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Matt D



I'll figure dates out later and will probably do a lot of editing as I go.


Ric Flair vs Butch Reed (TV, Non Title, Mid South) - This had a great set up with Butch goading Flair into attacking him to set up the non-title match. Flair had hired Slater ($50K) to take Reed out and had hurt Reed's knee but that doesn't come into play here. It did in the next match. Flair's great in this, which is sub-ten minutes without a real opening stretch. He's very aggressive with his heel tactics. One thing he does better than anyone is shoot them out so He kicks out the double stomp. Reed's very good selling on the outside.quickly. The fastest draw in the west when it comes to eyepokes or the cheap knee. Flubbed backslide towards the end but it wasn't the finish so it's ok. The fans are viscerally into this. Reed wins with a shoulder block, but gets ambushed by Slater and spike pile-driven after the match. Watts wonders if Flair didn't sacrifice the fall so Slater could ambush. Very effective TV match to set up a live show.


Ric Flair vs Butch Reed (WHC, Mid South, New Orleans, JIP) - What I saw was after the fact with Joel Watts and JR announcing to set up the no DQ match. I liked how Flair did the belly to back reversal out of a sleeper in the TV match and out of a headlock here. Variation like that is important to me. He brought back the knee drop instead of the double stomp too. I didn't get enough here to get a great sense of the match but it felt more like a Flair match and less like the TV one. Attacking the leg, figure four, reversal, but really the sense of Reed powering it over. Well done ref bump with Reed chasing Flair back in the ring and Flair trying to ambush him with a flying knee. Phantom backslide fall. Reed sent flair over the top and Fergie saw it. Reed suplexed Flair back in and pinned him (Second ref). Fans had the moment but then it was Dusty finished. It was okay since it set up the no DQ match the next week. Good from what i saw.


Ric Flair vs Butch Reed (WHC, No DQ) - This is the last 15 mins of a supposedly hour long match. The No DQ is only evident here in over the top rope tosses and one transition crotching by Flair. It's hard to get a sense of what happened before this, which is a shame. There may be a full version out there. I have no idea. Reed's jabs are great. Flair takes over with said crotching and he's really vicious. Obvious disdain in his stomping and what not. He does some legwork and puts on the Figure Four. I'm not a big fan of Reed's struggle here, though Flair's great in it. The turn over happens sort of undramatically. Flair breaks the hold, sells huge, goes for it again, and gett rolled up. Then he stops selling. It was a little annoying since it was all to set up the spot. Reed's selling after this, but it kind of sort of looks to me like he's blown up. Flair even has to maneuver him into a spot or two towards the end. Reed takes back over with a nicely filmed post reversal on the outside. Flair takes it awesomely which is really evident the camerawork is so close. Reed doesn't show me as much as I was hoping here. There's a moment where Flair comes back in forcibly and I wish that was the off the top rope toss because that would have been fresh. It's not. That happens a minute or two later on Flair trying to do a top rope move. There's an overwrought ref bump to set up the big shoulder block off the top (a normal version pinned Flair in the non title match) which Flair kicks out of the delayed count WAY too early on. Anyway, they meander to the draw, without that really palatable moment that he MIGHT win at the last moment. He does get the press slam in at the end but times it poorly. This was disappointing to me.


Ric Flair/Dick Slater vs Butch Reed/Jake Roberts (TV) - Towards the end of Flair's run in the territory. Dark Journey on the outside. Flair uses her to assist in his Figure Four, which is great since he wasn't used to working with her. Slater's really good in this, cutting off the ring during tags and distracting to allow Flair to take over. It's mostly Flair and Reed with Reed playing FIP. We miss the transition and come back from commercial with Flair on top over Reed with Dark Journey jawing at him. It's a joy to watch Roberts punching Flair, stomping around in a circle, and it's a super heated DDT tease. Flair's excellent at fighting back while getting overpowered during this Jake was great cheerleading outside of the ring due to his weird thin body shape and all but I don't get why he wasn't the FIP here. It all broke down in the end and he won it with a roll up. I liked the team of Flair and Slater. Shame we don't have more of them together.



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