surface, allowing the Midnights to finally take an advantage.

Back in the ring, tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Beautiful Bobby. Tags out to Lane, holds Morton up along the ropes for sort of a flying splash by Lane. Cornette, out of the referee's view, drives the handle of the tennis racket into Morton's throat for good measure. He had the patented HHH "hand over the actual impact point" thing going on, but it still managed to look like a stiff shot. The heat segment is officially on.



Nice series of kicks by Lane. Tag, drop toehold, running elbow drop by Eaton gets a two-count. Brainbuster gets another two. Tag to Lane who, whips Morton into the ropes and powerslams him on the way back. Lane hits Gibson, Gibson takes the bait, referee gets distracted and Eaton hangs Morton along the guardrail outside. Morton takes a shot from Cornette as well. Eaton tries to follow-up by running him into the post, but Morton blocks and slams Eaton into the post instead. That's all well and good, but Eaton isn't the legal man, and Morton has to return to the middle to face a resting Stan Lane.

Lane with a whip and a backdrop attempt that gets reversed into a sunset flip by Morton, but Cornette distracts Patrick away from counting. Morton makes another noble comeback attempt, managing to go behind Lane and run him into the ropes for a cradle pinning combo, but Lane made the blind tag as he hit the ropes, so Eaton is straight in to wreck an unsuspecting Morton with a swinging neckbreaker. Love the sequence; it makes Ricky look more sympathetic and it adds to the Midnights' heat.



Morton stops short of a backdrop attempt and kicks Stan Lane in the face, but can't capitalize with an escape; Lane tags out and Eaton continues the assault. Armbar into a jumping armbreaker by Bobby. Morton continues the sequences of fighting back only to be dropped back down. Eaton connects on a nice flying elbow off the top that I fully expected Morton to roll out of the way on. CM Punk wishes he could throw elbow drops that are that good.

The Midnights take turns fixating on Morton's left arm, the same arm that Eaton hit the jumping armbreaker on. Eaton applies a hammerlock to that arm and flings Morton left shoulder-first into the corner. Rocket launcher by the Midnights, Morton raises his knees to hurt Eaton on the way down, and finally he manages to make the hot tag.



Gibson fights off both enemies for a spell, finally takes a hard right from Lane in the middle of a pinning attempt, and Morton is back in. Amidst the chaos, Gibson takes a racket shot from Cornette, Eaton for the pin, and…no, not quite. I bought it as a possible ending, and I wasn't going to love it.

Double whip by the Midnights on Gibson, they attempt what looks like it could be a double stun gun? Tough to tell, as Morton was just a little late to his spot as he was supposed to break it up, and Eaton just sort of dropped his end of the move without interference. This enabled Gibson to roll Lane up as Morton finally hit the spot to occupy Eaton, and Patrick counts 1-2-3.



Result: Rock 'n Roll Express via pinfall (19:31)

Meltzer Star Rating: ****1/4

My Review and Rating: Loved it. That was a ridiculous pace they went at for a nearly 20-minute match, with lots of creative offense and very little repetition. Also frequent tags and a number of fun blind tag spots. All four men were absolutely on their game. I will say that the botched ending does unfortunately hurt in this case, because if I'm correct about how the spot was supposed to go then it could have been a great ending spot, and instead the ending was kinda meh. But whatever, even with that criticism I'm giving the rare better-than-Meltzer rating. ****1/2
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:11 PM   #143
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

The next item up is Flair-Luger, the main event of the same event, which I will likely put off watching for multiple days out of fear that it's another rendition of their Starrcade '88 "classic." I can see just from the search bubbles on WrestleWar that it's quite long.

But anyway, it will happen sooner or later.
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:49 PM   #144
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Does Hogan have a 4 star match? I'm trying to think of something but even Rock at WM was 3 and a half at best.
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:55 PM   #145
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

I regard Hogan-Warrior from WM VI as possibly a 4-star match, but Meltzer only gave it ***3/4 so it's not coming up in this thread.

Meltzer did give four stars to Hogan-Flair from Halloween Havoc '94, which I don't think that I've seen. That's the only other time (aside from the early Piper match that wasn't all that good) that a Hogan match will come up here.
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:15 PM   #146
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Here is the current tally of wrestlers' contributions to matches that both Meltzer and I give four stars to (again, apportioned by percentage of the match that the individual wrestler wrestled):

Ric Flair: 7 (13 more matches to come)
-
Ricky Steamboat: 4 (6 more)
-
Terry Funk: 2 (1 more)
---
Stan Lane: 1.2 (1 more)
Bobby Eaton: 1.2 (2 more)
---
Ricky Morton: 1 (1 more)
Robert Gibson: 1 (1 more)
Barry Windham: 1 (4 more)
Randy Savage: 1 (4 more)
Sting: 1 (11 more)
---
Arn Anderson: 0.5 (6 more)
Davey Boy Smith: 0.5 (5 more)
Dynamite Kid: 0.5 (finished)
Greg Valentine: 0.5 (finished)
Brutus Beefcake: 0.5 (finished)
Ole Anderson: 0.5 (finished)
Bobby Fulton: 0.5 (finished)
Tommy Rogers: 0.5 (finished)
---
Dr. Death Steve Williams: 0.2 (1 more)
Terry Gordy: 0.2 (1 more)
Road Warrior Animal: 0.2 (finished)
Road Warrior Hawk: 0.2 (finished)
Michael Hayes: 0.2 (finished)
Jimmy Garvin: 0.2 (finished)
Samu: 0.2 (finished)
Fatu: 0.2 (finished)

Numbers of the remaining matches for each could contain an inaccuracy or two, but mostly that's where we're at.
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Old 06-07-2015, 05:01 PM   #147
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

The Midnights seemingly were going for one of their finishers, a double Flapjack. Say what you want about early 90s WCW but at least most of the good workers had multiple ways of getting a pin so you didn't spend all match waiting and waiting for a move strong enough to potentially put someone away to happen.

Hogan vs Warrior 2 got 5 stars. Minus 5 stars.
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:01 PM   #148
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Thumbs up Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Kabong View Post
Does Hogan have a 4 star match? I'm trying to think of something but even Rock at WM was 3 and a half at best.
That was scored ***1/2. Lots of people have that match at 5*. Atmosphere!!!!!!!! idk what I'd rate it but it's a very enjoyable match.

Quote:
Hogan vs Warrior 2 got 5 stars. Minus 5 stars.
lol'ed.
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:56 AM   #149
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

WrestleWar '90: NWA Title - Ric Flair (c) (w/ Woman) vs. Lex Luger

Date: February 25, 1990

Link: http://network.wwe.com/video/v31675157

Background: I watched the pre-match promos and I can't gather much of a specific story to set this one up. It does seem like Luger had turned face again during the period where Flair turned heel. Sting was ringside on crutches as "special observer" who got jumped by the Horsemen, so I'm guessing that was a legit injury and that Sting was supposed to be the challenger here.

The Match: Jim Ross and Terry Funk on the call. I find that Terry Funk kind of sucks on commentary. Nick Patrick the referee. Let's do better this time, shall we?



Side headlock into a hammerlock by Flair, reversed into a hammerlock by Luger. Luger releases and violently shoves Flair down as an early intimidation move. A reset and then a side headlock by Luger this time, Flair attempts to reverse into another hammerlock but gets powered into the ground. Lex offers a test of strength, instantly gets bullied to the ground, then lets go and delivers a shoulderblock. Nature Boy takes a walk.

Some histrionics by Flair, offering a fake handshake, and then he suckers Luger into a low kick. This doesn't take either though, as a whip into the corner just leads to Luger roaring back out of it with a hard clothesline. Flair attempts to leave, but Luger chases him down the aisle and brings him back. Press slam in the middle of the ring. Flair with yet another breather, again manages to get a shot in upon re-entry, but again quickly finds himself eating another press slam. Luger attempts a pin but it's a rope break before the count of one.



Flair chops at the challenger, but we have a no-sell. And another press slam. Look, if the guy only knows like three moves, he shouldn't be the one controlling all of this offense. Flair runs off the ropes, but Lex catches him in a bearhug. This does some damage, but Flair manages to get free with a desperate eye gouge. The challenger takes a moment to recover from that, but is right back after the world champion, stalking him into the corner and then pounding away in the corner. Everything coming up roses for Luger until he takes a charge at Flair here and throws a cross-body near the ropes that Flair ducks, sending the challenger tumbling out of the ring.

Ric finally able to take a bit of advantage, follows Luger out and slams him head-first into the steel barricade. After a brief spell back in the ring, Flair flings the challenger back out to the floor on the other side. Woman gets up on the apron and distracts Nick Patrick, Flair heads outside and makes Luger eat the barricade on that side as well. I mean, that's what the distraction is for? When has a referee EVER disqualified a guy for smashing their opponent into the barricade or the ringpost?

Flair throws such a wicked chop at Luger that Luger probably would have struggled to no-sell it even if that was the booking. He proceeds to slowly deconstruct Luger, executing a snapmare and kneedrop, then rinsing and repeating. Goes for a pin, and Luger flings him off with authority and goes into hulk-up mode. He beats the champ into the corner, then whips him into another corner, but thankfully comes up empty on a corner charge. I say "thankfully" because I just can't take another press slam right now.



Flair cinches in a really deep hammerlock, much less a pointless resthold than it usually is as he actually starts to work Luger's arm over. Luger starts to rally, but Flair puts the comeback down with a jab to the throat and gets back onto working Lex's left arm. Slick Ric continues forward, putting a cheating clinic and cutting every corner he can until Lex decides to fight fire with fire and puts a choke on Flair himself to regain an advantage.



The challenger with a sleeper hold. Flair nearly reaches the ropes from a standing position before getting dragged down to the mat, but he manages a foot rope break from his back. Lex goes back to the well and attempts another sleeper, but gets back suplexed for his efforts. Flair goes for another suplex, but it gets blocked and reversed. Luger drags him to the corner and posts his leg. Works the champ's leg over, but a Flair eye gouge equalizes things again.

Flair off the ropes once with a hard running shoulderblock. Off the ropes a second time and he gets powerslammed for a very close near-fall. He gets up after the near-fall and tries to stay on the attack, but Lex is no-selling again. Flair bails out the way one should during a hulk-up, and when Lex gives chase he takes yet another eye gouge. The momentum is officially broken. They return to the ring and jostle for position. Luger gets Flair locked in for the OMG BACKSLIDE ONE-TWO-NO! near-fall. Seriously, stop pretending that the backslide wins stuff. I'll say in their defense that the fans did seem to really buy that as a possible ending.

A frustrated Luger charges straight ahead, again backs the champ into a corner, but finds himself on the receiving end of an inverted atomic drop. Two straight axhandles off the top by Flair. Double-arm suplex. I keep wanting to call that a butterfly suplex, and I really don't know if there's a difference.



Sleeper. Luger now low on energy, he begins to fade. Arm drops once, arm drops twice, and shockingly enough it doesn't drop a third time. Lex escapes the hold, gets slammed into the corner, Flair with the schoolboy for a two-count. Luger manages a clothesline, but comes up empty on an elbow drop. One-legged atomic drop by the champ. And another. As Flair continues to target Luger's left leg, it strikes me that they're not dropping any mentions of time limits anymore. Maybe the NWA had dropped the time limit draw stuff by this point, which is kind of a shame.



Figure-four by the champ, complete with rope leverage. Sting, who was introduced as "special observer" before the match and then slunk to the back before it ever began, emerges from the back and limps to the ring on crutches. As he gets to ringside, Luger does the flex-and-roar thing that he ALWAYS does in Flair's figure-four. How the crowd kept popping for that, I'm not sure. In any case, Luger gets a rope break.

Sting gives Luger a pep talk from ringside, even slapping him to motivate him. This triggers another hulk-up. Flair flings Luger into the steel barricade, and even that gets no-sold. Back into the ring for a press slam (I'll allow it, it's been like 20 minutes since the last one). Flair tries to climb to the top, but gets caught and thrown off. The challenger smells blood and throws a few clotheslines, the third sending Flair flipping out to the floor. Suplex back into the ring for a near-fall. Powerslam. Luger signals for the Torture Rack, then just sort of slowly goes for a pin instead. The pin attempt is near the ropes, and Woman slaps Luger from there to break things up.

Luger grabs Woman by the wrist, pulls her up to the apron. Nick Patrick tries to break this situation up, Flair comes rushing in with a running knee to Luger, and Patrick gets bumped in the process. Flair attempts a move from the top, but eats a hard clothesline upon landing instead. Luger for a pin, but Patrick is out. Superplex by Luger, same thing. Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson hit the ring, but Luger clears them out.



Lex puts Flair in the Torture Rack, Patrick still out. Patrick regains his senses and his footing while Flair is still fully locked into the submission hold, but on the outside of the ring the Andersons go to attack a helpless Sting, and Luger releases the hold to go make the save. He gets preoccupied with the Andersons outside, the count is on, and Nick Patrick reluctantly makes it to 10 and declares the match over via countout. Huge heat for that ending. I actually like the ending a lot.

Luger goes back to the ring too late, the Andersons chase him in and begin to beat him down. Steiners for the save. The Horsemen bail, and leave with the World Title still in the fold.

Result: Ric Flair via countout (38:08)

Meltzer Rating: ****1/2

My Review and Rating: Significantly better than their Starrcade '88 match. Luger showed more vulnerability, and it made all the difference. Thought the ending worked really well, gave additional heat to the Horsemen and added dimension to Luger's character as well that he basically gave up the title to save Sting from possible serious injury. It felt a little overly long, but I still found that I liked it quite a bit at the end. ****
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:21 PM   #150
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Re: The Meltzer 4+-Star Match Review Thread

In this match Luger was a replacement for Sting. Sting, of course, went on to win at the GAB later in the year. During a cage match he jumped down and ****ed his patella up.
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