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[1985-04-28-Mid South-Oklahoma City, OK] Ric Flair vs Terry Taylor

Superstar Sleeze

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NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs Terry Taylor - Mid-South 4/28/85


It is interesting they choose Taylor to be the first (I think he was the first) challenger to Flair's title. Duggan and Reed (Reed was a face I think by this point) were much bigger stars, but I imagine Watts thought Taylor was more apt to work the NWA World Championship style and also elevate him in the process. I agree Taylor is a great Flair opponent because he can go on the mat and he can ball up his fist and haul off on the Champ.


Flair plays the babyface champion role early. He is reserved and subdued. It makes for not the best shine. He is respectful of Taylor getting the best of him on the mat. Taylor likes the hammerlock. Flair sits him up on the top rope and gives him a handshake. Flair now tries to go on offense with amateur takedowns but loses him on the mat. Flair is getting frustrated. You wont like him when he is frustrated. He throws Taylor out of the ring. Holds the ropes open for him and BAM! Chop! Now we go to school. The way he set up the heat actually makes up for the lackluster shine. Flair kicks the holy hell out of Taylor, who is a pretty good white meat babyface seller. The women in the crowd are calling Flair an asshole. He is having fun using the ropes to work Taylor's arm. There is a great spot with Flair kneeing Taylor in the balls in corner when he is trying to come back and then fucking with the ref. It is just so Flair and so fucking awesome. Taylor comes back with punches and then a sleeper to a big pop. Flair was right that sleeper was a money spot. I thought Taylor did a great job adding his own touches to the Flair match. I liked him working over the leg a lot and the Boston Crab. I did not agree with Flair's move to transition out of this into his standard set of spots to finish a match. Taylor was progressing the match nicely and it would have been cool to explore that. This was a short stretch because I thought the real finish run was actually quite novel for a Flair match and really well-built. Flair hit a kneecrusher to stop Taylor's momentum and went to work on the knee in compelling fashion. He got kicked off the figure-4, so wrapped it around the post. Taylor was valiantly fighting it off and it was a really nice struggle. As they brawl on the outside (Im thinking double countout), they get back in the ring and Taylor's foot gets caught in the ropes. Flair kicks at it mercilessly in a great spot of hopelessness. Flair wraps on the figure-4 and wins the match!


Not a perfect match, but a really entertaining and interesting one. I liked Taylor as a Flair opponent as he is multi-faceted. He is not as good at any one thing as Garvin or Steamboat, but by combining striking and mat technique he was a versatile opponent. Also he was not gobbled up by the Flair formula as he added his own touches. The initial Flair heat segment was great, I really liked Taylor's comeback and the final finish stretch was gold. Really, really liked this one. ****1/4

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