Retro Wednesday: Sending A Message, Via Piledriver


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The year is 1989. The National Wrestling Alliance gave the fans the pleasure of watching a series of matches pitting Ricky Steamboat against Ric Flair. At Chi-Town Rumble, Steamboat defeated Flair to begin his first and only reign as a world champion.

On May, 7, 1989 at the WrestleWar pay per view, Flair regained the title by defeating Steamboat. The match comprised of three former world champions as the guest judges. One of them was Terry Funk, who desired to return to the ring.

After Flair defeated Steamboat, Flair showed his respect to the former world champion, which also gained the adulation of the fans. Interestingly, Terry Funk decided to go into the ring to congratulate Flair.

But that was not the only thing he had in mind.

For some odd reason, Funk believed that he was next in line to deserve a world title shot against Flair. Although Flair respected Funk, and found it an honor that he would want to compete with him, he advised him that there was a line that he had to wait in. Feeling insulted, Funk attacked Flair and executed a piledriver on a table.

Ric Flair was forced to take some time off, even causing speculation that his career was over. However, he returned to the ring, and defeated Funk at Great American Bash. The feud culminated with Flair defeating Funk in an "I Quit" match at Clash of the Champions.

Storytelling was something that the NWA had such a knack at doing. Good builds were a must to the creative staff, and they lasted for months with the crowd being engaged the whole way through. This feud was no different. Not only did it give Terry Funk a fantastic spot upon returning to the ring, but it gave Ric Flair an opportunity to thrive as a babyface - something that fans were not used to at the time.

One could only wish that builds like this would return...

Classic build. Classic feud.

Sound off below.

Author's Link: Undertaker's WM streak ending poorly, fond memories of the Ultimate Warrior

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