From Parts Unknown Str8 Gangster, No Chaser (Formerly: Monday Nyquil)

The Knack Presents: The Greatest Feuds in Wrestling

Something that I don’t think gets enough light shown on it when it comes to wrestling columns, is great feuds. People forget more often times than not it’s the great feuds, not the great matches that get people to tune in, to be interested. A great feud can escalate an otherwise normal match into the stratosphere…

Something that I don’t think gets enough light shown on it when it comes to wrestling columns, is great feuds. People forget more often times than not it’s the great feuds, not the great matches that get people to tune in, to be interested. A great feud can escalate an otherwise normal match into the stratosphere.

So I felt, heck, who better to do it than Dave Meltzer!  But I think he may write his own wrestling column somewhere, so it’ll be up to me instead. Follow me, kids, as I don my Spider-Man bathrobe, knock the girlfriend out with a chloroform rag so she can’t complain about me watching the same match 3 times, as we take a trip down the annals of pro-wrestling history….let’s get it gangster.

Triple H vs. Ric Flair – The Fall of 2003 – Does Space Mountain Still Run The Park?

Both of these men have been in legendary bouts, with legendary opponents and given us legendary matches. So when they went toe to toe for a duel-series of matches back in 2005, I was stoked. Ric had been back in action for a couple years now, and rocked a few kick ass matches, but hadn’t really shown everyone that he could truly still pull out greatness like back in the days of bad-perms on ugly-women  and…..and well, bad-perms on ugly-dudes. Triple H himself had a lot of prove as well. Due to the fact that ever since his come-back, he felt anabolics were more important than wrestling faster than 1-mph, and that matches with anything more than punches were over-rated. Also at this time, Triple H was abusing his clout and at times said crazy things like the only person he’d drop the strap to is Kevin Nash. Remember that feud? Phew…..I did like their Hell in a Cell though, but it’s hard for me to not like a HIAC. So 2005 was a fresh start for Trips, he’d lost some of the useless bulk, started having great matches again, and laid down for people he hadn’t been friends with his whole career.

In November of 2005, Triple H was coming back once again from leg-surgery. I remember being worried, because he’d had some great matches before he was out, and what if he came back like before? However, that wasn’t the case. He was back, and looking fresh. And Ric, well Ric is always looking like Ric, whoo….

Raw – October 3rd, 2005

Triple H returns to his flagship show and helps his best-friend and mentor out in a tag match against Carlito & Chris Masters. During the match Triple H slipped the sledge-hammer in while the refs back was turned, attempting to crack Masters with it, Carlito makes the save and the hammer lays prone. I love that he tries to sneak the sledge-hammer in. It’s a sledge-hammer. Might as well sneak a riding-lawn mower in.  The match ended with a Pedigree on Carlito and the 1-2-3. Flair and Triple H celebrate, but not for long. HHH picks up the prone sledge-hammer and drills Ric right in the forehead, busting him clean open. Ric tried to take another stand, and was once again put in his place with the sledge hammer. A few legends were sitting front-row that night and Triple H took Flair down to them and continued to beat up on him and ask if anyone had the balls to stop him. A few tried to interject, only to be knocked out. As it went, Triple H then took the Nature Boy on a nice tour of the building, kicking the holy crap out of him all the while. They finally got to a limousine, where Hunter slapped Ric over and over, he threw him inside and smashed the window as the driver sped off.

Raw – October 10th, 2005

Triple H got on the ol’ horn and addressed the crowd and the boys in the back regarding his actions. He told everyone it was his business, and they could basically go to hell. He referred to himself as the biggest mark for the Dirtiest Player in the Game, and that he worshiped the very ground Ric walked and wrestled on. However, now that he’d met him, he was nothing more than a shell of the man he use to be. So he showed Flair the way, and while at his side, and in Evolution, Flair seemed to be back on his game. But then….but then while sitting at home, nursing his injury he watched Ric on Raw. He watched Ric let everyone walk all over him and spit on the legacy that is the Nature Boy. To bring it all to a close, Trips said that without him, without the Game to be by his side, Ric Flair is nothing. And that now it’s time to take the old horse out behind the barn, and pull the trigger…..

Raw – October 17th, 2005

After what Triple H had done to Flair, and the comments made the week previous, Flair had a few choice statements of his own. Right now he has a fire inside of him, a desire to do what he hasn’t done in almost 15 years. He carried the brass ring that so many strive for, yet so many achieve, around in his back pocket. But he relinquished that very ring over to Triple H, which in turn made him the man….but Flair now question’s that call. When he was 20 years old, he says, he was in a plane crash that broke his back. 6 months later, he was back in the ring with gold around his waist. At that moment, Ric ripped off a bandage he had on his forehead and blood began squirting out, covering his face, so much so that he constantly had to wipe it off and drench his white shirt. Ric said he didn’t want to wait for any PPV, and that he wanted Triple H here and now. The Game answered the call, but quickly reneged on it once he saw Flair come rushing at him with a bat.

Raw – October 24th, 2005

Triple H was set for a match against Viscera, however that would never come to fruition. As Triple H was making his way to the ring, Ric Flair dashed out and attacked The Game from behind. Before it could escalate any further, a group of refs stormed the scene and pulled the two apart. Triple H took to the backstage, whereas Ric wasn’t quite done and hit the ring. I’m not too sure why, but I assume it’s because he’s Ric Flair and all that he does is awesome, but he took his shoes off and threw them into the crowd. He then demanded that they all vote to put him and The Game in a steel cage match.

Taboo Tuesday – November 1st, 2005

The Match: Here we have the first meeting between Triple H and Ric Flair since The Game turned on his mentor and beat the holy living hell out of him. The idea behind Taboo Tuesday, now known as Cyber Sunday, was that people get to vote for what they want to see. Be it someone’s opponent, or the match setting, and other nifty little things. This is an incredible match. The whole time Triple H was talking about how he did what he did because that Flair was no longer the Flair he knew. Stating he’d lost his edge, become soft and could no longer get the job done. Hell, I’m sure a lot of people at home felt the same way. Sure, we’d seen Ric do his thing, but never anything that made us stand up from our seats and say that’s our man, that’s Ric. The handicap match at WM was damn close, but again, just damn close. With this one, I feel both men had something to prove. Ric to prove he still had some 80’s style Ric left, and Triple H needed to prove that he was done sucking ass. That the year 2003 was far behind him, and we wouldn’t have to see matches like he had against Steiner, Goldberg or Kane. But that this was the Triple H from 2000, the one who was that damn good. The cage match was a perfect pick, as well. Because back in the day the cage was brought in because the heel just kept winning by the hairs on his chin, and the face needed to keep his ass in the ring, so there was nowhere to run to. So we got the old school feel with this. Both Ric and Triple H bled like there was no tomorrow, with Ric of course being the man when it comes to bleeding, and Triple H, honestly being not far behind. This was a war. Ric Flair not only turned the clock back to 85, but gave one of the best performances I’ve ever seen him give. They went back and forth, and up and down. It was brutal and exciting, just the way any cage match should truly be, and probably my favourite of all time. There were so many things riding on this match, and they all reached their destination.

The Rating:  * * * * 3/4th

Where To Get: Taboo Tuesday DVD 2005, Ric Flair: The Definitive Collection

Raw – November 7th, 2005

The evening started with Raw’s GM, Eric Bischoff coming out and making a few announcements. One of the many he made was that at Survivor Series, it would be Ric Flair vs. Triple H in a Last Man Standing match.  Ric had a match that evening against Rob Conway. They would cut back to see The Game on a sofa, watching the screen closely. Once Conway tapped out to the Figure-Four Leg-Lock, Triple H ran down and started to pummel on Flair. However, the Dirtiest Player in the Game wouldn’t take that lying down and built up a bit of offense that sent the two battling back through the crowd.

Raw – November 21st, 2005

Ric took on Trevor Murdoch and pinned him with a hand full of tights. Triple H then took to the big screen and let Flair know that his meaningless wins were just that, and the only thing that’s going to mean anything is facing him at Survivor Series.

Survivor Series, November 27th, 2005

The Match: Triple H was fired up for this bout, stomping the crap out of Flair before he even made his way to the ring. Hell, his robe was on for the first 3 minutes or so. People thought that maybe their Taboo Tuesday was a fluke, but they were about to be proved wrong. The build up to this match wasn’t as great as the build up to Taboo Tuesday, I felt it was just lacking a little bit of the fire, but the match more than made up for it. It was one of the most brutal affairs I’ve ever seen. Flair just had attitude. Constantly giving HHH the finger, telling him to f**k off, and just going balls out nuts. The last 3 minutes or so are some of the most incredible in any wrestling match you’ve ever seen. He shows the world that he’s still, Ric F**KING Flair. The Game was also able to show everyone that his ass-sucking was phasing out. Taunting Flair, telling him he’s too damn old and pathetic. Flair responds to that by uh….well let’s say, it’s the last place I’d want Flair to clamp his hands in anger. Awesome stuff. Both matches really told a story, and it makes me all that more depressed that he’s retired.

The Rating: * * * * *

Where To Get: Survivor Series 2005 DVD, Triple H – The King of Kings DVD

Overall: He proved without a doubt, yes, Space Mountain still runs the park. Both men came out looking like a million dollars from this feud. It was only a few brief months and we got two classics, imagine if they had even more time.

Caliber Winfield