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Superstar Sleeze

[1985-08-11-JCP-Atlanta GA] Ric Flair vs Nikita Koloff

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NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs Nikita Koloff - JCP 8/11/85

"The Road To Moscow Will Be Paved In Gold"

In the Summer of 1985, Ric Flair was in feud with the Russian Nightmare for the World Championship down in Mid-Atlantic. It is weird to think of Ric Flair as the patriotic babyface going up against the foreign menace. However, when you think about who is a better representation of Capitalism than the OG himself, The Nature Boy. Ric Flair as the babyface against a monster heel is a great pairing and he really makes it work here. They are clearly building to a steel cage match as Tony brings it up many times and the match ends in a double countout. That steel cage match would be the famous one where the Horsemen unite for the first time and Flair turns heel and they break Dusty's leg as the set up for Starrcade 1985. 

As for this match, it is fun for the novelty of seeing Ric Flair as a babyface and he has some good spots. I really liked how Nikita threw Flair off hard on the lock up twice. On the third time, Flair pulled away early and Koloff did a face plant. Flair did his strut and Wooo! Very fun moment. I thought Koloff's heat segment was pretty pedestrian. I liked the idea of Flair doing a move to Nikita and collapsing but he did too early on. He had taken three shoulder tackles and one bodyslam. I think he went into oversell mode too fast. Still cant fault someone for trying to make it interesting. It made more sense later on in the match when he did it again. Koloff stuck to the bearhug and bodyslam. Nikita was at his best biting, choking and clawing at Flair. Flair ended up getting busted on a post. One thing I like about Flair matches is that it is almost never shine-heat-comeback-finish. He usually breaks things up. So we get a mini Flair comeback where he comes flying off the top and then gets the Figure-4, but Nikita rakes the eyes. Flair now really cranks it up. Beautiful suplex and the kneedrop but this gets a big kickout.  Koloff hits a weak Russian sickle. The crowd does not really react nor does it react to the kickout. I cant tell if it was a fuck up or if they were trying to protect the finish. Koloff goes for the real deal when Flair is on the ropes and ends up going careening over the ropes in an impressive bump. Flair rams Koloff into the post. The finish is lukewarm. They do Flair's crossbody where they both tumble over the ropes for a double countout. Tony says the ring cant contain them we need a cage to keep it in the ring. Perfectly fine match, plenty of Flair electricity to keep you entertained but you are missing anything if you never seen it. ***1/4

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