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[1990-02-18-NWA-Main Event] Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs Rock & Roll Express

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This match capped off the highest rated weekend of wrestling TV on TBS in a long time. I don't remember the exact number, but Dave tirelessly cited it to defend Flair as a booker. It is the last weekend of TV under Flair's booking, so maybe that's worth remembering as we go through the year.

 

Very good match. It's like the Rock & Rolls never left. Flair and Arn know exactly what spots to call to show them at their best. Morton is a guy I've argued as Flair's best opponent, and Arn has always worked well with them too. Flair gets accidentally cut at a certain point in the match and he starts bleeding really badly, which the camera tries to avoid.

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Great match with sort of an out-of-the-box layout, as the RnR's shine for a LONG time and then it ends with no hot tag--like one of those AJPW tags where Kikuchi eventually just gets beaten down and pinned. Lots of classic Rock 'n Roll spots, though, and an amped-up crowd.

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Good stuff. Couldn't help notice once Flair gets bloodied up that they don't go to any close ups. There is also some lucha type random crowd shots. Did WCW have a no blood policy at this time or was it just the time of day the show is on?

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I don't have the MX scrapbook (which discusses these shows because of Cornette's booking job) with me for obvious reasons but I think that at least one show was the highest audience since 1985. It's a bit weird that Flair-Pillman is the commonly cited trivia about this weekend when this episode of Main Event that aired 24 hours later actually did a bigger rating. This match was booked with the idea that it would evoke the peak of JCP in '86, and it paid off with a great rating.

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Another good WCW tv match. I was not as keen on this as some of the other stuff we have seen simply because I thought the shine segment for the RNR went on too long but the spots they did were fun and when the Horseman finally got control they did a number on Ricky. Good to see all of this great wrestling going on paid off to a good rating.

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What does it say about modern wrestling when Flair goes to the outside and takes a bump out there, and I immediately expected them to cut to a commercial?

 

This feels weird for a Rock 'n' Roll match, in that this is a rare RNR match that isn't a southern tag clinic, even weirder when you realize they're working Flair and Anderson, who can work that match in their sleep. It's good, but unusual for a RNR match to end without a hot tag. It's almost an even simpler build than that; here, the Rock 'n' Roll have the early advantage, then the Horsemen dominate and get the pin. Like I said, it's good, but the structure being so different is what stays with me more than the actual work.

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This match fucking rules, and there's some great fan stuff here. I especially love the little old man with his legs crossed who's just "tickled pink" at Flair falling over the rail, and the guy walking by ringside with a couple of beers and a little kid with cotton candy following him, and the dude takes the time to jaw at Arn. :lol:

This is also probably the first time I've gotten to hear Hayes and Lance as a team, and they're great together.

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Another good tv match here. This was structured differently than I would expect.Rock & Roll Express get a great bit of the offense here which I found to be surprising and there seemed to be a lack of the hot tag.

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I'm sure I just spotted Joseph Stalin in the crowd. Some excellent facial hair in the crowd in general.

 

That very fat boy is sitting in the front row ... hold on ... it could be a woman. I think it's a boy. Very hard to tell. Same t-shirt two nights in a row?

 

Very long shine here for the RnRs and I don't think it was very interesting.

 

I can't be sure, but this might be the first time I've ever heard Russell call a match -- he's much more towards the Vince / David Crockett end of the spectrum than I was expecting. Lots of bickering with Hayes, very enjoyable.

 

Things pick up a bit for Morton's FIP sequence. Trememendous defensive inverted atomic drop by Arn to prevent the hot tag ... and that hot tag never comes. Unusual.

 

Something didn't quite click here for me. Disappointing.

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Interesting little match here. The problem with it is that it's Flair with Arn and not Ole. If Ole and Arn get this kind of a win over Rock 'n' Roll, they're an automatic huge threat to the Steiners as WrestleWar. If Rock 'n' Roll wins, they've reestablished themselves as top challengers for the titles (okay, we know now that Rock 'n' Roll will never wrestle the Steiners, but we didn't then).

 

As it is, the outcome of the match helps no one, really. Morton and Gibson aren't going to be major challengers to Flair (or Arn, for that matter) at this point, so putting them over would make no sense, but the outcome we got only makes the MX/Rock 'n' Roll bout at WrestleWar just another filler match, with nothing really on the line in terms of ranking or prestige for either team.

 

The match itself was well done, and Flair being split open (I wonder if that was accidental or hardway, considering that the camera tried to ignore it) added a nice touch, as did the fact that Robert didn't get to clean house as usual. But it would have meant more to the running storylines at the time with Ole in Flair's place. For that reason, it doesn't rate as highly as the in-ring action might dictate.

 

Lance and P.S. are really good together, and the little history lessons that they try to throw in, particularly concerning the '86 Flair/Morton feud, add to the viewing experience.

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Arn an Flair look super hard walking to the ring with their belts on. Classic Arn stooping early on, followed by an out of control brawl which was cool to see so early. The shine segment is a bit like a Disharge song, in that once you think the segment is going to end, it just goes another round. Once Arn rolls out to the floor it feels like they are going to take over, but nope, it goes another minute before they really take control. Kind is a strange structure but I liked it, and mostly because everyone worked hard.

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