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[1986-02-07-JCP-Superstars on the Superstation] Ric Flair vs Ron Garvin

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Well, these two really beat each other from pillar to post! So many hard chops that it really is a wonder that their chests weren't red. Oh and the punches and slams...man, this was a heck of an intense TV televised match. 15 minutes of fighting, I loved it. People have said Garvin wasn't selling but, in his role, I think he should have been ferocious. He was taking the fight to Flair. A very good to great match in my eyes. Quite glad that I stumbled upon it.

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NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs Ronnie Garvin - NWA/JCP Superstars On Superstation

The least of the Flair/Garvin series which in my eyes produced three bonafide classics and one really strong TV match in 1984 in Georgia. This is coming off the heels of my favorite Flair vs Garvin match and the hottest studio match of all time on 12/28/85 World Championship Wrestling. It is hellacious, barnburner of a match. I really like the booking as here we are a month later on big Free TV event and Garvin gets his rematch. That was a great way to debut a new match and get the most out of his rematch on this sort of proto-Clash of the Champions event. 

This did not feel quite as electric as most Flair/Garvin matches do. It is Flair vs Garvin so they beat the piss out of each other, but the fervor was not quite there. I felt like Ronnie was hesitating too much. The beauty of Flair vs Garvin is how organic it feels. You feel like you are watching a bar fight or street fight. Here Garvin was a hair slow on fighting back. Usually their matches it feels like both men are fighting through the other man's offense. This felt like Flair would engage and Garvin would take a second to retaliate. Two good examples of this were Flair grabbing the throat in a heated moment and Garvin taking his time before going to the beak or Flair on the mat going for the throat and Garvin waiting to get the hair. It just did not have that sense of blood-boiling heat that these two usually convey. The beginning was funny too where Garvin looked like the man withe world's shortest arms having trouble locking up with Flair. 

It was still a very good match I wanted to point out the flaws to explain why it is not as good some of the more heralded Flair vs Garvin classics. It is still Flair vs Garvin so it is very entertaining with them kicking each other's ass. Flair gives his usual energetic performance that keeps you engaged. I love when he busts out the double stomp! I liked the finish. You get a solid visual fall for Garvin with the Hands of Stone, but the ref is on the floor. Flair crashes him from behind with the knee. Then Flair does his Mid-South/Houston finish where the face drapes his leg on the ropes, but Flair removes it as the ref counts three. It is Flair vs Garvin, you cant go wrong, even if Garvin gives a subdued performance.  ***1/4

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I'm more with Sleeze on this. Before watching the 12/85 studio match last year it had been about a decade since the last time I watched a Flair/Garvin match. Honestly, I never had much interest in going back to them as a pairing, but it somehow feels pretty fresh again after all this time. Probably because they tear strips off each other and I guess that sort of violence will never really get old. This had lots of that and felt plenty uncooperative (in a good way). I like Flair best when he's lacing into someone, so there'll always be something for me to dig when he's in there with Garvin and of course they had a bunch of great exchanges. For all his hubris Flair's strikes always looked pretty lethal, but against Garvin he's in over his head and I love when the realisation of that tips him over the edge, usually resulting in him just choking Garvin or trying to gouge his eyes out. My favourite part of this was when he actually managed to gather some momentum, only to piss it all away by getting cocky and slapping Garvin across the face. Sometimes I do wish he'd come out on top of a few more strike exchanges, but I suppose Garvin IS the man with hands of stone. Flair screaming at Crockett to shut up afterwards as Dave tries to tell Tommy Young about the foot on the ropes was A+. 

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I don’t know why I was so grumpy when I first watched this match. This match rocked! Yes it was not as electric as 12/28/85 but this was still a badass firefight, trading lethal and wailing on each other. I love the wrestling in the corner. It is so vicious and so uncomfortable. The way they were choking each other, grabbing each other by the face and hair. I love how they were bullying each other into better position.  Not a lot of Flair’s usual histrionics or stock spots like the Figure-4 and Press Slam off the top. They just focus on having a stand up, knock down slobberknocker. Great match. ****

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