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[1989-01-21-NWA-World Championship Wrestling] Ric Flair & Barry Windham vs Ricky Steamboat & Eddie Gilbert


Superstar Sleeze
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Ric Flair & Barry Windham vs Ricky Steamboat & Eddie Gilbert - NWA World Championship Wrestling 1/21/89

Before I forget, I want to talk about the post-match. Steamboat was great: calm, cool, collected he just pinned the World's Heavyweight Champion clean in the middle of the ring and stated his goal to become World Champion. It really picks up with Flair. Flair loses his fucking mind. Wow! How much does that loss mean to him? Think about you truly believe you're the best, but you just got your shoulders pinned to the mat 1-2-3 by your archrival from a decade ago who just showed up unannounced for the first time in five years. In a shoot, that would fuck with you head. Flair lets you believe it does. Flair goes berserk because he is insecure and he knows his place as champion is tenuous. He cites the fact that he is a multi-millionaire and that shit like this doesnt happen to people like him. He is trying to cling to some status. It is only making the psychotic break more real because it attacks his very identity. Flair is the best.

The match itself is awesome and you cant ask for much more out of a tag team TV main event. Steamboat as a surprise partner on TV was a huge angle and really jumpstarted Flair & NWA's incredible 1989. What a shine! Steamboat looked like a million bucks out there. Windham & Flair were in full bump 'n' run mode. Loved Steamboat chucking Flair into Windham. Flair was so good in this. The laughs or the shouts "Now Im got him" only to be thwarted at every pass. Thats what makes Flair so good. It is not just running through and bumping for Steamboat. He is confident. He does believe he get this done, but he ends up going flying and landing on his back. Steamboat tagged in Gilbert. They even shined Gilbert up real good. This is Flair so he is always a selfless wrestler. Windham was just magic selling for babyfaces. The tide turns the Horsemen favor when Windham rakes the eyes of Gilbert in the figure-4. Blink you will miss it. This black glove just slides into the camera shot rakes the eyes and presto is gone. The heat segment is great and I liked it a lot better than the one from the one on one Windham vs Gilbert match because there were a lot more hope spots. Cocky Horsemen is so good. They were high-fiving and smiling. Windham comes flying off that top turnbuckle only to crash and burn. The finish stretch is short 'n' sweet. Flair bumps all around for Steamboat. Steamboat hits the top rope crossbody for the 1-2-3. Talk about being paid, laid and made. With a snap of their fingers, Flair vs Steamboat is the hottest thing in the NWA! ****1/4

 

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  • GSR changed the title to [1989-01-21-NWA-World Championship Wrestling] Ric Flair & Barry Windham vs Ricky Steamboat & Eddie Gilbert
  • 3 years later...

Eddie Graham has had issues with the Horsemen leading up to this, and he manages to convince Flair and Windham to face him with a partner of his choosing. Everyone loses their collective when Graham's backup turns out to be a returning Ricky Steamboat. All four wrestlers in this were incredible. They played their parts to perfection and they kept the action going at a break-neck pace. Steamboat looked tremendous especially, no one can move around as fast as he can while still making look like he's actually still there to have a fight. I'm surprised by how long Steamboat and Flair were legal men during this. They gave us a healthy teaser of what to expect at the next PPV. I don't think I've ever seen Eddie Graham wrestle before, but he looked great as an undersized brawler with a lot of heart. Flair and Windham were having the time of their lives bullying him. It's not long until Steamboat is able to score a flash victory over Flair once Graham makes the tag to Steamboat. This was a well-booked TV match that did its job of presenting a returning wrestler as a top title contender on his first match back tremendously. ★★★★¼

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