I can hardly believe I never noticed this before, but in the On the Side section of the otherwise unimpressive website WrestleNewz there is a nifty Today in Wrestling History feature. And guess what happened twenty years ago this very day? You will never guess, because I actually give a shit about this sort of thing and I had forgotten entirely, so I will just tell you.
Ahem. Twenty years ago today, making it February 20, 1989, the National Wrestling Alliance (the less violent NWA) put on a pay-per-view called Chi-Town Rumble. The show was headlined by Ricky Steamboat winning the NWA World Heavyweight Title from Ric Flair in the first of their classic trilogy of matches, a series considered by many fans to be the three greatest wrestling matches you could ever hope to see in your whole goddamn life even if you live long enough to see them to resurrect Lou Thesz and throw him in the ring with Kurt Angle before he even knows what the hell is happening.
The other two matches in the Steamboat vs. Flair '89 series took place at Clash of the Champions VI on April 2, and WrestleWar on May 7, where Flair regained the title. That last match is generally singled out for greatest-ever status, and deservedly so, but, being a lifelong Steamboat mark, I personally prefer that first one from Chi-Town Rumble, where Steamer won his first and only World Championship.
All three of the 1989 Flair/Steamboat matches are on DVD from WWE Home Video, the last two on the Ultimate Ric Flair Collection, and the first on Greatest Wrestling Stars of the 80s. There is also footage of the match on YouTube, though sadly not taken from the DVD and of somewhat poor quality. But hey, come on — the greatest match of all-time? Like I'm gonna complain. In three parts, thanks to YouTube user MichaelsHellYeah, here is Ric Flair defending the NWA World Heavyweight Title against Ricky Steamboat from Chi-Town Rumble, February 20, 1989: