The first thing that really struck me about this match was that it happened on Christmas Day! And people actually spent their Christmas Day at a wrestling event! The match is well known for starting the legendary feud between the Fabulous Freebirds and the Von Erichs, but apart from that, were the viewing punters rewarded for spending their Christmas Day watching wrestling?
It’s a tough one to answer. Kerry Von Erich was adored by the masses, as the venue-shattering ovation during his entrance proved. Ric Flair is Ric Flair, the heel everybody loved to hate. It’s the crowd dynamic, rather than the match, that caught my attention. The match consists largely of strikes and holds, with few suplexes and whatnot involved. Von Erich gives Flair a taste of his own medicine by focussing on Flair’s knee throughout the match. Flair also manages to work on Von Erich’s knee as well. Flair, of course, is busted wide open after Von Erich rammed his head into the cage a couple of times. Michael Hayes’ constant interference as Special Guest Referee disrupted the flow of the match. I presumed the match was NO DQ, so found it irritating that he kept on breaking the wrestlers up when they were in the ropes. It’s a cage match, for heaven’s sake!
The ending also dampened my enthusiasm for the match. For some reason, Hayes broke up Von Erich’s CLAW on Flair. Hayes lost it and started jumping about the ring. Flair jumped into Von Erich, who fell into Hayes and knocked him out of the cage door. If my memory didn’t falter, there was a botch of some sort, as the whole cage door angle had to be replayed again for Terry Gordy to ram the cage door into Von Erich’s head. Flair pounded Von Erich’s head, but Von Erich rallied with a Discus Punch. However, the referee rules that Von Erich is unable to continue! Flair is the one that bled for most of the match! It made no sense at all.
The nonsensical ending, added with the plain and unexciting match, made me question why this made it to the WWE Network’s 100 Best…List. Yes, it’s Flair vs Von Erich on Christmas Day. But I’d rather have stayed home and played with my Xmas prezzies than gone to see this match!
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VERDICT: 4/10. The match hasn’t aged well at all. Based on unconvincing strikes and rest holds, it’s a chore to watch. And the end ruins everything!
(Click here for my review of #91 Dean Malenko vs Scotty 2 Hotty, Backlash 2000)