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Ric Flair vs Vader (WCW Starrcade 12/27/93)

WCW Starrcade December 27 1993 Ric Flair Vader Flair vs Vader Charlotte NC Title Changes 4.5*

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#1 Loss

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 08:12 PM

Talk about it here.



#2 smkelly

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 02:58 AM

I'm a little surprised this match made the set. I thought most had it pegged as overrated, in similar respects to the Dyno vs. Tiger Mask series.

#3 Johnny Sorrow

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 03:24 AM

The build up during the show was so great.

#4 Loss

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 07:18 AM

I'm a little surprised this match made the set. I thought most had it pegged as overrated, in similar respects to the Dyno vs. Tiger Mask series.


Overrated or not, it's historic.

#5 El-P

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 07:34 AM

It's also pretty *not very good*.

#6 Resident Evil

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 07:37 AM

Very underrated match. I had it pretty high in the SC WCW list.

#7 Loss

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 08:14 AM

If there's a title change in a major promotion where footage exists, we'll have at least a clip of it. This one we'll have in full because it's been contentious enough.

#8 flyonthewall2983

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 09:06 AM

I think it's a great match, but a terrible ending. I can only assume that was because Leon didn't want to submit to the figure four.

#9 Cross Face Chicken Wing

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 09:21 AM

This match absolutely had to be on the set. Loved it when I was younger, now not so much, but there's not way you could leave it off a comprehensive '93 set. Also, why would White submit to the figure four when nobody else ever has?

#10 smkelly

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 08:32 PM

I'm a little surprised this match made the set. I thought most had it pegged as overrated, in similar respects to the Dyno vs. Tiger Mask series.


Overrated or not, it's historic.

Which I agree with, man. I'm not a part of the overrated community. Well, maybe a little ;)

#11 flyonthewall2983

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Posted 12 March 2011 - 09:49 PM

It's the most sympathetic I've ever seen Ric has ever been as a babyface. He never really had a David/Goliath program with a guy of Vader's strength and size, which makes this unique in Flair's career. Add to it that he's putting his career on the line, and setting it in his backyard, it's ready made to be a good angle. You probably all know this but it bears repeating that he later had it put in his book that Hogan called him the next morning, congratulating him on the match and told him he had a tear in his eye at the end. A big part of me takes that with some salt, but the little bit that's left thinks that would be nice if it were true.

#12 smkelly

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Posted 13 March 2011 - 02:42 PM

You know, I have wondered if that's where Bret got his idea of all the boys in the back having tears in their eyes after watching his matches.

#13 jdw

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Posted 14 March 2011 - 04:52 PM

I totally agree with Will and Loss' choice of this. It was highly rated at the time and it's a historically significant match. Look... if we all suddenly agree that Savage-Steamer at WMIII sucked and was ruined by Steele, it doesn't take away from the fact that it was: * an IC change at the time when they were more rate and the belt meant something * it was massively praised at the time * these are two pretty big stars in one of their most remembered matches Gotta be on. And JIP doesn't cut it. Yearbooks aren't just to cover the 200 "best" matches of a year. Will has a format for something like that. The Yearbooks are suppose to give us not only the top matches, but also the big ones, and famous ones, and a healthy helpling of the storylines of the year. Flair-Vader... it's big, famous, and has been debated since it happened. Perfect thing for a Yearbook. Even if it was the planned match (Sid taking the title from Vader), it would need to go on. :) John

#14 Ditch

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:07 PM

Very underrated match. I had it pretty high in the SC WCW list.

It was #7 on the much bigger DVDVR '90s vote. The SC vote was more "on further review"... a re-rating, if you will. Not sure what the overall consensus is at this point, but at the very least it's been given a fair hearing.

#15 jdw

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:17 PM

This has never been underrated. It got a ****1/2 from Dave at the time, and as Ditch points out has done well since then.

It's underrated if one has the belief that _any_ criticism of something, and failure to have unanimous consent to the greatness of said thing, makes said thing "underated".

If that's the case, then Ric Flair is underrated because people point out a few goofy things he does. Is that the next re-re-re-revisionist meme:

"Damn... Ric Flair is really underrated. Why hasn't he ever been pimped as great?"

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#16 Ditch

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 03:24 PM

It placed 51st in the Smarkschoice WCW poll that RE referenced, which is what prompted his 'underrated' tag.

#17 jdw

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 05:35 PM

The SC Poll was Turner Buyout to the Death of WCW. Being right around Top 50 in that stretch isn't underrated: 12+ years of a promotion that wasn't exactly short on good matches. Basically to get in the Top 50 a match on average had to be one of the 4-5 best matches of a given year. Apply that standard to AJPW from 1988 to the 6/2000 split as it's roughly the same amount of time as the WCW poll. Then ponder me calling the Kawada-Albright underrated because it came in 51st. Not really at all. I may have it a bit high for whatever reason, but 51st in that promotion? 101st? That's actually doing well. :) John

#18 Bix

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 08:33 PM

This has never been underrated.

I dunno about that, there was a long period in the Torch where Wade kept saying that X match was better than Flair vs Vader at Starrcade when there was no reason to bring it up.

#19 smkelly

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 11:15 PM

The SC Poll was Turner Buyout to the Death of WCW. Being right around Top 50 in that stretch isn't underrated: 12+ years of a promotion that wasn't exactly short on good matches. Basically to get in the Top 50 a match on average had to be one of the 4-5 best matches of a given year.

Apply that standard to AJPW from 1988 to the 6/2000 split as it's roughly the same amount of time as the WCW poll. Then ponder me calling the Kawada-Albright underrated because it came in 51st. Not really at all. I may have it a bit high for whatever reason, but 51st in that promotion? 101st? That's actually doing well. :)

John

That might actually be an interesting poll :)
But I agree with you on all accounts.

#20 Loss

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 11:16 AM

Ok, why did people fall out of love with this match? How did it happen? This is maybe the most genuinely emotional PPV main event in history, and this type of fan response (not just popping, but genuinely caring about the wrestler to the point where they stick around and insist he come back out to acknowledge them after he has left) is something only a very small handful of people in wrestling history could pull off. Also, as a match, this is incredibly compelling. The Inoki match from the Tokyo Dome is something I enjoy, but no way is Ric any less game than Inoki was in that match. Considering the stiff shots he took to get the match over, I'm not sure where one can really make that criticism. Considering that Flair responded in kind by laying in his own shots, I'm not sure where the criticism of him not adapting could come from. Considering his selling performance drawing the crowd in, and his victory getting one of the loudest pops in history. There was talk recently of Stan Lane's kicks sucking. jdw correctly pointed out to keep it in proper perspective, because for whatever we can say about those kicks, people bought them. Likewise ... for whatever you may want to say about Flair not adapting to Vader (which is not really accurate, but we'll pretend it is), people were into him. Watching a match like this makes the case for Ric Flair as the greatest of all time as much as anything does that came years earlier, when he was still in his prime. I have been down on this match myself for a number of years, but watching it in context with the rest of 1993 footage, the only U.S. match I'd put above it is Vader/Sting at SuperBrawl, and that's closer than you'd think. In terms of the offense, this reminded me in some ways of a really great Tenryu match. Tenryu didn't have a ton of moves. Tenryu had a few things that he did really really well. That's Flair's performance here -- chop hard, punch hard, bump hard. This is also one of the last times Flair didn't really narrow his stuff to build to the figure four. We get him posting Vader, placing his leg on the bottom rope and dropping his weight on it before applying it, instead of just doing a belly-to-back suplex or clipping him, which is what we'd get later. Great way to end the yearbook on a high note, and anyone who doesn't like this match who hasn't watched it in the last year or two should watch it again.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: WCW, Starrcade, December 27, 1993, Ric Flair, Vader, Flair vs Vader, Charlotte NC, Title Changes, 4.5*

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