Chris' Blog


NWA Starrcade – November 23, 1983

Here we go with the beginnings of the NWA/WCW shows on the Network. We start with the very first ever Starrcade from Thanksgiving in 1983. This is considered one of the first supershows in wrestling and is the true granddaddy of the all, having lasted from 1983 until 2000. A quick recap of the title situations before we begin, Harley Race is the current NWA Champion having regained the title in June from his challenger tonight, Ric Flair. The reigning and defending United States Champion is Greg Valentine who dethroned the man he faces tonight, Roddy Piper almost seven months ago. As for the Tag Team Champions they are Jack & Jerry Brisco who defeated Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood less then a month earlier, tonight the former champions get a rematch. Some interesting rematches on this show and should be fun to see how it holds up thirty years later.

1. The Assassins v. Rufus R Jones & Bugsy McGraw

Rufus is the current Mid-Atlantic champion, back when each territory had it’s own champions. The Assassins are Jody Hamilton and Ray Fernandez, Hamilton worked for over thirty years and his son is referee Nick Patrick. Fernandez is better know as Hercules in the WWF and later Super Invader in the WCW. We jump right to the bell ringing as Hamilton and Bugsy start out the match, we have Gordon Solie and Bob Caudle on commentary as Bugsy armdrags Hamilton over and them slams the big man. We get a wide shot of the arena and it’s so dark you can’t see past the first row. Gordon calls this a new aura in wrestling as he hypes the main event of Race and Flair as Hamilton gets a shot in but misses the clothesline as Bugsy hits an elbow. Bugsy unloads on Hamilton who tags in Fernandez, the Assassins have a conversation with manager Paul Jones before Fernandez gets in the ring. Bugsy catches Fernandez with a slam and begins to clobber Fernandez before tagging in Rufus. The crowd is hyped as Rufus hits a gut shot and gets the first near fall of the match! Rufus starts to work over the arm, Rufus was star throughout the South and his son is future WWF manager Slick! While Bugsy was in the last WWF show I recapped from the seventies, and looks no different here. Rufus headbutts the shoulder of Fernandez and tags in Bugsy, who gets dragged to the Assassins corner and Hamilton tagged in. Hamilton not sure what to make of the craziness of Bugsy, but begins to work the arm. Bugsy reverses and twists Hamilton’s arm then brings in Rufus who maintains the arm bar. Hamilton tries to fight free but to no avail as Rufus maintains the arm bar. Rufus with a headbutt and series of chops, Hamilton backs in the corner but Rufus continues to work him over then shoots him in the opposite corner. Hamilton slowly gets up but pulls something from his outfit and rakes it across Rufus’ eyes then tags in Fernandez who clobbers Rufus with a series of punches, but Rufus shakes it off and headbutts Fernandez in the gut then makes the tag. Bugsy unloads on both Assassins and now we have all four in the ring as chaos ensues, the faces clean house but Bugsy gets rolled up from behind but Fernandez who scores the win. 7/10 a good tag team match that was better then expected, very fast paced and exciting.

1. The Assassins defeated Rufus R. Jones & Bugsy McGraw 7/10

Gordon Solie and Bob Caudle talk about the main event tonight and send it to Tony Schiavone who’s in Ric Flair’s dressing room. We see Piper and others talking with Ric as Tony says we will see more in the dressing room later as he sends it back to ring announcer Tom Miller for match number two.

2. Johnny Weaver & Scott McGhee v. Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin

Johnny Weaver as known as the man who created the sleeper hold and was nearing the end of thirty year career here and is the husband of wrestler Penny Banner. Scott was a big star at this point in Florida teaming with Barry Windham among others. Kevin Sullivan was most known for his satanic gimmick and introducing the wrestling world to Nancy Benoit. Mark Lewin was part of Sullivan’s cult and would change his name to Purple Haze later. It’s odd the even introduce the ref as the bell rings, and Scott and Kevin start out with some amateur style moves followed by a pair of dropkicks from Scott. Kevin tags in Mark Lewin who can’t get a hold of the younger faster man, but makes a quick tag back to Kevin. Scott with the side headlock and tags in Weaver who maintains the headlock and we get a classic criss cross, Weaver goes for a right hand and Kevin holds the ropes then brings Lewin back in. Weaver works the arm and tags in Scott who keeps control of the arm, Lewin reverses so Scott jumps out. Kevin back in and they double team Scott before Kevin starts to take control of the arm as Gordon again goes over some of the upcoming matches, as the heels use quick tags to take down Scott. Lewin teases Scott that he can make the tag, as Sullivan distracts the ref so he doesn’t see it. The heels continue to double team and work over Scott who tries to make the tag, but fails again as Sullivan gets cocky and Scott makes the hot tag to Weaver. Weaver bulldogs Sullivan down and Lewin has to make the save, a second bulldog fails as Weaver shot hard into the buckle and now Lewin in. A few stomps and Sullivan back in, as they go back to the quick tags to take down the older team member which angers the younger Scott who distracts the ref long enough for Sullivan and Lewin to double team Weaver and score the win. 6/10 not as good as the last match but still passable wrestling. After the match Scott goes after the heels and manager Gary Hart, who pulls something from his boot and passes it to Lewin who begins carving the face of Scott. Angelo Mosca tries to make the save but gets busted open as well with the weapon. Angelo finally clears the heels as they check on Scott who’s bleeding all over the ring.

2. Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin defeat Scott McGhee and Johnny Weaver 6/10

Gordon and Bob send it to ringside with Barbara Cleary who asks fans who they think will win and they all pick Flair. Now to Tony with Greg Valentine, the Brisco Brothers and Harley Race. Race says the last place he wants to be is in Greensboro, North Carolina and says he’s been talking with friends who know Ric Flair and he the insight.

3. Carlos Colon v. Abdullah The Butcher

Carlos was huge star in Puerto Rico and the father of Carlito and Primo, and is also the owner of the WWC promotion in Puerto Rico. Abdullah is one of my all time favorites and has bled all over the world as the first real hardcore style wrestler, and has been for fifty plus years. This ran for over twenty year and was a huge draw in WWC, expect lots of blood. Gordon says this match was banned in Puerto Rico. Abdullah quickly pulls out the foreign object and stabs and jabs Colon in the corner. Abdullah with a series of headbutts and a big clothesline before dropping the elbow for a near fall. The mat already has blood stains from Scott in the last match as Abdullah continues to hammer Colon who makes the comeback with forearms. Colon turns the tide as he clobbers him in the corner and now has Abdullah’s foreign object and is using it on him. Colon busts open Abdullah by biting the forehead and then jabs the object in the mouth. Abdullah sent in the ropes and gets caught in midsection, Colon follows with elbow drops and gets a near fall. Abdullah kicks Colon off and he lands on the ref, Abdullah misses the elbow and lands on the ref. Colon goes after the big man’s leg and locks on the figure four and someone comes in the ring and nails Colon. Abdullah covers and wins the match, as the man comes back in, it’s Hugo Savinovich who was Abdullah’s manager and later became the Spanish announcer for WWF. 6/10 a fun fast brawl which was all should be expected with these two.

3. Abdullah The Butcher pinned Carlos Colon 6/10

Backstage to Tony with Angelo Mosca who has his arm all taped up, Tony asks if he can referee the main event. Angelo says he will and then calls out Mark Lewin as he saw Scott busted open and all he could see was his own son. He says there is no place in the NWA for something like that as he has done lots of bad things but he has heart and youth is what makes wrestling. We pan back and see Scott busted wide open beside him and looks out cold. Did they not have a doctor to stitch him up? Angelo says he believes in Flair as we go back to Beverly with two women in the crowd who expect Flair to win tonight.

4. Chief Wahoo McDaniel & Mark Youngblood v. Cowboy Bob Orton & Dick Slater

Wahoo is a former US champion and NFL star who wrestled for thirty five years. Mark Youngblood is the son of Ricky Romero, who was a star in Texas, and worked in Puerto Rico and the USWA in the eighties. Bob Orton is the father of Randy Orton and is best remember for being in the main event of the first ever Wrestlemania. Dick Slater was a big star through out NWA territories but was a jobber in WWF, he also teamed with Dick Murdoch in the nineties as the Hardliners. It’s a battle of cowboys and Indians, as we get a shot of Dusty Rhodes in the crowd, surprised he doesn’t have a match considering how huge he was in the NWA. Wahoo and Dick start out and they tie up in the corner, but Wahoo tosses him to the opposite corner and Dick flips over and to the apron. Another lockup and Wahoo takes him down via the arm bar and tags in Mark who leg drops the arm. This crowd is wild for everything tonight as we get the Wilie E Coyote cam shot, which always looks so weird. Mark gets a near fall with a flipping pinning maneuver, as Dick quickly goes for the arm but Mark reverses the hold. Dick sweeps the leg, so Mark kicks him off sending Dick over the top to the apron. Slater back in and gets a side Russian leg sweep then brings in Orton who press slams Mark then drops him with a back breaker. Orton snapmares Mark but misses the elbow and then hip tosses the Cowboy over. Slater in the save his partner as the crowd explodes as the heels have to come up with a new plan as the Indians are overpowering them. Bob off the ropes and tags in Dick, but Bob with a quick back breaker as Dick drops the knee across the face of Mark. Dick with a nice gut wrench suplex and gets a near fall. Youngblood sent to the floor and Orton takes some cheap shots on Youngblood and then hits a back breaker across the steel security barrier as Wahoo finally comes to save his partner. Mark finally back in and gets headbutted down, as Bob tagged in and tries to wear down the smaller member of the team. Mark fights free and comes off the ropes, right into the big boot of Orton. Slater back in and headbutt followed by the back elbow and a vertical suplex drops Youngblood down. Slater with a lazy cover and Mark kicks out, Slater goes for the piledriver but Youngblood reverses and makes the hot tag. Wahoo with a series of chops on both heels and an atomic drop takes down Bob. Wahoo slams Bob down and drops a big elbow for the near fall as the tide has turned and the crowd is insane for Wahoo. Slater tagged back in as Bob trips Wahoo, but Wahoo comes back with the big rights, but Bob gets a cheap shot on Wahoo. Slater with a belly to back suplex for three near falls, Slater drops a big leg and tags in Orton who smashes the elbow into the face of Wahoo. Wahoo kicks out again and the heels are getting upset, Slater tagged in and comes in via the top but Wahoo moves and Slater nails Orton. Wahoo quickly tags in Mark and they double team Slater. Bob takes out Wahoo as Mark gets caught with both men, but he dropkicks Orton and then Slater, another for Orton who falls into the turnbuckle. Mark sends him and misses the dropkick, the heels begin to double team Mark as the set him on the top turnbuckle. Orton hits the superplex for three, as Wahoo was a little late making the save. 8/10 a fun fast paced match, as Orton was so under appreciated in the eighties. The heels get Wahoo down and Orton drags him to the apron and holds the arm as Slater drives a forearm in as they try to break his arm. Youngblood finally chases the heels off, but it might be too late.

4. Bob Orton & Dick Slater beat Wahoo McDaniel and Mark Youngblood 8/10

Backstage with Tony who’s with Ricky Steamboat, Jay Youngblood and Ric Flair who says he hopes Race is ready for the battle of a lifetime. Ric wishes Steamboat and Youngblood best of luck in their tag match tonight, as Jay says this is the most important match of their lives. Steamboat says they are going for the gold for the fifth time. We now go to Barbara who’s with Dusty who tries to cut a promo but the audio is messed up, so Gordon reiterates what he said. Shit, as I’m watching this I just found out that Dusty Rhodes has passed away, I can’t believe this. This is right up there with Eddie Guerrero and Brian Pillman and Owen Hart. Dusty was one of the best promo men in the world and a great worker, we just lost a true wrestling genius today.

5. Charlie Brown v. Great Kabuki

This is a mask versus TV title match, Charlie Brown is Jimmy Valiant under a mask, Jimmy was known for his big beard, which he never shaved even to be under a mask. Kabuki is a Japanese star who used to spray the green mist. Brown takes out Kabuki to the floor right away and slams him into the post twice. Charlie smashes a chair into the stomach of Kabuki and then tosses him in the ring then drives him crotch into the post. The crowd solidly behind Brown as he dances in the ring, as he drags Kabuki to the middle of the ring and stomps the midsection. Charlie continues the unload on Kabuki and quickly locks the sleeper on Kabuki who slowly fades away. The manager of Kabuki, Gary Hart, has no idea what to do as Kabuki grabs the beard and mask to break the hold. Brown right back to the sleeper hold and Gary drags the foot to the ropes to break the hold. Kabuki finally gets some offense in with the chops and quickly locks on the claw, Brown drops to one knee but the crowd brings him back to life as he breaks the hold and backdrops Kabuki multiple times but runs into the savate kick. Kabuki reapplies the claw hold and Brown is down on the mat, but he fights his way to his feet and breaks the hold. Brown whips him in but takes to long to follow up and eats another kick. Kabuki off the top rope and right back to the claw. Kabuki releases the hold and climbs the ropes, he drops down with a forearm to the face and gets a near fall. Brown tries to fight back up, but Kabuki keeps him down and tries to unmask him but the ref stops him. Kabuki back to the martial arts to stagger Brown then follows with a spin kick. Brown refuses to give up as he fights back but gets sent to the corner and Kabuki misses the corner charge. Brown covers and win the TV title, and Gary Hart is furious. 5/10 a quick match but too much time spent in the claw hold.

5. Charlie Brown pinned The Great Kabuki 5/10

Bob and Gordon talk with a radio guy about the main event and he picks Flair to regain the gold, as everyone else has. They go over the remaining three matches of the night as we have the three title matches upcoming. We then go back to Tony with Race, Orton and Slater as they talk about Bob and Dick collecting the bounty for injuring Flair, but now he’s back. Orton blames Wahoo for Flair returning. Race says he is with two people who know Ric better then he knows himself and talks about the spike piledriver that took out Flair, he says he is targeting the neck. Back to Barbara with Dusty Rhodes as we get the promo we should have got earlier. This is heartbreaking to watch at this moment, as my Twitter feed is all about Dusty right now. Dusty says he wants the winner and wishes both men best of luck tonight as we go back to ringside.

6. Greg Valentine v. Roddy Piper

This is for the US title and is a collar match. Greg was a huge star in NWA and then came to WWF and won the Tag Titles with Brutus Beefcake. Roddy Piper was one of the biggest villains in the WWF in the mid eighties and headlined the first Wrestlemania. There are no disqualifications as anything goes in this match and Bob calls the most dangerous match in wrestling. The bell rings and we start with a tug of war, as the collars are around the neck attached to each other with a thick steel chain. They get close to each other and Piper gets the first shot in with the chain. Greg misses with the chain and Piper pulls away from Greg, and the crowd is already screaming loudly. They begin unloading with rights and back to pulling on the chain, as they stalk each other. Piper catches him with the chain and back him in the corner then slams the chain across the face, Piper pulls the chain sending Greg into his right hand. Greg does his classic face first fall as Piper waits for him to get up and now Greg unloads with the chain and begins working over the previously injured ear. Greg wraps the chain around Piper’s face and then drops an elbow on his face. Piper gets a knee in to break the momentum and starts to choke Greg with the chain as Piper smashes Greg in the face with the chains. Piper ties Greg in the corner with the chain and unloads on him. Greg pulled out of the corner right in to the chains as he is split open. Greg gets a shot in on Piper who rolls out and now both men brawl on the floor and Piper throws a chair at him. Piper climbs on the apron and pulls Greg up as they slug it out, the ref gets in the middle and Greg smashes the chain in the ear. They continue to brawl around the ringside area as Greg makes him way back in and Piper is bleeding from the side of the head. Greg drags Piper back in the ring and continues to smash Piper in the head with the chain as the blood is just pouring out of Piper. Piper tries to fight back but Greg just brushes him off and continues to unload as Piper is a mess now, as Greg is relentless with the chain shots. Piper keeps getting back up and Greg continues to knock him down as Greg gets a near fall. Greg drops the big elbow and Piper again powers out, so Greg goes for another one but Piper pulls him down and begins his comeback as he just lays a beating into Greg now. Piper whips Greg with the chain repeatedly and Greg is down on the mat, but Greg fight back with chain and Piper with a series of haymakers takes down Greg. Greg gets the chain around the throat of Piper and then throws him to the ropes and knocks down Piper. Greg goes for a suplex and Piper blocks and hits one of his own. Both men are down and slow to get up as the mat is just covered in blood now, as they continue to hammer each other with the chain. Greg able to get a sleeper on Piper who swings the chain up, smashing across the face of Greg and breaking the hold. Greg makes his way to the top rope and Piper pulls the chain knocking him down, he then cracks him across the face with the chain and covers for the win. 8.5/10 a great bloody brawl, something missing in wrestling nowadays. After the match Greg attacks again and tosses Piper over the top rope and chokes him, as Gordon corrects himself and says the title was not on the line. Well, they did the same thing with Piper and Hogan at Starrcade 1996 as well. Greg refuses to let Piper get out of the ring and continues to smash him with the chain, finally the ref gets Greg out of there.

6. Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine 8.5/10

Bob and Gordon talk about the heart of Roddy Piper who refused to give up as we get a shot of Piper standing tall in the ring. We once again go to Tony with Ric Flair, who says he is ready and thanks Wahoo who is beside him. Wahoo has his arm all taped up from the attack from earlier of Orton and Slater. Wahoo says Ric is ready and he’s behind him one hundred percent. Over to Beverly with Don Kernodle, former tag champion with Sgt Slaughter.

7. Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood v. Jack & Jerry Brisco

This is for the Tag Titles and Angelo Mosca, who’s taped up from earlier, is the referee. Jay Youngblood is the brother of Mark Youngblood and sadly passed away less then two years after this. Ricky Steamboat is one of the greatest of all time and would hold the WWF IC and NWA World titles. The Brisco Brothers were huge stars in Florida and Jerry would later be one of Vince’s stooges in the feud with Steve Austin. Steamboat and Jerry start out and Steamboat overpowers him to the corner where we get a clean break. Jerry with a side headlock and shot in, Steamboat leaps over and goes for the chop but Jerry holds the ropes. The ref is the size of both guys on either team, which is just an odd looking dynamic. The Brisco Brothers use quick tags to try and slow down Steamboat, as Jack goes for a hammerlock and Steamboat flips over him and arm drags Jack over. Brisco powers Steamboat to the corner and starts to hammer him, so Mosca pulls him out of the corner. Steamboat and Jerry lock up and Jerry powers him to the corner and pops him but Steamboat comes back with a chop and tags in Youngblood. Youngblood with a side headlock takeover as Jack is screaming at the ref from his corner. Wonder why Jay didn’t team with his brother here instead of Steamboat, seems odd to me as Mark was in the earlier match. Steamboat tagged in and comes in via the top rope on the arm, and now Youngblood does the same strategy. Jack makes the tag and Jerry gets sent into the ropes, but Steamboat gets caught with a knee and the Brisco Brothers go back to quick tags to work over Steamboat. It’s really hard to tell the Brisco’s apart especially with the hard camera, can say same for Steamboat and Youngblood as they both have long black hair and black tights. Brisco with a nice belly to back suplex with a bridge for a near fall then applies the waist lock to try and tire Steamboat down. Steamboat sent into the ropes and arm dragged down, Brisco quickly into a key lock and Steamboat tries to get the crowd into it, as he powers Brisco up from the mat and drops back, that is an impressive power move, something you don’t expect from Steamboat. Both men make tags and the crowd is exploding for Youngblood who chops down Brisco, who comes back with a nice suplex. Brisco continues to wear down Youngblood with suplexes and then locks on the Abdominal Stretch but Youngblood flips out and tags in Steamboat who chops down Brisco and the crowd goes wild. A diving chop to Jerry and then a double chop as Youngblood in, he shoots Jerry in and tags Ricky, they take down Jerry again. A nice press slam from Steamboat of Youngblood on Jerry scores the pin. The Brisco Brothers send Youngblood to the floor and attack Mosca. Jack locks on the figure four on Steamboat and Jerry goes up top. Jerry tries to dive on Steamboat but Mosca catches him and slams Jerry down. Youngblood back in and they clean house of the Brisco Brothers. 9/10 a great fast paced and exciting tag team match. So far your match of the night.

7. Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood beat Jack & Jerry Brisco 9/10

Oddly we get the credits for the show before the main event as Gordon talks about how much work everyone put into making this show. Imagine WWE PPV ending with credits and other people getting credit for the work they do, would never happen. Doug Dillinger was a camera man, I only remember him as the security guy for WCW in the nineties. We see Ric Flair in his dressing room getting ready to come to the ring for his title match. Tony interviews the new TV champion Charlie Brown who says he did it for Jimmy Valiant. Roddy Piper comes in and asks Valentine if that is the best he could do, he beat him fair and square and next time he will take the US title. As he leaves here come the new tag champions Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood. Jay says they are the first ever five time tag champions and they will face anyone at anytime for the belts. We now go to Bob and Gordon who talk about the World Title match coming up in few minutes as they continue to stall as the cage is being erected. Continuing to kill time they were going to Barbara but they seem to have misplaced her, so they talk about the show being available in Puerto Rico and that Colon will get his revenge of Abdullah as we go to Barbara. She’s at ringside with Dusty Rhodes who’s surrounded by women and says he will pick the winner, but won’t tell us. Bob and Gordon talk about why they’re stalling for time, because they are building the cage which takes some time. We go back to ringside with Tom Miller who introduces James Weeks to perform the National Anthem.

8. Ric Flair v. Harley Race

After a long delay we finally are ready for the main event, as this match is for the NWA World Heavyweight Title and will be contested inside the steel cage. Ric Flair comes out first, as the challenger should, clad in his signature blue robe and the crowd is electric. Harley Race comes out wearing a red and blue robe with his legendary mustache/sideburns combo. The days of a champion coming out with no pyro or music, seems so odd now, but works for a true wrestler like Harley Race. The referee is introduced, as it’s Gene Kiniski, one of Canada’s greatest wrestlers. The bell rings and the men lock up with Flair powering Race to the ropes and we get a clean break. Another lockup into a side headlock from Flair who takes over Race, Race breaks the hold. Race gets Flair against the ropes and hits him, Flair chops back and goes back to the headlock. Race again overpowers Flair to the ropes and knees him in the stomach. Flair now overpowers Race to the ropes and drives a knee in, snapmares Race over and back to the headlock. Race sends him in the ropes and catches Flair with a knee to the face, but misses the diving headbutt. This allows Flair to chop the champion down and back to the side headlock. Flair wearing down the champion who makes his way to his feet and suplexes Flair over to break the headlock. Flair tries for a slam and Race shifts his weight to take down the challenger and gets a near fall. Race drops a knee across the face of Flair and then drives the knee into the throat. Race continues to work over the head and neck of Flair with punches and knees to the face as you can hear Flair screaming in pain. Race follows up with a piledriver but doesn’t cover the challenger and instead drops and elbow for a near fall as Race is very methodical with the dismantling of Ric Flair. Ric Flair has been getting taken apart for quite a while as Race hits the neck breaker and gives Flair a chance to get up. Race smashes Flair’s face into the steel cage and then goes to grab Flair, who comes back with a series of shots to the midsection but one headbutt takes down Flair. A falling headbutt and then drives the challenger’s face to the cage as Race is in control, he does it again. Race again takes his time and this allows Flair to come back with chops as the blood pours down Flair’s face, Race headbutts Flair back down. Race goes to grab Flair, who pulls Race forward smashing Race into the cage splitting the World Champion open. Flair starts to comeback, sending Race into the cage again and snapmares Race down then drops a knee across the bloody face of Race. Flair hits a piledriver in the middle of the ring and covers for a near fall of his own, Flair follows with a classic neck twist aka Zeus’ only move when he was in WWF. Flair chops Race and rams him into the fence, right into the post portion, and then gets into it with the referee. Race uses this to his advantage and headbutts Flair in the gut before grinding his face in the cage walls, angering Kiniski. Race again throws Flair hard into the fence and Flair tries to comeback with a wild swing, but one headbutt takes him down. Flair staggers back up and chops Race and drops the knee for two. Flair hits a nice belly to back suplex and then locks on the figure four as we get the overhead camera again. Race rolls over and Flair rolls again making the ropes, which draws a break, in a cage match, that’s just weird. Both men are gushing blood as Race goes for a suplex but his leg gives out and Flair lands on top for a near fall, which the camera misses. Race with another headbutt and then climbs the ropes for the flying headbutt, one of the dumbest moves in wrestling. Race slowly covers for another near fall and then pulls him up for a slow vertical suplex and again only gets two. Flair swings wildly but has nothing behind the shots as Race sends him into the cage and then chokes him which makes Kiniski grab Race by the hair to pull him back. This allows Flair to hit the suplex and follows with a big knee drop, which he misses. Race with a side headlock and headbutts the ref. Race knees Flair and puts him in the corner, Flair fights back and dives off the top rope with a cross body. Race stumbles backwards over Kiniski and Flair scores the pin to regain the World Title. 9/10 a great cage match and a great way to end the show as Flair conquers the legend. This would be the final recognized title reign of Harley Race as the ring fills with the faces to congratulate the new champion. Angelo Mosca puts Flair on his shoulders as the other wrestlers lead the crowd in chants of Flair, as he celebrates his third title reign. Ric Flair’s wife, at that time, comes in the ring to congratulate her husband as the crowd is still cheering for Ric. Flair takes the microphone and actually seems very humble as he thanks the crowd and says explaining how important the fans are would take forever but he says this is the greatest night of his life and thanks the crowd.

8. Ric Flair pinned Harley Race 9/10

Gordon and Bob talk about how great a match that was, and I agree. Gordon says 1984 is going to be a very interesting year as we go backstage to Tony with a very bloody Ric Flair. Flair says he doesn’t know how to say thank you to everyone who had confidence in him when he was down and out. The champagne bottles start popping as Dusty comes in to the room and says they will meet somewhere down the road. Steamboat & Youngblood celebrate along with Flair as we go back to Bob and Gordon. Gordon says they are sending Barbara to speak with Race, but they don’t know if he has anything to say. We go to Barbara with Harley who says he did it seven times and nothing will stand in his way of doing it eight times. Race says he’s been there and done it all and this night was arranged for Flair but he will not pack it up and go away. Harley says they will meet again as Barbara sends it back to Gordon and Bob. We once again go back to Tony with Ricky Steamboat, Jay Youngblood and Ric Flair, as Flair says this is a dream they all had and no matter what the championship means they are the best. Flair says tonight they are the best but with challengers like they have this could end any time, he then accidentally congratulates Jimmy Valiant on his win, whoops. Steamboat says it’s been a long night and it’s a long road of training but they were ready to walk out as champions. Tony sends it back to Bob and Gordon who talk about Superbowl and World Series and says they can’t wait for Starrcade 1984. Bob & Gordon close the show as we get a video of highlights from the main event to end this great show.

MATCH RECAP

1. The Assassins defeated Rufus R. Jones & Bugsy McGraw 7/10

2. Kevin Sullivan & Mark Lewin defeat Scott McGhee and Johnny Weaver 6/10

3. Abdullah The Butcher pinned Carlos Colon 6/10

4. Bob Orton & Dick Slater beat Wahoo McDaniel and Mark Youngblood 8/10

5. Charlie Brown pinned The Great Kabuki 5/10

6. Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine 8.5/10

7. Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood beat Jack & Jerry Brisco 9/10

8. Ric Flair pinned Harley Race 9/10

That was a really good show with only one bad match, but at least it was short. Lots of great battles showcasing how great the NWA was in the early 80s. Two great matches topped off a fantastic night of action, one of the best shows I’ve watched on the Network so far. Next up is the night Hulk Hogan wins the WWF title. I just want to dedicate this recap to the great Dusty Rhodes, he was one of a kind in the ring and on promos. There will never be another like the American Dream.

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