For the second time, a War Games match makes an appearance in Meltzer’s Classics. It also once again features The Four Horsemen with Ric Flair, Barry Windham and Sid Vicious teaming up with Larry Zybysko who is replacing an injured Arn Anderson. On the other side of the two rings are our babyfaces, Sting, Brain Pillman and the Steiner Brothers.
You didn’t think we’d seen the last of Ric Flair, did you? Following his iconic series with Ricky Steamboat, it didn’t take the Nature Boy long to find his next opponent. Just minutes after their final match Terry Funk put his boot up Flair’s ass and all roads led to Clash of the Champions IX in an I Quit match.
I’m almost sad to be writing this article for it means we come to the end of Ric Flair vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat. The final match in their iconic series (although not in their careers) takes place at NWA Wrestle War in 1989, a month after their two out of three falls match. That means Ricky is still the NWA Champion and Flair is desperate to get it back.
If you’ve been reading these reviews, then you’ve probably figured out by now that Ric Flair was quite good at this time. This is the fifth Flair match we’ve covered and his second with Ricky Steamboat. This time the two men go for nearly an hour in a two out of three falls match.
While Flair has been a regular in this series so far, we are now hitting what many might see as his heydey. His feud with the Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat is still spoken about in hushed tones, and there are three five-star matches between the two in 1989. The first one is for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship and took place at NWA Chi-Town Rumble.
‘This is War Games,’ as we dive into 1987 we hit our first five-star match which would feel at home in the world of sports entertainment. War Games sees two rings sit side by side with a giant cage covering both. Two teams of five go head to head, taking it in turns to have a man enter the structure until all ten men are in the ring at which point the match ends when someone is knocked out, surrenders or submits.
Barry Windham and Ric Flair have done it all together, and for the second time, the two men appear on the list of Dave Meltzer’s Five Star classics. This time we are in 1987 and the match is taking place at the Crockett Cup for the World Title.
WWE’s build up to Payback has been surprisingly enjoyable and on paper, this show had the potential to be one of the best WWE shows of the year. So did it deliver on the night?
As a general rule, I am all for being a bit controversial. I like art forms (be it music, wrestling, literature or film) that push the boat out and shock. However, I do think there is a line and I think WWE may have crossed it in the final segment on RAW this week.