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[1987-11-26-NWA-Starrcade '87] Ric Flair vs Ron Garvin

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By this point, I'm so tired of Garvin's stupid hard slaps to the chest. He's a solid worker with a few interesting tricks, but this kind of stiff work is a cheap shortcut. And to this day, and even in a worse way when you go through the entire thing, this whole Garvin as world champion is complete WTF material. He had no business getting the belt. The crowd completely shits on him too, chanting "Garvin sucks" when he makes a comeback.

 

The match is quite good though, but also completely Flair-vs-Garvin by the number, with zero psychology of Flair being the challenger and Garvin having the extra pressure of being the champ. Kinda tedious when you have gone through all their previous matches actually. Much like the entire Garvin feud (although the Jimmy Garvin feud was way worse, with shit sexist angles and promos and bad match), which has to be Flair's most overrated stuff. Barry Windham was just there, what the fuck was Crockett thinking ?

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NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ronnie Garvin vs Ric Flair - Starrcade 1987 Steel Cage

"Garvin Sucks! Garvin Sucks! Garvin Sucks!" not exactly what you want to hear when your babyface world champion is making his shine in the main event of your first ever pay-per-view broadcast. Dusty & Nikita were played out. They could have gone all in on Barry Windham. I still like my out of the box idea of turning Ric Flair babyface and setting him up against Tully Blanchard & Four Horsemen. It was clear here that the fans wanted to cheer Flair and I dont think that just because they disliked Garvin. I love the Flair vs Garvin feud. I think it is one of the most underrated feuds in history. Garvin was consistently the number three face in Crockett and a member of the Risky Bidness boys. People act like Ronnie Garvin was some nobody, but he was a constant Flair challenger since late 1985 and they set the wheels in motion for this to happen in early 1987. Do I think it was bad booking? Yes, but this did NOT come out of left field. 

It is Flair vs Garvin so this is WAR! I like the all out, balls to the wall fire fight they have on TV in 1985, but this is a great classical Championship match. I just love the sound of flesh on flesh, man on man that Flair vs Garvin brings. Flair gives as good as he gets but Garvin always overwhelms him. I love they come up with different variations of this. Garvin chopping him down or bieling him or the Flair Flop. The best one is Flair chops Garvin hard and Garvin STRIKES HIM DOWN! I dont if Flair snap back bumped or Garvin just hit him so hard he had to go down. Flair looked completely overwhelmed. So he goes low to the balls. Really good Flair heat segment. Lots of chops, taunting and great leg work in the lead up to the Figure-4. That was a nice climax once Garvin turns it over that they dont immediately go to the comeback even though you know it is coming. You see Flair tries to up the ante and throw Garvin into the cage, this backfire and he goes into the cage. This is Garvin's open. Flair gets cuts open bad. Garvin slams him off the cage a bunch. Garvin gets his own figure-4 which is always a crowd pleaser. Then we hit the finish a ton of nearfalls for Garvin including a cross body from the top, Hands of Stone but the ref was out of position and a sunset flip from the top which is how he won the title. However he gets hotshotted into the cage for the Flair victory. 

Really strong physical kickass match between these two that was very efficient. Plenty of that flesh on flesh violence that we have come to love from these two but with some classical tropes of a heat segment and big time comeback centered around the cage and busting Flair open. A fitting ending to one of the best feuds of the 1980s and even though I think it is the wrong choice, I am happy that Ronnie Garvin got to call himself World Heavyweight Champion. ****1/2

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