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[1989-09-12-NWA-Clash Of The Champions VIII] Ric Flair & Sting vs Great Muta & Dick Slater


Superstar Sleeze
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Ric Flair & Sting vs The Great Muta & Dick Slater - Clash of the Champions VIII

Ric Flair is the MVP of this unheralded NWA tag team classic. After watching this, I think this would have been the best way to extend Flair's career in a productive manner in the 90s. He was a beast on the apron. High-fiving Sting and exhorting when he was selling. He was keeping the crowd in it all through this apron work. I loved the part where he just booked it over to Muta and started slugging him when Muta was trying to beat up Sting on the outside. Then every time he was in the ring, he was just pure fire. The shine rocked. By far, the best Sting & Muta sequences. Flair was a monster in there and just chopping and punching everything in sight. Dick Slater (RIP brutha) is the perfect Terry Funk replacement because he wrestles so similarly to Funk. There was a great part where Flair Woos and Muta catches him with a thrust kick and then dives onto him and Sting follows suit on Muta! Slater just does a Terry Funk tumble over the top. It was really great organic chaos. They do a Double FIP and Flair is great at his verbal selling. I wanted to see that Flair hot tag so bad when Sting made it. I damn near exploded like I was in South Carolina in 1989. Flair's energy was just infectious in this. You gotta see to believe. The finish is just perfect crazy pro wrestling hijinx. Muta sprays the dreaded Yellow Mist in Sting's eyes. Slater blasts Funk with the cast to bust Flair open and then Funk looking crazy as fuck tries to suffocate Flair with a plastic bag! It was bedlam! High-energy tag team match that is overlooked with tons of action and lots of heat. Highly recommended! ****1/4    

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  • GSR changed the title to [1989-09-12-NWA-Clash Of The Champions VIII] Ric Flair & Sting vs Great Muta & Dick Slater
  • 3 years later...

I needed to forget about that Flair/Reed match from the other day so naturally I decided to watch another Ric Flair match. I guess in a lot of ways the '89 run revitalised him, having the Steamboat series and then the babyface turn. I think Flair's even said himself that Funk lit a fire under him. And judging by this it was a fucking inferno because man what a tremendous Flair performance. Maybe it's because he got to work like this so infrequently, touring heel NWA champ as he had been for nearly the entire decade, but when Flair is fired up like he was here it almost makes me wish the NWA business model was a little closer to Vince's and they had Flair tour the country against not the local babyfaces but the local dirtbags and bastards. Because babyface Flair could be sensational, folks. He brought a gigaton of energy to this and never stopped the whole match. I suppose that was his approach to wrestling anyway, heel or face. Keep things moving, always be doing something, don't give the people a chance to get bored, all of that. Whether you enjoy that approach or not is another thing, but it sure translated perfectly here. He was always active on the apron, never let you forget this was a hate feud even if the main source of his hatred wasn't present (Funk was "injured" so Slater was drafted in as a replacement and...come on, that just writes itself), never allowed the heels to let their guard down. When he wasn't wooing and high-fiving Sting he was bursting into the ring unprompted to shred folk with chops, then he went face in peril and that was just as good - maybe even better, honestly - and I guess it's easy to forget how great a tag wrestler Flair was. Early on he gets knocked to the floor and Muta catches him with a plancha, then Sting catches Muta with a plancha, then Slater jumps Sting, then Flair starts throwing chops and punching noses and the crowd just erupts. When Sting takes a turn being beat on there's an amazing moment where Slater and Muta have him on the floor over by their corner, so Flair runs all the way around and goes bonkers on them. A phenomenal performance all round. Under normal circumstances the non-finish would've been a bit of a bummer, but I'd suggest these are not normal circumstances and you don't really care about the non-finish when Funk shows up with his arm in a cast, the sleeve torn off his suit jacket, and tries to literally suffocate Flair with a plastic bag. The Flair/Funk feud was something else. 
 

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