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Charles (Loss)

[1996-04-29-WCW-Nitro] Ric Flair vs The Giant

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Giant wins the WCW World title. This is a pretty bad match, and the end of the Flair megapush, as he's just another wrestler among many for most of the rest of the year. Feels like a Flair burial because it was such a short match and Giant no-sold a figure four.

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Flair said in his shoot interview he lost because he no-showed a date to watch Reid in a tournament. If you put aside the quality of this match and the whole debacle from the previous year's Halloween Havoc, it's quite amazing on the face of it that Paul won his first two titles from Hogan, then Flair. And since he went on to have a rather lengthy and successful run in WWE is testament that back then they did see something in him and it paid off in the long run. Though it is WCW, these could very well have been The Renegade's title reigns as well.

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WWE's mistake was letting him put on the weight, and just become another monster. But whether or not that was something Vince wanted, or maybe it was something he let slide we'll never know. But back around this time-frame, he was amazing to watch especially when he did the more acrobatic stuff you wouldn't expect of someone of his frame.

 

All that said, I'll give WWE a bit more credit than you. They did put several titles on him, if that means anything anymore. And he developed that comic persona that to me, really comes off as genuine. And even despite the weight gain, he's still capable of doing some good stuff in the ring and can bounce around in it when he has to.

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If I had to sit on a deserted island and watch nothnig but one wresters routine for the rest of my life I would choose Flair, by a mile. I fucking love his cheesy ass dated shctick.

 

The 'chop-oh-shit-that-didn't-do-anything-lets-beg-off' spot has me marking out every time

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The 'chop-oh-shit-that-didn't-do-anything-lets-beg-off' spot has me marking out every time

That always makes me wonder if he did that when he worked with Andre. Speaking of which, are any Flair/Andre matches on tape or handheld?

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The 'chop-oh-shit-that-didn't-do-anything-lets-beg-off' spot has me marking out every time

Especially the very first one when Flair immediately drops to the floor to the outside. Make sthe Giant really look like a monster. But yeah, this was a total squash, and Flair was a total bitch here.

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I am alone in liking this better than the first match. I thought this did a good job of showing Flair's mastermind plans from the first four months of the year crumble when he combines cockiness and not having something to counteract the shear power of the Giant. Him not going for the pinfall was a mistake after the foreign object shot, but it plays into his character. Also, Mongo shockingly brings up a smart point of the chokeslam took everyone by surprise not allowing the ladies enough time to interfere. Big push for Giant starts here with him winning the title in pretty shocking fashion. ***

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I thought the match was decent, though not as good as their earlier match. The chokeslam out of the figure four was a cool spot -- and Giant wins! I was totally expecting a screwy finish.

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WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs The Giant - WCW Nitro 4/29/96

Nitro is so fucking good at this point. It is one hour and mostly focuses on six characters: Flair, Giant, Hogan, Savage, Sting & Luger. They have done such a great job weaving together all their different relationships. Flair & Giant are coming off the Alliance to End Hulkamania at Uncensored which I have not seen but sounds dumb as fuck admittedly. The Hogan stuff is definitely the worst stuff in April. They are leaning hard back into Red & Yellow after they tried Dark Side Hulk in late 95. He is paling around with the Booty Man which is so ridiculous. The name is got to be worst in wrestling history and the fact that Brutus Beefcake is  still pushed. Kevin Sullivan as his arch rival is an interesting pick I guess good on him booking himself into that. Hogan beats Sullivan & AA in a tag only to beat them in a handicap squash then intimidate Womam & Liz, humiliate Jimmy Hart, no-sell Giant’s Chokeslam and bodyslam. It was some of them most sickening self-pleasuring pro wrestling booking I have seen in quite some time. But the rest of the show is really good I swear. Macho Man has really good short matches with Finlay and Eaton preferred the Finlay match but Eaton taunting by wrestling like Flair was great. Macho Man’s promo against the WCW Suit was awesome “I think the Suits & Ties are getting a little too comfortable around The Macho Man.”  Why is he so pissed? Well you see Ric Flair has The Whole World In His Hands. I love Flair’s gimmick of singing in the middle of his promos. Should I be afraid of The Giant or should I be saying “O Woman, O Woman Won’t You Marry Me Now” popped me huge. His schtick with Woman & Liz is phenomenal. Mid-90s Flair gets a bad rap yeah he’s a total cartoon villain but he is very entertaining and committed to the character. I love the little touch that Flir kept Savage’s nameplate on the belt to remind that he has his Belt, his Woman (Liz) and his Money (divorce money). While Savage is being kept separated from Flair until Slamboree. Flair has main evented Nitro 5 weeks in a row. The first match against The Giant was great and I need to review that. The Luger match transported you back to 1988 so much fun. Then back to back weeks against the tag champs Sting & Luger with The Giant. The Giant has been interesting there’s been a lot of hot coffee involved in the lead up to this. I would have stuck to Women’s high heels personally more plausible and I just think the spike to eye is brutal. Hot coffee is definitely bad but why the fuck is there hot coffee at a nighttime show. Flair ends up throwing the coffee in Giant’s eyes and it is on! They make the match for next week which is this one.

Cartoon Flair in full effect and it is super fun. Why do people think Flair has to be booked strong? That doesn’t always make sense. He is a cowardly heel. Giant is playing avenging monster in a de facto babyface role. They came up with a plausible way for Flair to take control, a ball shot, he laid some shit in, knux, hide the knux. Figure-4 NO-SELL CHOKESLAM! 1-2-3 and a huge pop! The reason the No-Sell works is because Giant has been put through so much but he is so much of a monstrous badass that he can’t be kept down. There is a difference between “Not Selling” and “No Selling”. No selling is overcoming significant punishment, showing great fire and inviting the people in. Luger flexing through Flair’s chops is great form of No Selling. Not Selling is ignoring what happened to get to the next move. Luger let’s you know the chops happened but he is Too Much Man for them. I will say I think Giant oversold on the knux, I think a more woozy, cloudy head would have been better.

I liked the beginning too. Flair bouncing off him. The chops! God they sound like gunshots. No effect. Lots of press slams and powders. Good shit. They did the Stalking, movie monster which was fine because Giant was so green. Sometimes I think Giant is the least imposing 7 footer in the world. Not a great match, but it is not bad either. It is fun and takes the show in a new direction. ***

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