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   Sun, January 16, 2005



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COMMENT





One sure to go down in history
By CYRUS
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Today Ric Flair returns to Winnipeg, nearly 19 years to the day since his most famous appearance here, when he wrestled Nick Bockwinkel title for title at the old Winnipeg Arena. Flair will face Shawn Michaels in a match featuring two of the greatest wrestlers of all time. If Flair's performance is anything like the one he displayed in the match with Bockwinkel, it will likely leave the same lasting impression.

You see, the Flair-Bockwinkel match has taken on mythic proportions. When the Winnipeg Arena closed down, I wrote that Flair-Bockwinkel was the greatest match in its history. I described it as a one-hour draw. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer newsletter took me to task and said that the match was something like 25 minutes. Several people, including WWE promoter Bob Holliday who was actually in attendance, have confirmed the one-hour time. Interestingly enough, the only tape of the show has "disappeared" and there is no record of the historic match. Sounds like an X-Files episode.

The point is that the match took on such legendary status that people who were not there claim they remember it, those who were can't remember how long it was, and some can't even get the date right. Regardless, there is no way that Ric Flair and Bockwinkel only pulled 25 minutes. At 25, Flair was probably just getting warmed up, and Bock had probably just taken his first bump. Twenty-five? Come on Dave.

I for one am glad that no tape exists, as it is clear that no match could live up to the legend surrounding this one. No matter how great it was, it would be a letdown to actually see it, what with all the mystery for so many years. So if someone has the tape, please keep it to yourself. I prefer to picture it in my mind based on the hundreds of hours of Flair matches I have seen and the many great nights at the old arena watching Bock be the best heel in the business.

Flair vs. Michaels today will be a fantastic match, of course, as both guys always have their working shoes on and represent the best of the 1980s and '90s, respectively. As I mentioned here last week, Michaels has been the best worker in the WWE since his return a couple of years ago, so really, he has been the best of the new millennium thus far, with all due respect to Chris Benoit.

It is clear that the Flair and Michaels like working with each other and that there is immense respect there, which should only help as well. It is truly a chance to witness history ... again.

I have little doubt that folks will be talking about this match 19 years from now, just as they did with Flair's last famous battle with Bockwinkel.

K-5 NEWS

Internet question of the week from Adam Kowmsa of Orangeville: "I heard that Tony Condello used to have a nickname for Edge when he wrestled in Manitoba. What was the nickname?" Well Adam, as hard as this may be to believe, Tony's nickname for Edge was 'Horse Face'... And this from Jay Birdmann of Winnipeg: "Who was the wrestler in the '90s who worked the indie scene in Canada and who went on to fame and fortune as one part of the original Brood in WWF?" Well Jay the answer is: The Male Nurse. He was a tremendous talent who wrestled all over Canada and the U.S. and was even booked in Japan. He was known for his great wrestling and slight lower legs ... Tony Condello is running his wrestling school once again. Contact Tony at 204-229-9173 for info on how you can become a wrestler, manager, valet, announcer or referee ... I would strongly encourage any fan to check out the TNA pay-per-view this week. Their last show was suggested as a show of the year candidate and this one looks to be tremendous ... Joey Styles is still a part of 1wrestling.com, which is a great site, especially to get Joey's no-holds-barred viewpoints ... Scott D'Amore is alive and well and living in Windsor, Ont. ... Joe E. Legend is in England and has a television project on the go.


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