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Ric Flair vs Tom Zenk (NWA Power Hour 02/02/90)

NWA WCW Power Hour Ric Flair Tom Zenk 3.5* Greenville SC February 2 1990 Four Horsemen

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#1 Loss

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:13 PM

Talk about it here.



#2 Loss

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:38 PM

Is this Tom Zenk's career match? I know that doesn't say a ton, but I think this beats the Pillman match at Wrestle War easily. It's really good, as Flair plays subtle heel and puts Zenk over strong, even in winning the match. He chops Zenk so hard at one point that he makes his chest bleed. This is a great showcase for both guys, but this is a strong Flair performance. Flair hooks the tights for the win, to strongly hint that he's about to turn heel.

#3 PeteF3

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:22 AM

Zenk absurdly comes out to the Danny Elfman Batman theme. It's a strong match and not having seen the WrestleWar bout could possibly be his peak--that said, aside from the pop for the sleeperhold Zenk seemed to be a guy along for the ride. Terry Taylor was that way in the Flair matches in Mid-South and I had one of those in the top 5 on my '80s ballot, so it's not a major detriment, but this match is more proof of Zenk's basic competence than proof of a lost great worker. Flair does a great job of walking the heel line--he was always the "dirtiest player of the game," so the tights grab works regardless of the future booking plans.

#4 soup23

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:18 AM

The Flair broomstick analogy seems really appropriate here as he really did lead Zenk to probably the best match of his life. Good basic story with the intensity being ramped up in appropriate moments and Flair resulting to some underhanded tactics in order to secure the victory. It may really go to shit but as of right now, there is no doubt that Flair is my wrestler of the year.

#5 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:17 PM

I was baffled by Zenk's music until realizing it was from Batman. It was a good match but felt Flair gave Zenk way too much in this match. I know Flair isn't going to squash opponents but as World Champ and still face at this point thought the should have won more clean. Flair in some good chops. Nick Patrick did a good job being vocal when they were getting their shoulders up in some of the pinfall attempts.

#6 Cox

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:51 PM

Good match. Tom Zenk was game and showed good fire working in this spot, but this was pretty clearly the Flair show. Compare this to the Eaton match, where Eaton is actively doing things and getting in his signature spots, and you see the difference between "Flair vs Guy Who Brings Things To The Table" vs. "Flair vs Competent Guy." Nothing wrong with Flair vs Competent Guy, but it won't hold your attention quite like Flair vs Eaton.

#7 shoe

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:27 AM

This is a real good match. It was almost like Flair was trying to have a version of a babyface Flair vs. Steamboat bout where Flair starts working heel late in the bout. Zenk isn't Steamboat so we get a Steamboat light match. Still a good bout showing the greatness of Flair. Flair was great at highlighting what Zenk did well.

#8 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:51 PM

Cornette and Ross bantering about the hotline was awesome. Love that combo on commentary. Flair's hair is quite long here, think he might need to get it cut. Cornette points out that even though it looks like the Z-Man is on top in the early going that Flair is actually "suckering him", letting him wear himself out. An obvious insight in some ways, but one that at least 50% of this forum doesn't seem to grasp. Cornette is putting over this idea that he's lulling Zenk into a false sense of security. Flair is a FACE at this point, so you can't say Corny is making excuses. LOVE the cocky slap by Flair and his look of being affronted that Zenk slapped him back. There's your semi-transition. He's pissed off now. Zenk's fighting back a bit too much still so he bails to break the momentum. Lures him outside but still gets the worst of it. Nick Patrick is taking this "fingers under the shoulder" business a bit far. I think most of us would agree that this is the best Zenk could be. Flair is almost like a lens through which you can see the full potential of someone. Thought Flair could have got more offense in during this one, which stops it being much better than "above average".

#9 Zenjo

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:34 AM

Flair vs broom. Zenk was a bland babyface who Flair did a good job of guiding through this. One of his formula 'B' matches. The champ was meant to be a face but sure didn't wrestle like it as he was just about to turn again.

#10 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 02:11 AM

Not much to add. Great broomstick match. I am going to watch AA vs Z-Man from later in the year and the Pillman matches eventually, but in this match I didn't think Z-Man offered much to the overall Flair package. Hell, I didnt even know the sleeper was his payoff as that is a pretty standard Flair spot so thanks for JR for that. God, Flair is so good. Things like the his facial expressions after the two slap exchanges and those sweet Mother of Mercy chops. Flair's hair is so magnificent at this point such a shame they made him cut it. Though Woman's hair is nothing to sneeze at either. Big hair is what is missing from rock n roll, wrestling and society in general at this point.

#11 Laney

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 05:38 PM

Good match. Nothing too special here, but like others said this seemed like a broomstick match with Flair carrying Zenk. I guess Zenk came out to the Batman theme song here since he is the "Z-Man". I felt it was kind of odd that Flair worked as the heel here since he is supposed to be the face and had been great in that role up to this point. I guess he felt that was the role to take in this match where he was facing a babyface underdog.

#12 Zero

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 07:39 PM

Flair is really good at wrestling. Best Zenk match I've ever seen. Nick Patrick was a bit distcrating putting his fingers under for every pin attempt. Woman looking good as ever.

#13 PhilTLL

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Posted 10 September 2014 - 09:50 AM

I quite enjoyed this. I felt like it was the only time the Nick Patrick fingers ever had a purpose, and it was a great save from the ab stretch cradle where Flair basically looked pinned. I also thought Zenk was slightly above plain broomstick status, particularly in the mat work, and showed more fire than I was expecting. Not a lost classic worker, and hardly a top 20 match for the year or anything, but a surprisingly satisfying little TV main.

#14 garretta

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 09:43 PM

We needed a match to foreshadow Flair's turn, and we got it here, as Ric pulls out some of his tamer dirty tricks. Zenk also looks good here.

 

Like the backstory with Zenk originally supposed to wrestle Luger, but Lex was boycotting TV until the Clash, at which I don't believe he appeared. The story, according to what we hear from JR during the bout, is that Luger was supposed to take what became the Horsemen's spot in Funk's Grill at the Clash, so it looks like they were teasing heel Luger vs. face Flair and the Horsemen before the turn. One of wrestling's great lost opportunities, as it turned out.

 

Loved the byplay between JR and Corny, and Corny was heelish while still doing solid color work, which takes effort that plenty of guys don't exert.

 

Nick Patrick is miked and he knows it, as he's the only referee in history to do a dissertation on why he stopped a count in a side headlock spot.  

 

Woman wasn't distracting, surprisingly (except for Corny) and we get one last heavy dose of hype for the cage match at the Clash.

 

A satisfying night of work for all concerned.



#15 Loss

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Posted 10 December 2014 - 10:06 PM

Luger had an interview with Funk on the Clash, but he didn't really have anything to talk about.



#16 tjones324

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 09:20 PM

For some reason I wasn't terribly into this match. Maybe I just couldn't buy Zenk as a threat to Flair. The action itself wasn't too bad but for whatever reason it's not a match I really have the desire to watch again. 



#17 drew wardlaw

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Posted 04 November 2015 - 12:12 AM

I could have sworn I posted a review/thoughts about this match, but I guess not? Huh, I have a terrible memory but I really think I've written about this before. Oh well, I love The Z Man. Whether it's irony or ignorance I don't know, but I could watch him work a boring headlock forever. This might be better than the Pillman match because it doesn't have the confusing heel/face dynamics that match does. One of my great wrestling 'what if's' is a Zenk heel turn. Thomas Zenk in the York Foundation perhaps. Flair makes Zenk look so great here, but Zenk works really hard and has some good moments here (some of the face slaps and Flair trying to run the ropes to get out of the side headlock only for Zenk to drag him down). 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: NWA, WCW, Power Hour, Ric Flair, Tom Zenk, 3.5*, Greenville SC, February 2, 1990, Four Horsemen

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