Tuesday, June 25, 2019

The Stars At Night Are Big And Bright

Ric Flair VS Kerry Von Erich - World Class NWA World Championship Cage Match 12/25/1982

CJD: Two weeks ago you talked about those hidden gems that are the reason Play It Forward needs to exist. But there are other types of matches that we play forward from time to time that I think are equally important to this project. Those are the essential matches in pro wrestling history that for one reason or another, we know it's just hard to make the time to watch. Matches like Punk/Rave, Nakajima/Kiyomiya, Misawa/Kojima, etc. I know some wrestling fans would debate mentioning those as being on the level of the match that gave birth to the golden age of Texas wrestling. But let's all just relax and remember we're obsessing over pro wrestling on the internet.

One of the reasons I think we don't go to this well too often is our unwritten rule to keep PIF light and breezy, more of a product of the immediate gratification times. Another is because the spirit of PIF is more focused on those new revelations. Well I hope this match is a new revelation to you. I know the playtime is daunting in 2019, but a lot of that is the pre and post match stuff, which is masterful. This match is often referred to as one of the greats. I'm more of the opinion it's one of the greatest pieces of pro wrestling booking and character work than one of the best matches. But it is certainly a doozy. Kerry isn't often mentioned as such, but in my opinion he was one of the top 3 Flair opponents ever.

JJZ: The promos to start out are a nice touch to this match. The way they're filmed reminds me of the first Rocky movie. Both Kerry and Ric's robes fit fine though. The feel of this match is so big time I wish I'd have seen it sooner. Flair looks to be in the best shape of his career. I was surprised by the slower start to this match. I thought it being in a cage it would be go go go at the sound of the bell. That being said, the pop at the application of a sleeper hold was insane. The build is great, making everything feel important and that it has a purpose. The match kind of comes off the rails at the end but I'm really just along for the ride at that point.

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