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[1988-12-24-NWA-World Championship Wrestling] Barry Windham vs Eddie Gilbert

Superstar Sleeze

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NWA United States Champion Barry Windham vs Eddie Gilbert - NWA World Championship Wrestling 12/24/88

I love the basic story here of Windham as the overconfident, arrogant champion taking the smaller Eddie Gilbert lightly at the outset only to be proven wrong. Windham would be facing the behemoth, Bam Bam Bigelow in two nights at Starrcade and this viewed as a tune up match by Windham and JJ. JJ has a smug grin on his face, nonchalantly strolling around ringside. Windham picks up Hot Stuff and places him on the top rope as if he is a small child. I like how they actually let Windham take the beginning of the match. They dont rush into Gilbert proving himself. Windham is armdraggin and taking Gilbert down at will. It establishes Gilbert is the underdog and he does need to overcome the champion rather going into bump 'n' run immediately. Gilbert starts to get pissed that Windham is tasking him lightly. Things get testy with a shove and then Gilbert starts to tee off. This is where Gilbert is at his best when you can use those punches. He is a Memphis guy. He is at home in a match centered around fisticuffs. Windham does a great job selling. I love the way Windham just melts into a puddle as he powders. Unfortunately, we dont see how Windham takes over. I liked the heat segment in the sense that we got to see really great Windham punches and a wide variety of suplexes. Gilbert's selling was great and he was always rising & always moving forward. I am a big proponent of hope spots. There were none and therefore I thought the heat segment dragged a little. The comeback was built around Gilbert shoving off on the superplex. Again using those right to create fire. Windham traps him in the claw. I thought the finish was weak. Gilbert was midcard at this point to break the claw really undercuts the claw. Furthermore, it being a knee from JJ that finishes that match. I mean he took how many suplexes and kicked out. That knee did not look that vicious and its from he manager. If the knee set up a DDT, Superplex, Lariat or Claw, I dig but to get right to the finish really undercuts Windham. They did a great job and told the full fleshed out story of the overconfident champion and the game challenger, a good hidden gem to go check out in your spare time. ***1/2  

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