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Ric Flair vs Brian Pillman/Lex Luger and the Four Horsemen (NWA World Championship Wrestling 02/17/90)

NWA WCW World Championship Wrestling Saturday Night Ric Flair Brian Pillman 3.5* February 17 1990 Gainesville GA Four Horsemen Lex Luger Ole Anderson Arn Anderson

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#1 Loss

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 10:43 PM

Talk about it here.

#2 Loss

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:51 PM

Another great Flair match! I like the Eaton one slightly more, but this one has a more rabid crowd. They beat the hell out of each other with really stiff chops. It's a very surface-level match, meaning it's more that they just trade really good looking blows for most of this instead of laying out a match with meaningful momentum shifts. But it still works like a charm and the atmosphere was electric. Post-match, Luger gives his answer to the Horsemen by slugging all three of them as the show goes off the air. They did what they could and produced a hot show.

#3 PeteF3

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:56 AM

Super-hot ending...I got taken in myself by the Air Pillman near-fall, but Flair rolls through a cross body and yanks the tights to pull a win out of his rear end again. Ole does a good job of setting himself up at the closing segment, and Flair is just about to invite Luger back into the Horsemen when Luger's appearance cuts him off. Lex gives his answer in the form of clotheslines to the Horsemen and the main event is on.

#4 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:51 PM

Really good match. I compared this one more to the Zenk match. Thought Zenk got in way too much offense in that match. Here it's a few minutes shorter but I buy Pillman as more of a credible challenger. Flair being heel here helped though I felt like he won this one more clean than the Zenk match. Nice finish with it looking like Pillman will get the win but Flair reverses. Luger's response to the Horsemen is pretty clear as he decks Ole and the rest before walking off. Heated segment.

#5 soup23

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:25 PM

Flair showcase match #3 and it is wonderful. The commentary between JR and Cornette is very good and I loved Ross commenting on the strategy of Flair realizing that Pillman has more fight than he had imagined when Flair kept trying to pin him down. They really went back and forth with each other and it was smart to make this non title so the crowd and audience really bought into Pillman having a chance. Woman was a little out of position on her spot but the finish worked well with Flair having the tights. Luger coming out at the end and decking the Horseman was a great moment inciting the crowd.

#6 Cox

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:41 PM

Wow, Leona Helmsley references. Hello, 1990! Great match with a great crowd elevating it another level. No wonder Flair loved working with Pillman, as they have great chemistry together. Then again, Flair vs. Plucky Young Underdog is a pretty proven formula.

#7 BackToBionic

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 01:01 PM

Dig those Roos ringposts. Also, I love Cornette on commentary. I wish he hadn't torched his bridge with the WWE cos I'd love to see him commentate there, even on one of their "B" shows.

#8 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 10:14 PM

I love how they played up Pillman's righteous indignation against Flair for his heel turn as the reason for his violence. This match was an incredible sprint and reminds you what happens when Flair has a worker opposite of him. Pillman is on fire early looking for revenge for his buddy, but Flair gets him to follow him outside so he can thumb in the eye. He throws Pillman into the railings and then just unloads some of the best Flair offense I have seen in a long time. This is the type of the match where Flair never felt like he was "bringing the bitch", but he was pissed off as the audacity of Pillman and was going to show this punk a lesson. I loved when Flair was pushing Pillman's back down and then popping him and Pillman coming back with chops, fantastic exchange. Pillman's babyface comeback was killer and climaxed so well with Air Pillman. The finish was oddly clean with Flair rolling through a cross-body and sort of grabbing some tights. For people that think Flair bitches out too much, this match is a great way to point how Flair can work toe-to-toe with a pissed off babyface and be just as pissed too.

#9 stunning_grover

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 12:55 PM

I liked this better than Flair vs. Zenk, but liked it not as much as Flair vs. Eaton.

#10 Laney

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 05:57 PM

Great match here and I think it is at this point in the set that I would consider WCW to be the top promotion of 1990 so far. Pillman is able to really hang in there with Flair which puts this head and shoulders above the Tom Zenk match. Still, I prefer Flair vs Eaton.

#11 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 08:36 PM

Dave Meltzer called this the MOTY so far, so let's see. I love the 1990 version of Flair's theme. I preferred this to the Eaton match, tells a more compelling story and we see a whole array of cool offense from Flair. This was a match to say "I am the world champion so don't fuck with me kid". But it still did a good job of making Pillman seem like he could at least hang with the champ. Ridiculo us slap from Woman. Amazing knee from Flair. Pretty hot finish. This was sort of an ultimate version of the Flair-Sam Houston match.

#12 garretta

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Posted 11 December 2014 - 10:26 PM

Great non-title bout that may have been the making of Pillman as a singles wrestler in the NWA. Flair has to resort to a Woman slap and a discreet handful of tights to score the win. This was much more hard-hitting than you'd expect, even with Brian defending Sting's honor; these two trade holds and strikes like they've been in the ring with each other a hundred times already. The only botch was that Woman actually had to slap Brian twice (at least that's what it looked like to me), but that's a minor detraction.  


We end with Luger smacking all three Horsemen to confirm the WrestleWar main event. I didn't catch Flair preparing to invite Luger back into the group, though. I loved JR frantically begging off to avoid a beating of his own as time ran out; the Horsemen as portrayed so far this year wouldn't think twice about putting an innocent play-by-play man in the hospital. Of course, Corny's nowhere to be found. (By the way, he and JR did those Leona Helmsley jokes just two weeks before during Flair/Zenk on the Power Hour, if my memory serves.)


We come away from this glad that Luger kept the match at WrestleWar, but wondering: If he hadn't, could Flyin' Brian have taken his place?


I'm putting this one as my number-one NWA bout so far this month, and number two for the year behind Flair/Eaton.

#13 drew wardlaw

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 11:53 PM

Flair's TV matches from 90 and 91 are all good. This one isn't quite as good or intense as the one from April 91 (or 90, I can't remember) but still very good. The chop exchanges are super meaningful given that Pillman is a "Flair guy." Cool finish, hot angle with Luger and the Horsemen afterwards, great ending to the show.

#14 dawho5

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 09:00 PM

If nothing else, this 1990 yearbook is showing me what a waste Pillman's career was.  He could really go and if he had been paired with the right veterans he could have developed into an amazing worker.  Seeing this side of Flair is always fun as well.

#15 thebrainfollower

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Posted 30 March 2018 - 11:49 AM

To me this is a textbook example of Flair fans giving him a pass.  He struggles with a simple kick to the gut and with the finish as well but no one seems to see it.  It's a good match but Flair is a step below even the last month's efforts against Eaton and the six man tag.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: NWA, WCW, World Championship Wrestling, Saturday Night, Ric Flair, Brian Pillman, 3.5*, February 17, 1990, Gainesville GA, Four Horsemen, Lex Luger, Ole Anderson, Arn Anderson

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