Friday, April 03, 2009
Chris Jericho's (and to a lesser extent Randy "I Thought That Gym Bag Was a Toilet" Orton's) heroic attempts to keep World Wrestling Entertainment's flagship program from veering into the vortex of unwatchability (a vortex that long ago consumed and continues to hold a vice like grip on TNA!) have not gone without appreciation from all of us here at Arabian Facebuster. In particular, our esoteric truth seeking enterprise's spiritual guru and foremost connoisseur of savory waffles washed down with deeply discounted half-racks of sweet sweet microbrews from the local toiletries emporium -- Rev Von. Fury -- has pointed to the Jericho-Flair in-ring confrontation on RAW from a couple of weeks back (which resulted in Flair's watch commemorating his final match/retirement being destroyed, clothes being ripped, and ostrich shoes that cost more than this and these combined being tossed into thesea of humanoids at ringside) as the apex of these efforts to once again infuse some sophisticated, perversely sympathetic/justifiable, cerebral, and much needed heeldom into a promotion preoccupied with turning John Cena into a movie star, shilling merchandise that appears to be designed by the same individuals responsible for the unfortunate late-90s trailer park rap/metal fusion band aesthetic, and finding new and exciting ways to yet again interweave the McMahon family into main event storylines.
As Arabian Facebuster's self-appointed rasslin' historian, I want to bring to yr attention the fact that this aforementioned Jericho-Flair confrontation and subsequent Flair humiliation has its creative roots in (or least bares a striking similarity to) a famous angle from Mid-Atlantic Wrestling circa 1978 involving Flair and Steamboat, who were embroiled in a feud over the then prestigious U.S. Heavyweight Title.
Some disparate thoughts on this clip:
(1) Even though he was still three years away from winning his first World Title, you can see that Flair had already finely honed his cocky heel persona and incensed reaction after getting his just comeuppance.
(2) This "Flair gets pantsed" bit would be utilized 12 years later to advance Flair-Steamboat's momentous feud over the NWA World Heavyweight Title which produced the greatest triology of matches in North American professional rasslin' history. Off the top of my head, I'm not sure if they dusted the bit off again in 1994 for their final feud with each other, or utilized it in late 1983/1984 when Flair and Steamboat first fought over the NWA Title culminating in them headlining the May 29, 1984 "Night of Champions" supercard in the Meadowlands which was NWA's initial attempt to promote a card in/invade the WWF's home turf.
(3) Play-by-play announcer Bob Caudle is superb in his straight-man role in this segment. By contrast, without anyone around to taunt as a "bald head geek," the only thing David Crockett is adequate at is holding Flair's title with a limp wrist and after a night of convivial degeneracy on the town with The Nature Boy, gleefully accepting his unwanted and/or used up North Cakalacky cabin fatties for his own personal desecration.
Please enjoy this enduring moment in the history of professional wrestling!
Oh, and for those that have been living under a rock, festering in 6'X6' cell, or crashing on Apollo's living room floor and using his back issues of Pro Wrestling Illustrated as a makeshift blankie, let me get you caught up on the contours of this present-day quarrel: (a) Jericho is feuding with a group of pro wrestlings legends/old timers anchored by Ric Flair; (b) Jericho will be taking on Steamboat (amongst others) this Sunday; (c) based on the participants involved in this feud/match Jericho is inadvertently feuding with the legacy of Mid Atlantic Wrestling; (d) Flair will be inducting Steamboat, his greatest in-ring rival and opponent, into the WWE Hall of Fame; and (e) Bottom Line Stone Cold Steve Austin will be showing up to avenge the aged yet prideful legends and to help me avoid having to listen attentively to then write about Hulk Hogan's no-doubt self-congratulatory autobiography.