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Superstar Sleeze

[1982-10-11-WCCW] Ric Flair vs David Von Erich

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NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs David Von Erich - World Class Championship Wrestling 10/11/82

 

World Class was really obsessed with Star Wars, who knew Fritz was such a huge nerd! Flair and David both enter to instrumentals from the Star Wars movie. After Kerry came within just one controversial referee call from winning the world championship, Flair did what any champion in the early 80s would do he put out a bounty on Kerry. Gary Hart Presents The Great Kabuki did the dirty deed, but not dirt cheap by breaking Kerry's leg. An incensed David is out for revenge for BountyGate 1982. David might not be built like his brother, but he is one big boy. This is the first David singles match I have ever watched and was intrigued to see how he would do. He has struck me as the least entertaining of three main Von Erich brothers in the six mans I have watched. I love Kerry as the golden boy power wrestler with great selling and Kevin Von Erich as the crazy, violent dynamo. Of course, i keep an open mind at all times and you can ask for better circumstances to look better than Flair in 1982.

 

Flair is the master tactician. He knows David is hot about what happened to his brother. So he forces David to cool down with stalling tactics to force the match into a more championship style encounter. In a short brawl, anything can happen and as the champion he can't afford that especially with a big angry Texan out for blood for his brother. He wants to dictate the pace and be in control. David points to his leg and then lets Flair know he is going to snap his. Flair is not phased strutting, pec-bouncing and letting David cool off. David know what is at stake here. If he goes overboard, he will get disqualified and not win the championship. Is the ultimate revenge the championship or breaking Flair's leg? Early on the answer to that question is the championship. That being said, who says they have to be mutually exclusive. When Flair tries a whip out of the corner, it is he who is whipped and shoulder first. Flair sells this jammed shoulder like he has been shot. David just pounces and never lets go. David tortures the arm of Flair, he is focused, but you know he is enjoying it. The strategy for Flair is to create separation, movement and chaos. He needs to get out of this predicament by any means. At first he tries rifling out of it with chops, but David tenaciously holds onto the wristlock and pulls him down into a hammerlock. Then Flair tries pulling the tights into him to get that nasty short knee (somebody needs to crib that). Flair tries to create some movement but gets caught in a drop toehold and it is back to the hammerlock. David is not charismatic, but he is wrestling a smart match. He is not getting flustered by Flair's constant cheat and his singular focus is the left arm of Flair. Flair finally scores that bit of a chaos he needed. He does a seemingly innocuous dropdown on a rope running sequence, but pops up quicker than expected and chases David down to throw him out the ring. Wow! That is a genius spot. It is worth pointing out Flair never cowered in this early portion of the match. He took an unlucky bump and paid the price. David worked a smart strategy and Flair was cheating and selling, but never cowering. Once Flair is on top, he is sadistic. He hits these nasty little hammer elbows on David's face and then gnarly punches to David's face. David really shows his first glimmer of something extraordinary. His selling of the face is just spot on and some of the best work I have ever seen. The way he is covering up and reacting to Flair's punches is so great.

 

Flair's punches taking their toll allow Flair to facelock David and regain his energy. This is the slowest part of the match and where it loses a bit of steam. There is some fun stuff like Flair telling the ref to watch the hair only to pull David back down by the tights, but overall it is dull though smart work. David throws his game plan out and just starts throwing live rounds. Flair does not want to get into a slugfest with David. but he obliges and is left cowering. David throws Flair into the Flair Flip. Flair looks to stop the bleeding with a suplex, but he is reversed. Flair grabs a desperation sleeper, but David dives and Flair takes a header into the turnbuckle. David goes for his jumping knee which scored him a point early, but this time he hits the top turnbuckle. Ruh roh! An injured knee in a Flair match, Flair goes right for the figure-4, but David pushes him off twice. Flair says fuck it and sit back into a toehold then converting into a deathlock. I LOVED THAT SEQUENCE! Kerry on crutches shows up, guess it is endgame. David rolls to the outside and Kerry coached him up. At first, I am confused if this was any later this would clearly be telegraphing a Kerry heel turn, but since it is 1982, I believe he is earnest. I can't figure out what Kerry is saying. Go for a side headlock?!?!?! David rolls back in and Flair goes for the figure-4 and it is an inside cradle!!! That's what Kerry told him to do! He was playing possum! HOLY SHIT! That was so cool! Flair throws him to the outside and rams him into the post repeatedly. David is wearing a crimson mask. I really bit on the countout finish. Flair starts jawing with Kerry and then he decks him. He stomps on the injured knee! OH THE HUMANITY! David grabs the world title and smashes Flair knee with it. Sick! Flair's head into the crutch and it is a five alarm blade job that must have been one helluva splinter. David is now wrapping Flair's leg around the post. It is a knee for a knee if he can't have the championship he is going to break his leg. Of course, the ref threw this whole fracas out, but wow that was one helluva angle. I loved how you morph from a great championship match to a hot and I mean double hot angle to set up the HUGE Kerry Von Erich Cage match for Christmas. Great booking!

This was an excellent match that accomplished so much in a quick 30 minutes. David looks like a viable challenger. He kept his cool and wrestled a strong match early. Not very charismatic, but Flair is so good at keeping things moving that it was still very exciting and dramatic. His selling of Flair's punches to the face was his standout moment. The finish run was awesome with David rearing back and going for broke, but hitting the top turnbuckle with his knee. He did everything he could to keep the figure-4 off him and then some great coaching from Kerry almost got it for him. Flair was just the man in this match. Seriously, why do people need drugs when you have Ric Flair. I get a personal high watching his matches. I feel like I can take on the world after watching him kick ass in that ring. The angle was pitch perfect to get you pumped for the rematch and give the Von Erichs a taste of revenge to whet your appetite. On to Christmas at the Reunion Arena in the CAGE! ****1/2

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Man, this bout is AWESOME! Its every bit of ****1/2, and I dont mean this negatively but had David been as fiery or charismatic as KVE it woulda bumped up to ****3/4... they really tell a great story with that armwork and with Kerry coming out.. lots of drama and Flair is just amazing here. Great stuff.

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