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[2008-03-30-WWE-Wrestlemania XXIV] Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels

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Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels - WrestleMania XXIV

 

I'm sorry; I love this match. :P

 

I'm a huge Ric Flair fan and this is the Greatest Hits of Ric Flair. Who has a better Greatest Hits than Flair? I was marking out for the Butterfly Suplex and Standing Vertical Suplex like it was 1986 baby! WOOOOOOOOO! I remember wanting to see this match so badly that I figured out how to illegally stream it on Michigan's computers. First time I had ever done anything like that. I would do for every subsequent WrestleMania until 2012 when I went in person. Flair's retirement was a huge deal to me at the time. I remember really liking the match and I still do. A very worthy match for the Greatest of All Time to go out on. Michaels slapping Flair after Flair gets in his face over Old Yeller is such a great moment. So many great leathery chops in this match. I love the sound of flesh on flesh. These two ripped into each other. Flair was busting out his signature spots, but he could not bump anymore so Michaels picked up the slack bumping for two, Flair Flip and that Asai Moonsault on the table WOW! That had to hurt! Flair looked great in the front half. Had his wind and cardio. I think the match was a little long. They should have done the bridge spot earlier and he was clearly blowed up by that time. The first Sweet Chin Music was great and the pop for the kick out was huge. I love Flair cheating like muthafucka for the rest of the match. Chop block and Figure-4. How can you not smile at Vintage Flair? Did I miss the Flair Flop? Was there no Flair Flop in his last match? After all the cheating, Flair is finally downed by Sweet Chin Music. He comes up with his fists clenched, but clearly can take no more. "Im sorry; I love you." ****

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An emotional match of the highest. Obvious result. Flair was inducted the day before, the Flair result was going on for months. Biggest stage. No one else better to lose too. Perfect end, so this really isn't a match about quality. It had it's good moments and wasn't just pure emotion. HBK carried over his 2007 form to pull off a great performance here, hitting the moonsault, good timing, etc. Flair produced the greatest hits one last time and the rest is history. I'm even going to ignore HBK's melodramatic bullshit. ***1/2

 

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The emotion in this is amazing & creates a really great atmosphere to the thing, and the actual match is very good, too. Michaels worked his ass off, took some brutal bumps & made Flair look great with his big time selling for him. Flair got to play most of his greatest hits, and I absolutely loved his killer instinct moment when he went to town on HBK's leg, to soften him up for the Figure-4, just right after he had barely survived one. A beautiful one last WrestleMania ride for one of the greatest to ever do it. ***3/4

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The way the pre-determined world of pro-wrestling generates emotion out of real-life situations is one of the reasons I love it so much. Flair is about to close the book on his legendary career (we can ignore TNA) and there's no doubt that the tears these two shed aren't genuine.  There's still a great match to found here. Michaels takes some nasty bumps and he's not afraid to roughhouse the 59 year old Flair. There's little moments that make this match so special, like Flair finally hitting the crossbody of the top rope after 40 years of getting press slammed whenever he attempted it. Flair resorting to his dirty tricks to try and keep his career was another highlight. The result to this might of been obvious, but these legends have the ability to keep you guessing and you want to believe that this isn't the end of the Nature Boy. Even with the melodrama, this is still a top 10 'Mania match for me. 

★★★★½

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