You have probably seen all of Ric Flair’s legendary matches at this point but what about the ones you missed? Thanks to the WWE Network, you can go back and see the gems that you missed. Here are 10 great ones you probably never heard of to get you started.
There are dozens of top Ric Flair matches blogs on the Internet and most contain the usual suspects. Flair’s matches with Terry Funk at the Bash 89, the Ricky Steamboat series, Sting at C.O.C I, and Randy Savage at WM 8 generally round out the list. Flair was so damned good throughout his career, that there are plenty of others that don’t get the same attention. I thought it would be fun to scan the WWE Network for 10 Flair hidden gems that are just as good the usual suspects, yet seem to fly under the radar on the typical lists and DVD releases.
[adinserter block=”1″]These matches aren’t in any particular order, nor are they necessarily a list of Flair’s greatest matches. These are simply 10 matches on the Network you need to go watch immediately to appreciate the greatness of Ric Flair. I have also done my best to provide links for those of you that have access to the WWE Network online.
Ric Flair and Arn Anderson vs. Steve Austin and Brian Pillman 2/3 Falls Match (Clash of the Champions ) – The word of mouth on this match has picked up steam over the last few years yet I still consider this one to be a hidden gem. This match was just an absolute clinic with four great technicians in the ring. The crowd was hot for this one and the intensity specifically between Flair and Pillman was tremendous. Flair and Double A take this one via DQ after 22 solid minutes.
WWE Network link – http://network.wwe.com/video/v32366657
Ric Flair vs. Sting (Clash of the Champions XXVII) – This match recently made my top 10 Sting WCW matches blog. In my opinion this was the best match the two ever had, better than even their classic 45-minute draw at Clash 1 and much better than their Bash 1990 match. I’d say the crowd was the x-factor that separated this from the others. This match was pretty action-packed from start to finish with all kinds of cool spots including Sting taking out Sherri Martel with a dive to the floor after Flair pushed her into the way. Flair winds up pulling off the upset as he rolls up Sting while Sting checks on Sherri and unifies the championships.
WWE Network link – http://network.wwe.com/video/v32354649
Ric Flair vs. Triple H Steel Cage Match (Taboo Tuesday 2005) – This is an absolute classic that is often overlooked when ranking Flair’s greatest matches. In my opinion this may be the best match Flair had in the WWE during this time period. It was booked very old school and built with drama and intensity as the former Evolution partners blooded each up in a match that needs to be seen to be appreciated. Flair pulled off the upset which led to a rematch at Survivor Series which was also fantastic.
WWE Network link – http://network.wwe.com/video/v31291027
Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan (Madison Square Garden, December 29, 1991) – I remember being blown away about how good this series was back in 1991 after seeing them wrestle twice at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. The matches weren’t what you typically got from either guy. Hogan wrestled a little more and Flair cut about 20-30 minutes off of his match times. What you got were a fast-paced, dramatic, fun matches between these two champions. Unfortunately this one is only about ten minutes but it is one of the most fun ten minute matches you’ll get from Hogan during that time period.
WWE Network link – http://network.wwe.com/video/v31337481
Ric Flair and Sting vs. Great Muta and Dick Slater (Clash of the Champions VIII Fall Brawl ’89) – This was a wild main-event that was action-packed from the moment the bell rang. Slater replaced Terry Funk (Funk did a fantastic interview before the match saying he was hurt and wouldn’t be there) which sounds like a big letdown yet Slater was just as insane in here as Funk would have been. The crowd was jacked and the heat was unbelievable. This was the first time Flair and Muta touched which was huge at the time. The post-match angle is the icing on the cake. Terry Funk attacks Flair and tries to smother him with a bag. This match is the epitome of the greatness of WCW in 1989.
WWE Network link – http://network.wwe.com/video/v32286315
Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat (WCW Spring Stampede 1994) – This match is often overlooked when pundits discuss the Flair-Steamboat feud. While it isn’t nearly as hot as their classic series from 1989, it is still one of Flair’s best from his final WCW act. I remember hearing stories at the time that Flair and Steamboat both took it as a personal challenge to go out there and steal the show. They did. The psychology here is just brilliant and this match delivers once the drama peaks.
WWE Network link – http://network.wwe.com/video/v31664157
Ric Flair vs. The Undertaker No DQ Match (WrestleMania 18) – The lack of respect this match gets still surprises me. The finish of the match is one of the most climactic in WrestleMania history. A bloodied and beaten Flair constantly kicked out of the Undertaker’s finishes. The Undertaker got so frustrated he attacked the referee which was just tremendous. Unfortunately, Flair had nothing left after a Tombstone and went down 1-2-3, extending the Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak to 10. This was one hell of a war and an underappreciated classic.
WWE Network link – http://network.wwe.com/video/v31356687
Ric Flair vs. Kerry Von Erich Steel Cage Match (WCCW Star Wars 1983) – This match while legendary for the Freebirds-Von Erich angle, it is highly underappreciated for the actual match. This is one of the oldest matches you can see of Flair’s right now on the WWE Network and it truly is a showcase of why he is regarded as a legend. As charismatic as Kerry was, he was hardly what anyone would regard as a great worker, yet Flair got a great match out of him here. The only criticism of the match I have is that the finish was a little overbooked in that it should have ended with the cage door being shut on Kerry’s head. You have heard about Ric Flair in the early 1980s but you don’t have many opportunities to see him. For that reason alone this match makes the list.
WWE Network link – http://network.wwe.com/video/v31314737
Ric Flair and Steve Austin vs. Maxx Payne and 2 Cold Scorpio (WCW Battle Bowl 1993) – I will be the first to admit that you will probably find better Flair matches on the Network. Yet, this is a special case as it showcases the only time I can recall that Flair and Austin ever teamed up in WCW. They were feuding at the time so they wrested as a hostile tag team. The match is very good just for the gimmick of Austin and Flair not getting along. Flair and Austin take this one but it’s a fun match to go back and watch to check out this dream team of legends for one-time only.
WWE Network link – http://network.wwe.com/video/v31572861
[adinserter block=”2″]Ric Flair vs. Bret Hart (WCW Souled Out 1998) – I remember being so intrigued to see this match at the time after reading Flair and Bret bury each other for years in interviews. I don’t know if it was that competitive edge or dislike for each other that fueled extra motivation but this match was absolutely tremendous. It was also a reminder to anyone who doubted him that Flair still had plenty of gas left in the tank. This match was an absolute clinic and like Flair’s match with Steamboat at Spring Stampede four years earlier, it got better as it built. The psychology here from bell to bell may be the best of any match on this list. Flair taps to the Sharpshooter at the 18:02 mark. 10 more minutes and this match would be on every Flair and Bret top 10 blog on the Internet.
WWE Network link – http://network.wwe.com/video/v31662481