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[1983-12-04-GCW-Atlanta, GA] Ric Flair vs Tommy Rich

paul sosnowski

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  • GSR changed the title to [1983-12-04-GCW-Atlanta, GA] Ric Flair vs Tommy Rich

Rich was a top 5 babyface in the country here. We get some mat wrestling to  start. Rich using the headlock and headscissors during his control. Rich's shine was pretty mediocre and didn't play to his stregths as a wrestler. A spot I liked was Flair going for the Figure 4 and Rich turning it into an Adominal stretch. Flair's heat was lukewarm until he started working the leg. Then it got nasty and focused. The finishing run was normal Flair. The finish looked ugly to boot. 2 1/2*

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I gave this a rewatch and liked it better on 2nd watch. Rich's shine was much better than I gave it credit for. If you compare it to Buzz and Ted chinlock, Ted was happy to sit in it. Flair was constantly working for outs in the headlock. Flair really pushed the action here. Because Rich was so established Flair treated him more as a peer in the match, and we got less bitching and stooging. Their were some cool KOTM spots. 3 1/4*

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  • 1 year later...

A smidgen higher than Pete, but yeah this is nothing you have to drop what you are doing to see even though Ric Flair vs Tommy Rich on paper caused me to do just that. 

NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs Tommy Rich - GCW Omni 12/4/83

On paper, this got me from six to midnight in a flash but ended with me right back where started after 20 or so minutes of action. It never quite reached OMFG RIC FLAIR VS TOMMY RICH~! levels. Flair has just won the World Championship at Starrcade. He is a babyface in Mid-Atlantic, but plays de facto heel here. He is more of a heel in the sense that he is the one getting thwarted & bested at the beginning and then in control in the middle. He is not super heelish until the end. 

The shine is fine. It is Rich working holds...headlock, headscissors, abdominal stretch as Flair gets bested. Flair 101. The only cool wrinkle is on getting out of the headscissors, Flair has an opportunity to go for the Figure-4 and he takes it only to end up in the Inside Cradle. I like that spot was in the first five minutes as opposed to the last five minutes as a change of pace. It is worth noting that Rich properly applies the abdominal stretch with his toe grapevining the leg. Since fucking Gorilla has beaten it into my head to look for it, I might as well mention it. One thing that irked me about this match and I dont think I have ever seen Flair do this before, but he was selling like he had been in a 25-30 minute war after only three holds and 5 minutes. It was really strange. I dont think I have ever seen oversell like this before. 

They tease heat but it is only after a Rich Sleeper that gets turned into a side headlock and then a kneecrusher does Flair take over. Good Flair heat segment, Butterfly Suplex, big Vertical Suplex back in the ring, a rare Boston Crab, the usual kneedrop and all that jazz. Not a chop heavy Flair match. I think there was only one, maybe two firefights in this match. If I had to classify which formula Flair was using, I would say this was sort of similar to how he would wrestle Magnum TA. It is very Flair 101. Rich is a solid hand, but I dont think this was a good way to get a feel for him. He has a decent punch in this, but nothing that stands out in the South where a good punch is a dime a dozen. A random headbutt was cool and he used the Bionic Elbow. Flair misses an elbow drop and back body drop out of a Piledriver. That's when we see what Rich has to offer which I mentioned before. Flair ends up wrenching the leg across the apron. Figure-4 on Rich gets good heat. Flair and Rich brawl on the outside. Flair gets cut and is bleeding. Flair tries to flee with the Championship. Lame finish. Rich gets the O'Connor Roll, but Flair lovetaps him in the back with the Belt for the win. 

Flair 101. Rich really did not add much to the match in my opinion. I thought Flair looked great on offense here. Flair's choice of selling big early and throughout was weird. I would say everything between Flair's kneecrusher to the Figure-4, which was about 15 minutes of action was really strong. The finish leaves a lot to be desired. Ric Flair will appreciate this analogy, he is like sex, even mediocre Ric Flair is pretty damn good.***1/2

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