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Matches You Must See Before You Die


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#41 jdw

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 07:44 AM

By the way, what did I do to deserve that?


Deserve what? Is that in reference to anything I wrote? :) I thoughy my post was just describing what Flair-Bob would have been, and didn't take any shots.

Bob vs Harley wasn't terribly different from what you'd see in any number of Bob or Harley matches. Perhaps a bit more face dominating than you'd see in some of Harley matches, but that came across as touring NWA champ coming into MSG to make the local hero look strong.

Seriously, the complaint about the match is that Bob dominated it far too much, which kind of hurts the "Bob let Harley get in on the action" concept you're trying to get across. That said, there weren't any "liberties" that Bob failed to take against Harley that you seem to think he took against other wrestlers. Pretty typical Bob performance, and it's not like he took liberties against any of his opponents like say Billy did against Inoki.

I think that if folks watch Bob-Harley from MSG, they probably could imagine Ric in a nearly exact match *more* than they can see Harley doing it. Really, it's closer to a Flair Match than a Harley Match. That's probably why some are disappointed: they expected/hoped Harley could get to flash more, while there isn't any surprise in Flair constantly getting bitched out by Kerry / Sting / Dusty / Face X.

John

#42 Al

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:37 AM

How about the 1950s-60s. Are there matches existing on video that are historically significant? Perhaps Rogers-O'Connor and Rikidozan-Blassie.

#43 Loss

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:49 AM

I like the Thesz/Rikidozan from JWA. There are two matches in October 1957. The first one is the better one, I think. Destroyer/Baba and Dory/Inoki from '69, also JWA, are awesome and very good, respectively. I also like Antonio Inoki/Chris Markoff as a cool match to see a young Inoki on the rise against a game American heel. I believe Caddock/Stetcher from 1/30/20 is the oldest footage that exists on tape, although I've heard whatever clip is in the WWE TV opening is from 1901. There's also a Londos/Nagurski match from '38 that I've heard people say good things about.

#44 Bob Morris

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 11:03 AM

Just tossing out a few from the top of my head: 1. Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat, two-of-three-falls, Clash of the Champions: I think that's the match that has to be a must-see to get the idea of how well Flair and Steamboat worked together. 2. Lex Luger vs Ricky Steamboat, GAB '89, U.S. title match: I loved how they played up the angle of Luger getting the no-DQ stip waived, then doing everything he could to piss Ricky off to the point Ricky says "the hell with this" and nails him with the chair to satisfy his thirst for revenge. 3. Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage, WM VII: Agreed with what was said earlier... the whole story of Savage getting desperate to finish off Warrior but can't do it, then Warrior going for his big finish, Savage kicking out and Warrior wondering if it was really over for him, until Savage comes back and Warrior fights him off until Savage can't go on. And the post-match angle is tremendous. 4. Bret Hart vs. Mr. Perfect, KOTR '93: Between this match and the SummerSlam match, this one is far better. I love how Perfect does just enough to keep the fans sympathetic toward Bret while not outright turning heel. 5. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin, WM 13: This is the match that made it clear that Austin was destined for big things in WWF and also showed how you can properly execute a double turn in a match. 6. Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk, GAB '89: A far more intense brawl than the I Quit match was and I just love the post-match stuff. It got the ball rolling on what would become Flair vs. Sting and I loved how the heels kept trying to come back, but the faces will not be denied and the heels ultimately decide it's best to retreat and fight another day. 7. Hulk Hogan vs Roddy Piper, The War to Settle the Score: Not their best match but this was all about the angle. It's amazing to watch the fans pop like nuts when Mr. T finally interjects himself. 8. Ricky Steamboat vs. Rick Rude, Beach Blast '92: Seconded on this one... it's a vastly underrated match and I loved how both wrestlers built to Steamboat taking the late lead and Rude desperately trying to tie it up before time expired. 9. Ten-man tag from WWF In Your House, Calgary Stampede: This is one of those matches you just have to see for the crowd reaction. The Canadians are rabid for the Hart Foundation and are booing Steve Austin out of the building. You can tell Austin was having a blast playing the dastardly heel. 10. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon, ladder match, WMX: I know there are those who favor the SummerSlam match but, every time I watch this match, I still think of it as the measuring stick by which other ladder matches are compared to. I believe they did a good job of throwing in highspots while keeping the focus on the chase to get the belts, rather than making it all about the highspots as so many ladder matches have turned into.

#45 Al

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:23 AM

I've gone 53 deep on my own list so far. A match from anyone's recommendations not listed isn't necessarily a rejection. I haven't seen everything and there are some matches I'm unsure of. 1. Andre/Maeda 2. Morton/Gilbert vs Fuchi/Onita (Concession Stand Brawl) 3. Lawler v Funk (Empty Arena) 4. Andre v Hansen 5. Flair v Von Erich (Christmas 82) 6. MS-1 v Chicana 7. Piper v Valentine 8. Hogan v Iron Sheik 9. Duggan v Dibiase (Tuxedo, Coal Miners Glove Cage Match) 10. Matsumoto v Nagayo 11. Flair v Morton (cage) 12. Steamboat v Savage (WM III) 13. Flair v Sting (Clash I) 14. Steamboat v Flair (Clash VI) 15. Warrior v Hogan 16. Flair v Funk (I Quit) 17. Steiners v Sting/Luger 18. Hart v Perfect (Summerslam) 19. Royal Rumble 1992 20. Wargames 1992 21. Bulldog v Hart (Summerslam 92) 22. Hokuto v Kandori 23. Hart v Hart (WM X) 24. Ramon v Michaels (WM X) 25. Cactus v Funk (Death Match Finals) 26. Pitbulls v Raven/Richards 27. Michaels v Mankind 28. Santo/Casas v Guerrero/Barr (AAA When Worlds Collide) 29. Misawa v Kawada (6/3/94) 30. Beulah v Alfonso 31. Michaels v Undertaker (HIAC) 32. Misterio v Guerrero (Halloween Havoc) 33. Sting v Hogan (Starrcade) 34. Goldberg v Hogan 35. Triple H v Foley (Rumble) 36. Undertaker v Mankind (HIAC) 37. Angle v Benoit (Rumble) 38. Guerrero v Lesnar 39. Guerrero v Layfield (GAB '04) 40. Slaughter v Iron Sheik (June '84) 41. Steamboat/Youngblood v Slaughter/Kernodle (Cage Match) 42. Magnum v Blanchard (I Quit) 43. Sammartino v Zbyszko (Cage) 44. Hogan v Andre (WM III) 45. Austin v Rock (WM XVII) 46. Hart v Austin (WM XIII) 47. Brody/Snuka v Funks (12/13/81) 48. Hogan/Hall/Nash v Savage/Luger/Sting 49. Guerrero v Layfield (Judgment Day '04) 50. Andre v Wepner 51. Backlund v Patera (Texas Death Match) 52. Harts/Neidhart/Bulldog/Pillman v Austin/LOD/Goldust/Shamrock 53. Road Warriors v Midnight Express (Starrcade '86) Hokuto/Kandori absolutely a great match. I read the thread in the 1993 Yearbook folder. The youtube link I watched translated Hokuto's speech near the beginning of the match. The heat by the two is done so well that you don't even need the backstory. You're hooked.

#46 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 02:59 PM

Al two things interest me there: 1. I've never seen anyone rate Hogan vs. Iron Sheik that highly. In fact, I've never thought of that match as anything other than a title switch. Can you write a bit more on this, genuinely interested. 2. Ken Patera had a good match once!? :o

#47 Dylan Waco

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 03:33 PM

Ken Patera was pretty great in 1980. He was underrated in the Sheiks team with Blackwell/Adnan as well actually.

#48 jdw

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 04:27 PM

Patera was awesome in 1980. John

#49 smkelly

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 06:15 PM

I would think Hogan's first title win would be an important addition to any compilation if that comp was going to be with you on a desert island or similar situation. Very historical.

#50 khawk20

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:24 PM

Patera was awesome in 1980.

John


Yep.

Patera was as hot as a wrestler could get in 1980.

#51 khawk20

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 07:28 PM

Al two things interest me there:

1. I've never seen anyone rate Hogan vs. Iron Sheik that highly. In fact, I've never thought of that match as anything other than a title switch. Can you write a bit more on this, genuinely interested.


One thing that stand out about this match is the absolute fervor that the crowd is in before, during, and after the bout. As intense as anything I've ever seen in North American Wrestling.

Hot crowd does not a classic match make, but it can help it make a larger impression than it might make without it, for sure.

#52 smkelly

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 10:40 PM

...and it's historic.

#53 Al

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 05:14 AM

Yeah, it is historic. For that matter now that I think of it, Bockwinkel/Hogan from Super Sunday may be an important addition to the list as well.

#54 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 06:55 AM

Al, by the same rationale then, how come Andre vs. Hogan doesn't make the list?

#55 Loss

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 11:24 AM

Well, this is just being tossed around. No one said Hogan/Andre definitely shouldn't make the list. Although ... Hogan/Sheik is a fun, historic five-minute match, and Hogan/Andre is a terrible, actively bad historic match. The match is one of the most famous of all time and the opening staredown, Andre being pelted with trash on his way to the ring, and the bodyslam are iconic images within wrestling. But I'm not sure what about the match screams must-see. You can see everything you need to see by watching the Hulkamania 3 Coliseum video release and a quick video package of the match with the only moments that are really worth anything.

#56 Al

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 09:23 PM

Al, by the same rationale then, how come Andre vs. Hogan doesn't make the list?

Hogan/Andre is on my list, actually.

#57 smkelly

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 10:26 PM

Andre vs. Hogan is not intended for a workrate pleasurable viewing. Its context is for historical purposes only. Kind of like teaching Shakespeare to high school kids. Not many will enjoy it, same with college, but they understand the importance of it. History is important, man.

#58 Victator

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 11:04 PM

Hogan/Andre is a good match.

#59 Jingus

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 01:21 AM

Hogan/Andre is a good match.

I don't often say the words "I agree with Victator", but I do here. That particular edition of Hogan/Andre wasn't even close to being their worst match; check out the match at next year's Wrestlemania, for example. The Mania III match did its job just fine, hell I'd say it was a better match than Hogan/Bundy from the year prior. The whole "Hogan/Andre was historically significant, but one of the worst matches ever" talking point has been greatly overstated as the years go by. I'd much rather watch that one than, say, Taker/Sid from Mania XIII.

#60 anarchistxx

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 05:51 AM

Andre vs. Hogan is not intended for a workrate pleasurable viewing. Its context is for historical purposes only. Kind of like teaching Shakespeare to high school kids.


What a horrible comparison; Andre/Hogan isn't in the least analogous to Shakespearean literature.

Shakespeare, however archaic, is at the very top of his genre both critically and commercially, and has formed at least somewhat of a blueprint for all stage writers since. His works are absolute classics. If you were to make an even tenuous connection to wrestling, it would be perhaps to sixty minute draws from the 70s and 80s, with guys like Flair, that to the connoisseur are exciting and fascinating, but to your average mainstream wrestling fan, conditioned only for today's product, would be beyond dull.

Andre/Hogan is something totally different - it's historically important, as established, but it's also a poor match, and one that the contemporary viewer would still not enjoy. It isn't like Shakespeare; hard work, hard to understand but rewarding once given insight. Instead it's easy to watch, easy to understand, but just not very good, especially compared to the standard and style of wrestling in the modern era. It's almost impossible to equate this to historic literature/drama. Something like de Sade's Juliette shares a few similarities in that it's something famous in the genre, absolutely terribly written and a book that you want to have read but don't necessarily enjoy reading. Yet it's an incredibly daring, even groundbreaking work, words which categorically do not apply to Hogan/Andre. As is Looking Backward by Bellamy, similar in that it was the biggest seller of the time but doesn't really hold up today, and was possibly outshone by News From Nowhere (the Steamboat/Savage of the card). That doesn't work either, though; Looking Backward is highly important as a work of utopian fiction, not just as a literary event, in the way that Hogan/Andre just isn't important as a wrestling match rather than as a entertainment event. Even if music, it's hard to find something that was famous, important, commercially huge yet fairly awful.

It's all subjective anyway. One thing is for sure; there is absolutely zero connection between the works of Shakespeare and the main event of Wrestlemania III.




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