NWA Clash of the Champions VI: Ragin’ Cajun Review (Flair vs. Steamboat)

Hello everyone. Welcome to my review of the sixth NWA Clash of the Champions, featuring the second match of the epic Flair/Steamboat saga, this time under best two out of three falls. The points system will be in affect in this show as always. If you don’t know already, you can see how it works here.

Before starting, here is the list of champions in the NWA at the time:

  • NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Ricky Steamboat
  • United States Champion: Lex Luger
  • World TV Champion: Sting
  • NWA World Tag Team Champions: Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal)
  • NWA US Tag Team Champions: Rick Steiner & Eddie Gilbert

Enjoy the review!

The hosts are Jim Ross & Michael Hayes

The Samoan Swat Team (Samu & Fatu)(w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane)(w/ Jim Cornette)

The saga between Cornette and Heyman continues, as Heyman has now replaced his “Original Midnight Express” with the Samoans. Samu and Lane battle over a bodypress to start, with Lane hitting it for two. The SST try to cut the ring in half and bring Lane to their corner, but it’s Fatu (the future Rikishi) who ends up in the Express’ corner. Eaton comes in with a sweet missile dropkick while Cornette hits Samu with the racket behind the ref’s back. Not what I would call a babyface move, but you do what you gotta do to beat a pair of Samoans. Samu comes in only to walk into a sunset flip for two, at which point Paul E. gives him the phone to think some strategy. The point that it’s stupid is what makes it work. Back in with Fatu and Eaton, who backdrops Fatu and follows it up with a small package for two. The Express works in a headlock but Eaton eventually gets caught in the DEADLY SAMOAN VULCAN NERVE PINCH MASSAGE OF DOOM. He escapes but walks into a Fatu back elbow that gets two. Back to the vulcan nerve pinch and a clothesline gets two more. Eaton finally brings in Lane for the hot tag and it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA. The Express run the Samoans into each other but… well, they’re Samoans. Heyman trips up Lane, so Cornette responds by hitting Fatu with the tennis racket, which is no-sold. Fatu hits a powerslam on Lane for two. Back to the nerve pinch he goes. Hmm why? The Samoans hit a DOUBLE SAMOAN HEADBUTT on Lane for two. No way!! Lane tries another sunset flip but Fatu this time sits on him for another nearfall. Fatu misses a flying headbutt and here comes Eaton for the hot tag. He runs wild and looks like he’s ready to go home, only for Fatu to hit Eaton with the phone behind the ref’s back and Samu to steal it at 20:32.

  • Analysis: Despite not being bad, the expectations for this feud between Heyman and Corny’s teams are way too high. This simply didn’t even come close to that level. It was solid, but they missed the peak by a while as this needlessly just went on forever. **3/4

The Great Muta(w/ Gary Hart) vs. Steven Casey

After the last match, this needs to be a sprint. Muta immediately spits the green mist to start and follows it up with a quick handspring elbow, but Casey gets an armdrag. I will never understand the psychology or the physics of someone being blinded but somehow managing to perfectly hit an armdrag a few seconds later. But maybe I am the only one who still pays attention to these details. Muta hits a mule kick followed by a missile dropkick. Some more green mist before going to work on the leg. He spinkicks Casey and goes to a sleeperhold. OH NO! Casey tries to make a small comeback, but that ends up going nowhere. Muta dumps him, hits a pescado followed by a handspring elbow before finishing with the backbreaker into the Mutasault at 8:11.

  • Analysis: Another match that ended up being way longer than it should’ve been. The finish was cool, the rest was just sort of there to fill some time. They totally could (and probably should) have done this hot finish immediately after the first green mist spew, but it is what it is. *1/4

The Junkyard Dog vs. Butch Reed(w/ Hiro Matsuda)

Kinda weird how these two were apart of WrestleMania IV the prior year, and are now here wrestling for the rival promotion at the very same time as WrestleMania V takes place. Just in case you’re wondering, JYD was in the final three of the opening battle royal won by Bad News Brown while Reed was eliminated from the WWF title tournament in the first round by Macho Man, the eventual winner, on that show. Mucho headbutting by JYD to start while Reed bails. JYD works the arm and slams Reed to cut off his comeback. Reed pounds him down and drops an elbow for two. He follows it up with a chinlock, only for JYD to escape with a backdrop and for them to collide for the double KO spot. Reed goes up and hits a flying shoulderblock on the second try for two. Matsuda tries to distract the ref only for JYD to send Reed into Matsuda for the win at 9:56.

  • Analysis: Another really long bout. Only this one felt somehow even longer since it was slow and nothing was really going on. DUD

NWA US Tag Team Championship – Rick Steiner & Eddie Gilbert(c)(w/ Missy Hyatt) vs. The Varsity Club (Kevin Sullivan & Dan Spivey)

At this point I just want a Warrior-like squash so we can move on to the main-event already! Spivey goes after Gilbert to start with a gutwrench into a tilt-a-whirl slam as Sullivan proceeds to beat him up on the floor. Spivey hits a clothesline for two. He puts Gilbert in the tree of woe position but misses a charge and Steiner gets in for the hot tag. He runs wild for a bit before it quickly BREAKS LOOSE IN TULSA. Eddie hits Sullivan with Hyatt’s purse for the win at 3:51.

  • Analysis: This was really short and nothing. But hey, a million stars for being really short!! No, in reality it gets 1/2*

Best 2/3 Falls – NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ricky Steamboat(c) vs. Ric Flair

Terry Funk joins us on commentary. For those of you who don’t know where this is going, get ready! This is obviously Flair’s rematch at the title he lost two months earlier at Chi-Town Rumble. 60 minute time limit here. They immediately start pounding each other because these guys are the best. Into the amateur wrestling sequences they go before Steamboat SMACKS Flair with a little bit of extra mustard on that SMACK. Off the ropes, Flair drops down but gets caught with a headlock. Flair reverses out of that and turns it into his own wristlock as they feel each other out in the first minutes. Flair plays mind games with Steamboat and the ref by claiming hair pulling on the headlock. Flair bails and walks into another headlock back in which he turns over into a pin for two. More pounding follows as Steamboat suddenly gets the flying headscissors followed by a dropkick before going back to the headlock. Flair goes to the corner to break but gets a cheapshot on the clean break to start another chopfest. Steamboat backdrop followed by a dropkick gets two as Flair goes back to the corner. He asks for mercy only to try another classic Flair cheapshot, but this time Steamboat is ready for him and rolls him up for two. A clothesline puts Flair back down, setting up another headlock. Steamboat fires away with the chops and gets two off a Flair flop. Atomic drop followed by more quick chops force Flair to get out of there in a hurry. Steamboat is all over him anyway, though, and brings him back in with a vertical suplex off the apron to the ring for two. Steamboat tries to follow it up with a splash but hits the knees instead as Flair finally takes over. Butterfly suplex gets two as Flair starts working the count. I always love this touch. Flair has Steamboat in a pinning position off a test of strength, only for Steamboat to kip up out of there in an AWESOME spot but Steamboat misses a dropkick. Flair goes for the Figure Four which Steamboat turns over into a cradle, but Flair turns that cradle into his own cradle for the first fall at 19:33. Small detail: Steamboat used this very same reversal to win the title at Chi-Town Rumble, showing you that Flair studied the tape and knows his opponent better now than he did in their first encounter. Small details rule and I miss them.

Ricky Steamboat 0-1 Ric Flair

We start the second fall with a much more confident Flair and a much more aggressive Steamboat, working the match according to the current result. These matches are awesome on so many levels. Steamboat is wasting no time now, hitting a press slam followed by the flying chop for two. He goes to the headlock, but Flair now is waiting for it and gets out of there with a back suplex. Flair kneedrop gets two. He goes for a second one but there’s no water in the pool, as Steamboat just proceeds to drop numerous (and I mean NUMEROUS) elbows on Flair’s legs. Steamboat puts Flair in his own Figure Four, even adding some chops to keep Flair from sitting up while in the hold and forcing him to keep his shoulders off the mat so he doesn’t get pinned. I love this match more and more with each thing they do. Flair ends up getting to the ropes so Steamboat turns him over into a Boston Crab instead to go to work on Flair’s injured back. If you can’t already hear Jim Ross on commentary going “Ric Flair broke his back in the plane crash yadda yadda yadda”, I don’t think you’ve ever seen a Ric Flair match! Flair again makes the ropes to escape and actually catches Steamboat in a headlock near the corner to stop his momentum. Steamboat gets in a backslide for two anyway, forcing Flair to dump him to the floor. He whips Steamboat into the railing and slams him on the floor. Back in, Flair uses the ropes to snap Steamboat’s neck before bringing him back inside with a suplex for two. Abdominal stretch into another series of pinfall attempts by Flair, which now not only gets Steamboat more tired, but also kills some time. Genius. Steamboat ends up fighting back with his own sequence of quick pinfalls for two before Flair catches him with a chop for two. Flair goes up but (shockingly, I know) gets slammed off before taking a superplex as well. NOT ON THE BROKEN BACK! Steamboat applies a double chickenwing submission hold and Flair gives up the second fall at 34:54.

Ricky Steamboat 1-1 Ric Flair

Steamboat goes for an abdominal stretch to start the deciding fall, but Flair catches him right where he wants him as he clips the knee. You better believe it’s time go to school. WOOOO. Flair keeps going after that knee while Steamboat tries to fight back with chops, and an irish whip sets up the classic Flair flip but Steamboat was waiting for it and catches him with a giant lariat that sends Flair flying all the way to the floor! I love how they keep putting over the fact that they know each other so well. Back in, Flair catches Steamboat with a takedown before starting to work the count with his feet on the ropes. Flair goes back to the knee and it’s Figure Four time. Steamboat fights and fights and fights before eventually making the ropes, earning a pop from the crowd. Steamboat whips Flair into the corner again, but this time he can’t follow up with Flair after the Flair flip and takes the bodypress for two. LOVELY! Steamboat goes for a slam but again the leg gives up as Flair falls on top for two. Steamboat goes up with the flying bodypress for two as he continues to sell the leg despite being in control. Flair tries to get rid of Steamboat but he comes in with a sunset flip for another nearfall. Flair gets a sleeper and Steamboat finally shows some life before the arm drops for the third time. Steamboat whips Flair into the turnbuckle and dumps him. Flair takes his usual bump on the floor because of course he does. He’s Ric Flair! Flair goes back to working on the leg but gets hit with a sudden enziguiri for two. Steamboat tries to follow it up with a flying splash but nobody’s there and Steamboat’s knee hits the mat. Flair kicks the leg and laughs at Steamboat, who tries to fight back with chops. Flair goes for the atomic drop but Steamboat avoids Flair’s knee and drops him with a massive lariat for two. Flair catches him with a back suplex and goes up, but gets slammed off like always. Steamboat goes for the double chickenwing submission that won him the second fall, but this time his leg is all fucked up and he drops on the mat. Flair goes down with him and they both get pinned, but Steamboat gets a shoulder up before the ref counts three to win the third fall and retain the World’s championship at 55:32.

Ricky Steamboat 2-1 Ric Flair

  • Analysis: Well, much like the water is wet this is a perfect match. I loved the way they brought back spots from their previous match and added to them by putting over how the wrestlers were ready for them this time. Small details such as Steamboat showing more aggression after losing the first fall, while Flair showed more confidence and tried to kill time with any chance he got were also great. Steamboat getting the submission win in the second fall but not being able to apply that very same hold in the third and final fall due to Flair beating up his legs badly in between… I could be here all day. It’s simply magic. Is there even any question as to what this gets? *****

– Backstage, Jim Ross interviews Ricky Steamboat. Dragon talks about how he has to move on to new challengers as a show of respect to them. However, once he watches the replay and sees that the referee and the cameras missed Flair’s foot on the ropes while he was pinned, he gives him one final rematch for the title at May’s WrestleWar. Bring it on!


  • Final thoughts: Steamboat and Flair make this show memorable, the rest is completely forgettable. Still, this show has one of the best matches in wrestling history (again), so I can’t give this show anything lower than 7/10.

The points for this show:

  • Ricky Steamboat: 8.5 points (5 for star rating + 1 for two pin/sub falls + 1 for winning + 1 for successfully defending a title + 1 for main-eventing – 0.5 for losing a fall by pin)
  • Ric Flair: 4.5 points (5 for star rating + 1 for main-eventing + 0.5 for winning one fall by pin – 1 for losing – 1 for losing two falls by pin/sub)
  • Samu: 4.25 points (2.75 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win + 0.5 for winning the fall)
  • Fatu: 3.75 points (2.75 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win)
  • Rick Steiner: 3 points (0.5 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win + 1 for successfully defending a title + 0.5 for winning the fall)
  • Eddie Gilbert: 2.5 points (0.5 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win + 1 for successfully defending a title)
  • The Great Muta: 2.25 points (1.25 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win)
  • Stan Lane: 1.75 points (2.75 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)
  • Bobby Eaton: 1.25 points (2.75 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss – 1 for losing the fall)
  • The Junkyard Dog: 1 point (for pinfall win)
  • Steven Casey: 0.25 points (1.25 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)
  • Dan Spivey: -0.5 points (0.5 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)
  • Kevin Sullivan: -1 point (0.5 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss – 1 for losing the fall)
  • Butch Reed: -1 point (for pinfall loss)

Thank you so much for your time as usual. Next time here on the site: WRESTLEMANIA V!


NWA Chi-Town Rumble 1989 Review (Flair vs. Steamboat)

Hello everyone and welcome to my very first NWA review. Today I bring to you the first NWA PPV of 1989, featuring an impressive up-and-coming Sting in action, a loser leaves town match and, above all else, one of the best wrestling matches in the history of the sport – Flair vs. Steamboat.

The point system I use for the WWF shows will work for NWA too going forward. Click here to see how it works.

Before starting, here’s the list of champions in the NWA at the time of this event:

  • NWA World Heavyweight Champion – Ric Flair
  • United States Champion: Barry Windham
  • World TV Champion: Rick Steiner
  • World Tag Team Champions: The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal)
  • US Tag Team Champions: The Varsity Club (Kevin Sullivan & Steve Williams)
  • World Six Man Tag Team Champions: Genichiro Tenryu, Hawk & Animal

Enjoy the review!

The hosts are Jim Ross & Magnum TA

– We open the show with a Michael Hayes promo. He’s all excited and does a great job of promoting pretty much everything happening on the event. He’s facing Russian Assassin #1 in the opening bout.

Michael Hayes vs. Russian Assassin #1(w/ Paul Jones)

They trade headlocks to start. Hayes clotheslines Assassin and literally stops to play with the crowd. Hayes locks in an armbar, RA escapes and dumps Hayes only for him to get back inside and go back to it. The armbar goes on for a while before Assassin breaks it with a knee to the gut and (sort of) hits the Russian sickle for two. That didn’t look very good. Now it’s the Russian’s turn to apply his hold of choice, in this case a chinlock, as well as the typical heel choking. Choking in the ropes gets two. Hayes tries to go for a quick bulldog but is unable to do it. Assassin misses a suplex, but Hayes TOO misses an elbow. Hayes misses a corner charge but eventually hits a DDT out of nowhere for the win at 15:48.

  • Analysis: This dragged a little bit. The crowd was alive for Hayes’ taunting, but while the action was going they were mostly quiet. Not horrible or anything, but very forgettable and way too long. *

– In the back, Ricky Steamboat & family. Cute interview with Steamboat’s son (Richie, future WWE/NXT wrestler for a while in the early 2010s) constantly trying to steal the microphone and play with it while his father cuts a promo on Ric Flair.

Butch Reed(w/ Hiro Matsuda) vs. Sting

Sting is crazy over at this point. And I mean OVER. Sting hits an atomic drop to start, and Reed talks some strategy with Matsuda. He gets back in only to be dropkicked right back out, and the people just can’t get enough of Sting. Reed is even more pissed but walks into a Sting headlock. Meanwhile, on commentary, Jim Ross with the comment of the night. He says Sting broke into the business as a tag team wrestler, but he’s now a singles wrestler and he is leagues above his former partner athletically. His partner? The Ultimate Warrior. Ouch, Jim! Sting goes after the arm and Reed just sends him flying to the floor to break it, before choking away once Sting gets back in. He distracts the ref so that even Matsuda can get his own shots in. And here it actually works because of how over Sting is. Reed goes to a chinlock and even grabs the ropes for illegal leverage. So simple yet so effective. Sting breaks the hold and tries to make the big comeback only to miss a splash and allow Reed to once again take over. He hits a neckbreaker for two. He goes back to the chinlock and Sting once again escapes with a jawbreaker. He once again goes for the comeback only for Reed to stomp away on the apron. Sting sunset flip is blocked by Reed thanks to assistance of the ropes, but Sting rolls over anyway to complete the sunset flip and catch Reed at 20:07.

  • Analysis: Long? A little bit. However, I enjoyed Reed playing with the rules and using them to fuck with the audience and Sting’s strategy. “Hey look, I’m in the corner, you can’t come after me now”. It was longer than it probably needed to be, but I don’t think you can argue Sting was even more over at the end of this match due to how smart the crowd psychology was. **

– Meanwhile, Paul E. & his Midnight Express address their upcoming “loser of the fall leaves town” six man tag match. It’s Heyman cutting a promo. Need I say more!? He is awesome now, he was awesome back then.

Loser Of The Fall Leaves: The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane) & Jim Cornette vs. The Original Midnight Express (Randy Rose & Jack Victory) & Paul E. Dangerously

Only the person getting pinned/tapping out leaves the NWA here, not the entire losing team. The heels take over to start with a Rose slam to Lane, but Rose pulls a Flair and goes up only to get slammed back down by Stan. Stan proceeds to hit a clothesline on the outside. Rose brings in Victory only to be dominated in the babyface corner as well, and Cornette too comes in to drop an elbow. Rose gets back in to finally take control. He brings Lane to the heel corner and tags in Heyman for a cheapshot while Lane is in a full nelson hold. However, Lane moves out of the way and Heyman ends up punching his guy instead. Good spot. The crowd loved it. Eaton is in only to be thrown off the apron into the railing. Heyman finally comes in to get his shots but he is immediately out of there again once Eaton starts showing some life again. That brings in Cornette for a showdown with Heyman, but Rose gets a shot from behind. Heyman now takes his time beating up Cornette for fun, but he stops to celebrate his incredible wrestling ability and ends up opening the door for a brilliant babyface comeback by Cornette… and Rose sneaks in with a clothesline again. Smart. The babyfaces have finally had enough as Eaton jumps in to attack Victory and give Cornette enough time to get out of there. However, this distraction allows Heyman to attack Lane on the other side of the ring and Rose gets a powerslam for two. A massive lariat dumps Lane and Rose follows it up with a fistdrop off the top to the floor. Rose brings him back in and is thinking piledriver, but Lane escapes that with a backdrop… only for Victory to jump in with a suplex to give Rose two. This has been incredibly dramatic so far and the heels are drawing awesome heat. Eaton comes in for the hot tag and cleans the entire house, leaving only Heyman in for the inevitable showdown between two of the greatest managers in wrestling history. This time it’s Cornette who gets to beat up Heyman and he even hits a clothesline for two. Check out Corny with the moveset!! Heyman has had enough and he brings Rose back in, but Lane also gets in and everyone is in for the giant brawl. Heyman sneaks in with a sleeper on Lane but that shockingly ends up going nowhere (sarcasm), and a few seconds later the babyfaces finish Rose with a double flapjack at 15:51.

  • Analysis: This was technically not on the level of the regular Midnights vs Midnights encounter at StarrCade ’88 a couple of months earlier, but it didn’t have to be. This was all about the story and drama of the stipulation, as well as building up the showdown between both managers. It was an incredible pro wrestling spectacle, and shockingly (no sarcasm) the shortest match so far. I know the opener was three seconds longer than this, but fuck it, I am going to change the narrative so it can fit my story!! It felt way, way, way shorter than the opener anyway. And yes, Rose ended up leaving the NWA for good shortly after this, so consider the stipulation legitimate. Very good stuff here. Recommended. ***1/2

– And now it’s Ric Flair‘s turn to address the ‘Dragon’ and that night’s epic main-event title bout. He is confident as usual.

World TV Championship: Rick Steiner(c)(w/ Scott Steiner) vs. Mike Rotunda

For you younger readers out there, Rotunda is the father of current WWE wrestlers Bo Dallas and Bray Wyatt. They shove each other to start and that sequence ends with Steiner sending Rotunda to the floor. Rotunda bails and eats a Steinerline for two back inside. Steiner gets a headlock and Rotunda gets to the ropes to break and asks for a handshake. Steiner obviously refuses but that small distraction allows Rotunda to take over anyway with an abdominal stretch. Rotunda uses the ropes for leverage and ignores the ref’s (Teddy Long, by the way) warnings, forcing Long to literally kick Papa Fiend and force the break. Well that’s certainly a way to get it done. Rotunda with a half assed high crossbody but Steiner rolls over for a nearfall. That sequence was really sloppy. The crowd also does not give a crap about either guy, unfortunately, which does not help. Rotunda with a shoulderblock that Steiner blocks with a (horrible looking) monkey flip into a backdrop for two. In the words of Jim Ross, this is getting into ‘bowling shoe ugly’ territory and getting there fast. Steiner misses something off the top and eats the post. He manages to hit a powerslam for two anyway. Kevin Sullivan makes his presence felt at ringside, distracting Steiner and giving Rotunda a nearfall after a suplex. Steiner gets in a sleeper, but drops down to the mat and literally pins himself like a complete geek to give Rotunda the title after 16:21 of my life that I will never get back.

  • Analysis: Started going okayish, but quickly turned into an ugly mess. Bad match. Sloppy at times. Avoid this. 1/2*

– Meanwhile, the Road Warriors discussing putting the world tag titles on the line against the Varsity Club. Coming up later tonight.

United States Championship: Barry Windham(c)(w/ Hiro Matsuda) vs. Lex Luger

Mucho shoving before the bell. The crowd is quite into this Luger guy. Hopefully nobody ever makes him celebrate a count-out win in a title match like an idiot. Luger with a sleeper to start. Windham gets out of that one with a suplex, which Luger no-sells. The crowd goes nuts for it. Luger delivers him one of his own, which Windham does sell. And he stalls for a little bit. Simple psychology that everyone can understand. Luger wants the TEN PUNCHES OF DOOM in the corner, but Windham escapes with an atomic drop only for Luger to block and hit a clothesline for two. Powerslam and he goes up for a top-rope spear(?) but there is no water in the pool and Luger lands on the floor. Windham brings him back inside where he hits a suplex for two. Luger tries to fight back only to eat the turnbuckle, followed by a Windham lariat that sends him back to the outside, followed by a huge shove to the railing. That was nice. Windham goes for a punch but ends up hitting the post, breaking his hand. Back in he goes for the Iron Claw anyway, but Luger smartly takes advantage of the broken hand to easily escape as Windham’s wrist is bleeding. Windham gets a powerslam for two. Superplex gets two more. He hits a german for three, but turns out Luger got his shoulder up at the last second while Windham did not. That means Luger wins the title at 10:43. Windham gives him a piledriver on the belt to give his reign a memorable start.

  • Analysis: Solid match with the psychology over Windham’s broken hand obviously being the highlight of the match. Luger was over with the fans so it was a smart choice to put a midcard title on him. ***1/4

– In the back, Mike Rotunda celebrates his title win.

World Tag Team Championship: Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal)(c)(w/ Paul Ellering) vs. Varsity Club (Kevin Sullivan & Steve Williams)

The late Road Warrior Animal overpowers both heels at a time to start. The champions double-team the challengers in their corner for huge reactions, but Williams finally stops Animal with a leg lariat for two. Sullivan comes in to work the arm a little bit, and Williams follows it up with a hammerlock slam for two. Animal and Williams collide for a double KO spot before each tag in their partners. Hawk comes in on fire, shoulderblocking Sullivan for two. The champions are thinking Doomsday Device, but Williams clips Animal to prevent that from happening. Williams pins Animal, but they’re not the legal wrestlers, allowing Hawk to retain with the flying clothesline on Sullivan at the same time as Williams pinned Animal at 8:27.

  • Analysis: This was a fine tag match with another weird finish to add to the list. Could’ve lived without it, but this was otherwise good enough and short. **1/2

– Meanwhile, Lex Luger is nearly dead in the dressing room. But he says it was all worth it since he is the new champion.

Main-event – NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Ric Flair(c)(w/ Hiro Matsuda) vs. Ricky Steamboat

This is finally it, folks. Sweet wrestling sequence gets things going. Flair goes down for a criss cross off the ropes but Steamboat goes down with him and catches him in a headlock. Hell yeah. Flair bails a little bit and he comes back with some nasty chops. Steamboat catches him with a backdrop and Flair begs for mercy. Flair drops more chops, so Steamboat fights back with his own VIOLENT CHOPS WITH EXTRA MUSTARD that knock Flair all the way down. Holy shit. Another giant chop by Steamboat gets a nearfall and Flair is like “I’m outta here”. Back in, they get into a sequence that ends with Steamboat hitting another chop, this one sending Flair FLYING to the floor. Holy. Flair tries to take control of the match but Steamboat quickly catches him with a flying headscissors into a dropkick before turning Flair over into a headlock very quickly. The headlock even gets a believable nearfall from the crowd, as Flair nearly got pinned while Steamboat had the headlock on. Where else can you find this!? Flair breaks but another nasty chop by Steamboat sends Flair flying all the way to the barricade. That is a young Dave Meltzer in the front row. Back in, the Flair kneedrop gets two. He covers Steamboat a few mores times to get him more tired. Awesome. Butterfly suplex gets two more. Flair chops away before it quickly turns into a brutal chopfest. Flair flip off Steamboat’s irish whip as Flair comes off the other corner with a bodypress only for Steamboat to roll through for two. Wow. Flair catches him with an atomic drop and (WOOO) it’s time go to school. Flair locks in the Figure Four while grabbing the ropes behind the referee’s back, which draws a huge “STEAMBOAT” chant out of sympathy that gives me them chills. This match is beautiful in so many ways. The ref finally catches Flair using the ropes to force the break. They continue to chop each other to death before Flair catches him with a high crossbody that takes both guys down to the outside. They get up and continue killing each other with chops before Flair whips Steamboat into the post. Back in, Flair suplex gets two and he works that count a bit more once again. Backbreaker gets two. Steamboat gets a cradle out of nowhere for a nearfall before Flair goes back to the chops. Steamboat misses a crossbody as they get into a pinfall reversal sequence that ends with a Steamboat suplex, with Flair getting his feet on the ropes at two. Steamboat backslide gets two. Flair goes back to the chops but Steamboat takes him down and goes up for the flying chop, but the ref gets bumped as well. Flair rolls up Steamboat for the visual pinfall, before throwing Steamboat over the top rope. Steamboat, being Ricky Steamboat, skins the cat back in and goes up behind Flair’s back but misses a crossbody and lands on his knees. You know what that means. It’s indeed Figure Four time, but it’s reversed by Steamboat into a cradle as Teddy Long gets in to count and give Steamboat the win and the title at 23:18.

  • Analysis: There is not much to say here. Watch this and enjoy it, it’s one of the best wrestling matches in the entire history of the sport. If you somehow or someway find a flaw in this match, you seriously need a hug. *****

Ricky Steamboat celebrates with his new belt and the rest of the boys and drinks some champagne to close the show.


  • Final thoughts: It would be fair to call this a one-match show, because at the end of the day you will indeed remember the show only for Flair/Steamboat. However, there are also other memorable things on this event. The ‘loser leaves town’ tag match was a great spectacle and the US title match was also really good, for example. Overall, it was a good show despite the numerous stupid finishes. 7/10

The points for this show:

  • Ricky Steamboat: 8 points (5 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win + 2 for winning a title)
  • Lex Luger: 6.25 points (3.25 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win + 2 for winning a title)
  • Stan Lane: 5 points (3.5 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win + 0.5 for winning the fall)
  • Hawk: 5 points (2.5 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win + 0.5 for winning the fall + 1 for retaining a title)
  • Animal: 4.5 points (2.5 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win + 1 for retaining a title)
  • Bobby Eaton: 4.5 points (3.5 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win)
  • Jim Cornette: 4.5 points (3.5 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win)
  • Mike Rotunda: 3.5 points (0.5 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win + 2 for winning a title)
  • Sting: 3 points (2 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win)
  • Paul E. Dangerously: 2.5 points (3.5 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)
  • Jack Victory: 2.5 points (3.5 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)
  • Ric Flair: 2 points (5 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss – 2 for losing a title)
  • Randy Rose: 2 points (3.5 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss – 0.5 for losing the fall)
  • Michael Hayes: 2 points (1 for star rating + 1 for pinfall win)
  • Steve Williams: 1.5 point (2.5 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)
  • Kevin Sullivan: 1 point (2.5 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss – 0.5 for losing the fall)
  • Butch Reed: 1 point (2 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)
  • Barry Windham: 0.25 points (3.25 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss – 2 for dropping a title)
  • Russian Assassin #1: 0 points (1 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss)
  • Rick Steiner: -2.5 points (0.5 for star rating – 1 for pinfall loss – 2 for dropping a title)

Thank you for your time!