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[1986-07-01-JCP-Great American Bash] Ric Flair vs Hawk

Superstar Sleeze

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NWA World Heavyweight Champion Ric Flair vs Hawk - Great American Bash 1986

I feel like I have seen this before, but maybe not. This is in Philadelphia and the first stop on the Great American Bash Tour 1986. The hook of the tour was that Flair was going to defend his title 14 times in 30 days. The lead up promos from Flair were perfect...he was an exemplary braggadocios sportsman. Flair was mostly focused on Ricky Morton who he had disfigured and was feuding over his status as a teenie bopper idol and of course Big Dust, but in addition he was throwing some jabs at Hawk. Saying he was going to stretch his neck out and he would be called Big Bird, I think he should have went Ostrich there but no one is perfect. Hawk tried to confront before a Flair Squash but the Horsemen at full strength (Ole is back!) jumped him and Animal. I do'nt think the gulf between Hawk and Animal is huge (I do think Hawk is better) but for some reason Hawk was the one that always got the singles opportunities like this. 

Reviewing as I watch to save time...I think they are at the Eagles stadium, JCP was hot in 1986! We got Tony/David on commentary. Lock-up traditional Flair big bump off the throw off. Get it again, Naitch! Big bump again! Hawk shoulder check him down. Flair powders. I love Flair. Hawk's power advantage established. Flair tries to crowd in the corner a normal strategy on the ref break...he throws the short knee...chops...Hawk unphased turns it around...Hawk slashing chops. Hawk clothesline. Flair evades a second one...big delayed vertical for the Champ...this is all to set up the EMPHATIC KICK OUT! AWESOME PRESSES HIM OFF! BIG PRESS SLAM FOR HAWK! Everything is to make Hawk look good. Loved them working that suplex/press off spot. That popped the crowd. Hawk worked the Butch Reed headlock holding on during push offs. Flair tries to turn into a top wristlock but Hawk is too strong. Ref checks Flair. Great psychology and really fun match so far. Hawk looks to finish Flair off having used the headlock well. He goes high risk. Middle rope flying clothesline but HAWK CRASHES & BURNS! Hawk powders! Big opening for Flair. Big chops by Flair on the floor. Here COMES THE NATURE BOY! WOOOOOO! Knee drop! Big kick out by Hawk. Flair working the corner like a champ. Back suplex by Flair that usually the prelude to the Figure-4. This is a compressed Flair match if I have ever seen one which is a great idea given the limitations of Hawk. Figure-4 gets great heat as Flair uses the ropes. Ref catches him and breaks the hold. Flair moves to the Sleeper another favorite spot. BIG CHOP TO THE CHEST! Flair goes up top and we have all seen this movie before! Hawk's press slam are super impressed because Flair is NOT getting a running start, Hawk is just pressing him from a standing position. Big nearfall for Hawk from a clothesline. Big reaction from crowd. Crowd pops for the Powerslam. Oh yes! Flair made a big deal of slapping Hawk because Hawk is such a tough guy it was supposed to be the ultimate sign of disrespect in the build to the match. So Hawk takes the time to SLAP Flair! That was Hawk's revenge because he was not going to win the match. That was your feel-good victory. 

Hawk wipes out the ref with a huge Shoulder Tackle. Hawk's punches look like shit. Flair Flip and goes up top. Hawk catches him, Argentine Backbreaker! Cover, no ref! Dusty Finish...PHILLY ERUPTS! I guess Hawk would have gotten over as a champion based on that. That was a massive pop. I hate Dusty Finishes, it such a dick move to the fan. Very fun Flair Formula for your basic power wrestler. Flair rules. ***1/2    

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  • paul sosnowski changed the title to [1986-07-01-JCP-Great American Bash] Ric Flair vs Hawk

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