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[1986-03-29-JCP-Greensboro, NC] Ric Flair vs Ronnie Garvin (Cage)

paul sosnowski

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  • 7 months later...

Man, this is up there with anything these two have ever done together. I'd never seen it before, never even knew it exited, and after finally getting around to the 12/85 studio match last year I figured I'd watched all the Flair v Garvin I'd ever need to watch. Yet here's this handcam from the Greensboro Coliseum where they both bloody each other up for half an hour and practically all of it is captured from the perfect camera angle. Every exchange felt like a Flair/Garvin exchange, which meant you could almost hear the thwack on every chop even over the rabid crowd (and a gentleman in close proximity to our cameraperson - or perhaps he himself is our cameraperson - who was very much a Ric Flair guy and very not a "hedgehog Garvin" guy).

Flair is always really fun at selling surprise when an opponent drops him early on, like he can't believe someone would treat the champion of the world like that even though the champion of the world is kind of a dickhead and absolutely deserves to be punched in the mouth. With Garvin it's less surprise and more palpable contempt. He fully expects Garvin to punch him in the mouth but it won't stop him from hating that little Canadian to death. I love Garvin just grabbing Flair by the nose and measuring a punch. I love how they don't tie up as much as grab each other by the throat. It's all nasty and rough and obviously they lay it in until they're four shades of purple. Flair taking over by kneeing Garvin in the balls was amazing and it set up a doubly amazing payback spot later, which bled into a triply amazing example of Flair getting slammed off the top rope. Garvin gets cut open pretty quick and this was very much vicious Flair coming to the party. He'd woo now and then but for the most part he was focused on grinding Garvin's forehead through the cage, less about the strutting and taking him to school, more about making him regret ever coming for the belt. Rather than take the comedy bump after Tommy Young shoves him Flair just wiped his blood-soaked hands on Young's shirt. You know Garvin is going to come back and you know Flair is going to bleed. You know Garvin is going to punch him in the cut and bite his forehead and shred his face across the cage, but that revenge punt to the balls was just perfection. Flair frantically trying to climb out the cage, Garvin yanking him back and exposing his bare white keister, the forearm uppercut to the crown jewels, the slam off the top while Flair's trunks are half down; also perfection. I'm mostly over Flair taking his signature bumps every time out but the slam off the top has never been set up better than it was here. Finish is great as well. Flair takes over again with the shin breaker, then he works the leg for a bit and goes to the figure-four. Garvin weathers the storm and you'll never guess what he does in response but if by some miracle you guessed "kick the living shit out of him" then I'm sorry I ever doubted you. He drops Flair with the fist of stone and Flair lucks out by getting his foot on the rope. Garvin picks him up to do it again, Flair throws a couple punches to Garvin's leg and hits a cross body, Gavin catches him but the leg gives out under him, and as they topple Flair lucks out again, this time by using the same ropes to leverage the pin. This was shit hot. 

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  • 1 year later...

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