Whenever people talk about the greatest matches of all-time and Flair's greatest matches, they talk Steamboat and Funk and rightfully so. But this gem that's been put on the Flair DVD Set should be mentioned alongside those great classic matches.
I'm wondering why it never got it's due or as much hype as the other Flair matches? I'm guessing that none of the tape traders then taped it? I've got hours upon hours of Flair compilation's and it's not on any of them.
After watching it this weekend, the match is probably just a hair below the Flair/Steamboat classics but I could easily see people liking it more. They looked like they could've kept going for another hour at the same pace with the same crowd heat.
Hopefully with the popularity of this DVD, the Flair/Windham match will be regarded and mentioned alongside all the other classic matches of all-time.
Let me preface this by stating Barry Windham from late 1986 through early 1989 was one of the 3 or 4 best workers in North American wrestling (Flair, Dibiase, Steamboat and Windham). And Flair/Windham was a 5 star caliber match. A reason Flair/Windham gets overlooked is the only PPV match the 2 had was a Crockett Cup match; which was a subpar one for those 2. This is why the match though really doesn't get its due: It had poor timing. Early '87 in wrestling is remember for Hogan/Andre, and to a lesser extent Steamboat/Savage. The Magnum T.A. auto accident in late '86 caused the NWA booking pattern to become off-kilter, with the Nikita face turn and Windham being rushed up from Florida to face Flair at the turn of the year. Also, Windham is damaged historically because he never won the belt from Flair, and even worse, his US Tag Title partner Ron Garvin won the belt from Flair later that year. The worse break for Windham though was Dusty winning the World Title in July of '86 though. If Flair was still on his post Von Erich World Title reign, Windham would have been in the perfect position to end a long Flair run. Instead, he was stuck in the middle of Flair dropping the belt to Rhodes and Garvin.
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Something that made me laugh in that Windham/Flair match was the picture-in-picture of Dusty doing commentary and Schiavone looking at him like "are you ever going to shut up?". It took Dusty two minutes to make his point which probably could have been made in 30 seconds.
One thing I noticed watching the Flair DVD is how many times he redid or did variations of different angles in different territories. I've got a tape of him doing that amateur workout angle with a very young Barry Windham in 1982, I believe. Pretty much a carbon copy of the one he did with Roddy Piper on the DVD, which I had never seen.
Originally posted by redsoxnationAlso, Windham is damaged historically because he never won the belt from Flair, and even worse, his US Tag Title partner Ron Garvin won the belt from Flair later that year. The worse break for Windham though was Dusty winning the World Title in July of '86 though. If Flair was still on his post Von Erich World Title reign, Windham would have been in the perfect position to end a long Flair run. Instead, he was stuck in the middle of Flair dropping the belt to Rhodes and Garvin.
Agreed. Barry will always be the guy who was never able to win the big one. And with a newer generation of fans only being exposed to Windham wrestling as a shell of his former self (his final WWF and WCW runs), I don't think the man will ever get his fair props and his feud with Flair will always be an afterthought.
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Flair and Windham also had a PPV match in 1993, which is where Flair won his "tenth" World Title. Actually, it the 12th, beacuse they suddenly decided to recognize two phantom reigns out of the blue so they could call it the 10th... even though I always thought it was implied in the commentary and hype that that it was Flair's 10th title reign including the two WWF wins he had.
I think a big part of why Flair vs. Windham doesn't get much regard is because Windham is not as widely remembered as a worker the way Steamboat or Terry Funk are. More people remember the old broken down Barry Windham from his last WWF and WCW runs, or even the mediocre Windham that teamed with Dustin Rhodes and beat Muta for the NWA title. I didn't see Windham during the period for which he was so highly regarded, so this is something that really has my interest about the Flair DVD.
I think the Steamboat and Funk matches stand out more, though, because those guys are thought of more highly. Funk established much more of a reputation over a longer period of time before he broke down, and Steamboat's retirement was so abrupt that he never had a period of depreciation. Matches with Flair facing Funk or Steamboat look better on paper, so today's fans who are seeking out classic matches are more likely to be intrigued by these matchups. A Barry Windham match doesn't have that same appeal so fewer people will see it, talk about it, etc.
Also, wasn't the Windham match in question aired on an old episode of Worldwide? That in itself probably makes it harder to find than PPV or Clash matches, which I would assume also contributes to it's relative obscurity.
I want to say that the Flair/Windham PPV match was from 1994 because I want to think that they were talking about getting an interview with Hulk Hogan that week (Slamboree) and also, Kevin Sullivan and Cactus Jack beat the Nasty Boys for the Tag Titles that night.
Anyways, I remember that match in 94 and it wasn't bad but it wasn't nearly as good as that Worldwide match on the DVD. I always loved watching Windham work, especially when he had that initial run with the Western States Heritage Title.
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Originally posted by BigVitoMarkI think a big part of why Flair vs. Windham doesn't get much regard is because Windham is not as widely remembered as a worker the way Steamboat or Terry Funk are. More people remember the old broken down Barry Windham from his last WWF and WCW runs, or even the mediocre Windham that teamed with Dustin Rhodes and beat Muta for the NWA title.
Oh no, not me...
Maybe it's because my first exposure to wrestling wasn't the WWF but instead the Florida territory, the Barry Windham *I* remember from when I was 10 or 11 years was that of a God in Training. The Barry Windham that used to carry guys like a green as freshly fertilized grass Lex Luger and Ron Bass to good matches. Although my favorite match from that era was a match between Windham and The White Ninja (you may know him better as Kenji Mutoh)...THAT was the match that made me learn to appreicate wrestling as an art form, even if I didn't realize that at the time. There was a guy about 4 rows behind me in the Miami Beach Convention Center that said out loud "THIS is the future!". And of course NOW I know what he meant, but you don't think in those terms at that age.
Another Flair-Windham match that gets no love was the match that was the main event of Battle of the Belts II (early 1986 I think?), which was a locally televised supercard. But that match was also my introduction to Ric Flair, who to that point I had never seen. But it was the NWA guys who were on that card that turned me to start watching Superstation at 6 on Saturdays and at the time my interest in the NWA was equal to that of the WWF.
But THAT'S the Barry Windham I remember.
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Interesting. I know someone who also went to those tapings (Chris Masters kissed her during his ring entrance on NXT) and if I listened to her, those Smackdown tapings were as exciting as attending WrestleManias III, X, 14, and 24 combined.