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Superstar Sleeze

[1986-02-23-JCP-Charlotte NC] Ric Flair vs Magnum TA

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NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs Magnum TA - JCP 2/23/1986

This was taped for Japanese TV, other than that I dont have any info on it besides the date. 

In my opinion, Magnum TA is the ultimate broomstick for Ric Flair. That sounds mean but let me explain. The Ric Flair match, if you are a fan and I am, will stand out based on what unique wrinkles or twists the opponent can provide. For instance, Ronnie Garvin or Wahoo McDaniel will turn the match into a fire fight, very physical and kick ass.  Lex Luger or Kerry Von Erich will turn it into a power match. Ricky Steamboat or Barry Windham will turn it into a cardio, workrate match. Hulk Hogan or Dusty Rhodes will turn it into a charisma, babyface/heel lots of shenanigans match. Those are the examples I could think of. The opponent becomes important in how much novelty the match will have because left to his own devices Ric Flair will work his spots and his layout, which is a great layout but if you have watched a lot of pro wrestling, something unique is nice. To me, I dont really know what unique thing Magnum brings to the table. I see Magnum as a jack of all trades, master of none. He is a body guy, but not a power guy like Luger/Kerry. He is a puncher but not as stiff as Garvin or Wahoo. He is charismatic but  not as charismatic as Hogan/Dusty. He is technically sound but not as smooth as Steamboat/Windham. Honestly, I think the fact that he can compete in four radically different categories means he is a great wrestler! However in this particular setting he is not going to stand out. I have seen so many Flair opponents do what he did but do it better. There's no shame in that. I am just breaking it down and calling a spade a spade. 

It was a great Flair Formula match. It has been a while since I saw one and so I was enjoying it immensely. Opening shine was fun, thought the transition to heat could have been stronger but the heat segment was well worked on the leg, climaxing with the figure-4. The comeback is sort of the guitar solo of the Flair Formula. It is when the Flair opponent gets to show what makes him unique. Magnum went with every workmanlike punches. No fancy charisma like Hogan or Dusty. Very blue collar. The punches dont stand out compared to the beauty of a Lawler or the stiffness of a Garvin. It was a solid comeback. We get double juice. Lots of Flair trimmings like the Press Slam off the top and Mags putting him in the Figure-4. I LOVED The finish and that was the best part of the match. Magnum hits the Belly-To-Belly but wipes out Tommy Young in the process. No ref to count. They tussle and Flair drops him balls first on the top rope! They do the 1985 Mid-South finish, Flair pins and swipes Magnum's foot for the ropes as the ref counts three. 

If you love the Flair Formula, you will love this. If you hate it, you will hate it. If you are looking for something new, you will be disappointed. I like a good, reliable home-cooked meal more often than not. ****


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