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23.10.07 0059
The 7 - Pro Wrestling - [Review] Ric Flair vs Nick Bockwinkel, 1/16/86...
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Boston Idol
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#1 Posted on 14.7.04 0208.51
Reposted on: 14.7.11 0210.27
Ric Flair defended his NWA world title
against former three-time AWA world
champ Nick Bockwinkel at an AWA show
in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada,
on January 16, 1986. Ken Resnick
and Scott Hall called the action.

The match was joined in progress just
after the ten minute mark. Flair tried
for a snap mare, but Bockwinkel turned
and countered with a backslide for a
hot near fall. Flair ate a shoulder
block, then ran into a drop toe hold
into a leg grapevine by Bockwinkel.

Bockwinkel and Flair looked gassed for
a minute, then Bockwinkel turned over
the grapevine and went for the figue
four. Flair kicked Bockwinkel off and
tried for a monkey flip, but Bockwinkel
applied a boston crab instead.

Bockwinkel and Flair caught each other
with shoulder blocks and both men went
down, prompting Ken Resnick to observe
"both men on the brink of exhaustion"
at approximately the fourteen minute mark.

Bockwinkel made an unsuccessful cover
following the collision, then tried
for a body press, but Flair put his
knees up and caught Bockwinkel in the
midsection. Flair then hit a double
footstomp to Bockwinkel's abdomen and
followed with a "Whoo" and a pelvic
thrust to someone in the audience.

Flair resumed his assault with a
vertical suplex and a figure four
leglock, though Bockwinkel was able
to turn it over and reverse it after
about thirty seconds. Flair broke
the hold and tried to apply it again,
but Bockwinkel caught Flair with an
inside cradle for a hot near fall.

Bockwinkel got a pair of near falls
from a back body drop. Flair threw
Bockwinkel out of the ring. Flair
caught Bockwinkel with a neck snap
over the top rope. Flair followed
up with a series of stomps and then
caught Bockwinkel in a sleeper hold.

Bockwinkel escaped the sleeper hold
by diving into the corner and ramming
Flair's face into the top turnbuckle.
Flair retained control and decked
Nick with a chop. Flair climbed to
the top rope, but Bockwinkel caught
him. Flair grabbed Bockwinkel's hand
and moved it to the center of his own
chest, then hurled himself off the top.

Flair spun around and began begging
off, but Bockwinkel peppered Flair
with punches and caught him with a
payback sleeper hold at the twenty
minute mark. Flair faded to the
canvas and Bockwinkel went for a
cover, but Flair put his foot over
the bottom rope.

Bockwinkel went for the sleeper again,
but Flair countered with a back suplex
for a near fall. Flair stalked Nick
for a boot to the face, but Bockwinkel
caught the foot, took Flair down, and
applied a payback figure four. Flair
tried to sit up, but Bockwinkel slapped
him in the face and drew a big cheer.
Flair eventually made it to the ropes.

Flair tried for a vertical suplex, but
Bockwinkel reversed it for a near fall.
Flair caught Bockwinkel coming in with
a double leg takedown and went for a
cover with his feet on the ropes, but
Bockwinkel was able to raise a shoulder.

Bockwinkel ate a shoulder block from
Flair, but dodged a second charge and
caught Flair with a reverse roll for
a hot near fall. Bockwinkel whipped
Flair into the corner and Flair flipped
upside down before falling back into
the ring. Bockwinkel caught Flair
against the ropes with a punch and
Flair flipped backward over the top
rope down to the floor.

Flair rolled back in under the ropes
and caught Bockwinkel with a knee to
the gut to take control. Flair took
Bockwinkel over into a side headlock,
Nick countered with a headscissors,
but Flair escaped and slid on top for
a cover. It looked like Bockwinkel
was supposed to bridge up, but all
he could do was roll a shoulder up.

It looked like the match might fall
apart as Nick rolled Flair over and
then helped him back to his feet
while letting go of him to give him
control. Flair caught Bockwinkel
with a kick to the midsection and
attempted a sitting piledriver,
but Bockwinkel countered with a
back body drop.

Bockwinkel caught Flair with several
punches against the ropes, but Flair
jumped up so that he was sitting on
the top rope, then grabbed Bockwinkel
in a facelock and pulled him out to
the floor. Both men were counted out
in just a little over 26 minutes.

At first glimpse the action in this
match appeared "solid" with the notable
exception of the flubbed bridge spot
right before the finish of the match
which was not covered well at all.

But a closer look reveals that much
of the action was hollow, a bunch of
spots thrown together in haphazard
fashion. Flair's double footstomp
to the abdomen was a great follow up
to the counter knees to the stomach,
but Flair then went to a vertical
suplex followed by a figure four.

Bockwinkel fared no better. He set
up his sleeper by tossing Flair off
the top rope and he set up his figure
four by catching a stomp and taking
Flair down to the canvas. He hadn't
worked on Flair's leg much prior to
that, other than the leg grapevine
which was not subsequently sold.

Resnick and Hall hyped the pace of
the match and it never slowed down
for long during the sixteen minutes
that aired, but it also never seemed
to gain momentum. Neither man kept
control long enough to put together
compelling phrases of offensive moves
or to create anticipation for their
false finishes. Bockwinkel's hottest
near falls came off fluky looking
counters into pinning combinations.

Flair and Bockwinkel made an effort
to provide good action, but in the
end they didn't create a dramatic
or memorable match that lived up
to the expectations of the matchup.

Frank

"Flair and Bockwinkel proceeded to put on what can only be described as an all time classic. The fact that tape of this match is either non-existent or lost has only added to the match's mystique. the reality is that if the tape were found it could likely never live up to expectations because of word of mouth over the last twenty years and columns like this one.

Nevertheless, when folks talk about the old barn having its last match this past week, I will always remember the greatest match ever at the arena. Ric Flair vs. Nick Bockwinkel, sixty minute draw."
- Don Callis, Slam Sports

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Phantom Lord
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#2 Posted on 14.7.04 0332.19
Reposted on: 14.7.11 0335.30
Well I'm sure this tape is now sitting in the WWE Vault along with the rest of the AWA or NWA Archives that they own.

If they were smart I wouldn't be surprised if it shows up on The Best of Ric Flair Volume 2.

Still I always wondered if they did indeed wrestle. This match would be cool to see especially with a young Last Call Hall doing the color commentary.

If they can get ahold of the match with Flair vs. Lawler we would be set.
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