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Abdullah the Butcher,
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Abdullah the Butcher,
This is a tremendous documentary recounting a tremendous career. Starting with Flair's original entry into wrestling, the plane crash that nearly ended his career and his eventual rise to being NWA's Travelling Champion.
Of course there are parts which you need to take with a grain of salt, I highly doubt that Ric Flair was wrestling hour long matches two or three times a night, 300 days a year as is claimed.
Flair shows his usual reverence and affection as he talks about his rivalries with Ricky Steamboat, Sting and Terry Funk.
The stress in Flair's voice as he talks about Crockett Promotions being taken over by WCW, which eventually led to him leaving to go to the WWE, is all too real.
The story of Flair taking the WCW Title belt onto WWE television is still amusing now. Not as amusing was the burial FLair received upon his return to WCW. But the doco ends on a high note with Ric talking about his involvement in the WWE's Evolution Stable from 2002-2005 and his final weeks in the WWE. Of course they may not turn out to be his final weeks, which would take a bit away from this part.
There are various extras, most of which are Flair recounting stories we didn't hear on the documentary proper.
Now we are blessed with two bonus discs containing mainly good matches.
If you missed the part about Flair being traveling champion, you'll get it now. Disc two starts off with Flair taking on Jack Brisco in Mid Atlantic Championship wrestling in 1982, switches to a two out of three falls NWA Championship match with Kerry Von Erich in WCCW later that year, then Flair's back home in mid Atlantic wrestling losing to Harley Race in 1983.
The Four Horsemen part of his career is covered in one match, and it's a good one, as he teams up with the Andersons against Dusty Rhodes, Magnum TA and Manny Fernandez in World Wide Wrestling in 1985.
We finally get a decent Sting match on a WWE-produced DVD with their 45 minute draw at Clash of Champions 1988. Sting is inexperienced in this match, but Flair does a great job and by the end he and Sting are flowing nicely. Fun match despite its length. And Disc Two ends with another good match as Flair defeats Hardcore Icon Terry Funk at the 1989 Great American Bash.
Disc Three starts off with Flair taking on Roddy Piper in the WWE in 1992, and then skips forward to a mildly disappointing WCW bout with Ricky Steamboat from Spring Stampede 1994.
Next is Flair's victory over Triple H in an Intercontinental Championship Steel Cage match from Taboo Tuesday 2005, and then his retirement match against Shawn Micheals from Wrestlemania 24. A lot of people over rate this match, even more under rate it. It is a great story well told. No more. No less.
Special features include an emotional Flair's farewell address on RAW and several JCP promos from the 80s.
This is a solid collection of matches and a good documentary. Not quite as good as the Ultimate Ric Flair Collection, and not as definitive as the name would suggest, but still a fine DVD.
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