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Gorilla's SCREAMING at the beginning of the intros always makes me laugh. "THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT."

 

Can I just say how much I absolutely hated Mr. Perfect at this point, because he never took any bumps? Damn you, Lloyds of London.

 

Never really cared for this match all that much. It makes no sense that all these anonymous suits would be surrounding Liz and yelling at her to go away while Perfect cheats liberally for Flair and they say nothing to him at all. Then, they hold Savage down and Flair starts beating him up?? But other than that, the post-match -- both the Liz stuff and Flair's tremendous interview back in the locker room -- are outstanding.

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I used to think this was one of the best matches of all time. I still think it's a good match but it kinda drags a little. Nice to see Shane Mcmahon make one of his first appearances in the company. And I love at the end of the flair interview, Heenan gets so angry he knocks the phone off the hook.

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The first Wrestlemania I ever saw. I loved Savage, I loved Flair, the Dome, the blood, Liz storming up in panic to the ring, the post-match insanity. Still one of my favourite wrestling moments for pure nostalgia reason, and in retrospect, an excellent match (although it's obvious both guys have just passed their prime) and an amazing angle surrounded with classic interviews from everyone involved.

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It was my first one, too. I think it's really sad Flair/Hogan didn't come to pass at this show, but the Savage feud had better heat than what they tried to accomplish with Hulk. Their mistake was having them face off at arena shows right off the bat and not building up the Royal Rumble as some kind of showdown between the two for the vacant title, to have Flair win as he did.

 

It's a hot match, but I don't think it lived up to expectation. Part of this is, in my opinion, because of the angle. All the outside stuff is a distraction to what could have been a great one-on-one contest. WCW repeated this Ad Nauseum a few years later, first with Lanny, and then again with Liz. That said, the angle in the Fall of '96 with Liz being held by the NWO was a more involving and interesting angle.

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I thought this had a lot of good aspects to the match, but in the grand scheme of things it didn't matter. Liked Flair working over Savages back throughout. Later when Perfect whacked Savage's leg he began doing his leg work on Savage. Savage was great in his selling throughout the match. I thought the finish was shitty though.

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This is the opposite of Piper/Hart for me as doesn't hold up as well on multiple viewings. Still a good match though. Don't get why the suits would be trying to stop Elizabeth either since she is Savage's manager. I see Dave Hebner is wearing Pat Patterson's white sneakers. I enjoyed Perfect's involvement and it was a nice touch to have Savage win match in end by cheating and one upping Flair. Post match promos by Perfect/Heenan/Flair were great.

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Would've been much better if they'd just let them wrestle. It was going very nicely as they'd established a hot rivalry with all the buildup. They battled back and forth with switches in momentum. Sadly the latter stages was marred by sportz entertainment sillyness, which meant the Savage title win wasn't the blowoff it should've been.

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The whole time I watched this, I found myself thinking that it was obviously good, but that it wasn't holding up compared to Hart/Piper. There's no reason that his shouldn't have surpassed it, Flair and Savage could both bring it, and the blood and overall hatred sure helps. But there's goofy things like the suits holding back Liz for no reason, and I really hate the finish. Savage turning the tables on Ric cheating works, Savage just randomly rolling him up and grabbing the tights doesn't.

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This holds up a lot better than Piper/Hart and is still a great watch today. Savage is super over as a babyface. Savage takes an awesome bump over the top and then sells for a while, coming back with some great punches that are still my some of my favorites in the business and no I don't care about Jerry Lawler or anyone else. Give me Savage's punching any day.

 

Savage axehandles Flair into the railing where he uses the opportunity to blade himself. A Savage elbow gets 2 and Perfect pulls him out. The finish with Flair going for the figure four and slapping him was great and fit perfectly in this context. Afterwards a bloody Flair kisses Liz in a great spot and follows it with an awesome promo in the back. Savage spits some of his own insanity for good measure.

 

****

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Yes, all the suits harrassing Liz is absurd. Them all swarming Savage after the match almost as much.

 

I think this is a very good match, and possibly MOTN. Still, it's not as great as it could have been in a JCP setting or in 1987-89 WWF either. There is still lots to like--the heat, the blood, and some really good near-falls down the stretch. However, Flair's first control segment kind of drags and the ending is a letdown. I also think putting the title on Savage was the wrong move at this point, as there was no money in rematches with Flair as a challenger. Better to have Flair steal a victory here, keep all the post-match stuff with Liz slapping him, and then have Savage as the chaser. Hell, I figured that was why the match was placed where it was on the card.

 

Flair cuts one of his very best WWF promos afterward.

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At one point, I had this in my top 5 wwf match of the decade. While it may not be THAT good, the post match pull apart along with the promos are a thing of beauty. Perfect throwing a tantrum while Flair stands there a bloody mess talking about Savage holding the tights to win. Then cut to one of my all time favorite promos of Savage talking about he didn't beat Flair up properly yet was awesome and imo the highlight of the ppv.

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My opinion on this match has changed drastically after multiple viewings. I used to think it was pretty good and its just gone downhill since. Watched it last night and didn't really enjoy it. It's not a bad match, but its not a good one either. This is starting to become a trend for me with Randy Savage matches. I don't even enjoy the Wrestlemania III match anymore.

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Did WWE overdub Flair's music here? It sounds like his 00s Zarathustra version with a starting "whooo" instead of the version he was using during this run. Furthermore Fink during Flair's introduction sounded like being in studio (with added echo-effect).

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This is a case of a beautiful package holding a case full of cheap goods.

 

The promo work both before and after the bout was classic. Each man was the essence of what he claimed to be; Flair hasn't been this consistently good since the early days of the Horsemen, and he was 98% JCP Flair here. Even the phrases that had grown tired there had new life since they'd been used so sparingly in the WWF: "Bright lights, big cities", "Space Mountain", "Walk that aisle". They were all tired clichés at this time last year, but using them in new surroundings made them sound vital and fresh. I loved the postmatch promo too, with Heenan and Curt ranting and raving about what a no-good cheater Savage was and Flair calmly (at least for him) stating that they won't cry about what happened; they'll simply regroup and get Savage next time. After hearing him, you believe they will, too. By the way, nice reference by Flair to the whole "Real World Champion" gimmick; it's a nice callback to what made Flair so fresh when he first came to the WWF.

 

Savage was equally good after the match, outright stating that he'll do whatever it takes to win and promising to beat Flair up properly next time they meet. Maybe a true babyface champ wouldn't say things like that, but if the fans don't know that Savage is a psychopath whether he's being cheered or booed at a given time, they should have been paying closer attention since the summer of 1985. I loved him tearing his shirt off and claiming that Flair can have all of him next time (I wonder if Vince got mad at him for showing his body), and sending Liz away with the belt before she can answer Okerlund's question was vintage old-school jealous Macho Man, which fit the occasion. I doubt she could have given an answer on the fly without being tongue-tied anyway.

 

That was the package. As for what was inside, I think I'd want at least a partial refund. The first twelve minutes or so were above average, as Flair worked on Savage's back and dominated the action like I haven't seen in quite a while. Savage then made his comeback, and that's where things started to go south. First of all, Earl Hebner trying to stop Randy from going up top was ludicrous. Since when is dropping an elbow from the top illegal? But it gets worse, as Curt blatantly interferes to save the title for Flair.......only for the match to go on. I would have been fine with a JCP-style DQ finish here, but Vince wanted his storybook ending, with Randy winning the title and he and Liz celebrating their vindication. Great plan.......only he messed it up himself.

 

The last five or ten minutes of this match are so hopelessly confusing that I can't believe the WWF, so known for wanting things squeaky clean production-wise, allowed it to happen. Flair's working on Savage's leg, setting up the figure-four and eventually applying it, only for no one in the building or watching on TV to give a damn because a bunch of old farts in suits no one who hasn't been a fan since 1970 can recognize are fussing over Liz for no earthly reason. What were they trying to save her from, anyway? Gino and Bobby never said on TV, and it was never stipulated before the match that Liz was barred from ringside or that her manager's license was no longer valid. She was in no danger whatsoever, since Flair was in the ring getting his brains beaten out and Curt had no interest in her, and the suits in question just sort of milled around and waved their hands while Liz did her level best to ignore them. They gave up altogether just in time for Randy to roll Flair up by the tights and win the title.

 

The question is: Why? Why go through all that and distract at least part of the audience for no reason? If Liz had gone back to the locker room, or if Flair had reached outside the ring and grabbed her hair, or if Curt had advanced on her with a chair, the suits trying to stop Liz would have served some sort of purpose. As it was, all it did was take almost all of the attention in the building away from the finish. And where were those same suits when Flair and Curt were going wild on Randy after the bout and Liz, who was in the ring by now, was actually in physical danger? I guess they didn't want to get in the way of Flair's kiss and Liz's attack, but again, why use the suits when Liz wasn't in danger and have them bail on her when she was? The worst part was, by the time all the mayhem had cleared out, the time for celebration, at least the kind the moment deserved, had come and gone. I would have loved to see one last celebration with Liz and Randy before she left, and we didn't get it. What a shame.

 

Useless Spot of the Match: Flair knocking Savage for a loop with a foreign object, only for Savage to kick out at two even though Flair covered right away. What did Curt have, a ball of lint? A crushed soda cup? A stick from a WWF ice cream bar?

 

Heenan was great on commentary, though not as good as at the Rumble. I liked him actually trying to coach Flair even though he knew Flair couldn't hear him. Once a manager, always a manager, I guess. The only thing I didn't like was the "fair to Flair" bit, which was never funny and didn't seem to have a point except to make Heenan tongue-tied and give Gino an excuse for a "WILL YOU STOP?"

 

Speaking of whom, his constant top-of-the-lungs shouting got annoying real fast, although it was obvious he was being produced by Vince in his headset, since Vince screamed at the top of his lungs during all big matches too in an effort to convince the viewers that they were really having fun, whether they felt like they were or not. I'm surprised that Gino let him get away with it. (Maybe he didn't; Vince took over as lead pay-per-view announcer at SummerSlam, and I think the only cards Gino did play-by-play on after this were the '93 Rumble and '94 King of the Ring, when he subbed for Vince during the steroid trial).

 

I'm not sure I liked the idea of so much attention being focused on Liz and not enough on the title, especially given her and Randy's real-life circumstances. It's almost as if Vince believed that Savage/Flair wasn't a good in-ring matchup and needed something to juice it up. It's interesting to see that WCW made the same mistake three years later.

 

I disagree with Pete that Flair should have pinned Savage here, though. A DQ win for Randy would have been okay under the circumstances, but having Flair pin him even illegally gives no reason for Savage to chase the title even if Flair kisses Liz like he did in real life. Why should Flair soil his hands on a man he got a three-count on at Mania, regardless of how he did it?

 

Also, whether we liked it or not, this angle wasn't about the title; if it was just about getting the belt off of Flair, Hogan could have squashed him in five minutes flat and the media naysayers crying about steroids could have gone straight to hell. This was about Vince sensing big money from another angle where Liz's honor was besmirched, as it was with Jake and the cobra. In an ideal world, Liz never leaves the road and this angle does land-office business for the next year. As it was, once Liz quit, Vince scrapped Flair/Savage as soon as he could and went to Warrior/Savage for SummerSlam. Liz made the angle go, not the belt. In order for Randy and Liz to have the moral high ground and for Liz to remain pure, Randy had to be champion.

 

Line of the Match: Heenan exhorting Gino for a "WHOOOOOO!" by saying, "Spit the banana outta your mouth and give me one!" What a shame that most of their chemistry was gone by now.

 

By the way, this is definitely the DVD edit of Mania VIII, with Flair's theme music at the time of the release (which sounds better than that awful version he came to the ring with in '92) and Howard's voice overdubbed in. The crazy thing is, Howard sounds better on the redub than he did at any time during the live event.

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She was a manager before this for five years, Cross Face. If she wasn't embarrassed when George Steele slobbered all over her like a maniac and jumped into the ring to prevent Honky from beating Randy's brains out with his guitar, surely she could have handled almost anything Flair and Curt could have dished out.

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While I think this is easily the second-best match of the night behind Bret/Piper, I don't think it's that great. Flair and Savage would do better stuff in their 1995 feud. And really, Randy is just not terribly good at structuring a match around having to sell his leg. His entire style is based on perpetual motion, the idea that he's always running around like a madman; he's almost like an early Sabu in that fashion, he just never sits still. When the Flair Formula forces him to sit still because he's supposedly got a bum knee, Savage doesn't seem to have many ideas of how to work around that. And no matter how magnificent his facial expressions are, there's still a limited amount of how much anyone can get out of just laying around with an "oh yeah, I am in SO much pain" look on their face in the post-territories post-kayfabe era.

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She was a manager before this for five years, Cross Face. If she wasn't embarrassed when George Steele slobbered all over her like a maniac and jumped into the ring to prevent Honky from beating Randy's brains out with his guitar, surely she could have handled almost anything Flair and Curt could have dished out.

 

LOL. True :)

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I love the way this starts. Savage looks AWESOME- love the black and gold. He can't wait to get a piece of Flair. Love the pacing and brawling. Flair is chopping hard, and Savage takes a huge back drop over the top to the floor on the outside. Flair goes to work on the back. After Flair gets busted open, Savage looks vicious on the attack. His hands/wrists are taped white, as he pounds Flair in the head you can see the blood stains on his right hand. We get some great selling of the knee later on (from Savage), and the crowd pops for the nearfall with the small package. Savage gets him the second time. The crowd is super into it, and it holds up for me too. This a great match! I echo El-P's sentiments (except this was not my first Wrestlemania).

 

http://placetobenation.com/countdown-top-500-matches-of-the-90s-450-401/2/

 

#409

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The transition to Flair's offense is top-notch.  Flair's control does drag when he runs out of new things to do and starts repeating himself.  Should have known better than to give himself that much time on offense without a Savage mini-comeback.  The finish was all kinds of weird with all the officials hounding Liz for no reason at all distracting from the issue at hand.  I get that Liz was Savage's distraction, but it didn't even faze either of the wrestlers in the ring.  It was just kind of there...for no good reason.  Then the officials holding Savage down when Flair and Perfect started stomping away at him and not letting him defend himself was just stupid.

The promos pre- and post-match were definitely great and I could watch these two feud forever.

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WWF World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs Randy Savage - Wrestlemania VIII

I will take this time to put over the greatest match that no one over talks about: Ric Flair vs Randy Savage - Great American Bash 1995...insane, chaotic brawl...that is top 100 match of all time. That's the Flair vs  Savage classic everyone wants.

A tale of two halves. I like to end on a high note so I am going to discuss the heat segment first. They both wrestled that portion of the match oddly subdued. Flair is at his best when he is showing emotion whether that be cocky or when he is an incensed lunatic. Where were the Savage hope spots? I know Savage likes to plan his match out in detail beforehand so I got to put the onus on him. Where was the fire? It just dragged.  The offense from Flair was good and Savage selling was good. It just was not extraordinary. 

The shine beforehand was great. I liked Savage starting the match in the aisleway. He started red hot and the backdrop over the top was a great way to go into heat. Like I said a very uncharacteristically subdued heat segment. Once Savage started his comeback, this match started rocking. Is there anybody better at selling a swinging neckbreaker than Ric Flair. The press slam off the top got a massive pop! Flair must feel very validated. Savage drops the double axehandle from the heavens and Flair rams his head into the railing. We got blood! Savage is kicking ass. The HoosierDome is biting on every nearfall and desperately wants Savage to win. They really kick up the gaga going into the finish. Top Rope Elbow! Perfect pulls the Macho Man out. Heated confrontation (no bumps remember because of Lloyd's of London) but Perfect throws the knux to Naitch. He waffles the Macho Man. 1-2-NO! The HoosierDome breathed one helluva sigh of relief. Then we get Perfect jabbing Macho Man in the leg with the chair. Boy oh boy, you know what it is like when Savage has a leg to sell. He becomes the world's greatest hopscotch player. Sorry, I am just having a good time. Seriously, he is the GOAT at leg selling, Toshiaki Kawada is the only other who comes close. Now Elizabeth comes to ring in wow what a purple number, looking foxy as all get out. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Flair in his element working the leg and Savage is the God King of leg selling, the Liz drama, Perfect lurking and Heenan hollering, this is a recipe for high octane entertainment. FIGURE-4! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! High Drama in the HoosierDome! I love when Macho Man reverses the pressure that Hebner kicks Flair and Perfect's hands apart. I was never a fan of when Tommy Young did that when it was Flair and the ropes, but now that it is Flair and another person it makes sense and gets a big pop. I dont mind a cradle finish and I like that Savage got a punch in and a handful of tights (fight fire with fire, Savage aint no saint either), just could have been a little grander. Still from that Savage swinging neckbreaker to the finish this is a BARNBURNER! Flair kissing Liz and her slapping him relentlessly and then Savage bursting through was crazy and still one of my favorite moments of all time. The post-match promos are classics. Flair talking about re-assembling the team and Savage saying he only took the first, little piece from the Nature Boy and now he wants the whole thing. They both had that cocaine-fueled, crazed look in their eye that makes them the two greatest American wrestlers of all time. If this was JIP, match of the year contender. The heat segment is an anchor dragging it down, but that back half is incredible. Watch the Great American Bash 1995 match! ****1/4

 

 

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