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WCW Classics by Mike Regan




January 7, 2001

There was a time that some considered Barry Windham to be the best wrestler in the world. This week we go back to that time on WCW Classics. Tonight's episode has just one match, but it's a definite classic.

From January 1987:
NWA World Champion Ric Flair vs. Barry Windham

We start off with some nice counter wrestling from both men, ending up with Windham working on Flair's arm. After some more wrestling, the two wind up against the ropes. On the break Flair shoves Windham. Windham responds with a slap that knocks Flair down. Flair gets the advantage by throwing a running Windham through the ropes. Flair follows him out and simply destroys him on the floor (which has no padding). Back in the ring, Windham starts to fight back. Windham pummels Flair with punches in the corner, and we get a trademark Flair Flop. Windham continues to win the exchange of strikes, but Flair trips him and almost gets the pin using the ropes for leverage. Windham sends Flair shoulder-first to the corner, and Flair goes tumbling over the ropes to the floor. With Flair in trouble we take an ad break.

When we come back Flair has regained control. A Flair elbow sends Windham tumbling to the floor. Flair tries to suplex Windham back into the ring, But Barry lands on his feet. Windham flattens Flair with a clothesline, then collapses. Windham finally crawls over and gets a two count. Flair gets a belly-to-back suplex, then uses the opening to apply the figure-four leglock. Windham reaches the ropes forcing a break. Flair continues to target Barry's leg with a knee breaker followed by a spinning toe hold. Windham turns the hold into a small package for two. Flair throws him out, but Barry returns with a sunset flip for another two count. Windham slips out of a Flair sleeper and starts fighting back again. Windham hits a clothesline off the top turnbuckle, but only gets two before Flair gets his foot on the ropes. Windham goes for a splash, but Flair raises his knees. Windham reverses a suplex attempt. Windham goes up top, but a flying elbow misses. Flair's knee drop also misses, so both men are down. Windham punches Flair several times until he falls over the top rope to the floor again, which takes us to our final ad break.

As we come back, the clock starts entering into play. Flair goes for a hip toss, but Windham turns it into an abdominal stretch. After a few seconds, Flair manages to complete the hip toss. Windham lands on ref Tommy Young. Windham hits a drop kick from the top and covers, but there's no referee. Young finally crawls over but Barry only gets a two count. Windham applies a sleeper hold. Flair escapes with a belly-to-back suplex. Flair does the Flair Flip then goes for a cross body block. Windham rolls him over for another two. Windham gets still another two-count after a reverse rollup (and thanks to Rev Ray's Big Book of Wrestling Moves for finally giving me a name to call that move). Windham punches Flair in the corner, then covers for two again. Windham gets whipped into the corner, but hits a clothesline on the rebound. A Windham kneedrop gets two. Windham counters a Flair hip toss with a backslide for another two. Flair goes up top, which even in 1987 never worked. Windham throws him off, then follows with a powerslam for two. Now with the seconds counting down, Windham finally goes for his finisher, the flying lariat. Flair manages to get a shoulder up, and the bell sounds as time has expired. Windham briefly thinks he's won and grabs the title belt. When he finds out the match is a time limit draw, he disdainfully drapes the belt across a woozy Flair. We get a post match interview with Flair and his fellow Horsemen (Ole Anderson, Arn Anderson, and Tully Blanchard). Flair gloats and boasts of the unstoppability of the Four Horsemen (within a month Ole would be kicked out, replaced by Lex Luger).

And so ends a great edition of WCW Classics. Next week the show is pre-empted for a marathon of John Wayne movies hosted by Dusty Rhodes. And I have no intention of recapping that.

Til Next Time,
Mike Regan
[slash] wrestling

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