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[1990-10-27-NWA-Halloween Havoc] Ric Flair & Arn Anderson vs Doom

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This was a well-worked match, but it was also tone deaf. They had the crowd into it by the end, but I'm not sure making Doom the de facto babyfaces was the best way to work this match. Starrcade was much better, I think because it felt more like what a heel versus heel match should feel like. I don't fault them too much. They had to work their way to that. So this is part of the journey, not the end destination. There's plenty to like here. But it just doesn't really fit into the feud.

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Not exactly sure, but I know they didn't know it by this point. I think the WON around this time said Flair was approached about it in mid-November. Sting knew he was done, and just asked at the very least if he could win the Scorpion feud before dropping the title, which is why there was no title change at Starrcade.

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Crowd isn't quite sure how to react to this with Doom working as babyfaces, but...well, every tag match on this show has topped the last one. Yes, I liked this better than Steiners/Nasties and I REALLY liked that match. Teddy Long gets a nice moment to shine earlier when he slaps Flair in a classic "Oh no you DIDN'T" moment even if it's a heelish act that undermines the attempted story of the match. Simmons works a surprisingly good FIP that makes me at least understand the decision to push him as a babyface even if the consensus is that Doom was broken up prematurely. Ric and Arn are awesome at cut-offs and working around the referee, and the finishing stretch is super-hot with a stunning array of false finishes. The DCOR...eh. The U.S. tag title bout proved that you can build anticipation to a rematch even with a clean pinfall, but it does set up the Street Fight stip nicely. Easily the best Doom match on the Yearbook.

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The PPV crowds seem to be shitting on the Doom matches but that doesn't stop me from enjoying them. I liked this a good deal and think in compares favorably to the Demolition/Rockers match I watched right before it. Anderson/Flair work well as a team and Flair looks big time in this match without having to 'lower" himself by being in a tag match on a PPV.

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It was a little weird that Doom suddenly took on the role of powerhouse bayfaces. But the crowd responded OK to it, in part because the work from both teams was solid. Simmons was really good here, with Arn and Flair helping to make his offense look big and impactful. Actually, Arn and Flair worked a heck of a match in general, selling that they were overwhelmed by Doom's power early but gradually taking control with cheapshots and cutoffs. I never think of Flair as a tag wrestler, but matches like this suggest he would have done it as well as Arn or Tully if that was his role. Havoc '90 was quite a night for tag team wrestling, with three excellent matches that were all a little different.

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Teddy Long slaps Flair in the face. Flair shocked at that one. I expect Teddy will get his in return. Flair almost took out the camera doing the corner flip. Horsemen pick on Simmons. Crowd doesn’t know who to cheer for which hurts the heat for the match. They do pop for Arn’s DDT. Count out finish. It’s a good match but I think Doom should have worked more as the heels.

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This was number three of the big three tag matches at Havoc. I was impressed by Ric and Arn's work; while they weren't exactly a new team, they were new at working a standard tag match rather than a "common enemies match" against two singles faces, and they were excellent, like they'd been teaming for years. Doom worked as the faces because there was no other choice; if the Horsemen had been adopted by the crowd in this bout, there was always a chance that it could have spilled over to the other Horseman with a match that night, who of course was Sid. That would have meant that Sting might have had to work heel, which would have put the final nail in an already leaky title reign. Besides, Simmons was surprisingly good at being FIP, and it gave the Horsemen a chance to show off their tag team skills.

 

The crowd wasn't exactly alive for this until the end, as JR is forced to point out. The only thing they could have done to get the crowd behind one of the teams was have Simmons and Reed dump Teddy Long and go full babyface, and that would have broken up a money act. It took until the impressive run of nearfalls at the end to wake them up, and the double countout finish soured them all over again. I realize that this feud had a ways to go, but a shock title switch might not have been a bad idea. Of course, that would have meant that Flair couldn't have been the Black Scorpion at Starrcade, but I think the world could have gone on spinning without that just fine.

 

I liked Teddy slapping Flair just for the shock value of it. It didn't get Simmons and Reed any sympathy, but it established the fact that they were going to stand up to Flair in particular and not be on tiptoe around him just because he was a former six-time World champion.

 

JR and Heyman were slightly more tolerable as a unit after a rough beginning, but as long as JR was going over Simmons and Reed's football histories, how about a word or two concerning Reed's history with Flair from Mid-South and Florida, where Hacksaw was one of the top contenders for the World title? It just added to an overall off night for JR, although he could have been hurt here because he was a face-leaning announcer with no faces to cheer for.

 

This was good for what it was, which was a lot, but it was nowhere near the other two Havoc tag matches we saw. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the feud unfold, though.

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I absolutely love this match. I think that both teams work well together, and this is my favorite match from this show. I wish this had a clean finish, and always wanted to see an ending to this feud, which we never really got. Flair/Arn cheat like crazy to get an advantage over the powerhouse Doom team, and I always have just loved this match. I watched it again today actually. I would've liked to see Doom break away from Long and go face in 1991, instead of splitting up. Lots of great spots in this match, the Arn assisted figure four, the spine buster, shoulderblock off the top, DDT; basically the whole finishing sequence is great. ****1/2

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Maybe the best Doom match of all time? Simmons especially looks good here, good facial expressions and he's a good face in peril. The power house offense works well against Arn and Flair. always like stooging for big power guys. Flair is an underrated tag worker for sure, and moved around the ring well and was good at cutting Simmons off.

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Flair and Arn impressed with their teamwork. They are both good enough that you believe they've been working together for years. I know they have been Horsemen for years, but not exactly a tag team that often.

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